In this podcast (episode #299) and blog, I talk to Shawn Stevenson, creator of The Model Health Show, one of the top health and fitness podcasts, and author of the bestselling book Eat Smarter. We speak about so many things, including the role of the mind in healing the body, food as information, and why we need to make real food accessible to all.
When Shawn was 20 years old he was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, which many health professionals consider to be incurable. However, Shawn decided to not let this be the end of his story. Based on his grandmother’s belief in him, he put a plan together to change his lifestyle, including what he ate and how he exercised, and over the course of several months, he transformed his health. In fact, through his efforts, he was able to regenerate a significant amount of his spinal tissue, and his two herniated discs had retracted on their own! As Shawn notes, a medical label doesn’t have to define all of who we are or our whole story.
Shawn knew so many people like him were struggling to find the answers to their problems. This is why he has made it his mission to reach and serve as many people as he can, which led to the creation of The Model Health Show—a podcast that reaches millions of listeners each year.
As Shawn points out, we are walking around with one of the most powerful pharmacies in the universe: the human brain and body. Our perception of ourselves and our world can transform our health—our mind and our thinking has a lot to do with how healthy we are.
This is why, when it comes to our wellbeing, it is good to be open to other avenues of healing, especially if traditional medicine is not working for us. Although modern advances in medicine have helped so many people, we do still have so much to learn. And, if we just focus on “we can’t”, we may miss the moments when we actually “can”, including changing the way we think, eat, and exercise to heal the mind and body.
But, when it comes to eating and our wellbeing, it is important to focus on being and feeling “healthy”, not on how much we weigh or what size we wear. True wellbeing is about health at every size, and this will look different for every person.
We also need to remember that, for many people, eating real, nourishing foods can be a challenge. In the United States, for example, low-income neighborhoods are often flooded with processed food-like products, while real foods are rare and expensive. This can lead to many health inequalities and chronic, generational issues. We need to work towards making real foods accessible and available for all, as I discuss in detail in my book Think and Eat Yourself Smart.
For more on mind and body health, listen to my podcast with Shawn (#299) and check out his Model Health Show and his excellent book Eat Smarter. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).
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2:45 Shawn’s amazing story
10:00 The incredible healing power of the brain & body
19:00 The difference between the mind & brain, plus why this difference is intrinsically hopeful
21:10 How our lowest points in life can lead to moments of transformation
24:40 How Shawn changed his lifestyle & learned how to manage and heal his body
25:30 Why Shawn wrote Eat Smarter
26:50 Why real, life-sustaining foods should be more accessible & available for everyone
35:15 Shawn’s work as a health coach
36:00 The difference between being healthy & weight loss
48:00 Why the mind is so important when it comes to what we eat & how healthy we are
48:45, 1:01:20 The gut-brain connection & the importance of a healthy microbiome
This podcast and blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.
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