Today, Dr. Brooke Scheller, a Doctor of Clinical Nutrition, joins me for an enlightening chat about what alcohol does to our bodies and minds.
For years, Dr. Scheller led a double life – while educating people about nutrition, her own health was declining due to alcohol use. In 2021, she finally took her own advice and removed alcohol from her life.
Brooke’s sobriety journey led her to helping others. Through nutrition and functional medicine practices, Dr. Scheller now specializes in helping people change their relationship with alcohol and heal from the physical damages of long-term drinking.
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Escaping Alcohol with Dr. Brooke Scheller
Speaker 1 (00:00):
I wish more people would listen to our podcast.
Speaker 2 (00:02):
I know. I feel like this is why we need to do an ad. So this is an ad for brand new information, a pop culture and political podcast.
Speaker 1 (00:10):
We’re a couple Gen Xers who talk about pop culture and political stuff on the brand new information pop culture and political podcast.
Speaker 2 (00:19):
Okay. But we’re not a couple we’re siblings. It sounded like you said we’re a couple <laugh>. That was so gross. No, we’re siblings. That’s my brother. I’m his sister. Listen to us wherever you get your podcasts.
Hi. Welcome to the Sober Mom Life podcast. I’m your host, Suzanne of my kind of suite and the sober mom life on Instagram. If you are a mama who has questioned your relationship with alcohol at times, if you’re wondering if maybe it’s making motherhood harder, this is for you. I will be having candid, honest, funny conversations with other moms who have also thought, Hmm, maybe motherhood is better without alcohol. Is it possible? We’ll chat and we’ll talk about all things sobriety and how we’ve found freedom in sobriety. I don’t consider myself an alcoholic. You don’t have to either. And maybe life is brighter without alcohol. I hope you will join us on this journey, and I’m so excited to get started.
Hello, my sweet, sober and sober curious moms. How’s that? That’s better than you guys. Right? I’m gonna, I’m gonna start saying that I am excited about this episode. Today. We have Dr. Brooke Sheller on and talk about facts. You guys, I see now, I said, you guys <laugh>. Anyway, I just keep coming out with these episodes with facts, because we know anecdotally about alcohol, right? You can think about in your own lives, you can think about how alcohol has affected situations and you’ve lost mornings on the couch. Maybe you’ve lost even more than that to alcohol. But we need to talk about what alcohol really does to us. We need to talk about how it affects our hormones, our gut health, our physical body, our liver, our PMs, every single thing in our body, our brain alcohol effects. And, you know, we could be wearing all the natural deodorant we want, but if we’re drinking alcohol, I’m here to tell you, it might not matter. You might as well go back to secret. I think you guys are really gonna like this conversation. I did. I could talk to her forever. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Dr. Brooke Sheller.
So excited that you’re here. You’re a doctor, which is, I mean, you’re just, you’re legit right there. That tells me you know what you’re talking about, <laugh>.
Speaker 3 (03:10):
Well, thank you for having me, and thank you for that introduction. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, I’m a doctor of nutrition, Doctor of clinical nutrition. And you know, it’s been such a pleasure for me to dive into this space, not only from my personal experience and interest, and it is just such a missing piece of the puzzle of sobriety. And I have just been so grateful and blessed, I think, in many ways to find my path using my experience, but through the lens of sobriety. So looking forward to our conversation today.
Speaker 2 (03:43):
Good. Well, I’m so glad you’re here. It’s so interesting when those two things converge, sobriety, health and wellness. I mean, we have seen so much alcohol in health and wellness spaces. It’s so funny. I was just at a yoga class and they were talking about alcohol and how they were gonna have it pretty soon and whatever, and I was just like, Can we please get alcohol out of our wellness spaces? It’s, let’s not pretend that it’s good for us. So I love when there’s actual science and there’s stuff that we can point to that it’s like, no, you guys mm-hmm. <affirmative> alcohol’s not good for you. And so everything that you share and everything we’re gonna talk about today is just all science based. It’s facts. You guys know that I don’t do facts. I don’t fact check myself. I talk all anecdotally and I always share that. So I think it’s so important to have people on here who do know what they’re talking about.
Speaker 3 (04:33):
But the anecdotal stuff is really important too, because that’s our, our human experience as it relates to these things. Right. So we can’t discount the way that people feel or the experiences that we have, but when we can overlay that with the science and the background Yeah. Then that’s where we really have a powerful story.
Speaker 2 (04:53):
Speaker 3 (04:54):
And, you know, you’re right about the wellness world, and I actually did an Instagram real recently on that about how alcohol is, does not belong in wellness spaces. And the really interesting thing is, and I, I always feel like I need to ma make an amend to the world and the people that I worked with previously, because before I stopped drinking, you know, I would be the first person to say, Yeah, let’s have wine with yoga. Mm-hmm.
Speaker 2 (05:17):
Speaker 3 (05:18):
Oftentimes when I tell my story, because I am a healthcare professional, I, I am a doctor of nutrition. I have several degrees in certifications that for a long time I felt like I was living a double life because I was drinking. And I knew all of the ways that it was affecting my body. And what I typically say to people is, I couldn’t stop. Right? So you can have all the knowledge in the world, but it doesn’t matter because this is a toxic addictive substance. I have been to many a conference where there’s happy hours and many a, a professional event where alcohol is part of the reason why people show up, Right. Because they know, know they’re gonna get something to drink. And it does break the ice and it allows people to network and, and start conversations that maybe, maybe wouldn’t have happened if there wasn’t some, you know, kind of liquid courage flowing. But I try to encourage people now to say, Okay, even if you’re having a happy hour with your own wellness event, can you at least bring in some mocktails and Right. Some other options? Because a lot of times you go to these things and you can’t even get a bottle of water. You know? So it’s, it’s really not only wrong because we’re promoting alcohol in a wellness space, but we’re not even giving an option. Right.
Speaker 2 (06:31):
But just assuming that, well, of course you’re going to, you, you know, you just did something really great for your body. You did yoga, you were mindful, and now let’s just turn to alcohol. We’re just gonna assume you do that. And it’s like, well, yeah. Let, let’s not assume that, first of all. And I think this idea of you making men’s, because you, you did kind of further that message. I, I just think that goes to show how normalized it is to pair alcohol with literally everything in our lives. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I don’t think you realize that until you stop drinking.
Speaker 3 (07:03):
Totally. And I have clients who tell me that, you know, they go to their doctor, and I have one client in particular that her daughter has type one diabetes. And her daughter, you know, when she came of age, her doctor said, Well, just drink tequila because that’s gonna be your best option for your
Speaker 2 (07:21):
Blood sugar. I mean, Right.
Speaker 3 (07:23):
Yeah. Not like, Hey, you probably shouldn’t drink.
Speaker 2 (07:26):
That’s just, Yeah. Yeah. I mean,
Speaker 3 (07:30):
Yeah. It, it’s difficult. It is. And this is part of why I’m really hoping to continue doing the work that I do, because I believe that it’s important to just keep having these conversations, encourage people to think a little bit more openly. Again, even if it’s an event that has cocktails, can you also have some drinks that don’t contain alcohol? Right. And in light of that too, I recently read an article on the Emmy’s that they had a mocktail on the menu. Oh,
Speaker 2 (07:58):
That’s great. Which
Speaker 3 (07:59):
Was groundbreaking in some ways because they hadn’t done that in years before. But really shows the changes in culture in society around having more options available. And now we have celebrities standing up and saying, Yes, you know, I don’t drink previously. I mean, no one talked about Brad Pitt being sober until now. Right. He’s been sober for years, and now we’re really starting to see Chrissy, Tegan, and all these other people who are standing up and
Speaker 2 (08:24):
Saying and Drew Barrymore. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (08:26):
And, and standing up and saying, Hey, you know, this wasn’t serving me and I am stopping and inspiring other people to say, Oh, I could do that too.
