Welcome to your first step in becoming a mindful, motivated minimalist.
This is a five minute daily exercise.
Find a quiet spot to meditate and be still. It may be with a cup of tea in the garden, before you fall asleep at night or as you wake, in the shower or on the bus on your way to work.
Simply, close your eyes and honestly ask yourself who in your life makes up your little village? (The village reference is one my best friends favourite sayings! Thanks T) Who are the friends and family that truly support you? Who makes you feel happy and loved on a daily/weekly basis? Picture those people that come to your mind and visualise yourself surrounding them with a golden light.
*I often point my finger and imagine a gold thread of light coming from my pointer finger. I then visualise myself drawing a large, love heart on the person and then swirl the light in a clockwise motion around their entire body.
Make a promise/prayer to the universe to focus on them from now on daily, with all your energy and love! Anybody else you have in your network of friends or family are still important socially but you can give yourself permission not to put as much effort or energy into these relationships. The goal of this exercise: To focus your energy and love on your most meaningful relationships.
This needs to become a daily practice. By completing this simple meditation you will find yourself dedicating time to your true loved ones and other parts of your life that need attention. You will find it easier to say no and it will be easier to spend more time with the people to whom you truly love.
*An example of daily life – A few weeks ago I received an invite for lunch with the Mother’s Group I use to attend in 2009. I was flattered and even considered attending and fitting it into my busy week. The old me would have said yes without a second thought; I would have rushed to lunch , listened with interest, shared some details of my life and walked away most likely taking on some energy that made me tired and exhausted. However, this time I took a deep breath and reflected before replying to the text…
In that moment of stillness, I realised that only three out of the ten mothers that were invited to lunch had shared a friendship with me in the last 8 years. Also, I was not even sure if they were going? Those three, amazing mothers were in constant communication with me, ringing and texting back and forth, meeting up for playdates and catching up for dinner over the years. They were loving and supportive with the loss of my Dad and were concerned when I was unwell with my major surgery. And I had just caught up with the three lovely ladies when they attended my 40th birthday party a few weeks before.
So I declined. I said NO! I did not have anywhere else to go on that particular day and instead I spent the few hours preparing a delicious, nutritious, vegetarian meal for dinner that night. I was motivated and energetic and my love and energy focused on my most meaningful relationships, my husband and children.
For those that are interested in this delicious, family dinner that we all devoured, check out this link Jamie Oliver’s recipe.
Welcome to your second step in becoming a mindful, motivated minimalist.
This is a daily exercise that takes considerable energy and time however it will change your body and mind forever. It is worth it…
Firstly, find a quiet spot to meditate and be still. It may be with a cup of tea in the garden, before you fall asleep at night or as you wake, in the shower or on the bus on your way to work.
Simply, close your eyes and honestly ask yourself am I of healthy body and mind? What are my beliefs and values towards food? What foods make my body feel good? What foods makes my body feel bloated, tired and unwell? Quickly note these foods, good and bad on your phone or jot them down on paper.
Secondly, watch documentaries and read blogs, articles and books on the benefits of a vegetarian diet and organic food/groceries. Now please don’t just read the few I will link here on my blog, invest your own time researching such an important life choice. As I mentioned in my last post it was a major health scare that motivated me and I spent weeks researching and discussing with my neighbour and good friend L. We had so many chats on my driveway about vegan vs. vegetarian and organic vs. chemicals.
I am also interested in learning more so please leave me a message if you have any great books, podcasts, blogs or sites you would like to share?
Here are a few links, books, documentaries that I have found informative and that motivated me.
- What Am I Supposed To Eat? by Dr Libby Weaver is a fantastic read and her website is helpful and informative. Visit her website at https://www.drlibby.com/shop/what-am-i-supposed-to-eat/#australia
- Dr M Greger has a fantastic, free, easy to use app called ‘The Daily Dozen’ that tracks and guide your daily nutrition choices and he has a great website too. Check it out https://nutritionfacts.org/
DR WEAVER’S BOOK AND DR GREGER’S APP.
- Here are my top four Netflix Documentaries worth checking out, I have included links to their trailers to get you started. 1. ‘Forks over Knives’ 2. ‘Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret’ and 3. ‘In Defense of Food’ and 4. ‘Food Matters‘.
