EPISODE 15: YOU ARE THE SOLUTION

Featuring: Adam Sud

 

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If You are the Cause, you CAN be the Solution.

Today's conversation with Adam Sud shines a bright light on some of the dark and often unspoken mental barriers that prevent making a change.  Adam's internal and external health hurdles were significant.  Saddled with hundreds of extra pounds, numbing himself with prescriptions and fast food, and a self-dialogue that was brimming with self-hate, Adam finally found a way out by learning to fall in love with the process. He consistently started making the next right decision, even when it didn't feel "right".  He disconnected from his headspace and decided he would get comfortable being uncomfortable.  

This episode is for anyone who doesn't feel worthy - because here's the thing:  you most definitely are.

Eating a plant-based diet coupled with realizing that you are deserving of real, affirming connection, is a powerful combination in turning your life around.

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Support for this week's episode comes from Nutramilk - the easiest and fastest way to make your own plant milk at home!  Enjoy a $50 discount and free shipping with code PLANTSTRONG.

Seeking a solution for making the plant-strong lifestyle convenient and inspiring?  The Plant-Strong Meal Planner offers 1000s of recipes customized to your preferences, an integrated shopping list and grocery delivery!  Our Engine 2 Coaches are on hand to offer support and answer any questions - all for $1.90 a week when you sign up for a year.  Visit our Plant-Strong Meal Planner today!

Adam Sud

Adam Sud

In 2012, Adam Sud’s life was completely out of control. Once weighing nearly 350lbs and struggling with multiple addictions, serious chronic diseases, and mental health disorders. His life nearly came to an end when he attempted suicide by drug overdose. He checked into rehab and with the help of his parents and a plant-based diet, he began a journey that led to a remarkable recovery. Adam is now a diabetes and food addiction coach for Mastering Diabetes ( masteringdiabetes.org ). A program that focuses on reversing insulin resistance to master type 1, Type 1.5, pre-diabetes, and type 2 diabetes using low fat, whole food, plant-based nutrition. He also works with Engine 2 and Whole Foods Market’s Total Health Immersion Team. He is an international speaker for the plant-based movement. Adam has worked in recovery centers using plant-based nutrition as a tool for strengthening recovery and relapse prevention. He has also the founder of the non-profit “Plant-Based For Positive Change” that is dedicated to advancing the research of diet and mental health / addiction and is running the very first research study to investigate the effects of a nutrient dense food intervention for addiction recovery. He firmly believes that the simplest change on your fork makes the most profound change of your life and that self-love is the root of all recovery.

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Rip Esselstyn: If there's one key element to my success in eating a plant-strong diet for all these years, it's my breakfast. I start every single day with Rip's Big Bowl Cereal. It's a concoction that I created to fuel my performance as a professional triathlete going back 32 years. It's commercially available at Whole Foods Market or on Amazon or you can make your own mixing, a quarter cup of raw old fashioned oats, a quarter cup Ezekiel 4:9 nuggets, a quarter cup bite sized shredded wheat and a quarter cup Uncle Sam's toasted cereal.

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Rip Esselstyn: This episode of Plant-Strong is for anybody out there who is struggling and for whatever reason feels that they're not worthy of being the healthiest version of themselves, that they're not worthy of being loved or having the connections that they want in life. I want to introduce you to a very special person in my life, and that's Adam Sud. He is the most genuine, authentic beacon of hope that I have met in a long, long time. He speaks with an incredible amount of candor about his personal battles with Adderall addiction, rampant obesity and really insidious, terrible self loathing.

Rip Esselstyn: Then he has the ability to shine a bright and beautiful inspiring light. What he had did and what anybody out there can do and what's 100% possible through a plant-based lifestyle and loving yourself. I mean, here's a guy who was once buckling under excessive weight, a multitude of disease states, a guy who is now down almost 200 pounds and is a 100% medication free.

Rip Esselstyn: Today I'm going to speak with Adam about the head space that's needed to make the change. We talk about shame and the inner dialogue that we play over and over again in our minds and the grace that you need to give yourself in making these small, yet very important first steps. Adam shares how his success was simply a series of seven-day experiments, something that we at Engine 2 believe in very strongly. In fact, our Bronx firefighter, Joe Inga as stopped and started this lifestyle many times over the last six years, as perhaps have many of you.

Rip Esselstyn: Well, I want you to know that this conversation is for you. I hope that every Jane and every Joe that's out there will be inspired by Adam's willingness to walk through the pain, to share his personal suffering and then demonstrate how he consistently made his next choice the right choice again and again and again, day after day, week after week, year after year, and that is why he is where he is today. Adam always says that the simplest change on your fork can have the most profound impact on your life and you're going to hear why. May we all have the ability to jump out of bed at 4:00 AM like Adam because we are so over the moon excited to have our morning bowl of oatmeal. Let's get this episode rolling.

Rip Esselstyn: This has been a long time in the making.

Adam Sud: A long time. Like 9 years, 10 years, something like that.

Rip Esselstyn: You better than anybody that I've encountered really over the course of the last 20 years have transformed yourself and put yourself in a position of just completely turning around your life and going from somebody that was headed for trouble to somebody that is doing some amazing good in the world-

Adam Sud: Thank you-

Rip Esselstyn: ... and helping people and I think finds joy in every day that you're alive in this world helping people and doing all that. So I want this episode ... I don't want to so much visit your story because I know that you've-

Adam Sud: It's been done.

Rip Esselstyn: You've done that a fair amount and you've accrued an amazing amount of knowledge.

Adam Sud: Sure.

Rip Esselstyn: Not only personally, but also by being a health coach. So I'd just like for you to impart that today and I think I want to frame this up kind of what does it take to be ready for change.

Adam Sud: Sure, yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: Because-

Adam Sud: Yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: So let's go back for a second, let's start with this. You came to the Immersion in 2010. You heard all these amazing speakers. You heard Dick Beardsley, our motivational speaker, who had a brush with addiction with pain pills, but you had not yet I guess you'd say hit rock bottom or you weren't ready to ask for help yet.

Adam Sud: That's right. Yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: And it took a little while longer. So what was it, when was it that you feel like you were ready for change?

Adam Sud: Yeah. I went to the Immersion and it's not that none of it made sense to me, it's not that what I was hearing wasn't something that spoke to me as an individual, as a human, my core values, all these sorts of things, but I was in such a painful place. My life was such a painful place to be, to show up and exist authentically that I was not ready and willing to give up what was allowing me to escape that life on a daily basis, and that was my substance abuse.