Speaker 2 (08:35):
Right. I, I think it is just, you know, and there are like the Brad pits, the Bradley Coopers, like those people that probably did have more of an issue and were forced to stop for other reasons. And they go to AA and like Dak Shepherd and those, those are important, but like women, women who have decided Yeah. Like Drew Barry Moore and like Christy Tegan, like, wait a second, I don’t like my relationship with alcohol. I don’t know what that means. I don’t, I don’t have to label that. Like, I think that is so powerful.
Speaker 3 (09:06):
It really is. It it really is. It’s just takes some people standing up and saying, you know,
Speaker 2 (09:12):
Speaker 3 (09:12):
Is cool too. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (09:13):
Like, make it cool. Yes.
Speaker 3 (09:15):
Because I think it is, especially with Hollywood, right? Yes. It’s cool to drink everyone’s drinking in all of the shows. And I had posted not long ago, I was mind blown by the article that recently came out on Vice that was Yeah. Titled How Alcohol Lost. Its Cool. And they spoke in the article about how reality TV has affected our relationships with alcohol. And I think back to being a teenager when I started drinking heavily. And what was I watching? I was watching The Real World. I was watching Jersey Shore, I was watching Yeah. All of these other shows, Laguna Beach were like these younger people, whether they were teenagers or early twenties mm-hmm. <affirmative> drinking and getting wasted, Wasted. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> on tv, making it look like something cool and adult-like and acceptable.
Speaker 2 (10:07):
That is so funny because you’re so, you’re a little bit younger than I am, but now watching cuz you know, I’m a Housewives fan, like I love The Housewives, it’s my escape. Like, just give me some like mm-hmm. <affirmative> delusional, like, I’ll say crazy in quotes cuz you know, we don’t know if they’re crazy, but they act bat shit crazy. Okay. And do you know why they normally do is because the alcohol, And I always put this on my Instagram stories. I’m like, um, if you are like questioning like does alcohol make you cooler or should you go back to it? Watch Real Housewives of New York. It is alcohol. The TV show, they change right in front of your eyes as they’re drinking alcohol. You can see it is like an experiment and nights never get better. <laugh>. Like, no one’s ever like, Oh yeah. It started so fun. We drank a lot and then it got even better. It’s
Speaker 3 (10:59):
Like, yeah. It’s like then the drama started.
Speaker 2 (11:00):
Yeah. That doesn’t happen. We always think it’s gonna happen. <laugh>. Okay. So let’s get into your story first before your work and before what you’ve, you’re doing for sobriety and, and that amazing story. I wanna hear about your drinking story. So what was your relationship with alcohol?
Speaker 3 (11:18):
I started as a drinker quite young. I think I had my first drink at 13. I always tell this story that I thought I was bougie back from early on because we were stealing handles of Kettle One from my friend’s parents. So
Speaker 2 (11:30):
Where did you grow up?
Speaker 3 (11:32):
I grew up in, at the shore in New Jersey. And I was friends with the people who partied, you know, we were all smart and popular, if you will. I was always kind of the edgy one. I got tattoos and dye my hair black and you know, did all of these things to kind of be a little different, but hung out with all the kids that drank and did drugs and, you know, know I had trauma in my teenage years where my father, who has a history of drug use, had a relapse. And I really see now in the work that I’ve done in my sobriety, how that situation triggered a lot of my drinking or how my drinking escalated during my teenage years and into college, continued to find all of the people who drank. And, you know, thinking about those shows that I used to watch, you know, we, we drank like those people did on TV when I was young mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And we thought that was cool and that that’s what people
Speaker 2 (12:26):
Did. So like the binge drinking, the like
Speaker 3 (12:28):
Total binge drinking,
Speaker 2 (12:29):
Blacking out the wasted Yeah.
Speaker 3 (12:31):
Total blocking out. And in college, my undergrad, I went to Rutgers University and you know, got okay grades. I was a, a nutrition undergrad and I prioritized drinking and going out with my roommates $2 Tuesdays, Oh my god. Thirst Thursdays. And I worked at a bar shortly after I graduated and you know, we would drink at the end of the shift. We would drink during the shift. You know, that’s a lot of times very common in bars. And that behavior just continued. I dated people who drank heavily. What’s interesting is in sobriety, someone told me after I got sober that, you know, because I was like, well, I don’t know, I just always find these men that have drinking problems and drug problems. And she said to me, Well, you realize you were picking people that were worse than you. Right? Yeah. And I was like, Oh, because then I am the one that’s not as bad. Right. I can’t have a problem. That person has a problem.
Speaker 2 (13:26):
It even stuck out to me when you said you were finding the people who were drinking, like in college once you went to college, and and I can, I can relate to that. It is like you gravitate toward those people as a comfort and then Yeah. As a, as a foil to yourself. Like, Oh, wait a second. Yeah. See, I’m not
Speaker 3 (13:43):
Bad. Right. And I justified for so long, like, Oh, I’m young. This is what people do in their twenties. They get drunk and you know, they go out with their friends and, you know, go on dates and get drunk. And, you know, I was in relationships for most of my twenties and when I was 29, I left a long term relationship. I moved up to New York City area. And from there, it was really my first time I was single. I was in a big city and you know, I was going out on a lot of dates. I was going to happy hours with coworkers and spending a lot of my time drinking and things continued escalating, uh, up until the pandemic, which was a big turning point for a lot of people. What I always like to explain is that it’s almost like if there’s a pot on the back burner of the stove, like on a simmer, it was like the heat got turned up during the pandemic and now the pot is boiling over.
Totally. Right. We, we couldn’t avoid the drinking issues anymore. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And in the beginning of the pandemic, I actually didn’t drink that much. And then, you know, as things went on longer, like into the third month and fourth month, I definitely picked up my drinking. I was working from home. So that’s one of those things where you could be like, Oh, well I used to wait till five o’clock, but now I don’t have any meetings and it’s two and I’m gonna drink it two. Right. Again, here I am as this doctor of nutrition and I felt like I was on this mission to prove that you could drink alcohol and be healthy. Really.
Speaker 2 (15:09):
Okay. So you had that, you weren’t like, Oh, I’m doing this, but it’s not feeling he, you were like, No, I’m still gonna tell myself like, this is okay.
Speaker 3 (15:17):
Well, it changed earlier on in, in my drinking days. And you know, again, even in my doctorate program, I had friends that were drinkers and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we didn’t even learn about alcohol. I have a bachelor’s, a master’s, and a doctorate in nutrition, and we didn’t even talk about alcohol. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mean a little bit. A little bit. Right. Because it’s, for me, when you look at it, you’re like, Well, who does really specialize in alcohol? And, you know, you could think about someone who’s focused on the liver. Alcohol is something you consume. It’s nutrition, it’s metabolized like a food. Right. And or a beverage. Right. So nutrition is what’s what’s happening when you’re consuming alcohol. And, you know, we really didn’t, there was not a big focus on alcohol. Wow.
