134: Diana Rodgers – Regenerative Farming, Paleo Nutrition, and Kale vs. Cow

By April 7, 2018Podcasts
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Available On:

Whole Life Challenge Podcast on Google Play
Whole Life Challenge Podcast on Google Play
Whole Life Challenge Podcast on Google Play
Whole Life Challenge Podcast on Google Play

Diana Rodgers guest on Andy Petranek PodcastDiana Rodgers, RD, LDN, NTP is a “real food” nutritionist living on a working organic farm near Boston, Massachusetts. The farm runs a vegetable and meat CSA. She is the author of two bestselling cookbooks and runs a clinical nutrition practice.

Diana writes and speaks about the intersection of optimal human nutrition, environmental sustainability, animal welfare and social justice. She also produces The Sustainable Dish Podcast. In her podcast, she interviews experts in the environmental and health movement. Her new film project, Kale vs. Cow, examines the environmental, nutritional, and ethical case for “better meat’.

There is so much I am just starting to learn about sustainable farming practices. The topic is hugely important, and I’m so grateful for people like Diana who are helping to tell the story in a way that most everyone can relate to and understand. She has the unique opportunity to be a practicing paleo nutritionist while living on a farm that sustains itself through its bio-diverse practices.

The story she tells is compelling and relatable – about her very real struggle with food, with the celiac disease that went undiagnosed for years, and her eventual solution through paleo nutrition that resulted in the healing of her gut, body, and life.

She is full of positive energy, great nutritional advice, and is a great resource for sustainable regenerative farming practices. Hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!

Andy Petranek Whole Life Challenge

P.S. If you enjoy the podcast, please help us spread the word by sharing it with your friends, subscribing and leaving a review. Your written reviews in iTunes go a long way in helping us get the word out. Here’s a link to do just that – bit.ly/wlc-podcast. Thanks in advance for your help and support!


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Episode Notes – #134: Diana Rodgers

  • Diana’s roots as a competitive horseback rider, melon-picker, and art education major in college
  • Working in advertising and then for years in the marketing department at Whole Foods Market
  • Her discovery in her 20’s that she had celiac disease
  • Diana’s husband, Andrew, whom she met in college, attended NOLS, majored in English, and was miserable in his first job in an office as a market researcher
  • The series of events that lead to a massive life change
  • BOOK – Wendell Berry’s, The Unsettling of America
  • DOCUMENTARY – “Look & See” – features interviews and observations about Wendell Berry’s agrarian lifestyle
  • Joel Salatin – author, lecturer, and owner of Polyface Farms. Featured in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma
  • Diana & Andrew quit their life as they knew it… and became farmers (Andrew was the farmer, Diana was building her nutrition practice)
  • They moved back to Massachusetts, Andrew went back to school for a Masters in soil science and got a job on a farm.
  • The story behind how they found and purchased their current farm.
  • Life with the kids on the farm
  • How Andrew & Diana run an organic vegetable CSA (community supported agriculture) with about 200 members along with pasture-raised pigs, goats, and chickens for eggs.
  • How Diana got her start as a nutritional therapist.
  • Diana’s nutritional education included the Westin A. Price Foundation and a certification from the Nutritional Therapy Association
  • BOOK – The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf
  • BOOK – Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig
  • Her unplanned experiment with a ketogenic diet.
  • Going back to school to get her R.D. certification along with a 1,200 hour unpaid internship.
  • Diana’s nutritional specialty – getting people’s diet sorted out through a paleo-ish nutritional diet.
  • Why Diana prefers “big change”.
  • Why Diana focuses initially only on food quality.
  • Why “everything in moderation” is bad advice in today’s nutritional landscape.
  • How much protein is the “bare” minimum for weight loss?
  • DOCUMENTARY – What the Health, Cowspiracy – documentaries about factory farming and the meat industries
  • Kale vs. Cow – a case for more, better, grass-fed meat and how ruminants are perhaps the solution (instead of the problem – which is how they are portrayed in the documentaries above).
  • What IS regenerative farming?
  • Why plants and animals living together in symbiosis is a requirement for an ecosystem that you’d find in nature, and for any healthy, organic, farm. The absence of one or the other (plant or animal) necessarily makes it one that requires unnatural human assistance (fertilizer or food).
  • The problem with GMO’s.
  • How ruminants improve the quality of our soil.
  • DOCUMENTARY – Water and Power: A California Heist: A story of how a handful of water barons gained control of the state’s most precious resource.
  • The KEY to regenerative farming – preventing overgrazing and how we do it today using electric fencing.
  • When you allow large herds of animals to just graze wherever they want, it often leads to poor soil quality. What’s needed is good land management.
  • Allan Savory – founder of the Savory Institute.
  • The group-think, non-nuanced problem with the anti-meat movement.
  • Sentient beings
  • Navigating the nutritional options we’re all confronted with each day – grains, meat, chicken, sugar, and simply eating for pure joy.
  • Diana’s goal each day is to get her inbox to zero.
  • She uses a “hi-tech” method for keeping lists – spiral notebooks
  • A trick she uses to help her make decisions about whether to say “yes” to events coming up in the future. (Derek Sivers and “Hell Yeah!”)
  • Humanos.me – an exercise program Diana uses for her workouts at home.
  • Diana’s focus for 2018 – to get her movie made so that it can get released in early 2019.

Connect with Diana Rodgers


Have a question? Have feedback? Want to connect?

Email Andy at podcast@wholelifechallenge.com, or
Connect on social media with Andy directly at Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook
Leave a podcast review – bit.ly/wlc-podcast


If you enjoyed this podcast, here are some others to check out:

77: Nick Green — Thrive Market: On a Mission to Bring Healthy Food to Everyone
119: Bobby Gill of the Savory Institute — Can Cows Save the World?

Andy Petranek on FacebookAndy Petranek on InstagramAndy Petranek on Twitter
Andy Petranek
Andy is what you’d call a modern day Renaissance Man: a former professional trumpeter who attended the Eastman School of Music; a snowboarder, mountain biker, surfer, kayaker, outrigger paddler, mountaineer, and former Marine (Gulf War veteran); a professionally sponsored adventure racer; and the oldest participant to qualify for and participate in the CrossFit Games at the age of 43.

Andy is a certified CHEK Practitioner and holistic lifestyle coach. He holds a spectrum of certifications from CrossFit and is also a Vivobarefoot certified running coach. He has trained as a Zen buddhist and graduated with a Master’s degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

Andy founded CrossFit LA one of the first and most successful CrossFit training centers in the world and the first to be featured in national media. He is the co-founder of the Whole Life Challenge, Inc, currently its president, and is also a consultant and life/business coach. Andy lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Julia, and son, Dashel.

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