For the final Journal of 2020, we’ve taken a moment to reflect on our favourite podcasts and webinars, our ‘ah-ha’ moment of the year and of course, what helped us gain some perspective in the madness that has been 2020.
podcasts & webinars
I would have to say episode #123 of Dr. Chatterjee’s Feel Better, Live More podcast, ‘The Power of Pain’ with the leading psychotherapist, Julia Samuel. Julia’s aphorism ‘”Pain is the agent of change” stopped me in my tracks and has transformed how I approach difficult situations. It is incredibly relevant given the challenges which we’ve all faced this year and is a must-listen.
– Emily Blake
This year, one of my favourite podcasts I have listened to is ‘The Stuff of Legends’ by Christian O’Connell, where he encourages different celebrities (mainly comedians) to bring a story about their favourite items. The quick intimacy the simple question brings about is quite moving, but also, due to his guest list of mainly comedians, is rather funny. These small bitesize podcasts have brought a level of humanness and humour into a year where both has been lacking somewhat. My favourite bits so far are where Celeste Barber talks about her ADHD, Adam Hills talks about starting a disability rugby team and Ricky Gervais talks about what it is like to go from rags to riches.
– Debbie Cotton
In ‘The Virome, Microbiome, and the Emerging Model of the Macro-immune System’ Dr Zach Bush argues that viruses are not to be feared or fought against and puts the virome into a context that is comprehensive, fascinating but understandable. I found the theory around glyphosate and Covid-19 very intriguing!
– Naomi Jones
Zach Bush, M.D. on GMO’s, Glyphosate & Healing the Gut with Rich Roll. I guess what I loved about this podcast was a kinship and alignment of multiple philosophy’s. That our soil, farming, food manufacturing methods are indivisible from our gut health. We are truly connected to our environment and therefore responsible for external and internal health outcomes. Coming from a triple board-certified doctor means I have passed it along to some of the more sceptical in my world and it has been met with respect and intrigue.
– Louise Joyce
‘ah-ha’ moment of 2020
Many of my ah-ha moments came when I was putting together a webinar about mucosal immunity. After reading some of the reviews, such as this one, on the mucosal barrier, I have shifted away from the idea that ‘leaky gut’ is always major damage to the epithelium, and that instead, it can present as a thinning mucosal barrier, with a deluge of bacterial matter into the immune system, which in itself can set up a low-grade inflammatory picture systemically.
Collectively, the wealth of swift research which has come through this year about the promise of nutritional interventions in light of the current pandemic, not least the article by Dhar and Mohanty published in August this year which explores the promise of modulating the gut microbiome through personalised nutrition to support lung health in light of the current pandemic.
The SIBO course that we organised with Dr Jason Hawrelak – ‘Demystifying SIBO’ – this year really resonated with me about SIBO, and it confirmed a hunch I had around navigating it in a wider ecosystem view.
My microbiome journey throughout 2020 has led me to the idea of ‘microbiome stewardship’. With the increasing understanding of the interconnectedness between our ‘human’ selves and our microbial selves, it is prudent that we embrace our role as microbiome stewards. How is it that we can best nurture, respect and nourish our microbiome and in doing so, learn how we can become guardians of our internal ecosystem.
what helped give us perspective in the madness of 2020?
The book: Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake. What more can I say? My love affair with microbes continues. The mycobiome is attracting so much attention, and rightly so. The impact that fungi have on our planetary ecosystem is almost bottomless. It is astounding and makes you stop and take perspective of everything. This is wonderfully written and at times funny; it is a book you can return to again and again.
– Humphrey Bacchus
I listened to Dare To Lead by Brené Brown on Audible as I thoroughly enjoy her storytelling style. It speaks to how to move from a dated leadership style of ‘command and control’ to one of courageous leadership. By overcoming the discomfort that courage requires, we can embrace a more human way of working alongside one another.
I loved her navigation of empathy and how sometimes, despite good intentions, we can get it so wrong. For me being vulnerable is an extension on being transparent and ultimately kind. Removing masks may take courage, but on the other side comes great reward.
Self Compassion: stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind” by Kristin Neff PhD is a very practical guide of exercises to incorporate into your life to be kinder to yourself. For me, 2020 has been a year for slowing down, reflecting more, having a greater awareness of unconscious thought patterns, and some of the techniques in this book have really helped.
Without a doubt, ‘Rising Strong’ by Brené Brown. This book takes on a new level of significance for me each time I read it, particularly so when I re-read it this year. Brené quotes Theodore Roosevelt’s powerful ‘Man in the Arena’ speech and this sentence has often echoed in my mind this year and given me strength and hope: ‘The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly;…who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.’
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