[EXPLICIT] Punk Icon, Spiritual Warrior, Ironman Triathlete & PlantPower Iconoclast

John Joseph is a true American original. John Joseph defines hardcore. John Joseph is a spiritual warrior. And he’s got a message for you.

First, let me say that this episode is EXPLICIT. John simply can’t be edited or muzzled, and you wouldn’t want him that way anyway. He has a strong preference for four letter words. He drops the f-bomb about a thousand times during the interview and recounts in technicolor detail the horrific, grizzly reality of his abusive upbringing, his criminal background and past penchant for violence in the underbelly of Manhattan’s lower eat side in the 1970’s and ’80’s.

So I’m saying it now — if you are easily offended, or this just isn’t your cup of tea, then this may not be the episode for you. That’s fine. Let’s just say this one just isn’t safe for the workplace.

Disclaimer aside, I love this guy. It’s rare to meet someone so raw; real and authentic. Unafraid of life and certainly not shy when it comes to speaking his mind. And in this interview he lays his truth bare. With John, what you see and hear is exactly who he is. And his message — and life lessons — are amongst the most powerful I have ever heard.

Conceived and raised in abuse. Deprived of opportunity. Left to his own devices. John turned to violence and drugs to make his way in the world. A path that led him to violence and crime — teen years spent as a drug mule; in and out of of foster care; and stints in juvi and jail. To avoid long-term incarceration, he enlisted in the Navy, only to go AWOL after a fight.

Fleeing the law and rudderless, John found redemption in the hardcore punk rock scene flourishing on the lower east side of Manhattan in the 1970’s. And under the wing of Bad Brains’ frontman H.R. — a devotee of Rastafari — John began to explore not just his musicianship, but his spirituality as well. A journey that not only birthed the Cro-Mags — one of the most iconic and influential hardcore punk bands of the 70’s —  but led to life in a Hare Krishna monastery, where he found his spiritual salvation, developing his life-long love of meditation, yoga, sacred chanting, service to others — and a diet devoid of animal products.

I’m not sure I have ever met anyone who has successfully transcended circumstances as horrific as his upbringing and lived to tell about it. And although John may have been educated on the streets, his spiritual acumen is legit — and vast. Make no mistake, this guys walks his walk. John is the true Thug Kitchen.

During this conversation we tap into it all, culminating in his newfound love for triathlon. And how his deep connection to physical pursuit is a mere extension of his ongoing quest spiritual growth – something I can relate to entirely.

I’m proud of this interview. And I’m proud to call John my friend. But again – this is a super intense conversation. Listen at your own risk. But I hope you do.

UPDATE! We are now up and running on Soundcloud. What’s Soundcloud? Another platform to listen and share the podcast. What’s awesome is that it allows you to share the audio file across your social networks like Facebook and Pinterest and you can even embed this groovy player onto your website or blog. You can even add comments along the timeline that specifically relate to a certain portion of the show, which is really fun. Great way to share the content with your friends and colleagues and help spread the word. So if you enjoyed the show, tell a friend, share away and let’s build this PlantPower Mission together!

Here’s a little additional background color on the guy to fill in the gaps…

NOTE: Not for nothing, John is correct – just seven months before lining up at Badwater, David Goggins did indeed break the Guinness 24-hour Pull-Up World Record with 4030 pull-ups!  To see a video of the effort, click HERE.


So proud to announce that Julie and I – in partnership with MindBodyGreen.com— just launched our comprehensive online course covering everything you need to know to get — and stay — plantpowered. The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. 3 hours and 22 minutes of online video, broken down into 35 separate 5-15 minute videos, divided into modules and sections that address all the subjects, challenges and recipes you need to begin.  In addition, the program includes a variety of tools for download, including our Jai Seed eCookbook, additional recipes, a comprehensive grocery list and kitchen utensil guide and a variety of resources and additional information on food and nutrition.  Not enough? You also get exclusive membership to an online community forum where we address your questions, provide additional support and allow you to interact with other members to share your journey.

To find out more and preview an introductory video, click HERE.

You are one click away from changing your life.


Finding Ultra* recently hit bookstores and online retailers in paperback. And it’s cheap – just $12.45 on Amazon* last time I checked.  What the heck, right?  That’s like a one cold pressed juice at Whole Foods; and will hopefully be even a bit more nourishing. Check it out. Already read it? Then tell a friend.


*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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As always, thank you for all the ongoing support.  You guys are everything.