Taking Charge of Your Health

Jordan: Hi and welcome to Ancient Medicine
Today. We have an amazing program for you, all of
you watching who have children you need to pay special attention to what we’re going
to talk about because we are in the midst of an epidemic. But the good news is, the tide is turning. And here at Ancient Medicine Today we want
to give you powerful information to help you use food as medicine. And today’s program we have Dr. Michelle Levitt. Welcome. Michelle: Hi.
Jordan: Dr. Levitt and I met recently at a health conference and I was very excited because
Dr. Levitt is a medical doctor, a pediatrician with the passion for integrative medicine
and sports nutrition. In fact, you told me that your dream is to
see teenagers and children treating their body appropriately but also able to be athletic
and so many of their pursuits involve taking supplements and foods but to do it in a healthy
way. Michelle: Right. Jordan: So I’m going to try to get this right
because Dr. Levitt has a lot going on. So Dr. Levitt is a pediatrician and she is
certified in obesity medicine. What’s interesting Dr. Leavitt, is years ago
there was no such thing as obesity much less obesity medicine. But that is obviously something that we’re
going to understand more about because it isn’t just adults that are overweight and
obese, our children are now being affected. So Dr. Levitt is at Akron Children’s Hospital
and she’s in the Department of Sports Medicine in the healthy weight clinic. Did I get that right? Michelle: Got it right. Jordan: The rest of the program, I’m going
to nail it. So Dr. Levitt and I met and I wanted her to
come on this program because she is going to share with everybody or we are, Six Keys
to Raising Healthy and Fit Children. And I don’t know about you, but if you go
to a mall, go to a movie theater, if you go to a theme park it is shocking how many children
are overweight and obese. And today we’re going to talk about practical
ways to raise healthy and fit children. And as always if you are interested in this
topic go ahead and click that Like button, and if you know anyone who has children who
wants to raise them in a healthy way, which should be everybody, make sure to Share this
link with others because we need to get the word out that the good news of good health
is available to all of us. So let’s get started. This is a great one Dr. Levitt, how important
is it in raising healthy children, I understand you have two teenage boys. Tell us about the importance of having a role
model? Michelle: Okay, so role modeling is important
because as we know, kids want to be like their parents right? Especially little kids. Jordan: Sometimes. Michelle: Yeah, especially little kids, they
want to do what their parents are doing, they want to be like their parents, and it’s important
to be a role model so healthy and fit parents raise healthy and fit kids. So we want our kids to see us eating healthy,
eating our vegetables, drinking water, exercising. Complimenting each other, complimenting ourselves,
and because they’ll just mimic and model what we model for them so it’s really important. Jordan: The audience knows I compliment myself
on camera all the time. It’s interesting, I have several children
and my four-year-old, she will always get down on the ground and try to do a push-up
when we’re working out. And it’s sort of humorous, or, “Dad, can I
sit on your back when you’re doing a workout” and the kids try to get involved. But I totally agree, it’s important to model
that. And I used to say to my wife when we met,
she was not the healthiest eater and this happens when somebody is on this journey and
their spouse may be brought or dragged along and so I used to say to her if you’re going
to eat something that you don’t want the kids to eat or that we’re not allowing the kids
to eat we’ve got to do it out of their sight. And now that’s not a problem because we’re
eating clean nearly all the time. But there’s no doubt that we have to set a
standard for our kids because we need to make sure that our ceiling is their floor. And we have to make sure we have a very, very
high ceiling. So be a role model for your kids, I say this
all the time. Don’t expect your kids to do certain things
that you’re not and this is tough and I’ll indict myself and the male population here. But this is probably more of an issue with
dads than mom’s right? And wouldn’t you say the mother is the bearer
of health in the family? Michelle: Typical, yeah. Jordan: And then dad is the one that sort
of cheats and leads the kids into that? Michelle: Yeah, yeah. Jordan: What do we do about us men being better
role models? How do you do that? Your husband’s a doctor as well? Michelle: Right, he is. Yeah. Jordan: How is that work? Michelle: So in my practice I run into that
