Episode 178: Suzanne Somers, Entrepreneur, Actress, NY Times Best-Selling Author and Founder of Suzanne Organics

Nicknamed “Rosy” by her family for her positive outlook on life, this NY Times Best Selling-Author, Entrepreneur, Actress, Wife and Mom sees the world through rose colored glasses!

In this episode, Suzanne Somers, Founder of Suzanne Organics, shares her secret to lifelong optimism and how the challenging parts of life are the ones we can learn the most from.

Dan Hodgdon
AnnouncerWelcome to Where Brains Meet Beauty® hosted by Jodi Katz, founder and creative director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Jodi KatzHey there. It's Jodi Katz, your host of Where Brains Meet Beauty® podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in. This week's episode features Suzanne Somers. She's an entrepreneur, actress, and founder of Suzanne Organics. And if you missed last week's episode, it featured Dr. Zahir Dossa. He's the CEO and co founder of Function of Beauty. Enjoy the shows.

Hey everybody. Welcome back to the show. I am so thrilled to be joined by Suzanne Somers. So let me think of the list of accolades. Entrepreneurs, author 27 times over, actress, and educator on our health and wellness. Welcome to the show, Suzanne.
Suzanne SomersThank you. Thank you. I love the title Where Brains Meet Beauty. Having been the person who played the dumbest woman on television.
Jodi KatzWell, I'm having a fan girl moment. I know our producer was having a crazy fan girl moment. I'm so excited to be talking to you. Your entrepreneurial journey is so fascinating, and it doesn't stop. And I'm super inspired by that, and I'm so excited to get to know you during this time.

So to start, Suzanne, I'm going to ask you to go way, way, way back because my favorite question, since this a career journey show, is all about what'd you want to be when you grew up when you were a little kid? Do you remember what that first instinct was?
Suzanne SomersWell, I'll tell you, did I know what I wanted to be? I did know what I wanted to do. I had a difficult childhood. My father was a violent alcoholic. I wrote I think three books about him and started the Adult Children of Alcoholics Movement. But when I was a little girl, we got to hide in the closet to get away from the closet. I had this fantasy that one day I'd be on a big stage, and my mother would be in the front row of whatever this place was. And she would finally be proud and happy. And it happened.

I remember when I opened in Vegas for the first time at the MGM Grand Hotel. It was the biggest room on the Vegas Strip, and there in the front row was my mother. I could see her because she had this beautiful white hair, and she was so proud. And she was so happy.

So I think that our dreams as children are very potent if we give them credence.
Jodi KatzIt's so interesting that you mentioned that. It's making me think about all these historical triggers that move through your life as you're evolving into an adult and evolving as a human. After all this time, do you feel still feel those triggers happen from time to time?
Suzanne SomersDo I still feel the, what?
Jodi KatzThese triggers, these historical triggers?
Suzanne SomersThere's not much that triggers like that anymore. I just keep moving forward. I do know that life is about turning lemons into lemonade, and that it's the difficult times in life where we learn the most. So when I go through a difficult period, I always sit back and think, "What am I trying to teach myself this time?" I sometimes I think, "Why are you trying to teach yourself this at this time?" But it helps in not ever getting down.
Jodi KatzSo are you a naturally optimistic person, or do you have to work at that?
Suzanne SomersWell, I'm naturally optimistic. My kids call me Rosy because I see the world through rose colored glasses. I have this amazing marriage. It's amazing, and we spend 24/7 together. We haven't been apart in 20 or 30 years. We haven't spent a night apart. We feed off of one another. We know one another's strengths. We don't get in one another's way. He does what he does. I do what I do. It compliments one another so beautifully, and then we usually finish the evening with a tequila and a few laughs. I don't know. Life is great. Even in the pandemic, life is great.
Jodi KatzRight. So you're living the relationship with your husband maybe better than what normal people in COVID are not used to be around their partner as much as they have been.
Suzanne SomersWell, that's certainly not an issue here. I don't even like it when he's in the other room. I know it's kind of sick. We're codependent. What did you call it? Oh, functionally codependent.
Jodi KatzIf we can talk about the book. So I have the book here, and I did actually get to meet you and Alan once a few years ago at a CEW Event. I had a fan girl moment with you at the event.
Suzanne SomersI actually only went to one. So I remember that.
Jodi KatzOh yeah. So yeah, when I saw you from across the room, I'm like, "Oh my god. So exciting." So it was so cool to meet you in person, but super even more cool to have this conversation with you now.

