Ramona and Dustin LaJaunie are part of a family that has lost over a thousand pounds through plants and running. The mother and brother, respectively, of Josh LaJaunie, Mona and Dustin are now the cooks in the family.
And one of their biggest challenges was abandoning all the classic southern recipes that they loved and took pride in making and sharing – gumbos, jambalayas, turnip stew, cabbage rolls, and all the delicious desserts – in favor of low-fat, plant-based fare.
They decided that there had to be a way to have the best of both worlds – their cherished traditions, and their health.
To that end, Mona and Dustin began experimenting in the kitchen. Mona spent about a year working on her whole food, plant-based gumbo recipe (which thousands of runners and I got to taste after finishing the Crescent City Classic 10k a couple years back).
Dustin worked on a jambalaya, kabobs, and hash browns.
After a couple of years, they had enough recipes to put together a cookbook: Pure Ambrosia: LaJaunie Family Traditions Recreated for Health and Longevity.
In addition to talking about the book, we spoke about their experience of the family transformation, and about the surprising ways they changed and grew, far beyond the food and the running and the general outlook on health. About Mona's work with her local PlantPure pod, and Dustin's gardening, running, and healthy living advocacy.
I'm sure you'll love and respect them as much as I do.
Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box or audio recording box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.
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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
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