Gut Health, Skin Care and Pioneering the Bone Broth Revolution
Gut Health, Skin Care and Pioneering the Bone Broth Revolution

"A lot of health and wellness comes from the way we think, and we can never let that escape us. A lot of it is just understanding a way to put yourself in the most positive state as often as you can." 

- Dr. Kellyann Petrucci

Elizabeth welcomes Dr. Kellyann, a renowned nutrition expert, New York Times Bestselling author, and leading voice in the world of health and wellness. Not only is Kellyann a successful entrepreneur who has transformed her small business into a $150 million empire, but she is a motivational speaker and advocate for women-run businesses. In their conversation, Dr. Kellyann shares her tips for staying healthy and vibrant, and what made her realize the life changing transformative power of bone broth. She shares her favorite strategies for healing the gut, reducing inflammation and guiding the body into a natural fat burning state.

During our conversation, Dr. Kellyann opens up about her own health struggles, which ultimately led her to become a naturopathic doctor. She shares her profound insights on using food as medicine to help clients heal. As the pioneer of bone broth, we delve into its myriad benefits, from aiding in weight loss to enhancing energy, sleep quality, and skin health. Dr. KellyAnn generously shares her favorite strategies for healing the gut, reducing inflammation, and guiding the body into a natural fat-burning state. Tune in for a transformative discussion on the power of nutrition and holistic well-being.


    Elizabeth Stein 0:00
    Hi, everyone. I'm Elizabeth Stein, founder, and CEO of Purely Elizabeth. And this is Live Purely with Elizabeth, featuring candid conversations about how to thrive on your wellness journey.
    This week's guest is Dr. Kellyann, a world-renowned nutrition expert, New York Times bestselling author, and leading voice in health and wellness. A frequent contributor on TV programs like Good Morning America, and The Talk. She's also the host of her own highly-rated PBS special. An entrepreneur who turned her small business into a $150 million year empire, Sse makes regular appearances across the country as a motivational speaker and advocate for women-run businesses. In this episode, we talked about how Dr. Kellyann’s health struggles led her to become a naturopathic doctor and how she uses food as medicine to help her clients heal. As the pioneer of bone broth, we dive into all the benefits from helping with weight loss to improving energy and sleep and plumping your skin. Dr. KellyAnn also shares some of her other favorites for healing the gut, calming inflammation, and getting the body to a natural fat-burning state. So many great tips and wellness hacks to feel your best. Keep listening to learn more. And if you want to try any of her bone broths and collagen, head on over to for 20% off using code, PURELIZ20. Enjoy. Dr. Kellyann, welcome to the podcast. I'm so excited to finally connect with you. I feel like it was ages ago that we connected and excited to hear your story and share all of your knowledge with our community.

    Dr. Kellyann 2:01
    Yeah, me too. I'm so happy to be here. And I was just saying offline for a second that it's a thrill for me because you're such an innovator and a disrupter yourself, that I love speaking to women like yourself. So I'm thrilled to be here.

    Elizabeth Stein 2:15
    Oh, thank you so much. So that start at the beginning of your wellness journey that share your background. And first really what interested you in stepping into this world of health and wellness and becoming a naturopathic physician.

    Dr. Kellyann 2:31
    It was never a choice because even as a young girl, I was always looking at the ingredients on the back of the cereal, always curious about what was in the food. Going to the library and always going to the health section. My friends were reading the Cosmo Glamour and I was reading a diabetes journal. It was always in my DNA, it was always who I was and who I was going to become. They were always lifestyles to try to point me in that direction. But what was the clincher for me, Elizabeth, was I suffered terribly when I was younger with menstrual cramps, but not just a little cramps, I was completely knocked out for about five days. And the week preceding that, I made sure that I managed my calendar in such a way that nothing was coming up on those five days because I knew I was going to be sick. And then I was so depleted and worn out for five days after, couldn't even take a sip of water. So it was 15 days out of 30 I didn't feel well. And every single doctor I went to said the same thing you should A) go on the birth control pill and take it straight through with no break. You should consider having some form of hysterectomy, or some surgical removal. And the last thing that got me is it's very unlikely you're going to be able to have children. So, those were my three truths.

