013: Dr. Pedram Shojai on Vitality & Healthy Children

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Wellness Mama » Episode » 013: Dr. Pedram Shojai on Vitality & Healthy Children
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The Wellness Mama Podcast
013: Dr. Pedram Shojai on Vitality & Healthy Children

In this episode of the Wellness Mama Podcast, I talk to my friend Dr. Pedram Shojai (founder of Well.org) about ways to improve the future for our children and how to create vitality in our lives.

In This Episode We Discuss

1:30- The problems that future generations will face
2:04- Pedram’s new goals for future generations
3:30- The problem with conventional medicine
4:20- Why he felt trapped
4:30- The “sick care” problem
5:15- One of the flaws of the existing health care model
6:05- What inspired him to create “Vitality”
6:40- The wheel of vitality
7:00- Sleep, mindset, diet and exercise
7:50- Why kids have so much energy
10:28- Changes to make to improve health
10:45- The first stop
10:50- Breakfast: say no to cereal
11:00- Why cereal is a big deal
11:30- Why our kids are disconnected from food
12:01- How to make positive changes for your family
12:47- The flaw with our method of teaching children
13:40- The epidemic of kids not moving
14:01- The mindset for kids- how to fix it
14:25- What we have to teach our kids
14:50- Your child’s future job hasn’t even been invented yet
15:40- Victory gardens revisited
16:30- How Big Ag messed everything up
18:00- Pedram’s adventures and why his wife lost sleep
19:12- Is organic food too expensive?
19:30- Why we aren’t prioritizing health
22:28- How you are wasting energy
23:10- Subtle changes to start making
24:06- Hope for adults
25:16- Vitality screening
26:15- Hang out with me and Pedram
28:00- Advice he wishes he’d gotten earlier in life
29:01- Let your kids blossom

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

More From Wellness Mama

More about Vitality

I recently got a chance to watch Vitality. Dr. Pedram talks about many of the things I’ve been talking about around health and lifestyle, succinctly said in a punchy, fun, informative, and short feature film.

What is Vitality about?

To start off, that the “sick care” model in the West is designed to make money off of illness and that’s why people are getting worse every year. Why drugs can’t actually “fix” anything…

The solution?

Pedram teaches us how to increase the vital energy in our lives so we can thrive instead of merely survive and stumble along. It breaks lifestyle down into the “wheel” of Vitality and gives a great structure for us to understand health in a simple yet powerful way. It is a sane look at an insane problem…very refreshing.

Who is this movie for?

EVERYONE. Whether you’re a physician who knows most of this already or someone who’s ailing and needs all the help they can get, Vitality’s message will move you. The country of Namibia is sharing this movie with school-aged children in order to help them thrive. There are governors of a couple US states in discussion to have this movie shown to families in need and foster children. It is endorsed by the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) and the American Academy for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM).

Long story short- doctors love it. Teachers use it. People are raving about it…and I recommend it. The movie is available on amazon, iTunes, and various stores to buy/rent but I’ve got a gift for you.

[toggle title=”Read Transcript”]
Katie: Hi. Welcome to Episode 13 of the Wellness Mama Podcast where I provide simple answers for healthier families. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com. Did you know that during your lifetime you’ll eat almost 60,000 pounds of food? That’s the weight of about six elephants. The average American eats at McDonald’s more than 1,800 times in their life. With the amount of food we consume, it’s so important to realize how much of an impact food has on our bodies in so many ways. And we’re gonna be talking a lot about food and other aspects of health with today’s guest, Dr. Pedram Shojai.

Pedram founded well.org. And he is an accomplished author and producer of the documentary “Vitality.” He also has another documentary coming out in November. He studied both traditional and alternative health and he’s travelled the world studying and speaking. He and his wife recently had their first child and I’ve enjoyed getting to know Pedram and hear about his little one. So, welcome, Pedram. Thanks for being here.

Pedram: Hey, thanks for having me.

Katie: Awesome. Well, I’d love to jump right in. I know a passion for both of us is creating a better future for the next generation. And I know this is especially a priority for you now that you have your son. And I love the work that you’re doing on this. So, can we talk some about the problems that you see for the future generations and things we can do to work on that?

