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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 54: Breaking Up

Sep 19, 2017 - 01:05:28

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Breaking Up — the factors that shape our decisions to end a romantic relationship, and the strategies that can make that a somewhat better experience for all involved. We talk about the difficulties of knowing when call it quits, the pains involved with that process, and also some opportunities that decision represents. We share some of our own break-up insights, and as always, we offer you some experiments to help you evaluate your own breakup experiences in ways that serve your relationships now, and in the future.  Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/breaking-up/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 53: Asking

Sep 12, 2017 - 00:36:40

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Asking — the art and importance of making requests based on your authentic desires, and the role that sort of enlightened asking can play in helping you create a more satisfying life. We explore the perceived risks and fears of loss we tend to encounter in asking other people for anything — whether favors, changes, or resources.  We also address the opportunities that asking gives us to create more intimacy and connection with others, even as it helps us build a more compassionate and courageous relationship with ourselves.   Finally, we suggest some tips for more successful asking experiences, and we offer you some experiments to help you explore the transformative possibilities that asking might open up in your own life.   More show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/asking/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 52: Intuition

Sep 5, 2017 - 00:45:25

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Intuition — the signals we get from our unconscious mind, and the powerful part they can play in directing us toward our own best choices. From the science of intuition and its intimate relationship with our intestinal tract, to the concept of “thin slicing,” in which our brain processes more data than our conscious awareness can keep up with, we explore the essentials and finer points of what many call our sixth sense. And of course, we offer you experiments to own and hone the signals your intuition is sending you. Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/intuition/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 51: Winning Cycles

Aug 15, 2017 - 00:36:14

This week on The Living Experiment, we bring you the fourth and final episode in our special series featuring teachers from Lafayette Morehouse. For the background on this series, check out the introduction to Lafayette Morehouse Episode 1, on “Resistance to Pleasure.” In this episode, Pilar talks to teachers Boris Shekeloff and Sugar Goens-Baranco about a concept they call “Winning Cycles” — a friendly, productive way of asking for what you want, and of creating a positive experience for the other person in the process. A lot of the Morehouse philosophy focuses on creating and sustaining satisfying, mutually pleasurable relationships with others, and particularly in intimate relationships. Here, Sugar and Boris explain how Winning Cycles work, and why they can be a valuable tool for achieving that goal. A quick reminder that all the episodes in this special series were recorded live on location at the Lafayette Morehouse campus, in Lafayette, California. You can find out more about the place, and the courses offered there, in the show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/winning-cycles/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 50: Therapy

Aug 8, 2017 - 00:39:05

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Therapy — the role it can play in our personal healing and evolution, and our suggestions for employing it in the service of your highest goals. We both share a little about our own positive experiences working with therapists, and what we took away from our sessions. We also talk about how therapy is different from coaching, why both can have a role in our growth and success, and how to go about finding a qualified therapist that’s right for you. Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you explore whether therapy might benefit you. Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/therapy/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 49: Summer

Aug 1, 2017 - 00:46:23

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Summer — a season so full of potential, projects, and activities, it can leave you feeling exhausted. So in this episode, we talk about how to make the most of summer, while coming through it as healthy and happy as you want to be, and while setting yourself up for the fall season to come. Dallas shares wisdom drawn from his seasonal model of health, including tips for nutrition, fitness and sleep. Pilar offers a few summer insights for managing your physical and emotional energy. And of course, we offer you some experiments to help you enjoy summer’s best gifts in ways that work for you. Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/summer/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 48: Forgiveness

Jul 25, 2017 - 00:45:33

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Forgiveness: The important role it plays in our health and happiness, and the rich opportunities it can offer — if and when we’re ready to embrace them. We talk about our own personal experiences with forgiveness, and we share some expert recommendations for approaching forgiveness in ways that are healthy, safe, and rewarding. Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you more fully explore the potential of forgiveness in your own life. Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/forgiveness/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 47: Non-Toxic Bodycare

Jul 18, 2017 - 00:40:16

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Non-Toxic Bodycare — the importance of having some personal safety criteria for the products we put on our skin, and some strategies for avoiding the chemical compounds most likely to negatively affect your health. From phthalates to fragrances, we talk about the long list of commonly used ingredients known to cause trouble in the human body, and why regulatory organizations like the FDA don’t provide anywhere near as much protection as most people think. We suggest some guidelines for selecting better, safer options, and we offer some experiments to help you upgrade your own use of bodycare products in ways that work for you. Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/non-toxic-bodycare/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 46: Aging Gracefully

Jul 11, 2017 - 00:52:45

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Aging Gracefully — what that means to us, why it matters, and how to go about doing it well. From challenging dominant cultural norms and anti-aging messages to feeling comfortable in our own skin as the decades pass, we discuss what it means to grow older in a culture that tends to glorify youth. We offer suggestions for reclaiming your own aging experience. And we offer some experiments to help you expand your assumptions about aging, to release some of your judgments about it, and to more fully embrace its positive possibilities. Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/aging-gracefully/  

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 45: Satisfaction vs Success

Jul 4, 2017 - 00:54:44

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Satisfaction vs. Success — the sometimes surprising tensions that can exist between our pursuit of those two goals, and the ways we can redefine both in the service of our own health and happiness. In a world where it can seem like everybody on your social feeds is oozing wealth and glamour, it's easy to feel like you should be keeping up somehow — striving harder, achieving more. At the same time, slogging away at a dead-end job or a feeling stuck in a not-quite-right career can also be a soul-crushing endeavor. So here, we talk about our own relationship with our work and our ambitions, and we share the insights and open questions that we’re still exploring in establishing our own definitions of a life well-lived. Finally we offer you some experiments to help you experience more satisfaction and success in your own life. Full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/satisfaction-vs-success/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 44: Commute

Jun 27, 2017 - 00:49:49

This week on The Living Experiment, we're talking about the art of the Commute — the strategies that can make our daily trips less stressful and more rewarding, and the subtle shifts of attitude that can make them easier on your body and mind. From redesigning your commuting environment to being more mindful of your media, we explore the skills and techniques that can rescue commuting from the realms of drudgery and elevate it to a daily practice you actually enjoy. Finally, we offer you some experiments that can help you make your commute work better for you. Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/commute/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 43: One-Year Ramble

Jun 20, 2017 - 00:45:24

In this episode of The Living Experiment, we go on a One-Year Ramble, reflecting on what we've learned over the course of our first year of doing this podcast, warts and all. We explore what we've both taken away from our conversations and our friendship, and from our personal and professional journeys over that time. From observations on the state of health media, to insights about our own strengths and weaknesses, we consider the body of work we've created, and where we see ourselves going next. Finally, we offer an experiment that gives you the opportunity to connect and reflect with a friend on the nuances of your own life experience. Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/one-year-ramble/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 42: Intimacy and Connection

Jun 13, 2017 - 00:35:02

This week on The Living Experiment, we bring you the third in a series of four special guest episodes featuring teachers from Lafayette Morehouse. For more background on this series, check out the introduction to the first Lafayette Morehouse episode, "Resistance to Pleasure". In this episode, Pilar talks to teaching trio Judy St. John, Colin Selig and Janet Ribaldi about Intimacy and Connection - our human longing for it, the fears and social programming that get in the way, and the steps we can take to create the deeper sense of authentic connection that most of us desire. A lot of the Morehouse teachings focus on the value of relationships, and the opportunity we have to amplify our enjoyment of life by relating to others with more attention, awareness and authenticity. Morehouse teachings also focus on sensuality as an important aspect of a gratifying life, so we touch on that, too. Get full show notes and resource links at http://livingexperiment.com/intimacyconnection/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 41: Attractiveness

May 23, 2017 - 00:40:44

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Attractiveness. What makes us attractive? What do we find attractive in others, and why? From health and beauty to intelligence, kindness, confidence and self-esteem, we explore the whole-person factors that come into play as we size each other up — and evaluate our own mojo. We also consider some of the psycho-emotional and scientific underpinnings of those factors. Finally, we suggest some experiments to help you expand your awareness of what attractiveness means to you. Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/attractiveness/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 40: Idleness

May 16, 2017 - 00:50:39

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about "Idleness" — those all-too-rare moments when we allow ourselves to do nothing in particular, and the surprising magic they can bring to our lives. From the neurological rewards of daydreaming to the value of more extended sabbaticals, we explore the possibilities of doing less, rather than more, as a means of enriching your life experience, and expanding your gifts to the world around you. And naturally, we offer some experiments designed to help you experience the counterintuitive rewards of idleness for yourself. Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/idleness/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 39: Perfect

May 9, 2017 - 00:55:06

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about "Perfect" — the pressure we feel to achieve that impossible standard, and the strategies we can use to escape perfectionism's often-agonizing grip. From the tendency we have to compare ourselves to unattainable ideals, to the shame-based frustration that can result when we find ourselves lacking, we share insights from our own perfection-seeking experiences, as well as counsel from recognized experts in the field. Finally, we offer experiments to help you explore and evolve your own relationship with whatever “perfect” means for you. Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/perfect/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 38: Sleep

May 2, 2017 - 00:49:11

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Sleep — why it's so hugely important, and how you can get more of the healthy sleep your body deserves. After touching briefly on some science-y fundamentals, we delve into how you can get the kind of high-quality rest your body needs to repair damage, rebalance itself, and thrive. We share insights about how to overcome important but little-known barriers to a decent night’s rest. And of course, we offer you experiments to help you start sleeping better — tonight, and for the rest of your life. Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/sleep/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 37: Win-Win Relating

Apr 25, 2017 - 00:43:37

This week on The Living Experiment, we bring you the second in a series of four special guest episodes featuring teachers from Lafayette Morehouse. For more background on this series, check out the introduction to the first Lafayette Morehouse episode, "Resistance to Pleasure". In this episode, Pilar talks to Morehouse teachers Sugar Goens-Baranco and Boris Sheckeloff about the concept of Win-Win Relating. The now popular term "win-win," as Sugar explains, was actually coined by her father — Morehouse founder Victor Baranco — back in the 1960s. And as you’ll learn, he used it to describe a dynamic rather different from the one most of us now associate with the term. Within the Morehouse philosophy, win-win relating is a foundational concept — one that provides the basis for more successful relationships, and a happier, more rewarding life experience. And as Sugar and Boris describe it, this more nuanced definition of win-win might challenge some of your assumptions about what true winning entails. Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/winwin/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 36: Energy Drinks

Apr 18, 2017 - 00:41:00

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Energy Drinks — the surge of popularity they’re currently enjoying, and the widespread energy-deficit that appears to be driving their consumption. We explore where real energy comes from, the mechanisms by which energy drinks may give us a real or perceived boost, and why that boost may come with some serious strings attached. Whether you’re a fan of energy drinks, or concerned about the effect they might be having on you or someone you love, we offer you insights into their potential pros and cons, and we suggest some experiments to help you generate more sustainable energy in ways that work for you. Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/energydrinks/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 35: Generosity

Apr 11, 2017 - 00:43:57

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Generosity —  the instinct we have to share with others, and the mutual benefits that giving can confer, not just mentally and emotionally but also at the physiological level. From the surge of feel-good compounds our bodies release in response to generous acts, to the value of giving others the benefit of the doubt, we explore the ways that generosity serves both giver and recipient. We also consider the ways that giving more than you can share joyfully tends backfire, creating anger, resentment and regret. Finally, we offer some experiments to help you explore your own generous impulses and refine them in ways that work for you. Get full show notes at ‎ ‎http://livingexperiment.com/generosity/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 34: Spring

Apr 4, 2017 - 00:40:06

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Spring — the essential nature of the season, and the shifts your body wants to make in keeping with it. In a continuation of Dallas’s Seasonal Model of Health, and the season-by-season series we started this winter, we talk about the value of adjusting your eating, activity, sleep and social activities in ways befitting spring. We also explore the energetic and psycho-emotional dynamics you might be noticing this time of year, plus some insights from Chinese Five-Element theory, and the value of integrating rather than fighting your body’s natural rhythms and desires. Finally, we offer up some experiments that can help you get your own body and mind in sync with the gifts of this spring season. Get full show notes, experiments and resource links at http://livingexperiment.com/spring/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 33: Sensuality

