Episode 12: Worming with Laughter

Keep your home and mind healthy on this episode of the Virtual Antics Podcast where Natalie and Cathy Nesbitt discuss the synchrony between laughter and worms.

In this episode we will talk about:

  • How Cathy defied market expectations by transforming a global problem into a sustainable solution.

  • How laughter can improve memory and create lasting experiences.

  • The environmental benefits of composting and growing food without chemicals.





5 stars


Meet Cathy!

Cathy Nesbitt is a Health and Wellness Advocate. Cathy is the Founder of Cathy’s Crawly Composters (est 2002), Cathy’s Sprouters and Cathy’s Laughter Club. She is a multi award-winning environmental innovator who uses workshops and inspirational speaking to motivate people to live a more sustainable life. Cathy is an avid cyclist and gardener.

Worming with Laughter

Natalie Guzman: Hey, welcome back to the Virtual Antic Podcast. I'm your host, Natalie Guzman, and today I'm so excited I have the queen of the worms on this call. Welcome, Cathy. How are you?

Cathy Nesbitt: Hi, Natalie. Thank you. 

Natalie Guzman: Queen of worms, my listeners, why I just called you the queen of the worms. 

Cathy Nesbitt: I have a crown. I love it. Yes, so. It is the 21st anniversary of Cathy's Crawley.

Composters. The crawley part is the worms. So it's indoor composting with worms. Yes, worms in the house and keep listening folks. It's all right. So yeah, it's, oh my gosh. This is why I was put on earth. I'm a worm advocate. And I live, I'm, I'm located just north of Toronto in Canada. Largest city in the, in the country.

And in 2002, our landfill closed and we started to export our garbage to the United States. And so Toronto, 6 million people in the greater Toronto area, a lot of people half living in condos, apartments, townhouses, without space to do composting outside. And I understand that not everybody composts anyway, but.

They could. All right, so I had a solution. This is indoor composting. So the same idea as. Doing composting outside, except in, in a container with worms. They eat your food scraps and your paper, and they turn it into compost, into black gold that you can put in your, on your plants. It's plant food. So for me, it was like a no-brainer.

This is just like so great. Everybody's, I'm gonna have such a great business because everybody will do this because we need it. And then I realized uhoh, people don't buy what they need. They buy what they want. Oops. Flaw in the business model and really, thank goodness I didn't think about all that before I started my business.

I had an idea bunk. Oh, I'm the one, look at this. It's a great solution. I just saw, wow, this great solution for this global problem. Food waste, everybody eats. Why truck it away? We, we can, we can manage it on site. And I wanted to put worms. My goal 21 years ago was worms in every living space. I didn't know there wasn't a market, by the way.

I didn't know that people didn't want what I had. And thank goodness I plowed ahead. I went ahead and Natalie, I've had such an amazing life. 

Natalie Guzman: Natalie Guzman: It's amazing.

Cathy Nesbitt: I have had such, it's a, such a trip. I mean, we're an advocate. Who knew there was a lot of na naysayers. Like anyone listening, there's lots of gems in this, in this episode, because I talk about life as an entrepreneur.

That I didn't even know I was a secretary for 20 years. What did I know about being a running a business? I didn't. But here I am still standing squirming along.

Natalie Guzman: squirming your way through. Right? There you go. So how did you, so that's really interesting cuz most people when they start a business, they go after a market, you know, that has people that what, it's what they want, right?But you're really selling something they need, but they don't really know they need it. So how do you cross that barrier and you know, get new clients? 

Cathy Nesbitt: Yeah, so luckily I realized early on that people didn't know about it. So I came up with an expression without awareness, action is impossible. And it had to do with my business.

If you, if you don't know about having worms in the house, you're not calling me bad for business. So I started to do school workshops. So now I speak, I'm a speaker, I'm chatty Cathy. It's so great. And that's one gift that I really am, that I have is, uh, I have no fear of public speaking. I don't care about looking ridiculous.

I. No one's gonna remember or they will like, either they will or they won't, and you know, it doesn't matter. It's getting the message out. And so 20 years in, it's still my favorite piece doing school workshops.

Natalie Guzman: Oh, that's amazing. I have a passion for speaking as well. And it's just like showing your passion and getting other people passionate about it.

