Podcast

All Articles in the Category ‘Podcast’

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.

5 Days of Guided Imagery: Day 1 – Send Love, Feel Better

Today marks day one of our 5 Days of Mindfulness with Dr. Hilary Mead, a child clinical psychologist at Seattle Children’s. Throughout the week we will be sharing seven guided meditations and imagery via the Seattle Mama Doc podcast. We invite you to include your children and your entire family for each of these episodes as they’re great for all ages!

In the first of seven podcasts, Dr. Mead leads a meditation via guided imagery that helps create a greater sense of connection, well-being and love for others and yourself. This meditation practice has data to support its effectiveness in increasing the daily experiences of positive emotion.

For this meditation, you will begin by focusing on sending loving-kindness to someone else as it can be difficult to give it to yourself first. It is such a lovely thing…

Learn more about mindfulness from Dr. Mead here:

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

5 Tips for Teaching Mindfulness to Children and Teens

As promised, Dr. Hilary Mead, a child clinical psychologist in Outpatient Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Seattle Children’s, is back to share her tips on using and teaching mindfulness to our kids. If you missed her first podcast on mindfulness, listen to get a better understanding of what it means to be mindful. And how easy it may be to build it into your everyday life.

Mindfulness is about being in the moment you’re in, aware, accepting what’s unfolding and being non-judgmental of yourself and your relationships. Using mindfulness with children and teens can help them cope with pain-related conditions or emotional, behavioral or mental conditions. This includes depression, panic disorders or trauma. Children can use mindfulness to boost mood, improve coping and gain a sense of control over their experiences with mental challenges.

With that said, here are Dr. Mead’s tips for teaching and incorporating mindfulness into your entire family’s life: Read full post »

Be Sun Smart – Improving Childhood Sun Exposure

It may not always be the sunniest here in Washington, but that doesn’t mean we’re safe from sun exposure and skin cancer risks. In fact, Washington had the 10th highest rate of skin cancer in 2013 (we beat out sunny states including Florida, California and Arizona). Part of that has to do with the population that lives here (non-Hispanic Caucasians have higher rates of skin cancer) but in general it’s a reminder that sun exposure and UV radiation can happen in even this horrific, rainy climate!

Childhood can be a time of potent sun exposure. The majority of sun exposure and sunburns occur during childhood and teen years. Because UV sun exposure and UV light is the #1 preventable cause of skin cancer, as you reduce the amount of exposure for your children you reduce the risk of them being diagnosed with skin cancer later in life.

When it comes to sun exposure and UV light, there are two types you need to know about:

  • UVA radiation causes Aging, deeper skin damage and wrinkles skin. It is constant throughout the entire year, regardless of the season or heat index. That’s why sunscreen while out in the snow in the winter makes sense!
  • UVB radiation causes Burning and is what SPF helps protect you from when using sunscreen. It is most intense in the summer in North America as the earth’s rotation and angle increases sunlight intensity.

In the quick podcast below, you can get smarter about the sun and how you consume it.

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