However, when, when my drinking started to escalate, when I got to the point A and I kind of escalated at the end pretty quickly. So I would say, you know, I was always a four or five days a week drinker probably for five or more years mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And in the last six months or so of my drinking, now I got sober June of 2021. So I would say the begin the winter of 2020, moving into, you know, the spring of 2021, I then moved to drinking most days. And I say most days, meaning that likely seven days, there were probably days here and there that I would say, Oh, like, let me take a day off and chill out. Yeah. And once things progressed to that point, then I was really feeling like a fraud. What’s really interesting about the science and what the research shows and what we know about alcohol is yes, there are some genetic mutations and things that people have that might make them more likely to develop an addiction.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there’s tons of different genes that this is associated with. So some of it has to do with the liver and how the liver metabolizes alcohol. Some of it has to do with our mental health. So do we have certain genes that set us up towards depression or anxiety? Some of it goes as kind of far out there as our lectin and garin, which are our hunger and satiety hormones. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which actually have been linked to, uh, addiction or the development of addiction. Oh yeah. And so what it is about alcohol though, is anyone can become addicted. Right. It is a substance that when you put it into your body over and over again, the more you put it in, the more your body is perceiving that as needed for survival. And so if you continue to put it in, even if you don’t have addiction in your family, and that’s how some people that are like, Well how did this happen? You know, there’s no history of addiction or drug use or anything in the family. Well, you know, if you’re in the environment enough or you have trauma that sets you up towards this, then anyone can really go down this path. And so I say that because I want people to feel like it’s not us. Right. We feel so often like, there’s something wrong with me. Right. And that’s why we don’t wanna talk about it because we feel like, like there’s something wrong with us. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (18:21):
Like, we should be able to drink this. We should be able to moderate, we should drink responsibly. All of these things that are just Right. Oxymoronic. Yeah. And Annie Grace, I, I remember it distinctly in this Naked Mind she talks about, and she kind of sets it up on a chart. It’s like if you drink alcohol for long enough mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you will become addicted. Yep. Some people might die before that. Some people might die of old age at 85, 90 that they are not gonna hit that point. But if you consume an addictive substance long enough, it’s just science.
Speaker 3 (18:59):
It is science, it will happen. You know, And that’s how a lot of times too, it starts out a little bit and then it gets a little more and then a little more. But for, for other people it is, it’s instant. Right. It’s, it’s early on. And some of that is, again, genetics or whatever’s happening in the body. And this is where, I mean, this is where my gears really get going because Yeah. When I first started recognizing that, Wait, I know a ton about this stuff. Let me start to apply these things together, that we talk so much about the mental health aspect. We talk a lot about addressing trauma and you know, seeking out therapy or trying programs like alcoholic synonymous and all of those things are 1000% needed. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But what I like to say to people and to bring into the conversation is we also have to recognize that there is a, a biological thing that’s happening in the body mm-hmm.
<affirmative> that contributes to these things as well. It’s a part of the puzzle whether we want to address it or not. Right. And if we choose to bring that into our sobriety journey, it does help not only improve our outcomes of getting sober, staying sober, and it also helps to address any health effects that maybe have happened due to alcohol use. Which again, if you drink enough, you are going to experience things like nutrient depletion. It is going to affect your gut, it’s going to affect your brain, it’s going to affect your hormones, your liver. Yeah. All of these other areas of the body that oftentimes we don’t really think we go, Oh, a hangover. Right. Like, no big deal, drink some water, sleep it off, and you’re fine. Right.
Speaker 2 (20:36):
Like as soon as the headache’s gone, I’m good.
Speaker 3 (20:38):
Yeah. And the reality is no. When we do this on a regular basis, we are continuing to damage our body. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we’re damaging all of the systems that we’re expecting to keep us healthy and well mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And when we continue that on a day after day or week after week basis, it does eventually catch up to us. Yeah. Right. And that’s why people say, Oh, well, you know, I get worse hangovers than I did when I was young. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Well, part of that has to do with the body. You know, the body function will start to decline as, as we age, the liver function will decline. But also if we’re drinking more and more and more, we’re continuing to lower that baseline of our nutrients, of our hormone balance, our gut health. And we’re really continuing to degrade those very systems that we expect to keep us well for long.
Speaker 2 (21:33):
Yeah. I think this is crucial just as information for, I, I think the majority of the women and moms who listen to this podcast are health conscious. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, we, we try to do everything to make sure our kids are healthy. That we are being healthy and doing what we can and getting the water and all this, there’s all this focus on h how can we, our physical body be healthy? How can our minds be healthy? Alcohol just is generally not part of that conversation. It does. When you realize what alcohol does to you, it does seem crazy that we would do all these things and then wash it down with alcohol.
Speaker 3 (22:18):
And that’s the thing is if we are trying to achieve some type of health goal mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we’re consuming alcohol, that is the one thing that’s gonna be holding us back the most. Yeah. If you’re drinking alcohol, it doesn’t matter if you’re taking all of the supplements, you’re drinking, all of the juice you are working out every single day, if you’re drinking, that’s going to hold you back from receiving the progress that you’re looking for. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that goes for anything from, you know, you have low energy to hormone imbalance is another huge one. Infertility is associated with alcohol use. Um, menopause symptoms.
Speaker 2 (22:59):
Speaker 3 (22:59):
All the PMs,
Speaker 2 (23:01):
That’s huge. Like what woman does not struggle with PMs like that. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (23:05):
The hormone aspect, every time I talk about it gets a lot of traction. And I believe my perspective on it is that we don’t necessarily associate alcohol with hormones. Like it doesn’t Yes. Liver. Like I think we all know alcohol affects the liver. I think most people don’t really know what the liver does and how it affects the liver and what that means. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> in the scheme of things. But the liver is part of the reason why alcohol affects our hormones, because our liver is really the main site of hormone production, hormone storage, and hormone metabolism. Mm. What I always like to explain, and this is very fascinating to me, is that when we put alcohol into our system, it is a toxin. It is a product that, so the body goes, hell no, we gotta get this stuff out. Right? Yeah. So it puts a pause on everything else that the body’s working on and it says, uh, we have alcohol, we gotta get it out.
Right? The liver is going to put all of its normal processes on hold Mm. To manage the removal of alcohol. Now think about that. If we do that on a day after day after day after day, or a week after week after week after week basis, we are basically stopping the body’s normal processes from happening. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, now the body figures all of that out some way somehow because it keeps us alive, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But hormones are one of the really interesting areas because yes, the liver being affected is going to deprioritize that normal hormone balancing. The other really interesting thing, and I was just talking to Megan from soba systems about this mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that the reproductive system is the only system of your body that you can remove all of the organs in the organ system and still live. You can’t remove your skeletal system, you can’t remove your brain.
Speaker 2 (24:53):
I can attest to that. I no longer have a uterus.
Speaker 3 (24:56):
Well, right. So you can have that system removed mm-hmm. <affirmative> and you can still live Now you’ll have effects from that. But the reason why is because anytime the body is in stress, it’s going to say, Well, we have to worry about the stress that’s happening. We’re not worried about reproduction right now. Right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and this is something innate like from long ages and ages ago of Yeah. You know, if you are, uh, hunting for food back in the cave men days, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you need to find the food and you need to feed yourself. You don’t need to reproduce.
