The Naturodetox Podcast Episode 2: Redefining Nutrition with Alex Malkin

The following is a transcript from the NaturoDetox Podcast #2. 

        Welcome to the NaturoDetox show with your host Meghan Kennedy Brind, a show about hope and achieving optimal health in a toxic world. The food we eat, the products we use, the air we breathe, the people we interact with, and even the very thoughts we think, it's all here, and it all affects us. This podcast was designed to help you navigate how you can not only survive, but thrive in today's world. You're the author to your story, so listen in, and allow us to help you become the best version of you. Through discussions with a variety of wellness experts, you can gain access into this world that is yet to be fully unraveled, but it's quite possibly the very key to vitality, longevity and joy.

      On today's episode of the NaturoDetox show, we will be chatting with Alex Malkin, a certified holistic nutritionist and a conscious lifestyle enthusiast, a former model and Miss Universe Canada runner up. Alex decided to dive into the world of nutrition after she was diagnosed with an MRSA staph infection, it forced her to reevaluate her lifestyle and food choices. As a mom of two and a wife of a chef, she truly values and promotes a real whole foods movement. She's very passionate about the environment, as she incorporates eco friendly lifestyle tips and solutions made easy for all. Her passion is in helping others feel more empowered to take control of their health, and the health of the planet through mindful consumption, positive mindset and everyday choices.

         This episode today focuses on the vital relationship between mindfulness and eating, or consumption, and Alex shares what she believes is the true definition of nutrition. In a world that is drowning in diet and health related information, how can we become more empowered to make choices that are better for us? For us. How can we clear the confusion so that we can take steps to improve our health, reduce toxicity of our body and minds, and ultimately thrive? Alex is here today to shed the light into this very topic. Hi, it's Megan, and I'd like to welcome you to the second episode of the NaturoDetox show. Today, I'm here with Alex Malkin and I'm so excited to be opening the show with you. I joked with Alex that she's my guinea pig today, because she's my first official guests on the show. So thank you so much for being here, Alex.

Alex Malkin-Thank you for having me. I'm so excited.

Meghan Kennedy -Yeah, this is sort of a new venture for me, so I hope everyone enjoys the ride today. I've known you, Alex, for I was thinking probably three to four years, perhaps a little longer. And we've mostly connected over social media, as that's the world we live in, but we've met several times in person. And when I was brainstorming which guests to have on the show, I knew that you were going to be among my top choices right away. You really encompass a holistic approach to well being in a way that I find is simple, it's realistic, and it's tangible. So whether it's sort of from nutrition and a whole food approach to eating, to mindfulness, to eco friendly living, even to beauty products and relationships, you really highlight all of these topics admirably.

        So in chatting with you though, we both sort of decided Alex and I that rather than create a formal dialogue today of sort of an interview style, we really just want to have a real, authentic conversation, just let it flow as it naturally does whenever Alex and I chat. So I always think that when I see you, you radiate this sense of confidence and poise really, in who you are. You hold your head really high and you seem to feel comfortable in your own skin. And at the same time there's this aura of softness, of openness and a willingness to be present. And I feel naturally drawn to you when I'm around you, and I know that others do as well.

       So I'm super excited to have you here to share what you do day to day, just naturally in your own life as a mama of two, and a wife, and many more things. We're just excited to hear how you live your life and what you have for the listeners that you can offer. So again, thank you so, so much for being here.

Alex Malkin-Thank you. What an intro, can I just say. I have a lot to live up to on this podcast.

Meghan Kennedy -Yeah, no pressure, Alex.

Alex Malkin-Yeah, I'm like, wow, really? A soothing aura-

Meghan Kennedy -Yes.

Alex Malkin-I have that?

Meghan Kennedy -You do. You really do.

Alex Malkin-I'm so excited. Honestly, this is fun, because when we chat, we chat for hours. We could chat for hours.

Meghan Kennedy -Oh, we could chat for hours. Yeah, absolutely.

Alex Malkin-About everything. I remember when we first met, we met at the, I think it was a kids soccer game. And we bonded over our children who didn't sleep and were attached to the boob.

Meghan Kennedy-Right.

Alex Malkin-So that was it.

Meghan Kennedy-And that was our first-

Alex Malkin-Like right away.

Meghan Kennedy -Yeah, we were like, we were kindred spirits from day one as we were in our exhausted misery at the time. But yeah, from that moment, actually, I remember leaving that soccer gaming and saying to Adam, wow, she's amazing. Like, I love chatting with her and we just clicked. Sometimes you just click with people, and it certainly was that connection from day one. So I think it's really important, Alex, I wanted to just start it off with allowing our listeners to sort of know who you are, there's an intro that obviously plays before our chat so they can get an idea of your education and sort of who you are and where you come from.

           But I was wondering if you could tell us just a little bit about how you became so invested in living a lifestyle that reflects wellness in body and in mind, and as I mentioned to you, everyone sort of has their story. And this is where the term wounded healer comes from, because often we need to experience some form of brokenness or emptiness or suffering, sometimes to realize the impact on our own well being and how we can influence others. So can you tell us a little bit about how you came to be sort of what you are today?

Alex Malkin-I've always been a curious child and a very curious adult, and I loved biology in the human body. And I thought that I was going to go into pediatrics, if you were to ask me at the age of five, what I was going to be, I was going to be a pediatrician. So when I went post secondary schooling, I studied biochemistry. And it wasn't until my second year that I realized it just wasn't feeding my soul, and I decided to go travel and experience different things. I was competing Miss Universe, Canada at the time. I was first runner up, I didn't win.

Meghan Kennedy-Wow, that's still impressive. Yeah.

Alex Malkin-And through that opportunity, actually got to go and represent Canada internationally. And I went to Shanghai, I had some fundraising and non-for-profit work in Nicaragua. And I just like, it blew my mind. It opened up my mind to the world and I decided I was going to go traveling, I was going to go experience something different. So I quit school and I always had the intention of going back, but I quit school in my second year, and I went to go live in New York. And it was a very tough time for me, because looking back now, I was under a tremendous amount of stress that I induced upon myself.

       I really, I thought that I had to have everything figured out by the age of 22. And I was living in the big city, I didn't have a lot of money, and I was just trying to figure it out. And I was really, really stressed. I got really sick when I came back to Toronto with a thing called MRSA staph infection. So it's quite nasty and the way that it started was just a simple, tiny little, almost lesion/boil right above my eye, and then it ended up spreading to, it was my lower abdomen and my inner thighs. And I had maybe a collection of like seven to eight really painful boils all over my body.

           And at the time, I didn't know what I was doing wrong, like I was eating semi well, but I was working really late nights trying to make ends meet. And I was stressed, essentially. So I went to the hospital, they put me on different kinds of antibiotics and it was a cycle, I would go back every two months because I would have all these boils come up all over my body and my immune system was basically shot. So for about a year, I did that. They gave me all kinds of different antibiotics, and eventually one of the physicians actually looked at me and said, "You know, you have a thing called MRSA. It's basically an antibiotic resistant, kind of nasty bug." And I just felt, I felt defeated at the time. I felt like I was never going to get better. Like I always had to just go back on the antibiotics, and it felt like I was on this like hamster wheel.

           So a friend recommended a naturopath and I was 20, I want to say 24 at the time, 23 at the time, and I felt like I had nothing to lose. So I went in to go see him and he put me on an elimination diet and intravenous vitamin C and glutathione and a few supplements. But it wasn't so much the protocol that he put me on that shifted my mindset, it was more so how empowered I felt going in or going out of the office, the first consult that I had with him. I really felt like I had the ability to change this, I didn't have to just depend and rely on modern medicine, I could do this, I had the power within me to really change the outcome, my health.

       And I went on the protocol, I did the elimination diet and knock on wood. And I'm knocking on wood, because it's been how many years now, been quite a few years that I haven't had a single boil and my immune system has been, knock on wood thriving. And it just, it was the beginning point towards my health and wellness journey. And after that, I actually decided that I wasn't going to go back to finish my degree, that I was going to go and study nutrition, because like I said, I'm extremely curious. And anyone that knows me, I asked a million questions.

          So I thought, okay, I have to go find out more about this, like the power of food and regeneration and having the ability to just go and get a sort of certification in something like this, it was like very empowering to me. So I did it more so for my own knowledge. I didn't plan on becoming a holistic nutritionist, I just wanted to learn more, so that was kind of the beginning stages of my journey.

Meghan Kennedy -That's incredible. And I love the way that you talked about that empowerment, because when I shared in the first podcast my story, I sort of laughed looking back at her, the naturopath that I saw, her prescription for me and it certainly wasn't necessarily what I had been given at the time, it was the power that she had given me to understand, like you had said that it is within us. And I say that to people that I work with all the time, that I can help provide information and give them the tools, but it is ultimately them and it's ultimately you that changes your own life and your own inner and outer being. So I love that. I think everyone can probably resonate with that. One thing that you mentioned to me, Alex, around nutrition, because as we know, it's just information overload out there.

Alex Malkin-Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

Meghan Kennedy-Nobody knows what to eat, what to drink. It's even for me, someone who does a lot of research into nutrition and herbs, I sometimes feel that sense of overwhelm. And you said to me that your values, and nutrition, and self care, it's really about encouraging and empowering individuals to connect within themselves by guiding an "Intuitive consumption," versus preaching what I "Believe is best." So can you expand on sort of what you meant by that?

Alex Malkin-I like you, although I research a lot and I try to really get my information and ask a lot of questions, but essentially, I can feel very overwhelmed. So I can imagine how others must feel. We're drowning in the sea of information and we're also exposed to so many different like self help, health and wellness gurus essentially or "Experts," and I think as a society, we've lost the ability to really connect with ourselves. Because at the end of the day, you are the expert on your body, and no one can actually tell you how you feel. You have to connect and you have to tap into that ability, because you can get lost.

           Like I remember my first year of holistic nutrition, I would come home every day studying different things, and I wanted to try all the detoxes and all the different diets. And I felt overwhelmed. And it wasn't until you start to quiet the mind and really listen to the body, and that's when you find that, that strength I guess, you know?

Meghan Kennedy -Mm-hmm (affirmative). So in listening to the body in terms of like symptoms that come and go, or more about the soul feeding in the sense that you're using food as nutrition, in what way do you sort of feel like listeners can begin that process of connecting so that they can feel a little bit more empowered about the food choices they're making versus listening to everybody else's?

Alex Malkin- I think it's all interconnected. The mind, the body and the soul. So it's how you view, it's the mindset, essentially. And when I started to shift my mindset, my relationship with food started to change as well for the better. Like I said, even when I was eating very well and I was educating myself, I still was overwhelmed. So I always felt like I was doing ... I always looked at things from a negative perspective. Oh, I ate this and I shouldn't have done that. And I know I should know better because I know all the information around that, so it's really regaining a relationship with food. And you could do that with various different ways, but I always recommend if you have the ability to just go to the farmers markets and connect with the people that grow your food. If you have the ability to grow your own food, that's even better, getting your hands dirty.

        I think that there's something really powerful in the connection and in the, just the connection that we have to the earth. And if not, if that's not available to you, then like I said, really asking questions and tapping into that intuition that we have within. A child, for example, when you look at children, oftentimes they know what they need, what their bodies crave. And I always wondered, I always thought that it was fascinating, because they'll go through phases, right? Of cyclical eating, of knowing what they need, even if they're picky eaters. If you provide them with the options, they usually go for what their bodies crave or what their bodies are lacking in, whatever that is. And I feel like a big part of it is that there's no obstacles, they just pop into it and they're able to just follow that, that intuitive eating model, that guide.

Meghan Kennedy -It's interesting, because kids do go through phases. You'll say, oh, she loved this last month, or, and I love that. And actually, I was going to ask you too because if you follow Alex on Instagram and follow her stories, I was just laughing with her saying I screenshot all of her stories, because they're so good. And especially if you're a parent, she's got some great tips about providing variety for our children and not about, like we just talked about enforcing certain things that they should be having, but allowing their intuitive process to connect to what they would like to eat. I love that.

