Let’s Talk About Food Jags!

Typically, a food jag occurs when a child will only eat one particular food or meal for a few days or even weeks straight.

Adults can find themselves in a similar, less extreme pattern when they crave/eat the same few meals over and over again.  A lot of bloggers refer to this as a food rut… but i’m not a fan of how negative the term “rut” feels to me, so let’s just say I’ve been “jagging” lately.  It happens.

Actually, if you give me something new and exciting to eat every day, I’ve noticed I’m much more likely to overeat.

Crazy, right? Let’s get real for a sec here.  There’s a ton of research on this phenomenon if you’re interested, b/c it totally doesn’t happen to just me, but here’s my story:

I’ve noticed when a new meal is in front of me I tend to eat much faster (ahhh yum! get in my face!) and therefore don’t get my hunger cues until the meal has been polished off and half P’s plate is now missing too. (sorry P!)

My regular rotation meals (the food jaggy stuff) are eaten and savored much slower and I get those hunger cues on time.  Of course, creating new recipes and trying meals at fun local restaurants are not only things I enjoy, but something I do on a weekly basis!

So, for me, it’s all about finding that balance.  I typically don’t have desserts b/c food calories are much more satisfying to me than sugar calories. (to me, i’ll never deny you a cupcake, cupcake!)  But if the craving strikes, I’ll adjust my plan of action so I can enjoy a treat.  So basically, sometimes I have boring meals amist the super exciting ones.

And that’s totally OK with me, since those meals aren’t really boring…. They’re absolutely delicious!  Plus, I typically get hooked on 2-3 meals at a time, I still get a ton of variety of colors and produce on my plate.

Here are a few meals I can’t stop stuffing my face with lately.

Veggies, Beans & Rice
Serving it up as a side dish or entree is no big deal, but after eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner 3 days in a row, I’m ready to admit I have a problem.  A delicious problem…

Mushroom Ravioli topped w/ even more mushrooms
I break up the “jag” by pairing it with different veggies sides and a different sauce each time.

Matzo Ball Soup
Matzo ball soup is another year round obsession for me.  I make a giant batch of it once, sometimes twice, a month and just absolutely adore it!  It lasts long enough to be frozen for a later date… and its one of the few things I can’t get sick of no matter how often I eat it.  Plus i’m 99% sure it fixes everything from allergies to full blown colds.

It’s my windex.

“Put it on your foot and your foot doesn’t hurt anymore!” 

So I’m curious, do you ever find yourself food jagging it up?
What’s one meal you just can’t get enough of?

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  • Kay

    I think that happens to me with breakfast more than any other meal.  I’ll have smoothies every day for two weeks, or only want yogurt with fruit and granola, or waffles with peanut butter… Oof, now I’m wanting all three at once!

  •  I’m a jagger, and I’m PROUD! I think I’m typically dealing with 2-4 food jags at a time, and some definitely last longer than others. I’m talking years. I don’t know how I’ve been eating whipped sweet cottage cheese + peanut butter + granola (I like to call it peanut butter cheesecake mousse because it seriously tastes that good!) before bed for such a long time without ever growing tired of it. I’m beginning to wonder if this is becoming more of a lifelong habit rather than a jag.

    My most recent jags: pumpkin cinnamon protein cake + PB; turkey-guacamole roll-ups; mushrooms dunked in zesty tahini dressing.

    I’d looove to try your matzoh ball soup recipe! You won’t believe it, but I’ve actually never had it!
    Love ya, Jenn! xoxo

  • Alexa

    Yep, I do this too! I’m a jagger, but once I head the same food for a few days, I get SUPER sick of it. 

  • I never knew the term for it before, but I definitely find myself jagging quite a bit!  What can I say, I guess I like routine, lol. 

    Oooh, once again, I find myself drooling over your matzo ball soup!

  • Katheryn Limback

    So THAT’s why I eat too much! lol. Seriously, if I have the same meal all the time, I get depressed. Sad that food is that big a deal to me, but we all have our vices. I do go through phases, though, I’ll admit that. 🙂 That soup looks fantastic.

  • I love the positive spin you’ve put on this! I find myself doing the opposite of food-jagging, I never have any idea what I want to eat, so I eat too much regardless. I’m working on meal-planning as a start, but it’s a strange thing to try to get out of!