Pedram: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s such a funny thing, right? Well, we will forego doing things for ourself oftentimes. And you know, there’s a select few that have always been healthy and stay that way and, kinda, know better. And I’ve been in the space for a long time. And, you know, I’m doing pretty much everything I think I ought to be doing in my regular life. And all of a sudden, this kid shows up. And all these stones that had gone unturned all of a sudden become suspect.

Wait a minute. What is that bottle made of? You know, why is my kid sucking on plastic? Is that safe? Right? And you start just looking at all of the things that we kinda take for granted in our day to day lives and look at them in terms of toxic load, environmental toxins…basically, pesticides and this thing that’s like a hormone disruptor. And, you know, I know too much now to not just, kinda, play ostrich here. And so, it’s really opened up this realm of prenatal medicine and early, kind of, preventative medicine for me in terms of what I’m doing and where my interests are.

Because, yeah, I make movies to have the next generation and generations to come avoid some of the health issues that we’ve had, especially, you know, the generation before ours in that, kind of, better living through Chemistry model. And to really get a better relationship with nature and really, start to grow up around the inputs that our Biology have been, you know, really accustomed to for millions of years, which is things that occur naturally on planet earth versus things that we just synthesized in the lab, didn’t do any testing on and now are exposing our poor children to.

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. And I know we’ve talked before and that’s a big passion for me, too, is reversing these trends that we’re seeing for the next generation. And all the things we hear about…you know, with epigenetics now that we’re finding out so much of how all of these influences are causing our gene expressions to actually change. And a lot of my listeners are moms. So, of course, as moms, we’re always striving to do the best we can for our children. But it can definitely seem overwhelming sometimes. And you can probably identify with that as a dad.

And there’s so much conflicting information out there. And so I know a lot of my friends, my personal friends, and listeners are looking for answers for their children or for their health. And they’re working with conventional doctors and it sometimes doesn’t seem like they’re getting anywhere. So, can you talk about some of the problems with our medical system and how parents can navigate that to find answers?

Pedram: Yeah, yeah. Great place to go with this because, just a little background, you know, I came back…I was a Daoist monk for four years. I studied with the Dalai Lama and a number of different masters in the Himalayas. And, you know, I spent a lot of time on the Eastern side studying consciousness and, you know, about how we can find true happiness. And I came back and got into healthcare, realized how fragmented it was, decided, you know…I was in my early 20s at the time. I decided, you know, I’m gonna…I’m gonna turn this around and fix it.

And so I started my own medical group and we had all kinds of, you know, stuff going on. We’re featured on the covers of journals and we were doing some really innovative integrative health, but I felt trapped because I was still in a sick care model, not a healthcare model. Meaning that I couldn’t really see you or your children unless you had a diagnosable illness that your insurance company would pay for because that’s how the model was set up. So, effectively, myself and my, you know, my doctors, and we had, like, 30 somewhat people in three offices.

We had to wait for you to break. And then take, you know, three times the effort, three times the cost to try to fix something that was super preventable and avoidable half the time. I mean, look, people still get hit by buses, but 85% of the stuff that goes into the healthcare clinics in this country alone are lifestyle related, right? And so, we were trying to find ways to offset this. Effectively, put ourselves out of business. And that’s one of the major flaws with the healthcare model, is there’s no incentive for the doctor to get you better, and not to say the docs do this intentionally.

But the money is in treatment. The money is in expensive tests. And the money is in, you know, trying to leverage the high dollar value, kind of, procedural stuff out of patients because everyone’s getting squeezed for money. And I said, “You know what? This is crazy. This isn’t what I got into this for.” And got into corporate wellness and eventually realized that it was about education. And I started making movies and writing books.

Katie: That’s awesome. And that’s what I would love to talk to you about a lot now. I just watched a recent project of yours recently, “Vitality,” and it addresses a lot of the same topics that I talk about and I thought it was so comprehensive. So, can you talk about what inspired you to create “Vitality” and then about the core message in “Vitality”?

Pedram. Yeah. So, what happened was, in my, you know, 15 years of hanging out and seeing patients and, kinda, running multiple clinics, and really trying to figure out how to fix this from the top down, what really bubbled up was that, you know, people will say, “Hey, you know, I wanna get healthy so I’m gonna take some diet or I’m gonna do some cleanse or I’m gonna go to CrossFit,” right? And everyone has this, kind of, single plain one vector approach to health. And so, we really looked at it in terms of a bird’s eye view and came up with a model that just made sense and could make sense to anybody.

