As I sat in a coffee shop, sipping an Americano with extra cream and thinking about grocery shopping for the week ahead, a thought came to me–food should be simple.
One large part of minimalism is focusing on reducing decision fatigue (the constant pressure to decide things). A huge decision that we find ourselves making on a daily basis is “what are we having for dinner?” This is especially exhausting if you are trying to decide for more than one person. While we not picky by any means, we certainly have differences in tastes when it comes to food and we have had to find compromises. I love shrimp, scallops, fish, and pretty much any seafood I’ve ever tried while seafood is not his thing at all. He leans toward chicken as his meat of choice while I am much more of a beef person. We have found many common grounds, however–we both love hamburgers, homemade French fries, salads, scrambled eggs, pretty much all vegetables. Still, I find myself exhausted with the back and forth of “what are we having for dinner tonight/this week?” Simple living is meant to help with things like this that drain you, and and I have decided to eliminate meal planning as a source of stress in my life. The meals that we both love will be the meals we have every week. We by no means will be stuck doing the same thing every Monday and every Tuesday, but we will have ten or twelve meals that we love that we can cycle through that are made of simple, healthy ingredients. We like meats, vegetables (including potatoes for homemade French fries of course), rice and quinoa, fruits and nuts (including peanut butter), spices, olive and coconut oil, eggs, butter, and half and half. Some chicken or beef broth to make the occasional stew/soup pretty much rounds up our grocery list. I have also made an extra effort to introduce some vegetarian meals (I like to do at least two a week) in order to save money and limit our meat intake. We drink water (I like sparkling water as well), coffee, and tea. If we’re going to splurge, we eat chocolate and peanut butter ice cream.
After all, food should be simple. It is meant, not to simply fill our empty stomachs, but to nourish and heal us. Don’t just eat anything you find because you’re hungry and want to stop the feeling, but fuel your body with the nutrients it needs.
There is a lot of debate in the area of nutrition and what we should be eating. I am not here to give you a solid eating plan that will bring you perfect health, but to encourage you to simply be aware of what you eat and how it makes you feel. You will find that as your shopping list gets simpler, you will be less stressed about planning, your grocery bill will go down, and your health will improve. Simple living and saving money should go hand in hand to bring a better, healthier, more productive life.