My name is Dr. Kristin Saxena. I’m a pediatrician. I’m the mother of four incredible kids. I’m the wife of my high school sweetheart. I love to learn and ask questions. Some days I kick ass and some days I struggle. I am a huge nerd about food…and other things.
I’ve been interested in food and nutrition for as long as I can remember. An “adventurous” eater, I love trying new dishes and cooking new recipes. I see eating as one of life’s greatest pleasures and find joy in sharing this experience with my favorite people.
I have always been fascinated by the human body, the way it works, and the best way to take care of it. This led me to medical school and eventually into pediatrics which fed both my love of children and the value I see in establishing healthy habits for disease prevention.
I am a doctor, but I don’t really like to prescribe medications. And I definitely do anything I can to avoid taking them. I believe that drugs can be invaluable and life-saving when needed, but I also think that they are over-prescribed and we are excessively reliant on them as a society.
I am amazed by the body’s ability to protect and heal itself. But, the body’s ability to recover is directly related to how well it has been cared for. That “maintenance” is simply a matter of doing what we inherently know is good for us: adequate rest, regular exercise, social interaction, fresh air, giving love, receiving love, hydrating, protecting our mental well-being, learning new things, laughing, and quality fuel. I know we come into the world programmed for success, as these are the things small children seek without even thinking about it.
But, we grow into adults, life gets complicated, and we kind of get “broken”. Our list of commitments and responsibilities gets overwhelming. The time that we could use to care for ourselves gets eaten up in meetings, commutes, daily chores, and fulfilling the needs of others. The media inundates us with conflicting information about the “best diet” or the latest “sleep hack” and is very good at making us feel bad about ourselves.
We want to prioritize our health and the health of our family, but we lack confidence in our abilities. We don’t feel we have the time to do it. So, we look for quick fixes or take extreme measures which are not sustainable. We feel crappy and tired and guilty.
I know this because I’ve lived it and I have heard it from others —parents of patients, friends, family members. But, I have witnessed first-hand the difference that prioritizing health can make in all areas of life. When we take the “long play” instead of the quick fix, we end up being more productive and excelling in the areas of our life (work, school, relationships, etc.) that seemed to be preventing us from maintaining our healthy habits in the first place. Health and wellness isn’t all about food, but it plays a big role.
When I graduated from medical school, I took the Hippocratic Oath: “First do no harm.” Well, another thing Hippocrates said was “Let food be thy medicine”. I am no expert on ancient Greek texts, but it seems like this guy was at least onto something.
This is why I started Feeding the Family. I have done a lot of research and have learned through my own experience as well as counseling parents and friends. I have gained a great deal of expertise but I know I don’t have all the answers. I never will. I believe what you eat matters but I believe HOW you eat is much more important.
At Feeding the Family we explore food relationships and feeding from all angles. We talk to experts. We talk to regular people. I answer your questions and ask them of you. At times we do the difficult dives into exploring why we are the way we are. We share useful tips, laugh at our “epic fails”, and try to find that toddler in all of us who seemed to know exactly what she was doing. We try to take care of ourselves and not screw up our kids.
I don’t give you all the answers. We mostly talk about food. But, food seems to find its way into all areas of life.
You won’t become a perfect parent with perfect kids. You won’t have a perfect diet, whatever that is. But I hope you will join me on Feeding the Family and give yourself the grace to meet yourself where you are, have some great conversations, learn from me, learn with me, ask questions, share stories and make progress. It doesn’t really matter how much you move the needle on any given day…just which direction the needle is pointed.