Mar 28, 2017 - 00:57:48

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Sensuality — what that word really means, and the important, underappreciated role that sensual experience plays in our health and happiness. We live in a culture that often distorts sensuality — glorifying sex and promoting certain forms of consumer-oriented decadence , but limiting our appreciation of our own inherently sensual natures. So here, from the biological benefits of sensual of pleasure to the difficulties we have in talking about in polite company, we take a look at what’s known about sensuality and where it fits into our lives. Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/sensuality/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 32: Resistance to Pleasure

Mar 21, 2017 - 00:37:29

It's high time we had a serious talk about pleasure. Because it can have a huge impact on your health. And well, it's fun! So this week on the podcast, we're bringing you the first in a series of special guest episodes featuring teachers from Lafayette Morehouse, an intentional community founded in 1968 with the goal of maximizing the potential of its members, and on having life be, in their words, "as much fun as possible." One fundamental principle of Morehouse teachings is that they don't prescribe solutions or try to fix anybody (they think you're perfect the way you are). Rather, they simply describe what they've seen work (and not work) in closely observing their own lives and the lives of others. And their #1 rule is this: Don't do anything you don't want to do. In this first of four Lafayette Morehouse episodes that we'll share over the course of the next two seasons of the The Living Experiment, Pilar talks to teachers Judy St. John, Colin Selig and Janet Raibaldi about a dynamic they call "Resistance to Pleasure." Here, they describe their approach to "responsible hedonism," and offer some useful strategies and perspective shifts that might just help you enjoy more pleasure and fun in your own life. (These episodes were recorded live on the Lafayette Morehouse campus, so expect a little sound variation in sound.) Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/resistance/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 31: Saying No

Mar 7, 2017 - 00:38:47

This week on The Living Experiment, we're talking about Saying No, that magical word that can set you free – or feel like a one-way ticket to a guilt trip that will never end. Whether it's declining a request or rejecting an offer, the discomfort we feel in saying no — or feeling that we can't — is an immense source of stress for a great many of us. It's also a necessity that none of us can avoid. So how can we get better at managing our authentic "nos" more consciously, and saying them with more clarity and conviction? How can we manage our desire to say "yes!" to life with our responsibility to set healthy boundaries that help us create a life we enjoy? We get into all of that, and we offer you some experiments to help you say "no" with confidence, so you can say "yes!" when it matters most. "Saying No" Episode Highlights The anxiety inherent in many "yes" and "no" situations in a culture where the onslaught of offers and opportunities can be overwhelming The difference between the saying an enthusiastic "yes" to life (embracing the exciting things that might scare us or pull us out of our comfort zone) vs. saying yes because we feel obligated or afraid of the outcome of declining The value of authenticity and the betrayal of self that comes from projecting a "yes" you're not feeling "No, thank you." How to turn down a request graciously (without undermining your answer by over-apologizing, lying, or qualifying the response) The vulnerability inherent in asking, and the possibility that a "no" might not be taken well by the recipient The costs of saying "yes" when we really want or need to say "no" The particularly challenging implications that "no" can have for women (who are socially trained to be "nice" and accommodating) How codependence shows up in our resistance to clearly stating what we want/mean/need Differing social expectations for how men and women communicate, and why women may be socially punished for being straightforward Pilar's biofeedback tip: Your body will tell you whether something is a "yes" or a "no." Listen to your body's response to a request or invitation and feel for the lifting lightness of "yes!" or the sinking heaviness of "no" Consider the decision formula: If it's not a yes (or "heck yes!"), it's a no The value of practicing direct, succinct "no, thank yous" — and when it's worthwhile to soften the blow by articulating the reasons (and/or just being kind about it) A Lafayette Morehouse tip: Look behind a "no" (your own and others) to discern the "fears of loss" that are precipitating it This week's experiments ... Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/saying-no/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 30: News

Feb 28, 2017 - 00:39:49

This week we're talking about News – the kind that comes at you 24 hours a day via all sorts of media. The kind that can make you feel a little crazy and hopeless if you let it. Particularly in times like these, when competing headlines come fast and furious, and when so much of the news seems disturbing or difficult to interpret, it can be tough to moderate your intake – and your response. So here, we share our counsel on how to balance your desire to know what's going on in the world with your need to maintain some sense of sanity and resilience. We also offer some experiments to help you manage your news consumption in ways that work for you. "News" Episode Highlights Why habitual (or excessive) intake of news can distort rather than inform our view of the world, with anxiety-inducing effects "If it bleeds, it leads" – the predominant media bias toward fear-producing, violent, and disturbing topics The increasingly blurred lines between marketing, propaganda, and actual news The importance of understanding where your news is coming from, and discerning the slant or agenda behind a story The value of being informed via a wide variety of sources (including some that don't necessarily confirm your biases and beliefs) Counsel of moderating your news intake — balancing the responsibility of informed citizenry with the physical- and mental-health risks of news overload Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/news/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 29: Vulnerability

Feb 21, 2017 - 01:12:15

This week we're talking about vulnerability – the experience of being susceptible to wounding, and the value of embracing that capacity as a strength rather than as a weakness. We talk about both the risks and rewards of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable – to injury, criticism, embarrassment, and more. We explore the potential of moving beyond a state of armored self-protection in the service of forging deeper, more satisfying connections with others, with ourselves, and with the experience of being alive. Finally, we offer some simple experiments to help you explore the potential gifts of vulnerability in your own world. "Vulnerability" Episode Highlights The difference between "elective" vulnerability (risking being hurt by people we know or whose approval we seek) and exposing ourselves to dangerous situations The physical manifestations of always being armored against vulnerability, as well as the stress state and health implications that result The deep human need to be accepted – how our fear of public speaking (concentrated social judgment) outweighs even our fear of death The vulnerability conundrum: Our tendency to hide those aspects of ourselves that are most likely to form the basis for authentic connection The vulnerability fallacy: Our flawed belief that assiduously protecting ourselves will spare us from experiencing pain The difference between sharing sensitive information about our historical experience vs. expressing current emotions surrounding that experience Tips for navigating vulnerable situations and relationships, and for maintaining boundaries while softening our habitual armor The importance of discernment when deciding with whom to be vulnerable, and the rewards that can result when both people are willing to take risks Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/vulnerability/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 28: Healthy Deviance

Feb 14, 2017 - 00:51:07

This week on The Living Experiment, we're talking about one of Pilar's all-time favorite topics: Healthy Deviance. It's a favorite because it's the subject of the book she's writing, and also an idea at the core of the work she's been doing for the past 15 years or so — including this podcast! So, what does it mean to be a healthy person in an unhealthy culture? What's required of us, and what's available to us, when we choose to reject the norms of a society that's making a lot of us sick and unhappy a lot of the time? And how the heck can you even hope to do that when there seems to be so much working against you? These are questions that both of us are fascinated by, and that we each explore in our own work in different ways. So here, we journey together into The Way of the Healthy Deviant, and we offer you some fun opportunities to experiment with Healthy Deviance in your own life. "Healthy Deviance" Episode Highlights Pilar's personal health journey and how it led her to become a rebellious health experimenter, a media-industry disruptor — and, ultimately, a Healthy Deviant The evolution of Healthy Deviance as expressed through Pilar's earlier works and projects, including Experience Life magazine, her Manifesto for Thriving in a Mixed Up World, and the "101 Revolutionary Ways to Be Healthy" mobile app Seeing what Pilar calls our "Unhealthy Default Reality" as a real-life Matrix of sorts — understanding the challenges and rewards involved in unplugging from the dominant-culture definitions of "normal" Evolutionary biology 101: Seeing the origins of our health crisis in the agricultural revolution, and understanding why "Paleo" diets and workouts alone can't provide a solution to our modern-day challenges Pilar describes The Way of the Healthy Deviant, including what she sees as three key competencies: 1) Amplified Awareness (valuing, developing and safeguarding your own attention); 2) Preemptive Repair (getting ahead of the daily damage that causes depletion, inflammation, imbalance and illness); and 3) Continuous Growth and Learning (progressively building and expanding the "skills of the healthy person") The value of embracing the quest for Healthy Deviance as a Hero's Journey — an energizing adventure and opportunity for creative self-expression — rather than just a tough, thankless slog Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/healthy-deviance/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 27: Fasting

Feb 7, 2017 - 01:33:19

This week we're talking about fasting, the power of periodically foregoing food, and the significant health benefits that can proceed from doing it intelligently. Pilar shares what led her to embark on a seven day, medically-supervised water fast (yes, she consumed nothing but water for seven days, and lived to tell about it!). And Dallas shares what he knows about the increasingly popular intermittent fasting phenomenon. We talk about the potential pros and cons of fasting, and why it's not for everybody. We wind up with fasting experiments and suggestions you can try on your own, and offer up resources for further study. Finally, Pilar comes back to report on how her week-long fasting experiment went, and why, even though it wasn't all roses and rainbows, she's likely to do it again. "Fasting" Episode Highlights The history and ancient wisdom of fasting, and its potential dark side (e.g., eating disorders and orthorexia) The difference between fasting (long-term and intermittent) vs. restricted diets and detoxing The essentials of intermittent fasting protocols, including potential benefits and risks The reasons for doing longer-term and more "extreme" water fasts, and why they should always be medically supervised The phases the body goes through during and after the fast Warnings against fasting when it isn't a well-reasoned part of a nutrient-dense, whole foods diet This week's experiments Postscript: Pilar shares her water-fasting experience and invites questions (follow-up episode, anyone?) Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/fasting/  

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 26: Nourished

Jan 31, 2017 - 00:53:51

This week we're talking about the fine art of being nourished. By that, we mean not just being adequately fed or fueled, but being amply supplied with all the subtle nutritive and sensory properties that our bodies and minds require for optimal function and satisfaction. We look at the epidemic of chronic undernourishment — driven both by under- and over-feeding — and we explore the strategies that most reliably lead to a happy nutritional balance. Finally, we suggest some experiments to help you fine-tune your self-nourishing strategies in ways that work for you. "Nourished" Episode Highlights The advantages of getting your nourishment from whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense plants and animals vs. processed foods + nutritional supplements Moving beyond nutritional reductionism The common "overfed/undernourished" and "underfed/undernourished" phenomena associated with standard American diets Why "well-nourished and overfed" is not a common scenario (thanks to the leptin signaling and hunger/energy regulation of healthy systems) Effects of food choices in nourishing the body and brain Why a lean and muscular appearance doesn't necessarily signal vibrant health The key to moving from overfed/underfed to properly fed and nourished (it's not just a macronutrient problem) How low-nutrient, empty calories lead to the "always hungry" problem The role of the thyroid gland in regulating nourishment and body composition Why calorie-focused diets don't work for most people (and often compound the undernourishment problem) The process of getting to an optimally nourished state Get full show notes at: http://livingexperiment.com/nourished/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 25: Masculine and Feminine

Jan 24, 2017 - 01:09:38

This week on The Living Experiment, in what Dallas calls our "most terrifying episode" to date, we're talking about the qualities of masculinity and femininity. What does it mean to be masculine or feminine, and how do these traits both limit and empower us? We wade into this delicate topic in an effort to explore the rich territory of gender-associated characteristics and the complex relationships between them. We share our own experiences with masculine/feminine dynamics and we offer you some trait-related experiments to help you explore them in your own life. "Masculine and Feminine" Episode Highlights The nature of feminine (yin) and masculine (yang) traits, and how we experience them in ourselves and others How entrenched chauvinism has caused us to undervalue the feminine, and contributed to patriarchal societal imbalances that don't really serve any of us The complex spectrum of masculinity and femininity, and how to best honor the full range of these traits in ourselves and each other Our culture's approved gender-expressed roles — the competitive, conquering, producer-protector and the nurturing, sensitive, relational peacemaker — how we learn them, and how adhering to them too rigidly can limit our full expression One fun way that masculine and feminine energies can serve and balance each other — the honest expression and mutually satisfying fulfillment of feminine desire How stress interacts with masculine and feminine traits, and the health implications of that difference The value of exploring our assumptions and perceptions around gender-nuanced traits, and of perceiving our own preferred expressions of them This Week's Experiments Dallas suggests: Find someone you trust and who knows you well, and offer them the opportunity to comment constructively on how you express both your masculine and feminine traits. Pilar suggests: Focus on two accomplishments in your life, and reflect on both the masculine and feminine characteristics that helped you achieve both goals. Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/masculinefeminine/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 24: Busy

Jan 17, 2017 - 00:54:34

Busy is the new black — and none of us are wearing it well. We're all over-scheduled, under-rested, rushing and running on empty most of the time. It's costing us in ways most of us don't even recognize. So this week on The Living Experiment, we talk about the epic burdens of busyness, and how we can get out from under them. We offer suggestions for reclaiming your margins and for managing your energy (rather hyper-controlling every last minute of your time). And we suggest some experiments to help you restore spaciousness and sanity in your life. "Busy" Episode Highlights The cult of "busy" The nature of the stress that busyness produces — and why, on some level, we like it How work hours have increased over the past 50 years Why most of our "leisure" activities aren't really helping us relax Our culture's glorification of the busy lifestyle, and the consumer machine that has us in its grip Dealing with the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that arise when we aren't stimulated How to become comfortable with being idle Strategies for transitioning from being a "human doing" to a "human being" This Week’s Experiments Dallas suggests: Read How to be Idle: A Loafer’s Manifesto by Tom Hodgkinson as a way of challenging your current patterns and assumptions around how you spend your time. Pilar suggests: Practice doing one thing and one thing only.  While you do it, notice what it feels like to have your attention on this one thing, and to allow your mind to wander. See if you can get comfortable just being with yourself for this brief moment. For example, instead of working or surfing social media while you eat your lunch, simply eat. For extra credit, put your utensils down between bites so you pace your bites and keep your attention on chewing and tasting, rather than wolfing down your food and rushing back to your work. For full show notes visit http://livingexperiment.com/busy/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 23: What Now?

