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Saying Goodbye to Lupus and Other Autoimmune Diseases with Brooke Goldner, MD: PYP 227

When Brooke Goldner, MD, was 16 years old, she was told by her doctors that she probably had about six months to live. Her lupus, a chronic autoimmune condition that commonly attacks joints and skin, had gone after her kidneys, and it didn't look like they (and she) could be saved.

Thankfully, the weekly chemotherapy worked well enough to stomp on her immune system, and it gave her kidneys and the rest of her a break and allowed her to grow up and have a fairly normal life.

Goldner decided that however short her time on this planet, she wanted to make it count. She excelled at school, entered med school despite warnings that the stressful lifestyle could trigger debilitating relapses. Despite these health setbacks occurring, she became a doctor and began her intern year of residency hoping to keep her lupus at bay.

Through a series of events worthy of a fortune cookie, a romance novel and a Hallmark Channel movie rolled into one, Dr. Goldner married a celebrity fitness trainer, Thomas Tadlock. As she said during our conversation, “I thought I would wear a white coat, but never a white dress.”

In her desire to “look hot” at the wedding, Dr. Goldner followed her fiancé's nutritional protocol, leaving out the free-range organic meat he was then recommending since she was a lacto-ovo-vegetarian.

Tadlock's rules eliminated dairy and eggs, however, so that left whole plant foods exclusively.

And within a couple of days, Dr. Goldner realized that this “hyper-nourishing diet” was doing something for her body than no medical intervention could touch: it was eliminating her lupus. Not managing. Not keeping in remission. But making it go away.

I don't want to spoil the rest of the story for you, since it's so much more powerful in Dr. Goldner's own words.

We covered:

  • the mechanisms of autoimmune disease
  • her mother's insistence that she plan her life rather than believe the medical death sentence
  • “your purpose is greater than this challenge”
  • suffering mini strokes in med school
  • using gratitude as a healing tool
  • telling her boyfriend about her lupus – and why they couldn't get married (and his amazing reply)
  • the medical assumption that nutrition has nothing to do with disease
  • the difference between Dr. Goldner's healing protocol and other variations of the whole food, plant-based diet
  • the secret: high doses of greens, omega-3 fatty acids, and water
  • deciding to get pregnant – and dealing with medical hysteria about her decision
  • the interplay of genetics and lifestyle
  • outdated information from the Lupus Foundation: “if you ever test negative, then you never had lupus in the first place”
  • the smoothie controversy in the plant-based world
  • interested in evidence, not opinions
  • the limitations of the calorie model of weight management
  • “you can't assess the value of your house by how hot it burns”
  • healing the metabolism allows the metabolism to heal the body
  • is a high-raw vegan diet sustainable?
  • adding cooked dinners
  • Dr. Goldner's online medical practice, and group programs
  • adding non-healthy foods (“your body can handle a paper cut if you're healthy”)
  • and much more…


Dr. Goldner on Facebook

Dr. Goldner on Youtube


Today's transcript is courtesy of Kelly Michiya (thanks, Kelly!): PYP 227: Brooke Goldner, MD

