What time is it? It’s brunch time.
Brunch food is my favorite. Wait, what? Confused? Think you misread the title of this post? Nope, it’s not you, it’s me.
That’s right – avocado toast, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on bagels, pancake stacks, sweet potato hashes, the list goes on. I love these foods and could probably eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day. Sometimes I even do.
So, what am I going on about, you ask?
I don’t do brunch because I don’t get the concept of combining breakfast and lunch into one meal. I simply can’t have a large mid-morning meal that tides me over till dinner or even a late evening snack. Here’s why.
I wake up pretty early.
I don’t want to over-generalize, but most of us in the fitness-oriented community do wake up quite a bit earlier than our friends. This also means we are ready for food much earlier. If I wake up at 6am and I’m going to brunch with someone who wakes up at 10am, you’re asking me to wait over 4 hours till my first meal. That’s nearly impossible for me. And there’s no shame in that. In fact, it’s actually healthy to wake up ready for food. I find that if I don’t eat at least something within 2 hours of waking up, I am absolutely positively ravenous for the rest of the day.
I’m used to eating very regular meals.
Again, another trait of us guys and gals in this community. Our friends are sometimes in awe of how we are so “healthy” and “regular” with our meals. I generally have my three main meals and up to three snacks throughout the day. People around me, on the other hand, eat a big brunch, a sizable evening snack and call it a day. That just doesn’t work for me. Do what is best for you. I know that regular meals keep me satisfied, happy and ready to face the day.
Eating too much at once makes me physically uncomfortable.
Now this is slightly different from eating an extra slice of cake after dinner because you want it. When I do that, I feel a little too full, but not terribly uncomfortable or sluggish. With proper brunch, on the other hand, I used to feel like I had to eat a ton so I wasn’t hungry till dinner. First, this was the wrong mindset. Just because you had brunch doesn’t mean you can’t have a snack or small meal before dinner. Second, I felt pretty blah after the massive meal anyway. So, I stopped doing this and realized that treating brunch as breakfast + lunch and hoping to get to dinner was just not for me.
That said, if my friends or family want to have brunch between 10:30am and noon, I’ll never say no because it doesn’t “fit with my lifestyle”. That’s how you start to take healthy habits too far. If I go to brunch with them, I just approach it a little differently. Here are some strategies I use.
Eat breakfast (and an afternoon snack).
Don’t skip breakfast in anticipation of brunch. If you’re used to eating soon after you wake up, then do. If you want to have something smaller than usual, that’s up to you, but don’t feel the need to do that. Eat what you want now and eat as much or as little as you want at brunch. How you eat is your choice. Likewise, if you’re hungry a few hours after brunch, eat again. You haven’t failed if you don’t make it to dinner without needing a snack in between. Everyone has different needs when it comes to food. As long as you listen to your body, there’s no wrong way to eat.
Ask your friends to do a rather early or late brunch.
Most restaurants serve brunch from pretty early in the morning to pretty late in the afternoon. If it’s not an inconvenience, suggest a time such that brunch can actually end up being either your breakfast or lunch. This is ideal, but don’t make it a “must”. Stay flexible.
Enjoy the brunch.
This is essential. Don’t let the fact that you may have eaten breakfast an hour or two ago or the fact that you know you’ll get hungry by 4 pm hold you back from enjoy yourself. Indulge. Don’t feel the need to limit yourself. Just don’t go so overboard that you feel stuffed till the point of discomfort. That’s just not fun. Eat mindfully, enjoy yourself, and enjoy the company too! It’s not all about the food.
I used to feel weird because brunch seemed like such a normal, “cool” thing, but I’d turn up at brunch and say, “I ate breakfast this morning”. You don’t owe an explanation to anybody, though. Now, I do brunch my way – and that’s cool.
Check out these articles too: