Why I Eat the Same Thing for Lunch Every Day: Minimalist

updated May 24, 2019
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(Image credit: Samantha Bolton)

When it comes to lunch, some feel that variety is overrated. Just as the fashion world has been spotting creative, successful people who wear the same thing every day — freeing their minds of mundane daily decisions to put their energy elsewhere — we’ve been noticing a few smart people who choose to eat the same lunch, day in and day out.

This week we’re sharing five stories of five different people who are successful in different ways — in their health goals, in their creative pursuits — and find the habit of a uniform-style lunch to give simplicity and freedom.

A Jill-of-all-trades, Kathleen Robertson has lived all over the world and tackled a number of different jobs. From fashion sales to finance, she’s done it all. But outside of work, Kathleen likes to keep things simple. That’s why she eats the same thing for lunch every day. Here’s what’s on the menu for her — and why a daily routine can be liberating.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Kathleen Robertson)

I’m in my mid-50s and come from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I grew up here, moved to New York, and then met my husband, who is South African. We lived all over the world, and then when our son turned 10 we decided to come back here. When I left at 22, I didn’t think I’d be coming back. It’s a little cold in the winter and I’m not so fond of cold weather! But in the end it turned out to be the perfect place. We’ve been living here for 10 years now.

Job-wise, I guess you could say I’m all over the map, literally and figuratively. In New York, I worked in sales in the fashion industry for Donna Karan. I still love clothes, and that industry was perfect for me when I was young — it was so much fun! — but it’s a tough industry, and I know it’s only gotten harder since I left the retail business.

When we moved to Switzerland, I focused on raising my son and I also did a lot of newsletters and things for the expat community. Then, when we moved back here, my husband started his own business consulting large multinationals, and I helped him. I do all the finances and taxes. I also started learning how to code a little bit and do website design. I do some graphic design as well!

I work from home, which is part of why I have the same lunch every day; but when I think back, even in New York, I used to eat pretty much the same thing. So, I guess it’s more that if something works, I keep doing it until it doesn’t work. I like to keep things simple.

I take a slice of pumpernickel bread and add mayonnaise, very finely sliced oven-roasted chicken, and some sea salt, and then I cut the bread in half so I have a half a sandwich. I love potato chips, so sometimes I have a couple potato chips and maybe some grapes. In the winter, if I have a lot of leftovers and my husband is traveling, I’ll sometimes eat those, but normally, it’s the half sandwich every day.

I’m very small — I’m five feet, and I keep fit with my stats — so I don’t have much leeway in calories. I try to make what I eat taste great so I feel fulfilled and try to eat healthy. I used to write down the calorie counts of my favorite meals and choose from those, but this sandwich was my favorite. It fills me up, it tastes good, and then I don’t have to think about food until dinnertime.

I do the same thing with my clothes: classics, white shirts, T-shirts, jeans. All winter long I wear almost the same thing. I don’t have to think about it; it’s just, “this is what I eat and this is what I wear,” and then it gives me the freedom to do other things. It’s one less decision a day to make.