By Dawnye Appel
Over the past few years, interest has bloomed for living a more natural lifestyle, to be as free as possible from food additives and to help cut back on the carbon imprint left on the planet. Those who commit to this lifestyle claim the label “crunchy” and embrace almost hippie idealism.
You may have heard about “crunchy moms” who solve everything with
coconut oil, are fervent about cloth diapers and, on the extreme end of the spectrum, choose not to vaccinate or circumcise their newborns, but the crunchy lifestyle goes a little deeper.
After making changes to a few aspects of daily life, being crunchy snowballs into gaining more health information, holistic enrichment, and distancing your family from the expectations of what to eat, buy or wear.
Additionally, the enclave of natural-based folks is welcoming and helpful, especially online. In the Fort Campbell area, there are private Facebook groups, like Clarksville Crunchy Living, where moms congregate to ask questions and find resources that help them explore this alternative lifestyle.
The list of what exactly it means to be crunchy goes on and on and varies for every family, but pox parties aside, crunchy newbies are able to pick and choose what practices are best for them and their family.
Crunchy (adjective) – Used to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental and health reasons. Crunchy persons tend to be but not exclusively categorized as vegetarians, vegans, eco-tarians, conservationists, environmentalists, neo-hippies, tree huggers, nature enthusiasts, etc.
Why “crunchy?” Crunchy is a modern derivative of granola, which is a term previously used to describe persons who are environmentally and socially aware and active, with an organic and natural emphasis on living, who will usually refrain from consuming or using anything containing animals and animal by-products (for health and/or environmental reasons). From UrbanDictionary.com
What natural-based products have you incorporated in your lifestyle? I try to use natural products whenever possible. Natural lip balm, soaps, dish soap, cleaners … I make my own laundry detergent and fabric softener. I am incorporating aromatherapy and essential oils into my life recently and love the benefits of Himalayan salt lamps. I am also leaning more and more toward a pescatarian diet as well. I am now incorporating more natural first aid and ointments into my family’s life such as an amazing healing salve made my the wonderful Rockwood Farms Botanicals.
How does it help your everyday life? I like knowing my family isn’t being exposed to as many toxins and that our quality of life will be healthier. We only have one life and one body and we need to take care of it. Using natural means to do that is really the best way to ensure that.
What led you to deciding to incorporate natural living into your home? I was raised on goats milk, cloth diapers , fish oil and health foods. I have always loved nature. God created plants and herbs and the earth and it all has a purpose in our lives. He has given us many natural ways of taking care of ourselves. I have always felt a great respect for nature and have always had an interest in natural remedies, aromatherapy, natural living and caring for our environment. Having a group of wonderful and like minded women here in the area has been a huge blessing and inspiration to incorporate natural living into my home more and more. I want to do my part in caring for our earth and my family and friends.
How has this lifestyle impacted your family? My husband and children are hesitant but they put up with me. I have noticed a difference in my health and how I feel about myself. I have incorporated crunchiness into my business. I have organic soaps and cleaners. I am a newborn photographer, and I have incorporated diffusing a newborn-safe, essential oil blend during my portrait sessions, and I noticed a huge difference in how well the babies slept, which is essential to newborn posing.
Any pointers or advice to someone looking into going the crunchy route? There is so much to the crunchy life and many different paths and levels to crunchiness and all of it is OK. Pick one thing, such as eliminating toxins in your home, and go from there. One step at a time. Then, maybe incorporate aromatherapy into your lifestyle. Find a group of crunchy people to help you and answer questions along the way of your crunchy path. It is a journey and we all are on different parts of that journey.
What natural-based products have you incorporated in your lifestyle? Tinctures, salves, homemade soaps, body wash,Elderberry syrup, homemade laundry detergent, essential oils, honey, coconut oil (for everything), as well as buying fresh foods from local farmers. I make my own Elderberry syrup for fighting colds and flu and boosting my immune system in general.
How does it help your everyday life? I am sick less often, and for shorter lengths of time. Avoiding the heavily fragranced detergents, commercial cleaners has stopped my frequent headaches. Making my own stuff is less expensive as well.
What led you to deciding to incorporate natural living into your home? Having kids.
How has this lifestyle impacted your family? I think it has been positive for all of us. We are a lot healthier in general, and we save money both by making our own cleaners, and remedies, and not needing to visit the doctor often at all.
Any pointers or advice to someone looking into going the crunchy route? Research as much as possible when it comes to what you put in or on your body. If you’re not at the level of wanting to make your own cleaners or remedies just yet, there are many local people in the Clarksville and Fort Campbell area that make natural products at very reasonable prices.
Tips for living crunchy:
- Shop at local farmers markets for fresh produce, which is often less expensive than stores and usually better quality. There are farmers markets in Hopkinsville, Clarksville and Nashville.
- Check labels on everything. Essentially, the shorter the list of ingredients, the better the product will be for you.
- Consider homeopathic or at-home remedies to cure minor aliments before using common medicines.
- Look up some of your family’s favorite takeout meals and try to replicate at home.
- Opt for products that can be reused instead of disposed, such as shopping bags, cloth diapers and Tupperware.
Local stores & resources
Bump and Rump
1860 Wilma Rudolph Blvd. Clarksville, TN, 931-933-0330
2089 Wilma Rudolph Blvd.
Clarksville, TN, 931-933-8025
Tree of Life
30 Crossland Ave.,Clarksville, TN 931-919-2545
Silke’s Old World Breads
1214 A and B College St., Clarksville, TN, 931-552-1311
Bramble and Bee Farms
At farmers market in Hopkinsville
115 Guthrie Road, Guthrie, KY 270-483-0555
225 Vaughns Grove Fairview Road, Pembroke, KY
How crunchy are you?
Take our Crunchy Quiz on Survey Monkey.