Joe Hunt Loses 100 Pounds and Gets Off of His Medications + Plant Based Smoky Potato Corn Chowder


Oh man dirtyland, do I have a doozy for you!

I want to talk about Joe Hunt. If you’re in our private Facebook group, you’ve seen these two love birds around. One of my favorite transformations to date is that of Joe Hunt.

Here’s a snippet from the man himself:

“I’ve lost 97 pounds so far. I had a 62″ waist last November (2016) and now it’s 42″ (2017). Still big but going the right direction. I haven’t been back for labs recently, but my blood pressure is still excellent and I am off my cholesterol medication. I’m able to do many more physical activities, like walking, hiking, riding my bike, etc… than I could this time last year.

I have had chronic plantar fasciitis (stabbing pain in heels and feet) for years which has not bothered me in months now. That’s been a huge relief. My digestive issues have completely stopped. I no longer have to take medication for acid reflux and I no longer have bathroom issues.

A year ago I was a walking health time bomb. Now I feel empowered to keep my life changing for the better. I have some self esteem issues, always have, but now I am in control of how I feel and how I eat. I have Molly and the Facebook group to thank for getting me this far. The power of positive support is a wonderful thing!” Joe Hunt

Image below: Joe, then and now.

Joe is a straight up dude. He was the guy who ate steak for dinner, talked shit about vegans, and wouldn’t eat vegetables. He is going to be super relatable to Whole Food Plant Based naysayers who need to get their health in order.

This is exactly why I sat down with him last month via Skype and had an incredibly candid chat about his process on this path. Not all of it is glittery roses, but it’s real life, and life isn’t always sparkly. If you have someone in your life who is resistant to trying out a Whole Food Plant Based diet, you might want to invite them to sit down with you and watch today’s video. Watch out for the blooper we left in at about minute six. Also, slap on a pair of headphones if there are little ones around because, well, you know how I roll with the language.

I had an incredible time chatting with Joe and I am absolutely honored to have played a small role in his progress. I might have been there to help guide him, but he put the work in (along with his beautiful wife, Tracie of course!). Joe, you have a special place in my heart and I am incredibly proud of you and what you have accomplished so far.

Check out the video below and then swoop up today’s plant based recipe and make it for the dude in your life. Check out our Plant Fueled Meal Plans and experience for yourself first hand how Joe turned his life around. Take a free test drive of the meal plan trial so you can get your feet wet before jumping all in.

Talk to me in the comments below if you have any questions or struggles you’re dealing with.

Smoky Potato Corn Chowder

Makes about 8 cups
Author: Molly Patrick


  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (about 10 turns)
  • 6 cups red potatoes, unpeeled and cut into ½" cubes (810 g)
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced (150 g)
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced (160 g)
  • 3 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (710 ml)
  • 1 cup water (240 ml)
  • cup frozen corn kernels (140 g)
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped (5 g / any variety)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (5 g)
  • 1 teaspoon 100% pure maple syrup


  • Measure out all the spices and place them into a small bowl and set aside for now. Prep and measure out the veggies. 
  • Heat a pot over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, bell pepper, and onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently and adding a splash of water to keep them from sticking to the pot. Add the spices that you set aside earlier and cook for 1 additional minute, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the non-dairy milk and water, turn the heat to medium-high until it begins to bubble, and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Remove about a quarter of the soup, place it in your blender, and blend until creamy and smooth. 
  • Return blended soup to the stock pot, along with the frozen corn kernels, parsley, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, and black pepper. Stir. 

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with gearing up to heal your bod.


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Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. Carolyn Connolly on November 25, 2017 at 10:12 am

    5 stars
    Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! It was wonderful to hear your story Joe. What you said about the cravings hitting in August was just so what I needed to hear. I’ve been having crazy cravings lately and I didn’t associate them to this time of year. The Holidays are always so stressful for me. Thank you for your candidness. You are AMAZING! Thank you Molly, again, for all you do!

  2. Ronda Yandle on November 25, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    5 stars
    Wow, I would just like to say, Molly Patrick, that the interview with Joe Hunt was so touching! I always enjoy the interviews with all of the ladies you have talked to, but I have to say, listening to you Joe, seeing the emotion on your face, and listening to what you have been through, just really hit home to me. It is really refreshing to see a man truly share his feelings (which is not something I have really ever witnessed in my life), and I am so proud of you for doing what you are doing, and I am so impressed that you were willing to share it with all of us!! Well Done!! :o)

  3. Laura on November 25, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    5 stars
    I’m 58, same as Joe. Time to take my life back. Thanks for the inspiration Molly and Joe.

