August 2, 2010

"While filming 'Friends,' cast members Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow ate the same Cobb salad every day for ten years."

People who eat the same thing every day... what's that all about?

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What if you had to eat the same thing every day? What would you choose? What do you think would happen?

***

Is it about comfort?
WALLY: I'm looking for more comfort, because the world is very abrasive, I mean, I'm trying to protect myself, because really there are these abrasive beatings to be avoided everywhere you look.
ANDRE: Yeah, but Wally, don't you see that comfort can be dangerous? I mean, you like to be comfortable and I like to be comfortable, too. But comfort can lull you into a dangerous tranquility. I mean, my mother knew a woman, Lady Hatfield, who was one of the richest women in the world, and she died of starvation because all she would eat was chicken. I mean, she just liked chicken, Wally, and that was all she would eat, and actually, her body was starving but she didn't know it 'cause she was quite happy eating her chicken and so, she finally died! See, I honestly believe that we're all like Lady Hatfield now, we're having a lovely, comfortable time with our electric blankets and our chicken, and meanwhile we're starving because we're so cut off from contact with reality that we're not getting any real sustenance.

45 comments:

Psota said...

The same Cobb salad for 10 years??? That's a pretty big bowl.

Scott M said...

What's that all about? Simplicity. Some people simply don't have picky tastes.

traditionalguy said...

California Pizza used to serve a huge Cobb Salad that is a day's worth of food that could be eaten a little at a time all day long.

Colin said...

I've had some luck restricting my diet to around 10 or 12 items over the course of a week, eating the same thing every Monday, ect. Done wonders for the waistline and food budgets without getting too boring.

rhhardin said...

I do eat the same thing every day.

The famous Wittgenstein story is, when a maid at the university asked him what he wanted for lunch, Wittgenstein replied that it didn't matter, so long as it was the same thing every day.

traditionalguy said...

How do these repeat eating people act at the large buffet tables loaded with 5 choices each of salads, meats, carving tables, fish, carbs and veggies followed by 7 choices of deserts? Life is a carousel of good foods with more international favorites every day. I still like the fresh picked foods at the Dillard House, in Dillard, Georgia.

ALP said...

Routine meals save time. I eat the same egg white omelet every morning when I have to get out the door early. I've made them so many times I don't have to think about it, and you get really fast with repetition.

I love variety in food, but you need more time for that and the chance to relax and enjoy it. In the case of the "Friends" cast, it is possible that given the long work days, and the complex logistics of filming a TV series, having the same meal every day adds an element of predictability and comfort.

Ann Althouse said...

For many years, all I had for breakfast was instant coffee dissolved in skim milk. Now, Meade makes me pancakes...

Rick Lee said...

My wife is a Type1 diabetic (uses an insulin pump) and she eats pretty much the same stuff every day when not traveling. It's a very carefully worked out diet to include just the right amount of carbs and nutrients (such as calcium, for instance) that she wants to get but also including food that she likes to eat. She has taught herself to view food as just fuel to stay alive with exceptions on special occasions and eating out. Even when eating out she's very careful to count her carbs and eat very low-fat. Her A1C tests look like a non-diabetic.

Kirstin said...

My next-door neighbor eats a Fuji apple for dessert every day.

Kurt said...

When I was in graduate school, I had the same lunch almost every day: a peanut butter sandwich (though sometimes with jelly or jam and sometimes with honey), a carrot, two fig bars (newtons, or whatever), and a glass of skim milk. Of course, in those days, I was also living on a graduate student stipend, which wasn't much.

ALP said...

For Scott M: (apologies to all, I don't like to hijack a thread, but Scott has his profile/email blocked)

http://spectator.org/archives/2010/08/02/obamas-immigration-power-play

You may or may not recall your response to my post re: amnesty. But I thought you'd like the validation of your view. All I can say is: I always thought I had a vivid imagination. I guess not vivid enough. Oh. My. Fucking. God.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

How boring to eat the same thing every day.

Breakfast during the week for me is pretty boring because I just don't have time or care that much about breakfast at home. Raisin Bran cereal in skim milk and run out the door.

