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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.

Jeff is equally at home citing the works of Krishnamurti, Jeremy Narby, and Stephen Batchelor as those of T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn. He's a student of anthropology, and uses his background in that field to challenge the assumptions of the paleo movement.

Our conversation was far-reaching, and reminded us both of one of Jeff's favorite quotes, by the Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti: “Truth is a pathless land.”  Hopefully you'll agree that the detours and ramblings are time well spent.

We discussed:

  • how the Stanford Inn came to be
  • Jeff's early forays into spiritual seeking
  • nature as a force for spiritual awakening
  • “you can't change your life at a seminar”
  • cracking a hip in 1985 and dealing with the physical and spiritual pain
  • recognizing that eating meat conflicted with his ethics (“I wouldn't have killed anything to eat it, but I was asking someone else to do it”)
  • acting to resolve an internal conflict rather than making excuses
  • our natural relationship with animals is to connect with them, not eat them
  • paleo-reality: “life was promiscuous” (ie, there were always plenty of plants to eat)
  • the problem with smartphones and undocumented social media stories
  • feeling energy, and trusting our own experiences even when science hasn't validated them
  • how expectations block our growth
  • various meditative approaches and traditions
  • “don't hide under someone else's belief system”
  • 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.


Stanford Inn by the Sea

Dining at the Ravens (cookbook)

The Aletheia Foundation

The Writings of Jiddu Krishnamurti

The Cosmic Serpent, by Jeremy Narby

The Research of Rupert Sheldrake

After Buddhism, by Stephen Batchelor

Buddhism Without Beliefs, by Stephen Batchelor

The Field, by Lynn McTaggart

Adyashanti's website

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Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons
– Kim Harrison
– Lynn McLellan
– Anthony Dissen
– Brittany Porter
– Dominic Marro
– Barbara Whitney
– Tammy Black
– Amy Good
– Amanda Hatherly
– Mary Jane Wheeler
– Ellen Kennelly
– Melissa Cobb
– Rachel Behrens
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– David Byczek
– Michele X
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– Connie Haneline
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for your generous support of the podcast.

Ready to embark on your Big Change journey?

Are you tired of knowing what to do, and still not doing it consistently? The Big Change Program, led by Josh LaJaunie and myself, will help you take the steps to finally live according to your knowledge and values.

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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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