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What Do You Eat In A Week?

I was listening to NPR this morning and they were interviewing Mary Roach, science writer and author of Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal. Apparently, the alimentary canal is the tube from the mouth to the rear. In the book she covers topics like…

  • How much can you eat before your stomach bursts?
  • Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself?
  • Can wine tasters really tell a $10 bottle from a $100 bottle?
  • Why is crunchy food so appealing?
  •  Can constipation kill you?

The book sounds really  fascinating and kind of gross. Anyway, one of the things that she discussed in the radio interview that caught my attention was that the average American only eats about 30 different foods over the course of the week. She said this definitely changes if you are traveling and eating outside of your home a lot but for most of us, 30 is the average.

So I decided to try and make a list of the foods that I almost always eat in a week (based on what I ate last week) to see how many I come up with. Interesting exercise, huh?

  1. Bananas
  2. Avocados
  3. Lettuce (iceburg, romaine)
  4. Apples
  5. Sweet potatoes
  6. Broccoli
  7. Leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard)
  8. Eggs
  9. Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans)
  10. Nut butters (peanut, almond)
  11. Sunflower seed butter
  12. Tomatoes (all varieties – cherry, whole, canned, sundried)
  13. Dried cranberries
  14. Cheese (parmesan, goat, goat gouda, feta, muenster)
  15. Tortilla chips
  16. Nut Thin crackers
  17. Hummus
  18. Artichoke hearts
  19. Beets
  20. Chicken
  21. Turkey
  22. Quinoa
  23. Rice
  24. Greek yogurt
  25. Oats
  26. Granola
  27. Bread (sourdough, cinnamon raisin, wheat)
  28. Soup (varies)
  29. Peppers (green, red, roasted)
  30. Salsa
  31. Brussels sprouts
  32. Pork
  33. Beans (black, chickpea, etc)
  34. Citrus (oranges usually)
  35. Salmon
  36. Cantaloupe
  37. Pasta
  38. Celery
  39. Frozen yogurt
  40. Popsicles
  41. Kiwi
  42. Strawberries
  43. Pumpkin
  44. Mushrooms
  45. Basil
  46. Toaster waffles
  47. Bars (Kind, Luna, etc)
  48. Tempeh
  49. Tofu
  50. Edamame

Annnndddd….I think that’s all I’ve got. I didn’t know if I should separate out different types of cheeses, greens, tomatoes, etc. so I lumped them together. I also didn’t include beverages or condiments, seasonings, oils, etc.

So I’m above average but I still feel like I’m a pretty simple eater these days. I try to be creative with my meals but I know that I can be repetitive…especially with breakfast and lunch. And I’ve been so busy with work that my dinners are pretty formulaic too. Usually protein (chicken, salmon, pork) + starch (rice, quinoa, sweet potato) + veggie (broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, mushrooms). I have said this a million times but I would LOVE to get back to trying new recipes on a regular basis.

I think I’m probably not alone in this. It’s really easy to shop and quickly prepare food when you know what you like to stock your fridge with. And we are just creatures of habit. It would be interesting to know where other people are with their number of foods. Anyone want to count for comparison? Or just tell me in general…do you typically buy and eat the same foods on a regular basis?

And check out the Gulp Quiz in the New York Times to see “how intimately you know your innards.” :mrgreen:

Hope you’re enjoying the weekend!

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Michelle Delios April 27, 2013, 7:53 pm

    I eat:
    bananas
    strawberries
    blueberries
    yogurt
    lettuce
    cole slaw
    cauliflower
    carrots
    apples
    peppers (red and green)
    tomatoes
    mushrooms
    beans
    peanut butter
    cocoa
    soy milk
    wheat puff cereal
    and drinks, coffee, tea, water

  • 2
    CaL April 27, 2013, 9:53 pm

    Without a doubt, every week includes:
    fruit: strawberries, apples, pears, applesauce, oranges, grapes
    veggies: broccoli, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms
    gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread
    peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter
    larabars
    plain Greek yogurt
    turkey bacon
    egg whites/eggs
    tilapia
    lean ground beef/turkey
    cheese: parmesan/asiago/goat

  • 3
    Natalie Pyle April 27, 2013, 10:25 pm

    I would love it if you did a post on tofu! I tried it the other day and I think I would like it if I knew how to better prepare it. (All I did was cook it with no stick cooking spray and add garlic salt-it was only okay..)

  • 4
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles April 27, 2013, 10:26 pm

    It’d be interesting to do this one week and figure everything out! I think I probably eat more variety than the average person. I do definitely have a lot of staples throughout the week, but I think I like to mix it up at least once in a while.

  • 5
    meredith April 28, 2013, 7:22 am

    I basically eat the same foods every day and if I switch things up it simple means I change the combinations and/or cooking methods/marinades lol. Steel cut oats, berries, greek yogurt, coffee, skim milk, peanut butter, apples, bananas, a very wide variety of vegetables, avocado, chick peas, black beans, dark chocolate…oh and tomato sauce, part skin mozz cheese and ezekial bread…yep that’s my overall shopping list. I am sure I am forgetting something!

  • 6
    Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes April 28, 2013, 8:30 am

    Wow, that’s a really interesting exercise. I’m a creature of habit, so I definitely stick to the same foods, meals, and snacks from week to week. Hey, I know what I like. 🙂

  • 7
    Molly April 28, 2013, 10:40 am

    I completely agree with you about being busier meaning less experimental in the kitchen. I feel like I have been doing very lots of small variations on simple meals lately. It is what works for me to eat clean foods but I am thrilled when I can make time to make something more creative.

  • 8
    meghan @ struggle muffins April 28, 2013, 11:17 am

    I like this, I lose sight of the fact that I could probably be eating a more optimal diet when I operate out of routine – tallied it up and I eat about 35 foods a week. Definitely will be racheting that number up as the weather gets warmer and I crave more produce.

  • 9
    Joy April 28, 2013, 9:06 pm

    I tend to eat the same meals over and over and over. The funny thing is that I am constantly reading cookbooks and looking at cooking/food blogs yet I still eat the same things. I guess I like to think about making new foods rather than actually making them.

  • 10
    Tim R April 28, 2013, 9:17 pm

    I eat a lot of the same ingredients all week, but have gotten pretty crafty at making different recipes with them. We use lots of leafy greens, brown rice, quinoa, bell peppers, and tons of beans. Mix it up with different spices, add some chicken here and there, and you can get a good variety of meals with a few healthy ingredients.

  • 11
    Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) April 30, 2013, 7:11 am

    I was sent that book to read and haven’t gotten to jump into it yet, though I do think it will be an interesting read!
    Now I kind of want to count my foods. I have no idea because I often just have a bite of random foods for a snack. Sounds like fun though!

  • 12
    Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate May 1, 2013, 8:25 pm

    I listened to this interview on NPR as well, and found it pretty fascinating. Although I tend to change things up a little when I restock on groceries, I definitely have my staples that I eat each week.

  • 13
    Sarah (Shh...Fit Happens) May 24, 2013, 9:08 am

    I definitely eat a lot of the same things every week…ok, day! I think if I was a better cook I would eat more diverse meals (sigh), but even when I go out to eat, I always order the same things!

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