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Living intentionally

10 easy changes to create a simple, sustainable kitchen

 

My kitchen is my happy place. I spend hours pottering around in there, stirring pots on the stove, sweeping crumbs off the floor, waiting for the kettle to boil for my tea. 

 

Although my kitchen is tiny and the cupboards are so tall that I need a step stool to reach the top shelves, I love it. 

 

I’ve been doing quite a bit of house hunting with my mum (she’s buying, not me) and in every house we’ve seen, the kitchen is the thing that sells the house for me. 

 

I can live with a small bedroom. I can live without a bath tub or an en suite. I can live without a garage. But I cannot live without a decent kitchen.

 

Therefore, of all the areas in my home, it is the kitchen that I have tried to ensure is as simple and sustainable as possible. 

 

It is still a work in progress but I thought I would share some of the ways I have simplified my kitchen with you. 

 

10 easy changes to create a simple, sustainable kitchen:

 

Buy things in bulk 

 

For some reason, I really hate having multiples of things. I think it has something to do with the fact that growing up, my mother loved to stock up our pantry whenever things went on sale. Having more than I need has always made me feel stressed. 

 

However, I am a fan of buying things in bulk to save on money and unnecessary packaging. So a good compromise for me is visiting a bulk food store or buying the largest quantity of something I can.

 

Earlier this year, I read an article about Tesco’s trialing refilling stations in their supermarkets and I hope that went well because I would love that to become a widespread thing!

 

These are my favourite easy changes to make so that you can create a simple, sustainable kitchen. #ecofriendly #sustainability #simpleliving

 

Start meal planning 

 

If you are a long-time reader then you have definitely heard me mention this before, I love meal planning. 

 

It will honestly simplify your life and kitchen so much. 

 

You will always have what you need, when you need it and you won’t have excess food withering in your fridge or getting lost at the back of your pantry. 

 

I must confess, I’m not always the best at sticking to what my meal plan says but I like that if I’m feeling lazy, at least I don’t have to think about what to cook for dinner.

 

 

Take reusable shopping bags

 

From the 1st of July this year, New Zealand brought in a ban on plastic bags which meant retailers no longer provided shopping bags and this, in turn, has made reusable shopping bags mainstream. 

 

I am delighted to see other people adopting such a simple change to help reduce plastic waste.

 

I keep a bunch of bags in my car and one that folds up tightly in my purse so that I always have something to carry my shopping in.

 

 

Store your food correctly 

 

There are some life lessons that I really wish they had taught us in school and how to store your food properly is one of them. 

 

There is nothing worse than opening the crisper drawer at the bottom of the fridge to discover a vegetable slurry has formed without you realising it. 

 

The fix is simple however, just learn how to store your fruits and vegetables correctly. For example, I recently learned that celery lasts much longer if you keep the stalks standing in a glass jar like you would with fresh flowers. 

 

To learn the best way to store your favourite fruits and vegetables, I found this great post which explains it all perfectly.  

 

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Try composting  

 

For my birthday last year, my mum got me this gorgeous compost bin. The fact that I was over-joyed by this gift probably says a lot about me. 

 

Truly, my compost bin is one of my favourite possessions. We used an old ice cream tub for a long time but it was far too small and was always overflowing. I love my new bin because it’s 5L and stainless steel so it won’t get all rusty from the wet food scraps. 

 

As far as the actual composting is concerned, all I do is throw it in a heap in the backyard. Then I add sticks, newspaper and dead leaves, and I try to turn it every week or so. That’s it!

 

Start recycling your soft plastic  

 

I have always been the stickler for recycling in my family. I have been known to take things out of the bin, wash them and then recycle them. I hate waste and if I can avoid it, then I will. 

 

I know that recycling isn’t the answer to our waste problem but it is a start.

 

Something you might not know you can recycle is the soft plastic that foods such as pasta and bread come in. 

 

In my city you can’t add this type of plastic to the kerbside recycling bin but there are collection points at several supermarkets where you can drop it off.

 

 

Do a freezer stock take 

 

It doesn’t matter how small your freezer is, it will always manage to accumulate an insane amount of stuff. 

 

Things tend to get lost in the depths of your freezer so it pays to do a little stock take every now and then. 

 

I keep a list stuck to the outside with everything that’s in there. It’s not a perfect system but at least it means I take a good look inside my freezer every month or so. 

 

 

Use loose leaf teas 

 

It is official, I have become a tea snob! I bought a strainer and a box of loose leaf tea and I’m never looking back. I had no idea it tasted so much better. 

 

But besides that, I always felt frustrated having to dump my used teabags in the bin because they contain plastic so can’t be composted like my coffee grounds. 

 

Before you rush out and buy a tea strainer, can I recommend you get one like you see in the picture, not one of those ball and chain type ones? This strainer is so easy to use and remove the used leaves from.

 

I’ve tried those other cute, animal-shaped strainers and while they may look fun, they are the biggest pain to clean out. Simple is best.

 

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Shop at a fruit/veggie store or farmers market 

 

I love going to the fruit and veggie store because it is often much cheaper and I can throw everything in a basket without needing to use plastic bags.

 

It feels good to support a small business too.

 

I’ve learned to go to the supermarket first however, because they tend to have specials on a particular fruit or vegetable each week.

 

 

 

Try natural cleaning products

 

I’m a little iffy on using the word ‘natural’ to describe any product. What I mean by natural cleaning products is using items you already have that work wonders for cleaning.

 

I found some brilliant ideas in the book: Forgotten ways for modern days. Our grandparents had some really great ways of using egg shells, lemon juice and baking soda to clean their homes ‘naturally.’


 

Do you have any tips for creating a simple, sustainable kitchen?

5 ways to practice being present in the moment

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There are some people in our lives who are so totally our opposite, it can feel as though the two of us come from different planets. 

 

We have our similarities of course – or we would never have become friends – but I often find it is our differences that bring us together.

 

Just like the old saying goes…Opposites attract. 

 

My boyfriend, Dom, and I are exactly like that.

 

I am a flurry of activity, prepared for every eventuality, constantly thinking about the next step. He is content to remain in the same place, isn’t worried about what’s next, isn’t in a hurry to get anywhere.

 

I am in a hundred places at the same time, whereas he is always present, living in the moment, inherently mindful.

 

These facets of our personalities clash spectacularly as you can imagine. 

 

I am tapping my foot, ready to go, waiting beside the front door. He is simultaneously putting on his shoes, checking the oil in his car and sweeping the kitchen floor. 

 

I am carefully writing out and sticking to a shopping list. He is excitedly stuffing things into the supermarket trolley like a kid in a candy store. 

 

I am making everyone dizzy with all of my plans. He is happily pouring his cereal and opening up the next chapter of his book.

 

How can he be so content just living from moment to moment? Isn’t he worried about the future? Isn’t he concerned about how much milk we have left or whether he remembered to turn the oven off or what he said to that person last week?


 

My frustration is pointing out what I need to fix, not with Dom, but within myself.

 

This desperate need to rush, this constant feeling of needing to get something done, the way I resist being still and captivated in the wonder of moments. 

 

Dom doesn’t need to speed up, I need to slow down. 

 

My laser-focus on tasks, productivity and organisation is causing me to miss the big picture or perhaps, the small picture. All those sweet, silly moments that I’m always bulldozing through in my hurry to stick to my rigid plans.

 

I can feel the time slipping through my fingers like grains of sand in a hourglass. If only I knew how to pause it for a second, to open my eyes to what is right in front of me. 

 

The precious hugs that I hold so briefly before I strain to get back to the vegetables I was chopping.

 

The satiny, morning sun in the living room that I glance over while I’m rushing to make the house perfect before our friends arrive for breakfast. 

 

That warm, cozy feeling of being snuggled in bed that I jump from so that I can tackle my to-do list immediately. 


 

And this constant rushing feeds my anxiety.

 

I am always afraid of what is coming next because I am always thinking about, and living in, tomorrow.

 

What I need, is to start living right here, in today. I need to practice being present in the moment. 

