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Dr. Kelly Brogan's Sites:
www.kellybroganmd.com/ownyourself - new book
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Did you know that you could have full control of your body? Your mental, emotional and physical state are so important that you have to have the knowledge on how you can be able to take hold of the power to control all of these to achieve your healthiest state of being. Find out on today’s podcast how-to’s as Dr. Kelly Brogan talks about her new book.
[00:00] Ashley James: Hello, True Health seekers and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. I’m really excited for you to hear today’s interview. Dr. Kelly Brogan blew my mind. You’re going to love listening to her story of healing. She was an MD who was used to prescribing drugs to every single patient knowing that she was doing a lot of really good into their lives until she had Hashimoto’s. She became sick and she thought to herself, “I don’t want to be on drugs for the rest of my life.” This is what stared her journey over 10 years ago and then working with natural medicine she healed her body and has gone on to help her patients do the same thing. She goes on through her story and she teaches us some wonderful principles today. Emotional, mental, spiritual, excellent lessons that we can all learn. As I was interviewing her I’m like, “Oh my gosh, that’s a writer downer.” I’m so glad we transcribe these episodes now so you can go to learntruehealth.com in a week or two when we have these up on the site totally transcribed. Because you’re probably going to want to read through some things she say. The things that she says are so profound. So I know you’re going to really enjoy today’s interview but before we got started, I definitely want to take a minute to introduce you to one of my nearest and dearest friends, I just want to say Dr. Jennifer Saltzman. That’s so funny I always do that.
[01:26] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: What’s it going to be until I find another way. [Laughter]
[01:3] Ashley James: Right. Exactly. Well, so Jen Saltzman. I’ve had her on the show twice before. Sort of. Because you interviewed me and I interviewed you. Two episodes. Listener’s definitely want to go back and listen. What numbers were that?
[01:44] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: 179 and 180 is my interviewing of you and then gosh, I’m going to say, 33 was one you did with me on maybe, supplement confusion?
[01:54] Ashley James: Way back in the day.
[01:55] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: Early like 19 for you where you interviewed me in two episodes but I can’t remember the night off the top of my head, I can’t remember the numbers.
[02:02] Ashley James: Cool. We’ll make sure that we’ll link. You’ve been on the show more – why didn’t I think twice? Gees, you’ve been in the show like a bunch.
[02:08] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: Because you forgot about ancient history when you first started.
[02:11] Ashley James: Right. Exactly, the early days. Well, so most of the episodes are on iTunes but the last 80 or so episodes have been bummed off because iTunes have a max of 300 and of course, this is episode 378. Listeners can go to learntruehealth.com and check out the earlier episodes, which are there. I’m going to make sure they’re on the show notes of today’s podcast. All the episodes where Jen was with me on the show is linked. She’s taught Pilates for over 20 years. Was a dancer and in the last 10 years or so, has been an expert on health coaching and supplementation. Jen and I were close together. She is the driving force behind takeyoursupplements.com. You guys keep hearing me talk about it. When you go to takeyoursupplements.com and you put in your name, email address and phone number, the person you hear from about within 24hours is Jennifer Saltzman. I wanted to introduce you guys. She’s amazing. She’s so loving, so compassionate and she will talk to you and help you to figure out exactly what supplements are right for you and help you to dial in exactly what you need within your budget but Jen, I just wanted to introduce to all the listeners. All the new ones who don’t know who you are because they should know how amazing you are so if you just want to say hi with them and let them know what it’s like working with you at takeyoursupplements.com.
[03:33] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: Sure. Hi everybody out there! I’m just so incredibly grateful that I know all of you because I talk to many of you. Absolutely adore Ashley’s podcast, I get so much amazing feedback. It’s such a blessing to have this forum where the information is getting out there and I know how grateful you all are to have this. It’s such an honor to be together with Ashley and her wonderful husband Duffy here in the studio. I just wanted to say that when I work with people with the supplement program. We have the need for certain basic nutrition that we absolutely have to have. If we don’t have it I kind of equate it with drinking water and eating good food and things like that. It’s never going to be like you have do this. We work really individually with folks to figure out what their budget is, what’s going on with their health profile and we have lots of great options. I just want to take a moment and say that when I work with people, it’s a very supportive, nurturing kind of a post process together. We figure out what’s going on with people, we do a brief free health evaluation and we move forward in what seems to be – I give my two cents as well but it’s partnership that I work with people together to I achieve their goals and to work with what kind of budget they’ve got going on. Anyway, I just adore having this relationship with Ashley and being a part of this podcast in some small way that I am. I know both she and I have amazing health recovery with the supplements that we work with and so it’s such a blessing. Anyway, it’s an honor to be here.
[05:15] Ashley James: And if you’re interested in taking some high quality supplements that are affordable prices or if you’re a health coach, and you’re looking to incorporate supplements into your business, Jen can actually mentor you as well in that.
[05:30] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: Right. Yes. I’ll just say a brief moment a word about that. A lot of the people that I do work with they’re very passionate in this mission as well and they’ve of course been avid listeners to the podcast. I would say at least a third of the people that I talked to expressed an interest of wanting to help other people with this information. Maybe they’re already sharing the podcast, I’m sure they are and doing a lot of other things. We also train people in a very simple fashion. It doesn’t take years or anything, it’s just as simple we train people and coach them to be able to help their friends and family or their sphere of influence with this knowledge of the essentialness of certain nutrition. I do a monthly training. There’s lots of different training that I do. Anyway, there’s a lot of opportunity to get involved in a small level or large level. Whether it’s just a passion to help others or whether somebody’s looking to change what they’re doing with their time and energy. Figuring out how to generate income in a different kind of way. There’s lots of opportunities to basically be a part of a bigger mission. It’s the way I’d like to look at it.
