Virtually every morning of my pregnancy, I performed the following gastronomic song and dance: Woke up, semi-sleptwalked into our kitchen, opened the giant plastic baggie on the counter which housed a luscious, doughy two-pound raisin challah (one of my only real cravings), tore off a chunk, microwaved it for 11 seconds and attacked its yeasty-sweet goodness like a carb-rabid raccoon. The habit stuck and, now five months after giving birth, I’m still indulging in that eggy bread goodness on a near daily basis.
But the other day, I read a new study linking trans fats in utero to childhood obesity and I panicked. “Oh shit,” I panicked. “Is my challah baked with trans fat?” I ate it every day of my pregnancy; had my predilection for synagogue cuisine doomed Evie to a lifetime of teasing and plus sized Girl Scouts uniforms and early onset kindergarten diabetes?!”
The fact is, it’s not the healthiest idea to eat any food every single day. A nutritious diet is a diverse diet, which offers you the best odds of nabbing all of your vitamins and minerals while preventing boredom and reducing exposure to anything nasty that might be hiding (arsenic in your apple juice, anyone?) Well, if there’s some gross chemical smuggling in my Smucker’s peanut butter, or pesky pesticides lurking in my organic CostCo spinach, I’m screwed. The fact is, I eat basically the exact same thing every day. It’s called mono-eating, I read about it in Redbook magazine, and it’s no bueno.
Here’s what I eat on 80% of days:
Oatmeal with dried cherries, brown sugar and flaxseed OR low-fat granola with a banana and skim milk
Fruit (usually watermelon, pineapple, mangoes, organic berries, grapefruit or organic apples)
Starbucks Americano with two sugars and organic skim
A bag of walnuts or almonds (maybe two handfuls) with dried cherries
2% Greek yogurt
Chocolate of some sort (maybe a bunch of choco-covered raisins and nuts; M&Ms; frozen birthday cake)
A couple of hardboiled egg whites with a bit of yolk crumbled in
Peanut butter and jelly straight from the jar
An avocado mashed with salt and pepper and pita chips or celery sticks
A huge organic spinach salad with wild salmon and assorted veggies
Vanilla ice cream with big chunks of Nestle cookie dough piled in.
As you can see, it’s pretty healthy, not spartan at all, and has a few indulgences sprinkled in. But this is pretty much it. Sure, when we have a double date on Saturday night, my stomach will be surprised by some sushi or zuppe de pesce or bacon-wrapped dates. I’ll drink some wine; I’ll have extra dessert. At Sunday brunch, I go wild with an egg white veggie omelette slathered in ketchup and a few pancakes. Sometimes, on Tuesdays when I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll make panko-crusted chicken or tilapia burritos instead of salmon. But truly, this list is pretty much what I eat day in and day out. It’s not like I’m at risk of scurvy or Pellagra (look it up) or anything, but diverse it ain’t. Total mono-eater.
How about you? Are you a mono-eater?