Author Topic: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life  (Read 6701 times)

undercover

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Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« on: January 17, 2019, 04:06:11 PM »
Anyone else do this? I find it saves time and money. Itís so amazing to walk into a store and know exactly what youíre there for. The thought of bargain shopping and then meal planning around that or even *shudders to think* going to multiple stores in a day sounds like a definite nightmare.

Disclosure: Iím 28, single, and cooking for myself.

Another huge benefit which is primarily the reason I started this is to challenge myself to only eat what I prepare myself (except snacks) since Iím trying to get in much better shape. And Iíll admit since Iím single itís become SO much easier to avoid restaurants.

So yeah...it usually means a healthier and fitter me plus it saves time and money. Itís been great so far.

Of course I occasionally throw a wrench in it all but mostly Iím happy eating the same things. Iíve been literally eating the same two meals a day although I plan on getting different meals for different days but eating the same meals every week.

rantk81

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2019, 04:11:55 PM »
A variation of this... I buy mostly the same 20-30 items all the time... and they are all very versatile and can be combined in a large number of ways.  A lot of them are various frozen vegetables, so I don't have to worry about using anything in a particular time frame.  Meats get frozen too, until the day before they are cooked.  I don't buy many things that expire quickly -- or if I do, I know to use them first.

Eric

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2019, 04:17:23 PM »
I ate a ham sandwich for lunch every (work) day for about 12 years.  But it helps that it was at work, so I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention anyway.

I kind of enjoy grocery shopping though, so I can't relate to the not wanting to go to different stores for the lowest prices.  That's the best part!  It's fun!!

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2019, 05:27:44 PM »
Idk,, Cooking can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be if you ask me. You can simply buy numerous types of chicken and just by different cuts and different seasonings really change the taste. Same with pork and beef. And you really dont need to go to different stores. Find one, maybe two and I buy and we eat whats on sale. Mix it up, keep it simple and seems like enough change.

wenchsenior

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2019, 05:31:35 PM »
Anyone else do this? I find it saves time and money. Itís so amazing to walk into a store and know exactly what youíre there for. The thought of bargain shopping and then meal planning around that or even *shudders to think* going to multiple stores in a day sounds like a definite nightmare.

Disclosure: Iím 28, single, and cooking for myself.

Another huge benefit which is primarily the reason I started this is to challenge myself to only eat what I prepare myself (except snacks) since Iím trying to get in much better shape. And Iíll admit since Iím single itís become SO much easier to avoid restaurants.

So yeah...it usually means a healthier and fitter me plus it saves time and money. Itís been great so far.

Of course I occasionally throw a wrench in it all but mostly Iím happy eating the same things. Iíve been literally eating the same two meals a day although I plan on getting different meals for different days but eating the same meals every week.

Urgh, I'm struggling with this right now.  I have a chronic endocrine condition that makes me prone to diabetes and heart disease. I don't care much for cooking (though I like most kinds of food), and I dread meal planning/shopping.  Because of my health condition, we did a total revamp of how we ate about 15 years ago. And since then we've subsisted happily with a very predictable, small, rotating menu of dinners (and for me, breakfast).  Low in sugar/simple carbs/animal fats, low glycemic (diabetic friendly), high in produce of all kinds, low in processed food, easy to cook, automatic to shop for, and tasted great (to us at least).  We were eating healthier than anyone we knew, and unlike all our peers, we had no trouble with weight maintenance as we aged. 

I thought we had that shit locked down.

Then about 7 years ago my digestion slowed to a crawl and I began trying all kinds of tweaks to diet to speed things up again and spur my appetite.  It was SO tiresome to have to think about food all the damn time, and even more tiresome when NOTHING worked.  I began to struggle to maintain weight (b/c I physically couldn't ingest enough healthy food to get the calories needed...too much bulk). Eventually I resorted to adding plant fats (nut oils/olive oils, etc) to my meals to boost calories.  That stabilized my weight finally.

Then a few weeks ago, I got more bad news.  Turns out that despite having none of the obvious risk factors OR symptoms, I have esophogeal damage from long-term 'silent' acid reflux, despite only having gotten heartburn maybe half a dozen times in my entire life.  And it turns out that practically every meal in our regular rotation (despite being a model of typical recommended 'healthy' eating) potentially worsens this condition. 

Except for dropping all the added plant fats, which is easy (though will probably result in my struggling again to hold onto weight), this means we are theoretically looking at another complete revamp of what we eat and how we cook. 

IT IS SO DAMN TIRESOME.  We're trying to look at it as an opportunity to 'try new things' (which really means eating much more boring and restricted meals), but my routine-loving brain is still defaulting to viewing it as a giant pain in the ass.

