The very first entry in Crunchy Betty’s Food On Your Face category was written on May 9, 2010. It was called “Five Good Reasons To Put Food On Your Face.”
At the time, I was fumbling around in the world of blogs. I was dipping my proverbial toes in the metaphorical pineapple juice, often for the first time right before I blogged it. Some of you were there with me then. A few of you remember the first header Crunchy Betty ever had.
I can’t believe you’re still with me …
(Yes, that is it. It was a photo I took of a woman’s mannequin head from an antique store in Kansas City. It was weird. I was weird. I am weird. Time to come clean about it.)
I’ve changed a lot in the last three years. My beliefs have changed. My reasons for doing things have changed.
This hasn’t always been easy for me, and I know it hasn’t ever been easy for those of you who read the blog. But you’re still here (or you’re here for the first time, and that’s awesome, too).
On August 1, 2010, I asked all 20 of my readers what they thought a Crunchy Betty was.
After I share with you some of my thoughts on what Crunchy Betty is now, where it’s been and where it’s going, I’m going to ask you similar questions. Your answers – your answers will become PART of what I share tomorrow in Boston.
In the original post, in which we talked about the defining aspects of being a “Crunchy Betty,” I said this:
Here are my thoughts – my original and evolving ones – on what constitutes a Crunchy Betty. I know, I know. It was my concept to begin with, but you people amaze me every day, and your input means as much to me as my own flitting ideas.
This has remained true throughout this whole 3-year journey. I am not what makes Crunchy Betty “Crunchy Betty” – you are. The way you experiment bravely. The way you charge ahead with embracing what’s natural and true, over what’s manufactured and synthetic – even in the face of potential questioning looks (or groans from your husbands). The way you take ideas – not just from me but from a thousand different sources – and run with them and find what works for you.
In truth, without any of your willingness and wonder, I’d just be some crazy lady sitting around with her face in a bowl full of fruit.
So, please, share at the end of this post. I’ll give you a specific question or two, but please feel free to say whatever it is that’s on your mind. Your input counts (more than mine does).
Where Crunchy Betty Was
As children, everything is an experiment. The way we walk and talk, how we learn to relate to other kids … even the act of smashing pebbles with a hammer becomes a brave and mighty treasure hunt.
When I was 5, I would mix together different shampoos and conditioners, singing and splashing, imagining I was creating a hair dye and suddenly I’d be blonde, or permed, or bald. I was convinced that the right combination of Suave and V05 would produce shocking results. It never did.
Then, at the age of 6, I told my mother I was going to start baking bread. And that’s what I did. Several loaves, all by myself, for no rhyme or reason. There’s a simple power in shaping a loaf, bringing it to life with your own bare hands. And my little fingers felt that power.
Of course, as we age, we lose that sense of wonderment of our own personal power – we forget the magic in experimenting with what we can do for ourselves. Jobs and bills and television and life get in the way. Experimenting becomes luxury, and then it becomes occasional whimsy, and then it just seems like a waste of time – especially when you can just run down to the store and buy whatever you need before the commercials are over.
When I started Crunchy Betty, it was with that whimsy – that magic of experimentation – in mind. When I began Crunchy Betty, it wasn’t about anything other than chatting about life and trying natural recipes and remedies.
Eventually, as more people hopped on board, I realized that this “crunchiness” wasn’t just whimsy – it could be a way of life. Most nights were spent falling asleep on a pile of books, while researching and reading about herbalism, aromatherapy, historical remedies, and conscious living. Most days were spent mixing together concoctions and smearing them everywhere – or eating them occasionally.
Many of us went no ‘poo, and tried the oil cleansing method. Or we challenged ourselves to smear honey on our faces and loved every second of it. Some of you fell in love with the Mocha Frappuccino Facial Mask, while others preferred fresh fruit facials or hot oil hair treatments. I wrote a book based on everything I’d tried and found success in when it comes to acne and breakouts. We cleaned our houses using ingredients from our cabinets and learned a few tricks with essential oils.
There were undeniable successes, and occasional failures. We laughed a lot, and then we cried. And then we kind of rolled our eyes. And then we laughed again.
Those were the good old days.
But I got off track, personally. What began as fun turned into a crusade in my head (even though I may not have always expressed it). I imagined we had enemies – like corporations and governments and naysayers.
I took a huge bite of the poison apple – the rancid fruit called fear. I began thinking traumatic thoughts about how, if everyone didn’t change, things like global warming or pollution or cancer would kill us all. This was an important lesson: Because once you start going down the track of fear, you run yourself off the rails of peace.
