Michelle Choi

Episode 49: Gut Health with Dr. Jyothi Rao, MD

bacteria in it, and these gut bugs are responsible for much of our immune system defense as well as hormone and mood regulation. Our gut bacteria can even decrease inflammation, and they likely play a role in how we get sick.  Although we may not be able to control our genetic predispositions, we can control our environmental triggers.  Join us in this fascinating topic, as Dr. Rao talks about how we can heal our gut.  She is the author of Body on Fire: How Inflammation Triggers Chronic Illness and the Tools We Have to Fight It.  Dr. Rao is an Internal Medicine doctor and practices Integrative Medicine.  You can find her at raowellness.com

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Episode 48: Gratitude and Well-being with Nisha Sidhu

On today’s episode- we talk about Gratitude! There are scientifically validated benefits of gratitude, and it’s so much more than saying “thank you”. Gratitude affects us mentally and physically. There are numerous studies that suggest that showing gratitude can increase one’s happiness, decrease inflammation in one’s body, reduce stress, increase optimism and change our brain, increase satisfaction in life, and build greater resilience. Join us in this compelling conversation with Nisha Sidhu, who is a Mindful Life Coach, as we talk about celebrating the present! You can find Nisha at myndtreat.com.

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Episode 47: The Impact of Adoption with Rebecca Hurdis

On today’s episode, we have Rebecca Hurdis on the show to talk about her life as an adoptee.  Born in Seoul, Korea, Rebecca Hurdis is a transracial transnational adoptee.  She spent her childhood on the east coast, before moving to California when she was 20 years old.  Growing up in the 1980’s and 90’s when most of America believed in the model minority myth and assimilation for Asian Americans, Rebecca argues that such beliefs are false and dangerous. She brings up the idea that adoption is associated with trauma: it has been suggested that trauma is at the ‘Center of all Adoption’ as adoption cannot occur without trauma. And she brings up the theory of the Primal Wound, how abandonment and loss can be imprinted on the unconscious minds of those who have been separated from their biological mothers at birth.  Join us for this fascinating and thoughtful conversation!

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Episode 46: My Adventure with Neurosurgery with Dr. Heidi Olander, MD

On today’s episode, my friend, Dr. Heidi Olander, MD, shares her recent neurosurgical health crisis.  In spring 2020, she was noted to have a lesion in her brain, with the potential to be something malignant or benign- and she was recommended for neurosurgery for a medical diagnosis.  She walks us through her medical journey.  One of the commonalities in life is that we will all inevitably face one or more crises or have to deal with adversity.  But perhaps an important key in learning from our adversity, and becoming resilient, is to emerge from the other side of a difficult experience, as intact as possible.  As scary as these experiences can seem, they can also add to our lives and ultimately help to heal us.  Dr. Olander is an Ob-Gyn doctor with Kaiser Permanente San Jose and Santa Cruz.

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Ep.45: A Better Menopause with Dana Ramsey

What’s clear is that even though we think we may know, most women do not have a good understanding of menopause.  We have an idea of what occurs, but do we truly know what is to be expected?  Menopause is diagnosed after you’ve gone without a period for one year, but, well, it doesn’t just last one year.  There’s been a longstanding viewpoint, which is oftentimes misogynistic, that menopause is viewed as a pre-death, decreases a woman’s worth, or affects one’s femininity.  But with the appropriate knowledge on this very important women’s health issue, and by being in the know, you can help yourself through the process, and have a better menopause to live your fullest life.  Join us in this fascinating conversation with Dana Ramsey, CNM, MSN.  She is the founder of Nurture Women’s Health & Fertility.  Be empowered!  You can find Dana at nurturesantacruz.com.