Jan 10, 2017 - 01:03:48

The start of a new year is a great time to re-evaluate and adjust the way you are spending your time and energy. So this week on The Living Experiment, we pull back the curtain on how we are doing that with one project in particular: the podcast itself. As a way of modeling a reflective and strategic process you can use in your own life, we discuss our original goals and intentions in doing the show, where we feel like we're on course, and where we feel we're losing steam or burning valuable time and energy (mostly with the copious amounts of behind-the-scenes work). We also invite input from you on our initial ideas for making pragmatic adjustments in ways that won't undermine the value of the podcast for us and our listeners. "What Now?" Episode Highlights Dallas and Pilar share what's going on in their lives, the big changes they made in 2016, and what they're re-assessing (3:10) Reflections on creating and producing a podcast (7:55) Positive feedback from listeners that confirms the podcast is achieving its primary goal of helping people rethink their choices and improve their lives (11:30) What's been working, and what we feel needs to change to support a more sustainable process (don't worry, we're not quitting!) (13:15) The limitations of using social media for communication and promotion, and why we're dropping the podcast's Twitter feed at the very least (25:00) The hours that go into these show notes, and our desire to know if they are valuable to listeners (Let us know!) (33:50) Re-thinking the content of the weekly newsletter (42:15) Modeling the reflective process — scrutinizing goals and objectives and what you're doing to meet them, deciding what works and what doesn't, identifying options, and facing fear of change (45:55) The love for the work and fear of self-promotion that Dallas and Pilar share (50:10) Final thoughts on the importance of periodic reflection (56:05) Suggested experiments for the week (58:15) This Week’s Experiments Dallas suggests: Think about a task or activity that isn't serving you, and swap it with something you've wanted to try or do more of. You may find that eliminating what isn't bringing value or satisfaction will free up the time, energy, or money you need to do sometime more rewarding. Pilar suggests: Pick one area of your life that feels overworked or an activity you’ve come to dread, and renegotiate the commitment. Give yourself permission to not do a thing you don't want to do, or do it in a way that is more enjoyable. Bonus experiment: Let us know what you think about our proposed changes to the podcast! We'd love to know if we talked about eliminating something that you find extremely valuable, if you think we're on the right track, or anything else you want to share. Get complete show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/what-now/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 22: New Year

Jan 3, 2017 - 01:02:03

For many of us, the New Year is a fresh start, an opportunity to get a new outlook on life. This week on The Living Experiment, we talk about the nature of the New Year experience, from the "New You!" media frenzy to the tradition of setting goals and resolutions, to the value of investigating the motivation behind those desires. We share our favorite approaches for pursuing change in our own lives, and explore expert theories about why your goals may be eluding you. "New Year" Episode Highlights The New Year holiday as the caboose on the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas marketing train (2:10) Arguments against January 1 as a hard date for making big changes (4:00) Pilar's Goal Flower model for setting and achieving goals (7:10) Accomplishing less instead of more (10:30) Why uncovering the belief systems that are holding you back may be more effective than simply addressing surface problems like excess weight, disorganization, and debt (12:15) Dallas's approach to goal setting (and the holidays) (13:30) Making resolutions when you're ready and in your own way, instead of when and how the calendar or culture says you should (16:40) The shared energy of forming new habits with everyone else in January (or any other time), and the value of using camaraderie to launch into autonomy (20:15) Creating sustainable change and escaping commercially-driven cycles (23:15) The Prochaska Transtheoretical Model of change (25:15) Dallas's insights on self-sabotage, and Pilar's thoughts on our inherent "immunity to change" (28:30) Making small transformations on the road to accomplishing larger goals and avoiding self-sabotage (34:10) The difference between building sustainable change and making cyclical changes to break up an unsustainable lifestyle (38:15) The right and wrong motivations for modifying behaviors – love vs. fear (40:05) The power of conscious language (42:30) How to embrace the opportunity of the New Year to achieve what you really want (44:45) Acknowledging universal obstacles to change (48:50) Suggested experiments for the week (55:25) This Week’s Experiments Dallas suggests: Look at the changes you want to make for 2017, and articulate the motivation behind them. Ask yourself: Am I doing this out of fear or out of love? Replace a behavior that has typically been fear-based with one done out of love. It doesn't have to be a different behavior; it may be the same action, but with a different motivation in play. Pilar suggests: 1) Make an Immunity Map following the steps in the Experience Life article, "How to Overcome Immunity to Change". 2) Create a Goal Flower using the "Cultivate Your Goals" section of Pilar's "Refine Your Life" workbook. Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/new-year/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 21: Health Media

Dec 12, 2016 - 01:11:03

It's hard to know what to believe. Online, in print, via TV and radio broadcast, the health media delivers a lot of mixed messages and downright confusing data. And as corporate interests increasingly shape and influence content streams, the more challenging it becomes to discern fact from profit-driven fiction. This week on The Living Experiment, we explore some of the dynamics that undermine accurate health-media coverage, and offer suggestions on how to navigate this often disorienting territory. We also suggest some experiments to help you become a better informed and more empowered media consumer. "Health Media" Episode Highlights The barrage of confusing and conflicting headlines, especially about food and nutrition (4:20) The problem of health experts who resist admitting they got things wrong and refuse to update their conclusions (6:10) The corporate influences at work in scientific research and health media (8:05) How research published in respected medical journals is steered by funders with profit-driven motives (9:45) The unholy alliance between an industry and researchers — and how the results influence policies and nutrition guidelines (10:45) An example of an "authoritative" national institution that disseminates horribly misguided (but media-friendly) "healthy eating guidelines" for kids (11:20) The disturbing shift away from high-quality reporting toward viral, traffic-producing posts, often at the expense of decent coverage (15:50) The pernicious influence of advertising dollars on media content, especially from food conglomerates and pharmaceutical companies (18:15) Prevention magazine's bold move to remove all advertising from their printed publication in an effort to safeguard their reporting (21:50) The importance of finding trustworthy experts and media sources, and Dallas's short list (24:45) The problem with imposing conclusions from very specific research on the wider population (26:20) Filtering health data using your own developed logic or philosophy (28:00) Rote, media-repeated phrases like "fruits and vegetables" and "lean proteins" that sound healthy but can be misleading (31:55) A caution about recommended "food swaps" that promote lower calories, less sugar, lower sodium and less saturated fat but are inherently unhealthy (35:15) Pilar's trusted short list of health sources (36:05) The functional medicine revolution, and the lack of media coverage (or hostile attacks) progressive physicians and researchers receive (38:45) "Half of what we've told you is wrong, but we don't know which half" — the conundrum shared by responsible journalists and medical schools (41:30) The power of lifestyle choices and changes that can limit or eradicate the need for long-term use of medications  (43:45) The value of reading outside the mainstream media canon (including government agencies and associations) (46:10) How health messages on television are influenced by industry priorities (48:35) How advertising drives magazine content, and why ads that disagree with editorial coverage may actually be a good sign (51:20) Looking more closely at "expert" sources (their associations, sources of industry connections or funding, and any boards they serve on) (53:20) Why certain so-called "pro-science" and "watchdog" websites tend to be questionable sources of information (54:20) The wisdom in consulting multiple trustworthy sources and avoiding being whipsawed by headlines, trends and fads (59:00) Self-experimentation for testing health recommendations — tracking what works or doesn't work for you over the long-term (1:00:55) Suggested experiments for the week (1:06:53) This Week’s Experiments Dallas suggests: Read an article or two that peaks your interest from the list of trusted resources (see the Resources section, below) and choose something practical to change as a result. For example, replace margarine with coconut oil and butter. Pilar suggests: 1) Read Experience Life magazine's article, "Decoding Health Media" to get a better understanding of the contemporary challenges media consumers face, and how you can overcome them. 2) Notice key words and phrases in health media, on product labels, and in advertising, noticing how they influence your assumptions and choices. Keep your eye out for features and seals that make a product sound healthy even when it may not be. Watch for phrases like "light,"  "wholesome," "low-fat," "zero cholesterol," "air popped," "contains whole grains," and "baked, not fried" — then read the label and challenge the underlying assumptions. Get full show notes at http://livingexperiment.com/health-media/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 20: Eating Out

Dec 5, 2016 - 00:57:05

Eating out offers many potential benefits – tasty food, fun with friends, and a break from cooking – but it can also lead to pitfalls for your well-being. This week on The Living Experiment we unpack the challenges of eating out, including the hidden world of food suppliers, cuisines built for profit rather than health, and misconceptions about gluten-free menus. We provide suggestions for taking command in making educated food choices – how to identify restaurants that value good food sourcing and think outside the box when ordering from a menu. To make eating out a life-giving experience, we offer experiments that encourage exploration and creativity in your dining adventures. "Eating Out" Episode Highlights Getting past "I can't eat anything" and "I must eat everything" mindsets, and making empowered food choices instead (3:30) Embracing dining as a pleasurable experience vs. an exercise in self-denial and "nutritionism" (6:30) Scoping out and supporting places that make healthy food from good sources (8:10) The value of knowing the types of restaurants that work for your preferred eating approach (9:30) A caution about "greenwashing" — industrial factory-farmed foods as "farm fresh" or sustainably/humanely raised when they aren't (11:55) What your server can tell you about a restaurant's real values (12:30) Keywords to try when using mobile apps to search for healthy places in unfamiliar locations (13:30) Items to look for — and avoid — when browsing a menu (15:10) Mixing-and-matching to create an edible meal almost anywhere (18:15) Creative solutions for ordering vegetables when they're not well represented on the menu (20:30) Clues that a restaurant is sourcing their food consciously and imaginatively — or not (25:15) Industrial supply-chain insights — the reality of where most restaurants get most of their food (26:50) Strategies for gluten-free dining (29:30) How not to be a prisoner of gluten-free menus, and how you can expand your healthy GF options (32:20) The tyranny of the menu, and how to advocate for your own best interests (34:50) The problem with kids' menus (36:20) Pre-nibbling veggies as a damage-control strategy for iffy restaurant situations (39:00) Deciding about alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages with meals (40:15) Dessert as an optional pleasure (45:20) Dessert alternatives (49:40) Suggested experiments for the week (53:00) This Week’s Experiments Dallas suggests: The next time you go out to eat, try a new restaurant by asking for recommendations. If you're traveling, ask a local or use specific search terms in an app like Yelp. If you're at home, ask a friend for his or her faves (based on your stated priorities). Strive to find a place offering locally-sourced or farm-to-table food. Pilar suggests: Ask for food swaps that suit your preferences, and through practice, expand your comfort level in asking for what you want. If an entrée comes with two sides (like a potato or rice or pasta plus veggie), consider swapping out the starchy option for another non-starchy vegetable. If you like the looks of a protein-based starter option, order that and combine it with extra veggies or other sides. Ask about available fresh green vegetables that might not be listed as side options but could be easily and simply prepped for you (per Dallas's trademark request, "Can you cook me something green?") Asking for what you want gets easier (and more addictive) every time you do it. Get full show notes and resources at: http://livingexperiment.com/eating-out/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 19: Mansplaining