Adam Sud: The health, all of those things were miserable, my weight, my yet undiagnosed diabetes and heart disease. None of that mattered. That was not motivation for me, and I'll talk about it later, how I don't think negative consequences motivate anybody. I was not willing to give up what allowed me to escape a life that was just too painful place to be until about two years after that.

Rip Esselstyn: What was it that you were doing to escape?

Adam Sud: I was doing copious amounts of stimulants and opiates. I would get up every single day. And as soon as I woke up, I would eat something and pop Adderall. I was doing upwards of 450 milligrams in a 24-hour period.

Rip Esselstyn: And what's what's like a normal prescribed amount?

Adam Sud: It's between 5 and 30 milligrams a day.

Rip Esselstyn: 5 and 30.

Adam Sud: And I was doing upwards of 450 a day. I was doing on a regular basis 120 milligrams at a time. Anybody who knows Adderall and knows what the recreational use of Adderall is, that number is beyond astronomical. That would require me to take painkillers, opiates, because after four or five days without sleeping and being on that amount of amphetamine, you enter a state of psychosis where you see things, you hear things that aren't happening, you're not really in control of how you're thinking, and in order to get myself to fall asleep that's really the only way to get out of it. You just got to put an end to the whole situation is I take painkillers, that would make me so lethargic that I was like, I am done, I'm gonna go to bed.

Rip Esselstyn: Okay. You were doing that. You were also, if I'm not mistaken, you were a fast food junkie.

Adam Sud: Oh, yeah, absolutely, because I would get enough Adderall that could last me six days. And after that I would have to wait until I could find some more. I would pretty much buy as much as I could from anyone who was selling or scam as many doctors I could to get as much as I could from the pharmacies, but when that dried up, fast food was my answer because it allowed me to again, escape this life that showing up for and being in my authentic version of myself was just too painful a place for me to exist and fast food was a quick way to numb myself up.

Adam Sud: I would eat four breakfast tacos for breakfast, two McDonald's super-sized Double Quarter Pounders for lunch and then hit Whataburger for their honey barbecue chicken strips sandwich meal right after lunch and then super ... What do you call it? The extra large pizza from Papa John's ar night with a side of the chicken strips and then typically go back to Whataburger again in the middle of the night for their breakfast on a bun sandwiches.

Rip Esselstyn: I remember when you told me that you were really indulging in the fast food. It wasn't until I saw the video that your mother took. I think it was after your suicide attempt.

Adam Sud: It was, yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: ... that I was like, wow.

Adam Sud: It's a pretty shocking 20 seconds.

Rip Esselstyn: I mean, there isn't open space on the floor, on a countertop, on a table that isn't strewn with different fast food-

Adam Sud: Garbage.

Rip Esselstyn: ... garbage packages, 32 ounce Cokes, Pepsi's, Mountain Dews, whatever. It was shocking.

Adam Sud: Yeah, and that's how I lived my life every single day was just that couch that's in the video with the blanket on it, the bed sheet. That's where I lived, basically on that couch. My windows were boarded up with boxes, with cardboard because I didn't want people seeing in and I didn't want to see out.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah. What caused you to be in so much pain?

Adam Sud: It's a disconnection from what's truly meaningful in my life was I didn't understand nor did I have the willingness to allow myself to feel and know that it is okay whatever I was feeling. And I felt utterly broken as a human. I thought I am this broken person, essentially this machine was broken parts that cannot be fixed. I feel this way, the way that I felt the pain, the anger, the sadness, the loneliness was a symptom of my broken part that no matter what medication I took was not fixable.

Adam Sud: I felt completely disconnected from people, from every connection to a purpose in life and being out in the world reminded me how disconnected I was. It's a painful thing to be with people and lonely at the same time and to feel like you have nothing of value for anyone at all. And if at anything, you are a drain on people just by being near them.

Rip Esselstyn: So that kind of makes you ... You want to board up in your room, be a fast food addict and kind of just be a hermit?

Adam Sud: It made me want to hide from life, and I did that really well for about five years.

Rip Esselstyn: At what point then, let's revisit this-

Adam Sud: Sure.

Rip Esselstyn: At what point, what was there, like a moment when you decided okay, I'm ready for change and I'm gonna embrace love as opposed to fear and hate. Can you talk about that?

Adam Sud: August 21st of 2012 was the day. That's the day I attempted suicide. It was, I think, midnight-ish. I recently developed erectile dysfunction, which to me was just like more indication of just this absolute broken body and person that I was and that things were never going to get better, they were only going to get worse and being alive at that point hurt enough to the point where it was barely tolerable. I mean, it hurt physically, it hurt emotionally, it hurt spiritually. Existing was just pain.

Rip Esselstyn: And how old were you?

Adam Sud: I was 30.

Rip Esselstyn: Okay. You should be in your prime.

Adam Sud: Yeah, exactly. This wasn't something that I had planned. It wasn't like all right, August 21st, 2012, midnight I'm gonna kill myself. It was just this overwhelming realization that I needed to remove myself from the equation because I sure didn't have an answer to it. What had once been a solution had now become an overwhelming and inescapable problem and I couldn't make sense of it. How could something that for one point in my life was the greatest solution I'd ever found to how I live my life-

Rip Esselstyn: And that was Adderall-

Adam Sud: It was Adderall.

Rip Esselstyn: ... that made you feel like you were the person everybody wanted you to be.

Adam Sud: Yeah, I mean, how could something that at one point was my perfect solution become something that it was such an out-of-control and unanswerable problem, a problem that I for whatever reason could never figure out. How could I sit there and say in my head, "I am really struggling with substance abuse and I'm probably going to die from this." And at the same time be unwilling to give it up because for whatever reason I would tell myself this is the best thing for me to do.

Adam Sud: It drove me to the point where I just needed to remove myself from the equation, stop being a burden on my family, stop being a burden on myself and I attempted suicide by overdose, and found myself waking up on the floor in a puddle of my own vomit and a pile of garbage like you mentioned in that video. Trying to describe the feeling of dying is something I don't think I'll ever be capable of verbalizing. The moment when I realized that I was overdosing and tried to stand up and felt like my body was just not mine anymore.

