Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Lunch with Dr. Alan Greene (and a giveaway)

Thanks to the @3GreenAngels Twitter Party where I won the Grand Prize of lunch with Dr. Alan Greene and a GREAT BIG Thank you to EcoStore USA for sponsoring my trip to NYC because on November 19th I had lunch with Dr. Greene, someone that I have admired for quite some time now.

You do know who Dr. Greene is, right? Silly me needs to realize that not everyone may know. Let me tell you a little bit about the man himself.

VSONA - Alan Greene MD, FAAP

Dr. Greene is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of California at San Francisco. Upon completion of his pediatric residency program at Children's Hospital Medical Center of Northern California he served as Chief Resident. He entered primary care pediatrics in January 1993. He is now a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, an Attending Pediatrician at Packard Children's Hospital, and a Senior Fellow at the University California San Francisco Center for the Health Professions.

As a father of four himself, Dr. Greene has devoted himself to freely giving real answers to parents' real questions -- from questions about those all too common childhood conditions to those that address the most rare childhood illnesses. His answers combine cutting edge science, practical wisdom, warm empathy, and a deep respect for parents, children, and the environment.

So, that is what says about Dr. Alan Greene. Want to know who I think he is? I am sure you are dying to know.....

I was absolutely blown away by Dr. Greene'e warmth and hospitality. Even though we had lunch at a restaurant I felt as though we were sitting in his dining room. He was 100% attentive to my questions and needs and you could very much tell that he is a man of character. I really like my pediatrician but if Dr. Greene was Dexter's pedi, I would look forward to every visit. I was so impressed that each question I asked Dr. Greene was met with a thorough, educated and empathetic response. He certainly is not text book, he is genuine and caring. WOW is all I can really say.

I asked the great Doctor some questions that I had. Its not every day that a parent can sit down with a pediatrician and get answers to some of their questions, let alone ALL of their questions. I first asked him about eating. I expressed small concern about Dexter's eating habits. I told him that one day Dexter will eat a lot of food and then the next day I am lucky to get him to eat a banana and a yogurt. He told me that behavior is completely normal and completely fine. He said that children know when they are hungry and they will let you know it.

On to a very important question that many parents think about and talk about. VACCINES, in particular, H1N1. I told the Great Doctor that my husband and I were on the fence about vaccinating Dexter against chicken pox because I felt as though it was something that all kids should get to better their immune system. I was wrong. He put it like this (and I am paraphrasing real well here because I took decent notes). He said that when the chicken pox vaccine was first coming to fruition that he lobbied against it. He thought that people wanted it for the wrong reasons ie. companies not wanting parents to have to take sick time due to sick children at home. He then went on to say that as soon as it came out, he got all of his kids vaccinated. He explained to me that he loves the idea of vaccines, just not the implementation of them. He didn't like all the mercury and other toxins in the shots but the fact that they help booster the immune system is fantastic. He said that with each vaccine that your child gets they are being exposed to "a small amount of that disease" and that is what helps spark their immune systems into fighting off other illnesses. (Well that makes sense) He also said (and this is huge) that "vaccinating your child is safer than taking a car trip". I was blown away by that statement. He also assured me that he wouldn't hesitate vaccinated against H1N1. A lot of research (dating back as early as the 50's and 60's) has gone into that vaccine. He said that H1N1 vaccines are most important to parents of children six months of age and younger. Are you vaccinated?

I actually asked Dr. Greene a ton of questions but I condensed them into this post. I mean we had lunch for almost 2 hours. There was a lot of talking (if you know me you are not surprised by this!) These are the questions I felt would be of most interest to you, my lovely readers.

How much milk a day? At least 2 cups a day of Vitamin D. After age 2, its ok to go to 2%, 1% or even skim.

Eczema? Increase Vitamin D intake. Sunlight, milk etc. For adults, take 1000-2000mg of Vitamin D daily!

Fish safe for kids? Absolutely one of the best foods. No more than 1 can of chunk light tuna per month (albacore has more mercury in it) for kids as young as Dexter (who weighs 26 lbs) Dr. Greene suggests parents check out the Minnesota Smart Fish Calculator

Best way to choose a pediatrician? (inside secret) Ask the Labor and Delivery nurses. They know all of them well and they know who is the best! GREAT TIP!

Great way to get kids to sleep better? Make nighttime sleeping conditions darker and about 7 degrees cooler than during the day. I tried it and it works!! He went on to say that back when man was a hunter/gatherer we only ate whole foods and we were hot during the day and colder at night. That is innate and we are use to that.

