In this episode, we talk to Dr. Brooke Stuart about maximizing your potential, coming home to the present moment, and shifting your mindset, diet, and lifestyle into healing mode.
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Dr. Brooke Stuart is the founder and active president of Let Go & Grow® International and a holistic doctor in private practice, where she specializes in taking a holistic approach to mental health and high performance- assisting her patients in unlocking their own, intrinsic power to heal. Over the past twelve years, Dr. Stuart has worked with thousands of people through her online platform, speaking engagements, and one on one in private practice. Holding degrees in medical anthropology, psychology, and integrative medicine, Dr. Stuart uses a unique combination of holistic counseling and functional medicine to personalize and tailor treatments for her patients, locally, in Orlando, FL, and virtually, around the world. As a physician, she is deeply committed to her patient’s personal growth and development as she uses solution-oriented methods to clear issues, create health, and assist them in realizing and actualizing their true potential. Follow Dr. Stuart at @drbrookestuart & @letgoandgrow.
Websites: drbrookestuart.com & letgoandgrow.com
3:10: We want to shift our mindset, diet, and lifestyle into a healing mode.
8:30: As a society, we've decided to blame our genes, look for a quick fix and paint the plant green rather than putting in the work to change the landscape.
11:39: Just taking a breath of fresh air, being outside, going on a walk can change your entire state, uplift your mood, get everything processed and flowing.
12:15: If we place ourselves first if we build ourselves up, we have so much more to give to everyone and we can actually have more capacity to receive as well.
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This podcast is hosted by Allison Walsh and Dr. Angela Phillips. It is produced by Allison Walsh, Ashley Tate, and Nicole LaNeve. For more information or if you’re interested in being a guest on this podcast, please visit www.therecoveryvillage.com/dearmindyoumatter.
Allison: Hello and welcome to the Dear Mind, You Matter Podcast. My name is Allison Walsh, I am a long time mental health advocate and Vice President at Advanced Recovery Systems. On each episode I will be joined by my colleague and clinical expert, Dr. Angela Phillips. This show along with our mental health and wellness app Nobu, are just some of the ways we are working to provide you with some actionable tips to take really good care of yourself each and every day.
So sit back, relax, and grab your favorite note taking device. It's time to fill your mind with things that matter.
Dr. Brooke Stuart is the founder and active president of ‘Let Go and Grow International’ and as a holistic doctor in private practice, where she specializes in taking a holistic approach to mental health and high performance, assisting her patients in unlocking their own intrinsic power to heal.
Over the past 12 years, Dr. Stewart has worked with thousands of people through her online platform, speaking engagements, and one-on-one in private practice. Holding degrees in medical anthropology, psychology and integrative medicine. Dr. Stewart uses a unique combination of holistic counseling and functional medicine to personalize and tailor treatments for her patients.
As a physician, she is deeply committed to her patient's personal growth and development. As she uses solution oriented methods to clear issues, create health and assist them in realizing and actualizing their true potential. Welcome Dr. Stewart. Okay. Well, Dr. Stewart, thank you so much for being on the show today. Would you mind sharing a little bit more about yourself with our audience?
Dr. Stuart: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. So I'm a holistic doctor in private practice, as well as the founder of an organization called Let Go and Grow, but I got into this field for very personal reasons. I had no idea I was going to be part of the holistic field.
I literally had a number of health issues growing up, and I just found, I really struggled to find solutions, everything from acne to anxiety, to ADHD, and all kinds of sort of disorders. And I also played golf so I had this polarity of high performance, but also feeling really, really sick with a lot of chronic illness.
And I just didn't feel like I had answers that worked and so after school and different, you know, running into different mentors and the different college classes and through golf and sports psychology and whatnot. I kind of came into what I'm doing now, which is a lot of working with mental health and high performance in a holistic way.
