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Stress, Decision Fatigue, & the science of nutrition w/Sonia Funk

JP September 21, 2021


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Seth Anderson 

JP, thanks Where are you listening to this right now?

JP Gaston 

Internet?

Seth Anderson 

You know you could be listening to it on Newsly

JP Gaston 

Oh, what’s news Lee

Seth Anderson 

the first app that can read the internet

JP Gaston 

that’s pretty cool.

Seth Anderson 

Pretty cool. Yoni invented it. It was Yoni. You know Yoni?

JP Gaston 

Dr. Dre fan?

Seth Anderson 

big Dr. Dre fan and founder of newsleave. He’s coming on the pod next week. you booked it? Oh, yeah, that guy, that guy to stop scrolling and start listening today to the App Store and download muesli.

Voiceover 

This episode is powered by airdry dq grillon show owned and operated by local entrepreneurs, check out one of their three or three locations today and pick up a blizzard ice cream cake or Dilly bar. The Biz Dojo is also brought to you by beyond the beaten path. If you’re on the lookout for a personalized gift had to be on the beaten path.ca. And get started on your custom creation, beyond the beaten path, personalize it, because everything else is boring.

JP Gaston 

So I’ve started doing this thing, where anytime I go shopping, I collect all the dates, the best before dates from all the food we get, whether it’s vegetables, or meat or whatever, and I write it down when I get home, not knock over shop, that would be even convenient. But when we get home, we write it down. And that helps set out when we should be eating food, or when we need to eat food by so it really helps us online on our meals, which are typically a day of decision or a day of non decision because we sit there looking at each other going well what do you want to eat for dinner? I don’t know, what do you want to eat for dinner,

Seth Anderson 

I just had an idea for an app. Where as you shop, you just like take a picture of it. And then it puts in a best before date and reminds you on your phone. Hey, your broccolini is expiring tomorrow. Would you like to pair it with your stake and expiring yogurt that’s in the back of the fridge.

JP Gaston 

We used to go through so much food that would just sit at the back of the fridge and we forgot about like, the worst was always like a thing of spinach will always get pushed to the back. I love using spinach for like, spaghetti, everything. But spaghetti sauce especially like if you chop it up real fine. And then you yet you know let it wilt a little bit and then you just mix it into the sauce. It’s it’s delightful. Little bit hidden. But often it got pushed to the back of the fridge.

Seth Anderson 

Also, the other quick cooking hack is if you make like eggs, and bacon or whatever, like a scramble, he just threw like, like an armload of spinach in there and just like disintegrates down into like a nice medicine. It’s

JP Gaston 

Yeah, it’s impossible to know how much spinach to put into something because every time you put it in, you’re like, it’s like putting cotton candy into something, it just kind of melts away to go whatever you think,

Seth Anderson 

double it,

JP Gaston 

and then double it again. But no, we used to have this, like, we talked about it a bit before. But that decision fatigue, of just sitting there trying to figure out, what do we want for dinner. And that’s just, I don’t have the kind of energy that’s required to do that every single night. So we started doing this and it makes the decision for us. And it’s just, it sounds so simple and almost ridiculous. But it just takes such a load off to know what you’re going to have for dinner the next day.

Seth Anderson 

Yeah, well, I would just say for meals all through the day, that’s been the biggest thing. You know, we talked about in this episode a little bit around decision fatigue. And I mean, that applies to all areas of life. You know, clothing, I think I learned that in our conversation with not learning that but I appreciated it after meeting with Connor when we did that, chopping it up with him countercurrent just around, like if you have less clothes, but high quality stuff that lasts, like you have less decisions to make, you know, you know, you know that it fits and whatever. So same thing with food. What I’ve found is since I’ve started doing this nutrition thing with Pat Woodcock and his program, a lot of it is stuff that, you know, you can find online anywhere, but just being in a structured program has helped me sort of navigate that and I’ve got like a different version of like eggs, and meat and vegetables, it’s like all the same ingredients, I just make them differently every morning. So you know, kind of get in there chopping up vegetables, you know, having some fun with it to try and some different things. But like having the same main ingredients all the time

JP Gaston 

trying different things, the way you’re chopping the vegetables.

Seth Anderson 

Well now with the dish that I make, right, like it might be one day it’s a mash

JP Gaston 

Fruit Ninja was going on, you’re just throwing stuff, slicing it up.

Seth Anderson 

I might get there. But the point is, like I know all the ingredients, I know that they’re all there. And then I can get creative. I’m not spending the time trying to figure out what to make. I’m I could spend the time being creative trying to figure out how to make it which, you know, then feeds into the whole psychology of food which we get into a Sagna and maybe a little bit more going on there then I appreciated prior to this conversation.

JP Gaston 

I think we talk a fair bit about how everything’s connected and I know in previous episodes you and I have talked about Our path to kind of becoming our whole selves at work and no longer having at home, Seth, and at the workplace, Seth, you’re just you’re Seth. And that’s, that’s who they hired, when they hired you. That’s who they get when you’re working. That’s who your family gets at home. That’s, that’s who listeners get on the podcast, this is Seth in real life,

Seth Anderson 

in the flesh. And there is something to say for that creativity, though. And, you know, as we’ve talked about, on numerous podcast, creativity is one of the, you know, most valued skills of the future. And how that shows up can be all kinds of places, but I think the less time you’re spending, getting stuck worrying about little things that probably don’t matter, the more time you have to apply to being creative. And I don’t know, I feel like I’m getting more in tune with that. And it’s simple things like cooking. It also shows up in places like at work building decks, you know, that’s a big part of what we do some days, and just adding a little spice or creativity to it can make all the difference when you’re thinking that way. Instead of worrying about, you know, is all this content going to resonate with everyone? Like, you know, that kind of cycle you can get yourself into?

JP Gaston 

Yeah, am I gonna have chicken breast and potatoes for dinner? Or am I going to have chicken thighs and potatoes for dinner? Like how much time you’re going to spend deciding which type of chicken you’re gonna have with your match data? It’s really like, does it really matter?

Seth Anderson 

Well, if I had an app that told me which one was expiring,

JP Gaston 

you could pair it with that yogurt, an invitation

Seth Anderson 

to the tech community. So let’s get into it this week. It’s, we’ve dubbed it something of a magic school bus ride. We’re gonna talk psychology biology, I can’t think of neurobiology, neurobiology, physics a little bit to where some physics and a whole lot of fun. So as we dive into it, one other thing that has been on my mind a lot lately, based on a book that I’ve been reading is that dissatisfaction does not lead to satisfaction there in you don’t need to bring up and talk about all the things you dislike or aren’t working to get to the things that you’d like that are working. So I thought it’d be a good opportunity to sit and think what are some things that you’re doing well, right now as it relates to nutrition that you could do more of? Welcome to The Biz Dojo Saturday, JP. This week, we are joined by Sonia funk. Tanya, welcome to the dojo.

Sonia Funk 

Thank you for having me.

Seth Anderson 

Yeah, no, we’resuper excited to have you in the dojo. And just off the top here reading your LinkedIn bio. You are a speaker, trainer, wellness, strategy, wellness strategist. extraordinare for executives and teams. You’re also a mom, and you’ve that you’ve spent some time as a recording artist. But you know, how would you introduce yourself?

Sonia Funk 

usually say, I’m someone who’s willing to ask a hard question. So if your answer that you’re trying to pursue isn’t working for you, whether you’re a person or a company, I’ll help you find a better question. And then answer is usually easier.

Seth Anderson 

That’s a that’s an interesting way that I did. What’s the What’s the hardest question you’ve asked someone lately?

Sonia Funk 

Well, geez, the hardest question, I would say that the collective question that was a little harder to ask a year ago, and not so much now was when it comes to topics like mental health? My big question has been, okay, is it really an illness in all cases? Or is it an injury? Because it’s a very different way to go about it. And so that’s one of the, quote unquote, harder questions that I’ve asked lately that everyone’s like, Oh!

