Last week I touched on the topic of keeping life simple- or K.I.S.S.- keep it simple stupid- and while the name stupid is not a word I would regularly use- the acronym still sticks in my mind. I was asked by a few readers to elaborate on some of the things we utilize while striving for a simpler life. Now that school is in session I feel like I need these reminders as much as anyone- so I thought I would try something new here- Simple Family Fridays- where I will share some of my tips and techniques in creating a simple family life!
Simple Tips #1- Eating Sustainably
We made the switch from more conventional eating to striving for a sustainable diet in Ernest about a year ago- this is not to say that a grocery store threshold never shall be crossed- quite the opposite. What eating sustainably means eating locally, seasonally and organically- planning while staying flexible at the same time. Let me explain this contradictory statement further- we shop a great deal at our local farmer's markets which means that we need to be flexible to substitute one item for another if a particular vendor is not at a market- working from a master grocery list but making substitutions if needed.
We shop what is in season at the farmer's market- right now tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and corn and then flush out the remainder of our list at grocery stores- carefully. For example we shop at Costco quite a bit- I mean what growing family doesn't? Costco has great deals on chia seeds, organic ground beef, walnuts and organic milk- plus toilet paper- obviously!
We shop the farmer's market for eggs, sausages and the Bean Boy's Hummus- but hit Whole Foods for dry bulk items like black beans, lentils, oats and bananas- cause bananas* don't grow on trees around here and are a vital part of our morning smoothies! We try and stay away from the interior isles of the store as this is typically where all the packaged goods reside in any grocery store- and at Whole Foods that can be dangerous!
Shopping at the farmer's markets is so much more fun that shopping a conventional grocery store- in fact mock me if you will- but I get anxiety in grocery stores- I panic and end up with only half the items I came for. Farmer's market shopping can be much more relaxing once you get over the fear of the crowds and sticker shock. Shop wisely and with a list- shop on a full stomach.
To balance out the cost of local and organic foods as well as do the environment a solid we try and go meatless at least once a week. By choosing to go meatless we are reducing the stress on the land- plus it is heart healthy. Opt for a hearty lentil soup and baguette or bean burritos- with lots of cheese of course!
In order to keep this whole grocery shopping situation simple I make sure to meal plan for the coming weeks- from the meal plan I can look in our pantry and decide what items we need to stock up on. Now that school is back in meal planning is key- it means at 4 pm I am not scrambling to defrost something- I already know what's for dinner- simple. Needless to say we try and make much of our food from scratch- I have a handful of recipes that are family favourites that rotate with the season- that doesn't mean that we never eat a frozen pizza or take out- cause we do- just very occasionally!
I hope you like my first post on simplicity- I chose the topic of food and eating as it is always on my mind- feeding my family- planning- being healthy- if you are a regular reader you will I am sure have noticed my food obsession by now. FYI it runs in the family. My final thoughts on food and simplicity are this- food doesn't need to be complicated- it doesn't need to come from a lab- food should be nourishing, tasty and simple.
* I know that bananas aren't local or seasonal but hey we are human and we like bananas- at least the ones we buy are organic!
PS- wow- I almost forgot it's Friday again- you would think by the name of the post I would be aware- duh! Clearly I need more coffee- always more coffee! We are packing up for the last hurrah of this summer- camping in the Okanagan with some dear old friends- yes they really are old- my age at least! Friends I hope where ever you are in this fine world of ours you are surrounded by light and love this weekend- Happy Friday!