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The Good Mood Podcast

The Good Mood Podcast

By Dr. Talia Marcheggiani, ND
My name is Dr. Talia Marcheggiani. I am a naturopathic doctor and I have dedicated my practice to learning everything there is to know about optimizing mental and emotional health.

In this podcast we answer the question: What does it take to live a life of truth, beauty, freedom, vitality, purpose and joy?

In a mix of solo episodes and interviews, I’ll be talking about all the things that fascinate me: nutrition, nature, the latest science, psychology and psychotherapy, mindfulness and meditation, supplementation, and more.
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Episode 33: One Bad MTHFR: Methylation and Your Mood with Dr. Christina Carew, ND
Is your B complex making you sick? It might be if it contains folic acid, the synthetic form of "folate", or vitamin B9 which is involved in mood, energy production, DNA repair and other tasks of "methylation".  Ok, are you lost already?  Methylation is a process in the body that does a bunch of things. Many of us have a genetic variation in an enzymes called MTHFR, yes, I know what it looks like, that help us make folate.   Changes in our genome can affect this pathway and our health. Researchers have become particularly interested in the connection between MTHFR Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, or SNPs, and mental health. There is a link between these genetic variations and increased risk for depression, anxiety, autism and other mental health conditions.  Dr. Christina Carew is a naturopathic doctor and she's going to explain this all to us today. Christina is the co-host of a made-for-NDs course called Methylation 101 and has some amazing analogies for making sense of these pretty complex, but important concepts.  She is a graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic medicine and focuses on chronic disease management: lyme, autoimmune disease, and environmental medicine. Dr. Christina practices in Toronto and King City and is a wealth of information.  I'm so excited for this episode: methylation is something I bore my patients with in my practice a LOT as I see the connection between their mood symptoms, brain fog, and digestive concerns. As Dr. Christina says, that mental spinning, rumination, obsession and addictions can all be symptoms of impaired folate metabolism and impaired methylation.  This is such an exciting topic and I'm so happy to interview someone who can lay it all out for you.  You can find Dr. Christina at:  Her website: Instagram: Learn more about Good Mood Foundations here:
October 19, 2020
Episode 32: Healing Eating Disorders, Food Stress and Body Image with Dr. Alexandra Sisam, ND
Eating disorders are a difficult thing to identify and treat, not to mention to live with. Unlike other mental health conditions they can be life-threatening, but we also need to eat everyday and therefore our interaction with the substance of choice is something we need to learn to negotiate and to work with as we heal.  Dr. Alexandra Sisam is a fellow naturopathic doctor with a focus in eating disorders. We talk about how to identify disordered eating patterns, from anorexia and bulimia to binge eating and just a high-stress relationship around food. We talk about body image, diet culture and restriction, how a focus on food is a way to cope with intense pain and negative emotion, and often healing the eating disorder is just the beginning, and how to seek support.  We talk re-feeding and how naturopathic medicine can offer the tools and resources to help patients who suffer from high-stress relationships with food and their bodies heal.  We have both noticed an increase in emotional eating and binge eating in our patients as a result of the pandemic and social distancing measures and we discuss why this might be the case. We also talk about Alexandra's Five Pillars for treating eating disorders and supporting patients through healing their bodies and minds from disordered eating.  Alexandra is a fellow Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine grad, like myself. She also has an undergraduate degree from my alma mater, Queen's University, which is pretty cool. She works at the Orenda Clinic in Toronto and has a special interest in using the mind-body connection to support mental wellbeing and a low-stress connection with the way we nourish our bodies.  Find Alexandra at: Instagram: Good Mood Foundations: 
October 12, 2020
Episode 31: Sleep Your Way to a Good Mood with Dr. Leigha Saunders, ND
For 7 to 9 hours every night we human beings spend our time unconscious. During this time we can't eat, procreate, or defend against predators. We're not building shelters. We're not innovating. We're completely vulnerable. And yet, our bodies and brains evolved to require this unconscious time in order to survive. When we're deprived of sleep we die. And when we're subtly deprived of sleep, an hour here, an hour there, for nights and nights on end our mental and physical health suffer.  Dr. Leigha Saunders is a fellow naturopathic doctor with a sleep focus. We talk about the architecture of a good nights' sleep, how sleep disturbances can manifest in someone's lifestyle and how this can affect mood and mental health.  Dr. Leigha talks about how we can harness lifestyle to repair broken sleep and improve mood, hormones, energy and stave off disease.  Dr. Leigha Saunders is a naturopathic doctor and the owner and founder of Uxbridge, Ontario’s premiere wellness clinic, True Roots Healthcare.  She has a special interest in helping busy women gain energy, balance their mood, regulate hormones and sleep deep.  Her ultimate mission is to women sleep deep at night to do what sets their soul on fire during the day!  Sleep is so so so important for mental health and so I really wanted to pick Leigha's brain on how she works with sleep to improve the lives of the patients in her practice to provide you with some tips on prioritizing and optimizing sleep.  You can find Leigha at:  Her website: Instagram: Good Mood Foundations:
October 5, 2020
Episode 30: Healing the Highly Sensitive Person with Dr. Dimpi Patel, ND
