Monday, January 24, 2011

Can you eat the same, exact, meals everyday?

I can. I can because I love evey meal I make for myself. Narrowing down some of my favorites to 3 or 4 is easy because I make my own meals. Who has time to make something different every single day? By making large amounts of the same foods you can simply pack up a few days worth of portions at the ready, and by making the same meals, you become efficient at preparing your foods quickly.

In the past two years I have strayed away from the "luxury of no choice", as Tim quotes me in the book 4HB. The luxury of no choice is when you preplan your meals in order to take away the descision making in order to focus on other things besides food. I eat the same basic foods everyday, a salad, a soup or stew or chili (in the cold months this is 2 of my 3-4 meals), a smoothie, and some kind of snack. Pnb and veg, nuts and raisins, lentils or farro and raisins, seasonal fruit, etc.

Eating the same basic foods everyday is not eating the same exact foods everyday! After reading 4HB I was reminded of some of my "dieting philosophies" and this particular very important and successful habit. This philosophy applies to 4-5 days out of seven. I have always been a believer in a high calorie day, followed by a low calorie day. The "high calorie" day is also known as the "cheat day", or the binge. I have written about this many times, but will retouch on the subject in another blopost.

Because I don't have a formal job my schedule is all over the place! I have too many choices, and so, like my menu, it changes everyday. It's easy to lose track, or to wait too long to eat, therefore getting too hungry and overeating. Sure, I have food at the ready in my fridge 99% of the time, but it's not preportioned. So when I get too hungry I serve myself bigger portions. Also when I don't have preportioned meals, I'll grab a handful of nuts, dried fruit, crackers, cheese, etc., while waiting to heat something up. Oh, and let's not forget the candy! I'll be honest and tell you that I have a few pieces of my favorite chocolate carmels in the mid-mornings, mostly inbetween a double yoga class (not first thing!), or at bedtime...aren't I spoiled?

So, for the past few weeks I've gone back to eating the same exact meals for at least 1/2 of my day, and now I'm ready to add in a little more structure. Why do I need more structure? Because as I mentioned, I have other things to focus on, and food isn't one of them!

I can tell you right now what my meals M-F will be this week.

cabbage salad (protein and dressing may vary)
spicy beef and veg soup
butternut squash and cottage cheese smoothie

raisins, or prunes
1 serving of nuts or pnb
1 piece of fresh fruit
1-2 glasses of red wine with dinner

oh....and my morning coffee and cream....and maybe a couple chocolate carmels!

I already have enough prepared and portioned foods for today, so this morning I'll be preparing to restock the rest of the week. I will pressure cook my beef soup, pc my lentils and shred more salad ingredients.

One of the keys to eating the same meals everyday is to chose foods that you love and look forward to eating, and fit within your nutritional and caloric parameters. (I can fit wine and a couple of pieces of candy into my!)

PS picture above is a meal I had at my WCBFF house, Jen M., in Santa Barbara this past Nov. I taught Jen how to pressure cook pork shoulder (Fawn, my MWBFF, taught me!), and she served these tacos with a beautiful large salad. I could eat this everyday, no problem!

pps wcbff is west coast best friend forever, and mwbff is midwest best friend forever, lol!


Advocare Champs MS said...

Thank you thank you thank you. <3 this post!

Jen said...

Oh Tracy, my SSMWBFF! (that's Super Star Most Wonderful Best Friend Forever!)

Thank you for this post. I really needed some ideas and be reminded of what to eat. My pressure cooker is at the ready and because of you I use it a few times a week.

I LOVE your food and your meal ideas...they're just so yummy and I can eat them every day too!

Thanks again and can't wait to watch you on Dr Oz today!

xoxo Jen

Maribel said...

The simplicity of this concept is genius. Following your lead and preparing my meals for the week has taken so much pressure off of me. I still have to cook for the rest of the family, but now, I don't have to worry about what I will have or that it's different than what they have.

guy said...

Another great post Ma'am! You plan on releasing mor Dvd's and a book soon right? I have my check book ready for when you do.
The "Luxury of no choice" from the 4HB is how I plan/pack meals for my 12 hour shifts (it's a living lol). Chicken, or turkey, or pork, or beef, with a veg and fruit. I get the ideas for the veg portions of my meals from your blog of course.
I love the 4Hb great advice but I find it hard to limit fruit.

C.A. Glawson said...

Very good blog post and you need to be really proud of yourself and what you have accomplished. I normally eat the same foods three to four times a week and my wife can't understand how I can do that. It is easier to make a lot and eat it during the week. Keep up the good work. If you get a chance check out my blog

Tracy Reifkind said...


Eat the foods you love that fit inside your nutritional and caloric parameters, because this is the way you will eat for the rest of your life. You might as well enjoy it! I do!

Tracy Reifkind said...


One of my former kettlebell students gave me the nick-nitials (funny huh, nick name and initials combined, lol), O.B.A.C. One bad ass chick!

We all are super stars...and bad asses when we need to be!

Thanks for the yummy dinner, our last visit was way too short. I found those corn tortilla at the Safeway here and buy 2-3 bags at a time...for Mark, of course!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Mark calls it "uncommon sense" it'll be a chapter in my book!

Funny thing is I haven't even eaten everything I've pre made for myself today....too much food! I'm going to give it the rest of the week and report back!

Mark Reifkind said...


we are almost finished with post production on two follow along swing DVD's. they will be available very soon.

Hopefully the book will be out by next year but who knows?If we have anything to do with it it will,lol.

take all diet advice with a grain of salt. the best advice tim gives in the 4hb books is what I have been saying for years: we all are an experiment of ONE.

the key is does it work FOR YOU. Tracy, for instance does very well with fruit. Others may not. I do great with a very high fat diet. others may not.

The key is to experiment and keep what works for you, as long as it does because:
'everything works but nothing works forever'- Louie Simmons.

Tracy Reifkind said...


My two workalong training DVD's are in the last hours of final editing. I hope to have them available's my own fault.

I will start the book soon, and if all goes well, and fast, it'll be for sale this time next year! Good stuff.

My diet philosophy about fruit, fresh or dried, and sugar, or sweet things in general is that sugar is not the enemy, overeating is! Overeating anything when it produces a caloric surplus will result in weight gain.

Sugar and sweet stuff works for me when it's in balance. Not necessarily daily balance, but weekly balance.

It was not uncommon for me to eat more than 1 pound of grapes in a sitting during summer, or an entire melon, and I still maintained my weightloss and low BF%.

You have to remember that Tim's "slow carb" diet is for fatloss, not weightloss! It's about making those little tweaks to produce a different desired effect.

I'm pleased enough with my current BF%, and if, or when that changes, so will some of the things I eat.

Tracy Reifkind said...

C A Glawson,

Thank you, I am proud of how my life is turning out, and I'm proud of everything in my past that has brought me here.

I did check out your you not train kettlebells? Why not? (lol)

In Tim's book, 4HB, he writes about the people most successful at maitaining a healthy bodyweight eat the same basic foods everyday, and of course I agree.