July 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
At a recent visit to the doctor I discovered that I had perfect blood pressure – fairly shocking after the year I’ve been through. A friend asked me to what I attribute this fact, since we’d both shared woes of the specter of a fine family tradition of high blood pressure. “Well”, I said proudly, “Do you remember a few years back when I stopped eating junk food? Since then, I eat healthily, avoid salt or cooking with salt, walk as much as I can…” and then I stopped. Because that wasn’t entirely true.
Though I avoid meat, cook without or avoid salt when I can, avoid food with preservatives when I can and really do try to walk everywhere, I’ve found that junk food has found a sneaky way of sneaking back into my life. I did a quick mental tally of the last few weeks – from the rushed sandwich while on the go, to upheaval that could only be solved with a lot of teeth grinding and Pringles, I’ve become increasingly reliant on food better classified as junk.
Well that’s gonna stop too.
As I clear out the clutter from my life, I’m once again going to become more mindful of the junk I randomly ingest. As I treat my living space better and empty out the things that are distracting or no longer welcome, I’ll apply the same principle to my ultimate living, breathing space and vow to treat it a lot better. To that end, I’m going to be even more vigilant about what I eat and how much of it.
Here are some guidelines that have worked for me in the past:
1. I will try to prepare or cook the majority of the food that I eat
2. I will try to eat fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables when possible
3. I will avoid overly processed, salted or mass market produced foods.
4. I will not add salt to food when cooking, and try to avoid adding salt when eating it
5. Junk food is not my friend. It probably isn’t yours either. So while fries are an infrequent treat, I’m going to try to avoid them and their kin altogether. Pringles- consider yourself warned.
6. Whole Foods prepared foods, etc. are better options, but not the best option.
(And I’m going to update The Conflicted Minimalist Manifesto right now!)
July 6, 2011 § 4 Comments
Way back in my geeky web 1.o days, when I worked on Silicon Alley and did things like programming one of the world’s first online radio networks*, an acronym frequently bandied about was GIGO or Garbage In Garbage Out. Loosely translated it touched on a computer’s ability to spew out massive amounts of nonsensical information based on the quality of data it was fed. Well, something like that.
In striving for a more minimalist existence, I find myself by turns challenging or embracing the notion of GIGO.
I marvel at some of the objects I’ve accumulated over the years and find myself wondering if it was garbage to begin with, did it become less meaningful over time, or as my aesthetic changed, could my perceptions have changed as well?
Then again, I’m likely over thinking the matter. If it doesn’t feel significant to me now, it’s probably best labeled as garbage and then quickly removed from my apartment before I have declutterer’s remorse.
Oh, and if you have time to daydream today, be sure to visit Upstater for a swoony view of Upstate NY real estate.
*Would I lie to you?
July 1, 2011 § Leave a Comment
This weekend we celebrate the signing of one of the greatest documents in history- The Declaration of Independence which severed the American colonies’ ties with Great Britain. Fast forward 200+ years and and we’re displaying all the hallmarks of a modern relationship. Not only are we best friends with our ex, but celebrating the nuptials of its crowned progeny and eagerly awaiting his visit to our Canadian cousins.
Real life tends to be messier, and on the most basic level, break-ups, be it with a former friend or significant other, can seem like the ultimate in gut wrenching decluttering. Clearing out a person from your life who doesn’t suit you body and soul (or perhaps only body but not quite soul), or a subversive not supportive friend and declaring yourself independent comes with a lot of potential pitfalls, but also the potential for inner peace.
Bad friendships and relationships can drag you down much in the way that a too cluttered space can prevent you from thinking or acting in the way that you wish. Hard as it may be, there are times when you have to clear through your roster of friends or significant others and decide who’s got to go.
While frenemies have become something of a societal norm, I choose to let them go. I understand the notion of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer, but I can’t think of a single reason why I’d want to keep someone like that around.
A vampire friend who sucks the life out of you? Gone.
The childhood friend who seems to appear only in times of need? She’s out of here too.
The wishy-washy boyfriend who seems only concerned with his own needs? A no brainer- time to break up.
Sometimes the most freeing thing you can do is clear out your phonebook.