Adventures In Humaning – Episode 9: Minimalism.

Episode 9 of Adventures In Humaning : Minimalism | Frank Hults of Frankly Well & Meredith Rhodes of Forward HealthMinimalism.

Does that word sound stark, terrible, emotionless, and sad?

I used to, to me (Me = Meredith in this case).

But today – I see crazy opportunity, and even health associated with that word.

Today’s show marks a starting point for me. Frank and I discuss our recent run-in with the concept / approach of minimalism. To us, minimalism is very ancestral. It’s about re-prioritizing relationships and experiences over ‘stuff’. It’s about recognizing consumerism and waste, and actively opting out. It’s also about discovering (we hope!) the personal health gains, more time, more sleep, less worry, easier health.

In this show, you’ll find out…

  • We kind of think we’ve been minimalists living amongst our stuff for a long time.
  • Minimalism invokes less – but maybe it’s really maximizing life. It’s a word of abundance.
  • From an ancestral perspective, minimalism feels right. The two approaches are really very congruent. Traditional ways were minimalist by nature.
  • We talk about consumerism… about that shirt or hat that you buy because it’s such a great deal. The one that isn’t made to last, has a huge carbon footprint, and you really don’t like anyway.
  • The cost of a thing vs. the value of a handmade craft.
  • I set the stage for my awareness of minimalism. Through divorce and christmas ornaments… and my want for a tiny house.
  • Recognizing that minimalism is a thing – a movement that you can join.
  • It’s a way toward freedom, control, toward declutter, toward creating time and space, saving money, toward elevating relationships and experiences in your life.
  • There is no object that should be more important than a relationship.
  • What to do with all of the old ‘sentimental’ stuff.
  • The idea to multipurpose things. I have an idea for a table/desk/bed thing.
  • Frank challenged to not research on google. PLEASE SEND IDEAS!
  • What minimalism means to me – clothes, thrift, outlets.
  • We chat about zero waste home.
  • Vitamin awareness (thanks to Katy Bowman for this phrase).
  • How much energy can you take on yourself instead of outsourcing?

Resources:

Adventures In Humaning – Extreme Indoor Environment Series: Part 3 – Movement


Adventures In Humaning | Frank Hults & Meredith Rhodes | Extreme Indoor Environment Series - Part 3: MovementWelcome back! Your adventure continues. This week we delve back into the concept of the extreme (indoor) environment. While it can be difficult to conceptualize your microbiome like we talked about in the first part, and it takes a bit more cognitive energy to grasp your relationship with your circadian rhythm like we chatted about in the second part, in this episode we touch on the classical, physical, tangible environment. We meander about what our physical environment does to us, how it shapes and informs us. We explore some of the mismatch that may be prevalent in this modern day extreme environments.

Ready to get lost with us?

Stop by and join the conversation on Twitter on Facebook (Frank is still waiting for a carrier pigeon).

Relevant information and links:

“We adapt to our environment.  We can’t even help it.  We are going to adapt our environment matter what.”

“You can’t decide not to.”

“Right, you can’t opt out of it”

~ Frank & Meredith

 

“There’s lots of different ways that our homes, or offices or any other indoor environment can shape us physically, and one of them that may not be super intuitive to people is our eyesight.”

~ Meredith

 

  • How far can you see?  Is it possible you can’t see far because you don’t look far? For a magnificent explanation and break down on myopia check out Jake Stiener, End Myopia
  • Perhaps the reason many people can not get out of a squat is largely because we don’t squat.
  • We are literally reshaping our bodies
  • Humans like most biology need the input and the catalyst of information to build the system.

“A human can do a pull-up.  They are perfectly capable of doing a pull-up, but not all humans can do a pull-up.  Because not all humans do pull-ups.”  ~Frank

“There are ways to correct your vision naturally using your power of adaptation. Spending more time outside is part of that equation” ~Meredith

 

  • Real life anecdotal testimonial of eyesight strengthening… And the much rarer and impressive account of a teenage boy actually listening to his dad.
  • The indoor environment is a cast for your eyeballs.
  • We are stuck in a standardized measured exacting environment. Not much, if anything, in our modern architecture gives us the stimulation and input as the fractal nature of nature.

