Podcast

All Articles in the Category ‘Podcast’

I’m Not Eating Meat Raised With Antibiotics Anymore

A lot of people don’t eat meat for all sorts of reasons. You know why: their health, the environment, they don’t want to eat animals, just doin’ the right thing for the planet. I’ve gone through times in my life where I didn’t eat meat. Now I do again. The more I learn about health care, the more certain I am that as I go forward eating meat and preparing it for my family, I can use science to guide me to do it in smarter ways.

Being smarter about how we eat meat makes sense. This includes not consuming nitrates (cancer risk) and preservatives when we don’t have to, but also choosing meat raised without unnecessary antibiotics. Smarter meat-eating involves creating a demand for meat that’s safer for us and the population. Antibiotics used to raise animals for meat production aren’t always in our best interest, health-wise.

Animal agriculture uses 4x the amount of antibiotics as human medicine, so buying meat not raised with antibiotics is without a doubt a way towards a safer world where antibiotics can be reserved for use in helping us. Antibiotics aren’t used when raising farm animals to make the meat on your kitchen counter safer — raw or undercooked meat is still a biohazard, even if raised with lots of antibiotics — you can still get an infection from meat raised with antibiotics. Antibiotics are often used to raise animals in crowded or less ideal conditions to help prevent them from getting infections. The more antibiotics we use anywhere, the the more we’ll see resistant bacteria everywhere. So reducing demand for meat/animals raised in conditions demanding more antibiotics is a good thing. Moving forward, I’m raising my hand to eat meat (whenever possible) not raised with unnecessary antibiotics.*


Over the weekend I was at a large whole-sale store and I bought this meat. I think this is the kind to buy. Help me make sure I did this right, leave me comments below.

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*This sentence was edited on 11.16.17 for clarity to reflect my intention based on comments I’ve received. I am doing a deeper dive on manufacturing and antibiotic-free labeling practices.

6 Tips To Help A Child With Autism Eat Better

There are ways to support picky eaters and children who refuse new foods. I’m back with Dr. Dolezal further discussing feeding challenges for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The first post explored why children with Autism have challenges with eating (almost 90% do). I often say that a typically developing child will not starve with a full refrigerator, but this advice just doesn’t hold up with ASD children. I love Ellyn Satter’s advice and mission in helping adults and children be joyful and confident with eating. Her resource and guidance inspires a “division of responsibility” that basically a parent’s role is most simply to provide great healthy food and a child’s job is to choose what and how much of it to eat. But we have to acknowledge that parents to children with ASD need more information about challenges and often far more support. Here are Dr. Dolezal’s 6 tips to help a child with autism, or any child who choses to eat only a few, certain foods, eat better.

Children who graze are really not open to trying new things. — Dr. Dolezal

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Why Children With Autism Struggle With Eating

If you’re a parent to a child on the autism spectrum, take some comfort in knowing that up to about 90% of children with autism struggle with significant eating challenges. You are NOT alone in this. The challenges can range from picky eating to dependence upon PediaSure or g-tube for caloric intake. We know that children thrive in an expected world. But children with autism can take that to the margin where a preoccupation with sameness can drive them to eat only the same thing every day. Despite these staggering numbers, there are evidenced-based treatments and models of care that can help improve the lives of children and families from a nutritional and quality of life perspective. I had the pleasure of having Dr. Danielle Dolezal on the podcast to discuss this topic. The first podcast here is an overview of why children with Autism Spectrum disorders have these challenges with eating.