 

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So these are my tips for those of you who come from the same planet as me (the hyper-focused, super-organised, stressed-out one). Let’s try to slow down.

 

5 ways to practice being present in the moment

 

Stop worrying about tomorrow

 

I really need to schedule an appointment to get my wisdom teeth taken out and I have been worrying about it for months.

Almost every day I have been worrying about making the call, paying for the procedure, getting the teeth out and the inevitable pain I will feel afterwards. 

 

But the other day I realised something – I am not getting my wisdom teeth out today – and therefore I do not need to worry about all those things today.

 

Each day has plenty of worries without me adding tomorrows worries too!

 

So this is my question for you: Is the thing you are worrying about happening today?

 

If yes, then it is perfectly acceptable to feel concerned about it.

If not, then remind yourself that today you are safe. You have nothing to worry about today

 

 

Rest in gratitude

 

When something makes me feel especially happy, I enjoy it for approximately one second and then I feel terribly afraid that this thing is going to be taken away from me.

 

I call this self-sabotage, Brene Brown calls it ‘foreboding joy.

A way of protecting ourselves from the worse-case-scenario by playing it out in our heads. And according to Brene, the antidote to this miserable way of thinking, is gratitude. Daring to be vulnerable and choosing to feel the joy over the fear.

 

When you feel that rising panic about something going horribly wrong- give thanks. 

 

 

Notice your joy

 

So often, we don’t allow ourselves to fully enjoy a moment. We cloud our happiness with our pent up anger, sadness and fear.

 

When a moment strikes you as being absolutely delightful, when your chest swells and your laughter rings out, take a second to soak in that joy.

 

Notice how it makes you feel. Stay here awhile instead of rushing off to do the next thing. 

 

5 ways to practice mindfulness and being present in the moment. As someone who tends to rush from one thing to the next I need to consciously choose to slow down and rest. Being present has helped me feel less anxious and much happier. I hope these 5 tips will help you too!

 

Be intentional on social media

 

It can be all too easy to use social media as an escape. A chance to numb ourselves and avoid whatever is going on in our real lives.

 

We can sometimes let hours slip by as we scroll mindlessly through our newsfeed, without even stopping to notice or connect with anyone else.

 

Try to be intentional when you are online. Use those apps to actually connect with people. Leave thoughtful comments, share something you found valuable, add to the community rather than skimming over the posts you see. 

 

 

Focus on one thing at a time

 

We like to think that if we do two things at once we are being more efficient but in reality, we are more likely just doing a bad job of two things instead of a good job of one.

 

I am not a fan of multi-tasking. I say focus on one thing and give it your full attention.

 

When I am driving, I can’t also be texting (mostly because that’s illegal but also because it is distracting.)

When I am talking to someone, I can’t also be editing a photo for Instagram.

When I am studying, I can’t also be on Facebook (although, if I am honest, I never really adhere to this.)

 

You just can’t be in two places at once. Be all here.


 

You know I am glad that we aren’t all the same. The world needs both of us. People to make things happen, to plan ahead, to get the job done today. And people to encourage us to rest, to keep us grounded, to remind us of the importance of being present in the moment.

13 tiny changes you can make to simplify your life

simplify-your-life

 

We all have those topics that get us all fired up. The ones that once we start talking about, we find it hard to stop. The ones that seem to ignite some sort of fire within us which spur us into action. 

 

Well, simple living is one of those topics for me. 

 

Hence the blog and the newsletter and the Instagram page. I’m an unstoppable force when it comes to inspiring others to look for the beauty in the small and ordinary things. 

 

I find myself constantly scouring the internet for whatever posts I can find on ways to simplify your life. I’m always buzzing to tell someone about a brilliant new product I have found which has made life just a little bit easier for me. 

 

I am passionate about finding ways to simplify your life because it often combines two of my other favourite things – saving money and looking after the planet. 

 

Earlier this year I shared 13 super easy ways to make life simpler and in this post I want to share a few more ideas I have discovered since then. 

 

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13 tiny changes you can make to simplify your life: 

 

Use a to-do list app 

 

I am a fan of both paper and digital planners. I know digital is the way of the future but paper planners are cuter (shoot me.)

