Less, but Better

Kayli Dice is a registered dietitian, plant-based personal chef, and writer who helps people reclaim their health and fall in love with simple food. Follow her food for thought and plant-based recipes at Running on Sunshine. Ready to reclaim your health? Learn about Kayli's nutrition and cooking services at True Food Company.

Moving and getting married are among the top causes of stress. Having done both within the same 3 months, I can attest to the truth of this statistic. Aside from inducing stress, these happy life events have another commonality. They both bring you face to face with your literal and figurative "stuff."

Combining lives with someone means doubling your belongings. Add wedding gifts to that, and we were left with a horde of possessions. We were also faced with many decisions related to celebrating our marriage. Between limousines and centerpieces, nothing defines our culture's "more is better" mentality quite like planning a modern wedding. All this excess left me craving simplicity. So I stopped worrying about cake toppers and packing boxes and started hatching a plan to simplify my life.

I know I'm not alone. Most of our lives are anything but simple. A glance at your calendar makes your head spin, the thought of cleaning out your attic induces panic, and understanding the six-syllable words on the packages of our food might require a PhD in food science. As a former participant in the "more mentality," I am here to tell you that it IS possible to reject the race for more and choose to live with less. Not only is it possible, doing so is the best gift you can give yourself.

Here's how I live a "less, but better" life:

1. Simplify your stuff.

We typically have WAY more than we need, and sometimes hold on to things for emotional reasons because we see our stuff as an extension of ourselves. In reality, owning and managing all this stuff is weighing us down and stealing our precious time. I challenge you to critically examine your belongings and ask: "Is it functional to my everyday life or does it make me happy?" If the answer is "no," say goodbye. Getting rid of belongings is scary, but the more you do it, the lighter and freer you will feel. Before we moved, we put everything we owned up against this question. The result is a living space filled with our most treasured and well-used possessions. We have a strict "one in, one out" rule to maintain our simplified life.

2. Simplify your time.
We are all overbooked. A full life is wonderful, but fill it with things that are truly important to you. Examine your schedule and cleanse it of anything that is not serving you to make room for more nourishing activities. As a soon-to-be bride, I said "no" to spending my days venue hunting and dress shopping and "yes" to runs with my fiancé and cooking in my kitchen. And guess what? Our simple wedding was just as full of love and happiness as the most extravagant nuptials.

3. Simplify your food.
As a dietitian and personal chef, simple food is near to my heart. My clients come to me confused and frustrated by the dizzying amount of nutrition information in our world. I help them see (and taste!) that feeding themselves is as simple as this: look for simple foods and simple ingredient lists. Set yourself free from nutrition hype and choose foods that come from the earth with ingredients you recognize.

Less really is more - more space to breathe, more time to live, and more energy to thrive. Start small. Choose one area of your life and take steps to simplify it. You will quickly begin to feel the "more" that manifests from "less."

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