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 »

Finding (and Sharing) the Fountain of Youth with Doug Schmidt: PYP 185

Doug Schmidt is an enrichment teacher and health and wellness coordinator for his upstate New York school district. Now, health and wellness coordinators generally focus on stress reduction in the workplace, smoking cessation, and getting teachers to increase their physical activity by taking the stairs and parking farther away from the front entrance. Read more »

Nature’s Brilliant Protocol and a Popcorn Fart in the Wind with Josh LaJaunie: PYP 174

Josh LaJaunie is, by his own admission, a simple Bayou coonass who discovered plants and running, and transformed his life. His backstory is well documented in a couple of Rich Roll Podcasts, which you should drop everything and listen to if you don't know Josh yet (links below). Read more »

PYP 135: Susan Benigas on Growing a Generation of Plant-Based Doctors

Susan Benigas is executive director of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) and founder of the Plantrician Project. Through these and other efforts, Susan is in the forefront of the movement to educate doctors about the healing power of diet and lifestyle. Susan got into this world as a marketer (which parallels my own path). She discovered firsthand how important marketing chops are to getting the word out about health in her work on St. Louis' Hooked on Health initiative, and her corporate health promotion business, Amp it Up for Life. What I really admire about Susan is her energetic optimism. It's a quality I find in leaders who succeed in creating change against all odds. In our conversation, we discuss those odds, and the stakes, and why lifestyle medicine and the healing power of a whole food, plant-based diet will ultimately prevail. Read more »

PYP 131: Anthony Dissen, RD, on Empowering vs Preaching

Dietitian Anthony Dissen has the plant-based science down cold, like many of us. What sets him apart is his research in and experience with group programs to change behaviors in an engaging, positive, and sustainable fashion. We met through an email correspondence over Proteinaholic, and quickly discovered several common elements in our histories and interests. When he told me his story about running plant-based wellness programs for employees of a hospital, and showed me the results of the pilot run, I knew he'd be a great guest. Read more »

PYP 127: Dr Pam Popper on Empowering Patients to Make Good Health Decisions

Dr Pam Popper is founder and president of Wellness Forum Health of Columbus, Ohio. She's the author of Food Over Medicine and Solving America’s Healthcare Crisis. Dr Pam has made it her mission to give her clients the means to make informed decisions about their own health care. (I wish the “teach a man to fish” metaphor were less sexist and less carnist - it would be useful here.) Before we get to the meat (ugh, another carnist metaphor - I wish I could quit them cold turkey) of the conversation, I need to make a full disclosure: I’m so impressed with the potential of Wellness Forum Health to transform healthcare in this country, I’ve joined them as a partner practitioner. Read more »

PYP 116: David Katz on Eliminating 80% of Disease, and Polar Bears in the Sahara

David Katz, MD, is a crusader on the front lines of health sanity in an insane culture. Somehow, he's managed to command attention and respect from the mainstream media, as well as medical and governmental establishments, despite talking sense and not being on the take from industry. Read more »