EXCLUSIVE! Lisa Oz: We Need Love For Healthy Living
Dr. Oz's wife opens up on true wellness in her new book, US.
Dr. Oz is the most famous doctor in North America, but many people aren't aware of the profound role his wife, Lisa Oz, plays in her husband's practice...or the role she plays in our culture. "Everyone sees the [spiritual, natural health] side of my husband," Lisa Oz says, "but they usually don't know where it comes from." In her new book, US: Transforming Ourselves and the Relationships That Matter Most, Lisa Oz uses her belief in holistic wellbeing to teach us how our relationships impact our health and how we can transform ourselves for a happier, healthier existence. And in this interview exclusive with LimeLife, she takes us intimately behind the scenes with the Oz family.
LimeLife: Lisa, in the foreword for US (titled as a play on Dr. Oz's YOU series), your husband -- whom we all know as Dr. Oz -- pays your intellect and lifestyle a high compliment, saying, "[Lisa] has a clear insight of what ‘the good life' feels like." What does the good life feel like?
Lisa Oz: For me it's always about being connected to your authentic self and trying to connect to that place with others. So it's about being in relationship that is mutually beneficial and that serves the best part in each of the parties.
LimeLife: How would you say you've affected Dr. Oz's work behind the scenes?
Lisa Oz: He likes to say, "Well, my background's Turkish, it's this confluence of East and West," but when I met him he could not have been more traditional. My father's a cardiac surgeon, but my mother's also a nutritional consultant and we grew up doing yoga and having these wild guests in our house. [Laughs] My mom would drag me to these Swami Satchidananda lectures, so we were very exposed to this alternative healing world growing up.
Mehmet is Turkish, and especially in the last century, Turkey was a very secular country. Mehmet was raised nominally Muslim, but without really a deep sense of spirituality. So when he came into my family, we're all very spiritual, and it was like he'd walked through the looking glass and ended up on a different planet. But I think what makes him so phenomenal as a healer -- and as a public healer -- is his willingness to examine and present other spiritualities. He's not just your straightforward, closed-minded, double-blind study kind of physician, and I think what makes him so appealing is that he's curious and he's willing to experiment and learn. The most important thing for him is the wellness of his patients. He works to give them every tool possible, and a lot of those tools are things he came about through his relationship with me.
LimeLife: Love it. Can you tell us what family life is like for the Oz family?
Lisa Oz: It's funny, Mehmet has always worked like a maniac. [Laughs] A cardiac surgeon isn't exactly like a 9 to 5 job. And being a television host is pretty similar in its time commitment. What we've always really done is kept a few very, very close friends and spent a lot of time with our kids because that's so, so important. It's limited, so we have to prioritize it. On the weekends we make an effort to do family activities, whether it's at the golfing range or going out to dinner or playing sports in the basement, or Mehmet goes outside and plays catch with our 10-year-old son. That's always been the way that we relax -- to spend time with the kids.
LimeLife: And in addition to your son, you have three gorgeous and very outstanding daughters. What's your approach to parenting?
Lisa Oz: It's one of those evolving things. There are two hearts to raising kids: one is building a secure nest, giving them a safe environment to grow up in. But the other part of being a good mother bird is kicking them out of the nest and giving them wings. That part is harder for me! Just trusting them to make their own mistakes and get on with life -- I'm much more of a mother who would hover over them, so I'm really learning about letting go and being more trusting of the universe that my kids will land on their feet. As they get older, I think parents need to step back and not always be cleaning up the kids' messes. That's one of the lessons I'm struggling with.
LimeLife: What's been your philosophy on raising girls?
Lisa Oz: Daughters are very different from sons. I have a daughter in her twenties and two in their teens, and it's really a juggling act because each one of them, being in a different phase of life needs different things from me. It really is how much do I get involved? How much advice do they want, how much can they hear? Where do I put up the boundaries as a parent? For example, our oldest daughter just got engaged a couple months ago, and they're planning their wedding. One of the things I feel pretty strongly about is that I'm not comfortable with them living together. My 15-year-old, I don't let go see R movies. So I do have fairly strict guidelines for different ages, but knowing when I have to loosen my grip -- like, my 19-year-old's in college, and I don't know what she's doing on the weekends, nor is it my business. It is that fine line of balancing being a supportive parent and letting them make their own mistakes and learn from them..
Stay with LimeLife for more this week with Lisa Oz, including some inside scoop on what went into her book, US: Transforming Ourselves and the Relationships That Matter Most. (She'll even explain why she was so honest about her sex life with Dr. Oz!) Us is available wherever books are sold.
Meanwhile, want more news on gorgeous, world-famous moms? Actress Monica Belucci has given birth in Rome. Ciao, bambina bella -- welcome, baby girl!