Nov 28, 2016 - 00:49:34

This week on The Living Experiment, we're talking about "mansplaining" — that dynamic where men sometimes explain things to women in condescending, clueless, or less-than-respectful ways. Perhaps a man persists in explaining something that a woman already knows. Perhaps he talks over her attempts to express her own point of view. Or perhaps he holds forth in some way that generally does not honor his listener as an equal. Mansplaining has become a popular term and a hot topic over the past few years, and because it's such an common source of stress and strife in our world, we also see it as an important and under-recognized health issue. So in this episode, we talk about the origins of the word "mansplaining." We share our personal experiences with it and discuss how increasing our awareness of it can help men and women communicate in more constructive, mutually satisfying ways. Finally, we serve up some experiments to help you notice how mansplaining might be showing up in your life — and what you can do about it. "Mansplaining" Episode Highlights Dallas's eye-opening (and sometimes disturbing) journey through Rebecca Solnit's book, Men Explain Things to Me (4:00) Defining the term "mansplaining" — via examples and Solnit’s own words (9:00) How the mansplaining dynamic can create a chronic, internalized stress that may manifest as physical illness (11:10) Pilar's experiences with mansplaining at work (12:55) and in a dating relationship (15:25) The ways that women's pent-up frustrations may suddenly surface, and why those eruptions tend to have less-than-healthy outcomes (18:15) How mansplaining was modeled and adopted in Dallas's family (20:10) The devaluing of women's experience and knowledge, by both the man doing the mansplaining and the woman being mansplained to (21:25) A recent mansplaining incident in Pilar's current relationship (23:30) Practical solutions for men and women, beginning with awareness (26:10) Pilar's perspective shift transitioning from a women's college to a workplace where men ran the show (26:55) Dallas's key takeaways from his new awareness of mansplaining — the consequences of devaluing the unique and critical perspective of half of the human race (28:35) The intersection of three themes from episodes of The Living Experiment — shame, scarcity mentality, and mansplaining (31:00) The value of asking "interested" vs. merely "interesting" questions, and how this can help produce richer, more rewarding conversations (32:45) The physical reactions women may experience in response to mansplaining scenarios  (35:45) In-depth analysis of the two options for responding to mansplaining — suck it up or intervene (36:30) When responses to mansplaining lead to lose-lose scenarios (38:05) Finding context for the frustration (39:10) Dallas's call to men to take responsibility and change the dynamic (41:15) The importance of evaluating the stress and depleted pleasure caused by mansplaining, at work and at home, whether you're a man or a woman (42:15) Suggested experiments for the week (43:55) This Week's Experiments Dallas suggests: 1) For men: Pay attention to how you speak to women, notice when you're mansplaining, and own up to it in the moment it happens. The woman may already be frustrated, and you may have already damaged your conversation and relationship. Call yourself out and take responsibility. Behavior change is important, but even more powerful is stopping and acknowledging the behavior in the moment because it defuses harm and allows the tone of the conversation to reset. 2) For women on the receiving end of mansplaining, intervene with the man in a constructive way.  Share how you are feeling, raise the issue, and indicate that you want to advance the conversation together in a mutually respectful way. If you notice anger rising, ask whether it's commensurate with the situation or a disproportionate response driven by your personal history. Recognize that blasting the man doesn't help solve the problem of the millennia behind you. He may have no idea that what he's doing is being received by you as disrespectful; he may have been trying to impress you with his knowledge or share something he thought you'd find helpful and interesting. Pilar suggests: 1) Read Rebecca Solnit's thought-provoking essay, "Men Explain Things to Me", to get a sense of why this issue matters so much, and carries so much social, emotional and political charge. 2) Start noticing mansplaining on television, the radio, or wherever you overhear conversations. Witnessing it occurring around you allows you to observe it more objectively and consider how you might handle it if you were to find yourself in a comparable situation. Seeing examples through the lens of history (watching period pieces, on Mad Men, etc.) can help make you more aware of when it's happening in your own midst. Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/mansplaining/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 18: Coffee

Nov 21, 2016 - 00:55:47

We are big fans of coffee. We dig its flavor, its aroma, its health benefits, its feel-good buzz. We also know it's easy to overdo, particularly when we're rushed, stressed and depleted — which is precisely when all that caffeine is most apt to do us biochemical harm. In this week’s episode of The Living Experiment, we look at both the upsides and downsides of coffee, explaining how it affects both your body and brain from the moment you take a sip. We suggest ways to fine tune your coffee selection and habits, and offer our thoughts on the pros and cons of the burgeoning “butter coffee” trend. Finally, we present some experiments to help you make more conscious coffee decisions in your own life. "Coffee" Episode Highlights How caffeine is metabolized by your body (and a tip for enhancing the duration of its effects) (5:05) Why coffee has the title of “single greatest source of antioxidants in the American diet” (7:55) Research that links coffee with reduced risk (or delayed onset) of Alzheimer’s disease and type-2 diabetes (9:50) How genetics affect your caffeine metabolism rate, and implications for how beneficial or harmful coffee may be for you (11:00) The relationship between low-grade, chronic stress and heart palpitations or "jitters" while drinking coffee (12:35) From the Experience Life magazine article, “This is Your Body on Caffeine” — a timeline of what happens in your body over the 12 hours after you drink coffee (13:40) First 10 minutes: Stimulation and alertness (14:30) 30-45 minutes later: Peak energizing effects, slowing ability to absorb dopamine, and increased urge to go to the bathroom (15:20) 1-5 hours later: Release of adrenaline, increasing heart rate and blood pressure, and break down of caffeine by the liver (16:20) Caffeine intake and trouble getting to sleep (18:15) The interaction between stress, coffee, and appetite (21:10) How oral contraceptives and smoking affect your body's ability to process caffeine (22:50) After 12 hours: Withdrawal and headaches that pass within a few hours if you drink enough water (25:05) The butter-coffee and "Bulletproof" trend: What it is, the theory behind its potential benefits, including impacts on cognitive performance, blood sugar, and energy levels (25:30) Why subbing coffee for food is not a sustainable weight-loss or health-improvement solution (28:00) How a strategic whole foods eating plan can help you achieve better results (34:45) Decaf —  choose organic or skip it entirely (37:20) Social and environmental issues around coffee and whether fair trade, organic purchases make a difference (38:30) Challenging our current crazy coffee culture — jumbo drinks with five shots of espresso and several pumps of artificial flavors and sugar syrups or artificial sweeteners added to the mix (39:50) The high cost of using coffee to power sleep deprivation, or to overcome our natural ultradian rhythms (42:15) If you're not already drinking coffee, should you start? (43:40) Regulating your caffeine intake to manage anxiety and avoid panic attacks (44:45) Suggested experiments for the week (47:25) This Week's Experiments Dallas suggests: Take a three-week break from coffee and all caffeine to assess your relationship with it and its effect on you. Habitually consuming caffeine desensitizes you to its effects. For athletes looking for a performance boost, try reintroducing caffeine shortly before competition to get its full cognitive and physiological performance-enhancing effects. Evaluate how obligated you are to add a sweetener or fat source to your coffee. If you don’t like it without those additives, either you aren’t drinking good coffee, it’s not prepared well, or you don’t actually like coffee as much as you like your coffee condiments. Pilar suggests: 1) The next time you go into a coffee shop, order a "small,"  not a grandé, venti or super-jumbo-big-gulp. Put your attention on the experience of consciously tasting and savoring that small-size cup (and notice how few people order a "small" anything anymore). Avoid adulterating your coffee with all sorts of added flavors (caramel shots, etc.). If you like having "cream" in your coffee, have real cream (preferably heavy vs. half-and-half); pass on the fat-free, skim or low-fat milk, and bypass the weird chemical substitutes. You probably won't see heavy cream as an option unless you ask; many places stock it for whipping cream, and don't put it out for customer use unless requested. 2) Experiment with different ratios of cream to coffee. Try adding a little more fat than you normally would, and then cutting back on sugar (if you normally add it). See how it impacts your enjoyment and satiety. Choose better coffee — better sourced, better roasted or better prepared. It may reduce your desire to add sweeteners and flavors. Get full episode notes and links at http://livingexperiment.com/coffee/

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 17: Winter

Nov 14, 2016 - 00:59:18

Every season has its gifts, but we live in a culture that prefers to celebrate the bright, “go-go” energy of summer. Without the haven of a winter recovery cycle to replenish us, though, we get depleted, overstimulated, and overwhelmed. So in this week’s episode of The Living Experiment, we talk about the important and under-appreciated aspects of the winter season. We explain how you can observe its traditions by strategically adjusting your mindset, sleep schedule, food, fitness activity, and more. Drawing on ancient wisdom and modern-day science, we suggest some experiments to help you make the most of winter in your own world.  “Winter” Episode Highlights An overview of where winter fits into Chinese Five-Element Theory – associating everything in nature and our lives with a season and element, each with its own implications (6:00) Fall associations: Metal (element), grief (emotion), and the experience of emptiness – a big, metal bowl with receptive space (7:00) Winter: Water (element); fear (emotion); the experience of introspection, dreaming, creativity, and exploration — many “what if?” possibilities filling the empty bowl (7:20) Spring: Wood (element); anger (emotion); the experience of clear, conscious choice and directed energy — a bamboo shoot emerging straight from the water (8:30) Summer: Fire (element); joy (emotion); the experience of flourishing, sharing the bounty, including everyone in the celebration — the blossoming of the bamboo shoot in a beautiful display of plenty (9:40) Change of season: Earth (contains all the elements), empathy (emotion), the experience of sharing from a place of surplus – redistributing resources, then returning back to emptiness with a bigger metal bowl, stronger structure, even greater possibility (10:00) The "cult of the light" — our imbalanced cultural celebration of the bright, energetic, and productive (masculine "yang" energy) at the cost of the equally-important quiet, slower, introspective, restorative aspects of life (feminine "yin" energy) (11:05) How ignoring the energetic downshift from summer into winter leaves us depleted and resentful, with nothing to give in our relationships (13:35) Your body’s clear signals and the subtle, systemic maladies that indicate you’re suffering from a lack of seasonal replenishment and restoration (15:15) An introduction to Dallas's seasonal model for health – three key components of sleep, food, and movement (16:35) The pitfalls of using stimulating screen time to ignore the changing light/dark cycle in winter, which is nature’s nudge for you to become introspective and get more sleep (17:00) Life-giving activities for the winter, including the Danish concept of hygge that encourages intimacy with yourself and other people (19:30) Summer movement vs. winter movement – seasonally-harmonious fitness activities (24:00) How giving yourself a cardio break in winter can actually make you healthier (26:40) Thinking about winter exercise routines as a fitness foundation for spring and summer (28:00) Refraining from "should-ing on yourself" – why saying "could" instead of "should" is more empowering (32:15) High-intensity interval training: Short, hard anaerobic conditioning suggestions for the winter – outdoors or indoors – with appropriate work-to-rest ratios (34:20) Hearty food ideas for winter using locally- and seasonally-available sources, including high-quality animal proteins and fats; robust, durable, starchy root vegetables; and sturdy, leafy greens (36:45) Breakfast and the "year-round smoothie conundrum" – replacing cold morning smoothies with hot, healthy, hearty whole foods  (40:00) Slow cookers (the perfect winter kitchen appliance) and soups and stews (the perfect winter meal) (42:00) Debunking myths about dietary fat and why it’s OK (and healthy) to eat fat in moderation and without heavy carbohydrates — particularly in winter (45:00) An explanation of dietary cholesterol vs. serum cholesterol and why consuming eggs and meat isn't the primary driver of cholesterol troubles (47:15) The synergy of sleep, movement, and food – increased rest + strength and power exercises + a diet of more meat, fat, and starchy vegetables = greater winter health (49:50) Suggested experiments for the week (53:50) This Week’s Experiments Dallas suggests: Progressively adjust your bedtime to get more winter sleep. Starting in November, go to bed a half an hour earlier with each successive month, continuing with this strategy until spring. Resist the urge to maintain your summer sleep schedule, which will likely net you hours less sleep than your body wants and needs. Pilar suggests: 1) Add more seasonal vegetables to your shopping list. Choices include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnips, beets, and rutabagas; dark, leafy greens like kale and chard (fresh or frozen); fennel (roasted or in stews); sweet potatoes, squash, carrots (whole, not baby carrots!), parsnips. Heat-caramelized veggies are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth: Toss them with olive oil, add a little salt and pepper, and roast them in an oven or on a cast-iron skillet. 2) Swap night-time TV watching for some other low-key, constructive or creative activity, even if it’s just for a half hour and one night a week to start. Use the time to read, write, journal, declutter an area (like your fridge). Take a bath, do some yoga or stretching, or indulge in other self-care activities. Options like vision boarding, guided meditations or journaling can prime you for rich, insight-provoking dreams. Get resources and other helpful links at livingexperiment.com/winter.