Dr. Greene was in town to promote his new book, Feeding Baby Green. It is the follow up to his best-selling book entitled Raising Baby Green. Both are excellent books and they are a great resource for any parent. I could go on and on about what I love about the book but I won't. All I will say is this: if you don't have the book GET IT! It is invaluable. I give it at all baby showers now. The last thing a new mother needs is more baby clothing. What they DO need is information that will help them give their child the very best in life. As parents we all want that don't we? Give it, get it, read it. Christmas time is upon us and I know several people who will be receiving this book from me. Want to be lucky enough to win one? Well you are in luck because one lucky person will get a copy of Feeding Baby Green just for commenting on this post. Please make sure the comment is relevant to the topic of Dr. Greene and/or his book. Make sure you leave a way for me to contact you in your post. I will draw the winner at NOON on New Year's Day!

You know I brought my copy of Feeding Baby Green with me. Look at what The Great Doctor Greene wrote in mine:

I can't wait to show that to Dexter when he is in high school and thinks I am the worst person on the planet. I will remind him how fortunate he is to have me as his mom! HA ha HA.

**Thank you so very much Dr. Greene for not only taking the time to take me out to lunch but also for reassuring me that I am doing the best for Dexter and others for being aware and active in his life. Our lunch meant a great deal to me and I will forever be grateful**


Sara said...

Wow! What an opportunity you had! I think this book looks great. I have been working on hard on making sure the food I feed my daughter and the products we use on her are as healthy as possible. This book sounds like a great resource.

sara.yoursisterfriend at gmail

Life More Simply said...

Hey thanks for sharing this information with us! It's interesting and actually did bring up good points. I hadn't heard about limiting tuna that much, either, so that's interesting. Did you know that high fructose corn syrup has high levels of mercury in it, too?

rachel.east08 at

Jennifer T. said...

I would love to have this book. I'm a former pediatric nurse and have a lot of respect for pediatricians having worked with my share. I do think that nutrition can be a little bit of a hole for some doctors so this book would be valuable. I'm glad you addressed vaccines with Dr. Greene. There's a lot of undue fear about them. True knowledge allows parents to make informed decisions.

royaldixie said...

I didn't know that Rachel but we do not eat any HFCS in our house! I hate that it is even in yogurt.

royaldixie said...

Thank you for commenting Jennifer. It means a lot to me that my readers are well informed. Our children are the future and I would hate for their fate to be miserable.

Rhonda said...

It sounds like a very good go-to book to have. Nice to have a ped in the house when things don't seem serious enough to make a Dr. appointment but you just need to know what might be causing something. Like little rashes and such.

marybelle said...

What a brilliant book. I know what new mother's will be receiving from me from here on in. Information such as this needs to be shared.

Anonymous said...

I love Dr. Greene, his co-sleeping info really helped us. My SIL is expecting, and this would be good for her...

judychrz at gmail

Lorina said...

I want to get this book! I was reading about it just yesterday. I would love to win!

Amanda said...

Maggie, thanks for sharing this information with us. What you shared with me about the speech on APA lifted a huge weight of worry off my shoulders. I am going to research Dr. Greene and see if he has any more advice on solving sleep issues. We could really use some help and insite in this house.

Irene said...

I think this is a great book! My son's started solids a couple of months ago, and I'm very conscious of what he eats. I would love tips on how to get the best nutrition for my son.

Ali said...

I would love a copy of his new book--I just got his raising baby green for a friend who is pregnant and loved thumbing through it (I only just discovered it at the tail end of my 2nd pregnancy). Thanks for sharing the neat interview, too! alison dot heintz at gmail dot com

The Jackson Family Blog said...

I think the comment about having it cooler at night for kids to sleep better is EXCELLENT info! I'm going to try it!

Also, even though he mentioned fish being great for kids I'm so glad mercury was mentioned. It is a very important factor in which fish we as consumers purchase and consume. TX Maggie and Dr Greene!

Laureen said...

I've been a fan of Dr. Greene's since my first daughter was born 8 years ago. It was very reassuring as a new mother to know that I could get online to chat with him during his free pediatric chat sessions. What a great service he provided (and may still?). I've seen him speak a couple of times at the Green Festival and read a bit of his book Raising Baby Green, despite being baby-less at the time. (I'm just passionate about the topics of health and the environment and love to read what I can on them.) From that book, I learned that a baby develops its taste while in the womb, influenced by what the mother eats while pregnant. That is fascinating and such useful information!

I would love to win a copy of Dr. Greene's newest book Feeding Baby Green! I too would love to give it as a gift at the next baby shower (after reading it myself, of course!). :)

Thanks for the chance to win!

lmarston AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?

Sarah @ Mom Balance said...

I absolutely loved Raising Baby Green - and paid two weeks' worth of late fees at the library because I was so wrapped up in it! (I'll remember to renew next time.)

I'd love to read this. It sounds like you had an amazing lunch and had lots of important questions answered. Thanks for sharing!

Vanessa said...

I would love to get this in order to learn how to live a healthier lifestyle for myself and my children.