Adventures In Humaning – Episode 6: So You Think You’re Special? Bioindividuality

Adventures In Humaning - Episode 6: So You Think You're Special? Bioindividuality | Frank Hults of Frankly Well & Meredith Rhodes of Forward Health CoachThe concept of bioindividuality as applied to dietary approaches refers to the observation that there is no one-size-fits-all diet. Frank and I chat about what it really means and the idea that there is one human diet. What are the variables that give us our bioindividuality?

A couple of links/ideas of interest:

  • Institute for Integrative Nutrition
  • Pottenger’s Cats
  • There are many right ways… 
  • Your bioindividuality is crafted by things like, your family, genetics, epigenetics, gender, perceived stressors, age, current state of health, your preferences, seasons, geography, bacteria, movement habits, sleep… all of the ways that you interact with this world… create your bioindividuality
  • Locovore
  • How do you determine your bioindividuality? What diet is best for you?
  • They are called SNIGLETS. Subatomic Toasticles. Truth.

We’re getting some iTunes reviews! Thank you… thank you muchly… If you are so moved… please send us some love on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Stitcher… or our Facebook page.



Adventures In Humaning – Episode 2: The Calf Path

Calf PathGo right to this episode on soundcloud here.

Adventures In Humaning goes literary this week. We read and discuss a poem by Sam Foss (1895) called ‘The Calf Path‘. This is a poem about how it’s in our nature to take the path. Frank and I have a meandering conversation that includes references to and the topics of:

  • Escape Adulthood
  • Credentials
  • Science in general – how we tend to science the heck out of life
  • And how we receive the conclusions of ‘science’
  • Question even what you believe to be a credible source
  • Even though you might not want to be the expert…
  • It’s sometimes valuable to get your hands dirty to understand something better for yourself.
  • Kids & school. Our education system is a calf path.
  • Medical doctors, their path, and their constraints.
  • You are put in a box, risked for insurance, and medicated like others despite your uniqueness.
  • We tend to create solutions with no problems. Especially around the topic of cholesterol.
  • But there is value to the calf path, it is our human nature, maybe a simpler, more ancestral path would be easier on us.
  • Frank mentions the Weston A Price Foundation.

Come on over to the Adventures in Humaning Facebook page to introduce yourself, or leave us a review on iTunes… much appreciated!



Adventures In Humaning – Episode 1: What is Humaning?

Humaning 01-01

Go right to this episode on soundcloud here.


Welcome to Adventures In Humaning. We (that’s Meredith & Frank) would very much like to invite you to come along, with an open mind and a curious spirit, to get lost with us in a meandering adventurous conversation about what it means to be human.

We are excited to share this introductory episode with you! Many thanks for joining us.  We want you to get to know the vision we have for this podcast, get to know us and to provide you with a glimpse into our philosophies and musings on life and what we think it means to be human.

Come on over to our Facebook Page to human with us.

Here’s some information and ideas that are relevant to this show:

Geologic Time: A different perspective.

I took a class called Paleobiology in graduate school. It was the study of life on earth and how it changed through geologic time.

It was pretty fascinating. The fossil evidence of life on earth is spectacular. There has been all sorts of animal life on earth. Most of this life has become extinct. We are no longer graced by things like:

Trilobites  >>> behold the trilobite (photo from this source)


Conodont animals >>> I studied this guy (well, his mouth parts) as an undergrad (photo from this source… I took those photos – and just realized that there’s no scale on the image. These are microscopic – they’d fit on the head of a pin. These photos were taken on a scanning electron microscope.)


And the various crazy forms of the Ediacaran fauna (photo from this source)


Of course, there were dinosaurs too. We all know about the dinosaurs. They are gone – well, except for their bird-brain relatives.

Flutter the dinosaur

(Note: Felis domesticus in the window watching the flock)

This is all to say that life on earth has been diverse, it has been around for a lot longer than you might be able to comprehend, and there were a lot of life forms that are no longer with us.

During that Paleobiology class, we were assigned to discuss the following question:

Who is superior, Bacteria or Humans?

Hmmmm. Interesting question to ponder.

From a geologic perspective, bacteria arrived on the scene a fair bit before we did. They had a ~3.5 billion year head start on us.

Check this out.