At the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine we have a teaching clinic, The Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic where 4th year students spend their 12 months of internship treating patients in the clinic under the supervision of licensed NDs.  As first through third year students we were encouraged to support our bodies and minds, as well as experience naturopathic medicine first-hand by seeing an intern. Dr. Dimpi Patel was my first intern when I was a first year student.  Dimpi was one of the first doorways to my experience with naturopathic medicine. She helped me deal with the thyroid and adrenal dysfunction caused by an extremely intense program and taught me a lot about establishing a doctor patient relationship and the magic of what our medicine offers.  Fast-forward about 10 years... whoa... and Dimpi is not focusing her practice in Michigan on Highly Sensitive People, helping them support their bodies through functional testing and neural rewiring.  So before we dive into the interview, what's a Highly Sensitive Person?  Well, here's a quiz from  Maybe keep track of how many times you say "Yes" to the following, and tally your results.  I am easily overwhelmed by strong sensory input. I seem to be aware of subtleties in my environment. Other people’s moods affect me. I tend to be very sensitive to pain. I find myself needing to withdraw during busy days,into bed or into a darkened room or any place where I can have some privacy and relief from stimulation. I am particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine. I am easily overwhelmed by things like bright lights, strong smells,coarse fabrics,or sirens close by. I have a rich,complex inner life. I am made uncomfortable by loud noises. I am deeply moved by the arts or music. My nervous system sometimes feels so frazzled that I just have to go off by myself. I am conscientious. I startle easily. I get rattled when I have a lot to do in a short amount of time. When people are uncomfortable in a physical environment I tend to know what needs to be done to make it more comfortable (like changing the lighting or the seating). I am annoyed when people try to get me to do too many things at once. I try hard to avoid making mistakes or forgetting things. I make a point to avoid violent movies and TV shows. I become unpleasantly aroused when a lot is going on around me. Being very hungry creates a strong reaction in me,disrupting my concentration or mood. Changes in my life shake me up. I notice and enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, works of art. I find it unpleasant to have a lot going on at once. I make it a high priority to arrange my life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations. I am bothered by intense stimuli, like loud noises or chaotic scenes. When I must compete or be observed while performing a task, I become so nervous or shaky that I do much worse than I would otherwise. When I was a child, my parents or teachers seemed to see me as sensitive or shy. How many times did you say yes? According to the quiz, if you scored 14, you might be a highly sensitive person.  I scored 10 on this test personally, but when I was a kid I might have answered yes to nearly everything.  Dimpi and I talk about how being an HSP is a superpower and how to support your body and mind in a world that doesn't necessarily support the 30% of us who might identify with being highly sensitive.  Follow Dr. Dimpi Patel at Instagram: @doctordimpi
September 28, 2020
Episode 29: Naturopathic Medicine: Riding the Waves, Dr. Talia's appearance on the Weird Waves Podcast
In March Taylor Morozova, a fellow Great Lakes Surfer (who has now moved on to ocean waves) and host of The Weird Waves Podcast and I sat down to talk pandemics, surfing and naturopathic medicine.  This was at the beginning of the global pandemic, a time filled with certainty, misinformation and... for me, at least, some surfing.  Taylor asked to interview me to talk about some hot topics at the time: vitamin D, viruses, and the immune system. In this convo we also discuss my story: how I got into naturopathic medicine (and all the crazy synchronicities that got me there).  What is the difference between functional medicine, integrative medicine, homeopathic medicine, nutrition, and naturopathic medicine?  What does an ND do?  We also talk my journey to discovering you can surf the lakes and how that's influenced my mental and physical health over the past year.  I thought this was fitting podcast to share because it highlights some of the background in naturopathic medicine and how I got here. It's also a super fun interview and Taylor is a great host. Her interview was pivotal in inspiring me to create my own podcast.  Listen up!  To learn more about Taylor: Instagram:
September 21, 2020
Episode 28: Feeling Hormonal with Dr. Jordan Robertson, ND
When a friend of mine signed up for her period tracker app, it asked her for her partner's email address. Several times a month he would receive an email about the state of my friend's menstrual health. "You partner is in her luteal phase. You may want to tread lightly and carry a big stick".  Well, that's not what the emails said exactly, but it was something to that effect: "During this time in her cycle she may need warm tea, cuddles and chocolate".  Whenever they'd get into a fight he'd go, "What's the meaning of this? I didn't get an email."  Have you noticed that, if you're a menstruating person, or transitioning into menopause, there are moments, days or weeks where you're ready to run for Prime Minister (or President), and other weeks you're a puddle on the floor of your closet, trying to figure out what pants to wear?  When you talk to your doctor you might be prescribed an anti-depressant, told your birth control, peri-menopause or periods have nothing to do with it. And yet, you still suspect that your hormones are playing a role in your mental and emotional health.  In this episode I talk to Dr. Jordan Robertson, a naturopathic doctor and women's health expert about Feeling Hormonal. What role do hormones play in our mood states and what can we do about them?  We talk about hormones link to mood, the truth about hormone replacement therapy, how progress is better than programs when it comes to improving lifestyle and nutrition, how your hormones hate restriction, and how to talk to your doctor and seek help for the hormonal mood changes that are so common in those who menstruate.  Dr. Jordan Robertson is a naturopathic doctor with a practice in Burlington, Ontario. She is owner of Clarity Health, the host and creator of the Women's Health Unplugged podcast, and the CEO of i-Med Research Hub, an online portal for integrative medicine practitioners to hone their research skills and stay up to date on the current knowledge.  She is the author of the best-selling book on miscarriage "Carrying to Term: How to get tested, stay pregnant and carry a healthy baby to term". Jordan has lectured across the province for medical doctors and naturopathic doctors and has been a guest on various international podcasts on women’s health. She has a special interest in women’s health, including expertise on PMS, menopause, fertility, PCOS and endometriosis and is the off-site Naturopathic Doctor for the McMaster Hospital Endometriosis Clinic. You can connect with her: On Instagram: Learn more about Clarity Health: Check out the Women's Health UnPlugged Podcast: Learn more about i-Med Research Hub (for practitioners):
September 14, 2020
Episode 27: Staying Safe and Social: Polyvagal Theory with Dr. Stephanie Cordes, ND