a lot so it’s always the moms that are kind of involved in it, not always but typically,
and the dads aren’t quite on board. So I do recommend just what you said, if they’re
going to not eat healthy or choose these poor foods to actually not keep them in the home
and do it outside the home so that the kids don’t see them doing it. And basically just communicating. So the parent just communicating with the
other parent about the importance of healthy and fit kids and also the importance of role
modeling it may be coming to like a common ground. Let’s start one place, let’s start with just
you taking a walk together as a family, so now we’re exercising together and then add
things on as you go. So it’s just kind of baby steps for the other
parent. Jordan: Absolutely. Michelle: Yeah. Jordan: And I know that you also do health
coaching and you’ll personalize that or you can do it virtually which is great. Michelle: Right. Jordan: And so sometimes the mom or dad need
a role model themselves. Michelle: Absolutely. Jordan: And I think when we’re speaking about
anything authoritatively we need to practice what we preach, and only preach what we’ve
already practiced because at the end of the day we live in a world filled with hypocrisy. And so when you see somebody say something
that making a stand you immediately look for what are they really doing in their life,
their scandals etc., we seem to celebrate that. But it’s really important if you want your
kids to be healthy you need to be a role model, and so many moms are stressed. Again dads typically are not as engaged in
natural health and fitness as the moms are. So we’ve got to make a stand. My kids are to the point where if I will eat
somewhere out and they’ll know that I did they’ll ask me what I had, so it isn’t even
good enough to simply model. Okay, so here’s an interesting one. What do you mean by a morning and evening
routine? What does that mean to you? What do you recommend we do in the morning
and in the evenings, in a routine fashion and how does that help solidify health of
our family? Michelle: Okay, so routines make kids feel
secure, and security also brings happiness and just a more pleasant family. Routines are really important because they
limit stress, so stressing our child out makes our child not as healthy. But routines just help kind of, well number
one, help the family implement being healthy and make it more an automatic and to setting
the kids up to win. So for example, I usually reverse it and actually
recommend that families maybe do a power hour on Sundays. Jordan: Okay. Michelle: And set up, like look at their calendar
for the week and like, what do we have? What activities? What are our kids in? What appointments? And kind of set up the week. Involve the kids in it so that they’re involved
too and they kind of learn that. And that sets up like the first routine of
kind of a family power hour on Sundays, and then they kind of feel like more in control
over their week because everybody knows what’s going on. And then in the evening setting up like, how’s
our morning going to look? So what do we have tomorrow? And kind of repeating the evening routine
each night and that’ll kind of set up for a morning of success. So like, what do we have tomorrow? What time will we be getting up? Let’s plan and prep our breakfast and our
lunches in advance so we’re not rushing around doing everything in the morning and feeling
stressed out. So then kids go to school more confident,
less anxious, and more comfortable. And then adding into the evening routine,
a really important one is sleep, a sleep routine. So setting up a bedtime ritual so you’re kind
of doing the same things that lead up to bedtime. So maybe everyone might like read together,
and then take a bath, and then say prayers, or whatever, is like the typical routine. So the bedtime is important. You want to try to keep the bedtime similar
every night but if you have the ritual set up leading up to bedtime, say something happens
in your life where you’re just not going to bed at the same time or you’re traveling,
you still do the same ritual even if the bedtime is different and it’ll still wind the child
down and make them feel like they’re still in the routine. Jordan: Got it. You have two teenage boys. What ages? Michelle: Correct, 19 and 15. Jordan: Okay, so both in the house? Michelle: No, my 19-year-old is in college. So he’s away. Jordan: Okay, so think back a few years ago
and having teenagers with bedtimes and rituals may be a challenge because they’ve got all
kinds of things going on, but give us an example of an ideal morning routine from an eating,
exercise, etc., I know your boys are involved sports. Michelle: Yeah. Jordan: So what would that be with to doctor
parents, two teenage boys, what does an ideal morning routine look like for you in terms