And so, we really…we created this wheel of vitality where vitality is obviously in the middle. And we’ll talk about what vitality is in terms of definition. But around this, the spokes lead to four spheres of diet, exercise, sleep, and mindset. And you only really have vitality when you effectively strike a balance with all of these. You cannot have a flat tire in sleep and, you know, be eating right and exercising, and, kind of, you know, even doing stress management and yoga stuff, but not sleeping at night and do well, right? Eventually, there’s a price to pay.

And so, what we did is we created a model of understanding health in a vitalistic sense because really, the founders of medicine, you know, the ancient Greeks and, you know…they came from the Middle East, you know, India then the ancient Greeks, and they, kinda, became the originators of our medical model, it was based on vitalistic principles. It was about saying, “What is this thing called health? How can we enhance it and how can we use this vitality to offset disease?” Right? You look at these kids running around and you’re, like, “Oh my gosh, how do they have so much energy?” Right?

Well, that’s vitality, right? And, you know, youth is, kinda, wasted on the young because they don’t really think about their health until it’s a problem. And that…you know, kind of, you know, that usually happens with adults, too. You know, once you started getting into your, you know…in some people’s cases, their 20s, but usually, 30s and 40s. And that vitality light starts to flicker a little bit. That’s when we first go, “Uh-oh. Hey, wait a minute. What do I gotta do here, right? What have I done wrong? How do I get this back? I don’t really have energy anymore. I find myself drinking four cups of coffee a day and borrowing energy from tomorrow to just, kinda, get through today.

And I need…you know, someone, help me.” And at that point, you know, your adrenals have shot and your blood sugar is all messed up. And hopefully, you’re not on too many medications. But that’s when most people come to vitality, is when it’s gone. And so, what we’re doing is creating a top-down model. I’m working with the IFM, ACAMS, you know, best doctors in the world. If you look at our luminaries on well.org, we have serious contenders that are, you know, New York Times bestsellers and know what they’re talking about. And we’re creating a model to teach parents and to teach people in general how to live life healthfully so that you don’t need to pull into the body shop with, you know, a busted bumper every other week and say, “Help me, doctor. Fix me.”

Because the root of the word doctor in Latin is “to teach,” right? Not to treat, not to prescribe, but it’s “to teach.” And so, we’re really working to bring the nobility of the profession back and teach doctors how to interface with patients in a way where they help them enhance their vitality. And teach patients how to enhance the vitality in their families so that we’re all running around like those kids full of energy and not moody and cranky and tired and needing pills to get through our lives.

Katie: I absolutely agree. And that’s one thing I always have thought. I bet doctors are as frustrated as a lot of us are with the healthcare system. Because I really believe most people become a doctor because they truly wanna help people. And they probably get just as frustrated as we do. But I love that what you made about children and how they just naturally have energy because I’ve written about that before how children are just…they are so energetic and they’re so healthy, typically. But they also do a lot of things for their health that we as adults stop doing.

They sleep at night, they take naps during the day, they run really fast. And then when they rest, they rest and they relax, and they eat when they’re hungry, and so many things that we stop doing as adults. So can you talk about some of those actionable things that you mentioned in the movie that…or changes that people could start implementing in their own lives?

Pedram: Absolutely. So, first stop…and I say this as a new parent. And I’ve been watching my nephews grow up and they’re, like, five and six. And you know, I’ve been watching…I’ve been working with kids for well over 15 years now, is the first stop in all of it, in my opinion, is do not let the television brainwash your children into telling you what they should eat for breakfast, right? And I know you and I would agree on this 100% is, you know, if your kid is demanding a sugar cereal and you’re basically bowing and say, “Okay, you could have some today but, you know, have a piece of fruit,” you’re pretty much making a deal with diabetes and you’re just offsetting it in really stacking the odds against your kid for life. And so, it’s a really big deal.

And so, you know, taking control of the food, getting your children to really understand where food comes from, getting little mini gardening projects, taking them to farmers’ markets, taking them to farms I think is critical because food comes from the earth. And our kids are so disconnected from the earth oftentimes that they don’t really know, you know…what I mean…when I showed up at UCLA, the kids in the dorms didn’t know how to prepare food. They only knew how to microwave food. And food came wrapped in plastic and came in boxes.