    Elizabeth Stein 4:00
    And at what age had this start did this start for you?

    Dr. Kellyann 4:04
    It started very young, I was 12, or 13 when I got this information. And nobody knew what to do. And my mom, after a while, she just gave up and it was just, I'm going to just shut the bedroom door and let her deal with this until it's done because she did try everything and nothing was working. It was only when I started getting into fitness and bodybuilding. I was starting to do these bodybuilding and fitness shows that I was working with a gym and they wanted me to do this fitness show. So, they hooked me up and sponsored me in this show with a trainer. And the trainer, the first thing they said was, “Listen. To lean out towards the end of our time together, you're going to have to go off gluten and dairy.” And the first thing I said was what in the heck is gluten? I had no idea what it what it even was. I was 19 at this time, I think. And so I said, “I don't know what this is.” And it was unbelievable. There's so much more to the story. But I will just say after the first month, I was probably 50%-60% better, and so much better. By the third month, by three months, I had no menstrual cramps whatsoever. So, that experience coupled with the fact that I was always steered towards health wellness in some way, there was no choice in what I was going to do. It was very clear to me, I was going to go into some form of medicine. I didn't know what kind, but I knew it had to be natural. I didn't want to spend time learning about a lot of pharmacology, I wanted to spend time learning modalities and treatments, and anything I could get my hands on, that could help people get their bodies back into balance and give at least an option toward a healthier road. And that's why I do what I do. And I've been doing it for almost 30 years now.

    Elizabeth Stein 5:59
    That's amazing. I mean, you saw so quickly firsthand food as medicine. It had a bit had to have been such an incredible feeling for you. And at the same time, it was like nobody was even telling me. Dr. Nobody said this. And then here you have somebody at the gym suggesting it. So, you're lucky you at least have that person in your life. And now that you're able to provide that for so many people you have affected and helped and transformed their lives along the way.

    Dr. Kellyann 6:30
    They always say that there's a message in your mass and that things happen for a reason. And all these things that we weigh. And I will tell you, in my case, it certainly was true. I was going through all of that, so I could be a part of women's health. And I could start to key in and listen and pay attention to signs in a different way. And certainly understanding how powerful our body is, how powerful our body's innate system is, and how it does want to always be healing and work for us and not against us. As soon as I gave, what my body needed, it just started performing on a completely different level. By the way, I have two beautiful boys now, and for a long time, I thought, had I not had that thing inside of me whatever it was towards health and healing and getting me towards that, I may have listened to a doctor which would have prevented that from happening. Though it was a gift and I know I was meant to do this, I guess I'm considered one of the health and wellness OGs for sure.

    Elizabeth Stein 7:38
    Absolutely. So on that note, can you describe a naturopathic physician? What does that mean for people? And what's your approach to healing and nutrition?

    Dr. Kellyann 7:51
    Well, we're gonna hear a lot more about naturopathic than we have in the former years. And the reason why it's starting to get a hold is because it's working. And a lot of the things that people are looking for now happen to fall under that paradigm. Here's what naturopathic medicine is. It's a paradigm change from a regular family doctor. If you go to your family doctor, for instance, and you say you can't sleep, one of the things that they may do is say, let's prescribe some Ambien for you. That's what a medical doctor would do in most cases. Unless you go to a functional medicine doctor, and they have more in their arsenal, but for most cases, you're going to hear something along those lines. It's going to be a medicine. You go to a naturopathic doctor, they're going to assess you on many different levels. And they're going to say things like, is the room cold enough? What functional medicine tests can we look at that look deeper into the situation? Let's look at things like maybe your thyroid. Let's look at things like your adrenal glands. They look deeper into the system, and they may prescribe something like GABA, or they may prescribe something like melatonin or valerian or other more natural substances to naturally calm the nervous system. So to answer the question, think of it like a family practitioner, but someone who is in a different paradigm. Their Arsenal is different. I think the best ones are the ones that are open and complimentary to medical doctors who work within their paradigm, and they work together to find the answers.

