Recovering Your Health and Preventing Another Stroke John Hopkins

“Are you the person you want to be?”

     Dr. Elizabeth Frates     

Dr. Veronica Anderson, Host, Functional Medicine Specialist and Medical Intuitive interviews Dr. Elizabeth Frates about Recovering Your Health and Preventing Another Stroke.

Are you overworked, overstressed or overweight? When Dr. Elizabeth Frates was 18 years old, her father suffered a heart attack and a stroke.  He was only 52 at the time.  This event sparked her interest in medicine and continued her passion for health, healing, and wellness. Now, she is the co-author of Life After Stroke, helps wellness groups for stroke survivors at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and is the faculty advisor for the Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group at Harvard Medical School.

In this episode, Dr. Frates takes us through an in-depth story behind her father’s near death experience, testimonials from happy and healthy clients and how you can take the first step towards the best version of yourself. Listen to the end you’ll learn exactly what to look for when looking for a doctor to help you back on the road to recovery.

Listen to episode 8 on iTunes here or subscribe on your favorite podcast app.

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8: Show Notes

Dr. Veronica Anderson’s Links


Recommended Book:

Dr. Frates: A john Hopkins Press Health Book –


Show Notes:

04:00 – Elizabeth’s father near death experience
13:15 – How to take action on knowledge
14:00 – Becoming a C.O.A.C.H
18:00 – Bikini ready for summer
20:50 – Mind, body and spirit
22:00 – Health promoting emotions
24:00 – What are your priorities?
27:30 – Practice what your preach


Female VO: Welcome to the Wellness Revolution Podcast, the radio show all about wellness in your mind, body, spirit, personal growth, sex, and relationships. Stay tuned for weekly interviews featuring guests that have achieved physical, mental, and spiritual health in their lives.

If you’d like to have access to our entire back catalog visit for instant access. Here’s your host, Dr. Veronica.

Dr. Veronica: Thank you for joining in for another episode of Dr. Veronica’s Wellness Revolution. Today I am so lucky to have this lady on. She doesn’t know how great she is. I already told her how great she is, but she doesn’t even know how great she is but you’re going to find out.

This lady teaches at Harvard, yes she does. And she’s teaching all kinds of people how to teach people how to be healthy. And so she’s a teacher of the teacher. So you know somebody who is a teacher of the teacher is a master. And not only does she teach the teachers, she also has her own clients that she helps transform their lives.

I have with me Dr. Elizabeth Frates. Dr. Elizabeth Frates, a newly elected board member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. You’re saying, “What is the American College of Lifestyle Medicine?” This is the area… Finally Harvard has said, and you know when Harvard says it it’s right, right?

Finally, we know that the way to get results in your body is through lifestyle changes. But why is there a whole college about it and conferences about it? Because people just don’t know how to do it. It seems intuitive but a lot of it isn’t. It’s a field.

And so I’m at Dr. Frates at the Institute for Functional Medicine and she was given a talk about how for us as practitioners to get our clients to exercise. And she was brilliant. She was hula hooping on the stage while she was giving her talk. She talked about how you get people creatively to move. And then I said I used to be able to hula hoop, let me go hula hoop. And I couldn’t hula hoop. I was pissed. But you know me, I’m competitive. I got to figure out how to get it done. So I even got myself a hula hoop. Somebody told me, “Here’s the problem. You got to have the right set of…” You don’t have the right equipment. You don’t have the right knowledge. You do not get results.

Let me introduce to you Dr. Elizabeth Frates, physician in physical rehabilitative medicine, teacher to the teachers, and master. Welcome to Dr. Veronica’s Wellness Revolution.

