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Stumbling Toward a Healthy and Kind Diet with Clay Garrett: PYP 190

Growing up in rural East Texas, Clay Garrett was raised to appreciate meat. His father, an agriculture instructor, literally taught an entire class on how to produce, process and cook meat. And the “meat and butter at every meal” cuisine was never linked, in anyone's mind, to the family history of high cholesterol and cancer, let alone to the digestive issues that ruled Clay's life.

The violent cramping and diarrhea could strike at any time. Clay was routinely 30 minutes late for school, and frequently left classes in the middle to accommodate his sudden need for a bathroom. In college, he chose his routes to and from classes based on proximity to toilets along the way. And his doctors, while quick to prescribe, never did come up with a diagnosis.

Clay was athletic enough to avoid clinical obesity – at most, he was 30 pounds overweight. For him, the costs of the standard American diet manifested internally, in pain, discomfort, social misery, and a profound lack of freedom.

Five years ago, looking to try something – anything – that might bring relief, Clay discovered the food documentary vein of Netflix. After devouring Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Food Inc, and Supersize Me, Clay was struck by a revolutionary thought: “I should do something different.”

He joked about becoming a vegetarian, a ludicrous and almost unthinkable path given his upbringing, and his wife's breezy reply (essentially, “whatever you want to do, but don't expect me to come along”) seemed to doom this strange conceit to two-week experiment, at best.

Nevertheless, Clay persisted. He bought The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone, and began cooking recipes out of it. But it wasn't easy. His idea of eating was three recipes a day, a high bar for someone who was lukewarm about vegetables in general, and not crazy about salads in particular.

So there were the usual transitional foods, the fake meats and cheeses. And lots of smoothies. And while Clay struggled to adopt the lifestyle, his guts quickly began sending signals that he was on the right track.

It was Dr. McDougall's Starch Solution video on YouTube that finally gave Clay the cuisine and dietary strategy he could embrace and enjoy.

As his diet shifted, so did his views on animal agriculture. And his natural childlike compassion for other living beings was given space to reignite.

Clay and I spoke about his journey, the evolution of his ethics, and his current marketing and design advocacy on behalf of the plant-based movement. I hope you enjoy our spirited and thoughtful conversation.

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.

Links

Clay's Portfolio

The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone

Dr. McDougall, The Starch Solution – on Youtube

The Starch Solution, by John McDougall, MD

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Music

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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Music

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.

Gratitudes

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 – RuthAnn Funderburk – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Martha Bergner – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Bonnie Lynch of Plant Happy Oregon – Sabine Kurtzhals – 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 – Justine Divett – Joshua Sommermeyer – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Valarie Hummel – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Marjorie Lewis – Tricia Adams – Ian Cramer – 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 – for your generous support of the podcast.

Disclosure

This post may contain amazon affiliate links. I may receive compensation from your actions on such links. It don't cost you a dime, tho.

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