Can You Be Healthy And Eat The Same Thing Every Day?
Some of us are creatures of habit. When we find something we like, we stick with it. If you’ve ever enjoyed, say, a piece of rye toast with almond butter and banana every day for eight months, you know what I’m talking about. If you're a uniform eater, you aren't alone. Eva Mendes says she eats salmon, grains, and a salad every day for both lunch and dinner: "I'm a creature of habit in that way. I don't get bored with food," she says. Few would argue that fish and quinoa aren't healthy but eaten exclusively every day? Could all that salmon make you super healthy or is it too much of a good thing?
Nutritionist Brooke Scheller knows for many people, choosing their daily meals feels like a hassle, and simplifying the menu holds an appeal. "I have worked with several clients who are creatures of habit and tend to stick with what they know or what is 'easy' for them." To ease clients into healthy habits, Scheller lets them repeat meals. "In the initial stages of making dietary changes, I typically allow them to eat the same thing every day as I find it better than them reverting to old habits or making poor choices." But once those new nutritional lessons are learned? "I recommend that they begin varying their choices."
Neda Varbanova says you could probably construct a balanced uniform diet but still holds that "variety is key." The holistic health coach and nutritionist says, "There are so many important nutrients in each food group that our bodies need and it is impossible to get all the nutrients needed from one food group. Eating a variety of good-for-you foods can play an important role in promoting greater bacterial diversity in your gut. For example, as healthy as avocado toast can be, switching up your breakfast can be very beneficial. Avocados are high in fiber and healthy fats, but they don't have the same vitamins and nutrients that other food groups have, such as fruits, eggs, grass-fed Greek yogurt, steel-cut oats and of course superfood smoothies."
Making sure you mix things up also ensures that you don’t overdo it on certain things that could become an issue over time. Eating the same higher-mercury fish daily puts you at risk of mercury toxicity. Other seemingly healthy drinks, like green juice or kombucha can be surprisingly high in sugar.
Is balanced nutrition the only consideration at play when it comes to our daily meals? Kelsey Patel, meditation teacher, nutritionist, and intuitive healer thinks eating the same meal every day might fulfill your nutritional needs but questions if it could leave you satisfied in another way. "Food is absolutely medicine for the body and it is also intended to be a fun part of your life, too. Having variety and enjoying life is part of being human." She's interested in the rationale behind uniform eating. "If you feel better and healthier eating something every day, then do it. If you are not enjoying your eating habits and forcing yourself to control your every move and food intake, then perhaps it's an opportunity to work on your mental and emotional well-being."
If you're a semper-Fi, stand-by-your-man kind of eater, then Scheller recommends making your go-to meal as colorful as can be. "Most of us have heard the saying before to 'eat the rainbow'—this is a way to make sure you're obtaining a variety of different fruits and veggies," she explains. "While different plants contain different combinations of crucial vitamins and minerals, the different colors of the fruits and veggies are also important. The colors are due to different phytonutrients, which act as powerful antioxidants. For example, anthocyanins, which are found in red, purple, and even bluish-colored foods like red cabbage, blueberries, and pomegranate. Anthocyanins help protect our DNA, reduce inflammation, and provide a wide range of antioxidants that help ward off damage to our cells."
The bottom line: There's a lot your body needs, so eat a wide variety of healthy foods to help keep those quotas high. "It's important to have the rainbow on rotation so you're getting the full range of fuel, not only for your body's normal functions but to protect your cells from damage and inflammation," says Scheller.
Oh, and it's fun to eat new foods, too.
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