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  • Episode 37 – Dr Nicola Siso, PhD, hosts “Aspen Talks Health”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0w91EptaAk

Dr. Nicola Siso, PhD, holds her doctorate in Holistic Health & Nutrition, is a Certified Health Coach, and also holds a Master’s in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University. With this background Dr. Siso is the host and producer of the “Aspen Talks Health” program, where she interviews guests and shares a unique perspective connecting the dots between our environmental stewardship practices – especially including in the realm of water and agriculture – and our health and well-being as a species.

Dr. Nicola shares her personal practices, including her love-cultivation practice of affirming “I love you, I love you,” in the mirror; as well as global resources we can each connect with and utilize for our own learning and awareness. Chief among these are the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) resources for protecting your own health from toxicity (ewg.org) – toxicity in cosmetics, food, and in our drinking water.. Dr. Siso emphasizes the profound importance of drinking clean, toxin-free water for our own personal health, and the moral imperative we have to clean up and protect drinking water resources around the planet. Another key area for de-toxification is: beauty / cosmetic products. Dr. Siso shares that on average, women expose themselves to 170 toxic chemicals per day through the beauty/cosmetic products they are choosing to use.

This line of work runs in the family – Dr. Siso’s mother studied at the Hippocrates Institute, and with such a foundation, Nicola shares that our spiritual, emotional and physical health and well-being are interconnected. Dr. Siso also advocates the importance of organic, plant based diets, and advocates that even non-vegetarians should consider a “Meatless Monday” as a way to improve personal health while also taking good care of our planet.

More information is available at aspentalkshealth.com and at facebook.com/aspentalkshealth

Transcript

(Automatically generated transcript for search engine optimization and reference purposes - grammatical and spelling errors may exist.)

Welcome to the YonEarth Сommunities stewardship and sustainability podcast series.

Today I have the great privilege of visiting with Dr. Nikola Siso.

Hi Nikola.

Hello.

Thank you for having me on your podcast.

It's so great to have you on the show and it's such a funny situation here because we're

actually in your studio setup for your show.

That's right.

I'm the founder of Aspen Talks Health where we discuss all sorts of health related topics,

nutrition, exercise, diet, brain health, gut health, environmental toxins.

So you were quite a compliment to my show today.

Thank you.

This is so much fun.

We get to basically interview each other in converse situations.

We even changed chairs for the occasion.

Yes.

So Dr. Nikola Siso is a PhD in holistic health and nutrition.

She is also a certified holistic health coach.

And as she mentioned, she's the founder of Aspen Talks Health where she interviews experts

in every aspect of health and healing.

And she has a masters in sustainability and environmental management from Harvard University.

And so before we dive into a number of the topical areas where your expert related to our

personal health, I want to ask you, Nikola, how did you get into all of this in the first

place?

Health has always been a ventious to me.

Since I was 15 years old, I loved diving into the spirituality and the emotional components

of health.

And then the nutrition as well, my mother studied at Hippocrates Health Institute 20 years

ago.

And so we've learned how to be on a plant-based diet healthfully because there's ways to

do it unhealthy.

And then I actually ended up developing type 1 diabetes despite all of that.

And so that led me even further into understanding what are some of the root causes because it's

not just genetic and it's certainly not just sugar, high fat diets, anti-biotic use, adverse

childhood experiences, mold exposure.

I mean, I'm learning so much as to the causes of health decline that it's never just one

thing.

So the show came about just because I'm personally interested.

And I do it anyway for joy every day is learning from experts in all these different fields.

So why not share what I'm learning with the community?

It's so powerful and such an incredible resource.

I want to just mention really quickly since we're on the topic, folks can find this resource

at AspenToxHealth.com.

You're also on YouTube at a channel which will make sure is in the show notes.

And your Facebook is AspenToxHealth as well.

So I want to make sure folks that you get to this resource and see not only the expertise

that Dr. Siso is bringing to the public, but also that her guests on the show are bringing

to the public as well.

And I have to ask you because I also have this wonderful privilege of interviewing a variety

of experts, what's been the most unusual or surprising insight or guest that you've had

on the show?

I would say Dr. Rudy Tanzi.

He is a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School with discovered the genes that

cause Alzheimer's.

And he said that they did a whole study on how to prevent Alzheimer's.

And one of the list was being more loving.

And I've found that so beautiful because so much of our, we think so much of the health

is just related to nutrition and environmental toxins, for example, which a good majority

is, but also how are we treating ourselves and how loving are we being to other people

in our lives.

It was a beautiful thing that actually prevented Alzheimer's.

That is extraordinary.