What started as fun had turned into an agenda, a dogmatic belief system, a reason to create separation and enemies.
Those thoughts? That’s where my personal hypocrisy lived. Everywhere I turned, I couldn’t get away from the opposites, the kinks, the imperfections in everything we were doing. I’d read the occasional comments or emails complaining that something wasn’t working (even the single complaint, in a sea of successes, would send me into the depths of feeling like a failure). Everything came with a price, even though I was killing myself to find the sweet spots where we’d be free and clear and the world would be roses and kittens forever and ever.
I forgot we lived in a world of imperfection. A world of duality. A world where everything comes with the same price you put on it. If you’re rigid and unforgiving, the price will always be astronomical. I forgot that nothing is perfect – not modern medicine or herbal medicine, not natural beauty products or synthetic beauty products … not life. And because nothing is perfect, it’s all pretty gosh-darned amazing.
And then I came full circle.
What Crunchy Betty Is Now
From this day forward, I want to steer Crunchy Betty back on the course which it was originally designed to take. Now, though, I understand why I wanted it to be what I wanted it to be. I feel the tingle of the original loooove.
Burn this thought into your memory, because this is my truest, deepest intention.
Crunchy Betty is about experiencing the wonder that comes with personal discovery. The power you feel when you create what you need with your own two hands. It’s about journeying back to the intricate simplicity of nature (our nature and nature’s nature), as to become more grounded in our daily lives and more attuned to the amazing gifts that are around us at all times. The magic in herbs, in oils, in fruits and veggies, in the air and water, and even occasionally in things that others might consider “bad.”
It’s about sharing and learning – together. We support and nourish each other, because we know that by doing so, we support and nourish ourselves. And we learn – always, we learn, and I learn along with the rest of you at all times.
(And occasionally, it’s just about me. Because, let’s face it, I’m hilarious.)
It’s about having fun. Having a blast experimenting with nature. And if you’re not having fun when you’re experimenting, why do it at all?
You’ll notice it’s not about fear. It’s not about changing the world, or saving the world, or taking down the evil corporations, or warning others about poisons and cancer and wrinkles and angry birds. Those things (probably not the angry birds part, but who knows) will change themselves as we all become more grounded, full of awareness of the beauty around us, and recognize the peace we already have available within ourselves.
Those things – I promise – will take care of themselves without us adding fuel to the fire.
And these are a lot of words, so let me tell you where I envision our journey going, in concrete terms, in the future:
- There will be more and new homemade beauty, household cleaning, and home remedy recipes (as well as learning more about herbs and foods and essential oils). You will have fun. Or you will not. (You will have fun. The end.)
- There will be occasional posts where we talk about our own special brand of personal growth, the things we learn in taking personal responsibility, and how the world changes as we change the way we look at it
- How do you feel about the Crunchy Betty videos? (I’m prepared to do more, but only iff’n you want them.)
- We’ll start talking a little more often about products and things you might want to buy if you don’t feel like making them
- I will ask you many more questions and your feedback will forever be encouraged, so you will talk – to me and to each other (hey – this ain’t no free ride)
- Sometimes I will tell you stories, and you will laugh
- There will be another book (or perhaps four or five more books)
- You will be patient with me, as you always are, because I’m totally going to screw up sometimes (this I can promise you)
The truth is, as Crunchy Betty has grown into a readership of nearly 35,000 people, I’ve freaked out a bit. When you start realizing that you’re talking to a group that’s nearly 9 times the population of the town you grew up in, it starts to scare the holy living dingleberries out of you. So I’m going to stop thinking in terms of numbers, and start remembering that I’m talking to friends.
Because, in the end, that’s all I’ve ever wanted Crunchy Betty to be.
A whole bunch of friends, sitting around sipping wine and laughing about the food on our faces.
Now It’s Your Turn to Talk – Let Me Have It
It’s amazing how, when I sat down to write this whole post, it wasn’t going to be directed at you – the reader, the friend. It was just going to be a general story.
This, to me, speaks enormously of how important your participation and input is here (and if you actually read this far, I swear on everything that’s holy I have a gold star to send to you).
When I share the general gist of this post tomorrow, the most important part is going to be what you have to say here. So, please, don’t hold back.
- What one (or two) things about going “crunchy” (or natural) has changed your life for the better? (This doesn’t have to have anything to do with Crunchy Betty, btw.)
- What have you learned on Crunchy Betty that you’ll never forget?
And bonus question: What’s your favorite thing about Crunchy Betty? (This is really only for me. I want to know what you love, so I can do more of it.)
Thank you, my crunchistas (and cruncheros). You …
Quick. Think fast. What does Priceline, partially digested foam rubber, a goat’s beard, 8001 boxes, sore knees, and an industrial-size bottle of vinegar have in common?
They all …
That is what they all have in common. Me, over the last week and a half.
You know how some blogs do Wordless Wednesday? Well, here’s my Thoughtless Thursday, because frankly, my dears, if there’s a brain left in my head after the last week and a half, I don’t know about it.
In the last 10 days, I have:
- Spent the afternoon at a farm (this was luxury)
- Packed an entire household
- Planned a trip to Boston (leaving tomorrow)
- Taken a cat in for emergency surgery (poor conehead)
- Moved an entire household
- Unpacked 50 of the 8001 boxes
- Given 30-odd doses of antibiotics and painkillers to a cat who’d rather see her medication on the walls and floors (most of the time she gets her way)
- Spent 10 hours (not an exaggeration) cleaning the old place, much of that on my knees and using a large bottle of vinegar
- Eaten a LOT of cold pizza
- Spent hours with my new friend Bruce, the contractor who’s fixing the leak we found, necessitating a huge hole dripping water from our ceiling
- Set up the new workspace for the Crunchy Betty’s Natural Market (okay, that’s only about halfway done, and it has to be finished by tomorrow)
- Slept (who am I kidding?)
Now I just have to:
- Write a presentation for Boston
- Pack for Boston
- Go to Boston
- Rock it in Boston
- Come home, save my poor seedlings from certain death, and create a utopian rooftop garden
I can do this.
In fact, later today I’ll be writing the presentation for Boston, which should include why Crunchy Betty exists, why I exist, where we’re all going, and how we’re going to take over the world. If my thoughts are coherent, I will post an excerpt of this presentation tomorrow morning. It seems like something you might want to know.
Here, though, for your viewing pleasure, are a few pictures that capture the essence of the last 10 days of my life:
This is a chicken in the dirt. Fairly obvious.
Later, that same chicken tried to eat my soul.
Goats are weird.
The previous photos were taken at my dear friend Diana’s farm (Lil’ Bit Farms), and I’ll share more about that trip soon. She’s graciously shared her favorite salve recipe, and I’ll be making some and posting the results of that next week (fingers crossed!).
That was Ju-Ni playing in the 8001 boxes before they were packed.
And before she found some errant foam rubber and decided it was food.
This is what a cat looks like after eating foam rubber. She has a 5-inch incision in her stomach now. Poor girl.
(She still looks like this. I’m calling her Co-Ni now instead of Ju-Ni. Get it? Co-Ni? Cone? Coney? Hahahahaha. I’m hilarious.)
This is the “before” picture of my new pantry. It’s a mess. Soon, I will channel my inner Martha and turn this into an oasis of foodstuffs (and I’ll share more before and after pictures).
If anyone has Inner Martha’s phone number, could you pass it along? I seem to have lost it over the last, oh, 38 years. I have the feeling this is going to be a very long distance telephone call.
30-ish of the 8001 boxes.
For a minute, I considered keeping it all as a postmodern industrial box and newspaper interior design theme.
Skip wasn’t pleased. So, he did this:
It’s all still a work in progress, but we’re getting there.
Um, I Mean “Thoughtful Thursday”
Lest you think I was complaining above about all I’ve done and all I have yet to do, I was.
For a second.
And then I was all, “But wait! There’s more!”
See, the truth is, in every single thing I listed above, I have about a thousand things to be grateful for in there. For instance:
- My cat, though a little Frankensteiny, is alive and well
- The old apartment was sparkling and perfect when I handed over the keys yesterday
- We snagged the.most.amazing townhome that I can’t wait to get messy with crunchy experiments and rooftop gardens
- No one died or committed first degree murder in the process of moving
- I held a baby goat (which you will see in a later blog post)
- We may not have an internet connection yet, but we have power, light, and water and also air (sometimes it’s hard to remember whether internet or air is more important)
- I’m GOING TO BOSTON TOMORROW TO SIT IN A ROOM WITH REID TRACY AND CHERYL RICHARDSON
- You. YOU. YOU, my dear friends. I am grateful for you and your willingness to look at my random photos.
And that is my Thoughtful Thursday.
By the way, if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably already seen most of these pictures. Sorry for the repeat. (If you don’t, you should, because that’s where I’m going to chronicle my trip to Boston.)
See you tomorrow morning with Deep Thoughts About Crunchy Betty (which will need some audience participation, btw!). And then later … in Boston!