  • I totally get what you mean. I ate the same kind of sandwich (roast beef, cheese, avocado on whole wheat bread) everyday for the whole summer (since I had to go from 9 to 5) and now I still eat the same sandwich everyday since I have to go to school. It’s getting kind of boring, but by the time I finish eating the sandwich, my body knows that it’s full and I stop eating. Whereas if I go out to eat poutine or something, I overeat!

  • I love the term “jagging”! That’s definitely what I do… last week, I ate the same dinner Friday, Saturday and Sunday – and the same breakfasts and lunches, now I think about it 🙂
    The mushroom ravioli though, I’m not surprised your jagging includes that, it looks great!

  • I am SO much like you! If it is new and exciting food I inhale it….but if I have eaten it every other day for the past week I seem to eat much more slowly. Those beans and rice look amazing. I am on a huge Mexican food kick right now. YUM! I think I see mushroom ravioli in my future too 🙂

  • Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

    yumm that soup looks awesome. i need to try matzo balls….i just make regular dumplings usually

  • Kim N.

    Mushroom ravioli topped with mushroom sounds delicious! My food jag is currently salad with veggie burger! I just love it!

  • Amy-Nutrition by Nature

    Totally get in the food jags, especially with my kids because the are a bit picky. I have to be very creative with them otherwise they would eat chicken nuggets, corn, and chips all the time every day. 
    Totally agree with you on eating more when trying out new recipes too. I made a lentil loaf last night for dinner from Healthy in Candy Land blog and it was awesome! I ate half the loaf right there…

  • babykayramon

    I just had mushroom ravioli yesterday for lunch before dropping my little sister off at her new Army base.  🙂  So good!

  • I LOVE mushroom ravioli!!  I need some now!! 

  • My can’t-get-enough-of things tend to be super simple things. Like smoothies, sweet taters + almond butter, or greek yogurt + blueberries. I could probably eat nothing but those three things for a month and not get sick of it!

  • Cherie

    Jag definitely sounds better than ‘rut’Ohh that mushroom ravioli looks so darn good.
    I find myself jaggin’ sweet potato, pizza and of course oatmeal!!

  • I’ve been eating the exact same breakfast every day because I am totally obsessed! I like the term ‘food jag’ as opposed to ‘food rut.’ And hell yes to mushroom ravioli- I tried it for the first time at my uncle’s wedding last month and fell in love!

  • Siobhan @ sio 'n the run.

    Are you my twin?! MATZO BALL SOUP IS AMAAAZING!!! Although I’ve never made it myself. Wanna come make some for me?! 

    Food jagger? You’re hilarious. It is better than rut! 

  • Turkey Spaghetti with Whole Grain Angel Hair. I eat this AT LEAST once a week it seems like, which means I have leftovers for the next three days. So boring! That and green apples at lunch…I guess I am a creature of habit!

  • thehealthycupcake

    I’m a total food jagger!  I’m not really good about freezing food, so I’ll make a big batch of something and then literally have it for dinner every night.  And I’m totally okay with that.  I can change up the same base meal just a teeney bit every night, or just eat it the same way depending on how I feel.  You’re so right about the whole hunger cue thing; I most definitely nom nom nom my way through a new and exciting food even if my body isn’t truly hungry.

  • Hell yeah! I jag up grilled cheese w/ a side of celery like it’s my job! Your jagging is way more interesting. 

  • Katie

    Love it! You’re right, ‘jag’ sounds so much more upbeat than ‘rut’. I’m in a banana jag at the moment. Frozen, made into smoothies, smothered in pb or just on their own…. I can’t get enough.

  • That rice combo looks so good! I absolutely get into food jags! I feel like I ate the same bowl of overnight oats for breakfast basically every single day this summer! lol. 🙂

  • My breakfasts are fairly constant:  oatmeal with fruit, hardboiled egg whites with fruit, or egg white scrambles.  Lunches & dinners vary b/c I try to vary up our dinners (meaning that the next day’s lunch of leftovers is pretty varied too – just not from 1 day to the next).  Does that even make sense?!?

  • I make chicken salad almost every week…love it… 
    xoxo from Trinidad  Hey..do u like your glasses?

