Throughout Lent, we have really minimized our grocery list. Which, I'm finding this to be incredibly beneficial! First of all, we're spending no more than $25-$30 a week on groceries. Not only am I great with coupons, but vegetables tend to be less expensive than overly processed packaged food. Meat tends to be the most expensive item on our list, but we've managed to find some great deals on chicken.
Speaking of meat, I spent 2 years eating a completely vegan diet. So, this is quite a change for me to be eating any meat at all. However, in experiencing the benefits of the vegan diet, I've seriously cut back on the amount of meat I eat as well as the kinds of meat I eat. I truly believe that we eat way more meat than we should. Consider the fact before we had freezers and companies producing it in unlimited amounts for our consumption, people only ate meat when they were able to catch and kill it. If we were out there having to find our own meat sources, we probably wouldn't even be eating meat for every meal. Not to mention all the hormones they pump into the animal and the terrible treatment of the animals leading up to their slaughter. So, I've been sticking to only 2-3 ounces at lunch and dinner and I don't eat any meat for breakfast. The rest is mostly green vegetables with a fruit or two sprinkled in.
What I am finding to be challenging at this point is the prep. Yesterday I turned to my husband and said, "I feel like I'm spending my whole life in this kitchen!" Between the prep, cook time, and clean-up time, I don't feel like any of this is minimalist. I would rather spend more time enjoying my food than the before and after of cooking it and cleaning up. So, I need to find ways to make this an easier process. I've found a way to make the meat cooking a little easier by cooking up enough to last a few days and just heating it up for meals. However, the cleaning and cutting of the fresh produce takes FOREVER! So, if you all have any pointers (besides spending more money for the stuff that's already cut up), feel free to share!
That said, I feel pretty good for the most part. Though, I have to admit I felt a bit healthier eating vegan because somehow the meat still feels pretty heavy despite eating limited amounts of it. But other than that "full" feeling, I think my body is enjoying a little animal protein now. I know my taste buds are!
What is your minimalist diet like? Any tricks to make prep a little easier?