Rigidity and sameness contributes greatly to feeding picture. Eating is one of the most sensory experiences you can have.” ~Dr. Dolezal

Dr. Dolezal is the Clinical Supervisor of the Pediatric Feeding Program at Seattle Children’s Autism Center. She’s super smartypants and created the highly sought after (nearly 500 families on the wait list, unfortunately) interdisciplinary team model and program at the Autism Center. That means patients that have multiple factors contributing to feeding issues (medical, skill, motor, physiologic, and psychology) get to see a variety of team members under 1 roof. She started off her career with a masters in special education with special emphasis in early childhood and children who struggle with severe challenging behavior. She then got her PhD in child psychology with further emphasis in behavior analysis specializing in feeding disorders and severe challenging behavior. So needless to say….she knows her stuff. Her podcast is so good. Insistence on sameness is a common theme and can be horribly challenging for families who worry about their child’s nutrition.

A Few Quick Tips:

  • Try to not let your child slip into patterns of grazing, which is very common and leads to disrupted hunger/satiety patterns. This makes it difficult for them to try new foods because they graze to take the edge of the hunger all day long and are never really sitting down to eat a full meal at set meal times. They will be more apt and ready to try new foods if you keep to a set schedule. They don’t have to stay seated in a seat. They can stand up. But the food stays at the table.
  • Try celebrating and reinforce flexibility with something the child is already doing. So if they are eating dry/crunchy textures, try branching out to ANY type of cracker. Go from white cheddar Cheez-It to regular Cheez-It. Celebrate that as a new learning experience and new demonstration of flexibility.

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Avoiding Shame When Talking About Weight With Your Teen

Figuring out what to say to a child or teen about being overweight can be perplexing. We want out children to love to eat. We want our children to love their bodies. We want our children to be of healthy weight. We want to avoid ever making our children feel shameful about how and what they eat.

It can be a challenge to figure out what to say when we worry our children may be overweight or at risk for being overweight. How do we talk with them about eating well without making them feel any frustration/shame/overwhelm about their body? There are roughly 7 million children and teens younger than 19 years old in the US that are of unhealthy weight or obese. In Washington, 23% of 10th graders (15 to 16 years old) are overweight or obese. That’s nearly one-quarter of teens who are at one of their most vulnerable ages. So lots of parents may find themselves wanting to support different choices with eating and activity and not know quite how.

Adolescent expert Dr. Cora Breuner is a specialist who works with teens who need extra help getting to a healthy weight. She recently joined me on a podcast to discuss talking about the difficult topic with your teen. Specifically, Dr. Breuner shared tips on how to approach conversations with your teen about their weight, and common confusions and excuses for overeating.

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Reducing BPA and Phthalates in Your Everyday Life

Chemicals are a part of our environment in the modern world, of course, thanks to the conveniences afforded to us by farming, manufacturing, and industry. Every parent wants to reduce exposures for their children as they grow. No question that developing babies and children may be more vulnerable to the effects of toxins as their bodies and organs and minds form. There are 80,000 chemicals in commerce (yikes!) with 3,000 being high volume meaning they can be found ubiquitously in some of our lives. There is no way to completely avoid them, but there are ways to reduce exposure to specific chemicals you’ve likely heard about, like bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates and other pesticides and toxins found around your community.

Four quick tips for reducing toxins in your home below.

My colleague (from way back in residency), Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana is an expert in understanding the effects of chemicals on developing and growing babies and children. She joined me for two podcasts to discuss chemical exposure, what the effects are and how you can reduce your family’s exposure. Dr. Sathyanarayana is a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital and a pediatric environmental health scientist at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Her research focuses on exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals such as phthalates and BPA and their impact on reproductive development.

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Tips for Reducing Hearing Loss From Earbuds And Earphones

I’ve started to use earbuds a lot. Like a lot a lot…like every day. Just like so many other people you see on the street, and many teens, I use earbuds daily to make phone calls, listen to music or podcasts or engage while I stream videos. On the plane, always. And on a bad day or a sad day, no question I love to turn the music way up when I go for a run.

Turns out I’ve got to make some changes. The 60/60 rule has gotta start soon (keeping volume no more than 60%, listening for no more than 60 minutes at a time).