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 16: Shame

Nov 7, 2016 - 01:13:03

Shame is universal. It touches every age, gender, and ethnicity — from a child who wets the bed to a presidential candidate who is caught off guard in a debate. Shame operates at your core, often playing out in a debilitating combination of aggression, withdrawal, and perfectionism. But how can you address shame if you have difficulty acknowledging or talking about it? In this week’s episode of The Living Experiment, we discuss shame openly, flushing it out of hiding and into the light of day. We talk about where shame comes from, how men and women feel it differently, and how it impacts relationship dynamics. We also suggest steps to shift from shame toward self-acceptance and insight. "Shame" Episode Highlights The life-long and inescapable human condition of shame (3:25) Defining (and differentiating) shame and guilt (6:30) The three primary behavioral expressions of shame (7:25) Secondary and tertiary consequences, including communication problems (7:50) The subtle differences between imposing shame and offering compassionate guidance (10:00) How shame that develops very early in life can manifest in our adult lives and relationships (12:50) Perfectionism as a response to childhood shame (14:25) Shame as a potential outcome of a religious upbringing (15:15) How your own sense of worth influences the way you accept or judge others (17:55) Dr. Marilee Adams’ "Choice Map" and the two paths — judger or learner — we can take in any stressful situation (18:45) Gender-specific shame triggers and responses (23:55) Dallas's early experience with shame, and the shadow it cast (26:00) Pilar's experience of shame resulting from childhood sexual abuse (29:50) How (and why) we make sense of irrational thoughts and situations, and why that's not always healthy (31:00) How shame shows up in human behavior (33:50) Dr. Brené Brown’s outing of the universal, destructive experience of shame (37:45) Shame-based morality vs. the natural consequences of potentially problematic actions, such as over-consumption of porn or food (38:45) The power of acknowledging and exposing sources and feelings of shame (42:20) How Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy can help people evolve traumatic experiences (44:20) “De-cloaking” — risking the truth about yourself with close friends, and the positive feedback loop that can create (47:10) How to re-frame and diminish shame with self-awareness and compassion (53:00) Making peace with your life experiences — good and bad — to more fully understand and accept yourself and others for who they are (55:40) How a difficult divorce can catalyze the work of self-discovery (57:25) The vicious cycle of poor communication between men and women – women's unarticulated desires leading to men's misguided efforts to fulfill them  — and how to reverse the pattern (1:00:00) Framing failure without shame rather than denying failure happened (1:05:00) Suggested experiments for the week (1:08:20) This Week’s Experiments Dallas suggests: Identify and compassionately acknowledge your shame. On a piece of paper, write “I have shame about . . .” and list all of your feelings of shame. On the last line of the page, write, “And it’s OK.” Calling shame by its name and accepting yourself sets the stage for growth. Pilar suggests: In the moments you feel shame, change the questions you ask. The next time you're tempted to go down a path of self-retribution (e.g, why am I so stupid; what's wrong with me; what will people think?), ask neutral, non-judging learner questions such as: “What just happened?” “What’s useful here?” “What do I want now?” “What would I like to have happen?” “What can I learn?” “What am I actually responsible for?” “What’s possible?” “What are my choices?” “What would be the best use of my time, energy, and attention now?” Embrace shame-tinged experiences as fertile ground for growth and self-honoring rather than self-reproach. Look for opportunities to reframe shame-based experiences from your early life to reclaim your sense of worth as a human being now. Get resources and other helpful links at livingexperiment.com/shame.

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 15: Sitting

Oct 31, 2016 - 00:39:10

Sitting on our butts — it's something most of us do for hours on end. We sit at our desks and in meetings. We sit while parked in front of screens at home. We sit while eating, drinking and socializing. We sit while driving cars and riding in planes and trains and — well, pretty much everywhere, most of the time. Given how much of our lives we spend sitting, it’s worth knowing how it affects our bodily systems — not just our musculoskeletal health, but our metabolism, biochemistry, and more. One expert quoted in The Washington Post asserts that after 30 minutes of sitting, your metabolism can slow by as much 90 percent, and that after two hours, the good cholesterol in your blood stream can drop 20 percent. Yikes! So in this week’s episode of The Living Experiment, we offer insights into the damage done by prolonged sitting, plus an explanation for why simply swapping sitting for standing isn’t an ideal solution, and some simple, doable ways to keep your body in motion at healthy intervals throughout the day. "Sitting" Episode Highlights "Sitting (and maybe standing?) is the new smoking" – seeing beyond conflicting and confusing headlines (2:50) Why the real problem is being too sedentary for too long – and why extended bouts of standing, while better than sitting, still spell trouble (4:00) The motion-based muscular contractions required for your circulatory system to return blood to your heart (5:30) The chronic musculoskeletal imbalances that arise from being too still for too long (7:50) Why unseen postural muscles matter, and the importance of their endurance, not just their strength (10:05) The vicious cycle of sitting in a chair and decreasing endurance (11:00) Yoga and ball chairs – litmus tests (and training tools) for postural-muscle stamina (12:00) Mushy abs, a weak back, feeble gluteal muscles and tight hip flexors — the high costs of chair time (12:45) Sitting's impact on your upper body – a concave chest, shallow breathing, and a craned neck position (15:15) The "medicalization" of poor lifestyle practices and “the tyranny of the diagnosis” that dissuades us from addressing the real root causes of our health problems (16:20) The hormonal and metabolic pitfalls of a sedentary lifestyle, and the hazardous combination of sitting a lot and eating a carb-heavy, high- refined-grain diet (17:25) How even very short periods of movement can have giant positive effects on insulin sensitivity (19:30) Potential benefits of shifting to a standing desk or sit-to-stand desk (24:10) The bare-minimum frequency at which you need to be moving (25:00) A shout-out to the “Pause” episode of The Living Experiment, and how to leverage your ultradian rhythms for more regular activity breaks (25:45) Creating a standing desk from available stuff, or advocating for healthier office accessories (27:15) How to incorporate standing or walking into work meetings (28:45) The big picture: Planning your next life move in favor of your health, happiness and satisfaction (33:10) Suggested experiments for the week (35:25) This Week's Experiments Dallas suggests: Establish a rule: If you’re going to watch TV or play video games, stand up while doing so. From a standing position, you’ll find yourself moving around more often – you simply won’t want to stand stationary for the full duration of a one-hour show. If you're standing while watching, you'll also be far less inclined to consume passive entertainments for prolonged periods. Pilar suggests: Take a look at the environments where you spend most of your time seated – both at work and at home – and evaluate how you might be able to adjust or redesign those spaces to encourage more frequent and regular movement. Create a standing work station in your office by stacking up books or bringing in a platform. Set out a yoga mat, kettle bell, bands, or weights near where you work to inspire you to incorporate movement into your day. At home, assess how your entertainment area is set up: If your living room is designed around watching TV, that's what you're going to do. Rearrange your furniture to encourage conversation, reading, cuddling, doing creative projects or looking outside instead. Share the Love! If you're enjoying The Living Experiment, please tell your friends about it (check out the "Share This" widget and other social-media tools on this page). People are always looking for great new podcasts, and your personal recommendations mean a lot. We'd also love to have you connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — share your thoughts, stories and reflections there. Resources "Don't Just Sit There" — a roundup of sitting's impacts on your body via The Washington Post. Also from The Washington Post, a piece on Healthy Limits for Sitting, which includes some great data on biochemical impacts of sitting. From Experience Life magazine, why Standing May Be as Bad as Sitting. A study, "Physical Activity and Insulin Sensitivity" showing that the total amount of activity performed over a day has more effect on insulin resistance than the intensity of exercise. The "Pause" Episode  of The Living Experiment, on recognizing and respecting your body’s “I-need-a-break” signals. "Workday Workouts" – a series of invigorating activities that turn wasted moments into body-strengthening mini-workouts, via Experience Life magazine. Get Up: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It, a book by James Levine, MD, codirector of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University obesity initiative. "Move" — a free app that reminds you (at regular, selected intervals) to get up and do simple, randomly-chosen exercises from the collection you choose. A great book by Dr. Jeff Bland (Pilar referenced his phrase "the tyranny of the diagnosis"): The Disease Delusion: Conquering the Causes of Chronic Illness PLUS ... Sign up for The Living Experiment newsletter so you can stay up to date with us, get free gifts, and receive new-show notifications (plus highlights) as soon as each new episode is released. Subscribe to The Living Experiment on iTunes to have fresh episodes delivered to your podcast feed each week. Check out Dallas Hartwig's More Social Less Media Program for cues for creatively, spontaneously, meaningfully connecting with people while also re-evaluating your level of media consumption.

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 14: Creativity vs. Consumption

