Coffee has always been one of my favorite things. For years I bought organic, fair trade, fresh, dark roasted beans from local purveyors and I used a French press for brewing. I drank my coffee with milk. Lots of milk. In fact, I joked that I took some coffee with my milk. Without it I didn’t like the flavor of the coffee I chose — it was too deeply roasted, too bitter, too thick. It sat on my tongue like a dirty sock. But it tasted good with milk, so that’s how I drank it. I tried alternative roasts from time to time, but with the milk, I preferred it dark and viscous.
Have you ever watched a young child learn a new task or physical movement? At the beginning, their attempts can seem entirely futile — they’re nowhere near their intended outcome. They stare at books, “reading” for hours before comprehending the alphabet. They fail repeatedly. Their results are suboptimal. Much of their effort appears to get them nothing. But unless they get too frustrated, they’ll generally continue trying. With every attempt, they learn something new. They stumble their way through mental, physical, and emotional trial and error — discovering what doesn’t work and what gets them closer to their objective. They sit with what they’ve learned, take time away, then return and adjust subsequent attempts. Eventually they have a breakthrough. Something clicks and they leap forward. Maybe they master the task or get so much closer that they now understand concretely they’re making progress.
We have a joke between my siblings that all four of us love to eavesdrop on conversations and to people-watch in busy public spaces. Maybe we are just weird in this regard (generally, we are a little quirky), but given the popularity of social media and reality television — it seems like my siblings and I are not the only ones fascinated by how other people live their lives.
Buying that thing won’t demonstrate the value of your love, affection, or friendship. Your presence and attention are what those close to you desire most.
For the past decade, gluten has been one of the most polarizing topics in the health and food worlds. Many health practitioners are only now beginning to recognize and validate the spectrum of symptoms and diseases associated with gluten. At the same time, many people working in the restaurant industry continue to view the consumer demand for gluten-free foods as an annoying fad that will pass. However, the trend has not passed and diagnosis of gluten-related issues continues to rise. Why?
It’s fall in Montana and the next 6 months will be relatively cold and dark — the time of year when something called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can surface. The constellation of SAD symptoms which range from irritability, lethargy, and oversleeping, to depression can be combatted in many ways. Standard treatment includes light therapy, talk therapy, and medication, but for those with mild SAD or the occasional “winter blues” — such as myself — a few nutrition and lifestyle tweaks can improve winter outlook.
In the aftermath of my divorce and work-related woes, I read a book called The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living which detailed the importance of gratitude in living a happy, less-stressed life. Although this was not the first time I’d read or heard about the role gratitude plays in a positive outlook, the author did an excellent job of laying out the scientific rationale for practicing gratitude. Since then, I’ve been conscious — especially during potentially challenging times — of being grateful for this astonishing life.
Health is a cycle. It’s a continuous feedback-loop that can move in a positive direction, a negative direction, or be stagnant.
Recently, I connected with Fabian and Veronika, who run a minimalist magazine called The Elementarist. They asked to do an interview with me as part of a series highlighting how different people apply minimalism in their lives and work. Because I haven’t talked explicitly about minimalism in a post on Minimal Wellness yet, I thought it would be nice to cross-post the interview. I recommend checking out the beautifully formatted version of the interview on their site.
Travel is a beautiful opportunity to experience a different reality, to challenge what you truly need, and to inject life with some uncertainty. Being away from home is also a classic roadblock for people in terms of living a healthy lifestyle, but it needn’t be.