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Frank Elaridi: 5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Can Dramatically Improve Your Wellbeing

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

Exercise is one of the most transformative things you could do for your brain. Neuroscientists have shown that one single exercise session can immediately increase levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain. That elevated mood is likely to seep into and improve other areas of life like work and relationships.

As a part of our series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Frank Elaridi.

Covering everything from Syrian refugee camps to the Academy Awards, Frank Elaridi is a 4-time Emmy-Award-Winning Journalist working mostly for ABC Network News. He can also be seen on Good Morning America and ABC’s digital platforms, most notably giving viewers a backstage look into Dancing With The Stars.

​Frank is immersed in the world of biohacking, acting as a guinea pig for wellness companies, and sharing the best of what he’s learned with his followers and clients. He is also a certified Emotion Code Practitioner, helping clients release negative trapped emotions from the body, which allows for healthier relationships, removal of blocks in health and career, and creates space for new opportunities. Frank is also a Mental Health Consultant certified through Kindred.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?

It was really a snowball effect where I started working out and meditating and I loved the way I felt. And from there I started to do yoga, and read a lot of books, I started to attend conferences and then I started to speak at conferences. From there I started collecting crystals all over the world where I was paddling to visit healers and other wellness practitioners. Then from there I started to study under functional medicine doctors, I got certified in an energetic healing practice and I’m currently getting certified in Ayurveda under Deepak Chopra. More and more I really started to be a guinea pig for all of the different modalities I was hearing about. When you’re in this world you start picking up information and hearing things that people are trying and if you’re like me, someone who is and experience her and jumps right in, being a guinea pig is fun! I’ve had 90 million stem cells injected into my body, spent hours in a hyperbaric chamber, hours in a float tank, silencer treats, pineal gland activation classes, more than two dozen psychedelic ceremonies, ketamine therapy in a clinical environment with doctors, and on and on and on!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Well, coming from the world of tv news, where one day I was interviewing Syrian refugees in camps and the next day I was interviewing the Queen of Jordan, or Backstage at Dancing with the Stars Monday evening and then flying to a volcano eruption in Hawaii on Tuesday, my sense for what’s considered interesting is a bit skewed! What I really love about being in the health and wellness space is that im introduced to a constant stream of interesting new ideas, philosophies, practices and characters. For example I made a YouTube video about an Ayurvedic healing master who had been pictured working on the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, and even Mother Theresa. Ayurveda is an ancient holistic medicine system founded in India. The first time we met, this man put his fingers on my pulse and told me I had a disc bulge on T4-T6. So I went to get an x-ray and sure enough he was right!

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

Ummm have you ever tried to put together a conference for 1–2 thousand people with zero event planning experience? Ha! I co-founded a wellness company called Modern Nirvana which I created with my best friends Actress and UNHCR Ambassador Kat Graham and Breathwork Master and TV Personality Bryant Wood, and a big part of the company is our annual Modern Nirvana Conference. And let me just tell you that we could write a whole book about all the mistakes we made putting together the first major one in 2021 where we were literally honoring a Deepak Chopra and welcomed Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey as our keynote. All three of us are super creative and incredibly versed in so many healing modalities, Biohacking, mediation, breathwork, and so on, but what we learn is that we are not event planners! At one point, me and Kat were literally going to kill each other over the chairs chosen for the stage! But I guess the beautiful thing about mistakes is that it sets you on the right path. We learned after that conference that we absolutely need to hire an event planning company which we are doing for the conference this year in September in Austin, Texas. and it’s going to be so amazing because the event planner is focusing on all of that while we curate the most beautiful experience for our guests.

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

I spent more than 10 years traveling the world to meet and work with Shamans, healers, plant medicines, Ayurvedic practitioners, documenting by video some profound things that were going on. Eventually I became a certified practitioner in an energetic healing practice called “emotion code” that has helped clear blocks from thousands of people. It was created by a man named Dr. Bradley Nelson (who spoke at the last Modern Nirvana Conference) and Tony Robbins wrote the forward to his Bestselling book. My clients always say that a 30 minute session with me is like 10 years of therapy, and the best part is that it can be done remotely and most of my clients are in different cities or countries. I figure out exactly what trapped negative emotions are causing blocks in relationships, money, creativity, and so on and then literally clear them in one session. It’s remarkable the messages I get after working with people. And now I am studying Ayurveda under Deepak Chopra and getting my certification in that modality because I’ve seen what those ancient practices can do for people.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

So many countless people have helped me on this path and I’m grateful for that. Again Deepak Chopra comes to mind because I remember asking him directly if he felt worried when he first started out, talking about quantum healing while being a medical doctor. I wanted to know, because I was a four time Emmy award-winning journalist making YouTube videos about the third eye and getting stem cell injections on camera! A part of me was worried about losing my credibility as a journalist. And Deepak told me that he did feel worried and hesitant in the beginning but he said no matter what you do in life there are going to be people who criticize it so you might as well do the thing you are passionate about. It was almost like he gave me permission to be myself. So then a year later he was The first recipient of the Modern Nirvana consciousness award at the annual Modern Nirvana Conference.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

I think people know, but they don’t reaalllly know. What I mean by that is that people know they should not be reaching for the sugar over a salad, or plopping down on the couch when they could be working out, but until there’s a serious illness or some kind of signal from the body telling you that something is wrong, it doesn’t really seem real. So for me I would rather just never get to that point where my body just can’t take it anymore to finally be like, “oh man I really should have been healthy all this time!” So I think that’s the first block, is not fully knowing what we are actually doing to our genius of a body… it’s like filling your car with Canola oil and expecting it to run optimally. The body is so brilliant, it knows exactly what to do to heal itself. As I’m talking to you right now there’s a small cut on my finger and I I don’t even have to think about it consciously for my body to work on healing that. But what we need to do is give it the right environment to do its job.

I think the second block is exhaustion. After working eight hours, I understand why you don’t want to spend another one or two at the gym. You just want to go home and eat a good meal and crash. I get that. And you’re probably even thinking, “I just worked eight hours and my boss was extra bossy today, so I deserve this chocolate cake.” Baby, I understand that too, trust me! Be gentle with yourself, know that you’re doing the best that you can, But instead of making that a habit, just promise yourself that you’re going to have the cake today, but you’re going to try something else tomorrow. Mental health is so important and something to take seriously, because if you are not comfortable in your own mind and if there are a lot of emotions coming up within you that you are not addressing through therapy, meditation, breath work, yoga, or whatever else you prefer, then there’s no way you’re going to find the motivation to take care of the body with nutritious foods, lots of sleep and regular exercise. Find a friend who wants to get healthier too, and make a promise that you guys will hold each other accountable and that way you know if somebody’s waiting for you at the gym or yoga class after work, you’re more likely to go.

I would say the third reason is that it doesn’t seem fun. I think that this generation is really doing a lot of damage control from the diet craze generations before us. I have such a blast cooking super healthy meals, because once it becomes your lifestyle you start to find ways to have fun with it and get creative. My friends are always shocked when I give them a sugar and wheat free chocolate cake that is actually helping your body burn fat because of all the healthy ingredients in it, and they can’t believe it because it taste just like the sweetest thing ever! And if you don’t like going to the gym, then go find an amazing hiking trail or a dance class or indoor rock climbing walls. I mean we are so lucky to live in a time where we have almost everything available to us. So make it fun!

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)

-The first hour of the morning after you wake up is crucial. Before reaching for your phone or a cup of coffee, go stand outside barefoot on the grass if the weather permits, or meditate for 5 minutes. Also when you first wake up, have a glass of water with sugar-free electrolytes in it. Make sure it’s sugar-free because even some of the ones at “health food stores“ have sugar in them. The reason for this is because your body gets dehydrated while you sleep overnight so the first thing you want to do is give it proper hydration with a cup of electrolyte water rather than coffee which will dehydrate you further. Coffee has great antioxidants, but save it for a bit later in your morning. This has been a game changer for me because During quarantine I built the habit of reaching for the coffee as soon as I woke up and I realized it was depleting my energy levels dramatically. As soon as I switched to having my electrolyte water outside with the sun shining and telling my body that it’s daytime, and then having the coffee an hour or two later, my energy levels balanced out again.

-Take a food intolerance test! there are several companies that offer these so I’m not going to list a specific one but after experiencing the incredible benefits of this test, I literally purchased one for every single person in my family and made all my friends take it as well. I was a backstage host on dancing with the stars and me and one of the pro-dancers Sharna Burgess were both having problems with acne so I invited her onto my YouTube channel and we took a food intolerance test. Mind you, I did this only after going to my dermatologist who wanted me to take Accutane and also after going to an allergist who did a patch test on my back and told me I had zero allergies. Anyway the test said that I was intolerant to wheat, eggs, pork and sesame seeds. I was vegetarian at the time so I was relying a lot on eggs for protein and eating a lot of veggie burgers on a wheat bun. Like most people, I thought I was being healthy… But it turned out my body was intolerant to those things and when I cut them out I went from getting cystic acne once or twice a week somewhere on my body, to ZERO in the last 4 years. As for Sharna… Her breakouts were only happening on the dancing with the stars tour… Where they’re on the road, and she eats the bacon they serve them every day. It turned out according to the test that her biggest intolerance was pork.

-Heal your gut! Only recently has new science emerged which shows the gut microbiome being the second brain. Hence the old saying, trust your gut. Diversity of these trillions of cells and bacteria is so important in the gut so it’s important to feed it with daily pre and probiotics, in the form of supplements and/or fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. I would urge anyone who is having mental health issues like a depression or anxiety to learn the science behind the connection between your gut and your mental health. For me personally, beyond mental clarity, it completely cleared my abdominal bloating when I began to supplement with prebiotics and a water that contains nutrients from organic soil that allegedly strengthens the gut lining to keep toxins from getting in.

-Work with a mantra. A mantra is a sacred utterances (usually one or a few words in a language called Sanskrit) that helps focus the mind. ‏ many believe that the vibration of sounds the mantras make is even more important than the meaning of the words themselves. When I first got into my spiritual lifestyle, I was pretty heavily into kundalini yoga, and before any practice of kundalini begins we chant, Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo, which roughly means “ I bow before the divine teacher“ or “I bow before my higher self” — the mantra has been so meaningful in my personal practice and that’s why it is tattooed on my back. If you are somebody who finds your mind constantly overthinking and bouncing around unable to focus on the present moment, a mantra could really help you get grounded and clear.

-Community is so important. My whole journey began with kundalini yoga, and what ended up happening is that I met so many people in those classes and was introduced to new ideas which then led me to deeper and deeper practices and self inquiry and new experiences. A big reason why we created the Annual Modern Nirvana Conference is because we wanted a place where people could come together and learn about spirituality and health whether they were brand new and just Curious or just wanting to go deeper in their practice. It’s the perfect mix of science nerds and yoga fanatics, so everyone learns something new and seriously we have the coolest audience I’ve ever seen. They came to see us but I seriously fanboy over them.

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

Losing weight is cute, but exercise does way more!

Exercise is one of the most transformative things you could do for your brain. Neuroscientists have shown that one single exercise session can immediately increase levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain. That elevated mood is likely to seep into and improve other areas of life like work and relationships.

Exercise also increases your reaction times so you’re more likely to jump back before the spilled salad dressing hits your shirt at dinner!

In terms of More long term benefits, exercise is a powerful aid in combating The risk of diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The brain has billion of neurons and if any of those neurons get disruptive it can cause disease. The brain is a self healing machine but we have to trigger that healing and one of those triggers is exercise. That’s why immediate rehabilitation is crucial for stroke patients.

If I told you that there was a pill that could do all of these things you would take it!

For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?

Do you know how earlier I said that one of the most important things I’ve done is take a food intolerance test? That’s because every single body is different. Eggs are really healthy for some people, but I personally am intolerant to them and they cause more harm in my body than good! So when I read articles about how eggs are the number one super food everybody should be eating, I roll my eyes. When I was at Good Morning America they would send me out to do a work out with Jennifer Aniston‘s personal trainer or train with Kim Kardashian’s trainer, but their workouts are not necessarily good for everybody. I understand that seeing Jennifer Aniston‘s workout it’s a cute TV segment but it’s not necessarily helpful because everybody’s needs and goals are different. If I’m going to be super general I would say do the things that our ancestors did like running and moving the body by hiking, swimming, and rock climbing.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

“Autobiography of a Yogi” was a book that I read in college and then about three times since then. Recently someone told me that Steve Jobs read it as a teenager and then again in India and every year after that, he would read it again. It’s one of those books that Almost felt like I was receiving an initiation. It’s the real life story of famed mystic Pramahansa Yogananda, and the story of his spiritual journey from boyhood to Mystic, and all of the incredible characters and teachers he met along the way will take you to places you’ve never gone before. Trust me.

Aside from that, Dr. Joe dispenza’s “becoming supernatural” and Dr. David Hawkins’ “Letting Go” have been deeply transformative in my life. The book that raised my level of consciousness and awareness on this planet before anything else was “a course in miracles“ and I still find myself turning to those lessons from time to time. OK sorry one more, I’m like Oprah and I have to keep sharing, Dave Asprey’s “Super Human” is a pretty fascinating read.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I would get everybody to take a photo of themselves planting some kind of tree or flower or vegetable or fruit! And to do it organically without the use of any chemicals. I watched a documentary on Netflix recently called “kiss the ground“ and it completely galvanized me. I was also lucky enough to shoot a campaign video with my Modern Nirvana co-founders for the “save soil“ campaign by Indian mystic Sadhguru. Unfortunately the nutrients in our food today have hardly the amount of nutrients the food our grandparents ate did. We have almost depleted all of the organic material in our soil, and I would argue it’s one of the most threatening things to mankind there is today. but this is not a doomsday warning, it can be reversed, but we need people talking about creating healthy soil and it can be as easy as starting in your backyard. Remember how I talked earlier about the gut being one of the most important things in your body? Well the diversity of bacteria and organic material and soil is the most important thing for the soil and arguably for the planet.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“She who uses force, forfeits her own power.”

I read this in the Tao Te Ching, and I’m reminded of it from time to time when I find myself trying to force or control a situation. even though it’s contradictory to what we have been told, there is great power in letting go and letting things flow without trying to force an outcome.

Right before the pandemic, I had this great idea that there should be a TV show that was sort of like queer eye but for spiritual and fitness people to change the lives of viewers. I was meeting with Producers, coming up with ideas, and basically trying to force something that was not in flow at the time. A couple of months later I decided to leave my hometown of Los Angeles and move to Texas and just focus on building Modern Nirvana and not do a new tv show. Literally as soon as I moved to Texas I got a message from a casting agent on Instagram which led to a bunch of auditions and then eventually starring in a TV show about people in the health and wellness space! As soon as I just stop trying to force it and got out of the way, it happened on its own. Unfortunately I can’t say more about the show because there’s still a ton of stuff in the works but it’s just a good little example of learning to live in more flow and less force.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)

Elon, let me catch a ride to space, brotha!! What’s funny is if you asked me that question 10 years ago I probably still would have said Elon Musk and the only difference is now it’s probably everybody else’s answer too. I remember going to an environmental event once and he was there and at the time he was only known as being the founder of PayPal or something but there was something about him that was so captivating to me.

So because Elon musk is too easy of an answer I’m going to throw another one at you. Vitalik Buterin created the crypto currency Ethereum and apparently he follows me on Instagram! Honestly I only followed him back because I thought he had amazing cheekbones, but my friend Bryant is super into crypto and was like “uhh do you know who that is?“ so I don’t know the first thing about bitcoin or NFT or any of that but I would love to sit down with this genius and understand what it’s all about on a more philosophical and profound level about the direction of humankind and all of the possible repercussions and outcomes of cryptocurrency. I will say that out of all the coins I’ve seen, Ethereum seems to be the most conscious. Their website looks like some kind of Utopian future, and I’m just so curious about the whole thing.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

My Instagram is @felaridi and if you are interested in learning more about the energetic clearings I do, you can go to www.frankelaridi.com and visit the “emotional healing“ tab. For anybody who wants to come to our conference this year, check us out at www.modernnirvana.com/conference

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.

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