I don't know about you, but clutter makes me claustrophobic. Uncomfortable. Edgy. Itchy. Wiggy. Are you with me on this one? I am a fan of minimalism, however I can not say that I'm an absolute devotee. It would be more accurate to say that I'm a devoted fan of simplicity and organization which are key tenants of minimalism.
As a child I labeled my own toys shelves, so it's evident that I arrived this way and the ability to stay organized has served me well, personally and professionally, over the years. However the dark side of being organized is, when confronted with a creative opportunity, I immediately and habitually size up the time required to undo the creative mess before I decide whether to participate. If the creative project is happening in my house, oftentimes the answer is "no." Which brings me to the kitchen....
"I only have a kitchen because it came with the house."
While I LOVE food and I know a lot about food, cooking has never been a forte of mine. But this has never frustrated me (um, that's a lie). The times that it has frustrated me were times when I wanted to move my family to a more vegetarian or vegan diet and I was not skilled enough to assemble the impressive gourmet type dishes that even meat and potato eaters enjoy. You know...the food processor, the dehydrator, the blender, the mandolin and at least four hours to get dinner ready. Never happened in my house! Well, maybe once and that's all it took to turn me off.
So when I discovered the 80/10/10 diet (what's that? click here) and we began converting our kitchen to accommodate the low-fat, raw vegan lifestyle, I realized that I had discovered organizational and simplicity nirvana. We already have a small galley style kitchen in our small home, but we could literally cut it in half and we'd have all the space we need to eat 80/10/10.
- Our food prep centers around the sink. The juicer is positioned on one side and the blender on the other. We wash produce, cut it and either eat it as is, juice it or blend it. The rest of the counter-top goes unused.
- The oven or stove is turned on maybe once a day for our child's meal. While she is eating much more fruit, she is not as 80/10/10 as we are. A toaster oven and a hotplate would be adequate. (Say no to the microwave!)
- We are able to shop every day or every other day to bring home fresh produce and the only things that really need refrigeration are berries. But if you eat those right away, one could eliminate the need for a refrigerator. Food can be beautifully displayed stored about the living space in multi-purpose bowls, trays, vases or on window sills.
- A blender and juicer are not essential to the 80/10/10 diet. The bare minimal utensils needed are a good knife, a cutting board, a bowl and a fork. Actually most 80/10/10 foods could be eaten with hands, pulled apart with fingers, cut with teeth....hence why this is the natural human diet.
- The pantry: not needed
Can you see how a minimalism purist could eat a supremely healthful diet and eliminate the need for a kitchen? A rolling cart with utensils, cutting board and perhaps a blender or juicer could be wheeled around the living space, stopping near the bathroom sink for a quick rinse of the veggies and fruit. And the 80/10/10 diet would be ideal for anyone traveling in a car, camping, RV'ing or boating. Got fruit box...er, cooler...will travel!
Most articles I've read regarding the creation of or conversion to a minimalist kitchen still serve a complex diet and still require a fair amount of equipment. Even the smallest kitchens are sporting pans, pots, bowls, various utensils, measuring cups, etc. A true minimalist would perhaps opt to investigate his or her diet and see that it itself is not minimal. A truly minimalist diet would manifest a naturally minimal kitchen, and explore if a dedicated kitchen space were even necessary.
Leo Babauta, the King of Minimalism blogging, wrote "Minimalism says that what’s unnecessary is a luxury, and a waste. Why be wasteful when the unnecessary isn’t needed for happiness? When it just gets in the way of happiness, of peace? By eliminating the unnecessary, we make room for the essential, and give ourselves more breathing space."
I could not agree more, especially when it comes to food. The 80/10/10 way of eating is a veritable minimalist diet. It speaks to the core tenants of minimalism: liberate time, money, and space in order to live in direct experience with the essence of life.
And of course, for all those creative types, there is a world of unlimited food preparations just waiting for your self-expression. Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram of FullyRaw.com and Megan Elizabeth of MeganElizabeth.com are two young, brilliant advocates of the 80/10/10 lifestyle who create amazing recipes. Food prep can still be a creative outlet while eating the 80/10/10 way. It's just not for me!
Be well, Almost Minimalist Carla.
1. Are you motivated to reduce your kitchen today? If so let me know what one step you'll take (hint: donate the rice cooker or the panini maker) by commenting on this post or on Facebook. Forward & share this blog post with friends & family so they can get in on the de-clutter liberation too. Click those cute social media buttons below to spread the message.
2. Did you sign up for The Brilliant Body Health Summit in order to learn about the benefits of eating an 80/10/10 diet from over 25 experts who have re-mastered their health? I'll be there! Starts July 24th online!
3. Find a Nutrition Counselor or 68 other types of therapists where you live on WellnessDestinationsCentral.com.