The Daily Beet

25 Jan Guest post by The Happy Herbivore, Lindsay Nixon: Simplify Your Surroundings

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We have been focusing on simplicity this month, and we asked Lindsay Nixon from “Happy Herbivore” if she would share her thoughts on simplicity. Lindsay’s cookbooks, Happy Herbivore and Every Day Happy Herbivore are two of our favorite cookbooks in part because of how simple they are to use, so we thought she’d be the perfect person to ask about simplicity!

Part 1 Simplify Your Surroundings

I had this beta fish in college and one day I moved him from my desk to my dresser. He was all a flutter during the 3 foot move, but I figured he’d quiet down by nighttime. He didn’t. He was swimming about frantically, all puffed out like he was going to war, and generally, a stressed out fish. I couldn’t figure out WHY he was so upset, surely the view from my dresser couldn’t be that much different from the view from my desk? Why were his new surroundings stressing him out so much.

That’s when my roommate pointed out he could see himself in my mirror, only he didn’t recognize it as himself, but a rival, and hence why he was all stirred up.

It was a lesson to me that surroundings can affect our stress levels. In a lot of ways, I’m like that fish. I find if the area around me is too cluttered, if breeds a feeling of chaos, and I get all stressed out.

About six months ago I decided to remove everything out of sight to the extent possible. Everything on my kitchen counter went into the cupboards or pantry. All my bath products in the bathroom found their way into a single container that I kept under the sink.

I was going for the minimalist look and realized, less is more.

Think back to the last time you cleaned up and tidied your desk – didn’t you feel more zen? And like you had accomplished something?

If you feel stressed or frazzled, try simplifying your surroundings. Tucking away anything possible. The less that is out is better… it’ll help, promise!


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Lindsay Nixon
Lindsay Nixon

Lindsay S. Nixon is a rising star in the culinary world, praised for her ability to use everyday ingredients to create healthy, low fat recipes that taste just as delicious as they are nutritious. She is the author of two bestselling cookbooks, The Happy Herbivore Cookbook and Everyday Happy Herbivore. Her third book, Happy Herbivore Abroad, will be released in December 2012. Learn more about Nixon and try some of her recipes at happyherbivore.com.

  • Jane
    Posted at 11:26h, 25 January

    Wow, that is crazy how your fish picked up on the new surroundings like that! Makes you realize how much our pets really do comprehend! I just cleaned out my kitchen last weekend, and it makes me feel so much more relaxed and happy just walking in the kitchen!

  • Suzy
    Posted at 12:27h, 25 January

    Thank you so much for this simple advice! I really need this as with two kids and a full time job things get cluttered so quickly. I am ready to make things simpler and to feel more relaxed in both my home and work space! Thank you!

  • Rachel
    Posted at 13:01h, 25 January

    Good idea! I always feel much better walking into my kitchen when there’s not various things all over the counters…
    I need to remember this – and that it wouldn’t take much to see those counters!

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