Ready ………. break! (Go team!)
It’s of utmost importance that I be transparent with you all right now, and not just about the pair of parachute pants I still own from 1987.
No, the truth you should know is this:
If there was one thing I would want to change in this world, it would be the “food wars” we wage against each other. In fact, this might be my new mission in life: To join the human race in one connecting truth. The truth that we’re all doing the best we can with what we believe in any given moment of our lives in order to nourish ourselves and our families.
The truth that there is no “one right way” for every single person in the world. The truth that diversity (in our beliefs AND in the way we eat and take care of our bodies) is what keeps us learning and growing, and is something to be celebrated – not ridiculed (yes, even in the case of processed foods, which we’ll talk more about in a minute).
The truth that we are ALL in this together. All of us. You and me. Us.
And that’s why I think “Cart Anxiety” is an important place to start, because it starts in the open. It starts in a place where we’re the most vulnerable. In public, where everyone can see our vices, our unmentionables, our triumphs and our weakest moments.
So while I know we won’t solve this crisis of you’re-bad-and-killing-yourself-with-your-personal-choices shaming in one fell swoop, one silly little blog post, all I ask is that you begin considering the concept of being gentle with yourself and with other people and their choices.
Let’s talk specifically about Cart Anxiety right now, though.
No One Can Make You Stop Judging – Even You
If you spend any amount of time on message boards, Facebook, or blogs (and I’m assuming you do – hello!), you probably know by now that the judging other people for their personal health choices is an epidemic.
I mean, people are effing mean about it. Nasty. And it solves zero problems; it only leads to more irrational internet arguments and horrid feelings.
But herein lies the rub: You can no more make yourself stop judging other people than you can make yourself stop eating completely. And, goodness knows, there’s nothing in the world I’m going to be able to say to you to convince you to just stop cold turkey. (But that won’t stop me from trying to nudge your thoughts in a more loving direction.)
I’m going to propose three potential truths, however, that you can just keep in mind (or discard if you’d like, it’s up to you):
- Judging and criticizing people doesn’t help them; it hurts you.
- No one thing (diet, personal care, or otherwise) is perfect for everyone in the world.
- If everyone lived like you, believed like you, and behaved like you, the world would be a terribly droll, dull, and lifeless place. Contrast is what brings our world to life – this is as true in nature as it is in our thoughts.
None of these truths are set in stone; they’re just possibilities to consider when you have a negative thought about someone else and their choices.
So when you find yourself judging someone else based on the contents of their cart (or based on a moment on the internet), what can you do about it?
First, you can ask yourself about your thoughts and whether or not they’re true. I mean this. Talk to yourself (it’s amazing how your thoughts work themselves out when you bring questions to them).
So, for example, you see a woman with children and a cart full of sugary breakfast cereal. You think, “What a terrible mother; she’s killing her kids.” Ask yourself: “Can I absolutely know for a fact that this woman is a terrible mother, or that she’s killing her kids? Absolutely, completely, for a fact without any doubt whatsoever, can I know this?”
The answer will always be, always, “No. I cannot know that for a fact.” Perhaps this woman is single, works three jobs, and hasn’t ever been privy to knowledge that sugary breakfast cereal is bad. With little doubt, she loves her children (if you didn’t love something, would you care for it at all?). She feeds them; is that horrible? She’s killing them; is that true? I grew up on sugary breakfast cereal and I’m not dead, so can I know for a fact that she’s killing them? Can I even know for a fact that she’s buying them for her children? No.
These are just some of the ways you can talk to those negative, stressful, judgmental thoughts that only hurt you.
You see, I’m not asking you to change your perspective because it’s bad. I’m asking you to consider the possibility that talking to your negative thoughts might very well help YOU be more healthy emotionally.
I want you to consider one more thing, when you feel judgy towards someone with unhealthy food in their cart: What would happen if, tomorrow morning, everyone in the world woke up and said, “I’m only going to eat real food from now on. Only grassfed, pastured, and organic. Only that, and nothing else.”
What would that do to supply? What would that do to the price you pay at the checkout? Would YOU even be able to access the foods you so dearly enjoy, if that happened?
Perhaps everything happens in slow increments in order for us to slowly acclimate to changing opinions. Perhaps, instead of judging, we can be grateful that while it IS happening – while public opinion about healthy eating and living is changing – it is changing slowly, so as to not cause immediate chaos.
Just something to think about.
And For You Who Feel Judged – I Have Two Thoughts For You
The first is this, “Your opinion of me is none of my business.”
I know, I know. Embracing that is easier said than done.
