‘I am very much a grey area thinker, I don’t fall into absolutes, I never have. Because absolutes never lead us to progress, never, ever. So, while questioning is really important, I fully condone questioning when something doesn’t seem right, unfortunately a lot of political forces take hold of people who are either vulnerable or questioning and get their single issue interest into multiple other issues, where they would otherwise normally thought the exact opposite, simply because they’ve questioned one issue, they then get preyed upon to throw everything into question. I’m seeing people actually question climate change who would never have questioned climate change before.’ Alexx Stuart
Alexx Stuart’s passions run wide and deep. She founded the online community and education hub Low Tox Life in 2010 and is responsible for birthing the low tox movement. In this podcast we dive into her knowledge around political science and the growing swell of numbers questioning everything that is going on in the world. Alexx believes there are so many grey areas. She does not fall into absolutes. Absolutes never lead us to progress. Questioning is really important when something doesn’t seem right.
With strong connection to her overseas family and traveling a lot in the first few years of her life, Alexx Stuart ended up calling Sydney home from the age of 6. She grew up with a love of language and communication. She majored in French at Uni and completed a Political Science degree in French also. She loves the romance languages of Italian and Spanish and especially loves trying to figure out ways to communicate for peaceful change, to help people to connect to each other and find overlaps in times of polarisation.
Her low tox life came about through an issue with tonsilitis 17 years ago. There were no resources and nothing to turn to. She was advised to quit gluten and in turn became that ‘special’ person with ‘special needs’ in a society that was not on trend with gluten free at all. She found it fascinating to be an outcast and believes you cannot know what that is like until you have been one. Perhaps many feel like that now, given the current world situation, but Alexx wants people to know you are not alone. An outcast will learn a lot and become stronger for it.
It was when she was pregnant, she went deeper into food learning what we put into and onto our bodies is critical and this led her realise that all choices affect not only the individual but the planet too. Here she was someone who had an amazing education, a university degree and yet did not know about the importance of the quality of food she put in her mouth or what she put on her skin, what was used in her home and how that effected herself and of course, the planet. She believes school and Uni do not prepare you for everyday life.
It is natural for Alexx to research and learn about the best places to go, what resources to use and then teach others what she has learned. It was mind blowing to her that things we are told are great for us, are absolutely not.
We dive into her knowledge around political science given today’s situation around the virus and choices and the growing swell of numbers questioning everything. Alexx believes there are so many grey areas. She does not fall into absolutes. Absolutes never lead us to progress. Questioning is really important when something doesn’t seem right.
Unfortunately, a lot of political forces take hold of people who are either vulnerable or questioning and get their single issue interest into multiple other issues where they would otherwise normally have thought the exact opposite. Simply because they have questioned one issue, they then get preyed upon to throw everything into question.
Alexx is seeing people actually question climate change who would never have questioned climate change before. So, it’s very interesting to her how we take single issues moments like the pandemic and the people questioning them and prey on them to manipulate ways that they feel about other things. This is the most concerning part about it all to her.
With her political science degree she says it takes years to realise what these moments are and how the infiltrations happen to really be able to stay big picture. She recommends people read and always read around all sides of everything. Never ever go down rabbit holes where all of a sudden everyone feels the same way. That is the most dangerous thing any human can do because that is where forces that we don’t even know about prey upon people to then influence massive polarisation. What happens then when we are completely polarised is everyone is outraged by everyone else.
There are huge amounts of people on both sides of the extreme and then a whole bunch of people in the middle saying can’t we all just get along?
One important point Alexx makes is that you cannot become an expert in this space without a significant amount of time. She is a huge fan of the people who can speak about things moderately and pick interesting aspects of all sides of an argument. One person who comes to mind is Dr Elisa Song https://healthykidshappykids.com/ an incredible paediatrician. She has towed the line of reason the entire way. And that sometimes is saying favourable things. But also, the incredible ability to keep us all on the straight and narrow, realising that there is merit in a few things that are happening but also questioning the extremity to which those things are applied.
When we know so much about viral health mitigation, yet we are not allowed to have a conversation around effective treatments other than the vaccination, it begs the question why? This does not advance science. But then again, the extreme of the science side and anyone who doesn’t believe the science is also completely ineffective just like the other side saying it is all about freedom.
Reading extensively and from many sides of an argument and following whoever is at the top of the field and look at how they are debating about each other as opposed to those of us who are not experts who are literally just taking the Chinese whispers at the bottom.
Alexx questions the banning and censorship and sees it is a travesty. The peace is going to be found when we realise there is a lot of pain everywhere and there’s a lot of fear driving the polarisation and there’s a lot of fear in the most polarised people… will I lose body autonomy? That is a huge fear people have. But will I lose my grandma is the same fear if those people don’t get vaccinated. It’s still fear.
