Healthy eating

Variety vs Function
 Do you ever feel like you are eating the same things over and over again? It might not be a bad thing.
 
You have made positive changes in your life. You started exercising more, eating better, but it seems like you are eating the same meals over and over again. Oatmeal for breakfast, curry for lunch and tofu with rice for dinner.
 

Variety

Yeah, I get it, you want more variety.
Think about it this way. Before making the positive changes you had probably eaten the same meals in a rotation but instead of oatmeal it was ham and eggs and in place of rice and beans it was chicken with rice and potatoes. Whatever our food philosophy is, we rotate our tried and tested meals.
 
Consider also that if you are new to this way of eating, you need time to collect and try more recipes. Some people are naturally more drawn to test many new things in a short period of time while others take more time.
 
However, an easy way to bring more variety into your meals is to switch a few ingredients, for example you can switch rice for buckwheat or beans for the variety you have not had in a long time. There are more than 20 different legumes! Get this oatmeal guide that will show you how to keep your oatmeal varied and nutritious!
 

Function

Lack of Variety also has a positive side to it, which is consistency. When you don’t need to think about what to eat you save a lot of time and mental energy. Think about Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs. He wore the same clothes every day. When you don’t need to make small decisions like what to eat each day, it leaves you more energy for other things because every decision takes energy.
 
Sometimes we are simply bored with life and we look for variety in food. Would you have no choice, you’d be satisfied with what you have. I would argue this is an example of abusing food to cover something more important we want to avoid solving. That is why I place a huge importance on mental conditioning when working with clients 1 on1.
 
Consistency also brings results. Ethiopian runners have a very boring diet consisting mostly of grains and starches in different forms like corn maize, rice, bread, beans and vegetables and some eggs and dairy.
 
ugali

Ugali: made from maize meal, it is cooked in water to form a sort of corn cake. This staple is very high in starch and is very bland, lacking much in the way of flavor.[1]

 
Commonly, these foods are not rich in taste, quite the opposite. They are bland and “boring”. For example, they might have a plain bread for breakfast.
 
“The lack of variety in the diet was something that really surprised us. Another thing that I was continually struggling to understand was the lack of flavor in most meals…. The diet was almost purely unprocessed fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals. This alimentary regime is not unique to the athletes we spent time with, it is the diet adhered to by most people in Kenya. This same array of food is on offer in most local restaurants.”[1]
 
Their bland diet covers their nutritional needs, it is easy to prepare and it also eliminates the need to make choices.
 

Take home message

It is perfectly fine and advisable to stick with your staple meals. You can simply rotate ingredients and come up with different final effect. Take Buddha bowls as an example. They contain a variety of produce and you can easily eat them as your every meal without being afraid of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Or to get bored with them.

You can find mentioned articles here:

  1.  Eliud Kipchoge – Diet

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