    • Molly Patrick on November 25, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      It’s never too late, Laura.
      You got this.

  4. Debbie Russell on November 25, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    4 stars
    I would really like to change my eating habits and also stop drinking, but I don’t have the time to spend cooking on the weekends, plus I live in a very small house and don’t have a freezer. The other issue I see is that I DO NOT like squash, mushrooms, walnuts or beets. Pretty much all the good stuff that makes your menus amazing. My husband will not eat like this and I don’t have any friends to do this with. Not sure where to go from here.

    I did purchase an Insta-Pot, but it manual timer setting does not work. Bummed.

    • Amanda on November 29, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      I’ve been doing this for a year and sometimes I do the plan to the ‘T,’ and other times, if I’m short on time or energy, I pick and choose recipes (haven’t tried doing the quick batch option yet). If I’m not interested in something on the menu, I’ll often just double one that sounds yummy. I haven’t had to freeze a single item I’ve made, and think the only frozen item I’ve had to purchase is corn, where fresh would have worked just as well.

      My husband hates mushrooms and I hate beets, so I generally sub those items (often lentils or extra bell peppers for mushrooms; whatever I fancy for the beets) and I do not see walnuts and squash too often.

      My advice would be to buy an old plan that looks friendly and give it a shot. I’d recommend November 3rd…or any of the ones from March. That was a good month. 🙂

      I haven’t received any deprecating phone calls or emails from any of the Dirty Ladies (Nasty Women?), so I’d say making ingredient swaps and doing what works for me and my fam seems to be legal.

      Sometimes, dare I say, I even find other recipes on the internet. Shh.

      In addition, try chatting with the family in the Facebook Private Group. They have plenty of advice and motivation to offer.

      Good luck to you.


      • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on November 29, 2017 at 6:30 pm

        Amanda, you rock. Thanks for posting. I Dirty Girl promise you that there are no illegal food subs. 🙂 If it helps you eat more plants, do it!

        Team Dirty Girl

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on November 29, 2017 at 6:21 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      Sometimes I do my batch cooking during the week, over two nights, in case that helps. And sometimes, I never get to batch cooking and I scrape meals together that aren’t all that healthy. I do the best I can one day at a time. In my most supportive voice, check out this blog post from Molly on finding time.

      As far as food preferences, as long as you are not dealing with food allergies, your palate is malleable and can be changed if you’re willing to try foods that you aren’t down with in some different forms to see if you can develop a taste that allows you to start becoming familiar with / liking the flavor. I used to despise beets and tofu and, when I was a kid, any nut that wasn’t in the form of peanut butter. But, I kept trying foods prepared in different ways and I actually overcame my distaste of whole nuts when I was a teenager working at, of all places, Dairy Queen. Not that I recommend you do this, but it turns out the pecan cluster Blizzard is a legit way to learn to like pecans and as far as walnuts, which I couldn’t stand, they’re pretty delish soaked in maple syrup (wet nuts) and served with hot fudge. Sometimes, the end justifies the means. I haven’t had DQ in a long time (I don’t do dairy anymore) but I love both of those nuts now. And, I learned to like beets from a restaurant in Philadelphia that makes an incredible beet salad (it’s creamy, like a pate) with tahini. The first time I tasted it, I was incredulous that beets could taste so good. And sure enough, over time, I now have no problem adding beets to smoothies or eating them roasted or even in soup.

      But, even if you are set in stone with your palate, it’s totally doable to swap out ingredients. Our FB group gets a lot of this type of question for food preference and allergy concerns.

      I encourage you to not get discouraged. The fact that you are posting and saying you want to change is HUGE. Another great blog post from Molly talks about why you don’t have to feel like all-in is the only way, small changes are JUST as important.

      And you should totally contact Instant Pot to get an exchange! That’s such a bummer.

      Thanks for checking out the blog and posting. If you are not already in our FB group, feel free to join us! Lots of support and encouragement regardless of where you are in trying to eat more plants.