Speaker 2 (25:29):
Speaker 3 (25:29):
Right. And so similarly, this is what happens in the body when we drink because the body says, eh, last thing I’m gonna worry about is a baby, because also the baby’s gonna be affected by this toxin. Right. Right. And it’s going to say, let’s shut down all these hormonal systems
Speaker 2 (25:46):
Cuz it’s not a priority. So Exactly. We, we can’t, we can’t afford to have a baby right now cuz our, our, our mainframe is going down <laugh>, so we gotta fix that.
Speaker 3 (25:55):
Speaker 2 (25:55):
Speaker 3 (25:57):
So yeah. And that’s one that people are like, oh, when you start to describe it, it makes a lot of sense. Right? Yeah. And I think that that’s where that conversation really intrigues people because we do know Okay. The brain is affected Okay. The liver. Right. And the gut is another big area that Yeah. I think some people recognize that if they drink their stomach gets upset
Speaker 2 (26:21):
Or Yeah. I just heard like, it, it is called dad’s like day after drinking syndrome or day after drinking sickness or something like the bubbly like beer gut, like, Oh, <laugh>, oh man.
Speaker 3 (26:32):
Ear bells we
Speaker 2 (26:34):
Call it. Yes. Oh my god. Yes.
Speaker 3 (26:35):
Alcohol’s an irritant. It’s gonna irritate the digestive system, but more from a long term perspective, it changes the microbiome. So it’s going to affect our probiotics, you know, contribute to an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut. And some of these bacteria actually feed off of alcohol. So they will send signals to the body that manifest as cravings for us to drink more. So the gut plays a role in that way, but also alcohol is very disruptive to the lining of the gut can contribute to something like leaky gut syndrome. Ooh. Where the lining of the gut starts to break down. That can affect things like our immune system can contribute to autoimmune disease, also systemic inflammation. So if there’s any type of inflammatory disorder that can be joint pain, that can be headaches, migraines. And anytime I’m working with a client or with those who are in my group, we always talk about the gut and how to start to recover and repair that when we stop drinking whether or not you have symptoms or not mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because those are the things that if they’re not addressed and rebalanced, they can cause issues 10 years down the line. So that doesn’t mean that even though you stopped drinking 10 years ago, that you’re immune to some of these effects of alcohol. Wow. And we don’t, you know, in the traditional medical system today, we’re not like, Oh, let’s take a look at your drinking history and how that’s affecting you 10 years later. Right.
Speaker 2 (28:07):
Right. That’s not even a question. Like the drink. I, I just had a, I just had a physical, since I don’t have a uterus anymore, I, I never had like a primary care, cuz I, you think your primary care is like your ob Right. Or your gyno mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so once I got my uterus removed, I was like, Oh, I need like a primary care physician to do a physical, and we talked about everything except alcohol. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I actually brought it up and I was like, so, and, and alcohol. She’s like, Yeah, you know, I’m like, hold on. I was like, well, I’m, you know, I am sober more than two and a half years. She’s like, Oh wow, that’s great. I’m like, Yeah, but like, you gotta talk about how bad alcohol is. Like you’re telling me to eat spirulina, but you’re not gonna not to watch alcohol.
Speaker 3 (28:51):
Like the extremes.
Speaker 2 (28:52):
Speaker 3 (28:53):
Know. I can tell you as a healthcare practitioner with a history working in clinical private practice, like people would be willing to buy all the supplements, try all the crazy things, do this, that the other thing, touch their alcohol. Hell no. My belief in some ways is they’re just, they’re not necessarily trained or equipped to manage a conversation like that in an eight minute visit. So they, they tend to steer away from it, unfortunately. Yeah. But I can say from my experience and living in New York City now, a lot of people drink regularly. Right. And my previous experiences with primary care physicians, you know, you’re filling out that paperwork and I’m writing about this in the book that I’m working on right now, which we can also talk about
Speaker 2 (29:35):
Speaker 3 (29:36):
That, you know, you get that piece of paper and it’s like, okay, do you drink alcohol? And you’re like, Okay, yeah, I do do. It’s like, okay, how, how many drinks do you have a week? And you’re like, so
Speaker 2 (29:45):
Yeah. You’re like, cut that in half,
Speaker 3 (29:47):
Seven days in a week. Uh, let’s just divide that by seven and like, whatever. Right. Um, and so you put down like, Oh, I drink 10 drinks a week. Right. Like, that sounds kind of reasonable. So you kind of like do this tennis match in your head of like, how honest am I gonna be? Totally.
Speaker 2 (30:01):
How will I not be
Speaker 3 (30:03):
Judged? I don’t wanna talk about it. Well, and the best part is my experience almost every time, unfortunately, in seeing a doctor, it was like, they would say, Oh, and do you drink alcohol? And I would go, Yeah. And they would go socially and I would go, Yeah. Socially. And then I would be like, Whew, dodge that bullet, that dog, that
Speaker 2 (30:22):
Bullet. This is so funny because my mom, who is a therapist and she specializes in addiction and substance issues, and there was a questionnaire that she would have people fill out and a normal social drinker was, was an option. Right. And so it’s like, what does that mean? Do Right. Do you have a problem? Like, or do you feel like you have a problem? Have you ever tried to quit alcohol? And it would always be like an one option under every question is no, I’m a normal social drinker. And so every time people checked that, that was a signal to her. Like, Oh, let’s look at this <laugh>,
Speaker 3 (30:56):
Because it of course it’s
Speaker 2 (30:57):
A third door that
Speaker 3 (30:58):
Yeah. What doesn’t even mean it was
Speaker 2 (31:00):
The third door that doesn’t exist. I mean, I mean a normal social drinker that that’s just something that’s gonna keep you drinking because that’s not Yeah. What is that
Speaker 3 (31:08):
Like? Yeah. It doesn’t, And and this is the problem with even moderation is people are like, Oh yeah, drink responsibly, drink in moderation. Yeah. Okay, Well, what does that mean? Moderation is like less than one drink a day for women, one drink or
Speaker 2 (31:24):
Less. And isn’t a drink like five ounces or something? A drink is not like a glass of wine. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (31:29):
Right. Even now it’s coming out and saying like, No, any alcohol is a problem and we all wanna be like, No. But what about those really great studies from the early two thousands that said we can drink. And I always explain this too, of a lot of that research was done on the Mediterranean diet, which was looking at, you know, a diet that’s rich in vegetables and fish and whole grains and unprocessed foods. So if you have like a, a dinner that is salmon and broccoli and you know, olive oil and whole grains. Yeah. If you have a little bit of wine with that, it’s not so much of a problem. What do we do in America? We go to a bar, we have wings, we have french fries and beer. Right? Yeah. That is not going to provide the same benefit as, you know, this type of situation. So it’s, it’s very, you know, but what happens is the media takes it and goes, Oh, why wine is good for us. Yeah. And they basically say like, hopefully you’re enjoying your glass of wine as you’re listening to this, you know, this announcement. Yeah. Go get another bottle
Speaker 2 (32:27):
For the resveratrol. Which like, you’d have to drink so much wine to get any benefits from resveratrol and then the toxins just completely deplete that. Like this. No, it, it just doesn’t make sense. Eat blueberries.
Speaker 3 (32:40):
Well, and that’s the other thing is I’ve had clients come to me and say, Well, you know, I drink wine because I wanna get my antioxidants. And I go, Right, I know there’s antioxidants and all of the other fruits and vegetables you eat. Right, right,
Speaker 2 (32:52):
Right. How about like, take the ethanol out of it.
Speaker 3 (32:54):
Yeah. And that, you know, it, it is, it’s tricky. It’s very media driven mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I love h Whitakers quit like a woman because it talks about, you know, big alcohols, basically big tobacco that there’s a good chance. Exactly. 10 years from now we’re looking back, or 20 years from now, we’re looking back and saying, Oh crap, look at the way we were conned into drinking because, you know, drink responsibly. She had posted a stat not long ago about if we drank responsibly, the alcohol industry would be cut by 80%.
Speaker 2 (33:25):
Speaker 3 (33:26):
And so it’s like, they don’t really want you to drink in responsibly, which is why they don’t define it. They basically are like, Yeah, whatever you think that means, and you go ahead
Speaker 2 (33:34):
And try and, and people don’t, because that’s inherent in what alcohol is. I, I mean, it’s, it’s highly addictive. Right. And so, like, would would you, I just always replace alcohol with cigarettes. And I was like, Yep. Would you say to smoke responsibly, that just doesn’t make sense that you
Speaker 3 (33:51):
Doctors smoke camels. They used to say
Speaker 2 (33:54):
<laugh>, Right. Doctors used to smoke mm-hmm. <affirmative> like in the ads and everything like that. Like that was, it took a long time for people to say mm-hmm. <affirmative>, oh, holy shit, cigarettes are giving us cancer. Right. And cigarettes are not good for us and they’re really addictive
Speaker 3 (34:08):
And alcohol is giving us cancer. Like, that’s another big
Speaker 2 (34:12):
Thing. Exactly. We’re on the same path. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (34:15):
And I think a lot of people don’t recognize based on the carcinogen lists that are developed by, you know, rigorous science and are Yeah. Are looking at things like how cigarette smoke affects cancer. Alcohol is on the same level as radiation, as cigarette smoke as
Speaker 2 (34:34):
It’s level one. Right. Is it a level one carcinogen? It’s
Speaker 3 (34:37):
A level one carcinogen, which means that it is known to contribute to cancer. You know, we, we know why this is a toxic substance. Again, that is damaging DNA in the body, which is part of how cancer is developed with breast cancer specifically is an interesting one. And I know most of your audience is women, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So
Speaker 2 (34:57):
Speaker 3 (34:58):
Always an interesting topic to talk about that a lot of this has to do. The reason why alcohol is so closely linked to breast cancer risk or increases breast cancer risk so significantly is that when we drink alcohol, it affects the liver in a way that makes it more difficult for our body to excrete the toxic byproducts of estrogen metabolism. Mm. So basically when, when we have estrogen production in the body, it, it goes through these different cycles where it’s in different forms to be used and that it essentially has to be metabolized to be eliminated from the body. What happens when our liver isn’t functioning properly based on the way that alcohol is affecting it, is we have a buildup of this excess, kind of toxic form of estrogen that now is sitting in our system and creating distress.
Speaker 2 (35:52):
Oh yeah. And so,
Speaker 3 (35:53):
You know, it’s, it’s not just that that means that alcohol equals breast cancer, but again, this is where we start to look back and say, Okay, PMs, P C O S, you know Right. Extreme menopause symptoms. Women that have issues with fibroids and ovarian sys, and I mean, you name it, the works, we’re not doing our self a service in relation to how we’re protecting ourselves for the long term. Especially if you have a history of certain types of cancer in the family that you then wanna be a little bit more cautious of. Yeah. Yeah. It’s wild. It’s wild that we, that we have consumed alcohol as a society in the way that we do.
Speaker 2 (36:30):
It really is. And, and when you, you know, all of the stories that I hear and that I tell all about using alcohol as an escape mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and it’s an understandable, of course it’s an understandable thing, especially as moms and as women mm-hmm. <affirmative> who have just gone through a pandemic, like our stress levels have never been higher, our anxiety has never been higher. So of course we are taught that alcohol is a solution to our problem. It’s probably not the solution. You also need yoga and stuff like that. But we, we’ve been taught that alcohol will help, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and that it’ll will help us de-stress, it will help us escape, not feel all of these things. And so the idea that not only does alcohol not help us with that, but the harm mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So not only is it not helping you escape, and are not only are you strong enough that you don’t need to escape these scary feelings because they will pass. They’re just feelings mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But what we’re turning to in order to escape is so harmful mm-hmm. <affirmative> to us and our bodies and everything we do to be healthy.
Speaker 3 (37:47):
Speaker 2 (37:47):
Yeah. I I think it’s so powerful coupled with just, just having this knowledge of what it alcohol is and what it does.
Speaker 3 (37:56):
And it is scary. I mean, those of us who have, have gone through this journey and become sober, we can all attest to the fact that those emotions come on strong. Right. And you really recognize, Oh, wow. That would’ve been a trigger. That would’ve been a big trigger for me.
Speaker 2 (38:14):
Speaker 3 (38:15):
But the beauty of that too is the awareness that comes with recognizing when difficult feelings come up and saying, How do I care for myself? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, how do I care for myself? Like I would care for my child
Speaker 2 (38:27):
Speaker 3 (38:28):
<affirmative>, or I would care for a loved one. You know, that okay, this feeling doesn’t feel great, but the sooner I kind of deal with it, the easier it gets when we’re drinking, we’re just delaying those feelings, you know, we’re, we’re delaying totally having to deal with them because they will come up. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (38:48):
We’re teaching ourselves that we’re not, that we can’t deal with them, and that we’re not strong enough to, we’re not strong enough to withstand social anxiety. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but that’s just not true. <laugh>. Yeah. That’s just a
Speaker 3 (39:00):
Lie. And, and all of that is the marketing. Right. It’s the marketing that is Oh. And, and unfortunately in the age of social media, it’s not just marketing. It’s Right. The counts that
Speaker 2 (39:11):
Speaker 3 (39:11):
You know, or celebrities that are, are touting, you know, alcohol,
Speaker 2 (39:15):
Organic wine, <laugh>, like Cameron Diaz is organic wine. I can’t
Speaker 3 (39:19):
Yeah. And like, and I, I hate to really say names and call things it,
Speaker 2 (39:24):
But call it out
Speaker 3 (39:25):
With Goop and Gwyneth Paltro, you know, She’s
Speaker 2 (39:28):
Does, And I love Gwyneth, Anyone who knows me, I have loved Gwyneth. She’s my number one. She’s not relatable. I don’t want her to be relatable. <laugh>, she is just out of touch in the most beautiful way I love her. But yes. This idea that she is all about wellness and
Speaker 3 (39:47):
Yet, Well, and here’s the other thing that I, I was speaking about heavily recently as well, is I, because I get this, I used to be, and I am, I, I like organic food. I’m all about removing toxins from your environment mm-hmm. <affirmative> and from your personal products. But we can remove all of change, all of the personal products and all the toothpaste and all the hairsprays and all the,
Speaker 2 (40:08):
The deodorant, the
Speaker 3 (40:09):
Water and the deodorant, the tap water, the, this, the that. But if we’re still putting alcohol in our body, it doesn’t really matter. If you really want to clean things up, the first thing you would do would be cut back alcohol. And then if you wanna get into the nuances of those other things. But my personal belief as a researcher, as a scientist, as an expert, is all of those things are so much less prominent in your body, in your lifestyle. Because think about, you know, let’s think about our deodorant for a minute. You know, we’re absorbing that into our skin, but how much of a toxic compound is in that much less than you’re gonna get when you’re drinking a bottle of wine a day.
