The Living Experiment: Rethink Your Choices. Reclaim Your Life.

By Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo

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Description

Join Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo for this series of smart, rollicking, no-BS conversations about healthy, happy, conscious living — plus real-life "experiments" to help you discover the practical shifts that work best for you.

Episode Date
Episode 62 (Rerun): Holidays
39:27

There’s so much merriment, so much anticipation, and yet … the holidays can also feel like a lot of pressure to perform, to conform, to consume.

Here, we share our thoughts on navigating this season with your sanity and sense of inner peace intact.

From challenging the shop-and-spend cycle, to speaking your truth without inciting unnecessary conflict, we advocate for creating a satisfying holiday experience — your way.

And of course, we offer you some experiments to get you started in that direction, even as the holiday madness kicks into full swing.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/holidays/

Dec 11, 2018
Episode 100: Break
47:48

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about taking a Break — the value of choosing to pause a project or commitment, and the factors you might consider in doing so.

We share the reasons, after 100 episodes, close to a million downloads, and 10 full seasons of live-and-in-person collaboration, we’re choosing to take a breather from our established recording schedule.

We reflect on both the demands and rewards that have come along with co-producing this weekly podcast over the past three years.

We also share a preview of the projects and priorities we’re both working on now, and what we’ll be producing over the next few weeks and months.

Finally, we share some experiments to help you reflect on your current use of time, energy, and resources — and why you might want to considering taking some well-deserved breaks in your own life.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/break/

Nov 06, 2018
Episode 99: Healthy Deviance 2
01:17:47

This week on The Living Experiment we’re talking about Healthy Deviance (again!), so we’re calling this episode Healthy Deviance 2.

First, we explore the evolution of Pilar's notion of Healthy Deviance, reflecting on how it has taken ahold and become part of a larger conversation about how to be a healthy, happy person in an often unhealthy, unhappy world.

Next, after Dallas dashes off to catch his flight, Pilar breaks down some of the key concepts of her forthcoming book about Healthy Deviance, which has now found a publisher, and is scheduled to be published in the winter of 2019. Yay!

Pilar describes the nature of what she calls the Nonconformist Competencies of Healthy Deviance, as well as the wide range of healthy-person skills you need to claim and sustain them for yourself.

Finally, Pilar offers you some experiments to help you evaluate whether or not you currently identify as a Healthy Deviant, and where you might be right now on the Healthy Deviant Hero's Journey of your own life.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/healthy-deviance-2/

Oct 30, 2018
Episode 98: Coping
55:52

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about coping — the base level, essential things we do to get through our days, particularly when we’re under pressure and stress.

In a world that can lead us to feel helpless, reactive, and overburdened, it’s important to have strategies for calming our nervous system, for managing our internal and external resources, and for creating a stable sense of center.

So here, we talk about how we wade through the craziness of everyday life, and the fundamental skills we use to stay aware and resilient even in the face of depletion and reactivity. 

We look at the physical, mental, and emotional dynamics of coping — from anti-inflammatory eating and sleeping to anti-insanity media habits. And, of course, we offer you some experiments to help you relate with more consciousness and self-compassion to the coping scenarios in your own life.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/coping/

Oct 16, 2018
Episode 97: Introvert Extrovert
46:11

This week on The Living Experiment we're talking about Introverts and Extroverts — from the different ways these two distinct types show up in the world to the sometimes perplexing ways they can relate.

In the process we unpack our own introverted and extroverted tendencies, and we share expert insights on what both these types have to share with, and learn from, each other.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you expand your own awareness of introvert-extrovert dynamics and how they might be showing up in your own life.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/introvert-extrovert/

Oct 08, 2018
Episode 96: Motivation
01:06:10

This week on The Living Experiment we’re talking about Motivation — the force that gets us to do, accomplish, and change the things we want to. And the force that sometimes fizzles without our really understanding why.

So here, we talk about the nature and source of motivation, and the art of cultivating it in the service of our highest goals.

From the dynamics that cause us to procrastinate and avoid fulfilling ostensibly worthwhile commitments, to the science behind making change even when change is hard, we explore the realities of harnessing the willingness to do what must be done.

We also acknowledge the reality that an unlimited supply of superhuman willpower is often not the magic bullet that many motivational gurus might have you believe.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you tap into your own best sources of motivation, and to put them to work in ways that feel most rewarding to you.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/motivation/

Oct 02, 2018
Episode 95: Meditation
57:40

This week on The Living Experiment, we're talking about Meditation — its near-countless benefits for body and mind, and also the real and perceived barriers that keep many from embracing it.

From the challenges of making space for a regular practice, to the frustration that can set in when we attempt to calm our chaotic minds, we talk about the block-and-tackle of meditation and the many forms it can take.

We also share our own experiences with meditative practices and the benefits we've found in exploring and expanding them over time.

Finally, we offer you a snack-size taste of a guided meditation and some experiments to help you discover the profound gifts you stand to gain from building more meditative practices into your own life.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/meditation/

Sep 25, 2018
Episode 94: Enneagram
49:43

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about the Enneagram — a personal wisdom tool that has been transforming lives and relationships for thousands of years.

The Enneagram is generally thought of as a personality typing system, and it does sort people into 9 primary types, but it's different from other personality typing systems in a variety of important ways.

The central aim of the Enneagram is to help people understand their own and others' deepest motivations. It helps us develop our central strengths while working around our most challenging and potentially self-destructive tendencies.