But do everything you possibly can to get there. Please.
I speak to you from a place of deep, deep knowledge. If I was going to attribute my “blog break” to anything at all, it would be the fear of being judged by everyone else (because, let’s say this again, people on the internet are so mean sometimes).
I took time away to examine where I didn’t feel comfortable with myself; where I wasn’t accepting myself and my choices for myself, because that’s the root of the whole danged issue.
And nowhere is this more glaringly apparent than with “Cart Anxiety.” If you feel comfortable with your choices, and you DOGGONITKNOWWITHOUTADOUBT that you’re choosing what you need when you need it (and that freaking includes a cupcake every once in a while), then it won’t matter what anyone else thinks.
The second thought is this: The thoughts you’re having about other people judging you live only one place: In your own head. This is excellent news, because that’s the one and only place where you get to decide what stays and what goes.
Here are some special things for you to consider:
- Ask yourself, “Is it true that someone is going to judge me for this cupcake? Can I absolutely, without a doubt, know it’s true?” If you can’t, then why worry?
- When you go to the store, have one thing on your mind – one thing only – being “in the moment.” If you open your mind and your heart to everything that’s available for you to look at, smell, and touch in the store, you have little time to concern yourself with what other people are thinking. Take it all in – the green and the orange, the creamy and the crunchy. You might discover a new world of food you hadn’t even noticed before, because you were too busy thinking about thoughts that you thought other people may be thinking.
- The grocery store isn’t happening TO you, it’s happening FOR you. How amazing is that?
- Lastly, consider that the judgments you think other people are having aren’t theirs at all – they’re yours. These are your judgments of yourself. When you know this, you can apply the “is this absolutely, without a doubt true” exercise to ALL of them, and figure out exactly where it is you’re hurting yourself and your ability to enjoy life (and the opportunity to nourish your body and soul).
Lastly, when you start to worry about being judged in the grocery store, THINK ABOUT THIS EVERY SINGLE TIME.
At one time, I was LITERALLY WALKING AROUND WITH POOP IN MY CART.
Literally, poop in my shopping cart, that I carried, and bought – and I didn’t give a crap what anyone else thought.
(Tell yourself: At least I’m not Leslie, and this is not poop.)
If that doesn’t make you feel better about your cupcake, I don’t know what will.
Finally – Contrary Beliefs are NOT Your Enemy
Ugh. I don’t know how to make this more clear, because I know there are some of you that are very invested in the idea that your beliefs are the only right way to live.
The only thing I can offer is my own personal credo: What I do is right for me, and when I do what is right for me – and do it lovingly and gently – I set a precedent for other people to want to follow in joy and excitement.
So, in closing, I just want us to all consider whether or not the example we’re setting is something other people feel excited to experiment with, or if they’re going to be turned off by dogmatic, judgmental thinking.
Let’s try – try - to be more kind to each other and ourselves, on the internet and in our own heads in the grocery store.
And maybe, instead of a scowl or a guilty downward glance, we can start smiling at each other and connecting at the checkout line. After all, we’re all just doing the best we can with what we have where we are.
It was 4 o’clock in the afternoon when Amanda Worthington lay her life bare for all to see.
“It was the worst day ever,” she whispered tensely. “I was about to start my period, my boyfriend and I broke up the night before, and my sister called and begged me to pick up 10 two-liter bottles of Dr Pepper at the store for her kids’ soccer practices. I wanted to say no, but she threatened to tell our mother about the time I ate her lipstick.”
“Mom’s very protective of her lipstick,” Amanda added. “And it only happened last year.”
Despite Amanda’s terrible day, she found no care or kindness coming from her fellow shoppers that afternoon. “In fact,” Amanda says, “I felt like people were staring at me. Judging. Am I crazy?”
Amanda, a slightly pudgy hospice nurse, pushed a cart filled with a box of tampons, four chocolate bars, 10 two-liter bottles of soda, and 8 boxes of Hungry Man Salisbury Steak frozen dinners.
“Oh. The Salisbury Steak was for Mr. Vitols, an elderly man I shop for sometimes. If I don’t bring his Hungry Man, he waves his cane and curses me in Latvian,” Amanda added.
Through her tears, she placed her items on the conveyer belt as nearby shoppers gawked in disbelief.
“Oh. Wow. I hope that lady doesn’t have kids. How sad,” the woman behind her snarled. Everyone around nodded and looked down at the floor, dismayed at Amanda’s indiscretion.
And at that moment – that very instant – Amanda began her decade-long struggle with a condition many of us know all too well …
A term I’m dubbing “Cart Anxiety.”
