Today we’d like to introduce you to Alanna Hinds.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Well, since being diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease in 2015, I have been a strong proponent of holistic wellness and actively advocate to further cannabis education, especially in regards to healthcare.
I was an undergraduate student at SDSU when I woke up one morning and couldn’t see. I tried to shake out of it, but I couldn’t. I was rushed to the ER where I was given various eye exams. After all the tests, none of the Emergency Room staff could figure out what was wrong – why I had binocular diplopia, or double vision (between either eye) all of a sudden.
As is usual, I was then told I needed to see a specialist – and when I did, my doctor knew almost instantly what it was: Myasthenia Gravis, he told me.
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a long-term neuromuscular disease that leads to varying degrees of skeletal muscle weakness. The most commonly affected muscles are those of the eyes, face, and swallowing – which for me resulted in inflammation in my face, double vision (helped by wearing an eyepatch), drooping eyelids, trouble talking, and trouble writing. It wasn’t fun dealing with the physical changes and emotional toll while just wanting to be a normal 21 year-old college student, but I followed doctor’s orders and was able to finish, graduating with honors. Go Aztecs.
Conventional medicine presented me with this diagnosis based on my symptoms and my treatment SOLELY consisted of potentially cancer-causing (side-effect laden) prescription pills, immunosuppressants specifically. I couldn’t believe one of the possible side effects of me taking my daily medication was that I could develop blood cancer. In my perspective, the possibility of developing cancer was really just a matter of time – I mean, I’m supposed to be taking these meds every day for the rest of my life, of course some of the side effects are bound to come into fruition. On top of that, the healthcare system gave me absolutely no explanation as to the underlying cause, actually said there wasn’t a known cause. So according to doctors, there is no cause and no cure.
Unfortunately, my story is not unique – it’s somewhat the norm in Western Healthcare.
After already having the experience of losing my mother to the battle against breast cancer and excessive chemotherapy radiation in 2005 – I said no thank you. No thank you, I’ll create my own odds somehow. Even if that means dealing with the uncomfortable symptoms – because what did I really have to lose.
As soon as I was in state where my symptoms were manageable, I ceased taking medication and turned to my own individual research and other holistic means, much of which was led by the female business owner and medical doctor, Dr. Jessica Peatross, who also practices in San Diego and whose business motto is to “Be Your Own Best Doctor.” It was her line of supplements and credible research which then empowered me to take my health into my own hands and become “The Planet’s Patient.” My family wasn’t excited about that decision at the time, but they’ve come to appreciate it now.
I stand firm in my belief that Western Healthcare is great for emergency situations, but should not be the go-to pathway in regards to treating chronic illnesses. I found it odd that such a life-endangering disease had “No cause,” but the truth is that stress and environmental toxins (pesticides, petroleum, endocrine disruptors, toxic toiletries, medications, synthetic birth control, etc.) that I had been consuming my whole life, manifested into disease and enabled my body to turn on itself.
Health isn’t linear, and even today it feels like I take steps backwards at times; but it’s just a part of the journey. The key is in keeping an open mind and continuously changing lifestyle habits to adapt to new information throughout the journey.
I’m proud that we are collectively moving from conventional to more conscious mindsets and understanding that with the new threats to our environment, and consequently to our health, we have to focus on preventative care. We must proactively remove toxins out of our daily life before they manifest into a disease. (Take it from me.)
One of my passions is promoting conscious consumerism and a large part of preventative care is knowing what products and ingredients are actually good for you and which are harmful.
If you aren’t familiar with the term ‘conscious consumerism’ think of it as shopping with truly being mindful of all the things you consume, what you put ON and IN your body. It’ll amaze you how many products and supplements are actually hazardous to your health in a very serious way (i.e. conventional deodorant, sunscreen, and tampons).
It was fate when GinaMarie (@ginamariexocal), CEO of Xocal Natural, reached out to me to discuss cannabis and hemp education in January of 2018 when I was working within a hemp educational nonprofit organization. If you didn’t know, President Trump has recently signed the 2018 Farm Bill that federally legalized hemp (non-psychoactive cannabis) as an agricultural commodity in the United States, which paved way for hemp companies to fully operate, particularly in regards to interstate commerce.
