There’s a long-standing, worldwide fascination with royalty. People watch their every move on a daily basis; each celebration and milestone is watched with an eye on fashion, mannerisms, behaviors, and a sign of anything out of the ordinary. The Queen is no exception. Since the day of her birth, the Queen’s every move has been observed. We watch as she attends royal activities, interacts with her grand and great-grandchildren, or even simply drives her SUV across her estate. Throughout her life, consistency and moderation have been recurring themes. Therefore, it’s no surprise her diet follows this same belief system. With a life under the watchful eye of an adoring (and often judgmental) public, it’s interesting to see how she’s stayed so healthy to the impressive age of 94.
The Queen is notorious for eating almost the same thing every day. While this might sound boring, it’s actually a great way to keep from overindulging and to stay the course of a healthy diet. How does she avoid burnout? Read on to find out…
Consistency at Mealtime
There have been rumors over the years that the Queen avoids carbs in her diet, but this is untrue.
Most days she starts out eating Special K cereal with berries, a tasty and healthy meal. Special K is a healthier, lower calorie option when choosing cereal for breakfast. Adding milk gives her breakfast 9 grams of protein, Vitamin D and calcium. The berries add a sweet and vitamin-enriched touch. Each morning she also enjoys a cup of tea, a more traditional English breakfast drink than coffee. While she avoids adding any milk or sugar to her tea, it’s rumored that she enjoys the occasional breakfast biscuit (or cookie, as we might more commonly refer to them). Of course, it’s not cereal every day, when the Queen has a guest she’ll order a plate of scrambled eggs with truffle or smoked salmon on top, or perhaps a piece of toast with jam.
For lunch most days the Queen enjoys a meal of grilled fish with vegetables or salad. Low in calories but high in protein and fiber, this is the kind of meal that can keep her feeling full after meal time. She also enjoys cheese and tomato sandwiches or cucumber sandwiches on white bread. Still light fare when you think of the indulgences she could have on a daily basis.
Dinnertime is no exception when it comes to eating a healthy meal. Again, she’s consistent and eats almost the same thing every day. Each night she eats fish with a side of (you guessed it!) lots of vegetables. Once again, the protein and fiber approach will keep her feeling full while not overindulging. She’s also known to have a traditional Sunday dinner of roast beef, always cooked well done. And apparently, regardless of which protein she’s consuming, she enjoys having it Gaelic style, which means it’s served with a cream, mushroom, and whiskey sauce. While perhaps not the healthiest of choices when dressing your protein, when served in moderation a little sauce never hurts.
Moderation is Key
Three square, healthy meals a day is a responsible, focused approach to living a long life with few health issues. But let’s face it, it’s boring. Even the most ardent health enthusiasts have a cheat day every now and then, and the Queen is no exception. However, she does it on a daily basis. You might call it a ‘cheat tea.’ Each day at high tea the Queen indulges in cucumber sandwiches and a spread of her favorite cakes. These present a daily treat, which satisfies any sweet cravings and adds a little pizzazz to her daily menu. She’s also been known to eat dark chocolate, and drink gin and Dubonnet and/or have a glass of champagne most evenings.
The Psychology Behind it All
While the lack of variety in her diet might be astonishing, it’s also the key to eating less. Eating a consistent diet can help create healthy eating habits, and removes the stress of having to come up with new ideas every day. I’m sure the Queen has a team of chefs available, but the more often she eats the same healthy items, the more it’s become a consistent routine. And that consistency has led to a lifetime of good health and longevity.
As Bryan Kozlowsky says in his book Long Live the Queen: 23 Rules for Living from Britain’s Longest-Living Monarch: “If Elizabeth ever submitted to a round of testing by a dietary scientist (a wild thought, I grant you), she would likely emerge officially dubbed a “cool” thinker. Cool thinkers are people who put psychological distance between them and food. They typically see food as “just fuel” and are not prone to overthink or emote about their next meal.”
The Queen’s willingness to eat a routine diet every day shows her willpower against giving in to the temptations that plague us on a daily basis. I’d assume it helps that she doesn’t have the opportunity to frequent restaurants or pubs very often, for fear of being stalked by the paparazzi, or followed by the public trying to catch her every move and see every bite consumed. Her favorite restaurant is rumored to be Bellamy’s in London, a notoriously private location that allows her to enjoy a meal out. Eating at home reduces the opportunity to face a menu full of temptations, and perhaps makes it easier to follow such a strict diet.
In short, the Queen eats to live, she doesn’t live to eat. Consistency and moderation are recurring themes in her life, and her diet and daily eating habits are no exception. I think we can all take some lessons from her lifestyle and try to introduce them in our daily routines. If we did, we might also find ourselves healthy and full of life well into our 90s. Definitely food for thought!