Now I truly understand how people with lots of food allergies feel!  Honestly, my attitude at the moment is that something will kill me eventually, and I'm not sure it's worth it try to upend my entire diet and give up so many obviously tasty and healthy staples.  I feel like I'm just going to try to do a little reduction, and remember to be thankful I have the monetary resources to even WORRY about tweaking my damn diet to every damn competing health condition LOL.




firehelp

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Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2019, 05:50:37 PM »
I have been following similar approach for more than 7 years when I do the cooking. This practice is similar to what some do for clothes - wear similar clothes everyday.

https://hackernoon.com/the-reason-why-mark-zuckerberg-wears-the-same-shirt-everyday-68e4f907f661

I do cook in batches and store in a few plastic containers in the fridge and use a couple of containers every week. I have a few recipes that I repeat.

Other items like milk, yogurt, and bread I shop every two weeks.

Important thing to remember is it takes a few months or years to make it a routine practice in your daily life. It may not be for people who do not like eating a few days old food.

Budgie

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2019, 07:14:31 PM »
After many years of providing meals for my family, I was pretty tired of trying to appeal to everyone else and having "enough variety", whatever that vague criteria was in my mind.

I'm down to one other mouth to feed nowadays, and that person doesn't care much about variety. So I made a conscious shift to just cook fewer things--I made a short list of about 15 dinners I know we both like and  boom! a lot of annoyance was gone.

I am enjoying cooking much more now that I know positive results are guaranteed.







LetItGrow

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2019, 08:09:35 PM »
Breakfast and lunch have little variation over the last years. Breakfast has been quick oats with a squirt of honey since 2001. I have evolved lunch a bit searching for more and more efficiency. All finger food now, takes about five minutes to eat.

koshtra

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2019, 08:50:16 PM »
Yeah, I eat the same thing every day. I first started doing it to lose weight, because trying to reckon the calories in new stuff all the time was maddening (and hopelessly inaccurate.) But it made life so much easier in other ways as well that I think it's just going to be what I do, now.

People ask me if I get tired of it and I don't know what to say. It's food. How can you get tired of food?


momcpa

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2019, 09:01:18 PM »
I'm 'steel-cut oats for breakfast' probably 6 days a week.  For lunch, I'm a giant salad meal.....lettuce, cabbage, onions, a few frozen peas, a sprinkle of shredded cheese, with a little tuna or chicken on top and then a handful of seeds/nuts for dessert.  DH skips breakfast and usually just snacks for lunch   The evening meal for the 2 of us is usually some basic standard food....pizza, spaghetti, roast & potatoes, pulled pork, scramble eggs, bowl of cold cereal, etc.   DH doesn't like fancy or spicy foods, so simple is simple to do.   

I have never gotten tired of the oatmeal or salad portion of my day.  Others may find it boring, but I really love both meals and it works for me.

SunnyDays

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2019, 10:07:18 PM »
Although it's easier and less thought-demanding to eat repetitive meals, you may not be getting enough of a variety of nutrients to do this long-term.  If that's your plan, you might want to run it by a dietician.  And that isn't free.

sparkytheop

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2019, 11:17:44 PM »
I started out as a picky kid with hypersensitive taste buds and extreme texture issues with food.  My parents were not one to allow "same food every night" when they had five kids to feed, plus daycare kids in the house all the time.

At some point in my late 20s and early 30s, my appreciation for food exploded.  I'm much less picky (still don't like seafood, but I'll at least try it as often as I can to see if that has changed.  I'll finally eat cantaloupe if it is frozen and put in a smoothie, but tried a bite of a fresh melon this summer, and it is the one food I have to spit out still, I just cannot force myself to swallow it.)

Anyway, after hating so many foods, and then finally having all these flavors open up to me, I can't imagine eating the same things all the time.  Between my son and I, we are always trying new recipes (although I mostly stick to simple, he has no issues attacking a four page, five hour recipe).  He made eggs benedict for the first time yesterday, and a pasta machine (hand roller) I bought just arrived tonight.  I can't wait to try my first fettucine noodles tomorrow.

Most of my life is fairly simple and routine, so I use meals and vacations to break out of that.  The meals are cheaper and more practical for weekly purposes.

I can see how it is appealing for others though.  There are days where I don't feel like cooking and I'd be fine eating every meal in some kind of fruit or chocolate smoothie form, as long as I didn't have to make it.

But, for me, I wear the same clothes every day for work (FR rated required, although I do have a few blue shirts and a few grey shirts.  Two have buttons and a pocket.  I just grab one from the pile though.)  I have "old lady hobbies".  I live in a small, quiet town.  I spend 70%+ of my work shifts all by myself (only two other people in a building over half a mile long on nights and most weekends).  There just isn't a ton of daily excitement and stimulation.  I'll take variety where I can get it.

Trifele

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2019, 01:54:24 AM »
Yes, I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day.  I have serious food allergies, and it just simplifies things.  Breakfast is eggs, potatoes, and toast.  Lunch is a sweet potato, spinach, an avocado, and a tomato.  I don't really get tired of it, but I don't really enjoy it either.  It's just fuel that I swallow. 

