Routine Schmoutine Routine

by Holly on September 8, 2010

in balance,breakfast,dinner,family,lunch,rambling,Thai,travel

I’ve never ever thought I was a person who liked routine.

I prefer spontaneity. This explains why I agreed to brush out my hair into a massive afro in high school to celebrate our football team going to the state tournament. Lucky for you, I cannot find a picture of that fateful day when my pride + sense of vanity took a backseat to school spirit.

I also enjoy not having plans. When traveling, I’ve been known to pack for international destinations the night before leaving without anything more than clothes, toiletries and an unused Lonely Planet travel guide. Vaccinations, what?

I’m a dreamer. Why else do you think I keep pimping myself out to Jake Gyllenhaal on this blog?

However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that no matter how much my right-brained self enjoys this sense of freedom and independence, my body does not.

It likes knowing it will be eating PB+B toast with a sprinkle of cinnamonĀ for breakfast at 7:30am.

This is one of the reasons why I’ve steered away from day-to-day blogging of all my meals as of late. I often eat the same thing over and over and over again.

I mean, I recently ate PB+B toast for breakfast 17 days straight last month…

My body likes knowing what it will be eating, when it will be eating and where it will be eating.

1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 sliced cucumber
toast w/ melted Provolone
1/2 cup raspberries
1 Nutella Hazelnut Brownie
local cherry tomatoes

It makes subtle shifts in energy, digestion and overall mood when my sense of daily routine is thrown off.

Like when I drink a little too much beer.

Or, perhaps when I go one too many days eating some not-so-good-for-me food.

And when I’m doing a bit of traveling for work around Wisconsin, like right now.

Luckily, I’ve been able to stay with Mama + Daddy Everythingtarian most of these traveling days, and they always stock the house with healthy, yummy WHOLE foods.

That and stocking me with an YMCA membership still at the age of 25.

It makes things infinitely easier.

Having a multigrain quinoa bread sandwich with spinach, provolone cheese and spinach + artichoke hummus alongside apples + broccoli dipped in peanut butter at my disposal helps mitigate the effects when it’s impossible to follow my normal schedule…

I used to say routine schmoutine, who needs it?

To a certain extent, I still believe that.

But I also realize the benefit of having a routine my body can depend on day in and day out. My digestion is regular (TMI?); my energy levels stay even and elevated; getting to bed and waking up in the morning are seamless, painless transitions; and most of all, I just feel better.

That’s not to say I still can’t adapt to the unexpected…

Thai Curry Soup with Tofu from Noodles & Company? Let’s roll with it.

But I am only getting older, peeps.

In case you were worried, that’s just older – not necessarily more mature.

I have a feeling as time passes, it will only become more and more important for my health (and sanity!) to maintain a daily routine of healthy eating, healthy workouts and an overall happy, healthy lifestyle.

Geez, does this mean I am admitting that I am a real-life grown-up?


There’s always room in the day for fros, unplanned travel and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Do you prefer routine? Why or why not? Sharing is caring!


Uncle Tommie Timbertoes September 8, 2010 at 11:07 am

I like the process of getting into a routine but I don’t like the feeling being in a routine or, even worse, being controlled by the routine. Like this story:

There once was a man who lived a very regimented life. He, for example, ate the same way every day. Breakfast at 7 am, two eggs and toast, lunch at noon, a bowl of chicken soup and a bologna sandwich, and dinner at 5 pm, meatloaf, baked potato and salad (no dressing). One day he was out with a friend and his friend asked if he was hungry. He told his friend that if he would be so kind as to tell him the time of day he would not only know if he was hungry but would also know exactly what he was hungry for.

Jessica September 8, 2010 at 11:08 am

I’m like you–routine’s are MA THANG, but life is meant to be lived and sometimes that means going with the flow/working outside of your norm! It usually makes for some good memories, and then there’s always that beloved routine waiting for you when you’re ready :)

Hello BREAD. I want that seedy-looking deliciousness (especially with the melted cheese, mmm you gotta add salsa to that combo!), and your pb+b bfasts look fab as always! love youuuuu

Kacy September 8, 2010 at 11:11 am

I am a lover of routine. I get a wee bit antsy when things don’t go as planned. However, I like to PLAN fun activities, so I’m not completely boring. Okay maybe I am. Oh well…

Gavi @ GaviGetsGoing! September 8, 2010 at 11:13 am

I absolutely love routines, but I also tend to get into phases where I’m obsessed with things and then I can’t stand them 2-3 months later. At the moment, I have been eating roughly the same thing for breakfast and lunch for the past 3 months and I am happy as a clam. I love mixing up my exercise routine, but for the most part I stick with what I like!

