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 »

Milan Ross on Losing 250 Pounds and Finding His Purpose and Passion: PYP 195

Milan Ross weighed about 500 pounds and suffered from diabetic neuropathy, hypertension, and high cholesterol when he took a job at Whole Foods for the health insurance. His wife had just been diagnosed with severe and progressive MS, and they were going to need a lot of help with medical bills as the disease took her mobility and quality of life. 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 »

Escaping the Dungeon of Obesity with Justin Lacy: PYP 193

Two years ago, Justin Lacy weighed 500 pounds, and could move about only on crutches — when he could move about at all. His tendonitis and lymphedema made standing painful and walking all but impossible. Following his mother’s stroke, the then-30-year-old Justin decided that he was going to make changes and get healthy, no matter what. Read more »

Healing from Whiteness with Tad Hargrave: PYP 192

Tad Hargrave is an environmental activist and marketing teacher whose heartfelt wisdom and elegant and ethical strategies inspired and guided much of my own thinking when I was in the online marketing field. We've stayed in touch over the years, and as Tad is a prolific writer, I spend a fair amount of time pondering his pensive and powerful essays on, basically, how to be a courteous and committed ally to those on the planet who are suffering. Read more »