“We are going from our box of a house, to our box of a car,  to our box of a gym… and we’re doing all sorts of things like box jumps.  Our human life is a life full of boxes, we think in a box, we live in a box.” ~Frank

“I leap about in the forest, It’s what I do… I would take video but I’m busy leaping about in the forest” ~Frank

  • Be careful with your transition from modern human to full on minimalist loin cloth wearing vine swinging log leaping human.  Transition slowly.
  • Comfort toilet.  Toilets are a piece of furniture.  Modern western toilets are not designed with human biology or biomechanics in mind.  Your toilet is probably constipating you. The answer? Properly aligned illumination position… The Squat!   Squatty Potty
  • As promised This is the hilariously uncomfortable video mentioned.
  • This is the not so funny video purely instructional video.
  • Other than eyeballs and pooping,  Furniture is another way that your indoor environment casts your body.  Ask yourself how often do you sit on the floor or the ground? The lack of simply getting up off the floor on a daily basis is having a negative impact on the vast majority of western culture.  Our human muscularity, tendons and bone structure and strength are suffering from the lack of this primal input.
  • One of the most horrible things that can happen to an elderly individual is falling and breaking something. Studies clearly correlate a connection between the ability to get oneself up and off the ground and all cause mortality for seniors.
  • Modern conveniences mainly marketed for the elderly that outsource movement thereby robbing said individual of essential muscle building bone strengthening natural movement
  • #Humaning tips to slowly transition
  • You do not have to use the furniture in your house simply because it’s there.  If you do use it perhaps you can try something a little bit different, and use it to increase movement and maybe have a little fun in the meantime #NotARule
  • Countertops and the like may be robbing you of some natural movement opportunities. If you did not have these opportunities you would be forced to prep your food in a squat.  How much work are other people doing for your meal?  Consider for a moment, how much of your meal is outsourced to other human beings or machines. How much movement are you missing because of these modern conveniences?
  • A neat stacking opportunity via the Nutritions Movement circles is to  rearrange your cabinets so that your plates and most used items on the bottom shelves and bottom cabinets that what you’re encouraged to squat routinely.
  • So play with the placement of stuff in your house.
  • Our extreme indoor environment are for sure in need of review, but another aspect that our indoor environment do that may negatively impacting us as modern day humans, is the separation between us, and the natural world.
  • Keep off the pavement!
  • A lawn meander and rant.  Why have a lawn if you can’t walk on it?
  • Beds, another piece of furniture, are they a sleep orthopedic? Pillows as well? Do we really need those super thick pillows or are they perhaps mishaps get us.
  • The height and the firmness of the beds maybe something to look into.

“Theres not much in nature that’s going to mimic a foot of memory foam”  ~Frank

  •  Sleep hygiene.
  • Frank & Meredith pontificate upon this term and offer perhaps a more accurate term.

“I don’t want to sleep hygienic”( Meredith)…”I want to sleep dirty” (Frank)

Thank you for listening to part three of Extreme Indoor Environments.

If you like anything you heard here, if it has intrigued you, resonated with you or has provoked a changed your thinking or perspective, if you have found value in the information provided, or if it moved you in someway, please give us the pleasure of a personal review and or rating and iTunes.  We may even read it on the podcast.

We would also like to encourage you to join the conversation and get involved in the meandering discussion by way of social media whichever is your favorite.  You can find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Cheers, be well

 

Adventures In Humaning – Extreme Indoor Environment Series: Part 2 – Circadian Rhythm

Adventures In Humaning with Frank & Meredith | Extreme Indoor Environment Series | Circadian Rhythms | Frankly Well | Forward Health Coach

Welcome back to another episode of Adventures In Humaning. Once again – we’re discussing why our indoor environment might be pretty extreme.  Last week, we discussed how the bacteria in our indoor environment might be pretty extreme and what that means to our health. This week, we chat about home living inside disconnects us from the natural circadian forces that influence the life of all living organisms.  We are no longer used to being in the sun, natural light and dark cycles, and daily and seasonal temperature fluctuation. This disconnect affects important things like our hormone signaling and sleep cycles.

Ironically – the comfort zone provided by our indoor environment – is what makes it so extreme to our bodies.

You’ll hear Frank & I talk about things like:

Adventures In Humaning – Extreme Indoor Environment Series: Part 1 – Bacteria

Bacteria 03-01This week, we delve deep into an interesting topic.  We challenge you to expand your definition of what you consider to be an extreme environment.

