New Normal Project

New Normal Project

Australia

A health and wellbeing podcast focused on inspiring healthy choices for our bodies, minds and souls.

Episodes

Episode 12: Ash Nayate - Helping us change to healthier habits  

Are you unsure how to change to a plant-based diet?

Do you find healthy habits can be difficult to maintain?

There are lots of reasons why people choose to go plant-based. At the New Normal Project the profound health benefits, both from the scientific literature and from hearing powerful stories of transformation, convinced us it was the best course for a long life of great health. Our guest this week, Dr Ash Nayate, is a vegan first and foremost for ethical reasons. However her work as a clinical neuropsychologist, mostly with children and their families, allows her to observe the profound impact that food has on our children's behavior. As well as working with children and their families in hospitals she also has a private practice helping adults who are looking to incorporate change into their lives. Join us as we hear Ash's story of how she became vegan, her theories on changing behaviour, breaking bad habits and how best to approach and maintain habit change. Ash also tells us of her healthy vegan pregnancy and of her interest in the mental health of those in minority groups such as veganism. You can connect with Ash at www.revolutionme.com.au

Episode 19: Healthcare professional panel at Perth screening of What The Health movie  

In this week's episode we play you audio of the healthcare professional panel discussion including audience questions which was held after a screening of the documentary movie What The Health in Perth, Australia, at the Perth Town Hall on June 16th 2017.

Whilst co-hosts Andrew & Claire Davies did not participate in the movie screening, the feedback from the 2 panel discussions previously aired in episode 4 (Melbourne screening) and episode 15 (Canberra screening) of the New Normal Project podcast suggested this would be another popular, inspiring and valuable episode.

The panel members at the Perth screening were Dr Alyce Churchill (a trainee General Practitioner), Dr Vinayak Hutchinson (a Psychiatry registrar), Elizabeth Boucher (a Pre-admission and Day Surgery Unit nurse) and Louise Roberts (a Coronary and Intensive Care nurse). Tony Boucher, a metallurgist and businessman, was the panel moderator.

The event was organised and hosted by Lucy Stegley from Raw Events Australia, with co-hosts Animal Justice Party, Animal Liberation WA and Plant Based Easy. Raw Events Australia has been taking this movie, What The Health, to venues in many cities across Australia and New Zealand, thanks to the directors Keegan Kuhn and Kip Anderson. This extremely provacative and groundbreaking documentary movie is the follow-up film from the creators of the award-winning documentary Cowspiracy. The film exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing us trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping us sick. It uncovers the secret to preventing and even reversing chronic diseases, which is essentially a whole foods plant-based diet, and seems to be something the world's leading health organizations don't want people to know about.

The topics of discussion included the definition of whole foods plant-based nutrition, the panellists impression of the documentary and which issue stood out the most, what attracted the panellists to eating a plant-based diet, how the panellists incorporate plant-based nutrition into their practice, how nutrition is poorly covered in most medical training institutions, how healthcare professionals can influence their colleagues about nutrition, how a whole foods plant-based diet might help in a person with chronic pain syndrome, how healthcare professionals might be affected if the health of the community becomes significantly improved because of plant-based nutrition and what tips the daughter of a man recently diagnosed with lung cancer might need to help him. During the discussion several inspiring stories of people with dramatic health benefits due to plant-based nutrition were told.

Andrew & Claire also discuss on the podcast the successful New Normal Sunday event they held, and which included a variety of activities including a run or walk, a yoga session, a meditation and a green smoothie.

Episode 18: A green smoothie a day keeps the doctor away  

Green smoothies have played a big part in the health transformation of podcast hosts, Andrew and Claire Davies. This week we pay homage to the green smoothie, discussing when we started consuming this vibrant beverage, what effects it has had on our health, on our guts, and its role in recovery post running, and our own New Normal favourite blends. Plus the benefits of having a high-powered blender to make smoothies of the best consistency. We also discuss some of the science behind the effects of green smoothies and for those looking for more information on this topic, we recommend searching "green smoothies" at the website www.nutritionfacts.org. We both bemoan the lack of healthy real food in our hospitals and wonder how much patients would benefit from having a green smoothie every day whilst in hospital.

A green smoothie features in the upcoming event, New Normal Sunday, on Sunday July 16th 2017 in St Kilda, Melbourne. Also included are other components Andrew and Claire consider vital to their New Normal, namely exercise in the form of a run or walk, yoga and meditation sessions and social connection over a...green smoothie of course! Tickets and more information are available via our website www.newnormalproject.com.au or via Eventbrite.

Episode 17: David Orr – From New York workaholic to Italian ultramarathoner (with a walk to the Taj Mahal along the way)  

What would happen if you challenged yourself to a physical feat to learn more about what lies within?

Our guest this week, David Orr, tells a fascinating tale that began in New York, working for Lehman Brothers, in the heady days before their declaration of bankruptcy in 2008 that precipitated the global financial crisis.

David is a Canadian who we first met one year ago at the Plantpower Italia retreat hosted by Rich Roll and Julie Piatt. A few weeks ago Andrew had the opportunity to meet with David close to his home in Tuscany to learn more about how he has ended up living in Italy for the past 7 years. During the retreat we had heard snippets about how he'd walked alone from Delhi to the Taj Mahal but we had no idea of the story that was to come. What follows is an interview that themes around being on the journey of life, taking opportunities, self discovery, ultra endurance running, love and plant based eating.

It finishes with David talking about how the retreat motivated him to run two ultramarathons of 100km and 125km, the second of which he completed just days before the interview. You'll hear his raw reflections on just how he felt and dealt with the pain and soreness, what he ate to fuel him, about running through the night, and above all how experiencing the whole journey is much more fulfilling than simply crossing the finishing line.

David has a talent for story telling plus a great story to tell.

Episode 16: Sophie Le Fevre - Gaining focus and relaxation from yoga  

Do you practice yoga? What do you understand yoga to be?

This week we talk to Sophie Le Fevre, who was introduced to yoga as a child and is now a highly qualified teacher of more than 15 years with her own studio in Melbourne.

Perhaps surprisingly to some, we don't discuss the specific poses that can help us to become stronger and more flexible but Sophie paints a picture of yoga providing an opportunity to develop focus whilst being relaxed. This, she says is the practice of yoga. The time spent in the yoga studio or on the mat is therefore training to be able to avoid distraction whilst maintaining a sense of calmness outside of the studio as well. So yoga can be the many things we do in everyday life. And the asanas or physical poses that we do in a class are just a means to help us achieve relaxed focus.

We talk about Sophie's childhood and she recalls an instance of being in a flow state as a 7 year old, when completing an otherwise dull task. We also discuss how yoga has benefited her own children and others she has taught during her career. Other topics covered include the health benefits of yoga, building community around a studio, the challenges of starting her own studio, how yoga is spiritual but not religious and how often we should practice yoga.

We hope you enjoy this conversation. If you've never tried yoga before, have an infrequent practice or perhaps you are a yoga afficianado, we would love to see you at our next event - New Normal Sunday - on July 16th. It's a run or walk, yoga, meditation and a green smoothie in the suburb of St Kilda in Melbourne. Go to www.newnormalproject.com.au.

Episode 15: Healthcare professional panel at Canberra screening of What The Health movie  

In this week's episode we play you audio of the healthcare professional panel discussion including audience questions which was held after a screening of the documentary movie What The Health in Canberra at the National Film and Sound Archive on June 13th 2017.

New Normal Project podcast co-host, Andrew Davies, was a member of the panel which included Robyn Chuter, a naturopath and nutritionist from Sydney, Clare Mann, a psychologist and author from Sydney, and Stephanie Dakin, a General Practitioner trainee doctor from Canberra. Caitriona Reed, a mentor and trainer of conscious entrepreneurs was the panel moderator.

The event was organised and hosted by Lucy Stegley from Raw Events Australia, with co-hosts Vegan ACT, Animal Liberation ACT and Vegan Healthy Living Canberra. Raw Events Australia has been taking this movie, What The Health, to venues in many cities across Australia and New Zealand, thanks to the directors Keegan Kuhn and Kip Anderson. This extremely provacative and groundbreaking documentary movie is the follow-up film from the creators of the award-winning documentary Cowspiracy. The film exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing us trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping us sick. It uncovers the secret to preventing and even reversing chronic diseases, which is essentially a whole foods plant-based diet, and seems to be something the world's leading health organizations don't want people to know about. In great news this week we learned that the What The Health movie is now available on Netflix for all of us to share with our families and friends.

Back in episode 4, we broadcast a similar panel from a screening in Melbourne, but as this was also an interesting and informative discussion we thought we’d bring this to you on the podcast. The audience was different and the panel members were different, so as you can expect the questions were quite different too. We covered the topics of whether the movie might be biased, how the economy might cope if a much larger number of people were plant-based eaters, how effective whole-foods plant-based nutrition is for inflammatory bowel disease, what effects sugars have on the microbiome and liver, whether the harmful effects of saturated fat have been exaggerated, whether there are whole-foods plant-based dietitians and nutritionists in Canberra, whether medical practitioner groups are trying to defuse the lobbies of big agriculture and big pharma, whether soy consumption can be a problem in thyroid disease, whether clean meat might be better than dirty plant foods and how someone starts a whole foods plant-based diet when they have just been convinced to do so by watching the movie.

We also announce on the podcast an event called the New Normal Sunday which will be held in Melbourne in July 2017. This will include a run or walk, a yoga session, a short meditation and a green smoothie.

Episode 14: John Tickell - Laughter, Sex, Fish and Vegetables  

Are you going to live to 100? Do you care about your ACE - Activity, Coping and Eating?

Listen to Dr John Tickell, a medical doctor in Melbourne Australia, who in this episode starts by describing how he visited and studied the Okinawans, a cultural group with the largest proportion of people who live past 100 years of age. He discovered that the Okinawans never talk about calorie or carbohydrates, aren’t fanatical about anything and stay active all of their lives.

He identifies some of the things in our Western society that don’t serve us well: like retiring from work and losing purpose, getting annoyed if we can’t get a car park right outside the supermarket, consuming food from packets or cans rather than in its whole form, reading newspapers filled with doom and gloom, living in congested apartments rather than old-style communities like villages, buying food that has traveled hundreds of miles to get to us, defining success by things we can count like money, and living a life lacking in family, fun, friendship and faith.

Dr Tickell talks about getting back to basics. Eating the food the earth provides us – without human interference (HI). He gives other well considered general preventative health advice that's easy to understand and built around the tenets of a very basic lifestyle – Activity, Coping and Eating.

John talks about how he became interested in preventive health during his medical training, and how when his general practice receptionists found that the most prescribed drugs were valium and antidepressants, that this was proof that we all need better coping skills than simply popping pills.

John uses a bunch of great acronyms to help people understand the key principles and he tells a great story or two. Hear about his interaction with Kerry Packer, a story that might not flatter the late media mogul but explains how the choices we make damage the brilliant machine of a human body we are born with.

This is not an episode about pure plant-based eating but John gives some great advice about how we need to eat 80% basic foods (plant foods) and 20% bonus foods. Basically everything in moderation except laughter, sex, vegetables and fish.

Episode 13: What are the best plant-based eating resources?  

What’s in our toolbox? What resources do we use to support us in living a plant based lifestyle?

This week Claire and Andrew Davies list all the key influencers that first made them try plant-based eating and that now continue to inspire and inform them. Not surprisingly considering their background in healthcare, the ‘Big Four’, Drs T. Colin Campbell (The China Study), Caldwell Esselstyn (Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease), Michael Greger (How Not to Die, nutritionfacts.org) and Dean Ornish (Program For Reversing Heart Disease) focus heavily in this discussion.

Another influencer is of course plant based ultra endurance athlete, Rich Roll, who via The Rich Roll Podcast has interviewed several plant-based gurus including Colin Campbell and Michael Greger, in addition to other doctors such as Neal Barnard, Garth Davis, Robynne Chutkan and Robert Ostfeld. The evidence based information they discuss is very helpful in understanding the health benefits of plant-based eating. Rich’s interviews with individuals such as Josh LaJaunie, Fully Raw Kristina and Khalil Rafati provide inspiration and motivation with their personal stories of the power of plants in their own lives.

