Episode 039: Christina Bjorndal ND, Transformative Wellness: A Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Approach to Mental Health
In Episode 039 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Wellbeing, I seek to dispel some of the myths behind mental health with naturopathic doctor, Dr. Christina Bjorndal.
As you will hear in the podcast, Dr. Bjorndal’s journey to becoming a holistic mental health clinician is anything but linear or easy.
In this conversation, Dr. Bjorndal, shares some intimate details of her own struggle with mental illness, navigating the medical system, stigma and labels that sought to suppress her flourishing.
Growing through these incredible experiences, Dr. Bjorndal offers some of her own insightful wisdom as she realized the power of nutrition, connection and emotional freedom to cultivate whole being wellness.
She leads us through her own definition of health and walks us through her clinical approach to addressing mental illness, offering powerful physiologic and psychological therapies to bring about positive changes to an otherwise conflicted mind, body and spirit.
Dr. Bjorndal and I even dig into some potentially controversial topics, exploring the “victim” mentality and what it means to contribute meaningfully to society.
We even start to ask the question: What thoughts and beliefs are actually behind our most common habits and perceptions?
Dr. Bjorndal’s story and clinical work is beyond inspiring and will certainly empower anyone who has experienced mental illness.
I personally resonated with one her most poignant pieces of wisdom “you will be with you longer than anyone else, so why not start focusing on the relationship with yourself first.”
I hope you resonate with her authentic story and seek out some of her nourishing resources created to support people through their journeys of healing.
And with that, let’s dig into the show!
Learn more about Dr. Christina Bjorndal and her work by using this link to her website: https://drchristinabjorndal.com/
Episode 038: Erika Krumbeck ND, Why You Should Care About the Opioid Crisis, An Exploration of Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and its Potential Harms, and What Really is Behind Our Sensitive and Empathetic Children?
In episode 38, I welcome back one of my previous guests: naturopathic pediatrician and visionary mother: Dr. Erika Krumbeck. Dr. Krumbeck returns in this conversation to help us explore the uses, potential harms and relative unknown of the commonly used over the counter drug: Acetaminophen. She shares much of her research into the still unknown mechanism of action of this ubiquitous medication as well as some of the concerning associations with its use and certain disease states such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Krumbeck provides a very practical approach for helping children through febrile illness and shares some herbal alternatives for fevers that do not interfere with the body’s natural immune response to infection.
We then explore the newest literature showing the potential associations between Tylenol and decreased emotional responses that may interfere with normal cognitive and emotional development in children and adults.
We then end the conversation with Dr. Krumbeck discussing some of the genetic polymorphisms and potential neurotransmitter perturbations behind the “behavioral disturbances” we commonly see in our growing children. Incorporating an ancestral and evolutionary argument, Dr. Krumbeck offers her hypothesis and insights regarding the potential true reasons behind our most sensitive and empathetic children.
This second conversation is once again filled with numerous insights and wisdom from Dr. Krumbeck and I really encourage you to sit with some of the topics discussed and explore some of the small things you could do today to better support the health of your children and even yourself.
And if you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out my new collaborative endeavour the Charlottesville Center for Functional Medicine at our homepage: www.cvillefxmed.com where you can subscribe to get our Free Quickstart Wellness Guide and our 10-part email series embedded with nutrient guides, workouts, recipes and more to help you take control of your health. We also just posted the first video recording of our community wellness series, an exploration of sleep and stress and things you can do today to improve your resilience, decrease your total burden of stress and get better sleep.
I extend my deepest gratitude and appreciation for your interest in our work and would love to hear your thoughts on what you like, what we could do better, or what you would like us to address in a future podcast. And lastly I want to extend a big shout out and a huge thanks to the amazing team behind A Medicinal Mind this includes Tucker MacDonald, the brains behind the podcast and beautiful voice you hear in the beginning and end of each show as well as Rhett Deverich the passionate spirit the makes the blog, poems, podcast, and webpage come to life or simply exist in the first place.
And with that, let’s dig into the show!
Episode 037: Drew Gallagher, The Intersection of Faith and Fitness, What Really is the Role of Exercise?
