Cultivating Simplicity

I think we can all relate. Life gets too loud.

So much information coming in that we find it hard to give anything back.

At least that’s been me.

I’ve been working on simplifying my life a bit more over here. I’ve come to learn that “garbage in, garbage out” has close cousins: “excess in, nothing out,” or its fraternal twin, “excess in, negativity out.” I’m not sure which is worse.

So I’ve been working to cut down on the overstimulation. Sometimes. No, often times . . . we just need some quietness. Then we can perhaps make some sense, no?

One of the ways I’ve been trying to cultivate simplicity is cutting down on the excess internet information. That’s a hard concept. I’ve been glued to the computer since I was a toddler, evidently.

I’m an observer. I love to learn and absorb information in brief bursts. I can get carried away easily on the tides. But sometimes the surf just knocks me down. So I’ve whittled down my exposure.

My google reader has been cut in half. There are so many valuable blogs out there, but I can’t manage to read them all every day. Least of all several times a day. I’ve limited my reader to what I can manage every few days. To blogs I can relate to or learn from. People I feel an urge to actually interact with. I’ve made my reader more personal.

I’ve done the same with Facebook, in essence. Over the past three weeks I’ve made it routine to go through my news feed and “unsubscribe” (but not un-friend) from the feeds of all but a select few—mostly close family and friends, and a few peers whose updates always prove humbling, yet uplifting.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

Indeed.

My pursuit of simplicity hasn’t just been limited to my media exposure. I’ve also been implementing this in the kitchen. First of all, I’m working on simplifying my gluten free cooking and baking by limiting my ingredients. At best, I like to use a few high-quality ingredients in my cooking. This process goes against a large majority of specialized GF baking which incorporates a laundry list of ingredients, half of which are highly processed and starchy. “Wholesomeness” and these recipes do not co-exist. So I’m cutting back. I’ve found my favorites of the grain world (raw buckwheat, quinoa, masa harina), and I plan to experiment with a select few alternatives (almond flour, cashews, maybe chestnut?). I’ve decided to hold back on (though not entirely eliminate) the others that do not fully meet my taste in some way or another (coconut flour, amaranth, starches, etc.). I am a real foodist. I like my food to be recognizable as what it is. Simple and true. Nature, not a lab. Art, not a science. I don’t get that feeling when I use xanthan gum and tapioca starch. But that’s just my style.

Lastly (for now at least), I’m implementing some routine in my meal planning. It’s not a new concept. Many families have “fish night” or something (I knew a family who had weekly “Chicken Express nights”). We have started pasta nights on Thursdays after our evening workouts (Zumba+modified Crossfit for me; Running+Crossfit for him). I like pasta. Pasta is creative. Pasta is quick. I wear pajamas and a sweatshirt when I make it. I don’t need a recipe for pasta. I don’t think you do either. So I’m just here, sharing my dinner with you. It’s just a little of this, a little of that. And a heavy dose of simplicity and sincerity. Because sometimes we just need a quiet meal.

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One Thought on “Cultivating Simplicity

  1. A topic not many are able to speak on so well, and yet you take it and go into areas of life even fewer go to. 🙂 A wonderful post Michelle. and that plate looks wonderful!

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