by Zara Mohammed, Lifestyle Columnist
Published in Lifestyle on 5th July, 2019
Find out what defines a minimalist meal and start to simplify your diet with some tasty minimalist meal ideas.
People who like to have minimalist values and follow the minimalist lifestyle tend to do everything a little bit differently to the rest of us.
There is a focus on making more conscious decisions, being more mindful when doing everyday activities, and owning less in order to live a more enriched life by focusing on the things that are most important to us as individuals.
So how does this relate to food? Do minimalists eat differently to us? The answer to that question really depends on the individual, but generally speaking the minimalist approach to life is most probably extended to food preparation and diet.
A minimalist approach to eating may focus on the diet itself, the types of foods you eat and how simply the recipes are. Or you may like to focus on meal prep where everything is purchased, organised and prepared ahead of time, making meals simple and easy to put together.
Meal plans are another way that minimalists can take control to simplify life in the kitchen and time spent in supermarkets. The actual act of eating may be how you express your minimalism, for example, what you use to eat with, the environment you choose to eat, the time of day, whether you prefer to eat alone etc.
There are different ways a minimalist might approach their diet. Some extreme minimalists prefer to eat mainly mono-meals, which are whole meals that contain just one type of food. For example, you might have bananas for breakfast, a mango for lunch, or a small bowl of almonds for a snack.
Incorporating mono-meals into your diet can be beneficial to your health, although you do have to be careful and make sure that you are eating enough food altogether and getting a balanced variety of foods to avoid deficiencies.
It can be a very simple and freeing way to approach meal times, even if this is something that you try as a short detox, or incorporate into your week, so that certain days of the week are mono-meal days.
The pros of this kind of eating are that you don't have to spend any time making decisions about what to cook. It is a fast, simple way of fuelling your body, and it can be an effective way to kick-start weight loss.
Unfortunately there are also cons to be aware of, as with any diet, especially one that is so restrictive. One of the main things to be wary of is that this method doesn't promote healthy eating habits, and could lead to eating disorders if followed too rigidly or for a long period of time. It is not really a sustainable diet as it is very difficult to manage hunger and energy levels.
Many minimalists are also vegan, although you don't have to be a vegan in order to enjoy and practice minimalist values. Many minimalist values do include being eco-friendly and looking after the planet though, which includes not supporting animal cruelty.
This is because when you begin to incorporate minimalism into your life you may notice your priorities start to change as you become more aware of the things that are important to you, like your health and your impact on the planet.
Veganism can be wildy complex, especially when you invest in a blender and start making your own smoothie concoctions, salad dressings, and dips. Not to mention if you decide to do extreme veganism and go totally raw, in which case you may find your meals becoming even more complicated as you try to be more creative in the kitchen to make your meals more appetising.
It is often thought of as a lifestyle in itself. It is very easy to keep it simple in the kitchen though. I mean what could be more simple than fruit and veg?
If you want to simplify your week, what better way than to not bother eating at all? Intermittent fasting is actually a method that can enhance your diet and your health if you do it properly and for the right reasons. It involves an eating pattern that cycles regularly between eating and fasting.
This process allows your body to fully digest food and use up any energy that might otherwise be stored in your body as extra weight. It is a great way to feel lighter and feel like you have more energy to function in your daily life.
Once you set up a simple eating schedule so that you know when to eat and when to fast, and you body gets used to it, intermittent fasting can be a life changer. And there are many different approaches to it.
For example, some people will fast for 16 hours per day, which restricts the daily eating window to 8-10 hours, in which you can fit as many meals as you need to. This approach can be as simple as skipping breakfast and not eating anything after dinner.
The 5:2 Diet on the other hand allows you to eat normally for 5 days and fast for two days in between. Fasting days restrict calorie intake to around 500 calories, so you can still eat something on these days. 24-hour fasts are also popular.
You might be surprised at how many different variations of intermittent fasting there are. A quick Google search will uncover a whole new world.
Let's finish off with a few tips and meal ideas to inspire you in your minimalist journey.