In Episode 037 of A Medicinal Mind Wisdom and Well Being I dive head first into fitness and faith with innovative nutrition and movement coach Drew Gallagher. Describing Drew and his passion in a single sentence is nearly impossible, so I will do my best to showcase a bit of his varied background and extensive training in the world of fitness. Drew has a bachelor’s in Exercise Science and is a certified coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Level 2 Kettlebell instructor through Strongfirst, Titleist Performance Institute Level 1 instructor, certified Level 2 instructor through Functional Movement Systems and Level 1 Precision Nutrition Coach.
More importantly, however, Drew is a visionary in the field of fitness exploring the real role of exercise vs. developing functional movements and differentiating the purpose of workouts vs formalized training.
As you will hear in the podcast, in his most recent incarnation, Drew is now specializing in a unique approach of functional movement and performance through biomechanics and neural motor control that maximizes overall function, performance and health.
In our conversation we start the ground running seeking to define exercise vs. movement, workout vs. training and the real reasons why we should pursue movement and exercise in the first place.
Drew offers both insight and personal reflection as part of his journey navigating the sometimes misaligned fitness industry.
Drew illustrates the importance of the breath in initiating and creating positive movement and engaged exercise and then leads us into a thoughtful discussion about neural control and the role of neuromuscular training vs simply lifting heavy weight.
Through it all Drew offers his fatherly voice, sharing how he structures his workout with his kids and integrates dedicated training to expand his capacity to be a better role model and facilitator of play for his kids.
We end the podcast with a heartful discussion of faith, spirituality and wisdom as Drew shares how he incorporates his deep rooted Christian faith into his work with clients as they seek create whole being wellness.
This podcast is packed with wonderful nuggets for anyone with a shred of interest in fitness and movement, and you will likely hear something contrary or new to your present understanding.
I am so grateful for connecting with Drew and I think you will this conversation, inspiring, enlightening and just plain fun.
At with that, let’s get into the show!
In Episode 036 of A Medicinal Mind Wisdom And Wellbeing, I welcome the founder and innovative voice behind Evidence Based® Birth Rebecca Dekker.
Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN, received her Master of Science in Nursing and her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of Kentucky and has built a strong reputation in maternal and infant health circles for her pioneering work as the founder of Evidence Based Birth.®
In the podcast, Rebecca shares here personal story of childbirth, the true origins behind the birth, pun most certainly intended, of her research and greater work with Evidence Based Birth®. Rebecca offers her insights into the evolution of pregnancy and the birthing experience, sharing her passion for putting practical evidence about childbirth into the hands of families and professionals with the ultimate desire to empower and educate all curious enough to explore.
The conversation is spilling over with Rebecca’s passion and drive to hold nourishing spaces for mothers and their families to discover what they really need to support themselves and baby to be.
We explore some of Rebecca’s newest groundbreaking work, expanding the content and reach of Evidence Based Birth ® and even discuss the role patients can play it helping to appreciate and understand the burdens clinicians face in trying to provide compassionate care to all patients.
It was such a honor to share this time with Rebecca and I really believe no matter your background or interest in childbirth that you will enjoy this conversation.
Many thanks again to your continued support of the podcast and work at A Medicinal Mind. We extend back our appreciation and love for you in this our St. Valentine’s Day podcast.
And with that let’s dig into the show.
Stay up to date and involved with Rebecca using the links below:
Home site with newsletter signup: https://evidencebasedbirth.com/
Podcast page on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/evidence-based-birth/id1334808138
Information on our Professional membership:
Application link for our Professional membership student scholarship:
Our upcoming events page on Facebook:
The About EBB page:
Rebecca's EBB bio page: https://evidencebasedbirth.com/author/
Episode 035: Benjamin Richardson, Personalized Carbohydrate Testing, Insulin Resistance and the Flexitarian Approach to Eating Well
In episode 035 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being, I welcome back the curious citizen scientist Benjamin Richardson.
In Part I of this series, Episode 031 to be exact, Benjamin introduced us to intermittent fasting, the fasting mimicking diet and the role of personalized experimentation to discover what your body really needs to remain well.