I love to cook and look forward to making something new and interesting at least twice a week. Sometimes it is a keeper...other times...well we won't do that again.

However, if I had to eat the same thing for lunch every day.....linguini with white clam sauce, spinach salad and white wine and maybe a slice of lemon cream tart for dessert.

LOL.. verification word forksusa

AllenS said...

I used to be one of those blue collared workers who brought his lunch to work in one of those black lunchboxes. Remember them? Every once in a while, I would develop an obsession for tuna fish sandwiches. I'd go about 3 weeks eating them every day. Ten years? No way.

The Crack Emcee said...

I do that - find something I like and eat nothing else for a while.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Every other day they added some fish sauce to make it a Thai Cobb.

AJ Lynch said...

BLT or grilled cheese [burnt] and tomato soup.

Amy said...

I had a very busy demanding job and had to eat while working and on the phone. It was helpful to eat the same thing because I could microwave it and shovel it in without thought. Or have my secretary nuke it and bring it to me if it got to 3pm and I still hadn't eaten. For years I ate the same Celentano Lean Manicotti with a granny smith apple and a tiny peppermint patty for dessert. Never got tired of it.

Then I switched and for a few years ate a soy burger with a slice of cheese melted on top. Every day - for years.
Two years ago, diagnosed with breast cancer - estrogen driven - for which too much soy (which is a plant estrogen) is thought to be a possible contributing factor.

Guess the same meal every day didn't work out so well for me.

No more soy now. Ever.

Scott said...

I could eat pizza and drink Coca-Cola for every meal, but if I did that, I would be dead by now.

Cobb salads are awesomely good, and very difficult to make right. The key is that the lettuce should be shredded in small pieces, and the rest of the ingredients should be in bits no broader than a dime. They should also be tossed really well.

The only national chain that does a good Cobb salad is Rainforest Cafe. Their Volcano Cobb Salad comes out in a big pile on a plate, and it's nearly perfect.

FloridaSteve said...
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Scott said...

@Paul Z.: Try making a Vinagrette dressing with Thai fish sauce instead of salt. Knock-your-socks-off good. You will have to experiment with the proportions, of course.

FloridaSteve said...

I ate nothing but peanut butter and honey sandwiches for five years of school every day. I really do not know why. I just liked it. Still do actually.

My mother would try and slip one past me every now and again but I would always ask to go back.

I guess I still see it as "comfort" food so yeah it's a good analogy.

ricpic said...

A plague on salads!

I don't eat the same thing everyday but I do flavor every heated dish with balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, tabasco sauce and of course salt and pepper.

Christy said...

For years breakfast during the week was far too frequently a package of peanut butter crackers, a banana, and a diet Coke. During summers at the beach my weekend breakfast was usually a croissant, chunk of cheese, strawberries, and a split of champagne. Sundays in the mountains during winter I'd go for Belgian waffles with ice cream, strawberries, and a shot (or two) of amaretto. Yes, breakfast can be a rut, other meals, not so much. Although balsamic vinegar makes a frequent appearance.

Elliott A said...

Last wednesday, the Pres. visited a sub shop in Edison, NJ, Tastee Sub Shop. When I used to live near there, I was in at least five times a week. I could easily eat lunch there (or take out) every day. I did get there twice this weekend while visiting.

As for now, I eat salads every day for lunch (homemade), but I vary the contents.

Christopher said...

Not everybody is a foodie. I get into cycles where I'm eating the same thing all the time because I Just Don't Care. A lot of the time the only reason I bother to vary is because I know I'm supposed to.

When my Japan-crazed brothers introduced me to sushi, I became interested in it--it's the only food whose variations really interest me. Other than that, food is kind of annoying, something I have to do three or so times a day so I don't keel over.

I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day for lunch for something like five or six years in school. No problem.

prairie wind said...

Cheese sandwich nearly every day through grades 1-12. Velveeta on Mom's homemade bread. No mayo, because that would be gross. Several years ago, I brought salads to work every day. Huge, yummy salads--meat, cheese, veggies, lettuce, ranch dressing--and I lost 15 pounds. But when I decided to eat something else for lunches, I could barely stand to look at a salad. Even now, salads with my dinner are good, but a salad for lunch? Not so much.

t-man/wurly/henry buck said...

