Minimalism too often intertwines with zero-waste lifestyle. I haven’t been there yet but some steps have been taken to reduce my waste when it comes to food consumption. I love eating and it’s safe to say that it is one of my main sources of entertainment. In fact, not buying any clothes is a lot easier for me than it is not to eat out. This lifestyle did no harm to me as a kid considering how active I was. I joined a dancing club and went to a soccer practice every other day. Now that I work mostly behind my desk, gaining almost 40 pounds happens in no time. I am supposed to be at my physical peak yet I feel so drained that my routines include going to bed tired and woke up still feeling the same way. It has to stop.
There is actually no such a thing as specific minimalist diet, but when you try to simplify your life, this aspect will also be taken into account. A couples of weeks ago, me and my partner decided that we will no longer succumb to temptation that unhealthy eating habit has to offer. It’s important to do it together as it can provide a good support system. You will also be able to monitor each other’s progress and even as far as putting a guilt trip on him/her for cheating 😀 Besides, giving up will become a lot harder as as you also feel responsible for the other person’s well-being.
Since I love food shopping, I used to keep my fridge and cabinets filled with my favorite snacks. This has reached a point where I have to go through them every once in a while and stick a note reminding me which one will expire soon. Utter madness!
This realization got me here. I understand that they are more to minimalist diet than to just minimize your calorie intake.
Reducing. Try to limit the time you spent thinking of what to eat. I couldn’t help but to feel like my whole life rotates around it, to keep myself distracted until it’s time to eat my next meal again. This does not mean that I should only eat few types of foods but rather to be more content with what’s served or easily-available. When I still have some leftovers, I’d eat it first before buying any more food. I also try to avoid as many plastic-packaged foods as I can. Consequently, various junk foods are off the list. The craving is still there but you get to be creative in finding a substitute. However, if the struggle is felt to much, it’s okay to buy them once a month as a treat.
Drink mostly water and remember to watch the nutrition value and vitamins in your food. Take natural supplement when needed.
Fasting. Whether it’s for maintaining the state of ketosis or religious reasons, fasting offers various benefits in terms of health, time-management, and finance. Everyday while fasting, you will normally eat only once/twice with no snack in between. Fasting also helps weight loss, improves blood sugar control, and heart health. My partner’s type of fasting consists of low-carb diet, limiting it to no more than 26 grams a day. While the one I do is a 14-hour dry fast. Researchers in MIT actually suggest that fasting for 24 hour can boost intestinal stem cells’ regenerative capacity. “It was very obvious that fasting had this really immense effect on the ability of intestinal crypts to form more organoids, which is stem-cell-driven,” Mihaylova, Whitehead Institute postdoc, says in her paper.
Our attitude towards food changes. Having empty stomach all day seems to alter its capacity, and for that reason, we relatively eat smaller portion now. We are also generally more content, which allows us to really appreciate and enjoy our food. Considering that you basically starve yourself all day, any food will taste a lot better.
In addition, You will find yourself having more time to do works as you don’t spend any time driving to buy food or preparing it during lunch and breakfast. Use your lunch time to indulge yourself in a new hobby or any projects you always want to finish.
In some cases, eating healthy will cost a lot more than to just buy junk or processed foods, this is also the reason why many are discouraged to continue this lifestyle. However, when trying to fast, calculate the money you would normally spent for breakfast, lunch, and extra snacks! Your daily daily cup of coffee, frizzy drinks, snacks, or meals will end up costing a lot more in a long run! Also, think of the investment you make on your health and body, and how much you can save from avoiding seeing doctors in the future.
This is where it gets excited, too. Assuming that each snack you skip costs you 1 dollar, you will be able to save 30 bucks each month. If you invest this amount in money market with 10% return a year, you will have $US 23,190 in 20 years, or $US 68,974 if you wait until your retirement in 30 years. And let’s be honest, your meal or snack probably cost more than just a dollar, but I intentionally use that small number to show you that every little cost has a huge impact.
This does not suggest that you don’t enjoy anything in life, but to be more content with less. The investment that comes with this eating habit, both in terms of health, sense of achievement, and financial freedom will reduce so much stress in your life.
Besides, it’s easier to keep your healthy lifestyle than to look everyday in the mirror and not liking what you see 🙂