of what you eat, what you prepare, and how you send your kids off in a healthy way? Because this is something that people struggle
with. You always feel like we’re racing, you’re
getting the lunch out the door, the bus is coming. Michelle: Right. Jordan: And not a lot of people ride the bus
anymore it seems, but something to where it’s always a rush. How do you establish any quality time and
set your kids up and your husband for a good day? Michelle: So really tough with teens. So that’s why it’s really important to set
up the routine when they’re little. So that way when they become teens it’s just
sort of automatic and they don’t know anything different. But typically at our house, so the night time
routine would . . . not perfect every night because we have teenagers but kind of shutting
down the electronics and the screens, and starting like the wind down process. And then they don’t have as much of a bedtime
routine as when they were little but just kind of starting that process of let’s turn
the phones in, and let’s get off the screens, and let’s kind of wind down a little bit,
have a little distressing time. And then, setting up for the next day. So if they’re going to pack their lunch make
sure it’s packed the night before. Don’t do it in the morning. Setting up what we’re going to have for breakfast,
usually we would have the same thing for breakfast. Usually like a healthy smoothie type shake
because it’s quick and easy. Jordan: Yes. Michelle: And very nutritious, packed with
nutrition. So I work out actually early in the morning
before my kids wake up. Jordan: There you go. That’s how you do it. Michelle: So that’s kind of how you can fit
your routine into your kid’s routine instead of trying to do everything. So typically as parents like, well, we’re
opposite. So I work out early in the morning, then I’m
done, don’t have to feel like I’m rushing off somewhere, can wake up my child, maybe
like we have a little devotional we do, that’s just like a three minute, just real quick
so nothing elaborate but just kind of setting up the wake up process. And then, my husband works out in the evening,
but our kids know that we exercise. Jordan: Awesome. Michelle: So that’s important, yeah. Jordan: So a couple of questions. One, I want to point out that, in today’s
day and age electronics is so prevalent if a child doesn’t have a smartphone at an early
age they’ve got a tablet. If they don’t have a tablet they’ve got some
type of gaming station. And I don’t want to get too far into sort
of the electromagnetic frequencies and some of the issues, but I make sure that my kids
don’t have any of those in their room on at all. Now certainly, getting them off of their technology
so that they’re not tempted to text at midnight is important, but even just having a room
filled with those frequencies can be an issue. So everybody puts their tablet or smartphone
on airplane mode, they put it outside of the room, and if they have an Xbox or PlayStation
I make sure that everything is powered off because that can create an environment where
it’s difficult to sleep even if it’s not on. So what are some non-negotiables on the diet
side, because I have been blessed to raise our kids, I would say in a very strict fashion. They own it though. So I couldn’t give the majority of my kids’
something that’s unhealthy. The other day my four-year-old daughter tried
to convince me that at church she should be able to eat XYZ. She says, “Dad, it’s free of GNOs.” So she was close. That was really good, Isabella. Michelle: Yeah, absolutely. Jordan: But what are some non-negotiables? Again teens are hard because they’re going
to eat what they’re going to eat, they have access, they’re driving, etc.. Michelle: Right. Jordan: But, what would you say are non-negotiables
from a diet standpoint? What do you really tell your kids, please
never eat this and what do you try to make sure they consume? You mentioned a smoothie, but give a couple
of foods that you want to get in them every day and a couple of items that you plead with
them not to consume through education and renewing of their mind? Michelle: Okay, so yes, as parents once you
know what’s happening with these foods and our kids, you’re definitely more empowered
to not give them to your kids. So we have a role which kind of goes with
the next point are, I have a rule that go with my family, protect the home. Jordan: Okay, well do that. Protect the home. Michelle: So yes. Protecting the home means you list your non-negotiables. Jordan: Okay. Michelle: So basically do not have the non-negotiables
in the home. So one of ours is no sugar sweetened. So for us of course, pop for sure. Jordan: That’s soda for those of you who don’t
really know. Michelle: Yeah, soda, pop, and juice, and
