Today's offering comes from the lovely Brittany Thiessen, who is passionate about living simply, travelling often, capturing beautiful photography and frequenting organic food markets. Basically, she's a lady after our own heart.
Simplifying Your Diet
Minimalism plays a huge role in my life and for me, it means simplifying my budget, my possessions, and my diet.
When I first stumbled upon the concepts of minimalism and simplicity about a year ago, the first step in my journey was simplifying what I ate.
I started with baby steps, by making one small change at a time.
Focus on one small change per week (or two weeks or whatever length of time you want to set for yourself). This approach helps the changes you make actually become habits, before you move on to the next step.
You don’t need to change everything at once.
I used to be addicted to Coca Cola and my first small change was cutting back on the amount of Coke that I drank and then finally eliminating it from my diet.
I have done the same with processed foods and those containing genetically modified organisms and other harmful chemicals.
Our society and the media tends to complicate eating healthy by bombarding us with information and focusing on how many calories you should be eating, how much carbs, promoting low-fat and sugar-free products, and whether you should eat a certain food or not.
But eating healthy and simple doesn’t shouldn’t be complicated... It is actually really easy!
What are the Benefits of Eating Simple?
When you take care of your body and eat simply and healthily, you have a greater ability to experience new things, like travel.
Simplifying your diet and eating habits results in you feeling more energetic and fully alive and thus, able to do more and see more! You can free up space and time to focus on the things that matter.
Okay, I’m convinced! How do I eat simpler and healthier?
Eliminate processed and fast foods – they’re not healthy and they will drag your energy levels down. They may be cheap to purchase, but they’re going to cost you in the long run in terms of your overall health! Buy food in its natural state and eat things that come from the Earth.
Focus on whole foods that are fresh and preferably locally and organically grown – whole foods are those that only have one ingredient, like a banana or a watermelon, for example. Their name is the ingredient. Find local farmers markets in your area to purchase organic and locally grown produce. If you can’t find local, focus on finding organic (you don’t want those harmful pesticides and chemicals in your body found in conventional produce) produce in your local grocery store. Choose foods with lots of nutrients.
Become a vegetarian or vegan – vegetables are cheaper than meat and they are easier for your body to digest. I have definitely saved money on groceries since choosing to go vegetarian. There are many foods that have protein aside from meat, like nuts, spinach, beans, whole grains, etc.
Create simple meals with simple foods – some of my favourite meals are super simple, like Mexican tacos, eggs with a salad, or a simple casserole. You don’t need to get fancy. Simple meals are easy and fast to prepare but also healthy, which leaves you with more time to focus on other essential things in your life (like planning future travels)!
Simplify your portion sizes and eat less – you don’t need to eat as much as you think you do. Most of us probably overeat. If you eat slowly and mindfully, you are better able to listen to your body when it tells you that you are satisfied, and stop eating then, but don’t starve yourself. Cutting back on your portion sizes will also save you money because your groceries will last longer.
Cook meals at home and cut back on how often you go out to eat – restaurants are expensive and eating at home will save you money and be more nutritious.
What I Eat Daily:
I generally have a home-made fresh fruit or green smoothie plus a protein bar (like a Cliff bar) and/or fresh fruit (banana, blueberries, grapes, watermelon, etc.) or a slice of gluten-free bread (All But Gluten brand) with organic butter.
I enjoy making home-made salads with fresh, organic ingredients and finished off with a home-made salad dressing. On the side, I often eat either a slice of gluten-free toast, organic eggs cooked over-easy, a bowl of fresh fruit or leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. For dessert, I will sometimes treat myself to a few pieces of a 70% organic cocoa chocolate bar.
My family and I cook casseroles, pasta meals, huevos rancheros, steamed vegetables, vegetable stir-fry with brown rice or quinoa, home-made baked French fries (with olive oil, salt and pepper) with home-made fermented ketchup, home-made gluten-free vegetarian pizza, bean or pasta salad, and authentic Mexican tacos. For dessert, I will often have some home-made baking (organic, gluten-free and sugar-free).
I enjoy eating gluten-free and organic blue corn tortilla chips with organic or home-made salsa, gluten-free toast with organic butter, home-made baking (gluten-free and sugar-free), raw nuts, and fresh seasonal fruit.
I shop at my local farmer’s market during the summer months for fresh and organic produce. Superstore (Canada) and Vita Health (Winnipeg, Canada) are where I shop for other organic food and products.
Guest writer Brittany is a twenty-something woman living simply in the heart of the Canadian prairies. She loves photography, travelling independently, exploring off the beaten path and discovering hidden gems both locally in Manitoba and abroad. She also loves eating and cooking healthy plant-based and gluten-free foods and meals, browsing local markets, learning about different cultures and ethnic foods.