Normally, we consider extreme environments to be those that test the very limits of human survivability. We take this perspective, twist it around, and pose a new question. What if the environment that we normally consider most safe, docile and mundane, is actually the most extreme environment?

We are talking about our modern, updated, sterile, climate controlled homes. Our artificially lit, heated, cooled, cleaned manufactured and furnished home environment.

We encourage you to join us, in this meandering conversation with an open mind and a curious spirit.

Join the conversation on Twitter on Facebook or carrier pigeon. I think Frank would dig that.

 


Here are the show notes, references, and other tomfoolery:

In case you were wondering about our intro… Cats purr, a biological explanation

Extreme environments that bacteria live in:

Humans have existed in the indoor environment only relatively recently in the evolutionary context of the entire species. 

You adapt to what you do physically 100% of the time” ~Katy Bowman

How hospitals create superbugs. 

Are we inadvertently suporting an environment where we create a catalyst for superbugs?

Geologic time scale perspective. 

We have a long-standing relationship with bacteria.

The microbiome and clothes…

Infrared  and ultraviolet  disinfecting and or cleansing effect on bacteria, skin water bottling.

Kombucha 

The dangers of over washing And over sanitizing your hands

The story of the doctor and the handwashing fad. 

Soil bacteria – Spores,

Soil based probiotics – Megaspore probiotic.

Bacteria spray for litter boxes. Mother dirt?

Polyface farms and sustainable biomimicked agricultural systems

Natural household cleansers

Conventional raised store-bought eggs the case for refrigeration.

The shells of eggs are porous, nature has already devise and implemented incredible safety and preservation techniques. 


If you like anything you heard here if it intrigued you, resonated with you, got you thinking changed your perspective where you found value in the information provided, or if it moved you in someway. Please give us the pleasure of a personal review and or rating and iTunes.

We may even read it on the podcast.

We would also like to encourage you to join the conversation get involved in the meandering discussion by way of social media whichever is your favorite.

We have Twitter

We have Facebook we will see you there.

The Roots of Health – Episode 65: Nature School

Nature 65-01Click here to go right to the show in iTunes or on Stitcher or on WebTalkRadio.net.

In the past 30 or 40 years, we’ve been getting really good at creating indoor activities. In part this could because of the advances in modern technology, maybe the comfort and safety of home, or maybe simply the convenience of the matter. Whatever the reason may be, our children are increasingly disconnected from nature, in fact, they may have a fear of nature. As our kids have moved inside, the rates of childhood obesity have tripled and the number of kids that are prescribed medication for ADHD have increased 40 times. This is what Richard Louv calls, ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ (I recently talked to ecotherapist Phoenix Smith about this).

A growing number of concerned people are doing something about this. They are starting ‘Nature Schools’ or ‘Forest Kindergarten’ to reconnect our preschoolers and their families with their natural environment.

I reached out to Kate Dawson and Emily Vera of Terra Nova Nature School in Richmond, British Columbia to find out what exactly a nature school is, why we should send our children to nature school, what a day at nature school looks like, and how to prepare for the outdoor classroom.

I’ve included clips from a Ted Talk by Ben Klasky called ‘Get Hooked On Nature, cited an article from the New York Times called, ‘Preschool Without Walls’, included clips from an upcoming documentary called ‘School’s Out: Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten’, and recommended that you check out the Natural Start Alliance to learn more for yourself.

Music by audionautix.com

You can subscribe to The Roots of Health at WebTalkRadio.netiTunes, and Stitcher.

The Roots of Health: Explore the disconnect between your health, and your modern environment.

Opportunity Cost.

Your Opportunity Cost Might Be Your Health | Meredith Rhodes Carson, PhD, HHC | Forward Health CoachI like to look at things from every angle.

I like to not be dogmatic about things.

But I also like to interpret data 😉 Because, science.

You know what I consider to be the single biggest piece to my own personal health puzzle?

Re-defining food for myself.

When I first set out to figure out how to support my body to do what it had to do, I reasoned that a pretty direct way the cells in my body receive information is from the food that I choose to eat.

I think that’s a reasonable reasoning.

