Transcript EP 295 – Dr Taz’s Take: Back to School Wellness/Creating Power Kids
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Dr. Taz: All right, welcome back, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Super Woman Wellness, where we are determined to bring you back to your super-powered self. And for many of us, if you’re a mom like me, back to school, it’s in full swing. That means the clothes, the shoes. Ronya brought me literally three pairs of $600 shoes she wanted to buy, which was an instant no. But all of that to say, getting our kids ready for school is something we need to be thinking about, beyond school supplies, class lists, and what their outfits are going to be.
Dr. Taz: Here’s what I’d like to do in the next few minutes that we have together. Really give all of us as moms a mental checklist, maybe you want to write these things down, of what you need to be thinking about before we enter the school year. We’re entering, remember, with this gloomy cloud of coronavirus flares, do we wear masks or don’t we wear masks, monkeypox, all this craziness that continues to swirl around families and children, as well, and impacts them all in different ways. Now I’m going to put it out there right here, and I hope I don’t lose any of you, that kids need to be in school. I have witnessed firsthand the psycho, social, and emotional aspects of not being in school, so we want to do things that make them ready for school, ready to handle whatever’s going to come their way.
Dr. Taz: So here’s my list of really what needs to happen as we get ready to go back to school, and it starts, especially post pandemic, with their immune system, keeping their immune systems happy and healthy so that they can navigate whatever they’re exposed to. I would have a conversation, honestly, with your kiddos about good hygiene and immune health and what it means for them. Now for the little ones, they may not care, but if you have an athlete or someone who’s really dialed into academics or their extracurriculars, and they want to perform, they want to do well, well, sitting out a season being sick is not often a great answer or option.
Dr. Taz: So hand washing, getting consistent sleep at night, those are the fundamentals of a healthy immune system. And after that, paying attention to sugar and their overall sugar intake, which you can even teach the youngest child to do, becomes really important because we know sugar wears the immune system down, making them more vulnerable to the colds, the flu, and everything else around them. So take five minutes, 10 minutes, sit with your children and really dial into what they need to be doing. Wash your hands before eating. Don’t keep touching your eyes, your nose, your mouth. That’s how germs are transmitted. Make sure that we’re observing a consistent sleep schedule. Remember, our elementary kids need at least 10 to 12 hours of sleep at night, our middle schoolers, right around 10, and our high schoolers, about eight to 10 hours a night. They actually need a lot of sleep the whole way through to keep those immune systems where they need to be. So immune health would be number one.
Dr. Taz: The second place I would go is connected. It’s gut health. Remember 75% of your gut is connected to your immune system and vice versa. The two interplay and work together all the time, so if you have a child with chronic abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, all of these different symptoms, we know they’re going to be impaired when it comes to their overall immune health. So keeping a healthy gut means following a healthy diet, getting in enough fiber and water, the two things so many children today don’t get enough of. Again, help them to learn to choose water over sodas and Gatorade and all this other stuff that’s out there. Have fun with flavored water or diluted juice even to make liquids interesting.
Dr. Taz: I know Cubby will sometimes come back complaining about a headache, but he hasn’t had a glass of water in six hours, and meanwhile, he’s been staring at the computer or playing outside, and he expects not to have a headache. So again, keeping them hydrated, getting plenty of plant-based foods or high fiber foods, and really putting budgets not only around sugar, which we just talked about, but also around processed foods, junk foods. How many times a week is your family allowed to really go to a fast food restaurant or even eat out where they’re given this inordinate load of salt and dyes and additives, all of these things that really wear down gut function? So something to think about there, really trying to make sure that they are getting whole foods, eating in more that they’re eating out.
Dr. Taz: Eating out or getting junk food is not something you do every day. It’s something you maybe do once a week at the most, and those habits will carry them all the way through, even when they get to college, and they’ll feel badly when they go off that and be naturally motivated and inclined to get back on track. All right, so your gut health, and for a lot of kids, by the way, I’ll recommend things like a probiotic or probiotic-rich foods, and we’ll talk about maybe some supplements in just a second, that can be helpful as we go back to school, but probiotics having good gut bacteria is definitely a part of that conversation as well.
Dr. Taz: All right, I talked about sleep already. That’s probably your third tenant, making sure kids are getting enough sleep. And right behind that is social media usage. Oh my God, these phones, iPads, technology, so great in terms of keeping us connected. But for our children, they’re really not ready for it. The research I guarantee will come out later. It’s affecting their brains, it’s increasing the incidents of sensory issues, trouble focusing, and so much more. How do you set limits? It’s a tough one to get those phones out of bedrooms. No devices in bedrooms past a certain hour. Have normal, regular alarm clocks. Put blue light blockers over the devices so that the wavelength of light is not affecting them, and it can reduce their EMF, or electromagnetic frequency, exposure which, by the way, we know is in general inflammatory.