Dinner varies a bit, but it's basically the same four or five things in rotation:  stir fry with rice,  a hamburger, fish and vegetables, pasta, soup.

 

former player

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2019, 03:09:28 AM »
Particularly if you are just cooking for one then limiting variation makes a lot of sense because you are not trying to buy expensive single portions or ending up with waste (or some very peculiar meals when you eat things up to avoid waste).  So yes, I'm also eating the same basic stuff most of the time, with a bit of variation on top.  Lots of salad in summer, lots of roast vegetables in winter - make a big pan in the oven and then portion it out, adding a bit of variety through the vegetables and seasonings used.



Khaetra

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2019, 05:00:59 AM »
I eat pretty much the same foods daily due to allergies/intolerances.  Chicken and fish are my staples but I mix up the sides and spices so it doesn't seem as boring.  I also take a multivitamin daily.

AlexMar

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2019, 06:09:49 AM »
I like to have a few basics.  Some typical recipes that work well.  The reason I wouldn't buy/eat the same thing is that grocery stores rotate their sales quite a bit.  So I like to buy/eat what is on sale.  Often BOGO so savings are huge.  If you have a basic understanding of cooking, then it's easy to modify for different items.  For example, black beans, rice, roasted veggies with fish, or chicken, or beef, or tofu, or more veggies...  And then you can season the different proteins different ways.

dude

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2019, 07:30:18 AM »
Yep, I buy mostly the same couple dozen items week after week. Some of the staples:

Eggs
Bacon (uncured)
Greek Yogurt (full fat)
Berries (blueberries + strawberries)
Smoked mussels
Baby Spinach
Some type of cheese (brie, cheddar, etc)
Broccoli rabe (my favorite vegetable by a mile)
Wasabi Rice crackers (perfect snack)
Chicken (either drums and thighs or whole chicken)
Seltzer water (flavored)
Canned tuna (pole and line caught yellowfin)
Dolmas (canned, from Trader Joe's)
Whole Milk
Mixed Nuts
Kimchee
In addition, another fruit or two depending on relative prices, and another veggie or two (usually broccoli, kale, shishito peppers or cauliflower)



In addition, I keep staples in the cabinet/fridge that I replenish from time to time, including:

Rice
Olive Oil
Various curry pastes (green, yellow, red)
Canned tomatoes
Coconut milk
Espresso ground coffee beans
Onions
Capers

Those are the standards. I'll augment with other stuff if I've got a specific dish in mind I want to make.




AlexMar

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2019, 07:47:34 AM »
Yep, I buy mostly the same couple dozen items week after week. Some of the staples:

Eggs
Bacon (uncured)
Greek Yogurt (full fat)
Berries (blueberries + strawberries)
Smoked mussels
Baby Spinach
Some type of cheese (brie, cheddar, etc)
Broccoli rabe (my favorite vegetable by a mile)
Wasabi Rice crackers (perfect snack)
Chicken (either drums and thighs or whole chicken)
Seltzer water (flavored)
Canned tuna (pole and line caught yellowfin)
Dolmas (canned, from Trader Joe's)
Whole Milk
Mixed Nuts
Kimchee
In addition, another fruit or two depending on relative prices, and another veggie or two (usually broccoli, kale, shishito peppers or cauliflower)



In addition, I keep staples in the cabinet/fridge that I replenish from time to time, including:

Rice
Olive Oil
Various curry pastes (green, yellow, red)
Canned tomatoes
Coconut milk
Espresso ground coffee beans
Onions
Capers

Those are the standards. I'll augment with other stuff if I've got a specific dish in mind I want to make.

This is a good way to put it.  Just looking at the staples I could make an obscene amount of different dishes.

ROF Expat

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2019, 08:21:41 AM »
Hey, whatever works for you. 

If you view eating as a chore, like filling the gas tank of your car, simplification probably makes sense. 

I prefer to take that "chore" and turn it into a simple (or sometimes complicated) pleasure that I can enjoy every day.  I like eating, and I often enjoy cooking.  I don't particularly hate grocery shopping, and I often enjoy buying at interesting places like farm stands.  Eating the same things might simplify my life, but it would also take away from the simple pleasure of eating a variety of foods and eating with the seasons.  I like eating fresh local asparagus in Spring, peaches in Summer, and apples in the Fall.  I like trying new things and unfamiliar varieties of old things.  Giving those up for the sake of simplification wouldn't be a good tradeoff for me.   


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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2019, 08:40:29 AM »
I can do with meal monotony better than most. I can eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day for a year at a time. I do like my dinners to have a bit more variety, though. I also have a big garden and orchard and laying hens, so to some extent my diet varies just based on what's in season. I can eat the same dinner for a week straight without complaint, but that's about as much as I can take without wanting a change.

My wife on the other hand...she gets cravings and also loves to bake. So she'll go to the store for a specific ingredient to make a specific dish that she wants, or she'll bake cookies and brownies on a whim. Doesn't really bother me. She's a good cook, but she definitely spends more money on food than I would spend. Gotta pick your battles, and her love of food isn't one that I'm willing to fight.

