Have you ever felt like if you buy this one new thing/appliance/ingredient/superfood/extra special something, you would be on your way to live a healthy and happy life?
Buy this and be healthy.
Buy that and be happy.
I feel like that all the time. It applies to absolutely everything in my life, not just the kitchen:
Buy this piece of furniture and you’ll love your house.
Buy that piece of clothing and you’ll feel good about yourself.
Buy these funky ingredients and then you’ll have all this amazing energy.
Buy this appliance and only THEN you will be able to make all these healthy meals you’ve been dreaming about.
We are bombarded with marketing messages all day every day, about how more stuff is going to make you feel better. And to be fair there are a lot of fantastic things out there that are worth it and good to have. But they are not the key to our health and definitely not the key to our happiness.
Want vs. Need
A couple of weeks ago I enjoyed a rare outing, reading the paper over breakfast in a fancy café, without the toddler clinging to my leg. It was blissful! I read this article about a lady who had committed to not buying anything for a year (apart from groceries and soap of course, let’s be reasonable). I’m so fascinated by that and the notion that we don’t actually need a lot to be happy.
Sometimes it’s easy to feel trapped if we don’t have a lot of money at our disposal. Because we still want nice things. I think that’s ok. It’s ok to want nice things. There are also plenty of local artisan manufacturers and small businesses that need our money and support to stay afloat. But it’s important to remember that those ‘things’ or expensive ingredients are not our key to health and happiness. We can start being healthy and happy right now, while we are saving up for whatever it is that tickles our fancy.
The one thing I ask myself when I feel I need to buy something to make my life better
Here’s the thing: Often, what we want our life to be like, is already there. It is just hiding underneath a mountain of other things and habits that we don’t really need. It’s there but you can’t see it. Yet!
So every time I want to buy something, I’ve started to ask myself:
Instead of adding something, what can I take away?
It works in so many different ways!
If I feel unhappy about not being able to buy furniture, I focus on what I already have. Then I decide what is a piece that I have but don’t love and most likely don’t need. By taking that away, the spotlight instantly shines brighter on everything that I do have and love.
If I feel I need new clothes, but I can’t afford to buy any right now, I look at my wardrobe and decide which piece I can do without. I’ve had a capsule wardrobe for three years now but there is still the occasional worn out piece I can let go. The result is a more refined collection of clothes that I love and which make me feel good.
And it works the same in the kitchen!
If I feel sad that it’s not in my budget to buy that expensive fancy whatever ingredient, I remind myself that this is not the key to my health. Instead, I think about what I can do without. Probably that late night chocolate bar or bag of chips, hah!
And appliances… It’s so easy to get caught up in the idea that if you have that (…insert expensive object…) then, and only then, you’ll be able to live that healthy lifestyle. I would argue non of them are essential and that all you need is a clean and empty countertop that makes you feel like you are ready to create delicious and nourishing food.
Have less, do more!
Having less means you have the freedom to do more!
Less clutter in the house means it won’t take you as long to clean and tidy up, so you have more time to be active!
Less clothes means less washing, hanging and ironing, so again, you have more time to be active!
Less ingredients, but a strong focus on those that you love, means you can be confident to cook more and quicker.
Less stuff on your counter top means it is inviting for you to cook more! As opposed to having to shift things around to make some space first.
So, while we save up for that shiny new thing that we want (and may well need), we can still be happy and healthy right here, right now.
Be kind to yourself!