Do you remember how awkward of a time it was to go through puberty as a teen. If you were like most people, you probably didn't have many options to learn about what was going on, and you just had to "wing it".
Dr. Heather Manley is trying to change that by offering lots of educational pieces for kids to learn about their bodies. For instance, she teaches young kids about digestion and how food can make you feel different ways.
She also teaches teens about the changes in their hormones as they age. Her goal is to help educate kids so they can better understand what is happening to their own bodies and not be confused by the changes.
What To Expect From This Episode
- [0:00] Welcome to the Summit For Wellness Podcast
- [1:30] Who is Dr. Heather Manley and what got her interested in children's health
- [5:30] What developmental stages should be focused on the most while kids are growing
- [8:00] You have to put the ball in the child's court
- [9:30] What are the different stages of puberty between males and females
- [12:30] Is there peer pressure that can impact puberty for teens
- [13:30] When girls start to get their menstrual cycle, does it start irregularly or is it consistent
- [16:15] Often times kids will go on birth control to relieve symptoms, but this could have other impacts on their health
- [18:15] When taking birth control, it strips other nutrients from your body, so you may need a multivitamin to make up for lost nutrients
- [20:00] If you child has acne, then you should look into why they would be having acne instead of manipulating hormones to try and fix it
- [22:15] Some athletic girls can get so lean that they lose their menstrual cycle, is this healthy
- [25:15] There is a lot of new research coming up around women and how their body changes during the month which can change how they perform
- [28:00] Understanding your cycles will make it easier to understand when you have a bad day
- [28:45] How can parents get the confidence to talk about these subjects
- [31:00] What are some of the big focus points that boys should know
- [32:45] I remember when I was going through health classes we would only learn about our gender parts not the other side
- [33:15] Final thoughts from Dr. Heather Manley
Resources From This Episode
Some of these resources may contain affiliate links, which provides a small commission to me (at no extra expense to you).
- Check out the Human Body Detectives for information to share with kids- Learn More
Transcript For Episode (Transcripts aren't even close to 100% Accurate)
Bryan Carroll: [00:00:14] I'm sure most of us remember how confusing it was being a teen and going through different changes within our own body. And in most cases, we didn't really have anyone to talk to, to understand what exactly was going on and what to expect.
What's up everyone. I'm Bryan Carroll and I'm here to help people move more eat well, and we add mentors. And in today's episode, I have dr. Heather Manley on the show to share ways we can teach kids about their bodies in a safe and healthy way. While some of these conversations can be awkward to have with your kids.
She does a great job of keeping it light and easy to talk about. So let's jump into my conversation with dr. Heather. As a naturopathic doctor and author of the human body detectives, dr. Heather is a firm believer in the power of prevention. And the key to prevention is education with HBD. She believes if children learn how their bodies work, they are more apt to make healthy choices that will give them a headstart on a long, healthy life.
Thank you for coming onto the show dr. Heather.
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:01:14] Hi. Thank you for having me. Of course.
Bryan Carroll: [00:01:18] And, we're going to have a very, a great conversation today about just teen health in general. And like you mentioned, you like to share education and try to educate as many people as possible. But before we get into that, let's learn a little bit more about you and what your background is.
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:01:33] All right. Well, I, it's always a tricky question. Like where do I start? Well, I grew up in Toronto, Canada, and I was always really interested in. nutrition, but probably more food and supplements. I was, I don't know. I don't know how old you are, but back in the eighties, the health food stores were like, Really interesting, like just bare minimal.
and then, you know, but I ended up going to Florida for undergraduate and was in the biology department. and I, as a child, I was super obsessed with animals and wildlife and stuff. Specifically turtles. I'm not sure why. And, so I was fortunate enough to work for the state of Florida and the sea turtle department.
So I was really in that tract is working with, with wildlife. But for some reason, during the summer, before going into my fourth year, I was like, they should be get pre-med just in case. So then it was like calculus or organic chemistry, which I'm sure there are many times where I was like, what am I doing?
But it was, it paid off. And then I worked for a conventional medical doctor who, was incredible and taught me a ton in tennis stuff. from, you know, I think in the first week I was drawing blood and reading labs and dispensing pharmaceuticals, but then I stumbled across, a nature pathic doctor and he was gracious enough to meet with me and.