And so, you know, it was this, kind of, rude awakening because I came from, kind of, a traditional culture where mom would get raw ingredients and make food, right? And so, that is getting worse in a lot of ways. So it’s really up to us. We can’t even rely on the doctors to do it. The doctors are too busy chasing down, you know, the insurance companies trying to get paid for work they did four months ago. And, you know, sometimes a year ago. And so, we’re, you know…on one hand, we’re working with the doctors to say, “Look, guys, you know, here’s a way to, kinda, be better at what we do and become thought leaders in the community because we’re already respected and, kinda, take that position back.”

But really, jumping in with the parents and saying, “Look, guys, you are the consumers. You are the one going to the grocery store. You are the one walking out with a cart full of what? Fill in the blank, right?” And so the food decisions happen in the grocery store. They don’t happen in the pantry. Once they’re in the pantry, you know, you’re just gonna have a hungry weak moment, and it’s too late. You’re gonna eat whatever’s in there. And then one of the other big things, and we talked about a lot of things in the movie, obviously. But one of the other big things I see with children, and I’m, kind of, a Waldorf dude, is we are subjecting them to a system that was created in the ’50s that was pretty much like a post-war system of creating units that go into corporations that basically have them parked there from nine to five in these uncomfortable chairs, at these, you know, poorly lit stations. And then get up, get in their car, and rinse and repeat.

And that world is dead, right? So, you know, forcing our children to sit around and do this, kinda, old school didactic learning and create poor posture and not have, you know, adequate cross-crawl and understand how their body works, and lose their core strength and huddle around, you know, laptops or gaming systems is absolutely causing…it’s causing an epidemic. And so, you know, under the exercise sphere, we definitely talked about a lot of that. The sleep as you know, and you talked about it, you know, they, kinda got it, like, we understand that the kid needs to go to bed. So usually, you don’t lose that till later which is awesome.

But then, in the mindset category, they…you know, it’s this culture of conspicuous consumption. And, you know, I remember growing up, you know, all of the boys would be, like, “What kind of car are you gonna get when you grow up?” “Well, I’m getting a Lamborghini.” “I’m getting a Ferrari.” Right? And we were aspiring to have these, like, big luxury cars and have things that would make us attractive to others versus finding out who we are following our dreams and being someone worthy of being considered a model citizen in this world. So…you know, I take a big stance for this. In well.org., we talked about that as, you know, the billionaires of the future are gonna deserve it.

So, we gotta teach our kids to follow their dreams, follow their passions, get really good at the life thing and become effective human beings. Because frankly, if your kid’s going into college right now, the job that they’re gonna have after they graduate hasn’t even been invented, right? That’s how fast things are changing. So why are we gonna say, “Well, you have to be an engineer, a doctor, or a lawyer,” whatever it is old world, old model thinking, so we need to grow up and adapt so that we can allow some space and some room for breath for our children to grow into their potential instead of trying to, you know, stuff them into a box and wonder why they’re sneaking out smoking cigarettes or, you know, reacting in some way that we can’t understand.

Katie: Yeah, I’m right there with you. We’re in the Waldorf in Montessori type teaching, too, and I love it. And I think that’s so important. That’s a great point that you made. And one thing I know we’ve talked about before and I hope it’s okay to bring it up is you’ve mentioned the idea of, like, victory gardens and encouraging people to have those. Can you explain a little bit about what that is? I know our grandparents would definitely have known. But can you explain what that is and how people can start doing that?

Pedram: Yeah, yeah. And we’re actually doing a huge victory garden campaign after the launch of our next movie, “Origins” in November. And we’re working with a bunch of the .orgs and really, kind of, banging the drum to get people out to do this. You know, what happened was after World War 2, you know, the economy was all messed up. We, kinda, tooled into wartime economy and things were just not right. And so, we had a food shortage and so we had a very successful campaign where, you know, the influential people got on the airwaves and radio waves and said, “Look, you know, now that we’ve won the war, everyone should plant a victory garden so that, you know, you can have some of the food to feed your house come from, you know, your own sources so that we can, you know, afford to feed ourselves and not starve to death.

