The Odyssey of the Squeasy Gears: Plastic, Fiber and Mentorship
December 19, 2019
So much of life and career success is about timing and support. Many of the reasons why I am in middle-management is that I had my children with Mr. Plastic Picker relatively young while in residency and fellowship. I’m in my 40s, and while many of my same-age physician cohort still have young children – mine are older. I have more time and energy to focus on work (and plastic picking!) It is the nearing the week of Christmas. I remember as a young physician being stressed this time of year trying to arrange for childcare or school camps, coordinating work-schedules with an even busier physician spouse, trying to cover a half-staffed clinic, trying not to get sick and still being there for my own children. Mr. Plastic Picker and I just hit 10 years with our organization. This milestone reminds me how important it is for us to support our younger colleagues.
I had heard about Squeasy Gear http://squeasygear.com/ from a patient, and wanted to try them out. Their company was nice enough to send some free products. As my kids are older and can eat real whole fruit with peel, it did not make sense for me to keep them. So I carried about the box of 16 Squeasy Gears for weeks on my odyssey to reduce ocean plastic pollution. How were these 16 Squeasy Gears going to help drplasticpicker save the oceans? The whole point of this blog is that as pediatricians we have an outsized influence on our patients and their diet, fiber, and plastic consumption habits. We should be knowledgeable about the products out there and make informed recommendations. Plus, those Go-Go Squeezes drive me crazy because it creates too much trash! So it made sense to give them to pediatricians. But I wanted to be equitable as I believe in an egalitarian society – so I gave the other 50% to non-pediatricians.
Two of those families I passed on the Squeasy Gears belong to young pediatricians. The photo above is the first child of a young pediatrician in our practice. Her daughter is holding a Squeasy Gear. They tried it out and they loved it.
The had breakfast together near the shore. She mixed organic blueberries with plain whole milk yogurt, and the little child loved it. It’s at least less plastic and filled with more fiber than the prepackaged fruit squeazies. I did an analysis on fiber content of the premade squeezies on a different blog post https://drplasticpicker.com/squeasy-gear-1-tackling-the-pediatric-fiber-deficit-with-real-fruit-and-not-plastic/.
Another success story is our secretary. She is a new grandmother and has a beloved grandson. She loved the gray color that Squeasy Gear offers http://squeasygear.com/. She told me they tried different fruit purees and he did not like the Squeasy Gear with food. But lo and behold, her grandson had been only drinking water from single-use water bottles and using at least one a day. He had refused other sippy cups. That is 365 water bottles a year which statistically only 1% are recycled. But now he loves his water in the new grey Squeasy Gears! She said it’s something about the texture of the squeasy. Here is his picture with his family’s permission, hydrating sans single-use plastic.
And the last family I will discuss belongs to a very busy young pediatrician in our practice. Her two children are enjoying the Squeasy Gears as well http://squeasygear.com/. As a middle-manager I am supposed to check in with the other pediatricians and see how they are doing, and I would ask her also – how are the Squeasies going? The reason it took me a while to finish this post was because young pediatricians are busy! I forgot that just getting home at a semi-reasonable hour is hard, and when you have young children at home – they don’t understand that their mommy can’t leave on time when the last patient has an asthma exacerbation. So my young full time pediatrician colleague did not have a lot of time to chat after clinic. Through the process of finishing the research for this blogpost, I had to observe the comings and goings of my young friend. And I am reminded about how stressed my young colleageus are.
But after a few weeks passed and we were both able to catch a breath, we had a lovely text exchange. She provides excellent clinical care, is well loved by her nurses and her kids are super stars developmentally. Her kids love the Squeasy Gears too and they are using it a few times a week.
So the odyssey of the Squeasy Gears http://squeasygear.com/ is that it helped reduce some single-use plastics for 2 young pediatrician-lead families. I believe these home-made purees have more fiber than the prepared stuff, so hopefully their children are having glorious bowel movements. As you remember, drplasticpicker is trying to also combat the Pediatric Fiber Deficit! https://drplasticpicker.com/squeasy-gear-1-tackling-the-pediatric-fiber-deficit-with-real-fruit-and-not-plastic/ And it has averted 365 single use plastic water bottles for 1 year for the toddler grandson of our secretary.
And more importantly, I thought I was trying to reduce ocean plastic pollution with the Squeasy Gears. But this blog post reminded me to think of my young colleagues’ children, to ask about their eating habits, and look at pictures of their beauitful children. Sometimes we forget that doctors are people, and young pediatricians are young mommies too – trying to figure it out. I honestly remember only my senior resident Dr. Young-Ho Yoong https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-young-ho-yoon-pediatrian-and-environmentalist-1/ as a caring presence as a young physician mother. He and his wife would visit my son and ask about him.
Well, this project made drplasticpicker really see and notice my young colleagues and your children. Squeasy Gears reminded me that drplasticpicker is also a mentor and I have a responsibility to my patients, the ocean and for now also a whole cadres of young doctors! Dr. Plastic Picker is so happy you have the Squeasy Gears now, and that your children will get more fiber and there will be less ocean plastic pollution. And I believe Squeasy Gear https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-young-ho-yoon-pediatrian-and-environmentalist-1/ also cares for your children, and for the environment. They have been the nicest company to interact with! Maybe one day Mr. Plastic Picker and I can visit their headquarters in central california, where they are located. So ends the Squeasy Gear Odyssey!