Oct 24, 2016 - 00:45:45

We live in a culture that encourages us to consume far more than we create. That's a dynamic that directly undermines both our health and happiness. Learn why, and how you can achieve a more empowering balance. Creativity — whether preparing a delicious meal or exchanging witty banter with an old friend — can bring deep satisfaction. Consumption — whether enjoying a fine wine or a riveting Game of Thrones episode — can also be a delightful experience. But when creativity- and consumption-based pleasures get out of balance in our lives, our health and happiness start to suffer. Giving without receiving can be exhausting, while consuming without producing can feel aimless. In this week’s episode of The Living Experiment, we explore the dynamic relationship between creativity and consumption, the historic events that have led to our modern-day imbalance, and some strategies for establishing a healthier equilibrium. "Creativity vs. Consumption" Episode Highlights Defining, in thought-provoking terms, the key concepts of consumption (3:05) and creation (3:35) Dallas's observations of behavior changes in people on the Whole30 program, and how they inspired his interest in the creativity/consumption dynamic (4:40) The virtuous cycle of making positive changes that boost your self-confidence (8:10) An evolutionary mismatch: how our DNA is hardwired for a balance of creativity and consumption very different from how we’re living today (9:50) How Pilar's personal experience of the consumption/creativity imbalance motivated her to create Experience Life magazine, and the confirming feedback she got from readers (10:35) A historical overview of the shift from creation to consumption (12:40) The Agricultural Revolution, and how it changed our fundamental rhythms of life (14:25) The impact of trade and transactional relationships on the rise of consumerism – “What can I get for myself from you?” (15:05) The Industrial Revolution, and how mechanized production translated to less work for more goods, creating the economic forces that shaped consumer society (15:40) How the overconsumption of stuff has led us to want more of everything and affected our interpersonal relationships (18:00) The evolutionary drivers behind the desire to accumulate things (19:35) The inverse relationship between creation and consumption, and the damage caused by mindless overconsumption (22:15) How changing one small thing, whether nutrition, activity, sleep or mindset, can lead to profound life transformation (23:40) Meditation as a means of combating harmful consumption patterns (24:10) The dopamine loop activated by digital experiences, and how instant gratification creates a need for increasingly amped-up rewards (24:50) Research on how simple, hands on tasks can help counteract addictive tendencies (27:30) Lessons of the "trust-fund rat study" — how rats that didn’t have to work to find their food ended up more sick, fat, and depressed than rats that did (29:40) Upgrading your media consumption (31:45) Dallas's "More Social Less Media" program – balancing creative social interaction with mindful media intake (33:15) The value of examining our effort to get love and affection from other people (34:40) Why cooking a meal with another person can be a profoundly uplifting experience (36:55) Suggested experiments for the week (38:20) This Week's Experiments Dallas suggests: Identify one or two places where you mindlessly over-consume, and pick a creative replacement activity instead. Examples: Join a book club, plant a vegetable garden, pick up a musical instrument, or write in a journal. “If your goal is ‘reduce consumption,’ be more creative; if your goal is ‘be more creative,’ reduce consumption.” Pilar suggests: 1) Reduce your in-car media consumption, and instead make a creative effort to drive with exceptional kindness and generosity. Minimize dependence on music, news, texting, and phone-based interactions. Drive with the most awareness and thoughtfulness you can muster; rather than thinking about others as obstacles in your way, be on the lookout for how you can assist and support others during your commute. Examples: Anticipate people who might be trying to merge into your lane, slow down, and wave them in; make up kind and compassionate stories about the iffy behaviors of other drivers. Recognize that you can choose the attitude you want to adopt in any given moment, and how this gives you the opportunity to improve your own and others' experiences. 2) Swap some TV time in favor of an activity that improves your personal environment or quality of life.  Invest at least part of your habitual media-consumption time (even a half hour) in the service of your own happiness.  Look for some small way you can creatively contribute to own real-life daily experience or sense of wellbeing instead. Examples: Declutter a messy area, reorganize and arrange the bedside table to be more beautiful, vacuum out the silverware drawer, or clear out long-expired spices or supplements. Deal with some small annoyance or toleration you've been putting off. Share the Love! If you're enjoying The Living Experiment, please tell your friends about it (check out the "Share This" widget and other social-media tools on this page). People are always looking for great new podcasts, and your personal recommendations mean a lot. We'd also love to have you connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, share your thoughts, stories and reflections there. Resources The Story of Stuff, a 20-minute, fact-filled look at the dark side of our production and consumption patterns — and the origins of our consumer economy. Dallas’s blog article, "Porn, Shame, and Doughnuts", which digs into the psychology and physiology of addictive behaviors and instantly-available stimuli. The Living Experiment episode on "Addiction", which touches on how simple, creative tasks can help to overcome dependencies. The Trust Fund Rat Study as explained in a Scientific American article by Dr. Kelly Lambert (the study's author) exploring the link between hands-on pursuits, increased resilience and decreased depression. On Being, a podcast by Peadbody-Award-winning journalist Krista Tippett exploring what it means to be human and how we can live our best lives in the 21st century. The Minimalists Podcast — Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus's ongoing discussion about living a meaningful life with less stuff. PLUS ... Sign up for The Living Experiment newsletter so you can stay up to date with us, get free gifts, and receive new-show notifications (plus highlights) as soon as each new episode is released. Subscribe to The Living Experiment on iTunes to have fresh episodes delivered to your podcast feed each week. Check out Dallas Hartwig's More Social Less Media Program for cues for creatively, spontaneously, meaningfully connecting with people while also re-evaluating your level of media consumption.  

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 13: Poo

Oct 17, 2016 - 00:43:13

From a health perspective, what comes out of your body is every bit as important as what goes in. So we think it's high time we gave poo the respect it deserves. Look, we know, it's an awkward topic. And that's why it's so rarely discussed among friends, lovers and family members, or even with health care professionals. The problem is, when we don't talk about it, we don't learn about it. And when we don't learn about something as important as healthy digestion and elimination, we get into serious trouble. That's why more than 60 million Americans suffer from constipation, and far many too many endure oppressive bowel related discomfort, toxicity and related inflammatory diseases. So in this week’s episode of The Living Experiment, we have a frank conversation about feces, defining what’s “normal” — in frequency, form, and yes, even aroma. We also offer some helpful counsel on identifying and resolving common poo problems, and more. Even if you're a little grossed out, you're not going to want to miss this essential wisdom for improving your digestive process, your elimination experience, and your overall health. "Poo" Episode Highlights How your poop reflects your health, and relates to the condition of your skin (7:00) Some basics about frequency, effort and more (8:10) The relationship between your diet (especially fiber) and your defecation (11:10) How a lack of dietary fiber undermines elimination, causing recirculation of polluted bile, with inflammatory and cholesterol-raising results (11:35) The surprising range of serious health conditions that can develop from poor elimination and overstressed detox pathways (12:15) How gas, belching, and bad breath can result from waste that ferments in your gut for too long (13:40) A word on microbiome disruption and Dr. Elson Haas’s graphic warning against letting methane gas build up in your system (14:20) Using the Bristol Stool Chart to assess the shape, texture, and quality of your poo (16:10) Signs and causes of constipation, including stress and food intolerance (18:05) The German “poop shelf” and the value of examining your stool (20:20) GI tests as a diagnostic tool for identifying the underlying causes of digestive and skin problems, allergies, and asthma (21:20) Tips on what you can do about constipation and diarrhea – food, fiber, water, and fat intake (22:45) Examining the effect of your stress, lifestyle, and schedule on your bowel movements (24:40) Ramifications of not going when you first feel the urge to go (24:55) The smelly signals poo sends (29:00) Some pro-poo minerals (32:05) The interdependence of sleep, stress, and GI motility (33:10) Experiments for the week (38:50) This Week's Experiments Pilar suggests: 1) Incorporate a good-sized serving of fresh, non-starchy, leafy-green, or other fibrous vegetables with each meal of the day. Fiber is essential for moving things along and for escorting polluted bile out of your system. Examples: Add a handful of fresh greens or sautéed kale to your breakfast. For lunch, add a salad or a side order of vegetables. For dinner, add an additional serving of vegetables prepared in some yummy way. 2) Notice and immediately respect your body's first-inkling signal that you need to poop. Whenever you notice the urge to go, go right then. Don't delay, allow yourself to distracted, avoid it, or wait for a more convenient time. Ignoring or de-prioritizing your body's signals can lead to constipation and significantly undermine your health. Dallas suggests: 1) Drink at least one to two glasses of lukewarm water within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning; Drinking warm water in the morning — ideally, before coffee — improves GI health and hydration, facilitating elimination with zero effort, zero cost. 2) Consider using a Squatty Potty.  The Squatty Potty is a small platform that elevates your feet on either side of the toilet, allowing you to get into a more natural squatting position for easier and more complete bowel movements. Share the Love! If you're enjoying The Living Experiment, please tell your friends about it (check out the "Share This" widget and other social-media tools on this page). People are always looking for great new podcasts, and your personal recommendations mean a lot. We'd also love to have you connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, share your thoughts, stories and reflections there. Resources From Experience Life magazine, Overcoming Constipation (great general overview). Also from Experience Life, Fiber: Why It Matters More Than You Think (includes a detailed explanation of the role of bile, hepatic recycling, connections to gallstones, heart disease and more). Pooping 101, a helpful article from SCD Lifestyle - includes a good explanation of the Bristol Stool Chart. The Stool Analyzer, an interactive tool (based, in part, on the Bristol Stool Chart) to help you evaluate your bowel movements and what they mean. The Squatty Potty, mentioned in one of Dallas's recommended experiments.

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 12: Enough

Oct 11, 2016 - 00:52:39

Can you ever have “enough” — money, time, energy, love? Do you trust that you will have enough in the future? Do you believe you are enough, right now, just as you are? Your answers to those questions can have a profound influence on your health and happiness. In this week’s episode of The Living Experiment, we examine the opposing mentalities of scarcity and abundance. We explore how they affect our experiences in the present moment, and how they can impact our future. Research suggests that worrying about "not enough" — or even focusing on on imaginary "not enough" scenarios — can reduce both our available IQ and our ability to respond to real-life challenges. As Pilar says, “scarcity mentality tends to produce scarcity results.” That's why we're excited to offer up insights and experiments to help you evolve your mindset in more rewarding directions. “Enough” Episode Highlights The scarcity-fear connection, and its hidden costs (2:45) Why scarcity thinking is almost always about the future (3:30) Research by a Harvard economist shows how even imagining scarcity scenarios can undermine your mental capacity (4:40) Scarcity as a self-fulfilling prophecy: How fear of "not enough" sets you up to lose (5:45) Discovering the origins of scarcity mentality in childhood experiences (7:10) Why grasping for love, attention, and affection tends to alienate, rather than attract, other people (10:20) The physiological underpinnings of scarcity — including the effect of stress-escalated cortisol and adrenaline (11:10) Scarcity and self-worth — the shame inherent in feeling inadequate (15:00) Connecting with a mindset of abundance, in which there's enough for you and everybody else, and everyone can win (16:00) Pinpointing where your anxieties lie and connecting them to scarcity-based beliefs (18:00) How mass-media sows discontent and can slay our self-esteem (19:00) Pilar's experience of measuring her body against an unachievable feminine ideal — even as a small child (19:45) The "never enough" machine: How consumerism drives perennial dissatisfaction (20:20) Dallas shares his experience of challenging the rational basis of another person's fiscal anxieties, and the inherent narcissism in being obsessed about scarcity (21:00) What a person with an abundance mentality looks like, and how it feels to be that person (25:30) Shame/vulnerability researcher Brené Brown’s concept of sufficiency (27:10) How rushing conveys scarcity — how to be more present with your family by changing your point of view about time (31:15) Simple mantras to connect you with the abundance you already have (35:30) Dispelling scarcity via Byron Katie’s process of self-inquiry; her four key reality-challenging questions (38:00) Practicing presence and gratitude by acting as if you have enough and asking “What am I missing?” (41:00) This Week’s Experiments Dallas suggests: Explore and reframe your scarcity-driven feelings. Notice when you begin to experience a negative emotion of fear, worry, anxiety, or stress. Ask yourself whether that feeling is rooted in some perception or projection of scarcity — the notion that you somehow aren’t enough or will not have enough of one thing or another — whether now, or at some time in the future. If the answer is yes (and it almost always is), challenge that belief by saying, out loud or to yourself: “Right here, right now, it’s enough. Right here, right now, I’m enough for me.” Try that reality on, and see how it feels. Pilar suggests: 1) Adopt a posture of plenty; and 2) ask, “What am I missing?”  Pick a moment when you are inclined to feel scarcity, whether around money, time, attention, affection, or any other area. Notice how that feeling inclines you to physically and emotionally contract. Decide to instead hold your body in a posture of plenty and generosity. Uncross your arms and legs, lean forward, allow your face and neck to relax, soften your eyes, unclench your hands, breathe slowly and deeply —  as though you have plenty of everything and nothing to fear. Notice how adopting this different posture shifts your experience and perception, particularly if you’re relating to another person. Another experiment: Ask yourself the question “What am I missing?” in two different senses. 1) What am I longing for in this moment; what do I really most want and need? (Hint: It may be something other than what you originally thought you were craving.) 2) What good things am I not seeing? What positive experiences or opportunities are available to me in the present moment that I may have overlooked? Getting real about what you actually want and need (vs. chasing some second-best thing) and noticing what you currently have can help you challenge scarcity-based perceptions and enjoy a more positive present-moment experience. Visit livingexperiment.com for links to Resources!

