Tuesday FB and IG Live
[00:00:00] Hi, this is Dr. Kara Wada.
[00:00:02] I'm a board certified pediatric and adult allergy immunology and lifestyle medicine physician.
[00:00:08] Certified Life Coach
[00:00:09] Medical Educator
[00:00:10] Systemic Sjogrens Patient
[00:00:13] The purpose of this podcast is to Educate and Empower
[00:00:16] While discussing all things related to Allergies, Autoimmunity, and Anti-inflammatory Living.
[00:00:21] My goal is to help you navigate the healthcare and wellness industries with more clarity and control.
[00:00:27] If this sounds incredible to you, then you are in the right place.
[00:00:30] This week, I am so excited to feature this bonus episode of the Crunchy Allergist Podcast in it. I will be sharing a bit more about my story and evolution over the last several years that has resulted in the lunch of belong, the nourished anti-inflammatory community.
[00:00:47] You'll have to forgive my vocal quality a bit because as it happens, life happens.
[00:00:52] And when I get sick with Sjogren's attend to get hoarse.
[00:00:55] But if you can bear with me, I promise it will be worth it.
[00:00:57] I can't wait to invite you to this [00:01:00] awesome community jen and I have formed.
[00:01:02] If we haven't met, Hi, my name is Dr. Kara Wada.
[00:01:05] I am dealing with a run of the mill cold, but it tends to result in a little bit of laryngitis.
[00:01:10] This is what happens when you have three kids that are all under the seven and under.
[00:01:16] I have Charlotte, who's seven, Josephine, who is four, and little Oliver who is 11 months and keeping me running.
[00:01:24] I realized very quickly that with my diagnosis one of the things that they don't tell you about in medical school with Sjogren's, they tell you about all the dryness, they don't tell you about the fatigue and the body pain.
[00:01:37] These were the things that were interfering with me being the mom and the wife that I really wanted to be.
[00:01:47] It was interfering with me being able to see as many patients as I wanted to see in the office.
[00:01:52] I ended up in a place of both professional and personal burnout a couple of years ago.
[00:01:58] I wanna share a little bit about that [00:02:00] story, what that has inspired, how you can join me if you feel similarly inspired.
[00:02:09] About three-ish, three and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with Sjogren's.
[00:02:13] In hindsight, I probably had symptoms dating back even 10 plus years before then.
[00:02:18] But I was busy. I was physician in training and a young supervising physician, and I became a mom.
[00:02:26] Dr. Moms just keep on going. It's something that we're known for.
[00:02:30] You ignore the pain and you ignore the fatigue, and you ignore all this, all the signs and whispers to the point where your body, at least my body was screaming to me, to slow down and to really reevaluate where I was.
[00:02:48] It happened to be my dental hygienist who said, "Hey, your mouth looks dry."
[00:02:52] There was that last little push to say, "oh crap, my eyes are dry."
[00:02:57] I felt like totally exhausted [00:03:00] and my body hurts.
[00:03:02] My back hurts more when I am not pregnant, than when I'm pregnant, which is really bizarre.
[00:03:07] Ended up asking my primary care doc to draw labs and I feel somewhat fortunate that my blood work, there was no mistaking my diagnosis.
[00:03:23] That is not the case for many of the folks I'm seeing in my office who are listening to some of the whispers that their body's telling them.
[00:03:32] But they are themselves being hushed or ignored or being told that their symptoms are a result of the untreated anxiety or depression, or their weight, or just poor life choices, which is total bs.
[00:03:47] Here I am, I'm newly diagnosed.
[00:03:50] I want some support. I want to know what this patient experience is.
[00:03:55] I may be a physician, but I'm also first and foremost a human.
[00:03:59] [00:04:00] I went into these disease specific support groups, and unfortunately what I found was a lot of advice that was frankly, dangerous and scary.
[00:04:10] I also saw a lot of what I later learned was called comparative suffering.
[00:04:16] I lovingly referred to it as pissing contests between who suffering was worse.
[00:04:21] It was frankly really depressing.
[00:04:24] That wasn't what I wanted for my own life.
[00:04:26] It wasn't what I was seeing in some of my patients' lives.
[00:04:30] I also saw a lot of either and or thinking.
[00:04:34] Which was, " oh, you can either do lifestyle, you can do the essential oils and the yoga and the mindfulness, or you can do modern medicine."
[00:04:44] There was very little that was embracing the both-and.
[00:04:50] The, "yeah, let's use modern medicine and let's see what lifestyle can do for us, which is what I was looking for"[00:05:00]
[00:05:00] After I was initially diagnosed, I really jumped head and feet into doing everything what that I thought I could to take back control of my life.