It is such a cool thing. And that's why I think a lot of businesses are blooming right now with social media because it's basically mini speaking episodes that you can do on social media and broadcast. It to the world. And that's kind of where TikTok came in and they became super popular. They don't realize that's just speakers.

Go to events and you'll actually feel 10 times more power that you do, that you see in a two minute TikTok. But I, I love events. I love speaking and sharing the passion. That is amazing. So what are your exact services? Like how do you really help them with the whole worm situation?

Cathy Nesbitt: So now I'm, uh, really it's education.

Natalie Guzman: Education. 

Cathy Nesbitt: It's an education business. I do sell worms by the pound. I do have. Some products, but it really is, uh, speaking. So I come and show people how to do it and in, in a school workshop it would be, I would go in and the students set up during the sessions. So it's super fun, like just showing them all the things you can put in.

There's so many lessons. That's what I've realized, that there are just, this is some, a whole piece. We're so disconnected from nature that we, we've forgotten everything. So this is just going. Totally back to the basics. And it, and it's just so much fun. It's, it's, you know, for, again, back to Toronto, it's an urban jungle, right?

Lots of condos. Some of those children have never even seen a worm, nevermind. Held one. And that's the grand finale, is holding the worms. And Natalie, it makes my heart sing where I see kids. They're afraid, they're apprehensive. They don't know, but it's exciting. And then I say, when the worms come out, I say, this is my favorite part.

It's gonna be loud. So I have to give all the instructions before I start because they're squealing and it's, it's, the energy just goes from like, Not sure to what, it's over the top. And when you see kids engaged, it's like when you're speaking, when you move the audience, that's what, that's what it is.

These little micro TikTok, but that lasts an hour. 

Natalie Guzman: That's awesome. So what are some of the benefits of having warms in your home? 

Cathy Nesbitt: Right, so they convert your food scraps and your paper. So you take your. Potato peels, your banana peels, coffee grounds, carrot, onion, not, not onions, carrot, lettuce, whatever. No meat, no dairy, no sauce is what stays out, and I would leave out citrus and onions and garlic.

Just as a category. And there, there's instructions on my website about exactly how to, but the worms then will, it's aerobic, meaning with oxygen. So although you're putting rotting food in, it doesn't smell. Aerobic means with oxygen, if it ever smells bad, the oxygen has now been converted into methane. We can't breathe methane.

Neither can the worms. So it's like a built-in mechanism. Oh, some action required. So it's special worms. The worms are red wiggler worms. There are like three or 4,000 types of worms. Earthworms only four have been identified as optimum for living in a container. So the red wigglers, they eat half their weight per day and in food scraps, you know, so, so for a family it's, it's a wonderful lesson because you're taking your scraps rather than putting it at the curb.

And the truck comes along. You don't know what happens to it. You know, you, you can convert it into soil and then grow more food without chemicals, right? You're feeding the soil and then that's how nature intended. You're adding the microbes in there, the life that convert it, right? Then there's people eating, not people like organisms eating the poop.

They're pooping out stuff, and then other things coming along. Oh, thanks for pre chewing the food, and then the worms come along and they aerate the soil. And then the Baal bugs, and then the birds, and then the rodents, right? Like everybody plays a role. And then our food. And when we, when we garden, we just be, gardeners are hopeful for throw, right?

Planting seeds and then waiting. You know? But when you grow food, you're, you, you rarely waste it. It tastes so good. Plus you, you grew it and it took a lot of effort, so you're going to eat it. You know, food waste is one of the things that is really contributing to climate change. Mm. So if we can manage our food waste, imagine.

And so my goal at the beginning was worms in every living space. Here we are 21 years later and still not everybody knows yet. So I really appreciate the opportunity to talk about it.

Natalie Guzman: I think it's a really interesting subject, especially now, especially in the us Food prices have risen. Gardening is becoming more and more popular because we wanna grow our own food to save some money.Right? I didn't even wanna tell you how much should just spent on gas and groceries the other day. So for a family of four, it's crazy. And, and the, you know, the minimum wage hasn't risen. I can go on and on, but at the heart of it, it's. Like, you know, this is a tool that we could really use to help with gardening.

