Josh LaJaunie on Naturally Attainable Quantities: PYP 210

On the road from Marshall, Texas to MSY airport in New Orleans, Josh LaJaunie and I tried out a concept that we've been playing with for about a year. Josh came up with it originally (not that no one's ever thought it before, but he was the first person who articulated it in a way that empowered me to make good decisions based on it). And the more I applied it, the more it started looking like the Unified Field Theory of How to Be an Authentic Human. Read more »

Getting a Second Chance and Doing Something New Every Day with Marcus Cook: PYP 206

At the height of his success in the business world, Marcus Cook weighed 489 pounds. As the founder of an oil pipeline supply company valued at tens of millions of dollars, Marcus had it made, but lacked the health to enjoy it. Then a business partner and mentor who had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer dropped a truth bomb on him: "I'm dying from an incurable disease. You're dying because you have a choice. You're the American dream, and you're throwing it away." 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 »

“I’m not speeding up; they’re all slowing down” with Ellen Jaffe Jones: PYP 194

I ran into Ellen Jaffe Jones at the Raleigh NC Vegfest, where she was inspiring young and old to get off their butts and embrace a healthy, active, vegan lifestyle. We had met on Skype for a podcast interview more than three years ago, but this was the first time we had met in person. And since I've become a runner, I badly wanted a copy of her new book, Vegan Fitness For Mortals. As one of the most decorated track and field athletes in the country (and getting more and more competitive as her non-plant-based rivals slow down and quit as their bodies decline), she has a lot to teach me about running well and sustainably. Read more »

The Old Fart Booth Effect: A Weird Mind Hack that Makes Exercise Easier

Look in the mirror. Say your name. You’ve just activated a section of your brain devoted to YOU. Now think of some random celebrity. Say their name. You’ve just activated a totally different section of your brain, this one dedicated to OTHERS. Now - and here’s where this gets freaky - think of yourself in 20 years. Which part of your brain just got turned on? The YOU circuit, or the OTHER circuit? If you’re like most people - pretty much everyone, in fact - you think about your future self as if she or he is a total stranger. Read more »

The Simple Practices that Healed His Depression with Dave Wiskowski: PYP 189

In 1987, fresh out of college, I took a job as a teaching intern at a fancy prep school in central New Jersey. One of the students who never made it across my radar was a quiet, blonde fifth grade boy named Dave Wiskowski. In his class photo, he’s not smiling, unlike many of his classmates. He told me that he was struggling with depression at that time, any for many years later. Like many people who find themselves overwhelmed by life and negative emotions, he became adept at self-medicating through food, alcohol, and self-pity. Read more »