If we are going to start trying to come from a place of LOVE how do we disband that fear, how do we get people talking to each other and starting to openly share concerns and Alexx believes that is focussing more on our overlaps than our differences.
When asked if there is a greater agenda at play around the elite, money or governments Alexx says she has been a huge fan of Bernie Sanders who has been championing the clean-up of the hyper billionaire which is a dangerous situation.
We start seeing that there is an unlimited amount of money that is being put into election campaigns is often undisclosed. We don’t even get to see where or how much. She believes whilst we can blame business, we actually have to blame the political system that allows business to infiltrate politics. This is where the convergence of blurred lines of truth becomes very, very murky.
We have situations like having deadly sunscreens available, where in the senate one locks down a bill that is supposed to make sunscreens safer, and the reason they did it is because they received $400,000 from a certain chemical lobby. That should not be allowed. So, we keep blaming all these people who have nothing to do in the end with a system that originates the problem.
It is a huge mis-step in our quest for true democracy in the seventies and eighties and the flow on effect has meant people are allowed to get bigger and bigger and bigger and amass more and more wealth, untaxed at a just amount.
The idea that someone like Alexx (like us) can be paying more tax than Jeff Bezos is absolutely ridiculous. So, we have a system that unfortunately that allows to create this big elite narrative, to create the idea that these people are actually in more control than governments are now. So, unless we get the money out of government, out of election campaigns it is going to be very hard for us to start seeing more corruption task forces, more taxing of hyper wealth and less of an ability for companies to just keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger to the point where they’re more powerful than a country’s appointed leadership.
When we talk about money, Alexx believes it comes back to values, if you have the right values and are held to those values in your early life then she does not think money is dirty or bad. She has heard many negative things around people with money and coupled with her catholic schooling has led her to grow up feeling guilty and needing to do things for others even at the cost of her own good.
Alexx talks about how she believes we are heading back to an Aristocracy instead of a current Democracy. She would love to see a breaking up of hyper-wealth somehow. The best way to find out the where the root of the problem is, is to keep asking WHY until you get to something. She keeps coming back to rulings like Citizens United where you have a proliferation of money flowing through official governments hands and it needs to be stamped out.
She talks about tax and the importance of those who have pioneered even being taxed 20%. If governments run out of money for social issues it causes unrest. Unrest creates desperate people and people vulnerable to any issue into the preying hands of someone who might lead them down the wrong path. Desperate people do desperate things, not happy loved people who are safe and secure. We have a big challenge to clean up politics.
Alexx suggests questioning and reading books and I include her incredible list below.
We then have a big open conversation with Alexx around health and wellness and her challenges, particularly around mould. We talk how the pendulum can swing, not only in politics but, in health and people can go from one extreme to the other.
When you have an extreme event, it can push you to another extreme. Alexx was not exempt from this and found it to be ostracising and bad for her mental health to be so militant in all she did. It is important to have a mental health journey alongside a health one. She calls it getting back in the middle. She says she does what she can do most of the time so she can go with the flow some of the time!
Mould is a far worse problem for some than others. If you have issues of being tired, brain fog, carrying extra tummy weight, a leaking tear duct then it could all be causing adrenal fatigue, gut imbalance, lack of muscle tone and compromised metabolism and immune systems, and this could all be stemming from a mould issue. It can be an horrific inflammation cascade.
Alexx spent over $20,000 trying to work out what was wrong with her. Thanks to a chiropractor who helped her to discover the root cause of her health issues. And her story is incredible. If you have any of these symptoms or know someone who does then make sure you share this podcast and Alexx’s incredible journey.
Her definition of Self Love is knowing that in the worst times you can have skin to skin contact, cuddles and to know everything will be ok. Love and a ‘can-do’ spirit can support you to get through challenges. She believes that time in nature can be a beautiful way to love oneself, even if you live in a city.
Tennis has also been a wonderful way to help Alexx heal. It is like a metaphor in life as she says you are out there on your own and it is up to you to get in the arena and fight it for yourself. We talk about our mutual love of essential oils and how they are such an important and accessible tool as part of healing and living life to the full particularly with our olfactory and allegory senses.
We talk about her brand new book Low Tox Life – FOOD which is a must have in every home. Consumers are more confused than ever nowadays. Food has been over productised. We have dietary associations funded by big food conglomerate companies which comes back to money and politics which is not right.
We have such a broken and over politicised system such an unjust system especially for our animals to then be able to create a message of unity whether it is vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, keto, omnivore, carnivore, anything where we talk about more around our overlaps than our differences. Alexx says biodiversity is king! And to remember to connect to our power and lean into our responsibility this is to help us to remember our commonality and community.
Every little thing we do makes a difference. And she suggests that we meet together more in the grey and the overlaps.
