Life is a journey. Transformation is a journey. Every adventure, aspiration for change – a journey. Surprising turns, sometimes slippery gravel on the trail, breathtaking cascades, and always, vistas – even if just around the corner. Savor the journey. Photo taken on our Valentine’s Day adventure.

If traffic to my inbox is any indication, last week’s podcast at Howard Jacobson’s Plant Yourself resonated with many hearts.

Some readers responded right here –  on the blog – in replies, some on facebook or twitter, but most responses came directly to me via email.

The best thing about hearing from you – besides simply hearing from you – is that each message I received demonstrated the understanding that healthy living is about lifestyle design.

Lifestyle Design

When you turn the corner to aligning your food choices with your ideals, you get the real goods.

You realize –  make real –  the vision that embracing plant-based living promises.

The nuts and bolts of this lifestyle redesign are making micro-changes that move the journey forward.

And all the while, you get to enjoy delicious foods coupled with easy weight management.

I asked some of the people who posted  responses to the podcast  if I could share their inspiring thoughts with you.  With so many to share, I’ve selected a few key passages to share here.

Like any devoted teacher, I find myself wanting to put stars all over the chart when these realizations bubble to the surface.

It is my hope that they uplift, enlighten, or otherwise progress your journey – your lifestyle redesign.

Debbie Garcia says:

I love the concept of the micro-changes as discussed in the podcast. Fun to look back and see what some of them were for me. Feeling more confident with this approach going forward.   Loved the mention of the grocery stores in the podcast. Shopping for a few ingredients that were not stocked at my regular grocery store was such a hurdle for me, even though I knew where I could go to find them and luckily the other stores are not far away.

Debbie underscores with her comments how these little shifts we can make – lifestyle redesign and the most basic level – delivers big results.  These small things can seem like hurdles, and we make the mistake of dismissing them by thinking they won’t make a difference.  They do.  Little things count.

Karen Barron wrote:

I just wanted to tell you how helpful I found your podcast with Howard. I’ve listened to it three times (so far). I’ve been WFPB [whole food plant-based] for almost ten years, and exercise regularly, but I still have difficulties staying focused on really giving my best effort consistently over the long haul.

Your advice about creating change and building on successes really resonated with me. I read a lot about motivation, but it’s often too general to be helpful. You gave me something I can (and will) actually use. Thanks a bunch!

Karen has had critical moments of awakening:  1) transformation is a journey, and 2) lifestyle redesign is many bits and pieces assembled and practiced over time.

I asked Karen if she would elaborate on what resonated with her on the podcast, which I am happy to report she did!  Here is more from Karen:

Micro changes

There was so much! The micro changes. It’s not all or nothing-baby steps; just keep moving forward. I don’t happen to have a problem getting myself to exercise, as Howard described, but there are other issues, like keeping my house clean and tidy, where I can see myself using this technique. Make a list of everything neccessary to accomplish a project. Start small – build on successes.

Micro-changes. Imagine three graphs. The first is the nay-sayer, who thinks micro-changes are silly and not worth doing. The line goes straight across left to right, because they never get started and nothing ever changes. (in reality, it might actually go downhill slowly, as they become less healthy).

The second is the all- or- nothing perfectionist. That line makes a dramatic upward spike, as they start out all gung-ho, followed by an eventual drop below baseline when they burn out and give up.

The third graph is the micro-change turtle (me!) That is a line that slowly but surely progresses upward, left to right, as slow, steady progress happens and later successes are built on previous successes. I hope that makes sense. Sorry I can’t send you my drawings, but I’m sure you have a good imagination!

By the way, my micro-change project for my messy house is to clean one thing each day. Today I did my stove top. Tomorrow I will do something else. And be proud of my progress, instead of self-deprecating because “I SHOULD be doing so much more!” Howard was right when he said sometimes we just need someone to give us permission to do it this way. Regarding my overeating, the plan is to start paying attention to how my stomach feels as it is filling up during the course of a meal. It would not hurt for me to slow down a little, to make the noticing easier!


I do have a problem with overeating. As you talked Howard through that process, I could imagine doing it too. Developing an awareness of when enough is enough. I often get down on myself because I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years and I should be perfect by now, LOL! I recognize that I really HAVE accomplished a lot, but for some reason it is so easy sometimes to only see where improvement is still needed, unfortunately.

Food addictions

And last but definitely not least… I’ve been listening to all those podcasts about food addiction. (I’m sure you know which ones I mean) I was getting more and more depressed; is that why I overeat? Your podcast was a breath of fresh air. No, I’m NOT a “food addict”! I’m just an imperfect person with perhaps some leftover habits that don’t always serve me well. And you have given me some practical tips to work on making changes that are still needed. Empowerment!!


Karen’s micro-changes mini-lecture is a gem. And I am pleased to see her respond to the food addictions portion of the conversation. As someone who used to think they were hopelessly addicted to food and sweets, though I acknowledge the addictive properties of some edibles, we can too quickly jump from there to calling ourselves addicts.

Debby Knight Jones enthusiastically added

I really enjoyed the pod cast!! As usual a lot of wonderful information that people can start utilizing in their lives immediately. Can’t wait to read your book.

If you missed the podcast, it’s archived online for you at Plant Yourself.

What do you think of the idea of ‘lifestyle redesign’? Do these words connect for you?

I look forward to your thoughts about it, along with any more reflections on the podcast,  in comments below. You know how I love the hear from you!


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