      Team Dirty Girl

    • Tracy on December 14, 2017 at 6:34 am


      You don’t have to feel alone! We are all here around the WORLD to help! Just start by eliminating animal products and adding the vegetables and fruits you like… just start.. and you’ll evolve! It’s progress.. not perfection.


  5. Becky on November 25, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    I love the honesty and in-the-momentness Joe shares about his food, life, and (mostly former) health issues. Favorite quote, “If you say you can’t, then you won’t”. Thanks for the motivation to keep plugging along and to do the best we can as we go.
    And this recipe sounds divine!! Going into next weeks meals for sure!

  6. Maggie on November 26, 2017 at 7:30 am

    This was such an amazing interview. Thank you for being so open, Joe! Your journey is incredibly inspiring!

  7. rhonda on December 2, 2017 at 7:38 am

    5 stars
    Potato corn chowder was delicious. Prepared in instant pot as written. Thick and creamy. Made approximately 8 cups. Will definitely make this again…perhaps adding a few frozen green peas in at the end with the corn.

    Thank you for yet another wonderful recipe!


    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on December 3, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Hi Rhonda,

      I saw your reply and made this chowder too. We loved it too! Thanks for letting us know you liked it!

      Team Dirty Girl

  8. Richelle on December 13, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    4 stars
    This was very tasty and so easy in my IP. Two questions. When I first removed the lid it looked super separated. Like curdled. I used organic soy milk. I know non dairy milks can be finicky. I just stirred it up and after I added the blended portion it looked somewhat better. Is that normal? Also, I have the 8 quart IP. Can I safely double this? When all is said and done it wasn’t even to the halfway Mark’s on the inner pot. Thanks so much ladies! Keep up all the great work!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on December 14, 2017 at 7:08 am

      Hi Richelle,

      When I made, mine separated as well and I used organic unsweetened soy milk. It was fine once I blended it and tasted delicious. As far as doubling the recipe, Instant Pot says the following from their web site under the Lux Model (you can check out the other models there if you don’t have Lux):

      “For all pressure-cooking programs the total amount of pre-cooked food and liquid in the inner pot should not pass the 2/3 line. When preparing food that expands during cooking such as rice, beans or vegetables, the inner pot should not pass the ½ line. Over filling the inner pot may risk clogging the steam release and developing excess pressure. This may cause leakage, personal injuries, or damage to the cooker.

      Note: Fill level warnings do not apply to non-pressure cooking programs.”

      I made my batch in a 5 quart Lux-50 Instant Pot and it was fine. It was above half way mark but definitely not above 2/3 mark. I think you’d *probably* be ok doubling it in an 8 quart as long as you don’t go above that 2/3 full line.

      Team Dirty Girl

  9. Jaime Hardwick on December 30, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    5 stars
    I made this for my husband and dad while visiting my parents, and they LOVED it! I didn’t have an onion so I used chives and some onion powder. Also didn’t have nutritional yeast on hand, so I left that out. Added additional salt and smoked paprika because I’m a flavor junkie. So so so good. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!

  10. Jean on January 23, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Love chowder

  11. Abby on February 4, 2018 at 4:47 am

    I would like to try this recipe, it looks great. What are garlic granules? Is that the same as garlic powder?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on February 5, 2018 at 9:45 am

      Hi Abby, garlic granules are a slightly larger grain of dried garlic than powder. Garlic powder works too, though, if that’s what you have on hand.

      Team Dirty Girl

  12. Karla Strauss on December 24, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    5 stars
    Molly, I made this chowder tonight and just want to say, AWESOME!!!! I have an 8qt. instant pot so I doubled the recipe keeping my fingers crossed we would love it. Well low and behold I am in love! Non vegan hubby and I each had 2 healthy soup mugs full and I can’t wait to have more for lunch tomorrow. Thank you for all the great recipes you develop. Happy Holidays to you.