Speaker 2 (40:50):
Yes. Right. Oh my God. Yes. And
Speaker 3 (40:52):
So, again, it’s, it’s almost like those become a scapegoat in some ways because it is, it’s taking the focus away from this other thing that we don’t really want to address, even though we know is problematic.
Speaker 2 (41:04):
Right. It’s so, because there’s so much tied up in it. And so, Okay. Just, just going back to your story really quickly. So you then, Yes. Did you know all this when you were drinking? Or was this a product of you saying, Okay, I, I know my drinking’s becoming problematic, I’m not feeling comfortable with how much I’m drinking. Where did you go from there?
Speaker 3 (41:27):
Yeah, so here’s the really interesting part about my story is in the fall of 2020, I was actually authoring a, now I’m drinking at this point still. Okay. I was authoring a chapter in a textbook. The textbook was titled Complimentary and Integrative Approaches to Substance Use Disorders. Mm. And I was authoring a chapter on nutrition and supplementation for substance use disorders. Oh, wow. I, so I was working, uh, as an adjunct professor at a, a university that has a, in a complimentary integrative health program that has a big focus on addiction studies. And so one of the teachers in the program wanted to put together a book because there isn’t one that is based on, you know, natural methods for substance use. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I did all the research, wrote this chapter. It was really my first larger publication. Um, aside from some research I had done as part of my degree in my studies.
And, you know, again, here I am writing this and going like, here I am living this double life of Yeah. You know, I know. I hate to say I, I knew exactly how I could stop myself from drinking, and yet here I am, I can’t stop. And, and in a lot of ways I didn’t want to, I wasn’t at the point yet where I was like really struggling mm-hmm. <affirmative> and coincidentally, or maybe not the month that I got sober, June of 2021 was the month that that textbook chapter was actually published. And I received the physical book in the mail <laugh>. And so, in my journey and in my decision, which, you know, was not made lightly, you know, I’d gotten to a point where I, as I mentioned, was really struggling. My anxiety was probably a nine out of 10 on most days.
And I was feeling some physical health effects from it, digestion wise. I’ve had elevated liver enzymes for several years. Okay. And I was in a relationship that my partner at the time had expressed his concern for my drinking, and I knew it. I knew that my drinking was a problem. And it was almost as if when he said that to me, I felt relief. Like someone saw it. Yeah. Okay. Like now the jig is up, like recognition kind of. Okay. Yeah. Like the jig is kind of up, like, I’ve been kind of getting away with this. We were in a semi long-distance relationship. We lived like an hour and a half away from each other, so we only saw each other every other weekend. So he didn’t re even know how much I was really drinking. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, he had just seen me a few weekends that I had kind of gotten a little out of control.
And that day was, was the morning my first day sober. Wow. You know, a as it is for everyone, it’s really difficult in the beginning. But what did I do? I said, Oh, well, I know I can use these couple of supplements and try to help with cravings and I can do these couple of other nutrition tips that I know to try to help my, support me on this journey. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and really finding community was huge for me. And, and finding people that I could relate to. And I had all of my, my friends were drinkers, You know, I didn’t really,
Speaker 2 (44:32):
Yeah. Where did you find your community? Was it online?
Speaker 3 (44:36):
Yeah. Uh, so I am a proponent of aa. Okay. I believe that it is really beneficial for some people. Now, many family members of mine have been in aa. I actually had gone to ACO A, which is Adult Children of alcoholics many years before. Okay. So I, I’ve been very familiar with 12 step programs and Yep. That for me was a comfortable thing. My, my struggle with even telling that so much as part of my story is that there needs to be other ways in to the conversation. Yes. Because for a lot of people, that feels very extreme. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (45:09):
And before there needs to
Speaker 3 (45:10):
Right. It’s, it’s an extreme kind of end point for people.
Speaker 2 (45:14):
Yeah. That’s the rock bottom destination. Right. Totally. And I always see this, and I probably will, every episode I, I have bashed aa, but I don’t bash AA when it works for people and for the people who need it. I do not bash it that I bash the, they tend to be white men who come after me mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because they don’t understand offering places to land a softer place to land on the way before you get to aa. They just don’t get, That’s not how they think. They think, Oh, you’re not bad. Well then quitting drinking is easy, or you’re a dry drunk, or you’re gonna be drinking in no time because you’re not doing all these. I’m like, Oh, you just don’t get it.
Speaker 3 (45:53):
And part of that is AA relies on the tradition. Yes. And yes, it is very male dominated in the term, in the way the big book is written. And let’s also think back to when it was written in the 1930s that this is what life was like. Right. So if a book was written today is not, which
Speaker 2 (46:11):
Is why maybe it needs to evolve a
Speaker 3 (46:13):
Little. Well, and, and the people who are hardcore AA people, like, that’s not cool. Like, we don’t wanna teach any language, we don’t wanna bastardize.
Speaker 2 (46:23):
Right, right, right,
Speaker 3 (46:24):
Right, right. What worked Right. Because I think there’s a lot of fear around this works. My challenge, and again, I think you, in order to be someone like in my position, I take it for what it’s worth. Right. Like I can see through some of those things Yeah. And take the principles and adapt them to my lifestyle.
Speaker 2 (46:42):
Speaker 3 (46:42):
Great. But the challenge, and I’ve heard people say this before, is that if AA was started today, it wouldn’t be anonymous because in those days, you could get fired from your job. You could get put into a mental institution. Yeah. You could be put into jail for drinking. I mean, this is right after Prohibitation. Right. This is like, let’s think about the evolution of life now, the internet, social media, like
Speaker 2 (47:07):
Speaker 3 (47:08):
World is very different than it was almost a hundred years ago, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so my belief is that AA can work and it is amazing for some people. It has really helped my journey and so many people that I know mm-hmm. <affirmative>, however, everyone is not the same. Right. And depending on where you are in your journey, you’re not gonna walk into an AA room if you don’t feel like you identify with maybe some more extreme cases.
Speaker 2 (47:35):
Speaker 3 (47:36):
Especially if you’ve never been exposed to it before. Yeah. It seems like a really extreme thing to do. Like, you’re not gonna go unless you’re really, really needing it. Right.
Speaker 2 (47:44):
Yeah. It’s, it seems like a tool to that that has kept people drinking. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it, it seems like hundred percent that you compare yourself to the people in those rooms or what they’re saying. And it’s like, well, I’m obviously not that. And so I don’t, there’s not a problem with alcohol.
Speaker 3 (48:02):
And that’s why I try to be really open and honest about my story because Yeah. I think, you know, even though some of the stigma has changed around addiction and alcohol use disorders in general, I think people still picture the homeless man on the park bench and Totally. You know, the people who have DUIs and have lost their family, like, I like to stand up there and say, I have three degrees mm-hmm.