So I was so excited to see the sculpture of art, the human body behind you because I dug into your book, and I want to tell you what I circled in the index, the topics that were super interesting to me because I have a feeling that a lot of your readers of your books through wellness actually go to the topics that they're dealing with, the challenges. So you're going to get to be my I guess part therapist, part holistic healer during this call if that's okay with you.
Suzanne SomersOkay.
Jodi KatzSo the first thing that I went to was sugar.
Suzanne SomersYeah. Body's greatest enemy.
Jodi KatzI know it's toxic, but I have a dependency. I do. I talk like an alcoholic about sugar, but I can't live without. I'll just have a little.
Suzanne SomersWhat forms to take? Ice cream, cookies, or does it matter?
Jodi KatzIt's not ice cream for me. It's cookies, chocolate, but not cheap chocolate, good chocolate.
Suzanne SomersChocolate raises your serotonin levels, that's your feel good hormone. Actually, we need chocolate. So don't feel bad about chocolate.
Jodi KatzI think what challenges me is sometimes, and it's always when my head is not in the right place, I need it. It's like I had a hard day at work. I need this. I want to be left alone but I can't be left alone right now, so I choose to pick it up.
Suzanne SomersSo you use sugar to take your pain away.
Jodi KatzYes, yes.
Suzanne SomersThat's very alcoholic.
Jodi KatzRight. So it's like a soothing mechanism, and I wonder if after all these books and after all these interviews with medical professionals, you have any guidance for me?
Suzanne SomersIt's tough love. It's like with alcohol. You just have to one day decide I'm not going to eat sugar anymore and don't eat it for a couple of weeks, and then the craving goes away because it has to get out of your system. So you can do it. Is it causing you problem?
Jodi KatzNo. It's an internal battle. It doesn't affect my life. I'm super strong and healthy.
Suzanne SomersAnd you're not overweight. It calms you down and makes you feel good. I don't see that it's all that much of an issue. If you have cancer, sugar feed cancer. So that would be a reason to give it up. And weight would be a reason to give it up. But you don't look like you have any weight issues to me at all.
Jodi KatzSo maybe I need to just be a little kinder to myself about it.
Suzanne SomersYeah. Yeah. Don't be so hard on yourself. You look like you got great looking skin and teeth and thick hair. You got a glow about you. So I wouldn't worry about it. I really wouldn't.
Jodi KatzOkay. Thank you for checking that off my list for me.
Suzanne SomersYeah. I feel that way about I have one or two tequilas every night with Alan, and there's a part of me that goes, "Oh, I probably shouldn't do that." But it's such an enjoyable part of our day. We meet at Big Al's Bar, which is outside here, at five o'clock, and he fills my glass with ice. My favorite Baccarat glass. The glass is very important, and he puts Patron Silver in it. We sit and sip and talk. Oh, it's an enjoyable hour or so. It's how we wind down the day. Yet there's that little void, that person in me that says, "Your father's an alcoholic. Your sister was an alcoholic. Your two brothers were alcoholic. Your younger brother died of alcoholism. Maybe you shouldn't have it." But I don't think I've ever been drunk, and I don't drink to take pain away. I actually have my tequila to feel good. I usually have one, sometimes two, but usually one. So I think it's under control and it's enjoyable.
Jodi KatzYeah, it sounds like a ritual for you and Alan.
Suzanne SomersYeah, it is a ritual. Yeah, very much so.
Jodi KatzSo when I open your book, Suzanne, and I know you're the author of 27 of them. So I haven't moved through all of them. But it makes me think of if I put this book in front of someone, they'd be like, "Oh my god, that's just like woo-woo." Do you get a lot of feedback? I mean, I actually believe in all this, and I think there's a lot of garbage out there that we're being fed. But fighting through this misconception that the topics you're talking about in holistic healing and really healing what's broken and not just pacifying it with drugs. That to me is normal, but it's not the norm. So what are you met with when you keep bringing these topics up to people and making them I guess uncomfortable?
Suzanne SomersNow I'm met with respect. Initially I wasn't. Initially I was criticized and ridiculed because what does she think, she's a doctor? But in today's world, with the internet and computer, you can self-educate. And anything you want to learn, you can online and learn it. That's what I did. I learned how the body works, and how it works at optimum. And then I used my fame to get to the best and brightest doctors, scientists, professionals to pick their brain because my talent is that I can take boring doctor speak, and they're fascinating people but they don't know how to explain things. Write it down, decipher it so that once I understand it and have my aha moment, then I know all of us will. And that's been very effective template that I've used for all the books, and people say they've learned so much. And I know because I've dumbed it down for them but not made it stupid.