Adam Sud: I remember the right side of my body cramping like so bad that I literally like buckled over to the right and I noticed everything starting to go black and there was a moment right as it happened where it's like, this is the last moment, this is my last moment of existence here in this room with no one around, and just this fear of not waking up. And when I did, I realized that that is not at all what I want. I came to this very clear realization when I regained consciousness that unless I was really willing to say, I got to change everything about the way that I move through the world, this is going to happen again, whether on my own actions or by accident, but if I continue living that way every single day of my life would be a suicide attempt.

Rip Esselstyn: So that was kind of what allowed you to realize that you were ready for change, that you came that close to basically dying.

Adam Sud: It was a recognition of how much my family mattered to me.

Rip Esselstyn: And is that then when you asked for help?

Adam Sud: Yeah. That's when I called my mom and my dad and as quickly as they answered I just said, "I need help."

Rip Esselstyn: Is it fair to say then that that's the first time that you maybe to your family acknowledged that you had an addiction?

Adam Sud: Yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: And that-

Adam Sud: I mean, it's not like they didn't know, but I never even said it out loud to myself alone, never ever allowed my ears to hear the sound, "I'm a substance abuse addict."

Rip Esselstyn: You even have said because you're obviously one of ... You have now in your own right become one of the greatest motivational speakers on this topic, to me, on the planet and at our Immersions you talk about how you were at the Engine 2 program in 2010 and you wanted so badly to idea to share with Dick Beardsley-

Adam Sud: Yeah, I wanted so badly.

Rip Esselstyn: Then what happened? Can you share?

Adam Sud: I literally was ... He had finished giving his presentation. There was a table set up for him with his books and he was signing people's books. He was talking to them, giving them hope, everything that he had learned in his journey back from his low point. And here I see a person that I know with 100% confidence if I go up to this person and admit I am suffering from substance abuse and I'm scared and I need help, this individual would never judge me for it.

Adam Sud: And my feet were frozen to the floor. I couldn't take another step closer to him and I can remember wanting ... I waited till everyone was done. He was standing there with his wife and I said, just say his name, just lasher him over, start talking to him about anything. Maybe I'll build up enough confidence to just say, "I need help." I couldn't.

Rip Esselstyn: Did you find yourself ... Because I know whenever I hear Dick Beardsley story, I find myself just crying like a little baby.

Adam Sud: He's amazing.

Rip Esselstyn: I mean, I'm wondering though, where you in a position at that point in time, in 2010, where you heard his message enough to where like ... Were you emotionally impacted by it?

Adam Sud: No. I didn't allow myself to be. I didn't allow myself to be emotionally impacted by anybody at that point. I heard his story. I heard myself in his story and I said, "Well, yeah, but he's not me. I can get control of this thing and it's not a problem."

Rip Esselstyn: You talked just a little earlier about how much self-loathing and self-hatred you had. Can you describe at some of those times when you would look in the mirror and just what you saw and what you would do?

Adam Sud: I would come home from shopping at a place called Casual Male XL, which is a clothing store for people who are plus size and/or tall and it was the only place I could go where I could pants because I had a 50 inch waist and I would come home ... Anytime I would be out in public where I noticed people looking at me, because it's quite a thing to be that sick and that obviously messed up to where people like, they stare at you, but they don't want to have anything to do with you.

Adam Sud: I would stand in front of my mirror and I would take off my shirt and I would do to myself what other people were doing. I would allow myself to be that person, go look at you, you're pathetic. I didn't recognize myself, let alone want to acknowledge that this is who I was and so I'd literally start beating myself. I would punch myself in the stomach as hard as I could over and over again, and every time I'd hit myself, I would shout, "I hate you. You're worthless."

Adam Sud: I would say to myself what I believed everyone else was thinking about me. And thinking that that's how I would motivate myself to change, that if I hated myself enough, that I would want to get out of that situation and it would crush me. I would fall on the floor, swollen, red, crying because at the end of the day it didn't matter how much I hated myself or how much I beat myself, I was never going to win a battle fueled by hate.

Rip Esselstyn: You obviously went to the other side and talk about that fuel.

Adam Sud: I got diagnosed in rehab with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, erectile dysfunction, bipolar disorder, suicidal depression, anxiety disorder, sleep disorder and attention deficit disorder. I remember being really, really disgusted with myself and sort of heartbroken because here I had this idea of what it meant to go into rehab was they take you off of substances, you get off of substances and then you go home and la, di, da, di, da, it's all good. And that whole idea had just been completely shattered.

Adam Sud: Because I knew in that moment this sobriety in and of itself was not a path to health or life for me, that I was literally going to have to change the way that I moved through the world, the way that I thought through the world, the way that I looked at myself, the way that I viewed myself, how I talked about myself. Everything had to change or nothing would. I had a conversation with my dad where I told him I was so upset by this that I was leaving and he imparted some wisdom onto me that the really radically ... It was profound.

Adam Sud: He told me, he said, "Adam, okay, let's just ... I'm not going to say that you do have heart disease, I'm not saying that that's the case, but let's just talk about if you did, you attended this health Immersion with Rip Esselstyn and you learned that these conditions are a lot of times reversible and you not only learned that they are, but you learned how to reverse them." And he says to me, "There's things about your life that you don't like and you can do something about it, then it isn't a problem. And if there are things about your life that you don't like and there's nothing you can do about it, it's not a problem, it's just the way things are and maybe we can change the way we look at those so it's no longer something that causes you pain and discomfort on a daily basis."

Adam Sud: And this really hit me because I had this understanding in that moment that one, if I'm the cause, I get to be the solution, and that focusing on the problem was only going to make the problem a daily part of my life and the fear and hatred that I had for myself had always driven me towards behaviors that were self-destructive because they fueled the parts of me that made me feel miserable, that made me feel uncomfortable, that reminded me on a daily basis of my disconnection from things that were truly meaningful in my life.

Adam Sud: I told myself, okay, yeah, I have heart disease. I don't want heart disease. I have diabetes. I don't want diabetes. And I'm obese. I don't want to be obese. And that I nearly died from substance abuse. And to be honest, I really didn't want to die. Why not? What was it about my life that I loved enough, that I was going to be willing to do whatever it took. Essentially, what was I going to do to be willing to be comfortable being uncomfortable in order to take charge of my life and reconnect to what's truly meaningful.

Adam Sud: I decided in that moment that it was no longer going to be about what was the matter with me, but what mattered to me that was going to fuel my change. People are never motivated by negative consequences. If negative consequences stop people from being unhealthy, there wouldn't be a single unhealthy person on the planet. What humiliations, what negative consequences have people who are sick not already endured, what have they not already experienced. This is not in my opinion what fuels long-term change.

