Voluntary simplicity, it’s not just about minimalism

by Bella

We don’t like to define ourselves with terms like minimalists, vegetarians, environmentalists, or even alternative, though I will sometimes use them for the sake of simplicity. The reason we don’t like to define ourselves by such terms is that they are stereotypes. We believe that in labeling ourselves with these terms we’re just putting ourselves into another box.  

Ultimately, we’re just doing what’s right for us and what makes us happy. In doing so, we always try to take into account how our decisions impact other people and the environment. We’re not obsessive or even strict about the choices we make. We’re open to new information and sometimes that information alters our course, and that’s OK.  

What we’ve discovered in our journey to where we are now is that without knowing it, we’ve independently ended up on a path that is shared by many others. It’s a lifestyle of voluntary simplicity. We are not alone in our desire to get out of the box.

Image: Galactic Human. “Out of the Box.” Drawing. Mission Galactic Freedom. 7 Nov. 2012. 7 Nov. 2012 <http://missiongalacticfreedom.wordpress.com&gt;


For us It all started with what we ate back in 1996. We went vegetarian, eating mostly Indian food that we made ourselves using Krishna cookbooks. In doing so we discovered some of the most delicious recipes in the world, but more importantly, we realized that the food we ate had a direct impact on our contentment.

I’ll put links below to our favorite Krishna cookbooks and a great website for Krishna recipes and cooking pointers.

Food became a focal point in our lives. Preparing it together was just as important as sitting down together and taking the time to consciously savor every bite. The fact that the ingredients were ethically in line with our thoughts on animal sentience and the environment made the food taste even better.

Ever since that time we’ve been very aware of the food choices we make. Educating ourselves about how foods are produced and prepared and about their nutrient content has led us to change our diets and numerous other aspects of our lives and ultimately down the road we’re now on, the road to voluntary simplicity.

Voluntary simplicity touches all aspects of life, food, lodging, clothing, travel, and recreation to name a few. We’ve simplified the way we live and as the name of this blog implies, removed the boxes from all aspects of our lives.

We currently eat whole foods that are not processed or genetically modified, are organic and generally sold in bulk, not in boxes.

We live small and dress simply. No boxes of ornaments for every holiday. No boxes of clothes stored for future use. No boxes of stuff we don’t need or use daily.

We endeavor, as often as possible, to get out of the small box in which we sleep and eat (our apartment) and to explore the world and fill our lives with experiences rather than physical items.

Most importantly, we make our choices in life not based on what we think we’re expected to do, but on what’s right for us independent of stereotypes and independent of boxes.

Krishna cooking resources that we highly recommend:



The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking by Adiraja Dasa    
Great Vegetarian Dishes by Kurma Dasa
Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi


Cooking with Kurma

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