Aloha! Isn’t this new technology amazing?! In the late 80’s people handed out pamphlets, photocopies or used alternative newspapers to communicate information that wasn’t in the commercial news. Back then, that method didn’t go over much better than it does today. It works, but it’s pretty slow. Generations slow for some ideas – but better late than never!

I tried exercising my way out of my overweight, depressed self more than once, but at 235 lbs it seemed a most daunting task, and it always felt like an uphill battle. Trying to do enough sit-ups and pushups and jumping jacks to even lose a pound seemed difficult, and I did try. More than a few times. I couldn’t run without getting winded at the end of a single block. But then one day something happened and moments later I found a Markus Rothkranz video about Manzanita and silk tassel, and I recognized this man was genuinely happy and it reminded me of when I too, was genuinely happy. When I found out he was a year older than myself, I decided right then I was going raw vegan and immediately went online and ordered a drinking water filter, a shower dechlorinator and a food dehydrator with temperature control. We’ve had a Champion juicer for almost 23 years and it’s still working like a champ so I began using it right away.

By the second week of going raw vegan I had flipped emotional poles, and when we express gratitude for life to the point where tears of joy are streaming down our face, I think it makes one pushup count as 100. It seems that way because I didn’t exercise that much, relatively speaking, to lose the 80lbs and get ripped in ten months. I danced almost everyday, I have a few light weights for curls, a rubber band thing, and I ran and walked a lot. I like simple explanations, is it not simply obvious that if one does 50 pushups and later eats a cheese pizza the results would be less than if one does 50 pushups and drinks a fresh salad? I still blend my morning smoothie salads, most often mixed with fruit. My weight started at 235lbs in December 2011 and by the 6th month I was at 155lbs; the same weight I was when I was 18. Every time I checked the scale for the next 5 months it was always 155lbs so I figured that must be my normal weight.

The entire time I continued to marvel at the people online who share their work and kept positive, spreading the message of Love and gratitude for this blessed moment; online even it comes.

At one point in my new vegan life, the opportunity came up for me to work with the one business I loved the most. 25 years ago I worked with the greatest exporter of a fabric I had fallen in love with from the moment my eyes fell upon it’s splendor – the hand-woven ikat fabrics from the highlands of Guatemala. An old friend heard I was vegan and introduced me to his designer friend from Milan, Italy because she was a vegan too (and has been for over 20 years), and is currently living in Guatemala. Since my vegan daughters and their skinny friends had been digging through our old stock of Guatemala bags and accessories, I took a trip down there to see what we could come up with collaboratively. The result is a new line of bags we’re producing that are high-tech and all non-animal materials, combined with the hand-woven cotton ikat fabric artistry I love. Our new Lento vegan brand is completely original and available exclusively at Guatemala Imports.

The last two weeks of my trip to Guatemala I became so busy that I simply did not eat enough, and I was always hungry. In those last two weeks I still felt great and had lots of energy, but by the time I returned to the United States of America I weighed in at 145 lbs. and my hostess said I was “gaunt” and what was wrong with me always saying I’m hungry but I won’t eat. So, bless her, I ate what she made for me, a huge plate of beautiful pasta and some cheese potatoes. I survived but it wasn’t energizing I assure you. The adjustment and culture shock upon my return took a toll, and there was a lot of indulging in cooked vegan foods the next few months where I continued to stay about 50% raw, and gained weight back all the way to 165lbs. When I heard about the PETA Sexiest Vegan Next Door contest I entered and whaddya know, they accepted me. When I made the top ten finalists I thought I had a chance to win but alas, no dice. Next time I wear a suit and tie (male lingerie).

A few new discoveries:
1. 100% raw seems different now than anything less
2. I don’t just *look* younger I *am* younger
3. eating cooked food seems far less appealing now

Love, sunshine and best wishes to you and your loved ones, dear reader. Make the most out of however many days you have left because one thing I’ve learned in life is that nothing lasts forever. Thank you to all my raw food peeps and vegan peeps and all you with the indigenous sols who likewise know we can, together, build a better world for everyone with respect for all animals including homo sapiens. Eat more plants and be well!


Joseph Hill Plant Powered Living

Joseph Hill’s Inspirational Health Transformation