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Pacific Rim College Radio

Author: Todd Howard

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Conversations with experts of holistic wellness and sustainable living practices!
15 Episodes
My guest in this episode, PRC faculty member and herbalist Peter Conway, has lived in a van and a teepee, has fought for the preservation and dissemination of herbal medicine knowledge, and generally follows in life a punk rocker ethos. I assure you that Peter is a freak, and that is one of his many endearing qualities. Listening to him talk about plant-spirit medicine is like listening to a living mystic. And yet much of his mystery is wrapped up in what he calls the mundane: the common and ordinary world of herbal medicine that we are all rooted in, even though most have perhaps never been conscious of those roots. From the distillation of alcohols and the production of colas to candies and perfumes, all were once forms of herbal medicine. Peter graduated from the College of Phytotherapy in the UK in 1995. Prior to joining Pacific Rim College in 2015, Peter taught for many institutions. He co-wrote the BSc Degree course in Herbal Medicine at Napier University in Edinburgh and co-wrote the “National Professional Standards in Herbal Medicine” for the UK Government. He served as president of the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy for 12 years and is a former director of the European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association. Peter is the author of “The Consultation in Phytotherapy” textbook that he is now revising for its second edition. Peter currently lives in Victoria, is one of 9 distinguished faculty members of Pacific Rim College Online’s renowned Home Herbalist and Community Herbalist programs, and is working on an online project that will address “deep herbalism". Episode Links: School of Western Herbal Medicine at Pacific Rim College Online Community Herbalist Program at Pacific Rim College Online Online Home Herbalist Program at Pacific Rim College Online Touch the Earth by TC McLuhan The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable by Juliette de Bairacli Levy Green Pharmacy by Barbara Griggs Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy by Simon Mills and Kerry Bone Medical Nemesis by Ivan Illich Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram Thus Spoke the Plant by Monica Gagliano Plants as Persons by Matthew Hall Plant-Thinking by Michael Marder The Enchantment of Western Herbal Medicine by Guy Waddell Pacific Rim College Radio: Peter Conway’s colleagues in online herbalism programs: Episode 14 David Caudwell and Episode 4 Robert Rogers
For this episode I sat down with David Caudwell, a highly respected herbalist. From his upbringing in the centre of England with academically-accomplished parents, David was poised for a great career in herbal medicine. But David took a circuitous path to herbal medicine, and the study of plants did not enter his life until well into adulthood. Now he is a standout in the field and has been a faculty member of the School of Western Herbal Medicine at Pacific Rim College for nearly a decade. Additionally, he is one of nine distinguished instructors in the renowned online herbalist programs at Pacific Rim College Online. David completed his studies in Herbal Medicine at the College of Phytotherapy in South East England and was awarded a BSc (Honours) from the University of Wales. After graduating, David settled in Sussex, dividing his time between practice, clinic management, and teaching responsibilities at the college where he trained. He has taught for the Universities of Wales and East London. David is a member of The College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy, a professional body of herbalists established to champion the role and development of traditional herbal medicine in the modern world. David has a lifelong passion for wildlife, the outdoors, and the world’s indigenous medicine systems, which has led to travel on five continents. In his practice, David takes special interest in Women’s Health, Fertility Issues, and Cancer Care. If you have any interest in plants and plant-based medicine, you are sure to enjoy learning about how herbal medicine blossomed within this well-respected herbalist. Episode Links: Email: School of Western Herbal Medicine at Pacific Rim College Online Community Herbalist Program at Pacific Rim College Online Online Home Herbalist Program at Pacific Rim College Online Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman Herbs for Common Ailments by Anne McIntyre The Herbal for Mother and Child by Anne McIntyre
Allan Isbell is a certified mindfulness instructor, a men’s coach, and a rising leader in the men’s movement who has trained hundreds of individuals around the United States. I have mentored under Allan and wanted to have him on the show to share his expertise. Whether he is coaching men, leading retreats, or introducing mindfulness in schools, Allan embodies what he teaches. He has engaged in hundreds of hours of meditation practice and continues to work with his mentors and teachers. With a grounded presence and unique humor, Allan draws upon diverse influences in ancient wisdom and modern science, as well as his own depth of experience while sharing with others the life-long art of living wisely, with a clear mind and an open heart. Allan is the founder of Livewise Mindfulness, co-founder of Mens Wisdom Work that provides men’s coach training and personal development programs and retreats, and a coach on the Zenboks wellness app. Tune in for this enlightening episode with Allan Isbell, and tune out the distractions that keep you from being in the here and now. Episode Links: Openness Mind by Tarthang Tulku Dancing With Life by Phillip Moffitt Ram Dass podcast and other resources Learning Links: Listen to Episode 11 of Pacific Rim College Radio with Steve James on Meditation For online wellness courses, check out Pacific Rim College Online
