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Fit As A Fiddle

Author: Dr. Sneha Gazi

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If you want the "in" on your health, search no further. Fit As a Fiddle brings you top tips from experts in many fields of health and wellness. Grow with our community as you learn how to enhance your overall physical and mental wellbeing.
49 Episodes
Diversity is getting people to not view others in oversimplified labels. Diversity is including people who don’t look like you into your circles. Diversity is so much work. But it’s work that we need to do, and we need it so badly. Dr. Tadé Ayeni is the Director of Diversity and Equity at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine and Assistant Professor in the Human Dimension program. Dr. Ayeni enjoys creating meaningful connections with people from various backgrounds within and outside of the medical school with the aim of working toward a more genuinely equitable educational system for all students, which is a key piece in the fight to produce more equitable health outcomes in society. He sits with us to dissect issues of race, tolerance, and diversity in healthcare and beyond. He discusses how racial biases in the healthcare system require a deep understanding of our preconceptions and how we can actively shift these belief systems to create a more inclusive world. He also dives into the COVID-19 vaccine and what some black communities may feel towards them.This podcast was recorded on the evening of Jan 6th, 2021, a very bleak day in American history. Despite the utter chaos in the Capitol, I was glad Dr. Ayeni still had the time to record our scheduled podcast session. In fact, I think it added a lot of color and meaning to our conversation.
Thank you to all of our listeners and our guest speakers! In 2020, we published 47 episodes totaling about 22 hours of content. That’s about 1,325 minutes or 79,513 seconds for your listening pleasure. I am grateful to this community of humans who are oriented towards their health and wellness. Happy New Year!Love,Dr. Sneha Gazi
What drives you to stay healthy? Without knowing the answer to this, making a New Year Resolution or health goals for 2021 might not even be worth it. Knowing what motivates you to have a good relationship with health and fitness is key to creating new habits and sticking to them. Laurent Amzallag, a celebrity fitness expert, chats with us today on how to approach health. It’s not about the big fitness goals. It’s about the small things that you do everyday. He discusses how people often create excuses but instead of thinking about it or planning so much, just DOING it is the beginning. Creating realistic and attainable goals that become automatic have to start from somewhere!Head over to @snehaphysicaltherapy to watch the IGTV video where Laurent leads us through some simple movements that you can do anywhere, anytime.For the last 25 years, Laurent has been a sought after fitness expert. He was part of Oprah’s “Live Your Best Life” Tour, has been featured in ELLE Magazine and a guest on The Dr. Oz Show. He is a regular correspondent on NBC, FOX, CBS and the CW Network. The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports named him one of the country’s top 50 trainers. As a fitness entertainer, speaker and instructor, he is a catalyst for change and transformation using body movement to rewire mindsets. Laurent has led the warm ups for national campaigns such as The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, MS Society, Best Buddies, and Children’s Hospital. Laurent is certified through NASM (National Academy Of Sports Medecine) and speaks fluently in French, English and Spanish.Connect with him: @laurentamzallag
Everyone has experienced some degree of stress this year. Teenagers today in particular are going through their own set of unique challenges. Without the physical social connections, young people this year have been forced to resort to social media to stay in touch with their peers. While technology and social media have been so important this year for positive reasons, they can also lead to heightened anxiety amongst Gen Z. Jodi Aman, a family therapist for over 20 years, chats with us today on how social media can create a feeling of powerlessness. As an inspirational speaker, Jodi helps Generation Z and their parents find their Diamond Confidence, teaching usable tools to push past fear, connect with their personal agency, and expand their consciousness. As an anxiety-survivor, she totally gets it. As a mom of teens, she double-dog gets it. Through her TEDxWilmington talk, “Calm Anxious Kids,” and her bestselling book, You 1, Anxiety 0, Jodi is changing the way we understand the current mental health crisis. Look for her newest book, Anxiety...I’m So Done With You: A Teen’s Guide to Ditching Toxic Stress and Rewiring Your Brain for Happiness, coming out in July 2020.Connect with Jodi:
About 10% of males in the US experience some form of pelvic pain. Nonbacterial Prostatitis tends to be one of the most common diagnoses. However, many men are seen by multiple urologists, receive extensive medical work up, find that none of the medications works, and end up feeling helpless. When they are finally seen by a pelvic specialist, they can begin to have the confidence they need to regain control of their life.Dr. T. R. Christian Reutter from Pelvic Rehabilitation, explains to us why seeing a pelvic pain specialist should be the first line of defense in the absence of bacterial/viral infection. Other than being set up with pelvic floor physical therapy, specific medications, trigger point injections, peripheral nerve hydrodissection injections, and other minimally invasive procedures can help men who experience pelvic pain.Dr. Reutter attended medical school at the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City Missouri and then completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. He practiced for almost 17 years as a sports medicine and spine specialist in San Francisco, California before joining the Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine team in New York.He took an interest in pelvic pain and realized that there were limited resources with regard to addressing pelvic pain conditions. He joined the Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine Team in order to further pursue his interests.  As a physiatrist, he feels that he brings a unique approach to patient care with the goal of pain reduction/resolution, improvement in the quality of life, and allowing the patient to return to the activities that they enjoy.Connect with him at