        And I think is that sort of the best tip I guess you could give for parents, is just offering a variety so children can make that choice? How can we make that transition, because I know a lot of moms and myself included, it can be a very frustrating time at mealtime to make sure our children are getting the nutrition they need, but not creating a terrible relationship with food or amongst each other, really?

Alex Malkin-It goes back to that. First of all, I have to say that I'm like, I have a very picky eater and I have one that's a little bit more adventurous. And by no means, like I have gone through it all. I've gone through the frustration, I've gone through the just giving in and giving the tree, like by no means do I have the formula down packed, I'm still learning, I'm on this journey and I get so frustrated with my kids. But essentially, it goes back to really simplifying things. And if you're not going to make it fun for them, if it's not going to be fun for you, if it's not ... like food is, it's a lovely thing. You want to get your hands dirty, you want to try different things, you want to taste, you want to smell, you want to feel. And that's the beauty, we all love that, that's something that's an inner knowing within us, when we're around people to cook and connect with the food, there's something really beautiful about that.

            So presenting that to your children, showing that that can be fun, that's number one. And also providing different flavors and varieties and seeing where they go. Getting them ... One thing that I did, especially with my daughter, because I made all the mistakes with my son, poor guy. I let her smell the spice cabinet. So I would play a game with her and I would just like take all the spices out, and I would say like, oh, go wild, smell, taste. And some she may like and others she may not, but it expands her palate.

Meghan Kennedy-Right, and exposes her to that.

Alex Malkin-And it's also fun, like it's a little bit of an activity that we can do together. So I think that that's really important. But also it goes back to not, don't take things too seriously. A child, or even within yourself, within your own diet. Like if things are going to be stressful for you, then there's no point of doing it, it's not going to be a sustainable way moving forward, you're not going to make those choices moving forward. You might hold on to it for a month, maybe two weeks, but it has to be something that you can wrap your head around and it has to be pleasurable, you know?

Meghan Kennedy-Right. Yeah, I completely agree. It has to feel good. And I don't think ... that's why I always dislike the term diet in terms of whether we're on the FODMAP or the Keto diet or the Paleo diet. And I hear all the time, women that I interact with, so many are doing particular diets, and to me that comes from a place of restraint and constriction. And it's not that they're doing it for that purpose and I'm not putting people down who are doing those diets, but I think if we put ourselves in those box and we lock ourselves into that mentality of this I'm allowed to have and this I'm not allowed to have, I think that what happens down the road is we create sort of an ill relationship with food. What are your thoughts sort of on those sort of, I don't want to say fad diets, but the labeling I guess of diets?

Alex Malkin-You have to look at your intention behind it. The best results that I've ever kind of seen were when clients come in with hopes of feeling better, not necessarily looking better. And sometimes when you have that conversation with people they'll start off with, I want to lose that last 10 pounds or things that are essentially meaningful to them in the moment. But when you dig deeper, it's almost always and correct me if I'm wrong, you probably see this all the time, it's almost always because people really genuinely just want to feel better. They want to ... Like why do people seek longevity in life? It's because they want quality of life, not just length and time, right?

Meghan Kennedy-Absolutely.

Alex Malkin-And I think there's something really powerful in that. When people look for a specific diet, so I think it's because it's easier to wrap your head around the do's and the don'ts. Having a certain guideline to follow, sometimes alleviates stress for some people, but ultimately, it's about, it's ... I kind of struggled with it, because I was thinking about how I was going to word this because I always say there's like an inner knowing within us. And when you eat or consume high vibrational foods, you know you're feeling better. Essentially you know how it makes you feel.

           And that should be the reason why people follow certain guidelines or a certain philosophy around consumption. Because it should make you feel better, it should give you vitality, it should provide some sort of clarity. And that's how I approach everything in life, not just consumption of food, but also, and everyday things that I choose to consume, put on my body or the people that I choose to surround myself with, it's, you want people that make you feel good, it's an energetic exchange. And it's the same thing with food.

Meghan Kennedy -Right. And I think that what's so crucial is that, and I think what you're trying to grasp, as well is that connection that people, if they can allow themselves to really connect back to who they are, which I think unfortunately a lot of us are in sort of a more robotic fashion through life, we're just sort of, we're doing our thing, we have our to do lists, we have our jobs, we're a parent, whatever the case is. But I think if we can really slow down and allow ourselves to reconnect to us, to who we each are, I think that whether we're talking about the people you interact with, whether we're talking about nutrition, whatever facet we're talking about, I think it just becomes easier.

         And I think that's what we're talking about is clicking into that intuition. Clicking into that sense of, yes, this makes me feel better and the vibrational component and I love that, because if anyone knows me, I'm really into the energetic component of, not only of food, but of relationships, of places, it doesn't matter. Whatever I'm interacting with in the world, I'm extremely sensitive and I find that if I can find a frequency that sort of resonates with me, I don't know if this makes sense, but I just feel better.

Alex Malkin-Absolutely.

Meghan Kennedy -And I can't put words on it, it has to be something that I sense in myself. So when we do these diets that have these labels and these lists of foods you can eat and food you can't eat, it may work for person A, but it may not work for person B and I think that, correct me if I'm wrong, that sort of what you're trying to instill is that it's not about what's on paper, it's about what is making you feel alive.

Alex Malkin-Absolutely. But it's also being kind to yourself. I mean, oftentimes, when you follow these guidelines, like I said, and I was one of those people, I still am sometimes. If you go on vacation and you make some poor choices, you have to learn how to be kind to yourself in those moments and just forgive yourself and move forward. And having or enjoyed in the moment, because there's no point of consuming anything, if you're not going to enjoy it.

       I know that I have a real love for food, all types of food. And I never restrict myself because I appreciate the process of how it's made. And if I have a bowl of ice cream, I'm going to enjoy the bowl of ice cream. I'm not going to be sitting there and feeling guilty, there's no point in doing that.

Meghan Kennedy -Right.

Alex Malkin-And also there's a physiological process within the body that actually happens when you feel these negative feelings, that stop and block from digestion happening. So what's the point of me doing that, right?

Meghan Kennedy-Right.

Alex Malkin: So I feel like being kind to yourself is one. And I think that also focusing, if you do wish to ... we're all on a health and wellness journey, no matter where you are, it doesn't really matter which part of that journey you're on. But you're on a journey, on a quest of figuring it out. And I feel like, when people begin this journey, oftentimes they focus on things that they're not doing correctly.

          And I think it's really important to focus on the things that you are doing correctly already in order to build upon that, so that should be the foundation. So and oftentimes I'm sure when you meet patients, it's not about oh, you have to change this and you have to change that, because that can be quite overwhelming. But it's okay. So you are getting your eight hours of sleep. That's great. That's awesome.

            And you are consuming X amount of plant based foods a day. Okay, great, great starting point. So really focusing on the, as cliché as it sounds, but really focusing on the positives versus the negatives. That could be a really great bass point for everybody.

Meghan Kennedy-Right. I love that. And would you suggest to people in terms of just some simple daily habits around nutrition that could maybe start to shift people into creating healthier habits? Is it about ... you talked about the vibrational component of foods, and I think there's been a lot of research on raw consumption as well and ensuring that we're eating foods that are also alive. What is your take on that? And is that something that you as an holistic nutritionist would suggest that people start to just slowly implement into their day to day, to see how it changes energy level and vibration or?

Alex Malkin-I mean, as you know, if somebody has digestion issues or digestive issues, raw is not necessarily best obvious.

Meghan Kennedy -Right.

Alex Malkin:  It's also very cooling to the body. So depending on which climate you're living in, it's also not necessarily best. So again, I don't think that there's ... I think high vibrational foods are the way to go, meaning plant based whole foods, real foods, and really minimizing the amount of processed stuff that we're consuming or that we're purchasing.

Meghan Kennedy- Right.

