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People Who Eat the Same Meal Every Day (theatlantic.com)
320 points by sergeant3 on Mar 8, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 330 comments

When my daughter was born during the recession, my wife and I went through a stretch where money was pretty tight. One obvious expense to cut was eating out for lunch every weekday. So I switched to bringing in lunch.

For several months, I brought the same thing: granola, yogurt, and chopped melon. I love food and love variety, so I was really surprised to discover that I simply didn't get tired of it or resentful. Every day, I looked forward to having it.

Every now and then I would have a bowl of canned soup instead, but that was literally the only variety I had. Like others in the article, I found the peacefulness and simplicity of not having to stress out about where to go for lunch more than made up for the monotony. In fact, knowing all day what I was going to have for lunch led to a greater anticipation of it.

I think this worked for me because I was only doing this for lunch and not for every meal of the day. So this actually increased the meta-variety of my eating: dinner meals were varied and lunch meals were not. So I got to experience both repetition and novelty.

It was a really interesting experience that I'd encourage others to try. In general, I think repetition and ritual tends to be undervalued in Western culture, but has always been an important part of the human experience.

> So this actually increased the meta-variety of my eating

Wait... did you just take the second derivative of your lunch?

I knew that food could lead to calculus, but I thought it was just a dental hygiene issue.

Keep taking derivatives and you'll end up with rice krispies...

Turtle soup all the way down...

I got your joke. :)

"Higher order calculus over open food spaces"

Wouldn't that be the third derivative, change in changes, heteroscedasticity?

that's where the nutrients are

"I found the peacefulness and simplicity of not having to stress out about where to go for lunch"

very often in life, we mistaken boredom for peacefulness. a simple and stress-free life can be just as, if not more, rewarding then the hectic one we leave behind.

Mistaking boredom for peacefulness is like mistaking a placebo for a cure; if the net effect is what you’re going for, it doesn’t matter.

Vaguely dissonant with username but I like it. :)

As an aside, I save ~$1300 a year by bringing in lunch, and ~$550 per year in breakfast, in addition to controlling portions and nutrition. If I had been doing that for the past 10 years I could buy a new car by now, or put a pretty decent chunk into retirement. I now find it absolutely bizarre how many people at work go out for lunch.

As an aside, I could save $XXXX a year by having a roommate/living in a worse house/having a crappier car/never going out for drinks/etc. The list goes on. There is an incredible number of things your average first world worker could give up to save money per year. The reason people spend money on these things is that they spend 40+ hours a week working so they CAN afford to spend those unnecessary dollars a year on things they enjoy, that enrich their lives. Otherwise we would all have plenty of money in the bank while we live in a 5x5 concrete cell and literally only go to work/sleep. Some things are not about maximizing profit.

Sure. It's worth a consideration though if that specific thing is one that's actually something that enriches your life, or just something you're doing because it's what you've always done. (personally, the best places have been those where a group cooks their own lunch every day, but that's somewhat rare)

I often hear my co-workers complain about their bland green smoothies or salads without enough walnuts. Meanwhile, for lunch I prepare moroccan lamb stew, chicken cordon bleu with pasta, szechuan tofu and green bean stir fry, ham and gruyere with tomato soup, pear and blue cheese salad with rotisserie chicken, loaded sweet potato with curried fried cauliflour, and quiche lorraine, among others.

I'm not saying nobody should eat out, but to do it every day just seems wasteful. And I find cooking to be quite a bit more enriching than takeout.

They spend money, you spend time. Maybe they find your expense wasteful.

I spend time cooking for the family and then eat the leftovers for lunch. Just like a lot of swedes do. Make a dinner that works in the microwave for lunch and you are all set. No time wasted on going to the restaurant and waiting for food. More time to talk over the lunchtable in peace. Maybe even switching lunch with a coworker.

See I eat lunch out so I can use those leftovers for dinner the next day. Gives me and my girlfriend more time to spend together or on our hobbies if we only have to cook every other night.

This is what I do. I can cheap food every day for lunch for about $6 and longingly look at, but not purchase, nice food (like salmon) for $10-12. Or I can cook and bring my own nice food for $2-6. It's kind of a no-brainer.

In my experience, there is a good chunk of people who have to eat out every day because they have no time for cooking, because they work 40h/week and have a one hour commute (, to pay for the lunches and the car).

I wondered the same thing (how do so many people buy lunch daily) but concluded - at the time and the context I was observing it - that there were two main factors.

Number 1 was social. People went out for lunch in groups, and it was an "enforced" break in the day. It's a cultural issue that can be hard to replicate for "lunch bringers" in some places. Not so fun to eat alone in a drab lunch room if your friends and peers are down the street having pizza, I guess.

Number 2 was time, or at least the perception of time. Tech people (in my context) tend to work long hours and whether you are trying to maintain a social life or bring up a couple of kids, once you add that to work hours there isn't a ton left. More than one person I know had commented that they didn't find the time to make and bring lunches that didn't leave them feeling left out. It's easy to bring a crappy sandwich, harder to bring something you really enjoy. At least for them.

> Number 1 was social.

This is what I liked while working in HP. We had a canteen where pretty much everybody went. You could buy a number of simple cheaper meals, a fancy expensive meal, or bring your own thing. Everybody could still sit together.

Yes, I think there is a different dynamic when your company scale runs to "I work on campus". In smaller offices, particularly in dense cities or "business parks", I think it's more common to go to the restaurants nearby. Those are really not open to people bringing food.

Both of these match my experience. When I was living off the wages of a young intern, I was working or learning almost every waking hour, and sleeping on a sheet on the floor because I didn't own furniture. But, whenever he group would go out to lunch, I'd go, for the socialization -- it was very consciously the only thing other than rent&utilities that I spent money on. (Fortunately, we had some amazing strip mall restaurants nearby that weren't too expensive.) When the group didn't go to lunch, I'd usually get by with whatever food I could scavenge, because I was so busy, and felt like I had to always be in the office. I hadn't yet even tried to figure out how to make and bring a lunch.

Number 3 might be exercise. If you live in a cold weather city, you can't eat outside all year (i.e. bringing lunch and walk to a park and eating). Walking to and from lunch might be 3,000 steps.

Absolutely no shame at all in ordering takeout for lunch every single day as long as you can afford it and it brings you joy. The goal of personal finance isn't to die with the highest score, its to organize your money to make you the most secure and the most happy, both now and in the future.

It's really good for the economy to go out for lunch. You create a lot of jobs by doing that. If you're mindful of where you eat you can also support immigrant and minority owned businesses.

It's good for the LOCAL economy. Eating expensive lunch in a restaurant will increase local spending, but reduce your other consumption by the same amount. You create jobs by letting people work for you, and you get means to make them do it by working yourself. Nothing special about going out for lunch in that regard.

And if everyone chooses to eat cheap lunch, we could all just work less, and the system would be balanced again ;).

Maybe there is more to life than buying a new car every ten years? Maybe some people enjoy variety and a nice proper good sit down meal? I am really NOT questioning your choices. Totally cool if it works for you. But please don't call people who live a different life style "absolutely bizarre"

I used to do this and I did grow resentful of it, after about 6 months. I've switched to having the same thing for a week and cycling between 4 options. It's hit that sweet spot of variety and familiarity for me.

Meta-variety is a novel concept. Perhaps we should look out for that more in our lives.

I believe the statisticians would call this heteroscedasticity. But meta-variety certainly easier to remember ;)

That's weird. Never heard the word heteroscedasticity before and now I see it in two different HN threads within the hour. (the other being https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19337466).

See further the Baader-Meinhof Effect. [1]

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baader%E2%80%93Meinhof_effec...

I thought that too, initially, but consider: https://hn.algolia.com/?query=heteroscedasticity&sort=byDate...

3 mentions in the same day out of a total of 8 mentions ever on HN (not including the 2 meta-comments). User dcomp noticed it also.

(oops, just bumped those numbers up one)

Meta-variety is like the variance of variances.

Heteroscedasticity is like changing variance.

Nice! I hadn't thought about that.

Right, so this is like having autocorrelation, right? Or at least having a confounding variable correlated to your error term?

Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean. But I think the answer is no.

Perhaps it shares a root with serendipity?

Both seem related to a kind of intelligent mindfulness.

I'm so glad as I read what you wrote. I also long have hated the tedium of choosing where to go, actually going, not squandering finite time fucking around with ordering when coworkers want to chat up the alternatives, when I'm lucky enough, or persistent enough, to have a job I like which I'd prefer to be doing.

I quit eating out for lunch because I got tired of spending 20 minutes hungry, trying to decide where to go, then half the time paying money for food I didn't really want to eat in the first place.

You might like soylent.

There is definitely something to this. I've been having a breakfast smoothie/shake every morning for about 4 years now- while the recipe changes a little every once in a while, I absolutely love the predictability of the macros, calories, and satiety I get from it. Perfect start to the day for me.

I've had that thought about a simple brazilian meal as well: I don't get tired of rice, beans and a steak.

Ditto here. Been overseas for a while, but foun a rice and beans that taste like ours, plus steak/chicken/mistura.

I wish I could have pingado (espresso with milk) and pão francês na chapa (a grilled bread with margarine or cream cheese). Dinner would be the left overs of lunch, of just some salad, bread, turkey... never get tired of it.

the worst part of my experience in costa rica was eating the same meal of rice, beans, plantains, salad, and a mild and sometimes dry protein, none of which i dislike on occasion.

eating the same meal twice in a row makes me not want it again for weeks. there are also very few foods that i won't eat, so maybe that's correlated with the love of variety.

(variety in) food is such a simple pleasure for me that i guess i will never understand this behavior.

Repetition is the only thing that creates change.

No one on r/fitness or /fit/ is going to call you crazy for eating the same thing each day.

I have a ton of variety in my diet.

But when you're a vegetarian (as I was), to maintain a reasonably nutritious diet requires some repetition. For example, getting certain protein and nutrients in one meal so you don't have to think about it in the others.

I'm no longer a strict vegetarian (just mostly), but the diet habits I learned mean that my overall diet is better, lower calorie.

I now think it's important for EVERYONE to do strict vegetarianism. Not for ethical or environmental concerns, but simply because it forces you to think about what you're eating and to read labels (and thus learn that the "vegetarian" tacos you're eating have gelatin (meat product) in the sour cream).

In addition, being a strict vegetarian in a sustainable way requires learning about what your body requires.

After a few months (or however long it requires to build a stable, nutritious diet), you'll be extremely well informed. Of course, you could also just read all this stuff on various articles, but trial by fire is an excellent way to learn.

I'm vegetarian and have been since I was 12. There isn't all that much repetition in my diet. I don't eat that much 'American' food, though, because 'American' vegetarian options can be pretty limited. I just eat a ton of Indian and Mexican and Thai and Chinese and Mediterranean and other foods.

I felt kind of dizzy at first - your daughter... the 1930s?! Then I realised which recession you meant.

Not which recession - you're mixing up recession and depression.

I'm all kinds of mixed up.

Figuring out where to eat lunch causes you stress? Much easier than figuring out where your pregnant wife wants to eat. Now that is stressful!

Glad you were able to stick to bringing lunch. I always end up being too lazy and enjoy the break from the office or home office. If I don’t have variety I will become pretty cranky.

> Figuring out where to eat lunch causes you stress?

Reaching consensus on where to eat with my group of lunchmates definitely caused stress, especially after we'd all gotten mostly burned out on the nearby options.

I recently read that autistic people often eat without much variety. I wonder if that also holds for people with mildly autistic traits.

> One obvious expense to cut > was eating out for lunch > every weekday

Honestly amazed this is the default position for anyone. What situation of living prompts this?

If you work with a bunch of people who commute a long way into work and do not cook and you want to fit in with your coworkers. Generally I would bring something in but be available for lunch because it's nice if you like your coworkers to hang out outside of work sometimes. This goes against my instincts for frugality. This was long before company provided lunches and the like, though, I've worked at places back then that were large enough to have on site cafeterias and we still went out most of the time. Also might be an age thing because we were all in our 20's and the veterans at those companies almost universally brought in their lunch.

Cooking quickly becomes a bad time/value proposition when you're cooking for one, so that's part of the equation. And some of us value the enjoyment of many good meals over say, having a newer car. I planned to include daily lunches in my budget before I even left college (couldn't afford it at the time). I don't regret it one bit.

I used to cycle commute everyday and would vary the route from 12-60kms. Where I live is very hot in summer and wet in winter. So a shower was needed when I arrived at work. I preferred to not carry a backpack or have a pannier on my bike, so every fortnight I would drive to work and drop off work clothes for the next couple of weeks.

This also meant I would go out for lunch each day as I didn't want to carry food with me on my commute. The cost savings of riding to work vs driving and paying for parking meant I was ahead. If I took public transport and brought lunch from home it would have worked out slightly cheaper but taken 30mins longer each way.

Sure I could have carried lunch with me on my cycle commute but and saved more money, but then I would have enjoyed the ride less. I figure I would still be ahead compared to people who don't cycle and pay for gym classes/memberships.

Food available at the office or paid enough to be able to do so. Very common in the major SV companies.

When I was in grad school, there was a huge collection of food carts right outside the building. You could get a large meal of virtually any cuisine for $5-6.

As a single person who liked variety and worked a lot, it was a slam dunk: fast, tasty, and relatively cheap.

Many large companies have a cafeteria on site.

Nearly 9 years ago I started a job where (tldr) it wasn't practical to go out for lunch most if the time. Since then I've eaten sandwiches for lunch nearly every day at lunch. With some variations, but not a lot recently. Down sides: I do sometimes miss the chance to get out of the office for a bit. Upsides: have saved a bunch of money and lost about 30 pounds of weight without really even trying. Also I only need about 20 minutes for lunch each day (+shopping once a week, which doesn't take long since I mostly eat the same thing).

