Food is delicious, fun, beautiful, nourishing, and necessary for a healthy life. It can also be all-consuming.
- What’s for dinner?
- I’m hungry.
- What’s our grocery budget?
- I need a snack.
- Does that have gluten in it?
- I’m hungry.
- How many points is in that?
- I really want a treat with my coffee.
- Should we save the leftovers?
- I’ll start eating better tomorrow.
- Who ate the last ________?
- I’m addicted to sugar.
We can’t go a few hours without thinking about, talking about, or eating food. Sometimes it’s overwhelming and feels complicated. Is there a way to simplify the thoughts, the habits, and the food you eat to simplify your life?
Yes. The answer is less.
After many years of practicing capsule wardrobe challenge Project 333, and dressing with 33 items or less every 3 months, I’ve been thinking about how similar my kitchen is to my pre-P333 closet. Every morning, I’d look in my closet at all the clothes, all the choices, all the stuff, and think, “I have nothing to wear.”
In the kitchen, I open the refrigerator and look at all the food, all the choices, and think, “I have nothing to eat.”
Logically, I know (and am so grateful) that I have always had something to wear and something to eat, but when I have so many choices, decision fatigue sets in and instead of choosing, I buy more.
Decision fatigue wasn’t the only thing that kept me shopping.
- I’m sad. New shoes will cheer me up.
- I’m bored, tired, frustrated. Give me a cookie.
My destructive shopping habits ended in my closet 4 years ago, and a few weeks ago in my kitchen with the new Project 333 challenge/experiment.
The Capsule Kitchen: 3 months, 33 ingredients.
I made my list, made my commitment out loud , and got started. Hundreds of people joined me and are exchanging great ideas in the Capsule Kitchen Facebook Group.
Instead of going on and on about how awesome I think it is, I’ll let you hear from them.
- One tiny thing I’m noticing in a much bigger way than I anticipated is that the pantry and fridge get decluttered by themselves as I’m using up the items that I have in storage that are not part of my 33. Everywhere I store food looks much nicer now and is a lot easier to manage. – Anne-Marika
- I have pretty much eliminated any added sugar and my cravings have been greatly reduced. – Vicki
- We are saving money and eating healthier! Meal planning and prep seems easier, too. – Amy
- I always spend too much buying a million different ingredients, then it ends up going to waste. Now, I will buy less and use it all. – Susie
- Biggest benefit? Using the time I’m saving. Knowing that for a few months my meals will be simple and healthy. It takes time to research recipes and it takes effort to be constantly thinking of your next meal. – Laurel
Ok, I’ll go on and on for just a moment. Mark and I are saving money, spending less time at the grocery store, eating out less, losing weight, and sleeping better. It’s only been a few weeks, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this Capsule Kitchen experiment will impact other areas of our home and lives.
One of the reasons I was so excited to dig into this challenge is that some of my friends are food bloggers, and I want them to cook for me, at least a little virtual cooking.
Calling all food bloggers! Will you make me dinner? Feature a recipe with my Capsule Kitchen ingredients shown here, and send it into the world on your blog or social channels. I’ll make it, and share it. Use hashtag #capsulekitchen on Instagram or wherever you share (or email me) so I can find your Capsule Kitchen creations.
What’s for Dinner?
Heidi from Foodiecrush.com (a food blog that will have you drooling before you have a chance to scroll up) is a close friend of mine. Her blog isn’t just a food blog either. She infuses her writing with honesty and heart. You’ll love her as much as you love her recipes.
We used to work together before we started our own microbusinesses, and we encouraged each other to be brave, and walk away from the 9-5. We continue to have working dates help each other with new ideas and solve problems, and more importantly to catch up and laugh, cry, and drink coffee.
Heidi was as excited about the Capsule Kitchen idea as I was and made me dinner last night. I didn’t get to taste it, but she sent me images via text and email and then shared it on her blog. You have to see this mouth-watering Portobello Mushroom Burger with Avocado Chimichurri. It’s healthy, beautiful and most importantly, simple.
I’ll be making it this weekend on the grill, as we are expecting a high 40’s heat wave on Sunday. That’s hot for January.
Heid and I are cooking up some surprises for the Capsule Kitchen Challenge so if you are interested, subscribe to blog updates here and/or join the Capsule Kitchen Facebook group for future announcements.
P.S. Dear Heidi, Thank you for giving me permission to use your beautiful food photography in today’s post. If you aren’t busy Sunday and want to come over and cook for me, I’ll do the grocery shopping and dishes, while you cook and take pictures. xo