All scientific evidence points to the age of the earth as ~ 4.6 billion years. If we compress the age of the earth down to 1-hour of time… this is what things look like. Notice in particular when bacteria first arrive on the scene (approximately 14:30 minutes into the hour – in comparison to, say, humans (at about 59:58.8 minutes into the hour).

Geologic Time

Let this soak in a bit.

Today – bacteria are found pretty much anywhere. From deep within the crust of the earth, to Antarctic ice, to deep sea trenches, to our very own guts… they have taken advantage of every square inch of this planet. And remain largely unchanged throughout their existence on this planet.

That’s a pretty strong case for bacteria.

Human life is pretty new on the scene – and life as we know it today is barely a blip on this clock. The first evidence of ancestral humans (of our species) is something like 250,000 years ago. And one could argue that we wouldn’t be as successful as we are without the aid of our bacterial friends.

Bacteria vs. Human question aside… let’s think about life on earth during the time that humans have actually been around.

Imagine what life was like for the bulk Homo sapiens history. It may be hard to do – because we’re used to a certain way of life today. But for simplicity sake – imagine a world where you had to ‘shop’ for your food by moving across the land to find it, your entertainment was probably song & dance & storytelling, the only way to interact with others was literally face to face, you slept when it was dark out, your bed was the earth, your ‘alarm’ was the sun, real estate was literally what you made of it, your ‘doctor’ was nature or time or maybe a shaman, babies were just born, your community all pitched to keep everyone safe.

Contrast that to today – we have so many interventions and conveniences and technological advancements that we rarely question. Because in our experience, we’ve always done it that way.

Sometimes… a lot of times… most of the time… opportunity lies outside of our experience. And in this case, an ancestral perspective provides a lot of ideas that we can attempt to bring in to our experience for the purpose of gaining health.

Welcome to my brain. 😉



Are you interested in experiencing more?

I’d love to chat more with you about this. Contact me to schedule a consultation, or join my (R)evolutionary Health Class if you live in the Madison area.

The Roots of Health – Episode 47: Our Modern Shape with Scott Robison

Scott 47-01Click here to go right to the show in iTunes or on

The human species today is captive in a modern environment of its making. It’s like we created a zoo for ourselves by building structures and moving indoors. The bulk of human evolution took place in nature – under a certain set of environment pressures that literally shaped our species.

And our modern environment and social constructs continue to shape our species… often creating painful conditions for us.

Scott Robison is here to talk with me about how your modern environment continues to shape you today – and what you can do to reverse this trend. Scott practices structural bodywork at the Therapeutic Massage Center of Middleton, in Middleton, WI. Structural bodywork is a manual therapy practice focused on the manipulation of the body’s fascial system to achieve balance and ease in gravity.

Scott and I chat about how chairs, shoes, & screens put us into unnatural positions that our bodies adapt to – so much so that when we stand, move, take our shoes off, and put the screen down, our bodies are no longer adapted to the positions that they were designed to be in. We provide awareness around these positions – so that you can catch yourself in them and correct them on your own, and we chat about the support of ‘structural bodyworker’ to help facilitate your return to your natural position.

You can subscribe to The Roots of Health at and also on iTunes.






The Roots of Health – Episode 46: Herbs with Jane Hawley Stevens

Herbals with Jane Hawley StevensClick here to go right to the show in iTunes or on

If you asked me what an herb was, I’d tell you that I use them to add flavor to my meals and that my favorites are cilantro, parsley, rosemary, basil, thyme, & bay leaf. I’d actually never think to use them to treat a headache or to breathe better or to soothe my skin.

But I do understand that herbs are the original medicinals, and I’ve read that somewhere around ~1/3 of Americans use herbs for medicine. My guest today is in a great position talk about all things herbs with me.

Jane Stevens owns Four Elements Organic Herbals. Her herbal wellness products are grown, created and packaged from her farm in the Baraboo Hills of Wisconsin.

Jane and I talk about what herbs are, the tradition of herbs as medicine, about the herbal roots of the modern pharmaceutical industry, what some common herbal remedies are, the naming convention of the first medicinal herbs, how people can use herbs for their health, some references/resources that Jane recommends that you look into to learn more, we touch a bit on why they aren’t regulated as drugs, if there are any dangers to using herbs and why you should always disclose the herbal supplements that you use to your doctor, and Jane’s recommendation for herbs that you might want to cultivate for your own personal use.

