I heard the footsteps coming towards me. I knew it was her. As she smilingly opened the door, a wave of joy moved in me. I was sure of giving her the freshest offerings.
Only if my refrigerator could talk, I would have heard these words louder
De-Clutter The Fridge
During my self – realization phase to de-cluttering my life and while I was in the motion of clearing up my personal clutter, I happen to read about the Ayurvedic way of consuming the food. Not that I was unfamiliar to the concept of eating fresh food but there was not a conscious effort to follow this practice on a day to day.
There was a lack in organization of the quantities of foods and fruits, vegetables and other supplies that I used to stock up in my kitchen and in that dump box – Refrigerator – which somehow squeezed everything into it with an open heart. Of course, I was thoughtful of not to waste food but somehow a proportion of my stocks ended up in the bin due to staling, over stocking and less consumption. And not to forget, the tussle I had to do trying to find things inside the fridge every time I opened it. Oh, and that concoction of strange smells -It was hard to ignore the aromas of staleness
Coming back to my conscious reminding of the value and the necessity to consume freshly prepared food from that Ayurvedic reading, I decided to change my food consumption patterns.
I did not set too high benchmarks for myself at the same time, I planned out how to bring about that change in me.
I started with buying less of everything – fewer veggies and fruits (4-5 days stock), limited packaged products – One Packet Supply Rule (it was not easy to turn a blind eye to all those 1+1 offers or buy more for less etc.etc. gimmicks) and smaller container food items and most importantly holding back the urge to buy a product at the grocer counter with a feeling – Oh, I should buy this, I haven’t tried it or Ok, just the same flavour popcorns…boring..I need 5 packets of variety! instead I tried replacing these feelings with – I like what I eat, Why do I have to experiment every time I visit the store or Ok, let me take 1 packet of my favourite flavour and I will treat myself to a new one when I finish this stock.
With lesser packets to care about, I felt that it was not only easier for me to organize my fridge shelf spaces better but also utilize most of the items within a specific time frame. The products with expiry dates started to get consumed wisely too. For the veggies, thanks to living in a country like India, we are fortunate to get seasonal vegetables round the year at easy accessible stores anywhere around the residential communities. And yes, this may sound weird but I consciously started declining the free bunches of coriander leaves and chillies which we often get for free in India along with the veggies and which just stale in the corner of fridges because we are unable to consume bulk quantities, no matter what.
Next came the realization of cooking less quantity and less variety of foods in my hourly meals. Now, this was tricky. Having being raised in a typical punjabi indian family, I was used to seeing variety on plate along with kinds of side dips. Then only the meal passed itself as complete. Not that I don’t believe in putting colours to the plate, which I still do but I reduced the types of fire cooked meals. Today, I just feel much more in the moment when I eat my bread with only one lentil and a colourful mix of salads and one dip a day food. Another effect of this less quantity cooking philosophy was that the leftover food boxes in my fridge started to reduce. Lesser quantity food which was freshly cooked and immediately consumed helped great deal in improving my metabolism and body alertness rates. I practically started feeling the food effects on my body mind system when I consumed fresh food vs if I was consuming reheated food. Also, I can vouch for the thought pattern that for me went for a complete transformation. To a large extent, I believe it was due to consuming fresh foods at all 3 meal hours in the day. Cheerful mood, positive feelings, I felt kind of in sync with the sense of my life’s direction. Consuming fresh food at all times is a thumb rule in my house now.
Lesser quantity and variety of foods cooked =
+Fresh food consumption
+ higher body mind positivity
+ reduction in leftovers
+ more space in the fridge
+ less wastage of cooking gas
+ more awareness of the food tastes
+ lesser cooking time
Too many benefits of one habit change – isn’t it?
Also from the Ayurveda view, consuming fresh foods improves our ‘sattvic’ personality while reheated or foods consumed directly from the fridge brings more of lazy, negative and aggressive traits in one’s personality i.e. accentuates the ‘tamasic’ characteristics.
I am improving my ‘de-clutter the fridge ‘mentality with time. I do not fret anymore even if I have to cater to guests or make food for my own consumption. Make it fresh, eat it fresh is my motto now.
Change is good….Isn’t it?