There's some real interesting things happening now. When I start a book, I turn off any preconceived notion of what it is I want. I interview until I realize, "Wow, a theme is emerging." So for instance, in this book, A New Way To Age, the theme that's emerging is cellular health. Who knew that you and me and everybody listening is made of cells? You are somewhere between 40 and 60 trillion cells. So if that's what you're made of, your skin, your teeth, your hair, all those things I just mentioned that make you have your glow, you want to keep that as healthy as possible. As we age, our cells get less and less healthy, but in this last year, a new supplement called out called senolytics. What's that?

Senolytics is a simple protocol. Once a week you take two capsules. It's about $8 a week. So it's not expensive. As your cells age, they break down and create debris. So you don't want a body that's got a bunch of cellular debris flying all over the place. It's like a room that hasn't been cleaned. This senolytic activator, which actually not to be commercial but I am. I sell it on SuzanneSomers.com. Cleans out cellular debris by taking two capsules once a week for about $8. I mean, that's a phenomenal advancement that very few people know about.

Another thing I came across in writing this book is something called NAD, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. I know you're impressed with that. And what that does, what NAD does, it's another supplement, but this one you take every day. And you can get that on my website also. It repairs DNA breaks in your cells. If you have DNA breaks in your cells, that means your cells are not operating at optimum, and the definition of health is having more functioning cells than malfunctioning cells. But most people, the paradigm is reversed. They have more malfunctioning cells than functioning cells. So what you want to do is reverse that paradigm.

So that book is talking a lot about this. But I also in this book take the reader who hasn't read all my other books and nobody understand their thyroid. Well, if you want to know about your thyroid read the Belgium doctor in there, Dr. Terry Hertog or new peptide treatments. Peptides to target hair, skin, all the things that you care about in terms of presenting yourself to the world as a beautiful person.

So it's very fascinating to me to pick the brains of these incredible people and learn so much.
Jodi KatzSo can we just go back to the zombie cells. I want to understand this. So this is like the dust in the room, the dirty, dusty room. So you're saying that what you learned is that you can actually take a supplement to rid your body and shed your body of that dust, that cellular dust?
Suzanne SomersYeah, isn't that amazing?
Jodi KatzSo wait, can you explain the other one. The broken DNA cells.
Suzanne SomersNAD, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. Crazy long name. That repairs cellular breaks. So the DNA is encapsulated in each cell, but if that DNA has breaks in it, then it's not going to operate and communicate at optimum. It's like when I was writing so many books about bioidentical hormones, that's really a language. The hormones are in every cell in the body too, and they communicate with one another. In fact, I was looking on Twitter this morning, and someone was making fun of me because I was doing one of my Facebook live shows and I said, "Vitamin D is actually hormone." So they put up a video of Chrissy Snow being dumb. But it actually is. Why they called it a vitamin, I don't know. But vitamin D3, which is so essential for health. It supports your brain, your heart, your immune system, your endocrine system, that's your hormone system. I don't know why they called it vitamin D3 a vitamin when it's really a hormone. So on Twitter, they were making fun of me.

