September 2021 – Page 2 – Dr. Plastic Picker

Month: September 2021

Two bags yesterday

September 7, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I don’t know if people are listening. I don’t know if anyone cares about the planet. Sometimes I get so sad. The news is dire but we knew that. Wildfires throughout the west and the Mediterranean. Catastrophic hurricanes displaced Mr. Plastic Picker’s family on Long Island. It’s here. The future we had predicted. Are people acting? I have to believe they are. I have to believe that I am a very ordinary pediatrician who is trying to do my part in making the planet livable and that I’m not that special and others aren’t that selfish. Knowing how ordinary I am gives me hope, because it’s ordinary people like me who can help stop this climate crisis.


The spices I had all along that I needed last night.

September 6, 2021

by drplasticpicker

Wow. Dinner was a complete and utter and delightful and healthy surprise. We had gone out to dinner on Saturday and had felt very, for the lack of a better word, heavy. We had gone to a nice family style high-end American-fare restaurant and we all had sandwhiches and various burgers and salad. The first bites were good, but afterwards all my daughter could mention was how much butter and oil there was on everything.

When our family moved toward a more plant-based diet and especially when I stopped drinking coffee with all that cream and sugar, my palate fundamentally changed. Without all the processed sugar that comes in pre-packaged foods, real food made at home and in general life became more real and flavorful and sweet.


Wow. That was easy and VEGAN!


  1. can of diced tomatos with water
  2. one more can of water
  3. one zuchinni chopped
  4. left over carrots chopped
  5. 1/4 cup of lentils
  6. 1/2 cup of beans mixed soaked over night
  7. generous spoonful of better than boillon
  8. sprinkle in a grain 1/4 of a cup (quinoa or couscous)
  9. put in a 1/2 tablespoon of whatever seasoning you like
  10. bean function on instapot 20 minutes

Serve with leftover bread or crackers, or whatever you want.

All I have to say is there are a lot of good stuff in this light on the beans “chilli.” A keeper for my house. I’m definitely doing this every week! I made this recipe all by myself!!!!

Trash art person. Happy with itself.

September 5, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I’ve been thinking about eating disorders or disordered eating a lot. After decades of being a pediatrician, I think I’m beginning to understand. I had a dear patient come in last week for likely our final visit and she related to me her experience recently with anorexia, and we talked frankly about treatment and causes and her impression. I learned more from my patient than I’ve had from the textbooks in years.

There is this look that I’ve seen time and time again. It’s this look during the first initial visit when usually the mother brings the teenage girl and we broach the subject the first time. In this case, I’m usually the pediatrician who has cared for said teenage girl since prepuberty and now into this rocky time in adolescence. There is this look that the daughter gives the mother, as the mother is relating to me her concerns. The mother is usually standing rigid and seemingly in control, but I feel like she’s usually a glass statue about to shatter. She gets this gaze that eventhough she is talking to me, the mother is actually not looking at me – but looking at someone else. I’m a stand-in for the entire medical system at that point. The mother relates her concerns usually controlled with undercurrent of repressed emotion. And the daughter. The daughter has the look. The look when the mother has shushed her, and the daughter has stopped talking. She just looks at her mother from a teenaged body but the eyes of a young child, with repressed and unshed tears. And the daughter does not say anything because she’s been shushed. But her eyes say a lot. And I always think to myself the eyes say, “notice me. look at me.” And by me, I mean not the physical form me but whatever the “me” inside who is hurting.


A Few Years Ago

September 4, 2021

by drplasticpicker

It’s 230AM and I’m UP!!! I’m usually not up this early and I’m completely weaned off coffee for the last almost six weeks. I didn’t even drink a diet coke yesterday nor tea. Seeing a full panel of patients on Fridays was meaningful but it’s exhausting – emotionally. I thought I was okay, but after dinner when I was successfully able to have us eat a good several servings of vegetables by whipping up some broccoli and mushroom steamed vegetable side in the Instapot that went along with various leftovers a can of chilli – I fell asleep early. I was laying on the couch and the entire family was settled in the living room including the grandparents to watch some sort of documentary on a Kenyan marathoner breaking the world record. I dozed off pretty early. I just remember by daughter reminding my husband, “Can you make sure mommy gets to bed?” Somehow I ended up in my bed and had a good six hours of sleep. That is not bad. I usually sleep a good 8 hours these days. But I was thirsty and my body told me to wake up, and I had an idea about a climate project to further our collective efforts to Rewild Mission Bay. San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air have joined their coalition.


Someone creative already created a logo for what we all are – EARTH AGENTS.

September 3, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I was talking to one of my teenage patients regarding some adolescent/teenage issues. The teenage years are rough for many. Your wisdom teeth grow in odd directions, sometimes your emotions and your relationships as well. Don’t even mention certain parts of your body! But something powerful that I have repeated throughout the last few years and that I believe in my heart when I look at them across the exam room is “You don’t have to be fixed. No one needs to be fixed.” And that I realize applies to myself as well.

This journey in plastic picking for some odd reason has been very powerful and transformative to me. It’s allowed me to take risks and to explore and to get out of my preprogrammed doctor career. But I was thinking after meeting up with old college friends this past week, is that none of us need to be fixed. There was nothing wrong with the previous me, other than being in a swirling morass of circumstances a few years ago that almost broke me. It changed me, but the previous me before deserved to be treated with respect and love as well. That I felt I wasn’t and bullied and not supported, that is not my fault. I survived it, and survived other things. Just like all of us will go through life circumstances that are hard and difficult. And that it forced me to change and look inward for fulfillment and affirmation of what is right and wrong, does not mean the previous iteration of me was incorrect or bad or wrong.

It’s been a pretty heady and amazing week. We had amazing climate wins that hopefully will help things reverberate nationally. Change happens at the grassroots level. I always have several people approach me after talks and I know that I’ve inspired them in some way or other. I never sought that role, but I realize that by being honest and loving to myself – I am just showing others that we are all pretty amazing people.

Something wonderful I’ve learned about myself, is that I prefer to be collaborative rather than judgemental. I never sought positions where I had to judge, and we all do have to judge at some point. But I’d rather mentor and grow people. I’d rather support than punish. I don’t think I could go back to the former role.

It was really good.

September 1, 2021

by drplasticpicker

Yesterday was a really big climate win day. I put it on Instagram @drplasticpicker and my personal facebook page. County Board of Supervisors voted to pass 3-2 for the county to join San Diego Community Power. This gives our region a shot at meeting 2035 GHG goals. This was big. Very big. I was only one of two health care voices that came. Anyone can sign up to speak. But Dr. Bruce Bekkar and I were the two health care voices that spoke up as part of the Public Health Advisory Council of Climate Actions Campaign. All the other doctors were working. But for me, I use my educational leave time and OFF time to do climate work.