Read the full transcript here

HOWARD: Doctor Brooke Goldner, welcome to the Plant Yourself Podcast!
DR. GOLDNER: Thank you so much! Happy to be here.
HOWARD: So, your story is REALLY inspirational. When I was reading about it, I was like, “Boy, we’re lucky you’re even here.” Right? Let alone practicing medicine. Why don’t we start with that for folks who haven’t read your profile on Forks Over Knives or haven’t seen you in some documentaries? Why don’t you give us a short version of your health ups and downs through childhood and early adulthood?
DR. GOLDNER: You want a short version of my life story. Okay! [laughs]
HOWARD: We can make it long.
DR. GOLDNER: That’s great. So, when I was 16 years old, I was diagnosed with something called lupus, and I was told at the time that I only had probably six months to live because lupus had attacked my kidneys so aggressively I was already at stage 4 kidney failure, and they thought within six months, my kidneys were going to completely shut down and I’d end up on dialysis or might not make it if I’d just done the usual medications at that time. So, I was put on an extremely aggressive medical regimen which was experimental at that time, using chemotherapy to try to shut my immune system off to try to save my kidneys and my life because you know, lupus is an autoimmune disease. So, for people who aren’t aware of it, it’s where your immune system stops functioning, and it doesn’t recognize what’s you and what’s not you, right? So, your immune system is supposed to recognize bad guys that aren’t supposed to be there and get rid of them, right? So, you get an infection, and it kills the bacteria. It’s one of its jobs. But in autoimmune disease, your body gets so inflamed that it can no longer tell the difference between self and non-self, and it starts to attack your own organs. Lupus can affect the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, even the brain. So, at the time it had attacked my kidneys. In addition to the usual symptoms of arthritis and rashes and terrible migraines, I also was in kidney failure. So, I was put on this chemotherapy experimentally, and you know, they weren’t sure how much to use at that time. They use chemo now. You might have heard Selena Gomez got chemotherapy for lupus, so it’s usually a couple of weeks, but I was put on two years straight. So, from 16 to 18 years old, I had to take chemo to try to shut my immune system off to keep me alive.
HOWARD: So, were you still in school at that point?
DR. GOLDNER: I was in high school. Absolutely!
HOWARD: Were you still going to classes and…
DR. GOLDNER: Yeah, so I usually tried to have chemo on Friday so that at most I would just miss Monday, which cuts into your social life as a teenager. But you know, anything I could do to stay in school and keep moving forward. For my family it wasn’t a question of, are you going to finish high school or anything like that. It was, okay, you have AP chemistry exam on Tuesday and you have chemo Friday - when are you gonna study? So, I was constantly… you know, whenever I felt healthy, I would just read my textbooks, so I was ahead of the class actually in the textbooks because anytime I felt okay, I would just study because I never knew when I’d be too sick to study. If I got a migraine, I’d be out for four days vomiting and pain. You know with chemo, I wasn’t able to eat because I was throwing up and feeling so sick, so I had to figure out how to stick with my schoolwork and excel in what I was doing there while still going through all the treatments. You know, I really think that the part of what kept me going was my mom’s insistence on me planning my future rather than me focusing on the illness I was dealing with at that time.
HOWARD: Yeah, I was gonna ask you about that because your behavior doesn’t sound like someone who believes that they have six months to live.
DR. GOLDNER: [laughs]
HOWARD: Especially as a 16 or 17-year-old. Right?
DR. GOLDNER: Right. I don’t think there is any teenager that really believes that they are going to die. So, it never felt real to me that I was going to lose my life, and my family did not EVER talk about that as a reality. It was, you’re gonna do what the doctors say, and you have an exam coming up, when are you gonna study for it, and when are you going to do college applications, so I actually use that a lot to help my current clients. I tell them, what you’re going through is an obstacle, it’s a challenge, but you have a purpose in this world that is greater than that challenge, and if you keep your heart and mind focused on what your purpose is and what you want to do in this world, it will help you overcome what you are going through in the moment.
That was what my focus was, and one of the things that helped me too was I was really starting to get interested in health and biology and that intellectualization was a really good defensive mechanism for me because I thought, well, if I really understand biology well, maybe I can be a scientist that can help find a cure for lupus or diseases and help other people, so I made kind of an intellectual thing to not think about the emotional impact, and it worked well for me.
But as strong as my mother was to my face, I still could hear her in her room crying at night. She never did in front of me, but I could hear it. And there was one point where I saw my grandmother on her knees begging God to take her and spare my life, so for my family, this was just an extraordinarily painful experience. But yeah, it was just always focus on the future and if I ever complained, my mom would say, “Hey, it could be worse, we gotta go with what we have,” and there were moments I was like, “Really? Worse?” But she was right, you know, I could talk, I could study, I could think, I could sing, I could plan, you know…
DR. GOLDNER: … so I figured that whatever time I had… no one knows how much time they have to live, none of us knows, so if I could make whatever time I had meaningful. And for me, meaning comes from helping others. I was born to help people. I absolutely love to do it. I’ve been volunteering at a hospital since I was 14. You know, I just love helping people, so I thought if I studied to be a doctor, and I help people the way my doctors help me, then my life was worth it, and whatever I went through meant something, so that was all I cared about, so I figured whether I’d lived to be 20 or whether I’d lived to be 50, that was up in the air, but I did have control over what I did with my life while I was still here.
HOWARD: It’s so wonderful to hear that full circle… you started out thinking that medicine was an intellectualization, almost as a defense mechanism, and now you can tell your patients about your purpose being greater than your challenge. You know, I can say that. Anyone can say those words, but very few people can have the heart and felt experience and the cellular truth of it the way you can. So, it was almost like you started out intellectualizing and now you are really able to bring your full being into those words to make anything but an intellectual statement.
DR. GOLDNER: Absolutely. You know, it’s one of the greatest gifts that I have in my life now that I’m completely healthy. I was able to reverse the lupus when I was 28 with my husband, completely using a diet – nutrition – protocol. And since then, to be able… this year will be 13 years I’ve been completely lupus free, and it completely changed what kind of doctor I am. I actually healed during my intern year of my residency. So, here I am, newly out of medical school. I went on this nutrition program because I was engaged to Thomas Tadlock. He was a celebrity trainer already back then, and he wanted to marry me sick. You know, that was an extraordinary thing for me. I never planned on my life. I never planned for a white dress. I planned for a white coat. That was what I was excited about.
DR. GOLDNER: I didn’t know that anybody was going to want to marry me. I mean, I was told I could never have children, you know that I probably wouldn’t live a long life. You know, lupus is progressive, so you usually become disabled before you die. So, who was gonna sign up for that? Right? So, I never let myself really plan for that. Although I did have a lot of love in my life, I was focused on a white coat. But when I met my husband, I was actually finishing up medical school. I was in my fourth-year medical school. I got sick in medical school because with autoimmune disease if you don’t get enough sleep or you have too much stress, you can trigger the lupus again. So, I’d gone into remission after chemo. But then medical school brought it back. You know, I was working a-hundred-hour weeks under extraordinary stress, and I actually ended up having TIAs, ministrokes. I was sending blood clots into my brain, and I was getting double vision, and I collapsed in one of the clinics. It was really severe. I was lucky it wasn’t a permanent stroke. But they told me at that time, you know, you’re gonna have to take blood thinners for life, you can’t have children or you’ll die of a stroke.