Alex Malkin-I think that's the starting point. But the three things that I always say, like three daily simple habits, the most people can really kind of stick to is water consumption. So drinking water. And I always recommend warm water first thing in the morning when you break fast, so breaking fast, breakfast. And just adding an organic lemon with peel into warm water because it helps in detoxification of the liver, has some really powerful components in there. And it's a simple thing. It's lemon and water, right? Like most of us can really kind of adhere to that.

              And chewing your food. So it's a great starting point in being mindful when you're consuming. Not necessarily what you're consuming but how you chew your food. And I think that there's a digestive process there that happens that also, most of us just are always on the run and constantly grab and go. We're always stressed when we're consuming our food. And that there's a physiological process that occurs within the body that basically halts digestion when that happens.

         So I think that's a really good starting point, before even introducing any specific products or specific produce into your diet, I think really focusing on how you consume. So chewing your food. Making sure that you're having a space that isn't in front of the television, watching the news or on your phone as you're consuming, which is creating a very, like a sanctuary, a space of, I guess, less stress around food. And I think water and hydration is number one. So three simple things that I would recommend to start out with.

Meghan Kennedy-Okay, that's great. Yeah, because sometimes it's just about making subtle changes that then sort of open the door to more significant or empowering changes. And I've been an advocate. People hear me all the time talk about lemon water, and probably roll their eyes because I talk about it so much. But I think you put a nail on it when you mentioned it. It's simple.

             Like its something that we're not asking a lot of ourselves by throwing some lemon into water to allow such a profound effect on our system. So the liver detoxifies while we sleep. It's most active in the early waking hours of the morning. And if we can allow that to be the first surge of entrance for the liver, it's powerful.

             Because it's not only beneficial from a physical standpoint, but it sort of becomes for me almost like this ritual. It's sort of this sacred thing that I allow for my body. It's like a gift that I start the day with. And it sounds silly saying that, but it's more again, it's about the mentality piece. It's about saying, "Yes, I'm starting this day with this intention."

Alex Malkin-I love that. I love that you said that it's starting the day with the intention. And that's really all there is to it. It's the mindfulness around consumption. And that's why I always say just slowing down, that's step one. Because when you slow down, you see things so much clearer. And it's even looking down at your plate and being able to chew your food, take the 30 chews provide and really, really be able to feel and allow your body to recognize what you're doing in the moment.

So it's almost a ritual, so once you have that down pack. Once you are able to slow down and really have that clarity, I think introducing different types of foods that could be really powerful.

Meghan Kennedy -Absolutely.

Alex Malkin-Most of the time.

Meghan Kennedy -Absolutely. And I think a lot of us because we're busy, and we have kids, and we have jobs, and we have this and we have that. Food is just kind of this thing that needs to fill us to continue to do those other things.

Alex Malkin-I actually choose not to eat, oftentimes choose not to eat around my children, if I know that I'm in a stressful situation. Like if I know that, I'm having one of those days, we're on the go, there's extracurricular activities. I feed my children first. And then after they go to bed, even if it's eight o'clock, 8:30, I provide that space for myself to just sit down and eat in quiet, peace and quiet. And sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn't, but.

Meghan Kennedy-Yeah, I love that. Yeah, because I think we're often just shoveling whatever we can in our mouths to get through. So that's a great tip for people as well, one that I could probably use. I remember a professor, when I was in school, she asked us in a nutrition class, what is the worst thing that we could eat? And everyone put their hand up, and there was a million suggestions, including Oreo cookies and red meat and on and on. And nope, nope, she just kept saying nope. And she finally said, "The worst thing that you can eat is guilt."

Alex Malkin- I love that.

Meghan Kennedy-Because what happens is, and you talked about that physiological process and the digestive process, when we introduce a stress hormone of any form or kind, which usually comes from guilt, it shifts the entire process of how that food enters the body essentially. So I've always thought of that, because especially in the naturopathic world, we are thought to sort of, we always eat perfectly, and we do everything perfectly.