Yes the holidays are coming up folks, and that might mean absolutely nothing socially for all of us. But it doesn’t stop the need for hot chocolate, pies, and cookies! Today we have the lovely Brigitte Zeitlin, a registered dietitian-nutritionist, help us with some very tangible advice. She covers everything like mindset and avoiding the “all-or-nothing” mentality when it comes to indulging in foods. Brigitte discusses how ephemeral diets can be harmful when used for the wrong reasons. She gives us some quick tips on organic foods, intermittent fasting, and how often to eat in order to continue boosting our metabolism. Brigitte even curates a perfect meal plan just for me, a vegetarian food lover!Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD, CDN is the owner of BZ Nutrition, a private nutrition counseling practice in New York City.  Brigitte offers an integrative approach to health and wellness, breaking down nutrition science into user-friendly, real-life strategies for her clients to their goals while feeling energized, excited, and satisfied. Brigitte serves as a nutrition expert in the media for Well+Good, SELF, Women’s Health, Business Insider, The New York Post, and more.  You can stay in touch with her on Instagram @BZnutrition to see what she’s cooking, eating, and pro-tipping. 
Any parent who has raised a toddler knows the deal here, especially during a pandemic. And if you don’t have a toddler yet, listen up! Dr. Terri Bacow specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety, mood disorders and ADHD. She joins us today to discuss the topic of Threenagers. Threenagers are 3-year-olds who appear to have the hormonal rollercoaster of a teenager. However, the reason for the tantrums and emotional ups and downs are due to an excessive number of brain cells that overwhelms the 3-year-old. As we age, these nerve cells become more efficient and our prefrontal lobes develop to reduce impulsivity, the need for instant gratification, and complete irrationality. Dr. Bacow discusses the unique difficulty of “pandemic parenting” and offers nuggets of wisdom that parents can implement right away to handle their child’s temper tantrums.Dr. Bacow serves as the Director of Training at the Hallowell Center, a clinic known as an epicenter for the treatment of ADD and related disorders. In addition, she is a Clinical Instructor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and an Adjunct Instructor in Applied Psychology at New York University’s Center for Counseling and Community Wellbeing. She has authored several peer reviewed papers based on her research and sees clients in her private practice on the Upper West Side. Dr. Bacow is uniquely interested in helping clients with transitional stages of life, including adjustment to college and new parenting, and enjoys writing and speaking about these topics. Please be on the lookout for her new book, Goodbye Anxiety, coming out in September 2021 and published by Penguin Random House.Connect with her at
It’s Thanksgiving! And with lots of yummy food can come lots of gut issues. Outside of the holiday season, chances are either you or someone you know experiences bowel or hormonal issues that may be hindering their quality of life regularly. Today we have top notch advice from Lauren Minchen, a registered dietitian for over 7 years, who breaks down some very important information for us. She discusses food intolerances, how to restore the integrity of your gut, what various supplements do for your body, and how mental health plays a role in all of this. Lauren educates us on 3 great anti-inflammatory supplements and how to reduce the severity of bowel issues to make your life easier. Lauren became a Registered Dietitian largely because of her love for all things health and wellness. She struggled with an eating disorder in middle and high school, only to move through it and discover that she had a form of Multiple Sclerosis in her early 20s. Understanding how nutrition works and how food impacts the human body revolutionized how she approached her own lifestyle. She earned her RD credential and a Masters in Public Health Nutrition from Hunter College and opened her private practice doors shortly thereafter. She loves working with clients who are seeking a balanced, sustainable lifestyle with healthy food. Her specialties include digestive illnesses and autoimmune conditions.Connect with her at
Just for today, stop listening to the news and listen to this instead. We are honored to have Dr. Janish Kothari, a Board Certified Physician in Internal Medicine, speak to us on current medical information regarding COVID-19. Dr. Kothari busts very important myths, discusses the efficacy of masks, and what the second wave could mean for us all. He works in the front line treating patients in the hospital and discusses only medical information on this episode. He informs us about the latest updates on a vaccine that might be available as early as December.This information presented was recorded on 11/16/20 and pertains information, statistics, and projections up to that date. The information here can and will change as we gain more information on vaccine implementation. Dr. Kothari did his medicine training at New York Presbyterian Hospital and is currently in his first year of Cardiology Fellowship at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Pennsylvania.