 

That being said, to-do ist app is my best friend. It syncs your list between devices. You can plan days ahead but keep the tasks out of sight for simplicity sake. You can set the priority of tasks and reminders to get them done on time.

 

Plus you get the satisfaction of ticking tasks off and seeing them vanish from the list which is really the only reason anyone makes a to-do list in the first place.

 

 

Start creating a weekly meal plan 

 

If there is one thing I hate, it is not having the ingredients I need to make a meal. But I also equally hate trying to decide what to make for dinner when I am already hungry and cranky

 

Cue meal planning. 

 

You shop for exactly what you need. You save money by avoiding unnecessary purchases (and you can plan for budget friendly meals.) And you avoid wasting food that you buy but forget to cook with. 

 

You can take this one step further by prepping your meals beforehand, but planning is as far as I’ve got.

 

 

Try out period underwear

 

It is a well known fact that there is a huge amount of waste created with traditional feminine hygiene products. But besides that, they are also uncomfortable and can be pretty pricey. 

 

So when I first heard about period underwear I was really keen to make the switch. However, I had two main concerns a) the price (at the time the only brand available cost over $100 a pair) and b) how effective they would be. 

 

I finally found ModiBodi which were affordable and I was excited to discover, super effective as well. 

 

Seriously, these are game changers. Money saving, eco-friendly, comfortable and no more fear of leaking!

 

 

Wear colours that suit you

 

You are probably aware that there are certain colours that suit you best. You probably even naturally gravitate towards these colours.

 

One way to make your wardrobe a whole lot simpler is by buying clothes in these colours and finding accessories/other clothes that match.

 

For items you plan on wearing every day (eg. a winter coat) try to stick to a plain or neutral colour that will go with everything. It isn’t as cute as the red one I’m sure but at least it won’t clash with your pink dress!

 

 

Unsubscribe from mailing lists 

 

Usually bloggers try to get you to SIGN UP to their mailing lists (you can join mine if you like) but I’m a big fan of unsubscribing too.

 

For some reason, I never seem to learn and I always give out my email address to win competitions/make purchases/get freebies. So my inbox is a huge mess and it makes me stressed.

 

I know it seems easier just to delete their emails but I really do think it is better to unsubscribe altogether. Your inbox is an important space and only those who you truly want to hear from should be allowed to send stuff there. 

 

 

De-clutter for five minutes before bed 

 

This is one of Gretchen Rubin’s tips from her book ‘The Happiness Project‘ and it is so clever.

 

Just a few minutes each night can really help to tackle some of your chaos. A quick wipe over with a cloth, picking up your shoes off the floor, stacking the dishwasher, it isn’t much but it makes a big difference to how you feel in the morning. 

 

 

Learn to say ‘NO’

 

Learning how to set boundaries in your relationships is so freeing.

 

But you have to be okay with letting people down. You have to know that their disappointment won’t last. You have to remember that you can’t be everything for everybody. 

 

Life can be busy, hectic and exhausting at times. In this post I share 13 small changes you can make to simplify your life and make it less stressful. #simpleliving #minimalism

 

Put your clothes away at the end of the day 

 

I’m guilty of throwing whatever I was wearing onto the floor and hopping straight into bed. But that just means I end up having to spend half an hour folding all the clothes that pile up later on in the week. 

 

It only takes a couple of minutes to fold the clothes you were wearing and put them away. That is so much better than having piles of laundry on a chair in your room or littering the floor. 

 

 

Budget & track your spending

 

This is essential regardless of the state of your finances.

 

Keeping track of your spending can make you aware of some bad habits you may have that could be leaching money (for example, eating out all the time.) 

 

It also means less stress and worry as you can set aside the money you need to pay important bills before they are due. 

 

 

Write in a journal  

 

I tend to think that working through my problems can be done just by thinking about them. But that’s actually called over-thinking, not problem solving. All it does is make you more stressed. 

 

To work things out, you need to spill the problems out from your head. That may look like talking to someone or perhaps like me, writing it out in your journal. 

 

 

Create a seasonal wardrobe  

 

All those winter coats and scarves you aren’t wearing take up space and clutter your wardrobe making the decision of what to wear each day even more difficult. 

 

Put your out-of-season clothes away in a box in your garage. Keep the things you really need in your wardrobe. 

 

 

Let go of worn-out relationships

 

Forget about having tonnes of friends. Forget about having a best friend that you call up every single day.  Forget about having a huge group of friends that always hangs out together. 

 

You don’t have to feel bad for letting old, worn-out friendships fizzle out. You also don’t have to feel bad for being a twenty-something who only has a couple of friends (one of which is your mum.)

 

It is about quality over quantity.


 

What small changes have you made to simplify your life? 

Minimalism: how to be content with what you already have

content-with-what-you-have

 

Most days, scrolling through my Facebook feed feels like stumbling through an inferiority minefield. I have to work really hard at being a good person and being happy for my friends that they have such wonderful lives. 

 

The other day, one of my friends shared a picture of himself at the airport, backpack on, passport in hand, a big smile on his face as he was about to board his plane to Greece.

 

I kept scrolling and saw another friend sharing a #bumpdate, she’s twenty weeks pregnant and the bump is really starting to show now.

 

As I scrolled down further, I saw another friend’s cute little coffee date from her weekend away down south. 

 

I breathed out a deep sigh as I gazed down at my sweatpants, the slippers on my feet and the cat on my lap. It is in these moments that my life feels too small and simple. So small it is claustrophobic. 

 

Green is one of my colours, but envy still doesn’t look pretty on me. 


 

As a society, we tend to focus on what we lack. We are constantly receiving these messages that we need MORE to be happy. That what have can’t possibly be enough for us. Marketers play at our weakness, they know how much we love the new and novel

 

They tell us that if we truly want to be happy, what we need is another sweater, a bigger TV, and a week-long holiday somewhere exotic.

 

They are in the business of selling, so they sell us a fairy-tale that MORE STUFF will make our lives better.

 

However, I’m beginning to realise that if I don’t make a change in my attitude, if I can’t learn how to be happier with a life that is small and simple, I will spend my entire life discontent. 

 

I’ll always be chasing after these things that are supposed to make me happy, only to find out I’m not satisfied once I have them.

 

The new and the novel don’t satisfy us for very long. Pretty soon the excitement wears off and once again we are left aching for more. 

 

minimalism, how to be content with what you have, decluttering, finding contentment, buy less stuff, own less, keep what sparks joy

 

Last week I went on a lovely day trip. We went shopping and walking and soaked in the hot pools. It was a full, busy, wonderful day. I came home feeling tired and content

 

And yet, a week later I feel the same itchy, desperate desire to get out and do something interesting. Our outing last week didn’t cure me of my need for adventure and excitement. 

 

Because the truth is, no matter how many countries we travel to, there will always be another we are dying to see. No matter how many books we read, there will always be a new one we just have to read. No matter how many pairs of shoes we own, there will always be THE pair that we believe will finally complete our wardrobe. 


 

There are times when contentment is a necessity and for me, this is one of those times. 

 

Right now I am studying and we are living off one income so we can’t afford much new. No new shoes, no new books, no trips to exotic destinations or flashy electronics. 

 

What I have has to be enough. 

 

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But instead of feeling sorry for myself, I am taking this as an opportunity to be content with what I HAVE instead of giving into that endless craving for MORE

 

We have a roof over our heads. We have groceries in the fridge and pantry. I have an entire wardrobe stuffed full of clothes and shoes for every imaginable occasion. And I live close to a library with hundreds of books that I am still yet to read. 

 

I have enough. I have plenty. I do not need more. 

 

This is the mantra I am repeating to myself as I avert my eyes walking past sales racks and unsubscribe from shop mailing lists. And when I start to feel that claustrophobic fear that my life is too small, I am reminding myself that I have enough time as well.

 

There are plenty of years ahead for me to get to live out my dreams. I don’t need to pressure myself to cram it all into this year. I don’t need to accomplish all of my goals right now. There is enough time. 