And it became this tremendous success, and it became this rally around the flag type of model where the communities were starting to get built. People connected around food again and it became really powerful until, kinda, big food and agribusiness came back in and said, “Oh no, you don’t wanna do that. The kitchen sucks. What you really wanna do is, you know, go get your nails done and go to a drive-in movie and go to the mall. Spend all your hard-earned money on stuff that you don’t need,” right?

And so, things changed. And so, we’re working with a lot of our .org partners to say, “No. You know, what? It’s time to do victory gardens and take our food system back from big ag and all of these companies that are more interested in profits than they are in the health of our children. So, really, I mean, you know, yes, you could join the party, you know, this December with us and we’re welcoming everyone, obviously. But if you wanna get started right now, all you really need to do is, go get a good source of heirloom seeds. Make sure they’re not genetically modified. Make sure they come from nature. And if you don’t even wanna do heirloom seeds and you just had an apricot you enjoyed, and you have some organic apricot, you know, pit or seed, go in your yard and bury it and water it, right?

Learn where food comes from, right? And there’s all kinds of how-to videos we’re gonna be doing on it. There’s a huge initiative happening around this where we’re just teaching people how to connect again with the earth because it turns out that’s where food comes from, and that’s where we come from. And for us to, kind of, live more in harmony with some of the, you know, old ways is proving to not only bring back our health, but it’s also bringing back our sanity, right? Because in nature, and, you know, I just did this long, kinda, wilderness survival class, and all kinds of crazy adventures for our last movie, where we’re tracking lions in Africa. And, you know, really just doing it. I mean, I’m sure my wife lost some sleep over it because of…you know, on these adventures.

But, you know, what you really need in the wild, in the wilderness survival situation is food, water, fire, shelter. Everything beyond that is a want, not a need, right? So if you’re dying over that Birkin purse or saying, you know, “My 1998 Mercedes is too old and I’m embarrassed to drive it, and I really need a new car,” and all these types of things. There’s nothing wrong with having things, right? But it’s just about, kind of, re-calibrating the priority bucket to say health is absolutely the most vital asset you have. And sanity is, like, the vital asset that springs from health that comes from vitality.

So, once we, kinda, get our priority straight and start just making better decisions for ourselves and our families, you know, it’s…and I have this all the time, like, a lot of patient come in and I say, “Look, you gotta stop feeding your kid that food. You need some organic produce.” And, you know, and they’ll come back with a counter argument and say, ” Well, that’s too expensive.” And I say, “All right, touché.” Roll up my sleeves and be, like, “All right, do you have cable TV?” “Yeah.” “How much do you pay a month for cable TV?” “Well, I don’t know, 80 bucks.” “Great. Cancel it. Now, you have 80 more dollars for your grocery budget. What else you got? Do you stop at Starbucks? Two times a week, three times a week, four times a week at the tune of five, six bucks? Great, cool. Make some coffee at home. Problem solved. Next.” Right?

And so, we’ll just start looking at where their budgets are leaking out to things that aren’t necessarily serving their health and their vitality. Make some course corrections. Make some adjustments. And help bring some health and sanity back with money that’s already, kind of, on the table and is being blown on stuff that doesn’t bring them closer to their family and doesn’t help them get closer to their life goals.

Katie: Yeah. That was a step we took years ago with cancelling the cable. And it made a positive difference for our family both budget-wise and just because we had more family time. So I would echo you on that one for sure. I’d love for you to talk a little bit about, too, like, the adult side of things. Maybe adults who are already experiencing health problems, who already have the…they’re already in the sick care model. What steps are the most important for them to start taking or where would you direct them first? What would be your first step?

Pedram: Yeah, a great question. Listen, whether you are a six-year-old who hasn’t squandered it all away yet or you’re a 65-year-old who’s having health challenges and, you know, is on three or four different pills, vitality is vitality. And vitality is about how we live. So the sooner you can make some course corrections on diet, exercise, sleep, and mindset, and we got a ton of resources there that we’ve offered free for people just because, it’s like, teach people how to fish and they immediately start getting better. I’m not saying that you’re gonna get off your Metformin in a day, but what I’m saying is I have seen hundreds of cases, hundreds of cases where we’ve made adjustments to people’s lifestyle alone.