  13. Sandi on January 24, 2019 at 6:45 am

    5 stars
    How many servings and how many calories are in this recipe? It is absolutely delicious!!!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 24, 2019 at 12:25 pm

      Hi Sandi, it depends on if you are only serving this or serving it with other food. This alone, 4 servings. With other food, probably 6. As far as calories, we do not calculate the nutrient content of our recipes. Molly is keen on keeping the recipes and the meal plans away from a dieting mindset and she talks about that here. It’s certainly possible to run the ingredients through one of the freely available nutrient trackers to calculate them if you like. ~Karen

  14. Christine on February 1, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    5 stars
    It’s almost embarassing how much I love this soup. I make it far more often than I probably should. It is absolutely amazing. I change it up now and then by adding kale and chickpeas, but it’s wonderful just as written!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on February 2, 2019 at 8:38 am

      Thanks for stopping by, Christine! I haven’t made this soup in awhile, I need to make it again soon. ~Karen

  15. Jessica Barber on June 3, 2019 at 4:36 am

    Can fresh corn be used instead of frozen? Would it need to be added in with the potatoes?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on June 3, 2019 at 5:35 am

      Hi Jessica, yes, fresh corn works and you can cook it with the potatoes. Thanks for stopping by! ~Karen

  16. Audrey on September 5, 2019 at 7:31 pm


    I made this chowder and it was delicious…to make it a bit creamier and give it that chowder consistency I added a small amount of coconut milk.

  17. Lisa Layman on December 10, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    5 stars
    Amazing! Even my carnivore husband loved it!

    I did make a few minor adjustments by making vegetable broth in my instant pot with veggie scraps and some butternut squash to add a little sweetness. Then I used that in place of the water. I waited until after the veggies were cooked to add the plant-based milk. I, also, used my immersion blender to cream some of the vegetables before adding the remaining ingredients.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on December 11, 2019 at 6:08 am

      Hi Lisa! We are so glad you both loved the chowder. Nice alterations on the recipe, too! Thanks for sharing! ~Karen

  18. Sara on January 4, 2020 at 8:30 am

    This chowder looks fantastic— can I ask how many servings it makes?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 4, 2020 at 8:39 am

      Hi Sara, This chowder is SO good – made it for my brother and his wife (omnis) and they loved it. It makes about 8 cups. So, about four 2-cup servings or eight 1-cup servings depending on how you want to serve it. Let us know what you think if you try it! ~Karen

  19. Deanna Tolman on January 8, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    4 stars
    This was delicious – non-vegan hubby loved it. I added some homemade (in my Instant Pot) soy yogurt, and I think it added a nice cheesy tang to the soup.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 8, 2020 at 7:23 pm

      That sounds so good, Deanna! Great idea on the soy yogurt add! ~Karen

  20. Sam on July 24, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Hi! Newbie here with a first time comment! I’m wondering if I could sub sweet potatoes instead? do you think the cook time for stove top would be the same? Looking forward to trying out a bunch of new recipes found on here! thanks for the bad-mouthed inspiration <3

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on July 24, 2020 at 12:41 pm

      Hi Sam! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, sweet potatoes will work just fine. The cook time should not vary, if anything they may cook a bit faster. If you get to the point where you’d like to try an entire week of plant-based dinners, you are welcome to request our Trial plan – it’s free and does not automatically convert to a subscription. If we can help you in any way, send an email to [email protected] and we are glad to do so! ~Karen

  21. Barb on August 25, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    5 stars
    Just made this in the IP. Tastes great! I also like the quantity it makes. Some recipes make enough for a crowd. This is just right.

  22. Maggie G on October 18, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story, Joe. I really wish I would have watched this video sooner, like right after it was posted. I cried throughout the last 10-15 minutes, from the point where you started talking about the illnesses your siblings and nieces are(were) dealing with, illnesses that could be reversed by this WOE, and how you’re leading by example. I’ve mentioned in replies to other CFDG posts that my dad died this year (6 months ago). I wonder if he might have been willing to come around to a healthier way of eating that might have led to him living longer, if I had shown him your video and encouraged him to make the changes. There’s so many “could’ve…”/”should’ve…” thoughts going through my mind. I have to let them go because it’s too late for him. I want to be an example for the rest of my family, though.

  23. Melissa on March 15, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Can I try this in a slow cooker?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl - Karen on March 16, 2021 at 7:17 am

      Hi Melissa – Yes, this recipe could work in a slow cooker. The main thing will be cooking the potatoes long enough. Because we don’t use a slow cooker as a tool in our recipes, I recommend searching the length of time potatoes take to cook in a slow cooker and that will give you a baseline for how long of time you’ll need. If you try it, we’d love to know how the recipe turns out. Thanks for stopping by! ~Karen

  24. Chris Day on September 20, 2022 at 5:25 pm

    5 stars
    A delicious hearty chowder! We’ll make this one again and again.

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