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jim-grayJim Gray (middle of the photo) knew that he had been dealt a lousy health hand when he was diagnosed with high blood pressure at the tender age of 18. At that point, he was in good shape, a high school athlete, muscular and lean at six feet tall and weighing under 200 pounds.

Jim's health continued to deteriorate, even as he stayed active as a firefighter. From one prescription medication for hypertension to four meds a day. Then adding the obligatory meds to control his high cholesterol. And all the time, never suspecting that the three-times-a-day Standard American Diet was the culprit.

Eventually, Jim succumbed to debilitating migraines; three-day affairs that recurred twice a year at first, and then increased in frequency until he was laid up roughly every ten days. And that was the final straw, and the impetus for Jim to try something – anything – to relieve that pain and disability.

In our conversation, Jim and I covered:

  • the ever-increasing and unsuccessful pharmaceutical strategy to control his migraines
  • the spiral of ill-health triggered by pain and disability
  • his family history of heart disease
  • the epically wrong advice doled out by his doctors
  • the small steps of eliminating nitrates and MSG, and how much and how little they helped
  • Jim's reaction to the Engine 2 Diet (“No way: I like bacon too much”)
  • his first 28-day challenge, and what convinced him to give it a try
  • the zero-migraine zone, and his surprise and delight
  • the surprising variety that Jim discovered during the Engine 2 challenge
  • how he and his wife and kids navigated the transition to plant-based eating
  • the hardest thing to give up (hint: “mooo”)
  • their increased ethical awareness of animal welfare (and how it blossomed naturally once the behavioral barrier was removed)
  • winning the lottery for the Chicago marathon, and becoming a runner
  • the unbelievable reaction of his doctors (maybe it's depressingly believable – I dunno)
  • Jim's influence over other firefighters
  • “selling” the diet and its health effects to his extended family
  • 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.


The Engine 2 Diet book

Proteinaholic the Audiobook (unrelated to the podcast, but still exciting to me)

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Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons
  • Kim Harrison
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for your generous support of the podcast.
Also, many thanks to the generous folks who reviewed the podcast on iTunes! Here are four recent reviews:

Superb… intelligent…thought provoking

in iTunes by Val Ferg from UK on August 17, 2016

I have listened to several of these podcast episodes now, and have been bowled over by what I have learnt. My whole perspective on changing to a plant based way of eating is becoming clearer. Howard J. is so incisive in the way he interviews his guests. This is such a balance between intelligent, science-based information and down to earth guidance for every day improvement of one's health. I can't thank you enough, Mr Jacobson, for this consistently excellent podcast.

One of the Best Plant-Based Podcasts Available!

in iTunes by AnthonyDissen from USA on August 12, 2016

This has been one of the greatest podcasts I have subscribed to, and especially in the realm of plant-based nutrition. Howard is fantastic, and he brings on such incredible guests. I look forward to this every week!

Great podcast! Thoughtful questions, good guests

in iTunes by MindquakeNZ from New Zealand on August 10, 2016

I really enjoy this podcast. Very thoughtful questions, interesting guests, good production quality. Thank you!

Brilliant interviewer!

in iTunes by Mekenzie Peck from USA on July 26, 2016

I look forward to my walk each morning as I select my podcast and take Howard and his guest along! I don't know how to do him (Howard Jocboson) justice with my words in this review, except to say, “brilliant”! Thank you Howard!

Thanks, y'all!


I'm thrilled to announce that Proteinaholic the Book has been turned into Proteinaholic the Audiobook. This must mean that Proteinaholic the Movie and Proteinaholic the Video Game and Proteinaholic the Theme Park can't be far behind. I personally can't wait to experience Gastric Bypass the Roller Coaster!

The reader, Corey Snow, does an amazing job. He really channels Dr Garth's passion and outrage and humor with his voice.

Also, Proteinaholic the Book First Edition, which lacked an index, has been replaced on store shelves with Proteinaholic the Book Second Edition, which sports an index. And its younger sibling, Proteinaholic the Paperback, has just been released. O happy day! Check 'em out on amazon.

In non-Proteinaholic news, check out my online TV show, Triangle Be Well. This week I take off, so catch a rerun (I mean “special rebroadcast”) from a prior week.

I can help you navigate the medical system and adopt a healthy lifestyle

I'm available for one-on-one consulting and coaching to help you navigate the medical system, make informed decisions, take control of your health destiny, and achieve true wellness and not just medical management of disease.

Ask your questions or share your feedback

Comment on the show notes for this episode (below)
Call 919-794-3735 to leave a voicemail

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Visit Howard Jacobson's health consulting site,
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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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