What is cart anxiety?
The feeling that you’re being judged poorly based on the items in your shopping cart.
Am I totally making this up?
I really thought I was when I first began to write about it last week, but it turns out … it’s not only a thing, but it’s actually based in reality. It turns out, people are judging you and some of you are being the judgy judgertons.
So now what?
Originally I Thought It Was All In Our Heads
Last week, my sister and I were discussing “cart anxiety” on the phone, talking about little paranoid thoughts we have that other people are paying attention to what’s in our carts.
For me, it’s produce. I always think people are paying attention to the amount of (or lack of) produce I have in my cart. If I have three onions, two heads of garlic, a tomato, and a bag of spinach, I always think someone’s standing behind me going, “Unnh unnh, girl. You best be putting some broccoli in that cart or you’re gonna die soon.” For my sister, she feels that people might judge her food choices when she’s shopping with her children.
Originally, I’d thought it was all in our heads. We are a crazy bunch, and we come from a crazy family. When I sat down to write this story the first time, it was simply going to be observational humor on our personal brand of craziness.
And then, after putting together an ideal “grocery cart” for the shot above (I didn’t buy it all, btw, so stop judging me), I ended up talking to the checker.
“Is shopping cart anxiety a thing for most people?” I asked.
“Yes,” she replied. “I’d say dozens and dozens of people come through here each day and make excuses for their choices or act embarrassed about what they’re buying. And this is a natural foods grocery store. I can’t imagine what it’s like in a normal one.”
“But,” I posed, “is anyone even actually paying attention to what ANYONE ELSE is buying? Is that even a thing? Or is this just all-in-our-heads paranoia?”
And you know what happened? The woman behind me waiting to buy an apple and a kombucha piped up and said, “I judge people. I judge them for what’s in their cart. All the time. I feel really sorry for people, because they’re too ignorant to know that they’re wasting money on food that isn’t healthy.” Then she banged her kombucha on the conveyer belt and looked pointedly at the coconut milk ice cream I was paying for.
Here’s a woman shopping for an apple. Very convenient. ;)
After that, the lighthearted observational humor blog post went in a new direction …
We Are a Judgy, Judgy People … Especially When It Comes to Processed Foods
The story about Amanda at the beginning, by the way, is totally made up. She’s an amalgamation of things that people either felt judged about, or judged in other people, based on a query last week on the Crunchy Betty Facebook Page.
I asked people if they’d answer one or both questions:
- Do you think people are judging you based on the items in your shopping cart?
- Do you ever judge other people based on the items in their shopping carts?
I read every single one of the 293 responses, and I tallied every single answer loosely (but to the best of my ability) up until we reached 271 comments, and then I stopped because I had to eat coconut milk ice cream.
AMAZINGLY, it turns out that the majority of responders admitted to judging other people as opposed to being judged by other people. Many of the people who admit to judging others went on to answer that they didn’t care whether or not they were being judged.
Most of the reasons for judging were things like:
- The shopper had children with them and bought a lot of processed foods or sugary foods (this was, by far, the winner)
- The shopper was overweight and buying something the “judger” thought they shouldn’t be buying
- The shopper was an extreme couponer
- The shopper used EBT cards/food stamps to buy processed food
Most of the reasons people feel judged were things like:
- The buyer has children with them or is pregnant and is afraid of making a “wrong-looking” food choice
- The buyer is overweight and buying themselves a small treat like cupcakes (even in the midst of an otherwise healthy cart)
- The buyer is using food stamps and is judged for buying “expensive” organic foods with it
- The buyer has a cart full of organic foods and feels like they’re being judged as thinking they’re “better than” everyone else
- Condoms; that is all.
Fortunately, a fair amount of people also answered that they neither judge or feel judged, and most of the men answered “Who freakin’ cares?” (An answer I’ve grown to love.)
All in all (and remember, this was a loose tally, and people could answer both questions), the numbers were:
- 111 people admitted to judging (either harshly or mildly) other people based on the contents of their grocery carts
- 76 people said they feel judged based on the content of their trolleys (watch out Englishmen, we’re coming for your word)
- 73 people said they neither judged nor felt judged (or gave a completely noncommittal answer by way of an anecdotal story)
Let’s Continue These Thoughts Next Time, But First …
In the next post, I’d love to talk about this whole judgy thing and what it means, whether we should be doing it and how we can move on past it.
But first, I’d love to hear from you lovely readers.
