[Quyen] Day 6: Meet Karen – An Organic Product Maker Inspired Since Childhood
I had the special opportunity to interview Karen, a maker of organic lotions, face washes, and even remedies for psoriasis. I wanted to get a sense of how she got into making these products, and was quite floored by the story I didn’t realize I was about to hear.
First of all, Karen laughed when I said I wanted to ask her questions about her organic product-making abilities. “I’ve been doing it all my life, it’s just a way of life.” To her, the term “organic” seems more to be trendy than anything. To her, there is no difference between organic vs. natural. They are one in the same. Yet, it still didn’t register. Then she began to share.
Karen grew up in South America – British Guiana to be exact. Then she left and moved to Rio de Janeiro, then Vancouver, and now the U.S. From the time that she left British Guiana, she experienced major culture shock, mainly in the way that people ate. The amount of sweets in particular struck her – she had never had a Twinkie in her life. “You serious?” was a question that often came to mind seeing people eat donuts for breakfast and consuming such large amounts of food during their meals.
She has never been sick or hospitalized. Growing up, she would eat 5 meals per day. Breakfast was hot in order to break the gas in your stomach, such as hot chocolate or tea with catfish. She never had stale food, and no leftovers. Food was bought fresh and made in the same day. Nothing was canned. She would come home from school and her grandmother would make the food. Sugar was the brown kind. Rice was in its natural form, not whitened. As she moved, she would continue her style of eating. Curiosity would sometimes lead to trying a Big Mac or cookies, but it would never last. She now feeds her children similarly (even though they complain about only getting candy once a week).
Not everyone grew up in this way though. Karen recommends, “Start slowly. Introduce something new every day. For example, leafy green vegetables. You can put it in chicken broth and it is so tasty. You don’t need to add butter. Just boil for 5 minutes.” Beauty items were similar. Tomatoes are great as a face wash because of the acidity like an alpha hydroxy. Follow that with an avocado for de-wrinkling and egg whites to close the pores.
Now, these remedies were not simply out of curiosity, they were often out of necessity. Due to a lack of money in such a society, they would have to make their own items. Furthermore, what struck Karen just as deeply as the way people ate was the amount of disease. She never knew so many diseases until she came to the States – because of the way that people treat themselves (how they eat and live), not knowing that they can be healed from within. The majority stem from the colon, which then stems into the bloodstream, which can lead to anything.
I am reminded of the integrated, holistic approach to life – that everything is connected. Karen went on to mention that many people try to exercise for 3 hours, but stretching is actually much more important. It keeps you flexible and helps with your bones as you age. Finally, papaya! I have grown to love papaya after my cancer scare. Apparently I was missing out on the best part – swallowing the seeds whole (who knew?) – which are natural laxatives high in enzymes. Just sayin’.
“I do believe it’s a way of life.” Thank you, Karen, for reminding us that even more important than what we’re doing is how we’re going about it as well.