Every week, Preen tackles motherhood sans the rose-tinted glasses. Our columnists L. Juliano, Marla Darwin, Monica Eleazar-Manzano, and Rossana Unson tell their personal experiences like it is—at times frustrating, oftentimes confusing, but always enlightening.
“As a foodie, how do you relate food with your beauty regimen?” was the question raised for a magazine interview just a few days back. Without thought, I spewed on and on the effects of simple carbs, getting protein from plant sources, and the amazing benefits of raw honey, apple cider vinegar, and cold-pressed virgin coconut oil. I didn’t realize how reading up on these and practicing them at home made so much impact in how I view wellness now. Ask me two years ago and I wouldn’t have cared, really. But being a mom and raising a daughter with asthma and atopic dermatitis, the slow shift to organic and earth-friendly products is a conscious decision that goes along with tons of research. I admit that I still have a long way. Thankfully, it’s not that difficult to make the right choices these days! Want to make the switch too? Here are baby steps to being that organic mom.
Just say no to all kinds of plastic
I recently got into using a menstrual cup (Tip-off: Support Sinaya Cup—locally made menstrual cup that donates cups to less fortunate women) after reading how napkins and diapers add to the landfill waste problem. These products are basically plastic! I’ve been an advocate of cloth diapers since my daughter’s birth due to her intense diaper rash. I was even hooked with washable napkins for a while. I prefer organic cotton when it comes to these, even for my undies and panty liners. I had to stop using washable liners though due to my skin condition (and washing a lot daily isn’t conserving water too), so I go for the next best thing. I order Organyc Pantyliners when I’m in the States. Using organic cotton lessens irritation, and it’s biodegradable.
Other than that, reusable is still the operative word. I try not to exchange plastic for paper, which also goes to landfill. A reusable shopping bag, water bottle, and coffee cup are staples in my bag.
Go for earth-friendly home products
I’m ecstatic with Human Nature’s wide range of home products. I’m all for their detergent, dishwashing liquid, hand sanitizer, sun block, and insect repellent. The competitive prices with top-of-mind brands, sometimes even cheaper, is the main reason I like them and they also make it easy to be earth-friendly. Other brands I support are Sesou and Messy Bessy since they’re very easy to find. You can even get them online.
I’m also a fan of using natural medicines and can attest to the efficacy of cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, raw organic honey, oregano, sea salt, and organic apple cider vinegar. Virgin coconut oil helped reduce my daughter’s dermatitis flare-ups and I take two tablespoons a day for health reasons. Drinking boiled oregano and steaming with saline solution from sea salt are my go-to remedies for cough and colds. I’ve mixed honey with little one’s less appealing medicines (and food!) without the worry of giving her evil carbs. Apple cider vinegar is an all-around skin tonic and it cleared my small warts and pimples too.
Research your food’s sources
It was a trip to the grocery and faced with two options, free range fresh milk versus organic fresh milk, that got me thinking about the entire hoopla on organic dairy (since studies have debunked the difference in nutritional content). I guess being a mom really softens you up inside, and reading about the poor conditions of cows in regular dairy farms, and how organic and free-range companies try to give them an environment that will come close to their natural setting, struck a chord in me. If I claim to be a pet lover and all about humane animal treatment, why would I support companies who lack respect for their lives and see them as mere products to fuel consumerism? Research also shows that labels like “organic” and “free-range” aren’t enough, and it’s “pasture-raised” and “cage-free” that you should go for. My recent find, Real Food Grocer in Alabang is heaven-sent because they sell organic and cage-free poultry and meats from local businesses who really need our support.
I’ve once thought of organic moms as over-thinking, hypersensitive people. We’ve all managed just fine with our lifestyles, right? Why the need for change? Well, motherhood kinda does that to you. I’ve become more aware of my surroundings. The focus isn’t just me anymore. It’s my daughter, other kids, and ultimately every other living thing on this planet. My choices can directly impact the diseases that can harm my child, the quality of earth I’ll leave her with, and her overall view on respect for life and how it’s not just about consuming and serving our species. I’ve become that mom. Next stop? Installing solar panels and a greywater system! Who’s with me?
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.
Art by Dorothy Guya