other sugar sweetened drinks. Jordan: Okay, hold on. Back up. I’ve got to interrupt. So you said, no soda and you said no juice. Now this will surprise people. Michelle: Yes. Jordan: Because some who are watching believe
that juice is healthy, most think soda is unhealthy. So tell us about juice and why that is not
permitted in the home? Michelle: Okay, so juice to be honest is basically
just sugar water. So to make the juice they have to press the
fruit and they leave out the pulp and the fiber and all the things that have the nutrients
and the soluble and insoluble fiber, and all you’re really left with is the sugar. Even the phytonutrients and the vitamins and
minerals get lost in the processing. Jordan: Yes. Michelle: So you’re really, honestly, left
was sugar and to be honest an 8 or 12 ounce cup of apple juice has the same amount of
sugar as pop or soda. Jordan: Okay. Michelle: So that’s scary really. So when you look at, when you look at, “Oh,
I would never give my kid pop,” and then their sucking down the juice boxes like they’re
going out of style. Jordan: Right. Michelle: You really have to know they have
the same amount of sugar, they really do. Jordan: When I was younger, my parents were
very into natural health. My dad’s a naturopathic doctor and chiropractor
but I didn’t like to drink water and I was drinking these 100% juice drinks all day long. I’d freeze them in popsicle molds, I’m talking
to 8 or 10 a day when you’re a child. Michelle: Yeah, yeah. Jordan: That is 40 teaspoons of sugar. Michelle: Right. Jordan: Or more. So keep that in mind folks that one glass,
an 8-ounce glass of orange juice can contain between 30 and 40 grams of sugar. Michelle: Yes. Jordan: Now they’re not added sugars, but
their sugars. So you said, soda i.e. pop, juice, what else
is not in your home? Michelle: Process breakfast foods. Jordan: Okay. Michelle: So like the quick things, like pancakes,
waffles, toaster strudels, Pop Tarts, and cereal. Because again we’re getting back to multiple
things, sugar for one, but then the way the grain is and the sugars and also unhealthy
oil. So they often will list grain as the ingredient
or whole grain and then the second, and third, and fourth, and fifth ingredient are three
different kinds of sugar. Jordan: Right. Michelle: And so food companies are tricky
because they break up the sugar so it’s not the biggest ingredient so they can put whole
grain first. Jordan: Yes, different versions. Michelle: Yeah so I try to keep those out
of the house because my teenage boy will literally just eat cereal non-stop. Jordan: Right, when I was a teenager I would
occasionally sneak the unhealthy cereal and that is loaded with sugar. And people believe today that if you don’t
eat cereal and skim milk for breakfast you’re somehow going to go to prison. Michelle: Right. Jordan: It’s law that you should eat cereal
in breakfast. You know cereal for breakfast, you know who
created that concept? Cereal companies. Michelle: Absolutely, yeah. Jordan: Just like a greeting card company
created Mother’s Day. Now we love Mother’s Day. But folks, you’ve got to understand, eating
grain-filled, sugar-filled cereal especially with skim milk, I like to call that diabetes
for breakfast. Michelle: I agree, yeah. Jordan: Because essentially that is going
to put you in a situation where you’re going to suffer and then for lunch people have a
lot of grains, sandwiches, but usually with sweet things, juice boxes etc., then a dessert. And so we’re really setting our kids up, not
only for a roller coaster physically but mentally. So we’re going to avoid pop or soda, we’re
going to avoid juice, and then a lot of those breakfast things are a lot less healthy than
we think. And so this is really great. If you protect the home, if you don’t have
it in the home at least there’s a sanctuary during that period of time. Michelle: Right. Jordan: You can’t always control what your
kids do when they’re out of the house but you can protect them. I want to have you give me one good example
of one of your two boys sort of owning this. So what’s an experience where they would come
home and say, “Mom, everybody went out for pizza but I decided X,” or, “Mom, just like
you told me I didn’t have this that or the other at a birthday party.” What was a light bulb moment where you knew
that you were being a role model, the routines were working and you had protected the home? Give us a good story. Michelle: So my 19-year-old he was doing what
my 15-year-old is doing now. He would buck me on everything, and they don’t
understand why it’s not healthy and why they can’t have it and he hasn’t owned it just
like you said. So because he hasn’t owned it, I have to protect
the home. But my 19-year-old, when he was around 16
he kind of saw me working out all the time, exercising, eating healthy, and just asking
me questions like, “Hey, what about this?” so he had really bad acne and so . . .
