Minimal Living + Ayurvedic Cardamom Hot Chocolate

By Monica van de Weerd

Let’s talk minimalism.

Before you close this tab and roll your eyes, this isn’t going to be a blog post where I tell you to throw all the items that you’ve ever loved away, sleep on a thin mattress on hard wooden floors and live out of a backpack with only a distressed t-shirt, two ratty pairs of bamboo underwear, a scrappy diary and an iPhone charger to your name.

No.

There’s much more to minimalism than that.

Minimalism is more than just a style of house or art piece or throwing away things that no longer spark joy.

To me, minimalism is simple; it’s about simplicity, you know, the less is more approach.

The truth is, in the modern world we live in, we all have too much stuff (except the person who nodded their head to all the things I mentioned before. You probably don’t get where I’m coming from).

In a world that’s constantly trying to tell us we need more to make us happier, maybe it’s time for a little reassessment to really figure out what is necessary and what's not.

At our core, we all know that the things that make us the happiest are usually the simplest, not the latest phone, mansion, dress or expensive car. The things that bring us true happiness are experiences like sipping on a big mug of tea, spending quality time with our family and friends and enjoying life's basic pleasures.

Maybe Covid-19 has brought this out in us more as we self isolate and reevaluate all sorts of things that were once taken for granted.

Trying to fill ourselves with more stuff almost always ends up leaving us feeling a little bit emptier afterwards. To me, there’s something graceful and simultaneously a tiny bit terrifying about letting go; of detaching ourselves to the material or a certain outcome. I believe there is much beauty to be found in detachment if we’re open to it. So, it’s time to get back to basics. It's time for freedom.

But, where do we begin?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with clutter, start decluttering. It doesn’t need to be a laborious process. You can start slow – say the one shelf that you throw all of your paperwork and Knick-knacks into (you know the one), or a section in your wardrobe. Think of it like this: if it’s not a heck yes, it’s a no.

Once you’ve gathered up your items, consider giving them to friends or dropping them off  your closest op-shop. Walking out empty-handed can feel extremely liberating, especially if you know that your pre-loved items are going somewhere they’ll be used and needed.

One of my favourite parts about minimalism is just how freeing it is. Once we realise that we don't need more to make us happy, we can enjoy simple pleasures a lot more. For example, I personally love giving out experiences as gifts rather than material items. If you want to find out more about meaningful gifting, click this link here.

If you’re looking for some new experiences, why not cancel your usual fancy dinner reservations for Friday and have a game’s night instead? I guarantee everyone will have just as much fun and you won’t need to worry about the awkwardness of splitting the bill at the end either. My family’s favourite choices are scrabble (I’m a word nerd, what can I say?), but we’re also impartial to monopoly and card games too.

Speaking of bonding activities, one of the most highly underrated ways to bond is over shared interests. Even if you're socially isolating, a book club is a brilliant way to share insights over a novel while also investing quality time into friendships and having a good laugh while you’re there too. If you're looking for a book to discuss, I've heard Supercharge Your Life's is a really good one ;). ha.

If you’ve ever had a look at my Instagram, you’ll know I have a mean green thumb. While I’m an amateur gardener, it’s seriously one of my favourite ways to spend my time. One of the best parts about gardening is using your own fruit, vegetables and herbs in your own meals afterwards. I’ve turned my kitchen into my garden!

If you’ve always wanted to try creating your own kitchen garden, be sure to check out this link here. Your tastebuds will thank you however, your wrists and back may not.

Cooking from scratch and using mealtimes as a celebration is a beautiful experience that we can all do a little more. When I have people over, I love putting our phones in a box upon arrival and just letting our mouths and the food do the entertaining. There is something highly underrated about presence that can be quite astounding when there’s no phones around. I also love pot luck meals when everyone brings an item they’ve made. It’s so much more fun when everyone can share their favourite dishes and exchange recipe ideas. What’s not to love about that?

Minimalism has given me a deeper appreciation of the items that I do have and cherish everything and everyone in my life even more. The truth is, we don’t need more stuff, rather we need to use what we have and use it properly.

So, go on, now it’s your turn! Decluttering and a new sense of gratitude and appreciation awaits you.

One of my favourite shared experiences is making a pot of Ayurvedic Cardamom Hot Chocolate and sharing it with family or friends.

Why not try this Ayurvedic twist on the classic hot chocolate, which doubles as a scrumptious indulging ritual as well as a medicinal aid for your gut.

In Ayurvedic tradition, cardamom is considered an excellent digestive that helps minimise gas and bloating. Its soothing, warming effect will help to enhance the absorption of nutrients, as well as calm the nervous system in times of stress.

You could serve this wonderful hot chocolate dusted with extra cinnamon and topped with raw cacao nibs. It serves 2.

Ayurvedic Cardamom Hot Chocolate

  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) milk of your choice
  • 30 g (1 oz/1/4 cup) raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • 1 heaped tsp raw honey to taste

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk over low heat until any clumps of cacao and spices have dispersed. Continue stirring as you allow the milk to simmer gently for a few minutes.

Pour into cups and enjoy warm.

NOTE: For extra kick, you could add a very small pinch of freshly ground black pepper — as long as spicy foods don’t upset your stomach. If you’d like a frothy hot chocolate, whisk or blend just before serving.

 

Written by Lee Holmes.

Supercharged Food.

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