    Elizabeth Stein 9:34
    That's great. That's a really good explanation of it.

    Dr. Kellyann 9:39
    Oh, you think I haven’t been asked that before? Many times.

    Elizabeth Stein 9:43
    Well, it's confusing and there are so many terms that are around these days that I think they set the stage for everyone. So what is your approach to nutrition and healing?

    Dr. Kellyann 9:55
    The first thing I think about is that we have to understand how we're made and we are muscles and bones. But we're also atoms and molecules. So I look at the body as a whole, I look at the body energetically, I look at the body structurally. And I dig into things like the prime movers of the body. And one of the prime movers of the body is the gut, and gut health that we hear so much about, which has to do with everything from the moment you take a bite of food, to what happens to that food as it transacts through the body. You take a bite of it, and what happens to that food, all of the organs that are encompassed in that? Your esophagus, your liver, your gallbladder, your small intestine, your large intestine, your stomach, all of those things are part of your gut health. And the one thing that I know is that when your gut health starts to become compromised, so do you. That's when things start to go downhill fast. So I pay close attention to things like gut health, I pay close attention to things like your liver. Your liver is a very important organ, you want to keep that in a clean state as much as you can. There's a large part of the population that is walking around with things like fatty liver. And these are very commonplace. So I look at the hierarchy of the body and how are they being affected. Structurally, how are they being affected energetically? And how far have they strayed away from their functional or foundational foods? Because we do have foods, no doubt about it, that work best with the body. The New England Journal of Medicine researched this some time ago. And that's a very well-respected journal. And it's one of the things that I read early on in my career that went, whoa, wait a minute. If this is so, why not this? Why are we not paying attention to this information that we have and telling more people that there are foods that do work best for our body, and then we can stray out depending on lifestyle, depending on the things that we've been exposed to in our life? we can stray out but not too far. And when we go too far from these foundational foods, which are healthy proteins, which are energy, carbohydrates, which are fibers, cards, carbohydrates, which are healthy fats, which are nuts, and seeds, and we'd have fruit, when we stray too far away from those, I guess you'd call them non processed, healthy foods. When we stray too far, then we start to compromise gut health and all of these other functions and structures in the body.

    Elizabeth Stein 12:47
    So when you talk about gut health and liver functioning being two of those core pieces of our overall health, do you do testing to measure one's health? Or in terms of gut, you're seeing, am I bloated? Am I gassy, etc? Is that part of an observance or a test?

    Dr. Kellyann 13:11
    Well, there is gut mapping. And there are all kinds of tests that people can do. So what I do now, at this point in my career, and having listened to women for 30 years now, by my intake, I know how compromised most people are just from the normal things that they do in life, that we become compromised. If I think that they need some testing, I’ll make sure that they get into the hands of some of these great practitioners who can do further testing. In most cases, there are things that you can do to make a big difference to strengthen that gut without a lot of testing. If somebody has a chronic problem, or they're feeling like they can't go on with their normal activities in a day, that's a different situation, than you need to dig deeper into.

    Elizabeth Stein 13:59
    Let’s dive into some of those favorite things of yours for gut health. And I know one of them is certainly bone broth. How did you come upon bone broth, let’s talk about this wonderful superfood, so to speak.

    Dr. Kellyann 14:13
    Well, when I started in health and nutrition, I did a lot of my studying in Europe. I studied through the Paracelsus Klinik through Dr. Thomas Rau, who is Swiss medicine, and it was how you decided on that program too. Because I was taking a lot of different classes through this German Institute, learning different modalities and different techniques, things like something called the Mora. Mora was a way that you could do some incredible allergy testing and all these different modalities, and it was very European. And through that group, and through taking classes in naturopathic in London, and being the only American in the class, you learn so many different things and have so many different exposures to so many different philosophies and thoughts. It’s fascinating that I wanted to study further how you can assess the body differently. And that did that for me. It made all the difference in how I think about medicine, how I think about nutrition, learning through that Swiss clinic, and learning Swiss biological medicine through the Paracelsus Klinik changed my life. It changed everything. So when I started to practice, and when I started to talk about a lot of these things that I learned, and by the way, they weren't talking about gut health back then. But the Europeans were. They were talking about that in these groups. And they were talking about anti-inflammatory foods. Roughly, it had to be 90s. No one was talking about this yet. So when I came back and I brought it here, everyone said the same thing. You have to write a book. And that's when the exploration started. The more research I did, and the more studying I did, I started becoming very attracted to this idea of Paleolithic medicine, or Paleolithic nutrition, meaning how do things affect your genetics? And what are our foundational foods? What are the foods that we should be eating most of the time? And why? How does it affect our body? And I started researching this, and by the way, I didn't even have a website at the time, and I ended up getting a five-book deal with Wiley Publishing. I wrote five different paleo-based books. And through this process, I kept coming across this broth. The tribes in the band would use this broth. And it was so fascinating to me, that I started researching more and more. And that was bone broth. And I thought, gosh, Florence Nightingale is bringing it to these hospitals to open the gut to healing. What does that mean? And so the more I studied it, and the more I started to use bone broth myself, I thought, oh, is there ever something here? And then I did some test groups. I studied it and it seemed typical to get results. I knew that this was something very special. It has been. It created a whole food category. It is not slowing down. People are still loving bone broth. We're constantly innovating more soups, more frozen soups, and more dried soups, people can't get enough of them. And the reason why it's taken hold is it does make people feel better. It just simply does. It's great for gut healing. It's a great source of collagen. It's got amino acids in there, it's got minerals in there. What's so unique is this form of gelatin in bone broth is so good for the gut, that I defy anyone to find anything better for the gut than a great natural whole foods source of collagen. And gelatin is cooked collagen. And that's what it is. It's been incredible what I've seen. And if you go on our private Facebook pages, and see what people are saying and how it's helped them, you'll know what my inspiration is every day. I see these women who are struggling with so many different things. And they start incorporating, not taking away but adding food into their diet. And it's making such an incredible difference. And so that's, I believe, my legacy and something I'm proud of. Being the first person in the marketplace to talk about bone broth, I was going to make sure that somehow this was brought back to the table. I did a PBS special. I wrote an entire book about it called the bone broth diet, and spoke relentlessly on so many podcasts and everything that you can imagine when this first came out. And it did set fire. The world was ready to hear it. And they were ready for something different. And that's when those forces meet. And when that happens, that's when the ultimate collision happens. And it was set on fire. And here we are still today.

    Elizabeth Stein 19:34
    I mean, talk about being an innovator. You were a true pioneer and innovator in this space and brought this amazing healing food to market. So as you see in your groups and work with women, what is the best protocol for utilizing bone broth to heal the gut?

    Dr. Kellyann 19:56
    Well, there are a couple of different protocols.

    Elizabeth Stein 20:01
    You can caveat that. Everyone's unique and different but something generalized.

    Dr. Kellyann 20:06
    For sure. There are a couple of different ways you can use it. Let me just go through some of them. One of them is for weight loss. People want to use bone broth to get to a healthy weight. So when someone comes to me and says, “Dr. Kelly, I just would feel so much better, and I have these issues going on, and they're related to weight, what can I do?” Well, I love having people use bone broth with fasting. That's one of the reasons why it became so popularized and why it works so well with women. If you do a five-two type of plan, or two days a week, you sip on bone broth, and you have one light meal at night, which is just a protein and a vegetable. And most people have a pretty easy time doing this. That was one of the things when I did the test groups that was the most surprising to me.

    Elizabeth Stein 21:05
    Because it's just so nourishing that your body is feeling like it's getting everything that it needs.