Adam Sud: It's always love. It's how do I find a way to positively impact my life so that I fall in love with the process of reconnecting myself to what is truly meaningful to me in this life. Because human beings have this incredible need to bond. We'll bond with people, we'll bond with purpose, we'll bond with the goings-on of our world around us. And when those bonds are severed, those bonds are the ones that are truly meaningful to us, they give us meaning in life, they give us this sense of I have something of value to offer others and others understand that value.

Adam Sud: There's a great quote from one of Johann Hari, he's a British journalist. One of his books. He says, "Loneliness is not the physical absence of people. It's the sense that you have nothing of value to offer anyone you care about." And being able to reconnect to those meaningful bonds, because those bonds, when they're severed, we will bond with anything that gives us pleasure, whether it's food, whether it's drugs, whether it's gambling, it doesn't matter. And the stronger that those bonds become, the further disconnected we feel from ever being able to reconnect what's truly meaningful in life. And I did not want to focus on what was disconnecting me. I wanted to focus on what was going to connect me back to those truly meaningful bonds.

Rip Esselstyn: And was that scary too?

Adam Sud: Yeah, it was, because it was talking to myself in a way I had given myself permission in maybe ever. I had to really learn the sense that these feelings that I was having, the anger, the anxiety, the frustration, the loneliness, that these are completely reasonable responses to life, they are healthy human feelings and that they occur for a reason, that they mean something and that I didn't want to try to live a life where I didn't experience those things, those along with like urges and temptations and cravings.

Adam Sud: I wanted to be able to live a life every single day were when those things happened I was okay with it because to deny those experiences is to deny a part of my humanity and I didn't want to miss out on what might be some of what is best about being human. I started to incorporate this lifestyle, the plant-based lifestyle and really allow myself the space and compassion to willingly feel these things and not judge myself for them, to not define myself by what I struggle with. I no longer said, "I am angry or I am sad or I am frustrated." I gave myself the permission to-

Rip Esselstyn: How did you reframe it?

Adam Sud: I feel angry. I feel sad. I feel lonely.

Rip Esselstyn: And then is it more just temporary? It's like-

Adam Sud: It is because then it's an observation. I now become a witness to my feelings rather than just a participant. And when I can observe them, I can see the message that my body is trying to tell me about how I'm living my life, whether I'm disconnecting from something truly meaningful or I'm connecting greater to something truly meaningful in my life. And once the recognition that like hey, look, I'm not a machine with broken parts.

Adam Sud: One of the biggest things that helped me understand that was the Pleasure Trap, was reading the Pleasure Trap. I would stand in front of the cabinet and look at my two options would be Fruity Pebbles and oatmeal and don't get me wrong, I liked oatmeal at the time, but I freaking loved Fruity Pebbles and here I am knowing that Fruity Pebbles is going to make me worse. It's going to make my health worse. I'm going to get sick and I'm going to possibly die.

Adam Sud: I also know that oatmeal was going to help me get healthier. It's going to help reverse these conditions. So I would sit there thinking to myself why in the world knowing these two things where I sit here wanting Fruity Pebbles, why can't this be a matter of intellect and will? Why can't I just want to do it, know how to do it and that's it?

Rip Esselstyn: I think you needed to just remove the Fruity Pebbles from the equation. You shouldn't have them in the cupboard.

Adam Sud: I wish I could have, but I was in sober living. They were for the rest of the ... Because I was in sober living at the time. And I read the Pleasure Trap and what I learned from this book was that there actually is a biological mechanism that was compelling me to seek out behaviors that created the greatest amount of pleasure because pleasure was my body's way of knowing that I'd done something biologically beneficial.

Adam Sud: So when I ate Fruity Pebbles, when I did 120 milligrams of Adderall at a time my body would respond by going bravo. I don't know what that was, but it's got to be the best thing you've ever done for yourself so keep doing it. And this gave me this understanding that the reason why I wanted to do something, continue doing something that I knew was destructive to me wasn't because I was broken. It was because my body is doing exactly what it's supposed to do, and the frustration of it came from me not being willing to allow myself to feel the frustration and be okay with it, to feel the anger of having to battle this comfortable with being uncomfortable situation.

Adam Sud: If I'm angry about it and I participate in the anger alone, I'm going to be angry and it's probably going to leave me to do things I don't want to do. If I witness the anger and willingly say, "It's okay, this is a reasonable response to the situation given how I've been living my life. This anger is not the problem. This anger means something. This is a highly evolved signal that is arising for reason to let me know something really meaningful about how I move through the world. Why don't I listen to it and move through it rather than avoid it?" And in doing so, I was really able to completely reshape how I view myself, my health and this whole self-love, self-acceptance thing.

Rip Esselstyn: I've heard you talk about how every day we have maybe ,was it 60,000 thoughts-

Adam Sud: Right.

Rip Esselstyn: And of those 60,000 some are positive, some are negative.

Adam Sud: 90% of them are negative.

Rip Esselstyn: 90% of them are negative. Do you think that's how it is for most people?

Adam Sud: Yeah. That is, that's the average statistic.

Rip Esselstyn: So why do you think ... Do you think that's just kind of where we are today in society?

Adam Sud: Yes, I do. I think that we have a culture that has a profound willingness not to want to understand pain and discomfort. We have a culture that has created the greatest sense of disconnection that it's ever been in the history of Earth, in the history of life on Earth. We're the most disconnected species of animal that has ever been. We've walled ourselves behind concrete and glass, we have separated ourselves from the Earth. We wear shoes. We don't even allow our feet to touch the Earth. Concrete is not the Earth. We're so disconnected.

Rip Esselstyn: We're hiding behind screens.

Adam Sud: We're so disconnected from our authentic way of being that by the time we're capable, cognitively capable of questioning our place in the world, we feel profoundly lost and disconnected from something that we can't understand. And that's because we have this social media stuff that again, what I'm about to say comes from Johann Hari. If you look at the rise of social media, it happened in the late '90s and the early 2000s when junk values were on the rise.

Adam Sud: People were starting to want to read this greater sense of reconnection. People have had less friends than they've ever had in the history of the United States. The number of people that you could call on in time of need had decreases zero on average from it was close to 50 or like 10 or 25 in 50 years ago. Now it is 0 and here comes social media with what people would appear like a reconnection, but it's not. It's a parody of connection. And so that greater fuel, this lack of understanding of ourselves and how we best move through the world. So yeah, I think so. I think that we live in a society that values disconnection and so people are ... They are absolutely lonely.