I knew now that I was finishing medical school really how severe the illness was. When I was diagnosed at 16, we didn’t have the Internet. Can you believe it? There was no Internet, so there was no Google. So, I only knew about my disease from what the doctors told me, from what my family told me. My mom got me a book, and I started reading it – it was too depressing, and I got rid of it. So, that’s all I knew. Nowadays, everyone can google and get freaked out. But as a burgeoning doctor, I was just finishing my last year. I knew all about the disease and exactly how it worked and exactly what my future held, so when I started having the ministrokes, oh, I did take about two weeks to cry, I gotta tell you that. I am a positive person, but there was about two weeks of, “Really? I’m less than a year away from graduating from medical school, and I’m about to start living my dream, and NOW?” So, I left myself cry for about two weeks, and I went, you know what? What the heck, I’m still here. I’m still gonna graduate medical school. There is still a medicine that could save my life. What am I crying about? I live the best life anyone can imagine. The fact that I get to go on to live the dream I’ve had since I was a child. How many people get to do that? And I went back to the place of gratitude that I always lived in, and that’s when I met my husband. And you know, when he wanted to get married, I had to fill him in like, “Listen, I’m not gonna live long. You’re gonna end up taking care of me. I can’t have your children. You know, this is not something that most 20-year-olds want to sign up for, so I understand if that’s not what you want.” Then, he said, “I’d rather have a short life with you than a lifetime with anyone else.” So, I said, “Let’s get married!”
DR. GOLDNER: Yeah, I mean…
HOWARD: He sounds like a movie adaptation of a John Green novel.
DR. GOLDNER: You know, many people have asked me about documenting my life, and there’s been some interest from film makers, too. But it sounds surreal even when I say it! [laughs]
HOWARD: So, yeah, this is very cliché, I gotta say.
DR. GOLDNER: [laughs] My life is a cliché! It’s like a Hallmark movie! I’ve been on the Hallmark channel, love the Hallmark channel, but yeah… [laughs]
HOWARD: [laughs]
DR. GOLDNER: That’s really what happened. So, I went on… we got engaged. I was sick. But we wanted to elope to Maui just with some of our best friends and our parents and my husband’s sister… just very close people. And I wanted to go on his celebrity diet, so I could look hot at my wedding. People wanna know how I was so brilliant that I found a cure for lupus, and…
HOWARD: [laughs]
DR. GOLDNER: I was a vain person about to get married, and I wanted to look good in my wedding dress. You know, I’d just spent all that time in medical school learning that nutrition had nothing to do with disease. I didn’t suddenly [snaps her finger] figure that out, you know. So, yeah, I went on his diet, and it was very… his expertise is… he is a scientist as well. He went to Carnegie Mellon as well, and he really understands how cellular science works in terms of increasing metabolism. And if you get a fast metabolism, if you exercise, you could build muscle or lose fat really rapidly, right? So, I wanted that. And I went on his diet, but the problem was while it was really high in vegetables and omega-3s and water, it was also high in animal protein. It was supposed to be free range and all that stuff, kind of like how Paleo is now, but 13 years ago.
HOWARD: Uh-huh.
DR. GOLDNER: And I had been a vegetarian since I was a kid because I loved animals. I ate tons of dairy and eggs every day, but I did not eat any meat. So, he made me give up my dairy products and my eggs, and he goes, “All that saturated fat in dairy products are making you fat,” not that I was fat, but they are the most fattening things you can eat. So instead of the meat for protein, I had like tofu and things like that. So, I accidentally became 100% plant-based.
HOWARD: So, between his protocol and your dietary preferences, you accidentally invented a whole food plant-base diet.
DR. GOLDNER: Yes! [laughs] And not just that. It’s what we call a hyper-nourishing diet, so there are a lot of whole food plant-based diets out there, and they are great for your health, but not all of them rapidly reverse disease. That’s why I have a lot of clients who are on whole food plant-based diets that are not getting full reversal of their illness until they add the hyper-nourishing part, which is what I teach a lot of, you know, really high doses of raw greens, omega-3s, and water, and things like that. So, it was super nourishing. And what happened was within three months, I went from a size 11 to a size 3. I looked AMAZING. But for the first time since I’ve been sick, I had tons of energy, I mean energy, like I would work a 30-hour shift at the hospital and then go to the gym before I went home. [laughs] You now, that’s unnatural for someone who’s heathy, right? But for someone with lupus, that’s crazy! Right? But I felt that good. My sleep was extraordinary. I had no more migraines. I had no more arthritis. I felt really good, and right before the wedding, I went to my new doctor in California because my doctors I grew up with were in Pennsylvania, and I’d moved to California to do my residency at UCLA Harbor. So, I had a new doctor who had all of my old charts but had never done my blood test before, and he said that there was a mistake in my bloodwork. So, he wanted me to come back from my wedding and retake them, and I said, “What mistake?” And he goes, “Well, I read your charts. You obviously had severe lupus, but these tests are negative for lupus.”
HOWARD: [exclaims]
DR. GOLDNER: And I went, “Well, that’s weird.” Because that’s… even in remission – remission is when you are stable – you always test positive for lupus. It just doesn’t happen. So, I went, “Okay, that’s definitely a mistake,” so I came back from my wedding and did it again. Still tested negative for lupus. My clotting antibodies had disappeared – the ones that were causing the blood clots. My cholesterol, which I was told was genetically high, nothing to do with cheese, that was now normal. My blood pressure had dropped 30 points, and it continued on and on. So, that was 13 years ago. And I still stayed on my meds for an extra year after that because there is nothing in medical literature that said that lupus can go away. So, you know, you don’t have ministrokes and then stop blood thinner. It doesn’t make any sense in the medical world. But after a year of taking my meds, I said, “What am I taking these meds for? I’m negative.” And my doctor said, “You’re treating my anxiety.” [laughs]
HOWARD: [laughs]
DR. GOLDNER: So, I went off my meds then. Yeah, so this will be 13 years that I’ve had completely negative tests for lupus or any disease at all. Extraordinary health and vitality. I have two beautiful sons. One’s four. One’s eight. And there is no reason why I won’t be able to grow old with my husband and live an extraordinary life with him. So, that’s why… when I healed, that’s when my husband and I realized that something extraordinary had happened. And we went back and we reverse-engineered… all I’d done was change my diet. And we reverse-engineered that working with cellular biology, working with a biochemist, and we realized we had accidentally created the most anti-inflammatory diet possible, and we ran people through the programs, and we could repeat the results – lupus, Sjogren’s, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, everybody got better! And some people reversed completely. Other people just got so much better they could come off their meds but they might have one or two abnormal tests but zero symptoms. I mean, it was just extraordinary and made no sense according to everything I learned in my medical training. So, that’s what we decided, you know, that we needed to dedicate our lives to helping other people heal and for me helping them live their purpose. My husband always says he wants everyone else to grow old with their true love the way he gets to now. We do now. We’ve dedicated ourselves to helping people heal.
HOWARD: So, did he change his diet?
DR. GOLDNER: He did! It took him a while. Originally, he was still doing his version of it with animal protein. His reason was [laughs] you know, here he is, well-known for being a celebrity trainer. He’s super muscular, you know. He’s six foot, 200 pounds, you know, very muscular guy. And he was worried that if he gave up meat, his muscles would leave. You know, I started searching online and trying to find that, and he said, you know, there was no consistent plan that was plant-based. Some people had some muscle. Some people didn’t. But did their muscle come before they gave up meat or this and that. It wasn’t convincing to him. And I said, “Listen, you have a family history of heart disease and colon cancer. You’re healthy and strong now, but the way you’re eating could still… you could look fit and strong and still be destroying your inner organs.” Right? So, I finally said to him, I used a little bit of psychiatry, a little bit of female Jedi and said, “You know if anybody could figure out how to build muscle on a vegan diet, it would be you.”
