What You’ll Learn
- This is the story of System-by-Stacy, a luxury line of organic proteins, with Stacy Berman. Have a listen. » Jump To This
- The start of Stacy’s journey into the healing arts and consciousness work with an Indian guru and shaman. » Jump To This
- Transitioning from running a highly successful bootcamp in NYC to starting a company in protein shakes. » Jump To This
- What’s wrong with most proteins and why vegan one’s taste like sh*t. » Jump To This
- The issue with singularity in diet or healing. » Jump To This
- “The simpler you can be with your healing process, usually, the better it will react.” » Jump To This
- A book? A TV Show? What’s next in Stacy’s story. » Jump To This
She’s a shaman. An NYC fitness icon. A doctor. An entrepreneur. Is there anything Stacy Berman can’t do?
In this episode, we sit down with Stacy to talk about her luxury line of protein shakes, how protein shakes can help you lose weight, why vegan proteins kind of suck, why there is no elevator pitch for quantum physics, her work changing the negative self dialogue many women have, and so much more.
This is the story of System-by-Stacy with Stacy Berman.
Note: Stacy’s awesomeness led her to share a special offer with listeners of this podcast. Save 20% on your order of System-by-Stacy protein shakes using promo code SXS2019.
Enjoy the show!
Have a Listen
Connect with Stacy & System-by-Stacy
Disclaimer: Transcripts are prepared by a transcription service. Refer to full video above for exact wording.
Caspar Szulc: 00:01
I wanted to start this episode with a little bit of science talk. Neuroscience to be exact. Neuroscience has actually shown us that listening to compelling stories releases the hormone oxytocin, otherwise known as the cuddle or love hormone because it controls things like empathy and social interaction. Research also shows us that oxytocin can improve digestion, quicken wound healing and protect the heart.
But storytelling goes beyond research and has roots as a healing modality in many cultures. Renda Dionne, a clinical psychologist and member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, explained that “Stories are how we come to understand ourselves and the world around us. For American Indians stories are medicine…being present with yourself and the audience and speaking from the heart.”
That’s why this podcast series was so important for me to get out there. Since I’ve heard so many inspiring and empowering stories before that I felt an obligation to share them and help others heal, as well as release some of those feel-good love hormones. And today’s guest has got a great story to tell. As a doctor, a shaman, and a fellow New Yorker, Stacy’s been helping heal those that are disconnected for decades. She’s been labeled an NYC fitness icon, a pioneer in the fitness industry, and a badass entrepreneur. That last one was actually mine. But on top of that, she has a really unique perspective on healing and has even launched a luxury line of organic whey protein powders designed to help you love yourself from the inside out. This is Stacy Berman’s story. So let’s jump into it.
Caspar Szulc: 02:03
So I’m just going to jump into things here with Stacy Berman, a good old friend. We’ve known each other for a really long time. I think I met you what, 10 years ago, plus in Midtown Manhattan through a mutual friend. And since then you’ve gone your way. I’ve got mine and we always kind of reconnected, but I never got your full story almost, so to say. I know this about you, I know System by Stacy of course, I know the boot camp stuff, which we’ll get into, but can you share your story almost from the beginning of sort of what led you down this path? What guided you to where you are now?
Stacy Berman: 02:42
So I mean, how far back do we want to go?
Caspar Szulc: 02:45
I will say goes far back as comfortable. Like some people are like, well, I was in my mother’s womb, if you remember, that’s a good memory. But others start childhood, college. It’s really up to you, how you want to tell your story.
Stacy Berman: 03:00
You know, I think that you know, my perspective on life is that there are always lessons that you get and they lead you directly toward your path of purpose. For me one of my lessons as well it was a defense mechanism initially. So I’ve come from a somewhat of an abusive and neglectful household. And I think as a young kid, how that translated to me was I will always be strong. I will not let anyone do that to me again. But what did that as a kid, what does that mean? That means physical strength. So then I started doing martial arts with my father and then it led me to get certified to do personal training. And that led to my boot camp class. And when you’re 18, 19, 20, you know, exercises, health, and strength, right?
“But at a certain point I had to say, it’s either me and my sanity and my growth and my health, or it’s that, and it’s a beautiful thing to help other people, but not at the detriment of yourself. So I decided to leave it.”
