Sophia Goes Crunchy

Things have been busy and stressful lately, but I’m still going. Right now, I’m trying really hard to get my shit sorted. I want my cluttered apartment (which STILL has cardboard boxes everywhere from the fact that we’re hoarders who can’t afford storage) to actually look like a home. I want to find a way for us to live within our means, even if that means having less. And I’m very interested in the concept of simplification. As in, I’m actually kind of exited about having less stuff – it means less to replace when things break, less cleaning, less money spent on storage for stuff I don’t use! I want all 700 square feet of the apartment to be for its human inhabitants, not for our junk! But its hard to accomplish because 1) I hate cleaning 2) my time-management sucks, and 3) I hate cleaning. Still, I’m trying. Today I’m going to go through all my clothes to either donate or recycle what I haven’t worn in over 6 months (accounting for seasonal stuff, of course). This is all inspired by recently having read Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider. Tsh also has a wonderful blog called Simple Mom, which I highly recommend for anyone wanting tips or inspiration for loving life-with-less.

Lately my mission has been finding natural – and affordable – solutions to beauty and health needs. An example: For the past year or two I’ve been CO washing (conditioner-only washing) my hair. The product I use, while awesome, is just a little expensive, and it comes in a tiny plastic bottle that I doubt is eco-friendly. Unfortunately this product isn’t listed on EWG’s Skin Deep Database, so I had to research each ingredient separately. Most of the ingredients are not problematic, but a couple are slightly concerning – and then their is the dreaded “fragrance/parfum”, which could mean anything. So now I’m researching/experimenting with other “no poo” options. I tried using baking soda as shampoo and apple cider vinegar as a rinse, but I hated this method. I think the baking soda is just too harsh, it reminded me of the shampoo I gave up ages ago. Frizztastic. So now I’m experimenting with Indian herbs. The powdered forms are only about $2 per box (cardboard box with plastic baggy inside = more eco-friendly than plastic bottle with pump), and since I just use a few spoonful’s they’ll last quite a while. Since they are just dried and powdered plants, its a non-synthetic and totally renewable product. But, I’m still tweaking my potion to find just the right amount of cleansing and conditioning. This has been both fun and traumatic, as I’ve had a few pretty bad hair days, and one awful nightmare about my hair falling out in clumps (hasn’t actually happened… yet). Also, one of the mixtures make my hair smell like curry. For several days.

However, I’ve had some clear successes! I started washing my face with honey instead of traditional cleanser. Sounds crazy, but its AWSOME. My skin has NEVER looked so good! The redness I assumed was hereditary is gone, I’m getting fewer and smaller breakouts, and it’s safe for my skin and the environment. I also discovered the miracle that is coconut oil. I got a jar of organic extra virgin coconut oil for about $10 that will last me a looooooooong time since I use it in terms of drops rather than spoonfuls or cups. I use it to remove makeup (which is now the super-granola-hippie-all-natural variety), to moisturize my face and body, and as a leave-in conditioner for my hair. Again, it’s safe and renewable, and I can reuse the glass jar it came in! I found some really helpful ideas on this theme at the blog of my new guru/girl crush, Crunchy Betty. This site is a must for going crunchy and looking good doing it!

The final bit of hippie behavior I’m embracing is something I’m still a little sensitive about, but here goes: I’ve entirely stopped wearing bras. I did it initially because of some stuff I read on the internet about links between bras and breast cancer, a claim which I now believe to be tenuous. However, in the short time before I reached that conclusion, I notice a marked decrease in neck, shoulder and breast pain. Aches that I had tolerated for so long that I barely noticed them, suddenly disappeared. Movement is actually more comfortable now, without “support”. My posture has improved too! The girls now hang at their natural height (although mine have perked up noticeably since being forced to fight gravity themselves!)… which is definitely lower than what is considered normal-looking in a world where cloth and metal bindings are considered normal. So I’m still a little self-conscious about the whole thing. For one, I don’t look like Heather up there. I’m pretty sure she could wear a potato sack and still look fabulous. For another, I’m a 38DD. So there’s a LOT to worry about, ya know? But so far no one has commented or treated me any differently – with the exception of my boyfriend, who has given me nothing but positive feedback! 😉 – and its been about a month already. The fact is, bras are just modern corsets, and even if they don’t cause problems like cancer, they certainly aren’t medically necessary either. And I feel stronger and healthier without one.