Rich Roll and his wife, Julie Piatt, have also written The Plantpower Way, a cookbook that was a key resource to Claire and Andrew. Other cookbooks they refer to include Vegan Goodness by Jessica Prescott, A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones, River Cottage Veg Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, all the books by Yotam Ottolenghi, Community by Hetty McKinnon, The Wholefood Pantry by Belle Gibson and Sweet Greek by Kathy Tsaples.

Watching films and documentaries are a great way to receive a lot of information packaged up in a format that is easy to follow and can be shared together. Claire and Andrew describe how ‘Forks over Knives’ was the main reason they finally committed to stop eating meat and animal products. Other films of influence include What the Health, Cowspiracy, The Connection, Supersize Me and That Sugar Film.

Connection with others on the same journey in community groups as well as attending retreats and immersions such as those conducted by Rich Roll and Julie Piatt can be incredibly helpful in moving forward and making a bigger commitment to eating more plants. Attending events such as the recent What the Health screenings, that are still happening around Australia, are a great way to boost motivation levels and meet others who are seeking a ‘new normal’.

Episode 11: Coming out - Eating plant-based on special occasions and at restaurants  

Now that you are plant-based, what happens the first time you go out to dinner with friends or have a family Christmas dinner?

This week married couple, Andrew and Claire Davies, reveal their experiences and strategies for when your lifestyle and health choices are exposed to the world. They describe their path over the past 5 years using Christmas as an example and how strategies such as bringing your own delicious & enticing food, detaching from the choices that others make as well as being kind to yourself, can be incredibly useful. And what's more, the non-plant-based eaters are sometime pleasantly surprised.

They also talk about how some subgroups of the whole foods plant based movement advocate for an entirely oil free version and reveal their philosophy about this.

Episode 10: Paul Spano - A real life story about the power of plants  

Can turmeric work to replace your pain killers?

How quickly can swapping animal foods for plant foods impact your health?

Are plant-based foods anti-inflammatory?

Our guest this week stopped eating all animal products 8 weeks ago and amazing things started to happen. His chronic pain resolved in days. He stopped taking his powerful anti-inflammatories and pain medications. He started feeling better both within himself and within the world around him. He became happier.

Paul is a 52 year old doctor, husband and father to 2 year old Stella. His Western medical training and previous mindset told him that he was destined for a life of pain and dependence on medication but one day he had a thought. “What if I don’t accept this and just try something different?” A light bulb went off. He grabbed some turmeric from the pantry and stopped eating meat, eggs and dairy that day.

Claire and Andrew have a very honest and frank discussion with Paul about how this transition occurred and its rapid impact on his health and life in general. Paul has a vitality and vibrancy that is evident from the very beginning of this conversation. He is passionate about sharing his story and inspiring others to just consider trying another way. For him this was eating a plant based diet and he could not have predicted just how great the impact would be.

Episode 9: Get a great night's sleep  

Do you get enough sleep? Are you waking in the middle of the night? Are you a shift-worker doing night duty? Could you be chronically sleep-deprived? Do you try to sleep like parents who care for their babies sleep?

In this episode, Claire and Andrew talk about sleep including some of the problems we face in modern society, like a culture of staying up late, thinking sleep is not important and the use of screens in the evening. Claire describes how working night duty as a shift-working nurse affected her and Andrew tells how he became chronically sleep-deprived from overwork particularly in the evenings. They also discuss some of the health issues that arise from inadequate sleep as well as the problems that sleeping tablets can cause.

To help you, they discuss some basic tips for improving your sleep including optimising bedroom conditions, following your breath whilst counting back from 100 to help getting to sleep, reducing idevice use as much as possible in the evening, trying to follow the sleep habits we use for babies and young children, and taking a 30 day challenge of going to bed earlier and at the same time every night.

None of this is rocket science but with some basic mindful attention to your sleep habits, hopefully you will get a better night's sleep.

Episode 8: Andrew Taylor - Tackling food addiction with potatoes  

Andrew Taylor ate nothing but potatoes for 2016. One simple but dramatic gesture he hoped would cure his self identified addiction to food. And it did. He also lost 53kgs, cured his clinical depression, his YouTube videos went viral and the whole world was talking about him. This week Claire and Andrew Davies talk to Andrew Taylor about so much more than how he ate spuds for a year. He describes the very moment when he came to the realisation that if he didn't change, his then 2 year old son Teddy was on the same path to obesity and depression. Andrew shares his views on moderation and how especially when it come to food, moderation can only bring moderate health benefits. And if you're a food addict, moderation is the most disastrous model of a dietary plan.

We also talk about Andrew's dedication to process rather than results because he chose to tick off the daily task of eating potatoes rather than make a specific outcome his goal. And his transformation has been phenomenal. This means that if weight loss is important to you, perhaps you should throw out the scales and focus on doing the work every day because in Andrew's experience that is the truest path to sustainable change. The benefits you might imagine and then some.

Andrew is a lovely person, an everyday guy, a teacher, husband and father who has much to give the world based on his own unique experience of eating potatoes for a year.

Episode 7: Our journey into mindfulness  

In this episode we discuss mindfulness. What does mindfulness mean to us? And how has meditation, and learning about it, helped us in our lives? Claire and Andrew Davies discuss how a healthy lifestyle is strengthened by adding mindfulness. Each of us describes how mindfulness and meditation recently came into our lives, how this has helped us with managing the simple fears and stresses of a regular life, the realisation that all cultures, religions and spiritual practices in history have had some technique for bringing people into the present, some of the other benefits we have noticed, including when mindfulness teaching has been offered at our workplaces, and some of the courses, people and other resources that have helped us become regular meditators to help us in our lives. We also discuss the difficulties we all face with being disciplined to meditate every day and how being kind to ourselves about this is helpful, especially as the benefits gradually accumulate to allow us to face this busy life with a greater feeling of being in the now.

Episode 6: Living The Plantpower Way - Highlights and Q&A from Melbourne  

Be inspired by highlights from the recent Living The Plantpower Way events, held in Sydney and Melbourne, starring international wellness advocates Rich Roll and Julie Piatt. Included are key messages from Rich Roll, Andrew Davies and Andrew Taylor, the powerful Q&A session from the Melbourne event and beautiful music by Julie Piatt/SriMati.

Listen and connect with the unique dynamic of Rich and Julie as they use their knowledge, experience, wisdom and humour to answer questions such as:

Advice for starting out as an advocate of a plant-based lifestyle

Advice for couples where one is plant-based and the other is not

Definition of the word "ultra"

Advice for first time ultramarathon athlete and crew, with 8 weeks to go

How to deal with those who seem to want to improve their health but aren't prepared to go plant based?

List of books and resources referred to by Rich and Julie:

Autobiography of a Yogi (Pramahansa Yogananda)

Oneness (Rasha)

The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle)

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (Caldwell Esselstyn)

Engine 2 Diet (Rip Esselstyn)

Thrive series (Brendan Brazier)

Finding God Through Sex (David Deida)

Episode 5: Plant-based eating - What we choose to eat  

In this episode we discuss plant-based eating. What do we actually eat? If you think we changed overnight and that it is all mung beans and tofu then you’d be mistaken. In this episode Claire and Andrew Davies discuss what eating a whole foods plant based diet means to them and describe a typical ‘day on a plate’ at New Normal Project HQ. Lots of people have asked what a whole foods plant based diet is and for us it means eating plant foods in their most natural and least processed form. Lots of fruit & vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts, oats, grains and cereals. We do eat some processed foods such as bread and pasta but choose those made with whole grains, such as spelt, quinoa or wholegrains pasta and bread. You’ll hear what we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a typical day and also how our transition occurred; with lots of tips on ways to incorporate eating more plants into your diet. We discuss tofu and how it features in our life (spoiler alert- it doesn’t) and recall a time when it was difficult to imagine planning dinner without meat as the main feature. Our recent road trip to Sydney was time to reflect on how far we’ve come in this journey and we outline our eating strategies while acknowledging that we aren’t always perfect and that practicing kindness towards ourselves is a key part to transitioning to a healthier, plant powered life.

Episode 4: What The Health - Movie screening & Panel discussion  

"If I could deliver one message to the researchers who are looking for the cause of diabetes and the cause of clogged arteries and the cause of high blood pressure and the cause of diabetes I would tell them the answer is in 3 words - it's the food".