I lived on the streets for a time as a teen. When I got off and had my first real place to live, I couldn't afford much. I had potatoes, butter (was like heaven) soy sauce and mustard. So that was my dinner for months.

My co-workers thought I was crazy when I microwaved a potato and put soy sauce and mustard on it. I simply didn't have anything else.

Later I got pickles and cheese (the greatest thing I had ever had up till then). But I was so grateful for having something the thought of feel anything negative about it didn't even cross my mind. I couldn't afford snacks, so that was my meal, my only food for hours before and after.

I think so many "problems" society has today is because we are all a bunch of rich snobs. And I have to remind myself to remember how grateful I was when I was really poor. I never want to lose that gratitude, it's protection against all kinds of mental/emotional problems.

Even though it must have been very difficult, living a harder life seems to have given you a super power to transcend the silly little things that everyone else seems to care so much about.

Personally I find I get wrapped up in the little things quite often, and only after do I really understand I wasted so much effort on something meaningless. I'm not suggesting trauma tourism, but I am interested in a way to broaden my horizons and understand this mindset. Is there anything you'd suggest one can do?

The problem is that this experience wears off over time. I have to re-evaluate my problems even today. I think that if I hit extreme poverty again and went through this I would get something like a booster/refresher from the experience.

But, I do teach my kids how to appreciate things by simply not giving them too much to begin with. And I also intentionally choose, on a daily basis, to take less than I want (food control), put the music a tiny bit lower than I want (protect my ears), etc...

When I get angry at something, I say to myself, "what is the truth here?" And if I am honest, most of the time the problem is really me. When I see that, I then force myself to evaluate what is really going on, and I look really hard for the feeling I want to have.

One of the first things I did to start this was to remind myself there are people I have met with far less than I have and were happier. Pictures of kids in Africa with toy cars made out of rusty wire. One kid looked 18, and he was posing quite pleased with his creation.

I feel like the biggest battle I face now is complacency. So if you can choose to remove things from your life that give you pleasure, for the express purpose of changing an environment that fights against you making progress, then do it.

A couple weeks ago I quit coffee "again". My thought process is "choose something really, really good, not what your heart wants." I really like coffee, but I over do it and I get sick eventually. But I really enjoy hot chocolate (organic sugar, homemade syrup), and I can drink it all day and not have any bad side effects.

The real super power is built a little at a time, with practice. At first, I just "delayed" having coffee. Then later, I took less coffee than I want. All the while saying "this isn't good for you, you are going to make a better choice". Not lying to myself, but also not making an excuse.

Encourage yourself to always face the truth, that is the start. Then if you say something to yourself, that is a very real action. Eventually you will do something outside your head. Something small, something doable. Keep doing that every day and you can change anything.

I flog myself by hiking and running long distances. You gain a bit of toughness when pushing yourself to the limit (exhausted and a bit hurt), while in a thunderstorm, and you are still 1 hour away from finishing. (And while we are talking about food. Intermittent fasting is a similar experience. Going hungry for a while makes you appreciate food in a different way.)

I agree, I've had the same experience with exercise and food.

I consistently eat one meal a day right now. The reason is that I simply don't need that much, and I am really hungry by dinner time. But if I want to eat lunch I do.

The "appreciate food" angle was what really helped get into intermittent fasting. The fact that my food tasted _so_ much better (the same food as always) made me appreciate feeling hungry for an hour or more before meals.

If I am hungry, I know full well that dinner is going to be good, no matter what it is.

Thanks for the reminder on this topic. I have taken a year off of running as an experiment for weight control. I found food intake was the primary mover for weight control, not exercise. I've lost a lot of weight with no exercise. Looking forward to start running again this spring. :) (got a little giddy from the reminder your comment gave me)

>I found food intake was the primary mover for weight control, not exercise

Excellent point which people seem to not understand. The amount of calories you burn running an hour can be equal to a very little amount of food - one candy bar.

Naturally ignoring the fitness benefits of exercise a small reduction in calories can equal a lot of heavy exercise.

It's a bit of a sensitive subject for some people. They just don't want to face the fact that their appetites/habits are the single biggest obstacle to good health and weight control.

A friend pointed out to me once "food has a lot of energy in it." I have never measured a candy bar's actual effects, but I suspect it would take a few miles of running to use one up?

The expectation of food after fasting is such a great feeling–better than the act of eating itself.

To me, this feeling comes from knowing where the bottom is. This is different from person to person. For me, the bottom is being beaten by my drug dealer in a run down building with nowhere to go. I have never visited this place, but I know people who have. The further from the bottom you are, the more you get to live it up.

This is an important lesson, learn from other people's mistakes.

The things I will absolutely not screw up again, ever, are the things I really, really suffered from. But then I could apply this to seeing how other people destroyed their lives, and use the pain I already have to protect me from those mistakes too.

Was it Ben Franklin that said "experience is the worst way to learn"? (I think it's in reference to making bad decisions)

There are meditation practices that focus on gratitude. "Loving kindness" is one such practice that is very accessible to a beginner. When in the right state of mind, this can be a powerful and moving experience.

I've been lucky enough never to be in a situation like yours (not having the money for food that isn't in the vicinity of the cheapest), but since the first time my college dorm had a kitchen I've been making an effort to keep food costs low (with a more recent additional shift away from meat), and I've come to a similar realization. Even when the option for something more is always there, keeping my standard meals simple (currently, miscellaneous-root-vegetable stew, or rice-and-beans, or half an acorn squash with raisins) means that on when I occasionally have reason to go for something fancier (once a month or so), the thing that would have gotten boring ages ago for some people (a turkey Reuben from a deli) is really good (and still much cheaper than a comparable step-up would be from a higher baseline).

Remind yourself of this lesson in the future, as in my experience, these feelings can be dulled over time or through neglect.

I have also spent time cooking a specific meal (the same one) over and over again at home tweaking it to get it to be as good, or better, than the restaurant, so I can have the same experience without the expense.

But also, it's funny how simple foods can be satisfying. I've been around some really rich people that are total food snobs and I feel a little sorry for them. They can't enjoy homemade or simple foods.

Yes, as we get richer we lose something. We lose the ability to like those simpler things. A 17 year old kid loves his clapped out 1.2 Clio at least as much as you love your BMW Super Truck X Series.

So true. I sold my exotics and drive cars I always wanted as a kid. Its more fun, and cheaper to boot. I can't help but smile every time I see one of my cheap little cars.

Which cars are they?

Thoughtful! Also thanks for the reminder about microing potatoes, it totally works (and tastes something between boiled and baked).

My pleasure, I do wonder if there's something to be concerned about microwaving food... a concern for another day.

I found too that if I put a bowl/cover over the potato, it steams it as well, and cooks faster and is more moist.

Thanks for that. It brought back some memories!

One point though, looking back at both those phases of my life, I noticed that I became aware of my snobbery only after I could afford everything, not while I was going through the tough times.

