"Make Friends with your Mind"

Meet counselor, farmer and family man, Michael Sisley

No transcript...

The first time I spoke with Michael, I felt like I was reconnecting with a friend. Like a mental health counselor should be, he is warm, genuine, content and a particularly good listener. Michael is also funny and extremely well read. (Reminds me of another Pitt grad I know — my husband, Patrick Huey: maybe there’s somethin’ to studying in Pitt’s iconic Cathedral of Learning.) And like a good, long-time friend he is unapologetic about his awesome quirks like raising Nigerian dwarf goats and jumping on couches. (Watch the Youtube version to see his agility, y’all!).

In today’s episode #54, Michael shares his secrets for surviving in a sea of estrogen, which include farm work alongside his super skilled and visionary wife, Caroline, and their daughters. He shares his backstories about being held in the grips of sugar and video games, as well as how he came into his calling of counseling. I really enjoyed learning about how he connects with his patients and uses therapeutic modalities - including humor(!) that match with their interests and personalities to get in a state of flow with them. We of course get into a discussion of how nutrition impacts mental health among all ages; from ADHD to dementia, we see a link between food choices and metabolic outcomes. Bottom line, y’all: ultra-processed foods with their addictive, cheap, inflammatory inputs including toxic seed oils, sugar and all of its forms and cheap “Glyphosated” grains leads to an incredible array of mental and physical health problems.

Michael and I end with a discussion of the importance of having a relationship with yourself, and he wisely passes down the advice to “make friends with your mind.” In practice, he has patients describe the characteristics of a good friend, and then asks them to treat themselves in a similar manner. I love this idea and will certainly use it in my practice, where I hear things like “I’m my own worst critic” or “I hate myself when…” or “I’m so bad” all too frequently. This is one of the many reasons why I’m a huge proponent of morning and evening routines; both are an opportunity to practice grounding and gratitude, which go a long way in developing positive self regard.

Give us a listen, and let me know what you think as well as send ideas for future shows and guests! If you’d like to work with Michael Sisley, go through his online portal here. And if you would like to support his favorite local NC beef farmer, check out Oak Cattle Farms.

PS - here’s Michael’s reading & watching list:
Hold Me Tight
Bedside Manners
Sugar Blues
Brain Energy

Change Your Diet Change Your Mind
Why We Get Sick
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Dr. Bevans Ted Talk on Ills of Artificial Food Dyes

Remember how I said connecting with Michael is like talking to an old friend? In our conversation, I felt comfortable enough to bring up art piece I did while in the care of a counselor after I experienced postpartum anxiety given my near death experience with pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome. As promised, below is a photo of the therapeutic art which hangs in our RV and in my opinion, spurred my mid-life transformation.

Thanks to all y’all who have supported The Nourishment Mindset through your listenership, viewership, reviews and questions and show ideas! If you haven’t yet bought the book, what are ya waitin’ for?!! You can do so on Amazon or my website for a signed copy shipped for free.

Here’s what today’s guest Michael Sisley had to say:

Nourishment Mindset Podcast
The Nourishment Mindset
We're on a metabolic mission to help you (re)discover your vitality through real whole foods, sassy straight talk and the pleasures of the table.
There are a bajillion health podcasts out there, and a lot of 'em are as fun as a trip to the dentist. Here at The Nourishment Mindset we blend sassy straight talk with a holistic, real whole foods foundation. Our metabolic mission is helping you achieve vitality and reverse chronic, lifestyle conditions like type 2 diabetes, obesity and malaise through (re)discovering the pleasures of the table.
You'll learn tips from host Dixie Huey, a wine industry veteran who spent 20 years dining with farmers, chefs and winemakers around the world before listening to her calling to become a health coach after healing from years of dieting in a calorie counting prison.
Hers is a story of earned knowledge, personal failure, and paradox -- one she hopes will inspire others to appreciate the incredible nature of food as a source of nourishment, connection and pleasure. Dixie is a certified Nutrition Network Advisor, Group Fitness instructor, MBA, certified sommelier and author of The Nourishment Mindset.
Our guests range from organic foodies and hemp and wine growers to celebrity coaches and medical providers, Ditch the dogma and BS, silence the noise and switch back to the traditional sound practices that have nourished for millennia.