Michele Olender was afraid that her vegetarian daughter wasn't going to get enough nutrients, so she began studying the science of plant-based nutrition.
On her path, she discovered Rich Roll, Sid Garza-Hillman, me, and many others who not only assuaged her fears, but encouraged her to shift to a plant-based diet for all sorts of good reasons.
The transition wasn't smooth. At first, giving up animal products completely seemed to hard and complicated – wasn't life complicated enough?
For a while, Michele was a self-described “excuse-atarian,” eating vegetarian except when she could convince herself that there was a good reason not to.
But as she helped her daughter navigate some of the challenges of eating differently than others, she began to realize that she had skills and interests in offering that support more broadly.
For example, one of the hurdles to her daughter's commitment to plant-based eating was the awkwardness of having to ask the wait staff in a restaurant to accommodate her diet. To this day, one of the things Michele helps her clients with is to learn how to advocate for themselves. As she notes, “It's not always easy.”
We talked about the psychology of eating, and how it's possible to use veganism to fuel or hide a pattern of disordered eating. And how the kind of veganism we embrace is anything but restrictive.
Michele shared her philosophy and practice of coaching, which is quite different from mine, coming from a cognitive tradition. (She has studied with Brooke Castillo of Life Coach School, and is a certified Life Coach and Weight Coach. She also earned e-Cornell's Plant-based Nutrition Certification.)
Michele focuses on the limitations to our behaviors that we impose due to our “stories” – the narratives that we rely on to define us. What we can and can't do. What we should and shouldn't do. What other people will reward or punish us for doing.
Often these stories are unexamined, and even completely unconscious, and were created when we were very young. Yet they can still run our lives and keep us stuck. Through her coaching, Michele helps clients unpack these stories, question them, and replace them with more empowering ones.
Enjoy our conversation!
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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 🙂
This podcast is not underwritten by advertising, so I can experience complete editorial autonomy without worrying about pissing off the person paying the bills. Instead, I pay the bills, with your help. It's free for those who can't afford to pay, and supported by those who can. You can contribute to the growth and improvement of the podcast by . Click the “Support on Patreon” or “Donate” buttons on the right to help out.
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.
Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Peter W Evans – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Marjorie Lewis – Tricia Adams – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – Danielle Roberts – Michael Leuchten – Sarah Johnson – Katharine Floyd – Meryl Fury – for your generous support of the podcast.
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