Pro #1: Food preparation
Two helpful food concepts that might change your life are: “cook once, eat twice” and the “hour of power”. What this means is that especially if you cook double of every mid-week dinner, you will also be taking care of lunch for the next day. You’ll then have a healthy choice on hand to fuel your day at work, and avoid the refined carbohydrate-laden temptations available when you are time poor. The “hour of power” concept is simply setting aside one hour to prepare food for the week ahead. Some quick, easy and nutrient dense examples are a soup, a tray of roasted vegetables and a frittata. You might be eating the same foods, but you’ll be saving time and money, and making healthy choices all week.
Pro #2: Sustainability
Eating the same foods all the time can actually be incredible for the environment, as the wastage is minimal. The opposite can be the case when you buy ingredients for one recipe, only to have the throw out so much unused food at the end of the week. A really simple example is buying a whole chicken and having a roast on a Sunday, using the left-over meat for your protein during the week, and saving the carcass to make a slow cooked chicken casserole. Simple and extremely sustainable.
Pro #3: It’s better for your back pocket
Scheduling time for food prep and minimising your food wastage are two of the best ways to ensure that your health goals don’t break the bank. The excuse that “healthy food is too expensive” does not apply when you plan ahead, shop smart and/or buy in bulk, and maximise key ingredients across multiple meals.
Con #1: Boredom
One of the problems with eating the same foods, however, can be food boredom. We’ve all over-eaten even our favourite food, and had to take a break for a while until we were no longer sick of it, right? One way to get around this is to eat similar foods for one week, but then change it up the following week. You’re still doing your food preparation and making sustainable choices, but getting variety across the month instead. Meal planning can be really helpful here as you might make a double batch of your favourite curry and eat half in week one of the month, and freeze the rest to eat again in week three.
Con #2: Lack of diversity
You’ve probably heard a lot about gut health of late, and it’s so much more than simply drinking kombucha. One of the most foundational goals for a great microbiome, is eating a diverse diet, high in prebiotic fibres such as onion, garlic, asparagus, cashew, hazelnuts and flaxseeds. So, if you are keeping your list of foods relatively small for the week, make sure you at least sneak in one or two of these foods, to feed your beneficial bacteria and support your microbiome health.
Eating the same foods all time can actually be a really great way to ensure that eating healthy remains easy to prepare, affordable and good for the environment. With a few simple tweaks you can avoid food boredom and support your gut health goals, making it the best of both worlds.