Successful, Numb And Unhappy, How Dr KellyAnn Petrucci Reset Her Life

Successful, Numb And Unhappy, How Dr KellyAnn Petrucci Reset Her Life

I was honored for Dr KellyAnn Petrucci ND to join us (you and me) on the show this week.  She’s a big deal. On Dr Oz all the time, PBS, she’s written 9 NY Times Best Sellers, founded the bone broth movement–very successful as a doctor (Naturopath) who has gone public.  She comes on the show to talk about her new book Cleans and Reset.

I met KellyAnn at Michael Fishman’s CHS in Spring of 2019, we were sat next to each other at a dinner randomly, and hit it off instantly, becoming good friends.  She’s got an energy about her. And is mesmerizingly charismatic–consider yourself warned.

But I was a little uneasy about this episode because frankly–I don’t believe in bone broth and cleanses.  And detoxes. And toxins. And she’s big into that. Am I going to be able to keep it together, have a respectful conversation with someone I disagree with?  Or is it all just going to go straight to hell, and I lose a friend? You’ll have to tune in tomorrow and see how it went. We also discuss:

*How success and being a workaholic led to her own burnout and health issues.

*What underlies and drives so many of us professional achievers (self worth, and sometimes, lackthereof)

* Did KellyAnn have imposter syndrome

* How you health is affected by relationships, success, self love, self worth

* Did she convince me about bone broth and her new cleanse?

* How we numb ourselves (with work, alcohol, sex) to cope with unhappiness and underlying difficult emotions

* Success won’t cure shame

Dr. Kellyann Petrucci came to realize the ancient power of collagen and bone broth to heal the gut and slow aging while studying biological medicine at the Marion Foundation and Paracelsus Clinic, Switzerland. By focusing her practice on a lifestyle that stops and reverses inflammation, Dr. Kellyann is able to help patients and readers reduce dangerous belly fat to become slimmer, younger, and healthier

You ever wonder if doctors get sick, too?  Dr KellyAnn’s moment is just that. What lead to her passing out on a plane, and what did she do for her own health to correct for that?  Check out her moment to find out.

I will say, this is a great example, a theme of the show, that people truly have their own moments that inspire them to share something great, and of significance with the world.  KellyAnn’s passing out was the impetus to write her next book and reach people who are going through the same thing. This formula is hard to beat. What’s your moment? Maybe, just maybe–the world needs it, and you…


Often, our health is negatively impacted by things we perceive as good in general.  Like career success. In general, I’d say career success is a good thing. But as KellyAnn points out in her experience, it leads to more opportunities, more parties, more alcohol, etc.  And you can get into trouble, out of balance, neglecting yourself and body, important relationships. How do you balance success with your overall holistic health?


KellyAnn was super successful.  She had founded the bone broth movement, which really took off, and had the influence, the money, the fame, etc that comes with an uber successful health program.  Who doesn’t dream of success on this level? But she was numb and unhappy. And underneath the success and pain? The question–are you good enough? Imposter syndrome.  Self worth. And really I’m going to say it in one powerful word–shame.

A huge message for all of us who aspire to success.  Success does not treat or cure shame. Read it again.  Here we have an example on a high level, with an abundance of money, fame, etc.  Sure, that stuff is good. Better than failing for sure. But that core issue of–how do I really feel about myself, who I am–remains largely unchanged.

So what now?  If success isn’t the answer, what is?  KellyAnn would say reset, connect. To your body, to your deeper emotions, your deeper self.  Clear your energy field, remove drains.  

To the question, how do you cure shame?  The feeling that there’s something wrong with you, that you’re not good enough?  I would suggest the following direction. If shame is true for you, how does it play out in your life, how are all the ways it manifests?  And something to ponder one, to challenge the narrative–what if…there was truly nothing wrong with you? What if…you were enough. What would that look like, how would you act and be and talk to yourself…

I would start with that possibility.  Just maybe, it’s the truth.


God forbid you have fun with someone with a different perspective.  It was great having KellyAnn on the show, I look forward to doing it again soon!  She does talk fast though, and it seems way faster in person than when you watch here.


At first to be honest, I felt uneasy about having KellyAnn on the show.  She’s a naturopath (nothing wrong with that) who slings bone broth and cleanses (I don’t prescribe or believe in either).  I worried I would just let her say anything on this platform, which for me as an MD would be selling out, which I don’t want to do (a criticism often levied against Dr Oz and his show).  But she’s also a friend of mine and good person. This show is just not the place to torch someone and take them down, especially someone I would call a friend. Dilemmas, dilemmas.