Dr. Frates: Thank you so much Dr. Veronica. I love being here. I love your energy. And I admire what you’re doing. Every day all of your podcast, what you do for people to help them transform their lives and how you’re able to do this virtually and hit millions of people. I saw somewhere a stat of 29 million people, which is…

Dr. Veronica: I’ve been all over the world. People find me from the other side of the earth and it’s quite interesting. Because what people don’t know how I started doing this, I was doing something completely different. I had left health care and people found me and pulled me back in because they figured that I was a doctor. And that’s how I started coaching. I started doing it remotely.

Now, Dr. Frates, you have a very interesting story about how you started in this. And I want you to share that because everybody has that journey, that story. So how did you start in this area? What happened in your life?

Dr. Frates: Thank you for asking Dr. Veronica because it is the reason that I get up every day and I love going to work as the original seed for my calling in lifestyle medicine. It has to do with the patients, one particular patient actually, Donald. And that’s his first name. It’s not Donald Trump. He just happens to be Donald. Just clarification.

I do want to tell you about Donald. When he was 52 years old he was overworked, overstressed, and overweight. Some of you might know someone like this. Some of you might be someone like this. A good man, loved his family and his clients. He was a financial adviser, Park Avenue in New York. He took over his dad’s business and was a good son and a hard worker. And he dined almost exclusively on steak, French fries, quick fix hamburgers, chocolate cake, Oreos in the middle drawer of his office desk. Keeping them stashed.

And he used to be an amazing athlete. That was in high school. Now he was 53 when I’m telling you this story of his life. And at this time he did one form of exercise, just one. He used to be a baseball player, soccer player, basketball player, one thing, sprints. Imagine, sprints. But these are only on occasion and only at 11:07 PM, only time he did this sprint. And that’s because he needed to catch the last train home from Grand Central Station.

So if he looked at his clock and it said 11:05, he could finish a few things up, maybe grab an Oreo, and then race down Park Avenue to Grand Central Station to catch that last train home. And one of those sprints, he had a little pressure, a little pain. No pain, no gain. Forge forward. He can get through anything. This man can make it through any amount of pain. He will get the job done. He will get to his destination. He will meet his goal.

He got on the train. He made it just… He would cut often, report stories of getting in and the doors just closing in right after him. Well, he was happy to be on the train. By the end of the half hour train ride, his home station arrives and he feels as if there’s an elephant resting on his chest now. Numbness and tingling down his left arm. Sweaty, diaphoretic, short of breath. This is very strange. He feels very uncomfortable. His wife was a school teacher and knows nothing about medicine.

Picks him up at 11:39, which is the time the train would arrive, takes one look at him and says, “You need to go to the ER.” He drives him there where he completes his massive myocardial infarction and right middle cerebral artery stroke. What’s that? He had a heart attack and he had a stroke leaving him paralyzed on his left side.

That’s the patient that inspires me every single day, basically. Pretty much every single day that one patient. I was 18 when that happened to Donald. And this is Donald Peg, my dad. That event is forever etched in my head because I love my dad. And he was the pillar of strength. And I was actually going to go into the family business. That was my plan. I’m the youngest of all Pegs. That’s my maiden name, Peg.

And all the other cousins they had their other things they were doing and I was very much like that. Hard worker, driven, and the youngest cousin I was going to take it over, until this. And I watched my dad, he didn’t make a complete recovery. So he worked hard for in physical medicine and rehabilitation with PT’s and OT’s.

The only thing that remained, fine motor movement of his left hand was not quite up to par. But you wouldn’t notice unless you were his daughter or his physician. But more importantly he made a complete lifestyle change and this is back in the 80’s. I watched this man change from the diet you’ve just heard to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish. He never ate these things before. They weren’t in our house. I wasn’t eating them before, and I started having salads before every meal just like he did.

My mom was his kind of coach Dr. Veronica. I know you coach people. She isn’t trained but she went with my dad to intensive lifestyle therapy programs. And she learned about healthy foods and cooking. She also learned about movement and she took it to heart. So not only did he change his diet he changed his pattern of living and moving. Meaning you got an exercise bike, stationary one that he was on one half hour, five days a week religiously.

Yes, he would be watching some new show or something about the stock market but he was on that bike. He started working from 10 am to 10 pm each day, complete change. Spending more time with my mom, more time with me. My brother got married and had little kids, he was the best grandfather there ever was. And he kissed my mom. For the first time I saw him kiss my mom. That was when I was about 18-19 years old. I still see it. I see him coming towards my mom from behind and I see him leaning over her shoulder and kissing her on the cheek.

And I remember my thinking, that’s so great. He’s expressing all that love and he’s finally able to live the life that he wanted but I think just couldn’t hold. He couldn’t hold it because he was so trapped by do, do, do…
“Make sure the company succeeds for your father. Keep going. Your clients are the most important. Forget you. You don’t mean anything. You’re fine. You’re invincible. You’re Donald Peg. You can do anything.”

And watching this transformation, first of all I was so grateful that he was able to do this and he did live the best 27 years of his life after his heart attack and stroke. I’m still very close to him. In fact some of this work I feel like I’m doing with him. It’s very was very strange. We didn’t end up working together in the business, of finance, but I think ultimately in the end we’re working together to help people avoid the health setbacks that he had and to help others achieve their optimal state of health and wellness.

This is why I’m so passionate. Since 18 I’ve been on my own wellness journey, trying different things, different types of foods, different types of movement. Maybe you’ve noticed something’s a little strange about what I’m doing. But that’s because I do try to practice what I preach Dr. Veronica. You know this with the hooping. I really try to practice what I preach. And I studied a lot Dr. Veronica about what the body needs so that it can function at its optimal state, optimal level and what the mind needs to achieve peace, and what the heart needs to feel joy.

These are different things. Medicine really honed in for us, right Dr. Veronica on the body, what the body needs.

Dr. Veronica: Yeah, it did.

Dr. Frates: We didn’t get too heavy into the mind, and the peaceful mind, it wasn’t part of my training. Certainly the joyful heart, that really wasn’t part of it. But I know that’s your situation. I know that’s what you do. You help all these viewers to understand, to live. Not just get the knowledge but you empower them through your coaching so that they can achieve these feelings of wellness and health.

That’s how my dad and I when we partnered… I joined him again but I just continue and I will find avenues to share the health. And I appreciate this avenue because it’s not what I’m familiar with. I know you and I spoke together privately about, I’ve been teaching at Harvard at the medical school and at the extension school, the students. And I also teach physicians as you heard at the Institute of Functional Medicine at a conference. But I haven’t had this avenue open to me until you contacted me. So I’m grateful to partner with you in this podcast ad hopefully share some maybe tidbits that will be useful to your viewers.

Dr. Veronica: Let’s talk about some tidbits because you brought out a lot of nuggets that people can learn from. We’re now in the age, back when your father had his massive event which could have killed him, he luckily had those events, lived, and really made the change. It really was the moment that made him change. But you and I see people every day who have these moments and they want to change but they just can’t figure out how. They don’t have a Mrs. Peg there. Is Mrs. Peg your mom?

Dr. Frates: That’s right, very married.

Dr. Veronica: …who has the background or the knowledge or the know-how to… There’s a lot of Mrs. and Mr.’s out there that are supportive of the person that they’re married to or in a relationship with. But now we have so much knowledge at the university of Google that people feel like I read it, I know it. Nothing’s new under the earth but I’m not having success.

What do you say about that to people? Because I make the point to people that nobody can do anything by themselves, so this is your problem right there. But people still aren’t convinced. What do you say to people? Because people are trying hard. They’re reading everything. The information’s out there. They come in. They almost know more than we do. Almost but not quite.

Dr. Frates: You make so many good points. Francis Bacon, right, knowledge is power. University of Google, knowledge is power. We all go out and we try and get as much knowledge as possible. The thing that I’d learned is it’s power but it’s not powerful enough to instill lasting change. And so what do we need people to appreciate?

Because you have the information as Dr. Veronica’s saying. Does it mean you’ll act on it? We want to know how to get going and how to act on it. There’s power in numbers. Having support is important. Having a Mrs. Mary Peg for Donald is important. I think the first partner you need to partner up with though, yourself.

Here’s the first partner. And I’m going to ask you to partner with the coach self that’s inside of you, every one of you. Dr. Veronica is a coach and she knows how to coach. But guess what, all of you can bring out your own personal coach. How’s this?

I love these five words. Coach, curiosity, bring out your curious child-like self. Be open and non-judgmental with yourself and others. But I’m talking about now you’re bringing the coach out of you to help you and talk to you from above. Appreciation for this moment, appreciate for actually being in this podcast, appreciation for Dr. Veronica to have the wherewithal to create these things for you all, appreciation that you had the time to sit and listen today, that you can sit and listen today. Appreciation for perhaps your mom, your dad, your grandmother, your best friend, your spouse, your dog. And then compassion, you’ve tried things perhaps and it hasn’t worked. You’ve read everything in the internet and it hasn’t actually helped yet. But compassion, compassion for yourself and where you are, compassion for others around you. And then H is honesty. Being honest with yourself.

Are you the person you want to be? Are you following your own sense of purpose? If you line up your priorities on one side and then you line up the amount of time you’re spending doing specific activities in your day, is it going to match? Are you spending the most time on the things that are most important to you? Do your priorities match your daily life? In most cases we find no. But you need to be honest with yourself about this.

When you bring this coach like person out of you we all one living inside ourselves. Each one of us has a coach-like individual that can be curious, open, appreciative, compassionate and honest. We can be those things, those human characteristics.

Partnering with that coach in you, number one, is really, really important. And then if you can find a Dr. Veronica, or become part of a program where there is coach like person that can help you look at your motivators, why change, why adopt a healthy diet now? Why change your eating pattern now? Dr. Veronica could tell you. I could tell you. Dr. Google could tell you. But you need to verbalize why you want to make a change right now.

For me I’m sure Dr. Veronica can tell you about her clients. I can just list one client who wanted to go to Florida and wear a bikini, and this was a 74-year old woman. I’m not talking about a teenager. That’s true. That was her motivation. She was 74 and wanted to wear a bikini. Alright, I’ll work with that. I want to get to an intrinsic motivator that was kind of extrinsic appearance motivator. But if that’s going to lead her to, which it did, walking regularly, choosing fruits for dessert, filling her plate with vegetables, if that motivation to get on that into a bikini at 74 is her motivator to begin.

And by the way, she was 200 pounds to start. I’m just trying to paint the picture for you. Then I’m fine with that if that’s her motivation, because guess what eventually ended up happening. She started walking and loving it and feeling really good. And she started noticing her pants were fitting differently. She started noticing she was more nimble. She was more energetic. She started inviting friends on walks. She changed her diet because she wanted to fuel herself so she could walk farther. Then she started snowshoeing. We’re here in New England. Then she started biking. Now this 74-year old woman has a bike rack behind her car so that she can take her bike and her friend’s bikes out to trails. Now she just loves the feeling she gets after exercising.

So the time comes she’s supposed to go to Florida, to get to wear her bikini in Florida. She goes to Macy’s, she tries on bikinis. She does. I wasn’t there. She told me this story. She didn’t like the way they looked so she was disappointed. She found a great one piece that she loved but she came to me saying she was very disappointed. I said, “Wait a minute, did you ever think you’d even put a bikini on 10 months ago?” She said, “Good point. No.”

And then the whole point of the story is did she stop after going to Florida and prancing around in her special little one piece that she looked so good in? No, she didn’t stop because she loved the feeling of exercise. And she loved the way she felt after she ate fish, broccoli, quinoa, versus when she used to eat five pieces of pizza. She didn’t like that feeling.

Now, did she stop pizza altogether Dr. Veronica? Actually this woman did not. She had one piece a week because where she worked they would order pizzas. Why, I don’t know. They would order pizzas on Thursday, and it was I guess pizza Thursday. Why don’t we have kale and quinoa Thursday, Dr. Veronica? Why? We have pizza Thursday.

So she would instead use that as her treat. She would do one piece of pizza. What happened with her? A massive transformation in her mindset, in her movement, and in her heart. I think if we understand that it’s the body, mind, and spirit, not just the body that needs healthy input like how we speak to ourselves, that’s asking the coach to speak nicely to yourself. And don’t you wonder sometimes, you say things to yourself that you would never say to another person, let alone a friend. You would never speak to a friend that way. Meanwhile you can tell yourself these terrible things.

It comes back to partnering with a coach. Because guess who’s with you all the time? Yourself, right? I think the number one message is to bring out the coach in you, that curious, child-like, open, appreciative, look at this day. By the way it’s a really cloudy day in New England but you know what, we need rain. We got a drought. So I am saying, “Great. Look it’s cloudy. I hope it rains because that’ll help the flowers. That’ll help our water supply. That’ll help us.”

Be appreciative for it. And then be compassionate and honest. I hope that helps. Does that help Dr. Veronica? Was that something you think might be useful?

Dr. Veronica: Absolutely. I love it. You’ve talked about appreciation and you’re showing appreciation. I term that gratitude and I like to talk to people and tell them about the health harming emotions and the health promoting emotions. And that fear, anger, sadness… Your self-talk of fear, anger, and sadness to yourself about yourself is harming your health. The love, the joy, and the gratitude changes your physiology. And we now know that. We have research on that.

This is why lifestyle medicine is so important. We talk of lifestyle medicine, this goes back to physicians take the Hippocratic Oath. Hippocrates said let your food be your medicine. Medicine is food, food is medicine. We take the Hippocratic Oath. Yet traditional mainstream American medicine has become just the opposite. And in fact we like to talk about doctors who promote using food as medicine. And we want to call them quacks.

I’m trained now in homeopathy. And Hahnemann, there’s a medical school named after him in Philadelphia. They actually changed the medical school name to Drexel now. But Hahnemann, father of homeopathy named homeopathy and allopathy. He named what everybody does today. It meant we’re going to do it this way, homeopathy, and drugs, allopathy.

We have come so far away, now we have to turn back around and realize that what we left, what was happening centuries and centuries ago, what was in Hippocrates, what was in ancient China and ancient India, a lot of that, which has to do with the mind and the spirit not just the physical is extremely important.

I also want to bring out something else that you sad about what are your priorities and how much time do you spend with those particular priorities? Is health your priority? This is a Wednesday when we’re making this recording. People don’t know when they see it. They see it when they happen to come upon it. Wednesday is my work out Wednesday. That’s my day. I go to the gym. It’s my endurance two hour workout. I spent from 5:45 to 7:45 in the gym working out hard.

Dr. Frates: Look at that glow she has. Just everybody look at her glow, that’s from working out. Do you see that glow? That’s a glow.

Dr. Veronica: Yes. And then I came home. I made my bone broth. I made my cranberry drink. I made my protein smoothie. I start my day, after I say hello to my dogs, working out and bringing in the right nutritional things to make sure I’m taking my supplements because it’s the most important. Me is the more important.

And so, what got me here wasn’t just me alone. I had to get to the point where I decided me was important. But I also have a good friend and she’s a Dr. Veronica too. And the other Dr. Veronica is a chiropractor. And she got me on the path of understanding about homeopathy because I went to medical school, she used to use these little substances on me and I said, “How did you get that to work?” I don’t have any side effects. It happened so fast. How come I never learned about it? I got pissed.

You know what doctors do, we’re all competitive about this. I went and got trained instead of “how come nobody knows about this?” It’s so easy. People call you a quack here. In France you get a degree from the Ministry of Health when you get trained in homeopathy. Here people say that you’re a quack. Yet it works so nicely in the right circumstance.

You have to keep your mind open. Understand, I have gratitude for people like Dr. Frates who I go to meetings, I meet them, and they say, “Sure, I’ll come on. I’d love to. I have gratitude for that because I always learned something. But it means that I can have your energy and my energy together to come out and help people make the decision that they can do it and they can change.

Dr. Frates, she’s up there at Frates, I want you to know how to find her. Because if you want to go to Harvard and you want to get trained in how to teach other people, or you want to get some advice about your own health, is where you find Dr. Frates. She’s got all the paper on her wall.

I got paper on the wall in a different way. I’ve got all the degrees and all that stuff that you’re supposed to have. But I’m here because I’m not going to be the person to help everybody. Here you have it, Dr. Elizabeth Frates on the board of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. How about that, on the board.

I’m sitting on her exercise ball. Let me just ask people this. Audience, is your doctor practicing what they’re preaching? If they tell you lose weight or go exercise are they doing it? Do they look how you want to look? If they can’t a result for themselves they’re not going to get a result for you. If they can’t get a result for themselves they have to understand they don’t have the knowledge and go to another doctor.

Dr. Veronica, I didn’t have all the knowledge. I go to my chiropractor, I go to my physical therapist. I got my trainer. I go to conferences where I’m able to collaborate with the Dr. Frates of the world to figure out how can I do it better for me. Because if I can do i better for me I can teach you how to do it better.

So Dr. Frates, thank you for doing what you do. You are wonderful. This a role model for women and women physicians on the way to do what’s passionate for you. You hear where that comes from, from watching her father almost die. And a lot of us, people out there, if you’re on a health journey it’s not just about you. There people around you who love you. It’s not just about you. Get out of your selfishness and realize that you are responsible to all those people around you. Even if your kids are grown, they love you, they want you to be around. And they suffer when they watch you doing things.

I’m an eye surgeon. I watch my grandmother go blind. Do  you understand how my grandmother sacrificed and went blind so that I would do what I do today. Because I know it’s preventable. Preventable blindness. She went blind from diabetes. That is preventable diet blindness.

Dr. Frates, she talks about exercise prescriptions. I give people exercise prescriptions. I tell them how to do it. They have to report back to me. I put it little tiny bikes so that they can be successful. And even before I give them the exercise prescription now because they start feeling good on their program they start it themselves because they know they should be doing. Dr. Frates, thank you so much for being on Dr. Veronica’s Wellness Revolution.

Dr. Frates: Thank you Dr. Veronica and thank you everyone for listening.

Dr. Veronica: Hey everyone. I want to really thank you so much for listening to my new podcast, Dr. Veronica’s Wellness Revolution. I really enjoy helping others regain their health. So if this episode helps you, it can definitely help others. Do me a favor. Give us a five star review on iTunes to help me spread this message.

And because I really appreciate your help so much I will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card each week to a random individual. Check the show notes of this episode for the details on how to win. Thank you so much. Take care.

Female VO: Thank you for listening to the Wellness Revolution Podcast. If you want to hear more on how to bring wellness into your life visit See you all next week. Take care.



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Medical Intuitive, Functional Medicine Doctor, Functional Medicine New York, ManhattanDr. Veronica Anderson is an MD, Functional Medicine practitioner, Homeopath. and Medical Intuitive. As a national speaker and designer of the Functional Fix and Rejuvenation Journey programs, she helps people who feel like their doctors have failed them. She advocates science-based natural, holistic, and complementary treatments to address the root cause of disease. Dr. Veronica is a highly-sought guest on national television and syndicated radio and hosts her own radio show, Wellness for the REAL World, on FOX Sports 920 AM “the Jersey” on Mondays at 7:00 pm ET.


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