JP Gaston 

now, I’m thinking about it. So

Seth Anderson 

now, we’re all thinking about it. So So I guess in your line of work, what’s the what’s the difference? And where do people get caught up in that question?

Sonia Funk 

Well, I think it has to do with even just the second of silence when I explained the whole question thing, but that’s really what what I do is because we live in a world where selling answers is what has created the economy that we are kind of all strapped to right now. And because you can make a lot of money, and we’ve complicated things. And so selling an answer to a complication created by humans is a good way to like make a lot of money, not a good way to actually solve the problem that was actually never there in the first place.

Seth Anderson 

I actually just finished doing a coaching session with someone and the biggest thing I’ve learned about coaching and I know we were talking before the show that you’re getting back into taking some clients on right now, but the biggest difference I’ve learned about coaching, if I just look six months or a year ago versus now is I don’t tell anyone what to do. Like you, you could, like, in theory, you could make a lot of money telling people what to do. Yeah, why people do. But it’s to me that it all comes back to inner wisdom and helping people like, tap into that and navigate it for themselves. Yeah,

Sonia Funk 

yeah. Well, I think you’ve read some of my articles. And you know, I’m always say, and I’m not actually saying or asking anything new. I’m just reminding you of the things that you know, somewhere in your DNA, right? Like, it’s just, that’s really what it is silly answers. We think that it serves humanity, but it doesn’t. I think helping people find their question. And helping them see all of the answers that they tried. This is what I do with the one on one stuff, but also with a company, right? Because it companies just in a sense an organism to here’s all the answers you pay for it? Did you get what you needed? And then they’re all like, no. Okay, so then let’s go with the definition of insanity. Let’s stop doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different results. Let’s stop that. And let’s find a better question. Because the harder the harder or deeper or more subtle, less egotistical question you’re willing to ask, the easier the answer is going to be. That’s just Newton’s third law. It’s like to every action in the universe, there’s an equal and opposite reaction, you’re willing to ask a hard question, you’re automatically going to get an easier answer. It’s like it floats to the surface.

Seth Anderson 

One of the things you said there, sort of tapping into my own inner wisdom a little bit, you know, you learn from doing and failing, and getting back up and trying again, basically, but one of the one podcast I’ve been listening to a lot of lately is finding mastery, which we had our previous guests bring up. And the host of the show said something and it’s just been like rattling around in my brain for like three weeks. And it’s in the vein of you earn your values. And what you said there just kind of sparked that. And I’m just curious, you know, off the top of your head, is there any values you can think of that you’ve earned? Over the years that that kind of stand out?

Sonia Funk 

I think it probably is along the same lines, I value the personal work that I’ve done, and figured out a way to translate that into things that are helpful for people without projecting my exact answer when two people like I think that’s where a lot of this comes from, right? It worked for me. So it’s going to work for you, and we want to help people. But you can do the extra personal work, and be able to take the basic knowledge and wisdom that helps you find your solution. And just give them that basic knowledge and listen to find theirs, you’re actually going to open up different paths for them to, to heal the way they need to or find balance. So I think my value is that I really value my ability to walk into a room or look at a person see the stuff underneath and not need to project my way of uncomplicated that on them, but help them find their their own.

Seth Anderson 

I think it taps into an JP and I have been talking about this a little bit. But projection. He actually said that I pretty much have a disclaimer on any comment I make now where I’m like I know I’m projecting right now. Yeah. So even that, like realizing you’re becoming cognizant that you’re doing that. And I think what that creates is the ability to come from a place of compassion instead of judgment when you’re talking to someone else, which creates the conditions for them to start to tap into that inner wisdom.

Sonia Funk 

And I think that’s because you and I have had a chat before. And I remember you were talking about an aha moment you had and I’m like, I don’t even know you and I’m so proud of you.

Seth Anderson 

About my brother. Yeah,

Sonia Funk 

yeah. And I think that that’s when you first that’s that that stage of awareness and owning your own and saying, okay, I probably projecting but I want to process this and figure it out and throw it out there. You disarm people when you do that. And then the next leg in the journey while you’re figuring your own ownership out. Eventually, you just start to resonate with what actually is projecting what isn’t, and then come to a place of confidence where you just say to stuff that you’re 95% sure is just what’s operating underneath, there’s only a 5% chance that you’re projecting and then you start to trust yourself. And then you can just sit right and that’s that’s the journey of anyone that is really going to be able to effectively coach and and help people but you don’t get there right away. You have to go through exactly what you’re talking about. Okay, I’m probably projecting but I want to figure this out and I’m going to be vulnerable and potentially be wrong, because that’s where the stuff in the ego slowly kind of starts to lose, lose a bit of a grip, right?

Seth Anderson 

Yeah, no, that resonates. One of the other things you mentioned off the top there. There was the concept of illness versus injury. And I’m just wondering along your journey as you sort of reflect and all the work that you’ve done, is there anything that at one point maybe you thought was an illness and turned out to be an injury and sort of your process to kind of unwind that

Sonia Funk 

there’s probably been two times in my life one where I probably was almost I don’t even know. But I would assume that I was close to clinically depressed. And then realizing I had, where I was where I had my big aha moment, when I was living in England, we were in this tiny little flat in little Venice, dude, la live down the street, Michael flat hurt, he was across the canal. And it was just that life that I was living. And I looked at myself in the mirror, because I was having trouble getting out of bed. And I was having trouble finishing my nutrition studies actually, at the time. And I was just like, how much do I hate myself that this is my life right now. And if you can’t bring the person’s story and the journey and stuff that we’re talking about, and a better question to it, I could have potentially gone to the doctor gotten a diagnosis for depression, gone on medications, which, when the fire is really hot, you might need that right from point A to point B, I have clients that I work with around those things all the time, and coordinate with their doctors. And so that could have happened, and I could have taken that. But then what happens what would have happened if it was treated as an illness, then the symptom would have been medicated to help me cope if that coping had gone on too long. And the injuries that led to the illness, so to speak, weren’t addressed. Those kinds of things can numb us from the heat until we get really burnt. So I was already on this path of I took myself into therapy The next day, like I had my Oprah aha moments, how much do I hate myself, but this is my life right now. Check myself into psychotherapy, I got really lucky with a psychotherapist that I had. And some of the spiritual teachers that I ran into after that it was an epic Eat, Pray Love Life for a little while there. And just got to a point where I saw the injuries, the things the music career that I had given up under pressure from the person that I was now in an unhappy marriage with because he told me it was never going to work out, went back to school. And now I was living in London. And the big rock on my finger. Every time I looked at it just made me feel sad, because I’d given up what I really wanted. That’s an injury. I did that to myself, but it’s still an injury. So I started circling back and shifting those things, and eventually got out and very amicable way because he was a good person, it was just like a bad match. And then got to a point where without, you know being diagnosed with an illness, I heal the injuries. And and got out of it because it’s different, right? It’s a very different approach. If you have, you know, a bunch of I get a lot of people in my office with a lot of car accidents or head injuries and multiple buttons. And it’s kind of like, if, if you have or if you have a bunch of injuries when you were a kid sports injuries because I do figure skating soccer goalie just got the crap kicked out of me on many occasions. If that place where you got a few injuries was bothering you 20 years later, there and you have the history of the injuries, they’re not just going to slap an anti inflammatory and a painkiller on it, you’re going to go for investigation to see if those injuries can be reset, or if the scar tissue can be minimized to avoid the pain. So if you treat it like an old injury, instead of this is just chronic pain. And now you’ve got you know, Fibromyalgia or chronic whatever it is, and you slap something on it. It just it takes the chance of healing some other injuries to resolve the current illness. So then when obviously when it comes to mental health, in my keynote is called It’s not your fault. I’m very much older, but it’s your fault. I list a series of a whole lifetime of injuries that led to your hands are shaky or you don’t feel like you can get up or everything scares you or you overreact to everything. Or you’re not sure if your life is worth living and explore that. Because I think in trying to kill the stigma, a lot of really well meaning mental health advocates have gone the illness route to let’s normalize this so that we don’t have the stigma is that of also empowering people like but what if it’s an injury? And can you actually you know, do do this because when you go to a lot of mental health initiatives and you know, organizations and stuff like that, it’s a bunch of people that really want to help and they have some good stuff, but they don’t have this question. So then I look at that and go can can we can we also ask this question, just in case. It’s a series of injuries that they can actually help. So Stop talking now for good, I could keep going. But that’s like that’s where that stuff comes from. And what’s really important is I think, like, like you just said, and we were just talking there, once you get past the need to the huge, very human need, that isn’t bad to to project as a way of figuring things out. Like it’s the way we get our feelers, right? Once you start to move past that, then you can come into a conversation like this, that could be triggering with a lot of compassionate and empathy and say, Okay, I’m pretty sure I’m not projecting. Can we also ask this question and throw it in there?