We were introduced to the vagus nerve through Dr. Dave Miller, ND, the gut gangsta. In today's episode we learn more about the vagus nerve with Dr. Stephanie Cordes, a naturopathic doctor and mental health advocate. Steph is obsessed with Polyvagal Theory, that discusses how our stress response can throw us into fight or flight, but also into shutdown via the vagus nerve. Through stimulating our ventral vagal response, we can enter into the safe and social states that create calm and connected nervous systems and help us heal from trauma or prevent burnout.  We discuss the concept of safety and how to cultivate it through context, choice and connection (the 3 C's, from the work of Deb Dana). Steph talks about important soothing techniques that can help regulate the vagus nerve.  We discuss somatic psychotherapy and how sometimes body work, like acupuncture can send important safety signals to the nervous system, calming thoughts and helping us co-regulate.  We also discuss my new obsession, Attachment Theory, and how that relates to our vagus nerve.  It's such a fun conversation. Steph is a real ND hippy with a practice in Guelph, Ontario. She is passionate about mental health, social justice, inclusivity, acupuncture. In addition to being a naturopathic doctor, Stephanie has training as a doula. She has worked with those living with HIV in the LGBTQ community in Toronto. She is also a member of POCA, practices community acupuncture and is registered with Rainbow Health Ontario.  She has special interest in mental wellness, digestion, trauma, addiction, and LGBTQ health. She believes in increasing accessibility to complementary care using an anti-oppressive and trauma-sensitive approach.   In this episode we talk trauma, particularly at the end where we mention sexual trauma and violence, so feel free to avoid this episode if you find these topics triggering, or to let go of the episode when they come up at the end.  I'm so excited for you to listen to this episode: it's a must-listen for anyone who suffers from anxiety, low mood, or who feels on the verge of burnout sometimes.  So, essentially, all of us. Polyvagal theory and trauma-informed work, as well as somatic forms of psychotherapy are becoming so much more common place and this is a great place to be introduced to these topics in a conversational and accessible way. Steph is so knowledgeable, passionate and approachable. I love chatting with her. I hope you love listening!  Find Dr. Steph at:  Her website: Instragram: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
September 7, 2020
Episode 26: Our 40 Trillion Little Friends: Microbiome and Your Mood with Dr. Kim Bretz, ND
40 Trillion.    The latest guesstimate that Dr. Kim Bretz, naturopathic doctor and gut microbiome guru throws out there: the amount of bacterial cells living in our guts and on our skin.    We are outnumbered by them, but as Kim says, "thankfully our human cells are bigger so we look like our super-cute selves, otherwise it would be way more creepy".    Not only do these bacteria take up residence inside of our systems, they influence our bodies in vast ways--from our gut health and digestive systems to our moods to our hormones.    Dr. Kim Bretz ND is a naturopathic doctor working and living in Waterloo Region. She is a speaker, consultant and adjunct faculty at the University of Waterloo, Pharmacy.  She believes you should be able to eat food without pain.    She also advocates eating an unrestricted diet full of real food.  She is a passionate international public speaker, having presented to multiple corporations and agencies, and is a guest lecturer for Canadian universities in the areas of health promotion, functional foods and natural health care products. She also runs continuing education for healthcare professionals in the area of the microbiota, strain specific probiotics and gastrointestinal health.  For 6 years, Kim was part of Human Nature Network, a nationally syndicated radio program though CHUM radio, speaking in the areas of women’s health.  She is a ardent supporter of education and interprofessionalism. Kim taught gastrointestinal physiology and endocrinology at the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy.  She teaches a course in Complementary and Alternative Medicine focusing on Interprofessionalism at the School of Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo, and has worked with the PIPER program out of McMaster (Program for Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research).   She has also been involved in the role of clinical lead in a research trial through the University of Guelph with the Spagnuolo Research Lab.  She has spoken or consulted for numerous companies including Thorne, Designs for Health and Rocky Mountain Analytical (LifeLabs). She was on the advisory board for Ferring Pharmaceuticals’ natural health care products and is the past president of the University of Guelph’s College of Biological Science Alumni Association.   Dr. Kim discusses how our microbiome has changed throughout the course of her career. We talk about how the microbiome can influence mood, from the germ-free mice who have the bacteria from anxious patients implanted in their guts, causing them to experience anxiety (so, is anxiety just about gut bacteria?) to how to care for your gut while still eating the foods you love.    Kim takes us on a journey through the development of the microbiota research and how we might harness this knowledge to improve our digestive systems and mood.    I was so excited to talk to her because not only is she incredibly smart and knowledgeable but she is also hilariously funny and brings her dollop of humour to this conversation at nearly every turn.    You can find Dr. Kim at:  Her website:  Instagram:  Learn more about her gut connection program here: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
August 31, 2020
Episode 25: The Power of Community with Robin Pacquing and Shazia Mazhar of The Lake Surfistas
In 2019 I was in Costa Rica learning to surf. I met a girl there from Toronto who told me about the Lake Surfistas, a group of people who identify as women who surf the lakes. I found their Facebook group, started going to their events and was hooked. They taught me to surf: to find friendship and comfort in the waters of the Great Lakes. I remember driving home from an impromptu surf get-together with a group I'd met through their Lake Surfista Facebook Discussion Page and remember thinking to myself, "Wow, this is happiness".  Robin Pacquing and Shazia Mazhar talk about how surfing healed them, and how the power of female community has helped to change their lives.  Lake Surfistas is a Canadian grassroots movement that brings together women of various identities, skills and backgrounds to celebrate water sports: surf, Standup Paddleboarding (SUP) and SUP Surfing on the Great Lakes.  They aim to empower: build competence and confidence in the women that use these waters for board sports, and promote education, safety, enjoyment and sustainability of these resources.  Shazia and Robin and I talk the power of community for mental health. Finding passion in movement. How they both got into surfing and their worst wipeout stories.  I love that in this episode so many names are mentioned, which I think speaks to the power of our interconnectedness in this community and only further emphasizes the work that this organization has done to bring us together, to form friendships and strengthen our love for the lakes.  To learn more visit the Lake Surfista Website: And join the Lake Surfista Discussion Page on Facebook, which now has over 700 members. Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
August 24, 2020
Episode 24: Narrative Conversations and Sex with Mauricio Yabar, MSW, PhD Candidate, Narrative Sex Therapist