If you care about the planet, this episode with conservation scientist and university professor Dr. Chris Darimont is one that you do not want to miss. From his research chair base at the University of Victoria, Chris oversees a team of researchers throughout BC. After earning a PhD in Evolution and Ecology from the University of Victoria, his postdoctoral work took him to the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a large group of research partners. He has also worked closely with conservation leaders from First Nations communities of coastal British Columbia. The wildlife and people of BC’s central coast – an area popularly known as the Great Bear Rainforest – comprise a study system of particular interest for Chris and his team. In this episode, Chris and I discuss the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and his work as their Science Director. Chris helps to shed some light on British Columbia’s dwindling forests, the logging industry, and the limitations of commercial-scale tree planting. We talk about the importance of our first growth forests and the role of grandmother trees to the health of forest ecology and the wildlife that lives there. As for the wildlife, Chris raises awareness on concerning issues related to salmon, and the importance of many of BC’s token animals such as caribou, wolves, mountain lions, and bears. We also spend some time discussing what he and I both agree is the atrocious concept of trophy hunting, which BC still permits in the case of many animals despite overwhelming public outcry to the contrary. Can we put an end to trophy hunting? Chris and I certainly hope that we can, and the recent and senseless slaughter of Victoria’s beloved island wolf Takaya, is bringing the issue once again to the forefront. If you care about the environment and its precious creatures, pull up a chair while Professor Chris Darimont leads a little lesson in Conservation 101. Episode Links: Dr. Chris Darimont, University of Victoria Applied Conservation Science Lab Raincoast Conservation Foundation Protect wolves in BC Why Men Trophy Hunt article Learning Links: School of Permaculture Design at Pacific Rim College Community Herbalist Certificate Online at Pacific Rim College Online Podcast on Salish Wolf with Chris’s friend and fellow conservationist Norm Hann
Steve James is recognized as a preeminent teacher of meditation and somatic practices with a global following. In this episode, I sit down with Steve to discuss the intricacies of his meditation practice, his teaching alongside colleague Michaela Boehm, and the journey that led him into this noble calling. Known as the Guru Viking, Steve grew up on the Shetland Islands north of Scotland and is no stranger to harsh environmental conditions. In fact, he seeks them out by exploring the limits of physical and psychological performance in extreme outdoor survival trainings and expeditions. Most recently he completed an 11-day arctic survival expedition in the boreal forests of Sweden at daytime temperatures of -24 °C. Steve says fondly of the extreme conditions, “The cold is very dependable. It is always the same. It doesn’t change.” In his formative years, Steve was influenced by the structure and ritual of martial arts. He also competed in fencing at the elite level, including on the Scottish Fencing team in his teens. Also in his teens, Steve met and was later apprenticed to a Christian mystic from theCeltic tradition of Christianity, resulting in multiple years of close personal instruction in various forms of prayer, contemplation, writing, textual study, and service. Steve leads ground-breaking teacher training programs with Michaela Boehm. This includes comprehensive training in the area of intimacy and relationships, coaching skills, and the original Non-Linear Movement Method®. If you are interested in contemplative practices, you won’t want to miss a breath of this episode. Episode Links: Learning Links: Pacific Rim College PRC’s Workshops Pacific Rim College Online
This interview with Dr. Michael Lewis has the power to literally change and save lives. Maybe you have never had a concussion, but chances are you know someone who has. By using Dr. Lewis’s simple yet profound Omega-3 fatty acid protocol, countless people have recovered from some of the most debilitating traumatic brain injuries. In this episode, Dr. Lewis clearly defines what can be somewhat confusing terminology around head injuries: concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), shearing, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). We discuss signs and symptoms of concussions, many of which often are not associated to head injuries, diagnostic tools and their limitations, the role of contact sports in brain injuries, pre- and postnatal nutrition concerns, and of course, the roles of essential fatty acids and CBD oil in fortifying our brains and recovering from traumas. I urge you not to miss a moment of this episode as every topic we discuss could dramatically impact the lives of those around you. Dr. Lewis is the author of the revolutionary book When Brains Collide, in my opinion a must-read for anyone who cares about brain health. He is the President of the Brain Health Education and Research Institute, which he founded in late 2011 upon retiring as a Colonel after a distinguished 31-year career in the U.S. Army. His pioneering work in the military and since has helped thousands of people around the world. He’s regularly featured in the media, including CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, MD show and numerous radio shows and podcasts. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Lewis is board-certified and a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American College of Nutrition. He completed post-graduate training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University, and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He is currently in private practice in Potomac, Maryland, and is a consultant to the U.S. Army and Navy in addition to several organizations, institutes, and nutrition companies around the world. He is a founding member of the Pop Warner Youth Football Medical Advisory Board. In this episode, we deeply discuss brain health and its many layers and intricacies, but you do not have to be a rocket scientist, or brain surgeon in this case, to learn what Dr. Lewis has to offer about protecting your brain. Episode Links: When Brains Collide book Learning Links: PRC’s School of Holistic Nutrition PRC’s Workshops PRCOnline – Online Nutrition Workshops
Celebrity chef Dan Hayes is co-owner of Victoria’s premier cooking school, The London Chef. In this gastronomic episode, we explore the beginning of Dan’s love for food: his childhood in England and Spain, hunting wild game, and a boarding school chef. He went on to work in the kitchens of some of Europe’s most revered seafood chefs including Rick Stein, Mitch Tonks and Peter Rossiglioni. A woman eventually entered the picture, now Dan’s wife Micayla, and a new life in Canada unfolded, eventually leading to two beautiful daughters. We discuss the early days of reengage catering, the creation of The London Chef, and nearly a decade with the hit TV show "Moosemeat and Marmalade", which led Dan to less-visited parts of Canada and hunting bigger wild game than in his youth. We also talk about Dan’s current passion project of teaching cooking in local prisons, which is impacting his life, and the prisoners’, in incredible ways. No chef interview would be complete with a close look at food, and we discuss many of Dan’s favourites…and borderline food addictions. If you love food, make a snack – perhaps Dan’s favourite Medjool dates stuffed with peanut butter and salt, pull up a chair, and enjoy the flavours of this delicious episode. Episode Links: Learning Links: PRC’s School of Holistic Nutrition PRC’s Workshops PRCOnline – Online Nutrition Workshops
For this episode I had a fascinating conversation with Mark Lakeman about the power of public spaces in transforming neighbourhoods, small communities, and even cities. We journey together as he takes us around the globe for 7 years while he visited and studied indigenous cultures and their perspectives on public spaces, a voyage that was inspired by his disillusionment with the corporate architectural industry and in particular by a toxic cover-up underneath new Bank of America building, a building that his team was involved in designing. Mark is literally carrying on his parent’s legacy as his father helped create Portland’s Pioneer Square and his mother studied public spaces in Medieval and Neolithic villages. Now fueled by his own vision and applying principles of permaculture design, he is transforming cityscapes into public gathering grounds. Mark is an international leader in the development of regenerative public places, villages, and farms. As a revolutionary designer and urban permaculture activist, in 1996 Mark cofounded the City Repair Project in Portland, Oregon, where he has directed, facilitated, or inspired designs for more than 700 new regenerative projects. Through his leadership in City Repair and its annual Village Building Convergence, and his architecture and planning firm Communitecture, Inc., Mark has also been instrumental in the development of dozens of participatory organizations and urban permaculture design projects across the United States and Canada. Mark is a cofounder and lead instructor of Planet Repair Institute's Urban Permaculture Design Course (UPDC), and he is also a faculty member of Pacific Rim College’s School of Permaculture Design. He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions including the National Lewis Mumford Award for Social Justice Design. Mark works with governmental leaders, community organizations, and educational institutions in many diverse communities. If you value community vibrancy and connection and are interested in indigenous values of coexistence, this episode will hopefully give you a strong foundation for action in your own neighbourhood. Episode Links: Mark’s Workshop at PRC: Permaculture, Place-Making and Planet Repair Learning Links: Pacific Rim College’s School of Permaculture Design Online Natural Building Workshops at PRCOnline
During this episode, I journey with Joshua Hathaway through a paradigm-shifting, vision quest that led him to question so much about personal accountability and emotional states. We talk about the power of “nonviolent communication” and how Joshua has used it on city streets to likely save lives. We explore the concept of distinguishing fact from narrative and are reminded of the power of listening. We also discuss the “choice” of living in a victimized state, and Joshua gives what is now some of my favourite advice for healing emotional wounds. Joshua Hathaway helps relationships thrive through the art of interpersonal communication. He is devoted to building a more beautiful, equitable, and consensual world, one conversation at a time. Through training and coaching individuals, couples, and organizations in exquisite communication and collaboration at, he has been