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 »

Overcoming Addiction with Adam and Lecia Sud: PYP 209

Adam Sud is only 34 years old and he’s already battled against obesity, type II diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, drug addiction, fast food addiction, and severe depression. Once weighing over 300 pounds, he had lost all interest in life. Addicted to fast food and prescription drugs, Adam dug himself out with plant-based nutrition, after attending an Immersion with Rip Esselstyn. Having reversed all of his chronic health conditions and losing 160 pounds, Adam is now health coach for the Whole Foods Market Medical and Wellness Clinic in Austin, Texas. Read more »

Educating a Generation of Healthy, Savvy Moms and Girlfriends with Lana Kontos: PYP 207

Lana Kontos is a naturopath and women's health advocate who somehow managed to transcend her training and embrace the true sources of health. While still in high school, she was told by her guidance counselor that she should become an MD. But the contradiction in her education - like the brilliant, morbidly obese dean of her state university with a PhD in nutrition who was always in pain, and whose dietary preferences consisted largely of steak and eggs - sent her into the business world. 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 »

Brian Kateman on Reducing Animal Consumption by Building a Big Tent: PYP 204

Brian Kateman is cofounder of the burgeoning Reducetarian movement, and one of the bright young stars in the fight to save humanity, animals, and planet earth from spiraling into an unredeemable mess. Brian reached out to me about a year ago, sharing a modest vision for an edited book designed not to turn ordinary people into vegetarians or vegans, but simply to encourage and empower them to eat less meat. Read more »

Caring for Our Bodies as Temples of Spirit with Nalida Besson: PYP 201

Nalida Lacet Besson wasn't so concerned about weighing 240 pounds or passing the occasional painful gallstone. What got her attention in the summer of 2013 was a physical malaise so complete and overwhelming, she believed she was dying. Everything hurt, including her skin. It was as if her body were saying, "I've had enough of this. Time to rest." 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 »

Getting a Second Lease on Life – and Using It in a Big Way with Paul Chatlin: PYP 199

At age 55, Paul Chatlin was a few minutes away from surgery on a 100% blockage in his right coronary artery when his cardiologist asked him out of the blue, "Would you consider a nutritional change instead of bypass surgery?" Turns out the cardiologist's mentor was a dude named Caldwell Esselstyn, which is the only way this story makes any sense. Paul, tired of his severe angina, terrified of the life that followed bypass surgery that he witnessed in his father and three uncles, and in agony from the "elephant sitting on his chest," agreed. "I'll do anything." 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 »