Posted in Health, Money Matters

Minimalist Diet?

Malika Yasmin’s fridge is real goals. Sheesh…

When I was a child, you could count on me to eat five things without fail: Spaghetti and meat sauce, fried chicken, corn on the cob, home fries, and pancakes. Anything else, I’d have to be forced to eat, or I didn’t eat. I remained a picky eater until my ’20s, when I started being more socially active and trying new things.

Spaghetti and meat sauce are still a monthly staple, as is fried chicken, home fries, and pancakes. Corn on the cob has been elevated to elotes, but the point I’m making is I never stressed about what to eat as I do now. This is truly one of those instances where having too many choices stresses me out. It’s bad for my skin and my wallet. And we’re not even gonna talk about my waistline.

I am a household of one, and I swear my grocery bill looks like I’m buying for a family of four! I admit that I make poor food choices in that my shopping cart is always filled with pre-packaged foods and junk, but I also include lots of miscellaneous “one-off” ingredients with the intention of making a recipe that I saw online.

Fast forward to two weeks later and the vegetable has molded, that spice has been pushed to the back of my cupboard, and that special utensil is collecting dust in the utensil carousel…

Now that I’m mindful (snort) of where my money goes, I started tracking my trips to the grocery store, and I average 3-4 trips a month. That’s once a week! For a household of one+cat! My grocery bill averages anywhere from $65-$75 per visit, and I have nothing but a bulging belly to show for it! Why aren’t my cabinets overflowing? Why is there an echo in my freezer and crisper? Uh, maybe because your fridge and counter tops are filled with quickie meals and processed junk.

I am shell-shocked because I’ve always looked at grocery shopping as one of those necessities, no matter how much I spend. A girl’s gotta eat, right?

Well, that all changes, starting today. I am a creature of habit, and my food choices are going to once again reflect that. It won’t be spaghetti, chicken and pancakes every other day, but there will be more hand-prepared meals that I actually love to eat that are both healthy in nature and will carry me two-three days (Any more than that, and it’s getting tossed anyway…), meal-prepping (I actually did this for a while but got sick of eating the same lunch every day), and less eating out. It’s hard, though, when Chic-Fil-A, Panera, Fridays, Five Guys, and Qdoba are literally within fifty paces of my job :/

Posted in Health, Life

2018: The Year of Self-Care

2017 really tried a sista, and if I take one thing away from the year that was, it’s I did not take time for me. I received a very demanding yet rewarding promotion at work (an actual highlight) that literally consumed everything in me. I was so focused on proving that I deserved this promotion (Duh, why would I get promoted if I already hadn’t proven myself?) that I neglected myself—physically, emotionally, even spiritually. I often worked ten plus hours a day and many Saturdays (with no overtime!) because I wanted to be the woman! Coupled with my indie editing side-hustle, which I find equally rewarding and satisfying, I had no time for me, Patrice.

Sleep (what’s that?) was often an afterthought where I averaged anywhere from five and a half to six and a half per weeknight. I was lucky to clock in up to ten on the weekends.

Eating was often on-the-go. Fast food from Five Guys to Fridays kept me full, broke, and malnourished (I still love you, Five Guys ❤ ).

What free time I did have I spent vegged out in front of the TV or social media, fawning over people, places, and things.

So, what does this all have to do with minimalism? E-VE-RY-THING!!

I was a prime example of “unmindful” living. Nothing I did was with focus or intent. When existing on auto-pilot, you do what is necessary to simply survive or get by. All of these things attributed to my wasting money—eating out daily for at least two of my meals, internet shopping, extra doctor’s visits (which means extra co-pays) because my body was telling me, Not today, Satan…

I have vowed to make 2018 the year of me. Self-care has always carried this stigma (at least to me) of selfishness. If you put yourself first then you don’t care about anyone else. This couldn’t be further from the truth. How can you give yourself to others while neglecting the mind and body that sustains you? I came to this realization when I literally looked in the mirror and saw dark circles, overgrown chin hairs, chipped, uneven nails, a larger than usual stomach pooch…

Now,  I know I have just described the physical manifestations of my lack of self-care, but looking your best is also part of feeling your best. It’s not vain or selfish to take an hour or two out of your week to pamper yourself physically. In fact, I need to add that to my self-care goals. And no, you don’t necessarily need to spend money to do it. But if spending $60 on a mani/pedi every two weeks is part of your self-care must-haves, then by all means, do you, boo…

By incorporating some mindful self-care rituals into my daily life, I know my minimalism journey will only be less rocky and more maintainable.