Jordan: Just to motivate him. Michelle: Yeah. So kind of talked about . . . he actually
researched on his own, “Hey Mom, I realized like gluten causes acne” and he’s looking
up all these things on his own. Jordan: So folks, check that out. That’s a good thing for teens. I’m going to tell a story about that in a
minute. Michelle: Yeah, sure. Jordan: But you have to find something that
will motivate your kids and having pimples and being self-conscious about that, that’s
a motivator. So he realized gluten. Michelle: And sugar. Jordan: Sugar. Michelle: And he looked up and once he realized
that the light bulb went off, making the connection of what I always preached to him, and he decided
on his own like I’m just not going to do it. So he would come home and say, “Oh, we went
out” and he’ll still go to fast food whatever but just not order the pop. So he’s like, “I chose water” and he was starting
to just make his own choices on his own. So that was really nice to see and him just
going out and exercising on his own without anyone telling him. Jordan: That’s awesome. Michelle: So that was great, yeah. Jordan: Well, and I know for young ladies,
I have three daughters, as they get older they’re more conscious about their weight. And so if you look at motivating young ladies,
your hair and nails will grow better, your complexion will be better, your weight will
be better. And then boys definitely, on the sports nutrition
side or the fitness side can be really motivating. I remember when I was younger I realized,
well, “Wait a minute, my dad’s a chiropractor and a naturopathic doctor, he can order sports
supplements wholesale. I’m going to get into this.” And so that motivated me. And even my 12-year-old son who’s going to
be 13 next month, I’ve noticed that as he’s hitting puberty his skin is starting to change. I didn’t have terrible acne, but I had it
bad enough that it bothered me. And so we do a lot of various, I would call
it diet experimentation. And so we did a program for a week, diet and
exercise, involving a lower carb, more of a ketogenic diet, and utilizing intermittent
fasting and it was staggering how much better his skin got. And what I loved, the other day, I said, “Joshua,”
something about his skin, and he said, “Oh, I don’t look in the mirror that much” which
made me happy because you definitely want kids that are a little less self-conscious,
but find something that will motivate your preteens and teenagers, whether it’s athletics. We see Tim Tebow is on a ketogenic diet. Michelle: Right. Jordan: We read about athletes that are very
strict and that’s been a good message. But again, with the young ladies, we want
to help them understand that what you eat and what you avoid can help make you more
beautiful. Michelle: Correct. Jordan: Okay, so physical activity together,
this is important. You mentioned, you work out in the morning,
your husband does at night. What can you do as a family that can be good
physical activity, and how much do you recommend? If someone comes to you in your clinic and
says, “We want to start exercising as a family, where do you begin?” Michelle: Okay, so I usually tell families
the recommendation is 60 minutes a day of physical activity. And that actually does not have to be all
at once continuous, so you don’t have to carve out an hour. You can just like break it up in little increments. So I teach them some of it can be structured
and some can be unstructured. So structure would be like you’re on a sports
team or you’re having a practice for school or you do a defined activity. Unstructured is just getting out and playing,
so just get outside, get in the sunshine, run around, play, go on the trampoline, ride
your bikes, pick up a game of basketball with your friends. So that’s unstructured play. So I tell them try to get a mixture of both,
especially little kids. So teenagers, if they’re in a sport, are definitely
getting plenty of structured activity. So I try to just involve them in the family
activities like just going for a walk together or just doing like an activity like a hike
or something like that, or riding bikes together, or just shooting hoops with them. So instead of telling them to go out and play,
you actually go out and play with them, get dirty with them, get some sunshine. But I try to tell families you can break it
up. So say you go for a walk after dinner for
15 minutes, and then maybe you come back home and as a family play the Wii like an active
video game where you’re moving and everyone’s active. And then everyone goes out and jumps on the
trampoline or something. So again, it’s kind of all broken up, doesn’t
have to be one hour of continuous activity. So I really try to empower families, it’s
okay even if you just get 15 minutes in, that helps. It’s better than zero. Jordan: Awesome. Yeah, or your 12-year-old son can just taunt
you and say that I’ll kick your rear in basketball. And gets you to go out there and dust the
old high tops off. Michelle: Yeah, yeah. Jordan: But no, it’s really great. We are lacking in physical activity. A lot of it has to do with video games and
electronics. So the only muscle we work is our neck in
