Favorite and Life Changing Podcasts

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Are you a podcast listener? I LOVE podcasts. My addiction started slow, but once I found ones I loved I became hooked. There are podcasts for any niche thing you are into. I find I would much rather spend time listening to something that really resonates with me or be learning something over most (not all) of the mindless shows on television.

I have many favorites that have either helped me in some way, or I’ve learned something from or I just flat out find them entertaining! I thought I’d share some of my favorites.

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Personal Development/Health and Wellness

Happier with Gretchen Rubin/Happier in Hollywood
Goes without saying that I’m a huge fan of her work. This show has all three of things I was talking about. I learn little tips and tricks to use in my life, it’s helped me to focus on what is important and it’s super entertaining. It’s where I began my second Happiness Project that sent everything in motion for me and how I started my “18 for 2018” lists and every year after.

Happier in Hollywood is Gretchen’s sister Elizabeth’s podcast that she does with her TV writing partner Sara Fain. In the same vein as Happier but with the twist of life in LA as TV writers.

Balanced Bites
This one is no longer producing new episodes but you can still access all the previous years of content. This was PERFECT for me when I began my paleo lifestyle. Diane SanFilippo and Liz Wolfe are just a fountain of knowledge when it comes to clean eating.

The Doctor’s Farmacy with Dr. Mark Hyman
This took my knowledge of wellness and food to a whole other level. His guests are top-notch! He goes beyond just “what should we eat”. He dives into climate change, farming, mindfulness, mental illness, social justice and list goes on. He has truly opened my eyes to the BIGGER picture and has inspired me to get involved with food advocacy. Future project!

Infinite Potential with Deepak Chopra
Another teacher/mentor I have learned so much from . With all of his 21-day Meditation Experiences I did, this was a no brainer. Every week Deepak interviews a guest to discuss everything mind, body, spirit and beyond.

Ten Percent Happier
If you are familiar with Dan Harris from ABC News you are probably already aware of this podcast. Every week he interviews a mediation teacher or leader. I always come away inspired and motivated and I learn something new every single time.

Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
It’s Oprah! What’s not to love? I’m a fan of SuperSoul Conversations on TV but if I miss the episodes, I can always find them here.

The Sheri and Nancy Show
If you are a woman 40+ I guarantee you will find this show not only relatable but entertaining! Sheri spent most of her career as Oprah’s producer and now with her friend Nancy they are working on their “pillars” for all of us to hear and learn from. This show is great. It’s all about the second half of life. Sheri is 60 and has no intention of slowing into retirement. What keeps you alive are all the things I talk about on my blog and on this show they are sharing what happens as they work on all of those things. This show gave me a total mindset shift. When I was approaching 50, I kept thinking, I can’t believe I finally figured out how to live and it’s almost over. I was sad about that for a while, but after listening to this podcast I have a whole new attitude. When I tell people my age I also add that “I’m only half way” and that’s how I view it. I’m in the second HALF. When I reframed it, I now think, “ wow, there’s SO much I want to do and I have the time to do it. Life is good”. But it doesn’t magically happen on it’s own. If you don’t work on all aspects of your life you won’t get there or if you do you probably won’t feel so great and will be force to stop “living”. See my post on my Wellness Wheel to see the areas I’m working on for longevity. Another way I’ve heard it described is “training for the centurion olympics”. I love that. If you want to get to 100 AND feel good you absolutely must train NOW. Ok, that was a lot on one podcast! Update: This podcast is no longer producing new episodes, but the old ones are there for you.

Being Well with Dr. Rick Hanson
Think of Dr. Hanson as a kind of Mr. Rogers for adults. He is SO CALMING. And extremely knowledgeable. His show focuses on mindfulness, compassion and happiness and all the science behind it. I find it fascinating.

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Personal Finance

HerMoney with Jean Chatzky
You may know Jean Chatzky from the Today show or Oprah. When I decided to truly get our finances in order I began listening to MANY personal finance podcasts. Some stuck and some didn’t. This one stuck. It’s informative and practical and she always has interesting guests. I needed a lot of help in this area. I knew NOTHING about personal finance and money in general. I was starting at ground zero. I’m so much more literate now. This podcast was only a very small part of my learning. I went to our local library and checked out every basic personal finance book and read them all. I found a budgeting method that works for me and now I work on our finances every single day. But the podcast keeps it in the forefront of my mind.

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Music (aka podcasts that makes me happy)

Disgraceland
Stories of rock stars behaving badly told by Jake Brennan. Not for the faint of heart. Some of these stories are just outrageous. But that’s what it is to be a rock star. Personally, I can’t get enough.

My Favorite Album with Jeremy Dylan
Great concept for a music podcast. Jeremy invites a musician to discuss their favorite album song by song. A lot of fun to hear what these artists favorite albums are and why.

27 Club
Another darker podcast from Jake Brennan. This focuses an entire season to one artist that passed away at 27 years old. I love a podcast that takes a deep dive and this one definitely does.

Rolling Stone Music Now
From Rolling Stone magazine. The best interviews and music journalists in one place. I love their conversations and find myself laughing all the time.