And then you get a little older and you’re like, Oh, I need to eat right also. And so then I got my nutrition specialist certification and I started incorporating food and movement. And then as I progressed in life and began to deal with my own shit as well as just dealing with other people. At that point, I was just working with them on the physical level, but recognizing that no matter what was happening on the physical level, there was some other shit going on. So I got to the understanding that, Oh, health is not just about eating and exercising, but it’s also about how you think and feel. And so my whole life except for the last few years has really been these two parallel trajectories. One working strictly with the physical body and then on a personal level working with the emotional, psychological, and spiritual self.
And so I studied consciousness with a guru from a Siddha tradition in India for 20 years. And he did a lot of mantra and meditation and consciousness studies and even science studies with scientists to see what these sounds did to the physiology and brainwaves and all that stuff. I apprenticed to a Native American shaman of the Hopi tradition for eight years. So again, a lot of inner work. And so I had these two trajectories and like, I knew there were all of these levels of health but I didn’t personally know how to connect these and you see yoga teachers and, and that’s beautiful, but I’m not a Yogi. It’s not my thing. So I always knew that I wanted to bring all of these components together into a whole program of healing.
I just wasn’t really sure how to do it. And actually wound up happening was, I did the first one the programs with you guys at Innovative Medicine. But I remember the first time in, I don’t know if it was in the group or your dad or somebody had mentioned Quantum University. So I was like, Oh, let me look into this. So through all my studies and training and all that stuff, I’ve always been very interested in quantum physics because partly because I love magic and it seems like magic, but also because I’m from New York, so I’ve had, I’ve had a lot of spiritual experiences that can’t necessarily be explained logically. But I’ve had the experiences, so I know that they happened. So I totally believe in that, but my New York mind is like, but what the fuck is going on? So when I saw Quantum University, I really liked their approach because they were talking about these “alternative practices”, which actually if we look at it have been around thousands of years and Western medicine is probably the alternative practice. But I’ve looked at the way that they were teaching these practices and they were teaching them through the principles of quantum physics. So it was a very scientific lens looking at these practices. And once you understand quantum physics to a certain extent anyway. Can you really understand that?
Caspar Szulc: 07:28
They never truly understand. I don’t think Einstein truly understood. Right? It’s crazy when people are like, explain it in 20 seconds. No, there are no elevator pitches for quantum physics.
Stacy Berman: 07:38
So it helped me to allow that stuff to seep into my New York brain even more. And once I did that, then I felt comfortable being able to teach this stuff and help people on a healing path and not just the physical body, but all of those other components as well. So actually you guys really played an important role in where I am today, so thank you.
Caspar Szulc: 08:13
You’re welcome. No, I’m thrilled to hear that. And I agree that so much of what is from the past ancient wisdom is just kind of quantum physics and modern science reworded, right? And it’s just, of course, different languages, different times, but a lot of what was spoken in the past was of a physicist mind almost. So I know you went to Quantum University, which is out in Hawaii, a great organization. You already had this ancient wisdom almost in you, you study with Yogi and this and that, and you connected the dots. What happened after that? Because I know you went through all that. You have this new knowledge, you’re now a doctor, right? And so where’d you go from there? Where the story goes?
Stacy Berman: 08:59
So the story from there, there were some breakdowns in there. Then I started working one on one with people. And you know, I think it took a certain amount of time for me to get confident in helping people along that path. I think that because this stuff is, it’s not like matter, right? It’s not like here, here, now you’re fixed. So it is a very bespoke type of healing. So you come to me and we try stuff and surprisingly it does mostly work. Surprisingly at the time, now I’m much more confident and you know, that’s still, but at the time I was like, Oh, that really worked. And so it really took me, I would say, two or three years of working with people and seeing them heal and then that gave me confidence that it was working. And then, of course, doing diagnostics and stuff like that. Of course, that’s, that’s very helpful. But just seeing people’s lives change as a result of the path that we were on together. That really gave me confidence. But I gotta say there were probably many breakdowns in the midst of that, you know, because when I left boot camp, which was in 2014 or 15, so it’s been a number of years.
Caspar Szulc: 10:39
Which was very successful by the way. You had a great boot camp basically running out of Central Park almost. You did. It was critically acclaimed.. And you pivoted, which is kind of crazy to a lot of people cause they’re like, Hey, you’re doing something successfully. Why change? But your part in your story took you somewhere else.