the wrong way when we’re looking down at our tablets, etc. So physical activities are really important. Folks, I’m Jordan Rubin here on Ancient Medicine
Today brought to you by We’re here with Dr. Michelle Levitt. She is a childhood obesity expert, she’s a
pediatrician, and she operates out of Akron, Ohio, at Akron Children’s Hospital, the Department
of Sports Medicine, and the Healthy Weight Clinic. That sounds amazing that hospitals and the
medical profession is attacking the childhood obesity epidemic head on. And we know that this is critical, we know
the risk of diabetes, the risk of asthma, allergies, the risk of neurodegeneration such
as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and of course cancer and heart disease is skyrocketing and
it starts with kids. We see developmental issues, autism, Asperger’s,
etc., all of that can be improved by implementing these keys to raise healthy children. So we’ve been through four, now we’re going
to talk about recharging and destressing. This is pretty interesting because I believe
children are more stressed than ever before today, and we know that there are two hormones
that play a big role that the adrenals secrete, one is cortisol, and one is DHEA. And we’re seeing children, just as we adults,
are just having cortisol levels through the roof that affects serotonin which affects
brain function, can lead to depression, so give us some ways that we can help our kids
recharge and destress. Michelle: Okay. So this definitely kind of brings back into
the routines and rituals are really important, because it’s a stability thing for kids where
that’s one area where they don’t feel stressed. Jordan: Okay. Michelle: A second one would be, take a look
at your calendar and is your child over scheduled, or you are over scheduled. Jordan: Wow, that’s a big one. Michelle: Yes. Signs of over scheduled, signs of overwhelmed
kids have headaches, not sleeping well, moodier than normal. When you see signs of overwhelm, like that
stomach issues, these little complaints where, it could be related to food, but often is
related to overwhelm from over scheduling. So kind of take a look at your schedule and
if you’re noticing your child to be moody, or not sleeping well, and something changing,
like maybe we need to pull something back. So that’s one way to kind of destress, keeping
with your routines, and also taking a look at the over scheduling. But recharging, I recommend that kids need
one hour of day of just free time. Jordan: Okay. Michelle: Free to like not be doing homework,
not be exercising, so obviously ideally you want them to get outside in the sun and just
get dirty, and just play. Take away the electronics. So recharging does not mean I’m just sitting,
relaxing in front of a screen. Jordan: It’s reality, not virtual reality. Michelle: Yes. And this is where it gets back to parents
role modeling. So sometimes we have a stressing day, we get
home from work, we have our dinner then we just sit in front of the TV and veg out, and
that’s how we recharge. So we don’t want to model that for our kids. We want to show them different ways of recharging. So maybe you might do a mommy and kid yoga
class, or just like even teaching them a little bit of meditation, just unique to each child. You have to kind of see where your child’s
at. My teenager, he’s a little bit of a tough
one. So what we often do is just take away the
screens and maybe play like a board game and we make him do it of course. One day, I said, “Let’s do a puzzle” he’s
like, “That’s stupid.” It’s like, come on let’s do a puzzle, it’ll
be relaxing. Jordan: We had a family tackle Monopoly game
this weekend. Michelle: Yes. There you go, yeah. Jordan: That’s exercise, and it’s wonderful
for the brain. Michelle: Yeah. So recharging, just letting your kids be free
for at least one hour a day where you’re not making them, you’re not having expectations
of them, you’re not putting them through a schedule, running them somewhere. Just make sure that’s built-in, if it’s not
built-in you are over scheduled. Jordan: Okay. So giving your children a chance to chill
out because we want them to take music lessons, we want them to play sports, etc. The other thing that I find that really can
stress kids out and adults, social media engagement can really be a stressor. I’ve noticed with select children, I’m not
sure if you’re watching or not, but when they are involved in social media, all those things
you talked about, moodiness, disengaging with the family, there’s a lot of stuff that goes
on. I know for me, I still like to communicate
in person and by phone. But when I send a text, I don’t know if you
notice this, but when someone says, “Okay” I’m not sure if that’s “Okay” or an “Okay.” Michelle: Yeah. Jordan: And things start to go down a rabbit
trail, and I believe that social media, whether people are looking on Facebook or when they’re
checking out various posts, they can become jealous and envious, they can become left
out, “Oh my gosh, so and so was with so and so.” Back in the day I didn’t know where anybody
was. How did we function before cellphones much