Budgie

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2019, 09:10:41 AM »
She's a good cook, but she definitely spends more money on food than I would spend. Gotta pick your battles, and her love of food isn't one that I'm willing to fight.

Smart!

ketchup

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2019, 09:19:32 AM »
Meals during the week for me are pretty consistent.  I don't eat before work, and then at work I keep a stash of frozen broccoli florets, bone-in chicken thighs, peanut butter, oatmeal, and whole milk.  Plus an array of spices.  That covers the bases.  My GF cooks dinner every night during the week, so I get my variety there and on the weekends (when I do most of the cooking).

mathlete

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2019, 09:21:20 AM »
I do this when I'm on a good streak. ~70% of my daily diet is locked in. It's cheap, healthy, and makes me feel great.

Right now I'm on a bad streak. :(

honeybbq

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2019, 09:22:00 AM »
No, I love food and I love variety. I'm a decent cook, have memorized my grocery store aisles, and create a list every week so the effort expended is minimized.

I can eat leftovers the next day but by day 3 I'm bored and my tastebuds are screaming for change.

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2019, 09:35:40 AM »
There a certain type of person that this really appeals to.

My wife can't stand having the same meal more than twice in a week.  She went on a business trip to China for three weeks at one point.  I cooked a giant turkey/mashed potatoes meal the first week she was gone, portioned everything out into containers in the freezer and then ate that for lunch and dinner every day (along with a spinach, walnut, and mandarin orange salad).  It was great!  The amount of time saved each day was incredible.

:P

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2019, 09:44:11 AM »
Although it's easier and less thought-demanding to eat repetitive meals, you may not be getting enough of a variety of nutrients to do this long-term.  If that's your plan, you might want to run it by a dietician.  And that isn't free.

Oh, it's easy to just reckon up the RDAs set by the FDA and avoid the obvious pitfalls. If you avoid processed crap and eat fruit & vegetables & meat & eggs it's pretty near impossible to miss your nutrients. Vegetarians will want to make sure they're getting b12 & enough protein, but they'll already know that.

mak1277

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2019, 10:00:50 AM »
Quick answer for me is, hell no!  With a couple of dishes aside, I don't enjoy eating leftovers at all, much less intentionally planning to eat the same meal multiple days in a row.  I believe that eating should  be a joy, not simply fuel. 

cats

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2019, 10:24:45 AM »
We do something like this also.  We have a toddler and both work FT and being willing to eat the same basic dishes fairly often takes a lot of the stress and effort out of meal planning.

For me, this usually means:

Breakfast: eggs w/ vegetables, oatmeal
Lunch: seitan, legumes, roast veggies if I'm going into the office, a big salad if I'm at home
Dinner: some kind of vegetable/lentil soup or curry (we will make a big pot of something each weekend, eat some during the coming week and freeze some for future weeks).

The exact ingredients vary from week to week.  I do a once a week trip to a local grocery and stock up on whatever fruits and vegetables are cheapest.  The grocery store I go to for produce doesn't put out a flyer with bargains or loss leaders, but I find with our method of cooking this makes for fairly easy and quick shopping.  I just go in and know I need to fill about half a grocery cart with veg and fruit, so I do that with a focus on getting things that are under $1/lb.  At this point I'm experienced/confident enough as a cook that I know I'll be able to use whatever I buy fairly easily.  I used to spend a lot more time meal planning and trying to add new recipes into rotation and while I enjoy cooking, it was also a big time and mental energy sink to keep on top of that.  Now we basically eat the same way M-F and on the weekends we will experiment a bit more.

In addition to the grocery run, I find I usually do a trip to one other grocery store every 1-2 weeks, though the exact store varies.  Most often it is Trader Joe's (for things like eggs, frozen brussels sprouts, coconut milk, booze), or the 99 cent store (has a surprisingly good produce section so a good backup if our usual place is having an off week), occasionally Sprouts (meat and a few bulk items) or the local Indian grocery (best price on dried beans and lentils, spices).  Maybe 1-2x/year I wind up somewhere like Whole Foods or a mainstream grocery like Safeway.  It's very rare that I would have to go to 3 or more stores in a single week, maybe if we're hosting people for dinner or something like that.

koshtra

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2019, 10:41:46 AM »
Quick answer for me is, hell no!  With a couple of dishes aside, I don't enjoy eating leftovers at all, much less intentionally planning to eat the same meal multiple days in a row.  I believe that eating should  be a joy, not simply fuel.

This is the good reason to eat lots of different stuff. Neglect no opportunities for joy!

I find my same ol' food delightful, but I never claimed to be anything but a queer duck :-)

dude

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2019, 10:48:27 AM »
Quick answer for me is, hell no!  With a couple of dishes aside, I don't enjoy eating leftovers at all, much less intentionally planning to eat the same meal multiple days in a row.  I believe that eating should  be a joy, not simply fuel.