[06:33] Ashley James: Well, yes since about 20% of my listeners are holistic health experts and many of them are health coaches or work on that kind of level. I know that they are very interested of having that tool in that tool belt. You give away so much of your resources of your time and training and you are so passionate to continue to spread this information and help people on that level. I love the liquid minerals. It’s probably my favorite thing. The liquid minerals are so bio available. For listeners who don’t know my story, these supplements helped me reverse polycystic ovarian syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and chronic adrenal fatigue. I was told I’d never have kids and I was infertile. Of course, through the diet changes and through the supplements, I was able to reverse that and conceive my very healthy 4 and a half year old boy who’s 4 and a half going on 40. Yes, thank you so much, Jen for coming here. Jen’s been staying over. She lives in the middle of nowhere Washington. The state of gorgeous Washington but in the moment she came over to stay here for a few days and since I was recording a podcast, I said jump on the mic and say hi to everyone. Thanks, Jen for saying hi.
[07:47] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: My pleasure. Yes.
[07:47] Ashley James: It’s been great having you here. She just got out of the sunlighten sauna. Did you like that?
[07:51] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: Yes, I did. I just got out the sunlighten sauna. I had the fabulous Ashley James magic stew. I’m drinking the liquid mineral magic.
[08:01] Ashley James: Right now, you’ve soaked in magnesium. I’m going to get you to do a platinum –
[08:05] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: I’m taking some energy bits –
[08:08] Ashley James: Yes, I’ve got energy bits on the dust. Right? You’re going to do a platinum energy system foot detox soak later. This is like a spa day.
[08:15] Dr. Jennifer Saltzman: Right. I’m at the Ashley James spa. [Laughter]
[08:21] Ashley James: Awesome. Well, thank you again Jen. Guys, I know you’re just going to love today’s interview. Thank you so much for being listener. Thank you so much for sharing this podcast with all those you care about. Today’s one of those episodes you’re going to want to share especially with all the mom friends out there because she says, Dr. Kelly says some things that just touched my heart and just made me want to get everyone to listen to this episode too. I know you’ll feel the same way. Excellent. Thank you so much and have yourself a fantastic rest of the day. Enjoy today’s episode.
[08:56] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 378. I am so excited to have Dr. Kelly Brogan on the show today. Her website is kellybroganmd.com. She has wonderful books and a great book coming out, Own Yourself. Kelly, it is such a pleasure to have you here today. I love the work that you do. We here at Learn True Health are about empowering the listeners and you have an amazing ability to help women, and men and children because you’ve written a children’s book. Help all of us to be able to learn how to merge the spiritual with our physical health and our metal and emotional health. How to take care of ourselves on those levels. We’re not taught that in school. We’re not taught that in society. We really need to step it up and advocate for ourselves. You are going to help us do that today. Welcome to the show.
[10:01] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Thank you so much. What a beautiful introduction. I appreciate it. I’m grateful to be here.
[10:06] Ashley James: Absolutely. Now, you wrote a book with your daughter, Sophia. A Time For Rain. That sounds amazing. What’s that book about?
[10:17] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yes. We were just sitting around one afternoon and it was super rainy out. This is when I lived in the northeast before I got out of jail and made it out to Miami. She always as a child loved to write books. She wrote a book called The Power of Me. I think she was three. Anyway, she used to love to write books. We put together this story. Honestly, it was one of those experiences where it just came through. I ended up self-publishing it because I couldn’t get a book deal with any of the major publishers. It’s essentially about the power of seemingly negative emotions and their role in the greater web of existence. The connection of all beings. I know that for me, the most powerful application of work in my life is in my role as a mother. Walking the walk of my work, in my role as a mother requires me to grow myself big enough to hold emotions that scare me. In this way as I grow that capacity I am able to show up to my daughter’s through love rather than needing to control their behavior so that it conforms to my very narrow band of comfort. Emotionally and so it’s really I think in service of helping parents to create that culture in the household.
[11:59] Ashley James: Everything you just said, I could spend an entire week on doing these on just like unpacking what you just said. Oh my gosh, it so resonates with me as a parent and needed to put my ego aside and what I think the world should look like and go, “Do I really need to force him, our son into this mold? Or can he be his own? Is that okay?” I had to constantly ask myself, “Am I disciplining him because this is what healthy for him to do? Or is this what I think am I stein fulling him?” I’m walking that line with you. I totally get it. Is A Time for Rain, children’s book or a book written for anyone?
[12:45] Dr. Kelly Brogan: It’s actually a picture book. It’s like an eastern parable. Has that kind of a flavor. It’s obviously fictional. I’ve been told that by many people who read it it’s actually probably the most accessible story for adults that delivers home the message of the work we’ll talk about today. So I guess it’s for adults and children but it is a picture book. The illustrations are extraordinary. We partnered with his incredible artist. It’s very beautiful.
[13:19] Ashley James: Very cool. How old is your daughter when she wrote it with you?
[13:23] Dr. Kelly Brogan: She was eight.
[13:25] Ashley James: Oh my gosh, I have to get this book for my son who’s four and a half on going on 30. He’s already telling me how he’s going to have wife and raise his kids. It’s so funny. Telling me –
[13:36] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Take care of you. I love it.
[13:37] Ashley James: Yes, exactly. Well, he didn’t mentioned that. He said I’m not going to live with him. He’s four and a half.
[13:42] Dr. Kelly Brogan: He’s habituating. You have to support that.
[13:45] Ashley James: [Laughter] Already? Yes. Now your next book was, or the book that you wrote on your own not with the help of your daughter was, A Mind of Your Own. Tell us a bit about that book.
