I remember getting my first iPod years ago (it was a second generation if that gives any perspective) and wondering what on earth a “podcast” was. It has taken me a while, but I’m finally up to speed, and it seems so are lots of you as well. I think the reason why podcasts have become so popular is that the sheer wealth of choice out there effectively allows us to curate our own radio stations and talk shows. For me, podcasts are a complete godsend when I’m spending the day in the lab staring down a microscope and missing English voices. Depending on my mood, podcasts are a source of information, inspiration or comic relief. Often, they’re two or all three of these things combined.
Join registered nutritionalist, Laura Thomas for conversations on health and wellness. Honestly, she has ruined other nutrition-based podcasts for me because after listening to Don’t Salt my Game, any pseudo science that had been slipping under my radar has now become so obvious. And there I was thinking that I had a good BS filter. The DSMG guests hail from a huge variety of areas, meaning that you can be discussing plus sized health and positivity one week, and Indian street food the next. I have taken to saving the episodes for my Sunday run because I know that each week I’ll have an hour or more of entertainment and knowledge, guaranteed. The “shit bloggers say” game Laura had anyone food or nutrition related play absolutely cracked me up.
Favourite episodes: Ep 24 Hollie Grant of The Pilates PT; Ep 11 Pixie Turner of Plant Based Pixie.
Last week’s interview with Hollie Grant of the Model Method was especially interesting to me as they discussed pilates and finding fitness that suits you, as well as Hollie’s journey to becoming a successful pilates instructor and PT. The conversation touched on lordosis, which is where your lower back overarches, something I suffer from big time, so was making notes on all the advice. I loved Pixie’s no-nonsense approach to nutrition and felt that between Laura and Pixie some serious food myths were busted for many listeners! The discussion on picking a nutrition course, particularly Pixie’s master course, was really informative and a must-listen for anyone looking to educate themselves further in nutrition.
Whilst not all episodes are relevant to me -there’s a focus on powerlifting, which isn’t quite my thing -I really enjoy listening to this podcast, and find the scientific approach to the discussions really interesting. The guests are always respected and highly qualified members of their field, so I feel confident about the facts that are given to me. If you like Sigma Nutrition, you’ll also love Ben Coomber Radio.
Favourite episode: Ep 149 Evidence-Based Healthy Eating Principles
This topic had me jumping up and down in geeked-out excitement. The key point I latched on to was how macros are much more important for body composition than they are for overall health. So for example, many vegans have a lower protein intake than the average person, but are still able to be incredible healthy and live long lives. However, for body builders, more protein is needed to get the aesthetics that they desire. This seriously resonated with me and reinforced the view that I have always held in that there is a range of diets and lifestyles that are healthy, even when they appear to be polar opposites -veggie-munching vegan vs chicken and broccoli crossfitters anyone?
Hosted by Lucas Rockwood, founder of Yoga Body, the Yoga Talk show is one to listen to for all you yogis out there. Lucas Rockwood is a very savvy entrepreneur, bringing together his yoga studio, teacher trainings, yoga supplements, props (including the famous yoga trapeze) and podcast together for something of a one stop shop for yogis. The Yoga Talk Show splits it’s focus between yoga topics and physical issues with nutrition and health. He has spoken to Dr. Robyn Chutkan, who’s book I reviewed here, amongst many, many other guests. Sometimes I am not completely in agreement with the science behind the topics discussed, but I do really like the open conversations that are had with interviewees, even when they hold differing views -Lucas is a vegan but often brings on meat eating and even paleo guests. The yogic topics are approached typically in a secular way, usually focusing on an anatomic point of view rather than referring to energies or chakras. Whilst there is a place for this, I really like this way of presenting yoga.
Favourite episodes: Ep 149 Lift Like a Girl; Ep 206 Sustainable Eating for you and the Planet
Nia Shanks, interviewed in episode 149, is the reason that I decided to pick up the weights again after a six month hiatus -seriously, check out the guides on her blog about making a gym plan. I’m following her suggestion of two full-body weight sessions per week, which works well for fitting in all my yoga along with some HIIT and pilates. She and Lucas talk about why weights are actually a good idea for yoga practitioners and women. Regardless of whether or not the weight room is familiar to you, this is a must-listen. In episode 206, dietician and organic farmer Diana Rogers explains why she believes that a diet that includes meat is healthy not only for you but for the planet. It is a great conversation between a vegan and meat eater that may well challenge your preconceptions and is a reminder that there is no one “right” diet necessarily.
If you’ve not been listening to podcasts recently, this title may have made you spit out your tea (or kombucha). If you have been listening to a few podcasts, you’re probably already on the #pornoday bandwagon -currently, MDWAP is the number one podcast on iTunes. Essentially, you have Jamie Morton reading out the erotic novel that his father self published to James Cooper and Radio 1’s Alice Levine, with lots of laughter involved. The book isn’t exactly the most eloquently written and at times you’ll be curling your toes and wincing along with Jamie. But I challenge you to listen to an episode and not laugh out loud at least once -even if you’re in public. It is the ultimate comic relief and an absolute must listen. No favourite episode to be listed here -just head to the first episode and get stuck in.
Built from the blog of Matt Fraser, a then vegetarian, now vegan runner, No Meat Athlete discusses training tips and conversations on plant based living. It is written is a completely non dogmatic way, which I find so helpful -many podcasts feel like they’re either evangelically vegan or hardcore meat eating, so having a plant based podcast without the pressure makes me feel like I can listen much more comfortably. Regardless of your diet, it is definitely one to listen to if your focus is on long distance running -Matt has completed multiple marathons and ultra endurance races.
Favourite episode: Ep 166 Going Plant Based at 63
This episode interview’s Matt’s father who went plant based after seeing many health issues start to affect his daily life. Like Matt, his dad lives an active life and had previously eaten a standard american diet (SAD), experimented with paleo and still saw himself getting unwell. I liked this episode as an alternative from listening to 20-something year old women (guilty as charged here) talk about their diet and the fact that it reminds you on the long term impacts of lifestyle on health.
Are there any top podcasts that you think I missed? I’m always looking for new channels to listen to, so if you have any to recommend, especially nutrition, yoga and health, comment below!