championing authentic connection in the bedroom and the boardroom. For over 12 years, Joshua has been walking men back to their full humanity, connecting them to their deep sensitivity and primal potency, and growing their capacity for intimate relationships through his Men’s Leadership work, most recently at the And, in collaboration with his partner, Lillie Claire Love, he is offering live and virtual training in Reclaiming Our Sexual Sovereignty as a path to healing trauma and embracing deeply satisfying intimacy in relationship. Joshua will be presenting a 2-day workshop at Pacific Rim College on April 4 & 5 called “The Marriage of Compassion and Power” where he intends to fundamentally shift and evolve the way we communicate. If you are interested in enhancing your connection with others through the power of mindful and masterful communication, you won’t want to miss a word of this episode. Episode Links: 90-minute communication webinar: PRC Workshop with Joshua Hathaway on April 4-5: "The Marriage of Compassion and Power"
For this episode I sat down with Stacey Toews, husband, father, humanitarian, ecological steward, and my friend. Stacey is undoubtedly one of the greatest humans I know. He is kind, generous, passionate, intelligent, talented, and a person who makes me better just by being in his company. Stacey is co-founder of Level Ground Trading, a Victoria-based company engaged directly with small-scale farmer groups. Annually they purchase the harvests of more than 5,000 organic, family farms. Level Ground sources everything from coffee and tea to dried fruit, cane sugar, and spices. The 23-year-old company emphasizes bright futures for farmers, sustainability in business, and being ‘the coffee that connects you’. We explore his company ethos and Stacey’s decades’-long journey in educating about beyond fair-trade practices. We discuss entrepreneurial disappointments and successes. We also look beyond Level Ground into Stacey’s personal life and pervasive passion for sustainability. Through his small-scale family farm in and his YouTube channel, Sustainable Stace, he is educating people about growing their own organic food. Stacey and his wife Laurie have 4 children, 3 of whom were adopted from Haiti. We talk about how adoption and fatherhood have impacted Stacey and helped him to learn to calibrate his intensity. And we also briefly talk about Stacey’s love for cycling and running, and now his new passion of longbow archery. Last year Stacey joined me on a retreat where we made our own longbows out of Pacific Yew, and we regularly shoot together. If Stacey does not inspire you to cultivate the best version of you, then I missed my interviewing target. Episode Links: Level Ground Trading: Sustainable Stace: Facebook: Instagram: Youtube: Canadian Foundation for the Children of Haiti: Factfulness by Hans Rosling: One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka: Pacific Rim College School of Permaculture Design: Bow Building Leadership Retreat: Learning Links: Continuing Education Permaculture Courses: Online Permaculture Courses: Permaculture, Place-Making, and Planet Repair with Mark Lakeman:
I had a blast sitting down with Ellie Shortt to record this episode on nutrition. Ellie is great company and incredibly knowledgeable about many topics related to food, including using holistic nutrition to help people discover their optimal health. After years of her own health struggles, Ellie found a way to take back her health simply by observing and modifying her diet. She had great mentors as her family is well-stocked with healthcare professionals who greatly value food and its medicinal potential. Nutrition is not always a panacea, and Ellie still occasionally has flare-ups of symptoms, but by being conscientious of the foods that she consumes, she is able to heed the messages that those symptoms are delivering and literally eat her way back to health. We talked about more than just her personal health struggles, as Ellie is a sought-after holistic nutritionist with a thriving practice under her company known as Whole Happy. She takes us into the scenario of what it is like to be a client of Whole Happy: from the thorough consultation and subsequent advice to potential chaperoned grocery shopping trips and even pantry raiding. She delivers a one-stop experience to her clients who are serious about creating abundant health, and, by using her journalistic background, she is passionate about disseminating nutrition knowledge far and wide. We also talk about the regular cooking classes that she offers at Victoria’s prestigious cooking school, The London Chef. It was there where I met Ellie many years ago as she was teaching cooking to Pacific Rim College students in the Diploma of Holistic Nutrition, as she still does today. And as if Ellie is not immersed enough in the world of nutrition, last year she co-founded the local bistro Marta Café + Pantry. We talk about some of her struggles in getting a restaurant off the ground and the lessons she continues to learn from it. With her food knowledge and lifestyle philosophies, Ellie has a bounty to offer. I am confident this episode will give you a great deal of valuable information to chew on. Episode Links: Instagram: @ellieshortt WholeHappy Website + Blog: Cooking Classes at The London Chef: Marta Cafe + Pantry: Learning Links:  Pacific Rim College: Pacific Rim College Workshops: Pacific Rim College Student Clinic: PRCOnline Nutrition Courses:
In this fascinating episode with Robert Dale Rogers, we only scratched the surface of the lessons with plants and mushrooms that he has to offer. Truth be told, I got so excited about our mushroom discussion that we did not have a chance to talk plant medicine at all. That will have to be addressed in another episode. Robert Rogers has been an herbalist for over 45 years, and is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, where he is presently an assistant clinical professor in Family Medicine. He is also an adjunct professor in Graduate Studies at York University in Toronto. He presently teaches plant and mushroom medicine, aromatherapy and flower essences in the Earth Spirit Medicine faculty at the Northern Star College in Edmonton, Alberta. Robert is also a faculty member of the School of Western Herbal Medicine at Pacific Rim College. Robert is the author of 52 books on medicinal plants and fungi of the boreal forest, including The Fungal Pharmacy, A Cree Healer and His Medicine Bundle, Mushroom Essences, and Herbal Allies that documents Robert's journey with plant medicine. Robert is one of 9 renowned instructors in Pacific Rim College’s online herbal medicine programs, the Home Herbalist Program and the Community Herbalist Certificate. Launching to the public in February and March 2020 respectively, they might just be the best online herbal medicine programs available anywhere. Studio filmed, professionally edited, and expert curated, the programs lead students into the incredible and seemingly magical world of herbal medicine, just as Robert does in this podcast. I hope this fascinating episode with Robert Rogers spores your interest in the world of mushroom medicine. Episode Links: Learning Links: - Robert's online herbal medicine program at Pacific Rim College - School of Western Herbal Medicine at Pacific Rim College
For this episode I sat down with permaculturlist Oliver Kellhammer in June 2018. We discussed many topics related to mindful living, such as the practice of permaculture and what it is, the role of art in permaculture and how Oliver uses this to combat climate change, the spread of wildfires and other natural disasters and their implications, and also his marriage to Zen Buddhist priest and novelist Ruth Ozeki. Oliver Kellhammer is an independent artist, writer and researcher, who seeks, through his botanical interventions and social art practice, to demonstrate nature’s surprising ability to recover from damage. His recent work has focused on the psychosocial effects of climate change, cleaning up contaminated soils, reintroducing prehistoric trees to landscape damaged by industrial logging and cataloging the ecology of brownfield ecologies. He currently works as a lecturer in sustainable systems at Parsons in New York City. If you are interested in doing your part to make our planet healthier for current generations and those to come, this podcast will help root your determination. Episode Links: Oliver Kellhammer: Ruth Ozeki: Learning Links: Permaculture Design and Resilient Ecosystems Diploma at Pacific Rim College Pacific Rim College Online permaculture classes: Natural Building Basics, Part 1 and Part 2 
For this episode I sat down with Dr. Martha Lucas, a renowned practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine who also holds a Ph.D. in Research Psychology. We explore many areas of Chinese Medicine including education, her deep expertise in pulse diagnosis, the ancient martial arts known as Qi Gong, natural anti-aging treatments as an alternative to botox, and her research into relinquishment wounds, which are psychological wounds to any child who is taken from its mother at birth.  Dr. Lucas has more than 20 years of teaching experience, and regularly teaches workshops at Pacific Rim College. Two of her courses are available right now through Pacific Rim College Online: “Qi Gong for Pain and Anti-Aging” and the acupuncture course “Unique Point Functions and Combinations”. Dr. Lucas offers mentorships in Pulse Diagnosis and Biofeedback Systems and teaches the Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture System. Episode Links: Martha Lucas Mentorships in Pulse Diagnosis and Biofeedback Systems: Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture System: Learning Links: School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at PRC: Online Course with Martha Lucas - "Qi Gong for Pain and Anti-Aging": Online Course with Martha Lucas - "Unique Point Functions and Combinations":
In July 2019, I sat down with Jill van Gyn, CEO of Fatso, a high-performance, fat-based peanut butter product that is based in Victoria, BC. Jill is a high-powered entrepreneur who is cutting her teeth in the food production industry with this innovative product that is flying off shelves. She shares with us so much of her journey, including how her humanitarian work in Uganda helped to fuel her passion for this product, and what one of her companies core values – and inch wide, mile deep – means to her. We also dive into the environmental consequences of the nut industry, including the almond glut, the extreme humanitarian toll of cashews, and organic versus non-organic peanuts. Jill is passionate about making healthy food available to the masses, and thus she cares deeply about the accessibility and sustainability of the ingredients in Fatso, which we geek out on extensively. Jill also shares with us many of her company milestones, such as successfully auditioning “American Idol” style for Whole Foods shelf space, winning over the Dragons on Dragons Den, and launching into the United States. If you are interested in whole foods nutrition, where your food comes from, the food production industry, and start-ups in general, this is a fast-paced episode that is filled with tasty morsels.  Episode Links: Fatso: Robin van Gyn:  Learning Links: School of Holistic Nutrition at PRC: PRCOnline Holistic Nutrition courses:
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