[13:58] Dr. Kelly Brogan: It’s interesting because we’ll talk about how I have a second book coming out now. The energetic signature of these books is so different. Even though one is essentially a sequel to the other. I wrote A Mind of Your Own in the years following my – I guess my intellectual physical, and physic awakening. So to speak. That was really triggered when I was diagnosed with Hashimosto’s thyroiditis, post-partum my first daughter. At that time, I was specialized as a psychiatrist in prescribing to pregnant and breastfeeding women. I was in this very niche specialty. Obviously, such a diehard believer in the pharmaceutical management model that I endeavored to prescribe to this very vulnerable population. You know, thought I was helping. Of course, right? The way we do. When we just follow directives without questioning them. I think this is very common experience probably many of your listeners have had this experience where you’re trained in the conventional fold. We really only question the foundation of our education when we bump up against the glass ceiling ourselves of what that paradigm has to offer. When I was diagnosed, this voice just kind of came up to me and I said, “I don’t want to take Synthroid for the rest of my life.” Meanwhile, I’ve been writhing prescriptions for years at that point and suddenly it wasn’t acceptable to me for me. So I ended up going to a naturopath which was so unlike me, so out of character at that point. That’s when you have to believe that there are moments that you’re guided beyond your executive functioning.
I went to a naturopath. I saw on paper my antibodies go from the high 2,000s and a TSH of 20 into the normal range in black and white and all I had done was adjust some of my lifestyle choices. Because of my temperament, I didn’t say, “Oh that’s lovely.” and just keep on. I was enraged. I was enraged. I said, “How is it, I studied my ass of. I spent every Saturday for so many years on PubMed. I read every primary paper. I’m comfortable with statistics. How was it that I have never been taught that it’s possible to put an autoimmune condition into remission. I had one hour of nutrition education in my entire Ivy League training.” I was pretty pissed. At that time as the universe would have it, a colleague gave me a book called Anatomy of an Epidemic, which had come out around that time, by Robert Whitaker investigative journalist. I read it because I was already feeling dissonance around the body of knowledge that I had worked so hard to acquire so I was open to it. When I read it, it’s so condemned. Again, through non-industry published literature. So condemned my practice of psychiatry, as I had known it up until that point that I never started a patient on a prescription ever again to this day. That was almost 10 years ago.
[17:28] Ashley James: Wow.
[17:30] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yes. It had that level of impact. It was life changing obviously not only for me but for many who I’ve been able to support since then. I wrote A Mind of your Own from that righteous energy and I said, “I’m a believer in informed consent. Here’s what I’ve learned about not only psychiatric medications but actually many sacred cows in the pharmaceutical kind of warehouse. Whether it’s birth control of anti-biotic or acid blockers or statins. Over the counter painkillers or vaccines. I spent endless hours. Actually I calculated something over 10,000 hours just nearly obsessively researching everything I hadn’t been told with this fire in my gut about how it could be possible that I put this much into my training and just only learned a key hole version of the scientific reality that was available to me. I thought when folks read this book, no one’s ever going to touch your mediation again right because the information is there. How could they? Of course, I matured to recognize that that’s not actually how life works. That we actually don’t change our minds through information access. What I began to see was wow, this book and the testimonials that we are getting back from the book could also not be explained through information transmission alone. I couldn’t possibly reconcile some of the disease defying, medication eliminating outcomes that we were hearing about first hand from individual simply read that book. Something more to be going on here and that’s when I began to explore the role of mindset, belief and really a kind of metaphysical orientation towards reality that I believe under pins are experience of illness and our relationship to the nature of healing.
[19:37] Ashley James: I love it. So now, your book that’s coming out so soon that most listeners listening to this will be able to buy it. It’s written now on pre order but it’s coming out in the next a few days, listeners could just go buy it right now. Own Yourself is that empowerment tool out of your 10 years’ experience kind of on the other side, right? From allopathic medicine. I want to just go back to that moment when you realized you would never prescribe another drug again. Did you feel naked as a doctor? All of a sudden, your tool belt was taken away.
[20:15] Dr. Kelly Brogan: That’s why I feel very spiritual supported and guided on my path because had I read that, had I just been an intellectually curious individual, I’ve always been a bibliophile. I’ve always loved books. Let’s say I read it but I hadn’t had about a year of my own healing journey under my belt, you better believe I would’ve immediately dismissed that information. The way that we do when we encounter information even through the rubric of science, that is inconvenient. It’s our natural tendency to dismiss it but I didn’t and I aligned with it because I had already seen that there was more to the story than I’ve been exposed to. I felt that. I felt that in my body. Anything from when I changed my diet, in an effort to heal my Hashimoto’s. I could feel, it wasn’t just about the numbers on the paper although it did helped instill this belief system in me but I could feel the difference in my body. I didn’t even know how much was off. I didn’t know that it wasn’t normal like poop once a week. These kinds of things had never occurred to me because I didn’t have any relationship to health or wellness. I only knew about disease and I knew I didn’t have any of them so, why do I care what I eat? Or that exercising, I’ve always been naturally thin so I had no motivation to do that. Meditating, that never occurred to me. I didn’t even think I even heard the word. The concept of perhaps there being risks associated with dying my hair black for so many years or using Secret deodorant or whatever might have been. I would’ve easily dismissed the relevance on each of those concerns as being vanishingly small but it was because I had a felt experience of how these lifestyle choices, my day to day selection of foods, how they can empower me to have an experience of my health that wasn’t even offered to me by the allopathic model. I believe that that simple kind of lived experience has the capacity to disrupt an entire paradigmatic mindset and invite you into one that is fundamentally more aligned with your truth.
[22:46] Ashley James: Absolutely. There you were, you’ve changed your diet. You’ve changed some lifestyle. Over how many months did it take you to work with a naturopath to go from full on Hashimoto’s to full on remission?
