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I Forgot To Die: Khalil Rafati’s Journey From Homeless Junkie To Wellness Entrepreneur

By January 3, 2016January 19th, 20245 Comments

“I’m a high school dropout. I’m a convicted felon. I can’t spell. I can’t type. I was homeless. I shot dope into my veins and I am not ashamed of any of that stuff because that’s what I had to do to survive… Whatever it is that you are suffering from, you can change. And you can change in such a profound way that within a short period of time you wont even recognize yourself anymore.”

Khalil Rafati

Today my good friend Khalil Rafati returns to the podcast.

Most would call Khalil a successful wellness entrepreneur. SunLife Organics, his growing chain of organic juice bar cafés, can be seen popping up all over Southern California with more on the horizon.

But it wasn’t that long ago that the only thing Khalil was successful at was getting high in the dark underbelly of the City of Angels.

Addicted to shooting heroin and smoking crack, Khalil was soon overtaken by paranoia and psychosis and written off by friends and family. When he finally hit bottom, Khalil was 33 years old and 109 pounds, a convicted felon, high school dropout, and homeless junkie living in a cardboard box on the infamous Skid Row in downtown L.A.

At the time, Khalil was hell bent on dying. But God, the Universe or whatever you want to call it had different plans. He didn’t just live — he repaired his life wholesale. A miracle of sobriety. Miracle.

So how does someone with nothing, who feels like they deserve nothing, and who just wants to end it all turn their life around?

Khalil’s story is nothing short of astounding, trumped only by his ability to tell it. So if you missed his first appearance on the show, listen up here.

Today he drops by the podcast studio to pick up where we left off — a tale recently canonized in his recently released memoir I Forgot To Die*  — an incredible true story of pain, suffering, addiction and redemption and how one man ultimately conquered his demons and wrote himself a new life story.

So let’s hear all about it. I sincerely hope you enjoy this conversation with one of my favorite people.

Peace + Plants,


Listen & Subscribe on iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher


Connect With Khalil: Facebook

Now available— I Forgot to Die* is an incredible true story of pain, suffering, addiction and redemption.

SunLife Organics is a juice bar offering organic juice, smoothies, frozen yogurt, coffee, supplements, superfood snacks and more. To learn more visit & follow on Instagram.

Background, Context & Reference:

Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast:

Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:

Production & sound design by Dean Menta. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson. Music by Ed Apollo – check him out on Soundcloud and Facebook.

*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.

The Plantpower Way  is now available at these fine retailers!

Amazon*  |  Barnes & Noble  |  IndieBound  |  Penguin

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  • JasonRH says:

    Excited to listen to this episode. His first appearance on the RRP was very memorable, such an inspiring life story. It’s also perfect to kick off the new year with a reminder that reinvention and redemption is always possible.

  • Whit says:

    I feel like I should wait until the end to comment…but Khalil just said something that has me stopping in my tracks. First, so many similarities in my experience that I didn’t connect to as much when I listened to the first podcast. That one did leave me breathless and connecting to overcoming the bullshit experienced as way to impressionable and vulnerable youths…as I have also done. This one (maybe it’s just the place I am in now) has triggers going off all over the place for me. But, what has just stopped me is your comment about your relationship with your mom and how you realized she loved you the best way she knew how. This I have said many times.
    People who don’t come from physical and mental abusive upbringings don’t always get the importance of hope we have for our parents, it’s what kept us sane and going, even as we love-hated them. Many don’t understand that, should you, the victim, be lucky enough to come out on the other side, that you have to learn to accept the truth of your family and if they are still available and no longer poison to you, that loving them is a form of healing. It is one less dusty old burden to carry. Now, back to the show.

  • Tommy F says:

    “In the middle of this road we call our life
    I found myself in a dark wood
    With no clear path through.” -DANTE

    …Sobriety is essential, to escape the darkness.

    I’m reading Dr. Mate’s book right now (Realm of the Hungry Ghost), and Khalil’s personal story reflects vividly.. of a character within it. As Dr. Mate’ points out, not many climb out of the deep, dark hell of addiction, especially those suffering at the rock-bottom of the pit (skid row). To have emancipated himself from that inner slavery, to the ascended height of promoting/expanding a healthy vibration through superfood smoothies, is truly remarkable. A hero’s journey for-sure!!

    Sometimes it’s only a thin sliver of God’s Grace separating our reality from the shackles of hell that our demons stand-ready to imprison us to, should we succumb to the dark force of addiction. Sobriety is a daily opportunity, struggle and ultimately our own chance to honor the freedom we’ve been gifted on this planet.

    Just having personally experienced a full two years of sobriety (yay me!), in a new life of opening to mindful awareness.. I’m energized by this particular RRP episode. Thank you both for being so authentic, vulnerable and decent.


  • Brenda says:

    I’m happy you had Khalil back for another powerful interview – thank you.

  • Inglath Cooper says:

    Loved listening to this interview! Khalil, you are an amazing man with so much to offer the world. Thank you for sharing your story.

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