Stacy Berman: 10:58
Well, that’s the thing, you know, so boot camp, I started back in 1999, so I had been doing it for 15 years. At the time when I started boot camp, it was the only boot camp. It was the first all-year outdoor boot camp in New York City, rain or shine, sleet or snow. We were out there. And so it was great because I was the only class. And then of course there it was one of the boutique fitness classes that triggered, that sparked the fitness trend that we see throughout the world now of like Soul Cycle and Barry’s Boot Camp and CrossFit and all that stuff. So it was easy in the beginning and I loved doing it and I loved seeing the way people improve. And I love seeing the body’s ability and how people say, well, I can’t do that and okay, let’s try it.
And then they do it. And how that thought pattern changes everything else in there. So if you think you can’t do 10 pushups and then you do 10 pushups, well, what else do you think that you can’t do that you actually can do? So I love that process, but 15 years of it I felt like there was no growth. And I stayed a lot longer than I should have because I felt like I built up this community. And people relied on me and I had other trainers, training classes, and I even designed all of the workouts, but everyone would always say, no, we want you to be there. Which is beautiful. And also I wanted to jump out the window at certain points cause I also taught at 5:30 in the morning. So that meant waking up at 3:50 in the morning.
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Right. It was rough. So it was a beautiful thing, but it was also a ball and chain because I felt really responsible for the people and the community that I built up over the years. But at a certain point I had to say, it’s either me and my sanity and my growth and my health, or it’s that, and it’s a beautiful thing to help other people, but not at the detriment of yourself. So I decided to leave it. So I gave the class to one of the trainers who had been with me for the longest, who was always on time, who never stole any clients. I was just like, you take it. So she took it and she’s still running it now.
Caspar Szulc: 13:22
That’s amazing. And I find such a correlation to usually life and healing. Because a lot of times what you’re going through healing is, is a bit of sacrifice is a bit of change, change that you don’t like. I always say healing is never linear straight. Like I’m getting better, better, better. A lot of times it’s up and down, you get worse a lot and you’re like, what’s going on? I thought I was healing but this isn’t working for the other things. And sometimes you have to leave good things that you think are good to then evolve to something higher and in life, like you’re talking about that, that’s another transition too, sometimes you lead these things to cause your soul, your kind of purpose is to go somewhere else. So it’s commendable to follow that. Now you leave the boot camp, you went through schooling, doctor, you’re working on one and then you decide to open up a whole new venture.=
And so you’re just busy, busy. You’re like, this isn’t enough. And you pivoted into protein, right? Tell us about that and how System by Stacy, which is an amazing protein drink. Tell us a little bit about that story and how you pivoted into a whole new sector.
Stacy Berman: 14:35
So that was actually again, started with me. I was probably 36, 37 ish at the time and had always been in the fitness industry, always been in the health industry. I started gaining weight and I already ate super clean, all organic, mostly paleo, grass-fed, everything. Even the grass itself was grass-fed. I didn’t really drink alcohol, I did everything. And I was gaining weight and I gained about 16 pounds and it just didn’t feel good and I didn’t feel like I was where I wanted to be. And weight isn’t everything, but you want to fit into your clothes. You want to feel good about yourself. So I worked with a nutritionist and he was saying that for my activity level, and as I’m getting older, I needed a little bit more high-quality protein he came from a bodybuilding background, so he wanted me to sit down to like 12 hours a day. I was like, I’m not gonna do that. That’s just gross. And then I was looking, maybe I could get some protein powder that’s on the market. And I started looking at the different protein powders on the market. And what I found was that I’m not a vegan and I personally don’t believe in vegan proteins because I don’t believe they’re bioavailable.
Caspar Szulc 15:15
Ok, we’ll jump into that in a bit.
Stacy Berman: 16:16
And also, they taste like shit. So I’m not in, I looked at other protein powders and again, they had a lot of fillers, artificial flavors and also didn’t taste. And so I was like, why isn’t there something high quality that tastes good that I feel comfortable putting in my body? So that was the start of it. So I literally sourced different suppliers over a year and each bottle only has eight ingredients. So no fillers, no anything like that. But eight, so I had eight ingredients and then a few different suppliers for each ingredient. So now I have to start taste testing everything. This process, if you can imagine took a year. So once I got to a formula that I like the taste, I thought it was not just good. I thought it was pretty delicious.