Told me all about, what nature paths do and what they believe in. And I was like, sign me up. So here I am, the doctor and I graduated in 2001.
Bryan Carroll: [00:03:07] Awesome. And now, where you are, you get a sea turtle is probably pretty often if you're lucky enough,
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:03:12] I am very lucky enough because I am in Hawaii. I do travel to California last five years, going back and forth.
But, yeah, I try to go and get into the water a few times a week and. It's not too hard to see a turtle.
Bryan Carroll: [00:03:26] So what got you so interested in teen health and especially around teen hormonal patterns?
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:03:35] Well, you know, I, I started with my book and, and, curriculum series for kids called human body chapters.
And that was pretty much just geared to elementary school kids. And I stumbled across that just because I have two young at the time. They're not young anymore, but yeah. I was going into their elementary classrooms, just helping out the teacher. And really the only thing I could offer was, you know, talking about food and then.
They were asking, like, kids are crazy. They're so inquisitive. And they started asking me like, well, how does it get in my body? So that led us into talking about digestive physiology. And so that's really where it all started. And I learned pretty fast that when kids start, when they understand. Why food is important and what it does in the body, so that, you know, they can score that extra soccer goal or run faster on the, you know, the mile that they run it.
And during PE they're like, I gotta eat good food. So, and then when my girls became teenagers, then I just, that door opened and I have two girls. So I started doing, like, You know, I, I F I find that with kids, they do so much better when they're with their peers. So I started offering these classes for teenage preteens and early teenage girls.
I'm just talking about their, their physiology and, you know, and not so much of the so-called negative stuff that we hear about the menstrual cycle, but you know, all the great positive things that come out of it that are super important. And so focusing on that, it can, it's really empowering for them. Is there as kids are growing up.
Bryan Carroll: [00:05:14] Is there a specific, groups of aging that are more important for specific things? Like let's say for the first five years is focusing on support for brain health, more important than it is in the next five to 10 years after that or anything along those lines?
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:05:30] You know, that's a great question. I mean, I'm.
For me, my focus, like I don't, I don't primarily focus on brain health, but I definitely, during the first five years, brain health is really important. But I do think like one of the biggest things that's important in, in helping our kids be like successful people in the community within themselves.
And, and, and, and of course their health is just the whole concept of awareness. You know, I think if we can start teaching the kids during the first five years, how, I mean the first few years are probably hard, but around age five, just like how food makes them feel, how sleep makes them feel. how drinking water makes them feel like just this awareness between what they're doing, their lifestyle, how that affects how.
Creative or productive or, they are. Does that make sense?
Bryan Carroll: [00:06:25] Yeah, it does visually with elementary kids or so I'm curious. So if you can spark that curiosity, then they're going to learn. Probably pretty quick.
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:06:35] They do learn really fast because I think with what, and this is one reason I love working with kids is because a, they do learn quick and it's because one of the main reasons is they don't want to be sick.
They want to be, they want to go to school. They want to play. They want to play soccer. They want to like, they're so intrigued with writing. Like if you have a writer or a reader, like they want to be doing all those things, they don't want to be sitting at home feeling. You know, sick and, or just not, or just being, feeling lethargic.
So if you can really make that connection, like, wow, you didn't eat breakfast and you're tired. I mean, the thing is with kids though, you have to be. You have to be very sneaky and manipulative on the way that you approach that and let it come to them themselves. So they're like, you know, yeah. Wow. I didn't eat a good breakfast.
Maybe that's why I'm tired. It's Torah. I'm gonna eat a good breakfast. You know, like they, they work that way and they work that way with, with, sugar and sweets too, you know? Yep.
Bryan Carroll: [00:07:37] Going back to that education piece. Yeah. Putting the ball in their court.
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:07:40] Yes. That's really the key thing. And I think it's, I think teachers probably get that the best, but I think, you know, parents, it's so hard for us to hold back and like, not be like, come on, eat your veggies, you know, instead of like making them, you know, just putting it into their hands and just being more patient and, Yeah.