So I called her beforehand and we talked about it.  I told her I don’t believe in the supplements she sells and I’m happy to have her on the show, but I have to grill her about this, the lack of evidence and good science.  She was cool with it, and even on the show said she thought she could change my mind. Said she uses the stuff herself, totally believes in it, has said no a million times to putting her name on so many other supplements of lower quality and efficacy.

So we did the show.  It wasn’t perfect, I’m still learning how to be the man and doctor I want to be on my little platform (I’m still growing ;), but I’m proud that I could hold a space for her to share her story and her truth, and still be me, bring my questions, concerns and frank skepticism in some of her products.

That said, there are many things we agree on at a deep level.  That we human beings are holistic people, and our health is affected by not just our blood pressure and blood sugar, but our lives, and relationships and hopes and dreams and energies and shit.  That numbing and disconnecting hurts us, that reconnecting is therapeutic.  

Cleanses, detoxes, bone broth–meh, doesn’t interest me as a way to save lives.  Sounds like limp nonsense. But in a time where powerful forces divide us, I like to think that even through differences, we can find common ground and truly work together.  The big picture–helping folks live happier, healthier lives. I see the sadness daily of people dying young from almost completely preventable diseases–anybody who can help move that needle, help people live longer, and a little bit better and happier–I’m in.  I’m open and curious to the ways (science based preferred) that we can do that today. That’s my team. That’s the way I want to have this conversations for you on the show.  


I could write a book about the lack of evidence of supplements and short term fixes, but it just doesn’t interest me.  Because I want things that will save lives.

Here’s my bias.  As an ER doctor, I pronounce people dead.  And I believe in things that prevent this from happening.

I am thinking of the everyday people who come to my ER, usually 50+ pounds overweight.  Doing their best to survive week to week, pay their bills, feed their kids. Who just don’t have the time or knowledge to know what the hell to eat, how to lift, or which version of olive oil to use this week when cooking.  They are good people. And, to get dramatic here, I pronounce them dead in their 50s too goddamn often. From high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, cancers–and this is the truly sick thing–these deadly metabolic diseases are 90% preventable with a healthy lifestyle.

Let’s say that again.  90% preventable.

Just by doing the basics–controlling high blood pressure, blood sugar (diabetes) and cholesterol, maintaining a reasonable weight, eating healthy, moving regularly, and not doing drugs.

Unnecessary death.

Which Ultimately, is loss of time with loved ones, doing the things you love, contributing meaningfully to the world, being active.

Doesn’t have to happen.

And I’m just not impressed that bone broth, collagen, cleanses, (the list goes on) does much to keep these people alive.  I worry they are just distractions from doing the hard work of disciplined healthy habits. I have to point in the other direction.  Lives depend on it.

Sound dramatic?  Imagine being in the ER and telling a wife with 3 young children in the ER waiting room that her 40 something husband is gone forever?  It’s way more dramatic in person, I promise you that. And just plain sad. That’s what we’re up against, all of us in this healthcare profession.  Right. Now.

Keeping people alive.  Preventing this stuff in the first place.

When I hear the promise of a supplement to make your skin glow and rid you of bloat (bone broth), I don’t even pause.  Not my mission. A powder to reduce joint pains and wrinkles (collagen, with $253 million projected for 2020 in sales)?  Does it keep people alive a day longer? No? Next.  

There’s this additional dilemma of the placebo effect.  Are these supplements bone broth and collagen just placebos?  Are they the equivalent of an otherwise inactive sugar pill–where the effect is because you believe it will do what they claim (placebo effect)?  On the one hand, that’s a waste of money, and not true medicine. Distraction. Snake oil. On the other hand, as Petrucci puts in–so what if it is?  If it gets the results, then who cares.

Therein lies the dilemma.  

The following Neil deGrasse Tyson quote comes to mind: “”The good thing about Science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

For health, I would say, “The good thing about real medicine, is that it works whether you believe in it or not.”

My HTN pills will lower your blood pressure regardless of your beliefs.  When you have pneumonia, antibiotics likewise will kill the bacteria in your lungs even if you are against them.  Lipitor unclogs your arteries even if you hate big pharma.  

The placebo effect only makes them stronger.  

Enough for now, I’m sure we will continue this conversation later.


I’m still reeling about this “Success won’t treat shame” realization from watching my own conversation with KellyAnn Petrucci.  Hope you got something out of it, the world is a grey place, filled with placebos, good people, possibilities. And moments. Big ones.  I hope KellyAnn’s moment and this discussion has done something for you.

See you next time.  

Don’t be afraid to reach out on social media (Fb/IG/twitter), my favorite is to be tagged in a screen shot or video of the show–I’ll say hi.  And SUBSCRIBE to the Youtube Channel and podcast on Apple Podcasts!

About the Author

Dr. Larry Burchett, MD

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