80’s Music Exposed
This is a fun one! Especially if you grew up in the 80’s like me. This is a monthly podcast where they discuss the albums that came out in the 80’s in order by month. It’s really fun to hear some of this music again and to hear the critiques. The two guys are musicians and also around my age so I like hearing their opinions about what they liked then and now and what holds up and what doesn’t.

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Random

You Must Remember This
Probably the most well done, entertaining, informative podcast I listen to. Karina Longworth hosts this podcast about old classic Hollywood. These stories are FASCINATING! The best part about this podcast and what makes it unique is that she doesn’t just pick random stories. She selects a subject and then goes deep. Truly better than anything on TV. This podcast along with Disgraceland have won a couple of awards and you can tell why when you start listening. They are just on a different level and it’s obvious the work that went into them.

The Librarian is In
The New York Public Library has a podcast of book recommendations and what I love about this podcast is how it’s relaxed, but intelligent. I’ve tried other book related podcasts and they are either stuffy or just someone reading a list of recommendations and info off the book jacket. These are two employees of the library who come to discuss one book that each of them read. The conversation always takes a turn into something else. It’s just conversation. I love it. It’s funny, emotional and educational. And very New York.

Clear and Vivid with Alan Alda
I’ve always liked Alan Alda. Smart and funny, just seems like a great guy. And loved watching him on MASH. I didn’t know until recently about his interview podcast. All the guest are well know and when Alda interviews them, it’s a sincere, thoughtful and intelligent conversation. Reminds me of BBC’s Desert Island Discs if you’ve ever listened to that podcast.

Lost at the Smithsonian
Assif Mandvi takes us to the Smithsonian Museum to explain the importance of one object in the museum per episode. He interviews the staff as well and those who are knowledgeable about the history of the object. This one is so fun to listen to partly because Assif is so funny. One of my favorites was Henry Winkler’s Fonzi jacket from Happy Days. His interview with Henry Winkler was just heart warming. Another favorite was Dorothy’s red ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Give it a try!

Listening to podcasts about things you are interested in or want to learn from can help you achieve all your goals. By listening regularly you will keep everything that is important to you at the forefront of your mind and help you stay on track. Win-win.

I’d love to hear your podcast recommendations! Thanks for being here!


Inflammation

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Day 8

The first time someone explained leaky gut to me I didn’t really understand it. I was in the middle of all my pain with NO answers. But, this chiropractor was on to something when he explained to me how when we take antibiotics it wipes out not only the bad bacteria but all the good bacteria as well. So, not only did my drug reaction cause me injury, it pretty much destroyed my microbiome, which is the source of most of our immune system. Also, when we eat inflammatory foods our small intestines get inflamed which then causes particles to leak out of the small intestine and into our bloodstream. When this happens our body then thinks these are foreign objects that need to be fought. This is the cause of many autoimmune issues and fibromyalgia among a host of other things. If you want to know more about leaky gut and the effects on the body click here. .https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/leaky-gut-what-is-it-and-what-does-it-mean-for-you-2017092212451

If you’ve read My Story, you know what repairing my leaky gut has done for me. A forever lifestyle change. Once I knew what inflammatory foods were doing to my body and my BRAIN it was easy to make the switch. If you want to know how I went about changing my diet, please read my blog post title “A Lightening Bolt Moment on the Hallmark Channel”.

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This week Deepak talks about reducing inflammation for lifelong energy. Yes, an anti-inflammatory diet certainly does give you more energy and so much more. Did you know your gut and brain are connected and that your brain can actually become inflamed? This can cause another whole host of problems related to your nervous system and even your mood. You can read more about it here https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection.

Did you know meditation actually reduces inflammation? You can read more here. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/meditation-brain-changes-study_n_56b4b7aee4b04f9b57d93bef Meditation brings us peace and calm. Deepak says “Daily stresses won’t trigger you as easily.” I’ve talked about how transformative meditation has been for me and it absolutely has translated into my daily life!

If you want to reduce inflammation try an anti-inflammatory diet or paleo diet. I really don’t like the word “diet”. It’s actually a lifestyle. But, you can give it 30 days and see how you feel! I highly recommend Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo.

Thanks for being here!


My Foggy Brain

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I dabbled in being Gluten free when I was seeing the chiropractor who was the first to suggest to me I may have leaky gut. (See My Story) But I was floundering, trying to do it myself. I was clueless. I got rid of things, but didn’t have any replacements. I didn’t know what to eat or how to cook. Needless to say that didn’t last long. In fact, I didn’t do it long enough then to even feel any changes that might have been occurring. Fast forward to when I discovered Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo and I had an actual plan as to how to cut it out and how to use other flours such as Cassava and Coconut in my baking and cooking. I just needed guidance. And her book was like my bible. I still refer to it again and again. It covers everything!