My husband, actually, it's a hilarious story on he, he is a Instagramer, loves posting about fishing content on Instagram, and he posted one of his first posts, not about fishing, whatever, cuz he was so angry. He went to McDonald's and he ordered four hash browns for the kids for breakfast, and it cost $20 for four hash browns.

That used to be like a dollar a piece. Yeah. So he took a potato, it started growing his own potatoes in the backyard, and I think it's like the funniest thing ever because he is not a gardener. He's like not a guy that. Like loves doing house chores or anything like that, but just because of the desperation to save some money, he started growing his own potatoes and so we started looking into like growing our own food and saving money that way, and I think it's such an interesting, plus it's healthier.

So I also have a daughter. That has multiple stomach issues, acid, reflux, you name it. And so she needs to have, you know, foods that are less than chemicals, no acidic foods, you know, nothing really fatty. There's whole list of foods she can and can't eat, but she ha grew this appreciation for like vegetables, like we go to restaurants, she'll get soup and salad.

Yeah, she's a very, she's a very unique child. She's actually starting her own podcast, which is really cool, but, and she's only six. So she is just like very in tune with her body and wanting stuff that is more natural and even then extending to the world because of like she's learning about Earth Day in school and things like that.

So I think it's really interesting that we have this really unique tool that we don't really know about. We're not utilizing. I don't think I've ever met anyone that's using worms in their household, so I think it's really cool and it's definitely something that could help, kind of help us with that process and contribute, you know, to the world.

Cathy Nesbitt: Well, my, my working title is Cathy Crowley, laughing Bean Queen. As an entrepreneur, I've added different things in, like people do, and so the. Being queen part is a super simple sprout for 21 years at my very first event, like, oh, I, I'm, I, I'm just floating along having this life because I'm divinely guided.

I just trust everybody is, we just don't always tap into it. We were like, Ooh, I is that feeling, and we just count things. If we go within, we get the answer. By the way, if we ask, so in 2002 I met the, I was at, I was at an event and this man had this sprout grower. It looks like a, I'm doing this cuz it looks like a spaceship.

It's a, a plastic like dome. It's a little micro climate and it's to grow sprouts. And I didn't know anything about sprouts or sprouting, why you would eat them. This gentleman was 72. Ballroom dancer still working at 72 exhibiting. It's not easy. Okay, so there he was with this Spro Grow. I said, what is that spaceship thing and why are people buying that and not my worms?

And he said, it's a sprout grower. And told me all about sprouts. So I said, okay, I'm in. I don't need to know why something works. I'm just like, oh, look at you. You look super healthy. I wanna be like you. At 72, he's 94 this year and still living on his own. Mm-hmm. Still pretty healthy, right? So I started, so he said to me, if you're gonna do this, start your day with two tablespoons of sprouted mung beans.

And so I'm saying this because you mentioned about your daughter, there's up to a hundred times more digestive enzymes in raw sprouts than raw vegetables. There's Hi. They're hydrating, alkalizing, regenerative biogenic, and the enzymes. So beautiful. Anyway, if you send me an address, I'll send you one of my super simple sprouts for your daughter.Try it. I mean, for the whole family, it really is. You know, I turned 60 last year. I'm high energy. I have no health in issues. Take no prescription drugs. You know, I'm, I'm super-duper healthy and I think it's the sprouts. And then since 2012, laughter, so now sprouts and laughter are a big part of my health plan and my life, my laughter.


Natalie Guzman: That is the number one thing that got me through so much of my life, and I am definitely one of those. Sarcastic people that can like say, like you're, you talk about something normal and then I come off with a joke in one second. Then it's just like, I don't know. I think laughter is really the best medicine.

They were a hundred percent right, because, you know, it just, yeah, it gets your mood boosting and going, you know. I have a crazy story. I was a foster kid and went through all these traumatic things in my life, and laughter was, uh, one thing that saved by me through it all and got me through everything. So I definitely, definitely believe that laughter is the best medicine.

Cathy Nesbitt: Thank you. Laughter is the best medicine I, I heard, I heard a bit of your story on, on Whizzes. Yep. 

Natalie Guzman: That's a second in my mind. Podcast. 