A narrative conversation is a magical thing. Michael White, the founder of narrative therapy is famous for saying, "The person is not the problem, the problem is the problem". And yet so often we are stigmatized and shamed for who we are.  Attempts to solve our problems often end up destroying our sense of identity, our personal power and our agency.  Shame. It's a big topic that has come up in various episodes of this podcast. This podcast's central theme is: how do we remove the obstacles that stand between us and a Good Mood? And really, dismantling shame is one of the main answers.  Shame's slimy, sticky sludge stands in the way of our personal happiness and our growth. When we feel wronged for who we are, when we feel responsible for our problems, we become powerless.  Narrative Therapy aims to question the dominant stories we tell about ourselves and others. What are the dangers of a single story? What happens to our psyches, our souls and our sense of self when we come to believe that the problem stories about our lives are not just stories about problems but stories about who we are?  In this episode, I talk to Mauricio Yabar, a licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Sex Therapist through AASECT (American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counsellors, and Therapists) about narrative therapy and sex.  We talk about the dangers of the single-story of a psychiatric diagnosis, how many population are marginalized into a single narrative about their past, their lives and their futures and how narrative can help "thicken" subordinate stories about kindness, strength, resilience, and courage.  Mauricio is currently working on his doctorate in social work at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia where he is particularly interested in the effects of shame and stigma on youth who have committed a sexual offence.  Mauricio's research involves working directly with these youth and their families, drawing from his background in narrative therapy to repair their damaged identities. Just a word of warning, we do discuss sexual trauma in this episode so, listen at your own discretion and turn the episode off at any point if you feel that it's safer for you to do so.  I have always found Narrative Therapy such a beautiful form of psychotherapy. You'll even see our conversation take a Narrative turn. I truly had a wonderful time speaking with Mauricio. I hope you enjoy listening.  Find Mauricio:  On his website: On Instagram: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
August 17, 2020
Episode 23: Visceral Reactions with Dr. David Miller, ND, aka "The Gut Gangsta"
It takes guts. You know that feeling, the trembling, clenching and nauseous pit-in-your-stomach feeling when your nerves are on edge, or the gut-wrenching sobs when you're sad. You also know the complete and utter intestinal devastation that almost seems to precede a panic attack. Or, you know, just gut feelings. Visceral Reactions.  The gut-brain connection.  Our gut is sometimes termed "The Second Brain", connected through one of our cranial nerves, the Vagus Nerve (which is Latin for "Wandering Nerve"). The vagus nerve sends information from brain to gut and back again.  9 out of 10 of my anxious or depressed patients have something going on downstairs in their guts. Anxiety and stress are often thought to cause IBS. This is why anti-depressants are sometimes prescribed off-label to treat IBS. Dr. David Miller, fellow naturopathic doctor, co-host of That Naturopathic Podcast and self-proclaimed "Gut Gangsta" works a little differently.  Dr. Dave works from the butt up, taking the stress off our system by soothing gut inflammation, and creating happy tubes, so that we might better deal with the stressors of life. You see, gut issues can also CAUSE mental health issues. It works both ways.  Dr. Dave and I talk naturopathic medicine in general. We discuss the vagus nerve and its role in depression and anxiety, and how it can optimize digestion. Most of all, we talk about Dave's passion, visceral manipulation and how to "listen with your hands" to correct structural abnormalities in the organs that helps us digest and assimilate the food we eat.  I keep referring back to this discussion when working with patients. The idea of taking stress off the organs has stuck with me as I approach my mental health cases. And, of course, I've gone back to popping deglycyrrhizinated licorice lozenges (chocolate and coconut flavour) like it's my job.  And, well... it kind of is, isn't it?  You can find Dr. David Miller, ND at: That Naturopathic Podcast: His website: Instagram: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
August 10, 2020
Episode 22: Creating Intentional Relationships with Melissa Johari, RSW, MSW and Couple Wellness Expert
Relationships are hard. They're also one of the main stressors, among finances, work, and health. Relationships, when they're smooth and harmonious, can be a reflection of cause of an optimally mentally healthy state. When things are going wrong, it can be hard to think of anything else.  In today's episode I talk to Melissa Johari, fellow Bloorwest Wellness Practitioner, Registered Social Worker and The Couple Wellness Expert. Melissa is a therapist, focusing on premarital counseling using the Prep-Enrich program. She implements many modalities in her practice including Emotionally Focused Therapy, Resilience in Marriage therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Brief Solution Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Internal Systems Theory, Strengths Perspective, Mindfulness Theory, Psychodynamic Therapy, Anti-Oppressive Practice, Relational Life Therapy, and Hypnotherapy. She takes a holistic perspective when working with clients, acknowledging the various systems in someone's life: financial, spiritual, physical, emotional, social, vocational, sexual, and environmental, through her Relational Wellness Wheel. When our lives are in harmony, so are our relationships.  Melissa is also an Allied Mental Health Professional Member with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and offers supervision work to other therapists.  In this talk we discuss lots of goodies: the 10 Steps to Resolving Conflict, Attachment Theory and Attachment Styles, The 5 Love Languages, and other frameworks for understanding how to create intentional, fulfilling and loving relationships that allow you and your partner to thrive.  To learn more about Melissa:  Her website: Instagram: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
August 3, 2020
Episode 21: Ayurveda and Self-Care with Dr. Sairupa Krishnamurti, ND
Dr. Sairupa Krishnamurti is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and Ayurveda Practitioner. She has a general family practice with clinical interests in Reproductive Health, Fertility, Pregnancy, Post-natal-care, Paediatrics and Mental-Emotional Health. She also teaches Ayurvedic medicine, the ancient Indian healing system, as a faculty member at Jai Wellness, and the Centre for Ayurveda and Indian Systems of Healing.  Sairupa practices in Toronto, at a clinic called Aurum. However for two years she was working in Singapore.  Her aim is to  support individuals in the rediscovery of their inner wisdom through a non-judgmental, inclusive approach.  In our conversation we talk the principles of Ayurveda, the 5 elements and 3 constitutions or doshas, how they can impact our health and well-being, and how to tailor our lifestyle practices to suit our individual needs.  Sairupa talks about the concept of Swasta: being established in oneself or one's body, the key to optimal health.  This episode is full of wisdom, which is what Ayurveda means: the wisdom of life and the wisdom of vitality. In it you'll learn a bit about your own constitution and how your sleeping, digestion and sexual practices (which are the 3 pillars of health according to Ayurveda), can keep you centred within yourself, living a life of health and vitality.  Find Dr. Sairupa at: Instagram: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
