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Kardamom's avatar

Are you one of those people who is content to eat the same thing day after day?

Asked by Kardamom (31431points) March 11th, 2015

I’ve known 3 people, who stood out, as people who are not only content, but seem to thrive on eating the same food day after day after day. The first guy I knew from a former job many years ago. This guy would only eat spaghetti. He ate spaghetti every single day for lunch. People would offer him stuff all the time and he always refused. We would have potluck lunches and he would never try anything. He wasn’t anti social, nor did he have a germ problem with touching other people’s food, he simply didn’t seem to have a sophisticated palate and he said on several occasions that food was merely sustenance for him and nothing more. Spaghetti is cheap, so I figured that is why he chose that particular dish to eat day in and day out.

The second fellow was also a former co-worker. This guy was, and still is, super friendly and social and enjoys social gatherings and parties and such, but he still did and does eat peanut butter (no jelly) sandwiches for lunch every day. Oddly enough, he actually grows a lot of stuff in his yard, but I’ve never seen him eat any of it. Maybe his wife eats it, but he tends to give it away to friends and neighbors. He enjoys growing stuff, but has no particular interest in eating his bounty.

The third person, just over the last 2 weeks, ate nuked baked potatoes 8 out of 10 days. When I commented on it, asking her if she was bored of the potatoes yet, she said, “No, I didn’t eat them every day. I didn’t eat one on Friday or Saturday, so I’m excited to eat one right now.” This woman was a bit different from the other two fellows, in that she seemed to actually relish the idea of eating the same thing over and over again, and was quite anxious about the fact that she went two days without eating a baked potato.

I am guilty of eating bean and cheese burritos multiple times in a week, but even I can’t eat them from the same establishment each time. I frequent a whole host of Mexican restaurants within a 50 mile radius. The beans are different, the cheese is different, and the salsas are different.

In general, I try to eat something different every day. Even if I have leftovers, I will likely skip a day in between. I also have the desire and ability to plan meals pretty well, so I don’t have to simply grab the first thing I see in the fridge. I think some people eat the same thing every day because they can’t fathom the idea of planning out what they might eat during a week or a month, so eating spaghetti or peanut butter sandwiches is easy because they already know exactly what they are going to eat. There is no planning involved (except figuring out if you have spaghetti or peanut butter in your house) thus no anxiety.

The potato woman seemed to have a bit more of a “situation” going on with her. She did mention that she got the potatoes for cheap, so it seemed like a good idea to eat them every single day. She makes decent money, so I can’t really believe that she is on a strict budget. Also, I know she can cook rather well, because when she isn’t eating baked potatoes, she occasionally brings in nifty things like homemade curry, and pasta dishes. I do know that she is a vegetarian and her husband is not, and he won’t eat anything that she cooks, so maybe there’s a little anxiety/tension with regards to food and meal planning. Nuked potatoes are safe. On a side note, several of my co-workers have mentioned that this woman has the look in her eye of a trapped animal. I never noticed that. She seemed perfectly normal to me, but then I only see her at lunch time, so who knows, but I’m straying away from the subject at hand.

Which of you prefers to eat the same meal day after day, and which of you prefer to mix it up? When you do mix it up, do you like to go crazy with all sorts of random stuff, or do you have one of those 7 days, 7 dishes kind of setups. Tuesday night is pork chop night, Friday night is pizza night, Thursday night is spaghetti night etc. Even though that type of plan has different foods, it’s still limited to 7 foods. That would drive me straight into the mad house.

What say you?

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13 Answers

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I prefer variety in my diet, but I can and have tolerated sameness due to exigencies out of my control and didn’t find it torturous or upsetting like some who were with me at the time.

Then I go through eating jags. I run across something that I really like, or haven’t had in ages and will eat it every day until I get my fill. Back in college in the San Francisco area, we used to make our own granola. Nobody had ever heard of it and it wasn’t in the stores. I loved it. When I left the Bay Area in 1973, I left behind decent granola and the people who knew how to make it. The stuff that eventually ended up on store shelves was no where near as good and flavorful as the stuff we used to make. And store-bought is always way too sweet.