Cathy Nesbitt: Yes. Right. Laughter is the best medicine. Have you had your daily dose? Here you go. Dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. It's not just an expression, folks, it's the truth.Yeah. When we're laughing, we're, we're secreting the love drugs. We're secreting something anyway. When we're stressed, we're secreting cortisol, adrenaline, all the stress hormones, and our body does not know our, our body does not know the difference between real. And simulated laughter. Our mind does, right?

Our brain's like, Ooh, stop it. You look weird. What are you doing? Because the brain's role is to keep us safe and conserve energy. It knows what to do. That's why you get triggered by family. It's like, oh, we've been here before. Here. We go around, we go, we can stop that, right? We can change it and and so laughter, when we're laughing, we're totally present.We're not thinking about tomorrow. Yesterday that. That thing we said, that incident we had, we're just like right here, right now. And it's not even a survival mechanism. I mean, it totally is. It's a thrive one, but it's not a survival one in that I can, when we're, we can only laugh when we feel safe, when we, we can only laugh.

Full on when we feel safe at the mo at that moment, because when we're, when we're laughing, our stomach hurts, our cheeks hurt, our knees get weak, right? So we couldn't even run away if we were being chased by a saber tooth tiger. So it's, it's a beautiful thing. Oh yes. 

Natalie Guzman: That's awesome. And then, so, And oh, there was a study that was done that like, like 90% of the time, if you think back about a happy memory, you're probably laughing or you, or you're looking at someone that's laughing, which is like, I know for me, almost all of my amazing memories have laughter in them.

And it's because it also like triggers your mind, so it increases your memory. So we, my stepfather was just, Diagnosed with Alzheimer's and they said one of the best things you can do is give him these amazing memories. And so I think of like, so we always try to have fun. Like he's having a birthday party this week and we're getting him low.We're getting low cowboy hats, so we get little like fake horses so we can just run around and be crazy with him. And because it is going to trigger his memory, he is gonna have that memory longer. So yeah, I love laughter. I think it's. Definitely the best and it helps us, I mean, it just makes you feel good, right?

And like you said, it gives you that energy just to get through your day. Even when we, we just lost a family member, and I think one of, I always say that parents' biggest superpower is keeping your kids happy when you're going through a tough thing in life. And so their dad had to go to Puerto Rico last minute, and so, I sat in the car and they were bawling their eyes out and I was like, you know what?We gotta have fun. I put a silly song on. I did the embarrassing dance moves, and all of a sudden their whole demeanor changed, right? They were happy. They were like, oh, daddy's gonna be home soon. It's gonna be okay. And they were just the biggest smiles and singing and dancing. It was such a beautiful moment.

In such a sad time. So I think also using laughter, like when you know you're going through it and when you're having hard times, like it's okay to laugh. I think that's the biggest thing is people feel like, oh no, it's not okay. I should be ashamed. It's supposed to be sad. There's no rule book to emotions.

No one's saying that you have to be a a sad at funerals. You don't have to be, or you know, in a mourning period for so long I was like, you can still laugh and still mourn at the same time.

Cathy Nesbitt: So Beautiful. Well said, right? Who said? Who said, yeah, it's like ashamed and whatever. Those are on those people.

Natalie Guzman: Yeah.That's not on you. You start caring about other people's opinions, which we don't need to do. We're better than that. So 

Cathy Nesbitt: yeah, it's, yeah. It's just we messages just, we need to feel the emotions because they emotions, it's energy and motion. That's all. Work through it and then, and, and not to discount it, just feel what it is.Here it is, it's this, and then, you know, know that it can. Move, you know, it's, it's energy and mo motion. You know, I, I, I would love to share in, in nature, and I know people know this, we look at animals, say, we'll say rabbits. If a rabbit is being chased by a predator and it gets away, it goes and shakes it.

It's like uhoh trauma. It gets that off it goes, and shakes, and a lot of animals do that. I think all, all of nature except people, and then. It gets, and then it hops away, and then it goes and eats and all. Well, we hold onto it. We have some event, we go and it gets into our belly. If we don't go and shake or get it out, it's there.

And then the next one and the next one, and they're all there. You know, sometimes when people do laughter yoga, they may feel sad after an episode of laughter because we're doing deep diaphragmatic. Removing our diaphragm and every, it's like internal jogging so everything gets released. Yeah. Sometimes emotions will verbal up and, and you know, somebody might feel sad and as the laughter teacher, it's our role just to say, you know, just, we're not therapists.