One thing we both like about the Enneagram is that it is an incredibly rich body of knowledge, one that you can use to keep learning about yourself and others for the rest of your life.

So in this episode, we share an overview of our experiences with the Enneagram, and how we’ve benefited from it.

We offer some very basic information about the nature and origins of the system, and how it helps people evolve toward their highest and healthiest potential.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you discover more about your own Enneagram Type and put its wisdom to work in your own life.  

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/enneagram/

Sep 18, 2018
Episode 93: Weight Loss
01:11:08

This week on The Living Experiment we’re talking about Weight Loss — the myths, the methods, and the massive struggle it represents for the majority of Americans today.

Starting with our own frustration with the muddled messages often broadcast on this topic, we strive to set the record straight.

From the madness of trying to control one’s weight through low-fat eating, calorie counting, and “portion control,” to the sensible strategies that work a whole lot better, we share what we know, and what we wish more people knew, about the keys to managing your weight in a healthier, happier way.

Pilar shares her Healthy Deviant approach to weight loss, and Dallas draws from his two New York Times bestsellers to help you rethink not just the way you’re eating, but also the way you are managing your thoughts, your energy, your daily patterns, and your biochemistry.

And of course, we offer you some experiments to help you recast your assumptions about weight, and weight loss, for the long haul. 

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/weight-loss/

Sep 11, 2018
Episode 92: Quitting
45:42

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Quitting — the importance of knowing when to do it, and the stigma that so often accompanies that decision.

From jobs and relationships, to projects and attachments, we talk about both the pain and the relief of letting go of the things we once decided to pursue. And we point out that quitting needn’t represent a failure or a referendum on your value as a person.

Dallas makes his case for becoming an “expert quitter,” and Pilar shares some of the biggest, baddest, most formative quitting experiences of her life.

We also offer you some empowering experiments to help you explore the potential of quitting more skillfully and selectively in your own life.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/quitting/

Sep 04, 2018
Episode 91: Childless by Choice
46:28

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about being Childless by Choice. That’s a decision that an increasing number of people are making these days, so the assumption that any given person is hoping to someday "get married and have babies" is increasingly a questionable one.

And yet, those who consciously decide not to have kids are often confronted by the judgment of others. From opinion leaders who argue that not having children is "selfish," to relatives who are counting on you to carry on the family line, there’s no shortage of reasons you might feel pressure — or peevishness — as the result of other people’s investment in your reproductive capacity.

So here, we talk about the many reasons a person might choose not to have kids, and how to cope with the reactions that choice might provoke. We also offer you some experiments to help you get more comfortable and compassionate with your own decision, and others'.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/childless-by-choice/

Aug 27, 2018
Episode 90: Questions
01:01:15

This week on The Living Experiment we’re talking about Questions — the value of asking more of them, and the potential of making inquiry a regular life practice.

Rainer Maria Rilke once advised a young poet to "live in the questions," and that advice can serve all of us.

So here, we share the questions we’ve found most helpful in keeping us on a good path, as well as the questions that tend to get us in trouble.

From the reality-challenging questions that define Byron Katie’s "The Work," to the Learner and Judger questions that make up Marilee Adams' Choice Map, we explore the evolution that is possible when we ask, rather than assume.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you consider the questions you might benefit from asking in your own life.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/questions/

Jul 31, 2018
Episode 89: Suicide
59:49

This week on The Living Experiment we’re talking about Suicide — the fact that it has become tragically more common in recent years, and some reasons we think that might be.

We also talk about how we personally view suicide, and what we’ve learned about it in our own lives.

We share expert insights about the signs that someone near you might be having suicidal thoughts, and what you can do if you have been experiencing those feelings yourself.

We unpack some different viewpoints, and some suggestions for how to process the thoughts and feelings you might be having about this complex topic.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you expand your understanding about suicide, and to show up for others in ways that help you build compassionate, life-nourishing connections in your own world.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/suicide/

Jul 23, 2018
Episode 88: Orthorexia
53:11

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Orthorexia — an eating disorder in which a person becomes so obsessed with what they think of as “healthy” eating that they over-limit their diet and become unhealthy as a result.  
 
Dedicated healthy eaters sometimes write off orthorexia as nonsense, seeing the diagnosis as just another way of marginalizing the sensible choices made by many not to consume certain types of foods they are sensitive to, or simply don’t want to eat.  
 
But as we share here, orthorexia is a real thing — definitely not your garden-variety picky eating — and for some, it can become life threatening.  
 
So we talk about what orthorexia is, the rigid thoughts and beliefs that can predispose people to suffering from it, and how you can steer clear of its grip.  
 
We share some of our personal experiences and professional insights about this condition, and as always, we offer you some experiments to help you reconsider the attitudes you hold about food, and the healthy-eating decisions you choose to make in your own life. 

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/orthorexia/

Jul 16, 2018
Episode 87: Fats
01:12:12

This week on The Living Experiment, we're talking about Fats — the role they play in healthy eating, and the fact that a lot of what we've been told about them is all wrong.

From the healthy fats your body probably needs more of, to the inflammatory fats it most definitely does not, we share what we know about America's most misunderstood macronutrient.

We explain why low-fat diets are generally not helpful for weight loss, and why saturated fats are not the dietary evil you've been led to believe.

We look at the fascinating role fats play in metabolism, health, mood, mental function and more. And we help you pick better fats as often as you can. Finally, we offer you some experiments so you can reconsider the role that fat-rich foods play in your own life.