A couple of years ago, I ran into one of my old schoolmates, and I got her old recipe for the crunchiest, toastiest homemade granola from our student days: rolled oats, slivered almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaked coconut, a touch of cinnamon, sometimes even a hint of allspice, extracts of vanilla and almond, and melted coconut oil. I’d use sweeteners like honey, maple syrup carefully in the preparation… while living under normal conditions I splurge on fresh bananas, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, mango, papaya, peaches, star fruit, or any fruit that catches my fancy at the time. The combinations are endless. I eat mine with plain yoghurt instead of milk and, if made properly to taste, there is no reason to add further sweeteners, and certainly never sugar of any kind. That would overwhelm the natural sweetness of the fruit, honey, and the flavors of maple syrup. This granola travels well and I try to always keep some on board in a ceramic jar, substituting dried fruits for fresh when out at sea. I made this granola and damn-near ate nothing else for breakfast and snacks for the next five years. I think I have it under control now. My breakfasts are more varied. It had been soooo long, though.

I discovered they made Polska kielbasa in a brand new deli near my house once. I hadn’t had it for thirty years. I bought like ten pounds of it, they also had homemade spicy mustard, and crispy sour kraut right out of the barrel (not the limp stuff that comes out of a can in the states) and kosher dills, then scrambled home with it all like a thief in the night. I ate kielbasa that night until I was bursting and everyday for lunch and dinner for a week, then it was over and I had it only a couple of times a year.

During stone crab season I’ll eat the claws almost everyday as the season is increasingly short. When I get back to the states, I will probably indulge in a porterhouse orgy. That could last awhile. And potatoes: baked potatoes, Lyonnaise potatoes, mashed potatoes with butter, garlic, sour cream, bacon bits, and chives are on the list of things I haven’t had in more than two years and I intend on sequestering myself to get my fill of them when I get back. The next time I’m in California, I’ll spend a day prying abalone from the ocean rocks north of San Francisco, taking them to a friend’s place and pig out.

So, I have these wild indulgences every once in a while after not having something for a long time—not due to any kind of self-deprivation, but just unavailability and I forget about these foods until I see them somewhere and go crazy. Rapacious is a good word for it.

JLeslie's avatar

I could eat linguine with meat sauce every day for weeks on end. I don’t, but I could.

Are the three people you know who eat the same thing every day thin? That’s usually a trait of thin people. Eating a variety tends to make people fatter, because they eat more. Not necessarily though, I was just wondering.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I can eat instant noodle repeatedly for breakfast, but no one allows me to.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

No I would go nuts. I need variety in my meals.

Stinley's avatar

I have the same for lunch 5 days a week as I take a packed lunch and always have a cheese sandwich, apple, orange, banana, yoghurt. I have different lunch at weekends and a different dinner every night. We tend to eat mostly the same meals because my children are fussy little buggers so unless I cook 2 different meals for us, my husband and I end up eating the stuff that they will eat. I dislike cooking and I especially hate cooking food that people turn their noses up at. (I asked a question about this once).

I went to Paris with my mum when I was a teenager and the first night we ate in a restaurant. I was a socially awkward girl and I thought the waiters were laughing at me so I refused to eat in a restaurant again and we ate baguettes for all meals that whole week, until the last night when my mum persuaded me to go to another restaurant. We had fried chicken and french fries – nothing gourmet – and I had never eaten a meal so tasty! So I don’t think I could last more than a week eating the same thing for all meals

johnpowell's avatar

I am one of those people. This last week I have pretty much only eaten burritos and pizza. I have had some fruit and salads everyday so don’t freak out.

Coloma's avatar

No, but, there are a few things I could eat every day like candy and cabbage. haha.
I was on a tuna fish jag for awhile, albacore with diced cucumbers and tomatoes, lettuce and sweet pickle relsih. Burned out after about day 20 of Tuna sandwiches. I am more of a binge type.

Berserker's avatar

I can if I have to. I make more money than I have in the past years, but when you’re dirt poor as I was, sometimes you don’t have a choice. Coupled lack of funds with having no real culinary skills means you end up eating a lot of the same.
At least I repeatedly ate stuff I like, such as pasta. It isn’t so bad. Of course, variety is always better, and I’m glad I’m able to do as such these days. But if convenience an necessity call, I can and will eat the same shit for days on end without a bother.
Being poor does teach you to appreciate what little you have. Not trying to be corny, but truth, least for me.

Buttonstc's avatar

I tend to be a binger on things I really like. When I used to live in Philly, there was an Amish vegetable stand in Reading Terminal Market which I frequented and I would wait all year long for this one type of grape tomatoes to be in season.

They were called Sun Gold and were incredibly delicious. They’re both sweeter and more acidic than the run of the mill grape or cherry tomatoes so tons of flavor.

I would buy a twelve pack flat of the pint containers at a time and eat them all day every day. I’d make sandwiches with them for dinner, salads for lunch and just plain the rest of the time.

Sometimes I’d get blisters on my tongue and would have to take a few days off but they were just so delicious. I haven’t been able to find anything like them here.