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 11: Paleo vs. Primal

Oct 3, 2016 - 01:00:01

In this week’s episode of The Living Experiment, we dig into the fundamentals of Paleo and Primal eating approaches — their origins, similarities, and differences, plus practical steps for integrating them into the way you eat today. We also examine the modern nutritional reductionism that led us to think about food as merely a sum of its parts (macronutrients, calories, and so on) rather than considering the value and integrity of whole foods in their natural state. In addition to evaluating the differences between Paleo and Primal dietary strategies, we explore their key principles in the context of the larger ancestral nutrition movement — arguably the most significant dietary trend of the past two decades. Contrasting the hunter-gatherer diets our ancestors consumed for most of human history (2.6 million years) with the more processed and grain-heavy diets we've embraced over the past 10,000 years, we offer up insights about why some foods seem to reliably produce health and vitality, while others consistently produce distress and disease. "Paleo vs. Primal" Episode Highlights How Michael Pollan figures in — and our personal Pollan stories (3:00) Why most humans tend to thrive on ancestrally-inspired diets (7:40) A brief history of the Paleo movement and the influencers who helped shape it (11:50) Guiding principles for eating within Paleo and Primal frameworks (14:30) Commonalities between Paleo and Primal, and key nuances that distinguish them (16:55) How commercial, industrialized, processed "Paleo" foods have diluted the Paleo movement (18:25) Focusing on the 85% we agree on — vs. the 15% we fight about (19:00) Signs of hope on the food landscape, and reasons to be wary (24:30) Ancestral-diet disharmony: Eggs — included in most ancestral diets, and a common modern-world allergen (27:00) The importance of individual self-experimentation over rigid dietary dictates (28:10) The common-ground essentials of ancestral eating — what's in, what's out, and what's still the subject of debate (dairy, alcohol, legumes, etc.) (29:40) Why even healthy foods can cause serious digestive and immune problems for some people, and the importance of respecting your own system (35:15) The difference between short- and long-term dietary interventions, and the importance of tracking your body's response over time (38:00) Why focusing primarily on weight loss rarely leads to sustainable health improvement (43:10) Our response to "just tell me what to eat!" — a hierarchy of ancestrally-inspired food recommendations that work for most people, most of the time, over the long haul (45:00) Recommended experiments (54:15) This Week's Experiments Dallas encourages listeners to take on the Whole30 nutritional program: The 30-day, intensive experiment will help you discover the healing power of whole foods, and help you explore which foods do or do not agree with your body. Eliminate common problem foods (see Whole30 site, link below, for instructions) for 30 days. Over the subsequent weeks, systematically reintroduce them while noting how each affects you. Consider doing the experiment with a friend for better support and motivation. Pilar suggests going a week without grains or sugars: Remove all grains and added sugars from your diet (not just flour-and-starch-based products like bread, pasta, cookies, and crackers, but also whole-kernel grains like rice, quinoa, and millet). Replace them with extra servings of brightly colored vegetables, which deliver healthy complex carbohydrates, plus fiber and anti-inflammatory, pro-healing phytonutrients. Notice how replacing high-glycemic foods with high-nutrition ones helps balance your blood sugar, improves your energy, and reduces cravings while also improving your overall sense of well-being. Share the Love! If you're enjoying The Living Experiment, please tell your friends about it (just click the "share this" tool on this page). People are always looking for great new podcasts, and your personal recommendations mean a lot. We'd also love to have you connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, share your thoughts, stories and reflections there. Resources Great stuff from author, food and agriculture expert Michael Pollan, plus his seminal The New York Times Magazine article, "Power Steer" Loren Cordain's movement-launching book, The Paleo Diet The Difference Between Primal and Paleo as articulated by Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint. A simple chart contrasting Paleo and Primal eating, via the Saving Dinner blog. Paleo-movement pioneer Robb Wolf Pilar's informative video interview with David Ludwig, MD, PhD (Harvard Medical School nutrition professor and author of Always Hungry) on the importance of whole-food, nutrient dense, fat-friendly eating. The Whole30 website and the The Whole30 book Not mentioned in the show, but significant in laying some groundwork for the Paleo and Primal movements: Work by Sally Fallon Morell, Mary Enig, Weston Price and others. PLUS ... Sign up for our newsletter so you can stay up to date with us and receive new-show highlights as soon as they're published. Subscribe to The Living Experiment on iTunes to have fresh episodes delivered to your podcast feed each week.

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 10: Top 10 Health Biggies

Sep 19, 2016 - 00:46:58

Wrapping up our successful first season, we offer a big picture view of what we see as the top 10 fundamentals of healthy, happy living, and how they fit into five key domains of wellbeing. We point out some of the essential connections between all these considerations, and we explain why each of them matters — especially those elements commonly overlooked or underemphasized by the conventional media. If you’re looking for a quick tour of what healthy living looks and feels like, you’ve come to the right place. Episode Highlights: Pilar outlines five dimensions of health and healthy living (4:40) Dallas and Pilar share their top 10 biggies (fundamentals for being the most vital human you can be), in no particular order (7:40) #1: Whole food nutrition and hydration (8:00) #2: Rest and recovery (10:20) #3: Healthy movement (12:00) #4: Face-to-face intimate social connection (16:25) #5: Empowered role in directing and managing your own healthcare (19:35) #6: Minimal exposure to toxic chemicals, environments and relationships (25:10) #7: Appropriate balance of stress/challenge and recovery/repair opportunity (29:00) #8: Positive growth-and-learning mindset (32:15) #9: Time in nature and the outdoors (35:50) #10: Conscious, discerning relationship with media and marketing (39:00) The art of conducting (and being) your own "living experiment" (43:55) Share the love! If you're enjoying The Living Experiment, please tell your friends about it (just click the "share this" tool on this page). People are always looking for great new podcasts, and your personal recommendations mean a lot. We'd also love to have you connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, share your thoughts, stories and reflections there. Resources: Pilar’s “101 Revolutionary Ways to be Healthy” (you can explore them all and access the free mobile app here, too!). Pilar's "Revolutionary Acts" column in Experience Life Dallas's More Social, Less Media program Byron Katie’s “The Work” for developing a healthier, more conscious mindset. The learner/judger Choice Map from Dr. Marilee Adams and the Inquiry Institute. Articles from Experience Life magazine on all of the Top-10 Biggies (search on the topics of interest to you). PLUS ... Sign up for our newsletter so you can stay up to date with us and receive new-show highlights as soon as they're published. Subscribe to The Living Experiment on iTunesto have fresh episodes delivered to your podcast feed each week. Sponsor link: Check out Brian Johnson’s life-changing “Habits 101” Master Class for FREE.

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 9: Fitspo

Sep 12, 2016 - 00:32:21

This week on The Living Experiment, we consider the pros and cons of “Fitspo” — short for Fitness Inspiration — that stream of idealized-body imagery and imperatives that dominates a lot of social media feeds these days. We question whether this supposedly aspirational torrent of photos, messages and hashtags is doing health-seekers more harm than good. We challenge the notion that chasing an aesthetic ideal and comparing your body to others’ is likely to be a lasting, positive source of motivation. And we explore a demonstrated correlation between increased exposure to social media and lowered self-esteem. We wind up with some simple experiments you can run in your own life as a way of relating more consciously to the Fitspo memes and messages you’re likely to encounter, and as a way of reconsidering the impact they might be having your own health and happiness.  Episode Highlights: The Fitspo phenomenon that's flooding our social media feeds (3:25) The important difference between internal and external motivations (5:30) Why Fitspo tends to increase anxiety and lower self-esteem (6:45) How supposedly inspirational pop-culture memes and messages are negatively shaping our self-image (8:15) How to spot and deal with the onslaught of “you’re not good enough” messages we’re slammed with daily (10:30) The problem of chasing superficial body ideals at the cost of your long-term health (14:30) Why buying into a perfect-body fantasy is unlikely to get you what you really want (19:10) Dallas shares his own history as a skinny, scrawny kid, and how he came to terms with his own best body (22:15) Evaluating whether your social media feeds reflect your real-life goals and priorities (24:35) When you’re the one posting Fitspo — how to get more conscious about what you're sharing, and why (26:40) Experiments for the week (29:40) Weekly Experiments:  Dallas suggests: Notice the Fitspo images you come across. How do they make you feel about yourself? Pause at images of fit bodies on social media and in advertisements. Ask yourself: do these make my life better? Pilar suggests: Think about ditching social media feeds that don’t match your real-life goals and values. Ask yourself how your own Fitspo posts you. Go through your social media channels and consider deleting and un-following any feeds that post images or messages that don’t serve you (and particularly those that make you feel worse about yourself). Look at your own profile and social feeds. What messages are you sending with your fitness posts? Do they reflect who you really are and what you care most about? Share the love!  Each week we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We'd love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and share your stories with us there.  Share the love! Each week we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We'd love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and share your stories with us there. Resources: "Real Bodies in a Virtual World", an article from Experience Life magazine exploring the impact social media is having on body image and self-esteem. "Healthy vs Hot", an episode of The Living Experimentthat explores the often-confused relationship between a fit appearance and a healthy reality. The Center for Eating Disorder's public survey of Facebook users and their body image. Florida State University's study relating Facebook and eating disorders. PLUS: Sign up for our newsletterso you can stay up to date with us and receive new-show highlights as soon as they're published. Subscribe to The Living Experiment on iTunesto have fresh episodes delivered to your podcast feed each week. Sponsor link: Check out Brian Johnson’s “Habits 101” Master Class for FREE.  

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 8: Addiction

Sep 5, 2016 - 00:48:27

On this episode of The Living Experiment, we’re talking about “Addiction” — what that phenomenon is all about, and how to address the sometimes-subtle dependencies that may show up in your own life. We address everything from physical and psycho-emotional attachments to food, exercise, emotional drama and social media to entrenched end-of-day drink rituals — even porn. We also help you reflect on the dynamics that can drive your own addictive tendencies, so you can start to shift them in ways that work for you. Episode Highlights: Our all-purpose definition of addiction (3:10) Cool neuroscience — the pharmacy inside your brain (7:00) How the biochemicals associated with stress feed our dependencies (8:35) Figuring out the root causes of addiction, and noticing how our culture helps create them (15:00) The connection between addiction and lack of human connection  (19:50) Breaking the addictive cycle with mindful practices and conscious choices (22:00) The satisfaction problem — why it's hard to get "enough" porn, doughnuts, and social media (28:45) The connection between women's "food" issues and a lack of sensual satisfaction (31:00) How guilt and shame drive self-destructive behaviors (33:10) Shifting our addictive tendencies (37:20) The importance of tracking the outcomes of your choices (39:30) This week’s experiments (41:55) Weekly Experiments: Dallas suggests: Why do you do what you do? Identify your addictions. Using our definition of addiction, take a look at your own behaviors. Do they make your life better? Are you doing them even though they’re harming you? Pilar suggests: Challenge your daily alcohol ritual, and observe your attachments. If you usually have a drink after work, first sit down with a glass of water and just reflect on how you are presently feeling (body and mind). Then notice how it might feel to do without the wine, beer or cocktail on this particular day. What does the drink represent? What are the feelings that come up when you even consider withholding it? Share the love! Each week we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We'd love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and share your stories with us there. Resources   Bruce K. Alexander's Rat Park addiction studies. The fun and fascinating little animated video Pilar referenced: "Addiction - In a Nutshell"by Kurzgesagt. BJ Fogg's behavior-change work at Stanford University's Persuasive Technology Lab. Judson Brewer's research at Yale on using mindfulness to treat addiction: "You're Already Awesome. Just Get Out of Your Own Way!" TEDx Talk; and his Huffington Post blog. Dallas's blog post, "Porn, Shame, and Doughnuts". Dallas's More Social, Less Media program (helpful for exploring your relationship with technology). Pilar's video interview with Alexandra Jamieson, author of Women, Food, and Desire. The Sipping Point, an article on women and drinking by Gabrielle Glaser from Experience Life Potential Adverse Cardiovascular Effects of Excessive Endurance Exercise via Mayo Clinic Proceedings. PLUS … Sign up for our newsletterso you can stay up to date with us and get notified when a new episode is available. Subscribe to The Living Experiment on iTunes so you automatically get new episodes when they come out. Sponsor link: Check out Brian Johnson’s “Habits 101” Master Class for FREE.