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7 responses to “Sophia Goes Crunchy

  1. Good for you! Bras are so uncomfortable, but I am not brave enough to go out in public without one!

    So you just wash your face with pure honey? That’s neat! I may have to try that although I might start attracting bears. 🙂

    Keep us posted on what you find that works good for your hair. I love that you experiment with these things!

    Did you mention what you use for deodorant? Any natural stuff out there?

    Oh, I totally hear you on the simplifying things. I want to do the same. I don’t want STUFF to have this huge hold on me. Well, it doesn’t really, but in general we tend to have so many things in the US, don’t we?

    Thanks for sharing! Hope you are well.

    • Yeah, I’ve had to put a bit more thought into clothing choices. One word: Layers. Especially on chilly days. 😉

      As for honey, thats right – just plain old honey. I will mention that I recently went through the bottle I had and splurged on some raw organic local honey, and I must say that I’m glad I did. Its much thicker and less syrupy which makes it easier to apply, and it has more of a grainy texture like a gentle scrub which is a nice bonus too. Honey works great, just wet your face with warm water, smear it all over and rinse off (I tie my hair back first). Doesn’t remove makeup though, so for that I first just smear on some coconut oil and then wipe it off with a soft cloth.

      I’m still tweaking my hair routine… I want to give WO (water only) another shot, but the last time I did that my hair actually looked nastier than it did before I got in the shower! I don’t know why that happens, maybe the water is chlorinated in my area and my hair doesn’t like it? I’d like to only use the herbal goop once a week or less if possible, ‘cuz frankly its kind of a pain in the butt to do often. But I really can’t go more than 2 or 3 days without washing my hair at this point (I still bathe daily, btw, I just don’t wash my hair every time). I’ve been reading today about a method that involves “brushing” the hair in the shower with a washcloth to break up the oil so it can wash away with the water, so I want to try that. Preferably on a day when I don’t have to be seen if it fails epically.

      As far as deodorant, I’m still using my regular dove deodorant. I’m probably going to wait until I use it up (I only have about 1/4 of a stick left) before trying something else. I’m debating between buying something natural or making my own deodorant – I’ve read a few recipes that look fairly simple. Both options involve $, either for fancy-schmancy all-natural deodorant from WholePaycheck, or buying essential oils and a few other ingredients to make it myself… so I’m content to wait a bit.

  2. I love Simple Mom!

    1½ year ago I didn’t wash my hair for 4-5 months, but then slowly I started washing again, cause I wasn’t happy with it (did only conditioner for a while then as well). These days I use a tiny amount of shampoo (only at the top of my head and only every 2-3 days) and a much larger amount of conditioner (only at the ends of my hair, every 2-3 days).
    I did find that when I didn’t wash my hair with shampoo it was better if I still “washed” it, by going through the motions as if I was washing it with ‘poo.

    I really love using oil as a make up remover, best thing ever. I’ll have to try out washing with honey afterwards though!

    Have you considered one of those crystal deoderants? I had one once and it actually worked pretty well, think I’ll get one of those again next times. It’s just these pure crystal in a spray bottle, you fill it with water and spray on. You can use it several times until the crystals are gone. I think it costs around $10-15 pounds, but considering you should get 8-10 refills out of it, it’s really not that expensive.

    • Oooo, the crystal deodorant sounds cool! I heard about those solid crystal deodorants but I heard they can kind of scratch when you apply, but the spray sounds genius! I’ll have to check for it next time I’m at Whole Foods.

      • Yeah these ones are not scratchy as you fill them with water, and then it’s the water you spray on (with the dissolved crystal in the water).
        Here in Denmark you can also buy some organic roll-on deoderants based on the dissolved crystals, but they’re comparatively more expensive (around $6-7 for one deoderant, which lasts about as long as a normal roll-on deoderant). I’ve bought and used them though, when they’ve been on sale, and they work fine.

  3. I love to hear of young people interesting in carrying on in the hippie spirit. It really bothers me to hear “hippie” used as an insult, because I lived through that era, and although I’ve since lived quite a mainstream life, I am deeply aware of the many positive hippie-ish ideas that have continued to influence society today. I think we would all be better off had more people followed more aspects of the hippie way of life. I am slowly building a website dedicated to that notion, http://www.thank-a-hippie.com.

    • Cool website George! I wouldn’t be here today if not for hippies… or at least one hippie, my Mom! Strangely enough, my teenage rebellion involved a refusal to smoke weed, go to protests, or be at all political. Now I’m older and although I’m still a bit square, I’ve come to appreciate the worldview my mother instilled in me. Love is all you need. 🙂

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