less smartphones. But I think it’s important to limit that. Social media, I understand has caused children
to have worse grades, maybe by an entire grade point, and then definitely there’s social
issues, there’s cyber bullying, I don’t want to get into all that. Michelle: Absolutely. Jordan: Because we’re coming to you on social
media, so there’s really good ways to engage. But get an hour a day to recharge and de-stress. And here’s a big one and this is really finishing
up what we were just talking about, prioritize family time. We all have seen sort of the commercials or
the little visuals of a family that’s all together, the dads formally reading the paper,
but everyone is sitting in the same room on their various devices and they don’t have
real family time. And this is important for kids to remember. I as kid did not engage in family time with
my entire family at all. It just was not what my parents did, and so
I don’t have those memories of family vacations, fun outings, etc. So why is family time important for our children’s
health and fitness? Michelle: So prioritizing sometimes is important. Again, it builds security, confidence, so
one of the big things I have you build in when prioritizing family time is family dinner. Jordan: Okay. Michelle: So again, getting back to the routine,
you look at your calendar for the week, you might not be able to sit down around the table
every single day but at least a couple times a week if you can do that. And I even tell a family, if you’re ordering
out, still bring it home, put it on plates, sit at the table together. So you prioritizing that that your child is
important enough for you to sit down with them at a table and have a meal and communicate
is huge. And again, getting back to the screen, so
kind of setting that non-negotiable we do not have screens at the table. So maybe if you only have one day a week that
you have family time, it’s no screens. So that way, you’re looking at your kid face-to-face
and that is their opportunity to communicate with you, so things that are stressing them
out on social media, try to make it a time where you’re not nagging them to do something
or what are we doing next. Let’s just talk about the highlights of our
day, what are we thankful for today? So really prioritizing you have to be really
intentional with that, because we’re so over scheduled that we just sort of run to the
next thing to the next thing to the next thing. So making that a priority, so you can start
with family meal time, and even like I said, it doesn’t have to be every day, so look at
your calendar for the week and you tell the kids, especially teens, we’re having family
dinner on this day, this day, day, these three days. Jordan: Nice, schedule. Michelle: So that way they don’t say, “Hey,
can I go to so-and-sos, can I do this, can I?” Nope, family meal time. So we actually did that when I used to work
in Akron, an hour from our house, so we actually had family meal time at a restaurant. So it’s halfway between, halfway for my husband
to come to me and meet halfway home. So that way, I would didn’t get home at 9:00
at night, and so we just said, “Thursdays are family meal time” and we just had them
at the same restaurant every single week, no screens. So it doesn’t have to be at home, just that
you’re together with the family you’re prioritizing it. So you have to be really, really intentional. So other ways you can actually make your child
feel important and make sure that they’re a priority is just going to church together
every week. Again, setting some sort of routine that’s
standard that they know they can count on that makes them secure, that’s a non-negotiable. We go to church every Sunday, this is just
what we do. Jordan: Don’t ask, don’t ask. Michelle: Don’t ask, this is just part of
our routine, this is part of our life that’s built-in. And then also either serving at church or
volunteering somewhere, Humane Society or somewhere to give your child, and prioritize
doing it together with them. Jordan: That’s awesome. Michelle: So yeah, it doesn’t have to be family
time, like we’re all going for a hike or we’re going on vacation. It can be built-in to your weekly and monthly
schedule. Like once a month we volunteer at the food
shelter. Jordan: Wow. Michelle: Or you’re prioritizing family time
together, doing it but you’re serving others which also shows your child another dimension
of health. Jordan: That’s awesome. Well, I’m here today on Ancient Medicine,
talking about keys to raising healthy and fit children with our guest Dr. Michelle Levitt. She is a board-certified pediatrician and
obesity medicine specialist, and we’re helping you make sure that your kids grow up to not
be as healthy as you but even healthier. Michelle: That’s right, yes. Jordan: So we’re going to sort of recap. So what Dr. Leavitt told us was the importance
of having and/or being a role model. Don’t do things in your diet and lifestyle
that you want your kids to avoid. And make sure that you model healthy eating,
and a healthy lifestyle. The habits that you instill in your own life
are going to spill over your kids. Make sure to have sound and consistent morning