[23:01] Dr. Kelly Brogan: About 8 months.
[23:04] Ashley James: Okay. So in 8 months, you’re feeling better. Every month you’re starting to feel better. Almost on a daily basis, you’re noticing that the clouds are lifting.
[23:11] Dr. Kelly Brogan: It happened within weeks. Clinically I felt better within weeks.
[23:17] Ashley James: You really got the impact and it probably kept hitting you like, “I can’t believe it. I spent –“ however many years, you went to some major schools, you went to NYU Medical Center, MIT, Cornell. You have the best education and yet like you said, one hour of nutritional training and you didn’t know that pooping once a week isn’t normal because we give our bodies and give over our power to our primary care physician because we feel helpless. We believed that they know everything or our pediatricians. They know best for our child or our doctor knows best what’s for our body and their education is lacking. I mean their education is full of information but it’s not full of information to help us become the healthiest versions of ourselves.
[24:17] Dr. Kelly Brogan: And you what? That’s okay. Right? I like to say you wouldn’t go into a butcher to learn about veganism. It’s absolutely okay that allopathic medicine is offering what it is from the belief system and mindset that it is. Right? Because the doctors live in this mindset. The doctors live in this mindset. In some way, everyone is served. The challenge arises when other paradigms are not allowed to co-exist.
[24:51] Ashley James: Thank you. Yes.
[24:53] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Right? That when we get to the totalitarianism and even fascism of the dominant medical orthodoxy.
[25:02] Ashley James: That’s really well put. Because our rights are being challenged state by state when it comes to our choice. Some children are being medically kidnapped because parents want to choose a different treatment. I mean it’s really scary. We need to advocate that we need to have freedom. We need to have medical freedom to be able to choose the right course for us. I don’t believe any government should impose a medicine on someone who doesn’t want it. That’s really scary when we get into that. You’re here though to teach us about self-empowerment because you went through this 10 year journey. I would have freaked out if I had gone through your education and spent years helping people with prescriptions and having this experience and realizing that my tool belt is gone. The prescriptions are not really helping. What did you do to end up helping your patients? How did you shift your education? You shifted your mindset but how did you shift your tool box to be able to then help them?
[26:12] Dr. Kelly Brogan: So it was an iterative process because I first decided that I was going to offer all of my patients based on the scientific literature, I’ve been exposed to Robert Whitaker’s work to the opportunity to taper of their medication. I’ve never been taught how to do this arguably there is not a psychiatrist on the planet today who has been taught how to do this. Right? If any psychiatrist or other prescribing clinicians are offering this service to their patients it’s because they taught themselves how to do it or they were taught as I was, by grassroots activists and patients themselves who have endeavored in this territory before I applied it to my practice. I offered my patients that opportunity and that’s when I learned and began to take a deeper dive into the – I Iearned about the dependency of inducing nature of psychiatric medications. I was essentially running an outpatient rehab center. My patients were becoming medically disabled at a rate that had me filling out disability forms beyond my capacity my pager was going off all the time. My entire quality of life shifted. This was before 2014 when it appeared in the medical literature that psychotropic medications when they are prescribed for longer than about 2 months have a capacity to induce some withdrawal phenomenon that can be protracted and complex. This is not just the Benzodiazepines or barbiturates, this is the anti-depressants, this is the so called mood stabilizers. This is the so-called anti-psychotics, right? It’s actually all of the categories, the stimulants. I had several years of witnessing that.
It wasn’t until I foregrounded the basic lifestyle changes that through the scientific research I had done, I began to understand more ways to send the autonomic nervous system a profound and comprehensive 360 degree signal of safety. It wasn’t until I said, “No, this month comes first before we touch your medication.” That I began to have really robust outcomes. Then later in my process, I had the great privilege of working with the now late, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez. Who, for those who aren’t familiar with his very important work, he’s one of the only clinicians in the world over who have 27 years of experience putting terminal cancers and degenerative illness into long term multi decade remission through a diet and detox based protocol. I was the only MD he ever mentored and the last year of his life, I had his eyes on my work and on my protocol. He offered me in addition to contextualizing the dietary approach that I take in about 12 different dietary options that are available, he helped me to understand that context but he also offered me the now and notorious coffee enemas which I have operationalized to extraordinary ends in my practice and online program but on my reset. It was because of him that I add that to the protocol and then I saw that medication tapers that are taking multi-year time frames dismissed to multi-month because of that single intervention in the way that he applied it, yes.
[30:08] Ashley James: He helped train you to then pass on the information to your patients about how to do healthy detoxes like using coffee enemas but also you mentioned 12 different dietary protocols. He helped you tweak those diets for detoxification?
[30:31] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Well, he used 12 different diets. Based on a system that was refined from his mentor William Kelly that derived from Weston Price and Pottinger and others that essentially based on leverages this understanding that we developed in such concept with the natural world that our nervous system adapt to the ecology. The temperature, the kinds of foods that are available. Now we are all on this big melting pot but then if you look at the eskimos versus the Amazonians vs the Incans vs the Swiss sheep hoarders, they all thrive on very different diets. There are people who are of these lineages not only ethnically but in terms of their also autonomic dominance, he would call it. He actually helped me understand why these very basic ancestral template that it had used in my own healing but that also worked in a little bit of a different way with my patients, why it worked and most confounding was how is it that the patients that I was working with were getting better with red meat inclusive diet. This was a bit before the paleo craze. I didn’t have the comfort of that labeling to fall back on necessarily but I did understand that the patients that I worked with in clinical practice and now see at scale in my online program that these are people who are uniquely suited on a nervous system level to heal on that kind of diet. He healed me to see that’s because they are most likely by enlarged what he called para sympathetic dominance. I go into this a little bit more in Own Yourself but simply it’s that these individuals have certain characteristics on a physical level like they’re susceptible to certain kind of cancers like liquid tumors, lymphoma or leukemia. They have a highly enervative pancreas so they are vulnerable to reactive hypoglycemia, those ups and downs of blood sugars throughout the day where they get hangry if they don’t eat within 4-6 hours but they wake up not hungry and they might wake up during the night, have sleep interruption because of that. They also have easy weight gain. He would say they look at the piece of toast and gain 5 pounds.