Dr. Taz: All right, I’m excited to talk about this next product because honestly, my daughter brought it to my attention. Most of you know I have some tweens and teens running around this house, and they’re on TikTok, and they were talking about Athletic Greens, so much so that my daughter wanted me to order it. So I had to get in on the hype and figure out what all of this was about, and honestly, I’m fascinated. This is good stuff. So let me tell you about it.
Dr. Taz: Athletic Greens, with one delicious scoop of this stuff, you are absorbing 75 high quality vitamins, minerals, whole foods or superfoods, probiotics, and adaptogens to help you start your day right. This special blend of ingredients supports your gut health, your nervous system, your immune system, your energy, recovery, even antiaging. It’s all the things in one simple scoop. So, of course, my daughter gets hooked on it. I start taking it and actually miss it if I don’t take it every morning. I make it a part of my morning routine because that’s honestly the easiest time for me to remember stuff, and mix it into some water, drink it straight. Sometimes I’ll add some other of my favorite powders to it, as well. But I’ve noticed it benefits me just with clarity of thought. I have better energy. Of course, my gut and liver health. I feel like I’m doing something for my liver when I take it. And I do recommend it, and it’s so fun to watch my teenagers like this, because they don’t like anything. So it is something that they’ll stick to, which is a bonus, as well.
Dr. Taz: I love this. See here are some fun health facts about it. So many of you ask me about taking a multivitamin. This is a great alternative because you’re getting all-in-one nutrition in one scoop. Remember, there’s 75 minerals. This is a small micro-habit with really big benefits, supporting better sleep quality, better mental clarity, and is one of the best things that you can do for your own self and for your own self-care. Your subscription of Athletic Greens comes with a year’s supply of products based on science, including vitamin D, which is so important, especially when we’ve been talking about the immune system during the cold and flu season over the last few months and really trying to find ways to stay healthy.
Dr. Taz: In fact, the founder created Athletic Greens because he really wanted a one stop, one-size-fits-all option for his own gut health and was tired of taking a lot of different pills and supplements and bottles and spending money on that. So he created Athletic Greens to really offer an all-in-one nutritional experience. If you don’t like following a really strict plan, and you really need, “Hey, I’m just going to do one thing,” this is a way to support the gut, liver, and your energy. Get those minerals and micronutrients in because unfortunately, our food is not as high in micronutrients as we think it is.
Dr. Taz: So check this out. This is good stuff. They’ve got over 7,000 five-star reviews. It’s a climate-neutral certified company. It’s been recommended by professional athletes, and it’s even trusted by leading health experts that support projects protecting growth, including Tim Ferris and Michael Gervais, who are protecting the rainforest there. And here’s another fun fact about the company. In 2020, Athletic Greens donated over 1.2 million meals to kids in 2020.
Dr. Taz: So right now it’s time to reclaim your health and arm your immune system with convenient daily nutrition, especially headed into the cold and flu season. It’s just one scoop with water every day, that’s it. No need for a million different pills and supplements to look out for your health. And to make it easy, Athletic Greens is going to give you a free one year supply of immune supporting vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase. All you have to do is visit athleticgreens.com/drtaz. Again, that’s athleticgreens.com/drtaz, to take ownership of your health and pick up the ultimate daily nutritional insurance.
Dr. Taz: So these are things definitely to keep an eye on and pay attention to. What are some limits? It’s so hard now, but elementary kids don’t need a phone. All you parents out there, please. I had to go through this when my kids were in elementary school. Do not buy your elementary kids a phone. They do not need it. There’s absolutely no purpose to it, and again, you’re training that brain to learn to be stimulated all the time, resulting in issues with reading, focus, concentration, and so much more. Now as they get into middle school, maybe that’s something to discuss and talk about, but honestly, we really all should be waiting till eighth grade, but one parent will ruin it for the rest of us by giving somebody a phone early, and then you have all the kids feeling like they’re left out because they’re not able to have access to this device.
Dr. Taz: But if you do give your child the phone in middle school, again, limits please. No more than an hour or two a day, no more than a few hours on the weekend total. Again, these are developing brains. We will learn long term what the wavelength of light, what electromagnetic frequency, what blue light does to the brain in the years to come. High school, maybe a little bit of a different story and harder to regulate. Still needs to be out of the bedroom. Children still need to be educated to take breaks from their social media time, get up and walk around. And again, take those social media apps away if they’re abusing them. They can’t be on TikTok and Instagram and Snapchat for eight hours a day. So check them, spot check them, surprise them, and there are lots of different ways to set those limits on your phone.