Stacy Berman: 17:23
So flavor profile, I knew the quality of the ingredients were excellent because I was going straight to the suppliers. And then also protein content. So I wanted a higher protein content, medium fat and like lower ish on the carbs. So I started taking it and within three months I lost all the weight and was able to keep it off. And so from there I just started it as a quick breakfast or snack because I worked in central park and so I don’t have like two pounds of chicken to eat with me on the bench. So a shake is fine. So from there, because it worked for me who did “everything right”. I thought this would work for my client base. So I started literally peddling it in Ziploc bags, like here, try this and they loved it and they love the flavor and they loved everything and blah blah blah.
Stacy Berman: 18:25
And so it really, again happened very organically just like boot camp did. But the thing with the difference is that boot camp, it was like website, you sign up, you come. But a product is completely different. So there was some organic growth in terms of concept, flavor and some market research because I had the built-in audience. But then it became much more if it’s not organic at all, it’s sometimes very difficult and sometimes you want to bang your head against the wall. So that was really how that happened. It was me wanting to lose weight, not seeing anything on the market. I’m not seeing anything of quality on the market or that tasted good. So I developed it and then from there, small sales to my clients and then it grew from there.
Caspar Szulc: 19:18
Right. And in so many of these kinds of stories are out of the necessity of personal needs that lead to others. And that’s, that’s a great journey itself. Protein shakes I completely agree with you are normally quantity over quality. I remember growing up and you watched Flex magazine, Schwarzenegger, everything and it had the most milligrams, right? You had to look, Oh, tuna has 27 milligrams.. But as we know, we can’t absorb all that protein. Most of us aren’t bodybuilders or Michael Phelps working out 10 hours a day. And a lot of doctor’s perspective is that we’re already in taking too much through red meat, that we eat too much as American society. Too much protein is also the formation of acidity in the body. What would you say to that? Because I know you understand all of that and yet you still created a protein powder in a society that you could say indulges in protein. Was it about the quality?
Stacy Berman: 20:19
That’s exact difference. Yeah, it’s the quality of it. Yeah, you could go out and get a steak or fried chicken and that’s protein. But that’s not the quality. So when someone uses this as a weight-loss or let’s say a reset program you’re having this as your main protein intake and this is the highest quality I found in the United States. So that’s really it. And, and I’m sure you would agree it’s, it’s the quality of it, not the quantity of it.
Caspar Szulc: 20:49
Absolutely. And that’s what I love to tell people. People will say, how should I eat? And of course, we have a healing diet plan at the center, which tries to completely kind of, keep you off anything as acidic cause you’re going through true healing. A lot of these people are chronically out, but for those that may be healthy or a little bit symptomatic, I will say stop focusing on what you eat, start focusing on quality and how you eat it. I know so many people that are turning to vegan and eating so healthy, but they eat on the run with negative thoughts in them. They barely chew their food. They’re just picking things out that say organic on them, not really truly understanding that everyone nowadays says they’re high quality, but are you truly high quality?
Caspar Szulc: 21:32
Right? And you made this product in a fashion where we test ourselves and it really is high quality. You took the time and you realize there was a need for this. Going back to what I mentioned before because there is this crazy trend into vegan especially with protein, I know that some of the biggest trending ones that we looked at and we hear from patients a lot are tests this vegan protein. A lot of them don’t test well. Because you did not go that route yet. I understand you can see the benefit of a plant-based diet somewhat. What was it about, besides the taste, you said before that led you away from using any vegan based protein? Sources?
Stacy Berman: 22:12
So from my understanding, and you can jump in if I say something wrong, but from my understanding, you want complete food, right? because all of the nutrients in the food help to support its digestion, transportation, and utilization in the body. So when you isolate a protein from, let’s say a pea, it’s not bioavailable because it doesn’t have the supporting nutrients that your body needs in order to digest it and use it as a protein. So I mean, eat peas fine, but the pea protein is not really useful to the body.
Caspar Szulc: 22:53
That’s great because it’s so true. No, it is true that a lot of people try and isolate certain things and say, if I take this alone, it’ll have the same effect. But as we know, most things work in synergy more than the sum of their parts. And that’s why when you isolate certain Pratt and try to ingest, the body doesn’t see the same. It needs the other pieces. I always say, making anything, any sort of product that you’re going to ingest or that’s for health needs to be looked at like a meal. You could give someone just chicken, right? But are they going to really love that? Are you going to pay for that at a restaurant? Is that really a Michelin star? If they just cooked a chicken, here you go. No seasoning, no nothing, no sides, no. You know, you need a little bit of salt.
