I’m a toddler minimalist — I’m fairly new to this formalized concept of living simply and I’m still learning what aspects I value most. As I’ve undergone the process of discovering what is essential to me and my family and shedding that which isn’t, I’ve particularly relished minimizing our wardrobes. Yes wardrobes — plural — keeping both my and Ella’s wardrobe lean makes both of our lives easier.
Recently, several readers have asked what my food purchases look like. What do I keep stocked in our pantry? What foods do I buy at the grocery store and farmers market?
Mother’s day is a perfect time to reflect on motherhood — appreciating having a world-class mom as a role model, enjoying the friendship of other inspiring mothers, and processing my personal experience raising a precocious little girl. My journey into motherhood was deliberate but to say I had no idea what was to come in the four years since I became a mother, would be a gross understatement. Although my daughter Ella didn’t trigger any of the big changes I’ve made since her birth, she has played a central and motivating role.
The trending macronutrient of the moment is undeniably fat. We are realizing that this once maligned substance is essential for health and plays a critical role in weight management.
One of the values I’ve worked to re-introduce into my life over the past few years is reading. It cultivates attention, inspires creativity, and exposes me to new ways of thinking about and interpreting the world. I’ve also found that it’s one of the best pre-bed activities — it quiets my mind and leads to better sleep.
Humans are notoriously terrible at making decisions. We constantly make bad choices due to a variety of factors — emotions, perceptions, fear. In modern society, an issue that hamstrings our decision-making even further is our preoccupation with perfection.
One of the keys to making health and authentic living simple and sustainable is to get crystal clear on your values — the baseline needs that drive who you are as a person. Ideally, our values inform and direct our actions which determine our habits and priorities — how we allocate our time and resources. Where some of us get hung up is not understanding our values and letting life dictate our priorities. When this happens, we lose control of our time, feel discontent, overwhelmed, and often unable to make changes we want to make.
I turn thirty-five at the end of March. No longer am I an angsty young adult with a deficit of life experience. To celebrate, I gave myself an early birthday gift, a reset. Now I will enter my thirty-fifth year older. Wiser. Stronger. Smarter. Better.
Four years ago this weekend, I was 28 weeks pregnant with Ella. It was an unusually warm March so my former spouse, Wes, and I decided to drive our big red truck into the mountains for a hike. As we drove up a barely maintained logging road, already miles away from a paved highway and well out of cell service, the gravel under our tires became an ice rink. Instead of turning around, we decided to keep driving, hoping conditions would improve.
There is a lot of confusion about the best way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight long-term. Many think of weight status through the flawed traditional calories-in, calories-out framework. However, I’ve found that learning to interpret and properly respond to our internal hunger and satiety cues is a far more successful and maintainable approach.