JP Gaston 

It’s interesting that we talk about stigma, but we always talk about stigma on the back end, like there’s a stigma of realizing that you have a mental health disorder and then trying to address the injury or the illness, depending on you know what it is, but we don’t often talk about the stigma on the front end, which I think is kind of what the coaching and the conversation and creating the space creates. Have you found that in the work that you’ve been doing that it’s like, it’s hard to it’s hard to start conversations and from a proactive perspective, it always, it always tends to be reactive, like, something’s gone wrong. Now I need to fix it rather than the preventative maintenance that you should do in advance to prevent the thing from going wrong in the first place.

Sonia Funk 

Yeah. Yeah, that is, I’m on the prevention side, you know, of all of those things. I’ve only once in my whole career had a 25 year old book an appointment with me to say, I just want to make sure that all this stuff is happening, everyone doesn’t happen to me, I’m fine writing my grave.

JP Gaston 

I wish I was like that.

Sonia Funk 

But yeah, it is. And honestly, I really do feel like that is going to shift with the gen Z’s. And the millennials are already looking at some of that stuff, too, because they see the disaster of our need to extend our lifespan, and at all costs, is how we tried to do that. And now their left eye span is now shorter, because of the way we went about that. So it is hard. I always have people because I am a bit of an eternal optimist, but also a realist, I’m not really sure how that works, but I’m pretty sure I am some weird blend of that. And and a humanist, who knows how I how I manage that. But um, I think people always say, well, you people don’t change and your message will never, you know, get to all the people you want it to and stuff like that. And I think to, you know, come around that the backdoor way of answering that question is, we’re now at a point where collectively the desperation is reaching a level where people don’t care anymore, they just want to feel better. And as this generation gets to that point, the younger one will say, okay, they’re doing this, it’s helping them feel better, I don’t even want to get to that point. So I’m going to start listening to possibly potentially, which would be a breakthrough in the human collective consciousness of I’m going to listen to some of the warnings, and the things that people who seem to know what they’re saying, are saying, and I’m going to start taking measures to create a better life than the life that my parents and my grandparents had to create, to try to feel better. So there has been a lot of stigma on that. But I really feel, especially with what has happened with COVID is just bad that all it gets going to happen faster than it would have without it now. And I think that it’s really needed.

JP Gaston 

It’s amazing how fast organizations and people have moved in the last what used to take 234 or five years of you know, they’ve, they’ve changed in a week,

Seth Anderson 

I think I read like over the last 18 months, or however long this has all been going on for like the progression in the workplace is equivalent to something like seven years, in terms of how quickly things are moving.

Sonia Funk 

That makes sense to me. I estimated 10, but it’s a maybe like a year from now, it might even be 10,

Seth Anderson 

which is really crazy. When you think about, like the pace of change. Before COVID, I think, you know, was was quite quick, and it’s just been accelerated. And if you don’t have those fundamental, I’m going to call them coping mechanisms for you know, adaptability and, you know, just being able to move from one thing to the next. It’s a really difficult environment for those people.

Sonia Funk 

Yeah, it really is. And I honestly I think that it’s part of the stats that we’re seeing with the exhaustion of leaders, you know, they and the great resignation, which I called the Great discontent. And then two weeks later, Forbes wrote an article called the Great discontent. It’s not actually I’m like, did you see that on my post? But so there’s, there’s that shift and once once people access their discontent with their, they’re accessing their interests, they’re becoming aware of this stuff that we’re talking about. And then there’s this pressure on leaders and if a leader has not cultivated their own emotional intelligence and doesn’t understand their own triggers, and doesn’t acknowledge the overwhelm. Because they are overwhelmed for good reason. Like that’s, that’s a thing, there’s that in their job description has just blown way out of proportion in the last 10 years, they’re responsible for solving the complexity of humanity right now. And that’s not going to work. But there is this pressure on those that are not adaptable, or can’t be, because of this series of injuries, right? Like, there’s there has to be compassion. And there’s, I think, what’s going to be the next thing that Forbes is gonna talk about how all of this has sped up the changing of the guard. And if you want an analogy on on that a while back, I did a yoga retreat here where I did a workshop on boundaries, and body resonance, and a few things like that. And the yoga event organizers were frustrated, because here in Southern Manitoba, either the religious population is very high, and they couldn’t find a church that would let them do yoga in the church. This is the reality of this area where I am living. And I said, Okay, well, it’s frustrating. Now, I said, but 15 years from now, that’s all gonna change. Because that generation that was raised for this not to be okay, we can’t change them. And we can’t blame them, like we’re here to get them, right. This is the world that they all grew up in, they won’t be in charge anymore. So 10 years from now, you’ll be able to do this retreat in a church. And that is a very, you know, Stark analogy for this. But that is what is happening, the generation that either can’t or won’t. And at that point, I don’t really know if there there’s a difference between those two words right now, because we all have our paradigms and our neural pathways, we can’t reprogram that DNA just like that, right? We can’t expect that of them. But with the pressure, the changing of the guard is going to happen faster. So what you’re seeing is the beginning of that, and I think it’s really important to not, you know, talk about it in a spiteful way, or I will show them or they were wrong kind of way, because that attitude doesn’t get us anywhere.

Seth Anderson 

Sticking just on the the workplace topic, maybe a little bit. I come from a belief system that we are a whole person, there’s not a work and a personal Seth, I’m one person. And there are things that show up in both places, and some things that show up in specific areas. But, you know, I’m wondering, are there some common workplace injuries that you see? And, you know, maybe we can vibe on that for a little bit? Like, what do you see? And how do you kind of work through that?