So those are the kind of things that I still get. I'm ripe for that because they can go to YouTube or backlog of anything of Three Company's and get me looking real dumb, but she's cute.
Jodi KatzWell, let's talk about this because we have this conversation at my company all the time. It's a lot of 40 plus year old women that I work with, and we have conversations about why is the doctor not telling us this? Perimenopause. I go to my doctor, I'm like, "I'm hemorrhaging during my period. This can't be normal." And she's like, "You're fine." I'm like, "How am I fine?" Nobody talks about this stuff. So why am I reading your book to find out about the cellular dust? Why is this not something that everybody's talking about or the broken cells? We learn so much about blue light and all these other things, but why are we not hearing about repairing at the cellular level everywhere?
Suzanne SomersBecause they don't teach this in medical school. I asked one doctor in one of my books, "How'd it get like this?" They said at the turn of the century, there was a guy by the name of Abraham Flexner, and he was hired by the institutes of higher learning, John Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, First Presbyterian, et cetera to offer funding to the universities in perpetuity if they would only teach allopathic medicine. What is that? Allopathic medicine is pharmaceutical medicine, as in here's the problem, here's the drug for the problem. So all the -pathic... Well, that's chiropractic. All the other holistic forms of health approaches were dismissed as quackery, and anybody who was into natural or holistic medicine is written off. But my feeling is if you can do it naturally first, you can always go to pharmaceutical as the last resort. But if you can do it first, you got to be better off.

These doctors that I interview have devoted their life to this kind of health. I admire them so much.
Jodi KatzSo this idea of these dusty cell... I like calling them dusty cells, the zombie cells. I mean, this isn't just about health. Isn't it beauty tied to this? Isn't the appearance of my skin or health of my hair and all of that tied to getting rid of the dusty cells?
Suzanne SomersYeah. We all know it's nicer to be in a clean room than a dusty one. And that could be why you're craving sugar. I don't know. Maybe.
Jodi KatzYeah, maybe I got a lot of dusty cells that need sugar.
Suzanne SomersYeah, right. Because your cells aren't working at optimum.
Jodi KatzRight. Because there's gunk in the way, right?
Suzanne SomersYes, you're craving something to rectify that.
Jodi KatzSo you have so many businesses. You have a skincare businesses and the supplement business, and marketing supplements is such a challenge. On social media, you can't just... I mean, you can advertise a face cream however you want, but you can't do that with supplements. So from the way you spend your time as an entrepreneur, how do you overcome... It sounds like the biggest stories here are really in supplements because you're telling stories that people aren't. How do you overcome those marketing challenges that help grow that business? Your fame can't do it all, right? So what are the tactics that are working for you?
Suzanne SomersWell, when you've written 27 books, then you have... And women feel and men. The men are coming over now because they want to feel as good as we're feeling. They know I've got their back. So they come. I have a very, very large constituency of millions, and then we have a PR company out of New York that sets me up for podcasts, like this, to get the word out to bring in... I have to check this. The billion people, Alan.
Alan Hamel:Yeah, a month.
Suzanne SomersYeah, we are garnering a billion people a month by doing all the extra curricular things on social media that never existed before. The worst thing that's happened to all of us is this pandemic. But someone like me try to see the silver lining in this. I am able to work from home. I don't have to go anywhere. So three times a week, I do my hair and makeup, and we do most of the shows from Big Al's Bar. We have a tequila, and Tuesday night and Friday night at five o'clock, I invite my constituency to have a tequila with me.