[00:05:11] I felt like my body had betrayed me.
[00:05:15] I felt education should have protected me in some way, shape, or form.
[00:05:19] That if I did every single thing it was gonna be like my Harry Potter magic wand to fix everything.
[00:05:27] Its magical thinking, quite literally.
[00:05:30] I was hardcore on my Peloton.
[00:05:33] I was drinking these green, super smooth super food smoothies.
[00:05:37] I was trying to do all the things to be perfect.
[00:05:43] I was like fixated on perfection because perfection was going to get me relief and it was going to get me the results I wanted, at least that's what I thought, right?
[00:05:53] Cuz that's what I thought had gotten me to medical degree and a good residency and an [00:06:00] awesome husband and all these things.
[00:06:03] Later learned this total bs.
[00:06:04] What it ended up doing is it drove me into an episode of acute liver failure, and then I was seriously desperate for anything to make me better.
[00:06:14] That's when I started restricting food after food group because I saw stories on the internet in support groups of people having radical improvement with some of these ways of eating.
[00:06:30] So yes, I was eating a whole lot of very nourishing foods, but I also was cutting out a lot of potentially nourishing foods that in hindsight I didn't need to.
[00:06:41] What I also was cutting out for me with that increased control and stress and fixation on everything I was or was not eating, was I was cutting out the joy in food, the joy that I had in [00:07:00] fixing a delicious, nourishing meal for my family.
[00:07:05] The joy I had in eating, some celebratory foods and things like what we have around the holidays or, really enjoying some local specialties while on vacation.
[00:07:22] It wasn't sustainable.
[00:07:24] So as I was searching for yet another answer on a path forward, I was lucky enough to meet Jen.
[00:07:34] Jen Tharani was my dietician.
[00:07:37] I saw that she was running a program she called Nourish to Flourish, which was anti-Inflammatory eating program/course.
[00:07:50] It really focused on teaching me the tools that are based in science, not just in story, [00:08:00] and coming to back to this space of abundance in my life in getting rid of unnecessary restriction.
[00:08:12] Really rediscovering joy in food, which is huge.
[00:08:19] After I completed her program, I was part of like her beta program or her initial program.
[00:08:24] I was like, "Damn, this is really good. This is phenomenal information. It's in a way that is very sustainable and can be easily applied to many different lifestyles and cultural backgrounds."
[00:08:39] we got along great and I was like, we need to keep working together.
[00:08:43] I'm feeling so much better. My pain is down. I'm having a ton of joy with my family and I feel called to do more within this community space based on what I've seen, both as a patient and as a physician.
[00:08:55] I feel I need to harness that privilege and really use that to help [00:09:00] others.
[00:09:01] About two years ago, we started dreaming about this entity that would become what we were launching as Belong: The nourished anti-inflammatory community.
[00:09:13] What we really were seeing a need for was a space for busy women that really were determined to have a high quality of life in spite of their chronic inflammatory illnesses.
[00:09:31] Our vision really was to build a strong evidence based anti-inflammatory community so that we wouldn't feel alone or overwhelmed on our journey through life with an inflammatory condition like Sjogren's, like rheumatoid arthritis, like lupus like asthma's, inflammatory condition heart disease, diabetes.
[00:09:57] These are all based in inflammation.[00:10:00]
[00:10:00] I wanna break down why we chose specific words to describe our vision.
[00:10:04] *The first is evidence-based* There's so much marketing out there. We really felt strongly.
[00:10:13] As Jen is a registered dietician, she has two master's degrees that really she focused her education on anti-inflammatory principles related to nutrition.
[00:10:24] I'm an allergist immunologist and although I may be crunchy and the natural and lifestyle along with science, I'm still a medical doctor. We wanted things that were based in science that had good science behind it. Human-based science.
[00:10:40] This applies to nutrition, this applies to other aspects of lifestyle like sleep and connection with human beings, which we'll talk about with behavior change, how our brains work, how we learn.
[00:10:51] I actually did an extra year of training to be a better educator.
[00:10:55] Cuz here's the deal.
[00:10:56] In medical school, they don't teach you much about nutrition, but they [00:11:00] also don't teach you much about how to teach.
[00:11:02] I spent some time learning about adult learning and education.
[00:11:06] We really wanted to help people weed through the science and the marketing and be prepared to continue to update what we're teaching people based on the data, because science is never stagnant.
[00:11:19] That's really important to us.
[00:11:22] *Anti-inflammatory. *This is a word that I struggle with a little bit. because inflammation is actually both harmful and it's healing. We don't think about that healing aspect much, but like this cold that I have right now, my immune system is fighting off this virus, whatever I have, it's not Covid, at least according to the swab.