Sonia Funk 

I definitely agree with you. I think that the 80s was a time where a lot of the cliches and the way that we view things was us trying to figure it out separating personal and professional, which evolved into a work life balance, which evolved to it’s not working. And so when I go into companies, and I’m sitting there with the leadership team, I will demonstrate to them how a personal professional lives, the separation was never a thing. It’s a myth that has delayed progress, it has cost you a lot of money, because that managers or that superintendents, anxious kid puking IBS kid that morning, sick dog plumbing problems, upcoming debt payment come with him to work every day. And if we can’t open up the space to just acknowledge the chaos of it, and keep trying to sequester and quarantine and separate all of those things. We are creating an injury in our people and in our employees. Because if you have to try to balance this concept that is not based in reality that is not based in science that is not based on how our bodies and our minds operate. Even on a neuroscientific level. You’re just asking for trouble. And you’re asking for an extreme amount of moral duress that we as moral injury addresses are newer terms, I think in the last 10 years, but some people are totally going to go and Google moral injury after this and go and diagnose themselves because they’re gonna go I have a moral injury, because we all do probably, but you create a state of vulnerability in the office and in the culture, we’re having to separate yourself and your two lives, and feel bad in each of them for not being able to fully be present in each of them. That sets people up for literally post traumatic stress. For sure, a stress injury, a bit of moral duress, for sure. And then inability to feel like a whole person. And then that whole person can’t show up and do a whole job. So when I go in and have these sessions with the leadership team, when you talk about it that way, and as you may know, already, I will take Einstein and Newton into the conversation and neuroscience and neurobiology, and I’ll throw some Britney brown and Gabor Ma Tei in there for sure. And I, what I do is I draw out the whole timeline of this whole person that they’re trying to separate, and tie it into the benefit cost and the stress lead cost and where it’s going. And then I get the CEO that’s like, oh, because this happens next, Tanya, you are worse than Texas. And I said, I I know. But just like that accounting, that you need a strategy to make the taxes a little less painful, you need me to make this a little less painful, because the things that you can’t avoid in life are like death, taxes, and something else. And this, because it’s like this unique actuarial analysis that I do for the wellness, and that kind of thing in the company. So it is it’s a massive injury. And it lends itself to all kinds of other injuries. And as simple as something like the kids don’t see their dad or their mom much because there’s these huge demands at work. And the parent has to make this choice of do I meet these demands? guarantee my job? So I can feed my kids? Or do I feed my kids the attention that their nervous system and their neurobiology needs? And my job? Like, it’s not, it kind of actually is that extreme that processes in our heads because we blow these choices up more? And that is the reality. And all you need is one bully in the office, or one bully in charge. And that just gets blown completely out of proportion? Well, I

JP Gaston 

think there’s a huge trickle down effect here, right? Like, yeah, when you’ve got this leadership team that tries to separate work and home life, and they encourage their teams to do the same, even subconsciously encouraging their teams to do the same. It just disconnects everybody from each other. There’s no longer this understanding, like everybody’s got plumbing problems, everybody’s got, you know, some sort of problem they have to deal with in life. It’s okay, be real, have real conversations. And I find that over the last, like, even I’ve been noticing, like, over the last 510 years, there’s been a big shift from, hey, we’re only going to talk about work at work to you, hey, let’s just let’s just have a conversation. We don’t even have to talk about that project that you’re on right now. Let’s just chat. Yeah, and I like I find, and I know, there’s been tons of studies on this, but I find that it makes me so much more productive when I can break up my day a little bit with real conversations and feel like I myself at work, like, Sure, I might give up, you know, 10% of my time to those conversations, but it might make me 5060 70% more productive in my day, I get more done.

Sonia Funk 

Yeah, exactly. It creates a completely different atmosphere. And I always I always want to take it down to the psychology of it. But we know that one minute conversation, have a little bit of empathy from someone on something that’s happening, especially if it’s like your boss, or the manager was like, Oh, I am so sorry, that sounds really, you know, rough, do you need to take a little walk? You know, do you need to, you know, have an extended lunch break, or whatever it is, if it’s extreme, the right answer is go home, so you don’t mess something up here in the office. But that takes a leader that’s very conscious of the cost of that stress. And if people are allowed to have that chat, the person next to you knows what’s going on with you. What that does, is a little bit of kindness, a little pat on the back, a little bit of empathy, regulates the nervous system. And then the cortisol levels go down. And then the digestive system kicks back in, and then the nutrients that the brain needs to function go back into the bloodstream. I’m always taking it down to biology. But that’s what that does. That little atmosphere changes a person’s chemical profile mix in their body, which changes their biology and their brain function and their ability to make good decisions.

Seth Anderson 

I feel like I just went on a journey on the magic school bus from psychology to biology. And he were an amazing what was the teacher’s name on that Miss frizzle you guys are. Anyway, I digress. There’s, there’s a couple of things. There’s so many things. One of the things I wanted to hit on, because we just kind of went right by it. There was the cycle with our kids. And you know, JP, you had your son sort of in the midst or right at the just, just before COVID

JP Gaston 

he didn’t have a chance to do anything with people until he walked into when he was Like to and then he was like, oh, who are all these.

Seth Anderson 

And so why I bring this up, you know, if I look back to the first, you know, four or five years of my son’s life, I was, I was working all the time, my, my, my time commitments were spread very thin. And as much as I wanted to be a great dad, and I think I did the best I could, I just, I wasn’t there. And when I was there, I wasn’t present. And I didn’t know, really the impacts of that, you know, until we got down the road, and it comes out in certain behaviors and whatever, I sort of, you know, transpose that, or look at that against my daughter’s experience. And like, for two out of the first four years of her life, I was at home, like I would, there was no, you know, playing to catch in the morning, there was no, you know, hockey team that I was managing and having to get on a bus and get home at midnight, like, none of that I was just literally home all the time. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Now that I’ve done it. And I can, you know, we’ve I think that time period with my son because he’s still young enough, like he’s, he’s not quite 10, yet, we were able to, I think unwind a lot of those anxieties and behaviors and you know, really kind of level things out, but it absolutely would not have been possible without COVID and being home. And I just look at that now. And I’m like, my time and energy is needed with my kids, or else we’re just gonna keep repeating the same cycle with the next generation.

Sonia Funk 

Here’s a really great quote that I’m not going to totally remember right now. But it has it revolves around that it’s like, heal yourself. And this generation, so that we stop repeating it, which is basically what you just said, I if I can find a quote, I’ll send it to you later. Because it’s really beautiful. The way it was said was basically heal now, so the next generation doesn’t have to, basically. And that has really, that is part I first sure that as part of this, the great discontent, and the early changing as a guard that I think is really going to happen in the next five years. Because again, I’m going to take it back from the psychology to the neurobiology down to the biology if that is okay,

Seth Anderson 

back on the Magic School Bus.

Sonia Funk 

Bus. But if you look at some of this stuff from people like Gordon neufeldt attachment theory, which is neurobiology based, where you just kind of get it down to the brain development, the nervous system function, what a attachment, which is what you’ve had more of with your daughter than you did have your son because the world changed and so many people did, it changes the way their brains develop, it changes the way they see the world. And because we know that any kind of stress response, which a lack of attachment creates in a kid shuts down, well, I shouldn’t say shuts down dampens the immune response. So damaged the immune system turns our digestive system off. Because when you’re in a stress response, it’s this little bit of a fight or flight mode, where your body overreact, because we have an out of deep stress response. I’ll always say like what Ethan nectarean says, our nervous systems were designed for a world that does not exist anymore, which is why kindness is everything. Right now, we talked about that in that office scenario, how you shift a person’s nervous response and change that. So when a kid if there is a better fostering, if we create a company culture, where with it never sacrifices, the productivity ever, when you do this, you open up a culture that allows better parental attachment. What you do is you allow a healthier immune system and digestive system in that child who then keeps your employee up less at night, and home with them sick less, you automatically trade off his rate there. And this is Yeah, this is by CEOs are always like oh, Sonia. But the thing is, they have so much pressure on them and so many things to take care of. And at the end of the day, their job description is the numbers. So in a very compassionate, empathetic way, I’ve created this systems and the strategy analysis that I do, because I have to take the humans that they are under pressure to now also take care of and the numbers and show them how the humans translate into numbers. And that that is not a bad thing because that’s what their actual job description is to take care of those things. And so here’s the justification for the numbers that are your priority that you have to do to keep your job while also creating Getting rid of the moral duress that you have and helping the culture and the people. And how that’s going to translate into numbers and why working with me then isn’t such a risk. But there just isn’t a lot of the magic bus ride, bringing it all back around. Because the money makes this world go round. If you can’t justify to the person in charge of the money, what this is this culture shift or this while this thing is going to do, you’re just creating a stress response in them, which also starts to disconnect them from their rational brain, so they’re going to make the decision for their survival. But you have to do this both ways.