Rip Esselstyn: You're reaching for the oatmeal instead of the ... What was it? The Fruity Pebbles.

Adam Sud: The Fruity Pebbles.

Rip Esselstyn: The Fruity Pebbles. You're okay being comfortably uncomfortable because you realize that you're going to override these pleasure trap signals-

Adam Sud: Exactly.

Rip Esselstyn: ... that are firing in your brain.

Adam Sud: And I'll be willing to be angry about it and I'll be willing to-

Rip Esselstyn: Because you're, I'm feeling angry.

Adam Sud: I'm feeling angry.

Rip Esselstyn: It'll pass.

Adam Sud: It'll pass. It's temporary.

Rip Esselstyn: So you did this at rehab for what, eight months?

Adam Sud: I was in sober living at that time, which is ... Rehab is in a residential treatment center. Rehab, I was in there for 10 months. And I got up every single day and I told myself that what I'm going to do when I make this plate of food is prepare an act of self-love and self-care, that this is my first affirmation of positive change for the day and it's something that I can restate to myself with every single plate.

Rip Esselstyn: How did you come to this realization that every meal is an act of self-love, self-worth, self-acceptance. How did you like ... Was it just the whole process?

Adam Sud: It was a lot of things. I started to read a lot of Buddhist ... There's a Buddhist recovery system that's called Against the Stream. It's also called Dharma Punx and I really got into studying Buddhism. In Buddhism I am the cause of all my suffering and the cause of suffering is attachment. I was like, hey, you know what, who I am in this moment is only who I am in this moment and I am in control of everything that I think, say and do in this moment, which means that change is 100% within my power.

Adam Sud: Because change only happens now because now is the only time I have a choice. So I'm going to choose right now to do something that I know at the end of the day will make me healthier than I was the day before. And that gave me the sense that every single day when it comes to my physical health, I am in control. I have to wait for nothing or no one and I have to answer to nothing or no one except myself and how I feel about how I'm moving through this world.

Adam Sud: And that gave me that sense of self-worth. That gave me that empowerment to know that I literally can create an environment for positive change on a daily basis, no matter how I feel, no matter what happens to me, no matter if I get angry all day long or if I'm feeling a lot of joy all day long, at the end of the day I know I will be healthier than it was the day before. That's empowering.

Adam Sud: And within three months my diabetes and heart disease were completely gone. I remember seeing my endocrinologist when he told me that my A1C was that of a non-diabetic and in that moment was really ... Gave me that for the first time in a long time that feeling of self-worth and that made me feel like every single thing that I went through was creating a life for me that was really about making me the person I want to save.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah. Well, I can remember when I met you again at Whole Foods and I didn't recognize you because you'd lost over 100 pounds at that point in time. And also I remember inviting you up to my office, you came up there and I just remember witnessing one of the most humble, grateful, kind of enlightened people that I've met in a long time.

Adam Sud: Thank you.

Rip Esselstyn: It was really remarkable.

Adam Sud: And it's interesting because I wasn't even there expecting to see you. And I saw you and I was like, this is my opportunity, I really have to make amends. You invited me up to your office and really what I was wanting to do was to let you know that I'm sorry for not only not taking you seriously and giving you the respect that you deserved as a person and as a human being, but also threatening the longevity of your program by bringing drugs with me and being high every single day at your program.

Adam Sud: I wanted to apologize to you and to thank you for everything. I expected nothing from you, but it was in that moment that I think that you said, "Why don't you come and share your story?" Which I had never done before and I was like, "I'll do it. I'm terrified, but I'll do it."

Rip Esselstyn: And now you're just an absolute pro. I mean, I remember you were so nervous and you were pacing back and forth-

Adam Sud: I was a basket case.

Rip Esselstyn: ... you probably didn't sleep the night before. And now you're like just no big deal. It's just another day in the park.

Adam Sud: It really has been like the greatest pleasure in my life, to be able to impart anything that I can they can help somebody reconnect to their authentic self.

Rip Esselstyn: Can you talk a little bit about process over results?

Adam Sud: Yeah. I work with Mastering Diabetes, I work with Engine 2 and I work with Whole Foods Market. One of the things that I do is I work specifically with diabetics and people will say, "Oh, so obviously your goal is to help people reverse diabetes." No, I don't help anybody reverse diabetes. They do that themselves. My goal is to help them fall in love with what helps them reverse diabetes.

Adam Sud: For example, my goal when I started this was not to reverse my diabetes, reverse my heart disease, lose weight. I wanted to find a way of living that allowed me to reconnect with my authentic self. And that included a diet that if I fell in love with it, would reverse heart disease, diabetes and obesity. So think about it, you're an athlete and you've been, I don't know how many races you've done, and I like to run and the thing is that when you start a race, is it even possible to see the finish line?

Rip Esselstyn: Usually not.

Adam Sud: No. Is it ever necessary to see it to get there? It's never necessary to see the finish line, even know what it looks like, to get to the finish line and cross it. The only thing that you can do is focus on the road in front of you, what you can see, your pace, your step, your breath. You fall in love with that process and you'll reach any finish line you want. And the same thing goes with making lifestyle changes in regards to food. If I can help somebody fall in love with the experience of eating plants and what it does to reconnect them to what makes them feel alive, they're set, because no matter how long it takes, it's going to happen.

Adam Sud: We're so result-focused as a culture that we forget the results only come from the process. That's the only thing that gets you there. So is it more important to fall in love with the process or the result? If you fall in love with the process you're going to do this for the rest of your life. And the rest of your life is relevant.

Rip Esselstyn: Everything else is just a byproduct of you falling in love with the result.

Adam Sud: That's right, yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: I mean, falling in love with the process. That's awesome.

Adam Sud: Yeah. I mean, I remember when I started I was 37 days sober. I'd just gotten out of rehab and I told myself, "All right. Well, I got to go plant-based with the rest of my life and be sober for the rest of my life. I can't do that." And then I was like, well wait, it's not even necessary for me to do that. It's not even necessary for me to worry about that. What I need to do is be able to do this for seven days. Because that is, if I can't do that, I can't do any of it.

Adam Sud: And the beauty of the seven days is that I could plan for it. I could track it. I knew what I could see. I would do seven days at a time and at the end of those seven days, I would see what worked and what I found joy in doing. I would also see what didn't work or what I didn't find joy in doing and those things I would replace with something that was still in alignment with what I was trying to achieve and I'd go another seven days. Just a series of seven-day experiments that went on and on and on for the last seven years that have crafted this way of moving through the world.

