8 Podcasts to Check Out Now

     Until a couple of years ago, I never understood what the podcast hype was about.  My husband has listened to podcasts from the beginning (mostly fantasy sports) and always tried to get me into it, but I resisted for a while, thinking “what could be so great about a podcast?”.  Little did I know, there are MANY more options for shows outside of the sports realm, and here I’m going to list some reasons to listen to podcasts as well as some of my favorite health, nutrition, entertainment, and educational podcasts.  

Reasons podcasts are great:

1) Time management/optimization – One thing I think I hear everyone say is “there just isn’t enough time in the day”.   Instead of listening to nothing or listening to the radio (which you probably can’t stand the music playing if you are over 25), listen to a podcast on your commute instead.  It also makes working out and cleaning/cooking more tolerable when you have some entertainment in your earbuds.  I tend to listen to more entertaining podcasts when I am doing things like cooking (since I am concentrating on more than one thing) and more educational ones when I am able to give my 100% attention. 

2) Continuing education – I’m all about continuing ed these days.  I’ve found the quote by Einstein, "The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know”, to be very true these days. There are some great educational podcasts and it would be a shame not to take advantage of them.  Want to learn more about nutrition? Great! Functional medicine? Got that covered.  Motivation or random facts? Yep, there’s a podcast for that too.  Sometimes at the end of the day our brains are just too tired to read, but listening to a podcast can be mindless yet enjoyable and educational.

3)  Depth of content – You are going to get a lot more detailed content listening to a podcast vs. a radio show. 

4)  No commercials – Sure at the beginning some podcasts do little shout outs to their sponsors sometimes, but it is wonderful not having your content interrupted by commercials.

5) They are free – Which is actually kind of crazy.  Considering the depth of content some of these podcasts provide, it’s kind of mind-blowing that you don’t have to pay to listen. 

Here are some of my favorite podcasts right now (in no particular order): 

1)  Natural MD Radio with Aviva Romm: Dr. Romm is a Yale trained physician who is pretty much the queen of women’s natural health and I’m totally fangirling over her podcast these days.  I discovered her podcast when looking to learn more about thyroid issues and her episode 06:” What Thyroid Labs Should You Ask For?” does an awesome job breaking down the basics.  She has episodes on almost anything you can think of including gut health, detox, PCOS, adrenal health/adaptogens, reducing menstrual pain, and so on.  Seriously, check this podcast out! 

2) Real Food Radio – This podcast is hosted by Ayla Withee and Nicole Holovach, both Registered Dietitians who take an integrative and functional approach.  They do an awesome job breaking down complicated topics into easy to understand and applicable material that won’t be seen as “too out there” even from those who primarily practice conventional nutrition.  Podcast topics include nourishing your fertility, stress, supporting your microbiome, and cholesterol myths.  I have listened almost all of them and they totally rock.

3)  Sustainable Dish – This podcast is hosted by Diana Rodgers, RD and is focused on all things food, nutrition, and sustainability.  She features many guests on her show from farmers and activists to sleep experts. 

4) Fertility Friday Radio – This podcast isn’t just for people who are trying to get pregnant, but for those who want to learn about all things fertility, including period problems and natural fertility tracking and awareness.  Host Lisa releases new episodes each Friday and usually interviews a new guest each week.  Topics range from thyroid health & fertility, naturally avoiding pregnancy, a dive into the effectiveness of fertility drugs, to the importance of eating good fats and not under-eating to nourish your fertility.  Check it out ladies, I know you will learn something! 

5) The Dr. Taz Radio show – The Dr. Taz Show is a mix of conventional and functional medicine with a bit of Ayurveyda, herbs, and nutrition mixed in.  Episode topics range from reversing Chrohns disease to why having a miracle mindset matters.  I’ve found this podcast to be quite enjoyable and entertaining.

6) New Frontiers in Functional Medicine – Dr. Kara Fitzgerald is a Naturopathic Doctor who practices functional medicine and interviews the best minds in functional medicine each month on her podcast.  The materials presented in her podcasts are quite technical and I would recommend this show more for healthcare professionals and people looking to get more in-depth knowledge around functional medicine. 

7) The Tim Ferriss Show – Tim interviews world class performers from all sorts of fields and asks them about their routines, stories, and challenges.  It’s an awesome podcast for learning and self-improvement.  He’s also a best-selling author and just released a new book called “Tribe of Mentors” which I plan to read as soon as my husband finishes it.   

8) Freakonomics RadioI couldn’t figure out how to put this podcast into words, so here is the quote directly from their site:  “this podcast explores the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature — from cheating and crime to parenting and sports”.  Hosts Stephen J. Duber interviews Nobel laureates and provocateurs, social scientists and entrepreneurs.  They recently had an interesting episode where they interviewed Dr. Alessio Fassano, who is world-renowned expert on Celiac Disease and Gluten-Sensitivity and has also pioneered research on intestinal permeability and autoimmune disease.  Dubner and his co-author, Steven Levitt, have also written several books that are worth reading that you can find on their Freakonomics website.