Speaker 2 (48:27):
Speaker 3 (48:27):
Own a business, all these other things.
Speaker 2 (48:29):
You’re a doctor. Okay. You’re a doctor like that. That’s like, Yeah,
Speaker 3 (48:34):
No one’s immune to this.
Speaker 2 (48:36):
Speaker 3 (48:36):
Cause it has to be a homeless person. Right.
Speaker 2 (48:39):
Cause it’s not about Yeah. It’s not about you.
Speaker 3 (48:42):
Right. It’s not,
Speaker 2 (48:43):
It’s not a weakness in you that you get addicted to an addictive substance.
Speaker 3 (48:47):
And, and some people in AA don’t like that standing up and talking about it because they believe that this is how it works through anonymity and all of those other things. And yes, it works for a lot of people. I think the, the day and age that we live in today, it doesn’t serve anyone for me to keep my story private.
Speaker 2 (49:04):
Speaker 3 (49:04):
Because I believe that the knowledge that I have in, in new nutrition and wellness and my willingness to, to open up and tell my story, I believe that that helps people, you know? Oh my gosh. It can help people. And in the way that you do, Suzanne, like, you know how lonely it is to be struggling Yeah. And to be surrounded by people who are drinking. And you feel different because you feel like you’re like going off track a little bit and then all of a sudden you hear someone and you go, Oh ha. Right. Right. Like, I can, I can kind of breathe a little
Speaker 2 (49:42):
Bit. Yeah. So
Speaker 3 (49:43):
I don’t care if you get that in AA or on Instagram or in any other program out there. All that matters is that you get it somewhere. Right. And I can think about all the times that even before I got sober, that like, it stood out to me when someone was sober and it kind of gave, Oh, that’s like, you know, I’m curious about that and what that’s like and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, all these other things. And so in the beginning I was like, Oh, I’m not, I’m not talking about this. Like, I don’t wanna tell anyone. Like I don’t wanna open up, told my family and close friends and of course those types of things. And then September of 2021 rolls around and one day I’m sitting at home and it’s like nine 30 at night and I’m like, I should write a book on this
Speaker 2 (50:21):
<laugh>. Yeah. Cause I’m like,
Speaker 3 (50:22):
Here, I wrote this textbook chapter on nutrition and, you know, and alcohol use. And I’m starting to use these practices on myself. And I, so I like whip out my computer and I find a couple of agents in New York City and I’m googling how to write a query letter. And, um, I received interest from an agent that I had had reached out to and worked on a book proposal over last fall and winter, and then earlier this year signed a book deal.
Speaker 2 (50:49):
That’s amazing. Yeah. Congratulations. Just take a moment for that because that’s cute. I’m in the middle of all of that stuff right now. Yes. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Because that is incredible. That’s incredible. It’s incredible. It is.
Speaker 3 (51:03):
And you wanna know what I can say with utmost certainty is that when I got sober, all of the things I was struggling with in my life, all of the goals I’d had for like years, all of the things that I wanted to do, the way I wanted to feel that one thing. Now it’s not a small thing changing our relationship with alcohol. Right. But that one thing completely opened the doors of the path that I feel like I was meant to be on. Yes. Right. And the struggle that I felt for so long, and I thought that alcohol was like, was helping me. Yeah. And that’s the, that’s the lie, right?
Speaker 2 (51:41):
That is, that’s the
Speaker 3 (51:42):
Speaker 2 (51:43):
Trick. That’s what we have to untangle. And that’s the trick.
Speaker 3 (51:48):
It’s such a trick. And I had goals that I had been working on for years. Like, I always wanted to start a business. I always wanted to write a book. I wanted to run a half marathon. I did all those things in my first year sober.
Speaker 2 (52:01):
Speaker 3 (52:02):
Like, I got to a point where I was like, I have to make new goals. Right. Because I wasn’t expecting, not like so quickly. And I say that not to brag, but I say that because I wanna inspire people to be like,
Speaker 2 (52:15):
Oh, please brag. This is a full bragging zone. I want you to brag because that’s what, Think about what you just said. I, I, that’s amazing. Thank
Speaker 3 (52:23):
Speaker 2 (52:24):
And, and the fact that you did that and just removing alcohol opened that up to you, it opened up your mind and your body and everything to, to be strong enough to do all these things. Like that’s incredible.
Speaker 3 (52:36):
Thank you. And I really, the reason why I share it is because I want people to say I can do that too. Yeah. Like, I am not special. I am just some random girl that grew up in the Jersey shore and like, you know, drank a bunch of wine that sometimes I think about what the actual like quantity would feel like a water tower. I’m
Speaker 2 (52:55):
Like, Oh, don’t think about that. I don’t wanna think <laugh> that. Oh my god. Yes. And
Speaker 3 (53:00):
Through this most difficult thing I ever did. And if you’re listening right now and you haven’t quit drinking yet, or you’re struggling to get through those early days, Yeah. That pain and that discomfort and that icky, yucky, I don’t know if I can do this. That is the most impactful shit. Excuse me again. Totally.
Speaker 2 (53:20):
Speaker 3 (53:21):
You can go through. Yes. That if you’re listening and you’re there, there Right. Now, like, hold on to something, keep
Speaker 2 (53:28):
Speaker 3 (53:28):
Something and keep freaking going. Yes. And get through that difficult time, and please feel free to check out my stuff, which we could talk about too, which is intended to help people through that from a nutrition standpoint. But hold on, ground yourself and just ride through it. Because what is on the other side of that pain is the most beautiful experiences that you’ve ever had.
Speaker 2 (53:53):
I love that so much. I I got chills. It’s, But it’s so true. What, what you teach yourself going through these hard first days, weeks, months of sobriety, what you’re learning about yourself and about your strength and about your resilience. I, I mean, it’s invaluable. And, and that doesn’t just go away. That propels you, that propels your sobriety into something wonderful.
Speaker 3 (54:21):
It’s one of the most powerful thing that I believe people can do it. I mean, it is, it’s not for the faint of heart. It is not for everyone.
Speaker 2 (54:29):
It’s simple. It’s not easy.
Speaker 3 (54:31):
It is not easy, but it is the most worth it thing that I’ve ever done in my life. And, you know, those experiences, when I’m able to reflect on that and hang onto that, that’s what keeps me sober. Yeah. Cause I go, I’m not going back to that girl who woke up feeling like crap every day. Right. I don’t wanna go back to that anxious girl, that lonely girl, that person that was in such discontent Yes. For no reason, except the fact that I was creating my own pain through using alcohol and that I hold onto.
Speaker 2 (55:04):
And it’s so much easier. It’s the momentum when you mm-hmm. <affirmative> when you look back to see what you’ve done in sobriety, it’s, that’s just momentum. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> then that’s just like, well, yeah. Obviously, obviously I would keep going on this. Right. Yeah. That’s incredible. I, I’m so proud of you. I love your story. Thank you. It’s, I, I think what you’re providing is truly invaluable. I, I, I think that there are a lot of us who share our stories and, and, and try to inspire, but, but what you bring to this, I think is just so important for people to know and then to put it together for them to be just the most powerful, sober person they could be. It’s incredible. Thank you.
Speaker 3 (55:44):
Yeah. It’s really, I mean, it feels like my life’s purpose. It feels
Speaker 2 (55:49):
Like, Yeah. You can tell
Speaker 3 (55:50):
I have a tattoo on my arm for my grandmother who passed away in 2017. She was 50 years sober in AA when she passed away.