[00:11:43] Part of that there will be some tissue destruction.
[00:11:46] There will be mucus production that's essentially my the lining of my nose and my throat and everything, and sinuses working to fight off that virus.
[00:11:56] Then there'll be healing.
[00:11:58] In inflammatory conditions, what [00:12:00] happens is we have too much of a good thing, we have too much. We're dysregulated.
[00:12:03] So if I were to actually be able to name this component of our program, in terms that were much more descriptive about our actual intent, it would be Fixing Immune Dysregulation.
[00:12:16] But that's not as catchy.
[00:12:18] We do have to deal a little bit with some marketing aspects, right? To get people's attention and to understand what the heck we're talking about.
[00:12:24] But really we're trying to help shift the balance in your favor.
[00:12:27] We also felt so strongly about the role of community.
[00:12:32] First, as I mentioned before, community is an evidence based initiative or intervention.
[00:12:39] We know that it helps with adult learning. It helps with commitment and consistency in our behavior changes.
[00:12:48] It helps us in our confidence in our mental health when we have other people who are walking a similar journey that we can partner with together.
[00:12:59] I was [00:13:00] incredibly fortunate that I stumbled upon a community that ended up being totally life changing for me.
[00:13:08] It's a group that we call the best group you never wanted to qualify for.
[00:13:13] That's what I hope this becomes as well.
[00:13:16] Not that we necessarily have qualifications, but I found a group of other women physicians who carry autoimmune diagnosis.
[00:13:27] In this space, we felt safe to be snarky and share those memes that we couldn't quite share on our regular newsfeed.
[00:13:39] We could crowdsource ideas when we were in a pickle and not feel feel like someone was just gonna tell us to go use some essential oils and yoga or meditate on it.
[00:13:51] We knew that we could cry together.
[00:13:53] Then also help pick each other back up when the you-know-what really hit the fan.
[00:13:59] I [00:14:00] wanted so badly to share this resource with my patients I was seeing.
[00:14:06] With clients, I was working with as I was going through my life coach training and have continued working with coaching clients.
[00:14:14] But they weren't physicians.
[00:14:16] They were in IT or they were in other health professions, or they were in careers that were, they were highly educated.
[00:14:26] They knew that they wanted to couple science and lifestyle.
[00:14:29] But they weren't physicians, so they couldn't join me in this group.
[00:14:32] That just, it pained me. And so Jen and I have come together bringing our combined expertise and our combined experiences.
[00:14:41] She's gonna share her stories and experiences as the daughter of a woman with autoimmune disease and sharing that dynamic and how she's been able to use her career to help her mom in addition to clients like myself and [00:15:00] others.
[00:15:01] So if you are someone who's interested in using anti-inflammatory nutrition and lifestyle to manage your illness and improve your quality of life in a holistic way alongside your medical team.
[00:15:16] This is not a substitution of your medical doctors.
[00:15:19] And although I am a physician, I will not be your physician in this role.
[00:15:24] If you're overwhelmed with all of the conflicting information that's out there on what diet to eat and want some good science-based guidance, we've got you.
[00:15:37] If you are looking for monthly meal plans just to have some inspiration or like something to go off of, we totally got you covered.
[00:15:47] Jen is married and she comes from a southeast Asian background.
[00:15:52] I am married with three kids. Have cross-cultural taste in our family too and so we are sharing how these work [00:16:00] in different ways.
[00:16:01] With different flavor preferences and really exploring that and working on that together.
[00:16:07] And if you're yearning to meet a group of women who are going through similar struggles and genuinely understand and you want that sense of belong, that's what we are working on creating in this group.
[00:16:25] We also feel very strongly about fostering healthy relationships with food in your body. I think what got me into a lot of trouble was a lot of issues that go way back to nineties diet culture and what I was surrounded by growing up.
[00:16:41] And really the tools to help overcome the burnout that can come along with living with a chronic medical condition.
[00:16:49] A chronic inflammatory condition that is going to flare sometimes in spite of our best efforts.
[00:16:57] How can we deal with the [00:17:00] mindset and that sensation that, like, when is the other shoe gonna drop?
[00:17:04] That's where a lot of like my life coaching strategies are gonna come into play and be incredibly helpful.
[00:17:12] We follow Mediterranean diet type approach.
[00:17:17] The Mediterranean diet is much more than just a way of eating. It really is a lifestyle and it is a lifestyle that is associated with lower inflammation, reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, and degenerative diseases, which are all increased risk when you have inflammatory conditions.
