All Creatures Great & Small w/ Kristen Joy

Updated: Jun 3

How much consideration do you give to what goes into your body and how it got there? In today’s episode, Kristen Joy (@VoluptuousLife) shares with us her journey of getting back into balance with nature, self-healing, self-discovery, and self-advocacy through nutrition.

Highlight Reel

1:00 - Getting back into balance with the animal kingdom

3:30 - The segregation of Earthlings

7:00 - The power of nutrition

15:00 - Cleaning up our act

21:30 - Finding our balance

24:00 - What’s right for YOU?

25:50 - When confrontation doesn’t go as expected

29:00 - Planting the seed as teacher/student

30:00 - Be your own health advocate

38:30 - A magical, perfect world

41:40 - A little miracle

Adrienne MacIain 0:01

Hello gorgeous creatures. I am Adrienne MacIain. This is That's Aloud, and today we have the gorgeous and amazing and wonderful Kristen Joy. Please introduce yourself.

Kristen Joy 0:14

Can you hear that? How much I'm blushing? Ah, that was sweet. Yes, I'm Kristen Joy. I am the creator of Voluptuous Life, which is all about helping women to step into their power at a body, heart, mind and spirit level.

Adrienne MacIain 0:33

Yeah, we've got to get holistic on this, right? You got to attack it from all angles.

Kristen Joy 0:39

Yes you do.

Adrienne MacIain 0:40

Or rather improve it.

Kristen Joy 0:41

Yes, okay, that's more gentle language. I was like, yes, attack!!

Adrienne MacIain 0:48

Let's embrace it from all levels. Just *kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss*

Kristen Joy 0:51

There we go!

Adrienne MacIain 0:54

Alright, so I'll start with my first question, which is, what story is the world not getting?

Kristen Joy 1:03

So I've been thinking a lot about this. And it is something that I feel like is more relevant, or has become more prevalent in my consciousness, I should say. And I think it's about... We live in a time right now that I think there's a lot of awakening going on. And I think we're realizing some behaviors and thoughts and ways of society weren't right to begin with. But now, things are sort of coming to light. And we're being called to step up and to open up and to wise up and all of those good things, right? So I think the one piece that still feels like it's a little too behind is the disconnect that some people have with some animals.

Adrienne MacIain 1:51

Tell us more about that.

Kristen Joy 1:53

Yeah, so I'm primarily speaking about food. Although I guess, you know, we could go into the broader range of how animals are used. But what has really shifted for me has been this passion behind, I guess, opening people's eyes to animals as food, and whether that's okay, or whether it's even in alignment with their own personal morals and values.

Adrienne MacIain 2:23

Right, let's step back for a second and talk a little bit more about you. You were saying how a lot of people are awakening right now. And I think that is so true on so many levels. And I think there's this general sense of, oh, no, we're realizing that things are unsustainable, like that the system is unsustainable. But I think the bigger question, as you said, is, was this system the right system to begin with? Do we want to sustain this system? Or do we want something new entirely, and I think, this piece of it, that piece of being in balance, and being in harmony, with nature, with all the other creatures, all the other life on this planet, is a huge one. And trying to question that relationship of basically master slave, that we look at animals as, you know, products as resources for us to use. I think that's a big thing we need to look at and say, does that feel good in our soul?

Kristen Joy 3:29

Yes, I agree with that, because especially I think we segregate animals into, I named this one, I call this one: pet. I also call it George or whatever you might name your pet, I invite this one into my house, versus I wear this one, I eat this one, right? there's just there's an imbalance there and how we perceive creatures.

Adrienne MacIain 3:56

Yeah, and you if you look back at the history of how we've treated other humans, that is reflected there, too, that we like to classify things into, you know, well, these are these are useful humans, and these are garbage. You know, and that's terrible. That's just wrong on so many levels. We are connected to everything. And so anytime you try to make something less than you, that's just wrong. And it's going to come back at you.

Kristen Joy 4:23

Yep, and I think the more we know about the quote unquote, "other," the more we can see eye to eye, or at least appreciate their humanity and the qualities about them. And so obviously, there's not humanity and animals, but there are things that we share in common, you know, pain and relationships and fear and siblings and motherly love, all of those things. So I just think as we're awakening, we should just remember: let's awaken it all.

Adrienne MacIain 4:54

Yeah, and I think some species are closer to us than we realize, in terms of their culture, when you look at elephants, how they mourn their dead, the grieving process that they go through, it's really similar to what we do and how we handled death. When you look at dolphins and some of their social relationships and the way they play together, I think it really can start to open your eyes to the fact that, you know, we're not so different than we think we are.

Kristen Joy 5:29

Yeah, I agree with that. And I think the more we realize that, the more we start to question some of the choices that we were making, just like subconsciously, right, just because society has done it this way, or because we were raised this way, it's the more we, the more we see the commonality, then I think the true like love that lives within us, as humans in our heart in our soul really comes out and helps us really to connect to everyone and everything.