Where, oh where, is Chip for this discussion?

I follow Socrates's advice and try not to eat until I am hungry, that makes everything I eat much more satisfying.

I generally don't eat breakfast, and for one year, almost every day I ate pork fried rice with vegetables from a truck outside of the building I worked in. It was convenient, cheap and tasty.

Food trucks are one of the best things about working downtown here.

traditionalguy said...

Breakfast of Champions: Slice of Ezekial Bread toasted with almond butter and honey on it, 2 slices of micowaved turkey bacon (crisp), and a hard boiled egg. This can be fixed in 4 minutes.

Kurt said...

Traditionalguy, how do you fix a hard-boiled egg in 4 minutes? I assume it must have been cooked already and you are just taking it out of the refrigerator. I used to eat hard-boiled eggs regularly with breakfast, but it was always dependent on me cooking enough for a few days ahead of time.

c3 said...

My dogs don't seem to mind.

HDHouse said...

Well....to tell the truth, after about 4-5 days most salads I know of get kinda limp. After a week or two so stuff seems to form on the edges of most everything and after 10 years..well, ugh.

Unless of course the headline writer meant "at cobb salad everyday for 10 years" instead of using "the same".

But it would explain them being fairly thin.

bagoh20 said...

I can see an occasional crush on some food item, but 10 years is like getting married to it.

Triangle Man said...

I bet none of them ate the whole thing. A good Cobb salad has at least a dozen ingredients. It may be the same thing, but there is plenty of room for variety there.

knox said...

If it was good pizza, I could eat it every day, easily.

Fred4Pres said...

“Because if you're going to eat the same salad every day for 10 years, it'd better be a good salad, right?” Cox told the Los Angeles Times.

Damn straight, because Cobb Salad is a good salad. And my guess the Friends caterer knew how to properly make one.

Fred4Pres said...

Ann, you should repost your list of New York Times summer salads from last year.

Peach, sweet onion, basil, and tomato is really really good.

So is tomato, sweet onion, basil, and smoked salmon.

Just don't mix the smoked salmon and peach. Because that is just wrong.

Lucien said...

Per the underlying article, Churchill's lunch always included Pol Roger Champagne.

That sounds about right.

It doesn't say how often he varied the Ports, Cognacs, and Armagnacs that rounded lunch out.

Keynes remarked, late in life, that he regretted not having drunk more Champagne. Perhaps Winston was a closet Keynesian.

Bart said...

I just wanted to point out that the filming of a TV show is not a 365 day deal. They were only eating that salad while they filmed which was only a few months at a time per year.

q12345q6789 said...

HA. Lots of people are saying pizza. It's true. Good stuff. I ate 1 slice of pizza (not good pizza, Domino's old-style I believe) and a glass of sweet-tea for my lunch at school for 4 years. It becomes so repetitive that I think it goes beyond "comforting" in a conscious way. You just are literally not thinking about it anymore. It's automatic, you don't think to question it. Another curiosity of human psychology.

dbp said...

Between Christmas and when the prime rib runs out, I have roast beef on artisan bread with hot au jus to dip it in. In all other times of the year I am all about variety. I love it, but do get tired of it after a few days.

If I had to eat the same thing every day I think it would be Big Macs. I cannot imagine getting sick of them and I suspect that they are a fairly well-rounded source of all necessary nutrients.

traditionalguy said...

Kurt...Right. Pre-cook about 8 eggs by putting into pot of cold water and heating on high until boiling for 3 minutes, then take pot off heat, cover and let sit 40 minutes, and place in bowl in fridge. That will give you eggs in the fridge with shells that come right off. The protein content is high, and Ezekial bread also comes in a salt free option. Protein Good---Salt Bad.

kalmia said...
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kalmia said...
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Skippy said...

A creature of habit, I am. Best breakfast, been eating it for years: a half cup of Coach's oats (get them at Costco, amazing toasted/shredded not rolled oats, better than Quaker) cooked with a cup of water at half-power for three to four minutes in the microwave, a packet of sweetener, a dash of cinnamon, handful of toasted walnuts and some skim milk to cool it all down.