And there does become this sense of guilt when, if I'm out in public, and I'm eating something, I'm "not supposed to eat," there's a sense of like, oh, they're going to think that I don't eat healthy. And it's this whole mentality. And I don't really do that. Because when she sort of introduced that idea of the mind body connection in terms of the physiological changes that happen when our mind is in a different state, it really resonated with me.

 So like you said, it's not about perfection, because I think when we're trying to reach perfection that is when we fail. Good is good enough, that's what I sort of always say to people. Good is good enough. So you know what? If you are making some positive changes in your diet, you're making positive changes in who you're interacting with. And you're making little, little steps, that's good enough.

Alex Malkin-Yeah. And at the end of the night, when you lay in bed, sometimes we do that, I know a lot of people that do that as well. You look back at your day, for example. You look back at the things you consumed, let's say food wise. And you have to start praising the small victories or else it's just not going to stick, it's not going to work. And you're just going to be in this negative cycle of, like you said, not good enough.

So I think it's really important to note that although we're not necessarily being chased by saber toothed tigers anymore, our stressors come in different forms. It's just being in like, we were just talking about chatting briefly before we started the podcast and being in the car and having road rage. And then eating that granola bar, guess what, like your body is in fight or flight mode. It's not consuming that food. Its thinking is being attacked.

Meghan Kennedy- Right.

Alex Malkin-So I think that it's really important for people to recognize that how they eat is even more important than what they eat.

Meghan Kennedy:I love that, no one talks about that. I absolutely love that. Especially in today's society that's just like, we're all sort of on a hamster wheel, it feels some days. And this I think will be really important for myself and hopefully for our listeners to just think about, again, not about the quantity or the quality per se of what we're eating, that's important. But really right now as a first step, just focusing on really eating your food. So that's a great tip.

We do have to sort of wrap up. There's so much that I was just saying to Alex beforehand, there's so much that we want to cover. And you can only do so much in one episode. I'm going to beg her to come back on in the future. Because I know a big part of what you do Alex is about eco living too.

         You're really, you're just so holistic. There's so many components of what you're doing day to day that probably don't seem very influential to you because you've sort of adopted it as who you are, as part of who you are. But for people who are listening and watching, there are so many valuable tools. And that's why I'm screenshotting constantly, because I just feel like there's so many simple things that you do, that are so profoundly effective in changing ourselves and changing the world.

            So I did want to, right before we go, if you can offer just a couple of tips, because I think taking care of our planet and our Earth is just as important as taking care of our bodies and our minds. You're really big on eco living. Is there just a couple of quick tips that you can offer for people? We are a society of consumption. It's terrifying to see the way that we're even shopping now. The products, we're using. That's another thing. We haven't even touched on beauty products and Alex is huge into that, so that will be part two. But eco living, what are a few things that we can do just day to day, to help sort of lift the pressure off of our precious Earth?

Alex Malkin-I think the most important thing, just like with food, when you're consuming anything at all, in your day to day is asking yourself, does it serve me? And that's the first question that you should be asking before putting anything on your body or purchasing anything? Does it serve me? And oftentimes, you'll be surprised you don't need it. And I think that, that's really, it's a mindset shift. And there's so many things. I'm so passionate about it, but I'm still learning. And I'm still very curious. And I'm still on this kind of journey to figure out how I can reduce my carbon footprint. And I think, honestly, it just comes down to mindfulness, really not consuming more than you need.

 And just whenever you're out in nature, and this is something that I've learned specifically this past year, there's this connection that you feel and this level of this peacefulness that you feel. And it really provides you with a lot of clarity. So I think mindful consumption is asking yourself the questions, the hard questions, and also being really, really curious about where that comes from. So doing your research, instead of just falling for all the marketing, and like the green labeling and all of that. Just really doing your research so you can educate yourself, and then eventually make better decisions for you and your family.

Meghan Kennedy-I like that. And I think it too, it's more about quality versus quantity, right? It's rather than having a million of something, perhaps you just need one or two of a more high quality before talking about products, for example, or toys for our kids or products that you use on your face and your body. Whatever it is, it's about, let's reduce the consumption by allowing ourselves to invest in products that are helping our environment and helping our body and that have longevity to it.