I love leftovers. I make stuff that I really enjoy, and eating it 3-4 days in a row isn't tedious to me at all. I enjoy every leftover meal as much as the first. And I make a huge variety of dishes with the staples I buy. I can assure you I love to eat as much as the next guy, and every meal I eat is a joy. When you've locked onto the things you really like, the need to vary it widely just isn't there.  But of course I go beyond these pretty regularly, whether it's eating out or cooking my own. But the basics satisfy me the majority of the time.

mm1970

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2019, 10:57:54 AM »
After many years of providing meals for my family, I was pretty tired of trying to appeal to everyone else and having "enough variety", whatever that vague criteria was in my mind.

I'm down to one other mouth to feed nowadays, and that person doesn't care much about variety. So I made a conscious shift to just cook fewer things--I made a short list of about 15 dinners I know we both like and  boom! a lot of annoyance was gone.

I am enjoying cooking much more now that I know positive results are guaranteed.
Boy I can relate.  I started a new rule last night!  My husband first thought it was because he texted me asking for advice for dinner while I was in my big meeting.  But I told him that no, I'd decided earlier during the day on a walk.

So.  I pretty much eat the same thing for lunch every day.  Salad.

My experience is probably different than many/most.  I eat a lot of produce AND I get it delivered by 2 services.  We have one service that shops at the farmer's market and delivers a box every Saturday.  We can swap things out within reason (there are usually 11 items and 6-8 "swaps").  There's a Weds box by a different company that delivers to our elementary school.   Thus, most of my meals have to be planned around produce.  And I get a lot of salad greens, so I've basically been eating salad every day for lunch for 4-5 years.

Breakfast rotates.  Eggs.  Oatmeal.  Yogurt.

For dinner, I would pick 2 big meals to make on Sat/Sun, and then we'd eat them Mon/Tues, then have to wing it mid-week.

New plan, the kids have to help (they are 12 and 6) and pick a night because I'm tired of thinking about it.
Saturday: 12 yo picks and has to help cook.
Sunday: 6 yo, same deal
Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday: (only day I get home first): Me
Weds: favorite chicken (aka, chicken tenders for kids, veggie burgers or leftovers for parents)
Thurs: husband
Friday: frozen pizza

On Friday night, we will look at what we are getting in the 2 veggie boxes and everyone has to decide not only the main dish, but also choose a veg and recipe.

To be honest, I pretty much always eat veggies raw, or roasted, or microwaved, or stir-fried.  Doesn't matter the veg, it's not hard to prep.

(For example, this week we are getting the following veg:
Sat: broccoli, beets, leeks, carrot, lettuce, radish, kale, baby greens, dill, apples, mandarin
Weds: cauliflower, spinach, leeks, potatoes, onion, avocado

And we still have carrots and sweet potatoes and onions from this week's box.

In the past, I've done things like:
Sat, meal 1. Sun meal 2. Monday Meal 1 leftovers. Tues Meal 2 leftovers. Weds crockpot, Thurs crockpot leftovers, Friday wing it.
Or Monday: chicken, Tues tacos, Weds stir fry, Thurs pasta, Friday pizza.

Barbaebigode

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2019, 11:29:22 AM »
I read somewhere that on average a person only has 8-9 different recipes on their cooking rotation. Seems about right.

Zikoris

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2019, 11:46:25 AM »
We and my partner eat the same things for breakfast every day - cereal for me, toast for him. For the rest of our meals, it's not exactly the same things, but there's definitely a lot of similarities - for example, I make a lot of different types of stir fry, based on whatever vegetables and protein I get at the grocery store that week. There's also a type of soup I really like, and I make that almost every weekend.

I find the biggest thing that simplifies our food system is just having a locked-in routine and weekend bulk meal prep system. Saturday morning I go to the nearby Chinese market and get a basket full of stuff that looks interesting, in roughly the volume of food I know we need for a week. I don't use a list or anything, because what they have changes every week. Then I cook and bake on Saturday and sometimes a bit on Sunday, usually about six different dishes plus bread and muffins, and portion/organize everything for the week in the fridge. So meals are really easy during the week, because we can just grab things as needed.

This system works well if you generally keep a mostly empty fridge, because a week of portioned food takes up a lot of space, and it's nice to organize things in stacks by what they are to make it easier to find what you're looking for quickly. My ideal is to have the fridge basically empty below the top shelf (where I store all the prepared food) by Sunday night, except for soy milk, a few condiments, and our compost bin.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2019, 11:52:52 AM »
There a certain type of person that this really appeals to.

My wife can't stand having the same meal more than twice in a week.  She went on a business trip to China for three weeks at one point.  I cooked a giant turkey/mashed potatoes meal the first week she was gone, portioned everything out into containers in the freezer and then ate that for lunch and dinner every day (along with a spinach, walnut, and mandarin orange salad).  It was great!  The amount of time saved each day was incredible.