In this conversation, Benjamin leads us into a discussion of personalized carbohydrate testing, insulin resistance and a thoughtful examination of all the reasons we choose to eat the food that we do.
We start out the podcast with Benjamin sharing some background behind his reason for undertaking another self experiment, this time to meticulously monitor his blood sugar in response to various foods and eating environments. Together we delve into the implications of personalized glucose testing and tailoring one’s diet to avoid large fluctuations in blood sugar.
Benjamin then explains some of his own personal findings as part of the experiment and describes the importance of understanding all of the inputs, outside of just diet, such as sleep, stress, and chronic disease burden that can influence someone’s insulin and blood sugar response to certain foods.
Benjamin then moves us into a thoughtful inquiry of the many reasons we humans choose to eat the food that we do. Benjamin offers his thoughts on the concept of eating for pleasure, and explores the implications of one’s food choices on the health (or lack thereof) of our gut microbiota.
This is another wonderful discussion with Benjamin and I am honored to have his efforts and wisdom as part of our podcast. Be sure to check out the podcast page where Benjamin has provided a wealth of links and additional resources related to the conversation today.
And lastly, I wanted to also share some exciting news as I have recently partnered with my close friends Ryan Hall and Kerri Cooper in starting my newest and perhaps biggest wellness endeavour: The Charlottesville Center for Functional Medicine. While I will still be in Front Royal for the next 2 years as part of my family medicine residency training, we are already laying the foundations for discovering whole being wellness in the City of Charlottesville. You can explore our new homepage at cvillefxmed.com as well as our facebook page to find out more about upcoming free community workshops.
And with that, lets dig into the show!
In episode 34 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Wellbeing, I remain in the “non-medical world” exploring rural community wellness with pioneering activist and Vice President of the Center for Rural Strategies: Tim Marema.
Tim Marema is editor of the Daily Yonder, a news site published by the Center for Rural Strategies that covers rural economics, politics and culture using professional journalists, community correspondents, scholars, and a wide range of policy advocates..
In our conversation, Tim and I explore the life of the rural community, beginning with Tim’s very own life story growing up in small rural community in Kentucky. Asking and answering questions such as
From the perspective of a rural community what is your definition of health and how do we cultivate it?
What are the biggest barriers to wellness within rural communities,
How as clinicians and advocates can we empower and support communities and protect cultural and geographic heritage?
Tim shares with us the work of the visionary non-profit Rural Strategies: an organization seeking to improve economic and social conditions for communities in the countryside through the creative and innovative use of media and communications.
We then close the conversation with an exploration of faith and Tim’s story of spirituality, reflecting on the importance of spiritual institutions for creating social engagement, wellness and a space for finding joy.
I am so thankful for connecting with Tim and for all the members of Rural Strategies for their selfless work advocating and promoting the health of rural communities. As many of you know, I am currently in my family medicine residency training in Front Royal Va, a rural community itself with the greater Shenandoah Valley area, and rural health and wellness is certainly something close to my heart.
I really hope you enjoy the show!
Hear more about Tim and his great work using these links:
Episode 033: Catherine Day: “Story + Mastery = More”, Visionary Storytelling and the Power of Purpose
In Episode 033, of A Medicinal Mind Wisdom and Well Being, I step away from the strictly medical to discover the beauty and truth of storytelling with visionary community leader and the founder of Storyslices Catherine Day.
In this conversation, Catherine shares her unique story-based approach intended to help others find their purposeful narrative and constructed from her extensive study at the Adler Graduate School as well as experiences as an executive in higher education, television, and radio.
We start the podcast wading in the waters of Catherine’s childhood with the birth of her own origin story and the beginnings of her calling as a steward of the story, paving passageways for others through life’s most challenging transitions.
Catherine then outlines her experience studying psychotherapist and medical doctor Alfred Adler, sharing how his pioneering work surrounding the role of community and our collective search for meaning informed the development of her story based approach.
We then explore the fundamental framework behind Catherine’s unique method, delving into the spectrum of tragic character states that hold us back and the transitional changes that must take place in order for us to embody our archetypal ideals, our SUPER CHARACTERS: The Truth Teller, The Visionary, The Healer and The Artist.