    Dr. Kellyann 21:10
    I think that's what happens a lot of times. I think that people are so low, in so many of the great qualities of bone broth, that they start perking up and they start feeling better. And if they have several cups of bone broth a day, they don't feel hungry. Every couple of hours if they have some bone broth, because if you think about it, it's like the perfect storm in nutrition. Because it doesn't have the calories, it has all the nutrition. So it's just the perfect storm for people who are feeling so many of the things that we see. They're feeling tired, they're feeling bloated, they feel like they want to lose a little weight there, they feel like their skin has lost its luster. They're having mitochondrial dysfunction, meaning that they're feeling like your body's not doing what it needs to get that mitochondrial turning to give you the energy that you need. They're having issues sleeping at night. One of the things I love about bone broth is the glycine in there, I call it the greatest oxymoron, because not only does it help you relax and sleep at night, but because you're more restored, it gives you more energy during the day.

    Elizabeth Stein 22:21
    That’s a great tip. Should you sip on it at night? Or doesn't matter whether it's at night or earlier in the day for sleep purposes?

    Dr. Kellyann 22:31
    For sleep purposes, a little bit during the day gets you in that state where your body is more relaxed, but I always have it at night, if I can't sleep. It’s one of the best things, we talk a lot about great things like magnesium and all these other helpful tools. I love magnesium, but bone broth should be on that list as well because it does help. And the other thing about glycine is that for people that are trying to lose weight, one of the things that we see a lot is the loss of muscle mass. We don't want to go through that muscle sparing when we're trying to when we're trying to lose that bloat or lose some weight. And glycine is amazing and helps you hold on to that lean tissue, that lean muscle. That's why when people are doing a lot of our programs with bone broth, they don't have that look of… that skin that you feel is not you can tell that the skin is not getting what it needs. And this is a whole different weight loss, you feel much healthier and much more nourished. Another way that you can use this is by having two cups a day. You can either do a couple of days a week, I'm going to intermittent fast with the broth, and I'm going to have a light meal at night. Another way I can do this is I'm going to add two cups a day because I don't want to hear anything about a program. I'm not interested in any of that. And that sounds too hard for me. If you just want to get some benefits, then two cups of bone broth a day is incredible for getting people on the right track. Then they start feeling better and they start wanting to add other good lifestyle principles and practices into play. That's a great way to just start using bone broth. There are ways that you can do bone broth that I love. You can put them in an ice cube tray. And anytime you want to saute anything. Any recipe that calls for water, you just throw in those cubes. And it's so easy. We just had an article that was published in Good Housekeeping. It talked about how you can use bone broth in ice cream. So you can make you know bone broth. There are so many things that we make with bone broth, bone broth cocktail is really helpful because we know that alcohol is like a big gut destroyer but a lot of people don't want to hear that, they still want a cocktail. This is like a magic eraser for the gut issues that people have with alcohol. There are lots of ways you can implement it. If you just want to get some bone broth into your diet, two cups a day, you can use it with intermittent fasting. Or you can just do broth-loading soups. You can make Hearty meals using bone broth by just using the base, the bone broth brick base, and loading it up with the stuff that you love. Great protein, vegetables wherever you want. And you cannot go wrong with that. And let me tell you, souping is smart to do. Because that is how you feel more energized. You weigh less at the end of every year when you're banking in how do I look this year? You look a lot better when you breathe because you're not getting all those extra snacks or perhaps calories that you don't want, not the good calories you want. You don't even want to think about calories, you just want to be able to eat foods that you know are best for your body. And naturally, your body can handle these in a very different way.

    Elizabeth Stein 26:04
    I feel like when I sip on bone broth, it just instantly feels nourishing. Like I'm doing something good for my body. And you talked about feeling good and healing the gut. I know there's a lot of benefits for skin as well. How does bone broth affect our glowing skin?

