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Go Organic
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Organic lifestyle is just a new spin to the age old philosophy of life – eat healthy, use natural products, dunk the chemicals and breathe pure air. While the polluted atmosphere is beyond our control, there is much we can still do to live a healthier life. Going the organic way is the best gift which you could ever give your body. And, the results, though not immediately visible, are still worth all the trouble and the hefty price tags in the long run.

The organic route has a bevy of benefits resulting in a healthier lifestyle. The insane amount of chemicals and pollution which our body is daily exposed to can lead to a detrimental effect in the long run. Before you baulk at the insanely pricey array of organic products, stop a moment to weigh the good side of going natural. We don’t just tell you why going organic may be the best decision of your life but also show your painless ways to battle those withdrawal symptoms – the side effects of our chemically dominated existence.
Farm fresh
Right from the bright oranges to the unusually red water melon or even the unimaginably bloated pumpkin which smile out to you at the super market, most of the vegetables have been injected with pesticides to make them look fresh and delicious. You fill the shopping cart with fruits and vegetables of all shades and sizes thinking that your daily dose of vitamins and minerals are assured. But on the contrary, all you take in is a generous bout of harmful pesticides – not really a pretty picture.

Organically grown fruits and vegetables are expensive because they are grown without the aid of pesticides and other chemicals. Swanky stores across the country stock up numerous organic products – right from spices to breads. The World is now going crazy over the benefits of probiotic foods (which, by the way, have been around for centuries). This friendly bacterium has come under the spotlight (again) because of its ability to grapple with a wide range of ailments – from indigestion and diarrhea to chronic inflammation which are triggers of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. So, how do you get your daily shot of the lactobacillus clan a. k. a probiotics? Yoghurt (look for the probiotic label) and other such fermented products can help shield your system leading to a healthy body.

Organic food has now caught the fancy of researchers. Lab tests at Texas AgriLife Research Center had recently proved that organic peach and plum extracts have the ability to fight against even the most aggressive type of breast cancer cells. . AgriLife Research scientists say two phenolic compounds (found in organic peaches and plums) are responsible for the cancer cell deaths in the study, which was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. Now, that’s food for thought!

Conscience couture
We are aware of the atrocities on the poor silk worms in order to adorn your beautiful silk saris. But, it goes beyond that. While we don’t tell you to take drastic steps and go the Khadi way, there are ways to be the eco ally and do your bit for the planet. Couture now goes beyond cuts, fabric and shades touching a totally new realm – conscience. Yes, clothing with a conscience is the latest trend and about time too. So, you don’t have to worry about looking like a sack while trying to be eco conscious.

Ethical couture is the answer for a sustainable future and this means organic manufacturing methods of your fabric. Start slowly and get into the organic mode. For starters, choose natural fibers like cotton, silk, linen, hemp, wool and bamboo over synthetic fibers which are doused in chemicals of all kinds. Not just are these fabrics lighter but they are super friendly on your skin (and the environment too). Promote organic techniques like hand spinning and handlooms in your city to not just support the local artisans but also help conserve energy.

Natural dyes are simply great because they give awesome colours without being harsh on the environment and when it comes to cotton, go easy on the bleach. With a dash of imagination, even the most boring fabric can be transformed into a stylish ensemble. And, this would just be a good excuse to explore the rich bevy of ethnic handicraft printing techniques like Ajrakh, Uprada, Chikankari and Kalamkari among others. By doing this, you wouldn’t just have an incredibly stylish ensemble but also the satisfaction of patronizing the art forms and providing employment for women in rural India.

Alternative accessories
Ask any style diva and she’d tell you that accessories make or mar an outfit. Now that we’re going eco friendly, why not go all the way? You can explore a range of accessories made from interesting eco friendly elements like sea shells and beads. What’s more, you can customize your accessories to match your ensembles with whacky options like jewelry made from recycled paper. “Accessories like earrings, bracelets, neck pieces and anklets can be made with different materials like beads of ceramic, metal and glass or shells and crystals. The designs are funky and trendy but there are also traditional patterns. These pieces don’t just look good but are also easy on the pocket (and the planet too),” explains Anusha K, a software professional who started Anush’s (retailed out of Purple, Chennai) which also makes customized jewelry with eco friendly elements of your choice.