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 7: Pause

Aug 29, 2016 - 00:50:01

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re celebrating power of the pause — the importance of taking regular breaks, and the rewards of getting into agreement with our bodies’ natural energy-production and repair cycles. We reveal the biological necessity and scientific importance of ultradian rhythms —the regular fluctuations between output and recovery that allow our bodies to maintain optimal energy, focus and vitality. And we offer practical guidance on recognizing your body’s “need a break” signals, and building more brief, health-supporting pauses into your day.  Whether you want to improve your energy, metabolism, hormonal balance and mood, minimize stress and inflammatory conditions, or just want to get more good stuff done during the course of the day, ultradian rhythm breaks are your best friend. Here’s how to make the most of them…    Episode Highlights: Why trying to be consistently productive all day long doesn't work (3:00) Circadian and ultradian rhythms in the body and why they matter (6:30) Why managing time is less effective than managing energy (11:00) “You need to have a valley to have the next peak” - the rules of the ultradian healing response (12:00) The scientific research behind ultradian rhythms (13:00) How to know when you need a break, and the wide range of break options (15:00) How our go-go-go corporate culture undermines productivity and creativity (22:05) The relationship between ultradian rhythms and key health factors (26:00) How taking regular breaks can reduce emotional reactivity and improve willpower (27:30) Simple ways to pause during the day (30:20) Key takeaways (42:10) Experiments for the week (44:00)   Weekly Experiments:    Dallas suggests: Drink a glass of water each time you take a break.  Set an alarm if you need initial reminders to break; effects of good hydration will encourage subsequent breaks. Pilar suggests: Book two 15-minute interval breaks to check in on your body.  Aim for one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon break every day for a week. Start by noticing how you’re feeling; bonus points for then taking the break your body wants.   Share the love!  Each week we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We'd love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and share your stories with us there.    Resources: Check out the ultradian rhythm chart at Pilar's blog (pilargerasimo.com) to see how your energy rises and falls throughout the day. Visit The Energy Project blog for more information on managing energy to improve productivity. Can't turn out all the lights? Consider getting some blue blocking glasses. Sign up for our newsletter so you can stay up to date with us and get notified when a new episode is available. Subscribe to The Living Experiment on iTunes so you can automatically get new episodes when they come out. Sponsor link: Check out Brian Johnson’s “ Habits 101”  Master Class for FREE at livingexperiment.com/habits.

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 6: Travel

Aug 22, 2016 - 00:59:24

    This week on the Living Experiment, we’re talking about travel—the real challenges it poses for health-seeking people, and smart things you can do to make it easier on your body and mind. Dallas starts by shares a little about his recent run-in with hotel bed bugs. Eek! Then we get into the more typical array of pesky problems that most health-concerned travelers face, from limited food options, disrupted sleep, and excessive seat time, to dealing with special temptations, increased stress and social isolation. We share some of our best tips and tricks for pre-trip preparation and also for rolling with whatever conditions you’re faced with out on the road, up in the air, and while stuck in random hotels. We wrap up with some easy experiments you can try out on your next trip.  Episode Highlights:  Why traveling for work sucks more than traveling with your family (3:25)  Dallas has cooties: a bed bug nightmare (4:45)  “It starts with food”: eating while traveling (8:00)  Packing food for the trip (11:00)  Pilar’s quick trick snack stack (14:50)  Why is it so easy to give into your cravings while traveling? (16:20)  Finding healthy options away from home (19:00)  Eating unhealthy options versus not eating at all (25:00)  Why are hotel rooms so bright? Shutting off the lights for sleep (27:30)  Stressing about waking up on time (33:50)  How to avoid the hotel television by setting up a bedtime routine (35:00)  Can’t go? Staying regular on the road  (39:30)  Exercising during a trip (41:20)  Living in the moment and knowing where you are (46:50)  Put the phone down! Why you should look away from your phone while traveling (50:00)  Experiments for the week (54:00)  Weekly Experiments:  Dallas suggests: Make your sleeping space as comfortable as possible. Give locals the opportunity to tell you about where you are.   Make the room cool at night by turning on the AC, use a white noise app to kill ambient noise, and turn off all lights in the room to make it as dark as possible  Connect with the people in the community. Ask their opinion on things to do in their town.  Pilar suggests: Avoid unhealthy choices by packing your own food on a trip. Try to mimic your home evening routine while staying in your hotel.    Nuts, seeds, flaked coconut, and dried fruit are great snacks to bring with you  Make your hotel life as close as possible to your home life by maintaining your normal evening routine. Take a shower, clean up the room, ect.   Share the love!  Each week we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We'd love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and share your stories with us there.  Resources:  Check out Dallas Hartwig’s new program More Social Less Media   Moment app for tracking cell phone use  Visit The Living Experiment to watch our background video and subscribe to our newsletter (so you can stay up to date with us and future episodes).  Sponsor link: Check out Brian Johnson’s “ Habits 101”  Master Class for FREE at http://livingexperiment.com/habitshttps://twitter.com/LivingExp     

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 5: Seasons

Aug 15, 2016 - 00:51:15

On today’s episode of The Living Experiment, we’re talking about seasons: the natural fluctuations your body goes through during the cycles of winter, spring, summer, and fall, and the nutrition, fitness and life-rhythm strategies you can use to stay healthier through all of them. Dallas shares his simple but powerful, science-based model for eating, moving and sleeping in accordance with the seasons.I offer up some insights about the value of observing nature’s ebb-and-flow patterns—rather than being driven by the non-stop madness of modern-day mass culture. Together we explore the ancient wisdom our human bodies still carry about patterns of dark and light, warm and cold, exertion and recovery. And of course, we wrap up with some seasonally appropriate experiments you can run in your own life.     Episode Highlights:  How we messed up our natural rhythms: temperature control, escalators, and electric lights (2:45)   The negative effects of circadian and seasonal rhythm disruption (12:00)  Strategies for getting back in touch with your natural rhythm (15:15)  Why eating local and following the seasons is best for your body (16:45)  Our intuitive need for a varied diet (27:20)  Changing your exercise and sleep cycle with the seasons (29:40)  The yin and yang of summer and winter (33:00)  Dallas walks us through the ideal schedule for each season (36:30)  Giving yourself permission to listen to your own body (38:50)  Eat fruit! Why you shouldn’t cut out major food groups (40:15)  Experiments for the week (47:25)  Weekly Experiments  Dallas suggests: Do the factors of your life mismatch or coordinate? Find a balance  Assess your diet, exercise routine, and sleep schedule. Do they coordinate with each other and with the season?  Brainstorm how you can better align the different factors of your life    Pilar suggests: Look at the season ahead - What would feel good to change?  Think about the coming season and ask yourself how your exercise, sleep, or diet can be shifted to accommodate the change  Don’t stress about changing everything at once! Make it gradual   Share the Love!  Each week we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We'd love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and share your stories with us there.    Resources  Visit The Living Experiment to watch our background video and subscribe to our newsletter (so you can stay up to date with us and future episodes).  Sponsor link: Check out Brian Johnson’s “ Habits 101”  Master Class for FREE at http://livingexperiment.com/habitshttps://twitter.com/LivingExp 

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 4: Morning

Aug 8, 2016 - 00:49:56

Mornings can be tough — rushed, stressful, groggy. So we offer up some smart strategies for reclaiming them. We explain why your first waking moments are so influential, and we offer a fleet of simple-but-powerful suggestions to help you start each day on your own empowered terms.  Episode Highlights  Creating a morning practice that inspires self-efficacy (3:00)   How looking at your smartphone first thing in the morning is stressing you out, making you vulnerable to unhealthy impulses, and killing your creativity (5:25)   Pilar’s brief, restful (and strategic) morning routine (9:05)   How Dallas uses a conscious coffee-making ritual to start his days (10:00)   Savoring (vs. just doing) your morning practice (12:30)   The power of the three-minute transition ritual (14:10)    How taking control of your morning improves the rest of your day (20:40)   Think you are too busy for a mindfulness practice? (23:23)   Noticing and overcoming obstacles to a peaceful morning routine (26:15)   Some good reasons to make your bed every morning (29:50)   Dallas’s routine (33:40)    Feel the fear and do it anyway (37:00)   Claiming moments for yourself as a form of self-respect (38:45)   Moving into a restful state through breath and morning practice (39:50)   Permission to do it your way (44:30)   This week’s experiments (47:20)  Share the Love!  Each week, we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We'd love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment  on Facebook,  Instagram, and Twitter, and share your stories with us there.  Resources  Sponsor link: Check out Brian Johnson’s “Habits 101” Master Class for FREE at http://www.livingexperiment.com/habits.   

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 3: Lonely

Jul 31, 2016 - 00:59:50

Feeling a little lonely? Join the club. We talk about the discomfort and stigma of loneliness, and the negative impacts it has on our well-being. We explore why social isolation has become more common — even as we’ve gotten more “plugged in” — and how we can connect with each other in more meaningful ways.      Episode Highlights  What is loneliness? Why do we get lonely? Dallas and Pilar share their thoughts (1:30)  How loneliness affects our lives and overall health (6:35)  Skin hunger (10:55)  Using television as a social crutch (13:30)  Recognizing loneliness and social withdrawal as a societal issue (15:00)  Untangling the knot of loneliness (20:25)  Social feeds as digital junk food — calories but no nutrients (24:30)  Why face-to-face contact matters (35:50)  Building the skills of assessing and alleviating your own loneliness (39:50)  Experiments for the week (50:30)  Share the Love!  Each week, we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We'd love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment  on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and share your stories with us there.  Resources  Read Dallas’ related post, “Sit With Your Loneliness”  Visit The Living Experiment site to watch our backgrounder video and subscribe to our newsletter (so you can stay up to date with us and future episodes).  Sponsor link: Check out Brian Johnson’s “Habits 101” Master Class for FREE at http://www.livingexperiment.com/habits.   

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 2: Healthy vs. Hot

Jul 31, 2016 - 00:52:06

What's the difference between “Healthy” and “Hot”? We share what those descriptors mean to us, and how our definitions have evolved over time. We address the problem of hyper-perfected ideals in the media, the downsides of chasing aesthetics and metrics that don’t actually result in health, and we share some real-life experiments that can help you shift your own body-image ideals in a healthier, happier direction.    Episode Highlights  Looking better vs. feeling better: Pursuing health (not just the appearance of it) for wise reasons (02:22)  Redefining “health” both mentally and emotionally (09:45)  What do we mean when we call someone “hot” and what’s that all about? (12:45)  Expressions of health as a signifier of potential-mate value, plus the evolutionary biology phenomenon of “faked fitness” (24:30)  Choosing good role models for health (36:45)  Reframing and refocusing your goals for health and fitness (40:00)  Experiments for the week (47:00)  Share the Love!  Each week, we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We'd love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment  on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and share your stories with us there.  Resources  Read Pilar’s related article, “Health: The New Sex Symbol” (from Experience Life magazine)  Visit The Living Experiment site to watch our backgrounder video and subscribe to our newsletter (so you can stay up to date with us and future episodes).  Sponsor link: Check out Brian Johnson’s “Habits 101” Master Class for FREE at http://www.livingexperiment.com/habits. 

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Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo
Episode 1: Freak

Jul 31, 2016 - 00:54:29

Can you live a healthy life in an unhealthy world? Yes, you can. But right now, more than 97 percent of U.S. adults aren’t managing it. So if you are one of the few brave souls who are currently beating the statistics, or intent on beating them, that makes you a freak of sorts—in a good way.  We explore what it means to live outside the prevailing, unhealthy norms, and what it takes. We also share a little of our own “freak” stories Episode Highlights: What The Living Experiment is all about and what we hope you’ll get out of it (03:00) Facts and Figures: Some disturbing statistics about the current state of U.S. health norms (07:15) Reclaiming the word “freak” and choosing empowered difference in a context of unhappy, unhealthy sameness (12:15) Getting to know Dallas and Pilar: Their childhood origin stories and how they got to where they are now (15:50) Setting yourself up for success (39:20) Experiments for the week (45:20) This Week's Experiments:Dallas suggests: The more stressed we are, the more convinced we are that there’s too much to do and never enough time. Can we disrupt the flow? Every time you go to the bathroom, take two deep breaths Inhale for four beats, hold for one beat, and then exhale. Repeat this twice Turn the notifications off on your phone. Put it away and silence it when in the company of other people. Pilar suggests: Start seeing the madness. Notice the crazy, manipulative stuff you're bombarded with on a daily basis, and begin questioning it. Be on the lookout for how aggressively (or subtly) unhealthy products and mindsets are marketed to you everywhere you go. Take pictures of disturbing or undermining messages on signage and billboards, or tear bad/silly/absurd advertisements out of magazines as a way of raising your media awareness. Share the Love! Each week we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We'd love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and share your stories with us there. Resources: For statistical details on the sorry state of U.S. health habits, read the study Pilar referenced, as reported in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings Dr. BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits Visit The Living Experiment to watch our background video and subscribe to our newsletter (so you can stay up to date with us and future episodes). Sponsor link: Check out Brian Johnson’s “ Habits 101”  Master Class for FREE at http://livingexperiment.com/habits

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THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE
#606 - Randall Carlson

Feb 4, 2015 - 3:09:16

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