:P

When my wife is gone for a week, I do the exact same thing. Usually a big pot of chili or red beans and rice for me. I supplement with fruit and maybe a fried egg here and there, but otherwise I just eat off of a single dish for the whole week. It's fantastic.

BookLoverL

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2019, 11:59:28 AM »
I think this is a good idea to some extent - I eat porridge every day for breakfast and the same type of sandwich every day for lunch - but you need to make sure to vary your food enough to cover all the different micronutrients, which are present to different amounts in different types of vegetables and things. If you have a few simple recipes you rotate between, it's probably a lot easier to cook than if you were trying new things all the time, though. :)

Zikoris

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2019, 12:00:34 PM »
There a certain type of person that this really appeals to.

My wife can't stand having the same meal more than twice in a week.  She went on a business trip to China for three weeks at one point.  I cooked a giant turkey/mashed potatoes meal the first week she was gone, portioned everything out into containers in the freezer and then ate that for lunch and dinner every day (along with a spinach, walnut, and mandarin orange salad).  It was great!  The amount of time saved each day was incredible.

:P

When my wife is gone for a week, I do the exact same thing. Usually a big pot of chili or red beans and rice for me. I supplement with fruit and maybe a fried egg here and there, but otherwise I just eat off of a single dish for the whole week. It's fantastic.

I could totally eat the same stuff over and over if I was single. My boyfriend is finicky about food so that's not a thing we do, and it's probably a good thing health-wise that we have good variety, but I don't really care much about food as long as I like something.

OtherJen

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2019, 12:07:48 PM »

I love leftovers. I make stuff that I really enjoy, and eating it 3-4 days in a row isn't tedious to me at all. I enjoy every leftover meal as much as the first. And I make a huge variety of dishes with the staples I buy.

Same. I usually make a big pot of beans (in the pressure cooker with vegetables and spices) each week. Husband will only eat them for one dinner and maybe one lunch, so I end up having beans and rice for several lunches in a row. I'm totally fine with this. Our dinners tend to vary a lot more, although they usually include an animal protein (meat, poultry, eggs, fish, dairy), starch (rice, potato, corn tortilla, pasta), and at least couple types of vegetables.

HBFIRE

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2019, 05:11:29 PM »
I couldn't do this, I love different foods of different countries and regions way too much -- its one of the real joys of life imo.  For me, it would be like listening to the same music over and over.  Fortunately, my wife is quite the chef.  Now other things in life (like clothing), I could definitely see streamlining to a "same thing every day" habit.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 05:17:20 PM by dustinst22 »

SunnyDays

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2019, 10:37:39 AM »

Then a few weeks ago, I got more bad news.  Turns out that despite having none of the obvious risk factors OR symptoms, I have esophogeal damage from long-term 'silent' acid reflux, despite only having gotten heartburn maybe half a dozen times in my entire life.  And it turns out that practically every meal in our regular rotation (despite being a model of typical recommended 'healthy' eating) potentially worsens this condition. 

Quote

I have the opposite problem - years of pain from reflux but no esophogeal damage.  It helps to elevate the head of your bed about 4 inches and to sleep on your left side.  There's something called MedCline Reflux Pillow which will do this too.  I haven't tried it, as I just use wedges, but I don't really recommend this because it doesn't keep your spine in alignment and now I have neck issues.  Of course, there's always medications too.

laserlady

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2019, 11:22:42 AM »
I vary my dinners more, but for lunch I always have a baked potato or two with cheese.  I just keep a stash of potatoes and cheese in the fridge at work, and it's really nice not to have to think about what to eat, on top of all of the other things I'm trying to think about and decide as part of my job.  Most people who know about this practice think it's very weird, but it makes my life simpler and less stressful.

wenchsenior

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #40 on: January 19, 2019, 12:32:04 PM »

Then a few weeks ago, I got more bad news.  Turns out that despite having none of the obvious risk factors OR symptoms, I have esophogeal damage from long-term 'silent' acid reflux, despite only having gotten heartburn maybe half a dozen times in my entire life.  And it turns out that practically every meal in our regular rotation (despite being a model of typical recommended 'healthy' eating) potentially worsens this condition. 

Quote

I have the opposite problem - years of pain from reflux but no esophogeal damage.  It helps to elevate the head of your bed about 4 inches and to sleep on your left side.  There's something called MedCline Reflux Pillow which will do this too.  I haven't tried it, as I just use wedges, but I don't really recommend this because it doesn't keep your spine in alignment and now I have neck issues.  Of course, there's always medications too.

I've been meaning to look into the angled pillows.  The weird thing is that I don't seem to have as many problems at night when I'm lying down.  The only symptom I have is flares of chronic dry cough and hoarseness, and that always occurs when I'm sitting, and my stomach is pushed up against my ribs and diaphram.  I don't really get it when standing or lying.  But even the cough hadn't been acting up for the last year or so UNTIL they did the scoping procedure on my esogphagus and upper intestine.  That was a month ago and I've been coughing and hoarse ever since, even with starting to modify diet and beng on a proton pump inhibitor.  Super annoying. I'm incredibly fortunate that I don't have a job that requires talking.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2019, 02:42:58 AM »
When I was single and worked long hours, I used to eat the same salad pretty much every night for dinner if I was home (salad nicoise ie lettuce, booked string beans, boiled eggs, tomatoes, tuna, olives, anchovies and maybe some boiled potatoes.  It was easy as I always had the ingredients at hand. 

Cooking is a hobby of mine though and I now crave variety.  My husband tends to cook the same 3 dinners all the time so when it's my turn to cook, I cook all kinds of things.  My younger kid is picky and tends not to eat new foods but older kid has discovered some new favorite foods this way.

Nederstash

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2019, 04:20:00 AM »
Oh man, I do this and I think it's great! Eliminating decision fatigue in my food choices is making a HUGE difference in my weight loss goals. I'm single and cooking sucks.

Breakfast: oat porridge or cereal
Lunch: 3 slices of bread with cheese or meat
Dinner: 200g veg, 4 potatoes or a cup of pasta, 100g meat/meat replacement. No sauces or other shenanigans.
Snacks throughout the day: an apple + a banana + 2 crackers with hummus

Shopping is so easy. I have my standard list:
Porridge or cereal
Milk or yoghurt
Loaf of bread
Cheese
Meat
7x veg
Pasta/rice/potatoes
7x meat
7x apples
7x bananas
Hummus
Crackers

Before shopping, check the fridge/pantry and subtract what you already have. After shopping, put things away, keeping like items on the same shelf, with the shortest expiration date on the front left. So if your meat is expiring that week, use that up first. Sounds obvious, but when I threw stuff into the fridge higgledy-piggledy, I had so much food waste and I ordered food more easily because of that unexpected roadblock. Yes, it's ridiculous, but decision fatigue is real.

Another tip I'm trying out now:
Set out your food the night before, except fridge stuff. For me that's:
- Put a bowl, spoon, mug and the pack of cereal on the counter. Threshold for making breakfast is super low after that.
- Pull out bread from the freezer (I divide a loaf of bread into reusable freezer bags with 3 slices each, so it doesn't go bad)
- Pull out anything that might need thawing for dinner
- Put the next day's snacks together on the counter.

During the winter, my go to breakfast is porridge (it's amazing, I love it so much). In the morning, the mug is already there, fill it with milk and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. In that time, I pour my oats into the bowl, I throw some cheese/meat on my bread (the freezer bag is also my lunch box, lol). I grab my bag and toss in my lunch and snacks. I keep hummus and crackers at the office, but I'll toss those in as well when I'm running low (pretty much every Monday). Refill my water bottle and toss that in too. Then my milk is done and I have porridge! It's become such a well-running routine, my decision making process is completely shut down. It's great.

Dinner is still annoying to cook, but at least I don't have to actively decide what to eat right then and there. I just have to make it.

koshtra

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2019, 02:37:50 PM »
Oh man, I do this and I think it's great! Eliminating decision fatigue in my food choices is making a HUGE difference in my weight loss goals. I'm single and cooking sucks.

Breakfast: oat porridge or cereal
Lunch: 3 slices of bread with cheese or meat
Dinner: 200g veg, 4 potatoes or a cup of pasta, 100g meat/meat replacement. No sauces or other shenanigans.
Snacks throughout the day: an apple + a banana + 2 crackers with hummus

Shopping is so easy. I have my standard list:
Porridge or cereal
Milk or yoghurt
Loaf of bread
Cheese
Meat
7x veg
Pasta/rice/potatoes
7x meat
7x apples
7x bananas
Hummus
Crackers

Before shopping, check the fridge/pantry and subtract what you already have. After shopping, put things away, keeping like items on the same shelf, with the shortest expiration date on the front left. So if your meat is expiring that week, use that up first. Sounds obvious, but when I threw stuff into the fridge higgledy-piggledy, I had so much food waste and I ordered food more easily because of that unexpected roadblock. Yes, it's ridiculous, but decision fatigue is real.

Another tip I'm trying out now:
Set out your food the night before, except fridge stuff. For me that's:
- Put a bowl, spoon, mug and the pack of cereal on the counter. Threshold for making breakfast is super low after that.
- Pull out bread from the freezer (I divide a loaf of bread into reusable freezer bags with 3 slices each, so it doesn't go bad)
- Pull out anything that might need thawing for dinner
- Put the next day's snacks together on the counter.

During the winter, my go to breakfast is porridge (it's amazing, I love it so much). In the morning, the mug is already there, fill it with milk and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. In that time, I pour my oats into the bowl, I throw some cheese/meat on my bread (the freezer bag is also my lunch box, lol). I grab my bag and toss in my lunch and snacks. I keep hummus and crackers at the office, but I'll toss those in as well when I'm running low (pretty much every Monday). Refill my water bottle and toss that in too. Then my milk is done and I have porridge! It's become such a well-running routine, my decision making process is completely shut down. It's great.

