The Urban Monk Podcast

Many of us understand the importance of diet when it comes to health. Sure, eating the right food is important if we want to maintain a healthy weight, but what other effects does food have? Max Lugavere has come to know the power of food very well. His mother was displaying symptoms of Alzheimer's disease but they never made any connections that the foods she was eating may have been worsening the disease. What connections was Max seeing between what his mother was eating and what symptoms were being displayed by his mother? Were changes made that resulted in a different health outlook?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-03-19_Max_Lugavere.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Prion diseases are very rare. There are on average only about 300 reported cases in the U.S. every year. Because of its rarity it can be difficult to diagnose. Dr. Greg Eckel is very aware of the topic because his wife has been inflicted with a prion disease. It's been a very scary struggle for him and his family as she struggles with this incurable disease. What are prion diseases specifically? What causes them? What symptoms exist?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-03-12_Greg_Eckel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Water is essential to life as we know it. Not only do we need it to survive, we also use water for so many other things such as agriculture, food preparation, and showering. For many of us, we take the water that comes from our taps for granted, but where exactly is that water coming from? What sort of infrastructure is required to deliver endless gallons of water to millions of people? 

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-03-05_Seth_Siegel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

The earth's population is above 7.6 billion people. That's a lot of people who need to eat. Fishing is an especially large industry, but it's wreaking havoc for certain natural ecosystems and habitats. Some species are being fished in the tens of millions each year. Is there a better way? Bren Smith is a former fisherman who understood he was involved in a highly destructive industry. He then began working with a large salmon farm, but found it was essentially the same destruction. He began searching for a more sustainable way to fish and farm which led him to develop 3D ocean farms. What are 3D ocean farms? What sort of seafood is Bren able to farm? What are the benefits of 3D ocean farms versus traditional seafood farms?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-03-01_Bren_Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Diets are hard. Not even in the weight loss sense, but just in the general idea of the general foods a person should eat to be generally healthy. We're told that fats make us fat, but then someone else comes along to say that fats actually help to lose weight. Salt is bad, but someone else says it's fine. Gluten will mess you up, but someone else says, "Maybe in moderation you'll survive." What is it?? Dr. Mark Hyman joins Pedram Shojai on The Urban Monk to discuss the confusing, confounding, conflicting messages regarding what to eat. Who should we listen to? What do all the various food studies mean? What the heck should we eat?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-02-26_Mark_Hyman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

There's a lot going on in the world and it's easy to believe we won't be able to make a difference, especially at the individual level. It's easy to think we're alone in our feelings, but what if there was actually a community that was as passionate as we are? Fiona Hazell and Emelie Ekblad had a chance meeting that led them to create MAD. What were their individual journeys and experiences through various conditions that led them to madness? How did Emelie and Fiona meet? What about their meeting led them to forming MAD? What are they hoping to accomplish? How are they forming a new community to work together to resolve the big issues they see around the world?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-02-19_Emelie_Ekblad_and_Fiona_Hazell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Autonomous cars hold a lot of promise. Imagine if we could reduce or even fully eliminate automobile accidents due to road rage, drunk driving, or distracted drivers. Imagine if rush hour traffic was no more! Imagine the time you could get back to nap, read, or talk more intently with someone on the phone if you didn't have to drive! These are some of the various promises made by the concept of a self-driving car, but how realistic are these promises? On this episode Pedram Shojai welcomes Eric Noble from The Car Lab to discuss the advancements auto-makers have been able to make and how much further we still have to go before we get a fully autonomous car that allows us to take a heavy duty nap on the road. What are the technological limitations? Are we sure we'll be able to overcome these barriers? What sort of time frame can we expect before everyone is able to afford a self-driving car? Are there legal barriers to self-driving cars? How long before we can expect everyone to have a driverless car?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-02-15_Eric_Noble.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Dieting sucks. Let's just be honest about that. Holidays, birthdays, and even just a Friday night out with friends means we are all often surrounded by tempting foods that are not perhaps the best for our midsections. How can we easily navigate the endless food options that always appear in front of us at the worst times? For Robyn Youkilis, she understands this struggle. She also recently had her first child and had to re-shift her thinking as she set realistic goals in returning to her normal pre-baby weight. Regarding the struggle of losing weight, sometimes people can become hard on themselves if the results aren't immediate. How can we push back against this mentality of wanting and needing quick weight loss?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-02-12_Robyn_Youkilis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:21pm EST

How do we know something is safe? From lotion to food to soap and shampoo, we interact with so many different items in a single day. Who is checking that these items are safe? Amy Ziff was a journalist living in Silicon Valley who asked these questions when twins were having allergic reaction to otherwise normal items such as pillows and diapers. She had an older child who did not have any sort of reaction to these items. What was happening with her younger children? What chemicals were going into household items? Are these all listed on packages? If not, how did Amy figure out what was contained in various items? Even when doing the research, how are we able to filter what is truth and based in science rather than a blogger's speculation?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-02-05_Amy_Ziff.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

After a little hiatus The Urban Monk podcast is back with new episodes! Starting off 2018, we have Scott Stabile joining Pedram Shojai. Scott is the author of Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart. It's really easy to focus on the negative aspects of our lives and the world at large, but what happens if we choose to focus exclusively on the kindness and love? Scott insists that change can lead to endless good. Scott didn't have it easy either. His parents were murdered when he was fourteen. His brother later died of a heroin overdose. After that Scott joined a cult that dominated his life for thirteen years before he took the steps to walk away. How was he able to face these struggles and emerge on the other side with endless love for not only himself, but the world around him?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-02-01_Scott_Stabile.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST