We had the good fortune of connecting with Danielle Ryan Broida, RH (AHG) and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Danielle Ryan, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
There is so much still unknown in the customer eye when it comes to the mushroom space. Mislabeling, pixie-dusting, using different parts of the species, growing mushrooms on cheap substrates, grinding up substrates and calling it “mushrooms”, selling “raw” mushrooms, and I could go on! My goal is to shed light on the incredible Fungi Kingdom (Queendom ;)). Through my work as an Instructor of Mycology at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism and National Educator at Four Sigmatic, my overarching focus is on two things: 1) Encouraging the use of mushrooms in the way cultures have been using them for thousands of years (reviving ancient traditions and giving them a space for those of us that need their medicine in the West) & 2) Always looking to Mother Nature as the best cultivator of all (using mushrooms as Nature intended). When out in the world, this comes down to a few basic things to look for- using the real mushrooms (called the “fruiting body”), buying log-grown or wild-harvested mushrooms, and ensuring they are extracted (must actually say “extracted”, not fermented or other similar words). Lastly, while perhaps more known by those already using functional mushrooms, it’s important to remind those unfamiliar with functional mushrooms, that the species we are speaking of are legal, non-psychoactive fungi that have been used as safe, revered, powerful herbal remedies all across the planet for literally thousands of years. While they each have unique offerings, many of our top functional mushrooms act as some of the best long-term natural allies for immune support. It has never been a better time (hello 2020!) to start bringing mushrooms into your daily routine.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I talk about mushrooms for a living. How did I get here? It’s been a long and winding journey through many countries, many courses, clients, trials and tribulations but the thread that connects it all is a deep love, awe, and reverence for our incredible Earth that supports our every breath. I believe that the Fungi Kingdom has the potential to turn our world around, in a way that offers answers we never previously thought possible. They represent a new way of connecting with the Earth, with ourselves and with one another. From potent food and medicine to breaking down toxic waste, I truly believe fungi are the greatest teachers and the best answer we need to move into a place of alignment and health within ourselves, our communities and with the planet. With this foundational belief, I work as the National Educator for Four Sigmatic and the Instructor of Mycology at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. By trade, I’m a Registered Herbalist of the American Herbalists Guild and a Holistic Nutritionist. I absolutely love sharing the #everydaymagic of mushrooms (and herbs!) with the world.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When my friends or family come to visit me, they call it “Camp Dee.” I love waking up with the sun and have endless energy from the moment I jump out of bed. Our days always start with elixirs of some sorts- usually Lion’s Mane mushroom extract, cinnamon, cacao, perhaps an adaptogen or nutritive herb or two, and a splash of frothed dairy-free milk. We’ll then ground in one way or another, that changes daily but looks like breath work (currently practicing Wim Hoff), Vedic meditation, or morning pages (free-style writing to get out any thoughts needed to find an outlet before the day begins). Activities all involve nature. I live at the base of Eldorado Springs State Park, so love taking visitors out on the trails in my backyard to move our bodies and find some perspective. Hikes often turn into plant walks, where I excitedly point out every medicinal along the way and if there is an abundant yield, will teach sustainable wild-harvesting practices. Mid-morning is brunch, where I’ll whip up a plant-based meal loaded with colorful veggies (hopefully from the garden in a good year!), sprouts, spices, and of course sautéed mushrooms. Afternoons may be getting out on some water, SUPing on a reservoir or nearby lake, medicine making and harvesting plants from the garden, yoga in the sun, or perhaps a visit to some of my favorite local spots like kombucha tasting or some of the wonderful apothecaries in town. Home cooked meals mean the world to me, so we’ll likely pick up a few goodies and head home to my little cabin to start preparing dinner. Unlike brunch, dinner is a communal activity so I’ll encourage my visitors to join me and get creative in the kitchen with what we have (never following recipes!). We’ll cook for a few hours, creating the perfect meal. If the weather permits, we’ll sit outside looking out over the garden, light a candle, pour a glass of red wine, and enjoy our meal over conversations about our dreams, ideas, and the world at large.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Where to begin- there are so many incredible mentors and allies that have made my journey possible. To my incredible funguys and fungals over at Four Sigmatic, the small but mighty team behind bringing the best of nature (superfoods, mushrooms and adaptogens) into daily routines in an easy, delicious and accessible way. Being part of a brand like ours is truly humbling. Each individual works so hard to bring their best skills to the table for the success of all of us. While I get shout outs more publicly, there are 30 others behind the scenes making it all happen. Beyond that, I’ll shout out to my sister, Nicole, and my mom, Julie, for being my biggest cheerleaders. Through the many changing seasons of my life, career, relationships, friendships and all in between, these two are my rocks. And to all the people that vulnerably share with me their stories- about how plants and fungi have bettered their lives in one way or another, thank you. Your experiences are what enable these species to live on, and sharing them is part of remembering their medicine and lineage.

Website: www.danielleryanwellness.com; https://us.foursigmatic.com/mushroom-academy-2020
Instagram: @danielleryanbroida @foursigmatic
Linkedin: Danielle Ryan Broida
Twitter: N/A or @foursigmatic
Facebook: Danielle Ryan Broida
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHyJRIy85bANicN_H43Pn9w
Other: www.foursigmatic.com

Image Credits
@wearethegoodlife @mistergoodlife @camp_niec @alexsahrling @juhoheinola

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