JP Gaston 

We’ve been so programmed the nine to five bankers hours, Monday to Friday, everybody wants that, but for what purpose? Like it’s just, it’s just this myth that, you know, Monday to Friday is the nine to five is the better shift. 100 years ago, it was a, you know, minimum 80 Hour Workweek. And it’s, we’re still living in a time where they changed from 80 to 40. For purposes of the time, and now there’s so many studies that are saying, hey, cut a day off, don’t pay your people less, they’ll actually get all the work done in, you know, 35 hours or 32 hours, give them a four day workweek give them that give them three days, they’ll spend more time with their family, they’ll be more connected to their life. And there’s, there’s so much work being done there. But it is still so hard to reprogram that thought that if I give my workers 40 hours, they’re gonna get more done, you give him 40 hours, they’re gonna take 40 hours to do whatever you work, whatever. They’ll take 35 to do whatever work you give them. Like,

Seth Anderson 

that’s something and I’m gonna butcher it a little bit. But it was there was something to the idea that sometime in human history might say, like, the Renaissance, or whatever you were, you were paid for an output or like what you made or created. And then, you know, with the Industrial Revolution came this concept, basically where, you know, employers and companies paid for your time. That’s, that’s the arrangement. That’s the agreement. And now it feels like we’re kind of on this like precipice of like, is that what good looks like? Is that how we want to do things is are we Hey, are we buying time? Or are we buying an outcome or creations? And and how does that manifest? And I don’t know the answer, but it’s a very interesting concept.

Sonia Funk 

I like it, obviously, I would like that. And I can justify even a company just starting with one afternoon off, and what that does, with all of the things that are distracting them, and then the value of all the others hours go off, because with some people, like I said, you have to understand their job description, what they need to do, what their mental models are, and work around it. So if I can, like Newton’s third law, universal forces, and neuroscience explain why those four hours can translate into more work and the other ones, you know that that tends to make sense to them. But I like this, the way you just described that on where whatever that article was, because in a sense, what that does is it opens up the door for much more potent creativity, which is what a lot of businesses need right now. Because then you’re commissioning artist for a work of art. And it’s and then they’re accessing, however, you know, artists acts or their access their inspiration, my songs used to just kind of go, like some weird download. So I don’t know what to write languages for that. That isn’t weird, but that’s how it used to happen for me, but you are creating a space then like that, it makes so much sense for the work of art that you want from them. And when someone feels like their nine to five job is them being able to create and do their best with whatever that thing is, the mundane is can move out of it. They can get creative with it. I talked a little while ago with a man named manpreet. He’s over in the UK. He’s a software developer. And he got to a point in his career, where the clients of the company only wanted to work with him. So he created a way to be the developer of the product and turn into a salespersons board because they are the best creative, effective way to sell it because they made it. I know that’s a little off topic, but it’s along the same lines, right? No, I

Seth Anderson 

dig it. And one of the best definitions I’ve heard for I’m gonna call business creativity, because I think I had a bias. You know, creativity means you need to play a guitar or sing a song. Like I think we’re kind of conditioned that way. And then we had a guest on last season. Walter vandervelde, who think that his main place of study, he’s a professor over in Belgium, and he’s really big on the creativity. And in his TED Talk, he talked about how creativity is really about connecting things that have never been connected before. If you think about all the skills and experience that we have within, you know, whether it’s our company or any other company, if you can take those skills and experience and apply them to new problems, what better way to connect things, you know, especially with, you know, people who know the old way to do it. And you have things like automation and bots and, and different things that can do some of that work now, well, how can you kind of move on to solving bigger problems, impactful problems and connect things because you, you know, the ecosystem, and you’ve gained these skills and put that to use?

Sonia Funk 

It’s, uh, realistically, what we’re talking about is giving employees in any role ownership, cuz that’s what an artist has, right? I own my songs, that painter owns their painting. And when you have that ownership, you think differently. I have always really admired you know, for although I don’t know what it’s like in other provinces and places, being an Earl’s girl was a bit of a cliche thing, and then had a few things, stigmas and stuff attached to it. But I always admired what I saw when I walked into the door overalls in 2001. When I began my on and off 15 year, every time I came back to the country, I walked back into the doors and had a job. But at that time, we weren’t called employees. We weren’t called servers. We weren’t called waitresses, we were business partners. And we were given ownership of our section. And we decided what went down, we decided when things went wrong, what a customer needed. And it was we manage our own business there. So we ownership created tiny little businesses within the business of people who felt trusted, who had ownership of the client experience. And the company did really well. Yeah, right. And they’re still privately owned, and it passed down, actually, within the family, I think I was there for that. And they tried a few things here or there with all of you, psychology, and culture going on. But that was very rooted in a more Eastern philosophy and a way of doing things. And I think that that’s what we’re talking about. It’s that kind of ownership. Because people just bloom and they access there, we all have this creative outside of the box thing inside of us. If you access that in your employees, you’re golden. And I think we’re in now in an age and a time right now, after what has happened for companies to really take advantage of that, for the sake of the numbers, because the numbers matter. But here’s your justification, and the neuroscience behind why this is going to show up in your bottom line.

JP Gaston 

I know you’ve done some some traveling, you mentioned that you lived in England, do you find that it’s similar issues everywhere being solved in different ways? Or are they different issues everywhere being solved almost in the same way?

Sonia Funk 

I think what I have seen from here to Toronto, and then there was New York and the Middle East and London. And what I have seen from my perspective, is the same timelines. So if you go back to the 70s, when a lot of our health conditions were happening, and we’ve progressed into, you know, the obesity diet, and then diabetes and heart disease, and now it’s kidney disease, and autoimmune and all that kind of stuff, the same progression in the UK. But then with my work in the Middle East, they were about 20 years behind us on their timelines, because they didn’t get McDonald’s and all that kind of stuff until 20 years later. And what I see is a World of Wellness that tried really hard to solve these things got caught up in the need to sell an answer for a symptom. Because I don’t see any difference between this big miracle supplement that apparently has five pounds of food in it which is scientifically impossible, unless they figured out how to collapse the atom and not told anyone and add an Advil because our headaches have never been an Advil deficiency. Our mood swings have never been a concentrated manufactured antioxidant deficiency. So I have seen the same faulty framework go from all of this is wellness, maybe to to say this more specifically Western medicine, conventional medicine gets a lot of criticism for just medicating the symptom. The whole model was based on this assumption that our headaches and tummy aches and acne and rashes and joint pain and stuff were a mistake on the body’s part to normal stimuli or stupid headache, my body you know, whatever. Not that it was this language of hate. From the liver, I’m not okay, so I’m giving you a headache so you know that I need something right or a magnesium deficiency or whatever it is. We, in trying to fight that in the natural health wellness world say you’re wrong, you’re doing it wrong, we’re gonna do it this way. When you find something and you criticize it and you don’t forgive it, and you don’t have compassion for it, you recreate it. So the wellness industry has now recreated it. And now we have ortho Nexia, courtesy of wellness professionals everywhere with the obsession of eating healthy, which really was never a thing because we just need to eat real food.

JP Gaston 

I’m thinking about your time in the Middle East and how you mentioned that they’re kind of they’ve been lagging. But now with the world so connected are like, are the problems catching up to each other? Or are the solutions just being given to everybody, regardless of what the actual problem is in their local area that might be 20 years ahead, or 20 years behind?

Sonia Funk 

I feel like it is still spreading, kinda like this not like like the answer to the wildfire that isn’t really helping the wildfire, so to speak. But what I also see now emerging, because you’ve already heard me say, you know, Gabor Ma Tei, and Bernie brown and those kinds of things, people like that. And like me, who are now coming back around and looking at, you know, I was just very critical of the whole wellness industry, because because it is annoying, because I’m like, we totally mess this up. We just did it the same way. Because we were arrogant thinking we can do it better. And so we recreated it. But there are a lot of people like me asking different questions, and saying, Okay, this is the story. This is how we got here. blaming someone is only going to help us recreate it. So just stop it, just let it go. Let’s find some better questions. So I feel like there is this renaissance of self worth and self care and all of the neurobiology and the neuroscience and the Bernie Browns of the world. All coming in saying, hey, this actually all does start with one person. If you actually get past the programming that tells you there’s something wrong with you and you need to be fixed. Whether that is conditioned from the wellness industry, from your parents from your religion, because it’s everywhere. You can’t point the finger at any one thing. We can all get a little bit vulnerable, access those uncomfortable feelings. We’re actually all going to be okay because then we will start to have boundaries on understanding our worth. And then we won’t let a magazine tell us there’s something wrong with us, thereby coercing us to buy the answer, and then it’s over. Yeah.