I’m not alone. We’re seeing more and more adults and teens with hearing-loss related to earbud use and loud sounds from digital devices. This problem is growing. Data on how using earphones and earbuds, in particular, they change what we hear, how we hear it, and how the placement of a speaker deeper into your ear can contribute to irreversible hearing loss is worth our attention. Hearing loss from loud sounds isn’t recoverable  — meaning once you damage the little hair cells deep in your ear they don’t grow back — that hearing is lost for good. When it comes to our hearing, we do therefore really matters at any time in our life.

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5 Days of Mindfulness: Day 5 – 3 Beautiful Guided Meditations

It is day five of our 5 Days of Mindfulness series with Dr. Hilary Mead, but remember, you can re-listen to any of these guided practices as many times as you need. Mindfulness is a great technique that can enhance how you, your children and teens cope with pain-related conditions or emotional, behavioral or mental conditions. By teaching them to observe their feelings and thoughts, mindfulness practices can help them slow down their feelings by observing their urges and thinking about them instead of immediately acting on them.

To finish off the week I’m sharing three new guided practices. As with the others, I invite you to do these with your family to help incorporate mindfulness into your everyday routine.

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5 Days of Mindfulness: Day 4 – Guided Meditation Waking Up as a Robot

If you haven’t been able to follow us this week, you’re coming in at a great time as we’re in the middle of a 5 Days of Mindfulness series with Dr. Hilary Mead. The guided meditation below is a paired guide for your mind and your body with movement, meaning you’ll not only be moving your body but you’ll be more conscious about how you’re doing that. This practice was originally developed by John Kabat-Zinn, but Dr. Mead added a twist of being a toy robot that has been on a shelf (think being stiff or the tin man from the Wizard of Oz that needs a little oil in his joints to get going).

This is a great mindfulness practice to do with your kids especially in the morning to help all of you wake up your body and imagination!

We’ll be finishing off our series tomorrow via the Seattle Mama Doc podcast and blog with three new guided imagery and meditation practices. My absolute favorite one (I got so lost in it I was a little transfixed) rounds out the series . There’s a water slide involved….

More from Dr. Mead about mindfulness:

5 Days of Mindfulness: Day 3 – Swinging Meditation

Welcome to day three of our 5 Days of Mindfulness series with Dr. Hilary Mead where she leads a guided imagery of swinging. She is a guru at helping children, teens and their families learn how to incorporate mindfulness and guided meditation into their everyday lives to help cope with the various difficulties of life. Today’s guided practice was created/adapted by Dr. Jim McKeever of Seattle Children’s to help listeners focus on their breathing by imagining they’re on a swing. While on the swing you’ll not only concentrate on each breath, but also on the pause between your inhale and exhale.

Invite your kids to join you as you enjoy your time on the swings!

Learn more about mindfulness from Dr. Mead:

Stay tuned for more podcasts and blog posts as we continue our 5 Days of Mindfulness series.

5 Days of Mindfulness: Day 2 – Becoming a Tree

Dr. Hilary Mead continues with our 5 Days of Mindfulness series with this 15-minute guided imagery meditation. Listen as she walks you through being (or watching) a tree rooted into the ground as it changes throughout the seasons just as we change over time. This mindfulness practice can be done alone or with your family or friends. You can use what you learn during this podcast to help when you’re not able to fall asleep.

As mindfulness is about being in the moment, aware, accepting and non-judgmental, this exercise helps hone your focus and find ways to practice it.

I personally went through this guided practice with Dr. Mead and the landscapes and vistas, trees and colors kept changing in my mind. During the middle of the imagery I started to wonder if I was messing it all up. Turns out you can’t. Dr. Mead reminded me there is no failing in mindfulness! Phew.

More on mindfulness from Dr. Mead:

I hope you’re enjoying these guided mindfulness practices. Tell me what you think about these so far in the comments below and come back each day this week for more podcasts and blog posts as we continue our 5 Days of Mindfulness series.