and evening routines. You talked about bedtime being so important,
sleep is the number one nutrient for kids, vitamin S. They don’t just need a lot of sleep,
they need sleep at the right time. And I’ve noticed for me, all of my kids need
different amounts of sleep. I have a son, Samuel, he’s nine and he could
go for 11 hours a night. I have a daughter, Alexis, who really just
needs more like eight, no matter what time she goes to bed, which we’re usually very
consistent, but if it slips, eight hours is what she needs. But you have to pay attention to that, make
sure to have those routines. Protect the home. You mentioned no soda, no juice. I’m sure there’s other items such as white
flour and artificial sweeteners etc. But have some non- negotiables with what you
won’t have in the home, because if you have something in the home you can’t blame them
for getting it at midnight when they’re hungry. Michelle: Right. Jordan: Physical activity together. Do something together with your family even
if it is, as I mentioned earlier, tackle Monopoly, and I’m barely kidding about that. Recharge and de-stress. Get off your devices, get off social media. Give your children one hour a day to be a
kid, preferably kick them out of the house to do it. Michelle: Absolutely. Jordan: And number six, prioritize family
time, take trips, go to church, serve. I love that, serve in shelters, do volunteer
work etc. That is a great way to be a role model and
make a difference in your community. So folks, if you’re somebody who needs a little
bit of extra help in your journey to raise healthy kids, maybe you’re a mom and you have
done things wrong for a while, this is not about feeling guilty. It’s about starting today. Michelle: Yes. Jordan: My own family, I have been blessed
to have a biological child and multiple children that we have adopted, and we don’t have an
opportunity since from day one to raise them the way we want to. So we’ve had to learn how to teach, educate,
and empower our children no matter what age they are and what they’ve been doing to embrace
these new habits. So if you’re interested in learning more about
how to raise healthy and fit children visit That’s And on the website, you told me that you do
wellness coaching. Michelle: Correct. Jordan: So you do that virtually or if it’s
in a 100-mile radius you can connect with families individually. So if you’re in the Ohio, Central Northeast. Michelle: Northeastern Ohio. Jordan: Yeah. I was way off, Northeastern Ohio area, you
can check out Dr. Michelle Levitt. She can be a wellness and fitness coach. You’re certified in multiple forms of fitness. She can help moms get healthy too because
that’s the real key. Michelle: Yes. Jordan: Moms are overstressed. Michelle: Absolutely. Jordan: Moms don’t have time for themselves,
moms don’t get to work out, and if they don’t, a grumpy mom is no fun, right? Michelle: Right. Jordan: And Mom, it’s not fun for you either. And we need Mom to be healthy because when
Mom’s not healthy the whole family is disheveled at the very least. Michelle: Right. Jordan: So if you want to visit
for more information, and as always go to where there’s nearly 2,000 articles
on how you can use food as medicine. If you’ve enjoyed this program I encourage
you to click that Share button. If you know moms or dads who want to raise
healthy and fit children, make sure that they see this information. Hopefully, it will inspire and motivate you
to transform the health of your children one bite, one meal, one exercise activity, one
evening routine at a time. I’m here with Dr. Michelle Levitt, I’m Jordan
Rubin for Ancient Medicine Today, wishing you great health. See you next time.

16 thoughts on “6 Keys to Raising Healthy and Fit Children with Dr. Michelle Levitt

  1. Wow really? "Girls are concerned about their weight (that is what makes them beautiful), and guys are concerned about athletics" Change your way of thinking This is SAD! and UNTRUE! Pathetic!!

  2. He talked way too much! It should have been listening more to the pediatrician. I had to stop at half way because I couldn't see him interrupting her every time she would answer his question.

  3. This is one of the best medical content found on YouTube, great guidance in the perspective of a lay person. Thanks DRAXE.

  4. Dear Dr.Axe,

    My child is at a good body weight and her piers are very skinny and underweight and my daughter and her friend are early bloomers (she got her period in October when she was 10) she thinks she is overweight and I try to tell her she is not. I'm scared she will develop Anorexia with social media and she looks overweight compared to girls at her school,and it concerns me that this will affect my daughter mentally. What should I do?
    Thanks for your advice,
    Bella Stenstrom

  5. Thank you Thank you. Now only if we can get them to take some kind of vitamin that has no artificial crap in it. Do you know of any products?

  6. I'm having a hard time watching this because he talks way too much! It's great content but he needs to ask her a question once, not 3 times and repeat

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