Now what I have found is women in particular don't like to drink alone. But if they can have a cocktail with me and Big Al here, they like it. And it makes for easier conversation. They tell me what kind of tequila they're drinking, and then they ask me questions about their hormones and their health. Again, I'm very careful to never give advice, whether it's hormones. I love talking about organic skincare because toxins are the enemy. We're under the greatest environmental assault in the history of humanity. So toxins come in through the skin, through the food we eat, through the GI tract, and then through the air we breathe. The air we breathe is the hardest one to control. Although if you get HEPA filters for your house, you can go a long way to keep your room from being a dusty room. There's no senolytics for your actual room.

But the organic skincare, it's so easy for me to sell this because I believe in it. All of it has earned the certified toxic free insignia. I mean, it's got to be grown organically, extracted organically and nothing upwind or downwind of the product can be toxic to contaminate it. Well, I feel good about putting something like that on my skin. It's olive based, and it's all clean, organic products from nature. Oh my gosh, my customer loves them.

And what we do on Facebook live on Tuesdays and Fridays, and Al and I do a cooking show on Wednesdays, is really discuss each product and make them understand how life enhancing it is, and they get it. Women are smart. We're all smart.
Jodi KatzSo let's talk about this time period because the supplement industry and wellness have seen in terms of growth, as much growth as possible. We're all really hyper aware of our health under these conditions. So the customers who have been with you for a long time, are they expanding their willingness to try new products during this time? Are they hearing your sage words in new ways because we're all feeling a little more anxious?
Suzanne SomersYes, and also I didn't finish my thought about... My brain went off for a minute. On these shows, Tuesdays, Fridays, and sometimes the cooking shows on Wednesday. I give them incredible discounts. It's like this whole weekend of cyber Monday and Black Friday and whatever Saturday was. At some point, I was giving on some products 67% off. So that's when they stock up, and they know if they come to my shows, they're going to have fun, and they're going to get good buys. They can stock up on this stuff that they love the most. It's frustrating when you have a cleanser or some kind of moisturizer or something you run out. This allows them to have a stockpile in their cabinet.
Jodi KatzThat's great. Well, I want to just talk to you about magnesium because I've been taking magnesium, and it's amazing. I see you write about it and how essential it is. I wish more people knew about it. It's helped me in so many ways. So I'm glad to have seen it featured in your book. It's covered often in many of the chapters actually.
Suzanne SomersVery astute of you. Magnesium is a very important mineral, and the body can't operate without minerals. Magnesium makes you calm, but magnesium also makes you poop. What I hear from my women more than anything is they're all constipated. So I go, "Well, before you go to bed at night, take three capsules of magnesium and some vitamin C and you'll see."
Jodi KatzOh yeah. Well, the vitamin C is just supercharges it then, right?
Suzanne SomersExactly. If you throw in a little aloe to soften things up, don't worry. Everything will be okay.
Jodi KatzI wish more people talked about constipation. It's probably really what's on everybody's mind. People really don't want to talk about it.
Suzanne SomersYeah. So many have gut issues and gut problems because of the degrade of our food and GMOs and poor diets. It's about the food. It's about the food. You have to eat quality food. So your nemesis is a little sugar. My nemesis is a little tequila. But as a general rule, I eat a ton of vegetables and I eat organic meat, chicken, and fish and free range lamb and New Zealand and Australia lamb. Lamb is so good for you. Lamb is good for you because it comes from an animal with two stomachs. Did you know that?
Jodi KatzNo.
Suzanne SomersWhen the animal has two stomachs, it breaks down the minerals in a way that allows you the consumer to absorb them better.
Jodi KatzI did not know that. That's very interesting too. Well, Suzanne, this has been amazing. I'm so excited to get to know you this way and to see your beautiful face. Even though we're not together, it feels like we are.
Suzanne SomersIt does.
Jodi KatzSo thank you so much for your time today. And for our listeners, I hope you enjoyed this interview with Suzanne. Please subscribe to our series on iTunes and for updates about the show, follow us on Instagram @WhereBrainsMeetBeautyPodcast.
AnnouncerThanks for listening to Where Brains Meet Beauty® with Jodi Katz. Tune in again for more authentic conversations with beauty leaders.

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