Dr. JoAnn Yanez, Executive Director of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (right), joins KCAAs “On the Brink” hosts, Erin Brinker (left) and Tobin Brinker (middle) to discuss back to school tips and tricks for staying well and eating healthy this school year.
Full Transcript of Interview Below.
- Healthy lunches, snacks and meals for on the go lifestyles
- Natural remedies for lice
- How to stay healthy this school year
- Dairy and its impact on some people’s immune system
- Healthy alternatives to ice cream
- And More…
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Good morning, folks. How are you?
Erin: Doing great. Doing great. Tobin started his regular school year started yesterday or Monday.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: I know, I have seen all the back to school pictures from folks.
Tobin: So, now I’m sleep deprived.
Erin: So, I know that this is one of the topics that you have in your blog, back to school survival guide. Can you talk about that?
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: We sure can! So, I think folks who are affiliated with either teachers or work with schools or have kids, this is a really busy time of year, and lots of things are on the brain. How do we stay healthy? I know my friends and I who all have school-aged children, while we love this time of year because the kids get back and get active again with all the things of school, they also start to get sick. So folks get nervous about all the cooties and the germs that come with the start of the school year. So at AANMC, we address some of that and we talk about healthy lunches, snacks and meals that you can do on the go as well as how to stay healthy and not get those cooties that start to get spread around and what to do if you start noticing some sniffles or you get the dreaded lice call.
Erin: Oh. We remember. I think every child in elementary school has … their parents have gotten this call, and I remember we had to shave our son. He had this thick blonde hair and, of course, it’s hard to see nits on blonde hair. So we ended up having to shave his head, poor kid.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Oh gosh.
Tobin: So he didn’t feel so bad, I shaved mine as well. We had a Chinese exchange student with us at the time, a male exchange student. So he decided to shave his. So all three of us shaved our heads.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Oh my goodness.
Tobin: We all kind of looked like low-key cancer victims. It was bad. It was bad.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Well, what I will say is there are definitely natural remedies. Lots of folks are concerned about the chemicals for the lice treatments. So we actually had the dreaded lice call a couple years ago and found nits and had to deal with that. My son is always had skin reactions to chemicals and creams. So I was nervous for a few reasons. A) not to put the chemicals on young skin, and B) that on top of the lice, we would have to now be dealing with a full on blown rash from the cream. So I went the natural route. Different types of oils will suffocate the lice and possibly make it more difficult for new ones to adhere to the hair. So what I did was I doused his head in olive oil. He smelled like a salad.
Erin: Gee, I’m standing next to this kid. Why am I hungry?
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Why am I hungry? And preventatively, he has really long, curly hair, and I didn’t want to have to do the shave method of getting rid of it. So we just did the olive oil method. Put it up in a ponytail. Combed out everything, and that did the trick. I know that lots of naturopathic families have that same method of using some sort of a real strong oil to basically suffocate them out, and then you go by hand. And thank goodness for technology. I don’t know what our parents did before iPads, but that definitely was helpful at keeping a squirmy kid still for a couple hours while we worked through it.
Erin: Oh, wow. So you had to go through and comb his hair to get rid of all of the nits. With those very, very fine tooth combs. What was that like?
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: I could think of better ways to spend my time.
Erin: As any new teacher will tell you, well, actually any teacher, the first few years of teaching, you get one cold after another. I’m sure the kids, especially the little ones, when they’re first starting kindergarten, they’re sick a lot in the in beginning too. So how do you keep your kid healthy when you’re exposed to so many germs during the day?
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: It is really a challenge. I think just some of the basics, the hygiene. Don’t share drinks, limit the physical content, wash those hands as frequently as possible. We would have a little strip down routine as soon as we got home. Get off all the clothes, put them in the washing machine, shake off the shoes, wash the hands, get ourselves cleaned up. Lots of immune boosting foods. Lots of good sleep, and just making sure that all of the general immune boosting types of things that you do. Keep the stress at a minimum to make sure that your body has all it can to fight it off. You’re not going to avoid every germ and sickness, and some folks immune systems are just stronger built than others. But we do our best to keep those down. Limit dairy, limit sugar, and lots of good immune boosting soups are helpful as well.
Erin: So limiting dairy, that’s interesting. Does dairy impact the immune system?
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Well, dairy for a lot of folks and not everybody but for many people dairy can be mucus forming and can have some mild sensitivity reactions. People of African American descent, Hispanic descent have traditionally higher proportions of dairy allergies or sensitivities. So that’s just something to keep in the back of your mind. Many folks can eat dairy with no issues, but lots of people can’t. So if you are one of those folks where dairy is a minor sensitivity, I say avoid it.
Erin: Huh. Well, that makes perfect sense. If your child likes ice cream, there are wonderful ice creams made out of coconut milk, for example.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: There are lots of non-dairy alternatives now. Back in the old days, olden days of me growing up as a kid, you didn’t have all the options. But now, yeah. One of the things I tell folks and it’s really economical, you can buy an ice cream maker at home and make your own non-dairy, however you want to do it for a dollar or two for what would cost you in a store seven or eight. So for the cost of the machine, which is between $30 and $40, it pays for itself after a few uses.
Erin: I know that my husband is now very interested in that. We may be getting one of those.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: So I often made coconut based ice creams and lots of different types of things that you can put all sorts of different confections in there and you don’t have to use sugar. You can use Stevia and make it pretty tasty treat.
Erin: So we only have about 90 seconds left. So is there anything upcoming that you want the public to know at the AANMC?
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Know about our regular webinar series. So we have webinars we host once a month. Actually, yesterday was a webinar for business tips on your social media presence. So we’ve got our YouTube up on that. If you want to check out how to have a really solid media presence, Erin, did you know that 96% of recruiters check your social media? So I think that’s something really we want folks to know about. But we’ve got healthy herbs coming up next month and suicide and depression reduction in October.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: So hope your folks can tune in and lots of cool things coming up our way.
Erin: Wow. Well, that is awesome. So how do people find you and follow you and learn more about the AANMC?
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: aanmc.org. We also have LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all the social media places you can find us at. So hope you can tune in, and thank you Erin and Tobin so much for chatting this morning.
Erin: So it’s always a treat to talk with you. You always have so much to share with everyone. Thank you so much for joining us.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Thank you. Have a great morning.
Erin: You too. So we’ve been talking to Dr. JoAnn Yanez. She is the executive director for the Association for Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges. That’s the AANMC. Go check her out!