That they have certain disease labels that come their way. Hypothyroidism, multiple chemical sensitivity, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety. These were the folks who were often diagnosed with ADHD, allergies, asthmas and autoimmunity although obviously that becomes so ubiquitous I imagine he would say today that this spreads across the entire chart autoimmunity. That these folks character logically have things in common, that they tend to be night people, they tend to be free thinkers and artists like he would tell me that Picasso was undoubtedly one. They have tremendous capacity for new ones and outside of the box thinking relative to the sympathetic dominance who are more rigid lines and believers kinds of people. Like everything is kind of like, “Tell me the rules and I’m going to stay within them.” It helped me to see. Wow, that describes just about every patient I had ever seen. It helps me to understand why they would light up like a Christmas tree when I would say that they can eat red meat on this diet. I think some of them would come in thinking I was going to ask them to do a juice fast or a water fast or something and they would learn to the contrary, Nick would always say, “Patients would want to eat the diet that’s going to heal them. They desire it.”
It has been my experience that we’re so clouded by so many addictive relationships to food and beverages that we don’t have a clear channel to our intuitive preferences. So my adaptation of his very nuance approach is to really start with a scalable template that controls obviously not only for inflammatory foods, including processed sugars etcetera and amplifies nutrient density but also allows you to experience addictive free eating so that you can really clear that channel and begin to understand your preferences. I remember when I engaged in this dietary change there were whole months where I would eat 15 radishes a day for like months or carry a cucumber everywhere I went. I mean this even now 10 years later I’ve been a broccoli robbed face where I eat probably eat 2 bushels of them a day. You start to get to and understanding that what you prefer is what you need. What you want is what you need. Well, you know within the parameters of whole foods. It’s actually super liberating.
[35:56] Ashley James: Yes. My first time doing a sugar fast like removing sugar totally from the diet. I could not believe that reset that happened. That sugar is in everything. It’s in everything. I couldn’t believe it. Then now, I’m whole foods plant-based and so I’ve been healing my relationship with food and on the show I’ve had lots of people on about over eating and emotional eating. There’s definitely an emotional component but there’s definitely physiological component too because when we start to eat hyper palatable foods with salt, sugar, and oil. anything that’s in fast food for example, it’s designed, they have scientists figuring out how to make the food more hyper palatable to excite the neuro toxins to excited the sorry, neuro chemicals to like excited the brain and the brain lights up like a Christmas tree like you’re on cocaine so that you enjoy it and you want more. It’s like going to a theme park for your mouth and your brain. It’s destroying the body in the process. When I went wholefoods plant-based it’s like going in a very small one percent experience like going off of heroin because I had to get off of the salt, sugar, oil, flour, hyper palatable foods. Foods that I wanted to over eat and foods that no matter how much I ate, like Chinese food for example. I could finish all the Chinese food and still want more. There’s no more left and I still want more. There’s no amount that would make me feel satisfied and do that’s enough times I got –it’s not, my body like it’s not healthy, my body isn’t actually thrive on this. There’s something if there’s a food that no matter what I can’t get enough of it, no matter what I eat it then I know that’s not healing food for me but like when I eat I made this vegetable stew I posted it on our Learn True Health Facebook group. I can’t believe how quickly It fills me up and satisfies me. Then I’m done. There’s no cravings. My body feels so it’s like buzzing with energy but not a bad buzz like a good buzz. My body feels calm. It totally turns in the parasympathetic for me it just gets me into that calm state. I’m not thinking about food. I’m not panicking about food. For me, I’m hearing what you’re saying because when we eat foods that our body loves like you said, two bushels of broccoli raw a day, like you probably feel full and comfortable and your body feels well. You’re not craving anymore, right?
[38:42] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Exactly. It part of the reclamation process. We just put out a quiz where you get your empowered. You can find out in a minute. There’s so many places in our lives where we have perhaps unconsciously given permission to an external entity or agent or person to hold the power that is ours to reclaim. I used the same example I remember when I used to live in Manhattan. I was in my training. I used to go to this pizza place on the corner as you do when you live in Manhattan. I would get two slices of pepperoni pizza put chili flakes I remember I could taste it in my mouth now. I would take one bite and I would literally be overcome by this feeling that I could eat 12,000 of those pieces of pizza. It’s actually a terrible feeling state to cope with because it’s you at war with you and there’s no winning. That’s why it was no surprise when I dove into the literature and I found okay, one method of quieting neuro inflammations to eliminate gluten and dairy. Is to eliminate the proteins gliadin and casein from your diet because they literally plug into opioid receptors in your brain. If you can detox which take sometimes about 10 days of almost going through something like a flu like experience depending on how much of those foods you were eating, I was eating all day 5 times a day probably bread and cheese. Once you’re through that window, it’s like you’re free. Now when I eat food it’s because I’m hungry ad I eat it, it tastes good, and the I move on with my life.