I’m sure there are hundreds more amazing podcasts I could have listed here, but there are only so many hours in the day right now.  I hope you check out and enjoy some of these shows! If you do, let me know what you think below!  Have another podcast you think I should check out? I’d love to hear about it! Happy listening!

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Blueberry Nut Butter Oats (and Tips for Avoiding an Oatmeal Sugar Crash)

Oatmeal with blueberries and peanut butter 

     Oatmeal is hands-down my favorite breakfast food- in fact, I would say I eat it in some form for breakfast at least 300 out of the 365 days in the year.  There’s just something comforting about eating warm oats on a cool morning or eating cold overnight oats on a hot summer morning. It’s also full of fiber for your healthy gut bacteria to feed on and to help keep you full. The thing about oatmeal though, is that it starts off as a wholesome and nutritious food, but if you aren’t careful it could end up packing as much (or more) sugar as a donut or pastry.  Here I’m going to give you some of my tips for eating oatmeal, including how to avoid a massive sugar spike and crash (because nobody’s got time to be tired at their desk at 10 a.m.).

Tip 1: Choose old fashioned rolled oats over quick oats.

     Old fashioned rolled oats have a glycemic-index of around 55 vs. 79 for the instant variety (1). The glycemic index (GI) is more or less a measure of how quickly a food item is going to raise your blood sugar. The more your sugar spikes, the more insulin your body has to produce to bring your sugar levels down to normal levels. This process is tiring on the body and some people find that they crave even more sugary foods the more their insulin spikes throughout the day.  I know for me personally, the more carbohydrate foods I eat (especially in the absence of protein and healthy fats), the more carbohydrate (sugary) foods I crave.  People are also more likely to gain weight or have trouble losing weight when insulin levels are consistently high, because the extra glucose that doesn’t get brought into the cell is stored as extra fat.

      For a few reasons, I also suggest buying a container/bag of straight oats, rather than buying the little packages of oats: 1) The little packages are almost always instant oats 2) They often have added sugars and other questionable ingredients 3) It’s extra waste due to the extra packaging of the oats.  Of course, there are special circumstances when I might suggest buying the packets of little cups (like when traveling), but I’m just talking about in general here.  

Many stores also sell oats in bulk, but if you are trying to avoid gluten, I wouldn’t suggest buying them out of bins (due to the risk of cross-contamination with other gluten-containing grains if they don’t clean the containers well).  

Tip 2: Keep your oat portions in check

     When you think of ½ cup of dried oats, it really doesn’t seem like a large portion at all, but by the time you cook the oats it expands to an ample serving.  I suggest limiting your portion to about ¼ cup of dried oats at a time. I actually keep a glass container of oats on my counter and keep a ¼ cup measuring cup in there to scoop into my bowl.  I’m by no means a dietitian who tells people to obsessively measure out their food, it just happens to be convenient to have a scoop inside the oat jar. Of course, always listen to your body and pay attention to your hunger cues.  Some of you will need MORE or even LESS of a serving. 

I keep a measuring cup conveniently in my oat jar.  

I keep a measuring cup conveniently in my oat jar.  

Tip 3: Make your bowl more about the toppings (healthy fats and protein) than the oats.

     Okay, so by now you might be thinking “there’s no way ¼ cup of oats is going to fill me up, does she want me to starve?”  The idea here is for you to get MORE energy out of your oats, and the way you will do that is by adding in healthy fats and protein and a boost of antioxidants (if desired).
      I suggest adding in 2-3 healthy fat/protein sources and also a small amount of frozen fruit to use as a natural sweetener instead of using brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey.  My favorite add-ins are:

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· About 1/8 cup of frozen wild blueberries (nice little antioxidant boost in the a.m.)

· 1-2 Tablespoons of nut-butter (or substitute sunflower butter if you have nut allergies)

· Chia or flax seeds for a nice boost of healthy fats and extra fiber.

· Walnuts or slivered almonds (healthy fats and a little protein)

·  About 1 Tablespoon of plain or vanilla yogurt.  I find that the tartness from the  yogurt makes me not miss having added sugar!

·  Cinnamon (because cinnamon is basically life and makes everything taste better)

·  Pinch of salt (for some reason adding salt makes me not miss the added sugar)

Soooo....Why the focus on healthy fat and protein?

 To keep it simple, the healthy fats and protein will help keep you full longer and will slow the release of sugar (from the oats and fruit) into your blood stream.  

     Check out my favorite hot oat recipe below and let me know what you think!  Happy eating!

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print recipe
Blueberry Nut Butter Oats
Comforting oatmeal with a focus on healthy fats.
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • Water or milk per package instructions
  • 1/8 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • 1-2 Tablespoons chia or flax seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons nut butter of choice (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon whole milk plain yogurt (optional)
Instructions
1. Combine oats, frozen blueberries, and water or milk in a microwave-safe bowl and cook per package instructions in microwave (or use the stove but it will take a little longer). 2. Mix in the rest of the toppings (nut butter, cinnamon, flax/chia, and yogurt). 3. Enjoy.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1-serving

Reference: 

(1)Atkinson, Foster-Powell, & Brand-Miller, 2008.  International Tables of Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values: 2008.  Diabetes Care, 31:2 (December), 2281-2283.