And all of a sudden, their numbers start shifting. And we, you know, meet with, you know, their primary doctors or whoever is, you know, kinda, running their stuff, and they end up having to shift the dosage, if not, you know, take them off the medications altogether once we’ve seen the positive change. So the moral of the story is, don’t go pulling off your drug’s cold turkey. Start living healthfully with principles that are proven and known to work. And you’ll start to see all of those numbers change. And you’ll see, really…I mean, kind of, in a magical way, the entire universe starts to conspire to support your mission once you’re, kind of, in tune with the energy of life.

And what I mean by that is, is life in vitality have a flow. You could see it in someone’s eyes. You could see it when someone walks in the room. You’re like, “Wow, that girl’s got it. And, you know, that guy, he’s really got that spark.” Right? Well, what is that? And part of that is…yeah, you might say, charisma or something, right? But a lot of that is, kind of, the furnace of health and how it’s running, and how that particular individual has energy that’s in abundance and it’s not being spent on disease, it’s not being spent on inefficiency, right? Like, if you have a leaky gut. You’re spending so much energy trying to figure out what’s friend or foe in your gut lining that you’re constantly inflamed. Your headaches are probably coming from it. Your mood swings are coming from it.

You’re not digesting and absorbing food so well, and now you’re, you know, allergic to gluten. And so, there’s so many…it’s like, I…the way I teach it is you got to look at your life like a company almost, you know, these different departments. And you got to see where you’re profitable, and you got to see where you’re bleeding out and really start plugging up the holes, figuring out specifically what parts of your life are not working and or the biggest energy drains. And work on really, kind of, regaining control of where your energy is being lost and then reinvesting it in life. Because a lot of people say, “Well, you know, I wish I had the time or energy to do that.”

But dude, I’m totally exhausted and I could barely get through my day. It’s like, “Okay, great. Let’s take a look at your life. And here’s four places where we’re gonna make subtle changes, no different…you know, you’re not putting any more energy into your life than what you were doing before. You’re just doing these four things differently. And in 30 days from now, let’s see how you feel.” “Like, yeah, yeah. I really feel better.” Like, great. Don’t waste it. Now, let’s reinvest that energy into, you know, of three-day a week exercise program that you can now do that’s not gonna tear your shoulder out because most people go from couch potato to CrossFit in our culture and then they end up tearing something. And then they’re down for six months and go into physical therapy. And they go through all these cycles every time. Every time they get down with a flat tire, they gain 10 more pounds, right?

And so, there’s a lot of ways of doing it. But for adults, there’s so much hope. I’ve had people in their 70s, 80s, even 90s start to follow the principles that we’re talking about here. And all of a sudden, you could see that sparkle in their eyes. You could see him saying, “Look, you know what? I’ve always wanted to see the pyramids in Egypt. And I’m…you know, I’m gonna do it this year.” And they do it, right? Because they have the energy, they have the vitality to live life fully again. And the only way you could do that is to understand how to kind of captain your own ship. No doctor can do that for you. And that false promise of medicine in the ’50s has already been proven wrong. Like, it’s not, “Live how you want, we’ll create a pill to fix it.” It’s, “Live healthfully and we’re here to support you.” That’s what good doctors do.

Katie: Absolutely. And I love that so many other things that you talked about in Vitality, and you mentioned that probably my…you would be able to, like, do a screening for my audience? And I hope this is okay to say, but I’m gonna create a link, wellnessmama.com/go/vitality that I can direct to wherever you’d like to do that. But can you talk about that also if that’s still a possibility?

Pedram: Yeah, absolutely. So, we’ve actually just…you know, “Vitality” has been out for a little while now. It’s doing great. We have the country of Namibia, they’re using it, you know, to educate children. We have governors of different states that are using it to help with fostered children and teach them about vitality. And…you know, it’s done really well because it’s a simple message that the kids can get and go, “Oh, okay. Got it. How’s my vitality?” So, I’ll create a link for a free screening for your army of mommies here because I think that moms are…you know, we’ve talked about this a lot offline. You know, mama bear is one of the strongest energies in the world. And we need moms to really, kinda, step into their power and really take control because moms are the consumers, moms are the heads of the household in a lot of ways and they’re making those decisions.

