Life has left behind the sweeping minimalism of the prairie and taken on the character of the rain forest: complex, dense, varied, full.
We needed to cultivate simplicity somewhere. We’ve chosen to focus on food. With 4 hungry, active people, a limited budget, and a passionate commitment to healthy life, food plays a big role in my day. We tend to graze – eating what amounts to 6 small meals per day although we call three of them snacks. And since we don’t eat processed food, lots of eating means lots of prepping.
I was getting overwhelmed as we added triathlon training and soccer to our round of activities. It was that kind of overwhelmed where I start monologuing to myself. You know what I mean. The kind of inner talk where you start out with zingers like “I realize I’m the only person who knows how to change the toilet paper rolls…It’s so nice to be needed…” and then you end up with 5 minutes of monologue about the epic drama that is your state of overwork.
I’ve learned to pay attention to life when I start monologuing. It means I am out of balance.
Something had to become simpler.
We made a weekly menu and shopping list and are just cycling through it. Again and again. I’ve tried this idea before, but always tossed it out quickly since I hated the regimentation. I don’t use many recipes and love combining, inventing, using bits and bobs. I liked more creativity in the kitchen.
That was then. Now, I have no brain space left for thinking about food. I still spend a lot of time cooking, just no time wondering what to make. Things were also different since Rainer has hired a nutritionist to help him straddle the balance of all the training he does with his weight-loss goals. From her we got pretty detailed plans about what building blocks she should eat when. It meant we needed to think things through more thoroughly.
In addition to the planning, we also bought a tiny slow cooker. It’s 2 litres. We bought it expressly to make porridge on the evenings before we go swimming. I was arriving home after an early swim so hungry and impatient. Now we’ve got this little shiny helper. We’re experimenting with steel cut oats (also called Scotch Oats). The flavour is a little sharper than our regular porridge. I think it might be the germ? I’m starting to think of other ways this small pot can help me. Do you have any ideas?
Breathe deep. Think one thought at a time. Do the next thing. Simplify.