I have been pondering lately how bad my food diet has been getting. 6 months ago my diet would have been considered a healthy, balanced one which ticked all the right boxes. Lately, however, I have turned to so much junk fast food, fizzy drinks and chocolate (yum!)… I suppose all of these are my weaknesses that I have turned to when facing such a huge lifestyle shift and none of these things are that bad, providing you eat them in moderation and really make them feel like a ‘treat’.
I keep wishing that I lived somewhere far away… where the culture of eating was much healthier; such as the Italy or Greece. I would think to myself that I would love to have a Mediterranean diet and that it would be so easy to keep healthy if I grew up there. In some part, I feel I’m right. However, even though it is harder to do so now (as I don’t buy my own groceries any more) it does not mean I shouldn’t try. I’ve been able to sustain a healthy diet before and it’s time for me to stop day dreaming about having a healthy diet and to just take the first step.
I am largely going to be adopting a pescetarian diet but will occasionally make room for a bit of chicken and the odd burger here and there (we can’t give up everything now can we?!). It’s going to be hard, especially since my knowledge of cooking fish is pretty limited so I’ll have to rustle up some tasty fish recipes to get my into the swing of things. I suppose the one thing I wish to change about my diet is the amount of fizzy drinks I consume. They have become such a habit and they are so costly – to my wallet and my body! This isn’t something I can really change over night as habits have already been engrained into my daily routine so small, incremental changes must be made until I reach my goal.
Turning to a less meat based diet not only improves the health of myself but also preserves the environment in which we live in. Too much land is needed to rear cattle and livestock and is generally considered an inefficient way of obtaining energy. Cattle farms today cannot rely on simple grass feeding but are fed an enormous amount of grains, oats and corn; which exceeds the amount of calories obtained through eating beef. Raising cattle also requires huge amounts of water and land – both of which are diminishing fast and are becoming increasingly valuable. Here’s some more info about the global benefits of eating less meat. It would make sense for future prosperity and global sustainability to move away from eating large quantities of beef and adopt diets held in places such as India or Japan – but this is very unlikely to happen any time soon! But I suppose I can do my bit to affect change in myself and pass on new, healthier habits to those around me; who will in turn pass them on to those around them.
Looking at my diet in a way of saving the world is a bit too heavy and thinking like that will just leave me feeling overwhelmed. So for the time being I’m going to focus on improving myself and my eating habits until eventually my habits will naturally affect others
It has been a while since I’ve told you how I’m getting along with trying to scale down my possessions and whilst it has been very slow recently, I think I’ve got into the full swing of finally letting go those items that just seem to linger in the “oh I’m sure I’ll use it at some point” zone. I think we’ve all got those items that just sit in the drawer doing absolutely nothing (especially in kitchens!) and they can be incredibly hard to take the courage to let go of these items.
Since December 2010 I have started to sell my unwanted stuff and after 9 months I have made a total of £2606.54 and I still have a lot of items listed in my Amazon inventory. I could never have imagined making so much from my stuff and even though it’s a fraction of what I must have originally spent on all of this stuff it’s good knowing that someone can make the most of the items I no longer care for.
Sometimes I worry about whether or not going about being a minimalist the right way. Some items (such as my clothes) I have been able to donate them to charity which I feel positively good about; especially since these are essential for people to survive. However, I do wonder whether or not the DVDs or CDs I’m passing on is just pushing my problem of clutter onto someone else. What if I’m facilitating someone else’s mindless consumption? I suppose all I can do is have a little faith that the item they buy off me is getting a lot of use and that when they are done with it they will pass it on to someone else who would enjoy having it. But I suppose I’m doing it so why wouldn’t they?
I think I’m going to start going down a different route, though. I have donated the majority of my books to the library and I think that donating CDs and DVDs there too might allow more people to use items that they would only really use once in a while. I think it’s important for a society to share the fruits of this world especially if we are going to move from a consumer society towards a more sustainable way of life. We certainly don’t need millions of the same item that everyone has but barely uses 99% of the time; it doesn’t make sense does it? I understand that this paradigm is slightly utopian and we may, in fact, never reach such a state in which people can integrate so well with each other but we can still seek to move in that direction.
I have only recently discovered the wonders of Cardiff’s new Central Library and I hope to use it frequently over the coming years. It’s vast collection of books, spacious reading areas and facilities makes it a wonderful place for anyone of any age to enjoy and I believe that it’s something worth improving; and for added benefit, it’s an incredibly sustainable building!
So this is my gift to the people of Cardiff; 50 DVDs and 50 books. I admit, it’s not much, but if we all donated a little bit then every one of us can enjoy the things in life that we want to enjoy and knowing that we directly contributed to it makes it all the more worthwhile.
One day I met a very interesting cat. He was very friendly, curious, playful and full of life. I started to consider what it would be like to live as a cat, how wondrous it would be not to have to deal with the stress that we humans go through on a day to day basis. Sounds like a dream, huh? Well… I wouldn’t say it’s impossible…
Okay, before I start to sound crazy I don’t literally mean being a cat but instead adopting cat like behaviour. I think too often do we allow ourselves to kill that inner curiosity we have and stick to what we think is safe as well as suppress our playful sides for fear of being called stupid or immature. However, by doing this we suppress our creativity and the level of happiness we can feel from life.
Being playful is being in touch with oneself.
Here’s a few steps that we can all take to be a little more playful:
- Dance – It took me too long to stop being so uptight and worried what people think of my dancing. Who cares what others think! Just let go and start dancing, it’ll make you feel a whole lot better!
- Sing as loud as you can! Even if you’re on your own in your house. You’ll relax the body and produce so many endorphins that you’ll just want to pounce at the next fun activity that comes along!
- Don’t beat yourself up – I think this is one of the most important thing. Try to let go about these preconceptions of how you should look or what you should feel. Be honest with yourself, but always stay positive!
- Laugh… and laugh a lot! Do activities that can help you laugh and feel happy: Tell jokes to your friends or go and see a funny movie.
So give it a try… you’ve got nothing to lose (except those negative feelings!)