On Being A Mortal Animal - Dr. Scott Eberle #156

"How you live is how you die," Dr. Scott Eberle — a physician specializing in end-of-life care — tells us in today's interview. Having spent many years at the bedside of the dying, Scott has learned some important lessons from those participating in their final rite of passage, and he's here to impart a bit of that wisdom with us today, inspiring us to live and die more consciously.

Dr. Scott Eberle is a medical director of Hospice of Petaluma in Petaluma, California, as well as an experienced teacher and author, and a wilderness guide.  Together with Meredith Little of the School of Lost Borders, he co-created “The Practice of Living and Dying,” an innovative wilderness curriculum exploring the human experience of being a mortal animal.

In this interview, we explore the practice of living and dying and what it means to be a mortal animal. Consciously approaching life and death calls for us to "confront the difficult questions" and "have the difficult conversations" right now, and Scott shares how he has integrated these practices into his own life. We discuss Scott's experiences working in hospice, thoughts on death acceptance, the common regrets of the dying and much more. If you’re a mortal animal, you’ll want to hear this conversation!

Tales from the Wild Table - Connie Green #155

What a pleasure it was to speak with lifelong forager and pioneer in sustainable commercial wild food and mushroom foraging, Connie Green. Connie founded one of the very first and largest wild food businesses in the U.S., Wine Forest, where she still resides as “head huntress,” overseeing a beautifully rich and diverse selection of wild foods furnished to top chefs, restaurants, retailers and consumers. Friends of the forest, Connie and her team believe that wild food harvesting goes hand in hand with a love and respect for the ecosystems where these delectable wild edibles grow.

In this episode, Connie takes us back in time through the landscape of foraging over the past few decades and shares how she got her start in the commercial foraging business. She illuminates the commercial side of the foraging world with a focus on what she considers to be the secret ingredient in bridging the ancestral practice of hunting and gathering with modern gourmet cooking: sustainability and ethical harvesting practices. 

We also explore some tactical “in the field” topics, such as Connie’s indispensable foraging equipment and her recommendations for how to get started foraging. Tune in and be inspired — or re-inspired — to participate in your local ecology by hunting and gathering from your landscape!

Culinary Solutions to Eco Problems - Joe Roman #154

Joe Roman — conservation biologist, author & editor ’n’ chef of EatTheInvaders.org — joins us for the second interview in our informal series on the topic of invasive species. Joe’s research focuses on endangered species conservation and marine ecology, and he is a researcher at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont and a Hrdy Visiting Fellow at Harvard University. His website EatTheInvaders.org is dedicated to fighting invasives one bite at a time and is an incredible resource for hunter gatherers who are interested in being apart of the culinary solution to the biological problem of invasives.

In this interview, Joe gives us the status report on global species extinction and shares some potential solutions to conserving our earth’s biodiversity through extirpation of invasive species. We discuss the impact individuals (and commercial operations) who hunt and gather can have on extirpating invasives from their non-native range, as well as the role government management plays in this issue. Joe gives us tactical advice for proper harvesting of invasives and for keeping our ecological impact on native biodiversity as low as possible when we’re out foraging. Peppered throughout our conversation are edible invasive species that you can learn more about and start harvesting right now! We cover a lot of ground in this interview, including a fascinating glimpse into the domestication of the ocean.

Joe’s outlook — based on years of dedicated research and time spent in the field harvesting & eating invasives — is realistic but also quite hopeful. Tune into this conversation to gain a better understanding of the current landscape of invasives!

The Ancestral Biology of Birth - Dr. Sarah Buckley #153

How can you create conditions that are private, safe and unobserved for yourself during childbirth? This question is a core message behind the work of Dr. Sarah Buckley — author of the best selling book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering and mother of four home-born children. Dr. Buckley is a New-Zealand-trained GP/family physician with qualifications in GP-obstetrics and family planning and currently combines full-time motherhood with her work as a writer on pregnancy, birth, and parenting.