Herbs have a long tradition of healing, they are the original medicinals… and should be recognized & respected for their impact on our health.

In this show, Jane recommends that you check out these authors;

David Hoffman, Rosemary Gladstar, and Matthew Wood.

You can subscribe to The Roots of Health at and also on iTunes.



The Roots of Health – Episode 45: Removal of Amalgams & Detoxing from Mercury with Dr. Alvin Danenberg

Mercury Detox with Dr. Alvin Danenberg | Meredith Rhodes Carson, Health CoachClick here to go right to the show in iTunes or on

Are you walking around with a mouthful of silver amalgams? Would it surprise you to learn that 50% of that material is elemental mercury? Over the years, we’ve been taught to avoid handling mercury – mercury thermometers have been replaced with digital ones, pregnant women & children have been warned against eating too many fish – because they bioconcentrate organic mercury… even that red antiseptic that I so fondly remember from my youth has been banned… remember mercurochrome? So why do our fillings continue to be filled with mercury? And what can we do if we want it out of our mouths? And furthermore… if it’s out of our mouth, is it out of our body?

Back with me today is Dr. Alvin Danenberg – a periodontist who had his mercury fillings removed years ago. He is in the process of detoxing from mercury & other heavy metals and he’s agreed to talk to me about his experience.

Al and I chat about how dental practitioners were trained to handle mercury amalgam, how elemental mercury vapor is toxic to us, the things to consider when & if you opt to have the mercury removed from your mouth, how do you know how much mercury you have in your system, how can you detox from mercury and other heavy metals, and what that process looks like.

The EPA has some resources online about elemental mercury (the kind of mercury in amalgam). Of note are the following quotes:

‘Dental amalgam fillings contain elemental mercury combined with other metals, and mercury exposure for pregnant women and children who have amalgam fillings have been studied. The number of amalgam fillings in women during pregnancy was significantly associated with mercury concentrations in neonatal hair, but not amniotic fluid.’

‘Dental amalgam fillings that contain mercury are used by dentists for dental caries, although non-mercury alternatives are available. The American Dental Association advocates use of amalgam fillings, citing safety evaluations by several US agencies. Information about the safety of amalgam fillings has been reviewed and presented by the US EPA, US Center for Disease Control, and the US FDA. A US FDA Advisory Panel in 2006 expressed concern about a lack of knowledge concerning effects of amalgam use in pregnant women and children. Consult your dentist for more information and to discuss treatment options.’

You can subscribe to The Roots of Health at and also on iTunes.


The Roots of Health – Episode 44: Trauma & Somatic Experiencing with Dr. Cathy Shehorn

Dr. Cathy ShehornClick here to go right to the show in iTunes or on

Trauma is not a modern issue at all. You can imagine that for as long as humans have roamed this planet, they’ve experienced traumatic situations (although they may not be the same sorts of situations as we face in modern times). In fact, in today’s world, you might even be walking around without recognizing the effects of trauma in your own life, and there’s a distinct possibility that it’s taking a toll on your health.

And even if you are diagnosed with the symptoms of trauma, conventional treatments might be more stressful than the disorder itself.

Here with me to talk about recognizing the symptoms of trauma, and an alternative method of treating it called somatic experiencing, is licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Cathy Shehorn.

Dr. Shehorn and I talk about what trauma is, how it has changed in modern times, how to know if you’re symptoms are trauma-related, the long-term health effects of trauma, how the human animal is hard-wired to survive in traumatic situations, the conventional treatments for trauma, what somatic experiencing is and how it’s different from conventional treatments. She also gives us an example of what somatic experiencing is all about.

If you’re suffering from trauma, or just realizing that you might be, somatic experiencing is a way to heal that works with your body… not counter to it.

Cathy A. Shehorn, Ph.D. has been a licensed psychologist since 1998. She specializes in the treatment of trauma and uses a body-based trauma treatment technique called Somatic Experiencing.

You can subscribe to The Roots of Health at and also on iTunes.

The Roots of Health – Episode 43: The Experience of Eating Bugs with David George Gordon

The Roots of Health - Episode 43: The Experience of Eating Bugs with David George Gordon a.k.a. The Bug Chef| Meredith Rhodes Carson, PhD, HHC | Forward Health Coach | forwardhealthcoach.comClick here to go right to the show in iTunes or on

Bugs. You might even call them creepy crawlies. On one hand we freak out when we see a cock roach scurry across the floor. On the other hand, we might be fascinated with them, particularly when we’re protected from them, when they are behind glass. We’ve invented bug spray and pesticides to keep them wholly separate from what we consider to be OUR environment. This is entirely a first world experience. The bulk of humanity has a different relationship with insects, and has even welcomed them into their diet – on purpose.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations released a 200 page report in 2013 called, “Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security” where they assess the potential of insects as a food source by reviewing existing information on the role of insects in a traditional diet, as a part of various global cultures, insects as a natural resource, environmental opportunities for adding insects to our diets, insect nutrition, insect farming, insects as animal feed, insect processing & food safety, insect farming as a livelihood, for economic development, as it pertains to legislation and communication. It’s a report worth knowing about.

With this in mind, my guest today is doing his part to reintroduce us to the delectable bug. David George Gordon – otherwise known as the bug chef is busy making insects a staple in kitchens across the country, out to convince us that we should view insects as a food source, and not a pest. David recently cooked an insect feast for the “Explorer’s Club” – hosted at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

David and I chat about how in the Unites States, we’re in the minority because we don’t eat insects on purpose, we learn about the sensory experience of eating insects – from sight, to taste, to texture, to smell – how to cook insects, sourcing them, whether or not they are cost prohibitive, and a couple of interesting insect facts as they relate to our current food system.

You can learn more about The Bug Chef and all of his resources at David’s website,

David’s Bio:

David George Gordon is the award-wining author of The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook. As The Bug Chef, he’s been featured in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, Time magazine and National Geographic online and has appeared on Conan O’Brien, ABC Nightline, The Late Late Show With James Corden, The Wil Wheaton Project and The View.

He’s shared his exotic cuisine with visitors to the Smithsonian Institution, San Francisco Botanical Garden, Yale University, The Explorers Club Annual Dinner and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museums in San Francisco, Hollywood and Times Square.

“Oh, Jiminy Cricket, you’ve never looked more scrumptious,” proclaimed National Public Radio’s food blog, The Salt.

Chef Gordon and his illustrator/wife Karen Luke Fildes live in Seattle.

You can subscribe to The Roots of Health at and also on iTunes.


The Roots of Health – Episode 42: The Decline of the Bees with Nathan Clarke

Click here to go right to the show in iTunes or on

When you think about bees, do you think about being stung, or having an allergic reaction, or maybe honey? Let’s take a bigger picture perspective and recognize them for the gigantic service they do for us as pollinators. Today, about 1/3 of the produce in our markets is brought to us by the humble honeybee. And at the same time that we have planted a 300% increase in crops that require their pollination services, honeybee colonies have been collapsing at a rate of 30% (up to 60% locally) every year. What is it about their environment that is taking such a huge toll on their health?

My guest today will help me to answer this question. Nathan Clarke is a beekeeper that started a business called Mad Urban Bees, and he’s doing his part to support a healthy bee population in backyards and on rooftops in and around Madison, WI.

Nathan and I chat about honeybee behavior and what constitutes a healthy colony, the real reasons (and they know what they are) behind the precipitous decline in the bee populations, and what part that you can play to help maintain a healthy bee population in your area.

Side Note from Meredith: Honeybee ARE a canary in the coalmine. We can see the results of their malnourishment leading to decreased immunity + increased environmental toxins… they are compromised by a lack of nutrients and a dysfunctional food system… and we should sort of look in the mirror and ask ourselves, are we next?

Nathan’s Bio: Nathan Clarke is owner and founder of Mad Urban Bees LLC, an urban apiary located in Madison, WI. His beehives are located in the cities of Madison and Middleton and are hosted in backyards, back lots, and on rooftops. These bees pollinate the gardens, flowers and trees of the city and produce a honey that is unique to Madison.

Nathan is a self-taught beekeeper of ten years. He now manages over 90 hives in the Madison area, including Olbrich Botanical Gardens. He teaches beekeeping classes throughout the year.

Mad Urban Bees honey is extracted in small batches, is never blended or heat-treated, and contains local pollen. Healthier bees mean better tasting, healthier honey!

You can subscribe to The Roots of Health at and also on iTunes.