To all of you who work sleepless nights in hospitals to care for others this year (and every year) - we salute you. It hasn’t been an easy year for anyone. People who have had to directly interact with and treat patients who were diagnosed with the Coronavirus had unique challenges. Not only did they have to deal with the global uncertainties and their own families, but they also had to be present and strong for their patients. Heather Isola, the Director of Physician Assistants at Mount Sinai Health System, chats with us today on how healthcare workers in her hospital dealt with some of these challenges behind the scenes. She starts off by explaining some of the differences in the role of a Physician’s Assistant (PA), Nurse Practitioner (NP), and other healthcare professionals. She then dives into the severe impact that COVID-19 had in New York City, the reconfiguration and adaptability of the healthcare system, and issues that healthcare professionals have in addressing their emotional needs.Heather directs over 900 PAs for excellence in patient-care and operations. Heather has spent the last 10 years clinically working at a Urogynecology PA at the Faculty Practice of Mount Sinai specializing in women’s health, contraception management, incontinence, pelvic floor health, and vaginal health. Her goals is to operationalize Advanced Practice Providers to operate at top of licensure to increase patient care, safety, quality and throughput while utilizing the versatility, strength and team collaboration that PAs bring to the healthcare delivery of Mount Sinai Health System.
Estimates reveal that anywhere from 11-40% of adults in the U.S. have chronic pain, which is linked to disability, opioid addiction, anxiety, depression, and increased medical costs. More specifically, chronic pelvic pain affects up to nearly a quarter of all women worldwide. Dr. Jana Scrivani, a clinical psychologist specializing in pelvic pain, joins us for a lively conversation today to answer the question - “What is Pain?” She discusses how pain is real and is mediated by the brain by various pathways in the nervous system. Dr. Scrivani created a behavioral health program for Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine called Retrain Your Brain where she guides clients through virtual group sessions to understand their pain. Her goal is to empower her patients to help them change the way they act, think and approach their bodies.Dr. Scrivani received her Psy.D. from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey’s Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. She completed an APA approved internship at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital in San Diego, where she also completed her postdoctoral training. She currently holds licenses to practice psychology in the state of New York, Florida, Virginia, DC, Maryland,and Michigan. As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Scrivani is passionately committed to helping her clients be their best possible selves by making meaningful changes in their thoughts and behaviors.Connect with Dr. Scrivani and Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine at 713-487-1580 to set up a 10-min free consultation to see if the Retrain Your Brain Course is right for you.
Most people have experienced a stomach issue at some point - abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea. Sometimes these symptoms go away in a few hours or days. But many times, people live with these issues for weeks, months, or even years and require medical intervention. The great news about issues related to your GI tract is that many symptoms can be alleviated with lifestyle modifications including changes in your diet and exercise.Today we chat with Dr. Megha Kothari, a gastroenterologist and hepatologist, on 3 of the most common abdominal issues she sees in her clinic daily: GERD, IBS, and Fatty Liver Disease. Her first line of defense with all patients is educating them and providing advice on changes in their daily habits to manage symptoms. GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) presents in nearly 20% of the population. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a more female-dominant issue that can present as a collection of symptoms. Dr. Kothari discusses the mind-gut connection and how stress and hormonal changes for females can contribute to IBS. Finally, we end with Fatty Liver Disease, which is usually unrecognized and can lead to more serious complications such as cirrhosis. Dr. Kothari educates us on the importance of weight loss for patients with this disease and how losing 10% of body mass is key to alleviating symptoms.Dr. Megha Kothari is a clinical instructor at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell and an attending physician at New York Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, where she is the Assistant Director of Hepatology and Director of Women’s Health. Dr. Kothari is board certified in Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Obesity medicine, and Internal Medicine. Dr. Kothari is a member of the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastroenterological Association, the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.Connect with her at