Adam Sud: And to this day, people can ask me, "You're going to be plant-based for the rest of your life?" I am plant-based right now. That's how I live my life and I don't need to know the rest of my life to know who I am, what I am in this moment.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah, I'd say there's a pretty good chance you'll go the rest of your life. You've already made it 383 consecutive seven-day strings.

Rip Esselstyn: At Engine 2 we believe exactly what Adam just shared with you. Adopting this lifestyle should be a series of seven-day experiments. I want you to throw away this notion that you've got to do this for the rest of your life. This can be ridiculously daunting and I want you to just join us in breaking it down to one week at a time. This is the model that we use for our Rescue 10x Behavioral Change Program, where for 10 weeks Engine 2 coaches, including Adam Sud, will guide participants through a series of 10 consecutive seven-day challenges, each week ingraining the simple daily habits that are needed to sustain the plan strong lifestyle over the long haul.

Rip Esselstyn: And we do this by focusing again, on the week ahead. I know this can be hard especially if like Adam you've got a fair amount of repair work to do, but having a supportive tribe helps lighten the load as well as keep you accountable. Rescue 10x meets weekly for live video conference calls, it has a special workbook with exercises to help you uncover your why and really dial in this lifestyle, as well as teaching you all the tips and tricks to make plant-based cooking and eating that much easier. Sign up at engine2.com and use the code plantstrong for a $50 discount. Our next 10-week tribe starts very soon.

Adam Sud: I've lost 200 pounds and I've got off all my psych meds in a year, all my antidepressants, mood stabilizers, sleeping medications, anxiety medications, ADHD medications.

Rip Esselstyn: And are you currently on any medications right now?

Adam Sud: No, I'm on no medications. I haven't been on medications for six years.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah. How does that feel?

Adam Sud: It's interesting because you'd think that that would be like the most profound thing, would be like getting off the medication. It was just another step in the process for me. It wasn't really like, I have made it, I'm off my meds. It's more like yeah, that's expected.

Rip Esselstyn: Well, then what well, what's been the greatest step in the process?

Adam Sud: The greatest step in the process was honestly, there's few moments in my life that are like these key moments that really signified to me that I'm truly in alignment with how I want to move through the world. The first is in 2015, I was back here in Austin. It was right before I came to see you actually, and my dad had asked me to go for a run with him and my dad never asked me to go for a run. He's been a solo runner his whole life.

Adam Sud: And the only times he had ever asked me to go for a walk with him before was when he wanted to talk to me about shit that was going wrong in my life. And it was always very invasive. It felt like an invasion of me and we're running over ... We're on town lake, we're running over that little bridge-

Rip Esselstyn: The Footbridge?

Adam Sud: The Footbridge. Not the one by the high school, but the other one, little wooden one.

Rip Esselstyn: Okay. Yeah.

Adam Sud: And we're going over and I look over at my dad and he's just in step, in his pace running and we're not saying anything to each other and I had this clear understanding that I was with him not because he wanted to try and fix anything with me, but because he wanted to share a moment of running with his son. And that moment is one of the most like surreal moments of my life because I knew in that moment my dad just wanted to be with me.

Rip Esselstyn: Well, as someone who knows your father, knows your family, your father is a very amazing, special man.

Adam Sud: He is.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah.

Adam Sud: Yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: So that's one moment.

Adam Sud: That's number one. Number two is actually before that. My sister and I weren't talking for pretty much two years. The only time we would ever talk is if we found ourselves at family events together and we'd have to do these courtesies, and I don't blame her for it all. I don't do the AA thing, but I find it important that every year that I get another year of sobriety, even though I typically don't count days, is to go there and receive a chip.

Adam Sud: My first year of sobriety I went to an AA meeting and for whatever reason my parents weren't able to come out. My brother wasn't able to come out because he was back in school and my sister was in the front row. She handed me my chip, we hugged and it was really special. And now my sister and I are incredibly close.

Rip Esselstyn: But with your sister, I know you've talked about how she, at times, she was one of your family members that was always the hardest on you, I think.

Adam Sud: Yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: If I'm not mistaken.

Adam Sud: Oh yeah. I mean, she never held back. That's one of the things I really love about Jules, is she will tell it like it is. She basically was like, "I can't talk to you if you're on drugs." And I get it. It wasn't being mean. It wasn't because she didn't want to be with me. It was because it was probably really terrifying to know how messed up I was and to realize it was getting worse and then one day she could wake up and I wouldn't be there.

Rip Esselstyn: Third.

Adam Sud: Third.

Rip Esselstyn: Bobby.

Adam Sud: Bobby. My twin brother in 2016 was 290 pounds-ish, had diabetes, was very depressed. And I asked him if he would be willing to move in with me in Santa Monica and live my lifestyle for six months. I told him that look, this is only about behavior and how you're moving through the world. This has nothing to do with who you are as a person and in fact, it's because I love who you are as a person that I want to offer this thing to you, I want you to move in with me. And he agreed and we met with Dr. Matt Lederman and got his blood work done.

Rip Esselstyn: For people who don't know, Matt Lederman's the physician in Forks Over Knives.

Adam Sud: Yeah, exactly. And in three weeks or six weeks Bobby's blood glucose was completely in a healthy range. So his diabetes was completely ... his numbers were completely healthy unmedicated. And in three months, he had lost 50 pounds. He's lost close to 100 pounds as of this point, but what's really amazing is I got to watch him connect to what is truly meaningful for him in life, and that's this being a voice for the voiceless, being a real activist in the animal rights movement and working with some incredible people like Sean Munson, the Director of Earthlings.

Adam Sud: And he comes up to me and he says Joseph Campbell, who's a American philosopher and author, says that people are not so much looking for the meaning of life as much as they are the experience of being alive and that's what you've given back to me. What I heard was that by simply being with my brother, asking nothing in return, just giving of myself, he was able to reconnect to his authentic way of being and truly like become alive again, and that's what I want for myself. And those three moments have been the markers of change.

Rip Esselstyn: Well, what a great gift that you gave Bobby there and then he was able to find his authentic self, and now he's doing such amazing stuff. But what I love about every example that you just said, from your father to Jules to Bobby, is that it all boomerangs back to what you said about connection and bonds. And you've got those back now with some of the most important people in your life.