Get full show notes and resources http://livingexperiment.com/fats/

Jul 09, 2018
Episode 86: Supplements
52:08

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Supplements — why you can’t rely on pills and powders for all your nourishment, and why you still might want to take some anyway.

We cover the value that both multis and targeted nutrients can have in filling dietary gaps, and why what works for your friend or partner might not work for you.

We both share the supplements we take (or don’t), and we offer you some recommendations on the supplements that most of the smart doctors and nutrition pros we know suggest as basics.

Finally, we offer some counsel on picking high quality products, and some recommendations for adjusting your own supplementation strategy in ways that work for you.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/supplements/

Jul 03, 2018
Episode 85: Imposter Syndrome
50:45

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Imposter Syndrome — that disconcerting sense you may not be entirely worthy or qualified to be doing whatever it is you are doing, and that accompanying sense of dread that it’s just a matter of time before everybody else figures that out.

Imposter syndrome is a well-recognized phenomenon that affects almost all of us at one time or another, and it can be a significant source of chronic stress.

So here, we talk about our own personal experiences with imposter syndrome. We also share what we’ve learned through our professional explorations of it, and some expert strategies for not letting it get the best of you.

From investigating your negative self-talk to overcoming your unconscious upper limits, we suggest ways of identifying and navigating through imposter syndrome. And of course, we offer you some experiments to help you evaluate the impact it may be having in your world.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/imposter-syndrome/

Jun 25, 2018
Episode 84: How We See The World
53:07

This week we’re talking about How We See the World. 

This episode started out as an answer to a listener question — and then morphed, evolving into a big rambling conversation about hope and doubt, energy and attention, agency and activism, and more.

It became one of those conversations where you discover what you think and feel as you are saying it, and you have no idea what is going to come out of your own or the other person’s mouth until it does.

It’s worth noting that within weeks of recording this episode, Dallas had what he described as a "mind-melting experience" that caused him to question virtually everything he thinks, so by the time this podcast goes live, he may or may not be willing to stand by all of his statements here.

The point is, conversations about how we see the world are worth having, and having, again, and again, and again. So, here, we invite you into ours, and we leave you with experiments to help you start some conversations and explorations of your own.

For full show notes and resources, go to http://livingexperiment.com/how-we-see-the-world/

Jun 19, 2018
Episode 83: Conscious Language 2
56:09

This week on The Living Experiment, by listener request, we’re doing a special guest episode follow-up on the topic of Conscious Language, a subject we originally addressed way back in episode #66
 
Joining Pilar this week is Cat Thompson. She’s the teacher and friend who originally introduced Pilar to the study of Conscious Language. 
 
Conscious Language is about noticing and choosing your words with awareness. It’s also about recognizing that everything you say both reflects and influences your daily reality — your perspectives, beliefs, attitudes, energy, and intention. 
 
Here, Cat shares her expert insights about how Conscious Language works, and about why it might be worth incorporating into your life. 

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/conscious-language-2/

Jun 13, 2018
Episode 82: Libido
01:12:37

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Libido — the nature of our drive for sensual and sexual contact, and the variables that can affect it, for better or for worse.

We start from the assumption that a healthy libido means different things to different people, and that there is no "right" way to feel it, or do it.

We explore some of the factors that influence libido, and the concerns that many people share about their own, from a lack or surplus of sexual desire to uncertainties about sexual performance.

We talk about challenges of living in a society where sexuality is distorted by media and blunted by stress, anxiety, over-scheduling, shame, religious dogma, and more.

We also talk about the physiological, biochemical role that healthy sensuality plays in supporting human health and happiness.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you get more comfortable with your sense of libido, and wherever it fits into your own life.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/libido/

Jun 05, 2018
Episode 81: Functional Medicine
01:29:11

This week on The Living Experiment, we're talking about Functional Medicine — a systems-based approach to addressing the fundamental causes of disease and distress.

Both of us have been immersed in the functional medicine movement for years — Dallas as a practitioner and Pilar as a health journalist — and we both see it as a science whose time has come.

Here, we talk about what functional medicine is, and why this science- and lifestyle-based approach represents such an exciting evolution in healthcare.

We touch on the tools, methods, and philosophy that make functional medicine so different. We explore functional medicine's practical but revolutionary strategy for addressing chronic diseases of all kinds, from digestive disorders and depression to autoimmunity and Alzheimer's.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you assess whether functional medicine might hold promise for you and those you love.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/functional-medicine/

May 29, 2018
Episode 80: This Messy Magnificent Life , Part 2
01:03:33

This week on The Living Experiment, we bring you Part 2 of Pilar's conversation with New York Times best selling author and teacher, Geneen Roth.

Geneen has been teaching and writing about conscious eating and living for the past 30 years. Her most recent book is This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide. Through keen observation, reflection, and some very funny asides, her work guides us to see our compulsions and self-sabotaging habits through more curious and self-compassionate eyes. It also helps us see the bigger picture of what we are doing here in the first place, and what we want to do with, as she says, "the breaths we have left."

In Part 1, Geneen and Pilar covered all sorts of ground. Here, in Part 2, they pick up where they left off, talking about appetites, aging, beauty, creativity, mortality, and more. Geneen also shares a few of what she calls her "touchstones" — simple strategies for getting grounded, for warding off anxiety, and for evolving your own viewpoints.