And so, what we’ll do is we’ll create a link, we’ll get you in there. And what we could do…and I’ve done this once before where we can do a free screening for, you know, a number of days and we’ll figure out how we’re gonna do it. And then maybe you and I could get on a Google Hangout and invite your audience to come hang out with us and we could just, kinda, do a Q&A about concepts in the movie and really, kinda, talk about it because that’s where some really juicy stuff comes out. And we’ve had some delightful conversations with people.

And, you know, these moms come out of the blue, and people come out of the blue just saying, “Look, you know, I did this for that. It really worked.” And I’ll just look at them and be like, “Keep right on, man. You know, what? I would have never thought of that. And, you know, you’re out there living your life and doing it in the workshop of life. And what you just said just helped all of us, so thank you.” Yeah. Anything you wanna do, like, I’m here to support. I…you know, I left a posh medical job to, kind of, be of service. And I love what I do. I really love this work. And it’s meaningful, and it’s inspiring. And I get to hang out with people like you who are out there helping people.

So, yeah. We’ll put a link together and let’s have your wonderful tribe watch the movie. You guys, I invite you to watch it and then join us for a conversation so that we can really, kind of, circle around what we can now do in our own lives to make this happen.

Katie: Absolutely. And yeah, we have talked a lot about that mama bear instinct. And that’s one of my battle cause is that moms are gonna be the ones that make the changes for the future generations because we do…we have not only the food budget that we control, but we’re shaping the next generation. And we care so much. I think every mom we’re always on that best journey to be the best mothers we can be and to raise our children the best way we know how. And I think Vitality will be a great resource for other moms. And so, that link is wellnessmama.com/go/vitality. And we’ll have that setup for you guys to have a free screening and also the information on how they can connect with both of us on Google Hangout, which will be so much fun.

And then to, kinda, end things up, I always ask a couple of questions on my listeners. And the first one, health or not, what is some advice you wish you had gotten earlier in your life?

Pedram: That’s great. Some advice that I wish I would have gotten earlier in my life is, always trust that your dreams are where you should be going, right? Don’t fall into someone else’s plan or story or narrative of where you think life’s gonna go. Because now that I’m a parent and I realize, you know, how easy it is to control the life of a young one and tell them what to do. And I watch all the parents around me. I watch…you know, I’d see some of the people that made a series of really bad decisions in high school and now are, you know, parenting a number of children. And they’re trying to guide them and tell them…give them life advice that I don’t think they’re qualified to give in a lot of ways is, “Dude, let your kid blossom. Give them the skills they need within the parameters that keeps them from being a sociopath or, you know, a menace to society.”

But, you know, we live in a world right now where you can live your dreams and really, do whatever you want so long as you’re delivering value to society. You can make a living doing it, and you don’t need to follow a formula that doesn’t work for you. You know, I spent a lot of time playing doctor and being in the corridors of hospitals and all kinds of stuff where I was just, like, “God, you know, I just don’t like it in here.” And I thought I had to pay my dues. And now, I travel the world making movies, writing books, doing all sorts of wonderful things. And helping make the world a better place and it’s all because I was, like, “You know what? I’m not buying that anymore. I’m gonna do whatever it takes to do what makes me happy.” And it’s changed my life.

Katie: Awesome. And then lastly, what’s one good resource besides, obviously, your own website and documentary, which I will link to in the show notes? But one good resource that you go to for your own health, maybe a book or a website or a movie that you would recommend?

Pedram: Yeah. I mean, I spend a lot of time looking at stuff from the Environmental Working Group. I think they do a lot of great research. And they’re out there fighting a good fight for us between them and Friends of the Earth. There’s a lot of really good people doing great work to make the world a better, safer place for our children. So I really, you know, I take my hat off to some of these people that have really paved the way. So EWG and Friends of the Earth are wonderful resources.

Katie: Awesome. Well, Pedram, thank you so much for your time and being here and sharing with my listeners and for being willing to share “Vitality” with us also.
And thanks to all of you for listening. If you would, please take a second and subscribe so that you receive future episodes of this Podcast. And I would also be really appreciative if you would leave a rating or review. An honest one, definitely. And just tell me what you’d like to hear in the future and to help others find this Podcast. So, thank you for listening. And until next time, have a healthy week.

Please subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or Stitcher to get every episode downloaded automatically on your phone and I’d be really appreciative if you’d leave a rating or review. Thanks so much for reading and listening!

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About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


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