I mean, I have, I've I've told this story a few times, but I think it's, it's a perfect example is when my older daughter was, I think she was probably around 10 or 11 and it's like, she was going out and show the world more. So like with her friends, you know, on her own, but that's when the Starbucks frappuccino came out.
And so that's all they wanted to drink, but every time she had one, she would get these. Horrible stomach aches. And so, you know, I started to be do that slowly, like, Oh, I wonder, you know, what did you eat? You know, what'd you try and go, Oh, I wonder if there's sugar in that, you know, like, wonder if there's some caffeine?
Oh, maybe it's the dairy. Like I was putting these like ideas on her head and then one, I think it was after the third or forest, she came home. She's like, that's it I'm can't eat these anymore. They don't make me feel good. And I was like, yes. So.
Bryan Carroll: [00:08:52] Yeah, that's great. So, as K kids are aging, they go through obviously different stages.
And one of those big life transitions for them is puberty. And there's a lot that happens during puberty. So, between males and females, do they reach puberty at different ages?
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:09:10] no, not typically. No, I'm girls are always a little bit faster than the boy. you know, yeah. Puberty the gateway to adolescence, the gateway to being an adult.
you know, it varies and that's a pretty big range. I mean, I, in girls, it's about eight to 13 boys, nine to 14. they ma Academy, The American Academy of pediatrics says that, you know, if a girl gets, you know, starts purity before age eight, that's called, you know, it's, it's early puberty and a boy would be like age nine.
So, but I, I don't know for this is going to lead into anything, but it's, I think like right now, the way where we're living, the time that we're living in, it's so hard to put in a normal age for puberty.
Bryan Carroll: [00:09:57] Which makes sense. Cause it seems like, every person and every household, they eat differently, they have different environmental exposures.
There's a lot that goes into it, different stress factors. And that could all play into when you start going through these, Changes as well.
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:10:11] I know. Yeah, for sure. Like, I think, like we think about, our food and, the environment, you know, chemicals that are sprayed on our, on our land and the personal care products, especially with girls.
That's such a huge thing too. And I don't work so much with boys, so. I mean, I might be kind of always going back to the girl thing, but, you know, that they're, they're laced with lots of hormones and environmental, like just chemicals in general that can, they're referred to as endocrine disruptors, which can mimic or interfere, you know, mimic, and interfere with our hormones.
And, you know, our kids are being. Are exposed to that so much. So that's a huge part of it. And then again, what you were just saying about stress, you know, like that can play a big, part in it all as well. So, and, and I think even like what you were saying, like with different. Kids being exposed to different things.
I think even in the same household, you know, girls can, you know, say we have a family of, you know, three or four girls to be siblings. You know, one might get their period at eight. Maybe one's at 12, maybe one's at 16, you know, and you know, maybe one of them is not managing their stress very well. You know, it's having a hard time and maybe one's in a, is an extreme athlete.
And then maybe one is. You know, obsessed with putting makeup on, you know, or their detox pathways aren't working so well. So maybe because of all of that, so, you know, there's, I think there's, I think like putting that normal, label is, is, is hard and it can be, you know, especially if a girl gets her period either at eight or at 16, you know, It's, it's not, you want to be like, every teenager wants to be in the norm.
Bryan Carroll: [00:11:58] yeah. Is there any type of a peer pressure? For that type of stuff as well, going through different stages.
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:12:05] Well, that's one thing that I talked to my teenage girls when I get them in groups. I'm like, you know, guys, we're all different. Like our bodies are different. We're exposed to different things.
You know, our family situation is different. Our households different. we have to be. And, and, you know, puberty is not kind really, I mean, I shouldn't say it's, I mean, it's, it's tough, you know, like I remember one time, one of my daughters came downstairs and she was all teary. I don't know how old she was, maybe 14.
And, and I was like, what's going on? She was like, I don't know. I just don't feel like I'm me. So like, I tell that story because it's okay to be there because that's, what's happening as I w you know, things are changing in our body so we can grow and, yeah. We can become adults. And, so I think it's important to, to be gentle with ourselves and compassionate to our, our, you know, our girlfriends and
Bryan Carroll: [00:12:58] for girls when their menstrual cycles do start coming on.