 

Maybe this won’t be the year that I travel around Europe, but perhaps I’ll get to explore my hometown and finally conquer some of those more advanced mountain biking trails. 

 

Maybe this won’t be the year… I live in my dream home, but perhaps I’ll get to live in my very own flat for the first time. 

 

Maybe this won’t be the year… I make an 80k salary, but perhaps I’ll finally get to do a job I really enjoy. 

 


 

Minimalism is teaching me that what I have is enough.

 

I don’t need more space, I need less stuff.

 

Less stuff that I picked up at an op shop because it was super cheap and kinda cute. Less stuff that I was given and feel too guilty to give away. Less stuff that I bought trying to be someone that I’m not. 

 

Less stuff distracting me from the beauty and joy that is hidden in the ordinary, dull, normal moments of every day.

 

I’ll leave you with this quote I found which sums up why I am a fan of the minimalist lifestyle. A simple and small life is enough if it contains more of the things we love and less of the things we don’t.

 

“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things that we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” – Joshua Becker

How to tell the difference between mindful eating and dieting

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Most of us now understand that dieting doesn’t work. We’ve stopped drinking the awful meal replacement shakes. We don’t weigh ourselves every single morning. We do our best to eat more healthy food, to eat less unhealthy food and to move our bodies more. 

 

I’m delighted to see this shift in attitudes toward our bodies and the way we take care of them. 

 

And yet, sometimes I still find myself frustrated with the way diet culture manages to sneak back into people’s way of thinking. 

 

Occasionally I will have to bite my tongue to prevent myself getting ranty when people start telling me about their “healthy eating plans.”

 

These scientifically-proven, weight-loss claiming, celebrity-endorsed ways of eating that people are quick to defend, ‘it’s not a diet!’

 

I get the struggle though. It can be really confusing to know what to eat and what not to eat when there is so much information and misinformation bombarding us every day. 

 

How to tell the difference between mindful eating and dieting, intuitive eating, mindful eating, eating mindfully, mindfulness, practicing mindfulness, intentional living, simple living, diet culture

 

How do we avoid dieting while still eating in a way that nourishes our bodies?  I have a few thoughts on the subject that I’d like to share with you today, informed by my Bachelors degree in Food and Nutrition.

 

How to tell the difference between mindful eating and dieting…

 

Dieting: You can’t stop thinking about food

 

One of the issues with dieting is that it creates a feeling of scarcity. If we restrict what we can and can’t eat then it has this effect of making us want it more. 

 

For example, on a diet you may tell yourself you can’t have any sweet things and you’ll often find that all you can think about is chocolate, cakes and cookies. As though your body is trying to sabotage you!

 

The thing is, when you can eat sweet things any time you want, you don’t feel those same intense cravings and you are less likely to binge on them when you do eat them. 

 

Mindful eating: You don’t think about food until you feel hungry

 

Because you are listening to your body and eating what you need, when you need it, you aren’t constantly yearning for the next time you are “allowed” to eat.

 

 

Dieting: Ignoring hunger/fullness cues

 

On a diet you no longer trust your intuition or listen to your body for cues on how hungry or full you may feel.

 

Instead, you rely on a carefully constructed (although often not personalised) meal plan to tell you when, what and how much to eat. 

 

It is fairly obvious why this could be a problem. You are relying on someone else to judge how much and what type of food you need when they likely have no idea what your personal lifestyle looks like.

 

Some days you will be more active and therefore, require bigger/more energy dense meals. Other days you may be more sedentary and require less energy. A generic meal plan simply isn’t flexible enough to accommodate individual lifestyles and needs. 

 

Mindful eating: Being aware of hunger and fullness cues

 

Eating mindfully means you are listening to your body and you are aware of your needs.

 

You’ll stop to eat lunch when you feel hungry. You’ll eat a snack in the afternoon because maybe you’ve been especially active. You’ll put down your fork and push your plate away when you feel full. 

 

 

Dieting: Labelling food as good or bad

 

Sugar is the devil. Carbs are the enemy. Fat will make you fat. All of these ideas are not healthy nor helpful if you are wanting to eat well. 

 

No one food is bad and you certainly shouldn’t feel bad for eating it. Diets tend to label certain foods as good and others as bad. Some you can eat and some you can’t.

 

But as we talked about previously, restriction leads to cravings and ultimately bingeing. 

 

Mindful eating: Food is just food

 

You see no food as better or worse than another and you feel no guilt when consuming food.

 

You understand that some foods make you feel sick or bloated if you eat too much of them, so you tend to eat less of those. You know that other foods make you feel really good, so you tend to eat more of those. 

 

 

Dieting: Eliminating whole food groups

 

First of all, for certain individuals these eliminations are necessary – For example, if you are allergic to dairy or don’t eat meat for ethical or religious reasons.

 

For most other people however, eliminating whole food groups is totally unnecessary and is a sign of some unhealthy attitudes towards food. 

 

Mindful eating: You can eat anything

 

You don’t cut out food groups entirely, instead you eat more of what makes you feel good/what you enjoy eating. 

For example, I personally don’t like meat very much. I won’t call myself a vegetarian because I find the label too restrictive but I tend to eat less meat and that works for me. 

 

 

Dieting: Ignoring your cravings

 

When you find yourself desperately craving chocolate after dinner, you’ll eat a “healthy” snack or drink a glass of water or make a cup of tea to distract yourself from what you really want. 

 

You refuse to indulge your cravings and try to substitute with things you don’t really want. 

 

Mindful eating: Allowing yourself to indulge your cravings

 

Instead of ignoring your cravings you will indulge them. But when you do so, you indulge mindfully. You take your time and pay attention to what you are eating. You enjoy every bite and stop when you feel satisfied. 

 

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Dieting: Tracking what you eat

 

You’ll have some method of measuring every single thing that touches your lips. Whether that be weighing your food, tracking calories or using a point system. 

 

You are aware of everything you eat, which may sound mindful but is really just restrictive and controlling.

 

Mindful eating: You don’t track your food

 

Instead, you trust your body to give you cues about how much and what sort of food you should eat.

 

 

Dieting: Making your social life a struggle

 

Eating out will be nothing short of a nightmare for you. Your dietary requirements will make ordering a difficult and uncomfortable experience.

 

You probably won’t end up eating what you really want and will spend the evening hungry and/or eyeing the delicious food your friends ordered. 

 

You may even find yourself feeling anxious or avoiding social situations that involve food altogether. 

 

Mindful eating: Socialising is enjoyable

 

You impose no rigid restrictions on food. You don’t have to wait for a cheat meal or cheat day to enjoy good food or hanging out with your friends.

 

You order what you feel like and enjoy every bite because you recognise that this is simply one meal and not a reflection of your overall eating patterns. You know that life is too short to miss out on delicious food and fun times with friends.


 

I hope this helped clear up some confusion for you. For more tips on how to eat mindfully, check out Kylie’s blog – immaeatthat.

Also, take a look at my previous blog post- mindful eating: 5 simple ways to be present while you eat.

The rise of influencer marketing and what it means for authenticity online

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For some time now, Instagram has been my least favourite social media platform.

 

When I first started blogging, I jumped on absolutely every social media platform –like you do–  and I treated Instagram like a visual diary.

 

I used it to document all of the sweet, funny, lovely moments of each day and I would connect with other bloggers who were doing the same. 

 

But A LOT has changed since then.

 

These days, with the rise of influencer marketing, owning an Instagram account comes with a lot of responsibility.

 

As a member of the platform, if you want to be taken seriously, you are required to curate an aesthetically pleasing feed for your followers.

 

There is no room for spontaneity or images that depict real life anymore. Influencers have created a world where everything needs to be colour coordinated, perfectly proportioned, edited and filtered so that it looks like something you would find inside a glossy magazine. 

 

I really struggle with how fake some of these accounts seem to be. Authenticity is something I value a great deal, as I talked about in my post- authenticity and finding happiness by being myself.

 

the rise of influencer marketing, how to build an instagram community, remaining authentic online, honest blogging, authenticity, vulnerability, blogging tips, building relationships with your followers, mindfulness,

 

At the beginning of this year I found that logging into Instagram made me feel not only bad about myself, my home and my life but also about my creative endeavors.

 

I felt that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to get a perfectly curated feed. I never knew what to say in my captions. And recording videos for Insta-stories made me feel terribly awkward. 

 

Instagram reminded me of the way I used to feel in high school.

 

How there were all those little cliques and segregated groups. The sporty kids, the nerdy kids, the quiet ones and the popular ones.

 

No matter how much I told myself we were all just PEOPLE, I always felt intimidated by the popular kids. There was something about them that I could never match up to. They always made me feel inferior with their designer jeans and the effortless way they managed to always be the centre of attention. 

 

That’s how I used to feel on Instagram. Small. Insignificant. Impossibly confused. 

 

My feed seemed to consist of influencers with hundreds of followers whose picture-perfect lives were a billboard for everything I am not.

 

For the longest time I have just felt left out and left behind. 

 

I am no supermodel. I don’t have abs worthy of bikini-on-the-beach shots. I don’t go out every Friday evening to share snaps of my cocktails. I don’t have a beautiful all-white, marble counter-topped kitchen.

 

I’m just well, ordinary. 

 

Most days I go without wearing make up. I prefer to make coffee at home rather than spend money going out all the time.

 

I feel embarrassed taking pictures of myself in public with everyone looking at me. And my bedroom is dark, cozy and totally un-aesthetically pleasing. 

 

But nobody wants to see ordinary on Instagram. They want flashy, beautiful, and air-brushed. They want a real-life fairy tale all sparkly and tied up with a bow. 

 

So it leaves me wondering, where does someone like me fit in? What have I got to share that people would actually care about? 

 

I couldn’t answer these questions for awhile so I just stayed away.

 

I hardly ever posted. I became an Instagram lurker, one of those people who likes pictures and watches everyone else posting but never participates. 

 

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But slowly I drifted back and decided I would take Instagram seriously again.

 

If I wanted to be a serious blogger, then I needed to not just lurk online but to participate, to share and be part of this world.

 

So I started editing my photos to make them a little nicer. I started putting in a bit more of an effort to figure out the colours and style that I wanted to display in my feed. 

 

I started to see Instagram as just another outlet for my creativity

 

I discovered it could be another place to be curious, excited and inspired. 

 

And in the process I found there was a community of people just like me. People who weren’t there to make sales, who didn’t look like models, who weren’t portraying these impossible standards. 

 

I found people with the same values as me.

 

Who were passionate about mindfulness and living intentionally and being present in the moment.

 

People who weren’t pushing consumption, asking their followers to buy more and more and more. People who just wanted to share their art, their words and their pictures with the world. 

 

My kind of people.

 

And so Instagram has become one of my favourite social media platforms. I place where I can connect with other creatives. I place where I can feel inspired and uplifted. I place where I can create and share my work. 

 

 

I think the rise of influencer marketing is a double-edged sword.

 

I hate the way it encourages mindless consumption. The way it makes us feel like we are always lacking something. The way it portrays a lifestyle that is unrealistic, even for those taking the photos.

 

But I love that it enables small businesses and lesser-known creatives to shine. I love that it makes connection and community possible. And that this form of marketing gives power back to the people.

 

How do we choose authenticity over perfection online?

 

By following people who are genuine.

 

Those who share their behind-the-scenes and aren’t afraid of the messy aspects of life. Those who are honest about which of their content that is sponsored. Those who only share what they truly love and believe in.

 

By un-following people who make us feel less-than.

 

You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. It doesn’t matter how cool or popular they may be, you don’t need to compare yourself to them. There are only so many people’s pictures you can scroll through in a day, so they might as well be people you actually LOVE to follow.

 

By choosing community over competition. 

 

Search for people who care about the same stuff you do. Find your community and build them up. Comment on, like and share others accounts, there is enough space for all of us to be creative and successful.


 

Let’s chat about this in the comments…

 

How do you feel about Instagram, influencer marketing or social media in general?