Wilf Davies, a 72-year-old Welsh farmer, told The Guardian that he's eaten the same exact supper for the past 10 years. A creature of habit, Davies delights in his standard meal — two pieces of fish, an onion, an egg, baked beans and some biscuits (cookies) for dessert. And while some might say that variety is the spice of life, after hearing Davies' life story of living and working on the same farm in the Teifi Valley in Wales many will be moved by the simplicity of his lifestyle and the comfort of his routine.
"I have lived in the Teifi valley, in west Wales, all my life: 72 years," said Davies in the article. "I’m a farmer and look after 71 sheep. My boyhood was spent helping my family on the farm. I have never wanted to run away from it, even as a young lad. This valley is cut in the shape of my heart."
Davies went on to explain how his routine extends to his dietary habits.
"I have a routine, just like nature," he shared. "That extends to what I eat. I’ve had the same supper for 10 years, even on Christmas Day: two pieces of fish, one big onion, an egg, baked beans and a few biscuits at the end. For lunch I have a pear, an orange and four sandwiches with paste. But I allow myself a bit more variety; I’ll sometimes have soup if it’s cold."
"It's fine to eat the same thing every day, but it's the particular meal he eats that's strange," commented Dylan Dreyer on the 3rd Hour of TODAY. "There's no green vegetable."
Al Roker agreed with Sheinelle Jones that eating the same meal can help with controlling one's weight because you don't have to think about your choices.
Kate McGowan, a registered dietitian, told TODAY Food that there are some definite upsides to eating the same meal as it takes the stress out of deciding on a menu and cooking. "Most adults already have enough on their metaphorical plate especially this past year, and not having to think about what to eat can reduce some stress in your everyday life and make it easier to stick to a healthy diet," she said.
McGowan said that this method of eating can also simplify grocery shopping. "Whether you are online shopping or walking through the store, eating the same thing every day makes these orders or trips quick and easy. While this sounds boring to some people, it is a reliable and time saver for sure."
Eating repetitive meals can also be a big money saver, since you're not eating meals out or ordering takeout and your ingredients don't go to waste since you know you'll be using them.
"When I go to the supermarket, I know exactly what I want," said Davies. "I’m not interested in other food. I’ve never had Chinese, Indian, French food. Why change? I’ve already found the food I love. It would be a job to alter me."
Davies said he eats the same dinner, even on Christmas and Easter.
"Whether it’s Easter Day or Christmas Day, being a farmer means every day is the same," he said. "The animals still need to be fed. Feeding the sheep and seeing how happy they are makes me happy, too. They never ask for anything different for supper."
Still, there are some drawbacks to eating the same foods consistently. If your meal lacks the color of leafy greens and vibrant fruits then eating the same meal day-in-day-out means you're missing out on important vitamins.
McGowan agreed that consuming a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is essential for good health.
Some might also say that by eating the same meal over and over, people like Davies are missing out on one of life's true pleasures. If you only eat the foods you're used to, you might never know the wonders of a spicy curry, an amazing bite of salty feta or the uniquely fresh taste of sushi. But Davies doesn't see it that way.
"Just because I eat the same food and haven’t left the valley, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like to know what is going on in the world," said Davies. "I listen to a Welsh radio station every night to keep me updated. I’m always interested in local farming stories, and new developments happening in the area."
Still, routine is not for everyone. "I personally love walking the grocery store, seeing what new products have hit the shelves, and what produce items are in season," McGowan said.