Dr. Taz: All right, moving on from social media and electronic usage and then thinking more about paying attention to their social group, like who are they friends with? Who are they around? And remember, for most children, their peer group is everything, so if they’re in a peer group you don’t approve of or you don’t like, I think it’s really important to make that the priority to change more so than worrying about how amazing a particular school might be or a particular program might be. Get that friend group right.
Dr. Taz: Okay, and last, but certainly not least, let’s talk about maybe some different supplements that are helpful. We know nutrition can be challenging for kids at every age for different reasons. The younger ones are picky, middle schoolers rebel, high schoolers are off doing their own thing. It’s really hard to get their nutritional quality right where it needs to be.
Dr. Taz: We’ve already talked about sugar and inflammatory foods and processed foods and food dyes. Well here are the things you may want to add into their diet. Make sure they’re getting enough healthy fats. We know it helps brain development, so that’s more of those Omega-9 and Omega-3 fats, salmon, tuna, black seeds, chia seeds, olive oil, and even a little bit of coconut oil, which has medium chain triglycerides in it, so really getting those healthy fats in. We know it settles the gut, helps the gut to stay healthy. Now let’s say you’re trying, it’s not happening. A few targeted supplements can help to keep your kids healthy. We want to optimize B vitamin levels, making sure they’re getting those for both focus, concentration, and overall energy.
Dr. Taz: Magnesium, which seems to be deficient in everyone right now, is a big player in why people are so anxious and having trouble sleeping. Most kids will benefit from anywhere from 50 to 100 milligrams of magnesium nightly, so that’s one you could try. Vitamin D to help support and protect the immune system. My general recommendation is around 200 to 500 IU daily. Again, that level often needs to be checked to make sure your vitamin D levels are not too low or too high as you start to supplement. And then Omega-3 fats. It seems to be a universal deficiency, that adding those in helps to prevent inflammation and really helps with kids’ brain health, hormone health, and so much more.
Dr. Taz: Now remember, everything’s connected. A healthy gut leads to a healthy immune system. A healthy immune system leads to better performance and energy and even mood, and really watching those moods probably is where we should end. We know we have a mental health crisis in schools nowadays. Children are confused about everything from where they are, who they are, which gender they are, and so much more. These are touchy times, but the mental health crisis is out of control, so screen your kids weekly, monthly, for signs of mental health issues. Is your child anxious? Are they depressed? Are they eating too much or too little? Where’s their weight? Are they sleeping? Are they engaging with you?
Dr. Taz: Having been through it, I’m telling you, when you see your kiddos retreat and withdraw and start to become shadow versions of themselves, something’s wrong. Act on it, chase after it, and try to get to the bottom of it. Always start first with correcting sleep and social media usage. It seems to be the biggest culprit there. Move on to diet, maybe try a few supplements. The B vitamins and magnesium, Omega-3 seem to make the biggest difference. But if none of that is lifting your child, move on and examine their peer group, their environment, their habits, and see if you can put your finger on what’s taking your bright and cheery glowy child into a dark place.
Dr. Taz: Of course, enlist professional help if that’s needed, counseling, therapy, whatever it takes, but be aware and be alert because as super women, sometimes these things are happening in a very slow and incremental way. And we only realize it when there’s a full-out fire versus just those simmering smolders, so to speak, that could have caught our attention a little bit earlier.
Dr. Taz: But back to school is going to be amazing. We’re going to keep our kids healthy, well, and happy, and the rest will follow. These are some habits, hopefully, that you can put into play. And remember, it’s the little things that make a difference for the big picture. Don’t get frustrated. Don’t get agitated. I’ve learned that too many times, that we’re on a journey, and we may not always get it right every single day, but we’re always doing a better job all along the way.
Dr. Taz: Now if you want help with navigating what’s going on with your child, remember if you join the Super Woman’s Circle, you get access to my back-to-school guide, also access to your mom-type and child-type guide. That may help you from this East-West philosophy of how to think about your children and yourself. For example, if you’re a particular type, it may be off putting to your child, and understanding how to navigate that dynamic is very helpful when we apply Eastern and Western philosophy to it.
Dr. Taz: So check that out, go to drtaz.com, take the quiz, find your mom type, find your child type, get those guides, start to understand the dynamics in your family, and then any information that you deliver or want to present will be received with a lot greater ease. So hopefully those resources are going to be helpful, and these are all things we talk about in the Super Woman’s Circle every month. Join the Circle if you haven’t. It’s such a great community of women coming together to support one another as we navigate all things, health, wellness, chemistry, and our spirit. You name it, we’ve got it.
Dr. Taz: All right, thank you so much for joining me on this episode of Super Woman Wellness. If you enjoyed it, please don’t forget to rate and review it and share it with your friends. I will see you guys next time.