How NOT to Eat the Same Thing Everyday
A few days ago I found a post on Mind Body Green about eating the same thing everyday- and I loved the idea!
I’ve written before about how having a minimalist wardrobe can make your life easier, so why not food too? As much as I love cooking, sometimes I just don’t have the mojo to make awesome stuff happen in the kitchen.
Cooking and eating the same thing everyday has a lot of appeal to me, but is surely double appealing to someone with a hectic schedule or a busy life. So I was excited to see how this author addressed this issue.
And I was HORRIFIED at what I found.
The author, Nathan Wiebe’s, makes many good points about why choosing to eat the same thing everyday could be a good move. However, some of the details are pretty messed up, and could lead to a lifetime of health problems. I’ve broken down his arguments below.
1. “I save my willpower for more important matters.”
As he explains, and as we’ve addressed before, willpower is a limited resource. Multiple studies show that as we spend our time making decisions about stupid stuff (what to wear, what to eat, which perfume to wear) it literally diminshes our capacity for making creative, thoughtful decisions about more important questions. So far, so good.
Weibe addresses a need that many of us have: “By having a few go-to meals that I eat on a consistent basis, I don’t have to think about my meals. This strategy helps me conserve my willpower for more important decisions — and it could help you turn down any junk food offers throughout the day.”
2. “My meals are optimized for health.”
Ok, this is where Weibe goes off the deep end. He introduces this section saying, “I crafted highly nutritious meals for myself that I eat every day” and then shares his daily diet.
“Breakfast: Black coffee (I do intermittent fasting)
Lunch: Smoked salmon, 1 avocado and cheese
Dinner: Bacon, eggs, shredded cheese and green vegetables (like black kale, [sic] buk choy, or zucchini for example)”
Um, what? First, pretty sure that most studies show that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day, and coffee, with almost zero calories and an overall acidifying affect on the body, is not a great way to sustain yourself until lunchtime. While the studies are inconclusive about whether or not skipping breakfast is good or bad for your body, it makes you feel pretty shitty by the time lunch rolls around, right?
Second, eating lunch of salmon, avocado and cheese is not terrible, but as a meal it is sorely lacking in key nutrients and is high in calories. On occasion, this would not be a terrible snack or small meal, but to eat this calorie-dense and low-fiber meal everyday? This means that even after lunchtime, he’s had a very low fiber intake (about 14 grams of fiber per avocado), minimal vitamin intake, and high fat (although mostly good fats from salmon and avocado). But cheese is terrible for the body, and has been clearly linked to cancer, heart disease and obesity.
And dinner? Not only is this animal-food dominated meal super high in cholesterol and saturated fat, it’s also very low in fiber. Yes, leafy greens and ‘buk choy’ are great options for vegetables, but since these are the first vegetable of the day, he’s likely missing key vitamins and minerals. And bacon? Sure, it’s every hipster’s favorite condiment, but to eat it everyday is drastically increasing his risk of cancer and other lifestyle diseases. Ditto for eggs– there are many health risks associated with eggs; sure, an occasional egg might not be terrible, but the fact that he’s promoting these health-negative foods for daily consumption is just beyond dangerous. But he’s convinced that it’s healthy: “By eating the same nutrient-dense meals on a regular basis, I ensure that my body is getting the nutrition it needs to be healthy and lean.” I disagree, Mr. Weibe, and so would most nutritionists.
3. “I am never stressed about food.”
This is spot-on. If you disregard the terrible nutrition make up of his meals, it’s a great idea to have less stress about food. Though I tend to love cooking, sometimes it gets boring and it would be nice just to NOT think about it. But, if he’s eating this diet on the regular, he’s going to have to be stressed about it soon because he is likely missing some key nutrition in his life.
4. “I save time and money.”
“With fewer ingredients and a shorter grocery list, you will find yourself saving more money and spending a lot less time in the grocery store.” Sure, this makes total sense. But if you’re buying animal calories (which are almost always more expensive than plant-based calories, both in short term (grocery bills) and long-term (health care issues like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease).
5. “My healthy eating habits give me peace of mind.”
While not wasting your decisions making power on what you’re eating, it could surely give you some respite from the stress and help bring about piece of mind. However, study after study confirms that animal agriculture is one of the most destructive forces in the world today, and there is nothing about this diet that should give Weibe peace of mind.