I love hearing that.

So one of the things that strikes me, you know, I have the opportunity to connect with

folks from a variety of backgrounds, some who might be really faith-oriented in their

connection with the world, some who might be science-oriented, STEM-oriented, others who

might be focused more on economy and so forth.

And one of the things I have found that a lot of my friends who focus on the science lens

is we can often fall into the trap of seeing all this kind of reduced mechanism, mechanical

phenomena as dictating things like health or things like sustainability and what have

you.

And to have somebody from the medical community emphasizing the importance of love is

tremendous.

Right?

Yeah.

It is beautiful.

Of course, love has been central to so much of our human wisdom in teachings over the

ages from all different cultures.

Yeah, it's so true.

We just, I don't think we're conscious all the time of the inner dialogue.

So much of it is subconscious.

And it's ruling our lives and it's attracting things into our lives and it's certainly manifesting

as physical ailments if there are so many sabotaging beliefs in there.

So for you personally, with all of the technical knowledge you have, what are some of the things

you're doing day to day, week to week to cultivate that love, whether it's self-lovel or

love directed toward others?

One thing is certainly during a meditation practice in the morning, having that, even

if it's just three minutes of breathing, it's so key and I just, I keep it simple.

I count inhale one, exhale two, inhale three, exhale four, and I go to six and I start

over.

And the reason that's keep it short is it keeps your mind focused on the inhaling, but

inhaling and exhaling.

The other thing is to look in the mirror and say, I love you, I love you and see the parts

that you love about yourself instead of focusing on the parts that you don't.

That has been a big transformer for me and also one of the biggest most powerful lessons

I've learned this past year was that every single experience and every person that comes

into my life be a positive or negative is in direct service to my soul.

And if I could see everything, how is this serving me?

And even if it's negative and you're like, that person is a full in the blank and they're

just behaving unkindly, how can I actually use this as a way to practice kindness or practice

compassion, you know, who knows what they're going through or how they're erased or whatever

it was.

So seeing every single experience as an opportunity to be more loving.

It's absolutely beautiful.

Yeah.

I have to mention this reminds me of my, my mother is so good at sometimes reminding me.

And you know, when we're doing this kind of work, when we're reaching out, sharing with

the public, interfacing, networking, scheduling, invariably, we can run into some friction here

in there, right?

And my mother reminds me often that if somebody is coming at us with, you know, kind of cold,

prickly feelings or whatever, that is almost certainly about something going on in their

lives and has virtually nothing to do with me or us necessarily.

And to learn not to take that kind of stuff quite as personally and certainly not to then

amplify it or redirect it, right?

I think that's one of the things that can often happen when we're having these negative

experiences.

Yeah, there's a projection of their own inner unhappiness or dissatisfaction with themselves

often or, you know, and you can't, to take things personally is really pointless.

Unless it's constructive criticism from a friend and there's like something that you

can learn from.

That's different.

But if it's just a projection, then, yeah, you have to just honor the person where they

are.

That's so beautiful.

So love, interesting segue to get into talking about some of these other issues affecting

our health, like genetically modified organisms, pesticides, glyphosate.

Can you explain for our audience what's going on with all of the food and agricultural

practices?

And how is that impacting us?

Sure.

So the reason why companies genetically modify crops is so that they can widespread spray,

pesticides and herbicides, especially to kill off the weed, but not the crop.

So then they've also had to design a crop that can withstand that and not get killed by

something that's designed to kill, right?

So they genetically modified, let's say, the corn, for example, to withstand glyphosate,

for example, which is an herbicide, again, designed to kill the herbs, but that gets soaked

up as well into the corn.

So we're getting doses of herbicides and pesticides.

And as you know, very well, limited soil nutrition.

So the quality of our foods has gone down significantly.

And the conventional world.

And already many of these poisons I understand have been banned in other countries.

Absolutely.

But here in the United States, like it or not, we're basically the unwitting lab rats in a great

experiment right now.

Yeah, it's really unfortunate.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I mean, when we're seeing it, it's obvious by the cancer rates, the diabetes, the obesity,

people are eating high density of calories with very low density of nutrition.

Yes.

And the high density of toxins and poisons.

No wonder.

Of course, there's cancer growing rates.

Of course.

How could we expect anything different?

So what are some of the ways we can deal with that or avoid those kinds of toxins?

I highly advocate buying organic local, locally sourced if you can buy from your farmer only

that's the best, because they're picking the fruits and vegetables right off the tree.

The day before, they're bringing it to market.

So you're getting the most ripe fruits and veggies.

And seasonal.

