Food, Simplified

Food.  So. Very. Tiring.

Have you ever felt like you have reached your limits when it comes to healthy eating?  Like if I have to come up with one more new idea for dinner, I am going to lose my mind?  Like I can’t even read on more click bait article on the latest nutrition trend without skimming it and thinking, ‘blah, blah, blah’?  That’s kind of where I am right now with food.

There is no place in my life where I currently crave the benefits of minimalism more than in my food choices.  This has led me to lots of recent experimentation in my relationship to food and eating.  Food required way too much of my energy and focus, and I felt ready to put eating on auto-pilot in favor of more rewarding pursuits, like living life.

I think it’s helpful to periodically swing the pendulum of your behavior in the opposite direction.  By experimenting to live with too little, we can gain perspective on where a comfortable medium exists.  Here are a few small experiments I have done recently to lessen the role food has in my life, and to help me gain clarity on that balance:

Only buy one food from each category when grocery shopping (one grain, one nut, etc.)

Setting limits on grocery spending or number of items per trip.

Drastically buying less food…no duplicates, no bulk stockpiles.

Fully run out of something before restocking it.

Eat the same thing for breakfast every day.

Salad for lunch, any type.

Eating raw for breakfast and lunch.

One night per week off of cooking to enjoy a restaurant.

Avoiding snacks, and environments/situations where I typically snack (that’s you, TV).

Drinking only water, coffee, and tea.

Eating 3 satisfying meals or less per day.

Limiting sauces and condiments to a few favorites.

Intermittent fasting on travel days or long car rides.

Eating slowly, chewing more.

Repeating meals with batch cooking and leftovers.

Allowing my pantry or fridge to look bare, knowing I still have enough.

Cooking based on ingredients on hand vs. recipes, and trusting my intuition.

Avoiding packaged foods, and my own personal irresistible foods.

Eating larger quantities of fewer, simpler things.

Avoiding cookbooks and recipe blogs, keeping my focus off food during non-meal times.

Asking myself how else I can fill myself up.  Friendship?  A Hug?  A Walk?

All of these small focuses over the past few months have helped move food to the ‘back burner’ of my life.  I certainly did not undertake every focus at the same time.  I simply reflected on where I felt I needed help, and chose one or two focuses per week, maintaining those practices as long as they served me.  Perhaps some of these experiments would work for you, or inspire you to come up with your own ideas for small personal challenges.

After all, food is meant to fuel your life, not be your life.

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