DR. GOLDNER: Wah! And he went, “You’re right! I’m gonna do it. It’s a niche market. I’m gonna figure it out. I’m gonna help these people get strong.” And then, he was planning to come back to eating meat. But four days into eating a hundred percent plant-based, he felt so extraordinary, and it was really an emotional change for him. He felt very connected to the planet, to the animals, to everything. And he started crying, and he just felt… he said, “You know, I’ve never before felt the impact of what I did and my diet on the planet, and I feel it now.” And he goes, “I will never ever go back to eating animals,” and he never has. Now, he is a HARDCORE proponent of really using nutrition to save lives and also to protect the planet and everyone who lives on it as well, so yeah, he made a complete transformation! He’s also done multiple transformations on this own body where he intentionally, twice now, has lost all of his muscle, takes about a year of crappy vegan eating to get himself down, and within 30 to 60 days he can gain all of it back. And he shows people how to do it completely on plants to prove that he is doing it entirely on a plant-based diet. It’s pretty awesome.
HOWARD: Wooh, do you think I can get him on the podcast, too?
DR. GOLDNER: Absolutely! Yeah, he’s an extraordinary speaker, and he’s so good at what he does. But I told him he doesn’t need to do that anymore. I married a guy with a six-pack. He doesn’t need to keep... [laughs]
HOWARD: [laughs] Sounds like a pretty extreme method acting there to…
DR. GOLDNER: You know, he tests everything on himself first, and he really thought that was what was missing. If you see a guy who is 200 pounds full of muscle and he goes plant-based and he is still muscular, how do you prove that the muscle is not a leftover from his previous diet?
DR. GOLDNER: So, that’s what he did. He lost it all, and he did a video every day showing him putting it back on. And one of the funniest things was I went to the gym one day, and I was wearing a vegan shirt, and this guy at the gym goes, “I just went vegan.” I went, “Really?” He goes, “Yeah, there is this guy who keeps coming to the gym. This bald guy, and every day he is bigger than the day before, and he told me he is vegan, so I’m vegan, too.” I was like, I know that bald guy. [laughs]
HOWARD: Oh good. I’m glad to hear that baldness is part of the…
DR. GOLDNER: Well, there is no sexier look for a man than a shaved head. That’s my favorite. [laughs]
HOWARD: Ah, you’re speaking my language.
DR. GOLDNER: [laughs] When you have a good face, who needs the hair? Yeah, he’s been pretty much bald our whole marriage. You know, ever since Jean-Luc Picard, I’ve been a proponent of that.
HOWARD: [laughs] I think my kids think I look a little more like Gollum than Captain Picard.
DR. GOLDNER: Gollum! No, not Gollum at all! But you know, my husband gets mistaken for The Rock a lot, which is so funny because The Rock is like four times larger. So, he calls himself The Pebble when they say that. [laughs]
HOWARD: [laughs] So, you had just finished med school.
DR. GOLDNER: Mmm-hmm.
HOWARD: You understood lupus REALLY well…
DR. GOLDNER: From the medical perspective, right.
HOWARD: So, you knew how to treat… at the point, did you feel like you understood why you got lupus? Or was it just like it happens sometimes or how did you think about it in terms of causality, and how do you think about it now?
DR. GOLDNER: You know, when it comes to Western medicine, it’s really interesting. They don’t put a lot of emphasis on understanding the triggers for disease. We kind of always gloss over it as, “Well, you had different genetics and your genetics are for different illnesses, and something happens, and those genes kick in. But what is really interesting and what I understand now, you have to trigger those genes, right? They do have some theories about it. So, lupus usually develops in women more than men. It usually develops either during late adolescence or during pregnancy, so hmmm, there might be a hormonal trigger, but not always. I’ve had multiple clients now between 8 and 12 years old that have lupus or other autoimmune diseases. Sometimes they develop later on as well. But there are these ideas, and there are people out there exploring environmental pathogens or this or that, you know. What I’ve come to understand is that we all have genes for different illnesses, right? That’s just a deck, a hand of cards we’re dealt, but that’s not… you don’t have to trigger those genes. You know, I learned in medical school – one of THE most transmitted genetic diseases is type 2 diabetes. You can tell that that just runs in families. I have neighbors that are just… you know, everyone has that disease. Everyone gets their kidneys transplanted at some point. This is just this common thing. So, it very strongly runs in families, but if someone in that family is a vegan marathon runner, he will NEVER get type 2 diabetes! He can’t, right? You don’t see a skinny guy with that, right? So, we know that you have to trigger those diseases by what we do – by what our environment is. And the cause of the environment in our body is what we put into our body. So, you can literally trigger those genes.
So, for me lupus, I think it had more to do with the fact that I grew up… I was a vegetarian, but I was eating macaroni and cheese, Chef Boyardee… I ate pizza every day because my parents owned Domino’s Pizza stores, so I’d have pizza every day for lunch and a lot of times dinner, too. Because they would be exhausted when they came home and dinner would be pizza, too. Tons of Doritos. I’d eaten an entire large bag of Doritos. I mean, I was eating processed foods and dairy products and eggs every day and TONS of them. And THAT is why I got sick. Because when I stopped doing that, and I switched to eating really healthy plant foods, I untriggered those genes. And I have no sign of any disease in my body at all, and that’s what I’ve been able to do for other people as well. So, it gives people a lot of hope to know that whatever those genes are, that’s not what you’re stuck with. You do have control. You do have power. So, one of the members… we have a free online group called Smoothie Shred that… we created a community of people who are doing green smoothies because that’s how we teach people to get all your nutrients in. Put a straw in. It’s a lot easier. Somebody just posted in the community that when people criticize her about how she eats, the thing she thinks about is, I’ve chosen to be in control of my life, people can say what they want, they can eat what they want, they can get sick if they want, but I’d rather eat well and be in control of my life than be giving into cravings and addictions, and I feel amazing, and that’s what matters. And that’s what I love to see.
HOWARD: Mmm. So, one year out of med school, you make this accidental discovery. You do something that medical science doesn’t think is possible. Did that change your relationship to medicine? Did you feel like this was a waste of time? Or did your colleagues embrace your truth or what happened at that time? It must have been some sort of identity crisis.
DR. GOLDNER: Not really, no. It was interesting. At first, I didn’t realize what had happened. You’d have to realize I’d grown up with lupus. It was a fact of my existence, and even going to medical school, it was a fact that I had it and I’d always have it. That’s what I believed. So, even when my symptoms were gone and my tests were negative, I still thought I had lupus. Because there was no frame of reference for it leaving. It doesn’t leave. In fact, if you go to the Lupus Foundation website, it describes what lupus is, and it says it’s chronic, and if your tests become negative again, you never had it to begin with. [laughs]
HOWARD: Uh-huh.
DR. GOLDNER: You had something else, but you thought it was lupus. Now granted, I had it for 12 years, tested positive for 12 years, had kidney failure, blood clots, there’s no way in hell I didn’t have it, but that’s really what it says. You know, if you have it, you’ll have it forever, and if it goes away, you didn’t have it. That’s the best Western medicine has to say. So, it just wasn’t a reality. It wasn’t until… so, I finished residency, and I just kept eating that way because I felt great, I looked great, why would I change anything. I added back some more plant-based foods and things like that, more cooked foods and other things but always kept up my high vegetables, my omega-3s and water and all that stuff, and I stayed healthy. And when I finished my fourth-year residency, and I was still testing negative and feeling great, that’s when I decided I wanted to try having a baby. And EVERYBODY lost their mind. My husband was like, “You told me that would kill you, why the heck would I ever wanna do that?” My mom wanted to carry the baby for me. My best friend wanted to carry the baby for me. Everyone was just terrified that you know, why if you were healthy, why would you take a chance killing yourself with having a baby? I felt it to myself that I was healthy and that I could do it, and I was having these dreams, and when I would dream at night, I’d be holding my baby and I wake up missing him.