JP Gaston 

Sorry.

Seth Anderson 

nothing to be sorry for I love it.

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Sonia Funk 

Hey, everyone, I’m Sonia funk on The Biz Dojo today. With Seth and JP. If you’d like to know a little bit more about me, you can hit me up with thewholeavocado.com

Seth Anderson 

So speaking of questions, we have this week’s question from Mama Seth, brought to you by beyond the beaten path. And her question for you, Sonia is there there’s the old expression that you are what you eat. Is that true? And if you were to give one tip to someone looking to improve their diet, like what’s the best place to start?

Sonia Funk 

I do actually have an article that I wrote where I said, You are what you eat is not a thing anymore. You are what you eat, digest and assimilate and how you felt about it while you did it.

Seth Anderson 

It’s gotten less complicated. Okay.

Sonia Funk 

Well, I think that a lot of our band aid solutions have come from like I said, we actually complicated it. And so I feel like my job when I go in and talk about mental health, or food, or the nervous system or whatever it is. I take the complicatedness away. You Because what I just said to you is actually it is complex, but complex jives with our nature because we are complex. But we are not complicated because complicated is that label of there’s something wrong with you, I will uncomplicate that for you with this answer. So when I say you are what you eat, digest, and assimilate, what I’m saying is actually everything that I have said, so far, we know that how we are feeling about our lives, or what we’re worrying about, while we are chewing food determines a if we do it long enough or not. If we are in a stressed and worried about we’re eating, our body is telling our digestive system to shut down. So now we’re putting food into our bodies that will not be digested properly. And it is the cortisol released in a stress response when we’re worrying all the time or you know, I don’t know 18 months of a pandemic has a corrosive effect on our digestive system, the anxiety and IBS meds are the medications that are going to shoot at the highest in all health benefit plans in the next two years, guaranteed. And then after that it will be depression because the HPA axis will get exhausted from anxiety and fall into depression, probably because they’re generally two sides of the same coin. So while this is all sounding a little bit complex, where I’m going with it is I won’t get into my my food workshop right now. But what I do in that is I take away all the nutrition and the neurosis around it and the fat and I just get people back on the same page of what food actually is. And when you remember and know what food actually is, and you just focus on eating food, the neurosis goes away, then you’re not stressing about eating, what you’re eating and feeling bad about it. Because that will make you assimilate the nutrients last you’re just eating so you’re not stressed out about it. If you understand how to manage stress, and if you end up in a company culture that is less stressful and you’re not separating your personal and professional life so neurotically anymore, you will be calmer when you eat, you will digest it better. And even if it isn’t the best superfood ever, you will get more out your body will assimilate more of that. If you are calm and mindful and happy when you eat it. Then if you are eating the biggest super juice smoothie thing in the world, and you’re stressed out about it, or you’re stressing about something, so understand how stress impacts your body know what food actually is, then you can become what you eat again, because what you’re eating then is also feelings. What you are allowing into your mind while you’re eating like it’s all the things right. So while that is complex, does it feel less complicated?

Seth Anderson 

No, I’m picking up what you’re putting down.

JP Gaston 

So I can relax more at work and eat less kale.

Sonia Funk 

That is a great diet plan. You can be more relaxed, you can eat less.

JP Gaston 

I like

Seth Anderson 

the JP diet. All right.

JP Gaston 

It’s a one pager, but it’ll be a best seller.

Sonia Funk 

Yeah. So and unfortunately, without being able to give her my whole race up superfood mountain and explain what what food is. Back, that is a way to start. But

Seth Anderson 

one of the things that sparked in my brain is you were talking, and this is a concept that it’s my latest concept that I’m fascinated with JP like, concept of the month decision fatigue. And I think, you know, the immediate example that always comes to my mind is around, you know, getting dressed every morning. And I always talk about like how Steve Jobs had like one outfit, so he didn’t have to waste any brain power. But what he was gonna wear, I find that I personally have a lot of decision fatigue around food and eating. Yes, now that I’m thinking about it. And I’m working on my nutrition. Because I know that I’m not giving my body what it needs. But what I don’t know now that you’ve been talking is is it the food? Or is it how I’m eating it? When I’m eating it, like why I’m eating it? And I know it’s probably all intertwined, but there’s a lot of decision making that goes into the food you eat every day, especially if you don’t have a plan.

Sonia Funk 

Yes, I just saw something the other day it was one of those those beams where they were like, I didn’t know that when an adult The hardest thing was going to be what to make for dinner every night for the rest of my life. And it did not used to be that way that is also new with all of the choices that we have been given. So I’ll give you a takeaway for whoever’s listening and for the The Mamas that is that what it was

Seth Anderson 

for my for my mom, Mama Sathya.

Sonia Funk 

Okay. Here’s one of the strategies that I will sometimes give in my office or when I do little bespoke workshops for smaller groups. And because what will happen is I’ll get the mom in my office, and then she starts to feel better, and then the kids and then finally the dad, he’s usually the last to come in. But if it’s a whole family, one of the best things that you can do is to not try to do it all at once. I understand feel the decision fatigue around food, because that is part of what I try to combat in the fruit, stuff around food that I do some of its habits. But how do you change a habit you change, you have to change the strategy underneath it for food. So one of the best things that you can do, especially as a family, is I’m going to give it to you in more poetic language. And you can find the language for yourself or for your family. But some things some of the psychology that underlies everything that I do is to look at food, this smorgasbord of food and all the things that are out there and at the buffet or whatever it is, and take a second and say okay, there is a difference between what beckons to me. And what is calling from within that I actually want. That in and of itself can heal neurosis around foods faster than anything else, because your body actually knows what it needs by a body resonance, which I explained to music theory, which I won’t do today. You can if you get quiet enough, you can actually hear what your body wants, and what it needs. So one of the best things to do, let’s say for a family or as a single person or as a couple, take a Saturday morning plan to spend a Saturday having a better relationship with food. And sit down, find a recipe online, find something that kind of inside of us like oh, I want that. And try to have a discussion about the difference of Oh, this is recipes, beckoning to me, because that looks so good. Does my body actually want it work together to find the recipe that everyone wants, do the grocery shopping together, have a conversation in their grocery store make it funny? Well, that’s beckoning to me by that a call in from inside me for that. And do that, because that strengthens your body’s trusting you that you will listen to it. And it changes the family conversation around food, and then turn all devices off, no TV, no distraction, no phones at the table and have a family meal. Because for the work that I’ve done with teams and food, and I had a little team, we did an event called got teams. One of the presentations was how to view a team and around the attachment around it. The family meal, with no distraction, with real food and family conversation. And attachment is one of the answers to world peace. Because you regulate your kids nervous systems, you feed their immune system, Mom and Dad are having a better meal and probably drinking less wine because they’re engaging, right? Because wine is you know that that whole thing is something that we do to regulate our nervous system. When someone says I need a glass of wine every day to cope in my office, I don’t judge them. I say okay, so we know that long term health wise, that’s not awesome. But why do you need that? How else can we support your nervous system? When you just do even start with one family meal a week? The kids transform the parents transform the immune systems do you better everyone sleeps better? that literally is one of the answers that families are actually looking for.