Adrienne MacIain 5:58

Absolutely. I also want to say, I think we can learn a lot from animals about the bad things that we do to you know, they, they have vices, just like we do, and they have problems just like we do, you know, going back to dolphins, they've observed dolphins basically get gang raping and doing terrible things. So, you know, it's like, they're... I think we hold them up on a pedestal at the same time that we kind of looked down on them. And both are wrong.

Kristen Joy 6:27

Yeah, that's an interesting point, too. I volunteer at a wildlife rescue rehab and release center, and we would have ducks come in all the time that were gang raped. And it's like, horrifying, right? And then I also think, like, well, that's maybe the animal nature, right? And so it's like, we can see things that are like gory and seem cruel in the animal world. But then as humans, we also have, like a more evolved brain where we have the ability to, you know, rationalize and to learn and to think like, oh, that's probably not a good decision, or a fair decision or a loving decision. Right?

Adrienne MacIain 7:06

Right. We have that choice. Yeah, absolutely. So tell us a little bit more about your personal journey into this. Where did this kind of discovery come from? And how has that changed your life?

Kristen Joy 7:20

Yeah. It was very unexpected. I was raised--my mom cooked meals for us, like home cooked meals, beautiful, so much love going into them--but raised eating what we call meat, never questioned it. Never thought about it. Always thought I love animals. I probably loved cats best of all, because I was raised with cats. But so I never ever thought about what was on my plate in terms of it being like, a being. And then as I ended up getting, I was having allergic reactions randomly, that took the form of it's called angioedema. So I would have swelling of my lip, and sometimes swelling of my eye, or, you know, one or the other, or both. And I couldn't figure out what was causing it. But it was so debilitating, because as an actor, or you know, as a product specialist, like being in the public eye, I couldn't have a part of my body just swell up and continue on with my job, right. So it would cause me a lot of stress. And I went to an allergist, and he ran those typical patterns. And my results came back that like, I was barely allergic to anything. And that's like handful of things that I was alerted to, he was like, there's no way he would cause this. So basically, I had no answers. However, there was a marker, the ANA marker for me was elevated. And oftentimes when people have lupus, ANAs are elevated. So I said to him, Well, so what do I do? You know, and he was like, Oh, nothing, you know, don't worry about it. Like just come back in like six months, we'll check your values. And I was like, check my values?? And then all of a sudden, I have lupus, and then you put me on a medication? Like, is that what the plan is? And he literally, looked at me blankly and was like, you know, a shrug of the shoulders like, 'Ya caught me.' You know? Yeah. So that started me down the path, and I was pretty mad. So I've always loved the body and loved science and figuring out how things work. And I'm also pretty, like, kind of a go-getter. So if there's a problem, I want to find a solution, right? So I thought, 'Okay, well, there's got to be somebody who can help me.' And I ended up working with a nutritionist, and the nutritionist basically put me on a clean diet, but it involved lean proteins in the in the form of animals. Again, I didn't think twice about it, just now I was eating organic primarily, and pasture-raised, and making the best choices that I possibly could, and the issue resolved itself. So I was like, 'Wow, there is real power in what we put in our mouths,' right? We really have a lot of control over our health. So it was like a good awakening for me. And I think I thought that's the path I'm going to be on with diet. Cut to... which then brings us nicely into the meditation piece, because it's a big part of what I do in my life and in my practice with women, I ended up meeting indirectly--lots of story there--but meeting a guru who I studied with, and he put us into a process that was three months of being basically vegetarian. And I was like, 'Whoa, what am I going to do? What am I going to eat? How am I going to do this autoimmune protocol if I can only eat vegetables?' So that really I was like, forced into becoming vegetarian in the beginning. So yeah, I was like, What am I going to do? And I started, you know, doing all those thoughts that some people do, like, 'How am I going to live without bacon?' Like, I feel like that's always like the go-to: 'But... bacon!'

Adrienne MacIain 11:30

'But bacon! It's so good!'