- Here are two blog sites that I am following at the moment but there are so many more. Check out Tinned Tomatoes , The Veg Space , Naturally Ella , Don’t Mess with Mama , Our Better Health and The Difference between Organic and Non-Organic Coffee
*Daily Life Example: L and I are neighbours and we both made a decision to change our family’s eating habits at similar times. L spoke to a nutritionist about her families needs and choices (a fantastic life choice) and I was lucky to speak to another neighbour V who is studying nutrition at university (I saved some money!). When we began cooking vegetarian meals we began taste testing each others vegetarian dishes, exposing ourselves to new recipes and harsh food critics (both L & I have young children!). This kept us both motivated in finding nutritious, family friendly meals. And when we get tired and start adding some junk food back into our daily snacks we keep each other on track. So tell a friend about your new journey and ask them to join you.
Welcome to your third step in becoming a mindful, motivated minimalist.
This is a weekly exercise that will take an hour of your time on a Sunday evening. By following the steps you will be able to mindfully create a weekly vegetarian meal plan with organic groceries within your budget. I have found by eliminating processed food and only eating small portions of organic meat on the weekends, I can afford organic produce. I also have found that my children seem to still require a meat protein on weekends to keep them from feeling to lethargic during the school week. By setting aside this time on a Sunday evening, you will feel motivated to cook nutritious, family meals and have more time to cook.
So let’s meal plan… Yes, I hear the moans from all of you and let me tell you I see my friends eyes glaze over when I mention a weekly menu to them. Often my friends reply that it is easy for me to meal plan as I am organised and efficient (I am a primary school teacher!). But truth be told I only began meal planning three years ago so that means for 37 years of my life I must have been unorganised and a procrastinator!
I also know meal planning stops impulse purchasing and quick throw together meals that come from jars. I know it sounds boring and dull but honestly since I’ve been meal planning, my family dinners and lunches have become nutritious, colourful, and eaten! By meal planning I have all the ingredients on hand, have great left overs for lunch, try new recipes regularly and most importantly have no waste in my fridge at the end of the week.
Firstly…find/create a format to record your menu and then display it. I have mine displayed on my kitchen pin board and every time my children ask what is for dinner, I dab towards to it! I choose to buy a format from a website/blogger ‘The Organised Housewife’ and I print a bundle of menus at once so they are always on hand.
Meal plan from The Organised Housewife.
Once you have printed your plan, sit with a cup of tea and search for meal inspirations from other bloggers and websites. I plan for five vegetarian meals Monday to Friday, my husband (G is honestly the better cook) does a MYSTERY dinner on Saturday which is a vegetarian meal with added fish or meat on top for the children and on Sunday we have an easy meal like an omelet, noodles or homemade pizzas.
Here are my go to sites for easy cook vegetarian recipes:
- Minimalist Baker, easy to follow recipes and excellent use of spices to make all meals delicious. Two of my favourite tried and tested are Lentil Mushroom Stew Over Mashed Potato & Mexican Quinoa Salad with Orange Dressing.
- BBC Good Food Vegetarian Recipes, I love this site because I have never had a failure with the five star recipes and the kids love them. Two of my favourite recipes are Chickpea Curry & Double Bean and Roasted Pepper Chilli.
- 101 Cookbooks– Is a well know vegetarian blogger and I love her Instant Pot Minestrone Soup and my family loves her Magic Sauce on baked potatoes and wholemeal pasta.
- Sprouted Kitchen this is my go to for quick easy prep sauces you can drizzle them over salads, add them to noodles or mix them in a vegetable stir fry.
MINIMALIST BAKER’S MEXICAN QUINOA SALAD, BBC GOOD FOOD’S DOUBLE BEAN AND ROASTED CHILLI
Once you have planned your recipes for the week create a shopping list. Now only add to the shopping list your essentials for breakfast & lunch. Aim for any organic vegetables, fruits and groceries that are available. If some ingredients are not in season or not available go back and change your menu to suit the availability of vegetable and fruit.
Next create an account with an online service that delivers to your door organic vegetables and fruit and groceries. There are many choices. The company I use gives you the choice of no plastic bags (only cardboard boxes) and it has free delivery.