Healthy eating is a way of life, so it is important to establish routines that are simple, realistic, and ultimately livable.
Tips to Simplify Meal Prep
Inspiration to Eat with Intention
Minimalism relates to simplifying in all parts of your life and that includes more careful choices about what and how we eat. It can also lead to a desire to simplify mealtime. This post offers 3 tips to help reduce time with shopping and meal prep to let you spend more time enjoying meals. It also lists 5 resources that provide insight into eating with intention.
Plan Your Menu in Advance
Reduce your daily meal prep time with advance planning. Outline your menu in advance to streamline some of your processes. This can help reduce time, effort and stress, especially if you have a busy household with family members running on different schedules. Create a plan that works with your style and your lifestyle, using a tool that makes sense for you – from a notebook to a calendar on the wall to an app on your phone or computer. Some people prefer to plan ahead for a month and others like to go week by week. Whichever you choose, planning your menu in advance allows you to be more efficient with your shopping and make fewer grocery runs, especially at the last minute when you might be feeling a little frazzled – and more tempted to impulse shop. Whatever your planning style, you might choose to leave some meals more flexible and easy – like letting family members select from set options or giving one family member each week a chance to decide a particular meal.
Planning ahead can also involve making meals ahead for the week. For example, you might spend one day a week cooking, separating, and freezing. You could even do some parts of the planning or prep with family members. If you can package up some of your meals for the week at the same time, you’ll have less rushing around on busy days because you will have meals ready to heat and serve.
Have Some Go-To Meals
If you are someone who enjoys cooking, making new dishes is part of the fun. It keeps things interesting and helps prevent boredom. However, there are also benefits to having some meals that you can do quickly and easily – and know that they will be enjoyed by your family. Keeping it simple at mealtime reflects a goal of a minimalist lifestyle. Choosing a few family favourite dishes for your regular meal rotation can make mealtime more relaxed and takes the pressure of always creating something new every day. It doesn’t have to be unchanging – you can always add variations – but having dishes that are familiar lets you establish a routine and save time and planning.
Create a Routine
By using some common meals, you are able to develop a plan and process that is efficient for preparing those favourite foods. Routines are consistent with a minimalist approach because they save you time and energy. An established process for the basic meal makes it easier to implement. When it comes to meal planning and preparation, that might mean making a schedule about when to plan, shop and cook. And establish a pattern for various steps in the process from cutting to cooking to freezing to preparing. These strategies will help you create a more structured and relaxed prep and mealtime.
Minimalism and Diet
Minimalism does not advocate for a particular diet. That is an individual choice and varies with each family or individual. However, the principle of simplifying life and living with intention applies to all aspects of life, including what you eat, how you prepare it and even how you enjoy your meals. Reference to minimalism and diet typically do not refer to losing weight or short-term changes, instead, it is about creating a mindset of consistently eating with intention.
Here are 5 resources that might give you some things to consider as you make choices about food that align with a minimalist lifestyle.
A Minimalist’s Thoughts on Diet
Joshua Fields Millburn Describes how his diet has changed as part of using a minimalist approach and trying to live a meaningful life (an Essay from the Minimalists book, Essential)
The Minimalist Diet: How to Simplify Food and Eating
Posted by Allen Cheng, this is a summary of the above article plus a list of different foods and popular diets.
What Is A Minimalist Diet? How To Simplify Your Food
An article about ways to simplify your food to save time, reduce stress, save money, and start being more mindful of what you put into your body.
Minimalism & Diet: Simplify Your Food With Minimalist Diet
Ryan Mitchell of The Tiny Life describes strategies he uses to prepare meals and some of the choices he has made to simplify his diet.
Minimalist Food Ideas
Mother and daughter team Denise and Aly Sanger share their minimalism journey.
Tips on this post can help you save shopping and cooking time with some decisions about what is right for your family. The blog resources offer some thoughts on making informed choices about what and how you eat. I hope that this information will help you prepare healthy efficient meals easily and with less stress.
Challenge Questions for Day 21
What are some of your favourite tips for simplifying meal prep?
Has your plan for minimalist lifestyle inspired you to simplify the way you eat and/or choices you make about diet?
Declutter Challenge for Day 21
Catch up on a missed or unfinished challenge from the week – or take a day off and celebrate how much you have accomplished with decluttering this week.