The Urban Monk Podcast

The Urban Monk is back after a hiatus from the podcast. Pedram Shojai has been busy all year filming a new docu-series on the microbiome titled Interconnected! Here he takes some time to sit and just talk about the experience of filming the series and what he learned and the many experts he was able to interview. No guest in this episode, just Pedram at the wheel driving solo.

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-11-19_Pedram_Microbiome_Solo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm MST

Dr. Tom O'Bryan is no stranger to The Urban Monk and he returns to talk about what it takes to restore cognitive function. We've all experienced that brain fog where we can't remember where we put our keys or can't connect the name to the face or forgotten birthdays. What causes our brain to slow down and what can be done to bring it back to optimal operation? Dr. Tom O'Bryan has a step-by-step plan to bring our brains back to tip-top shape so that we can live our best lives!

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-09-18_Tom_OBryan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:55pm MST

There's a lot of information when it comes to dieting. Things to eat, things not to eat, things to eat at a certain time, times to not eat, how long to eat, how much to eat, eating as much as you want, restricting how much you want to eat, tricking yourself into not wanting to eat, what the hell are we supposed to do? Cassie Bjork comes onto the podcast this week to talk it out with Pedram about all the diets that are circulating around. Paleo, keto, Atkins, what are all of these and which one is right for each person? How can a person even know?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-08-01_Cassie_Bjork.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:32pm MST

Aimee Raupp is an acupuncturist and herbalist who has worked with scores of women through various issues. Through her experience in the clinic she has come up with a roadmap to heal from autoimmune disease. She transitioned from helping women with poor fertility outlooks to working with patients on a more spiritual and emotional level. How can one attune one's behavior to better serve your own body?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-06-04_Aimee_Raupp.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am MST

How important is a morning routine? How can what we do in the morning affect the rest of our day? Benjamin Spall has written about this very topic and joins Pedram Shojai to deeply examine the common habits people get into when they wake up. Think about what you do when you wake up. The very first thing. Do you take a moment to appreciate perhaps your spouse? Or are you reaching for the phone to see who's emailed you in the last 8 hours? What affect could this have on our day to day lives? How do we break routines and add in new ones? What positive routines can we fold into our mornings?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-05-28_Benjamin_Spall.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am MST

Microbes are life forms that are too small to see without a microscope. There are microbes in the soil, in the atmosphere, and even inside every one of us. How do these microbes live? How do they behave? What are they doing inside each and every person and do they affect the person as a whole? Author Eugenia Bone joins Pedram on The Urban Monk to discuss the fascinating micro-world.

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-05-21_Eugenia_Bone.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41am MST

Many of us try to do everything we can to stay healthy, but at times it can be overwhelming. Thankfully, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee through his years of experiences as a doctor has worked out four key components to keep focus upon if we want to prevent disease: food, relaxation, sleep, and movement. By focusing on little changes, the multitude of little changes can add up to big results that will make all aspects of life better. What is the best way to incorporate these four pillars into our everyday lives?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-05-07_Rangan_Chatterjee.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am MST

Technology in all of its forms is becoming more prevalent in our every day lives. From mobile phones to tablets and video games and social media, it's quite pervasive. For developed adults, we've come to adapt, but how does it affect the development of a child? Pedram talks with psychologist Richard Freed about the studied effects of technology on the developing brain. How much is too much? Is there an acceptable amount of screen time at all for younger children? How can a parent best control the amount of time their children spends in front of the television or holding a tablet?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-04-10_Richard_Freed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am MST

This week's episode of The Urban Monk is extra special as guest Emily Fletcher was able to actually visit with Pedram and record with him in his own dining room! Emily was a performer on Broadway stages for ten years which is one of the high forms of insanity. She would wake up and head to a theater sometimes not knowing what role she would be performing that evening. In such a high-stress environment, what made her finally settle down to try meditation? Did she have any pre-conceived notions about meditation? How does she make time for meditation in our current world of deadlines and meetings and conferences?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-04-02_Emily_Fletcher.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am MST

At the age of 22, Leo Galland's son, Christopher, passed away. He was a brain-damaged special needs child who was able to provide uncanny insights. Though Christopher is gone, to Leo his wisdom and presence remains. What is it to feel someone's presence after they've passed away? What is the spirit? How can we feel the spirit of a loved one? How can we connect with our own?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-03-26_Leo_Galland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am MST

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: 2:00am MST

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: 2:00am MST

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: 2:00am MST

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: 2:00am MST

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: 2:00am MST

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: 2:00am MST

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: 2:00am MST

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: 11:21am MST

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: 2:00am MST

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: 2:00am MST