Definitions and Expectations
I have to admit that I’m not incredibly prepared for this. I’ve been thinking for a long time about the intersection between minimalism and my diet, but I haven’t quite known how to connect the dots until the last few days.
I’ve just finished a month of The Minimalist Games with a group of friends. I have been de-cluttering my life for over 2 years, and towards the end of the month I really wanted to try something new for our next round of de-cluttering.
I’m actually quite content with the “level of stuff” in our home right now. I can keep things clean, my children play well with the toys they have, and I’m not overwhelmed by massive piles and lingering to-dos. I won’t say that I’m finished with minimizing by any means, but I feel confident that my physical de-cluttering can take a break.
More and more, I’ve been noticing recently that my diet is my greatest source of clutter in my personal life. My mind is cluttered with great ideas and good intentions, but I have no focus. I haven’t organized my recipes or meal plans, and I’ve been “holding on to” extra weight because I can’t figure out how I want to eat, much less what I want to eat. I feel like any progress I make is cyclical, and the only way to really move forward is to go on what I will call a “Minimalist Diet.”
Now, I don’t claim to be an expert on either minimalism or diets, but I do have experience in actively working on both. And I’m super intrigued by the stories of various women who have conducted “social experiments” in their lives, from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project to Lisa Leake’s 100 Days of Real Food Pledge to Jen Hatmaker’s “7 project.”
So, I just figure it’s about time I try a little experiment of my own. Starting today, I am going to spend the next 4 weeks clearing out the clutter in 4 different areas of my diet. I’ll start with the over-arching philosophies and end with the physical foods in my home.
For my first day, let me just share an outline of my rough schedule. I will feel in details as I go, and blog throughout my journey.
Week 1: Food Philosophies
Every day I will study a different food philosophy or diet plan that appeals to me, and then sort through all of the information and boil down my top take-away from that particular line of thinking. With these 7 guidelines in place, I will build the framework to evaluate my recipes, my meal plans, and my pantry.
Week 2: Recipes
I’ve tried for years to have 1 place to keep all of my “favorite” recipes. The problem is, I can not settles on what my favorite recipes are, how many I should keep around, and what to do with all the ones I want to try at some point in the future. During week 2, I will use the framework I built in week 1 to physically de-clutter my personal recipe collections, both in physical binders and on Pinterest. I will decide how many recipes I can keep, and start a new system for how long a recipe can “hang out” before I toss it or delete it.
Week 3: Meal Plans and Shopping Lists
In week 3, I will research different meal planning methods and decide which one fits my personality the best. I will de-clutter my approach to meal planning and clean up my shopping list. Hopefully this will be easier with the framework from week 1 and the minimal list of recipes from week 2.
Week 4: Healthy Pantry Makeover
I have already written and led a Healthy Pantry Makeover challenge, but truth be told, I was just figuring out how to run a challenge. I did not participate in it myself, and felt that if I did, it would have been a surface level change, when what I wanted was a deep change. However, by week 4 of this Minimalist Diet, I will have gained the confidence to really go through all the foods in my house and de-own any that don’t fit with my personal food choice. I will go through my pantry makeover challenge for myself, and trust myself to make the necessary changes to keep my mind and my diet de-cluttered when it comes to food.
So there you have it, friends. My first task today will be to list the 6 different food philosophies to test out (I’ll take Sundays off) over the next week.
I’m excited for the challenges and changes to come.