Tim Van Orden Runs Beyond The Kale — Why Personal Growth Begins With Self-Acceptance

If you are a consistent listener to this show, then you know very well that my goal is to elucidate the experience, insights and knowledge of my guests as a tool to aid you on your progress towards greater self-actualization.

Food is a super important aspect of this process. I believe it’s the best place to begin the process of transforming your life. But it’s also easy to get overly caught up in the dogmatic aspects of diet and nutrition. Unnecessarily boxed in by labels. Overly focused on details and minutiae. This presents a treacherous social, political and internal minefield that can result in truncating long-term growth potential. Because when we obsess on our plate at the exclusion of objectively redressing the many other very important areas of our lives that warrant focus and attention, our overall development towards full actualization is arrested.

I didn’t clean up my diet so I could get stuck pontificating on the various types of dark leafy greens until all my friends fled for the hills. I cleaned up my diet so I could raise my energy levels, shift my consciousness and direct my newfound lease on life towards continual growth and expansion. A search for greater meaning, purpose and answers that will hopefully occupy me for the remainder of my days here on Earth.

Optimal nutrition based on plant-based foods is a great step in the direction of optimal wellness.. But that is all that it is — a step. Hardly the be-all-end-all. Because wellness encompasses so much more than food. Far from the end of inquiry, think of quality nutrition more as a right of initiation that will repair your physical body, raise your vibration, elevate your consciousness and take you on a wild and unexpected journey towards healing, a sense of purpose, greater authenticity and actualization that will be unpredictable and challenging but ultimately astounding.

This is a process Julie and I call going beyond the kale. And it’s the primary theme of this week’s offering.

Enter Tim Van Orden.

If you have been with me on this podcast journey since it’s inception, then you will recall my conversation with Tim back in the early days – RRP Episode 15 to be exact. Over the course of that conversation we delved into Tim’s personal story, particularly his trajectory from relatively aimless and unhealthy junk food vegetarian to the raw food fueled running champion he is today. An exploration of food, athleticism, consciousness and holistic minimalism that transformed this non-athlete into a 10-time US Masters Trail Running National Champion.

You may also recall the horrible Skype audio. At that time I was still trying to find my voice and had yet to master the technology (I still haven’t, which is one of many reasons why I resist interviewing guests by Skype). Moreover, I had yet to actually meet Tim in person. Fast forward 92 episodes and now we’re friends — conversing in person and picking up where Episode 15 left off.

This week it’s less about diet and more about the bigger picture. Specifically, this conversation focuses on the psychology and emotional landscape that informs and drives self-perception, habits (both healthy and unhealthy) and decision making. This is a very frank, honest, open and soul bearing exchange about ego, vulnerability, authenticity, and attachment. It’s about self-image as a predictor of mood, action and outcome. It’s about the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves that inform how we see ourselves in the world. It’s about the self-acceptance required to confront and ultimately overcome the dreaded and unhealthy aspects of ourselves we keep hidden that handicap growth. And it’s about the process we must undertake to reframe our story, start telling a new one and ultimately set us on a healthier path towards greater freedom and fulfillment.

I really dig Tim, his vibe, honesty and willingness to be raw (pardon the pun). He is truly a special guy and I am so pleased to bring his insights to you today. I sincerely hope you enjoy the conversation.

Peace + Plants,


P.S. At the beginning of the show, I fumbled my thoughts when trying to describe my take on the nutritional benefits of the miracle superfood called Moringa (Olefiera), so I thought I would expound upon it here. Dubbed the “miracle tree” and the “world’s most nutritious plant species ever studied,” this amazing tree is native to regions of Africa/Asia but can grow almost anywhere due to its incredible ability to extract nutrients from the soil and air. Its leaves are an all-around green superfood; with more than 90 nutrients, moringa is like a utility baseball player that can excel in every position. High in a wide array of vitamins and minerals it’s anti-oxidant rich (46 anti-oxidants), anti-diabetes (reduces blood glucose) and promotes heart health (lipid lowering) among other benefits. Available in capsule and powder form, brew the powder into a tea or add to juice or your morning smoothie (like the smoothie Tim and I shared over our conversation).


Connect with Tim & Running Raw: Website | YouTube | Facebook | Twitter

How to Make an Ironman Whimper (and Cough): NY Times Sunday Magazine

The Tim Van Orden Book Club: A compendium of unlikely but highly recommended books & audiobooks germane to this week’s conversation:

*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 Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


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