I love food, I like trying new restaurants, and I appreciate a wide variety of flavors. I actually even enjoy cooking, although I hate recipes. (Measuring is lame.)
I want as little as possible of my everyday life taken up by food preparation.
Leo Babauta of Zen Habits eats almost the same thing every day, but changes up what that is in cycles, and I could easily see myself doing the same thing.
It’s not that I don’t want to eat well, it’s just that food is not what I want my life to be about.
How could simple food make your life easier?
Simplified Weight Loss & Health: Tracking calories or trying to make sure you’re eating well-rounded meals can be a huge pain in the butt. If you develop a good eating plan rotation and get in a good habit with portion sizes, you won’t have to be constantly figuring and adding up calories, because you’ll have it memorized.
Little to No Menu Planning & Shopping Lists: Every once in a while I will sit down and figure out what foods I want to add into our rotation, but there’s no intensive menu-making, and since we always get the same basic foods, I don’t have to mess with shopping lists. We just go through Aldi and grab the stuff we know we’re running out of as we go past it, and we also take advantage of sales or specials we like.
Easier Cooking: Whether or not you cook with recipes, if you’re making the same things frequently, you’ll have them memorized in no time.
What simple food looks like in our house:
On an average day, breakfast is cold cereal, oatmeal, or eggs and toast (David’s domain), sandwiches or left overs for lunch, and something I make from scratch for supper.
For the main dish I usually cater around whatever fresh vegetables we happen to have and pick rice, pasta, or potatoes based on what fits best with that.
Regular favorites include taco salad, “hamburgers“, spaghetti, deluxe scrambled egg burritos, tuna mac n cheese, taco soup, and potato soup.
I didn’t really grow up eating snacks, and our kids aren’t used to them either, so sides are super simple as well. Our common fall-backs are: peas, green beans, applesauce, yogurt, cottage cheese, apples, oranges, bananas, cucumber or cabbage salad, and sometimes crackers and cheese.
We only do desserts on Sundays and holidays.
This might all sound unbearably boring to you, but I’m a decent “seasoner”, it’s stuff that we really enjoy, and it’s not alllllll we eat 🙂
Whenever it remotely fits, David and I have chiles with what we’re eating because we love them almost, but not quite, as much as we love each other, and we also use liberal amounts of hot sauce. To be honest, that’s the main thing that’s been deciding our meals this year – whether or not it would be good with chiles or hot sauce…
But what if I get bored?
Well, let me tell you, meals are some of our very favorite parts of the day. If I truly got bored with it, I’d know it was time to switch it up.
“Simple” in no way needs to equal “boring”!
Obviously you want to pick stuff that you like eating, I just challenge the notion that you need as much variety as you think you do. There is nothing wrong with eating the same food every week as long as it’s good for you. By all means, make some complicated dishes if that’s your thing, just don’t make a new complicated dish every night of the week!
This is where the difference between eating to live versus living to eat comes into play…
But what if I really, really like cooking?
If cooking is a passion or hobby of yours? More power to you!!! We are all for people doing what they love – minimalism is about making room for those things. Just don’t try to stuff it into a too-full schedule and wonder why you’re stressed. Make a conscious choice to get rid of the excess in other areas and make time for the cooking. And be sure to set an extra place for me!
We’re certainly nowhere close to where I want to be with our diet/menu yet – I have a huge project I hope to tackle at some point, but I’m waiting on the right person to brainstorm and work on it with. Are you a nutrition nerd who isn’t a food snob? Get in touch!
Want to explore more of what it means to be minimalist and the resulting space and freedom it creates in your life? Let’s take simple living from something you wish for to something you actually do!