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.
I’m a minimalist, but in the scope of my life, that’s a relatively new development. I’ve always had a less is more mindset, but it wasn’t until the fall of 2014 that I deliberately began minimizing — clearing physical and mental space for the priorities that I’d rededicated myself to: positive relationships, vibrant health, and continual growth. After several months of decluttering, I decided to play The Minimalist’s 30-Day Minimalism Game. The game was fun and it forced me to critically evaluate what material possessions Ella and I had, and what we truly needed.
Over the years I’ve been asked countless times how to reduce carbohydrate or sugar cravings. The simple answer is: Eat. Fewer. Carbs.
I’m not being flip or dismissive, but eating fewer carbs the only way to drastically reduce or eliminate sugar cravings. Of course there are other issues that can effect cravings for sweets, but changing the composition of your diet is the central action required.
Have you ever wondered how restaurants prepare elaborate meals so quickly? It’s because to one degree or another they all implement a technique called batch cooking and the concept translates well to home cooking, saving you time and effort. Batch cooking is preparing a quantity of food ahead of the time you intend to use it — perhaps on a Sunday afternoon for the coming week. You can batch cook entire meals, meal components, and snacks.
Minimal Wellness is six months old! Over the past half-year I’ve published 34 original recipes and 27 blog posts, provided nutrition coaching to some awesome folks, and the site has been visited nearly 200,000 times. Thank you for being part of Minimal Wellness, I appreciate each and every person who comes to the site, makes the recipes, connects with the words, and utilizes the services — my gratitude for being able to cultivate and share my passion with all of you cannot be measured or adequately expressed.