Q & A with This Organic Girl

February 13, 2017

Mom, wife and green product warrior, Lisa, or better know as This Organic Girl is someone who is leading the charge and helping others find safe and natural products for a healthy lifestyle. Need proof? Check out this incredible post Lisa did on how to buy chicken! She is not afraid of a challenge and will dive deep to look at every ingredient and the processes behind what she tries and reviews. 

this organic girl and her two sons

Photo credit: Viera Photographics

After meeting her at The W.E.L.L Summit, it was a given we had to do an interview and learn more about Lisa, her mission for a green lifestyle and the products she finds that are truly safe. She is also a supporter of The Optimist Co, and lists many of our products in her Eco Home List. Make sure to also check with her on Instagram where is often life giving you a real life look at the products she uses and how to maintain a healthy and green lifestyle. 

this organic girl best natural cleaning products

Q: On your blog, you talk about drastically changing your lifestyle practically overnight, dubbing that time as the "dark days". What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to that time and start the process over again?

I am totally an extremist. My husband sugar coats it calling me “laser focused”. What can I say, I love checking off to-do lists, getting “it” done and feeling that sense of accomplishment. It totally drives me and I can get lost in my passions for better or worse. I got overcome with this lifestyle change in the beginning and it felt insurmountable. 

If I could go back to those dark days I would tell myself: You are already there girl, you did it. Awareness is 90% of the battle and once you have that it’s just about execution.

You broke the mold, you took charge of your choices, you are thinking for yourself and your family. The rest will happen. 

I would also tell myself to connect with a friend, or a group of people who share the same passions who can help bridge the gap while transitioning into a greener lifestyle. Like-minded friends have made this journey a pleasure and I will be forever grateful for those who guided (and continue to guide) me along the way. 

Photo credit: Viera Photographics

Q: Were there any non-organic products that you had a hard time letting go of when you first transitioned to an organic lifestyle?

YES! My husband still threatens to go back to conventional deodorant but I actually think we finally found something that works for him. Toothpaste was a big one too.

I am still playing with finding or making a really good stain remover and I want something stronger to clean my bathroom/grout. 

But that being said, I am so happy that it is 2016 because we have so many options and alternatives. It is really amazing exploring green beauty and healthy living amenities now and it will only get better! I am excited for what’s to come. 

Q: Are there any specific ingredients that you avoid at all costs? For example, SLS, artificial fragrance, artificial color, etc.

All of it?! It is hard to come up with a “list” because ingredients are constantly being subbed out as brands continue to become more savvy about marketing. It’s all about reading ingredient labels and then looking those ingredients up to see what they are and if they are harmful. And not only that but looking them up in more than one place to make sure information correlates. I like to use The Environmental Working Group, Ruth Winter’s “A Consumers Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients,” Google, Think Dirty App, Follain’s list of ingredients to avoid, and any scientific studies I can get my hands on. I like Silent Spring Institute too - there are so many resources out there. Just make sure you are using a credible one. 

Photo credit: Viera Photographics

Q: You get the chance to try and review a number of beauty and personal care products. What criteria do you look for when reviewing these products? 

I want them to be non-toxic. In the beginning I wanted them to be 100% organic but I’ve learned that sometimes “organic” is just another label. And with all labels, certifications and bureaucracy there will inevitably be loopholes. You can’t have one without the other. I like to take a deeper look. It’s about the product, the sourcing and the integrity behind a label that really matters - not a circle in front of the label. These are some questions that I am constantly asking: 

When I see, “free of parabens, phthalates, SLS...” I think okay, well what are they NOT saying - let’s turn the package over and see. What is actually IN the product? What are they leaving off this list?

What is the preservative system they are using? This is where some major offenders come into play. 

When I ask a company questions, like what are you using for “natural flavors” or what’s in the “fragrance” listed on the ingredients? Do they have the answers? Are the answers clear or are they talking around the question?

A company who is proud of their product will be happy to answer your questions and will WANT you to understand how thoughtful they are or why they chose to use “this” instead of “that.” They will want you to appreciate it as they do. Even if you don’t understand ingredients - look for that willingness to engage. 

One of our favorite posts Lisa did was before and after photos using food-grade ingredients for hair color technology by Hariprint. You can see her post here

Q: What has been the most rewarding part of switching to a healthier and organic lifestyle? What has been the most difficult part of this process?

The most difficult part is carving out time for learning, cooking, making local connections, failing and getting back up again. Making time for these things has been a gradual shift in lifestyle and they no longer feel like a burden the way they did in the beginning. 

The most rewarding part is knowing that I am making the decisions about what my family eats, where we shop and the products we use. I’m not just going though the motions but I am making active and informed decisions. ME. Not the government, not big business, not sponsored adds or any other form of social influence. Me. And I can appreciate this feeling of ownership because it wasn’t always like that. I have been through my fair share of drive throughs and I know what it feels like to take a back seat in the American food system with big business at the steering wheel. And you know what, it feels good to say NO. It feels good to give my hard earned money to the people and companies I want to see succeed. It feels good to see my sons thrive. It feels good to be at the wheel. And guess what, I ain’t stopping until change happens. Like Dr. Drew Ramsey said, “If we all just didn’t buy Big Mac’s for one week, guess what, there would be no more Big Macs”. 

I want to see this happen in my lifetime and in the meantime you can find me reading labels and talking up companies we can feel good about supporting.

In a world filled with toxins, we are sure glad there are product warriors like Lisa! Make sure to connect with her on Instagram and on her website, This Organic Girl

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