Yah, that is my experience as well. And it wasn't right away, it crept up on me slowly, and it was hard to come back from a little. But I knew it was from the old saying "a luxury once tasted becomes a necessity."

I absolutely love your sentiments. hug

Gratitude makes you a boring person and a boring life story. At least that's what I am (nobody).

FWIW humans need more than potato & soy sauce in their diet to be healthy long term, so at least for that part wanting more doesn't seem like snobbery.

(You can subsist on potatoes, and you can even do it for a while- but for example young children develop deformities if they lack certain vitamins, which potatoes do not have)

If you haven't ever lived at subsistence level you may not understand what you are facing in reality. Food is food, better to have a deformity than to be dead.

There are tons of greens in everyone's backyard in America right now that you can eat. Half the weeds in your yard are editable and would fill in all the missing nutrients.

Education is the problem here, maybe not so much resources. (unless famine?)

But also, when I eat the same meal every day, I do feel a certain hunger for other things after awhile, so I don't disagree about nutrients.

I think we are talking past each other. I was just trying to say that wanting a variety of food, is not a sign of a greedy opulent society.

I've not had to rummage food from dumpsters, but I've been broke & eaten a nutritionally inadequate diet as a result, and I saw what it did to me.

>I think we are talking past each other. I was just trying to say that wanting a variety of food, is not a sign of a greedy opulent society.

I don't disagree at all, I think everyone wants some variety, or at the very least the ability to choose.

It seemed your comment was worded unclearly, which may be why the down votes...

You can't subsist on greens, they're 8 calories a cup (47 grams). You would need to eat thirty pounds a day of lettuce out of your back yard. That's polluted urban soil so it would probably poison you whilst you starved.

I was merely pointing out that probably a few bites of greens (not covered in chemicals, where do you live?) has enough vitamins to stave off scurvy and a host of other nutritional deficiencies... not feed you outright.

Really cheap nutritionally complete diets; potatoes and milk, rice and beans, peanut butter and bread. Note that these are all ~carbohydrates and protein.

You need a degree of fats in your diet for fat soluble vitamins to be included too.

One of my favorite meals is a plain hotdog bun with yellow mustard.

Nostalgia from childhood? Or are you currently not doing very well? There's more places to find help than you can imagine.

Let me know if you stuck, and I can post some resources.

I eat the same 3 meals a day, 5-6 days a week. I spent a couple years refining what meals give me the nutrition I need, with enough energy to code, and help me keep weight off. When I stop this routine, I put on weight fast, so I try to keep jobs that let me work from home and keep my routine. I will meal-prep 4 days at a time, consume those 4 days worth of meals, then have a day where I take my wife out to lunch, buy the groceries for the next 4 days, and skip dinner.

I fully recognize the non-typical nature of this routine, but if you find something that works for you, go with it.

I worked at a startup that tried to optimize the nutrients and micronutrients including synergistic and antagonistic components and it was pretty hard task. A blogpost regarding the recipies and your considerations would be interesting.

How do you know that you're getting enough of all the different micronutrients? Humans can eat a deficient diet for a long time and not notice serious side effects, so I'm wondering if you have some kind of good way of figuring out whether the different micronutrient quotas are fulfilled properly.

You are 100% correct. I did get vitamin deficient a few years ago, and worked with doctors to identify the deficiencies and resolve them, and have continued testing to make sure I'm doing OK. This routine is a result of that experience more than anything else. That is also one reason I go out to eat every few days - to get some variety into the mix.

>This routine is a result of that experience more than anything else

And I would just like to add everyone's body is a little different. People may have different level / type of deficiencies, and for me that is Vitamin B. So I guess you cant really have meal that works for you and works for everyone else. It is important for everyone trying this to do it themselves and test it out with your body. Not to mention you get to think about how to cook your favourite food.

I personally did something similar for 6 months, but due to different circumstances I can no longer do meal prep. During that time I had an idea about making a web app that help you select your meal prep. You input foods that you like and loath, input regional location so that we know what you can get and and not, and price range, how much it would cost per meal ( Not everyone is rich and well off ) It will hopefully have a List of Meal prep that you may like, along with instructions and where to buy those ingredients.

Did the resolution involve taking an OTC multivitamin? Please ignore if I'm prying.

I'd be super curious to hear what the 3 meals are.

My opinion as someone who's had extremely restrictive diets in order to lose weight: People overthink this. As you've said, our bodies are pretty good at making due with what they get. Aim for a baseline: protein plus some vegetables, some of which are dark green; and then just occasionally indulging in some cravings will probably cover the rest.

I'm in my late 40s, and I was shocked to find out several years ago that I'm the happiest when I just eat meats/proteins and veggies. While I like fruit, it generally makes me feel crappy, almost as bad as with processed carbs. It helped that I also "discovered" sauteed greens, which really helps boost many of my meals now.

Fruits are all sugar, they're nature's candy. They've also been genetically modified to be bigger and sweeter than they ever were before industrial farming.

The term you’re looking for is ‘bred’.

Genetic modification is a term of art, one which doesn’t apply (yet) to fruits on the market.

This will not be true forever, papaya and banana are likely to be the first ones.

Ah, got it. What are the GMO versions designed to do then?

work on GMO papayas and bananas is to render them less susceptible to diseases.

Bananas in particular are a triploid, so any given strain is effectively one big clone propagated by vegetative cutting, hence the lack of seeds. This leaves them unusually susceptible to funguses, which can adapt to them, while they can't remix their genome to adapt back.

Hmm I've found that carbs like bread and bagels work best for me. I usually have a sandwich or a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast and dinner.

How does anyone? I have plenty of coworkers who eat fast food for every lunch and not much better or more diverse for dinner. Certainly they are not getting all the different micronutrients?

Fast food often uses fortified ingredients. Perhaps the most common is fortified flour. Some chains use iodized salt. Preservatives like ascorbic acid or vitamin E effectively provide fortification.

Other than a lack of fiber and ease of consuming too many calories, one could do much worse than fast food--McDonalds, Taco Bell, etc. I think it's easier to get it wrong using a so-called whole foods diet. The ingredient diversity of fast foods makes it more fail-safe, particularly if you're disposed to repetitively eating the same kinds of foods.

I mean, obviously you can't subsist on french fries, but if the issue is laziness, lack of time, access to good groceries, or lack of money, it can make sense. It's difficult to beat a McDonald's Double Cheeseburger for dietary money-value!

Granted, the removal of trans fats has helped. And note that I'm not arguing a whole foods diet can't be better. I'm not recommending a fast food diet ;) But we sometimes underestimate the effort involved in following a good diet and discount the benefits of a good-enough diet.

Did you know if you only ate McDonalds for every meal of every day... you'd be underweight?

A burger, medium fries and diet drink is 588 calories apparently. So three of those a day is only 1764 calories! A massive deficit for almost everyone.

