Dr. Taz’s inspiring In Her Shoes interview: finding healing naturally, the importance of eating breakfast and reducing toxic chemicals.
Welcome back to the In Her Shoes series, where we share inspiring interviews with influential experts in health, nutrition and lifestyle. Whenever I meet healthy, beautiful, successful women, I’m always dying to know what it’s like to walk in their shoes. What do they eat? What products do they use? What’s their routine? I’m obsessed with other peoples’ stories and love sharing uplifting women with y’all!
Today, we’re chatting with Dr. Taz Bhatia, founder of the Atlanta Center for Holistic & Integrative Medicine, CentreSpring MD.
Some of you may also recognize her from her two books (The 21-Day Belly Fix and What Doctors Eat) or from TV–she’s frequently appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Dr. Oz Show, The Doctors and LIVE with Kelly and Michael!
A board-certified physician, Dr. Taz is an expert in women’s health, weight-loss and nutrition. Which makes sense. After some of her own personal health challenges in her twenties, including PCOS and hypothyroidism, combined with a broken health care system, Dr. Taz was motivated to pursue an alternative definition of health and healthy living.
GETTING TO KNOW DR. TAZ
Dr. Taz’s medical and wellness center (they also offer spa services, ayurveda, acupuncture and more!) is actually where I first found healing nearly a year ago.
Some of you might remember my story of being dismissed by so many doctors who just threw dangerous prescription medications at my symptoms, rather than trying to find the root cause.
But not Dr. Taz. After years of suffering and going through a slew of different doctors, she was the first doctor I saw who actually took the time to really listen to me, who finally started talking about the root cause and looking at the whole picture to find out how I could really achieve healing.
And to do so naturally, without any expensive prescriptions with scary side effects that ultimately weren’t working for me.
Being healthy isn’t just one factor of your life; it is the culmination of your life. Your history, genes, relationships, lifestyle, nutrition, passion and community!
This is a quote pulled directly from Dr. Taz’s practice website. I love it so much, and it’s exactly what I found when I became one of her patients.
Dr. Taz’s practice uses unique diagnostic tools to evaluate the whole person and the treatment plans she provides her patients with don’t rely on prescriptive or expected answers.
That’s not to say that Western medicine isn’t a part of her practice. It’s simply not the only solution–and many times, like in my case, a simple diet and lifestyle change can often have far more successful results that heal the root cause.
Needless to say, I’m so excited to introduce you to this incredible woman today! Take a peek at what it’s like to spend a day walking in Dr. Taz’s shoes.
WHAT ARE THE FIRST 30 MINUTES OF YOUR DAY LIKE?
I’m an early riser, so I get up, head downstairs and start my day with a cup of tea. Usually it’s an herbal tea or something with a little caffeine. I play with all the brands, and probably have 20 different varieties at home–some Royal English Breakfast, Indian-based teas and sometimes just plain old Lipton.
Mornings for me are a combo of being hectic, but also my time to set the tone of my entire day. I take five minutes to get oriented, do a quick meditation, jump into workout clothes and exercise at my home gym. If I’m not working out, then I’m writing and working on office stuff.
Then I budget time to do the entire family’s food for the day. When I’m taking care of them, I take better care of myself. So I prep smoothies, lunches, snacks and have a dinner plan half-way done so my husband or nanny can come in and complete it.
Then I create a list of to-dos for the day, head up stairs and shower.
SHOWER TIME! WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO PRODUCTS?
I’m always switching products around, but some of my favorites are Organics coconut water shampoo or their creamy coconut milk shampoo. I also like their argan oil shampoo, as well as Alba Botanica’s products.
WHAT’S YOUR TYPICAL BREAKFAST?
I’m really picky about breakfast, because once I’m at the office, I have to remind myself to eat. Breakfast sets the tone of my mental and physical energy, and determines how focused I am on my patients.
I always do a smoothie, and switch it up to not make it boring. I use a lot of Metagenics Powder or Vega One or Garden of Life, and I increase protein content with flax, chia, nut butter, frozen fruit and bananas.
Sometimes I’ll make eggs or nut butter on a rice cake–I really load up big time in the morning. And then I’ll have a small snack around 1, a mini-meal around 3 or 4 and then, by the time I’m home between 7 and 8, I don’t eat everything in sight. If I don’t follow that routine, I’m battling fatigue all day or I’m ravenous.
Some doctors believe in fasting in the morning because the gut needs a rest, but for women in particular, especially if you have blood sugar issues like me, it’s better to cut off early in the evening (nothing to eat after 8 p.m.) and then eat breakfast 12 hours later.
ARE YOU A TEA OR COFFEE DRINKER?
No coffee. I mostly just drink water, though I do love Kevita kombucha. I don’t really drink alcohol–it’s part of what got me in trouble when I was younger, as it messes up sugar and insulin, so it’s just not worth it to me. But I have been known to walk into the bar and ask for a cup of warm milk. It relaxes me if I need to fall asleep.
WHAT’S YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE?
Every person is different but exercising for me just goes with my chemistry. I have to keep changing things up, as my body responds for a while then stops.
I need cardio, spin or elliptical or swim or biking. And I need weight training. I feel like when I don’t do it, I gain weight much more quickly.
I love yoga and pilates, and if I could do that only, I would. But my weight and muscle tone need cardio and weight training.
I love the app, Virtual Trainer Pro, which gives me a whole workout depending on how much time I have. It’s been huge in helping me continue getting results.
I also use the Pilates Anytime app. I have a small reformer and mat at home. I just can’t make it to the gym with my schedule.
TIME TO GET READY! WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO BEAUTY AND SKINCARE PRODUCTS?
And I’ll mash up an avocado to use as a face mask. Or for my hair, I’ll do deep coconut oil treatments that you sleep in and wash out in the morning.
If I have an event, I boil rosemary in water and stick my head over it with a towel. It gives you a nice rosy glow.
I’ve just found skin treatments either need to be super medical grade or out of your refrigerator. One extreme or the other.
WHAT’S IN YOUR MEDICINE CABINET?
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ON-THE-GO SNACKS?
Nuts. I love NuGo bars, probably a little too because there’s too much sugar, so I have to be careful with that. And fruit, like apples with nut butter. Or carrot and hummus packs.
WHEN YOU’RE GROCERY SHOPPING, WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU AVOID ON THE LABEL?
No gluten whatsoever–I’m not Celiac, but I just have a problem with it. It’s part of my health story. I can’t digest it, it affects my thyroid, causes brain fog and I break out. I’ve just found if I avoid it, it makes a difference.
I don’t flat out avoid dairy, but I’m less able to digest it as I’m older, so I keep it down to 1-2 servings per day.
I also avoid high fructose corn syrup, red dye #40, blue dyes, Splenda. There’s lots of we avoid. Different things work for different people, the important thing is just that you don’t overdo anything.
DINNER TIME! IF YOU’RE EATING OUT, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR ON MENUS TO STAY HEALTHY?
I look for gluten-free options. More salad and vegetable-based meals. Every now and then I’ll get a steak, but I just split with my husband. We often split entrees because the portions are so huge now.
WHAT’S ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?
Right now, it’s three business books, a Joel Olstein book, and the Harry Potter novel my daughter left. I buy a lot of business books, though I don’t always read them. But I’m trying to learn.
Related: Five Books to Nourish Your Body
BED TIME! WHAT’S YOUR NIGHTLY ROUTINE?
I’m in bed between 10:30 and 11:30, usually chitchatting with the hubby. Sometimes I’ll drink a cup of warm milk, or take magnesium to help me sleep. But I’m usually worn out by end of the day, and typically crash on the couch.
Chocolate (I go for the very very dark, like 80 percent cacao), ice cream and potato chips. I can’t have them in my house. If I do a big pan of roasted veggies with salt and avocado oil, it usually helps with those cravings.
FAVORITE PRODUCT THAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO TRY?
Coconut ice cream–it’s so easy to make! Just take a frozen banana, coconut milk, and a little ice, and blend it.
FAVORITE HEALTHY INDULGENCE?
Coconut ice cream, melted with dark chocolate, and throw a few nuts on top to make a healthy sundae.
And that’s a wrap. HUGE thanks to Dr. Taz for sharing her story with us.
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