Over winter break I sent out five e-mails to subscribers about the five routines I follow every day. By far the most popular was about my nutrition routine, I think because it struck readers as particularly strict. Here’s a snippet from the e-mail:
“You see, each Saturday I plan exactly what I’m going to eat the following week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I buy only enough food to last that week, then restock on Saturday. My weekly ritual serves two purposes: it helps me be intentional about what I’m going to eat that week and it saves me money because no food gets thrown out. Here are the particulars:
4 a.m. — 2 cups of dark roast coffee.
7 a.m. — 4 large eggs with green peppers and sauteed kale. 1 cup of yogurt mixed with cashews and a bit of maple syrup.
1 p.m. — Mixed green salad with carrots, peppers, apple, beans, walnuts and chicken, dressed with olive oil and vinegar. Peanut butter and honey sandwich.
3:30 p.m. — Apple and peanut butter (if I’m particularly hungry that day).
6:30 p.m. — Stir-fry or fried rice and beans.
**Friday’s only** 7 p.m. — 1-2 glasses of red wine.
That’s it, every day, Monday through Friday. It rarely changes. A routine this repetitive doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for me. I genuinely enjoy what I eat (even rice and beans) and haven’t gotten bored with it in years.”
I sent this e-mail while I was traveling with Fredonia’s swimming and diving teams in Florida. A student-athlete who read the e-mail approached me in the hotel to ask if I felt stressed out about not being able to follow my routine while traveling.
In Florida I followed parts of my routine, sticking with eggs for breakfast, but I also “failed” at times. One night I devoured five slices of pizza. The day we went to the beach I had a burger, fries, and ice cream. Each dinner was something different: subs, burritos, Japanese, and all sorts of fried foods.
Eating like this didn’t stress me out because I know when I get home I’m going to go back to my routine.
The routine is exactly what allows me to be stress-free about eating.