DR. GOLDNER: I was getting crazy. I just felt like it was what I meant to do, and it took a lot of convincing. My husband was terrified, but ultimately, we did get pregnant. My OB-GYN, she asked me what my health history was. It was a new doctor, and I told her that I used to have lupus, and she went, “Excuse me, there’s no ‘used to have lupus.’” OB-GYNs do not like pregnant people with lupus because it is so deadly. It is so dangerous. So, they sent me to the high-risk OB-GYN, and the high-risk person tested me and did my exam and said, “You’re perfectly healthy. I’m not following you” and sent me back. So, my OB-GYN was freaking out. They all said lupus was going to come back during the pregnancy. When it didn’t come back during the pregnancy, they said it was going to come back as soon as I gave birth. I went… I had my baby. I actually had a C-section because my son was a breech, he was butt first, and there was no way to turn him around. So, I felt fine even after the C-section. I was looking for lunch walking around after having the C-section. They couldn’t believe it. I went home. I had great milk supply. I recovered quickly. And nine days after I had my son, it was my birthday. And my mom said, “Listen.” She was staying with us at that time to help me out with the baby, and she said, “Why don’t you run across the street and have dinner for your birthday? I’ll call you when the baby wakes up, so you can run home and nurse him.” So, I was going to put clothes on for the first time since I had the baby. I’d been on pajamas every day. You have kids, right?
DR. GOLDNER: Since I had the baby, I lived in pajamas and nursing tank tops, and that’s what I was in. So, okay, I gotta put clothes on to go out to dinner and I just grabbed a pair of jeans that I wore before I was pregnant and they fit.
DR. GOLDNER: Nine days after I gave birth! It fit PERFECTLY. And my husband immediately grabbed the camera and did a photoshoot. He was like, “This is gonna be great for my business because…
HOWARD: [laughs]
DR. GOLDNER: … because you know, I see women who have had a baby who is 20 years old and they still say they can’t lose their baby weight, and you look like you never had a baby!” That’s when I realized, wait a minute, this isn’t natural. Most women do not just lose their baby weight laying on the couch nursing and eating nine days after they give birth. And here I am, someone who’s supposed to have lupus, who’s still testing negative and feeling great. And that’s when I realized that something had changed at REAL cellular level that I actually did NOT have an illness any more, and my body was responding in real time to whatever I asked it to do – have a baby, be healthy. Whatever I needed, my body just did it like that [snaps her finger]. That’s when I realized something really has changed. This is not just a remission, but I am NOT the same person I was, and that’s when I started going back doing research. We took a couple of years of really reverse-engineering, looking at the science, testing it in people before we ever came out with it. So, I didn’t really start using the protocol on people until much later. But even then, I never felt that anything was wasted in my life. I just don’t think that way. I believe that every single step of my path was perfect.
DR. GOLDNER: You know, it led me to where I am. For a lot of people, they say that my story AND the fact that I’m a medical doctor makes it… was the reason they were willing to change their diet, that they’ve heard other people talk about diet and plant-based and this and that, but they didn’t really believe it, but knowing that I’m a Western medical doctor, I’ve done genetic research in leukemia and neurobiology in college, that I’m a real scientist, a real doctor who also had a real disease that’s now healthy. Those factors together is what inspired them to change, and so I think all of that is great. I still practice Western medicine. I am different in that I believe medicines are a tool but they are not going to heal you. We need both. You need to change your lifestyle and your diet and just use meds to keep you alive until you can heal by doing the things you need to do to help your body.
HOWARD: How do your colleagues respond to that? Do they give credence to your story? Do they think it’s an anomaly?
DR. GOLDNER: Most doctors I meet are fascinated and excited. You know, when I give a talk to a big room of people that’s a mixed crowd, there’s always a bunch of people that run to the back to talk to me when I’m done, but the doctors run back the fastest. Usually they are asking me if I can help one of their family members, you know, they are really excited. “Your ANA was negative? What? What happened?” They love it. Sometimes when I get referrals, I mean I have real doctors that refer to me now. When I started doing this, every single person who came to me said their doctor told them that there is no way this was gonna help you, this is craziness. But now, I have doctors that refer to me. In fact, I have multiple… I have two doctors in my healing program right now. I have a six-week online group healing program, and I have two doctors that are in it. I had a doctor in my last group, too. So, the doctors are really excited by it.
Yes, there are some old-school people who… they haven’t read the research and they just don’t know. If they don’t believe in it, they haven’t been paying attention. You know, there is just enough information out there that nutrition impacts health. It’s silly for people to discount it. So, you know, I treated someone who is the chief of medicine at our hospital, and after healing with me, she now requires all residents and rheumatologists to read my book Goodbye Lupus. So, the medical world is changing. So, it’s both ways now. There are some people who have never heard of me or heard of this and they still think nothing is gonna help, and there is a group who is literally referring to me. There’s doctors that have my books on their shelves and sell the books to their patients. Healthcare revolution is happening, and that makes me really happy. It’s not fast enough for all the people who are sick right now, but it’s happening, and I think there’s gonna be dramatic changes over the next 20 to 30 years in how medical care is given. It’s gotta include nutrition or it’s going to be malpractice in my opinion.
HOWARD: Mmm, that’s a great line.
DR. GOLDNER: Thanks.
HOWARD: So, I can’t remember who said the quip, but it goes, “Okay, so it works in practice, but does it work in theory?” So, I’m wondering if people are interested or are you interested in doing the kind of peer reviewed intervention studies that can turn this from an anecdote to a few people to the kind of science that makes it into, you know, JAMA and Lancet and things that will influence even the most dyed-in-the-wool traditional doctors.
DR. GOLDNER: It’s been happening… I actually… I’ve been in talks with multiple major medical institutions in the past year about doing a clinical trial using my protocol. It’s gotta be right before it can take off. So, I’m still holding back to make sure… because for me, if it’s going to be a huge clinical trial, it’s gotta be done right. Because if they do a huge clinical trial and they don’t follow the protocol exactly and they don’t get the same results, then it will also be used as a reason for people to say, “See!” Right?
DR. GOLDNER: So, we gotta be really careful. For example, you know, if you look at like Neal Barnard has done research in diabetes with plant-based diets, and they had a positive result that showed that people got better blood sugar control on a plant-base diet, but the clinical trial didn’t have anywhere near the dramatic results that he gets in his patients that he treats privately, right? Because it’s not the same. It’s not the same having a stranger say “Here, eat this” and call you once a week and ask, “What did you eat?” versus having a caring person who’s checking… Like my clients who do my program, I check in with them every day.
DR. GOLDNER: So, for me, I want to be able, if we’re going to take it to that big level, I wanna give the same level of care. I want them to feel supported, get the information that they need every day to make sure that they get it right so we can get those results. So, we’re in talks, and there are places that are eager, they really really want to take off and start the trial, but I just wanna make sure that it is right. But it’s something that is absolutely in the works.
HOWARD: Gotcha. So, when did you discover that there was a community of plant-based people who aren’t just sort of hippie vegetarians but scientists who were promoting and studying this kind of diet to prevent and reverse disease even if it wasn’t exactly your hyper-nutritious diet?