Women were biologically designed to give birth in the wild, and oftentimes, the conventional maternity care system does not effectively support the ancestral and biological needs of a woman during childbirth. Dr. Buckley spent seven years researching and synthesizing the scientific evidence on the hormonal physiology of childbearing. She found that the science confirms the innate wisdom of a laboring woman — following your intuition can allow your hormones to guide you on the pathway to a healthy, gentle birth.

In this episode, we unpack how women can tune into their innate birthing wisdom as Dr. Buckley guides us through the hormonal physiology from pregnancy all the way through to the first days spent with their newborn baby. We discuss preparing for labor, hormonal gaps, choosing a healthcare provider, breastfeeding, bed sharing and so much more. Enjoy!

Forager's Guide to Tending the Wild - Sam Thayer #152

Sam has authored two award-winning books on foraging, Nature’s Garden and The Forager’s Harvest, and he’s soon-to-be-releasing a third volume in his Forager’s Harvest series, Incredible Wild Edibles. He has taught foraging and field identification for more than two decades. Besides lecturing and writing, Sam is an advocate for sustainable food systems who owns a diverse organic orchard in northern Wisconsin and harvests wild rice, acorns, hickory nuts, maple syrup, and other wild products.

For Sam, hunting and gathering is not just a passion he pursues on the side, it is life. That may sound unattainable in our modern world, but tune in, and you’ll see that Sam’s approach is practical, comprehensive and well within reach.

In today’s show, we delve into "the management of natural ecosystems to enhance their production of useful products," or as Sam calls it, Ecoculture. Think “agriculture” and “permaculture,” but rather than tending to crops, we foragers tend the wild. Nature is productive, resilient and, perhaps most importantly, it includes humans. Rooted in our ancestry, hunting and gathering is how we cultivate relationship with our ecology, gain sovereignty from the agriculturally-dominated food system and protect the biodiversity of our planet for future generations. Tune in as Sam guides us through the principles of Ecoculture, and learn how you can get started stewarding your local landscapes right now.

Ancestral Amnesia & the Village Mind - Stephen Jenkinson #151

Stephen Jenkinson is back on ReWild Yourself Podcast to stretch our minds and hearts as he shares with us a bit of his elder wisdom on restoring real human culture. Stephen is a teacher, author, storyteller, spiritual activist, farmer and founder of the Orphan Wisdom School, a teaching house and learning house for the skills of deep living and making human culture.

In our last interview (Episode #34) — a humbling conversation for me — Stephen shared insight into dying wise in our death phobic society. In today’s conversation, we focus on living wisely and meaningfully in our modern culture of self-hatred, entitlement, unwillingness to live deeply and lost connection to what makes us human.

He leaves us with an empowering message on living a purposeful life, not just for ourselves, but for our collective culture and future generations. As Stephen so perfectly puts it, "Now is the time for work, not the time for getting paid.”

Eating Aliens - Jackson Landers #150

Can we eat our way out of our "invasive species" dilemma? Jackson Landers thinks that's part of the solution. The issue of invasives is becoming more prevalent as these species continue to spread, causing ecological destruction and the loss of native species and habitat all throughout our planet. As foragers and hunters, we have the opportunity to assist in the management of these non-native invasive species by targeting them when hunting and gathering. 

We’ve been discussing invasive species throughout this season of ReWild Yourself Podcast, and today’s interview will be the first in an informal series investigating the topic.

Our guest Jackson Landers is here to share his personal experience with eating invasives. Jackson is an author, science writer and adventurer based out of Charlottesville, Virginia, specializing in wildlife out of place. His most recent book, Eating Aliens, chronicles a year and a half spent hunting and fishing for invasive species and finding out whether we can eat our way out of some ecological disasters. In this episode, he recounts some of the interesting invasives he’s enjoying hunting and eating — from armadillo to lionfish. We discuss the true definition of invasive species, the effectiveness of hunting invasives as a form of eradication and how you can get involved with invasive species management. Enjoy this interview, and let’s keep this conversation going as we explore managing invasive species through hunting and gathering together this season!

Adventures in Unschooling & Practiculture - Ben Hewitt #149

Author and practiculturalist Ben Hewitt is back on ReWild Yourself Podcast to give us a peek inside his adventures in building a lifestyle living with and from the land. Ben resides on a thriving 100-acre homestead in Vermont where he and his family explore back-to-the-land living, permaculture design, wildcrafting, traditional skills and alternative education paths for their two sons. 