Heather (Perspective Is Everything) September 8, 2010 at 11:14 am

Routine-um YEAH!!
17 days in a row of same breakfast? Rookie.
How about 2 years of cream of rice and peanut butter…every morning. Before that it was 2 years of oatmeal and PB. ;)
The only reason I do that is cuz I like it. A lot.
So, do your thang-I’ll keep reading your blog no matter how many times you eat what. :)

Erica September 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

Hey girly :) Love eats- the plate with the fruits, cottage cheese and hazelnut brownie looks fantastical. And glad you’re able to stay with your parents while you’re traveling. I crave a little bit of both….mostly a lot of routine with a little bit of craziness. It all keeps me sane

Matt September 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

I totally thrive on having a routine as well! While I love to try new things, I also love when things go as planned. Makes it harder for things to go wrong ;)

Abby September 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

I am trying to get better at it, but I don’t do well with change. Let me rephrase that–I don’t do well with change to my food and routine if I’m not the one who changed it. That makes it better, no?
I’ve also been on an almond butter and banana sandwich kick. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Lauren September 8, 2010 at 11:29 am

I’m finding that as I get older, sticking to a routine is harder and harder. Not sure if its because with age comes the unpredictable aspects of life, but whatever, I try to ease up. Life isn’t as fun when it’s planned. As you so beautifully prove to us every day!
Love you girl. Safe travels in Wisconsin!

Evan Thomas September 8, 2010 at 11:31 am

I am Mr. Regular, in more ways than 1. I have my bed time; I know it well. If I miss it, I get cranky.

Alex @ IEatAsphalt September 8, 2010 at 11:55 am

I’m definitely someone who has to stick with a routine. My breakfasts might involve a bit less banana than yours, but being back in school has really made me stick to a daily plan. Eating good meals, getting exercise (aka running to the metro) help me hunker down and hit the research papers.

VeggieGirl September 8, 2010 at 11:59 am

I’m definitely a routine machine queen (and apparently very strange too…), but I’m trying to be more adaptable to change.

Amy B @ Second City Randomness September 8, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I like to pretend that I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl, but after thinking about it, I know I’m definitely not… I need routine. I start to get anxious without it.

Jenna September 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm

I definitely love the idea of a skeleton routine. What that is, well, who knows. Something along the lines of a routine that is a general guideline of how my day may go, with kind of a ‘pick your own adventure’ aspect. I have an idea of how I’d like my day to go but must leave room for randomness and spontaneous activities. :)

emily (a nutritionist eats) September 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I like routines even though I’m not always proud of it! I can be spontaneous from time-to-time though…the taster helps with that! :)

Katie September 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I’m a routine whore. I can’t even function if there isn’t routine in my life – I become the most unproductive sloth on the planet. During the summer I pretty much have free rein on my life, and sometimes it takes a good 12 hours just to get my butt out the door to the gym. I thrive with business and routine.

Also, I WISH I could find a breakfast that I loved so much I could eat it 17 days in a row. I would love that structure, but I get so tired of repeat breakfasts!

Kaleigh September 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I am much like your “grandma” self. I wake up early, so I want to go to bed early (the husband doesn’t like this much). If I’m not eating by certain times, my tummy gets angry and so do I (again, the husband doesn’t like this much ;) ). But I also feel like I have this “hippie free-bird” side of me that I don’t want to be controlled by any schedule or do the same thing day in and day out, “go with the flow” if you will. I definitely love variety but I’m fine with sticking with things I like. I very much have duel personalities…strangely enough.

Megan (Braise the Roof) September 8, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I’m totally a planner. I drive my boyfriend nuts because I tend to overschedule things. I might get a little too excited sometimes, but when it comes to planning meals I think a little forethought is really worthwhile! (ahem, ahem, you’ll refer to my recent post about making your grocery list work harder for you :) )

Leslie September 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm

LOVE food routine. however do refuse to pack for any sort of trip until the night before at the very earliest as I prefer to live in the moment for as long as possible.

