Monthly Archives: September 2015

Jules Clancy on (fast) slow food – SHP027

(Fast) Slow Food with Jules Clancy - SHP027

Is there such a thing as fast slow food? Today’s guest, Jules Clancy of The Stone Soup believes there is, and she’s made it her mission to create and share recipes that are healthy, tasty, fast, easy and have just 5 ingredients.

Jules and I talk about how to create simple, easy meals, but we also look at the impact minimalism has had on her life, beyond the culinary simplicity she practices. We dig in to her love of experimentation and how decluttering lead to quitting her job and leaving the corporate world.

As the mum of a toddler, Jules also has some excellent insight into dealing with the dreaded fussy eating stage and gives tips on how to avoid the whole ‘make two dinners every night’ issue. She also talks about meal planning, getting the most out of your time in the kitchen and what staples she always has on hand – for those nights it’s really too hard to cook.

I absolutely loved this conversation (despite the horrible delay we had to contend with – please excuse any crappy audio!) and came away re-energised to try new things in the kitchen and put in an extra 30 minutes prep time on a Sunday to set ourselves up well for the week ahead.

Actually, as I write this, there are stacks of glass containers in the fridge, full of chopped veggies, cooked rice and quinoa, a lentil chilli and spaghetti bolognese – all inspired by the delightful Jules. Here’s hoping you’re just as inspired!

Enjoy!

Today’s show is sponsored by Audible.com where you can access over 180,000 audiobooks, including titles by Stephen King, Amy Poehler, Gretchen Rubin and Aziz Ansari. Click here to get a free, no strings attached, 30-day trial of Audible and claim one free audiobook of your choice.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Alternatively, you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • The impact years of boarding school food had on Jules’ appreciation for good food
  • How Leo Babauta and his blog, Zen Habits, influenced Jules to simplify not only her food, but her home and her life too
  • Why Jules works to keep her recipes to 5 ingredients and the Italian proverb that inspired it
  • How decluttering lead to her quitting the corporate world and pursuing a career in food
  • How minimalism provided the financial freedom to make the leap
  • The power and joy of experimentation – both in the kitchen and in life
  • What staples Jules always has on-hand, for those nights that are just way too hard too cook
  • Fermented foods and why there’s always some on the table in Jules’ house
  • The key factors in having a simple, successful food week (HINT: It’s in the preparation)
  • How to find little pockets of time during the day to make meal time much easier
  • Jules’ approach to meal planning and why it’s changed over the years
  • Her easy-as lentil risotto – ready in 15 minutes.

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If you love the show and want to support it by continuing to subscribe, listen, share with friends/family or leave a review on iTunes, that’s awesome too!

Bele Masterman on keeping Christmas simple – SHP026

Gift guilt and Christmas conundrums - SHP026

To be honest, I kind of hate myself for being that person, talking about Christmas – in September. And yet, here we are.

Last week I received a Christmas-themed question on the Facebook page, from a listener named Natalie (thanks, Natalie!) and wanted to spend some time digging in to the topic before the craziness of the season hits. Because honestly, the changes we talk about in this episode aren’t going to happen overnight, and it might help to start thinking about them now, before the season is upon us.

Natalie asked:

“I would love you to discuss how you manage Christmas and all of the commercialism that surrounds it. How do you manage the expectations of what your children expect for Christmas? And how do you manage what family/friends give your children for Christmas? Because, as parents, we sometimes don’t have control over what others get for our children.”

It’s not an easy question, and it’s one I’m asked a lot, because so many of us struggle to balance the commercial aspects of the holiday season with our simple, slow living philosophy. It’s also a time when our differences can become very apparent, particularly when we have friends and family who have different ideas on gift giving. 

I have my own thoughts on this topic, naturally, but my ideas are just that – mine. There’s so many different ways to approach the holiday season, so I invited Bele Masterman back to chat about her views on giving and receiving, whether re-gifting is OK (yes), how to buy second-hand, and what to do if a gift is unwanted.

We also talk about how best to manage our kids expectations, how to deal with family and friends who love giving gifts and how to let go of the guilt that comes with a sentimental present.

Enjoy!

PS. This episode is a bit longer than normal, and we’d love to know if the length is something you enjoy, or if you prefer the shorter episodes. Let me know in the comments below.