It’s not a secret that as you start to clean up your diet (and your bathroom counter) by way of real foods and natural products, it’s easy to feel superior to other people. I mean, Clorox GreenWorks based an entire ad campaign capitalizing only slightly annoyingly on this phenomenon.
It’s not a secret, and it is kinda silly, you have to admit.
So here are some questions for you guys (answer one or all of them – the floor is yours now):
- Do you judge or feel judged in the grocery store based on the contents of your shopping cart?
- What are some of the things you think about other people when you observe what they’re buying?
- Are there any ways you’ve gotten over your urge to judge – or over the concern that you’re being judged?
- What might be something you’d say to help someone who feels they’re being judged (or actually is being judged) based on the criteria above (e.g., they’re pregnant and buying cookies, or they’re overweight and buying cookies, or cookies cookies cookies)?
I’m immensely curious. No judgment here.
There’s just something special about the oil cleansing method, yeah?
The thought of washing your face with oil either attracts or violently repels people. But, in the four years I’ve been immersed in natural living blogging (and the two years since I wrote the following introductory post), I’m not sure there’s a single thing that’s matched the OCM’s wild successes (and occasional trials and failures).
I’m not going to reinvent the wheel, though, so I won’t be writing extensively about HOW to do the oil cleansing method. For that, you want to visit this post right here. If you’re unfamiliar with it, or if you just need a refresher, please (I implore you with my whole crunchy heart) VISIT THIS POST HERE ON THE NITTY GRITTY OF HOW TO DO THE OIL CLEANSING METHOD. And then come back here. We miss you already.
Now, for the rest of you – those who’ve braved the askance looks of doubting friends when you tell them how you’re going to wash your face with oil, those of you who’ve discovered smooth, radiant skin beneath the product residue, and those of you who’ve given up, crestfallen at breakouts, after an attempt to make the oil cleansing method work for you – this post is for you.
Over the last two years, I’ve received numerous emails on and dozens of threads have been posted about the oil cleansing method in the Crunchy Community, and I’ve talked extensively with people about the cleansing oil blends we make and sell.
In all of this, I’ve learned a lot. And I’m going to share some of it with you right now, so perhaps you can give it another try (if you had issues the first time) or you can refine your OWN regimen if you’re still bumping up against some issues.
Five New Troubleshooting Tips For the Oil Cleansing Method
This. This is the biggest thing to remember. For the oil cleansing method, avoid the possibility of heartache (faceache?) and just do not use coconut oil or olive oil – even if it’s extra virgin.
The majority of OCM complaints I’ve seen come from people who’ve started by using olive oil or coconut oil. (“The oil cleansing method SUCKS! I have more pimples than ever!” “What oil did you use?” “Olive oil.” “Ahhh. Yes, you did.”)
Coconut oil is comedogenic (it may clog your pores eventually) and olive oil is … I have no idea. I mean, I really have absolutely no idea why there are SO many complaints about olive oil when using the OCM, but it happens. A lot. Every day. It probably just happened, somewhere, just now.
(You could speculate it may have something to do with this, but I just don’t know.)
And, yes, I’m aware that as soon as I write this, five or ten of you are going to pop out of the woodwork and say, “But wait! Coconut (or olive) oil works for me!” And that’s incredible. But just know, you are a very special minority. Very special. You might want to see if you can fly or something – that’s how special you are.
On the other end of the spectrum, occasionally people have issues with castor oil.
Because it’s drying. Very drying, really.
If you find that no amount of “stepping down” the ratio of your castor oil helps with the dryness, just try getting rid of it all together. If you’re going to ditch the castor oil, though, these are the oils I recommend using as your base oil:
- Hazelnut or sunflower oil (for typically acneic skin)
- Sunflower, grapeseed, or sweet almond oil (for oily to normal skin)
- Jojoba, grapeseed, or apricot kernel oil (for normal to dry skin)
- Avocado or apricot kernel oil (for dry skin)
A note on jojoba oil: A few of you may encounter issues with breaking out after using jojoba oil (not everyone seems to agree, but it is listed in a few places as comedogenic). If you have issues with it, just discontinue use.
And, of course, if you do drop the castor oil, please remember that you can still experiment with oil blends – adding other goodies to your OCM regimen, as well.
Just please remember to wipe your face off very, very, very well if you’re not using castor oil. It’s going to take just a touch more work to get all the previous grime and/or makeup off your face. But it is possible. Yay!
p.s. Of note, I don’t recommend skipping castor oil unless you absolutely HAVE to. It’s quite effective and efficient. Only remove it from your blend if you’re at your wits end and need to try something new.