Adam Sud: Yeah. I mean, my mom and my dad and my brother and my sister, they're everything to me. And it's that connection, reconnecting to that, those truly meaningful bonds, that allow me to have this sense that I am living in alignment with my authentic self.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah. I want to ask you a question. And this is this comes from Ami Mackey.

Adam Sud: Sure.

Rip Esselstyn: She's, as you know, one of our Rescue 10x coaches.

Adam Sud: Yeah, I love Ami.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah, Ami's been deep in the trenches for gosh, a good seven, eight years now with Engine 2, but her question is, how does someone overcome shame? Shame from overeating, shame from failing at goals, shame from letting down loved ones?

Adam Sud: Sure. Shame is crippling, and shame comes from a sense that there's something that you're doing wrong. And we have to understand that at all points in our lives we're doing the best we can with what we know how to do sometimes we make it through life and it's really messy. Sometimes we make it through times in our lives and we're doing really well. Sometimes we crawl. Sometimes we dance.

Adam Sud: I like to say there's no such thing as trial and error. There's trial and learning. The idea that I can look at myself and say, "Oh, I should be ashamed of the way that I lived my life before, but I didn't know any other way to live as a healthy emotional or physical person. That's the only way that I knew how to make it through the day and be able to protect what I thought I needed protect about myself." So once I accepted that hey, you know what? I don't know any other way of doing it and that's okay.

Adam Sud: I was finally willing to listen to what anyone else was willing to offer me in regards to health and say, "Okay, no matter how I feel about it I'm not going to judge myself for feeling that way. I'm going to take what you have to say and I'm going to try it. If it works, I'll keep it. If it doesn't, I'll try something else." Once I stopped trying to be right all the time I was able to make more change than I've ever made in my life and it's because it's not about making who's right or who's wrong. It's not about making a point. It's about making a difference in yourself and how you move through the world.

Adam Sud: Once you stop caring about whether it's right or it's wrong. Whether or not it's in alignment with how you want to move through the world or it's not, the shame goes away, because it's nobody's fault for ending up sick of they didn't know any better. Once you know better, you do better, the Maya Angelou quote. And no one's perfect. You can know better and you can try and you can do well and things happen.

Adam Sud: The road that you start on does not have to be the road that you finish on. It certainly isn't for me. I don't believe it is for anybody. Don't judge yourself for feeling. Feeling is the most human thing any of us can do. It's a beautiful thing to feel. It's what unites humans. I know that the one thing I'm going to have in common with every human on the planet regardless of race, regardless of age, gender, sexual preference, whatever, at the end of the day we've all felt and to live feelingly without judgment is the most incredible thing you can do. And these feelings that we have are reasonable responses to love.

Rip Esselstyn: Okay, I love all that a lot. So for somebody that is listening right now and they are feeling exactly the way you used to feel, what would you say to them?

Adam Sud: Yeah, I would say well one, depending on what they're feeling like okay, so what do you think that those feelings are trying to tell you? One, recognize that those feelings that you have are completely healthy and completely human. What are they trying to tell you about what you're disconnecting from?

Adam Sud: So for example, someone could say, "All right, why are you so angry all the time, Adam, when you're dealing with substance abuse? Why are you so angry all the time?" I'm angry because I was so greatly disconnected from what mattered most to me. I was angry because I couldn't be with my family and just be with them. Okay. Well, how can I do that? In order to do that I need to start changing the way that I feel myself, changing the way that I talk to myself and not need to be right all the time because at the end of the day no one cares who's right or who's wrong.

Adam Sud: They sure didn't care with me. My ego was running the show the first few weeks in rehab. I needed to be right because if I was wrong they were right and I didn't want to be wrong. But once I started saying I don't care about being right or wrong and did what they said-

Rip Esselstyn: So is that kind of letting go of your ego?

Adam Sud: It's huge. It's all about letting go of the ego. Ego is the biggest problem that people have when they're trying to make lifestyle change because we need to feel like we have an understanding of what we're doing. We need to feel like our future makes sense to us and we know how to get there in an effective way. And our ego tells us that no matter what's going on in our life, we got a handle on it. I know what I'm doing. And it's okay not to. Just let that go and just focus on seven days, you know what, maybe I don't know. I'm gonna try this. I'm just going to try it and I'll see what happens.

Rip Esselstyn: We were having lunch the other day at the Austin-

Adam Sud: ATX Food Company.

Rip Esselstyn: ATX Food Company.

Adam Sud: It's the best.

Rip Esselstyn: I had ... Oh my gosh, I had that bowl of the goodness gracious, it was amazing, but you reframed for me something about addiction that I've never quite heard it put that way. Could you-

Adam Sud: Sure. What I do now, really my passion is working with addiction and self-love and stuff like that. We look at the addiction model that we have and there's great book out there called Chasing the Scream and another one called Lost Connections, that really talks about what I'm about to talk about right now. We have this idea that addiction is simply this. You look at the model, you put a rat in a cage and you give it water and food or water laced with cocaine or heroin and once the rat tries the cocaine water it will do this over and over again and it'll die. And so there you go. That's addiction, that once you try it enough times, you're hooked and there you go, that's it.

Adam Sud: And then there was this researcher in mid '70s in Canada named Bruce Alexander. He took a look at this situation. He was working with people with addiction at that time and he goes, well, hang on a second. They put this rat in an empty cage. It has no choice but to do the food or the water with heroin, that's not anybody's situation. So what he did was he created this experiment called Rat Park, where there's a rat and they had loads of other rats that they could do everything that gives a rat meaning in its life.

Adam Sud: They could have loads of sex, they had loads of food, there was colored balls they could play with, everything that would make a rat feel like it had a meaningful existence and they had the drugged water. And what he found in Rat Park was that they don't like the drugged water. They almost never use it. None of them use it compulsively and none of them ever overdosed. So the question is, is addiction less about your brain and more about your cage? Is it speaking more about-

Rip Esselstyn: The cage we create for ourselves.

Adam Sud: Exactly, this disconnection from what's truly meaningful and how we sort of craft this cage that we've been in that is too painful a place to live in and so when the opportunity for us to escape that painful life presents itself in any form that gives you pleasure. Like I said, there's no chemical hooks in gambling. There's no like actual chemical hook in gambling like there is in heroin or cocaine. But I guarantee you, there's a lot of people who are addicted to gambling, a lot of people who are addicted to shopping, to sex, to all these other things, but they're not addicted to the substance. They're addicted to the fact that they found something that allows them to escape this life that's too painful place to be. That's addiction.