My Food Bible 😃

You may have heard that gluten can cause brain fog. That was absolutely true for me, but again how do you know at the time that is what is causing the problem without actually trying to eliminate it? I just thought “Wow, isn’t it weird how sometimes I can’t find the words to say”. Or I would hear myself talking so slowly, like it took so much effort. That is not normal and certainly not normal for the old/new me. You just don’t know how good you can feel until you take it out of your diet. Also with all the gastrointestinal problems gluten causes in those that are sensitive to it, it is difficult to say how much of my distress was gluten and how much was lactose. I’ve accidentally had dairy when eating out and I most definitely felt it! Other times eating out I know there was no dairy yet it still upset my stomach so there I would guess it’s the gluten. As a side note, these things occasionally happen when eating out. The restaurants are always accommodating to the best of their ability but sometimes they just don’t know exactly what is in the food, depending on the type of restaurant and how knowledgeable the staff is. Some people reintroduce the foods eliminated in the paleo diet to see how they do and what they can tolerate. Diane gives a wonderful explanation on how to do this in her book. But like I said, with my autoimmune issues, I have no interest in reintroducing anything in my diet.

There are some conflicting opinions out there about gluten. Some say you don’t need to avoid it unless you have Celiac Disease. But new research is showing that you can still be sensitive to gluten without having Celiac. Doctor’s are starting to listen to their patients. Gluten is another culprit in destroying the lining of our stomachs. It’s actually the way gluten is processed in food that causes it to give us trouble. You can read more about that here. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/celiac-disease/features/gluten-intolerance-against-grain#2

If you are considering eliminating gluten from your diet, try the following:

1. Remove all gluten products from your pantry by reading the labels. Remove all flours and grains including corn meal, rice, wheat and white flour.

2. Replace with cassava flour, coconut flour and tapioca flour.

3. Do a search for gluten free or better yet paleo versions of your favorite recipes. I always suggest Practical Paleo to start!

4. Evaluate how you feel. What’s different? Do you have less brain fog? Is your stomach feeling better?

I can’t wait to hear your feedback. Be sure to comment below and feel free to ask questions! Thanks for being here!


Ditching the sugar

We all know sugar is not good for you. But do you how bad is actually is? I didn’t. I grew up hearing sugar rots your teeth and makes you fat. And although that is certainly true, it does so much more. Sugar causes inflammation among other things, which in turn causes a multitude of chronic diseases. Read more here. https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/what-sugar-does-to-your-body/

And more about the link between sugar and cancer here. https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/10/health/sugary-drinks-cancer-risk-study-intl/index.html

This was fairly easy for me to give up, personally, for a couple of reasons.

  1. There are SO many alternatives to processed sugar.
  2. Once I knew what it was doing to my body, I was completely on board.

That is partially my personality type at work (I’m an Upholder, see The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin https://gretchenrubin.com/books/the-four-tendencies/intro/) Once I decide to do something, I’m all in.

I think the best alternative to processed sugar is honey and organic pure maple syrup. I bake and cook with both. When I first eliminated sugar I was doing a lot of baking of paleo recipes to fend off my sugar cravings. But now I only do that maybe once a month or so. If I want something sweet I eat fruit or a Larabar. My taste buds have completely changed.

Processed food is not food. Period. It’s what some of us have become accustomed to, to the detriment of our health. Sugar is hiding in things you may not think of. We all know it’s in sodas, desserts and the obvious places but you will also find it in bottled salad dressings, condiments, soups, etc. A lot of foods labeled as organic still have sugar. Reading labels is key. Pretty much anything in a box or a can has sugar with few exceptions. Some companies are coming around due to demand but it’s slow. I was raised making our family recipe for salad dressing since I was a kid so I’m not one to buy bottled dressings, but if you haven’t tried making your own I promise it’s super simple. Or just throw some oil and vinegar/salt and pepper on your salad. And yes, I do like cooking. That also makes it easier. But I think cooking is a life skill! Not some chore to complain about like cleaning a bathroom. Your health is the number one most important thing. Without it you have nothing. I know this to be true first hand. Until you lose it maybe you’re not aware of how important it is and how important what you eat is to your health. No dessert will ever be that enticing to me when I look at it this way. I feel good. And that’s all I need. And I want to stay that way.

Have you thought about eliminating sugar from your diet? Try the following steps. Remember, it’s good to know your personality type. It will help you figure out the best approach for your internal expectations. I highly suggest taking Gretchen Rubin’s quiz here. https://quiz.gretchenrubin.com/Once you know your personality type everything you want to do for yourself becomes easier!

  1. Decide to eliminate sugar from your diet. Hooray!
  2. Shop! Read the labels. Pay attention. Look to avoid sugar, corn syrup, fructose, etc. Buy replacements like honey and maple syrup.
  3. Try a few recipes for baked goods, salad dressings and replacements for your favorite foods. I suggest recipes by Cassie Joy Garcia, Diane Sanfilippo or any quick paleo recipe google search will do the trick.
  4. If you are having a craving eat fruit.
  5. When eating out just ask! Be THAT person. Lol. I am. I ask, I alter, whatever I need to do to get what I want. I’ve never had a restaurant not comply.

Good luck!! I want to hear your feedback. Please leave a comment with your questions and experiences! Thank you for being here!