It’s funny to think about how we went from crazing over anything salted egg and mala to increasingly obsessed with healthy living. (Yet, it’s intriguing how our love for bubble tea never died)
So many people are buying into leading a healthy lifestyle these days that sometimes, I can’t help but wonder: what’s with the hype?
We are more willing than ever to throw our money at pricey bowls of salads, acai bowls, and anything that sells the concept of better, healthier, and more wholesome. But as much as our society is slowly embracing all-organic or all-natural lifestyles, the majority of us honestly do not give a damn.
So What’s The Deal?
To truly understand what the big deal is with this increasing obsession, I decided to (was tasked to) challenge myself to living organically for one week.
“Seven days only what,” I thought to myself when I made that resolve. If only I knew how naive I was—The seven days turned out to be 168 hours of emotional turmoil.
Day 0 – Bracing Myself For ‘War’
As someone who never really cared about the organic-ness of anything, I quickly realised the weight of my momentous decision.
I had zero knowledge in this. To me, organic living just meant having to eat clean. But according to a step-by-step wikiHow guide, leading a 100% organic lifestyle would encompass everything from the food one consumes to the products one uses in everyday life. This includes hygiene and beauty products, like shampoo and face wash.
There’s even organic underwear that lets you protect the environment while protecting your nether regions. Very functional.
Day 1 – Getting My Shit Together
I’m quite auntie, and I love supermarkets. But it isn’t fun at all when you are someone who only cooks great instant noodles and have to plan the next seven days ahead in ingredients. What’s more, I was at an organic grocer with only a $100 budget.
Miraculously, dinner was served without me hurting myself, or the kitchen. But Gordon Ramsay would have flipped the f**k out if he saw how I peeled and chopped a clove of garlic.
Day 2 – Getting Into The Groove
The thought of having instant organic oatmeal for breakfast two days in a row made me queasy. There’s a reason why it’s been sitting at our pantry for months.
I skipped breakfast instead and had a bit of the organic cocoa beverage I bought. It was delicious.
I considered going to a fashion swap event, but after finding out how much it costs, it became a secondary concern. I needed the remaining budget for survival.
Fortunately, I saved some money from donated products from some colleagues, like an organic bamboo toothbrush. I thanked the others for rendering their emotional support.
Luck has it that this challenge is also partially inspired by a client who wanted us to talk about a new organic shampoo and conditioner that will be launching in Singapore. Naturally, I added them to my list of ‘donated products’ for the experiment.
Dinner was a Nice & Natural SUPERGRAINS MUESLI BAR as I had a fitness class that night. The muesli bar did taste natural, but ‘nice’ is very subjective. It wasn’t awful at least.
What’s awful is not being able to buy that prata when I smelt it on the way home after class, even though I was starving.
Day 3 – Abstaining Is A Big Pain In The Ass
They bought Jollibee for a company farewell lunch today. I love Jollibee. But lunch was organic fried brown rice with Day 1’s minced chicken instead. It wasn’t bad, but I died inside in having to abstain.
Dinner was the same unexciting affair of a muesli bar, and it took immense willpower and determination to not buy any food from the coffeeshop again.
I felt like my stomach was eating itself by the time I reached home.
Day 4 – Why Am I Doing This?
I was beginning to have an existential crisis as I thought about how I started yesterday miserably hungry and ended my day the same way. It is depressing for a food lover.
I cheered myself up and reminded myself of the positives.
I comfort myself that at least, my hair is being fed well. It is not only smelling like sweet honey, but also starting to feel a tad healthier. I’m not sure if it’s a placebo effect, but it is definitely less frizzy than before. I’m just glad that at least something was serving me well.
Day 5 – What’s The Point?
They say that you are what you eat, and it’s true.
If you think the dish looks sad, you’re right. Because that is me.
The obvious lack of colour very much reflects my mood. By this point, I noticed how the heavy focus on living organically has turned me into a pretty terrible person.
Case in point: Instead of visiting a loved one at the hospital, I have been rushing home to cook my meals. I have also been turning down social obligations so as to retain the organic-ness of my meals.
I was beginning to realise that on hindsight, it would have been wiser for a more gradual transition over a longer period.
I made myself feel better with some potato chips that afternoon. It is not organic.
Day 6 – Counting Down
I ended up in Marché for lunch with my team. They feasted on their $9.90 rostis and beef steaks while I went for the salad, which included selections of organic ingredients.
I have never hated dining there until today.
After going organic for six days, I am not too sure if I am supposed to feel any difference physically, emotionally, or spiritually. But I did poop three times by mid-afternoon today.
Day 7 – FINALLY
Happiness comes from many things and today it is from counting down to the end of this tormentous organic living challenge.
As I had my very last organic lunch for the challenge, I may have teared.
I probably only scraped the tip of leading an organic lifestyle with my foray into food and a couple of hygiene products, but the mindfulness of what I used and did was beginning to rub off of me. I’d even feel guilty from forgetting to bring my reusable bags to the supermarket.
Leading an organic lifestyle is f-ing hard.
In our modern-day life and as an average millennial, it’s almost impossible to lead a 100% organic lifestyle. At least not immediately. It really is the time and constant conscious effort in choosing that lifestyle.
While I don’t doubt the benefits or at least the intentions of organic living, there are things that are way too tiresome to practice in daily life, like only eating organic. However, there are definitely things that is very doable and can be easily incorporated into daily life. For instance, the organic body wash a colleague donated to me, or the organic shampoo and conditioner I got from Hair Recipe.
Granted, these items were given to me. But they really are the simplest ways to get started on the whole organic lifestyle.
I’m no expert in beauty or haircare, but as a female, I definitely appreciate a product that makes me feel good about myself. And it is what the Hair Recipe shampoos gave me for the one week—comfort, and contentment in having good hair days.
Available in three ‘flavours’: Honey & Apricot (Moisture Recipe), Kiwi & Fig (Volume Recipe), and Apple & Ginger (Damage Care Recipe), their shampoo, conditioner, and hair mask, are special recipes formulated with the help of Japanese nutritionists.
The Hair Recipe products are made from nature inspired ingredients as well! In short, these products are in a way, a superfood that is meant to ‘feed’ our hair with food ingredients (like honey and apricot). The whole concept is to ensure that our hair will only be fed the best of what it needs and nothing more.
It sounds a lot like well-written (and fancy) marketing, but I have to say that I genuinely enjoyed the good hair washes amidst all the pressure of trying to be organic. It’s also a bonus that after trying all three flavours, they are all one of the best smelling shampoos I’ve tried. The best part is: I got them for free.
Hair Recipe products are now available in Singapore! Get them at Guardian stores or online here.
(This article was written in collaboration with Hair Recipe)