NEW: Plant Yourself merch designed by my daughter, Yael Zivan.

PYP 087: Lani Muelrath on Exercise and Other Fuels for the Plant-Based Journey

lani_muelrathLani Muelrath is one of the world's most accomplished wellness and fitness coaches. She combines cutting edge scientific research on fitness, diet, and mindset with an encyclopedic knowledge of behavorial science with a lifetime of experience helping people achieve health and happiness.


She's just written a new book, The Plant-Based Journey, to which T. Colin Campbell and I have the honor of contributing a foreword. (It comes out in September 15, so if you pre-order now, it will be like giving yourself a nice surprise in September when it arrives in your mailbox.)

In today's show, we talk about exercise, brain power, successful and unsuccessful change efforts, fighting wolves, walking shoes, and Louis CK. We  cover:

  • the most important – and most neglected – benefit of exercise
  • the link between movement and brain biochemistry
  • why it’s not entirely “all about the food”
  • the “micro-change” strategy
  • the number one predictor of success in changing anything
  • the problem with vague intentions
  • the role of emotions in changing lifestyle
  • how exercises reduces stress
  • the similarities between exercise and some addictive drugs
  • BDNF – the magic brain protein that builds new brain connections and facilitates learning
  • how schools fool us into thinking that learning happens only when we’re sitting and using words
  • the evolutionary basis for the brain benefits of exercise
  • the remarkable effects of “zero-period PE” on school kids’ reading comprehension
  • the links between movement and literacy
  • three ways exercise improves mood – whether you want to feel better or not
  • the missing link in habit formation: neuroplasticity
  • the positive uses of patterns from our past
  • how to sprinkle Miracle-Gro on the brain
  • how exercise changes our neural responses to healthy and unhealthy foods
  • the tiny changes that can begin the beneficial cascade of transformation
  • Lani’s four simple steps to big change
  • the two words that most threaten our efforts to change
  • “put your walking shoes by the front door” – an example of a micro-change
  • the problem with laughing at tiny changes
  • what Lani learned from surveying 1200 people for her new book
  • how to change disappointment into hope
  • why perfectionism is a hindrance to change, and how to embrace “perfect enough”
  • the difference between satiation and satiety
  • the problem with the “eat until 80% full” strategy
  • and much more…


Lani Muelrath debunking fitness myths on the Plant Yourself Podcast

Spark, by John J. Ratey, MD

, by Lani Muelrath

The Power of Habit, by Martin Duhigg

Work the System, by Sam Carpenter

Sam Carpenter on the Plant Yourself Podcast

4 Seconds, by Peter Bregman

Peter Bregman on the Plant Yourself Podcast

The Willpower Instinct, by Kelly McGonigal

The Plant-Based Journey, by Lani Muelrath (available September 15, 2015 – preorder now and be happily surprised in September 🙂

Looking for Transformational Change?

You know how when you discovered plant-based eating, you basically went, “Holy shit, how come the entire healthcare system isn't totally embracing this as one of the most powerful keys to disease prevention and reversal!”?

That's how I feel now about a psychological approach to transformational change called “Memory Reconsolidation.” Few psychologists have heard about it, and when they do hear the radical transformations it can bring about in a very short time, they're often skeptical to the point of disbelief.

But I've added Memory Reconsolidation work to my own coaching, and can attest to its amazing efficacy. So much so, that I'm devoting the next year to mastering it, studying with the best clinicians and teachers in the world, and then introducing it into health coaching through my trainings.

Right now, I want to triple my coaching practice to get more and more opportunities to do this work. And I'm lowering my fees – a lot – to make it easier for people to work with me.

If you're interested in working with me (and willing to commit to a minimum of 2 months), click the link below to open the form in a new browser tab and I'll get back to you within 3 business days.

Yes, I'm interested in Memory Reconsolidation Coaching.

You CAN Change Other People!

Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative book of that title.

What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.

Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.

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 🙂

Tip Jar

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 clicking 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,


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