Alex Malkin-And supporting, supporting local artisans and local farmers and like really having the sense of community. I think that's what I was trying to say about being out in nature. And what I was kind of alluding to in the first part of like really growing your food or connecting with it. There's a sense of community. There's a sense of connection. And it changes, it shifts your mindset around that, right?

And I think that, that's really, really important, because we've become so disconnected, unfortunately. We have accessibility. And we have so much knowledge at our fingertips but we've become so disconnected. And I think that, that's something that we have to just remember that we have the power to regain that, right?

Meghan Kennedy - Mm-hmm (affirmative). I think the big message from today's conversation is just really about like presence. It's about connecting and mindfulness. And those words are used every day. We hear them all the time. But it's really about just sort of slowing the external world at certain points of our day to allow ourselves to really reconnect to what's there.

And I mean, there's so much research now on meditation in its profound effect on health. And I've been sort of playing with meditation over the last year and have noticed some pretty incredible changes in myself. And a lot of times people say, "Well, I don't have time to meditate," and they say those that say that actually need double the time.

Alex Malkin-Yeah.

Meghan Kennedy-But if meditation to you is sitting down and eating your meal and tasting your meal in peace. That's okay. It doesn't have to look like criss-cross legs straight back, hands and palms up on your knees. I think it's about really just tuning in. And I think regardless of all the topics that you present to your, I mean on Instagram. I'm only talking about Instagram because it's so incredible.

 I'm going to be posting if you're okay with that Alex for people to follow you, because just like I said, it's just simple day to day stuff that really is helpful as a parent and as an entrepreneur and as a woman for me. But yeah, I think the main message here today is just about re-igniting that connection that is within us. Because once we do that, I think all of this mess on the outside world of information becomes a lot more transparent and clear. Would you agree with that?

Alex Malkin-Yeah. And celebrating the small victories, babe.

Meghan Kennedy -Yes.

Alex Malkin-That's also one thing. 

Meghan Kennedy- And enjoy that bowl of ice cream when need be. Because, I mean, there's soul food, and there's body food, I always say that. And really honoring cravings as they come. And I think if you follow a healthier "Lifestyle," those treats are just that much more incredible, because they're not something you're consuming on a day to day basis. So you really savor them. So have those, like live your life and feed your soul and laugh and smile and reconnect. And I think that's what it's all about. So as I said, I'm going to post Alex's Instagram account information on the description of episode two today. I'd love you to check her out. And I'm just so, so grateful that you were here today.

Alex Malkin: I'm so honored that you have me on. I'm so happy to do this. And if I get that intro, I will do it every day honestly.

Meghan Kennedy: You're going to have to like print that out and put it on your shirt and walk around. Because the reality is that, it all sounds fluffy, perhaps other people but it's truly is. I think, for me, part of my whole healing journey over the last couple of years has really been about connecting with authenticity.

And I used to play the game, and Alex and I both live in a neighborhood a couple, of ... well, we're very close our homes, in a neighborhood in Toronto. And there is a lot of materialism. And there's sometimes sort of a role you have to play in particular areas where you live. And I always felt overburdened and overstimulated by that.

And Alex and I have had many conversations about that. And I think that's again, it comes down to you being so in tune to who you are, that whatever exists on the outside of you is okay. There's no judgment. It's okay. Because they're on their journey, and you're on yours and you kind of can draw that invisible line. And I think that comes from your sense of connectivity to yourself. And it's certainly from an outside perspective. It is certainly something that you're doing well. So thank you for being on the show.

Alex Malkin: Thank you for having me, honestly.

Meghan Kennedy: And we look forward to part two. I will convince her. So anyways, I hope everyone enjoys this podcast. There's always so much to learn and I hope you can take a couple of things today that allow you to give yourself a little bit more empowerment. And think about ways that you can begin to reconnect to really who you are. And that can come in a variety of different fashions, not just meditation. So on that thought, I'm going to say goodbye. And thank you so much, Alex.

Alex Malkin: Thank you, Meg.

Meghan Kennedy : Okay, take care.