Finally, they offer some experiments to help you explore and enjoy your own Messy Magnificent Life in ways that work for you.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/messy-magnificent-2/

May 01, 2018
Episode 79: This Messy Magnificent Life, Part 1
01:04:48

This week on The Living Experiment, while Dallas is off on adventures, Pilar has a very special guest: Geneen Roth.

Geneen has written close to a dozen terrific books, including Lost and Found: One Woman's Story of Losing Her Money and Finding Her Life and When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair. She  also teaches life-changing workshops all over the country.

Most of Geneen's work explores the intricate, under-examined spaces between how we feel, think, act, and relate — to ourselves, to each other, and to the experience of being alive.

In this interview, a far-ranging conversation that stretches over two full episodes, Pilar delves into Geneen's new book, This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide. It's a work so rich in wisdom, feeling, and funny insights that it's kind of hard to categorize, and even harder to contain.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/messy-magnificent-1/

Apr 24, 2018
Episode 78: Apologizing
59:05

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Apologizing — the reasons it’s worth doing, and the art of doing it well.

We explore the value a good apology can have in healing conflict and shame, and the reasons our well-intended apologies sometimes don’t go as well as we’d like.

We talk about the characteristics of good and not-so-good apologies, about private apologies and public ones.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you evolve your own apologetic skills and sensitivities in ways that work for you.

Apr 17, 2018
Episode 77: Friends
50:44

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Friends — not the kind we call “friends” social media, but the real, meaningful, human kind we connect with in person. The kind we care about deeply. The kind we count on for hugs, empathy, perspective, emotional support and fun.

In a world where many of us feel painfully pressed for time, we’re barely connecting with our romantic partners and close family members, much less making time to forge and maintain meaningful connections beyond the walls of our own homes.

So here, we talk about the difference between various levels of friendship intimacy, and how relationships are deepened by time, proximity, shared experiences, vulnerability, and trust.

We explore the essential role friendships play in defining our lives, and how to go about evaluating and evolving the friendships in your life now.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you give your own friendships a little more of the energy and attention they deserve.   

Apr 10, 2018
Episode 76: Reading
49:50

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Reading — its potential for informing and enriching our lives, and its potential for becoming an escapist habit.

In a world dominated by a non-stop stream of mass media and clickbait, is there still a place in our lives for real, deep, intentional reading?

Is reading a paper book or long-form magazine article the same as reading on screen, or listening to books on tape?

Has the ability to read, and ready deeply, become endangered in our culture?

We address all these questions and more. We also share the role that reading — particularly book reading — plays in our lives, and the reasons we both read as much as we do.

Finally, we offer some guidance on making more discerning reading selections. And we suggest some experiments to help you reflect on how reading can enhance your wellbeing, your thinking, and your quality of life.

We also happily announce our sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.
 
Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/reading
Apr 03, 2018
Episode 75: Dying
59:52

This week on the Living Experiment, we’re talking about “Dying” — the fact that it’s something we’re all going to do, and the fact we tend to live in denial of that fact, often to our detriment.

The age-old advice to live each day as though it was your last might be inspiring, but it is also rather impractical. The truth is, most of swerve back and forth between repressing all thought of death to being confronted by it, and then feeling — fleetingly, that it’s something we really ought to give more thought.

So here, we dive into the topic of death and dying. We share our take on our own mortality. We share some insights on how to live better by thinking, talking about, and planning for death in ways that work for you.

Finally (no pun intended), we offer you some solutions to help you explore your own feelings about death in ways that help you live your own life with greater meaning, pleasure, and satisfaction. 

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/dying
 
We also happily announce our sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.
Mar 27, 2018
Episode 74: Noise
44:18

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Noise — its many sources, its surprising impacts, and the options we have for relating to it more consciously.

From the difficulty of escaping noise in our modern environments to the effect it can have on our health, happiness, and quality of life, we talk about the underestimated toll that noise can take on our bodies and minds.

We explore the important role quiet spaces have in supporting our wellbeing, and the opportunities we have for regulating the noise in our midst.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you make more discerning choices about the kinds of noise you choose to tolerate — or eliminate — in your own world.

P.S. We also happily announce our sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.
 
Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/noise
Mar 20, 2018
Episode 73: Dating
01:16:19

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Dating — it’s modern trials and tribulations, and the options we have for reclaiming it from the limiting realms of texting, swiping, and scrolling.

In an era where face-to-face interaction is limited, and where an entire generation of people have lost track of real-life flirting, mingling, and conversational skills, many are bemoaning what they see as the sad state of dating, even as they are feeling constrained by its commoditizing conventions.

So here, we make a case for challenging the superficial status quo, and for making romantic connections that respect the depth and humanity of all parties. We also offer you some experiments to help you experience more fun and satisfaction within your own dating world.  

P.S. We also happily announce our sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.
 
Get full show notes and resources at: http://livingexperiment.com/dating/
Mar 12, 2018
Episode 72: Anxiety
01:21:02

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Anxiety — a condition that causes tens of millions of people to feel rattled by intrusive thoughts, oppressed by worries, or otherwise disquieted — sometimes to a disabling degree.  

These days, anxiety has surpassed depression as America’s number one mental health disorder.  

So here, we talk about a wide range of strategies proven to help, from nutritional interventions to self-calming techniques.   

We explore the underlying reasons anxiety is giving so many of us so much trouble. 

From the factors that have given rise to our high-stress society, to the implications of medicating anxiety’s symptoms rather than addressing its root causes, we invite you to consider the role anxiety may be playing in your own life, and the options you have for making it better.  

We also offer some experiments to help you build your own collection of anti-anxiety skills. 

P.S. We also happily announce our sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.
 
Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/anxiety/
Mar 06, 2018
Episode 71: Vacation
50:32

This week, on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Vacation — the benefits that regular breaks from work can have for our health, sanity and happiness, and the reality that most of us aren’t getting nearly enough of them.

We look at some statistics that suggest many U.S. adults aren’t getting any paid vacation time, and many more aren’t making full use of the vacation time they have.

We explore some of the reasons for that, as well the real costs to our health, wellbeing, and productivity.

We also consider some strategies for making the most of the vacations you do take, and for navigating around some of the most common vacation mistakes.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you begin making space and time for more satisfying vacations in your own life.  

P.S. We also happily announce our sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.
 
Get full show notes and resources at: http://livingexperiment.com/vacation/
Feb 06, 2018
Episode 70: Judgment
57:51
This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Judgment the critical opinions we hold about ourselves and others, and the sometimes scathing assessments we make as a result.
 
From our natural tendency to disparage those who disagree with us, to the opportunities we miss when we make up our minds too quickly, we explore the territory between learning and judging, between connecting and distancing, between living in the questions and having all the answers.
 
We suggest some ways of moving from self-righteousness belief toward open-minded inquiry, and we offer you some experiments to help you soften the judger within yourself.
 
P.S. We also happily announce our sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.
 
Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/judgment/
Jan 30, 2018
Episode 69: Impulse
01:08:09

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Impulse — that sudden urge to do or not do a given thing, and the ways such urges can take hold of us without our conscious permission.

Whether from a hunger for excitement, or the depletion of our available willpower, our impulses can work against our healthy intentions, and against our better interests.

They can also be a powerful indicator of how well we are coping with our current circumstances, and a barometer of our overall resilience.

Here, we talk about the variables that influence our impulses, and our ability to manage them. We explore the differences between response and reactivity, and some useful ways to create more space between our urges and actions.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you better govern your own impulses in ways that work for you.

P.S. We also happily announce our sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.
 
Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/impulse/
Jan 22, 2018
Episode 68: Decluttering
01:05:59

On this week’s special guest episode of The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Decluttering.

This is a follow-up on our "Clutter" episode from earlier in the season, in which Pilar promised to consult her decluttering expert and Feng Shui-certified sister, Andrea, for some of her down-and-dirty practical tips.

Here, Andrea shares essential guidance on how to turbo-charge your decluttering projects, and how to avoid getting bogged down or overwhelmed in the process.

Andrea has been a pro declutterer for decades. She regularly consults and teaches workshops on the topic, and she’s the featured expert in an award-winning article and video series called  “Order Out of Chaos” that's featured in Experience Life magazine.

Blending Andrea's philosophy, strategy, helpful techniques, and real-life examples, we set out to help you take charge of the clutter in your own world.

P.S. We also happily announce our new sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.
 
Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/decluttering/
Jan 16, 2018
Episode 67: Purpose vs Pleasure
01:03:32

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Purpose vs. Pleasure — the apparent tensions that exist between our pursuit of those aims, and the ways they can live in harmony.

We offer philosophical and biological insights on the roles that both purpose and pleasure have in guiding human experience.

We share how we’ve come to discern the difference between cravings and longings while honoring the real value of both.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you find the proper place for purpose and pleasure in your own life.

P.S. We also happily announce our new sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.
 
Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/purpose-vs-pleasure/
Jan 09, 2018
Episode 66: Conscious Language
01:08:44

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Conscious Language — the art of refining your words to reflect your higher choices, and the value of becoming more aware of how your verbal expressions both reflect and create your reality.

From the surprising power of key words and declarations, to the value of saying more of what you mean and less of what you don’t, we explore the ways language defines our experience, and how it shapes our connections with each other.

We also offer you some experiments to help you become more conscious of the way your current language patterns are playing out in your own life.

P.S. We also happily announce our new sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.
 
Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/conscious-language/
Jan 02, 2018
Episode 65: Eating Meat
01:26:41

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Eating Meat — the nutritional, ethical, and environmental questions that choice raises, and how we’ve come to our own answers.

From the vegan-vs.-paleo propaganda to the disconcerting realities of factory farming, we consider both the pros and cons of meat consumption.

We wade into some of the controversies and conundrums that polarize many well-intended eaters, and we shed light on some little-considered factors that we think deserve more attention.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you explore on the question of how meat-eating fits into your own life, or doesn’t.

P.S. We also happily announce our new sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.
 
Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/eating-meat/

 

Dec 26, 2017
Episode 64: Clutter
39:49

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Clutter — the oppressive burden all that excess stuff represents, and the some strategies for dealing with it constructively.

We talk about clutter’s underlying causes and its real-life impacts.

We explore some of its deeper meanings.

And of course, we offer you some experiments to help you deal more consciously with the clutter that’s been collecting in your life.

P.S. We also happily announce our new sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.
 
Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/clutter/
Dec 19, 2017
Episode 63: Sexual Harassment
01:11:44

Unwanted touches. Inappropriate jokes. Mortifying propositions. Depending on when and where they occur, they can all be forms of the abusive dynamic known as sexual harassment..

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about the recent spate of high profile sexual harassment revelations. We’re also talking about the much lower profile cases of sexual harassment that many of us have suffered — and witnessed — for as long as we can remember.

We share our personal perspectives and experiences, including my own recent "hey-that's-my-thigh!" incident. We address the increasingly charged topic of physical contact and sexually charged banter among friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. We explore the anxiety and growing sense of outrage that pervade this emerging conversation about power, politics, and our scandal-crazy culture.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you tune into your own thoughts and feelings about unwanted sexual attention — and its real-life impacts.

P.S. We also happily announce our new sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/sexual-harassment/

Dec 12, 2017
Episode 62: Holidays
38:56

There’s so much merriment, so much anticipation, and yet … the holidays can also feel like a lot of pressure to perform, to conform, to consume.

Here, we share our thoughts on navigating this season with your sanity and sense of inner peace intact.

From challenging the shop-and-spend cycle, to speaking your truth without inciting unnecessary conflict, we advocate for creating a satisfying holiday experience — your way.

And of course, we offer you some experiments to get you started in that direction, even as the holiday madness kicks into full swing.

P.S. We also happily announce our new sponsorship by Experience Life magazine, and the special, discounted subscription offer and free e-newsletters now available to The Living Experiment listeners.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/holidays/

Dec 06, 2017
Episode 61: The Health of Others
56:16

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about the health of others — the struggles we face in trying to influence the choices of those we care about, and the opportunities we have to offer appropriate support without creating unhelpful stress and resentment for all involved.

From dealing with the real impact that others’ health-depleting habits can have on our lives, to acknowledging the folly of trying to move anyone before they are ready, we explore the sometimes painful space of meeting and loving people where they are — even when we see them going downhill fast.

Sharing insights from well-respected behavior-change models as well as our own real-life experiences, we offer strategies for making peace with what is, while still holding open the door to healthy evolution — if and when our loved ones seem ready to embrace it.

And of course, we offer you some experiments to help you re-frame your own approach to addressing the health challenges of the ones you love.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/the-health-of-others/

Nov 07, 2017
Episode 60: Conscious Eating
50:21

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking Conscious Eating — the art of more fully enjoying your eating experiences and relating to your food in healthier ways.

We explore how rushed and unconscious eating tends to stoke body’s stress response, and also how it undermines digestion.

We look at how distracted eating robs you of satisfaction and numbs you to your body’s natural satiety signals.

We share some practical techniques for bringing more awareness to your pacing, posture, breathing, and sensory experience.

Finally, we offer you some experiments that invite you to begin developing your own approach to conscious eating — starting with your very next meal.  

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/conscious-eating/

Oct 31, 2017
Episode 59: Body Image
57:07

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Body Image, and exploring the challenges of maintaining a positive self-regard in our body-shaming culture.

From disturbing statistics about widespread self-loathing to pop-culture and media trends that appear to be making matters worse, we explore the individual and collective costs of promoting unachievable, hyper-perfected body ideals.

We also share some of our own body-image insights, including the places we struggle to shape healthy values and viewpoints in the face of dysfunctional social programming.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you develop more awareness about your own sense of body-image, and to evolve it in ways that work for you.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/body-image/

Oct 24, 2017
Episode 58: Astroturfing
46:43

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Astroturfing — the insidious and increasingly common strategy by which special interests create the illusion of grass-roots movements in order to manipulate public opinion, promote unpopular policies, and even subvert elections.

From shady mis-information campaigns waged by Big Business to the rise of “fake news” and fake social-media feeds created with the express purpose of dividing a nation, we’re seeing the emergence of a new and highly effective form of public brainwashing.

So here, we explore the potential this sort of dis-information has to undermine our media and democracy. We look at how astroturfing is being used to mess with our minds, influence our behavior, and to subvert our common interests.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you get wise to how astroturfing works, and where it might be showing up in your own life.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/astroturfing/

Oct 17, 2017
Episode 57: Television
47:22

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Television — the often too-dominant role it has in our lives, and the opportunities we have to right-size its presence in our reality.  
 
We take a look at just how much time Americans are spending watching TV, and why that might be. We also look at the high cost of all that screen time, and we explore some more rewarding alternatives.  
 
Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you evaluate your own relationship with television, and how you might like to see it evolve.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/television/

Oct 10, 2017
Episode 56: Feeding Healthy Kids
54:54

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Feeding Healthy Kids — the challenges involved with doing that, and the choices that matter most.

We talk about overcoming the unhealthy eating habits today’s children are culturally programmed to adopt, and how parents can successfully sway their children toward healthier preferences — even in the face of dietary mixed messages and misinformation.

We explore how nutrition can influence both kids’ current health status and their future health outcomes.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you nudge your own family in healthier directions.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/feeding-healthy-kids/

Oct 03, 2017
Episode 55: Autumn
56:41

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Autumn. This is the final installment in a series of episodes we’ve built around Dallas’s Seasonal Model of Health, and if you’ve listened to the others, you know they all include explorations of the physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of the season.

In this episode, we consider Autumn’s contracting energy. We look at how it encourages our bodies and minds to wind down the high energy of summer and, as Dallas puts it, "start coming home" for the winter to come.

From seasonal nutrition, fitness, and sleep recommendations to self-care and decluttering wisdom based in Chinese Five Element Theory, we share suggestions rooted in science and personal experience.

And of course we offer you some autumnal experiments to help you make the most of this beautiful season in your own way.

