Putting Our Money Where Our Hearts Are with Lee Slonimsky: PYP 211

Lee Slonimsky is both a financial wizard and an accomplished poet. His abiding interests include social justice and animal welfare. Lee has managed to fit all these skills, interests, and passions into a singular and impactful life. He's the co-founder of Next Era Capital Partners LLC, the country's first hedge fund majority owned by Native Americans. He uses his investment chops to shift the capitalist game from amassing resources at any cost to using capital as a tool to reorient business toward more life-sustaining practices. Read more »

Saving America by Reforming Health Insurance with Ken Beckman: PYP 200

Ken Beckman is an actuary in the health insurance field. (Now hang on, you non-math folks - this is going to be a lot more interesting (and accessible) than you might think. Give us a chance here... :) After getting turned on to the health benefits of a plant-based diet, Ken began seeing the health insurance industry in a radically new light. If the best possible outcome is a slow decline mediated by appropriate drugs and timely procedures, then we're probably doing OK. Read more »

Ed and Amanda Smith on Leadership, Community, and Health: PYP 198

Ed and Amanda Smith are the co-founders of Healthfest, a three-day annual event in a small Texas town that's become an unlikely hub of plant-based nutrition in the United States. Marshall, Texas, population 27,000, is smack in the middle of the "stroke belt." Where beef is king, hunting is a rite of passage into manhood, and if it ain't deep-fried, it ain't food. And there, where Ed served as mayor, is where they decided to bring plant-based knowledge and practice. Read more »

Milan Ross on Losing 250 Pounds and Finding His Purpose and Passion: PYP 195

Milan Ross weighed about 500 pounds and suffered from diabetic neuropathy, hypertension, and high cholesterol when he took a job at Whole Foods for the health insurance. His wife had just been diagnosed with severe and progressive MS, and they were going to need a lot of help with medical bills as the disease took her mobility and quality of life. Read more »

The Power of One Plate at a Time with Ken Botts: PYP 176

Ken Botts has been in food service for over 35 years, since he discovered the financial rewards of frying chicken and slinging pizza as a teenager trying to pay for his own car insurance. At age 18, he discovered Diet for a Small Planet, by Francis Moore Lappé, and made the connection between the food we eat and the world we inhabit. Read more »

PYP 158: Sandi Kronick on Facilitating a Sustainable Food System

Sandi Kronick is founder and CEO of Eastern Carolina Organics (ECO), an innovative food hub company that connects medium-scale organic farmers with local and far-flung markets. Located in Durham, NC, ECO is part of a new breed of mission-driven for-profit companies looking to help us eat better within a capitalist framework. Read more »

PYP 152: Nina Cooke on Being One Thought Away from Happiness

Nina Cooke is a performance coach who specializes in helping people find success, balance, and happiness in their lives by questioning their most subterranean beliefs and thought patterns. I met her through a mutual friend who shared with me how helpful Nina had been in showing him how to unlock his own potential. Read more »

PYP 137: Paul Kerton on harmonizing strength and compassion

I goggled at my Facebook feed, early one December morning, when I read that Arnold Schwarzenegger, of all people, was advocating for a plant-based diet at the Paris climate talks. The "You hit like a vegetarian" actor, bodybuilder, and politician was the last person on earth I would have ever guessed to make such a statement. paul-kertonRight after that, I turned on BBC World Service radio and started making my oatmeal. The interview in progress was with a soft-spoken, articulate, and passionate vegan bodybuilder from Norwich, UK named Paul Kerton. Kerton was responding to the Schwarzenegger story, and sharing his own, and was reaching roughly 300 million people with this message of life and hope. Read more »