The Urban Monk Podcast (general)

We've all heard the expression "Boys will be boys." How appropriate is it to just assume that a boy will act like what we perceive to be boy-ish behaviors? Does the opposite also apply to girls? Is there something biological that makes raising boys and girls different? Dr. Rebecca Branstetter, author of "The Conscious Parent's Guide to Raising Girls," joins the program to talk to Pedram and explain what differences do exist and what differences are just societal structures we adhere to. How can parents raise their children mindfully without labeling their behavior through traditional societal gendered expectations?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk089RebeccaBranstetter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Weight and extra fat is a common issue people struggle with. Why is fat just so darn hard to get rid of? Sylvia Tara is a biochemist who has had her own struggles with weight and fat. She approaches fat from a human evolutionary perspective, attempting to understand what it is about fat that the body loves. She discusses how fat influences people's appetites and willpower, why it defends itself when we try to get rid of it, and why it's so easy to grow back. Armed with this knowledge, how can we change the way we approach diet and exercise to finally beat the bulge?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk088SylviaTara.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

As we start the new year, resolutions will be made and some will be kept. Some of the resolutions may revolve around trying to save some money or spending money more wisely. May McCarthy, author of "The Path to Wealth," joins The Urban Monk to talk about that very subject. What separates Bill Gates from the rest of us? How does his behavior and thought process differ leading him to greater success regarding his businesses and finances? May McCarthy lays out seven steps to take to help us stick to a plan and lead us towards goals we set. How can we set goals and actually meet them?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk087MayMcCarthy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

There have been many entrepreneurs who have given it their all into a company they believe in. Unfortunately many businesses don't succeed, but some can really take off. What is the difference between a Silicon Valley startup that fails and one that succeeds? Anna Akbari, author of "Startup Your Life," takes a look at the leaders of successful startups as models to finding a way to happiness for everyone. What are common characteristics of a startup leader? What should someone do when there seems to be little to control around us? Many entrepreneurs know the sharp sting of failure, yet they keep going. How do we accept failures and get back up after we've fallen down so many times?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk086AnnaAkbari.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

I don't think it's news to any listener of The Urban Monk that obesity is an epidemic and diabetes is more prevalent than ever. There is clearly sugar in nearly everything at the grocery store, but how did we get here? Author Gary Taubes dives into the history of the United States' addiction to sugar. How did sugar creep into the standard US diet? Why is sweetness so addictive that we started adding other sweeteners to our foods? Sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup, stevia, and aspartame have also become highly prevalent.

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Direct download: UrbanMonk086GaryTaubes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

More than half of the people in the US are struggling with at least one chronic condition. Today's guest, Amy Kurtz, has certainly been there. When she was a child, she felt a shooting pain going down her back one day after a dance class. The pain was persistent and never really went away. Then in her mid-twenties she she was hit with a parasite infection that really knocked her down. She saw doctor after doctor until someone finally diagnosed her with celiac disease. But even knowing that there was trouble treating her. What was it that finally turned Amy's health around? What steps did she need to take outside of regular health recommendations to get her towards a place of vitality?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk085AmyKurtz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Cardiovascular disease (CV) is the number one killer in the Western world. The scary thing however is many of those deaths are preventable! Why is CV such an epidemic in the Western world? Joel Kahn is a holistic cardiologist who has treated thousands of acute heart attacks. He comes armed with information in the fight against CV so that people can live their lives without feeling like they're missing out. What can someone with CV do to help avoid stents and bypass surgery? Are the steps complicated or is it a gradual series of changes to take on? What kind of changes can someone see by adjusting what they do and eat?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk084JoelKahn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Humans are weird. Let's start there. Now, why? Why do we have weird dreams? Why do we see stuff that might not actually be there? What's the line between just mumbling to yourself and actual schizophrenia or multiple personalities? Eliezer Sternberg, author of NeuroLogic and resident neurologist at Yale–New Haven Hospital, explains the weird things the human brain can do. How can sleep paralysis lead people to believe they're being abducted by aliens or seeing a water ghost? Why does the brain fill in its own logic for us even if we know what we're seeing is illogical?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk082EliezerSternberg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Today on The Urban Monk, Pedram Shojai speaks to an elder from his Taoist tradition, Thomas McCombs. He is a doctor of osteopathic medicine and has also been a professor at Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He's been studying Taoist principles since the 1970s and resonated with the energy circles the principles can create. What does the Taoist tradition have to say about energy? How does this differ from traditional Western perspectives? How difficult is it for the average Westerner, the average person in the United States to understand and train to better utilize the energy available to them?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk081ThomasMcCombs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

You might have heard of Feng Shui. You might have even used it in casual conversation. But do you really know what feng shui is? At its most basic level, feng shui is the practice of harmonizing a person with their surrounding environments. Great, but what does that mean on a practical level? To help explain the practice of feng shui and how it can be applied to a western lifestyle, Denise Liotta-Dennis joins The Urban Monk. She is one of less than 100 genuine feng shui masters in the United States. She has studied with four feng shui masters from China, Malaysia, and Australia. What does everyone think feng shui is? What are major concerns to have in trying to master the environment of your home? And how exactly did a woman from Texas become a feng shui master?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk080DeniseLiottaDennis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT