Living Life on Purpose with Vic Strecher: PYP 219

Vic Strecher was a stellar public health researcher and entrepreneur when his life lost all meaning. A professor at the University of Michigan, founder of the Center for Health Communication Research, and creator of an online health coaching company that was bought by Johnson & Johnson in 2008, Strecher was at the top of his game. And then in 2010 his life fell apart when his daughter Julia died at the age of 21. Read more »

Achieving Behavior Change Through Pleasure and Positivity with Sid Garza-Hillman: PYP 215

Sid Garza-Hillman is one of the world's great bald plant-based podcasters of Jewish origin. He's also a remarkably savvy and sane health coach, and a funny and frank philosopher of what constitutes a good life. We met in person in Marshall, TX, during Healthfest, and found ourselves agreeing on lots of things that almost nobody agrees with us on. So deciding we were kindred spirits, we planned a podcast conversation around the state of plant-based practice and advocacy in 2017. 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Thanksgiving and the Calculus of Integrity

The movie Airplane features a running joke in which air traffic controller Steve McCroskey (played by Lloyd Bridges) announces after each new catastrophe, “I guess I picked the wrong week to quit smoking… drinking… amphetamines… sniffing glue.” I woke up yesterday morning, watched a terrifying video of a white supremacist gathering in Washington, DC, and thought, “I guess I picked the wrong week to feel gratitude.” And some of my clients and students will look at all the turkeys, gravies, pies, turduckens, piecakens, and other festive dishes and tell themselves, “I’ll indulge just a little today, and tighten back up tomorrow. After all, progress, not perfection.” To all three examples, I say bullshit. Read more »