Today’s show is sponsored by Audible.com where you can access over 180,000 audiobooks, including The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Click here to get a free, no strings attached, 30-day trial of Audible and claim one free audiobook of your choice.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Alternatively, you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • The impact commercial have on our kids and their gift expectations
  • How previous generations idea of a good gift (ie. useful) is different to current generations
  • Why Ben and I still buy our kids presents and are happy to do so
  • Why we tend to stick to the notion of “Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read”
  • How we manage expectations around Christmas, birthdays and other special occasions
  • The type of conversations we have with our kids about stuff, advertising and the environment
  • Why it’s important to understand that some people see gift-giving as a ‘love language’
  • How to deal with the guilt of unwanted gifts
  • Learn how to be a compassionate gift giver and receiver
  • Aligning buying decisions with your personal philosophy can make it a simpler process
  • Most important of all – people over things.

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Support the Show:

If you love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

If you love the show and want to support it by continuing to subscribe, listen, share with friends/family or leave a review on iTunes, that’s awesome too!

 

Sam Lustgarten on the freedom of frugal living – SHP025

Sam Lustgarten on the freedom of frugal living - SHP025

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
Henry David Thoreau

Sometimes I have a conversation that is so honest and open it floors me. Today’s episode is one of those.

Sam Lustgarten writes about how to live a frugal, simple (and awesome) life, but he and I dive in to a whole lot more than that today.

We talk about how he fell into debt in college, and how spending money on stuff became a much-desired distraction as he moved through a difficult personal time. We also look at the first crucial steps Sam took to start getting out of debt and live a simpler, more frugal life.

Debt can be such a shameful, emotional burden to carry around, but Sam shows how being honest, open and vulnerable can actually lessen the burden and free us up to pay it off (and keep it off).

What I loved about this chat was that Sam never shied away from answering the tricky questions, and as a result I felt myself opening up and talking about our own issues with money and debt.

Such a pleasure talking with Sam, and I’m sure you’re going to love it too!

Today’s show is sponsored by Audible.com where you can access over 180,000 audiobooks, including Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Click here to get a free, no strings attached, 30-day trial of Audible and claim one free audiobook of your choice.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Alternatively, you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • What do we mean by living a frugal life?
  • Sam’s personal motto of ‘play hard, work less’ and why it’s so powerful
  • Where his personal finance chops come from, and what caused him to fall off the money wagon during college
  • How spending money on stuff became a much-wanted distraction in a time of depression and upheaval
  • How an innocent question from a girlfriend set Sam on the path to reclaim his financial freedom
  • What steps Sam first took when he realised he was almost $40,000 in debt
  • Why acknowledging the issue was the most powerful part of the process
  • Why getting rid of the majority of his belongings was more helpful in regaining financial freedom than actually paying off the debt
  • Whether Sam thinks there is such a thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debt
  • Where people waste the most money (Sam’s answer really surprised me)

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William Powers: living slow in a big city – SHP024

William Powers: how to live slow in a big city - SHP024

One question I’m asked a lot is whether slow living is really accessible to people who live in big cities, and today’s guest, William Powers, is the perfect person to ask.

Bill’s most recent book, New Slow City, explores what it means to live slow in one of the world’s most hectic cities – New York. He and his wife spent a year living in a micro-apartment in Manhattan, and amongst other changes, Bill set about to cut back his work schedule to just 2 days a week.

This is a really fascinating look at what it takes to slow down in the city, and why people who live in a fast-paced environment stand to gain a great deal from simplifying, living with purpose and opting out.

I loved hearing not only about the slow year Bill and his wife lived in New York, but also the changes they’ve made since and what drove them to move to a Transition Town in Bolivia.

Such a great conversation, and I hope you enjoy it!

Today’s show is sponsored by Audible.com where you can access over 180,000 audiobooks, including Modern Romance: An Investigation by Aziz Ansari. Click here to get a free, no strings attached, 30-day trial of Audible and claim one free audiobook of your choice.

——

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Alternatively, you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • Bill’s previous attempts at slow living, including creativity sabbaticals
  • The micro apartment he and his wife shared for a year, after letting go of more than 80% of their belongings
  • How communal living helped them navigate life in a tiny home
  • The superb idea behind working 24/7 and why it is so appealing (and no, it’s not 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!)
  • How Bill learnt to pay himself in time, not money
  • Why he doesn’t believe a slower, simpler life is only available to the wealthy
  • The number of work hours Bill found to be his peak productivity level
  • How to make the transition from working hard to working smart
  • Why people tend to respect the boundaries you set for yourself and how to use this in your favour when disconnecting from work
  • Bill’s advice for people who work for large, inflexible organisations and how to reclaim your time
  • What would happen if everyone in New York started working less
  • The incredible revillaging movement and the Transition Town that Bill and his family now call home.

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