More and more people are jumping on the Crunchy, Granola bandwagon.
Not to relive the hippie heydays from which this movement originated, but to reap the health and lifestyle benefits that come with slowing down, simplifying and getting back to nature.
The Crunchy Granola movement is experiencing a great comeback and this time it is not only the young left-wing liberals, but New York bankers, traders and fund managers—de-stressing their lives with yoga, Hollywood actors going vegan and military wives swapping essential oil treatments for colds and ADHD.
Being called Crunchy is no longer a derogatory stereotype, that simultaneously makes people wonder when you last showered. Instead it’s an honorable designation, invoking the notion that you are an aware, informed, conscious person, who may also have the most delicious source of backyard chicken eggs, a kick-a** Kombucha brewing on their counter, or a McGyver-like, world saving know-how of baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
Perhaps we have the babyboomers (aka ex-hippies) to thank for not giving up on their spirulina and chlorella habits. By revamping these, along with great-grandma’s recipes, making them accessible and consumer friendly in tidy bags, boxes and jars, all certified organic or fair trade of course.
Perhaps we have the younger generations to thank, the GenYs/Millenials, who are disenchanted by the status quo, using the power of technology and information to make responsible lifestyle choices that are globally sustaining.
Perhaps we have ourselves to thank for asking, what else is possible? Because we have hit a proverbial wall, our friends have cancer, our kids are obese and/or diagnosed with a dizzying slew of syndromes and the pursuit of happiness is just that—a pursuit.
Now days Crunchy people are ordinary people, looking for more meaning and true healing, not just band-aids.
Some of us slowly step out of the rat race by finding a quiet moment each day to ground, bare feet on the earth. Some of us simplify by downsizing our house, closet, activity or to-do list. Many of us renew our health and find joy in buying or growing our own fresh organic foods and apply ancient wisdom to treat our ever growing list of diseases and disorders.
Since I’ve been eating granola and drinking green juice for over 30 years, you’d think I could spot a Crunchy from a mile away.
In the 80s this was true, today, I’ve been surprised more than once to meet someone who has gone no-poo (no shampoo) without any external indication of Crunchiness. The tie-dye, Birkenstock stereotype is gone.
Costco sells Omega-3 packed hemp nut hearts wholesale, my dentist makes his own fluoride-free toothpaste from scratch and my PR-media friend is considering opening an organic clothing shop.
You don’t need to give up your current life, spending one day each week washing clothes pioneer-style with home-made soap in an icy stream, to reap the benefits of going more natural.
Maybe you want to start by going to your local Farmer’s market or by researching urban gardening ideas from Pinterest. Challenge yourself with a new food or drink weekly. Breathing deeply and sitting on a park bench to watch the world go by is part of the Granola lifestyle.
As you may have guessed, going Crunchy is not a contest, there are no rewards or ranks to gain or lose, no scholarships or recognitions to strive for.
Your degree of Crunchiness doesn’t even equal health or happiness, because more is not always better.
What works for your sister doesn’t necessarily work for you. As much of an oxymoron as it may be, we all have a stressed Granola friend. Don’t be that friend.
There is a relaxed fluidity and freedom to this lifestyle that more and more people are craving.
All you have to do is stay open and willing to adjust and adapt new ideas that fit your current needs and circumstances.
Remember that this is a choose-your-own-adventure not a step-by-step kind of lifestyle. One year you may reap great benefits from oil pulling, only to wean yourself off of plastic products and packaging the next year. Keep it fun.
I’ve been all over the Granola map, from raising backyard chickens, to barefoot running.
This year I declared my year of fermentation. I also made my first batch of deodorant.
Does this mean that I will never buy running shoes, kimchi or store-made anti-perspirant again? No, all we can do is find what works best for us right now. Then sit back, relax and feel the benefits of slowing down, simplifying and naturalizing your life.
Pass the granola please.
Author: Elli Ho
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock