I haven’t always led the healthiest of lives, not only eating foods that were covered in chemicals, but I also spent years applying toxic chemicals directly to my body.
When I was finally diagnosed six years ago with polycystic ovarian syndrome I knew something had to change. I needed to reduce my toxic exposure and I had no idea where to begin.
A quick Google search revealed the Australian Certified Organic organisation, and introduced me to the bud logo. I have since spent many hours finding products that carried this logo, because I trust in what this logo represents.
It was important for me to reduce my chemical exposure as much as I could, I understand there are times when things don’t always go to plan. It was so overwhelming all those years ago. In the six years that have passed since I made my lifestyle changes, a new and dangerous trend in marketing has emerged called “greenwashing”. For those of you who’ve never heard the term before, this is the practice of marketing companies using words such as “ natural”, “pure”, “fresh” and “ derived from organic material” (that is my personal favourite) to sell products. Not only do marketing companies go as far as using misleading words, some have even been caught creating fake certification. This kind of deliberate deception of marketing companies to sell products is one of my biggest pet hates. Choosing to live a life that is chemical free is so much more than just a phase for me. It is how I stay ahead of my condition. Trusting in a legitimate and registered certification gives me peace of mind, that I am supporting an industry that I am passionate about and that I am getting what I pay for. Yes products that are certified organic can be expensive, but for me there is no other option. I can no longer expose my body to the dangers harsh chemicals that are found in foods and everyday products. I choose certified organic products because I need to know that I’m doing everything possible to control my condition. I don’t always get it right, there are still times when even I managed to be misled by marketing. I make every attempt to be informed and educated about the products that I buy. Switching from conventional to organic does take time and when you are overwhelmed by a situation it can be even more of a struggle. So when I needed to make lasting health changes I did it one step at a time.
I looked at the situation and broke it down into three factors: what I ate, what I wore and what I had in my home. By looking at my life in these three areas managing my PCOS became so much easier. I could control what I eat, I could control I put on my skin and I could control what I had in my home.
Food was actually the easiest place to begin. I began to purchase organic fresh fruit and vegetables when I could and actively sought out the bud logo. It wasn’t easy all those years ago there were not as many choices in the supermarkets as they are now. So I spent hours trawling online stores, finding different health food shops and boutiques supermarkets looking to swap products I was already using to something organic. I am not going to lie, sometimes I failed miserably, often purchasing products with very similar looking logos. I didn’t fully understand the power of “greenwashing” until I started to switch my conventional make-up and personal care products to organic ones.
Switching my skincare products and make up, proved to be a bigger challenge than I realised. With so few brands on the market at the time carrying any sort of certification I was often tricked into purchasing products that were not so organic or clean. Thankfully now, there are many online stores and health food shops dedicated to selling genuinely certified make-up and skincare products. It has taken quite a lot of research, and trial and error to find the right products from my skin type but they are out there. I do feel an enormous sense of relief knowing that they are genuinely certified organic products on the market now. Again I was on a mission to rid myself of any unnecessary chemical exposure.
The final challenge was my home, focusing on cleaning products and home furnishings. As they can often have a heap of harsh chemicals hidden in them. Once again it was back to Google, my local health food shop and on the recommendation of friends that help me steer clear of products that had been “green washed” to look organic. There is a lot of awareness around harsh ingredients in cleaning products and what they can do to the body. Finding a detergent to clean my clothes which was one of the greatest challenges but eventually I was able to find range of products that were not only certified organic but genuinely non-toxic. I am proud to say that if I could get my home certified organic I would!
Living an organic lifestyle is my way of managing my PCOS, it allows me the peace of mind that I am doing all I can do to reduce my chemical exposure. Looking for the bud logo has now become my new past time.