The Mindful Vegan by Lani Muelrath: PYP 230

Lani Muelrath is a good friend of the podcast (on the show for the third fourth time), and a prolific thinker, teacher, and writer.

(And a great friend to elephants – click here to find out about and support one of her and my favorite charities, the David Sheldrake Wildlife Trust.)

Lani's new book, The Mindful Vegan: A 30-Day Plan for Finding Health, Balance, Peace, and Happiness, covers the third of her three pillars of a healthy life: mastery over habits of thinking the first two being physical activity and a whole-food plant-based diet).

I conducted this interview differently from most I've done. I've been wrestling with mindfulness practices for the past several months, and have had both breakthroughs and confusion as I've navigated meditation, “mindful eating,” and bringing garden-variety awareness to the moments of my life.

So I spent a good deal of time in earnest, honest conversation with Lani about my experiences and what to make of them.

I hope that at least some of this conversation will have appeal beyond the space between my own ears…

We covered:

  • why this book, and why now
  • the problem with mindful eating books and programs that don't start with the nature of the food itself
  • Lani's three pillars to healthy, happy living
  • the benefits and limitations (for Lani) of mantra meditation
  • the watershed moment at a 10-day silent retreat
  • our habit of reactivity and automatic thought and impulse: the missing 9th planet
  • the significance of the fact that our positive brain states are endogenous (internally generated)
  • Dean Ornish, MD, on not having to look outside ourselves
  • what mindfulness is (and isn't – much to my relief)
  • how many of us use food as a refuge against disquieting states
  • the subtle but huge difference between counting breaths and being aware of the sensation of breath
  • how vegans can skillfully manage their own reactivity around other people's food choices
  • “we don't change because of shame or blame”
  • “we all have advocacy in our heart” (the question is, what's the most effective way to express it?)
  • the problem with self-labeling as a food or sugar addict
  • the secret to weight management: overeating is triggered by undereating
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.


Pre-order The Mindful Vegan here

The first chapter of The Mindful Vegan, courtesy of

Jane Velez Mitchell interviews Lani

Dr Joel Kahn debates The Plant Paradox on The Doctors TV show

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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,


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5 Responses to “The Mindful Vegan by Lani Muelrath: PYP 230”

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  1. Jodi Friesner says:

    This is why I love the Plant Yourself Podcast. Howard’s interview with Lani Muelrath is full of thought provoking and practical information on a topic that I’ve long been interested in but haven’t been able to master (yet). I’m a participant in Howard’s life-changing Big Change Program, and this podcast ties in perfectly with the mindset tools that form the core of the program. I often find myself identifying with Howard’s thoughts and experiences, and this episode is no exception – it’s why I look forward to his interviews so much. Just an amazing, thoughtful interaction between two remarkable people. I’ve already ordered the book.

  2. Steph says:

    Hi Howard,
    I’m just starting to listen to this episode and I heard you mention the possibility of doing an Instant Pot video. I’d really like to see this. I’m ashamed to say I have an Instant Pot that’s still in the box 🙁

    Thanks so much.

    • Howard says:

      Steph, thanks for the feedback. I’ll definitely go ahead with the videos.

      And until I do, first step is to take the IP out of the box 🙂 Empty the insert of manuals and accessories. Wash the insert with soapy water and rinse clean. Add a cup of dried black beans and 4 cups of water. Put on the lid and turn until it stops. Plug in the IP and hit the manual button. Use the plus sign to increase the time from 30 to 45 minutes. Go away and take a walk or meditate or read a good book. Come back in an hour and a half and open the lid and drain the beans. Voila!

  3. Howard, before I forget I want to I want to say: “I love the idea of the Instant Pot Tutorials”. I bought one a few months ago and have used it 2 or 3 times. I’m sure I could do more. Thanks for offering to help us with it!

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