Get full show notes and resources at http://livingexperiment.com/autumn/

Sep 26, 2017
Episode 54: Breaking Up
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 to 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/

Sep 19, 2017
Episode 53: Asking
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/

Sep 12, 2017
Episode 52: Intuition
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/

Sep 05, 2017
Episode 51: Winning Cycles
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/

Aug 15, 2017
Episode 50: Therapy
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/

Aug 08, 2017
Episode 49: Summer
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/

Aug 01, 2017
Episode 48: Forgiveness
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/

Jul 25, 2017
Episode 47: Non-Toxic Bodycare
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/

Jul 18, 2017
Episode 46: Aging Gracefully
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/

 

Jul 11, 2017
Episode 45: Satisfaction vs Success
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/

Jul 04, 2017
Episode 44: Commute
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/

Jun 27, 2017
Episode 43: One-Year Ramble
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/

Jun 20, 2017
Episode 42: Intimacy and Connection
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/

Jun 13, 2017
Episode 41: Attractiveness
42:08

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/

May 23, 2017
Episode 40: Idleness
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/

May 16, 2017
Episode 39: Perfect
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/

May 09, 2017
Episode 38: Sleep
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/

May 02, 2017
Episode 37: Win-Win Relating
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/

Apr 25, 2017
Episode 36: Energy Drinks
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/

Apr 18, 2017
Episode 35: Generosity
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/

Apr 11, 2017
Episode 34: Spring
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/

Apr 04, 2017
Episode 33: Sensuality
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/

Mar 28, 2017
Episode 32: Resistance to Pleasure
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/

Mar 21, 2017
Episode 31: Saying No
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/

Mar 07, 2017
Episode 30: News
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/

Feb 28, 2017
Episode 29: Vulnerability
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/

Feb 21, 2017
Episode 28: Healthy Deviance
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/

Feb 14, 2017
Episode 27: Fasting
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/

 

Feb 07, 2017
Episode 26: Nourished
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/

Jan 31, 2017
Episode 25: Masculine and Feminine
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/

Jan 24, 2017
Episode 24: Busy
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/

Jan 17, 2017
Episode 23: What Now?
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/

Jan 10, 2017
Episode 22: New Year
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/

Jan 03, 2017
Episode 21: Health Media
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/

Dec 12, 2016
Episode 20: Eating Out
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/

Dec 05, 2016
Episode 19: Mansplaining
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/

Nov 28, 2016
Episode 18: Coffee
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/

Nov 21, 2016
Episode 17: Winter
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.

Nov 14, 2016
Episode 16: Shame
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.

Nov 07, 2016
Episode 15: Sitting
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

PLUS ...

Oct 31, 2016
Episode 14: Creativity vs. Consumption
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 ...

 

Oct 24, 2016
Episode 13: Poo
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

Oct 17, 2016
Episode 12: Enough
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!

Oct 10, 2016
Episode 11: Paleo vs. Primal
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

PLUS ...

Oct 03, 2016
Episode 10: Top 10 Health Biggies
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:

PLUS ...

Sep 19, 2016
Episode 9: Fitspo
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:

PLUS:

 
Sep 12, 2016
Episode 8: Addiction
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

 

PLUS …

Sep 05, 2016
Episode 7: Pause
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.
Aug 29, 2016
Episode 6: Travel
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 sharing about his recent run-in with hotel bed bugs. 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 (especially for work) can take a huge toll on your health (3:25)
  • Dallas shares his unfortunate encounter with bed bugs (4:45)
  • The challenges of healthy eating on the road, and why planning and preparing so important (8:00)
  • Why breakfast is a big deal (11:00)
  • Packing “low-maintenance” food for the trip (12:15)
  • Pilar’s "Quick-Trick Snack Stack" (14:50)
  • The special lure of cravings on the road (16:20)
  • Finding healthy options away from home (19:00)
  • Consider bringing some condiments (23:10)
  • Weighing your options — eating junk vs. not eating at all. (25:00)
  • Getting to sleep in weird hotel rooms (27:30)
  • The worry of waking up on time (32:55)
  • Why relying on TV to wind down or fall asleep is a bad idea, and how to avoid it with a bedtime ritual (34:15)
  • Staying "regular" when you are off your normal schedule and out of your normal environment (39:30)
  • Fitting in exercise (or not) (41:30)
  • The value of getting out and about (46:50)
  • Being where you are vs. being consumed by your digital devices (48:30)
  • Experiments for the week (54:00)

Weekly Experiments: 

Dallas suggests: Tweak your hotel room for better sleep. Plus: Ask locals for on-the-ground advice. 

  • Lower the room temperature, use a white-noise app to cover ambient sounds, and get the room as dark as possible (blocking light from clocks, under the door, etc.).
  • Connect with the people in the community by getting their suggestions for what to do and where to go.

Pilar suggests: Avoid an unhealthy, mediocre breakfast by packing your own basic supplies. Plus: Mimic your home evening routine while staying in your hotel.

  • Bring nuts, seeds, flaked coconut, and dried fruit with you, and order fresh berries and yogurt as a base. Having eggs? Ask for a side of sautéed greens.
  • Make your hotel life feel more like home by maintaining your normal evening routine. Take a shower, unpack your suitcase, settle in.

