Episode 13: Developing a Healthy Mindset with Amanda Huggins @thefeistyyogi

critical conversations podcast episode 13 - amanda huggins - @thefeistyyogi

Have you ever pushed yourself for the sake of commitment – until you realize you’ve pushed yourself too far? We can push ourselves over the edge & develop unnecessary stress, anxiety, overwhelm and even illness in our lives because of it. As we discuss in this episode – Health is about so much more than just what’s on your plate and how often you’re working out.  Your mindset around the life you’re living – is truly everything.

Listen on iTunes, Spotify, or play directly below.

You can eat all of the organic salads you want and sign up for all of the marathons – but if you’re not doing the inner work – diving deeper into who you really are and what makes you the happiest – then you’ll never achieve the potential you’re capable of.

Amanda Huggins, aka @thefeistyyogi – joins us as our FIRST GUEST on the critical conversations podcast as our newest co-host and she’s here to expand the conversation around mental health, anxiety and self worth.

She started her career in tech startups, transitioned slowly into yoga, became a certified yoga teacher and has now found her calling – diving deeper into the realities of mental health & how your perspective of it all is affecting your life.


She’s expanding the conversation around health in a way we’ve never discussed before & I can’t tell you how important her message truly is. After working in the ER for the past decade – I’ve had the opportunity to work with thousands of people. If I’ve learned anything, it’s this –

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Episode 12: Things Change . People Change . Don’t Let That Stop You

Thank you so much for your patience – we took a VERY LONG summer break and figured some things out for ourselves as we adapted to change.

💙 You’ll learn more, once you listen . Big changes are happening .

Learn more on iTunes, Spotify, or listen using the player directly below.

oh & about that image / quote above …

it’s extremely applicable not only to this episode – but to all of our lives in general. make it your life’s motto .

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Episode 11: Artificial Sweeteners, Zero Calories & The Pregnancy Warning You May Not Have Known About (Aspartame. Sucralose, Splenda, Saccharin, Stevia & More.)

to provide with the food, nutrients or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition

We’ve all heard sugar is bad for us.

But, have you ever stopped to think about the consequences of substituting sugar for ‘diet’ alternatives – such as those brightly colored, zero-calorie, artificial sweeteners instead?

Sucralose (Splenda), Saccharin (Sweet & Low), Aspartame (Equal or NutraSweet), Stevia (Sweet Leaf), & Sugar Alcohols (like Xylitol) are hiding in too many standard American food items to count. They’ve all been made in a lab by chemists discovering how to make our food sweeter with less calories – at the expense of our long term health.

to provide with the food, nutrients or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition

Plus, we can’t deny the fact that they’ve been perfectly marketed to us as one of the most recognizable condiments available to us at almost every coffee shop and restaurant in America – for FREE.

If you don’t know them by name – we can confidently assume that you know them as the little “pink, yellow and blue packets” always crammed in next to the sugar.

What’s not to like about FREE stuff? Or better yet … SWEET stuff?

We hope to make you stop and think about this long and hard today.


Are they good for us?

Are they harmless?

… Is zero calories really better?

We dive into all of this and more during this episode while expanding on the bigger conversation from episode 10 where we discussed Added Sugar, the popular motto YOLO & It’s Hidden Effects on Your Long-Term Health


The 5 Worst Artificial Sweeteners

Diabetes Journal Article : Diet Soda Intake and Risk of Incident Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

Pregnancy Warning: Exposure to non-nutritive sweeteners during pregnancy and lactation: Impact in programming of metabolic diseases in the progeny later in life.

Sucralose, A Synthetic Organochlorine Sweetener: Overview Of Biological Issues


Dr. Axe on Stevia: 5 Benefits of Stevia + How to Use the Different Types




We want to give you your Power back.

What you do with this information is up to you.

We’re two critical care nurses on a mission to inspire you, motivate you, and empower you.


– Briana Reesing & Laura Gluck –


More information about us & this show can be found on our website at www.criticalconversationspodcast.com (including full show notes and resources from each episode.)

Join Our Community on Instagram @CriticalConversations

Episode 10: Added Sugar, YOLO & It’s Hidden Effects on Your Long-Term Health

critical conversations podcast episode 10

YOLO (you only live once). It may be a ‘fun’ common way to say ‘live a little’ – but we actually take it’s meaning – Quite Literally. As nurses, we’ve seen too much. & We’ve seen the long term effects poor lifestyle choices can have long-term.


critical conversations podcast episode 10


How much sugar have you eaten today? Truly take a minute to think about it.

Google it – Look into it. Use that information & go from there.

Information is Power.

& we want to give you your Power back.

What you do with this information is up to you.


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Episode 9: Got Gut Health? Signals, Symptoms & Simple Solutions

DISCLAIMER: Everybody poops – but no one is talking about it.

