Exploring the Pathless Land of Truth with Jeff Stanford: PYP 239

Jeff Stanford combines a scientist's mind with a vegan's heart and a mystic's soul. He's co-founder of the Stanford Inn by the Sea in Mendocino, California, an eco-resort complete with a fully vegan restaurant, The Ravens. Sid Garza-Hillman, who's the nutritionist at the Stanford Inn, suggested that Jeff would provide fascinating content for the podcast, and Jeff did not disappoint. Jeff's a longtime spiritual seeker, an old-school "back to the land" hippie, and a philosopher. And an advocate of a vegan diet, from all the usual perspectives as well as some that are uniquely his. Read more »

Code Blue: Challenging Conventional Medical Education and Practice with Saray Stancic, MD: PYP 238

Dr Saray Stancic became an infectious disease specialist in response to the HIV and hepatitis C crisis of the 1980s and 90s. On October 11, 1995, the then-3rd year medical resident found a short nap window at 2am, and collapsed in fatigue in the on-call room of the hospital where she worked. When she was awakened for her next shift, Dr Stancic couldn't feel her legs. She was rushed to the ER, and an MRI revealed multiple sclerosis (MS) with multiple lesions in the brain and spinal cord. In addition to the neuropathy in her legs, it turned out that her kidneys were also failing. She was admitted to the hospital, given an IV steroid drip and a bunch of other medications. And just like that, a young, energetic, ambitious doctor was converted into a frightened, confused, dispirited patient. Read more »

Making Informed Decisions About Our Healthcare with Pam Popper, PhD: PYP 232

Pam Popper makes her fourth appearance on the podcast, to further expand on her assertion that most of us make better decisions about buying blenders and toasters than we do around the healthcare options that can often mean life or death. I invite Pam onto the show at least once a year to remind myself why I'm doing what I'm doing, and also to keep me strong and curious in defending my own health and my family's health in the face of industry shenanigans. Also, I think the Wellness Forum Health annual conference is awesome, and really important if you're the sort of person who likes to base your choices and actions upon good evidence, and you're kind of a health geek. Read more »

Integrating Plant-based Nutrition into the Medical System with Michelle McMacken: PYP 221

Michelle McMacken, MD, is a leader in the field of plant-based lifestyle medicine. She's an assistant professor at New York University's School of Medicine, and the director of a medical weight-loss clinic at Bellevue Medical Center. She's also responsible for teaching doctors-in-training at Bellevue, where she gets to introduce the next generation of medical professionals to the wonderful world of lifestyle medicine. Read more »

Guest Post: PSA Screening Still a Bad Idea

One of the unsung heroes of modern medicine is Richard J. Ablin, professor in the Pathology Department of the University of Arizona. The discoverer of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), Dr. Ablin has spent decades warning doctors and the public that the PSA test is not only useless for population screening for prostate cancer, but is incredibly harmful. For every man whose life is saved via early detection of a deadly tumor, dozens are maimed by treatments for tumors that were never going to hurt them. 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 »

“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 »