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:

Aug 22, 2016
Episode 5: Seasons
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 our human rhythms got out of sync with nature: the disorienting influence of electric lights, artificial temperature controls, jet travel, standardized daily schedules, and more (2:45)
  • How the agricultural and industrial revolutions radically de-seasonalized our diet, activity, sleep and other lifestyle patterns (5:00)
  • The value of embracing a nature-designed, seasonal model of health rather than a standardized, modern-era prescription (8:00)
  • The biological (hormonal, neurological, metabolic, immune) effects of circadian and seasonal rhythm disruption (12:00)
  • Strategies for getting back in touch with more seasonally appropriate rhythms (15:15)
  • Why eating locally and seasonally is a great place to start, and why seasonal oscillations (between lighter, plant-based, higher-carb diets and heavier, meat-and-fat rich diets) can make sense (16:45)
  • Why all this applies to you (at least somewhat) even if you live in a very consistent climate (21:00)
  • The difference between short-term "corrective" phased eating interventions and a more sustainably healthy seasonal approach, especially for the microbiome (24:00)
  • Following our intuitive appetites (rather than diet dogma) toward more seasonally appealing eating choices, and why summer is a fine time to eat fruit (27:20)
  • Beyond diet, changing your exercise approach (power, strength, speed, endurance, etc.) and sleep cycles with the seasons (29:40)
  • Moving beyond cultural programming and habitual repetition toward natural body wisdom (31:30)
  • Observing the yin and yang energies of winter and summer, and the transitional subtleties of spring and fall (33:00)
  • Dallas walks us through how he approaches seasonal eating, and why it's actually pretty easy (36:30)
  • The importance of giving yourself permission to listen to and trust your own body (38:50)
  • Timing your fruit intake — and why permanently cutting out entire food groups is rarely necessary (40:15)
  • A recap of the logic of the Seasonal Model (45:35)
  • Recommended experiments for the week (47:25)

Weekly Experiments 

Dallas suggests: Take a look at how well your current food/activity/sleep programs are coordinated.  Seek to correct any observed imbalances.

  • Assess your diet, exercise routine, and sleep schedule. Do they complement each other and the current season?
  • Brainstorm how you can better align these different factors for better results.

Pilar suggests: Look at the season that's coming into view and consider: What is one single, relatively simple thing I could do to accommodate this shift of season?

  • Trust your first instinct in deciding which specific change (an adjustment in food, activity or sleep) would be most impactful, appealing and doable for you.
  • Don’t stress about integrating a bunch of seasonal changes all at once. Make it gradual. Keep it easy.

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

Aug 15, 2016
Episode 4: Morning
49:56

In this episode of The Living Experiment, we talk about mornings - the challenges they present for many, and some smart strategies for redesigning them in ways that work better for you. Pilar shares the central elements of her flexible, minimalist morning practice, and Dallas shares his mindful coffee-making approach. We explain the underappreciated power of your first waking moments, and offer a fleet of suggestions for creating healthier, more rewarding mornings - without taking on a bunch of new, time-consuming commitments. Finally, we serve up some practical experiments to help you consciously reclaim your mornings so you can more successfully start each day on your own terms.

Episode Highlights

  • The value of creating a morning practice in a way that develops self-efficacy and gets your day off to a positive start (3:00)
  • How exposing yourself to your smartphone (or any mass media) first thing in the morning stresses you out, makes you vulnerable to unhealthy impulses, and robs you of your best ideas (5:25)
  • Pilar's low-key morning routine, and the value of rightsizing your daily commitment (9:05)
  • How Dallas uses a conscious coffee-making ritual to build some reflective centering time into his days (10:45)
  • The importance of savoring and noticing your practice experience — vs. "just doing it." (12:00)
  • How taking control of your morning sets up a successful day (19:10)
  • Think you are too busy for a morning practice? (23:23)
  • Dealing with barriers to establishing your morning ritual (26:15)
  • Good reasons to make your bed every morning (29:50)
  • Dallas's morning routine (33:40)
  • Feeling resistance, and doing it anyway — plus, the value of noticing how you are NOT doing it (37:00)
  • Claiming "you time" as a form of self-respect and self-preservation (38:45)
  • The art of moving purposefully into a restful state (39:50)
  • Permission to do it your way (44:30)
  • This week's experiments (47:20)

Weekly Experiments

Dallas suggests: Take a minute in the morning to mindfully make your bed.

  • Commit to making your bed every morning in a slow, patient, mindful way.
  • Take three deep breaths as a pause before the rest of your day.

Pilar suggests: Try adopting a 1- to 3-minute practice every day for a week.

  • Create a checklist to track your progress throughout the week.
  • Record the barriers you face when trying to complete your practice.

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

 

Aug 08, 2016
Episode 3: Lonely
59:50

This week on The Living Experiment, we talk about Lonely — the experience and stigma of that feeling, and the negative impacts it has on our well-being. We explore some of the reasons more of us are feeling lonely these days, and how we can get out of the vicious cycles that keep us more isolated than we’d like. We also suggest some experiments that help you create more time, space and energy for social connections that support your own health and happiness.

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)

This Week's Experiments

Dallas suggests: Make your phone invisible in your living space.

  • Keep phones out of sight and silenced in the communal areas of your living space (living room, dining room, kitchen).
  • Try using an app that tracks your phone usage to become more aware of how often you’re looking at the screen.

Pilar suggests: Examine your weekly schedule. Where are there windows of opportunities for real human interaction?

  • Take a look at one week of your schedule and find the opportunities to have face-to-face connections with friends and family. Work events do not count for this experiment!
  • Find 15 minutes a few times a week to make yourself available to connect with strangers, like by sitting in a coffee shop without a cell phone or computer.

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 

Jul 31, 2016
Episode 2: Healthy vs. Hot
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 

Jul 31, 2016