Catherine blends her own narrative, and even that of her mother as she describes the dynamic fluidity of these positive trajectories, and together we seek to uncover what really is at the root of our suffering or our hindered flourishing.
Catherine ends the podcast with a piece of her own creative mastery, a poem that will likely leave you too surrounded by the beauty of our natural world, free from the container reality says you inhabit.
Keep up with Catherine and her amazing work using this link to her website:
Episode 032: Morley Robbins, Iron and Magnesium Revisited, What is Really Being Taught in Medical School?
In Episode 032 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being I welcome back visionary researcher and the man behind the Magnesium Advocacy Group: Morley Robbins. From start to finish, this conversation is another whirlwind of mineral metabolism, our second dive back into the fascinating world of magnesium, iron and copper.
In this conversation, Morley quickly get us up to speed on iron and its primary role in the body as the structural center of the oxygen carrying molecule hemoglobin, and then quickly pushes us forward into a fascinating exploration of blood and the red blood cell.
What do we mean when we say blood?
How many red blood cells do we really have?
Where do they come from and what is their primary role?
Where does iron and oxidative stress enter the picture?
We then discuss a surprising discovery by Morley, an iron metabolism and pathology module from very own medical school!
Together we deconstruct what I was taught as a second year medical student and perhaps the pieces of the story that were missing from my education.
Morley then leads us into a discussion of the reticuloendothelial system and the life cycle of a red blood cell. What role does iron, and magnesium play in the function and shape of our red blood cells? Are our cells living as long as they should? What can we learn from sickle cell anemia and other disorders of the red blood cell membrane when it comes to iron and magnesium metabolism?
Changing gears, Morley gives us a wonderful description of our primary energy production system: the electron transport chain, the role of reactive oxygen scavengers and anti-oxidants, and the interplay of copper and magnesium to produce energy and ultimately protect us from free radical damage.
We end the discussion with a little thought experiment exploring the implications of iron fortification and compare the amounts and forms of iron found in animal foods vs fortified cereals. We trace the journey of excessive and poorly absorbed iron into our colon, exploring the resulting gut dysbiosis and immune activation that can ensue from this excessive oxidative load.
Morley gives us hope at the end of this discussion as he describes his food based root cause protocol designed to restore the intricate balance of these minerals in our bodies.
Morley’s curiosity is unparalleled and I am thankful for his desire to research deas at the edge of science, sharing his findings with us all.
I encourage you to spend some time with this conversation, as you will likely need to listen 2, 3 or 4 times to pick up all the insights and wisdom discussed.
And lastly, If you enjoyed this conversation, we would really appreciate it if you would take 2 minutes to leave a review in I-Tunes so more people can find our podcast and its curious explorations.
And with that let’s dig into the show!
ERRATA: In the podcast I mistakenly describe hereditary spherocytosis as a primary issue of hemoglobin. It is not an primary issue with hemoglobin but an issue with red blood cell membrane proteins. Sickle cell anemia is a primary hemoglobinopathy or issue with hemoglobin that results in deformation of the red blood cell membrane, causing the cells to appear sicked in shapre. I apologize for the error in the podcast and hope you find this explanation helpful.
Catch up with our last episode with Morley using this link:
University of Virginia School of Medicine Iron Metabolism Module: Dr. Innes, MD
Got Mag: http://gotmag.org
Root Cause Protocol: http://gotmag.org/the-root-cause-protocol/
Episode 031: Benjamin Richardson, A Citizen Scientist’s View on Healthspan, the Fasting Mimicking Diet and Self Experimentation
In episode 031 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being, I explore the world of self experimentation, longevity, intermittent fasting and fasting mimicking diets with citizen scientist Benjamin Richardson.
I recently stumbled across Ben’s work and page at Forever Free From during one of my many rabbit hole forays into emerging medical therapies, this time into the world of intermittent fasting and the newly evolving 5 day Fasting Mimicking Diet.
In this conversation, Benjamin and I delve into some of his curious self experiments, implementing major dietary and lifestyle changes, quantifying the results and sharing this wisdom with a wider audience.
