2013 WWB ICON: Kristi Marsh, Author of “Little Changes” book, Producer of “Choose Wiser Events” and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Rockstar Award recipient.
Welcome to World Wise Beauty. Thanks so much for joining me for a Q&A. Lets first recognize we have simpatico in our pursuit of wisdom! There is a quote I love from Edith Wharton “There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it”. You have certainly been both to so many as an author, public speaker and advocate for women’s health. You founded an organization called Choose Wiser dedicated to educating women about the interactions between environmental toxins and their personal health and have gone on to do so much more. Wish we had more space to cover all your great work but I would love to talk about your terrific new book called “Little Changes”.
Lauroly Q: The tagline of your book “Tales of a Reluctant Home Eco-Momics Pioneer” sounds so light but you actually became enlightened about conscious lifestyle after going through aggressive breast cancer at the young age of 36 with three small children depending on you. How did this scary experience compel you to change your lifestyle approach?
Kristi Marsh: We all have trigger events that challenge us to push our healthy lifestyle standards higher. Mine happened to be breast cancer, even though I was a long time healthy eater and gym member. It was in between chemotherapy treatments that I witnessed my body’s obsession to heal, repair, and give me the best life possible. I couldn’t help but ask myself, ‘Why would I ever want to compromise that gift’? I could resume with the comfortably familiar conventional mainstream ways that I was raised with, or, I could question what I brought into my home and influence the health of my body and my family. Six years later, with incredible purpose, I can say nothing has ever felt more right. Now, my book and speaking events has become the ‘trigger’ for many others. I am very fortunate to be living the life I am now.
Lauroly Q: As a breast cancer survivor of early stage cancer myself, I was shocked when I received my diagnosis. I thought my healthy, mostly vegetarian lifestyle would protect me from getting cancer but I know now there are so many other things that factor into the causes of cancer. There are environmental factors that we just don’t think about. What I liked about your book is you don’t try to scare people with information but rather provide actionable ideas so they can empower themselves. Your personal learning process became a big adventure! Tell us more about your adventure and how your “green and clean” lifestyle has gone beyond just eating healthy.
Kristi Marsh: The seriousness of science, the overwhelming fear of toxins, and the gravity of diseases and disorders—while devastatingly real—can make the message hard for many people to hear. It isn’t that we are uninterested or don’t care. Just the opposite. We are busy loving, caring women, raising families, juggling careers and taking care of the world! Who would want to decipher possible carcinogens in a hair product? Study acronyms like BPA or GMOs as a hobby? And wouldn’t change be expensive? These questions went through my mind so I went on a journey to explore if choosing wiser could be accessible, affordable, and dare I say, fun. In creating Little Changes, I flipped the personal environmental health message upside down to add humor, lighted hearted learning, whimsical illustrations, and to invite the reader through my journey. Weaving my personal story (and revealing some very private emotions) into Little Changes turns the message from a “how-to” book into a read-my-story and you-can-do book. The moral of my story? We all can have an amazing impact on the health of our bodies through what we choose to bring into our homes. It is incredibly empowering to have such a personal effect on our families.
Lauroly Q: The title of your book “Little Changes” and the philosophy behind it is very appealing to me and I am sure to others as well. You have said ” there are so many people reluctant to make changes in their lives because they think it is going to be expensive or time consuming”. Can you share with us just a few examples of how we can make wise but little changes today toward a healthy lifestyle inside and out?
Kristi Marsh: Absolutely! While Little Changes has taken off with book clubs and as a random-act-of-kindness gift, my passion is speaking. When I speak at conferences, I focus on a topic, such as “Budget Friendly & Goin’ Organic” or “Deliciously Green & Clean.”(Creating cleaning products from kind kitchen ingredients.) It is easier to narrow the overwhelming options by focusing on something you enjoy. At Choose Wiser, I encourage people to replace one product with a wiser choice and move down the list.
- Check your nail polish to see if it contains formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that we do not need to paint onto our nail beds. Not all nail polishes contain this, which makes it a simple place to choose wiser.
- When you run out of a window cleaner, make your own with vinegar and water, a just as effective kinder option minus ammonia and you save three dollars! Make sure to celebrate your forward momentum and your journey is on its way.
- My number one piece of advice? Simple: Don’t do this alone! I am a huge believer that women are more alike than we are different, and that there is a neighbor, carpool friend or booklover who has the same curiosities. We tend to do all the work alone. Instead, reach out and say “hey, I am interested in learning more about this topic” and all of sudden you have half the work to do and twice the fun.
For those who like to jump in and enthusiastically start making healthy changes, I am honored to host a girl’s weekend retreat in April. The Home Eco-Momics 101 Retreat is boot camp kick start set in a lavish mansion retreat. I am delighted to have a rockstar cast of speakers, and a place I can spoil guests with gourmet food and a full SWAG bag. I have never seen an event like this offered to women before – a safe, intimate place to learn among like-minded women who are ready to create healthier homes.
Lauroly: Thanks so much Kristi for joining us here at World Wise Beauty and for being the candle light for so many women striving to keep themselves and their families healthy. Wishing you continued health and wellness as you spread your light and wisdom. You are officially a World Wise Beauty Icon but I also need to congratulate you on your recent “ROCKSTAR” award from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics! Rock on Kristi!
Learn more about her award and the great organization behind it here: http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=1069
Maybe our blog community can share positive little changes they have made in their lives too? Would love to hear from everyone!