If you’re using the oil cleansing method and find you still have a few breakout issues – or if you have acne scars, I have one word for you:
Add tamanu oil to your blend.
(Okay, that was more than one word. Addtamanuoiltoyourblend. There. Better.)
Not a lot (that stuff is thick), just a teaspoon will help immensely.
On the other hand, if you’re still a little dry after adjusting your castor oil down a bit, consider adding a yummy ingredient like argan oil or pomegranate seed oil. (Again, in smaller amounts – these are not inexpensive oils.)
And even and especially, don’t shy away from dropping in a few drops (we’re talking about 5-10 drops to about 1-2 oz of oil blend) of beneficial essential oils in there, as well. Even though you’ll be wiping the majority of it off eventually, your skin might still respond in new and amazing ways to the added ingredients.
Here are a few “goodies” you could consider:
- Tamanu oil
- Argan oil
- Pomegranate seed oil
- Borage seed oil
- Neem oil (avoid this if you’re pregnant or attempting to be)
- Sea Buckthorn Oil
- Turmeric oil (for acne/oily skin, especially)
- Essential oils of: Ylang-ylang, thyme, peppermint, geranium, rose, frankincense, or chamomile. (You do have other choices, as well. Here’s a post that might help you find the right essential oil for you. Just remember to avoid using citrus oils if you’re going to be out in the sun right away.)
If you’ve tried the oil cleansing method in the past and you’ve found your face red or irritated, or you’re breaking out in ways you’ve never done before, you may have an allergy to an oil – most probably a nut oil.
And we’re not talking about the extreme allergies that might cause you to puff up and close off your airways. Even a very minimal allergy could lead to untoward reactions.
The best way to find out? Eliminate the nut oil you’ve been using and substitute a non-nut oil in its place (grapeseed oil, apricot kernel oil, and sunflower seed oil would be a good place to start). The nut oils most likely to be the cause: Sweet almond oil, macadamia oil, or hazelnut oil.
This is true for ANYTHING you make at home, but it’s necessary that we emphasize it right now.
Garbage in/garbage out, even with the oil cleansing method.
How do you know if your ingredients are quality? That’s not always easy, but a good rule of thumb is: Never buy anything that isn’t organic and cold or expeller pressed.
If it’s organic, you’re so much closer to not putting synthetics on your face (e.g. synthetic fertilizer or pesticides) that are used to grow commercial crops. And if it’s not cold pressed or expeller pressed, it’s likely refined. Why do you want to avoid refined oils? Because they’re heated to extreme levels, often destroying the beneficial properties of the oils and leaving behind free radicals (which you do NOT want to put on your face).
Personally, we only use Mountain Rose Herbs oils in our oil cleansing blends and they’re magnificent. But Life-Flo Pure, Aura Cacia, Desert Essence, and Heritage also offer decent organic, cold or expeller pressed oils.
If you’re having issues with the oil cleansing method, take a look at the ingredients you’re using and see if you can find somewhere to improve the quality.
Do your laundry, and do it well. Your washcloths will begin to accumulate oil residue (especially if you use them more than once or twice before washing them) which can be difficult to remove.
When you do the load that contains your washcloths (and you may just want to do a separate load), I recommend using – in addition to your usual (homemade?) detergent – an extra 1/2 cup of washing soda or baking soda and a rinse with vinegar used in lieu of fabric softener.
In fact, do not use fabric softener on your oil cleansing washcloths (or on anything if you don’t have to). You want those washcloths to be as free of residue and synthetics as possible, and fabric softener leaves behind both. If you’ve been using it and find that you’ve broken out, now you know what the culprit may be.
BONUS TIP: In the original Nitty Gritty On The Oil Cleansing Method post here, I offered up the recommendation to leave your water running after you put the oil on your face – so that it would heat up to a very, very, very warm temperature (the right temperature to soak your washcloth in), because most people don’t have on-demand, immediate hot running water. A few people had issues with the problem that it’s not very water conserving. Instead of leaving the water running, you could fill a bowl with water you’ve heated in an electric kettle or a teapot (or the microwave) and then allowed to cool to a safe temperature for application on your face. Just dip your washcloth in the bowl and test to absolutely make sure it’s not going to burn you.
OCM Divas – What’s Your Blend?!?
Now that we’ve heard MY tips, it’s your turn!
If you’ve been doing the OCM to much success, please share the blend you’re using and your skin type in the comments. Let’s give all the newbies a great place to start!
And if you’ve had issues with the OCM, post what you’ve used and what your problems have been, and let’s see if we can’t get you in tip-top shape to try again!
(Crunchy Betties … activate!)