We're not, it's not therapy. We're just ex asking people if they feel sad to just experience it and, you know, just ask themself. Because I think thing, when things ble up, it's because we're ready to look at it. 

Natalie Guzman: Yeah, yeah, definitely. And I kind of bringing it back to the worms, I was like, laughter and emotions.

It's a whole cycle, right? You're release a stored negative emotions with laughter and I was like, well, the worms are kinda doing that with our scraps and such. You know, they're taking, you know, they're disposing of the waste so that the earth can be a little bit healthier. De to me is kind of like the bad emotions, right?

It's like the, you know, the waste. So they're taking the waste and they're really recycling those same things like we do with laughter. So it's kind of cool how your laughter worms go hand in hand, right?

Cathy Nesbitt: You know what I, it wasn't until I used to feel like a juggler, like I have worms, I have sprouts, I have laughter.Ooh, what do you want? What do you need? I go it. And then 2020, and I had time to think. And think, and then I could think some more and I realized, wow, I had a, it was mind blowing. It's so funny. You, you know, you'd go along, but when you stop and pause and think, answers come, and I realize what I do is just a sustainable way of being.

It's just if I, if everybody did what I do, if everybody had a worm bin, I don't mean as a business just. In life, and they grew their own sprouts, and they laughed every day. You know, I mean, I wouldn't even need to be in business because everybody would just be doing all these things and we would all just be, we could do other things to change the world.Yeah. You know, it's, I, I, I don't think. In my lifetime, I'll be out of work because there will always be more people not knowing what I'm doing. Yeah. And just more places to spread the joy. It's just a, it's it's magic. It's a magic life and I want this for everybody. 

Natalie Guzman: It's amazing. Well, thank you so much for coming on and sharing all the laughter and worms.I absolutely love it. Where can we find you? 

Cathy Nesbitt: So I would love to invite your listeners to my Tuesday. Chuckle Club. It's on online, 9:30 AM 30 minutes, super fun. Self-care on Zoom and as a laughter yoga teacher. Try incorporate tapping Brain gym, Chi Kong, other healing modalities. Laughter goes with everything.

Mm-hmm. I just wanna help people get out of stress and into joy. If you're gonna come and you've never done it. Plan to come twice because the first time is maybe awkward, but maybe not. Like in Zoom, you're in your own room. But it's super fun. I get about 25 people weekly, not the same people you know, come when you can.

It's free, and I've experienced the magic of laughing for the health of it. 

Natalie Guzman: That's perfect. That's nine 30. What time zone? Oh, Eastern. I'm sorry. I work with people all over the world. I'm meeting with someone at. Pulled in this week and I was like, she's like, wait, you're Eastern Standard time? And I was like, yes.She's like, oh, well I'm like C E S T, and I'd never heard of it. Had to look it up. I was like, oh, okay. Cool.

So awesome. 

Cathy Nesbitt: Central European, isn't it? 

Natalie Guzman: Yeah, I think that's what it is. Yeah, she's actually, 

Cathy Nesbitt: where are you located, Natalie? 

Natalie Guzman: Florida.

Cathy Nesbitt: Oh, nice. Beautiful. 

Natalie Guzman: Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, and she was actually a really cool story, but real quick, she was, uh, you lived in Ukraine and now she's seeking refuge in Poland.

And so yeah, it was really, it was really interesting. Really cool to hear her story. Maybe I'll have her on another podcast episode. But thank you so much for joining me, Kathy, and we will talk to you guys next time.

The weekly holistic health podcast that's focused on the whole self — body, mind, and spirit.






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HEY FRIEND! I'M Natalie.

Host of the Virtual Antics Podcast


I became a virtual assistant in 2015 trying to bring in extra money as a stay at home mom. A few years later I decided to turn my side hustle into a virtual assistant agency and hit 6 figures in four months.

I realized I had a passion for business, and soon opened a marketing agency. Know I travel the world teaching women how to become virtual assistants, and help entreprenuers build their businesses from their living rooms.




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Daily Journal Practice: Journaling 101

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Daily Journal Practice: Journaling 101

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Daily Journal Practice: Journaling 101

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