Speaker 2 (55:57):
Speaker 3 (55:58):
And, um, you know, I, my family, my aunt tells me that she passed her, her wisdom onto me when, when she left her, her physical body. And, you know, it is just such a beautiful world when we can, when we can get away and escape from alcohol. And I, I truly believe that there’s so many ways into this conversation and, and where I like to bring the nutrition element in is it’s just another way for us to explore this stuff. Yeah. You know, through the lens of not only how I’m caring for my body, my health, but also if you’re someone who’s struggled with getting sober and struggled with cravings and struggled with, like really being able to kind of get to the next point with it, sometimes there’s something biochemical going on. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I say that in a sense of if we can balance your blood sugar and support cravings, if we can increase some specific nutrients that are going to boost brain function or decrease anxiety, all of these things that seem, and I like to bring it back to willpower. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, because I think a lot of times you think I just, I can’t say no, I don’t have the willpower to do so.
Speaker 2 (57:07):
Yeah. Sobriety, my sobriety does not take willpower
Speaker 3 (57:11):
Well and for me Yeah. That says to me, there’s something going on in your body that’s saying that is stronger than you. Right.
Speaker 2 (57:18):
Yeah. That’s saying you need it.
Speaker 3 (57:19):
And if we can manage that through food, through supplementation, it is changing my client’s lives. Right. It is, It is something that is really something we can hold onto that is a little bit more tangible than just like willpower alone. Right.
Speaker 2 (57:37):
Just white knuckle it and well, Exactly. And that’s what, so, so you have courses that people can, can sign up for, Right. And it’s your functional sobriety.
Speaker 3 (57:45):
Yeah. So what I, I started off with is I have a network, it’s called the Functional Sobriety Network. And just to provide a little bit of clarification, functional sobriety is the, the term that I use for how we use functional medicine or nutrition based approach for sobriety.
Speaker 2 (58:03):
Speaker 3 (58:03):
So similar to functional medicine, functional nutrition. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we’re talking about a functional way to support sobriety through food, through supplements, through wellness practice.
Speaker 2 (58:13):
I love that. Cuz it’s something tangible you guys, It’s not just, it’s Yeah. It’s not ideas. Like I’ll present you with ideas. Okay. Totally. I don’t have like tangible stuff there that’s so important.
Speaker 3 (58:23):
Totally. And um, so I have a network, it’s called the Functional Sobriety Network, and that was my initial offering. It is a members only platform. It’s kind of like a Facebook group. Um, there’s different topics. We have weekly meetings, we post daily content. Um, we have monthly mastermind meetings. And it is a community for people to interact with others to learn more about sobriety, learn more about health, learn more of these tips and tricks. And from that I developed the Functional Sobriety Academy, which is the recent online course that I launched. And that is a, it’s a self-guided online course that I suggest doing over 30 days. It’s, you know, if you did a module a week, for example mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and it guides you through how to use nutrition as an approach to your sobriety. So this is for anyone who is, you know, if you’re sober already and you’re looking to kind of support your journey with nutrition, with wellness, if you’re early in your journey and you’re trying to turn up, you know, turn up the volume there, it’s also for people who are on the verge or are kind of like, I think I wanna do this, not really sure yet, want a little bit of help to get through it.
That’s where I, I really have geared some of the, the marketing even towards it because I really, really have found that people can feel inspired in a new way looking at it through the nutrition and the health lens. Definitely.
Speaker 2 (59:53):
Speaker 3 (59:53):
And so that course also gets lifetime access to the acade, or excuse me, the network. Okay. Because I believe that it’s so important to have that community, to have that kind of accountability, that space where you’re being exposed to things on a more frequent basis.
Speaker 2 (01:00:10):
Speaker 3 (01:00:11):
<affirmative> and I also work with clients one-on-one.
Speaker 2 (01:00:13):
Speaker 3 (01:00:13):
That’s mostly for people who are looking for something a little bit more customized. Also for clients who have a specific health condition and have that history of drinking. So for example, I have, um, a client who has cancer, for example. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I have a client who has severe GI disorders. Okay. And so not only through supporting them with sobriety, but also using supplements and customizing programs to support their specific health needs. So I’ve created this in a way that whether you’re someone who wants a hyper customized approach and wants to see me, or you’re someone who just wants to come in and meet some new people, learn a little bit, you could kind of get what you’re looking for. So it’s been, again, just such a pleasure for me to continue to bring these things alive and, and be able to meet people where they’re at and, and support them with what they kind of need at the time. Because as you know, it’s, everyone’s on their own journey.
Speaker 2 (01:01:12):
Totally. I think that’s such a good, this is such a good addition to your sobriety toolbox, especially for Yeah. If, if you’ve been thinking of getting sober, if you’re sober curious, or in those first days, weeks, months of sobriety mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, and just need some extra support. I think that’s amazing. Yeah. Tell people where to find you on Instagram. You are,
Speaker 3 (01:01:34):
I am Dr. Brooke Sheller. My last name is a tricky spelling. I’m sure you’ll put that in show notes.
Speaker 2 (01:01:40):
Yes, I will. In the dr. You guys just in case you don’t know, that’s for Doctor Doc. I, I like that. You gotta, you gotta use that as much as you can. That’s so badass. <laugh> the doc.
Speaker 3 (01:01:51):
No, it’s a pleasure to, to specialize in this because it, it is not being spoken about enough. It’s,
Speaker 2 (01:01:57):
It’s not at all,
Speaker 3 (01:01:58):
It’s such an opportunity to change, to change our experience with it. Yes. You can Also, my website is brooke sheller.com. Okay. And there you will find access to all of my programs, more information about me. I’ve got a blog, but I do mostly content and things through Instagram where I’m posting tips and tricks and videos.
Speaker 2 (01:02:17):
Yeah. Her Instagram is chalk full of all so many good things and, and like bite size tips and, and facts and Yeah. For sure. Check it out and I’ll link everything in the show notes for you guys. So just an easy click.
Speaker 3 (01:02:32):
Yeah. And the book will publish in fall of 2023. So
Speaker 2 (01:02:36):
It’s the book.
Speaker 3 (01:02:37):
It’s, it’s still, we’ve got some time. It’s finish. We’re just kind of on the last third, I would say of, of writing it and finalizing it and, you know, putting all the pieces together. Oh my God. Um, so that won’t come out until next fall, but uh, in the meantime, all of the little snippets are coming out in, you know, in the inner wave. So
Speaker 2 (01:02:56):
That’s so exciting.
Speaker 3 (01:02:57):
Speaker 2 (01:02:59):
Thank you so much for being here. I think that this was super educational and just really inspiring. Thank you. Thank
Speaker 3 (01:03:05):
You. No, thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to, to speak to you and to your audience and, and I hope to inspire some of your listeners today.
Speaker 2 (01:03:12):
You do. You’ve inspired me so much.
Speaker 3 (01:03:15):
Oh, thank you so much. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (01:03:17):
Thank you. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Sober Mom Life. If you loved it, please rate and review it wherever you listen. Five stars is amazing. Also, follow me on Instagram at the sober mom life. Okay. I’ll see you next week. I’m gonna go reheat my coffee. Bye.