During my teaching years, since I’m not a morning person, I just found it so much easier to have a couple of soft boiled eggs, toast and tea for breakfast every single day. I had the timing down perfectly so it was just so much easier than switching things up and wasting time.

Also, I was able to find a farm which sold fresh fertilized eggs from their chickens which roamed free and ate naturally so I stocked up every few weeks. The difference in flavor from supermarket eggs was indescribable.

I guess I’ve realized that if it’s quality food with superior taste I can eat it day in and day out without problem.

Heck, if I could afford it and could find a good source, I could easily eat scallops every day for infinity. (Well, I would switch it up and alternate in some Salmon or Bluefish once in awhile.) Unfortunately, I have neither the funds nor a good source, so…

I also remember years and years ago when I was doing Weight Watchers, I had a few meals which I would alternate between because back then it was all calorie counting and following a set routine. Repetition was just easier.

I fondly remember that there was a brand of frozen swordfish which came in a block which was precisely 6 oz. I could season it, put it under my little broiler and have dinner ready in a few minutes and it was delicious. So that was dinner nine times out of ten. (This was obviously way back in the days before we realized that overfishing would eliminate them all for good if we didn’t exercise some restraint.)

So, I definitely have monotonous tendencies but primarily for really delicious items. I’ve never gone on a peanut butter and jelly or Ramen noodles jag :) That would really drive me bonkers.

But when I find a good thing, I tend to stick with it as often as possible regardless of who thinks I’m nuts :)

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m very happy with eating the same foods day in and day out for a long time, because when I find things that I like I’m happy to stick with them. For the past few years I’ve been having a bowl of grapefruit sections every single work day for breakfast (since I keep the containers in the refrigerator there), and having a large bowl of salad (I’m talking “casserole bowl” here) for dinner at night. And the ingredients for that salad may not change much from time to time unless I run out of something and don’t feel like shopping right away.

Lunches may vary, but not by much. I’ve gotten onto a kick of having any one of about three or four different curry dishes (Kohinoor brand or Kitchens of India). If I get tired of that – and it could happen! – then I’d be happy to have tuna sandwiches every day … for years. I’ve done that before, too.

It’s not that I don’t like variety or a lot of other foods; I sure do! But I also like routine, predictability, and the ease of being able to plan a menu and a shopping list very easily based on having done it in the same way for so often.

Tonight, though, I’m having hot dogs, because I had some left over from last week, and we had a lunch at work today – where I chose a salad – and I’m looking forward to my French bread pizza night on Friday. With a small side salad.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I’m often quite happy to eat the same thing day in and day out. I enjoy food but for many meals it’s really just about fuel and as long as what I eat is tasty, healthy and wholesome, I’m okay with it being what I had for lunch yesterday. However, there are times when I absolutely want eating to be a sensory experience. So whether I’m content to eat the same food depends on what meal it is and what else is going on in my life.

My dad took cheese sandwiches to work for about 40 years! Every now and then I’d nag him to vary it and he’d put some branston or some other pickle on them or take something else. He liked cheese sangers! He was very happy with some brown bread, butter and Red Leicester cheese. So if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.

Mariah's avatar

I do this, but not because I want to. I do end up getting very sick of what I eat after a while.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I ate knäckebröd (Vasa crispbreads) with various toppings as open faced sandwiches for breakfast and many lunches during the first three years that I lived in Sweden. It’s a good breakfast as long as you get enough. For me, that would be four or five sandwiches with a pot of Earl Grey (with milk) to get my day started. No weight to it at all, just energy. It’s the one lunch that, as I hit my forties, didn’t put me to sleep at work afterwards.

My favorite is the heavy Rye because it doesn’t fall apart under the weight of Jarlsburg cheese under the many thin slices of Swedish ham topped with slices of fresh cucumber or firm tomatoes. Or with slices of Emmentaler cheese (like the Swiss cheese in the US, but richer in flavour) with liver paste, or with one of the many, many types of pickled herring or salmon roe. I often carry it on the boat as it keeps well and will eat it as a snack with slices of sharp Colby or cheddar, and fresh cucumber, with a couple of mugs of bullion. A thin coating of Gorganzola topped with garlicky slices of Italian summer sausage is nice—with a chilled bunch of juicy, red seedless grapes that explode into bombs of sweetness when you bite through their skins. It also makes for a quick, light lunch or a quickie energy meal during a prolonged storm when cooking isn’t safe. It seems to give me a noticeable energy boost as well. Knäckebröd is one of my favorite foods. I could eat that everyday for breakfast if I had to.

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