Kristen Joy 11:33

Right. And for me, it was, I used to eat--not often, because it's not a healthy food, but it's like a delicious every once in a while thing, I used to eat Rubens. So I was like, 'I'm not going to be able to have a Reuben!' You know. And then there was also the thought that I am type O-negative. And there's this whole system of like eating for your blood type. And it was like, well, if you're, O-negative, you have to eat meat, you know. So there's all of this coming at me. So I was vegetarian for probably the first month, and I wasn't really feeling great. And that just reiterated in my mind: see, I have to eat animals! But again, still not seeing them as animals. It's really like seeing it as meat, I have to eat *meat*. What I think was happening was a detoxification, I figured out my body was adjusting, you know, I was getting rid of all those added hormones, all of the pesticides, all of the you know, everything that is done to meat, especially in this country, right. So I think my body was feeling those effects. Plus, I probably wasn't making the best nutritional choices, being a new vegetarian, because I just really didn't know any better. So I would say, a couple of months, I was still like taking like three hour naps in the middle of the day, you know, but so dedicated to the meditation practice, I wasn't going to stop. And towards the end, I started to actually feel better than I had ever felt. So I wasn't getting sick, I wasn't getting headaches, I was feeling just like consistent energy, like, people would say to me, like, how do you have so much energy, and I would be like, super foods, like, it's literally my diet. Again, I don't know if I was necessarily equating it to being vegetarian, it was just like all the pieces coming together, you know? And then at some point, I think it was coming to the end of the process, and I could return to whatever behaviors I want. Although in my guru's teachings, and possibly a lot of spiritual teachings, they do say, being vegetarian is the best because it's pure, you're not taking on the karma of the dead animal, all of those things. But I was free to make my own choice. And I think that's when I started going down that terrible rabbit hole of watching the PETA videos and like, the movies, right? And like, I am super sensitive when it comes to animal cruelty specifically, but just like, I don't know, sadness and cruelty in general. So when I started to watch those things, I was like, 'Oh, wow.' And something shifted in me where I could no longer see meat as food. It was really like body parts. So I would go into a grocery store and I would be like, holy cow. Look at that whole butcher case of like, body parts. Like I couldn't see it any other way. Which isn't necessarily a great thing. But it was something that I think was solidifying for me like there's no going back, you know?

Adrienne MacIain 14:42

Yeah. Absolutely. Gosh, I have so much to say about all of that. So one of the things I want, you know, I told you this in advance, and I knew this would come up, but so my entire household decided to go vegan recently. And this happened because we were watching a movie, it was a documentary called The Game Changers. And if you haven't seen it, basically it focuses on how you know, there's this kind of myth that you need meat to get protein and to be an athlete, or a bodybuilder or anything like this, that being vegan specifically is just like a terrible idea. And this documentary just blows that theory completely out of the water, and shows how these athletes are becoming the best in class basically, by going vegan. And so that, and also the fact that there's all this toxic masculinity wrapped up in this idea of like, meat is for real men, and real men eat meat. And if you don't eat meat, then you're not a real man. And you know, unpacking all that cultural baggage around that was really powerful for my husband, David. And he is watching this and going, 'Oh, my gosh, I bought that, like I bought into that big time.' And it turns out, it's just completely false. And you know, he like a lot of men his age, worries about cholesterol worries about a heart attack worries about all the things that tend to kill men, especially, but people in general in this country. And so we decided as a household, let's just do an experiment, and go vegan for a month. Now, I used to be vegan, I was vegan for four years. And I was vegetarian for 10 years, back in my younger days. And basically what changed that is I went to Africa, and it was just really impossible to get my nutritional needs met as a vegetarian in Africa. And so then I just kind of didn't go back because it was just so much easier. But you know, now that I-- it's so funny, I always say it's like when you have like a really messy room, right? It just feels overwhelming. And it's like, oh, just throw it anywhere, you know, you get new junk, and you're just like, whatever, throw it over there. But once you start to clean up, it becomes this thing of like you things stand out to you. And you're like, 'Oh, I have to get rid of that too. Oh my god, I don't want that there!' And then when you have a clean room, it's like any little thing that comes in there that doesn't belong stands out immediately. And so I think when you start to clean up your diet, and when you start to clean up your body, and you start to kind of clean up your ethics and realize, like, 'Oh my gosh, I've been treating these animals like, you know, meat.' It really starts to... you start to see it, you start to see it everywhere. And you start to see the way that animals are treated and the way that you've treated animals and the way that you've treated your body to and the stuff that you've allowed yourself to put in there and just be like, 'Oh, well, you know, it tastes good. So, whatever.' It's kind of like you were saying about that whole 'But bacon!' When I'm eating like an omnivore, you know, I love bacon, bacon is delicious. But as soon as I go vegan, and this is again, the second time I've done this, I realize I don't want that in my body. Like the very idea of it actually makes me a little bit sick. And it's because you start to realize how it makes you feel, and how, like the result of it gets tied up into the flavor of it. And suddenly it doesn't taste so good anymore. It actually tastes kind of yuck.

Kristen Joy 18:32

Yeah, it's it is so interesting how, like, we just get clearer, you know, like our taste buds get clearer, like our bodies obviously are getting clear. So yeah, that things even like when I cleaned up not talking about just vegetarian, but like getting rid of some of the toxicity, you know, going organic and just like cleaning chemicals, like if I smell like bleach now my headache, and I don't feel good. And it's like, that never bothered me before. You know, it was just as toxic then, you know, but my body is like, we don't accept this anymore.

Adrienne MacIain 19:06

Yeah, and my husband, oh my god, poor guy, the detox that he has gone through, because he's never, you know, done anything with his diet before. Like, he just always ate whatever was in front of him and whatever sounded good.

Kristen Joy 19:20

Bless him for doing this and bless you.

Adrienne MacIain 19:24