Make sure you're buying seasonal, because if something's not in season, that means it's

probably being shipped from across the world.

Again, it's being picked away before it's ripe.

That means it hasn't absorbed all the nutrients it needs from the soils.

And what I've heard, and I haven't verified this, but I understand that when fruits cross

the border, they get sprayed against fruit flies.

So even if it's organic, you're getting a pesticide layer.

And you can feel that, like an apple, for example, that's waxy, that's waxy and fused

with pesticides.

So very important to get local, organic, fresh ripe raw fruits and veggies.

Don't cook your food as little as possible, because you want all those nutrients.

There are some foods that some nutrients come out more so like in tomatoes, the lycopene

comes out more when you cook it.

And kale and broccoli becomes a little more absorbable digestible, lightly steamed, not

this like heavy long-term cooking and high heat, it's destructive, you destroy the enzymes

that help you break the food down, and the nutrient quantities.

And the other thing I highly advocate is moving towards a plant-based diet.

And that is because the livestock production system that we have now is feeding these

cows and pigs and chickens corn and soy that has been genetically modified.

So again, that's boosted full of pesticides and herbicides.

And the cows, the animals are pumped full of antibiotics to make them fatter quicker

and growth hormones.

So those things combined bio-accumulate in the meat and the milk of the animals, and

then we consume them, and so it's very dangerous for our system.

And of course the misery of these poor animals are being treated horrifically, and if you

believe in energy, then you know that there's an energy transfer, and if something that's

been suffering its entire life, baby calves are taken away from their moms at three days

old, and put in a pen that they can't even turn around.

For months, that's how they live.

The baby wants to play.

So if an animal is suffering, so that's why we're going to have their baby back ribs

that drives you nuts.

But anyway, if the animal is suffering, you're ingesting suffering, and so of course we

have the higher rates of depression and anxiety, and it makes sense.

It makes so much sense, and it is so sad.

One of the things that strikes me with folks in our line of work who are increasingly

voicing, acknowledging there's so much to be sad about, and to allow ourselves to just

feel that sadness.

Regardless of what we're doing about it, because there's a lot to do, to just acknowledge

how sad it is right now, with the way we're treating animals, the way we're treating each

other, the way we're treating this planet.

You know, one of our recent guests, my friend Kevin Townley, who has a very interesting

religious and alchemical background, spiritual background, speaks to the life force, the

prana.

And I think Star Wars was on to way more than many of us perhaps recognize when talking

about the force.

Interestingly, a lot of those incredible worlds that were filmed were real places, right?

Like the snow planet that was Scandinavia, right?

Like the Endor Ewa planet that was Northern California.

I mean, it's just on and on.

But this life force thing is so important, and you're speaking to it in terms of the

freshness of the local fruits and vegetables we get from local farmers.

There's a whole different caliber of energy, vivifying energy in that food, and frankly

our science, coupled with profit motives this last century, has totally lost sight of

this reality.

And I think one of the opportunities we have is to re-engage with food on the basis of

the life force that is animating all of us.

Yeah, it's true.

Remember the scientists, I forget his name, did the experiment with water?

And he put love and beautiful words on one, yes, and unkind words on the other, and

you could see the different crystallizations, the forms, and one was beautiful.

That's the same.

It's energy.

It's energy into the water.

It's energy into the food.

Absolutely.

Yeah.

Yeah, and water, right?

Molecularly is essentially a liquid crystal, a set of liquid crystals.

And it has memory, right?

It conveys experience over time, and of course our bodies are made up of what, around three

quarters of water or something like that.

Right, yeah.

It's amazing.

Yeah, that's true.

You've mentioned the importance of paying attention to the water we're drinking and

the other beverages we're drinking, can you explain to our audience what you're talking

about there?

Yes, so important.

The EWG, Environmental Working Group, you can go on their website and they have a section

where you can put your zip code in to their website, and it will tell you the contaminants

that are found in your resource, in your reservoir.

And fascinating.

Most places tout their water, aspen especially, and if you put Aspen zip code, I found four

cancer-causing chemicals in our water.

That's what the EWG says.

And this used to be a mining town, so that potentially might be the source, or maybe

it's the cleaning agents that they're using.

I don't know the origins, but it's a fascinating thing to look into.

So I highly advocate filtering your water.

If you can do your whole house, that's phenomenal.

If you just do under your sink, or I love the new burky system, I have, it's a two little

container.

I put right on top of the sink, it makes me a gallon and a half of water in five minutes.

It's fabulous.

And you can taste the difference and definitely feel it.

That's so beautiful.

And it seems like water, it's so fundamental, right?

