Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Let’s Relax

This post is sponsored by IKEA via Syndicate Ads


For years I’ve been trying to make my life run like a well-oiled machine. I strive to make the demanding ho-hums of life as automated as possible so that I can actually sit back and enjoy the ride. IKEA has created a new film called “Let’s Relax” to start a conversation about the expectations that make our lives unnecessarily demanding. This video is pretty cute!!!

I love this mission and wanted to share IKEA’s list of expectations as well as some of the ways I have been working to make life most meaningful.

Expectation #1:
You should spend a lot of quality time with family and friends

The reality:
This is hard to do. While 73% of people say they cook to make themselves feel at home, 42% say they lack time to cook everyday day. 34% of those living alone wish they could eat with others more often.

Kath:: Now that I am down to one adult in my household, it IS harder to make cooking a priority. I don’t mean literally – cooking for one is not hard. But

Now that I am down to one adult in my household, it IS harder to make cooking a priority. I don’t mean literally – cooking for one is not hard. But emotionally, it’s been hard to muster up the motivation to prepare a nice meal for myself (and the almost-4-year-old who might take one look at the meal and reject it). I’ve been in a bit of a cooking rut this year. To help reverse that, Sarah and I try to have dinner together once a week and combine our cooking efforts with play time for the kids and social time for us.

Mazen and I had dinner with the Struckmanns last week, by the pool. We had grilled veggies, a pork tenderloin I bought from the Organic Butcher, rice, and pesto on all of it.

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Expectation #2: 
Social media should unite and inspire.

The reality:
It does, but it can also set impossible standards and make us feel inadequate. 
Social media has a firm place in our homes: 23% of people think reliable Wi-Fi is more important than space at home for socializing. 60% of people say they use social media to explore food ideas. 16% of the 18 to 29-year-olds eat & drink while online. 15% of these young people say they post pictures while eating. How does all this delicious inspiration affect how we think we should perform in the kitchen?


As a food and lifestyle blogger and a reader of other blogs, I am in a unique position! I completely appreciate all the great things about sharing food online (including all of you who come here and support me!), but at the same time, I also want to disconnect from time to time. Not sharing every.single.meal I eat has been a really nice shift from the olden days of blogging thrice daily. I also share the sentiments of those who get overwhelmed by the perfection on the internet (I’m looking at you, Pinterest!). Let me just tell you this: sometimes I eat lunch while standing up at the kitchen counter. Sometimes I crunch way too many Red, Hot, Blues before lunch is even ready. Sometimes Mazen has frozen pizza for dinner. Sometimes he watches his tablet while he eats. Just like so many online influencers, we are far from perfect (and in fact I have a post about this coming soon!)

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Expectation #3: 
People’s homes should be spacious and inviting.

The reality:
People feel their places are too small or not nice enough to welcome company. 
There’s pressure to keep up appearances. We feel most at ease when our kitchen is tidy and clean: 39% say their messy homes annoy them weekly. People think their kitchens and how they perform in them need to be perfect.


Spacious is nice, but it’s not the size of your home that matters. It’s the amount of air that can circulate around your stuff. Thus, I think decluttering is one of the keys to a peaceful mind. Messy homes are messy because there is more stuff than place to put it. Ask yourself (or your kids!) if you really, really need all that stuff. When we moved, I got rid of 30% of my things. I have no idea how everything used to fit. I now have fewer clothes, fewer oatmeal bowls (!), and less artwork on the walls. Now my things can breathe, and I have less to manage in my life. The less you have the less you need to clean and tidy.

Also: I have never been invited over to dinner and thought, “This space is so small I wish I hadn’t come.” I always appreciate an invitation, and I’m sure most people would agree.

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Expectation #4:
We should make better, more sustainable choices when it comes to food.

The reality:
This is difficult and we always feel guilty and that we should be doing better. 
There is a growing consciousness about our impact on the planet and how our behavior needs to change. On average, 15% of people feel guilty about owning too many things. 25% of urbanites feel guilty about how much food they throw away. 1 in 5 households regularly double up on food and drink items by accident.


The key to less waste, better food choices, and healthier meals is planning. I always say that the best offense for a healthy diet is a well-stocked fridge. That doesn’t mean it’s so full you can’t see what’s in it, but it means that the foods that are in there are ones that you will actually be inspired to cook with using a meal plan you’ve created. I am working on this myself because I want to cook more with Mazen. He always tries more food when he is involved in the cooking process. And as always, growing your own food is about as sustainable as it comes. My garden is overgrown and needs eating! I’m off to make a kale salad….

Thanks to IKEA for inspiring and sponsoring this post! 

from Kath Eats Real Food http://ift.tt/2aNscF3

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