A PhD student at Western, Gillian Mandich is taking charge to make the world a healthier place, one green smoothie at a time. While still in the process of completing her thesis in Health and Rehabilitation Science, Mandich has begun podcasting in her spare time with co-host Angela Peters.
The Holistic Diary’s motto is “to live for the greener good by eating more green, living more green and spending your green responsibly.” Mundich explains this essentially means becoming more conscious of nutrition, one’s environment and the products that one is supporting in buying them.
Being passionate about healthy living, the Holistic Health Diary covers everything from beauty tips to yoga. With Peters’ experience as a personal trainer and Mandich’s academic background the duo provides scholarly information on health in an accessible format.
“I’ve taken the research skills that I’ve learned through my scientific training at Western and applied those to a real-world setting,” Mandich says. “My goal is to critically look at articles and then to translate the information that I think is really valuable into language that the general population understands.”
Mandich emphasizes that although the information she and Peters provide is academic, the podcast is far removed from scientific jargon.
“When you listen to us we want it to be like we’re just having a cup of tea together,” she explains. “Not too preachy, not too teachy, but so people have fun and they learn something. What they hear is in a format they understand but from a source that they can trust.”
Although beginning as a hobby, the Holistic Health Diary has gained substantial popularity since it became available online in February.
“First my dream was just to be on iTunes, and then we got listed as ‘New and Noteworthy’ and now our podcast regularly ranks within the top health podcasts,” Mandich says.
The Holistic Health Diary covers anything in the realm of healthy living and the topics vary widely from one podcast to the next.
“Coconut oil is the most popular podcast we’ve ever done — in kitchen, in the bathroom, in the bedroom. There’s one on the different uses of apple cider vinegar, and one on stress. It’s important to us to share other peoples’ messages too, so we interview people who really inspire us. Our first ever podcast was with Rich Roll, who often has the number one ranking podcast — he’s a vegan ultra-endurance athlete and super inspiring.”
The basis of Mandich’s approach to health is simple. She emphasized knowing your own body and determining how you feel, rather than relying on arbitrary books or other sources. The most powerful indicator is simply how you feel.
Mandich views podcasts as an ideal way to get her message out to a larger audience.
“Instead of listening to music on your way to class you just put on your iPod and it’s a totally free learning opportunity,” she says.
The Holistic Health Diary is recorded bi-weekly on Mondays and is available on iTunes or Stitcher.