    Dr. Kellyann 26:26
    It's one of my favorite things about bone broth. A lot of the diets that you go on, if you think about it like a bouncy ball, you want your skin to look the luster and demeanor to just be there. And a lot of times when we're doing other things to be healthy, it takes away from that. The thing about bone broth is that cooked collagen and that gelatin, all of that the minerals, everything in there, it plumps your skin up. And here's what it does. The mechanics behind this is that it heals and seals your gut. This is important because our gut wall is very thin. And the amazing thing about this whole gut biome that we talk about is your intestines are very long. They're 20-some feet long and narrow. And that's wound up inside of you. It's a narrow, long tube. And you can see how you want to keep things cleansed and not clogged. One of the things that this beautiful bone broth does is it goes in there and helps to cleanse you. So you're cleansed and you're not clogged. And that clipped collagen is like Spanx for the face. Because we need collagen to keep us uplifting. It's an upbuilding, uplifting type of thing. And that cooked collagen not only is cleansing you all the time, but it's pulling that skin upward. So, we have structure to our skin.

    Elizabeth Stein 27:56
    Just to clarify, what are the differences then between bone broth, and then taking collagen on its own?

    Dr. Kellyann 28:06
    Well, the big difference is, is that bone broth is the most whole food source that you're going to get of collagen and all of these other properties. There's a lot more in bone broth than just collagen. What I tell people is, if you like warm foods, warm soups, and things like that, your best bet is to get it from soups and bone broth. If however, you're a shape person, or you just want to put a little bit of collagen in a food, then I love adding collagen. People who use just collagen notice a big difference in their skin. They notice a big difference in the diameter of their hair, their hair seems to get thicker and fuller. So, there are differences. But there's no mistake about it bone broth is the most whole food source of collagen and you've got the minerals in there. You've got the amino acids in there, so it's more complete and complex.

    Elizabeth Stein 29:08
    Okay, that's great for us. Great for our skin. What are some of your other favorites for glowing, beautiful skin, whether it's eating or any other acts up your sleeve?

    Dr. Kellyann 29:21
    I'll talk a little bit about non-food for a minute. I love all the different microcurrent pieces that they have. The microcurrent devices are great. There are a lot of them that you can even use remotely from your phone. So you'll push into your phone, the program that you want to do through your skin. And that microcurrent goes in and it lifts the skin. I liked that. It's great. You have a little device and then you set whatever setting that you want onto your phone and the phone operates the device.

    Elizabeth Stein 29:58
    Okay, I thought you were saying that a phone turns into a microcurrent device. Have I been hiding under a rock?

    Dr. Kellyann 30:06
    So, I love microcurrent. Because we talk a lot about all the things that we do to our skin. And this is just something that you can do naturally, that makes a very big difference. I love microcurrent I love red light.

    Elizabeth Stein 30:18
    I just had Joanna Vargas on the podcast. Have you been to her place in New York?

    Dr. Kellyann 30:25
    I have not.

    Elizabeth Stein 30:26
    Well, she was talking all about microcurrents.

    Dr. Kellyann 30:30
    Yeah, there are quite a few of them. She's exceptional, I'm sure. It's just really very beneficial. Because a lot of us are doing a lot of things to get that skin uplifted, that we might not have to do because the microcurrent is like a foundational help. So, I like that. And I like the red light, the red light I find to be healing. And I noticed a difference with the red light. So that's another great skin hack. And the other thing is, do something every day that's, what I call, like a mini cleanse. So things that keep your skin very cleansed. I love things like lemon water, which is a great one. Just sipping on lemon water is fantastic for keeping your skin supple, and for keeping your eyes nice and white. It's getting that mini cleanse every day that makes a difference with all your organs and makes a difference with your skin. You can't negate the fact that these healthy fats are tremendous for our skin because our cells have this membrane around them. And those healthy fats go in there. And they make those cells react in a way that they're not clumped together, they're not like a swamp. It keeps your cells flowing smoothly, and it makes your skin beautiful.

    Elizabeth Stein 31:54

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