Alexx Stuart’s passions run wide and deep. She founded the online community and education hub Low Tox Life in 2010 and is responsible for birthing the low tox movement with the phrase low tox that has resonated with people around the world. Her international bestselling book Low Tox Life and podcast by the same name have supported millions in achieving their personal, home and planet health goals. She is a sought-after speaker and consultant to organisations committing to change for good, whether it’s a focus on people’s health or the planet’s.
Alexx’s Book Recommendations:
Kim, voila: wanted to really think about some faves over the past couple of years. Being well read is one of our best defences in times of polarization, I think.
Suggested reading to understand how we got to the polarised place we are today and how there is so much corruption and a non-industry influenced politician is so hard to find, regardless of party these days.
For anyone who leads or wants to lead people today: https://www.booktopia.com.au/when-the-center-does-not-hold-david-r-brubaker/book/9781506453057.html
And if you want more on overcoming toxic polarization this was great https://www.booktopia.com.au/the-way-out-peter-t-coleman/book/9780231197403.html and while they talk about America, we are 10 years behind them, give or take, in terms of our own polarity issues so it’s very relevant.
This is a must read https://malwarwickonbooks.com/citizens-united/ by law professor Zephyr Teachout. It’s dangerous territory and timing to become a single issue voter, because if we focused on candidates that were truly independent and without substantial gains to be made by being elected (ie NOT Clive Palmer grabbing onto people against mandates so he can swing votes and continue to profit in the billions from mining). We need true independents more than ever, not funded by industry – historically far more likely to listen to constituent concerns and counter narratives that hold weight.
Another one I loved https://www.booktopia.com.au/goliath-matt-stoller/book/9781501182891.html?source=pla&gclid=CjwKCAiA6seQBhAfEiwAvPqu17T4TA7ify9RNzZcXDsNgVUZJ1tGEEvAj0ga7b1yMzigR6sJumImKhoCFpAQAvD_BwE
And this one just out this month – fantastic for an overview of the history and development of democracy. https://www.booktopia.com.au/the-shortest-history-of-democracy-john-keane/book/9781760642563.html
Very good and not too long, considering the promise and failings of democracy’s ideals https://www.booktopia.com.au/democracy-and-its-crisis-a-c-grayling/book/9781786074065.html
Why We’re Polarised. Great book https://www.booktopia.com.au/why-we-re-polarized-ezra-klein/book/9781788166799.html
Industrial Strength denial – what industry gets away – I interviewed the author and her book is great. Book https://www.booktopia.com.au/industrial-strength-denial-barbara-freese/book/9780520296282.html and podcast link: https://www.lowtoxlife.com/show-198-barbara-reese-industrial-strength-denial-how-corporate-denial-is-public-and-environmental-health-enemy-no-1/
Sick Money focuses specifically on the pharmaceutical Industry. Very important read https://www.booktopia.com.au/sick-money-billy-kenber/book/9781838850265.html
You can’t go past Yuval Noah Harari 21 lessons for the 21st Century.
And also very important book out last year on global elites and why voting for independents focused on reform when it comes to mega corporations, military industrial complex, and private individuals amassing unchecked wealth almost always vastly under taxed – https://www.booktopia.com.au/winners-take-all-anand-giridharadas/book/9780141990910.html
Slanted – A book on censorship and the fall of good journalism – Lots to think about here and key is to continue to seek out high quality long form investigative journalism https://www.booktopia.com.au/slanted-sharyl-attkisson/book/9780062974693.html
I found Obama’s autobiography, albeit it super long, very interesting as the first presidency navigating hyper-polarization from his personal perspective and looking under the hood at trying to run a government where both parties now disagree to disagree and progress seems at times impossible.
Really enjoyed this one on Paul Keating’s prime ministership – the good,the visionary and the unfortunate things born from it. Very objective and reminds you that if we vote right, we can in fact have smart leaders once again. https://www.booktopia.com.au/recollections-of-a-bleeding-heart-10th-anniversary-edition-don-watson/book/9781742751993.html
Voila – A few I’ve read the past few years that help people jump into the far more complicated domain of grey area thinking, polarisation, the problem with unchecked industry and individual wealth amassment and generally to at least become a thinker who always wonders: That’s an interesting perspective, let me see what other perspectives are out there and let me see if I can find experts debating each other instead of one side of an argument putting forward their view, whatever the issue.
It’s tough out there right now. I believe in a world where we can have differences, question authority and band together to demand a better democratic system free from the entanglement of vested interests left, right and centre.
You can get a copy of Alexx’s latest book through Booktopia right here: https://www.booktopia.com.au/low-tox-life-food-alexx-stuart/book/9781760525798.html?source=pla&gclid=Cj0KCQiAjc2QBhDgARIsAMc3SqTcelUS70PDWtAAKW5zP8h9tuAFo6yNgxUESZJjz4GVf4GY9R8Bx28aAsT-EALw_wcB
Her favourite quote is from Henry Ford:
If you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.
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