Does it come on sporadically? Like, is it not as a normal cycle or does it come on pretty normal right out of the Gates
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:13:13] that is. That's huge. And I think this is one of the biggest misconceptions and I see, I see, I do see a lot of like older teenagers and early, you know, w young women in their twenties and, And I think what's really important to remember is that when we get our periods, it's we think it's just the ovaries that are like calling the shots, but it actually starts in the brain.
So the brain, if it senses, if it's ready, if it's like, feels like it's got some estrogen, things are happening, it starts to communicate with the ovaries. And I was like, okay, you know, we're at the age, let's like start making some estrogen and progesterone. So, but the thing is, is that they don't come.
They don't start this communication. So great. You know, they're trying to figure it out, you know, so what happens is that, when a girl first gets their period, there's more estrogen in the body than there is progesterone. So, you know, there's, we're, you know, right out of the gate, there's an imbalance.
And you know, some girls are more sense insensitive to that, imbalance than other girls. And, and when we have that imbalance, that's when we start to see all of these, You know, the heavier periods and the mood changes and the cramping, a lot of fatigue, acne, you know, happens a lot and, you know, he can take up to two, three years for the brain and the ovaries to like figure it out and to communicate well.
And, and that is, You know, I mean, you can, when we're at this, there guests, there's three different avenues that, you know, a family or a young girl can go decide on what they want to do, either just live through it, or we can support it with, you know, making sure that we're eating. Really well, you know, you know, not gravitating towards processed foods, but making sure that we're, you know, eating good quality fats and lots of fiber, you know, putting a big emphasis on nutrition, bringing in some botanical medicine, some Herb's maybe some homeopathy that can really nourish and support this communication between the brain and the ovaries.
And then the third thing that happens quite frequently. And, I mean, there's no, Shame. And I mean, families got to decide what they need to decide, but I think there's a big part of it that gets missed is, you know, these kids go straight to their doctors and then they're put on some pharmaceutical drugs that will help with all these symptoms.
Bryan Carroll: [00:15:35] Yep. So something like a birth control or something similar.
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:15:39] So, and then, so when we kind of flip back and just talk about how the brain and the ovaries need to figure out this communication, if we're going to bring in a synthetic hormone, It's going to stop that communication. So it never gets a chance to figure itself out.
So typically what happens when I'm weaning girls, birth control pills or young women, they, they go right back to having the heavy periods. They get acne, you know, so they, we have to get, we have to, you know, support and nourish the body so it can do its job best and not to stop any processes or putting a bandaid on.
So I think it's really important for, You know, doctors who are prescribing these medicines too, you know, talk about that and also talk about how these synthetic hormones are tough on the liver. You know, it's, it's, it's adding more to the liver's plate of detoxifying and getting them out of the body and, and then they also, these most pharmaceutical drugs.
to some degree deplete, a lot of minerals and vitamins. So if, if you have a young girl who's, you know, being put on the birth control pill, you know, I think it's a really smart idea to have some liver support going on and then getting a really good multivitamin and putting some emphasis. I mean, I'm always about, you know, food as medicine first, but, a good multivitamin is really crucial.
I think if you're going to go on the birth control pill,
Bryan Carroll: [00:17:06] Yeah, I feel like that is one of the things that gets missed a lot, because I don't really see a lot of kids taking multis. And like you said, when you're taking any type of pharmaceutical, you're going to be stripping some nutrients and it could be a lot, and it could be a little depending on what the pharmaceutical suitable is.
but I don't really hear kids taking, multis very often. So that's a really
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:17:26] interesting point. Yeah, no, I think it's, it's, it is really interesting. And under like when, and then just understanding, That you're, I mean, you're cutting off that communication. So, you know, it's, it's going to come back, right?
Like almost always, when you get off the birth control pill, you start getting all those original symptoms back. You're just prolonging it.
Bryan Carroll: [00:17:52] Yes. So, the longer you're on birth control, could that also be playing into a little bit? The issue a lot of people have with partners?
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:18:02] well, I, you know, I, I, I, I never think anything is just one.
You know, CA like there's only, there's not just one thing that's making a disease happen. I always think it's multifactorial. And I do think that if a young woman has been on synthetic hormones, most of their lives, and maybe they're not eating very well, and they have a, you know, they're exposed to a lot of, chemicals, whether it's environmental or if it's in their skincare products.
Yeah. They, I mean, those all can have. Really big effects on fertility. And I mean, I think in the last couple of years, when I do hormone testing, like, I'm so surprised like that these girls aren't obviating and they're not making progesterone. And yeah, there's, there's definitely some evidence that, you know, that, you know, the birth control pill and just the environment and stress.
I mean, we didn't talk about that, but like when we're under a lot of stress that kind of shuts everything down too, right.
Bryan Carroll: [00:19:00] Yeah, it's, it's also interesting because a lot of times, if a girls have acne and they want to get rid of it, then it seems like a lot of conventional doctors just go straight to, birth control.
And it's interesting that we would be focused so much on controlling hormones instead of trying to look deeper into the acne issue.
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:19:19] Right. And, you know, it's when we start, you know, in, when, when we, when a girl is starts, her period, you know, like these hormones are kind of a little bit out of control and a little bit rogue and they make our skin more oily.
you know, estrogen can do that. I mean, yeah. you know, as we get older, you know, women love the yesterday because it makes us look glowy. But you know, at the beginning where we're like, why am I so greasy? You know? And that can clog the pores. So if there's not a good, you know, skin hygiene in place, then you know that you're, it can get into the act.
We can get into a very vicious cycle, because of that. So, yeah, there's so many things that we can. Talk to our kids about, our young girls about before putting them on a pharmaceutical. And, you know, I think like one thing that we didn't talk about, but I feel like I need to plug this in, is that, you know, we're, synthetic hormones just, you know, they don't give us the benefits that like, they don't give us the health benefits that we need, that we.
Need from hormones. And a lot of times, you know, when we think about going through puberty, one of the first things that comes in almost everybody's mind is like, you know, Oh, reproduction. Now we can have a baby, you know? And, and that's all the focus really is, is like, Oh my gosh, now we can have a baby, but actually these hormones, you know, They do so much in our body.
They help with bone growth and keep our bones strong. They help with just growth. In general, they help with our brain health. They help with immune system, you know, like we need these hormones, not just for reproduction, but we need them too for our overall health. And we're not going to get that from the synthetic hormones.
Bryan Carroll: [00:20:56] That's a very good point. And I'm glad you brought that up. now one of the things you did mention was stress and how that can impact, the hormones in the body as well. And, we know that a lot of, Athletic females, athletic girls. They can get to a point where they're so lean that they lose their menstruation.
So can you talk about that a little bit? Is that actually healthy for them to do that? Is that the natural response from the body to do that? Or is that a warning sign that they should look more into?
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:21:30] Well, my personal opinion is that it's definitely a warning sign. And like I was just saying, is that these hormones, especially during these re you know, you know, I was going to say reproductive, but like these like years between like 12 and 20, like there's so much growth that's happening.
Not just, you know, like growing. Breasts or getting your period, but like your bones are growing and you're getting strength and we need, you know, calcium is like, you know, building up in the body and our immune system gets strengthened during this time. Like there's so much that brain health is just, you know, on, on fire too.
So, you know, if, if a girl's not getting their period, that means they're not getting those hormones, that it. That they need for all of those things, but I think it's really interesting. when we talk about girls young girls, we're, I guess we're just, are we just going to focus on teenage girls are just like athletes?
Well, you know, again, like that's such a growth time, so, we, we need to have all of those hormones, but I think, I think like, I think there's a few issues that are really need to be talked about more. And you know, my girls are older now, so I'm not in the school system. And I don't really see what's happening with the coaches, but like, I think like these girls are.
working there, they're working so hard in school, keeping up with their schoolwork and then they're socially really socializing is really important. And then they're doing these, this intense exercising. So I think like we can get into a few sense scenarios with that. It's like, like food isn't even on the table, I guess not even like an issue for them.
And that's a big problem. So they're either going to gravitate. Towards not such a great meal and lots of processed food and fast food because they're starving and they just want to eat. or they're just going to forget to eat because they're too tired. So th the, the, the, you know, not being nourished.
on both ends, even if you're eating, like McDonald's, you're not going to get the nourishment you really need. And then if you're not eating, you're not getting the nourishment either. So I think like, you know, those are really important things that I, that a high school coach needs to be talking to their, their athletes about.
