You Can Only Eat Sandpaper and Egg Whites For So Long, Right?

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It wasn’t long ago that Brian St. Pierre and I were discussing, among other things, food…and the lack of variety that many people get in their daily diets. It’s often amazing to me just how “set in our ways” we are when it comes to the food we stuff down our pie holes.

Sure, we like what we like – but given that for many people out there that usually entails: coffee and a bagel in the morning, a PowerBar for lunch, McDonalds drive-thru for dinner**, and some other highly processed garbage right before bed, that’s not saying much.

Now I’m certainly not one to talk. Like everyone else, I’m a creature of habit and I tend to gravitate towards the same foods every day. That being the case, I remember reading somewhere (I think it was Johnny Bowden) that the average American eats roughly eleven (ELEVEN!!!) different food items per day. That’s it.

Now, this shouldn’t be confused with eating say, eleven potato chips or eleven almonds – anyone can do that. Rather, what I’m referring to is eleven separate food items. Math wasn’t my best subject back in school, but I’m pretty sure that’s not a lot of variety at all.

Sure, people can eat a lot of volume of any one food, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re getting ample variety, which in effect allows for one to get in multitude of nutrients, vitamins, minerals on a day to day basis.

More to the point, and as a great example, I have a client who, when she first started with me, admitted to eating nothing but plain, broiled chicken breasts, egg whites, broccoli, oatmeal, and the occasional piece of fruit on a daily basis. For over ten years! Ten. Freakin. Years.

In all that time, she could never figure out why she couldn’t lose those last few lbs of stubborn fat. To her credit, it takes an immense amount of self discipline to pull that off, but after a while (and a few close calls with a mack truck from wanting to throw myself in front of one), I was able to convince her to expand her food repertoire. As such, she’s seen great results.

Nevertheless, while I generally get my balls busted for eating the same things every day, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I DO get a lot of variety in my diet. Well, at least more than the average person. Here’s what I had for breakfast this morning:

  • Pastured whole eggs (five in all)
  • Multi-colored peppers (green, yellow, orange, red)
  • Hummus
  • Salsa
  • Spices (Redmond Real Salt, Oregano, Pepper, Turmeric)
  • Ezekiel bread (two slices)
  • All natural peanut butter
  • Banana

By my count, that’s 14 different food items in one meal alone. 15 if you count the liter of smog I swallowed on my way to work this morning. Moreover, my next meal (which I’m dominating as I write this post) includes seven separate food items: Mango, blueberries, raw coconut, ground flax seeds, cinnamon, chocolate whey protein powder, and almond “milk.”

That’s a grand total of 21 food items in my first two meals alone. REAL food, too. Well, mostly.

I’m certainly not insinuating that my diet is perfect, and that I don’t eat frozen pizza occasionally. Really, all I’m trying to say is that is it really going to kill you to broaden your horizons and eat a pear or something? Also, since we’re on the topic, do you think those dishes in the sink are going to clean themselves? Goddammit, I have to do everything around here.

** don’t forget the diet Coke, of course. And the triple bypass surgery.

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