July 27, 2020
Episode 20: Anti-Racism and Mental Health with Asante Haughton, Motivational Speaker and Mental Health Advocate
In today's episode I talk to Asante Haughton. Asante and I met in the summer of 2015 at the Narrative Therapy Intensive. Asante is a mental health advocate and motivational speaker. He's a program director, peer development and training manager at Stella's Place, a centre for Young Adult Mental Health, a web series host and interviewer, a poet, front-line worker, group facilitator, community outreach worker, researcher, prolific tweeter and a freelance writer. It seems like there isn't one job title for all Asante does. Asante does a lot of things.  He's passionate about positive social change, equality, and mental health, and has dedicated himself to building stronger communities. He believes in people, global interconnectivity, and positive personal change.  He's appeared on CBC’s, "The National", and in the documentary, "Three Voices", has an amazing Tedx Talk called "An Uncommon Story of Hope and Redemption" (which I highly recommend watching--it will make you laugh and make you cry). He's spoken at dozens of venues, where he aims to deliver a message of social awareness, social justice, community betterment, and above all, hope. And that's what our conversation delivers today: hope. Asante and I talk about mental health but specifically, in these times, how anti-racism work is more significant than ever and the work that must be done to change our society.  Asante shares his story about growing up dealing with poverty and racism at the heart of his personal mental health struggles, and how he aims to be the voice of change and do the hard advocacy work of educating us to see the hidden effects of racism in our society, our culture and our community.  I highly recommend this talk and am so honoured that Asante agreed to join me on the podcast. I hope you enjoy it too.  You can learn more about Asante by: Watching his Tedx Talk: Reading his article "I Shouldn't Have to Say This": Following him on Twitter: Following him on Instagram: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
July 20, 2020
Episode 19: Full Body Nourishment with Aglaée Jacob, Registered Dietician
Aglaée Jacob is a registered dietician who I met at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.  Aglaée's journey, like many of ours, began with trying to fit her body into a certain mould: a particular size and shape under the guise of "health".    She is the author of the book Digestive Health with Real Food, which helps identify underlying causes of gut conditions.    Her journey has led her to start to listen to the body as an animal to heal disordered eating patterns within her, and to focus on nourishment: of the body, mind, heart and soul.    Aglaée and I talk about body awareness, body image, mental health and disordered relationships with food, using food as medicine vs. using food to control our body shape, and how intuitive eating and full embodiment can help us heal and find true, holistic wellness and health.    Aglaée is also the host and creator of The Nourishing Podcast.    Find Aglaée at:   Her website:   and Instagram:   Get a copy of her book on Amazon:   and listen to her podcast The Nourishing Podcast, on all podcast platforms. Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
July 13, 2020
Episode 18: Herbal Anarchy with Victor Cirone, Registered Herbalist
Victor Cirone, registered herbalist returns to the Good Mood Podcast to talk about how the sickness of our civilization may contribute to disease. Modern medicine may be a mechanism of healing "sick machines" and true healing should be concerned with the restoration of "what belongs to nature".  Victor discusses the work of John Zerzan, and other Green Anarchists, while describing how herbal medicine might help us realign with nature's internal wisdom and agenda that lies outside of society and time.  Victor talks about how plant medicine differs from pharmacotherapy, and how true holistic medicine is about educating the patient to understand how disease arises. Is disease simply a process of a pathological society being driven inward? Can we heal as individuals without addressing the societal pathology that has shaped our mental and physical illness? Victor and I discuss these questions.  After listening, make sure you check out Episode 2, "The Fascinating and Threatening Other" where we talk about lawful and unlawful images, psychoanalysis and herbalism.  Find Victor at: His website: Instagram: Herbal Webinar Series: Youtube: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
July 6, 2020
Episode 17: Shameless Health with Dr. Emily Bennett, ND
Dr. Emily Bennett is a classmate and fellow naturopathic doctor. Emily focuses her practice on community medicine and advocacy. She has a special interest in addressing oppressive power structures we might encounter in our society, and in our clinics, both the conventional medical clinic, but also the ways we might inadvertently shame patients within the context of an alternative healthcare model.    We talk about Emily's work with empowering patients through body awareness, and having deeper conversations around conventional, potentially shame-inducing treatment goals, like weight loss or dietary changes.  We talk about how shame might be addressed head-on in a healthcare setting and how we can work towards dismantling oppressive power structures embracing a more inclusive and supportive healthcare model.    Health is subjective and, as naturopathic doctors who focus on individualized medicine, I believe that the work Emily is doing is important. How we approach the therapeutic encounter can have a major impact on our patients relationships to their bodies and their health experiences.    I hope you enjoy this episode.    Find Emily at:   Website:  Facebook Group:  Instagram: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
June 29, 2020
Episode 16: The Way of the Warrior with Melissa "Scare" Croden, Professional Mixed Martial Artist