Bryan Carroll: [00:23:45] There's also been some books that have come out to, to talk about, you know, athletics and athletics for women and different times of the month. And, what. You know, different hormone cycles, what type of training is better. And when to back off a little bit, there's more play in the joints and all that type of stuff.
So the time of month when you're more likely to get injured. So I think now we're starting to do a little bit more research on that because a lot of times, most of the research in the past has been on males because their hormones are a little bit easier to track. It's not changing day-to-day so it's harder to study women than it is men.
but yeah, there's just a lot of. Fascinating information coming out.
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:24:26] I love I'm so happy you brought that up because I, that kind of goes back to when we were talking about earlier about just that awareness piece and being able to teach, you know, our kids, like, like what's going on, on the outside, that's reflecting on the inside and, and.
But, you know, when we can, and this is what I, you know, talk to my preteens and teens about all the time is when we start to understand what happens, like in say a typical 28 day period, and which hormones are expressing themselves more than the other hormones and how you're feeling when those hormones are expressing themselves.
And you can really tune into that. Like, like I tell my students is. You know, in the second half of, like right after you get your period up until ovulation, you know, we can, we get, we have a lot of estrogen and testosterone starts to, to, to, come into the picture. And those two hormones give us so much strength and confidence.
We feel really good. So like, if you have like a meet coming up, like if you can schedule, I mean, you can't really schedule it, but if you're during, in that time period of your menstrual cycle, you're to look like. Kick some butt on fail, you know, you're, you're going to score some extra goals and I have the con the competence and the strength.
So tapping into that can be really beneficial. you know, and even, you know, I tell my kids too. I said, if there's something you need to talk to your parents about, you know, this is a good time to do that because you have more confidence. Or if you have to give a big presentation at school, that's a good time.
But then some kids, some women feel a lot stronger during the second phase when there's more progesterone and, you know, they feel calmer and more centered. And that can also be a time where they're going to Excel either, you know, at a school presentation or on the field. So, yeah, I mean, I think there's a tremendous amount of truth there and we, we can that the super powers within the female hormones, we need to put more emphasis there.
And instead of talking about. The cramping and that all, you know, some PMs symptoms, you know, let's like get our hormones balanced and then use them to their advantage. Our advantage.
Bryan Carroll: [00:26:38] Which also brings up the point too, that because of hormones are changing, there could be a time of the month when you have a meal and you don't perform very well.
And then they give you a good idea too, that, Oh, this is because of this most likely. And you don't have to be as hard on yourself.
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:26:55] Yeah. That's a really good point too. Yeah. So you can be more compassionate and be okay. with yourself and be gentle with yourself. And, you know, again, if, if, if, if the coaches top of everything, I mean, again, I'm not on the field.
So like, I don't know what coaches are trained at, but if we're talking about like their food and what they're eating and like what their menstrual cycle. Yeah. Then everybody's working together as a team and there's not, cause that's the other big thing that it's a little bit better now than probably 10 years ago, or definitely when I was, you know, going through puberty.
But, you know, if it's it's normal, so let's just talk about it, you know?
Bryan Carroll: [00:27:35] Yeah. Which brings up a good point because a lot of parents feel uncomfortable talking about these topics. So how do you give them the confidence to have these conversations and communicate with their kids?
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:27:47] Well, I think the Mo I think, I think the Mo the most important thing is, is to start at an early age, because I think, you know, kids will dictate a conversation.
Like if they feel uncomfortable, they're going to shut it down. Like, they're so clever at being able to change, you know, you know, turn the page on that discussion and like, you know, divert it to something else. So, you know, If you could just start, let's say you're at the D like, I think the dinner tables always really great.
Everyone's not looking at each other in the eye. We're looking down at our meals and we're eating. Like, there's a lot of other stuff going on as also in the car is a really good place. Just talk to kids, whether they're four or 14. and I think like starting young, like you don't have to go straight into like, Puberty, you can talk about, they mean like the big puberty stuff, but like maybe the dad can say, Oh, I remember when my voice started changing.