Not really. I would file this under misleading-but-true (although when I checked your numbers I came up with 630, not 588, still a bit shy of 2000cal/day so a little low for most people.

However, it really relies on two things (three, if you count "no snacks at all or other drinks")

1 - diet drinks only. If you change your diet code to a medium coke you are now at 2500cal/day. So instead of a deficit, you have a surplus for most people.

2 - you picked the basic smallest burger. Even if you only change that to a 1/4 pounder, you're up at 2300cal. And it mostly goes (way) up from there (with some exceptions, but even the fillet-of-fish or mcchicken are >100cal more than the basic burger.

So if you change it to "if you only eat from a severely limited subset of the McDonalds menu 3x a day and nothing else, you might be underweight". Sure, that's true. I'd hate to be your GI tract with that severe lack of fiber and vegetables, but you could do it for a while.

If you eat anything like a "typical" order for breakfast/lunch/dinner there, you are likely to have a pretty severe surplus. Hardly surprising, really. Hell some of the breakfast offerings are > 1000cal by themselves.

I thought their hamburger as signature item would be what most people would get, but maybe not. I don't actually go to McDonalds myself so I was just going off their website.

> I thought the hamburger would be their signature item

In the general “hamburger” class (and overall, because hamburgers are their signature category) the Big Mac and Quarterpounder are their signature items.

I can understand how you would get there, and the McDonald's site (intentionally?) doesn't make it easy to see comparisons and product lines.

Their signature item is the Big Mac

Semi-frequent McDonalds eater here who wears size 30 - 31 jeans here.

I agree with the sentiment, but your numbers are somewhat off - a Double Quarter Pounder on its own is 750 calories, and a medium fries is 340 calories. You can get a cheeseburger at 300 calories, but I don't think that would feel filling.

If you're having McDonalds regularly, it works better if you just have one main meal a day. So you can have your 750 calorie burger, 340 calories fries, diet soda / water, and still have room for small snacks at other times of the day.

And personally, I'd be putting on weight at 1764 calories a day. I need to stay around 1500 - 1600, unless I put in a ton of extra exercise. I'm shorter than average.

[Edit: FWIW, not actually recommending others do this, do your own experiments. I've been keeping weight & body fat logs for 14 years, so I've got lots of personal data to track & measure against.]

> your numbers are somewhat off

I used the McDonald's calorie calculator on their website. I picked the hamburger 250 calories (it's their main item and I guess most people get it), medium fries 337 calories (so not even picking the smallest items), and Diet Coke 1 calorie (maybe that one is bending over backwards to be low calorie) = just 588 calories. A very light lunch!

As someone who spent literal years working at a McDonald's as a teenager, the basic hamburger is perhaps only eclipsed by the Filet of Fish sandwich as one of the least ordered regular lunch menu items. The Big Mac probably outsells all other regular lunch sandwiches 3:1, at least.

Of course it's been almost 20 years since I worked there, but I don't imagine it has changed all that much.

In many locations, the basic hamburger isn’t even on the menu. When I keep to the published menu and order a cheeseburger with no cheese, it only shows up on the receipt as a hamburger about 25% of the time.

How did the seasonal McRib fare?

Not sure but I had as many as I could.

   (it's their main item and I guess most people get it),
I suspect this assumption is pretty far off. I'd guess the single burger doesn't even crack the top 10 in sandwich sales for them. Not even close if you exclude sales to kids. At least in the US.

If for arguments sake a more typical lunch was 1/4pounder w/cheese, medium fries, medium (regular coke) you are something like 1100 calories - well into heavy lunch territory.

It's not a main item, it's the dollar menu smallest item. Have you ever been to a mcdonalds?

Highly variable. As a 5"4" woman I would gain a pound a week on that diet (until it leveled out and ~1700 calories was my new maintenance).

My experience with this is that those 588 calories will satiate you less than a 588 calorie meal elsewhere. (Cooking at home is ideal, but restaurants other than McDonald's will often do better too. Varies a lot with ingredients.)

I also know that 1764 calories is not a huge deficit for me.

I do something similar and after 7 years I discovered I was severely Vitimin D deficient. Thanks to an article that was posted recently about UV not penetrating glass.

Vitamin D deficiency has a lot to do with your climate. It's not realistic to get all of your vitamin D from food no matter what. I'm guessing you live in Seattle or some other place where you forget what the sun looks like sometimes?

Is there any easy way to know if you suffer vitamin D defeciency? I'm in Vancouver, and especially at this time of year you end up inside for pretty much all the daylight hours Monday-Friday.

It's diagnosed through a blood test. As far as I know, you can't really diagnose it accurately in any other way. But in developed countries the rule of thumb on that is:

Do you work outside in the sun? Do you eat a lot of fish? Do you take a vitamin D supplement? If you answered "no" to all of these questions then you probably have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency is very common.

>The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005 to 2006 data were analyzed for vitamin D levels in adult participants (N = 4495). Vitamin D deficiency was defined as a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations ≤20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L). The overall prevalence rate of vitamin D deficiency was 41.6%, with the highest rate seen in blacks (82.1%), followed by Hispanics (69.2%).


Looks as though I should probably be making a doctor's appointment...

I live in Kansas. I just don't go outside ever. I was always told I was at high risk of melanoma due to my mother having it so I learned to stay indoors. I start burning within 15 minutes of peak sun.

I'm not a doctor, and I'm sure you've gotten good information. But you don't need that much sun to get your vitamin D. 15 minutes is enough for a whole week.

I've found for me personally that vitamin D supplementation helps, but my tendons/muscle attachments are still weak and injury prone unless I get some real sun.

Do you experience symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?

Yea and I had no idea what it was or that anything could be done. Some could be a coincidence, but it seems pretty likely to be the cause to me. Over the last few months there has been a constant pressure in my lower back that has since gone away. A foggyness in my head has since gone away. Maybe it is some confirmation bias since taking supplements for awhile now, but the change seemed drastic.

Getting less than 5 minutes of sun per month and never eating any foods that contains Vitimin D such as fish for several years might be to blame.

Go to a doctor. A simple blood test for vitamin deficiency takes a few minutes. If you are deficient, you'll receive a prescription for a high dose to help combat the deficiency immediately, and a plan to take the correct maintenance dose over time. If not, you will know there is another root cause behind your symptoms.

This isn't something you should self-medicate. It's tremendously simple for a doctor to confirm your hypothesis.

You dont even have to go to a doctor...there are online testing services that will test vit D w/out a prescription. IO checked mine quarterly for several years.

Supposedly it takes almost 60,000 IU a day for a long period of time to cause harmful levels of calcium in your blood. All supplements recommend 1 dose a day and the largest dosage is 10,000 IU. I see little risk in attempting self medication here. I'll consult my doctor at my next routine checkup, but I'm not worried about this.

From personal experience the head fogginess is a pretty strong indicator of vitamin D deficiency. I didn't even realize I was deficient until I took 5k IU one night and the next morning felt amazing. The Vitamin D deficiency brain fog is almost worse than a hangover or being high IMO.