So, we’re taking the liberty of opening up the conversation around digestive health to a much deeper level today. Do you poop often enough? Do you pay attention to what it looks like?

More on this (diarrhea and constipation), along with a multitude of other symptoms that may be silent symptoms of poor gut health that you’ve been ignoring. Psoriasis, Eczema, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, Weight Gain, Fatigue, Brain Fog, Hypoglycemia, ADHD, MS, headaches …. You name it . It’s all connected.

In this episode we dive deeper into the importance of your microbiome as well as the simple solutions that are in your hands on a daily basis.

Why do we care so much?

We truly believe – Understanding the microbiome is going to be a game changer for western medicine and current medical research is proving that there’s so much connected to the gut and digestive health that no one was talking about – UNTIL NOW.

Know that what you’re doing on a day to day basis – is adding up.

It’s in your hands to utilize the knowledge you gain from this episode and any other podcast you listen to, book you read, or article you discover & do your best to implement powerful change in your life – slowly, mindfully & when you’re able to.






MINDBODYGREEN: Want To Prevent Inflammation & Autoimmune Disease? Here’s Where To Start


22:00 –  If it’s at your house and you have the power to get rid of it, get rid of it. (Canola Oil)

23:17 – There are much better (packaged food ) options available to us now – with much cleaner ingredients

23:38 – If it has to be microwaved you probably shouldn’t eat it.

24:00 – If you see a food commercial for it you probably shouldn’t eat it – EVER. (It’s those products with the most money behind them that are most likely the worst for you.)

29:30: Real food is truly the starting point to ease versus dis-ease

If you really stop to think about it – you’re eating 3 times a day, every day of your life, 365 days a year – FOOD IS THE THING that we are exposed to the most & it’s also the thing we have the most control over going back to the daily choices we make

A lot of exposures – over a long period of time – the convenience factor of making food easy to grab – has pulled us away from our true intuition of “what to eat and when”

Food desserts exist – we understand that. However, knowledge is power & we want to arm you with the ability to do what you can with what you have while learning how to make the best of it, for what works for you in this moment in your life.

Food – BAD inflammatory fats – Stress – Antibiotics – Medications – Cleaning Products – Antibacterial Soaps – Bleach – Chemicals in the air (perfumes, body spray, air freshners) – hormone disruptors and microbiome – triclosan

Things you may think you need because it’s what you’ve been told to buy and advertised too – are not necessarily necessary at all (antibacterial soap – perfume, most cleaning products)

34:00 Being aware of the chemicals in your products is huge . – That doesn’t mean go throw everything out right away (because that’s expensive) but, it’s a reminder to start becoming more aware of what your buying & slowly introduce new products into you’re home

38:30 “If the problem centers around being too clean – then the solution must be the opposite.” – Dr. Josh Axe


41:05 – Increase the variety of your microbiome by increasing the variety of the types of (real) foods you’re eating – which will introduce bacteria from a variety of different types of soil & environments.

know your farmer – talk to them – ask them what they use on their crops and whether or not they pay attention to the quality of their soil

43:30 – seasonal is key

44:25 – fermenting our foods was the first method of preserving our foods – which in turn built up a good bacteria microbiome within us. Now, with refrigeration and shelf stable preservatives – fermentation is no longer part of our American culture.

46:10 – FOOD OVER PILLS always. (referring to purchasing prebiotics & probiotics versus eating fruits, vegetables and fermented foods.)


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We truly appreciate YOU.

Laura Gluck & Briana Reesing


& PODCAST EPISODES WE LOVE: about the microbiome:


Bulletproof Radio: Dr. David Perlmutter: Autism, Alzheimer’s & The Gut Microbiome – #250

Bulletproof Radio: Eat Dirt: The Secret To a Healthy Microbiome – Zach Bush – #458

Cabral Concept 418: The Weight Loss Gut Microbiome Connection

Lewis Howes : EP 616 Dr Mark Hyman: Heal Your Body with Food

Chris Kresser: RHR: Practical Steps for Healing the Gut—with Michael Ruscio



*LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The information in this podcast is to be viewed as general knowledge and is not a substitute for professional medical help. Our opinions are our own and do not reflect that of our employers. We are registered nurses, not doctors, pharmacists or nutritionists.

We are providing general information and are here to open up conversation on heath care related topics. The content found here is our educated opinions and, should you require medical assistance, we urge you to seek medical professionals who are equipped to give you the personalized care you need.



Episode 8: Is our Microbiome & Gut Health – The Root Cause of most Diseases?

Leaky Gut.




Food Sensitivities.

Probiotics …

There’s a chance you may have heard these words mentioned in recent conversation with your doctor, coworker, friend or possibly even on social media. But, do you truly understand why “gut health” is such a hot topic of conversation lately?


Continue reading “Episode 8: Is our Microbiome & Gut Health – The Root Cause of most Diseases?”