Honoring Tradition While Charting a New Course with Ramona and Dustin Lajaunie: PYP 325

Ramona and Dustin LaJaunie are part of a family that has lost over a thousand pounds through plants and running. The mother and brother, respectively, of Josh LaJaunie, Mona and Dustin are now the cooks in the family.  And one of their biggest challenges was abandoning all the classic southern recipes that they loved and took pride in making and sharing - gumbos, jambalayas, turnip stew, cabbage rolls, and all the delicious desserts - in favor of low-fat, plant-based fare. They decided that there had to be a way to have the best of both worlds - their cherished traditions, and their health. Read more »

“Give us This Day Our Daily Plants” with Tina Ahern: PYP 302

Tina Ahern is a long-time Plant Yourself Podcast listener and supporter. When she reached out to share her inspiring story, I knew I wanted to share it with you. Long story short, Tina and her husband Brian opened up a partially plant-based restaurant in Perry, Oklahoma, as part of their mission to serve their community through their Christian faith. Read more »

Community Innovation and Global Solutions: PYP 294

This past Saturday, I set up my portable recording studio in Cary, North Carolina, to live-podcast the PCRM Kickstart Your Health NC Triangle event. I chatted with Neal Barnard, MD (not pictured, because he moves too fast to photograph ;), Eric O'Grey (PCRM donor coordinator and elegant man-about-town in a fashionable sweater and gold tie), Whitney Sewell of Farmer Food Share (not pictured), Delphine Sellars of Urban Community AgroNomics (top center), attendee Carol Thibodaux of InfinitePossibilitiesTN.com (bottom center), food vendors Shane MacKinnon of SmallSeedbar.com (top right) and Yachdiyel Webb of SoulyVeganCafe.com (bottom left), and Suzy Amis Cameron of OMD for the Planet (bottom right, next to yours truly). Read more »

A Community Effort: PCRM Comes to the North Carolina Triangle: PYP 293

This weekend, the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is bringing its big guns to my neck of the woods, the Triangle region of North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill). Neal Barnard, Suzie Amis Cameron, Eric O'Grey, and others will be bringing their messages of hope and inspiration and information to my community. But PCRM also highlights local heroes - the folks who do good work in this community every day. Read more »

Matthew Prescott on Solving Our Biggest Problems Through Plant-Forward Eating: PYP 260

When Matthew Prescott was 12, his older sister came home from school one day and announced that she had decided to become a "vegetarian," whatever that was. In the grand tradition of little brothers everywhere, Matthew made sure to stick his forkful of beef under nose at the dinner table while making mooing sounds. But he also tried her bean burritos, veggie burgers, and other plant-based alternatives to meat, and found that they were actually pretty good. And when he looked at her reasons for ditching meat, he had to admit that they made a lot of sense. Read more »

Fooling Meat Eaters with Plant-based Replacements with Rody Hawkins: PYP 257

I personally wouldn't have been able to predict that the guy behind Lunchables an Slim Jim jerky sticks would be the one who might save the planet. But Rody Hawkins, muscle physiologist, consultant to the meat industry for decades, nutrition wonk, and pioneer in shelf-stable food technology, has just launched a plant-based meat replacement company that's getting global attention for the quality and environmental benefits of its product. In case you missed it: Rody is no vegan. He supports animal agriculture. He thinks that animal protein is a healthy food for humans, much more so than carbs (yes, I will be sending him copies of Proteinaholic and Whole and The Low Carb Fraud, which he promised to read).  Read more »

Replacing Fear with Love, Losing 200 Pounds, and Finding Purpose with Russ L’Hommedieu: PYP 229

When we make a big change in our lives, it's easy to forget who we were and how we thought before that change. Russ L'Hommedieu doesn't have that problem - he's got a public video record of his old ways of being and thinking: a 2 minute compilation video of his standup routine about the travails of obesity and dieting. After selling his physical therapy practice, Russ began going to comedy open mics, and achieved some success with his "fat guy bemoaning his attempts at weight loss" routine. He's funny, no question, but I can't help but be saddened at the self-defeating attitude of the man in the video. Then, 15 years ago, he became an accidental vegan and his weight loss accelerated and - for the first time ever - wasn't reversed. Read more »

Tackling Our Healthcare Crisis by Growing Food with Thi Squire: PYP 228

Thi Squire is the garden manager for Homestead Hospital, located 30 miles south of Miami on Florida's east coast. Wait, what? Garden manager? At a hospital? Yup. Thi (pronounced "Tee"), a longtime urban gardener and sales rep in the burgeoning farm-to-table industry in South Florida, talked her way into a position growing food for the hospital cafeteria. Read more »