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How To Create Simple Habits: Food, Fridges and Freezers

Kuel Life Featured Images February 2022 16

Connection Kuel Category Expert: Kay Newton

Over the past ten years, I have focused on simple habits – taking one and refining it until it becomes the new norm.

Over the years, I have downsized, decluttered, removed toxic cleaning and personal products, reduced household plastic and with it all – the size of my waist! 

2022 began by taking time to look back, full of gratitude, for how my tastes, preferences, beliefs and values have changed. There is still work to do. Thank goodness the only constant in the universe is change. 

The Freezer Leftovers:

For six weeks, I have simplified the fridge, freezer and larder. Having come from a working-class background – parents who grew up after the second world war, I have been accustomed to stocked shelves. Of course, Covid filled those shelves a little more, and now my husband and I are faced with weeks/months of recipes that must include kidney beans and lentils.

“Sometimes I fail to mark the glass jar. It is pot luck in what I pull out for our meals.”

With the help of my pressure cooker, the challenge so far has been to empty and create delicious and nutritious meals without much modern foraging. There are just two rules to create this simple habit; first, fresh fruit and vegetables each week are allowed only as an accompaniment, and secondly, nothing must be thrown away (unless it is spoiled).

The learning process has been fun and a little frantic. I often freeze a leftover meal for another time, a process usually done quickly. Sometimes I fail to mark the glass jar. It is pot luck in what I pull out for our meals. Let me tell you from experience – the fish stock does not go with roast chicken and the curry/pasta combination.

Not to be repeated. Once defrosted, there is no going back! (Yes, I do freeze using reused glass jars, the trick is to leave enough space for the contents to expand so that the glass does not crack).

Making Too Much:

Another simple habit has also come to light – always making more than enough. We used to be a family of four. Three boys in the home (now aged 67,28, 25). The two younger boys flew the nest many years ago, yet I still fail to halve the recipe or adjust the quantity, so there is no option but to eat defrosted meals two or three times in a row! 

I am not sure what will happen if I get to the ‘cupboard bare’ scenario. I imagine myself staring at an opened jar of mustard, a sachet of agar-agar powder, chia seeds and a tin of tomatoes and looking for inspiration. And I may just have lost my mind by then. 

“I am excited to get to where I ‘live in the now’, but before, there is time for fear to rear up.”

As I experiment with letting go of ‘my enough food habit’, it will be the first time in my life. I am excited to get to where I ‘live in the now’, but before, there is time for fear to rear up. Even with the enticing sense of freedom from not knowing, the thought of bare cupboards feels scary.

From Around the World:

As synchronicity would have it, I have found myself reading some fascinating articles. The first link shows a family’s weekly food around the world. When you look closely at the images, you can see the happiness and pride of each individual. For me, those with less sparkle the most. 

As I focused on the ‘enough’ in the photos, I saw the plastic footprint also. How can one family drink so much soda in one week? Do they know the plastic bottles can only be recycled once (if they are) before they end up in landfills or the sea? Take a look here.

The second was an article from the BBC with weekly UK food waste figures. I was stunned by the amount of waste generated every day. I am unsure why people buy food they have no intention of eating that week. There is so much energy expended to get the food to the home, waste is truly a sin against mother nature. 

“I live in an apartment without a garden, if we can grow lettuce, kale and spinach, everyone can”

7 out of 10 – We Freeze Leftovers:

All-in-all as I considered our weekly refuse, I realized we are doing well. Probably a seven out of 10. Most of our veg peelings go to our compost. We freeze leftovers, make vegetable soups and love frozen banana ice cream. We make our own long-lasting ‘life bread’ (made with nuts and seeds, no wheat or yeast), eat little dairy and dislike ham slices. And we also grow our greens. (I live in an apartment without a garden, if we can grow lettuce, kale and spinach, everyone can).

Imagine how different the planet would be if we all simplified our food lifestyle? I would love to hear your thoughts on creating simple habits in the comment section. Together we can make a difference in the world. Simple.

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About the Author:

Kay is the founder of Midlife Strategies, an award-winning International Speaker, and enthusiastic author. She is an acknowledged expert guiding women to find their mojo, through the Midlife Squeeze.

Kay’s books include: 

Today, Kay lives a simple life next to a beach in Mallorca, Spain. You can find Kay here: www.KayNewton.com.