You know, like when I was 13, I was becoming, you know, and make it fun. And so that's just going to be the stepping stones, you know, leading up to when they're. You know, nine or 10 is usually a big time where some of the bigger questions start coming into play. And, but if it's already been talked about some already base line puberty stuff, then when they start asking some of the other questions that, you know, Can be uncomfortable, you know, when they start asking questions about sex and like all those kind of stuff, but like literally they will, once you, if you give them too much information, they shut it down.
So, and the other, the big thing is, it's just really listening to your kids too. So let them do most of the talking. And if they have a question, then answer it.
Bryan Carroll: [00:29:35] That's good advice. Perfect. Well, is there any, any topics that you want to talk about when it comes to boys and going through puberty for them?
Is there any like big rocks that they need to know and focus on?
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:29:47] You know, I think one of the big, I mean, just, you know, I think well, could be really important and maybe I'm just a little biased, cause I mostly see girls, but I ha when I was starting to offer these classes right out of the gate, like 10 years ago, Yeah, all my friends, my friends who had boys, they were like, can my boys come and learn this stuff too?
Cause they have sisters and they're going to have girlfriends. And so I actually think that boys really need to, you know, tap into learning more about female physiology because it is more, you know, it's not delicate, but it's, it's more, it there's a lot more to know than just testosterone. So, and then when they start to understand, like what's going on and say a 28 day cycle, they can, they can actually tap into like when they do later on and have girlfriends, you know, like after their girlfriend gets their period, they feel really strong and like, okay, so there's something I want to talk to her about.
I'm going to do it then, or, you know, or, you know, maybe at this time a month she's feels a little bit more gentle. Let me like, it's going to help them too. So I think. Having them learn more about the menstrual cycle is, is, is really important.
Bryan Carroll: [00:30:57] That's an interesting cause when I think back when I went through a sex ed in the school systems, they usually separated us.
the girls would go to one classroom and learn and then the boys would go to another one. And I can't remember, I'm sure at some point they must have merged it, but for years you just learned about. Your own gender, what changes of puberty you're going to expect? And he never learned anything about the other side.
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:31:21] And, you know, I think it is really important to be empowered yourself, to learn what's happening within your body and what the hormones, you know, are being released and what they're doing. But it had, I think that there has to be crossover. So like the girls have to see some of the boys stuff and the boys have to see some of the girl stuff, but, yeah, it's.
I mean, you know, then yeah. It's just so much better. Like the more knowledge and the more awareness just really helps in overall health, on both sides.
Bryan Carroll: [00:31:51] Well, is there any final things you want to touch on when it comes to teen health and
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:31:55] puberty? I think. I didn't and this is the hardest thing is like these teenagers, they don't eat so well.
And, you know, hormones are made from good quality fat. So, you know, I think like as parents, we have to make sure that we're feeding them good quality fat, and then introducing good quality fat, like nuts and seeds and avocados and olive oil. I mean, you can't control so much of what they're doing outside of the house, but.
You know, inside the house, that the best thing you can do for hormonal health in general is to make sure they're getting good quality fat. Perfect.
Bryan Carroll: [00:32:32] And is there, can you give a couple examples of what a not good quality fat might be?
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:32:37] fast food probably would be number one, anything that's in a package, you know, like, because they're using some oils that aren't as stable and they can actually cause more damage in the body.
So, you know, just always trying to get the whole food introduction and avoiding the fast food. I know it's so hard, but it's really important. It can make it make teenage life a lot easier on everyone.
Bryan Carroll: [00:33:05] Yeah, exactly. Right. A lot of people, they don't realize that, how they support their kids can also lessen the battles at home
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:33:13] too.
Yeah, for sure. And the other thing that, yeah, that's a huge point. That's really, really huge. And I, yeah, but the other thing that you know, is that I think a lot of our kids are dehydrated. So, so water is really important and not, you know, some of like juice or, I mean, I mean, so many of these kids are drinking so much caffeine now so much can be really dehydrating on the body.
So making sure water is, is being given to them quite frequently.
Bryan Carroll: [00:33:47] Yeah. Yeah. A lot of them are drinking, pop and energy drinks and coffee and all sorts
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:33:51] of stuff. Yeah.
