An Adventure in Granola

As my time in the southwest region comes to an end, I’ve been reflecting on some changes that I’ve made to my overall approach on life.  And one of those changes is that I’ve become a lot more “granola,” a word which I’ve come to learn means people who are health conscious, physically active, environmentally aware, most likely living in Boulder, Colorado, and who are lastly, but most importantly, very, very self congratulatory on being that much better than everyone else around.

Me, at the Grand Canyon.

Me, looking positively crunchtastic at the Grand Canyon.

In the past ten months I  have purchased Chacos.  I have willingly done push ups.  I curse myself when I leave the house without my CamelBak or Nalgene.  I’ve cooked (and eaten) quinoa.  I have even been known to enjoy a (light) hike.

And it has only gotten worse.  In the past month or so I have come to discover the existence of entire books and websites and blog communities that revolve around this granola life.  Or better, a life that would be better described as crunchy.  What the heck is “crunchy” you ask?  It’s sort of a derivative of granola–well, let us look no further than our auld friend, whose first entry is this:

1. crunchy

Adjective. Used to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons. Crunchy persons tend to be politically strongly left-leaning and may be additionally but not exclusively categorized as vegetarians, vegans, eco-tarians, conservationists, environmentalists, neo-hippies, tree huggers, nature enthusiasts, etc.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand yes, I may have gotten slightly addicted to reading some of these “crunchy” type blogs lately.  Buuuuuuuuut no, I have yet to run off to the nearest Whole Foods to replace my entire pantry with organic, unprocessed, unrefined, real foods.  I have not given up using toxic cleaning chemicals, detergents, soaps and shampoos.  I have not completely renounced toilet paper, deodorants, razors or tampons.  Well.  I may have done some of these things.  And I believe I eventually might do all of them.  But for now the lesson I’ve learned is that I don’t have to do them right now.  It’s best put as my mom always used to tell me: “This is neither the time nor the place.” (Source: mom) (Thank you mom.)

The reason I am not in the proper place in life to implement most of these things is primarily my age, and secondly my income.  The majority of these blogs are written by mothers in their 30’s or 40’s with children and a disposable income to spend on things like yucca root powder. And I’m okay with that. I am still glad that I have found these blogs, especially all of the ones that all have the words “green”, “simple”, “natural”, “crunchy”, or “mom” in the URLs.  Because there will come a day when I shop at places other than Wal-Mart and when it comes this information will still be useful to me. I also admit to a sort of hedonistic glee that sounds something like “haha I still have time to do stupid things and not care because I’m young!”

Dr. Bronner's label

I think people buy Dr. B’s just to finish reading the label.

And I am young! Coming from “the big city” (New York), from parents who cooked good ol’ rice, beans and meat for every meal and considered a Wii-Fit session sufficient and effective exercise, the health world is still fairly new to me.  Organic used to just mean “rich people food,” and I don’t think I had ever met a vegan.  I believed tofu was a shape that was being confused as food.  (I still firmly believe this.)  (Haha, FIRM.) Sure, I knew general “health”  Dr. Oz-ish advice, like “drink 8 glasses of water a day” and “avoid  saturated fats and cholesterol”.  And even those things have now  been flipped on their heads!  But I do know what “no poo” means now. The words fair trade and organic make my decisions for me and I’ve googled things like “homemade” and “DIY” more times than I can count.  I can list off the evils of parabens and aluminums in our beauty supplies and explain in detail why polyunsaturated fats are poisonous.  I own Dr. Bronner’s Magic soap and a variety of essential oils. I’ve been known to drink kombucha to contribute to healthy digestive flora.   I know what earthing is.  Do you?

In any case, the conclusion that I’ve come to with all of this is to chill out for now.  It’s exciting to think about growing my own food one day and wearing products that are exclusively natural and basically transforming into the total and complete hippie we all know I am, but I don’t think it behooves me to actively stress about these things at the moment.  I’ll start feeling better than you right now, though.