The more we can ensure our water is coming into our bodies in a clean form, probably will

mean also we're going to be less likely to buy those sodas and those other manufactured

consumer-packaged drinks, because who knows what's in that water, right?

Right.

That's so true.

Yeah, and the acidity level is an issue for people's bodies.

Absolutely.

And more alkaline water is so important.

Yeah.

Yeah.

Beautiful.

Well, I want to make sure to remind our audience that this is the YonEarth Communities

Stewardship and Sustainability Podcast Series.

We're talking with Dr. Nicholas Ciso.

And I want to be sure to thank our sponsors.

This includes the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, Purium, Equal Exchange,

the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, Patagonia, Waylay Waters,

Earth Coast Productions, and that group is helping to make possible an amazing three-day

curated summit that we're hosting outside Boulder, Colorado, this May 17 to 19, called

massively mobilizing sustainability, deep leadership for the 21st century.

And we have a very special offer you can get a 25% discount on your VIP all-access ticket

for the summit using the code Dr. Nicola, so it's DR-NI-C-O-L-A.

And we're so excited to share that with the audience and celebration of this episode.

And we're going to be diving even deeper on many of these topics and identifying actually

some of the biggest business opportunities for impact entrepreneurs and executives to

help us over these coming years and decades create a much cleaner, safer, and more compassion-based

world economy.

So I want to ask you, we've been talking about the health side of this, and you also

have studied sustainability and environmental management at Harvard.

And I'm really curious, what dots have you connected there, or what were you diving

into while working on that degree that is now playing into your work helping folks become

more healthy?

Yeah.

You know, one interesting study that I came across as well as there was that if the whole

world were to shift to plant-based for one day a week, just one day a week, we would

have vert the trends of global warming.

And that was based on the fact that animal production, livestock production causes more

environmental emissions.

Yeah, I'm going to-

The greenhouse gas emissions.

The greenhouse gas emissions.

The greenhouse gas emissions, then all of transportation combined.

And so just that minor shift amid their companies have come up with meatless Monday now.

There's been some campaigns.

But that minor shift in that, in the lower demand of animal production.

And the reason is, it's not only because the animals excrete methane from both ends.

And also, the crops used to feed them is incredibly industrial demanding, to ship, to store,

to produce itself.

Of course, the pesticides, again, running off into the waters, destroying our ecosystems,

going into the oceans.

And the deforestation to raise those crops is a big carbon cast.

Yeah.

Especially in the Amazon basin, right, in South America.

There are football fields, like minute or second.

I don't know the exact stats, but it's disturbing and alarming what is going on there.

So the livestock production really is an issue that is an easy one for people to fix.

Absolutely.

To cut out meat one day a week is not life-threatening, even if you're a meat eater, you can do it.

So that was wonderful to learn.

Yeah.

That's beautiful.

Well, thank you so much for sharing this with us and sharing your expertise, your enthusiasm

with our audience.

And I want to ask before we sign off for today, Nikola, is there anything else that you'd

like to share with our audience as it relates to the topics we've been exploring today?

I think we covered everything.

I mean, there's always so much to talk about, but yeah, no beauty products, we didn't

really cover much.

Yeah, this is huge, right?

The average woman, this is another stat I learned at Harvard, the average woman lathers

herself in 170 chemicals a day.

Oh my gosh.

So your lotions, especially your mascara, your makeup, your nail polish, your hair spray,

the shampoo's you're using, all of these things need to be green.

They need to be as organic as possible, so, so, so important.

And then, of course, what you're cleaning your house with, what glass cleaner, you know,

you're spraying and then you're breathing that stuff.

Make sure it's organic and clean green products.

You can clean your floors with vinegar.

There are ways to clean with very simple products, lemon oil is lovely and the disinfectants.

So very important, cleaning products, beauty products, for men as well, the gel, the

de-ordering, they have aluminum in them, that gets into your system, same with toothpaste.

A lot of our products in the house, you know, we might not be able to control the air quality

outside, but what comes into our home, we can absolutely control.

Yeah.

It's so important.

And then, of course, the processed foods is much plant, eat what comes right out of

the ground.

That is the key to your health.

That's how we're designed, this is why we have a hand, not claws, you know, they're designed

to pick fruits and pick vegetables and pick things off the land.

Yeah.

Anyway.

Dr. Nicola, thank you so much for talking with us today.

It's such a pleasure.

My pleasure.

So thank you so much.

I really appreciate being on your show.

Thank you.

Wonderful.

Cheers.

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Y On Earth - Podcast Cover
Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 37 - Dr Nicola Siso, PhD, hosts "Aspen Talks Health"
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