Maybe you don’t need to purchase the latest electronic device in order to feel fulfilled. Maybe you don’t need to buy the newest skincare product, promising to meet society’s expectations of beauty. Maybe you don’t need that latest fast fashion piece to give you a fleeting moment of happiness. Maybe you don’t need to live up to the expectations laid down for you not only by society but also by that little voice in your head that says you’re not enough. Maybe it’s okay to be happy with less. To want less. To live with less. To be happy with what and who you have.
Fulfillment will never come from material items. It will never come from spending. You might feel exhilarated when purchasing something new but that feeling rarely lasts. Perhaps this momentary high is filling a void that exists for another reason. Maybe that reason is anxiety, not being content with oneself, attempting to live a life in line with society’s ideals, unaddressed issues in ones personal life, not taking time out to do nice things for yourself – the list of possibilities goes on.
Be gentle and kind to yourself and most importantly, try to be content with simply being.
Take a walk. Walk in the early morning, when there’s no one about, except you. Enjoy the sound of your footsteps, appreciating every step that you get to take and every moment that you are fortunate enough to experience on this earth.
Take a walk at night, when the buzz of the day is receding and allow a wave of peace to wash over you. Know that a new day awaits you tomorrow.
On your walk, take in your surroundings and appreciate the small details which you may have overlooked before. While these details may be small and previously insignificant, they can be incredibly impactful and thought-provoking.
During Winter, notice the snap of branches beneath your feet, the crunch of frozen grass. Feel the crisp air against your skin, the cold breeze making you feel alive.
During Autumn, become aware of vibrant leaves falling to the path laid out before you. Hues of brown, orange, yellow, red and green – all presenting their beauty to you, adding a pop of colour to your day.
While in Spring, notice the birdsong, the soft colouring of newly blossoming flowers as they prepare for their awakening – another wondrous opportunity to bloom – both for them and you.
Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin during Summer and allow it to fill you with happiness and gratitude. Allow it to warm your heart.
On your walk, know that you are a part of nature. You are the earth and the earth is you.
I have to say, I have become obsessed with lentils since I became conscious of the need for more plant-based, natural whole foods in my diet. They’re not only rich in B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, protein and fibre but they also give dishes a depth and richness that you typically get from adding meat. This dish consists of spiced lentils, sweet potato, radish and yoghurt. Healthy, simple, tasty and also ready to eat in less than 30 minutes. Recipe is as follows (serves two):
What you’ll need:
2-4 sweet potatoes
herbs of your choice, dried or fresh
garlic cloves, 2 chopped
onion, 1 chopped
pepper, 1 chopped
mushrooms, 1 handful, chopped
ground paprika, turmeric, ginger
coriander, dried or fresh
salt, pepper & sugar
1 x 400 g tin of cooked lentils
shallots, sliced, to serve
pickled onion, sliced, to serve
For the sweet potatoes 🍠:
Using 1-2 sweet potatoes per person, cut into chunks and parboil for ~ 10 minutes or until slightly soft (these can also be microwaved for 3-4 minutes).
Toss the sweet potatoes in oil, herbs and turmeric and roast at 180C for 20 minutes.
For the spiced lentils 🍛:
While the sweet potatoes are roasting, fry the following for 2-3 minutes in a splash of oil: 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped pepper, a handful of chopped mushrooms with 1 tbsp each of paprika, turmeric, ginger and coriander, salt and pepper to taste and a shake of sugar.
Add 1x400g tin of cooked lentils, 50 ml of water and 2 tbsp of tomato purée. Cook for around 10 minutes or until the liquid reduces down. Add 3 tbsp of yoghurt (natural or vegan) at this stage to make the base creamier. This ingredient can be omitted, if desired.
Serve with sliced radish, a dollop more of yoghurt, sprinkle with chopped pickled onion and delight in your wonderful, plant-based lentil creation.