In this episode I talk to Melissa "Scare" Croden, a professional mixed martial artist and my cousin. Mel's MMA career started a few years ago, in 2015. As an amateur she won 5 for 5 fights before turning pro in Fall of last year. As a pro she has won 2 out of 2 fights. Her pro career has been temporarily interrupted due to Covid-19, however she is scheduled to fight again in Fall.  We talk warrior mindset, how the mind-head-brain complex is the most important component for success as an athlete, and what it takes to train and fight in a cage.  Mel explains why she disagrees with the phrase "A warrior is never angry." We talk emotions, aggression, our animal instincts, respect, humility and how the warrior path is a way to find oneself and develop as a human being, or human beast.  A word of warning, there are some swears in this episode, so listen with headphones if at work or if kiddies are around.  This is a juicy episode where we can really examine the mind of a high-level female athlete in a high-stakes, high-performance sport.  I'm so proud of Mel and excited to share her with you all.  You can follow her on: Instagram: Facebook: And you can read her blog: You can also support her career here: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
June 22, 2020
Episode 15: Emotional Intelligence and the Teenage Brain with Dr. Erin Tewinkel, ND
Dr Erin Tewinkel is a fellow naturopathic doctor and Teen Wellness Warrior. She believes that adolescence holds keys to opportunities most parents miss. And that if a young person is given the proper foundations of health, they have access to health the rest of their life. I love seeing teens in my practice. Adolescence is a time where we can really make a big difference as healthcare practitioners, teachers, parents and peers to help shape a teen's experience, creating mental and emotional resilience. This is a time when mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety often surface and modelling emotional intelligence, maturity and mindfulness can have massive impacts on the ways we teach our teens to interact with the world. In this episode we talk about the teen brain. How teens are in the process of pruning neural synapses in order to streamline their brain, and how parents can help teens through the turbulent times of social media, hyper-emotionality and hyper-rationality to set them up for emotionally intelligent, mentally well adults.  We talk social media, gist thinking, preserving that emotional "spark", keeping girls cage free and wild, modern day teen stressors that can contribute to the rise of anxiety, and lots and lots of tips for boosting emotional intelligence.  This episode is a great listen for anyone interested in how our mental health evolves as we move through adolescence and how the skills we learn during this time can set us up for courage, compassion, strength, passion and resilience in our adult years (but it's never too late to learn)! Find Dr. Erin Tewinkel, ND at:  Facebook Group: Connecting with Your Teen - The hows, the whys, and the in and outs! 5 Day Mini-Challenge - Connecting with your Teen Instagram: @drtewinkel Website: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
June 15, 2020
Episode 14: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion with Dr. Lachlan Crawford, ND
In today's episode I talk to Dr. Lachlan Crawford, fellow mental health focused naturopathic doctor. Lachlan has a practice in Toronto helping patients find the root of their mental health concerns.   She incorporates mindfulness into her practice and has participated in a few silence meditation retreats a 30-day retreat in Thailand and a 10-day silent Vipassana retreat.    We talk about mindfulness, self-compassion, chronic low-grade anxiety and how carrying an umbrella everywhere you go might actually undermine your ability to be happy.   This is an awesome conversation where we talk medicine, meditation, metal health and more (how's that alliteration for you?).  Hope you enjoy it!    Find Dr. Lachlan at: website:   More resources:   Kristen Neff's work: *Reference to Schopenhauer in the episode should actually be reference to Albert Schweizer Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
June 8, 2020
Episode 13: Awestruck: Ecotherapy and Community Medicine with Dr. Fernando Janer, ND
In this episode I talk to my friend and colleague Dr. Fernando Janer Sanchez, a naturopathic doctor and fellow graduate of the class of 2014 from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Fernando lives in Puerto Rico teaching Mind-Body Medicine and Physical Examination at the Puerto Rican naturopathic college, Universidad Ana G. Mendez.  Fernando and I talk about psychoneuroimmunology, the social determinants of health, and how your occupation might affect your immune system. He shares his history as a social worker in New York City and in Puerto Rico working in a needle exchange program with homeless youth. We discuss how acupuncture can be a helpful treatment in addictions, how harm reduction is important for empowering change, and how recognizing community needs is the most important factor to delivering care.  This convo takes us from the weeds of inflammatory cytokine interleukin 6 to the expansive feelings of humility and awe. We also learn about Fernando's community project, Proyecto Bohique. Learn more about it here: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
June 1, 2020
Episode 12: Micro-Dosing Psychedelics for Mental Health with Dr. Amanda Satov, ND
Micro-dosing, taking small doses of psychedelic substances, like LSD or psilocybin-containing “magic” mushrooms, probably entered the public consciousness in early 2015, after James Fadiman, PhD and author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, appeared on the Tim Ferris Podcast. Fadiman is the author of the 2011 book “The Psychdelics Explorer’s Guide” where can be credited with presenting the idea of taking a “sub-perceptual” dose of a hallucinogen, like LSD or Psilocybe cubensis “magic” mushrooms, that contain the hallucinogen psilocybin. A sub-perceptual dose means that, while these substances still exert effects, they don’t produce a noticeable hallucinogenic “high”. While other substances can be used, the most common way to practice micro-dosing is with about 1/10th to 1/20th of a standard “trip dose” of LSD or psilocybin, the two most commonly taken psychedelics. In this episode I talk to Dr. Amanda Satov, a fellow naturopathic doctor. Amanda became interested in the healing power of psychedelic plant medicines on a trip to the Amazon rainforest of Peru. Her background in culinary arts and her interest in working with patients through transitional periods in their lives, led to her deep dive in the history, science and current research surrounding psychedelic, or entheogenic medicines.  Dr. Amanda is also a reiki practitioner. She is a fellow Toronto practitioner.  You can find Dr. Amanda Satov, ND at: and on Instagram: Now, the psychedelic medicines, like psilocybin or LSD, that we talk about in this episode are not currently approved for therapeutic use. Nor are they legal to procure outside of certain exceptions for scientific research. Dr. Amanda and I are having this discussion because we're interested in it and excited about what the future holds for using psychedelics in the realm of mental health, however we are in no way advocating their use outside of a therapeutic encounter. This discussion is for educational purposes only.  To learn more: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
May 29, 2020
Episode 11: Treating Inflammation Using Plant-Based Nutrition and Mindset with Dr. Daina Patel, Chiropractic Doctor
