Adopting a Minimalist Diet

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

When I posted about our updated kitchen and the super adorable pantry containers, I wanted to share about what I've been eating and just how I make those pantry staples into meals. But I figured that would be quite a hefty post. Instead, I wanted to focus separately on slow food and a minimalist diet.

I have a lot of goals related to slowing down different aspects of my life. And my diet was definitely one of the things I wanted to makeover to be more simple and slow. That's where slow living started, after all, with the slow food movement. It was all about focusing on sustainable, local, organic, and whole foods and was a direct resistance to the opening of a McDonald's in Rome. McDonald's might not be my personal vice, but that doesn't mean I don't have plenty of my own.


I am a picky eater. I'm also a lazy one who really doesn't think about food until the last minute. Not making a plan was my biggest issue, because I would wait until I was too hungry to even spend 20 minutes making decent food and instead would turn to ready made processed crap like chips, cookies, ramen, etc. That stuff quickly takes a toll, not just on your weight but on your energy levels, hair and skin condition, sleep quality, and more. I knew I had to make a real plan for what I would eat each day. But I would often make the plan too complicated so I wouldn't stick with it or I'd include supposed healthy foods that I actually hated, so I wouldn't eat them anyway. It was a whole vicious cycle, but one that could definitely be remedied by adopting a minimalist, slow diet.

That's what I started, and that's why you see the ingredients you do in my pantry. I use these things to make the same meals over and over. Simple, real food, that I know I like to eat and can change up with seasonings if I desire and supplement with seasonal favorites. Things that I can get ready in minutes, without a recipe. It removes the guesswork, time commitment, waste, and even expense because my preferred foods are among the cheapest in the entire grocery store. And of course my pantry looks great because I'm not stocking 12 kinds of pasta and 17 different cooking gadgets that get used once a month.

I use a pretty simple formula for my plan: 1/2 the plate should be veggies, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 carbs. This is just a rough guide that I follow with the entire day in mind, rather than than meal by meal. I almost never eat veggies at breakfast time, for example, but have lunches that are almost entirely veggies. So overall, the food in my day fits into this formula. By doing this, I don't find myself snacking. I stay full until the next meal.

Minimalist Kitchen Staples


  • Oats - I always make oatmeal for breakfast. It's ready so quickly with just water and oats, but I can also add milk, fruit, seeds, or nuts if I want to change it a bit.
  • Rice - Usually brown rice, but I'll get white rice or wild rice if they're particularly cheap at the time I need to stock up.
  • Beans - Black and pinto. I always have both on hand and never any others because these two are my favorites.
  • Spices - One reason I love the new spice jars is because I can take them to be filled at the spice store here, from the bulk bins, which is so much better than the jarred stuff at the grocery store. I believe we have no more than 20 spices on hand and many of them are for John's use.
  • Nuts - These are a good snack if I need, but I mostly use them in oatmeal or as a side with my salads.
  • Onions/Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Vegetables - Cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, brussels sprouts, potatoes. I mix fresh and frozen. I realize potatoes are not a vegetable but you know what I mean.
  • Fruits - Apples, bananas, melons, raspberries, lemons. I'm not a huge fruit person, so what I like is limited and I don't buy much of it if it's not on sale.

A Day of Eating


Breakfast. Always oatmeal. I sometimes add nuts and a little salt, I'm not a fan of sweets. But there are times when I add raspberries. And coffee of course.

Lunch. Salad, which is a term I use loosely. I eat veggies for lunch and occasionally that looks like spinach with cucumbers and shredded carrots and sometimes it looks like roasted broccoli and potatoes. And never salad dressing, I hate the wet and drippy texture of the vegetables with dressing on them. If I don't have potatoes, I have some nuts on the side because otherwise I get hungry again quickly.

Dinner. Rice and beans! It's my favorite food. I could eat Mexican rice and refried beans literally every single day. I do change it up by using black beans, sometimes adding salsa or avocado. There's always some sort of roasted vegetables, it's both mine and John's favorite way to get them into our diet. John eats meat at dinner, like steak or pork chops, so we almost never eat the same thing. Occasionally we do make something like pasta or pizza that we share but for the most part, I make him something meaty and starchy (stuffing, mashed potatoes) to have with his veggies and I stick to the rice and beans with mine.

This way of eating is definitely way too boring for some people. But for my fussy self, it's been the perfect solution to my former habit of ordering Chipotle burrito bowls every day. It's simple, slow, and ideal for my current lifestyle.

Are you a foodie or do you adopt a more minimalist diet?