fruits and vegetables in bowls on a countertop

Cool nights. Crisp mornings. Change is in the air.

Fall officially starts in just a few days. And I won’t lie, I’m excited about it. The deep, rich, and powerful flavors of fall are some of my favorites. From squash to cinnamon, apples to allspice—fall is delicious. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Today, Family Meal isn’t about seasons or even seasonings. It’s about the value of change…

The Family Meal Menu

First Course:
The straightforward key to getting different results.

Main Course:
Simple ways to break out of ruts with food, training, and nutrition.

Dessert Course:
When one of the best restaurants (on earth) gives away a recipe, I’ve gotta share.

Let’s dive in.

First Course: Different Results, Guaranteed

Change leads to change. And it’s the flip-side of that saying about insanity: Doing the same thing and expecting different results.

If you want different results or outcomes—with anything—lean into change. When you change what you’re doing, you’ll inevitably change where you’re going.

Main Course: Stuck in a Rut?

The Chinese zodiac has 2020 as the year of the rat. But I’m calling it the year of the rut. With everything that’s been going on, I think it’s safe to say we’ve all found ourselves stuck in some sort of rut throughout this year.

Don’t worry, though, I gotchu.

Here are some simple changes you can make to break out of ruts with your food, training, and nutrition:

1) Food

We’re all creatures of habit. And that proves particularly true with what we eat. Often without realizing it, most people kinda eat the same 7–10 foods. Yes, I realize we’re food lovers here, so we may enjoy more variety than most. But the point still stands.

One of the simplest things we can do to get out of a food rut is bringing a new ingredient to the mix. Look no further than eggplant.

For the sake of variety, I made two different dishes that featured eggplant over the last week for my family—including a variation of the above. Suddenly, everyone loves eggplant.

It’s different. It’s delicious. And in some ways, it’s delicious because it’s different.

Oh, also, lemme know if you want that recipe.

2) Training

The better we get at a certain type of exercise, the less it drives progress. As we become more efficient, it becomes less effective.

If the goal is performance, efficiency is great and you want to be as efficient as possible. But for more general fitness goals like losing fat or gaining lean muscle, you want it to be an effective training stimulus. And people can land themselves in ruts sticking to the same exercises so long that they lose their efficacy.

One simple way to get out of that kind of training rut is mixing up your routine.

Oftentimes, the exercises we’re worst at are the best thing we can do for our progress. Do more of those and I bet you’ll bust out of your rut.

3) Nutrition

Similar to training, we need to mix up our nutrition as well. Problem is, nobody really does it. Instead, people spend a lifetime stuck in a rut…

  • Going on and off of weight-loss diets
  • Losing weight and gaining it back
  • Yo-yo’ing their way to frustration

One of the best ways to break out of that rut is to simply eat more and focus on maintaining weight instead of losing it.

There’s more to healthy nutrition than simply eating less and losing weight. In my book, maintenance phases of fitness are more important than fat loss. It’s neglecting maintenance that often leads to a frustrating fitness rut.

The “year of the rut” is ending in a few months any way we slice it. But we don’t have to be passive and wait. We can be proactive and break out of a few ruts sooner rather than later.

Dessert Course: Change in a Glass (Cocktail Recipe)

A few months ago, Alinea came out with a cool cocktail cookbook called Zero. It’s an awesome book full of high-level craft cocktail recipes.

Here’s to Change, Positive Change.

Listen, change tends to get a bad reputation. I get that. And in a lot of ways, I think a lot of us are just trying to keep up with change this year and get through the days. (Shoutout to any of you parents juggling work and kids doing at-home or hybrid school.) But change is an opportunity.

Be they changes we can choose and control or changes that catch us off guard, any change is be an opportunity to learn, grow, and, well, change ourselves.

How we respond makes all the difference.

There have been lots of changes for just about everyone this year. Know that I’m rooting for you and positive outcomes.



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