I know that there are a bunch of variables to that equation. It may not matter WHAT I eat if my digestive system isn’t working well enough to break down and assimilate the food, or if I lack the gut bugs necessary to assist me, or if I’m not moving in ways that nourish all of my body parts… But those variables aside, my first shift was to eat what I knew to be nutrient dense foods. Because…

My body was clearly screaming at me for nutrients. My heart was flipping out, my hair was falling out, my ovaries were clearly on strike, I was having ocular migraines, I was anxious, I was not right and I instinctually knew that medicating my problems was not solving them. And I feared that a lifetime of medication would simply lead to more and more medication. I’ve seen that slippery slope.

Back to nutrient denseness. Nutrient density is just like it sounds, the amount of bang for your buck. It refers to the nutrients per calorie really. A teaspoon of sugar contains pure energy that is devoid of nutrients, a teaspoon of liver contains pretty much pure nutrients. Those are two end members of the nutrient density spectrum for sure.

So what did I do? My approach was to ‘go paleo’. I understood this to be a whole foods approach that capitalized on nutrient dense foods while eliminating more energy dense foods. I still love this approach for people who are open to it… and most of all, self-aware. I caution people to understand the ‘why’ behind what they are doing and to not simply regurgitate paleo talking points. It’s important to feel comfortable eating food and to not fear it. It’s easy to get stuck in a paleo belief system and not be able to dig yourself out.

Case in point. My paleo belief was that ‘gluten is the devil’. That it is slowly killing us over decades, but it’ll get the job done.

Well – this may be true for some people… so I encourage everyone to understand their bodies, but the force is strong. And I spent years in fear of an isolated plant protein. That sort of anxiety can kill you quicker than gluten will. 😉

Full disclosure though, by adopting this paleo approach (grain-free, legume-free, sugar-free, refined seed oil-free, dairy-free), I was able to wean off of several prescription drugs, grow a crazy head of hair, take back control of my heart, kick my ovaries back into action, and lean out. And in my paleo-centric head, new found health was made possible by eliminating grains, gluteny gluteny grains.

Fast forward to today. I don’t consider myself ‘paleo’ anymore. I had to stop defining myself by the food I ate – it was stressful to give food that kind of control. However, I do still make choices on a daily basis that include upping my nutrient game. Whereas before, I attributed my health to the foods that I eliminated (read: a restrictive approach), today I attribute my health to the foods that I added, the foods that I now had the opportunity to eat (read: the abundance approach).

So when I order myself a burger-hold-the-bun-but-stick-it-on-a-pile-of-greens, it’s not because I fear carbs or grains or gluten… it’s because I choose the veggies every time now.

So, my point here is this. You may be experiencing an opportunity cost at each meal, and your health may be reflecting that. If you want to get some more nutrient bang for your buck with your meals, crowd out some of the more energy dense things (refined grains and sugars) with more of the nutrient dense things (all veggies & fruits in season, herbs, nuts, seafood, meats, beans).

And watch how your body thanks you.

You might need some Action Pants.

Do you need action pants? | Meredith Rhodes Carson, PhD, HHC | Forward Health Coach.I am about to suggest something that could make all of the difference for you.

You might need to change your clothes. :)

I don’t judge of course, my son wears the same thing nearly everyday.

He calls his pants, ‘Action Pants’. I love that.

He’s 8, and he is aiming to be a black belt in karate. He’s well on his way too. He’s a purple blue belt now. >>>

So, what are ‘action pants’? They are pants that you can move in. 

Even more – they are pants that allow you to move. 

I can’t get this guy to even consider jeans. His sister is the same way.

I can appreciate this more and more everyday. I mean, when you squeeze into a pair of jeans, you are limiting what your body can do naturally. Even if, or especially if, you have a pair of those über stretchy jeans.

How likely are you to sit on the ground if you’re in jeans? How likely are you to squat down to do anything? Hell, I’ve got jeans that are nearly threadbare in the knees… any more attempted squats and I’ll hulk out of them.

You are literally shaped by the pants that you wear. Seriously. Ever taken off your pants to see… the imprint of your pants? I bet so.

This is all to say that what you choose to put on your body on a daily basis influences the possibility of your movement. It also influences the movement of the life-giving fluids in that body of yours. In the words of Katy Bowman:

You are a body full of tubes, tubes with important jobs. When you push on a tube, the fluid inside of it has to move elsewhere and the flow through the tube changes.’

Friend, your pants could be influencing your digestion. True story.

If you want to increase all of the natural movements in your body and life… both inside and out, consider the influence of the clothes that you wear on a daily basis. Restrictive clothing is restrictive.

Now go don your action pants.