In this episode, Ben shares on the evolution of his family’s personal journey as modern homesteaders. We discuss alternative childhood education and how his sons’ education paths have evolved in some unexpected directions. We also get into the topics of community-based living vs self-sufficient living, harvest sharing and how to strike a balance between foraging and farming. Ben’s non-dogmatic approach to this lifestyle is refreshing, and he has some wonderful insights for those aspiring to build their own ReWilded homestead.

MovNat, How to Get Involved Now — Danny Clark #148

I’m often asked for advice on career opportunities in the world of ReWilding. Many people feel stuck in the rut of a 9-5 and dream of doing work in the world that’s fulfilling, meaningful, adds value to the lives of others and is in line with their personal beliefs and values. I’ve spent over a decade setting up a lifestyle where work and play blend seamlessly. It is a beautiful thing to wake up each day and do work that fuels you with passion, drive and purpose. I’ve seen health and wellness “trends” come and go over the years, and I’ve found the ones that stand the test of time are those rooted in our ancestral biology. Natural movement is one such niche of the ReWilding lifestyle, and today’s episode instructs on how you can get involved with natural movement as a career path.

Danny Clark — MovNat Performance Director and Master Instructor —  is here to share a bit about the MovNat Trainer Certification program with us. MovNat is more than a system of natural movements, it is a training platform for enhancing the efficiency of your motility — walking, running, climbing, crawling, bounding and vaulting, lifting and carrying. It is a ReWilding approach to movement, placing its emphasis on retraining the brain and reprogramming our movement software.

I’ve personally attended the MovNat Level 1 and 2 Trainer Certification courses and can vouch for the caliber of instruction and value received (and fun had!). What I learned from MovNat has helped me to become more efficient in how I move through day to day life. In particular, it has immensely improved my efficiency in hunting and gathering, which I explain more about in this show. If you are interested in a starting a more meaningful career path and are passionate about natural movement, now is a great time to get involved on the ground floor of this budding industry!

Why I Eat Wild - Daniel Vitalis #147

Why do I eat wild? There are many reasons behind my choice to eat wild and many levels at which this question can be answered.

Eating food is perhaps the most intimate act we perform, as my friend and regular podcast guest Arthur Haines so eloquently expresses in his lectures. The food — the organisms — you eat literally becomes your body. And, as we know, the dietary choices we make have vast implications on our environment as well as ourselves. Food, and where it comes from, reaches right to the heart of what it means to be human. Our dietary choices today deeply impact the future generations to come. Knowing this, it’s so important to be conscientious about the food we consume and how we choose to interact with our interconnected web of ecology.

In my first solo episode of the season, I unpack what eating wild — and living a modern hunter-gatherer lifestyle — means to me personally.

Ask a Mortician - Caitlin Doughty #146

Caitlin Doughty — mortician, author and death acceptance advocate — joins us for a candid and humorous exploration of our mortality. Caitlin is on a mission to help our death-phobic society overcome anxieties about death and make death a part of life. She sheds light on all areas of death and the dying process in her popular Youtube channel “Ask a Mortician” and New York Times best-selling book Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. She founded the death acceptance collective The Order of the Good Death and co-founded Death Salon. She also runs Undertaking LA, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit progressive funeral home that empowers families to have a closer relationship with their loved one’s death.

In this episode, Caitlin guides us through our rights — post mortem — and encourages us to consider a question not many are prepared to face: How would you like to die? Throughout our human history, families were responsible for the care of their own dead; the practice of transferring death care to a funeral home is a relatively new custom. Caitlin illuminates the non-funeral home & natural death care options that are available to us — at-home funerals, embracing decay, death doulas, natural burials and conservation cemeteries. Empower yourself to embrace the natural process of death and meaningfully interact with the dying process.