Dr. Daina Patel is a Chiropractic Doctor with a focus on women’s back pain and plant based nutrition. Daina shares her journey to a plant’s based diet as well as her own personal struggle with inflammation and chronic pain. We talk about the difference between being plant based and vegan, how nutrition is not about adhering to specific “diets” per se but an ongoing process developing a deep relationship with our individual bodies and food. Daina and I discuss how diet plays a role in inflammation that lies at the root of chronic pain and other health conditions like depression and anxiety. We also talk about mindset for dealing with pain and suffering, and how breathing is the cornerstone of not only chronic pain and inflammation but perhaps our entire health. This is such an interesting conversation, that highlights the fact that no matter what health condition we start with, the journey towards optimal wellbeing involve a variety of factors. However, optimal health is not really a destination, but a process that involves lots of patience, persistence and self-compassion. I hope you enjoy it! Dr. Daina’s website: Her Instagram: Top 6 Back Pain Exercises for busy and ambitious women: 5 Day Better Posture Challenge: The Healthy Sisterhood Facebook Community:
May 25, 2020
Episode 10: Biohacking Mood and Mental Health with Ivo Suvee
Welcome to episode 10 of the Good Mood Podcast. In this episode I interview my friend Ivo Suvee, a biohacker. Biohacking is the art of optimizing one’s biochemistry and physiology through various practices from basic lifestyle techniques to using more advanced technologies like apps, genetic testing, and employing unique compounds like peptides. Whatever the method the goal of biohacking is to tweak health to be the best version of ourselves. Ivo’s story is interesting. From a young age he was interested in using food to optimize his health. He then applied this interest to enhance his physical fitness and more recently has noticed a profound impact on using various lifestyle techniques to optimize his mood. Ivo emphasizes first tackling the “low hanging fruit” of diet and lifestyle strategies, stacking them to produce the profound effect of moving from a mild-to-moderate depression, or dysthymia, to a robust and resilient mood state. We talk diet and exercise, genomic testing, gut microbiome, intermittent fasting, light exposure, BDNF, hormesis and even the use of peptides like oxytocin to boost mood. Keep in mind of course that none of this episode is meant to replace the one-to-one health advice of a licensed professional and that many of the therapies we talk about: from peptides to psychedelics, to even genetic testing, are not therapies that an Ontario-licensed ND has access to and are discussed for purely educational purposes. I hope you enjoy this conversation! Here are some of the links discussed in the episode: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
May 21, 2020
Episode 9: Reclaiming Our Sacred Feminine Energy with Erica Robinson, Women's Health Coach
I talk to my friend Erica L. Robinson, a naturopathic medicine graduate, health coach, holistic nutritionist, kinesiologist and expert on the sacred embodied feminine.  According to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Daoism there is a Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine) energy present in all things. From the anima and animus of the Jungian psyche, our relationships, the archetypes in Disney's The Lion King, to all of society, we can find a dualistic masculine/feminine nature.  According to Erica, female burnout and hormonal dysfunction such as hair loss, infertility, acne, and fatigue come in large part to living in a more masculine energetic state.  It's through reclaiming and embodying the feminine aspects of our being that can allow women to feel energized, connected, creative, balanced and in flow.  It's important to note at this point that when we talk about masculine/feminine duality we are speaking of something different than gender, or even biological sex. However, Erica's clients are largely cis-gendered, female-identifying, heterosexual women and so most examples will be with this in mind--we can't speak for everyone's experience. However, of course we all have masculine and feminine parts within our beings and our relationships, and this dualism exists on a spectrum.  This is a fascinating episode that discusses a problem that I have identified in myself, at the heart of many hormonal imbalances in my patients, and that Erica has located as a core feature in the health issues she's worked with in her career.  I hope you enjoy this dynamic conversation!  Erica's website: Reclaiming Our Sacred Feminine Energy webinar Her Instagram Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
May 20, 2020
Episode 8: Nutritional Inspiration with Melissa Ieraci, Holistic Nutritionist and Homeopath
I talk to Melissa Ieraci, a fellow Bloor West Wellness practitioner, Holistic Nutritionist and Homeopath. If you are a patient at Bloor West Wellness you may have met Melissa, who womans our front desk and keeps the show going as well as treats her own patients, focusing on making sure families nourish themselves through diet, herbal medicine and lifestyle.  Melissa and I recorded this conversation at the midst of the physical distancing measures put in place in our province, Ontario in early April.  We talk about her Instagram Live channel, Mondays with Mel in which she shares amazing recipe ideas and food inspiration, like dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free ice cream sandwiches. Yes, you heard that right. And they sound delicious.  Eating well can sometimes be an overwhelming task. Not all of us want to think about food all the time, and so Mel has you covered. She is a baking wizard, and food creationist, coming up with simple, delicious recipes that are packed full of nutrition (and child-tested).  Listen to this episode if you're looking for some nutritional inspiration, recipe ideas, tips on grocery shopping and meal prep, and want to hear a lame joke about frozen bananas (that one was me, sadly). We also talk Springtime health needs, the lymphatic system and self-care in the age of Covid.  Enjoy!  Melissa's website: Her Instagram (where you can catch Mondays with Mel live): My 5-Day Meditation Challenge:
May 20, 2020
Episode 7: The Enneagram and Personality with Joseph Simone, Enneagram Expert
My friend Joseph Simone is a teacher by trade and musician. He's also fascinated by the human mind: how do our individual brains work? Are we all born with unique personality traits that, if understood, can help us relate more optimally to ourselves, our dreams and our goals, while having more compassion for others?  Joseph and I talk about the Enneagram of Personality, an ancient personality system that is composed of 9 main core types, subtypes and 3 main instincts.  This topic is complex and this interview only barely scratches the surface.  Joseph is a hilarious individual (Enneagram Type 4), and a wealth of information. His website contains information that well exceeds the bounds of our 40-minute interview.  On his site you can take a test to hone in on your core type, instincts and tritype as well as peruse tons of information about the Enneagram as a personality system.  Joseph also has an amazingly engaging Facebook group where participants can submit collages for typing.
