Please tell us about yourself, Liz…
I grew up in a small town an hour west of Chicago but have been living in Dallas/ Ft. Worth, Texas for the last 11 years…..it’s safe to say that I’m obsessed with almost anything natural and organic. I enjoy surfing the web for different natural, and/or organic beauty products, websites and companies…just one of the reasons why I like ANB’s site. I enjoy cooking (probably because I like to eat so much!) 🙂 Also, the more I’ve pursued a natural and organic lifestyle, it’s encouraged me to cook more.
Rollerblading is one of my favorite activities because not only is it a blast, but it doubles as an awesome workout! I jogged my first half marathon this year which I was really excited to complete without stopping, especially considering the EXTREMELY minimal training that I did beforehand (which I recommend to no one by the way. Training is your friend.) 😉 I have recently fallen head over heels with West Coast Swing dancing as well as Lindy Hop after rediscovering a passion for dance that I initially found upon taking a ballroom dance class years ago along with weekly swing dance nights back in my college days. I enjoy riding motorcycles and am hoping to buy one within the next year. I have 2 fine feathered friends who will one day hopefully move closer to the beach with me!
I used to do freelance makeup artistry for a cosmetic company for a short time until I discovered many of the chemicals used in the products and no longer wanted to participate in putting them on other women’s skin. I would love to one day do makeup artistry again using the best quality pure and natural products I can find to help women feel and look their best.
How long have you been on your all-natural path, and what inspired you to be on it?
My “all-natural path” found me about 11 years ago. I had just moved to Texas and was living with my older brother at the time. He had a carton of organic milk in the fridge, and I was teasing him about “being a yuppie on an engineer’s salary, so we now buy organic milk, huh?” I didn’t really know anything about what organic meant at the time. I poured myself a glass of milk and started to read the carton idly while drinking what I’d poured. I couldn’t believe how strikingly different, full and rich it tasted from the milk I was used to!
A sudden interest and curiosity came over what I was reading on the carton. It was talking about the cows not receiving hormones, not using pesticides on the feed, this, that, the other. That triggered something almost immediately in my mind. “Hormones?! Hmmmm…..not cool.” I hadn’t ever given much thought to what was done behind the scenes to get the milk I’d been drinking into the carton that I conveniently picked up at the store. I still didn’t think too much about it; however, the blurb about the use of pesticides must have planted a (non-genetically modified) seed in me [haha couldn’t resist] 😉 because I still distinctly remember the next time I entered the produce section of the grocery store; I began to question what pesticides or nasty chemicals that I may not been aware of may have been hosed all over the “healthy fruits or veggies” that I was about to buy….that was the beginning of the end of my “blind shopping days.”
I started to become fanatical with finding pure, “unadulterated food.” The more I researched this to put my mind at ease that I wouldn’t be consuming the possibly nasty chemicals that were being sprayed all over what otherwise should be “healthy food,” the more horrific truths I discovered. I had no idea about how frightening the industrial-sized “food-industry” had become, (or “poison-industry” in my opinion). I began to discover the atrocious practices that were occurring to the “food” (read: poison) that so many of us were consuming without a clue.
Research and discoveries led me to yet more research and discoveries. My consuming habits began to change, and the cycle continues constantly to this day. I began reading labels like a mad-woman and after more research soon realized how difficult it was becoming to trust many labels…Genetically modified “foods” weren’t even marked as such. Even trusting the “USDA certified organic” label for any sort of true quality-assurance or authenticity was a stretch in my opinion. With all of the corruption going on as well as often times lack of information available regarding the real story behind where “food” is coming from and what’s being done to it, getting to know my local farmers started to become extremely important to me.
I don’t recall exactly how this all morphed from a concern with what was going IN my body to what I was putting ON it, but somewhere along the line it hit me that our skin absorbs a good percentage of what we put on it. What we’re applying on our body ultimately ends up in it; therefore, in my opinion what I was using externally had also better be good enough to eat so to speak. I became obsessed with reading every single ingredient on ingredient lists for anything I was buying. [If I didn’t know what an ingredient was (aka: it wasn’t produced by Mother Nature, or if the possibility of genetic modification existed,) I would typically not buy or consume it.] I started to read the ingredient labels on my shampoo bottles, lotions, face washes, etc., and I became horrified by all of the freaky chemical-lists that I had been covering myself in (and ultimately filling my system with) for years. Each new discovery typically led me farther and farther away from the traditional products I had been using and over-using my entire life and led me to this quest for natural and pure products of every category. Here we are today.
What makes you choose ‘the ANB’ and what do you like about it?
What do I like about the ANB website?—what kind of question is that?! What’s there not to like?! It a “purity-seeker’s” delight! I felt like I struck gold upon discovering this site. It’s such a comprehensive resource for so many things natural and organic. I like that it introduces me to new companies; I enjoy the natural recipe ideas, and I really like the different articles to name a few highlights.
Which products and/or DIY recipes have you tried from our sites and what are your favorites and why?
I’ve been motivated to make several masks and scrubs based off of the posted recipes. I don’t always have all of the exact ingredients on hand, so it’s inspired me to come up with my own recipes. I like to browse the different recipes and mix and match the ingredients I have on hand to create something new. I really enjoy incorporating plain yogurt into my face-mask recipes since it seems that I inevitably buy at least one more yogurt than I end up using for the week….this typically becomes part of the base for whatever face mask I decide to make. Even if it’s past it’s “use by” date, it’s even better yet for natural exfoliation!
What would you tell a friend about choosing all-natural beauty products?
Read labels! If you don’t know what something is, find out. There are many apps & resources out there to help you out (the ANB site being an amazing one of them!) The internet has really given us consumers an incredible means of holding companies accountable.
Also, researching the company itself can be very telling about how committed to purity it is. Many large corporations “green wash” since they see natural and organic as a profitable niche or “trendy movement,” but they have no interest in actually providing consumers with pure, healthy products. Once you get a better idea of the people who are creating and producing the products you’re looking into, you can discover their motives and get a better idea of where their real interests lie. I also find it rewarding to know that I’m supporting businesses who fully embrace the same standards and ideals that I do.
The more we support what we want to see in this world, the more we’ll see of it I’m convinced.