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Stop Staring At The Scale & Turn The Gaze Inward — The Emotional Drivers Behind Diet & Behavior (Plus: Tales From Das Plantpower Kochbuch German Book Tour)

By October 21, 2015January 19th, 20248 Comments

On a rainy night from a little boutique hotel in the Montmartre district of Paris after a whirlwind book tour in Germany last week, I’m filled with gratitude to bring you another installment of Ask Me Anything — a twist on my normal format where Julie and I discuss issues currently on the brain and answer listener submitted questions.

This week’s topics include:

  • tales from Das Plantpower Kochbuch German book tour
  • the Berlin vegan scene
  • shopping at the world’s first all vegan supermarket
  • hanging out with vegan strong man Patrik Baboumian
  • plant-based in Paris
  • vegan birthday at L’Arpège, the #12 best restaurant on Earth
  • why you should stop “dieting”
  • addressing the emotional drivers behind diet & behavior habits
  • plant-based on the road — tips and tools

The show concludes with Aditya, an ancient Sanskrit mantra performed by Julie — aka SriMati – musically accompanied by our sons Tyler & Trapper Piatt. A mantra intended to imbue our lives with vibrant health, the lyrics (very) loosely translated from the root Sankskrit go something like this:

Om to the solar universal energy / Protect me from enemies within and without / I chant your name ceaselessly and victoriously / I bow to you

Special thanks to everyone who submitted inquiries — keep ‘em coming!

An extra special thanks to everyone who took a moment to send me a birthday message. I greatly appreciate it. Beginning my 50th year feeling awesome!

I sincerely hope you enjoy the conversation.

Peace + Plants,


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Background, Context & Reference:

Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson.

*Disclosure:Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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  • Tommy F says:

    Julie is so so good. Really deeply connected to spiritual truth. Just love her perspective.

    It “is” a confluence of practices, which work together to reveal the truth of ourselves and expansion into receiving a higher vibration. Sobriety, Veganism, Yoga and Meditation. None of these practices are an absolute solution, exclusive of the others.

    I also really like how you both talked about food resembling the sand mandala. A work of art ingested into our body, symbiotically receiving the food’s vibration, then releasing the embodiment of that vibration, outside of ourselves as waste. Beautiful.

    And happy belated 49th Rich!


  • SpinsBackwards says:

    Wasn’t Rich 49 last year?

  • Ann says:

    On the subject of not preparing to supply yourself with healthy food while traveling, I’m not sure it’s an issue of laziness. Dysfunctional self-care patterns come up around times of stress, and many people find travel stressful. It’s easy to perceive extra food prep, eating foods that are not (yet) your comfort foods, or eating foods others are not eating, as added stress. I know for myself, to change my dysfunctional self-care patterns I have to go beyond superficial judgments and get into my ‘subconscious’ reasoning.

  • Heather Stimmler-Hall says:

    Bienvenue à Paris, and bon anniversaire Rich! Wish I knew you were going to be here, I’d have given you a list of more places to check out for healthy living in Paris (although it sounds like your friend was able to steer you to Arpège, which is amazing). You may be done with food fairs, but if you have the chance, check out the Foire d’Automne at Paris Expo, or, more low key, my favorite open-air and covered market at the Place d’Aligre (12th), where you can also run along the Promenade Plantée (like the highline in NYC but older). Happy to give you a running tour when you come back! Bises, Heather (Secrets of Paris)

  • SpinsBackwards says:

    Happy birthday, Rich. You’re not getting older, you’re getting better!

    I wanted to share what I do when traveling.

    We’re militant about this now, no compromises.

    I only rent hotel rooms with a fridge and microwave.

    I bring food with me to the airport.

    When I get off the plane, it’s right to whatever the local version of our store is:

    I bring bottles with me so I don’t have to use plastic water bottles, or cups. We love these guys:

    I don’t like the happy cow app. Psst. Someone needs to make a better app. I’d pay for it.

    Chipotle is a great score. If I go out, I’m looking for them first.

    Everyone I do business with already knows I’m a freak, so they don’t care if I don’t go out to eat with them. I meet up with them later.

    I look to share, but not shame. I invite people up to my room so they can see what I’m up to. My experience has been that most are blown away when they see that instead of going out, I go to the grocery.

    I’m 56, I weigh 190. Just about everyone my age is…not 190. Whenever possible, I try to share why I eat and live the way I do. Not in the context of morality, just sharing my experiences.

    My experience has been that most who are overweight don’t want to be that way. But they’re stuck, they just don’t know another way. Ya know, we’ve all been lied to about food for years. Like Rich says, food is emotional. Once they get passed me as skinny, and weird, which I try to help them with, we can then have a conversation about feeling better.

    Also. It can’t be political. My experience has been that as soon as someone thinks this is in any way connected to Obama, they’re out! ;-).

    I’m a hippie and ski bum, I dress that way. People want to label everyone and I stick out like a sore thumb. If I’m talking to someone who votes differently than I, I got to overcome them thinking I’m on the phone with Obama. They look at me and go, “Screw you. You’re one of those hippy weirdos who voted for Obama, right”? Then when I tell them I’m from CO, it’s even weirder – “Oh great. You’re a stoner who voted for Obama”.

    Being healthy and feeling great isn’t political and I don’t make it that way. I frame it in the context of personal responsibility, which is a tenet of the Republican Party. I talk about freedom. When I talk to…those who vote differently than I do about how a few companies can control our food supply they’re like, “Yeah!. Right!!. We can’t have that!!!”. Or when I talk about living this way helps the little guy, American farmers, I can connect. Because everyone roots for them. When they understand it’s not about the government, that I’m in no way a proponent of taking away their meat, once they understand I’m about freedom and personal responsibility too, we can talk.

    Something else I do is I find a local place that’s really healthy and really yummy. Then I take them there, my treat. Everyone loves a free meal! Doing so allows me to show them that vegan or healthy food (they order something with meat, I don’t) is really good.

    Here’s a picture with great friend, a health food joint we went to. Little by little, he’s getting there. Now when we chat he almost always brings up food and health. I love that. I love him.

    I think of each person I come into contact with as a sales opportunity. I want to sell them on living this way. But the best way to sell them is to be a great example. I want them to watch my feet.

    Be cool,

  • Tom Gosnell says:

    Hi Rich and Julie. Loved the show from Paris!

    With regard to traveling on a plant-based diet. I start my day with a smoothy. I refuse to give that up when I travel. I carry a Nutri-Bullet on my extended trips (2+ days), and I prepackage all of the superfoods that I will be adding to the smoothy. When I arrive at my destination I buy greens and almond milk to complete my ingredient list. All of your plan ahead suggestion make it a lot easier.

    Keep up the good work!



    I had to STOP MY WORK and write you because you said something so profound, and in the kindest, most loving way regarding Micah’s obesity. We cannot continue to address obesity issues without also be willing to address what makes people obese in the first place. I’ve always felt this way, but admittedly have not expressed it from the loving place you did, so thank you. You have helped me to view this problem from a much better place.

  • Aidan says:

    Another great podcast!

    I have a question for Julie if she would be so kind. I have a cyst under my ear at my jawline which has grown dramatically since I had a biopsy which thankfully gave me nothing to worry about. I have been warned against surgery due to the location of nerves at the growth but it is starting to be visible to people and I have been told it will continue to grow. I know Julie healed her cyst through Ayurvedic medicine and I am curious to know more of the specifics. Are there any resources I can refer to as I have been unable to find anything online specific to this.

    Thanks again for the great content and really enjoyed both Finding Ultra and The Plantpower Way.


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