JP Gaston 

We’re just getting into that, like I have a two year old. So it’s been two years of him slowly moving his mealtime towards our meal time. Yeah, and starting to eat the same meal. Because I really didn’t want mushy peas. So one of the things that we started doing to get rid of the decision fatigue portion. So simple hack here that maybe people can use but we write down the best before date. Whenever we do go shopping, we just write it down on a calendar. And we know that we can always move it ahead. But usually it turns out that day like that’s the day chicken expires on the 18th we’re eating chicken on the 18th guys, guess what’s happening, but it’s got like, we still have to make the right decision for you know, how we prepare it and what meal we want to eat. But it’s it’s at least we’re no longer having the conversation of Okay, what do we have in the fridge? Oh, we’ve got beef and chicken and pork. And what do you want? Well, I don’t know. What do you want? Well, I don’t know. And then like an hour of that it’s time out of our day. But it’s just it’s not a decision that I need to spend that much energy on.

Sonia Funk 

Yeah. And I think that’s one of the things people need to get clear on. Just like I should not be putting this much energy into thinking about it that energy and time should go into making it because the stats show that it was a study in the United States that porn A women who cook for themselves are healthier than wealthy women. So there’s a very real case for the actual cooking and, and the other thing that happens when you’re cooking and you’re smelling your body is starting to prepare the digestive juices needed to digest that actual meal. And that family time is huge. And like I said, like, that is a great strategy. And if that’s hard for a family, because you’re at hockey five nights a week, and miserable, and you don’t even know it, start with one meal, start with one,

Seth Anderson 

I totally believe that. And just in the last couple of weeks, I’ve been doubling down on nutrition. And so when I would have maybe walked upstairs and grabbed a Clif Bar before, I’m taking the time and making an omelet or something, and it doesn’t take that long, like you chop up vegetables, you fry them up. And like not only does it really good, and it’s healthy, and it’s delicious, but like that act of making it you’re concentrated on that you’re not thinking about anything else. And I didn’t realize the benefit to the digestive system, per se. But yeah, that’s a real thing. Like even that 510 minutes can can like help just reset you from whatever it is that you’re doing.

Sonia Funk 

Yeah. And it’s kind of like the question is does 10 to 20 minutes now doing a little bit of work? Is that worth sleeping better at night? Is that worth my kids not having tummy bugs, you know, as much and all those kinds of things. What it actually another really good strategy for anyone that is going oh, I kind of want to do this. If you can’t start anywhere else, start with two or three of those. They’re not environmentally friendly, and I know it but it’s wise if it’s at point A to point B solution, I’m in for going somewhere, get that those those fresh, good food or fresh, you’re good. But what about are they killed the fresh, Hello Fresh? Yes, dry a couple of those do one of their trial runs, they’re always cheaper when you try it out and have two meals a week that are stress free, that are only going to take you 20 minutes that your kids can do use that as a preliminary introductory training course and see how that feels.

Seth Anderson 

Well, you know, that also works well for us, you get to keep the recipes. Yes. And I’ve come to find like our grocery shopping habits are probably rooted in, you know, what our parents did, and whatever. Like, we’ll go out and buy like a great big bag of potatoes and a great big bag of this. And 523 yogurts and like half of this stuff ends up either in the freezer or not getting eaten. And like what the hellofresh thing. tilde means like, you don’t have to go buy everything in bulk. Like it comes with two potatoes, because that’s all you need for that meal. So like, I’m not all the way there yet. But I you know, in terms of shopping, I think some of our eating habits are probably rooted in bad shopping habits to start with.

Sonia Funk 

Yeah, they are one of the things that I loved about not living here, because it wasn’t as common was that the high streets in London. And in New York, I went grocery shopping three times a week, I bought kind of as we needed that blows, some people’s brains are like, I don’t have time for that. But the thing is, once you start with something small, even if it’s two of those a week, just do that and see what that feels like. Like that’s it, that’s this your only job, see what it feels like because when your body starts to feel better, then you start to have the capacity to think about this whole concept of time, affluence and paying for time, instead of paying for things that make you miserable. Because we don’t know how many things we’re paying for that that make us completely miserable. And that’s why it’s Oh, it’s always the magic bus. It’s not just the food and it’s not just the mental health because it’s all connected and this whole thing that came into play 2000 years ago where we scrapped the oneness and became a mind and a separate body and they became separate things in our bodies became you know, shameful and we all that kind of stuff and, and not good enough. That is where all of this has actually come from. When you start to be become a mind body, and it’s all one AC how it’s all connected, then anything that you do to help one part of you helps everything else and that it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.

JP Gaston 

I need to know from both of you. Shopping habit Do you do the outside in or do you like do the middle aisles and the outside at the same time or do the inside aisles and then the inside and do you go all the way around and then like zigzag your way back?

Seth Anderson 

100%

JP Gaston 

Sonia, do you just I think

Sonia Funk 

the nutritional therapist strategy the grocery store is you shop all around and only when necessary you quickly jump into the aisles of that one thing and you get right out of there I’m doing it right I feel that nothing can Deccan

Seth Anderson 

Yeah, we could probably have a whole podcast just on

JP Gaston 

that. shopping.

Seth Anderson 

Honestly like shopping healthy or I don’t know Healthy isn’t even the right word. But like, there’s so many landmines in these grocery stores now like they, I say they are very broad term, but I do not believe that they have our best interests at heart. Now, that said, there’s lots of great options and healthy food you can but like, if you just stick to the aisles and whatever is at eye level, you’re gonna buy a lot of,

JP Gaston 

yeah, well, and what’s interesting is like Sonia was just saying, the act of cooking gets you salivate and get you into the reason that grocery stores put the fresh food section, right when you enter, people think that it’s Oh, because fresh fruits, but no, it’s because of the stimuli of the bright foods and the smells that come off fresh foods actually help stimulate your body to get your saliva flowing, so that you actually want to buy more food when you’re in the store. Like it is a great place to start. And it is where I prefer to start because I want to make sure that I buy fresh foods, but there is a greater marketing purpose to what they’re doing.

Seth Anderson 

Yes, this, you know, a couple more things, and then we’ll get you out of here Sanja. So we’ve had a sort of a theme throughout around corporate health and wellness. And I’m wondering, you know, I know that’s a big part of what you do, you’re wondering what are some indicators that leaders can look for in their day to day that would indicate that you would be a great person for them to work with

Sonia Funk 

when it comes to leaders, what my message always is, is, is an empathetic one. I know that their job description that a more subtle one that hasn’t even been written down has greatly expanded in the last 10 years there now mediators and counselors and crisis managers, kind of stuff that they end up training for. Nevermind, I suspect the health and safety and HR people that don’t have any legit wellness background, that are creating wellness programs, doing it because they want to help. And they know that there’s an answer there, but there’s no strategy behind it. So when it comes to leaders, I will always say, if you’re really tired, and you’re frustrated, and you’re feeling like you’re watching people not even be able to make rational decisions, and you don’t understand I what I want to do is come in and you know, cover some of the stuff that we talked about today in an empathetic relevant way to their lives, so they can feel better. Because until they feel better, they’re going to project like we all do, and see everything happening through the filters. Once you understand your own struggles, and you have empathy for your own self, and you start to understand what boundaries help you, it’s going to be very easy for you like Seth, you’re probably coaching your some of your employees at this point, and your fellow leaders, I would assume I try to create space for self. I’m not saying you’re trying, it’s just gonna happen because you can’t help it. Once you have some of that, to be able to do some of these new things in your job description that you didn’t sign up for it is less stressful, it is easier. And you’re also more able to have boundaries around it and point them in the right direction. And then once leaders see that impact, it’s pretty easy for them to say okay, so if she came in, she could help a lot of the team members with some of these things too. And then we’re all speaking the same language. And then bam, without having a seminar on culture, you automatically have a different culture. I’m like, the culture part is just this tale trail and bonus that comes with me, once you change the language, it just kind of shifts and then you’d actually don’t pay extra for it. It just kind of comes with the territory. So I always tell leaders, you are looking, when you’re seeing the struggles in your people, you’re really looking also at your own. So let me help you with those. So you can see that more clearly. So you can feel better. And a lot of the times with health, health and safety and HR, sometimes they need help with making a case for wellness. And I say okay, well I can actually help you with that too, right? Because sometimes they need a bit of a case for for wellness. And when I do some of these things, I will give you one of the things that I give to leaders when we do these strategy and wellness type sessions, which is just for one week. Put this up. This isn’t an original question. This is any trauma expert ever, like the format a and all the rest of them, put it up on your little screen here on your laptop and just have the question change what is wrong with me? To what has happened to me? And for them? What change what is wrong with them, which is our natural human place to go because we have been conditioned that there’s something wrong because we complicated it and want to sell answers. Instead ask what has happened to them? Just that one question if everyone on this podcast changes that one question for a week. The world will look different in seven days. Because that’s what I do in my work. That’s the question Question, not looking at what’s wrong with them? Because we’re going to be buying answers for that forever, it’s not going to happen. We have to look at what happened and treat the injury so that we don’t end up with illness. Yeah,