DR. GOLDNER: So, I didn’t know that I was reinventing the wheel in some ways. My husband and I had never heard of anything like what we had experienced, so we created this protocol from scratch, you know, looking at cellular nutrition on our own. And it wasn’t until… I believe... I wanna say 2012 that I first discovered that there were other people out there. First, I read about Gerson, who was treating TB with nutrition many many many many years ago, right? So, he was able to reverse TB with nutrition, and then they found a drug that could help, and they just stopped the nutrition part because it’s easier to give people a medicine even though that medicine is horrific. So, that was shocking to me. I went, wait, there are other people that have done this since then? So, that’s when I discovered T. Colin Campbell. I absolutely love his book. I mean, he is a researcher, he is not a clinician, he is not an MD, but a PhD who’s done research in nutrition and discovered that dairy is a cancer promoter on a DNA level. His research is extraordinary. And then from him, I started to learn about other physicians as well. It was a WONDERFUL feeling. I am now friends with people who do what I do. You know, I’m a good friend of Dr. Klaper. I just spent a day with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and his whole family, and we were talking about our plans to heal the world together. It is extraordinary now to be in a community of people who are truly caring people, doctors who not only understand how to use nutrition to heal people but are determined to help people learn the information, so it’s really been extraordinary, but I had no idea about that until I wanna say about 2012.
HOWARD: Wow. So, I know you have programs that you take people through, so I don’t want you to give away the farm, but…
DR. GOLDNER: Oh, I’d be happy to. I teach all information for free. I don’t want anyone to ever think that you have to be able to pay to get the information you need to heal. I think that’s horrible. I mean, I’ve been teaching webinars for free all week. I stay up late after I put my kids to bed. I teach for an hour and I answer questions for another hour live because I want people to have the information. The only thing I charge people money for is my time, if people want ME to help them heal, but you can ask me any questions about my program.
HOWARD: Okay, in that case, I’m just gonna go for it.
DR. GOLDNER: Mmm-hmm.
HOWARD: So, you mentioned smoothies.
HOWARD: Then you mentioned Dr. Esselstyn, and the two usually don’t go together.
DR. GOLDNER: [laughs]
HOWARD: So, it’s kind of a weird thing in the plant-based community when you go to one of these events. There’s a psychological, sort of one-upmanship, you know, I’m plant-based, I’m whole food plant-based, I’m no oil, I’m high raw, I’m all raw, I do greens, I juice, oh, you shouldn’t juice, you’re losing the fiber, oh, you shouldn’t do smoothies, we don’t drink our calories… How do you navigate all that? How do you have discussions with people? What have you found is the ultimate diet for people who want your kind of energy and who want to get kind of astounding results you’ve gotten?
DR. GOLDNER: Okay, so that’s kind of a two-part question. How do I deal with people who have different opinions than me, and how do people optimize their diet for healing?
HOWARD: Why don’t we start with… Yeah, I got carried away in that question. [laughs]
DR. GOLDNER: [laughs]
HOWARD: Yeah, that was… Let’s talk about the diet first.
DR. GOLDNER: Okay, the diet first. So, the nutrients that most rapidly heal people are going to be phytonutrients, nutrients that come from plants, antioxidants, phyto-enzymes, all of the wonderful things that come from plants and what our cells actually use for healing. In addition to that, omega-3 fatty acids are VITAL. People who do plant-based diets who aren’t getting omega-3s, they plateau in their healing or they are unable to fully heal. Those omega-3 fatty acids not only become part of your cellular membrane that allow your cells to send signals and receive signals properly, but they also become anti-inflammatory immune cells. How do you get inflammation without anti-inflammatory immune cells, right? Omega-3s must be consumed; they can’t be created within our body. And higher volumes of water. A lot of people don’t pay attention to that. But without extreme hydration, the chemical reactions that take place for healing actually can’t happen. We need water as one of the ingredients in order to create that response of rapidly decreasing inflammation and increasing metabolism, all of that. In addition, water is what fills up the padding in our joints as well, so those are really important components that are often missing from the traditional plant-based diet. So, you can eat all of the whole foods plant-base diet, that’s great, you know, beans and cooked vegetables. I agree that no oil is better. People on my diet still use some olive oil just because it doesn’t create inflammation, but it’s still not good for you. I was talking to Essy about that. I agree that it can create some damage to the endothelium. If you have heart disease, you probably shouldn’t do that at all, but it doesn’t create inflammation, which is my expertise is in, right? Even the people who use it is like a spray bottle, spray the bottom of the pan so it doesn’t stick, not like pouring, you know what I mean?
HOWARD: Uh-huh.
DR. GOLDNER: It’s better to avoid oils, it’s better to have whole food plant-based diet, but you also want to make sure that you’re nourishing yourself with more phytonutrients. People in my programs usually get up to about one pound of greens a day. You can eat those raw, if you want to. You can have a big salad and things, but my husband and I realized about… gosh, I wanna say maybe seven years ago… the smoothie solution where we could put those greens into a blender. We are talking about green smoothies. We are not talking about the ones you google and find it’s all fruit and a handful of greens there. They are like anointed with some greens, and it turns green, and they call it a green smoothie. That’s not what we are talking about. That’s a fruit smoothie. We do 75% greens, and we impact it with our hands. Seventy-five percent of greens and we add a handful of flax or chia seeds for omega-3s. Then we put in fruit for flavor, and it can be fresh or frozen because we are just using the fruit for flavor and not for nutrients. Then you put in water or plant-based milk and blend that up, and you can put a straw in it, and you can get your nutrients that way. What we’ve found is we can get just as good results.
So, when people ask like, why do you use a smoothie because some people think smoothies work, some don’t. I use them because they work. Everything I teach people is based on what actually works. We investigated the science. We tested it. We only teach people what works for EVERY person, not just what works for some. There is no results-not-typical crap. If it works, it works. So, what we’ve found is not only can we get the same results with the smoothies, we’re getting better results because people are doing it every day. Not everybody was willing to chew all that. But if they’d gotten into the habit of… every morning they made a full blender and they just drank that all day long while they were doing the work or other things, they did it, and they get results really rapidly. I’ve had people who had chronic pain, debilitating pain, ready to go on disability for 20 years or more were pain free within a week. And they were doing the smoothies.
HOWARD: Okay, so there are a bunch of people who are listening now. They are at home in their kitchen, and they want to pause and go make themselves a smoothie.
DR. GOLDNER: Good! They also give you extraordinary amounts of energy. I mean, you just get blasted with vitamins and minerals all in one shot, and you feel amazing. That’s what fills me. People always think I’m kind of hypomanic. I’m just really energized. [laughs]
HOWARD: So, what kind of greens? Can they be frozen? Can you just buy the bags of… a pound of frozen greens or do they have to be fresh?
DR. GOLDNER: You want them to be fresh, so there is some nutrition lost when you freeze things, and there’s even more nutrition lost when you cook them. With your greens, you want them to be fresh. Fruit, I don’t care. It’s a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down. You can just make those fresh or frozen. It doesn’t matter. If you use fresh, make sure you put ice because you don’t want a hot smoothie – its’ pretty gross. But yeah, greens you want them to be fresh.
HOWARD: So, okay, someone who does this. I mean a pound of fresh green is like… a bunch of fresh green is like three or four ounces. So, your people… their entire fridge is full of greens, or are they going shopping twice a day?
DR. GOLDNER: [laughs] So, they usually end up going every three days or so. Most people end up using… like you go to Costco, you can buy those giant bags of greens that are one and a half pounds, so we usually buy like three bags at a time. That’s how we do it. You can use your fresh ones, too. What happens is you get used to what it looks like. So, in the beginning, you’re either using… you know, they also sell containers that are a pound. So, in the beginning, you may be using containers, or you may be weighing out using your garden or buying fresh bunches. Once you get used to it, you can eyeball and know how much it is. So, usually 75% of the blender is about three quarters of a pound, and people can either eat the rest or they can even go more hardcore with less fruit and fill it up the rest of the way, depends on the person. But we usually start people out with just 75% of your blender. That’s one reason we created our Smoothie Shred Community. People don’t even have to be vegan in that community. They just need to be committed to drinking their blended smoothie every day and posting pictures of it empty, and we’ve got over 5,000 people in there from all over the world who LOVE it. We also give away free recipes there, too, for exactly how to make your smoothies. And my husband gives free exercise programs and advice there as well. So, anyone who can’t afford to work with us can still get recipes and support just within that community as well.