You can use a tool like cronometer.com, at least that's what I started using when I started eating plant-based

> How do you know that you're getting enough of all the different micronutrients?

How do you?

The simple hedge of eating a variety of foods, plus medical wisdom around simple things like iodine that have eliminated certain deficiencies.

By definition you don't need micronutrients often, so you don't need to eat a lot of them every day, which is what makes the variety scheme work.

Use the app Chronometer to track micronutrients

Do you have a blog post or something that goes into detail about your routine? It sounds interesting.

I don't have it posted, but it isn't that complex, so I can give a quick rundown here:

Breakfast - 2 eggs, scrambled with generous amounts of mushrooms and spinach, and a little cheese tossed in.

Lunch - Veggie mix that I chop up all together every few days - green peppers, pasilla peppers, green onion, yellow onions, eggplant, jicama, cauliflower, and whatever other root veggies looked good at the store - turnips, rutabagas, and such things. I stir-fry them with lime juice, tomato paste, fish sauce, turmeric, coriander, ginger, and cayenne pepper. At the end, I add a little coconut milk, and it ends up being a decent approximation of a red curry.

Dinner - baked chicken wings with some hot sauce.

> and a little cheese tossed in

Or as I like it call it, salt. ;-)

huh. Seems both tasty and healthy. Well done.

I'm not sure about the fish sauce or coconut milk but you need some fat in there to allow the nutrients from all the plants to be carried into the body. You might consider throwing an ounce or two of chicken in there. Otherwise most of it goes to waste.

Coconut milk is extremely fatty.

Even without that when you’re thinking about macronutrients you should be thinking at the level of at least a day, probably closer to a month. Even without the coconut milk the eggs and cheese from breakfast is plenty fat to ward off deficiency diseases.

Does your wife also eat the same meals? Do you eat together for breakfast and dinner?

Article doesn't mention it, but I suspect one benefit is weight control.

If you eat something different every day, it's hard to be mindful of consuming too many calories. Especially given the high levels of fructose corn syrup in just about everything.

You can go broke even with a high paying job if you don't manage expenses. You can also get fat eating all the right foods but in too much quantity.

I lost around 60 pounds nine years ago and the main way I keep it off is by eating roughly the same thing every weekday. I've "tuned" it over time to keep me full and avoid overeating and snacking.

Sounds like my story too (lost 25kg about 7yrs ago and kept it off). I generally rotate on a 1-week cycle. The only daily rules I follow are (1) never eat noodles more than once a day, and (2) eat some green vegetable/s once a day. I also never keep food in my apartment to easily avoid snacking, so some days when the weather's bad I'll only eat twice. When I go to an eatery (restaurant or canteen stall), I usually have the same meal every time, but there's about 10 different places I eat at, so I'm making the choice of what to eat when I choose which eatery to go to.

Yeah I developed a stable of foods that I knew the calories of and rotated through those, made my calorie tracking easy.

This is an insightful point, and has been demonstrated in several studies [1] - limiting variety simplifies and bounds the food decisions you have to regularly make.

[1] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1038/oby.2005.10...

I wonder if you're less susceptible to glutinous desires too. If you find a food really tasty but don't know when you'll have it again, then you might be tempted to eat more than you should. But if it's daily meal that just tastes fine, then it's not that tempting to overeat, I suspect.

That was what I did when I was trying to lose weight. I ate subway sandwiches (different variety without cheese) for 2 years - every evening. Mornings were just a plate full of fruits and lunch was variety of typical foods but small portions. Combined with running thrice a week + Muay Thai, I went from 82kgs to 62kgs in three months and stayed around that for a long time.

It is hard to keep up though - I eventually stopped the eating/exercise regime and gained a significant portion of the lost weight back.

In "The 4-Hour Body" Tim Ferriss recommends eating the same meal [from Chipolte!] every day as part of his "slow carb" diet.

I have no idea how long he sticks to his own advice though.

Approximately until it stops selling.

This is key. It’s a lot easier to lose/maintain weight if you eat the same things.

I care a lot more about being a healthy weight than eating a variety of foods.

I've eaten the same breakfast, and the same Sweetgreen salad for lunch (in 6-12 months streaks) for the past 5 years. The reason it works so well for me is the reduction in needing to make decisions every day, and feeling bad about having made the wrong choices.

I like this because this is in a part of my day where I need to focus on work, and being productive, and don't need to be distracted by food decisions.

I also LOVE food - so dinner, and weekends, are times where I actually love making decisions about where to eat, what to eat.

What is your breakfast, if you don't mind to share?

not OP but I've eaten two eggs on toast every morning for a lot of my life

For some time now I've been tempted to start eating eggs on a toast for breakfast daily so I'm curious: has this impacted your bad cholesterol?

The notion that dietary cholesterol affects blood cholesterol is outdated, and is not supported by evidence (with some exceptions, e.g. for diabetics). Modern nutrition advisories no longer recommend limiting cholesterol intake.

Not OP, but I've been eating 3-4 eggs (usually hard- or soft-boiled, but occasionally scrambled with bacon or sausage, never with bread/toast though) almost every weekday morning for the past 5 years, and all my recent bloodwork has shown cholesterol levels in the healthy range.

Dietary Cholesterol, Serum Lipids, and Heart Disease: Are Eggs Working for or Against You?

However, large-scale epidemiological studies have found only tenuous associations between the intake of eggs and cardiovascular disease risk. Well-controlled, clinical studies show the impact of dietary cholesterol challenges via egg intake on serum lipids is highly variable, with the majority of individuals (~ 2/3 of the population) having only minimal responses, while those with a significant response increase both LDL and HDL-cholesterol, typically with a maintenance of the LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio.

I never had it measured and since I've been doing it since I was about 14 I'm not sure I could judge cause and effect.

Thanks for your honest response. I appreciate!

I'm on a low carb diet for both losing weight and better budget. I've tried so many things over the years, but having a consistent routine every day seems to be the easiest for me to follow. I've found that having a "yes" list is WAY easier to manage mentally than having a "no" list.

For those interested in my diet plan, I eat the following:

7am 3 cups of water followed by 3 cups of coffee.

10am 1 cup bone broth + 1 protein shake if I'm still hungry

12pm 2 cups of salad + 1 avocado + 2 eggs + 1 keto cookie (Fat Snax, they're delicious)

4pm 1 protein bar (Keto Collagen Protein Bar) or 1 30g of Macadamia Nuts

6pm 500 calories of meat + 2 cups of salad + 1 ChocoZero (Keto Chocolate)

This is about 1,800 calories a day which puts me at a steady pace to lose about 1 lb of fat a week assuming I don't cheat.

I really like this diet plan because I can bulk buy most things at Costco and the snacks on Amazon. The best hack has been pre-packed hard boiled eggs, that's reduced my lunch into a 2 min prep for just the advocado and putting everything together. My lunch requires no meal prep so I only have to think about dinner. And I've reduced dinner down to just a meat which I can cook up in a bunch of different ways twice or 3 times a week.