[40:40] Ashley James: Yes. It’s the freedom it’s given you. I had an interview on how addictive dairy is. It’s designed, nature’s intelligent. God, nature, universe is the intelligence is that we want the calf or the baby to suckle so milk from any mammal is addictive but milk from a cow is supposed to turn into a 60 pound calf into a 4 pound cow. So Why are we drinking something that’s supposed to make us balloon and become as a big as a cow which is think is hilarious. Yes, it’s addictive so people really fight about giving up their cheese. Cheese is just concentrated milk addiction. That was like the last thing for people to give up. I remember sitting on the weekends with my husband eating an entire brick of Tillamook cheese back in the day. We went gluten free and dairy free and it’s made world of difference and then we went on whole foods plant-based and it allowed clarity in my body. Like you said, it calms down that nervous system. It calms down that stress response and it’s amazing how much clarity I could work through emotions around food so much easier now that I have eliminated the foods that were keeping me in that excited state. I love that it’s part of your program.
[42:04] Dr. Kelly Brogan: I couldn’t agree more. It’s interesting because I’m often asked, I have a bit of let’s say a strict it’s probably how mystically you’ll put it but a strict approach to this month long protocol. It’s a very yang energy that I bring to it. Words like, “Go big or go home.” Really OD it. Commit to it. Every single choice is consistent with your commitment. It’s one month of your life. You’re never going to do it again but do it right. So many people are like, “This can’t be appropriate with people who have eating disorders because they’re struggling with restriction often. This concept of deprivation being very triggering to them.” I sort of marvel over the fact that about I would say about a 3rd of the women I’ve worked over the years have identified as having eating disorder previous to our work together. As you know, the convectional model when it comes to disordered eating is to basically inure the patient to processed foods meaning that this marker of success for eating disorder treatment is that you can eat a donut and not have to purge it. If you’re restricting that you can eat a piece of pizza and not feel terrible about having eating it or not feel out of control. It’s like you’re being forced to eat junk food. It’s amazing. I don’t know how many people are familiar with conventional treatment of eating disorders. It’s quite amazing like the way in conventional psychiatrist approach it’s considered a marker of success if you eat junk food and you’re okay with it. If you don’t know the science behind the ways these processed foods interact with the nervous and inflammatory systems, what a herculean task that is of a patient. It’s quite different healing modeled to set the conditions for eating to become simply about nourishment. Then whatever else it might be is something that you can cultivate when there’s consciousness around and self-compassionate around and curiosity. How interesting that when we finish this interview I might make myself a matcha feeling like I did my job and now I can relax. How interesting that is? Right? You begin to watch the ways we can infuse even healthy foods with a certain kind of energy around like the ways we self-domesticate. We keep ourselves in line and in order we give ourselves little treats and rewards but it’s something you can look at once that foundation is underfoot.
[44:56] Ashley James: Yes. Exactly because the foundation is get the body to a place where it’s nutrified and the nervous system isn’t hyper excited from those foods that are designed to really mess with the brain. As you are talking, I was just imagining someone like going into a rehab clinic because they’ve been addicted to meth and part of the rehab is, “We’re going to give you small amounts of meth. You’re going to only take one hit off that meth pipe or however people do meth.” Or I don’t know. I don’t even know how people do meth. Basically, “Take one small hit and then you have to stop and not binge in that meth. That’s your rehab.” And it’s just like, “Really? It doesn’t make sense.” What we really want to do is come to that place where like you said, where the mindset is, we’re looking at nutrifying the body. We’re looking at what foods because everything that we put in our mouth build us up or tears us down. We’re either in anabolic state or catabolic state. You’re looking at food as someone’s medicine as someone’s drug. How it affects the brain and you’re the perfect doctor to do it. Having people manage their physical and emotional and mental health for so many years. Do you do 12 different diets depending on their circumstance? Can you explain that a little bit?
[46:23] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Sure. I have one template which is the only template I’ve ever used for 10 years. I have decent amount of experience with it. What I found because when my mentor died, it was one of the greater spiritual crisis of my life. I thought, “Well, how am I supposed to proceed?” You know without his guidance and mentorship there’s so much more I could’ve learned and “How am I going to help my patients know which of the 12 diets is theirs?” I believed that the era of master-student even the doctor-patient is fast fading. That were coming into as I guessed around self–healing and self-authority, which is obviously the spirit of my new book. I have been shown that it really works. Right? It really works to take that approach. The template is meant to put you in touch with your own innate preferences. Then from there, you figure it out. I have guidelines obviously for how to do that but for the most part, it’s something that you figure out. No longer are you working within Kelly Brogan’s template, right now it’s your show. I found that the 30 days of very strict adherence and compliance work as something of a portal to that place of self-authority over nutrition and food. I will say that there – because I give permission around animal foods most of the folks who were helped by my protocol do prefer that. That can be an important indicator. I’m not saying for ethically because that’s a very complex variable here that I’m in no position to address. It’s not what I’m here to talk about. On a very kind of gut level, they do want to eat a steak. Whether they eat red meat twice a day or after the protocol they go on to eat to once a month or maybe never, is something that they determine in this self-tailoring process. Because there are other elements of the protocol that involve obviously detox and contemplative process or stress response healing. That also, I think co-conspire to create the conditions for you to be able to relate to your own body and dialogue with your body in a way that wasn’t available to you when you have brain fog and bloating, insomnia, your hair is falling out, your knee is hurting. All of the ways that our body says, “Hey, remember me? Can we please talk?” Those symptoms once they quiet down which often happens very quickly it just becomes so much easier to hear.
[49:29] Ashley James: This template, this guide, that’s in your book? The one that’s coming out, Own Yourself?