HOWARD: How do people find that?
DR. GOLDNER: It’s If you go to that website, you can see the recipes, and then if you want to be in our Facebook support group, there’s a spot on that page where you can fill in your information, and it will take you to a private group.
HOWARD: Gotcha. Okay, so it sounds like it’s kind of the centerpiece of the diet. I don’t know how many calories are in the blender of smoothies. I’m guessing not many. If it’s a pound, it’s like 110 calories from the greens…
DR. GOLDNER: Actually, no… my husband has measured it. I should call him in here. It was over 1,000. I think it ends up being, uh… I’m gonna message him right now because I always forget the number. He always tells me I’m terrible with numbers, and he’s right. [laughs] I can remember every word that someone tells me, but I never remember numbers. I always add to them or subtract from them. I’m gonna message him to find out. It ends up being, I wanna say, it was… last time he checked it, it was 1,700, but I’m not sure. I’m gonna message him right now.
HOWARD: Cool. You have a lifeline.
DR. GOLDNER: Calories is a very sensitive thing to talk about. One, it really doesn’t make any sense in terms of looking at how the body does things. Sorry, I’m gonna text him… “How many calories in our smoothie?” All right, I’m gonna text him. We’ll see. So, when people look at calories, calories tells you how much energy is expelled by a food when you burn it. Right? So, that assumes that every single calorie in that smoothie is going to be used for energy, and if you don’t use it for energy, it’s gonna be stored as fat. That’s what the assumption is when you’re looking at calories. That is like valuing how much… what the value of your house is by how hot it burns when you set it on fire.
HOWARD: [laughs]
DR. GOLDNER: All right? So, it doesn’t really tell you anything about the food. My husband just answered me back. The smoothie has 1,200 calories.
DR. GOLDNER: Now, the reason why this is not an issue – and it really shouldn’t matter – is that what’s in the smoothie are the nutrients we need. So, macronutrients – fat, carbohydrate, protein – they don’t really tell you anything about what the food does in your body. It doesn’t, and calories are the same way. So, what we need to look at is micronutrients. What we’re doing with the food that’s coming in. So, if people are worried about gaining weight, if they hear 1,200 calories, they’d be like, “Oh, crap! No way!” Right? People who are worried about losing weight would go, “Oh, that’s good. There’s some calories in there.” It doesn’t matter because you cannot get fat on these green smoothies. You cannot put fat on your body doing vegetables, fruit, and omega-3 fatty acids. So, it’s just not physically possible to make fat out of that. What it does is create a really healthy metabolism that would do whatever you ask it to do.
So, we’ve had people who are underweight doing the programs, and when someone’s in, for example, my six-week rapid recovery group, they check in with me every day. They are on all-raw protocol including large volumes of smoothies, and people who are overweight, which is most people, they lose fat very rapidly, but the people who are underweight put weight on eating raw foods because when you get healthy, your body does what you ask it to do. So, what the smoothies do is create a really rapid metabolism. Our SmoothieShred group – a lot of people join the group because they wanna lose weight – what we tell them to do in that program is add the smoothies to their current diet. So, you would think, if you add all that smoothie on top of what you’re already eating, if calories were just calories, then you would gain weight.
HOWARD: Mmm-hmm.
DR. GOLDNER: But that’s not what happens. You could add the smoothies to your current diet, and you would actually burn calories more effectively because you increase your metabolism. You don’t wanna look at calories. It’s a very old-fashioned way of looking at things. It gets way too much attention. It means nothing. I have no idea how many calories I eat in a day. I eat until I’m full. All day long. I feel great. That’s what I look at. But it’s probably a lot more than people think.
HOWARD: Right. I was thinking if that’s all they’re eating, like you can’t… Tell me if I’m wrong, but I’ve had people who came to me who want to lose weight, and I’d discover that they’ve been on like a 900 to 1,200-calorie per day diet for five years, and at that point, nothing is working any more.
DR. GOLDNER: Right. Because they crashed their metabolism. Right?
HOWARD: So, can your smoothies help to…
HOWARD: … to heal the metabolism so they can then eat normally?
DR. GOLDNER: Exactly. Exactly. So, when people eat low calorie, they’re usually eating foods that are not very nutrient dense, either. They are not getting enough food. We do hyper nourishment. So, we want to constantly oversupply the body with the foods you need to heal. In addition to doing the smoothies, you can eat unlimited other foods as long as they are whole foods plant-based. If you’re in my healing program, I want them raw. But it’s really not about calories. It’s about the micronutrients that’s in the food. And so, you can actually add them to any diet, and you will get the result you want. If you are trying to put on muscle, you’ll put on muscle faster because fast metabolism lets you do whatever you ask it to do. If you’re trying to lose fat, you’ll lose fat faster. So, that’s what’s been so beautiful about it. It’s the same exact nutrition that can allow someone to get a six-pack in a few weeks to go on a cover of a magazine is the same exact nutrition plan that can get rid of arthritis. It’s just really neat. So, it’s just about supplying your body with what it needs to do the job it’s meant to do, which is to keep you healthy.
HOWARD: And… um… sorry, I lost my train of thought for a second.
DR. GOLDNER: I could answer about… you know, when you were asking about the community.
HOWARD: Yeah. Okay.
DR. GOLDNER: So, there’s… it’s kind of funny because you know, we’re all in it… all the different doctors that are teaching plant-based nutrition… we all have the same goal, which is to get people healthy. But we all came from different places in order to do it. And there was a couple of doctors that were saying stuff about smoothies that they didn’t think they were a good idea because of fiber being separated, because they thought it could make you gain weight and all these things, and I talked to those people, and I can tell you those people now do smoothies.
DR. GOLDNER: Because those theories were based on what they thought. They were not based on actually testing them. So, what’s very very important is to not just go by… because all smart people have opinions. Hey, everyone has opinions, right? Everyone has an opinion and something… a mouth, let’s say, right? Everybody’s got an opinion. I don’t like to talk about opinions because for me this is not a religion. I’m not talking about my beliefs. I’m not talking about my opinions. I only talk about what actually worked in real people. So, whenever someone gives me an opinion, I challenge them to… okay, that’s an interesting thought. Have you tested it? Well, no I haven’t. Cool, let’s test it. And that’s what we do. So, I can tell you now all those people are on board with smoothies and send me referrals as well. So, there’s always gonna be thoughts and arguments in the community. For me, all I’m interested in is what works for people. I’ve had SO many clients now that have been on traditional whole food plant-based diets that couldn’t heal. And they added my smoothies, and their pain went away. It just works, and that’s what matters. I don’t care about being right. I just care about people feeling good.
HOWARD: Sweet. So, when people do raw food diets, I often hear that it’s not sustainable. Either it’s not sustainable because they have trouble sustaining it from the behavioral perspective or they’re good at it, but they stop feeling nourished over time. They just start feeling like they need something cooked, and I’m wondering if you have experience with either of those obstacles in your people.