[00:17:37] It's been demonstrated to improve mental health and anxiety and add quality years to your life. We really are going to do this with strategies that are sustainable because if you want a preview of what your future's gonna look like, you need to look at your everyday experiences.[00:18:00]
[00:18:01] That is what your future is informed by.
[00:18:06] So few, the little nuts and bolts.
[00:18:10] *What is it like inside of Belong? *
[00:18:13] There There will be, as I mentioned, a monthly anti-inflammatory meal plan to use to be inspired.
[00:18:21] There are gonna be two group question and answer coaching calls, one with myself and one with Jennifer, your autoimmune dietician.
[00:18:29] To really help support you in your behavior change in your consistency, and implementing an anti-inflammatory eating pattern to talk about some of the struggles you may have with your family and your friends. Boundaries that you're needing to set with them. Challenges like limited time and energy, lack of consistency, grocery shopping, both the mindset and the logistical things.
[00:18:56] We're also gonna have a private weekly podcast with [00:19:00] recorded episodes on a variety of topics.
[00:19:03] Some of the science behind behavior change and how to do that.
[00:19:06] If you haven't followed me, I am always reading books on self-help development, personal development, all the things, and I love distilling that down and teaching that to very digestible ways. Jen does the same with nutrition.
[00:19:21] We also are gonna have monthly challenges so you can build momentum and make some of those changes second nature.
[00:19:29] We don't want this lifestyle to be like a job. We want it to be filled with joy and abundance and to be fun.
[00:19:36] Like this is the life we have to live. Let's have fun with it.
[00:19:39] Another way that we are really excited about encouraging commitment and collaboration and community is for those that are really engaged. We are going to draw a name every month out of the group and award a one-on-one coaching call with Jen [00:20:00] and myself as part of this too.
[00:20:03] One of the things Jen and I felt really strongly about in working with our clients and patients is we wanted something that was affordable and that was sustainable because we know that this is something people want to commit to for the long term.
[00:20:24] That's what we wanna provide.
[00:20:25] Knowing that it's those 1% improvements every single day that add up to tremendous change over the long term.
[00:20:33] So for those that are our founding members, if you enroll for the first year, it's less than a dollar a day and you're ending up getting access to all of our prior content that we've had in our classes together.
[00:20:51] So it's an incredible value for really this commitment to yourself.
[00:20:57] And it's just a little bit more if you're gonna sign up [00:21:00] for six months or for three months, or for monthly even for monthly for those who are joining us as a founding member, it's $47 a month.
[00:21:07] You're getting amazing commitment community and really empowering education from experts in nutrition and immune system health and mindset and behavior change.
[00:21:23] So I'm so excited and so passionate to be sharing this with y'all today. If you wanna check out some more details, you can click over to antiinflammatorycollective.com.
[00:21:40] For those of you that enroll before the first of the year, you're going to lock in those founding member rates before they go up January one.
[00:21:50] We are so excited to welcome you, to join us and to be a part of this movement.
[00:21:58] To create [00:22:00] momentum, celebration and tons of support and making 2023 the absolute best year possible.
[00:22:08] So I look forward to questions and and to chatting and to working with you altogether in this next year. I think it's gonna be incredibly beautiful.
[00:22:20] If you like what you're hearing so far and you think others would benefit from hearing it too,
[00:22:25] It would be amazing if you would take a few minutes to rate and review the Crunchy Allergist Podcast.
[00:22:32] Ratings/Reviews are the best way to make podcasts discoverable.
[00:22:36] I would love it if you'd give me your honest opinion and of course a five star review would be great.
[00:22:42] If you click the SUBSCRIBE button, you will automatically receive weekly episodes without needing to do anything else.
[00:22:49] And if you feel called to share with your friends or family, I would be so grateful.
[00:22:53] Thank you so much for listening to this week's bonus episode of the Crunchy Allergist Podcast.
[00:22:59] If you'd [00:23:00] like what you're hearing and would like to learn more about how we can work together,
[00:23:03] head over to www.drkarawada.com.
[00:23:07] And if you're looking for a vibrant community of busy women, desiring a high quality of life in spite of their chronic inflammatory illnesses,
[00:23:15] Join us over in Belong.
[00:23:17] The not so secret society that takes an evidence-based approach to anti-inflammatory living.
[00:23:23] A place where we can be a little bit snarky, crowdsource ideas when we're in a pickle.
[00:23:28] A place where we can cry together and then lift each other up when the proverbial, you-know-what really hits the fan.
[00:23:35] To learn more and to join the best group we never wanted to qualify for visit www.antiinflammatorycollective.com.
[00:23:45] We can't wait to see you there!