These words were said by Dr Michael Klaper, an American physician who uses whole foods plant-based nutrition in his medical practice, and come straight from the movie 'What The Health'. This movie opened internationally this month and we were privileged to attend the Australian premiere screening in Melbourne this week. This extremely provacative and groundbreaking documentary movie made by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, is the follow-up film from the creators of the award-winning documentary Cowspiracy. The film exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing us trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping us sick. It uncovers the secret to preventing and even reversing chronic diseases, which is essentially a whole foods plant-based diet, and seems to be something the world's leading health organizations don't want people to know about.

In this episode we discuss our impressions of the movie, play the trailer of the movie, and then play the audio from a medical panel discussion which was conducted in the cinema immediately following the movie screening. This panel included general practitioner Dr Malcolm Mackay, medical oncologist Dr Despina Handolias, lifestyle medicine trainee Dr Renae Thomas, neuropsychologist Dr Ash Nayate, and was moderated by intensive care physician Dr Andrew Davies. The panel members gave their impressions of the movie and discussed how they are using plant-based nutrition in their practice before answering questions from the audience. The many questions included how we can get more health care professionals to consider plant-based nutrition in their own lives and practice, what are the best resources for information to back up our dietary choices, what are the effects of pesticides on plant-based wholefoods, whether we should be concerned about significant soy consumption, the risk of iron deficiency for plant-based eaters, recommendations regarding vitamin B12 supplementation on a plant-based diet, whether backyard eggs might be better than commercially produced eggs, the struggles of challenging the status quo in health education, and thoughts on a high carbohydrate, low fat approach to diet. This was a really valuable panel discussion and we are very pleased to bring this to you courtesy of Raw Events Australia and Animal Liberation Victoria who arranged the movie screening and panel discussion. Hope you enjoy it.

Episode 3: Thoughts on the Living The Plantpower Way events  

Claire & Andrew, from the New Normal Project, discuss the recent Living The Plantpower Way events, held in Sydney and Melbourne on March 16 and 17, 2017. They describe the best aspects of these events, which were evening programs showcasing transformation and wellness advocates, Rich Roll and Julie Piatt (aka SriMati) from the USA. They discuss the high quality of and the impact Rich's keynote had on them and others, and also some of the other highlights, such as Julie's guided group meditation and musical performance, the transformation story of Andrew Taylor, and the Q&A session that Rich and Julie did together with questions from the audience. They talk about the sense of community that seems so necessary (and seemed to occur at the events) for those living a healthy lifestyle focused predominantly on plant-based eating, but also regular exercise, meditation and good sleep. Towards the end of the episode Claire & Andrew propose several ideas for how the New Normal Project can continue to inspire people to lead their healthiest and most authentic lives.

Episode 2: Rich Roll & Julie Piatt - Living The Plantpower Way  

Rich Roll is one of the rare individuals who can marry inspiration with experience and knowledge and turn it into positive action. Action that catalyzes sustainable, life-altering change. He is a #1 best-selling author, world renowned ultra-endurance athlete, popular podcast host and wellness pioneer. Rich has a powerful yet grounded, highly authentic style. Julie Piatt aka "SriMati" is a true spiritual wellness warrior, an author, a podcast host, a plant based chef, a motivational speaker, meditation guide, yoga teacher, and singer. At the core of all of Julie’s offerings is an opportunity for an expansion of our perspectives; a gain of cosmic view so that we all may realize our divine blueprint or life purpose. In this episode Rich and Julie have a conversation with co-host, Andrew Davies, about living the Plantpower Way, which is a lifestyle based on plant-based eating, meditation, spiritual connection and healthy loving relationships with family and friends. They are in Australia for Wellness events in Sydney and Melbourne on March 16 and 17, 2017. Check out www.livingtheplantpowerway.com.

 

Episode 1: Introduction to the New Normal Project  

Your hosts, Andrew & Claire Davies, introduce themselves and describe the New Normal Project. They talk about how they have made some lifestyle changes recently focused on improving their health. They now want to inspire people to make healthy choices for their mind, bodies and souls, especially in the areas of diet, exercise, sleep, meditation, loving relationships, and developing purpose. They also describe how the New Normal Project is hosting its first events in March 2017.

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