  • Agreed! 🙂


  • Stephanie

    I generally eat the same thing every day for a week.  I call it a “rut”, except that my ruts are velvet-lined and smell of mandarins.  I love being in a rut. 

  • Mushroom ravioli topped with mushrooms? Heavennn! I tend to get into food jags a lot- especially with my breakfasts: Puffins/kashi honey sunshine/kefir/berries/cinnamon… as for my main meals, I’ve been using a whole lot of truffle oil and thyme, probably because my friend borrowed my olive oil and is yet to return it so I’m left with truffle oil complimenting for the time being 🙂

  • Eggs are one thing I could (and generally do) eat every day. My husband and I actually had a conversation (ok, more than one) about how breakfast foods (eggs, toast, oats) are the one thing we never seem to get sick of even though we eat them everyday. But tell me I have to eat the same thing for supper every night  and all bets are off!  What’s up with that?

  • Lauren

    Yum! These meals all look fabfab! Dark chocolate and figs have been mine lately!

  • gosh, good questions. We love any egg dish. Definitely a staple in our house. At least one egg dish a day!

  • i am DYING about the ravioli. i think if i had to pick one food for the rest of  my life, it would probably be ravioli.

  • I love that you posted about this – it’s the “buffet” theory and you are right, it’s totally proven by science.  When we are constantly re-invigorating our taste buds with new flavors, we’re less likely to become satiated and therefore full!  I’m still re-learning to recognize my hunger cues, and have found that when I can control the “what” of my diet (even when it’s an indulgent item), I’m much better at stopping when I’m full!

    Oh, and I’ve been on a two year food jag with Amy’s Brown Rice and Vegetable meal.  I eat it at least 4 lunches a week!

  • Shari Press

    Pretty much anything with pasta. Although I’ve been trying to cut back a bit.

  • When I was a kid my jag was cheese sandwiches. Not grilled. Just cheese on white bread. Now, oatmeal might count. I legitimately eat a bowl every night!

  • I tend to eat the same few things in a cycle for breakfast (oats, yogurt bowls, pb toast, side of fruit) and lunch (salads, leftovers, an occasional Amy’s meal or sammie) but use dinner as my “switch it up.” Kind of – I mean, it’s usually protein + veggies or pasta + veggies and I have my seasonal veggie kicks. I def feel like I pay less attention to hunger cues at new places, but am just as in tune with them when we go to our favorite neighborhood restaurants. Interesting stuff. 

  • Jessica Saxton

    Gorgeous, yummy looking food as usual! I hope you are settling into your new house:) What a great time of year to be setting up a new home:) I <3 fall.

    Lateley I have been jagging on homemade garlic hummus and fresh cucumbers and red pepper strips:) I have been eating them for lunch and/or snacks for weeks! Also, I have discovered Cinch vanilla soy protein shakes and am OBSESSED!

    Have a great weekend!

  • Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

    Gorgeous eats! Im loving PB topped rice cakes at the mo…yum!

  • Ty

    I do, yes! Moreso I noticed there are a few foods I have at least once every week and it’s been that way for years. Spaghetti or pizza but usually both. A cheeseburger. A taco or a burrito. I eat these things over and over again.

  • mwahahaha! i love the big fat greek wedding reference! 🙂

    i definitely find myself on food jags. this summer it was my roasted vegetables and orzo with zucchini/cheese sauce! oh, and don’t even get me started on my oats for breakfast. i’ve probably eaten something other than oats for breakfast maybe 5 times all summer.

  • I’m definitely always in a jag with one meal or another. If I’m not eating the same breakfast every day, it’s the same lunch. Oh well. I know what I like and until it gets boring, why change it?

    On that note, my boss eats one of two things for lunch. Every. Single. Day. He’s been like this for over 2 years. It’s disturbing.

  • I love matzo ball soup! I used to practically LIVE off of it when I was a kid 😀
    Speaking of which.. I made some latkes last night 😀

  • I think I eat LESS when it’s something new or different – because I savor or enjoy it more.  One thing I always OVEREAT is Mexican food.  To the point of a stomach ache.  But it’s worth it! 🙂

  • Jessica Slish

    I can’t get enough sushi or Mexican.

  • Peanut butter is a food jag every day 😉

  • I do this all the time! I cannot get enough of baked sweet potato chips with cinnamon. I am also currently throwing black beans in everything!