colliding simplicities

For the past few weeks, I’ve been listening to a LOT of podcasts and clips on youtube, vimeo, and even TED on the concept of minimalism and how it can help us as mothers, consumers, and society.

(I used to read. Then I had kids.  So now audio anything is my primary “input” right now.)

Anyway, there are so many great sound-bite type take-aways from the simplicity stuff out there:

Less equals more.

Don’t just get rid of clutter. DE-OWN.

Only keep what you need or what you love.

Every item you own comes with a price– time and space.  So, make sure that you are receiving a good return on your investment.

Get rid of excess.

What you lose in stuff, you gain in time, experiences, mental clarity, and even… peace.

Minimalism is a lifestyle…

I don’t remember when it actually clicked.  I just know that I was fixing dinner and all of a sudden, it really hit me how much of a lifestyle change minimalism could be.

If we honestly just had what we really needed or really loved, life would indeed become much more simple… a lot of problems would be easily solved… and a whole lot of time and money would be saved.

Of course, our cluttered closets would be purged, and our knick-knacks would be donated… but how much bulge would actually be reduced from other areas, including (but not limited to) our waistlines.

I’m finding that simplicity in eating and food prep is life-changing, too.

Think about it: what if we only ate what our bodies needed or what we REALLY loved?  Talk about a purge of empty calories!  And then, we can feel the freedom to indulge in the few things that were our favorite because we realize we don’t need a lot of what we love to enjoy it.

So, our family has conducted an informal experiment.  I’ve implemented the simplicity mindset to food prep and menu planning recently… and not only has it saved our fam major money in our shopping budget, but it has saved me the mental time of having to figure out what to eat for every meal and the actual time of preparing the food.

Let me explain…

The past two weeks, we have had the same thing for breakfast every day, except Saturday mornings.  We have had the same thing for lunch… and we have 3 unique dinners, 3 repeat dinners, and one out-to-eat a week.  I’ll give you examples:

Breakfasts: smoothie bowls (a LOT of spinach, frozen fruit, almond milk blended together to a soft-serve consistency, topped with a mix of nuts and seeds and banana.)

Lunches: large salads with grilled meat (mainly chicken), cucumbers, purple onions, feta, green peppers and a homemade vinaigrette.

Dinners: every other night, it’s something unique.  (Tonight was homemade beef & broccoli with egg rolls)… and on the off-nights, we have Buddha bowls. (a LOT of kale, some rice, beans, or hummus, lots of raw veggies, meat, a LOT of cilantro, homemade peanut sauce, squirt of fresh lime)

Snacks: piece of fruit or celery with almond butter

These format has saved me a ton of time with meal prep as well… I can make several salads at once.  Because I put the dressing in a small separate container, everything stays fresh and unsoggy.  The same thing with the Buddha bowls.  I make a lot of the key ingredients (like rice), and store it in the fridge.  I add it all together when I want it, but can also make it ahead, too, like the salads.

We do buy some miscellaneous things as well, especially for the kids.  (My daughter is on a swiss cheese kick.)  Both my husband and I aren’t tired of the routine at all, because all of the food is super fresh tasting, makes us feel good, and allows us to eat out once a week and not feel badly about it– with our bodies or with our budget.  We also know that we can change the next week if we start feeling burnt out.  So, if we decide we are done with the smoothie bowls, we will just swap it out with eggs and spinach next week… and I won’t buy frozen fruit.

I can’t tell you how much time this has saved me.  Seriously.  And it has cut our food spending in HALF.  I’m curious to see how this concept maintains my weightloss.  (It would be awesome if it helped me lose weight faster, but I’m stalling right now because of nursing.  My body is stubborn to release weight when I’m breastfeeding, for some odd reason.  Was that way with my daughter, and is that way with my boy… <<sigh>>)

It’s amazing to me how, in just a couple of weeks of purposefully simplifying the physical space around me, my mental space seems calmer, too.  I’m nowhere near done with the downsizing, BUT the changes we have made are proving sustainable, and THAT’S super important and empowering.

So, here’s to simplicity… becoming a lifestyle one decision at a time!

(On a sidenote, I know my mindset is changing about stuff in general, as today I looked at a pieces of furniture and went, “I don’t need that…” and literally pushed it out my front door to be packed up and donated.  So, if you happen to live near me and see a side table, a large vase, a lamp, and some decor sitting on the front porch, help yourself.

Unless you are minimizing.

Then don’t. :) )

2 thoughts on “colliding simplicities”

  • 1
    Tamsin on October 12, 2016

    Thank you for your post. I have a question? How do you get your kids to eat the same as you. I have started to eat a more plant based diet with smoothies for breakfast and salads etc but at the moment I am making my boys separate food. I give them some of mine to try but they don’t like it always. How have you managed it? Thanks again, Tamsin

  • slcB 2
    slcB on October 12, 2016

    Great question!

    I give them a lot of the salad stuff, but as finger food. I cut up the chicken into bite-sized “chicken nuggets,” have cucumber slices, fruit ready, etc. Also, when I do the Buddha bowls, I just put the rice and beans separate on a plate instead of mixed together, etc.

    She loves the smoothies, but I do put a few “baby” (mini) chocolate chips on top and she will eat the whole bowl!

    Also, I do have a couple of extra staples: frozen mixed vegetables, sliced cheese, etc., that she likes to eat and can easily put on a plate with the other stuff on there.

    She has recently asked to have bites of my salad, so she might be asked to have her own salads soon. We will see. :)

    I would say she eats like us about 80% of the time.

    My boy just turned one and is 95% breastfed right now, so he doesn’t count right now. 😉

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