Telluride First: Rich Roll Featured at Wellness Summit

Telluride First: Rich Roll Featured at Wellness Summit

Telluride First Foundation’s inaugural conference in Mountain Village features Dr. Deepak Chopra as keynote speaker. Ultra-athlete, plant-based food advocate Rich Roll also top-tier presenter.


Rich offers a Running Clinic, Saturday, September 12, 3:30 -5 p.m. (Don’t be intimidated.)

He speaks about “The PLANTPOWER Way to Life Tranformation on Sunday, September 13, 11 a.m. –12:30 p.m. 

Rich and his wife & co-author Julie Piatt also plan an intensive, Sunday, 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Peaks Resort & Spa: “The PLANTPOWER Way Cooking Workshop,” offering plant-based recipes for the whole family, including their own, based on recipes in their new book, “The PLANTPOWER Way.”

Integrative Wellness Summit takes place Friday, September 11 – Sunday, September 13.

Full schedule here. 

Tickets/passes here.

Please scroll down to the bottom of this story to listen to my podcast featuring Rich Roll & Julie Piatt.

Rich & Julie& their family.

Rich & Julie& their family.

It’s a bird.

It’s a plane.

It’s… Rich Roll.




Getting warmer.

In May 2010, at age 43, Rich Roll, a graduate of Stanford University and Cornell Law School, became one of of the first two super men – the other was colleague Jason Lester – on the planet to complete what amounts to a super-sized triathlon, the EPICS5, a 703-mile adventure of, well, epic proportions that entailed completing five Ironman-distance triathlons on five separate Hawaiian Islands in under six days total.

Rich Roll

Rich Roll

But Rich did not always, ahem, roll that way. Learn the story of Rich Roll’s journey from overweight, alcohol-addicted entertainment attorney to ultra-endurance athlete, motivational speaker, plant-based wellness advocate, and bestselling author at the Telluride First’s inaugural event, the Integrative Wellness Summit.

The event takes place Friday, September 11 – Sunday, September 13, at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village, hosted by the Telluride First Foundation. The event’s keynote speaker is Dr.Deepak Chopra, whose name rhymes with spiritual wellness and alternative medicine.

Other top presenters include Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor, a Harvard-trained neuroanatomist, author of the New York Times bestselling memoir “My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey” and one of the top TED Talkers ever.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, co-author of the “The China Study,” the largest nutrition study ever conducted, is scheduled to present his research on the impact of plant-based nutrition on health, disease, and longevity.

Rich Roll, a hero to a growing global audience of wellness seekers, will talk about his passion: the transformative impact of healthy living and how to model a lifestyle that boosts happiness and longevity.

Rich & Julie, doing what comes naturally.

Rich & Julie, doing what comes naturally.

The story begins seven years ago on the eve of Rich’s 40th birthday, when he was a very different kind of guy.

Focused on career and family, Rich had succumbed to middle age malaise. A classic couch potato mainlining junk food, the former college swimmer was 50-pounds overweight, depressed, and on a crash course with a life-threatening disease.

Three years ago, in a CNN interview, Rich elaborated: “Very late on the eve of my 40th birthday, I was blessed with a precious moment of clarity. Face-to-face with an unforgiving mirror after a losing battle with a simple flight of stairs that left me buckled over and seeing stars, I was shocked out of a long-held denial and forced to confront an uncomfortable truth more painful than my heaving lungs – that I was woefully overweight, terribly unfit, and facing a certain future of heart disease – a trending topic in my genealogy. It was time for a change. A line-in-the-sand, life-altering change. Seizing the moment, I awoke the next day to formulate a plan and put it into action.”

The plan, which Rich dubbed ‘The Experiment,” began when he decided to adopt a 100 percent plant-based whole food diet, a discipline that meant no animal products of any kind.

No chicken.

No fish.

No dairy.



Rich’s expectations were modest enough, drop a few pounds to feel better. Or perhaps watch the regimen blow up so he could return, guilt-free – because he tried so hard – to his beloved nachos, pizzas and cheeseburgers. But just 10 days into the program, Rich Roll found his energy skyrocketing and he had returned to a modest exercise routine. Slowly, the pounds started coming off. Fitness was knocking at his front door.

A few years later, Rich found myself almost 50 pounds lighter with a 10-minute lead and a Day 1 stage victory in the three-day double-Ironman distance triathlon known as the Ultraman Hawaii World Championships.

Think of the hero Dave in the movie “Breaking Away” or Rocky Balboa in “Rocky.”

Think of Rich Roll.

Where there’s a will…


Rich chronicled his odyssey in “Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself,” an inspirational memoir of plant-fueled athletic prowess, which quickly became a #1 bestseller, translated into six languages. Not only did Rich’s story change the way people think about diet, fitness, healthy lifestyle, and elite athletic performance, it serves as a powerful example of the indelible power of the human spirit to face and overcome obstacles. “Finding Ultra” also underlines an ability inherent in all of us to discover, unlock, and unleash the best, most authentic version of ourselves.

But there were still unanswered and persistent questions: What do you guys actually eat? How do I start? How do I get my kids to make healthier choices? Is it possible to eat well on a budget? Where do you get your protein?

“The PlantPower Way: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for the Whole Family,” was the response.


The new book is co-authored by Rich and his wife Julie Piatt, aka SriMati, a plant-based chef, singer-songwriter, spiritual guide, and mother of the couple’s four children. She too has a compelling story to tell.

By embracing a plant-based diet, and simultaneously embarking on a deep meditation practice, Julie healed herself of a large cyst in her neck, which doctors diagnosed as an incurable ailment. The experience provided Julie with an up-front and personal connection to the idea of food as medicine, underlining the miraculous ability of the body to heal itself when supported with pure, whole, living foods and a connection to the soul.

“This is not your typical recipe book. It is a book about hope, and the universally shared belief that any one of us can be better . . . You will not find better guides in that quest,” raved CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

But beyond the fact food can be medicine, beyond the plate, at its core, “The PlantPower Way” is a plant-centric lifestyle primer that provides a highly accessible menu to long-term wellness and vibrant body, mind, and spiritual health.

In 2012, Rich launched the wildly popular weekly Rich Roll Podcast, already downloaded by millions.

To preview to Rich and Julie’s Telluride talk, listen to their latest podcast here.

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