The NAA is excited to share with you the views of its advisors; this post is the first in an ongoing series of advisor perspectives. We look forward to hearing your responses and reflections.

Advisory Board Perspective: Adina Grigore

When I first realized doctors weren’t going to heal my nagging health issues, I decided to take matters into my own hands. That’s what we all do, right? You go online, do some research, read a few scary articles, maybe even sign up to learn more through a course or two. (In my case, I went all the way through holistic nutrition school.) You turn to your community: your aunt tells you she stopped eating packaged food, your neighbor gets deliveries from an eco website, your Facebook feed is full of Buzzfeed lists for how to clean up your life. So you do it! First I shifted my diet, then I turned to my beauty products. I bought better shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, makeup. Everything. This change was permanent, and to this day nothing in my home is not green or better than the alternative.

I say ‘better’ because these days ‘natural’ is getting a lot of hate. The way that some people cringe when they hear ‘organic,’ they have now become so doubtful of the natural stamp that they don’t think it’s better. I am fully on board with this skepticism. But it is better. Believe me, I’m the most hardcore advocate for clean products (pretty sure there’s no other beauty company that has set stricter limitations on their ingredient list than S.W. Basics). And I believe you should doubt most of what beauty companies tell you. But I also think we should not forget that an ingredient list that is free of things like parabens, sulfates, petroleum, and formaldehyde are most definitely better for you than their counterparts. They really, really are.

Now that we’re on the same page, let me get to my point: I did not experience true relief and peace until I cut back on everything I was using. I was dealing with full body rashes, severe acne, an insanely irritated scalp, strange bumps, slow healing, just all sorts of things that make for a really frustrating and painful life. Did cutting out sugar from my diet help? Definitely. Did using better deodorant give me relief? Yes, some. But things didn’t get seriously better until I cut back on everything, even the natural stuff. This was the case with my diet too. You know that superfood salad with 50 Amazonian ingredients that help you live forever? That stuff makes my body (and belly) freak out. Zucchini steamed with olive oil and salt? All better.

So the real question is: are you like me? I’m betting that you are, at least a little bit. It’s really easy to find out if I’m right. You don’t need to change your whole life, you don’t need to throw out everything in your cabinet, and you don’t need to give up your superfood salad. In fact, I believe my prescription is the easiest one you’ll ever have to follow: just be a little bit lazier once in a while. Forget to wash your face. Eat one food for your entire meal. Skip breakfast (gasp). Drink only one type of beverage for a whole day. And the last step: pay attention. That’s it. It’s really that simple. I promise. I know you don’t believe me right now, but try it. When you find yourself less itchy after coffee than green tea, or your scalp cleaner when you skip your conditioner, or your stomach way less bloated from real life gluten than from spelt, you’ll be amazed. You’ll realize that you are an individual human with individual features and needs. You’ll feel empowered and you’ll keep going. And then you’ll thank me, and I’ll say, “I know exactly how you feel.”

 -Adina Grigore

adina-grigore-naa-advisorAdina Grigore is a member of the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance Advisory Board, as well as the author of Skin Cleanse and founder/CEO of the all-natural, sustainable skin-care line S.W. Basics. A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®, Adina has worked in the wellness industry since 2007 as a private holistic nutritionist, a personal trainer, and a workshop coordinator teaching people about the DIY nature of wellness.