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 »

PYP 098: Ben Chesler on Fixing an Imperfect Food System

Ben Chesler was finding - and fixing - broken food systems before he even got to college. As a freshman, Ben cofounded the Food Recovery Network, a non-profit that feeds the hungry with excess food from college dining halls. Now with chapters in over 100 colleges nationwide, it’s donated over 700,000 pounds of perfectly good food that would otherwise have gone to waste. Now Ben’s at it again. The Brown University senior has cofounded Imperfect, a company dedicated to fixing another broken part of our food system. Read more »

PYP 090: Heather Jo Flores on Turning Lawns into Gardens as a Radical Act

Heather Jo Flores came of age in an "addicted, abusive, and estranged family" in the slums of Los Angeles in the 1980s. An unlikely leader of the modern environmental movement (a label that is far too small for Heather, as you'll see), she moved from radical activism to community building to connection making to her current project, replacing most of the world's suburban lawns with thriving gardens and food forests. Read more »