After going vegan more than 20 years ago, authoring multiple books on topics such as raw foods dieting, and through working with clients in person, Andrea Cox has been an influential voice in the growing health, wellnes and fitness communities since she first visited Del Mar almost 10 years ago.
Cox, now a resident of the La Costa neighborhood in Carlsbad, sells products and hosts week-long retreats in North County for people interested in using her teachings to improve their health. She’s also grown her social media following, particularly on YouTube, over the years.
This interview has been edited for clarity and conciseness.
Q: What kind of services and information do you provide to your clients and through your social media channels?
I’m an intuitive healer, a detox specialist by trade. I have two YouTube channels. One is just a plant-based, vegan, a lot of raw food recipes. A lot of news things, a lot of stuff on detox. It has 4 million views and a small following of 19,000 or something. And then I have an intuitive channel that’s less than a year old, it’s like 17,000. And I run detox, fasting, raw food retreats, and kind of spiritual fasting retreats. People come for five days. The first three days I have them do nothing but drink juice and do yoga, a sunset meditation. We have a two-hour class each night, so I teach them all about juicing and raw food and how to really tune in to their bodies, because a lot of people that come to me are super new to the vegan world, and so they’re just kind of transitioning into all this craziness that the country is finally catching on to, that 9 to 5 and eating your head into the ground isn’t the way to go, so it’s hard. I collect everyone’s cellphones when they get there, and they go in a box. When they leave, they get their cellphones back. I think it’s important to tune out of the whole laptop, cellphone, electronic world.
Q: How did you get into this lifestyle?
I got into this because in my 20s I had an eating disorder as a fitness model, and so I went vegan, I went plant-based, I learned all about raw food and that was it, the rest is history. I went vegan 18 years ago.
Q: What motivates you to keep going and grow your business?
When I first went vegan it was for health reasons, I had an eating disorder and all that. But about six years into it, it really became about the animals for me. I love animals, I have rescue dogs, and I protested before. I really feel like, not just the factory farms, but even the grass-fed farms, there’s just really no reason to kill animals with the knowledge we have of what plants can do for us. And juicing is really where it all begins.
Q: What are some of the biggest differences between what you teach and the conventional wisdom many people follow in their diets?
I think we need to get back to the earth, we need to get back to growing our own food. We’ve gotten so wrapped up. Where I’m from in Ohio, my grandmother had three gardens. We grew everything, we made everything from scratch. I make my own coconut kefir, I make my own dairy-free coconut yogurt, I make my own fresh-pressed juices. I’m very much hands on. I’m also very into elixir tonics and tonic herbs and I think the problem is that people have gotten so far away from that. We buy all these packaged, processed foods, and then in our sixth decade of life, sometimes sooner unfortunately, the stress of the whole 9 to 5 rat race and eating out of convenience has us riddled with a degenerative disease.
Q: How do you think attitudes and beliefs have evolved over the years when it comes to health and wellness?
It used to be, people would come and they would be really uninformed. Now people come and I get informed. I’m learning too. I learn from clients, and a huge base of my clientele are people that have had cancer and went through chemo, and had all those drugs put into their system, and now they want to get clean and healthy. Or they’ve had a scare, they’ve had a pacemaker put in, they had a parent who had a scare or something like that. Earlier in the year my mom went into the hospital and had heart surgery, now my whole family’s vegan.
For more information, visit andreacox.com.