Life has taken a turn for the crazy!
My holiday in New York, sipping mochas at 2pm seems far away and now, all my ducks are in a row and quacking like mad! I've been at rehearsals most days and nights, some job trials in between and finding myself with very little time to lovingly prepare meals as I'm used to.
Also - to be honest - I'm watching my savings drain away day by day.
So, before I end up totally homeless, I acknowledge that it's time to spend less on food. I love spending stupid amounts of money on all sorts of crazy ingredients and the idea of not planning an exciting dinner seems like madness, but you know what: the times are a'changin' and....well.... I am broke.
So, I went to Sainsburys, bought a giant bag of oats (organic! Some things are sacred!), a giant sack of potatoes and some bananas. I walked out, having spent less than five pounds, thinking "wow, hypothetically I have a staple breakfast and dinner for a long time in my hands. For five pounds."
A long time ago, I heard about "The Starch Solution" by John McDougall and after reading the book, I'm CONFIDENT that potatoes are a brilliant staple for any diet. Here's a quick 2 minute video to give you a gist, in case you cannot proceed with this post because you are filled with such horror that I'm eating potatoes!
So, in my cupboards I have food to ensure I never go hungry. The idea was, if I feel like I"m going "over budget" I know I can make a dinner of potatoes with tahini dressing, or even just have a bowl of porridge, student style!
Game plan: to make life simple and CHEAP, but without my heath suffering.
You may know where this is going....basically....I wake up in the morning and make a banana smoothie or have a bowl of porridge with cinnamon. Breakfast done. I leave the house, feeling perfectly fuelled and ready to do a full day of rehearsals or work. Lunch is usually an "on the go" meal and I'm taking great pleasure in not having to think about what's for dinner.
I didn't expect this, but there is an enormous freedom coming from a very simple, uncomplicated, CHEAP diet. I feel almost zen-like and quite proud of myself. As I go throughout my day, food has literally become something I don't even need to think about. I focus on my rehearsals, scheduling my week, writing blog posts and responding to emails. I also now feel like I can use some of the money I'm saving for things I've really been wanting but thought I couldn't afford. Mostly: a membership to a gym or yoga stuido. Oh how I miss Yoga! It's amazing how money can build up when you remove one of your expenses.
It's really surprised me how much of an affect this "simple" lifestyle has had on me. Money is simple. I spend my money on what I need to (rent, bills, bus fares), I eat when I need to and when I do it's a wholesome, whole-food that is serving me and giving me exceptional mental clarity. I find I'm having more free time to do things that I thought I was too busy to do before.
Money should be coming soon, but even when I have it, I think I'll be keeping aspects of this simple lifestyle. It's really a win-win-win.
I'd like to take this opportunity to mention a fantastic resource that I'd recommend to anyone who is unsure about what they need in their diets: www.cronometer.com. It is a free online nutrition counter where you just insert what you are eating every day (it works best for whole foods, they don't really have packeted things on there) and at the end of the day it shows you exactly what amounts of iron, protein, fat and vitamins you took in that day. Fantastic right? And remember, you do not need to panic if things aren't perfect. The average person doesn't even see a vegetable in their diets, if you are eating a whole foods, plant-based diet, you are lightyears ahead already :)
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