I’m quite excited to jump into the nitty-gritty of what I’m doing to simplify how I deal with food in my life, but I want to be sure to begin this process by defining what I’m thinking of when I talk about simple food.
For me, simple food is created from whole, unprocessed or minimally processed foods. It focuses on fruits, vegetables, herbs, gluten-free whole grains, nuts, seeds and responsible sources of animal protein. It is food created from a few ingredients that doesn’t take a lot of active time to prepare. It also supports my financial goal of bringing down how much money we need every month in our food budget.
So there it is; my definition. I don’t expect to change my entire way of eating to line up with this overnight, mainly because the idea is to bring gentle awareness and change to what I am doing, not to add excessive stress to the process. I want the changes I make to be lasting, and I’ve found that in order for that to happen, slow and deliberate is the way to go.
I have also found it to be true for me, in making major changes in any area of my life, that having a clear picture of what exactly it is I’m saying “yes!” to is incredibly important.
When we are trying to change our behavior, it’s often because we perceive the current behavior to be problematic somehow. It is causing us discomfort or pain, or we are looking down the road towards the possible consequences of our actions and don’t like what we see. This can lead us to attempt to make changes based on this internal “no!” that we are saying to those outcomes we want to avoid.
It’s all well and good to decide that we don’t want something in our life, or that we don’t want to head in a certain direction, but at some point, we all need some kind of idea about what we do want our life to look like. Without that clear picture, keeping our motivation up when the challenges arise (and they will!) is incredibly difficult, if not impossible. We have to see the value in where we are headed, otherwise it’s very easy to veer off track.
In the spirit of figuring out for myself what it is that I’m saying “yes!” to in choosing to pursue simpler foods, I am offering you a list of the potential benefits I foresee from changing my approach to food preparation and eating:
- Simple food preparation will allow me more opportunity to involve my young children, which helps to provide them with a sense of importance and belonging, of contribution to the family, and allows them to practice important life skills and gain mastery over those skills, building self-esteem.
- Spending less time preparing and shopping for food will allow me more time to spend on other pursuits that are important to me. It will give me more time to focus on relationships with my husband and children, friends, and other family members. More time to pursue outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or just taking the kids to the park and letting them run wild. More time for yoga and meditation. More time to practice my piano and to get out and play for other people.
- Focusing on keeping food simple will allow me to know exactly what is going into my body and, as a result, to nourish myself better.
- Simple food means that if I experience some kind of reaction (many people with celiac disease have other food sensitivities also) it may be easier to identify what caused the reaction.
- Making simple food will allow me to practice a little more creativity in the kitchen, since I plan to learn how to construct recipes more confidently on my own.
I’m sure that there will be many benefits that I haven’t yet considered, and I’m quite excited to find those out as I go! In the meantime, however, this list gives me a solid place of positivity from which to begin to make changes in my daily life. Please feel free to share any benefits that you hope to see from simplifying your life as it relates to food in the comment section!