Have you ever considered living in a tiny house? I am excited to share Lindsay's story on this Better Together story! I met Lindsay growing up and actually worked with her mom as a guidance aid in middle school!
A concept not widely accepted in the US. While many are looking for the bigger house with a bigger kitchen, bigger basement, bigger bedrooms, bigger closets, and bigger bathrooms with a bigger SUV, our family is going smaller. While my family is downsizing (by only 1,000 square feet) in search of a simplified life, Lindsay and her husband take it to a whole different level! Their family of four occupies just 310 square feet! Less is more. Healthy doesn't mean a pantry stocked with various kinds of ingredients. Healthy can be simple. And! Imagine not having to worry about a mortgage. What choices would that give to your family?
I have never been that into meat. When I was younger, my parents would serve us the typical ‘balanced’ American dinner plate: veggie, starch, and large serving of meat. I only ever really ate a few bites of the meat and always got second and third helpings of the ‘sides.’ And when it comes to those few bites of meat I was very picky about the cut, quality, and source of the meat.
So when I went to a vegan restaurant with a friend and read their pamphlet about going ‘meatless’ it didn’t really seem like it would be much of an adjustment. In August 2014, I made the official commitment to vegetarianism (I love cheese way too much to go full vegan).Since I didn’t really eat a lot of meat before, the biggest adjustment was that I ate less fast food. There aren’t a lot of vegetarian options at fast food restaurants (although here is a link if you are only faced with fast food options) and this turned out to be a great motivator to cut out most junk food altogether. With more veggies in my diet, I automatically turned to fresher, less processed foods. My body finally felt like it was getting what it always wanted, not what I had always been told was the proper “balanced” diet. And luckily my partner, although he didn’t officially cut meat out of his diet, was on board for all the vegetarian recipes I was trying. Side note: if he did want meat, most of the recipes I made were easy to add some chicken to.
I should also mention that in December 2015 I moved into a 310-square-foot tiny house. We opted to go without a dishwasher to save space and hand wash all our dishes. Not working with any raw meat was a relief when it came to clean up. And while storing fresh produce takes up a little more space and is a little more expensive, we had more money to spend on food (tiny living can be mortgage and rent free!) and had made space for fresh fruits and veggies after getting rid of many of our belongings.
During my pregnancy with twin girls in the latter half of 2016, my doctor ordered me to eat meat again because I was anemic and needed more animal protein than I could get from eggs alone. But the lessons learned from being a vegetarian- fresh foods are best- was still around and I made sure I was eating lean, fresh meats. Once I am done breastfeeding my intent is to return to a vegetarian lifestyle. And while my other family members are welcome to make the call on meat or no meat for themselves, I can at least make sure the food in our tiny house is as fresh and wholesome as possible.
Lindsay's Favorite Plant-Based Recipe: Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad
I'm not completely convinced that animal protein is the only way to combat anemia. A couple years ago a friend recommended taking liquid chlorophyll as a natural deodorant, but it turns out there are other health benefits which potentially include boosting red blood cells. World Organic's is the one I chose. Check it out!
If you would like to read more about Lindsay and her husband's tiny house life, here is her blog about travel, fashion, living, etc in a tiny house. If you'd like to follow parenting (with twins!) in a tiny house, follow their joint blog. They are hilarious!
Thank you, Lindsay, for sharing your story! And more importantly, thank you for proving that conventional ways of thinking need not apply. What are things we always done because it's something we've always done? We always have a choice.
Did this inspire you to simplify? Let me tell you, it feels pretty good to go through "stuff" we have stored in our cabinets for the last 5 years and haven't touched the whole time! And what about the storage unit we rented that held all the stuff we didn't miss for two months while we staged our house? This is similar to the way I approach food: Simple, real ingredients.
- How much are we holding on to that we don't really need?
- What do you have to let go to move on?
- Are you looking to simplify your life or your meals?