Adam Sud: But what we're talking about, the other is dependency. If I were to take you for example and give you heroin every day of this week and then take it away from you, there's a very good chance you will go through painful withdrawal. And if I were to offer you heroin to end that pain, you would know that heroin is going to further destroy your life, but the opportunity to end that pain is so great that you might agree to take it and someone would look at you and say, "Oh, he's addicted to heroin." No, you're dependent upon it at this point.

Adam Sud: There's a huge difference between dependency and addiction and I think that if we start to view addiction as what it really is, less about a dependency to chemical hooks and more about an adaptation to how we live our life, that we're actually going to be able to help a lot more people.

Rip Esselstyn: So you right now ... I mean, every time I see you just seem like you're kind of on fire. You have all these exciting projects that you're working on. What's the most exciting thing that kind of gets you fired up every morning besides your bowl of oatmeal and 4:30 AM because you just can't wait to wake up to down that thing.

Adam Sud: I can't. 5 o'clock too late. It's too long the wait.

Rip Esselstyn: I love that. I love that quote, 5 o'clock is-

Adam Sud: It's too long. It's too long to wait man. Why would I want to wait that long? I can get up at 4:30. I want to. That's the thing I want to say. The reason why I've been able to do this continuously is because I want to. That's it. I found a reason strong enough that's based in love that makes me want to get up and do this every single day.

Rip Esselstyn: We just need everybody to find that same reason to get up, chow down the oatmeal and kind of lead with love.

Adam Sud: Yeah, people will say, how big of a part of your journey is the self-love part? It's the whole freaking thing. But right now what I'm really excited about is I founded a nonprofit called Plant Based for Positive Change. And the reason I did this was because I wanted to spearhead a research study to study the effects of plant-based nutrition on addiction recovery.

Adam Sud: I partnered with the health and science research team at Northern Arizona University and I partnered with a recovery center here in Austin, Texas, and we're going to lead the very first randomized controlled trial to explore the effects of introducing a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet into early addiction recovery. And amazingly, when we were developing the protocol, I'm working with one of my closest friends, Tara Kemp on this, what you do when you do a research study is whatever your outcome is, you go back into the research that exists and try to find the gold standard of what's the gold standard of outcomes and what can we judge our results against?

Rip Esselstyn: What did you find?

Adam Sud: There's never been a study done ever on any diet and its impact on early addiction recovery.

Rip Esselstyn: I mean, if I was a betting man, I would say this will be a game changer.

Adam Sud: Yeah, I do too and what's even more incredible is that doctors Dean and Ayesha Sherzai are partnered with me on this research study. What we're doing is we're going to be doing microbiome samples, we're going to be doing full lipid panels adding inflammatory markers that we're going to, study we're doing regular mood scores, anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive drug use, mania.

Adam Sud: And what we're going to see ... This is a randomized controlled trial. So we're going to have the intervention group and the control group, both of them being measured the exact same way, is we're going to see how changes in gut health and changes in inflammatory markers relate to changes in mood scores over the course of the early addiction recovery period, those first 10 weeks to six months.

Adam Sud: We know it's going to be profound because the data isn't there at all. So we're bringing the first data ever on it to the world, but I think what we're going to find is that it has a very significant impact.

Rip Esselstyn: I can't wait to hear about it. It's going to be amazing. That's so huge that I would be getting up at 3:31 AM just to kind of make that happen. So Adam, I would love it if people could hang with you, hang with me, hang with the Engine 2 team. Our next Immersion, it's going to be in Sedona, Arizona-

Adam Sud: Yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: ... in early October. Can you just say a few words about the Immersion and why people should come?

Adam Sud: The Immersion is, like for me it's a very special place. What it is, is that it is an opportunity for you to really explore how you want to move through the world. You're led by some of the greatest thought leaders out there, people like your dad, your mom and your sister,, yourself, of course.

Rip Esselstyn: Dr. Michael Klaper.

Adam Sud: Dr. Michael Klaper.

Rip Esselstyn: Doug Lisle.

Adam Sud: Doug Lisle. These people that had a profound impact on how I changed my life and I know have a profound impact on everybody who's attended an Immersion, but there's an energy at these Immersions that is indescribable, where what's so amazing is that people get there and they talk about their health issues on the first day when we do that big circle up when like why are you here, in one minute describe why you're here, where you're from, that whole thing.

Adam Sud: They talk about their health issues, they talk about people maybe that they've lost, but when they leave on that last night, when we do it again, people talk about how they feel and this kind of awakening experience that they've had and it's truly transforming in a way that is almost indescribable. I mean, I think it is maybe one of the most profound experiences I know that I've ever had and that probably a lot of these people have ever had. Just there's something about the Engine 2 retreats that it's just magic.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah. To me, the only thing that is more profound is watching what's happened to you over the last nine years, grow into this true gentleman-

Adam Sud: Thank you.

Rip Esselstyn: ... that is now doing so much good in this world and it's connected and created so many wonderful relationships. Good on ya, Adam.

Adam Sud: Thanks. I couldn't have done it without you.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah. Well, peace, Engine 2-

Adam Sud: Plant-strong.

Rip Esselstyn: Keep it plant-strong. Thanks for being on the podcast.

Adam Sud: Thank you. My pleasure.

Rip Esselstyn: All right. If you'd like to attend an Engine 2 Immersion with Adam and the rest of the Engine 2 team, I want you to know that I would love nothing more than to spend a week with you. Like Adam said, witnessing the transformation that unfolds during these retreats has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life since I've become an advocate for plant-based living. If you'd like to join us visit Engine2.com and click on events. I hope to see you in Black Mountain, North Carolina or Sedona, Arizona. And please, use the code plantstrong for $100 off your Immersion.

Rip Esselstyn: I want to thank my co-creator of the podcast, Scott Battishill of 10-Percent Media, Laurie Kortowich, producer extraordinaire and director of Engine 2 events, Ami Mackey, Engine 2's curator of creative content, Wade Clark with Bumble Media, our audio engineer and Carrie Barrett for technical production.

Rip Esselstyn: I have to thank my parents, Anne and Essie, who have been such guiding lights and inspirations over the years, as well as the great pioneers of this movement who have been pushing this boulder up the mountain. As they say, we are standing on the shoulders of giants. Remember, if you're digging the show, please rate us at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google play or wherever you get your podcasts. And with that let me say peace, Engine 2, keep it plant-strong.

Ami Mackey