[49:36] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yes. It’s in the A Mind of Your Own as well. That was the I guess one of the earlier iterations of it before we had scaled it in our online program which is I basically chug when I’m doing clinical practice. I put it online and thousands of people had tried it out. The outcomes that we have from there make it look like I’m doing something working in my private practice. It was actually very humbling on an ego level. For me to see like, “Okay, so the less contact that an individual has with me with the same instructions, the better?” literally, we’re just constantly in the publishing process. We just published remission of Graves’ disease through lifestyle choice in a per view index journal. We’re constantly writing up these cases because they’re so extraordinary. The case of that one paper it’s never been reported in the medical literature that’s just because nobody’s bothered to write it up obviously. It’s a pretty profound. What I’ve now taken input back into this book, Own Yourself, is the refined protocol and was finding out what’s my partner was saying the other night. He was reading the book and he was like, “Wow, you’re really giving away the goods in this book, huh?” You know, our program is a thousand dollar program. It’s for very special people I think. Who are called to heal the seemingly incurable. That’s the kind of person who’s attracted to the program. It’s a very important investment and it seems to work as designed. However, I also know that people can use this program and do it on their own because they did it with A Mind of Your Own and it was less refined then. So yes, I’ve decided to put the whole thing into the book and the copy odd being that I am a big believer that if you’re tapering off psych meds, you require community. Again, because I have done this one on one. I actually have just needed my one on one tapering practice after all these years to shift into a group model. That’s how much I know that it’s the proper way to do it. That there is a kind of existential isolation that can attend to the dark night of the soul which is what characterizes the tapering process. It’s a kind of painful awakening and the yield is extraordinary. These individuals I call them the canaries in the coal mine. They’re exquisitely sensitive people who’ve been capture by psychiatry and medicated and labeled. Learning how to work with that power, it’s like an initiation process. It’s not easy but what comes out the other side, now there’s so many of this individuals they work in this mission. They heal other people. They establish non-profit. It’s just extraordinary. I feel very strongly that that work is meant to be in community and so, the coffee enemas is really for that population in my application of the protocol and so that is reserved for the communities that we have but outside of that the entire rest of it is in there, yes
[52:59] Ashley James: Got it. Coffee enemas are not in the book?
[53:02] Dr. Kelly Brogan: The Nick Gonzalez’ instructions are not in the book. To me that’s a very sacred offering. I’m the only person who’s ever been given that information aside from his associate, Linda Isaacs who practices still the protocol. For me, that’s for people who are up the level of dedication and I think it’s also because nobody’s coming to my protocol to treat their cancer. I don’t think. It’s really for people who are in the pharmaceutical detox realm. I don’t think they should be doing this on their own. I don’t think they need a doctor necessarily. I’m not suggesting that. It’s not that tagline like, “Please consult your medical professional.” It’s not that. I do believe that they must do it in a like-minded community honestly mine is one of the only one in the world. There are tons of other options.
[53:53] Ashley James: That’s wonderful. Anyone can get your book and benefit from it? Those who are on pharmaceutical medication for mental, emotional and want to detox off of it in the healthiest way possible and support the body and restoring itself to optimal health. Mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually and energetically. Do your online program because then they have that community, they get the full detox protocol. They have the ongoing support through you. Anyone can start with the book and then those who are called to, can do your online approach?
[54:34] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Yes. If that feels right. My last third of the book is really about navigating the awakening process. What I found is, I haven’t taken psychiatric medication myself but then my primary credential in writing this book is that I myself have encountered the dark night of the soul several times. Several turns around the spiral of my process. It looks the same. It looks the same as it does for these patients. These book obviously well, I like to think of myself as really being in the corner of those who are looking to reclaim themselves from chronic disease labels. I also know that there is an archetypal journey that those of us who are interested in healing our being called towards. I think it has more to do with adultification. This concept of I think some of us are just feeling like, “God, I’ve got to get stronger. I’ve got to level up. I’ve got to get it together.” We think that that means applying more control and force to our current circumstances but it can also mean and perhaps more accurately refers to this process of resolving childlike programs and impulses so that we can finally identify the locust of control within us. That’s where this idea we brought up earlier around bodily sovereignty. There’s a reason some people don’t believe in bodily sovereignty. There’s a reason that some people that the state for example should have control over whether medications are injected into our bodies against our will and it’s because they still believe that there is an external authority that is infallible. That knows best. That sounds a whole lot like the parent we never had, right?
We parentify these institutions. We need them to be as good as we say they are because otherwise, our entire worldview falls apart and everything gets really scary. What I hope to create is a path to navigating this adultification process that helps to mitigate the emotional wreckage that can lead you running back up into the uterus from the birth canal. Right? It’s because we all go through the same stuff as our worldview crumbles and we encounter its deficiencies and its bankruptcy it’s terrifying. It’s absolutely terrifying. If we can grow our ability to be okay with not being okay, then we will whether it with grace and we’ll come out the other side living in a world where things are meaningful inherently. Nothing is fundamentally bad. Everything is interesting and we can bring curiosity where once there was only fear. It’s just a more beautiful way to live to be honest.
[57:52] Ashley James: So well put. I could listen to you all day. You’re so poetic. You get right to the point and you paint this picture that’s so beautiful. I bet your book is amazing to read. [Crosstalk] If it’s anything how like you talk it’s wonderful.
[58:09] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Well, it should be because is wrote it.
[58:10] Ashley James: There you go. I know you have to go really soon because you’re going to pick your kids up from school but I wanted to ask if you could give us some homework. You said before we hit record that there’s this world changing power of self-care and that’s part of the message that you teach. Can you give us some self-care homework?