Hemp and full spectrum CBD are key ingredients in Xocal products; Xocal Natural is a line of 100% vegan, halal, all natural, cannabis topicals and is a plant-based alternative to the popular chemical-laden beauty and skincare products you find at retail store chains.
GinaMarie’s magnetic passion and conviction about women empowerment and plant equality resonated well with me, and once the opportunity to be mentored by her arose itself, I brought my experience from the educational realm of the cannabis/hemp industry and jumped on-board. I started out as a Brand Ambassador and spokesmodel for Xocal Natural in her mentorship program, and worked my way to account manager, to now Executive Assistant and training VP.
She has truly been an instrumental aspect of my success and it has been such a growing experience to work closely with such a powerful example of a female leader in the cannabis space. In working and building my skills within this company I’ve been able to maintain Charlie Munger’s three Rules for a Career:
1. Never sell anything you wouldn’t buy yourself.
2. Don’t work for anyone you don’t respect and admire.
3. Work only with people you enjoy.
That is something I’m particularly proud of – and for it to be woman-owned and operated local business in my hometown of South Bay, San Diego just really sets my heart on fire.
I’m so excited for all the campaigns we have coming for 2019!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I left traditional medicine and the lifestyle that I was used to it was a rough transition, to say the least. In my journey of looking for holistic alternatives to everyday products, I learned that I’d been intentionally targeted with misinformation. For instance, the term “natural” doesn’t have a legal definition, so it technically means nothing on labels. Even “organic” as a term only has meaning if the ingredients are grown. So if the ingredient can’t be grown, there’s no point in having it on the label except to deceive us.
All these messaging tricks and “greenwashing” of the beauty and food industry slowly started unraveling and I think now more than ever companies who are transparent with their customers (like Xocal Natural), will prosper.
Being involved with a cannabis/hemp/CBD company comes with its own unique set of challenges, such as conflicting legislation and the public perception of the business, but much of that can be helped with proper education.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
Currently at Xocal Natural we’re doubling-down on product development, taking the feedback from the last run and not only improving upon the overall quality of the products themselves, but the overall experience people have when interacting with our brand.
My work with Xocal encompasses so many values that I admire: women empowerment, mentorship and entrepreneurship, cannabis, and diversity.
It’s cannabis education with a “science over stigma” mentality.
It’s collaboration, inclusivity and positivity.
It’s Southern California lifestyle brand with advocacy.
Truly, a movement.
There’s a link at the bottom of this article to the website – make sure you check it out!
Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
One general tip I have is to be mindful of what you watch. What you consume visually. What you see should primarily either: instill confidence in you, push you to be better OR teach you something new. It can be entertaining, but it should be of value to you.
Honestly, Instagram is the app that has been most helpful in my wellness journey. I’ve learned more from being able to follow, connect and read research from so many medical doctors, holistic practitioners, scientists and leading laboratories than I did in school or just using Google on my own.
In regards to holistic (women’s) health I definitely recommend giving Dr. Jess and Dr. Jolene Brighten a follow on Instagram if you have one, @dr.jess.md and @drjolenebrighten.
Also, I cannot stress the importance of mentorship enough. It’s life-changing, especially as a woman. Ladies – your femininity, intuition, and womanhood is a superpower, and as we shift towards a more nurturing and inclusive society it’s important to build on personal and professional strengths with guidance, especially if you know what direction and what industry you want to build in. The future is female.
One book: The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer is a MUST READ for anyone looking to further understand cannabis/hemp/”marijuana” considering recent political attention. Its contents are continuously cited in cannabis rescheduling and relegalization efforts and even if you don’t support cannabis, no one has been able to disprove the claims made within to date. Worth the read.
It’s even available for anyone to read online for free at jackherer.com
- Website: www.xocalnaturalonline.com
- Phone: 888-515-4678 Ext. 710
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @theplanetspatient