You need a little bit of seasoning. You need some vegetables on the side that go along that makes the flavor come outright, and that’s what makes a great meal. You can’t isolate things and put them in front of people and say, have that as your meal alone and the body doesn’t recognize it, you’re right, it won’t ingest it. It won’t use the nutrients as much. The macronutrients that go all along. And so it’s, it’s, it’s wonderful that you actually bring that up because that is not just applicable to protein shit. It’s applicable to everything.
I mean even different nutrients. You can’t take one nutrient on its own. You need supporting nutrients.
People don’t get that somehow because everyone always asked, we have Nadovim. They always ask, what if I just take NAD, it’s like sure you could do that. But the other ones work in synergy. That’s why we spent the year doing that. Otherwise, we were just thrown as much crappy NAD as used possible. Right. But we actually went to as low as possible to the lowest amount. That’s the most effective that the body will absorb the most. And that’s bioavailability. That’s, that’s the key to it. And you can’t look that stuff up in labs cause everyone needs the test of one. As soon as you start mixing things up, it screws with the kind of lab and the results of looking at one thing at a time.
Stacy Berman: 24:53
And that even goes back to what we were talking about before, like the even healing. You can’t say, well, I have a bad lower back. It’s just my lower back. I could almost guarantee that there’s some emotional component to that. So it’s like working on multiple levels just like you would with food. Working on multiple levels, taking in multiple nutrients, thinking in multiple different types of foods is what your body actually needs to heal.
Caspar Szulc: 25:18
Do you think that’s a problem right now in society? We’re totally pivoting right now. Do you think it’s a problem in society right now that we’re looking at one thing and saying that’s it? That’s the cure, right? And everyone’s looking at gut health. That’s it. Microbiome. They’re all throwing Hippocrates quotes out. Even though there are many beyond the gut. And the food is, I understand that food is medicine, but we live in a place where it’s not just food, its electromagnetics, your thoughts, your emotions. It’s stress around the world. It’s social media. There are so many factors. You can’t do that here.
Stacy Berman: 25:48
Well, let’s say you eat a perfect diet of whatever it is, right? All organic, everything, but you’re stressed as fuck. Well, guess what? That stress, that’s biochemical. How do you think that’s affecting the food that you’re putting in your system? So it doesn’t make sense that it is just your microbiome or that is just because you’re a vegan or whatever it, there are so many different components that go into the functioning of your body. So yeah, you can’t just isolate any one thing. It’s a whole and you can’t, even when you’re working out you can’t just say it’s chest day. No, it’s not. Every part of your body is engaged. So sometimes I want to shake people when they tell me that.
Caspar Szulc: 26:34
I know I agree with you and it’s hard not to. So what do you tell clients? You have this amazing protein here, the ability, and it is something foreign to a lot of people to take a protein shake and lose weight. You almost think of bulking up that way. But that’s amazing. And so you have all these different clients. What other things are you recommending? Of course, I understand personalization, you can’t go into there, but is there anything right now that your looking at or that you’re combining with the protein shakes that you’re kind of getting into and then just kind of seeing good results?
Stacy Berman: 27:08
Well, I mean, the program, so when people use it as a program, it comes with a meal plan. So it’s the shakes in addition to the types of foods you should be eating for your main meals and snacks. So mostly it’s going to be a shit ton of vegetables. Maybe some fish with your main meal, a little bit of fruit and some nuts and seeds and stuff like that. So it’s basically plant-based except for a few items. So, I always recommend Nadovim.
Stacy Berman: 27:45
Because that’s a product that I highlighted I believe in that I’ve been taking now since you guys offered it. And then, of course, other modalities that help people deal with their stress in terms of products. My product and Nadovim, sometimes I would suggest some different adaptogens based off of what they need. But mostly I like working with people because that’s all the tangible stuff. It’s like, yeah, take, that’s good. You can dye it, you can eat whatever you want here, take this pill. Okay, fine, but now let’s get to the root of your issues. So it’s more when I work with people, it’s not other products that I’m necessarily pushing on them. It’s more let’s look inward now and try to fix you, you broken bitch. I include myself in that.
Caspar Szulc: 28:41
I mean healing, we’re all healing. People are always like, Oh, are you sick? Because you’re always doing stuff at the center and going, I’m like, we’re all healing all the time. This is a lifelong journey. All of us are patients in some way, shape or form, right? Even if we’re feeling good almost in a sense we all have things that we need to go through. So it’s a lifelong process. Do you find that simplicity is somewhat the key to a lot of success? Because I see patients all the time come into the center and you look at what they’re doing and it’s so complex, it overwhelms me. Like 60 supplements, going to 10 doctors trying everything, and just running from place to place and it’s almost overwhelming. If it’s overwhelming for me. Imagine what it is for your body. And I think there is this misnomer that because you have a complex condition, it requires a very complex solution. I think simplicity, some personalization is key, but how do you feel about that?
Stacy Berman: 29:43
I completely agree. I think even in the fitness world, people are tracking their calories and counting their steps, measuring their heart rate and like doing all of these things and it’s like you work out, you get a sweat on, do you eat relatively healthy, you’re good. Your body knows what to do with that. And the more complex you get, the more complex it gets. I mean, it’s confusing and it’s almost like you’re not giving your body time to just be, your body knows what to do. You just have to leave space for it to do it. And so to your point, the simpler you can be with your healing process, usually, the better it will react. Because it’s just too much information and it’s too much stress and it’s too many boxes to tick. It’s just the more you could get your body and mind into the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest and digest nervous system, the more it can do the healing for you.
Caspar Szulc: 30:50
Right. And most of us are running on overdrive already. We’re living in a go, go, go society where information is constantly bombarding us, our brains are overloaded, each cell, of course, is taking in that information and it really means, I think more of us need to focus on that rest and restoration regeneration phase, which is parasympathetic. And in some ways that is simple.
Stacy Berman: 31:16
I was just going to say it’s a matter of doing, it’s a matter of being right just, let your body do the work. Your body has all the organs, it knows exactly what to do. It has the detox, it has everything just be and let it do its work.
Caspar Szulc: 31:38
I love that. And I think it’s incredibly true that we do need to listen more to our bodies and stop listening to outside forces. I love what social media has done and I’m so not a big social media guy, but I get it now. I understand this is the way it’s going and you got to kind of be a part of the conversation rather than just exclude it. But I also see that a lot of people are using their own experience to be like, Hey, follow my experience. You’ll get the same results, which is kind of wrong. Like your experience, your experience. Please do share that for inspiration, but don’t share that as everyone’s blueprints. And that that’s a little bit of the problem. How do people, how would you recommend people get more in touch with their bodies and listen to it? Because I do feel so many of us are disconnected. We’re not listening to our bodies. It’s sending out signals. It’s giving us symptoms. And we’re still not listening and we’re trying to find the answer out there when we need to go in here. But how do we do that? Because that seems difficult for some people.
Stacy Berman: 32:38
This is going to sound so simple, but it’s one of the most profound tools I’ve ever used with myself or my clients is meditation.
Stacy Berman: 32:49
It’s creating a quiet space. Once you quiet the monkey mind, basically once you shut off the chatter or at least moments of shutting it off, you can start hearing the subtle signals. And you can start paying attention to them and you could start learning the language of the subconscious mind and what are these signals and what is that feeling and what does that, what is that sensation in my body and what, what emotion does that trigger and what mental state does that trigger? And how has that mental state affected me? So it’s like creating a quiet space where you can look inside of you or just be and see what comes up.
Stacy Berman: 33:29
So it’s super simple, but meditation.
Caspar Szulc: 33:30
And it doesn’t have to be any specific meditation. It has to be more about silence almost. And focusing on breathing. I say the waves will be there of your thoughts. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just you want to go a little bit under the waves and sit there and just watch the waves. And don’t give it so much focus and attention and try to stay tuned to what you’re seeing. Because I do think when you’re already overwhelmed, it’s like now they’re telling me to meditate. Now they’re telling me to do this and it seems so hard. Get it, get a meditation app. Like just sit there for a few minutes in the morning. Breathe.
Stacey Berman: 34:12
You watch Netflix for how many hours a day? Come on.
Caspar Szulc: 34:14
I think that’s a big part too because I hear this all the time that you’re asking so much for me when patients come in and you’re like you need to change this, your diet and everything. And I think it’s where your priorities because you’re right, most of us out there if you look at your Netflix and several hours a week you’re watching TV, you’re doing things that could probably be put aside and focus on healing. But society, the state kind doesn’t value health or it says health isn’t a pill. Do you feel that though there is maybe a shift turning back around because I think for so long the medical community was pharmaceutical drug this, that, that’s it? But we’re seeing a little bit, I think of pushback now. I know I’m seeing it at the center, I’m sure you’re seeing it with the clients and success that things like System by Stacey you’re doing, but do you feel that it will turn around sometime in our lifetime maybe where we stopped going as our first option to pills and start taking responsibility and prioritizing our health?
Stacy Berman: 35:24
I think so. I think that just the fact that people are coming to see me and going to your facility would demonstrate that. One of my most recent clients is an accountant. And she’s very analytically minded and so that she would reach out to me because she’s tried other things. She feels stuck in her life. She’s not depressed, she’s just neutral, which is almost as bad as depressed. That someone like her would reach out to me to do healing would demonstrate to me that there is some sort of shift and it’s not just a shift in a small population that it’s becoming more widespread and understood by the general population that how I feel emotionally and physically and spiritually in some cases will affect how I’m feeling because on the outside, if you look at her, nothing’s wrong.
Stacy Berman: 36:31
She has a great job, she has her health, she’s fit. But she just doesn’t feel good. And so I think people are – at least in New York City, maybe West coast to some other spots throughout the country – that people are becoming more aware that health is not in a pill. And even that health is healing rather is usually a partnership. It’s not a, you’re my doctor save me. How are we going to do this together? So, I think it is shifting. It’s a slow shift because of course with any new paradigm, again, it’s not really a new paradigm, but with anything new, there’s always pushback by the general population and they’ll always be naysayers
Caspar Szulc: 37:25
And that’s the thing also, I believe that there will always be naysayers and perhaps this type of medicine because there’s personal responsibility involved and you have to be so involved in your healing process that it’s not for everyone. And some people want to continue with their habits and be fine with the pill, with the side effects. But where I see things changing is this idea of evidence over experience. We’ve been talking about evidence-based things and studies that showed remarkably and we’re sicker than we ever are. The evidence just isn’t aligning with our experience. And when your experience doesn’t align, you start to question that evidence. Hey, this drug was supposed to help me and I’m feeling worse evidenced in clinical trial showed at work, but I am feeling worse. You can’t tell me about my experience. And a doctor can’t look at lab results alone. And say, hey, you’re getting better, but I’m feeling worse doc. Right? So I think when you have experiences like your clients have that they’re actually truly getting better and they didn’t need a pill. And we see at our center that changes things. That is your experience. And that means so much more than the evidence.
Stacy Berman: 38:36
And that’s even what I was saying earlier with my, when I was on the two parallel trajectories, I had these spiritual experiences, but that affected my physiology, I’ll share this one. But I had very bad lower back issues. And in one of the medicine journeys that I did in my apprenticeship, I had this conversation with the universe and the universe was saying, you are mother and now I’ve never wanted to be a mom. So the universe was telling me, your mother and I was like, no, no, I’m not. And Universe – Yes you are. No, I’m not. Yes, you are. No, I’m not. You know, went back and forth like this for a bit. And then at a certain point, it hit me. Oh, I’m mother, even if I don’t have a child, that is my energy. That is what mothers heal, mothers nurture, right?
Stacy Berman: 39:29
This is what I do. As soon as I got that, I felt like an electrical wave of energy go through my body, my lower back immediately stopped hurting. And I never have had any back pains after that. So again, back to this idea of the experience. I could understand now at this point neurologically what happened and all that stuff, but at the time, that was a profound experience that I had that cured a physical symptom. And at certain points, I was debilitated. Like I couldn’t even touch my toes. So it was a real thing that I experienced, which is what I think people now when they come to me and probably go to your facility, they’re experiencing things like that. And they’re not always that instantaneous. But you can’t deny an experience when it has happened to you.
Caspar Szulc: 40:25
No. And that’s the thing, it’s yours, right? It’s so personal. You could have the naysayers be like, Oh, it must have been something psychosomatic, the whole placebo. I don’t care. Hey, placebo works. Give me the sugar pills. Right. Don’t give me anything with a side effect. Let me think it through and let me go through. And that’s, that’s an amazing case of your experience is only yours. And healing is about the personal journey.
Stacy Berman: 40:54
And that’s valid. It’s valid. Even if you can’t scientifically measure it, you’re the proof.
Caspar Szulc: 41:00
I mean, what else? No numbers could ever match up to you and that experience. So that’s a great story right there. So what is next for Stacy and System by Stacy? What you’ve got cooking?
Stacy Berman: 41:14
Let me tell. So part of the work that I do is, I mean, the system, we’re still working on it. We’re still taking it where I’m becoming very big in the Middle East, there are very big obesity and overweight epidemics and then all of the diseases that that happened because of that diabetes hurt certain heart disease and certain cancers and stuff like that. So it’s a very easy sell there, whereas, in the United States, it’s much more of a slow burn because it’s more marketing and branding and storytelling and all that stuff. So we’re working on building the brand here more and of course in the middle East and we have a few other markets that will be opening in the next year or so. So that’s all good. On the healing level. One of the things that I’ve done for the last five or six years since starting my doctorate, I’m basically coming from the fitness background, what I noticed with almost every single woman I’ve ever worked with was no matter what they looked like on the outside, on the inside, they had this negative dialogue about what they look like.
And they could have been like a model or obese. It doesn’t matter. It’s the same dialogue. So as I was doing school and doing my dissertation research, I wondered, well, what is that dialogue? What does the negative self-dialogue do to the nervous system and the immune system, the metabolism, all that stuff? So what I found was that indeed negative self-image and dialogue do have a real, measurable effect on your overall health and wellbeing. And so from there, I wanted to create a safe space for women to come in and explore what it felt like to be strong or sexy or vulnerable or sad or whatever the things. Usually, there are people I know, so I know what their issues are and what they have to work on. So I wanted to create a space where I would guide these women to connect with those emotions and then see what comes of it.
So I did this in a, in a photo set, right? So we would rent a photo studio and we would take pictures of the process of them going from, you know, however, they were to these beautiful empowered women. And it was very short, you know, one hour per model. And it was just such a beautiful transformation. And you know, they’ve all taken that work that we did an applied and applied it to the rest of their lives. So, you know, doing the photoshoots has a longterm effect for them. So anyway, that’s one of the components that I’ve been working on just as a personal project because I love seeing that and, and helping women connect with that. But recently, at the beginning of the year in April, we were contacted by this company called Only Good TV, which has a positive news station on the internet and they wanted to do a piece on the photoshoots.
So we did a piece on the photo shoots. It was about seven or eight minutes long. The founder of Only Good TV contacted me after and said, you know, initially he had in mind to possibly do a series on the internet on Only Good TV. But he thinks that this is good enough to take to network TV. So we just signed a contract, Only Good TV and myself. And we are now shopping the concept around to different network television stations, like A&E Lifetime, Hulu, Netflix. So that’s the next thing. Yeah. So, and I’m also working on a book called ‘The Naked Project: Science, Spirituality and Weight Loss’. And it kind of ties in the photo shoots as well as the dissertation research and all that stuff. So I’ve got a full plate, but that’s, those are the things that I’m doing now. It’s really you know, the System outside of the day to day stuff and you know, brand awareness. The System of, of course, I’ll have more product lines and stuff eventually, but the system is on its way. It’s just a matter of placing it and brand awareness and stuff like that. The healing work, the book, and the TV show are really the things that inspire me because it’s, it’s really healing on a much grander scale.
Yeah. All amazing things and all based in healing, even that photo shoot I’ve seen, you know, followed you through that. And that is incredible because that’s a form of healing. It is. Realize that emotional baggage we all carrying, you’re so right. It doesn’t matter if you’re a model, if you’re a young girl was a little over. Everyone has that almost these days. And it’s sad because that contributes to disease and to the epidemic of everything we’re seeing where people are just, you know, in this mental health, his situation and everything. So it’s amazing. I really, and where can people learn more about all of this?
So you could learn about the System. It’s a the SystembyStacy.com no, E in Stacy by the way. And then for my healing work, it’s StacyBerman.com and they’re linked to each other so you could find if you find one, you’ll find the other.
Caspar Szulc: 46:47
Very cool. Well Stacy, thank you so much. Always a pleasure connecting with you and I recommend everyone go and check it out.
Caspar Szulc: 46:57
There you have it. I love Stacy’s story and the idea of the body knowing exactly what it needs to do and has everything to do it. So just let go and stop getting in the way. Sometimes we forget that and we need help to reconnect with that truth. That’s why there are Stacys and so many others out there that are working hard to help shape other people’s lives. Thank you so much for listening, and if you’re enjoying this podcast, give it a good rating on iTunes, tell your friends and family, have them take in a good, compelling story that can release some of those loving hormones and let the healing begin. Till next time, stay healthy, stay happy, and create your own story.
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