We explore questions such as
What is the difference between lifespan vs. healthspan?
What really is behind the aging process and who is at the cutting edge of longevity research?
Benjamin than leads us into a thoughtful discussion of fasting, outline the differences between intermittent fasting, time restricted eating windows and the Fasting Mimicking Diet or FMD.
He shares he own story researching, planning and implementing the 5 day FMD as well as his generous reflections and resources created so that others can try the dietary approach for themselves.
Through it all, Benjamin shares his authentic curiosity and his genuine desire to help others through his own experimentation.
Dietary interventions such the FMD and intermittent fasting are emerging as powerful therapies for neurocognitive illnesses such as Alzheimer's dementia as well as for metabolic disorders such as diabetes and even cancer and it is quite exciting to explore this space with such a passionate and knowledgeable friend.
Benjamin has provided a wealth of curated resources available on the podcast page and I encourage you to explore some this nourishing content as well as the resources on his own page at foreverfreefrom.com.
We will certainly be having Benjamin back soon to discuss his most recent experiment involving glucose monitoring, carb tolerance, insulin resistance and heart rate variability.
I really hope you enjoy the show!
Keep up to date with all of Ben's exciting news using the links below:
Ben’s page Forever Free From
Fasting Mimicking Diet Resources
DIY Guide to FMD including template
Resource: Guide to science of Fasting https://endpoints.elysiumhealth.com/the-science-of-fasting-2f5b56a2a65d
Resource: Fasting Mimicking Diet First Human Trial outcomes review
Resource: Commercial ProLon version of FMD
Resource: Blue Zones actionable insights based on research on the world’s longest lived communities
Resource: Dr Rhonda Patrick interview with Salk Institute Dr Satchin Panda on Time Restricted Feeding
Resource: Dr Rhonda Patrick interview with Buck Institute Dr Eric Verdin on
Resource: Dr Rhonda Patrick interview with Valter Longo on Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD)
Resource: Buck Institute Science of Aging Blog
Resource: Homepage of Chris Kresser, functional medicine advocate, practitioner and author of Your Personal Paleo Code and Paleo Cure
New Post on Carb Experimenting: Testing Blood Sugar DIY
Episode 030: Angie Alt, Holding a Vision for Hope, A Health Coach's Calling To Cure Autoimmune Disease
In Episode 030 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being, I share space with one of the visionary hearts behind Autoimmune Wellness, pioneering health coach and nutritional therapy consultant Angie Alt. You may remember in Episode 025, I held an inspiring conversation with the other half of this courageous duo, Mickey Trescott, and in this episode I continue the conversation with Angie as we seek to uncover the secrets behind communal healing, the real roots of wholesome lifestyle change and the hope that is born when we begin to see the past, no matter how troubling, not as something to run from, but as something to grow into.
In this podcast, we begin by exploring Angie’s story, a story of suffering, renewal and unfathomable faith, leading her to her current calling as a health coach guiding others through the uncertainty and hurt of autoimmune illness.
Angie highlights her innovative initiative SAD to AIP in SIX, a group coaching program that has lead thousands of folks through their transition to the Autoimmune Protocol and sustainable lifestyle change. Speaking on its early origins and immediate success, into its most recent period of growth, Angie offers us some insights into the structure of the program, who is actually involved in the group and how truly does one support those through the healing journey?
Straying perhaps from the measurable and describable, we ask some curious questions behind the cultivation of community, the opening to vulnerability, and the eventual path to empowered wellness.
Is it really all about food?
We then explore Angie’s most recent collaboration with Dr. Gauree Konijeti, MD, MPH, Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego, California. Together the two partnered to guide 15 patients through a modified version of Angie’s revolutionary program, ultimately leading 12 of the 15 participants from multiple years of debilitating illness despite significant pharmacologic therapy into clinical remission and new found health.
I cannot express how much I enjoyed this conversation with Angie, navigating through mild sleep deprivation and a few stumbling sentences to somehow begin to answer the ultimate question:
How do we get well?
And who do we to actually do it?
I hope you enjoy the show.
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