Dinner is still annoying to cook, but at least I don't have to actively decide what to eat right then and there. I just have to make it.

+1,000

Yeah. I lost seventy pounds last year (coming on two years ago, I guess), and minimizing decision fatigue was maybe the biggest part of succeeding at it. Totally simple: just do the job. All your materials on on your workbench, all the quantities are known: you just go ahead and do it. Easier to stay on the road than to swerve off it. And when you're running a steady calorie deficit you don't need novelty to stay interested in your food. It's interesting, all by itself :-)

mies

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #44 on: January 21, 2019, 04:06:33 AM »
I eat pretty much the same things everyday also. I get a little variety on the weekends, but my meals are the same Monday through Friday. I donít keep a budget for food, but eating the same stuff through the week helps me keep my grocery spending predictable so I usually never have any surprises there. I do buy things in bulk or on sale when I know it will last.

I can also confirm that this helps with weight control. Since I usually just buy enough to get through the week, I make sure to portion it out to last. I also never feel like I have to eat more of something before it goes bad.

It also helps with preventing food waste. I think the last thing I threw out was a loaf of bread that started getting moldy before I could get through all of it.

Malkynn

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #45 on: January 21, 2019, 06:13:56 AM »
There are a few ways to do this.

1: Eat close to the same thing literally every day with small variations. This could be having a piece of meat with the same vegetables on the side, but seasoned or prepared differently.

2: Eat the same thing every day, but change it up each week.

3: Have a range of meals that you cycle through

4: Have huge variety, but only make 2-3 batch meals each week and eat only those batch meals all week, but each week is different

It will all depend on if the kind of food you like can be reheated or not. If you are a casseroles and curries kind of person, you can batch cook. If you are a fish and fresh veggies type, then simple repetition may be easier.

mm1970

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #46 on: January 21, 2019, 11:10:13 AM »
Quote
+1,000

Yeah. I lost seventy pounds last year (coming on two years ago, I guess), and minimizing decision fatigue was maybe the biggest part of succeeding at it. Totally simple: just do the job. All your materials on on your workbench, all the quantities are known: you just go ahead and do it. Easier to stay on the road than to swerve off it. And when you're running a steady calorie deficit you don't need novelty to stay interested in your food. It's interesting, all by itself :-)

When I was fat I tended to overeat because I saw each meal as if it was my last.  Yes, burritos are good, but if you only eat HALF then you can eat it again TOMORROW.  My old boss asked me how I eat salad for lunch every day.  I just looked at him and he said "I guess I eat the same thing every day too!"  For him, rice, meat, veg.

I started having a problem with wheat a couple of years ago and stopped eating it 1.5 years ago.  It kind of sucks - free lunch at work is always sandwiches or pizza, and eating out is a pain.  But it's not, in another way.  When I eat out now, there are generally very few things on the  menu that I can choose.  (The other thing that I can't eat is bagged salad mix.  So.  No wheat, no salad.)  I can usually eliminate 90% of the menu in about 5 minutes, which makes decision making easy.  Especially at hotel breakfast.  Eggs, oatmeal, fruit, coffee.  Done!

dashuk

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #47 on: January 23, 2019, 09:18:40 AM »
Not really every day, except breakfast.

Pre-kids we had a finite list of maybe a couple of dozen evening meals, and had the ingredients written out on flashcards. Shopping list made by just picking out a weeks worth of meals and checking against what was in the cupboard.

With young kids, to be honest having to decide what to eat is a level of mental effort too far, so we have a weekly plan. It evolves slowly - maybe we'll swap a meal every couple of months - but minimal decision making.

We have a master list of everything we'd need to buy to make it, then just cross off what we already have or the meals we don't have to cook that week because we made and froze double/triple recently.

Just buying some stuff and then trying to decide what to do with it? Not in our house.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 09:22:10 AM by dashuk »

FIRE Artist

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #48 on: January 23, 2019, 12:54:12 PM »
I basically do this, and shared about it in the Share Your Badassity section.

I batch cook work lunches, I have 7 different soups and stews to take to work so I get variety without having to think about variety, KWIM?

I eat the same breakfast M-F and usually on Saturday too. 

I eat the same snack formula every day - fruit and veggies mid morning and a protein snack mid afternoon.  The items may change, but the formula is the same.

I drink a thermos of tea every day. 

I have not consciously standardized diners, but if I think about it, they actually are basically standard too. 

golden1

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Re: Eating mostly the same things everyday to simplify life
« Reply #49 on: January 23, 2019, 05:55:48 PM »
I simplify meal planning by not eating breakfast, having very simple lunches, either salads or adult lunchables.   That just leaves dinner.  I plan 3 meals, eat the leftovers for other meals.  Easy.