Teaching my patients, you know, about simple, very simple mindset, diet and lifestyle techniques, sometimes therapeutic devices and supplements, anything where we can personalize a plan to really get them from where they are now to where they truly, truly want to be and kind of engage in that journey through that personalized plan in a, in a deep partnership with them really focused on the reality of the situation what's actually coming up for them and how we can work and what does and doesn't and why, and got kind of evaluation.
Angela: Amazing. Thank you so much again for being here, Brooke. We're so excited to have you, and I really appreciate it. I know Alison does too, that you really tie in your personal experience, which is vast. And we'll get to some of that, but for those of us that aren't as familiar with your work, and you've already mentioned, like go and grow.
I would love for you to just describe a little bit more about sort of the philosophy and process there and why you think this has been effective for individuals. I know teams and organizations that you've worked with.
Dr. Stuart: What I found so difficult was the kind of understanding of the fundamentals, because I was trying all of these doctors and specialty sort of devices and all of these things.
I mean, I would try anything that people would place into my way, but what I didn't realize is I didn't have a rock solid foundation. And so that's what my practice is predicated on, so when a patient comes in, the first two appointments are called the case review. So I get a very in depth, um, view of what's going on system wise with their health, everything from thyroid to relationships, to how they perceive themselves, how they're sleeping, what's their energy like throughout the day, what are their detox pathways up to, meaning; bowel movements, sweating, liver, um, liver processes and whatnot
So we really do an in depth overview, but then in the second appointment, we basically go over a plan. And a lot of the, what I find in the first four months of working with most people is that we absolutely want to shift mindset, diet, and lifestyle into a healing mode, because if we can assist with that landscape, everything, any specialty or organization does is going to stick more.
For example, if somebody has low energy, right, and they're taking a medication for it, or stimulant like coffee, they are never going to have, uh, the well of energy they desire if they're eating foods that compete against their system, or they're not sleeping well at night. So what I work to do is to really, really optimize the things that we know are going to be effective.
To get them kind of into that healing mode. And I find that most of the people that come to me, that's the issue that they have. It's like one step forward two steps back, these recirculated cycles. It's so frustrating because they have all of the desire in the world that they want to pour into something effective, but it's just not, they're just not gaining any traction.
And so it's a really defeating process. So that's where we just go back to basics. We focus on the fundamentals. Even simple things like perception, how to get into the present moment, how to connect with yourself, how to access your power of choice, how to redefine, who, what, where you are to kind of shift into that healing mode.
And, um, and then of course, tailoring it along the way.
Allison: Well, I mean, I'm about to ask how do I sign up, but everything about, you know, really optimizing your life right. And being able to be the high-performer that so many people want to be. They're striving to be, whether it's in work and life, how they show up.
But yet, if it's not balanced and there's not, and you're not moving in the right direction, it does feel like that one step forward and two steps back. And I think even after this last year and a half too, like, people are feeling differently than they were before as a result of just having to do life differently.
So I'm fascinated by everything that you bring to the table here. I'm so excited to continue the conversation. So I know you talk a lot about like untapped potential and putting yourself first, and I'm obsessed with this concept of radiant energy. Cause I immediately just think of like glowing. So can you talk a little bit more about that and share with the audience what you mean when you talk about radiant energy?
Dr. Stuart: Absolutely. So I think something that happens as we achieve health, right. And maybe we start from a place of, of addiction, right. We come in with all of these health issues. Well, how can we build out health, even in the midst of it, because we're all human, right.
We're always going to have these struggles, these challenges, but how can we build out health, even in the midst of that? And so this is where I think a lot of like the dirty stuff, the darker stuff, that's where a lot of untapped potential lies, especially if we shift our perspective in kind of like, how can we mobilize addiction?
How can we understand what it's potentially bringing up in us, what it's doing for us? And, um, and how can we treat it accordingly just by even connecting with the fact that it exists, but equally, how can we build out this expansive, robust, radiant kind of field of energy that's within us and all around us and this is where I find that and actually the Institute of heart math has a really interesting visual and it's called this thing called the toroidal field.
And I show all my patients this on the first visit because it's basically this energetic field that goes from your heart and it kind of like builds out almost like that Cinderella, pumpkin sort of look, and everyone can look it up and I'll give you guys a link, but it's basically the way I see it is that that gets ever more expansive.
You know, as we focus on pouring into mindset, diet, lifestyle, and accessing our, our power of choice and in this kind of expansion, a lot of habits unhook, for example, there's a study called the rat park study. That's really, really interesting. That basically shows that if you put a rat and I'm sure you guys are part of this, but in a community and a healthy sort of like rat heaven sort of box versus kind of like a rat hell work, cocaine's the only thing that they can get a hit from.
Basically they will choose to withdraw because they're focused on so many healthy fundamentals and they will put themselves through the withdrawal period just to kind of get to the other side. So if we build ourselves up with healthy communities, with healthy self-dialogue, self-talk through the lens of the present moment, focused on that healthy eating, focus on things that lifestyle tasks, just like sleep.
Our energy just expands and these habits that work against us begin to kind of fall off naturally as we kind of move forward, building the new in that way, where we want to really look at both that torque and not be so afraid to look at the dark side either. Because there's so much untapped potential in that as well.
We don't want to just build, you know, place a ton of flowers on top of, you know, a garbage can or something like that. We want to dig up the weeds. We want to dig up the dirt, create a landscape that's conducive for health and growth. And so that's I think, um, potentially answered the question.
Angela: No, that's fantastic. Yeah, that actually reminds me of, I think it's a quote on your website, maybe.
So I'm going to read this and see if you remember writing this. Um, but what I'm thinking here is, so for those who might be interested or curious about approaching their, their mental health or their health and wellness from this more like holistic model that, that you really put forth, um, because either what they're doing right now, isn't working or for all of the millions of reasons, right.
That you probably saw something too. I just wanted to read this. Because I think it's a really great analogy that you sort of tie in here. So you sort of say, you know, “as a society, we've decided to blame our genes, look for a quick fix and paint the plant green, rather than putting in the work to change the landscape.
We've chosen to suppress symptoms and to just get by rather than, you know, the roots looking at that and learning how to thrive, however, there's this other more promising option’. So can you tell us about the components of that option that you've already spoken to a little bit?
Dr. Stuart: So I think there’s definitely a place for the quote unquote “bandaid” or “the pill” for an ill sort of thing, because for example, even a wound, right?
If you place a band-aid on top of it, that's helpful. I mean, that's going to give it space to heal in terms of the specifics of mindset, diet, lifestyle, the things that I mean. If you think about the nervous system, how can we send our nervous system, a signal of safety? We want to basically send choices that match the way our system responds.
So for example, when it comes to mindset, if we're able to connect. And observe ourselves versus disconnect and judge ourselves harshly. Right? We all know what that friend feels like, that we can come as we are, say anything to, and it's met with open arms and a loving heart versus somebody that's going to harshly judge us.
We're going to contract feel recoiled in that fight flight freeze sort of mode, versus that calm, connected, expressive mode. That's able to kind of shift our response into a more, more that one of that's of which is more conducive to healing. But when we have time to kind of come back into the present moment and review it and actually reflect on the experience, this is where we have that opportunity to shift the experience in the here and now.
And so mindset wise, those are just some things to actually kind of consider and it all starts, I believe, truly, with, uh, an idea of that, who, what, where. Meaning, how can we begin to change? Well, we have to return to the present moment and begin to see ourselves as able to change as the creator of our reality, simply because we have the power to choose choices, how we interact with life, how we perceive it, how we interpret it, the practical choices that we choose each day.
What are we. We're capable. We're important. We're unique. We're beautiful. All of these things that expand us into that parasympathetic mode, um, in terms of diet, what I really mean is a whole food oriented anti-inflammatory diet. I typically will place my patients on a reset protocol to start. So we'll typically eliminate things like gluten, dairy, processed food, harsh chemicals, things that potentially won't match what the system or that we're curious if it does affect their system so that we can kind of take inventory and see what it's like, if we reintroduce them them later, so I’ll bring them on a reset diet. And in the literature, this is typically called an elimination provocation diet.
A lot of practitioners are very, very familiar. Whole 30 is kind of, um, a household name that a lot of people love and get great results from. So that's something people could look into lifestyle wise. We absolutely need to make sure sleep is doing well. That you're moving. I mean, just taking a breath of fresh air, being outside, going on a walk, it can change your entire state, uplift your mood, get everything processing and flowing.
And what I always remind my patients as well is that sleep is never just really about sleep. Diets is never really just about diet. It's definitely that definitive aspect of, oh, well I am important, you know, prioritizing my health is important. I can place myself first. What if I did come first? You know, it's a whole new conversation that happens inside, that we struggle with and that we also have to work to detangle, that choosing of the-self.
But the beautiful part is once we understand how it works, that if we place ourselves first, if we build ourselves up, we'd have so much more to give to everyone. And we can actually have more capacity to receive as well from them, which then in turns, creates kind of like this figure eight of health with both parties.
So, um, just some things to think about. And then of course, meditation, um, relaxation, things that bring joy, all of these things really matter.
Allison: I love how you really stress that it's about putting yourself first. Right. And that the joy that, that can bring too, but it can also bring up for some people feeling like, well, I don't deserve that, you know?
And so I really love that you stress that. So thank you for doing that. And you know, for some people they might have tried some of this. Right. And they might've said, oh, I've tried meditation or I've tried adjusting my diet, but it hasn't really worked out yet. How do you get them to try again or give it another shot and be a little bit more open to trying things maybe a little bit differently this time.
Dr. Stuart: I find strangely enough, I feel like a lot of people have tried things in parts, but maybe not as a whole. And so I kind of see like each choice, as confidence or kind of tokens in a confidence bank or tokens within energy. What we want to do is build up someone's energy so that every choice that they make becomes easier and easier, so we can continue to make changes with momentum moving forward.
So if somebody has resistance to it, I typically just start with perspective, um, redefining that who, what, where, you know, kind of relaying that the past is not predictive of the future, that we can come home to the present moment. We can review all of the experiences from the past and learn from those experiences and take them as value added, moving into the future so that we can kind of set it free and kind of create from what all that we can do in the here and now.
So I kind of tried to clear the slate like that at first, because that was then, this is now. And there is so much that we can do by focusing on all that you are, all that you have, and all that you can do. And typically where I'll start is what feels most easiest to that patient. So some people may feel a lot of openness in working with mental and emotional health.
Other people may be more inclined to work on diet and the physiology, one thing will lead to another and we'll get to it all. Some people may be interested in each piece, but I find that as long as there's an openness and a receptivity there we will execute. The commitment will come, especially like the commitments already there, because we're talking on the phone or they're, um, you know, in touch or even listening to a podcast like this.
Oh my gosh. The receptivity available to somebody listening to something growth oriented. I think we all want to change. We just don't always know how and certain ideas will spark, um, and resonate. Uh, some people and, you know, some won't, but I think the up receptivity is probably the most important making ourselves available, um, to, to kind of like hear new, new ideas and move forward from that space.
Angela: Absolutely. The first step is just being open to it and being here and since a lot of people are, and whoever is listening to this, we've got them right now. Right? So as an extremely or what, I think it won't be an extremely practical tool or skill that everyone can benefit from. And maybe you agree. I wondered if you could share how you came to the three minute heart-based practice and maybe even walk us through you know, the why and how we can practice it.
Dr. Stuart: Absolutely It's so simple. And this is literally the first prescription I give to every single one of my patients on the first visit. I email it to them, but I also walk them through it. I find that meditation and mindfulness can feel like such a big topic.
People think they need to go on these, you know, two week retreats to get results, but truly all of the results can be found in three minutes and there's tons of research on this, but basically we can change our state just by choosing to change our state, literally. And there's three ways to primarily change our state and that's physiologically actually changing.