The Roots of Health – Episode 63: Urban Wood with Josh Rice of Baraboo Woodworks

Josh 63-01Click here to go right to the show in iTunes or on Stitcher or on WebTalkRadio.net.

Here on The Roots of Health, I like to explore the disconnect between our health and our modern environment, and it’s no secret that the health of your environment is directly related to the health of yourself. I like to approach the health of our environment from an ancestral perspective. Whereas we used to hunt and gather for our food, today we have a food system that brings us food from all around the world. The disconnect there is that we no longer eat local foods in season year-round, and that may some affect on our health for the long-term. And even more, the carbon emissions required to ship food around the world increase may be altering our climate in ways that we never predicted. But it’s not just our food system that has had major changes on our modern environment. Once upon a time, we harvested wood from our own land to build homes and furniture. Just as the farm to table movement is infiltrating our economies, so is the ‘wood to table’ movement, also known as the urban wood movement.

I recently talked with Josh Rice of Baraboo Woodworks about the opportunity and importance of harvesting urban wood to put to use locally. It’s about going back to basics, changing the way we consume and make things, creating quality, handcrafted artisan heirloom furniture, supporting your local economy, and sustainable environmental practices.

Learn about the modern disconnect with respect to your furniture, a piece from Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers, a clip Greenovation TV about urban wood, the Wisconsin Urban Wood group, learn about the emerald ash borer, ideas about how to turn your tree into a table, and locate someone to build you a piece of furniture out of your own tree.

Music from Audionautix.com

You can subscribe to The Roots of Health at WebTalkRadio.netiTunes, and Stitcher.

The Roots of Health: Explore the disconnect between your health, and your modern environment.

The Roots of Health – Episode 62: Eating Mindfully with Dr. Susan Albers

Susan 62-01Click here to go right to the show in iTunes or on Stitcher or on WebTalkRadio.net.

Human beings are hard wired for survival. Our ancestors probably went through some feast or famine process. Food was not readily available for them, they had to hunt for it, they had to collect it, and if they didn’t, they were hungry. If the hunt brought home some giant animal, they might all feast on that, and that might be it for a while. And you can bet, when they were feasting, they were grateful for that meal.

But today, food is plentiful, we’ve never had the kind of choice that we have in our modern environment. How do we choose to eat healthy when faced with what my guest calls, the 3-E’s, an abundance of easy, effortless, and economic foods? Our modern environment has set us up for failure. Not only do we have an abundance of food, but we have so many things demanding our attention that when we do choose a food, we might not even realize that we’re eating it. We have a problem with mindless eating.

My guest today is Dr. Susan Albers, who likes to help people with ‘how to eat’ and not ‘what to eat’.

We chatted about what mindful eating is, how it’s like we’re on autopilot, Dr. Albers provides us with five strategies to begin a mindful eating practice, eating mindfully is sort of a meditation, we chat about what to do with respect for mindful eating in an office environment, or what we might really need if we reach for food as a reward, how to navigate the abundance of food at holiday parties, and the importance of being mindful when you’re out with friends and in order to be a great role model at home.

Check out Dr. Albers book ’50 More Ways To Soothe Yourself Without Food’ and her website, eatingmindfully.com.

 

Dr. Albers bio:

Susan Albers, Psy.D., is a New York Times bestselling author and a clinical psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic who specializes in eating issues, weight loss, body image concerns and mindfulness. After obtaining a masters and doctorate degree from the University of Denver, Dr. Albers completed an APA internship at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University in California. Dr. Albers conducts mindful eating workshops across the country. Dr. Albers is the author of six mindful eating books including: EatQ, 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, Eating Mindfully, Eat, Drink, and Be Mindful and Mindful Eating 101.

Music by Audionautix.com.

You can subscribe to The Roots of Health at WebTalkRadio.netiTunes, and Stitcher.

The Roots of Health: Explore the disconnect between your health, and your modern environment.

 

It’s Called Switchel.

I’m trying to crowd out some alcohol in my life – with worthy substitutes. In fact, my sister and I are working on an ebook of worthy substitutes, stay tuned. 😉

This one is called Switchel, and it’s very flexible.

Switchel, none of the booze, all of the fun.

You can use water or fizzy water, you can use maple syrup or honey or molasses, you can add fresh herbs… I think the key is the water to apple cider vinegar ratio of 8:1.