photo by ARG

There’s more to life than food. I mean gosh, we spend a hell of a lot of time in the kitchen and thinking about what we’ll eat. We all have those day’s were we wish we could just inject ourselves with a liquidy goo of calories.

Well, I think adopting the minimalist approach to eating could save you some serious time.

You don’t have to own less than 50 items or live in a mini-house to adopt aspects of the minimalist way of life. We’re just talking about keeping it simple. Pair down your routine and you will be released from the constant struggle of decision.

And it’s healthy!
Freaking healthy as can be! Yeah, that’s right – healthy AND easy. It’s probably the last bit of diet advice you’ll ever need. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d love it if you subscribed to this blog and kept hanging out and talking healthy with me- but it’s probably not necessary. This is a philosophy you could adopt and use for the rest of your life. You’d probably live longer and feel better.

I wouldn’t consider myself a hardcore minimalist, but I do have tendencies. I’m fine living in a little apartment and keeping few possessions. Nate and I have moved twice in the last two years so we’ve kind of been forced into this lifestyle. After selling some of the larger things (couch, bed, etc), we have been able to fit all of our possessions in a subaru forester!!

We appreciate the sense of freedom from living a minimalist lifestyle and have begun to look for other ways to simplify our lives. We paired down our meal-plans and grocery lists and are really enjoying it. We still give ourselves a couple meals per week where we make fun recipes, but more often our meals are really basic. Today, I’m excited as heck to share our ideas with you! Here they are:

1) Buy Less Ingredients
Go to the grocery store or farmer’s market with a simple plan. Stick to fresh veggies, fruit, milk, yogurt, eggs, nuts, grains, legumes, and maybe one or two others. Buy essentials such as tamari, hot sauce, spices, herbs, and oil in large quantities when its on sale so you don’t typically run out (maybe check on prices if getting low). Bake your bread and get your meat locally. Vegetarians and vegans can simplify further.

2) Prepare Simply
Cook your foods only a few ways. No elaborate sauces or extensive preparations. A sprinkle of fresh herbs, dash of salt and pepper, or spritz of lemon can go a long way. Here are some examples:

Slice hearty veggies and roast in the oven with fresh herbs for around 45 minutes, putting a meat in halfway or so
Steam fish, rice, and veggies all at once
Sauté tofu and tender veggies in butter and olive oil and serve with brown rice
Cut up tons of raw veggies and fruit for a large salad and maybe throw in a protein (chicken, tofu, beans, quinoa, hard-boiled egg, etc). Toss with olive oil and balsamic or red-wine vinegar.
Throw leftovers between two pieces of bread with cheese.
You can try using a 5 or less ingredient rule (besides seasoning & oil) – which shouldn’t be too hard. Examples: breakfast – oatmeal, nuts, fruit. Lunch – (sandwich) bread, goat cheese, lettuce, tomato, sprouts. Dinner – black beans, onion, tomatoes, cilantro, corn tortillas.

3) Eat Less
Down a large glass of water as you begin to prepare a meal. Use the smaller 8-inch diameter salad plates for all your meals and try to fill them halfway with veggies. This just leaves room enough for a small amount of protein and whole grain or vegetable starch.

Do like one of the oldest living populations on the planet – the Okinawans, and only eat until your %80 full. Don’t clean your plate completely and never go back for seconds. Leftovers become new meals or a quick snack for later saving you even more time.

Simplify your diet and you’ll simplify your life. Feel the weight lift and the stress melt.

Anyone have any ideas for simplifying further?

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