It has helped me save money, save time, keep fit. Great for post-holidays.

What about those mornings when you want to have a 4th cup of water?

lol that's just to jump start my body before drinking coffee (which dehydrates). I drink almost a gallon a day right now outside of my jump start.

coffee does not dehydrate

edit: here are some sources that look serious if you're interested but there's plenty of evidence. I'm an endurance athlete (so I'm mindful about dehydration) and I enjoy coffee a lot so I researched this a bit.



Interesting. Thanks for that. I didn't know that.

>his is about 1,800 calories a day which puts me at a steady pace to lose about 1 lb of fat a week assuming I don't cheat.

A pound of fat is 3500 calories, so you've really got to be hitting a 500 calorie a day deficit to get there. 1800 cal a day seems a bit high to achieve a lb of weight loss per week (2k/day recommended intake), unless of course you're very tall in which case your baseline might be 2300 cal.

2k/day might be the total caloric expenditure for the average woman. I’m a somewhat active 190 pound man and my daily maintenance calories average between 2600 and 3500 (depending on how much I surf).

You could buy 20 eggs, boil all at once and keep them in the fridge for weeks. Just a thought ;)

Yeah I did that before. But I'm super lazy, so I found that buying a bunch of hard boiled eggs pre-packed into packets of 2 by Costco was just that little bit easier.

Keto diets are sketchy science at best. I can't believe anyone still falls for it.

I think you should test what works best for your body.

I actually don't do strict keto, I have a lot of protein in my meals, way more than I should if I were on keto alone.

But I've tried balanced, low fat, high fat, etc. And I have found this works best for my body day-to-day. I think that if you don't feel good, then its ultimately unsustainable and bad for you and that should be your ultimate gauge.

You can't "fall" for a metabolic state. While there are plenty of people pushing faux keto diets as a means to sell you something you don't need, putting yourself into a metabolic state is a biological reality.

Why do you think so? It sounds as well studied already.

I agree. Keto is the most dangerous dietary trend today.

Honestly I think this is partially why Blue Apron failed...they overestimated how many people desire variety in dinner choices.

Someone build a blue apron except for ingredients for weekly meal prep.

> they overestimated how many people desire variety in dinner choices.

And here I thought it was because they are pretty seriously overpriced, not to mention environmentally questionable.

For me it was mostly price, but also work. If I'm going to pay that much for food, I don't want to have to work too hard to build the meal.

Their marketing seemed geared to people who wanted to learn to cook something nicer than the basic meal. You have a nice recipe card and all the right ingredients.

However after you've done it for 2 months you have a ton of their nice recipe cards and can just go buy ingredients yourself.

i wish supermarkets would just sell a box kit similar to blue apron. 40 bucks for 4 nights of ingredients for 2 people - i dont always need a whole cabbage, a whole ginger stalk, a whole whatever. they could wrap it in wax paper, use a cardboard box, the entire unit could be digestible or compostable.

Blue Apron failed?

They've never made a profit in any year. And the last two years in a row their top line sales have declined. Furthermore, their stock price has gone from $10 to <$1 since they IPO'ed. I'd definitely call that a failure regardless of whether they are still in business or not. Is it possible that they turn it around? Yeah, it's possible. But as of right now, I think the label "failure" is more than appropriate, at least from an investor perspective. Just because they can, for the moment, continue to sell their product/service at a loss to customers is no great accomplishment.


I like routines, and I am the type of person that becomes a "regular" at various businesses. But, food is one area of my life where I love to explore. There are so many different foods and cultures in the world which express their history in some way through food, to be so bland and banal as to eat the same thing every day. I do almost the same thing every day, I could set my clock by my lifestyle, but when it is time for a meal I always seek variety.

But I don't judge those who do this, because I understand the relaxation of decision points, the ease of calorie consciousness and weight management, and the ability to balance nutrition that comes with a standard meal.

Once you start investing in healthy eating, you quickly realize that there are 3 types of food: healthy, sugary, and sluggish.

You always get to choose which one you want, but it's exactly that: a choice!

I have to chose to eat things I don't want. Is that what your are saying? cuz I want sugar.

I think you are the one trying to say something but I can't figure out exactly what.

I don't choose what I want, I choose what I do. And I do it in spite of what I want (sugar).

Wow, that's amazing.


Yeah, a "nice" and slow dinner.

food is healthful, people who eat healthful food are healthy.

Everything that gives you calories for fuel is healthy in moderation.

When I was in grad school, I lived on oatmeal for breakfast, a cheese sandwich on homemade bread for lunch, and a small stir-fry on rice for supper. I never got sick of it.

Now my spouse is vegetarian, and the kids don't eat beef (long story). If we eat meat, it's just a nice little bit of chicken or pork that the kids and I can put on our portion. And due to a health scare, I have replaced the cheese sandwiches with hummus on bread.

Recently my family went on a trip and I had to stay behind. So, on the first day, I went to store and brought home ... a steak!

When it came time for me to make my supper, I looked at the little steak, then proceeded to chop it into bits and turned it into ... a small stir-fry on rice for supper. The beef was a treat, and I spiced it up more than usual.

During the remaining five days of my family's trip, I lived on oatmeal for breakfast, a hummus sandwich for lunch, and a small stir-fry on rice for supper.

That hilarious, we had a very similar meal plan. I used to have oatmeal for breakfast since I was a teenager. A simple sandwich for lunch and a stir fry for dinner.

I would cooked 5 portions of the stir fry on the weekend and have dinner for M-F. I did vary it up with different types of meat and vegetables, but otherwise it was the same.

Never got sick of it.

My daughter went to college this year. But I still cook the same amount for supper, meaning that I get a nice lunch for the next day!

I have 5 bottles of soylent a day, I absolutely love it and don't see myself stopping. I dislike preparing, eating, and cleaning up so I just avoid it. Every month I get a shipment of soylent and that is all my food related chores done for the month once I bring the boxes up to my room.

I enjoy cooking and food, but Huel (UK equivalent to Soylent) has allowed me to separate that from nutrition.

I often don't have the time and energy to plan and prepare healthy and enjoyable weekday lunches, so now they are all Huel. It's also very convenient if I'm travelling or busy at what would normally be a mealtime (Huel while driving is great).

5?! Pardon the wholly inappropriate comment, your innards must shine like polished steel.

I do go quite quickly

I doubt it has time to touch the sides on the way through.

I really enjoyed the Soylent cafe shakes as a breakfast replacement. Other diet things pulled me away, but those chai ones are amazingly nutritious.

I implore you to get your T checked regularly.

Isoflavones have no effect on male T levels, this has been disproven over and over again: https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(09)00966-2/pdf

People are just exploiting insecure men to sell nutrient powders.

No health insurance :/

Sounds like some of my own work, I hypothesized that the body doesn’t need food itself, merely the chemicals and elements it contains. So, what if I consumed only the raw ingredients the body uses for energy? Soylent was the obvious choice because our bodies do not need food.