You might have heard of all the different types of challenging races: sprints, Olympic distances, Iron Mans, or Escape from Alcatraz. Personally, I’m lucky if I can even endure a 3-mile run, so I didn’t know much about them! On today’s episode, you’ll hear the story of a woman who started by not knowing how to swim... to competing in these very races. Now, she even coaches others to do them too!Sara Dimmick, founder and co-partner of Physical Equilibrium has been a personal trainer since 2000 and chats with us today on how to train for races like triathlons. She has coached triathlon and running clients since 2006, many of whom have qualified for national and world competitions. Sara discusses how races give you motivation to stay fit without even trying. The goal is winning, not necessarily the number on the scale. Some of the races have extreme conditions like 50-degree water, 3-foot waves, and maybe even sharks!Sara mentions that you don’t have to be an athlete to train. Using her knowledge of injury prevention and post rehabilitation fitness, Sara designs effective and safe gym programs for her clients to excel and stay injury-free. She also teaches group classes in strength training for endurance athletes, family workouts with kids, and other total body strengthening classes for adults. Connect with her at
As of 2018, 55% of our total world population live in cities. Studies show that living in urban environments increases the risk for psychosis, anxiety disorders, and depression due to reasons like social isolation, poverty, and discrimination. In fact, over 90% of Gen Z said they have experienced some degree of physical or mental stress. However, globally, there aren’t as many resources for urban youth to seek help for the unique challenges they face. In today’s episode, we have our youngest guest, Gina Geshlider, a NYC-raised 21-year-old, who talks to us about her platform called Citwellbeing. Gina discusses how wellness services like massage and acupuncture are prevalent throughout the cities, but are usually inaccessible to people her age because they are too expensive. Gina shares with us the impact of increased drug use, violence, social media, and technology in NYC youth, and how we can take steps to overcome the stressors that Gen Z face. Gina is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and the founder of Citywellbeing, a wellness platform that caters to Gen-Z. After struggling with her own mental health she began learning to take optimal care of herself in order to flourish and grow. Her mission is to support her fellow young people who have grown up in urban settings to navigate their wellness. She strives to share what has helped her, and at the same time provide a platform that amplifies other's experiences. 
Whether you are a weekend warrior playing volleyball, a high schooler playing baseball after school, or a professional athlete representing your country, keeping your body strong and healthy is key to continuing your sport. As you take steps to improve your performance, it’s important to look at how you train, when you train, and how much you train. Vijay Vallab, the physiotherapist for New Zealand’s Cricket Team (Black Caps) and the National Manager for Acute Physiotherapy at Proactive joins us today from New Zealand to teach us about his work. He discusses the importance of communicating with athletes to help them understand their injuries and emphasizes a holistic approach to healing. Vijay routinely works alongside the team’s strength & conditioning specialist, the coach, psychologists, chiropractors, nutritionists, and whoever else needs to be a part of the plan. He discusses the pressures of returning to sport for professional players and how everyone’s goals must align to provide optimal care. Vijay has worked with a number of age group athletes and has a special interest in performance enhancement in sports, Vijay’s focus is also to promote education, movement and make people aware and address some of their daily habits that subsequently help improve overall health and performance, using then 4 Corners of Health, Physical, Mindset, Sleep and Nutrition.Connect with him at: to ACC SportsSmart Warm Up:
Overcoming Back Pain

Overcoming Back Pain


Many people experience back pain. Of those, several will invariably receive imaging (X-ray or MRI usually). And of those, several will be told that they have 1 or more structural issues, such as a disc bulge or stenosis. Sometimes when we receive a diagnosis like this, we think we are stuck with it forever. That nothing can be done, and that we have to live with the back pain for the rest of our lives. Physical therapists, and physiotherapists, believe otherwise. Today I had a wonderful conversation with Rory Martin, a New Zealand-based physiotherapist at TBI Health, a national company of integrated allied health disciplines that focuses on long term strategy for the treatment of spinal pain and functional rehab.The integrated approach emphasizes that function and movement matter more than a diagnosis. In this sense, who cares if you have a disc herniation on an MRI if you can still do everything that you want to do? Rory delves into the New Zealand healthcare system, which has a very different approach than the United States in how care is delivered. He discusses the complex neurophysiology of pain in a simple way. I spent a few months in New Zealand a few years ago learning TBI’s unique approach to back pain and overall well being. Many of the strategies I learned from Rory during my time there, I still apply to the work I do as a PT in New York City. Rory’s current role as the Wellington Regional Manager involves overseeing six clinics that accommodate a wide range of different allied health disciplines including physiotherapists, pharmacists, psychologists, occupational therapists and orthopaedic surgeons. Connect with them at
