Mon, 28 January 2019
This week we welcome Alexx Stuart to the show. She is an educator, activist and change agent who runs online courses and hosts a podcast for those wanting to reduce their toxic load in everyday life. She's at the forefront of a movement that's non-judgmental, gentle on the body and skin, and tough on the companies selling produces masquerading as food or safe cleaning products. A columnist for Wellbeing magazine, she also a sought-after speaker and consultant to businesses committing to change for good.
Questions we ask in this episode:
This week, I'm excited to welcome Alexx Stuart. Alexx is an educator, activist and change agent who runs online courses and host a podcast for those wanting to reduce their toxic load in everyday life, Alexx calls this low tox living. In this episode we discuss the principles of following a low tox lifestyle and focus on the areas that could be unknowingly impacting our health. Over to Alexx.
01:12 Hey guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition and I am delighted to welcome Alexx Stuart back onto the podcast. Alexx, how are you?
01:20 I am so great. Thanks, Stu. It's so great to be here with you. Sorry for the mood lighting I've got happening on my side. I've retreated to my parents. There's construction everywhere around our place at the moment. So, I figured quiet and moody was better than noisy and bright, right?
01:38 It looks super comfortable behind you.
01:40 It is. Yeah.
01:42 Excellent. So before we get into the questions today, for any of our listeners that might not be familiar with your work, could you just tell us a little bit about yourself please?
01:51 Yeah, for sure. So I'm an author of a book that came out last year, The Tox Life. But the story goes way, way, way back into the past. And the whole reason I ended up in health education, even though I had a successful career in hospitality and prior to that in cosmetics in the beauty industry, was through a series of events that I like to call waves of realization, if you like. The first one being a retrospective realization that when I left cosmetics I also left the world of migraines and I was like, "Oh." I didn't really know to dig as to what was in the industry that might be causing those migraines. But I literally stopped getting migraines once I left the beauty industry. So I knew there was something there.
02:40 Then I had this recurrent tonsillitis situation, and so many people will hear this and go, "Yeah, I've been on that merry-go-round" where you go to the doctor because you feel unwell, get the drugs, you take the drugs, you feel better, you feel better for a couple of months, then you feel crap. Then you go to the doctor, then you get drugs and with antibiotics, as some people may or may not know, antibiotic resistance starts to creep in. So you get put on stronger and stronger and stronger ones and of course you're killing more and more and more good gut bugs at the same time.
03:11 And I found myself in a situation where antibiotics didn't work and this was really my wake up call to stop doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. It just wasn't making me better. And I was a thriving 28-year-old in every other area of my life. And I was like, "I can't go on like this. This is ridiculous." And so a friend said, 'I know it might be a bit crazy, but why don't you go see a naturopath?" Which, 15 years ago was a bit of a cuckoo thing to do. even though now, thank gosh, there's one on every street corner helping us build stronger bodies. But back then it was a bit weird and I went and she put me on some revolting tasting herbs that have since come to love the taste of, and a really simple and strict three day, if you have to eat something, just have some really well cooked brown rice, chicken stock and carrots and that's it. I just don't want you doing anything too complicated for your system.
04:05 And I got better in three days. I sweated it all out and it was really quite astounding to me that some herbs from plants could actually ship tonsillitis. She suggested I quit gluten containing foods as a longer term strategy to stop it from reoccurring because she had read in the research that was starting to come out that there was a strong link between [inaudible 00:04:32] bugs and a gluten, in terms of gluten feeding them and then causing proliferation, et cetera.
04:42 So I was desperate. I gave it a go even though as a half Frenchie that was probably the worst news I could have ever received. [foreign language 00:04:49] all the good things. But it worked. And the really interesting thing in that time was it got me looking at food labels for the first time in my life. I actually had to look at the ingredients because a few months off gluten and then you'd accidentally have it in a restaurant or something. I really noticed a huge issue with it, but it's kind of like the cows getting grain fed from the late '60s and onward and then realizing you got to give them a tiny bit and then a tiny bit more and then a tiny ... You never realize you're not meant to feel average.
05:28 And so I had started to feel great and then boom. And so I really knew these things were hurting me and I had gluten in every meal. They would have been in my pre 28-year-old self. every single meal, there would have been some form of gluten. And so it was really interesting to see how it was in products that were causing, as they were called health products, breakfast shakes and those sorts of high protein this and low fat that.
05:54 It really started me questioning food companies and questioning our whole system that allows us to trust that they're doing the right thing by us. And they're really, really not, and our government just lets it happen and this is happening all over the world. So, I had been a bit of an activist in my teen years, joined Greenpeace first day of uni. I was that chick. I kind of put it all to bed, you get the good career, the boyfriend, you start on your little societal checklist. I was raised quite conservatively.
06:58 And I was horrified to learn that about 90% of what was in there was petroleum derived. That really then sent me on the journey of learning what these chemicals were, I discovered endocrine disrupting chemical families. I discovered the word fragrance and how that can have up to 140 different chemical compounds inside it's secret little word recipe thing there. And again, my sense of justice around the secrecy and the lack of longterm research done before things are brought out to market.
07:32 Really just, for me, those two things happening in a bit of a wave and a few little things in between made me think I need to focus my skills on education, empowerment, and motivation and nerdiness. I always liked a bit of a nerd factor.
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