DR. GOLDNER: So, what I hear you say is that sometimes when people go on a plant-based diet, they just find it really hard to sustain it, whether it’s… they start craving other foods or they just find it difficult to keep going. What you need to understand is my protocol for healing is different than my maintenance protocol for afterwards, so when I’m trying to get somebody as healthy as I can in the shortest period of time possible, they stick to all raw, and I focus on my healing nutrients in that protocol. So, usually, for example, my healing group, that is a six-week program, so for six weeks, they’re completely raw, but eating only the most nourishing foods in high amounts with my supervision. They check in with me every single day. It’s a secret Facebook group so no one can see them. I’m constantly giving them feedback and encouragement every single day for six weeks. So, I make sure that they can sustain it for six weeks. After the six weeks is over, then they have the opportunity to decide what they want to do next. For some people, they loved the protocol so much that they stay raw. And other folks, most folks, though, will do a stepdown where they keep the healing nutrients, they keep their smoothies, they keep their omega-3s, they keep their water, but they add back cooked plant foods, and people find that extremely easy to maintain.
That’s how I live my life, too. I’m usually raw during the day when I’m sitting and seeing clients all day. You know, my practice is entirely online, so I sit at my desk on Skype online all day long, and I chug my smoothies while I work, and I feel great. When I’m done for the day, then I leave and go to my kitchen, and I usually have some lentils or some tofu and broccoli that’s been cooked and things like that. And I love that. when I go out to eat, I can eat… I have what I call recreational eating, so there’s nutritional eating for ourselves, and there’s recreational eating. When you’re healthy, you can have recreational eating, too. Go out to eat at a restaurant and maybe have fake meats or might even have some oil or processed food in it, and my body can handle that because that’s a papercut, and if you’re healthy, a papercut goes within a day, right? If you’re sick, a papercut can lead to an infection that can lead you to lose a limb, like diabetics do. So, my protocol, I’ve been told, is actually one of the simplest to follow because you go really aggressively in the beginning so that you can get to remission as quickly as possible, then you switch into a maintenance mode where you keep your healing nutrition and whole food plant-based diet with smoothie or all raw foods, however you like them, and you can also have recreational food as well when you want to, and you are not going to get sick again.
HOWARD: I’m going to Costco as soon as my work day is done.
DR. GOLDNER: [laughs] Yay!!
HOWARD: This makes a ton of sense, and the fact that it is sort of proven and based on actual experience. It just sounds very simple. You’re able to explain it in a couple of minutes, like this is what we eat, and this is how we do it. I can totally see myself doing it, and I feel like I don’t have to throw away my VitaMix.
DR. GOLDNER: [laughs] That’s fantastic!!
HOWARD: That damn thing was expensive. I got really sad when I heard that smoothies was terrible for me.
DR. GOLDNER: Right, and it’s not the case. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of nutrition mythology out there. Somebody states an idea, and it gets shared on Facebook, and the next thing you know everyone believes it, but it’s not based on anything. We’ve seen over and over again over the years people add smoothies to their diet and they get healthier and thinner and feel amazing. No one ever had an oxalate overdose.
HOWARD: [laughs]
DR. GOLDNER: No one ever had any kind of problems. There’s a lot of mythology out there trying to convince people not to eat vegetables or not to drink them, but in reality, people do great on them, and that’s what really matters. I mean, the only people I see who struggle with smoothies are people whose guts are so unhealthy from eating really terrible foods that they don’t have the bacteria that know how to digest fiber, but that doesn’t mean smoothies are bad for them. It means they need some help getting their gut healthy again because they’re so unhealthy already, you know. We’d get them on probiotics, things like that. But they [smoothies] are really extraordinary and it’s very easy to sustain. I mean, I’ve had people on junk diets, and they’re willing to drink the smoothie, whereas they’d never eat a salad, so it’s been really a great way to help people get healthy and healing without really that much work.
HOWARD: Gotcha. So, it sounds like you offer all this stuff for free, all the education, all the questions. The detailed questions, I would wanna ask for myself, and I’m just gonna look them up on I’ve already got lists that I’ve been scribbling of people that I know with Sjogren’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune conditions that I’m immediately gonna send this audio to before it’s edited or anything, just like get it out there right now. But for people who want to follow you, who want to take your courses, who want your time in addition to your incredibly generous information and education, where do they go?
DR. GOLDNER: So, if you go to, so it’s just Goodbye Lupus. It’s the name of my book. So, the details of my six steps to healing are in my book Goodbye Lupus in addition to me teaching it for free. If you go to my website, you can see my program. Right now, my absolute favorite program is my six-week rapid recovery group. That’s the one I mentioned before. Actually, the early bird special for that one ends tomorrow night. But that is six weeks of me watching over you. I created that because as much as I work really really hard to teach this information, I mean morning and night, conferences all over the country. I was telling you before I live off my suitcase. I’ve literally gone from Texas to California to Vegas to Arizona all the way back to Texas up to Vermont all the way down to Florida and back to Texas just this summer. So, I’m constantly trying to share the word and teach people, but they’re still not getting it right. It’s a very precise protocol and takes a lot of support, so I created this group as a way to, I could really hold people’s hands, and inspire them and help them every single day. So, that’s my favorite thing to do, and you can see that as well if you go to for people who REALLY want me to help them every day. You can see it there and join the group that way.
HOWARD: Awesome. All right, so we’re not gonna be published by tomorrow. Do you run this program on an on-going basis or would they be another…
DR. GOLDNER: Well, the next group starts August 17th. If this gets out after August 17th, yes, it runs about every two months. So, it’s a six-week group, and it usually takes about two to four weeks to get the next group up and running. So, it will be… we’re starting this next one on August 17th, so probably right around October 1 will be the next one, but I haven’t planned the exact day yet. But it is ongoing.
HOWARD: Is there a way for people who go to your website to get on a mailing list, or you’ll let them know?
DR. GOLDNER: The most popular way to know what I’m up to every day would be to just get on my Goodbye Lupus page on Facebook. I’m constantly updating there and our Smoothie Shred group as well. I usually update people to what we’re doing, where we are, where they can see us live, and when the next group is going to be as well, so I’m pretty active on Facebook.
HOWARD: Very good.
DR. GOLDNER: And you can see that on my website, too. My website has links to my Facebook and Twitter and all that.
HOWARD: Great. Cool. Well, this has been so inspirational for me, and I’m really ready to try this. It makes a ton of sense, and I really want to thank you, Dr. Goldner for the work you’ve done, for the inspiration you’re to so many and for taking the time today.
DR. GOLDNER: Oh, thank you so much. I’m excited. You’d better join our Smoothie Shred group, and then we can toast you. [laughs]
HOWARD: I’ll be there.
DR. GOLDNER: Awesome, awesome! Thank you so much for getting the word out there for people because if it isn’t for people like you, then someone like me can’t get the information out to as big an audience as possible, so I appreciate the work you do to help people get healthy and get the right information.
HOWARD: Yeah, I love raising the curtain on incredible acts.
DR. GOLDNER: I love it.
HOWARD: All right, thanks a lot, and folks, I hope you’ll check out and Goodbye Lupus, and Dr. Goldner, thanks again for all you do.
DR. GOLDNER: Thank you.

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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

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2 comments on “Saying Goodbye to Lupus and Other Autoimmune Diseases with Brooke Goldner, MD: PYP 227

  1. Geraldine says:

    Hi is this where we ask questions?
    I would like to ask if bread comes under the processed food that we need to avoid
    Kind regards Geraldine

    1. Howard says:

      Like the answer to most questions, the answer here is “it depends.”

      On the type of bread. On your personal reaction to it. On the quantity.

      What’s your experience with eating bread? Be a scientist with an N of 1, and see if your life improves if you eliminate or reduce or change the brand or quality of the bread you consume.

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