The body has an immense capacity to heal on its own. To optimize your natural healing mechanisms, regenerative medicine specialists can help you reach your goals. For the past 20+ years, Dr. Scott Greenberg has studied the behavior of stem cells. After healing himself of chronic head and neck pain from a car accident that occurred at age 17, Dr. Greenberg continues to immerse himself in studying the complex nature of tissue-specific stem cells, how they regenerate nerve, joint and tissue systems, and how they depend on other blood components to heal an injury. His philosophy is holistically-oriented, with exercise, nutrition, and general emotional/mental health at the forefront of wellness. In this episode, he breaks down the uses and mechanism of stem cell therapy, prolotherapy, and platelet rich plasma (PRP) in a very easily-understandable manner. He dives into epigenetics and explains how we should not be labeled by our genetics or our diseases, but rather, be empowered to take control over our bodies.Connect with him by visiting
There are too many statistics showing how black communities receive less healthcare. There are many reasons and barriers both from a patient perspective and a provider perspective. Social determinants of health are critical to healthcare delivery. Dr. Camille Clare breaks this very difficult topic for us in ways we can easily understand so that we can take steps together as a society to bring more equality into this space. She discusses institutional and structural racism, implicit and explicit bias in healthcare delivery, and the importance of educating people on structural factors that impact care. Dr. Clare stresses the need to increase diversity in the healthcare profession. She gives us tangible advice on how physicians can be there for patients in the best way possible and how to improve communication in the doctor-patient relationship. A bit on our guest:Dr. Clare, MD, MPH, CPE, FACOG is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Medical College, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist and attending physician at New York City Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan in Manhattan, and the Director of Resident Research in her department. She has received numerous teaching awards from the New York Medical College Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for medical student teaching and received the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics Excellence in Teaching award. Dr. Clare is an active member of the National Medical Association (NMA) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
In this episode, we are diving into race-based stress for women of color. Nicola Pierre-Smith, a Licensed Professional Counselor and private practice owner of Melanated Womens Health LLC, joins us today to break down the definition of racial trauma and how it affects melanated women. She talks about the double stigma that women of color face when seeking mental health help. Racial socialization is when people socialize in specific ways because of race-based stress. She discusses barriers that people face, signs of compromised mental health, and what we can do as a society to move forward. Nicola provides individual therapy to adults who are dealing with trauma, anxiety, depression, life transitions and social identity issues. Check her out at
Season 2 on Fit As A Fiddle is opening up as strong as ever! We have a unique season premier, with 3 guest speakers. The ladies you’ll be hearing from on this show, Nicole JeanBaptiste, Carmen Mojica, and Evelyn Alvarez are the founders of Bx (Re)Birth and Progress, a collective of Bronx-based Black birthworkers who build solutions that protect and honor birthing people in the Bronx and their families. They discuss how racism impacts every element of our lives and how deep rooted it is in healthcare in this country. Our guests highlight the reality of how fear-based medicine robs black individuals of the opportunity to make choices. I personally gained so much from chatting with these ladies. For more information on their work, visit bit on our guests:Nicole JeanBaptiste is a mother of two, a full spectrum community based doula, lactation counselor, yoga instructor, and oral historian.   Of Southern American and Caribbean ancestry and based in the Bronx, NY, she strives to center the borough and the Black experience in the birth and social justice activism in which she engages.  Nicole is currently a Community Doula Consultant for the New York City Health Department’s COVID-19 Perinatal Taskforce. She is the founder of Sésé Doula Services and co-founder of the Bx (Re)Birth and Progress Collective. Carmen Mojica is an Afro-Dominicana born and raised in the Bronx. She is a certified professional midwife, writer and reproductive justice activist with a particular focus on birth justice. The focus of her work is on the empowerment of women and people of the African Diaspora, specifically discussing the Afro-Latina identity. She utilizes her experience as a midwife to raise awareness on maternal and infant health for women, highlighting the disparities in the healthcare system in the United States for women of color. Evelyn Alvarez is a Mom, Doula, Trainer who leads sessions about parenting, race, and restorative practices. Evelyn is Founder of Prom King, a non-profit, and Co-Founder of Radio Caña Negra, a podcast about Blackness in Latin America.
Comments (1)

Mea Joyce

I discovered this podcast through one of the guest speakers and immediately got hooked into listening to all of her episodes! The host is wonderful and easy to listen to, seems like she would be great to sit down with a cup of coffee and ready to dive into any conversation. Thank you for sharing with us!

Mar 31st
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