Bryan Carroll: [00:33:54] Yup. And then, so since you're doing such a great job of getting this information out to, just kids in general and parents and trying to open up that communication, what is your vision for what like a health program would look like for kids so that they are able to learn this education?
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:34:11] I really, I'm a really big firm believer in not being like negative and taking things away and, and introducing that whole awareness piece and really making people come to their own conclusion on how food is making them feel. So, you know, when we talk about this kind of stuff in the school system, I think it needs to, there has to be more of a positive spin on it.
And, and connecting it to, you know, whether we're talking about, food or hydration or exercise, or even sleep is so important to it that we have to talk about the positive benefits of it and what we're going to get from it. Instead of saying, if you don't get a good night's sleep or if you don't eat this, you know, I, I, I w I wish we would talk more about that.
You know, the positives and, and, and moving forward with, with good actions.
Bryan Carroll: [00:35:03] Perfect. And people can find more information about you at dr. Heather N d.com and you also have human body detectives.com is human body detectives, where you do a lot of the work with kids.
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:35:15] Yep. So that's where, excuse me. All my. courses are for elementary and middle and high school students, teaching about the physiology of the body of broken it down into systems.
And then I weave nutrition into everything. So they understand that what they eat, you know, plays a big role on how their physiology is going to work. So.
Bryan Carroll: [00:35:39] And then are you on any social platforms?
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:35:41] Yeah, so on social media, Instagram at human body captives and, and, and Facebook it's, it's basically just, I I've spent so much work on, working with children.
So human body detectives is my big tagline. So my handle, I guess, So that's where people can find me.
Bryan Carroll: [00:36:02] Perfect. Dr. Heather, thank you so much for coming on and talking about this very important topic. we need more people just understand how their bodies work. So this is fantastic.
Dr. Heather Manley: [00:36:10] Yeah. Thank you for having me.
I love talking about this stuff.
Bryan Carroll: [00:36:13] As you can see, these conversations can be tough to have with kids, especially if the kids don't really want to hear it from you, but if you start at a young age and talk about different ways, their body works, like how it digest food. Then that is a safe entryway into having these conversations.
And dr. Heather has lots of good resources [email protected]. Next week I have dr. April Morrison on let's go learn who she is and what we'll be talking about. I am here with dr. April Morrison. Hey April. What is one unique thing about you that most people don't know?
April M.: [00:36:47] Ooh, one thing that most people don't know is that I have been to all, but two of the 50 States in the United States,
Bryan Carroll: [00:36:56] which two have you not gone to?
April M.: [00:36:58] what would you guess
Bryan Carroll: [00:36:59] Alaska Hawaii?
April M.: [00:37:01] Nope, been to both of those. So North Dakota and Oklahoma, I got to get to those too soon, which,
Bryan Carroll: [00:37:10] which one is your favorite?
April M.: [00:37:12] Which state is my favorite or I'm from Massachusetts originally. So I have to say that was my hometown. And I got to give props to my new England people.
Bryan Carroll: [00:37:21] And what will we be learning about in our interview together?
April M.: [00:37:24] just a little bit about pelvic health and how it's important for all people, men, women at all stages of their lives. And just really that the pelvis is not just an area of the body that is often forgotten, but super important.
Bryan Carroll: [00:37:38] And do you have any foods or nutrients that you think would help people with their pelvic floor?
April M.: [00:37:45] Water. The more water you drink, the better really hydration is the key for everything. So, water is your best friend.
Bryan Carroll: [00:37:53] And what are three things that you do daily to improve your own health?
April M.: [00:37:57] Ooh, that's tough. I do my best to be mindful for at least 30 minutes when I first get up in the morning.
I kind of sit and, I wouldn't call it meditating because I'm typically thinking about what I'm going to do for the day, but kind of checking in with myself and how I'm feeling. another thing is I try to, do a good stretching routine, especially before I'm working with patients and kind of using my body. And, before I go to bed, I try to decompress a little bit and, I either sit and talk with my husband or hang out with my dog for a few minutes and just kind of leave the day behind. So that's something I, I like to do.
Bryan Carroll: [00:38:34] We'll be talking all about the pelvic floor. So until then, keep climbing to the peak of your health.
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