So let's say you're kind of like in a strange sort of mood and you get up, take a walk or dance. You're automatically a smile is going to come to your face with the heart-based practice. We basically place our hands on our heart and tune in to feel our heartbeat. The other ways are through perception and through the language of which we speak to ourselves.
So this is where I try to kind of pack all of this into one exercise and use it as a reminder of who, what, and where you are. So it's kind of like when we're in a dark space, let's not go dark for too long when we're aware of it. So it's that idea of when we remember to remember. Let's actually remember and remind ourselves that we have all the agency, all the powers are within us.
And even if we don't know where to go, let's begin to kind of go within, by reconnecting to our heartbeat, to ourselves, to actually reset by returning to the present moment, gathering our faculties, coming home to the present moment and remembering all that we are. All that we have and all that we can do, because if we're looking at that sympathetic fight flight freeze, this is where we can actually mobilize and expand when we're starting to kind of message that this is possible and not having our focus develop what, the direction that we kind of want to gain traction.
And, so the heart-based practice is a quite literal hands on heart for three minutes and that whole idea of reconnecting, resetting, and remembering, knowing that your heart is such a resource and truly just by even if you didn't believe in the heart-based practice or anything to do with meditation, just placing your hands on your heart releases, a cascade of neurochemicals that changes your state and brings your system into that state of coherence.
So it connects, heart with brain with gut with the whole entire system, it's kind of like a command center. And basically what we're doing is we're interrupting autopilot and choosing expansion and growth so that we can enter into that minute 3.01 for a little bit more shifted, a little bit differently and a little in that, a little bit more of that expansive way.
So I find with just three minutes, you can literally change the course of your day and taking that time is such a statement to yourself and it's that self care commitment piece, the companion to intention that makes it so powerful. And so that's something anyone can do anywhere at any time, you know, placing your hands over your heart and just shifting, choosing to shift into that next moment.
For the better, with a little bit more, more openness.
Allison: I love that, and I think that that is something that's so simple and we always have with us and we can use that as a reset and that is so powerful and those three minutes are going to pass anyways. So you might as well do a reset for yourself, right?
Like move yourself forward. So I love that tip. Thank you so much for that. And so now for one of the questions that we love to ask, all of our guests on our show is, at this moment in your life, What matters the most to you?
Dr. Stuart: You know what I, um, strangely enough, I have been such a workaholic, but literally this year, I, I'm learning to have fun for the first time in my life.
I went to the fair earlier this year. I mean, I've never written a carnival ride in my life, and I had much fun. Um, and I actually find that my time expands as I'm having fun. So I'm increasingly productive, which is mind blowing to me. I had no idea that would be the case, but that has been something that's been on my mind this year, is just kind of like an even enjoying my experiences, you know, in my work more.
And just, how can I bring more joy? Like how can I actually embody that energy and connect more in that way? Because I find like, things like love and joy. They actually connect us to this learning process in such a way, because I think the love for learning gets kind of taken out of us at a young age at some point.
And I feel like I'm finally within like this last year. I mean, obviously it's been such a transformative year and a half for absolutely everyone. That's something, you know, that, that truly this pandemic has brought to me is that space to take that big pause, to reevaluate things and to just unwind, breathe, and allow things like fun and joy to kind of bubble up.
So that's been an interesting experience, but other than that, my family, my golden doodle, Zoey, I mean she's the best.
Angela: I'm so glad that you've been able to do that during this time, like so many have I think really, but, um, Brooke, thank you so much for joining us today. Please share how our listeners can follow you on social media or otherwise.
Dr. Stuart: Absolutely, thank you so much for having me and for all of the incredible work you guys are doing, it’s so cool. I'm definitely a fan. And, um, and truly, um, if anybody's interested in our work. drbrookestuart.com. Dr. brookestuart.com has all the links. We're also on Instagram and, um, and that's it.
Allison: Well, thank you so much for being on the show today.
It was awesome to connect and thank you so much for sharing so many valuable tips with us.
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