Seth Anderson 

I love it. And I, this has popped up in my brain probably like seven times while we’ve been talking. But I’m reading this book right now, that’s a bit of an older book, but it’s super interesting. And it’s called the relationship handbook by Dr. George pranskey. And a lot of, you know, one of the theories in it, and, you know, I see this, or I definitely have seen this as a lot of conventional coaching coaches to the behavior or the symptom. And when you get under the hood on that, well, what, what causes a behavior, a feeling? And where do feelings come from our thoughts. And, like, it’s all in our psychological capacity when you start to, you know, peel that onion, like our thoughts create our feelings, which, you know, leads to our behaviors. And

Sonia Funk 

that’s how I thought creates reality. That isn’t weird.

Seth Anderson 

It’s not a coincidence. It’s like, that’s, that’s what’s happening. And like, every moment of every day for everyone,

Sonia Funk 

yeah. And honestly, that’s the underlying stuff with all the mental health stuff, too. And what we’re not looking at is something that happens in our life causes the feeling because makes us think something causes a feeling, release this neural transit to a cascade of neurotransmitters and hormones in our body, which can create an anxious or depressed response. How is medicating that? It’s not chronic and isn’t actually an illness? How how, why are we not looking at what’s happening and the thought process because then also our food, and how it impacts our microbiome, which we know now can actually create anxiety, depression that isn’t justified or real, and can create that. We’re calling that outcome mental health. And that’s why it is created this stigma around it because we haven’t reconnected it to the fact that how we’re feeling is a result of our internal physiological environment. So if that isn’t in the conversation, if you can’t call in and say I had so much bad news last week, that my neurotransmitters are out of whack, my HPA axis is exhausted, and I need a day to recalibrate. It’s like calling in with a cold. But unless you people really understand how the nervous system and all that stuff works together, we’re never going to get rid of this tape. Because then we’re not going to have that empathetic, mutual understanding about what that actually is. So yeah, that is exactly how it is. And so we’re creating, we’ve created this stigma by not fully understanding the injuries,

JP Gaston 

if I break my leg, sure I can. I can treat myself with morphine forever, and never deal with the leg. But if I really want change, I should probably get my leg reset.

Seth Anderson 

Well, yeah, and then do the rehab.

JP Gaston 

Yeah, exactly.

Sonia Funk 

Yeah. And I mean, that is the approach to kind of mental health. But for some reason, it isn’t really the conversation. And people are have been so shielded from the things that could actually help. And the generation right now is in a lot of trouble. I get a 13 year old girl with anxiety and IBS in my office on a regular basis. Three weeks later, I get the best email from her mother, what the EFF did you do to my kid because she’s fine. when they’re young, when they’re that young, it’s so much easier, the 42 year old is harder, that takes a year or two to untangle and uncomplicate all of that and get them down to that complexity. But unlike Bring me the 13 year olds, let’s say this generation now,

Seth Anderson 

they reminded me of a quote, and I’m totally drawing a blank on the gentlemen. He is a philosopher, and I think he wrote the book, the enlightened gardener. And for some reason, I can’t think of his name. But I’ve heard of that. Yeah. And long story short, he’s walking with a psychologist, and he’s talking about how insecure he is. And then I think it’s a psychologist says back to him, you’re not insecure, you just think you are,

Sonia Funk 

I think you’re not actually broken. You just think you are because you’ve been told you are since since you were born. And that honestly, that’s the premise of the mental health workshop that I do that’s called It’s not your fault. Like you’re not broken, you’re injured. And here’s how you can fix these injuries. And if some of the bones were, you just don’t want to read break them, and they’re set a little funny, then here’s how we work with that. I get a lot of medical professionals here, which is weird for me on the like the natural side of things to have medical doctors and people to me, but I get people who are just there’s no more medications for them. There’s nothing else that med medicine can do for them and they sent them to me to help them with their quality of life. And I was just always like, Oh, I wish I’d had been here 10 years dinner. I don’t say that because I answered When it could have prevented and it has to be the approach.

Seth Anderson 

Lastly, and I think this is our longest podcast we’ve ever done so we’re we’re breaking records over here. How do you feed your mind Sagna? What? What do you what are you working on developing and any, any great resources books podcasts that you’re really into right now,

Sonia Funk 

if I am going to recommend anything for people that are inspired by the topics, we’ve covered, what I would recommend, because right now for me, it’s more about what I don’t let him like news and stuff like that. I always recommend if people are interested in the injuries, I recommend Gabor Matt taste book called when the body says no. My strategies for women and a lot of exams are often called avoiding the hard No. They usually pull people right back before they fall off the cliff and their adrenals quit on them and acquire anything by Bernie brown like to get inspired and figure that out. Just watch her documentary on Netflix. I have vulnerability hangovers on a regular basis. And nothing has ever been better for my career than being willing to have those because that’s what people need right now. And then they are like, Okay, I need to talk to you. And if that parenting thing really appeals to people hold on to your kids, scored and neufeldt. And if you really want to work with the brain and figure out how to see things from that, like I’m not a total pro master at all of this yet, but I feel like I’m few maybe a few years away from it for as masterful as I want to get. But on being able to see more than one side and being able to ask different questions. I think Adam Graham’s book is pretty great. I think, again, for some, some frameworks. I mean, as you know, my website and stuff is full of articles if people want to know my sassier attitude.

Seth Anderson 

I will get out of here on that. How can people find out more about yourself and the work you do?

Sonia Funk 

So my website has the basics, and the topics and some of the writing. That’s just the whole avocado.com some of my blogs also have recipes. And for some of the more corporate stuff. my LinkedIn profile just finds Sanja funk on LinkedIn, and connect and I’ve got some stuff on my features. And a lot of I have more articles there on the corporate side of things. The article called exposing corporate wellness has gone over really well. I have some calls with some big companies because of because of that attitude because companies are scrapping our wellness programs because they’re not working and my answer is good. They’re not.

Seth Anderson 

Yeah, this has been amazing. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ride on the Magic School Bus. Thank you for coming by and I am I am very certain our paths will be crossing again in the future. So look forward to

Sonia Funk 

Yeah, me too. Thanks so much, dude.

Seth Anderson 

JP, what do creating space deep listening, compassionate feedback and inner wisdom have in common?

JP Gaston 

I know this one. All elements of a great coach. Bingo. And do you know where you can get those things? Well, in The Biz Dojo double Bingo.

Seth Anderson 

And how can you go about doing that Cz

JP Gaston 

just send an email to coaching at The Biz Dojo calm and we’ll set up a free discovery session to figure out if coaching is right for you and figure out if we’re the right coaches.

Seth Anderson 

And what was that email again

JP Gaston 

coaching at The Biz dojo.com

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