May 19, 2020
Episode 6: Anxiety and Men's Mental Health with Dr. Katie Thomson Aitken, ND
I talk to my friend and colleague, Dr. Katie Thomson Aitken, a naturopathic doctor practicing in Guelph, Ontario with a special focus in anxiety and men's mental health.  Dr. Katie and I talk about the unique issues men experience with their mental health, including some hormonal underpinnings that drive mental health issues in this population.   We also talk about how to manage anxiety and stress: when is it appropriate to stay with emotions vs. spring into action to manage strong emotions like anxiety and panic?  Dr.  Katie is working on a book and offers a program to help manage anxiety and stress called the Tranquil Minds program.  Read her book "Create Calm".  Visit her site here Instagram: Her Facebook community:
May 19, 2020
Episode 5: 5 Key Nutrients for Mental Health
In this solo episode I geek out on my top 5 supplements for mental health conditions. While every patient is different, these 5 nutrients play a major role in our mental health and mood. Most have been shown to decrease symptoms of depression.  I introduce you to these 5 nutrients, talk about issues around testing and supplementation and describe how they fare in the latest research.  Studies and sources in order of mention: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
May 18, 2020
Episode 4: Mood and Menstruation a Back-to-Back Interview with Dr. Anne Hussain, ND
In this episode, Dr. Anne Hussain, naturopathic doctor, menstruation guru, PCOS-solver, and period literacy advocate, and I go back-to-back with two interviews. First I talk to Dr. Anne about how hormones affect our mood, then she interviews me.  As you know I'm super interested in the intersection between our mental health and hormones. Hormones are really cool (as we discuss in these two interviews): they orchestrate how we feel physically and mentally. Our moods are subservient to our hormonal states and learning how to honour these hormones is so important for living in accordance with nature and our body's rhythms.  We talk about all kinds of juicy topics: self-care (including Anne's awesome Self-Care Grid), the relationship between hormones and mood, what a typical cycle looks like hormonally and how that can influence your mental health, and the affect of the Birth Control Pill on our hormones, moods and mental health (and why it's important to make informed choices when it comes to your body, your brain and your hormones).  Find Dr. Anne's community here: Her Instagram Page: And check out her website here: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
May 18, 2020
Episode 3: Trauma and EMDR with Ayan Mukherjee, Registered Psychotherapist
I'm so excited for this interview I had with my friend and colleague Ayan Mukherjee, Registered Psychotherapist and Certified EMDR Therapist.  In this episode, we talk trauma (both with a capital T and lower case t). We talk about how trauma forms in the brain and how that can affect our mental and emotional states, how EMDR works as an evidence-based form or rewiring the traumatized brain, and how healing from trauma may first mean addressing dissociation and internalized parts.   This is such an informative conversation.   A WORD OF WARNING, however: we do get into discussing trauma and various forms of physical abuse. So, if you want to avoid these topics, it's best to stay clear of this conversation, or listen to this episode in a calm and neutral place. You can find Ayan at his website:  His Instagram:  And purchase his art on his online Etsy Store: Good Mood Foundations: a 6-week lifestyle program for mental health and emotional wellness:
May 18, 2020
Episode 2: The Fascinating and Threatening Other with Victor Cirone, Registered Herbalist
I talk to Victor Cirone, Certified Herbalist and scholar of Steiner, Jung, Freud, Hillman and other psychoanalytic characters.   We talk about society's search of "the perfect image" and how this leads to a breakdown in mental and physical health, and society.  We talks herbs and dreaming, how Jung and Freud's theories of dreaming differ, and how to connect more deeply with the "fascinating and threatening other", to unify the Self.   Visit Victor's site here:
May 18, 2020
Episode 1: Do You Need a Mental Health Diagnosis?
I discuss why a label may be helpful in terms of accessing research, community and specialists with a specific focus, but isn't particularly helpful for accessing the root cause of our concerns.   Unlike insulin for type I diabetes, mental health conditions aren't caused by one single factor that a proper diagnosis can help us uncover.   Instead, they're complicated phenomena that are likely the results of various factors at play.   My job as a naturopathic doctor is to figure out how these factors work together to help you develop a roadmap to reverse them.
May 18, 2020