Through Use: Awakening Human Ecology - Thomas Elpel #145

Thomas J. Elpel is an author, builder, conservationist and a pioneer in experiential education. Inspired by his childhood adventures exploring and foraging the wild lands of Montana with his grandmother, Thomas developed a passion for the natural world at a very young age. He has dedicated his life to igniting this same passion in others and is a living example of the ReWilding lifestyle.

In this episode, Thomas and I discuss the importance of developing a deep and interactive relationship with nature. He elaborates on a concept we often discuss on ReWild Yourself Podcast — conservation through use. In order to be true advocates for conserving ecology, we must participate in it; not just observe it. Thomas shares how we can foster our connection to nature and find our place in the ecosystem through hunting, gathering and learning primitive skills. He also shares a bit about life as a hunter-gatherer in Montana, including a fascinating story about a wild bison harvest in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. I hope this interview inspires you to get out there and connect with YOUR local ecology! Enjoy!

Miscarriage, Menstruation & Mindful Mothering - Chloe Parsons #144

My dear sister Chloe Parsons joins us on ReWild Yourself Podcast to talk all things motherhood. Chloe blends her unique experience as a nutritional therapist, MovNat trainer and a mother of two to invigorate modern women with renewed perspective on health and happiness. She works with clients and actively shares her learning experiences in health, mothering and life as @wholly.chloe on Instagram.

In this episode, Chloe and I open up about a very intimate subject: our miscarriage stories. We share our own unique experiences with miscarriage, how it affected us and how we processed our reproductive grief. Additionally, Chloe recounts her firsthand experience with pregnancy, childbirth and mothering two children and discusses the philosophies that guide how she mothers. We also get into the topics of breastfeeding, menstruation, the importance of family and how Chloe incorporates movement into day to day life with her two children. If you’re a mother, mother-to-be or aspiring mother, this interview is for you!

The Hidden Cost of Veganism - Lierre Keith #143

In past episodes of ReWild Yourself Podcast, I’ve explained why I’m not a vegan (ReWild Yourself Podcast #94) and, instead, why I’m a conscientious omnivore (ReWild Yourself Podcast #100). In my personal quest for the most natural diet for the human animal, I was a vegan for about 10 years, and The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith was an impactful read for me as I transitioned back to an omnivorous diet.

I’m thrilled to have Lierre Keith — former vegan, best-selling author and environmentalist — join us to share about her experience with veganism. Lierre spent 20 years eating a vegan diet, and in that time, she did significant damage to her body. Only when she began to introduce animal foods back into her diet — eating a more balanced, omnivorous diet — was her body able to heal and regenerate. Lierre also explains the destructive history of agriculture and why veganism is not the answer for ecological restoration of our devastated prairies and forests. This is an important conversation for all of us interested in eating the optimal human diet while living with a light ecological footprint on this planet!

Things Your Doctor Can't Say - Dr. Jack Wolfson #142

Dr. Jack Wolfson “The Paleo Cardiologist” joins us on ReWild Yourself Podcast for a lively conversation on everything from natural heart health to vaccines to geoengineering. Dr. Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist who believes bad nutrition and toxins create heart health problems. At his practice, Wolfson Integrative Cardiology, he uses in-depth testing and targeted nutrition to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease — treating the whole person, getting to the cause of the issue, instead of treating only the symptoms. 

Dr. Wolfson is bold, honest and passionate about awakening the world to wellness and a holistic approach to healthcare. In this episode, he breaks down the landscape of holistic cardiology and how he works with patients who are transitioning from conventional cardiology to a more natural approach. Our interview also takes us into some taboo areas — the vaccine debate and geoengineering, in particular — and Dr. Wolfson and I share our personal beliefs surrounding these topics. Please listen with an open mind, and as always, do your own research and use your intuition to come to your own personal conclusions. Enjoy!

On Lions, the San and Being Alone — Dr. Nicole Apelian #141

Dr. Nicole Apelian joins us to share about her experience living with Lions and the San Bushmen in southern Africa. Nicole is a scientist, mother, educator, researcher, expeditionary leader, safari guide, herbalist and traditional skills instructor. Nicole’s background is as diverse as it is impressive. She has worked as a game warden with the US Peace Corps, spent time tracking and researching lions in southern Africa and she’s developed strong relationships with the San Bushmen tribe through years of living and working with them. A passionate educator, she currently leads yearly tracking & bird language expeditions through the Kalahari alongside the Naro Bushmen. Nicole continues her work with the San Bushmen to help them find strategies to preserve their traditions and is currently cataloging indigenous plant uses with a community of Naro Bushmen who regard her as family.