Madeline - Greens and Jeans September 8, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I definitely get into a food groove. I could eat exactly the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day and be a happy camper. And I like having a bit of a life routine, at least when it comes to running. Of course, that being said I love nothing more than picking up and doing something random. Which I may be doing with my whole life if something doesn’t come up in the next month or so…

Crunchy Granola Gal September 8, 2010 at 2:40 pm

i love routine. i love eating the same foods, sleeping the same hours, doing the same old things – it’s terrible, really. although i can be spontaneous, new york is the kind of place where everyone – at least those in my little circle – is a planner. so i always always plan ahead any social get-together because everyone here is SO freakin’ busy! i love having my week of evening activities planned days before the start of the week. obsessive, maybe, but it works for me!

and there ain’t nothin’ wrong with PB & banana toast every day. nothing at all.

PS love the grinding action. love it a lot.

Sissy 4 everythingtarian September 8, 2010 at 2:41 pm

will you send me some of that food? :( especially the bagquet(Sp)… miss that food! glad mom and dad are supplying you with food..

Garet September 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Since learning (from you!) that you can put peanut butter on toast (no idea what was stopping me, though), I have eaten it almost every day for breakfast. I literally wake up excited about it. I wish my morning-shriveled stomach could hold more of it. So thanks for sharing!

elise September 8, 2010 at 4:08 pm

well, since sharing is caring…haha. i prefer a routine most of the time only because its what my stomach prefers. i think that im a fly-by-the-seat of my pants kind of girl who was (is) forced to be more cautious due to the illness that plagues my very existence (aka IBS). i struggled with this growing up because its hard when you are young and different than your friends…and i cant even tell you how many times between soccer games at a tourney i ended up rushing to the toilets because i just wanted to fit in. fortunately i had (and still have) stellar friends and teammates. given that im going on year 27 of dealing with this, ive found ways to handle participating in the spontaneous and still keeping a vague routine so i can have fun and im not all out of whack as a result…it sounds weird, but these things are now practically in my subconscious.

Kailey (SnackFace) September 8, 2010 at 5:11 pm

You know, I love routines, but to a point. If I had relatively the same schedule M-F but had the weekends to do different stuff all the time, I’d love that! Also, going to a school that was on a quarter system totes has me spoiled. I’m ready for a new routine after 10 weeks!


Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum September 8, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I totally prefer routine! In fact, I just had the EXACT same meal for lunch and dinner. Which isn’t a really good example of routine… more like an example of boring. But to answer your question, yes I love routine!

Lorna September 8, 2010 at 6:49 pm

I’ve been in a lemongrass green tea with raw honey and lemon slice along with blueberry or oatmeal crisp bar for breakfast mood for…..months. That said, I love the ‘getting down’ spontaneity of your last pic :) To going with the flow!

Amy September 8, 2010 at 8:08 pm

There is somthing very comforting about having a routine, sort of like having a baby blanket to fall asleep with…As I get older I enjoy having one but am realizing the value in being able to adapt to not being able to stick to a routine – especially now with an infant! :) Jacob likes his routin..Eat, Play, Poop, Nap, repeat!

BroccoliHut September 8, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I am totally a routine person–I’m pretty sure i had a smoothie every night for four years straight. I like my habits; I take comfort in them.

Alexa @ Sohdalex September 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm

I definitely enjoy having my own routine. It is a comfort that is nice to fall back on. But having a routine is what makes throwing things out the window from time to time as enjoyable and refreshing as it is ;)

Liza @ Health Nutting September 8, 2010 at 11:17 pm

I definitely prefer routine– I really like knowing what’s coming and I really like planning!

Sami September 9, 2010 at 10:06 am

haha sharing IS caring….unless its herpes.

anyway. i LOVE routine. i get stressed when i don’t have a plan of some sort…even if that means having a plan not to make a plan…
:D happy thursday to my fave everythingtarian.

Diana @ frontyardfoodie September 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I LOVE me a good routine. Mostly because structure is something I thrive on. However, I also love when my routine gets thrown out the window and something sporadic happens. Only because there’s a routine is it so fun to not have one sometimes.

Lynn @ The Actors Diet September 11, 2010 at 11:17 am

being an actor my schedule is so loosey-goosey that i have to force myself to have a bit of a routine. nowadays it involves blogging in bed until 9:30 or 10:30. feels lazy but luxurious – i know life ain’t always gonna be like this!

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