If you had asked me in advance which scene would steal the show in one of the great documentaries of all time, The Game Changers, I might have guessed one of the following:
- Patrik Baboumian setting a world record for carrying the most weight for 50 meters
- GOAT Ultrarunner Scott Jurek triumphantly climbing Mt Kahtadin to set the world record for running the Appalachian Trail
- Dotsie Bausch pedaling her way to a comeback silver medal in cycling in the 2012 Olympics, the oldest cyclist ever to win an Olympic medal
- Damien Mander training anti-poaching forces in southern Africa
These were all incredible, memorable, and powerful moments in the film. They highlight great spirits, resilient warriors, and committed advocates and activists at their peak.
But almost everyone I talk to about the film points to a different segment as the one that “convinced” them that a plant-based diet is the optimal way of eating for human performance: The Penis Doctor and the College Athletes.
Aaron Spitz, MD, is the director of male reproductive and sexual medicine at Orange County Urology Associates. He's served as president of the California Urological Association, was the lead urology delegate to the American Medical Association, and has been an assistant clinical professor at UC Irvine's Department of Urology for the past decade and a half.
Impressive, no doubt. But cinematically compelling? You might not think…
In one of the final parts of the documentary filmed before submitting it to Sundance, Dr Spitz performs an experiment with three male college athletes. They eat a meat-filled burrito for dinner one day, and a plant-based version of the same burrito the next. Both nights, the guys are hooked up to devices that measure the size and duration of their erections.
The look on their faces when the get their results is priceless. Whatever instincts led James Wilks to push to include this scene, at significant expense in terms of time and money, they were spot on.
What I didn't realize until talking with Dr Spitz, the results were a surprise to him as well. At that's putting it mildly.
In our conversation, we cover all things penile.
- Why his book, The Penis Book, is so damn funny (in a good way, and on purpose!)
- Why so many men are insecure about their equipment – and why they shouldn't be
- The corrosive effects of frequent pornography viewing on sexual health and performance
- What LeBron James can teach us about how to think about porn stars
- Why you do not want a career in front of the camera in the pornography industry, no matter how good you look on camera
- The epidemic of erectile dysfunction in adolescents
- The connection between diet and penis health and happiness
- And the unconventional journey Dr Spitz took to discover the power of plant-based eating to support and strengthen Mr Johnson
If you have a penis, or care for anyone who does, I hope this conversation opens your eyes as wide as it did mine.
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New Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight
Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.
It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂
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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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