In this episode, Nicole gives us a peek inside the world of the San Bushmen tribe. We learn who they are, how they structure their tribe, how the relationships between men and women work and how they raise their babies. She also shares some of the horrific obstacles they’ve faced over the years and how they’re recovering today. 

Our conversation traverses a myriad of fascinating topics. We discuss what it’s like living with a predator, cultural appropriation and the romanticizing of the hunter-gatherer lifeway, Nicole’s time spent surviving alone in the wilderness, the future of modern day indigenous tribes living in their traditional lifeway and much, much more. 

The Barefoot Podiatrist - Dr. Ray McClanahan #140

Our feet are so much more capable than many of us are aware, and innovative podiatrist Dr. Ray McClanahan is here to share how we can attain strong, flexible, proprioceptive and resilient feet that engage their world meaningfully.

In his 18 years as a podiatrist, Dr. Ray has learned that most foot problems can be corrected by restoring natural foot function. His practice, Northwest Foot & Ankle in Portland, Oregon, allows him to care for those who find their highest joy when in motion. He is also the inventor of Correct Toes, silicone toe spacers designed to place each toe in the correct anatomical position in relationship to each other and to the ground.

In this episode, Dr. Ray shares the history of wearings casts (aka shoes) on our feet and the foot ailments that are caused by modern footwear and lifestyle. He breaks down our basic foot anatomy and the vast capabilities of the human foot when allowed to function in its natural form. He also gives an overview of what the journey to robust foot health looks like and the steps we can take to achieve this. Tune in for an in-depth discussion on this foundational piece of our overall health and wellness strategy!

Way of the Sea Huntress, Part Two - Kimi Werner #139

In part two of the Way of the Sea Huntress, professional spearfisherwoman Kimi Werner shares the beautiful story of her relationship with her local aquatic ecology and what led her from competitive spearfishing to spearfishing for food. Coming full circle, one of the most important parts of spearfishing for Kimi is getting to prepare her harvest to share with her loved ones and community. Tune in for an inspiring story of a woman dedicated to her craft and passionate about a healthy, sustainable future for our global community. And if you enjoy this conversation, check out part one where Kimi and I go deeper into her spearfishing hunting practice!

Way of the Sea Huntress, Part One - Kimi Werner #138

The ocean has long been a source of sustenance, inspiration and adventure for Kimi Werner. Free diving to the ocean floor on a single breath to catch each day’s meal, Kimi is intimately connected with her local ecosystem. Her passion for spearfishing and ocean ecology has led her to be a heart-driven voice for conscientious hunting and conservation.

Growing up off the grid in an isolated part of coastal Maui, Kimi was introduced to spearfishing by her father, who freedove for her family’s primary food source. Discovering her passion for free diving later in life, she went on to become the U.S. National Spearfishing Champion. 

While there are many complexities to identifying as a hunter, Kimi believes that conscientious hunting is a meaningful way to have true connection to where our food comes from. We discuss this, as well as the role hunters play in restoring the earth back to balance. For those who are interested in the more tactical, day-to-day elements of Kimi’s spearfishing practice, you’ll enjoy hearing Kimi break down her spearfishing kit, the fish to table process, her favorite smoker grill and more!

Frankly Over-Caffeinated - Frank Giglio #137

I’m thrilled to have my friend Chef Frank Giglio back on ReWild Yourself Podcast! Frank is an incredible chef who creates innovative dishes utilizing wild, local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. A fellow Mainer, he and his family live on an off-the-grid homestead called Three Lily Farm where they are committed to living harmoniously with their local ecology.

In this conversation, Frank and I have a great time chatting about all things hunting, gathering and farming. We share personal stories about our hunting and gathering experiences and discuss everything from invasive species to learning new skills by volunteering to how Frank makes coffee and so much more!