[58:33] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Sure. Yes. Thank you for bringing that up because I imagine that some of the people listening either had encounters with psychiatry or know people that they love who have. In keeping with this identification as of those individuals as being fundamentally very sensitive to powerful emotional states and energies then odds are that they also feel very concerned about what’s going on with this planet. There’s so many potential points of advocacy. There’s so many things that feel out of alignment. That feel wrong. So many ways that we can contribute to different causes and it can induce somehow this paralysis that is very disconnecting. It feels like you’re then disconnected from others. You’re disconnected from your community, you’re disconnected from yourself. The resolution to that in these individuals I have found is as the Zen say, to simply chop wood, carry water. To make a sacred ritual out of caring for yourself, and putting yourself as your number one priority every day. I don’t necessarily mean as some like narcissistic exercise of getting what you want all the time. I mean as if you were your own baby, how would you care for this newborn baby? How would you look at her adoringly? How would you bathe her? How would you feed her? How would you create conditions for her relaxation? How would you give her experiences of pleasure and joy? This is what a radical act self-care can represent. The way that I institute apply and recommend self-care is about two and a half hours of your day. We’re going to be focused simply in caring for the organism that is you. It also involves other practices related to tending to our emotional selves. I can give maybe one example of each.
In terms of self-care practice that gives a physical foundation. One of the very practical tools that I recommend is one that’s operationalized in my programs that we get love letters about everyday all day which is just changing your breakfast. I have a 30-day diet protocol. It’s deep dive. It’s no cheating all this but you can also just start your day with a mindful loving intention to what you’re eating for breakfast and it can change your experience of your entire day. My most popular recommendation is this smoothie. Recipe that I made up that tastes like chocolate milk basically. It’s not even a green smoothie or anything that you would typically expect. Probably part of the reason why it feels good is because it has a lot of natural fat in it and so many of the individuals who are attracted to this work have that reactive hypoglycemia. Self-care can look like that instead of grabbing a bar from your cabinet and running to your commute. It can also look like changing the way in which you reflectively respond to your own inner turmoil.
In today’s vernacular, we’re calling it triggering. To begin to learn about the emotional and physical signature of your trigger. For me, when I am triggered meaning that somebody sets me off, either an email I get or a look I get across the room or something that my partner says or my daughter wanting to say something to me at a time when I’m working or whatever it is. I get this tightness in my chest, my heart might start to race a little bit and then I have this urgent feeling like I need to communicate my own defense. I need to engage my intellect to persuade whomever it is that I am right. I think it’s a pretty common signature but now when I have that feeling, that picture arises in my life, instead of just reflectively engaging in the other person as being the source of my problem, which is of course, natural right? We engage warfare. I have cultivate a practice and I have many examples of what that practice can look like in the book but I cultivated a practice of turning towards myself. It’s not necessarily to fix myself or to make myself feel better, it’s just to be with myself. Not abandon myself emotionally in those moments. It can look like anything from putting your arms around your waist and just sitting quietly for 30 seconds or it can look like a visualization exercise like one I had these for my patients for many years where you personify that feeling and that emotion that you’re having as being felt and experienced by a small same gendered child.
You show up to that child who’s having this experience with very simple languaging. You say something like, “oh gosh so hard what you’re feeling, I’m so sorry. It’s totally okay.” And you say that kind of stuff to yourself and it sounds ridiculous and it sounds like, “How could that help? Who has the time for that? Whatever.” Trust me I have brought literally dozens of patients from the brink of suicide with this kind of a practice. It’s at once very self-compassionate and self-forgiving but moreover it’s a powerful way to cultivate what’s often called witness consciousness. Which it is that adult consciousness that allows you to watch what’s happening rather than getting sucked up into a childlike story about the good guy and the bad guy. The cultivation of this witness consciousness is the superpower. It’s ultimately what defines I think adult psychology which has the capacity to hold the good and the bad in every single scenario in every single person. The more individuals that we have entering into this state of consciousness the closer we will come to an experience of peace on this planet. I literally believe that. It starts with self-care.
[01:05:37] Ashley James: This is the path to peace on the planet. We can take 30 seconds when we’re triggered and practice self-compassion, self-forgiveness and have that witness consciousness to soothe that child inside us that just wants to wage war. Can you imagine if politicians did this?
[01:05:58] Dr. Kelly Brogan: I know. They don’t have to because if enough of us do, the shift will happen. I really believe that and it doesn’t mean we would be writing our legislators and everything else but it’s resonant. It’s a resonant phenomenon. Again, remember I have a big mouth and I like to think that I’m right. I like to exercise that I’m on an intellectual level go out on all my studies and all this. I didn’t have the potential impact that I might have today, simply taking care of myself. Every time I get sucked up into an issue and I feel like, “This can’t be. This is wrong.” Whatever it is. I now know. “No Kelly, chop wood. Carry water. Did you go to dance class today? Did you eat breakfast? Maybe a different meditation this morning.” It’s literally on that level that I have the confidence that I will begin to attract others to this way of being. I do think we all have to be this way in order to create this more beautiful world experience that we can all inhabit.
[01:07:08] Ashley James: Kelly, you are so congruent and compassionate. I love that you are the example that we can learn from. That you have that compassion because you’ve also like you said you’ve had the dark night of the soul and you’re invulnerable in sharing and then teaching us an helping us. I’d love for all of us to be you when we grow up. [Laughter]
[01:07:35] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Please. I don’t know about that. That might not lead us to peace in the world.
[01:07:42] Ashley James: Well, we’d carry a big stick that’s for sure. It’s been such a pleasure having you on the show. Please come back on the show again. Teach us more. We’d love to have you back. It’s been wonderful. Listeners can go to kellybroganmd.com. Of course, all the links that Kelly has, everything that Kelly does is on the show notes of today’s podcast at learntruehealth.com. Dr. Kelly Brogan, it’s been such a pleasure having you on the show today. Thank you so much.
[01:08:09] Dr. Kelly Brogan: Thank you so much for your beautiful energy. I really appreciate it. I appreciate this conversation.
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Anatomy Of An Epidemic by Robert Whitaker