With so many stylish alternatives, you can slowly transcend to green fashion and make a strong statement, which would definitely impact the planet. Three cheers to eco-couture!

Body beautiful, naturally!
Don’t get fooled by the so-called fruit extracts in your shampoo or the apparent goodness of saffron in your fairness creams or the presence of lotus in your beauty soap bar. Natural ingredients don’t have a chance of retaining their beneficial properties when pitted against harsh chemicals which form the base of most of our beauty products. On the contrary, organic beauty products are made with natural plant ingredients that nourish, balance and moisturize your skin and hair without the damage.

Did you know that paprika can help increase stimulation and oxygenation of your skin? A look around would reveal that most of the fruits have a beneficial property for your skin or hair. Organic beauty products use the active components in natural ingredients to enhance your skin, healing it rather than producing instantaneous results. Nimi, an aesthetician with Eminence, a renowned European organic skincare brand nods her agreement. “As an aesthetician, I help people take care of their skin. Most people want to look beautiful but they don’t know how to do it. Though chemical products give you immediate results, the side effects like dry skin or acne due to the increased alcohol content in the products are visible in the long run. On the other hand, most organic products always aim to heal the skin. And, the results are for keeps.” Eminence Rituals are now available at all premium salons across South India.

Apart from using organic beauty products, you can also turn to your kitchen shelf for a pampering session. Fuller’s Earth (Multani mitti) is a good base for all your face packs in addition to a lot of ingredients from your refrigerator. Lime juice can remove tan perfectly while tomatoes give your skin a fresh tinge, thanks to the abundance of antioxidants. In a similar vein, egg acts as a wonderful conditioner for your hair. By doing this, you don’t just get beautiful skin and lustrous hair but also save yourself a few trips to the salon (and a few bucks too).

The no – fuss, go organic guide

So, you’ve decided to join the organic bandwagon? Here’s how you can go organic without going broke or ditching it in frustration.

Plunging headlong into the organic way of life is probably the stupidest thing which you can ever do. Take small steps and accomplish them first. Make a list of all the areas in your lifestyle where you want to go organic and put down definite steps along with a budget.

Set realistic goals and stick by them. It might be difficult in the beginning but persist, and you are sure to make it to the organic league.

A kitchen garden (in case you don’t have enough space for a regular garden) is a wonderful way to ensure that you eat fresh and healthy produce. You can grow plants like tomatoes, brinjals, capsicums, radish and spring onions; salad greens like lettuce and cucumber apart from indispensable herbs like mint, coriander, garlic, ginger, curry leaf, oregano, thyme and green chilies.

By growing at least a part of your grocery list, you can save money while enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables. And, check for the organic label at your grocer’s.

A lot of home décor products are now made from recycled paper and eco friendly materials. Though a bit on the expensive side, they look extremely classy and elegant. Right from folders to pen stands, you can get quirky patterns which are incredibly cute.

Say ‘No’ to plastics and carry a cloth bag every time you go shopping. Now, cloth bags come in funky shades and designs so that you can set a style statement.

Promoting local art and handicrafts while choosing natural fabrics will not just help you do a bit for the environment but also make you look good.

Istead of buying books, visit the library or create a book club with your friends. You can exchange books, read the latest and even have interesting conversations over various titles.

Spread the word and inspire your friends to follow your lead. Teach your children the importance of going green and encourage small ways in which they can make a difference to the planet.

Been organic for a while and loving it? Well, treat yourself to something which you’ve always wanted – maybe a nice piece of handicraft or a bottle of jam or anything else, as long as it’s organic.

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