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Episode 44: Book Club: Dying to Be Me, with Oriana Gliessman

In this episode, Oriana Gliessman and I hold our first book club meeting!  We discuss Anita Moorjani’s memoir, Dying to Be Me.  It’s the book I most recommended to my patients to read, as a doctor working in primary care.  What if we can all take a more active role in choosing our authentic life experiences, without experiencing a near-death experience to get there!?!  Dying to Be Me is about Anita’s near-death experience and how she has chosen to live differently, having almost died.  Anita also brings up her spontaneous remission from stage 4 lymphoma. When I first read her book, I was truly impacted by how she was going to live, having almost died, and, well, it shook me.  I started to wonder why I was wasting precious time, how we can all choose to live differently, if we are less afraid.   I also pondered the fact that there are some things the practice of medicine cannot explain. Although spontaneous remissions are rare, there exist documented cases that have been published in medical journals throughout the world.  I’m not sure how they can happen.  For Anita, her getting sick and healing from her illness was very much a part of her spiritual journey, weaving the tapestry of her life, and, in turn, affecting all of ours. Join us in this fun discussion as we talk about this fascinating book!

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Episode 43: Mindful Eating with Kathy Nuss

On today’s episode, I speak with Kathy Nuss, who is an Occupational Therapist in Pacific Grove, Monterey, and we talk about mindful eating. Considering the fact that the rate of obesity has been consistently rising in the U.S., have we forgotten what comprises a healthy diet? The U.S. weight loss market is huge, selling “quick and easy” weight loss programs which are ineffective in the long run. Oftentimes we target the individual, but there are environmental triggers everywhere. We have become a culture that loves fat, sugar, and salt. How do we make the healthy choice when our environment doesn’t necessarily support this? How do we develop a healthier relationship with food? On today’s episode we begin to talk about honoring our hunger, making peace with food, challenging the food police, discovering satisfaction, feeling our fullness, and ultimately, respecting our body. You can find Kathy at wellnessfromwithinpg.com

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Episode 42: Addiction is a Family Disease with Josie Teresi

On today’s episode, we have Josie Teresi back on the show, and she talks about her son’s addiction.  When a family member becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, not only do they face significant challenges, but it also impacts the rest of the family.  It affects not only the individual with the “problem,” but also causes sickness within the entire family unit.  The effects hardly go unnoticed: they can include broken trust, communication issues, financial problems, childhood trauma, PTSD, fear and anxiety, shame and guilt, lost relationships, and estrangement.  Drug addiction causes the entire family unit to adapt to the chaos of addiction, negating their own health and well-being, creating new negative patterns to deal with loving someone suffering from the disease of addiction.  All lives become interrupted and rattled.  There is no doubt that addiction is a family disease.  You can find Josie at josieteresi.com.

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Episode 41: The Place of Now with Nisha Sidhu

Meditation is a simple practice that everyone can do- which can reduce stress, invite calmness and clarity into our lives, and promote happiness.  Even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.  It can often be described as healing from within.  True meditation occurs in the Now and it involves paying close attention to the present moment – especially our thoughts, emotions, and sensations.  Ekhart Tolle says, “You cannot be in your body without being intensely in the present moment,” suggesting that meditation is a simple way to stop some of the confusing commentary in our lives, and get back to the truth of the present moment.  What more can you experience and do in your life if you reconnect with the power that has always been within you?  On today’s show, I speak with Nisha Sidhu.  She is a Mindful Life Coach who loves to empower others to be their best self with compassion, non-judgement, and authenticity.  She is a meditation teacher and life coach, and you can find her on myndtreat.com

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Episode 40: The Fourth Trimester with Hannelore Kieser-Deguara

Just in case you didn’t know, there is a newly described fourth trimester.  We know that there are three trimesters of pregnancy.  The fourth trimester is the time between birth and 12 weeks postpartum, and perhaps this is the period where I wonder if women are most neglected, as a mother. On today’s show, we have Hannelore Kieser-Deguara, and she is a Postpartum doula. The postpartum period can be incredibly challenging- whether you are a first time mother or have had other children. And even though there is more awareness, there is still minimal support provided during the fourth trimester. It’s healthful and helpful to raise awareness about the demands of motherhood and the risk of postpartum depression and anxiety. While having a baby is beautiful, the process of acclimating, learning, and functioning during this period can be very difficult and overwhelming. It’s not easy to care for someone new when you feel totally depleted. And you are not alone! Join Us!

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