I don't think I've read a more absurd thing in my life. I chuckled.

IV feeding would seem to be a similar concept to what gp is talking about

You're still consuming food - Soylent is food.

There is no magic "food" quality that is granted to chemicals, at the end of the day you need your macro and micro nutrients and that's it. As it stands we're also well adapted for finding and consuming nutrition, so we've evolved means of enjoying consuming those chemicals in certain ratios.

Hmm a spiritual concept. Matthew 4:4: But he answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. and Luke 4:4: And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Nutrition is hardly a "solved" science, but your body needs more than raw elements to live. You cant just eat a plate of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (some of the most common elements in organic chemistry).

Is this satire?


One of the enjoyable things about surfing is when you find there are other people like you.

Almost every day since the mid-80's, I have what I call a Tarnower lunch: half a can of pineapple chunks, half a can of mandarin oranges, a dollop of cottage cheese and a few walnut pieces, along with a small bran muffin. Tastes fine, not too bad nutritionally, and no congnitive overhead.

Sounds like a ton of sugar and carbs to me with barely any protein...

Nuts & cheese contain protein. And whole pineapple chunks is not "just sugar", I thought it was pretty well established that whole fruit is not comparable to soda. Although I guess in fairness depending on the can you buy, some have a fair amount of added sugar in the form of juices & syrups.

I buy bags of frozen fruit pieces. One advantage is that you get just the fruit with no juice or syrup, and I think frozen fruits and vegetables taste better than their canned counterparts anyway.

canned fruit can have a lot of added sugar though

I couldn't say what the numbers are, although the fruit cans say "is in its own juice" and I think cottage cheese has protien, for what that is worth. But I enjoy it, which is important too.

Sugar from fruit is a world of difference from sugar in processed foods.

... Throw it all in a blender with a can of Albecore tuna, some Vanilla flavored Soy milk and you got yourself decent breakfast or even a pre-workout drink!

Tuna shake, baby!

Tuna shakes were a meme from the old misc.fitness.weights days. I was never sure whether anyone actually drank them regularly, or just said they did because it sounded hardcore.

Is there something surfing specific to that meal choice or otherwise nutritionally useful for the activity? Or just the pleasantness of random taste profile aligning with someone else’s?

And what do you do with the other half of the can of pineapples?

I am guessing gp meant "surfing" as in the internet, not waves.

I meant that surfing the interwebs sometimes turns up things that are pleasant.

And, finding that other people do something that my wife regards as a bit odd.

As to the other half can, I eat iton the next day.

Ha! When I read your comment I imagined a wonderful life that involved surfing (on the beach) every day for the past thirty years and eventually meeting a friendly community of fellow surfers that liked canned pipeapple.

That breakfast wouldn't last you through a multi hour surf session.

I'd bonk on that after half an hour.

I think oatmeal would work better for actual surfing.

Perhaps this is "surfing" the web?

Variety in taste is just a luxury, it's a few seconds of pleasure while eating that your body doesn't care about. People spend way too much time deciding, cooking, eating, and usually choosing unhealthy meals because of this.

As many comments here show, you realize just how unimportant it all is when finding your next meal is a struggle.

Found the robot. No seriously, maybe we should all just be eating bachelor chow. Actually, just hook me up to one of those feeder tubes like in the matrix. Yeah.

You can do whatever you want. We're not all alike, but yea I have better things to do and am grateful I can afford to get get a meal whenever I want.

One of my companies had subsidized lunch (you could also buy dinner for cheap) with 5-6 options available. As most bulk food, options were generally greasy and unhealthy, with one unchanging exception: roast chicken. For over a year I ate roast chicken and salad both for lunch and dinner every workday.

I do love food and cooking, but the sheer convenience, speed and cost saving was impossible to ignore. I've never been leaner and healthier in my life, and I would still indulge myself cooking my favorite meals on the weekends.

10/10 would repeat.

When I announced the birth of my child the company I worked with fired me instantly and living off one income (my spouse was still working) was tough. Money got so short that I started looking for cheap but "healthy" food options. I decided on organic potatoes. For the last 2 years I have been boiling 5 potatoes for lunch (exactly 32 mins on the stove), serving it with white balsamic vinegar, sunflower oil and salt. I feel with all the junk food around full of crappy soy and corn sirup this is the least bad alternative. It is always a challenge to feed myself especially when I train for a Marathon. I do lose weight during this period and very often I go to bed extremely hungry only to wake up at 4am for yet another training run. I stay focused and try not to spend any money on anything for me. Temptations are everywhere though! I only spend money to feed my child.

What I learned over the last 2 years is important: don't ever eat crap out of convenience - there's lots of healthy alternative options out there even if you live in a very expensive neighborhood (like I); never ever through out limp vegetables! You can still throw it in a pot with broth and make "soup/stew"; invest into your future (your kids) and don't be ashamed to admit your days are counted ...

I take this as a life lesson. Once I have a job again, I will appreciate food even more.

wow. what's your job and current household income?

I've eaten the same thing everyday ever since I got old enough to understand lunch as a concept. Food is just not important to me, it just has to fill me up and cover my macro nutrient. I think this is pretty common, at least here in Scandinavia

Do you eat the same lunch every day? Or do you eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and eat that every day)?

Reminds me of

"The Norwegian art of the packed lunch, Matpakke - Most Boring Lunch in the world - Ever?"


BBC also ran an article not too long ago about this... I wouldn't mind it once in a while!


My view on food is relatively simple: Life is way too short for boring food. I could not imagine eating the same thing every day.

That's not to say I eat a completely new-to-me meal every day. When I was single, I would cook and then eat the same meal 3-4 days in a row, but I would change it up every week.

Now, what we (my girlfriend and I) usually do is cook and bake on Sundays, then freeze about half and eat the rest during the week, interspersed with meals from the freezer, from previous weeks. We like to cook big portions, especially soups, curries, stews and such.

Baking-wise, we prefer to bake sourdough bread or slow-raised bread with minimal yeast. We also make homemade ice cream and bake cakes.

I can understand that some people think it takes way too much time and effort that they would rather spend on other things, but we consider it quality time spent together, doing something we both love to do.

> Life is way too short for boring food

I think it's not that life is way too short, but that you enjoy new food. For me, sometimes the food decision tree feels like too much time lost to food while other more interesting tasks could be done, and then I choose a tuna/chicken salad and get over with it.

It's not that I only like new food, I absolutely love comfort food as well. I just love food in general, including good tuna/chicken salad :-)

Just curious as to why you say bread with 'minimal yeast', particularly after listing sourdough?

What I mean is bread with long rising time, ideally 20-24 hours. The improvement in flavour and structure is well worth it.

I rarely use more than ~20g of sourdough or 4-5g of yeast for a full-sized loaf with ~1kg flour. Sometimes a tiny (~0.1g) bit of yeast to help out the sourdough if the current batch is slightly lazy.

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