“Slowly at first, then all at once”—Hemingway’s line is just one of many literary quotes that have fallen victim to over-utilization to the point of tedium. But that’s only because it has yet to be associated with the undertaking of routinely eating lunch at 11:30 a.m. from Monday through Friday. I’m hard-pressed to find a more accurate way to describe the evolution of my weekday meal habits over the past few months, because indeed: What is now one of my most passionate crusades–consuming a salad at my desk before the clock strikes noon–commenced at a cadence that in hindsight could only be called… random.
Guided my ambivalence toward the endeavor known as “breakfast,” I found myself compelled to skip it accelerate straight for lunch (or I guess, given the timing, brunch) a few hours later. When I first sat down under the glare of late-morning florescent office light and contemplated the bucket of kale and sundries before me on this fateful morning, I knew that satiety awaited. What I didn’t know is that my destiny would accompany it. The time on my phone read 11:33 a.m. I forked a gargantuan bite and swallowed.
Before I proselytize further, I must state for the record that I do not recommend skipping breakfast and eating lunch as your first meal of the day if you loooooooveeeeeee breakfast. I would never dream of convincing you to forgo the sweet pleasure of your Wednesday oatmeal or Friday eggs. However, if you–like me–are ambivalent about most quickie weekday breakfast foods but ardently enjoy grilled cheeses, spaghetti with meatballs, hearty salads, lentil soup, sourdough pretzels, french toast, and other fare typically relegated to lunch, dinner, snack time, or brunch, then this protocol has your name written all over it in balsamic vinaigrette. Its benefits are plentiful, but allow me to enumerate some of the most notable for you:
1) You avoid the lunch rush. While the hoards of sweet but foolish innocents cram themselves into Sweetgreen lines and Dig Inn vestibules at “normal” lunch time, you’ll be in and out of whatever eatery you choose to patron in two shakes of tzatziki. Unless you bring your lunch, in which case, you’ll be eating EVEN SOONER.
2) You have the opportunity to ingest one of your favorite meals of the day (a.k.a. lunch) with renewed vigor and enthusiasm, not only because you’ll be hungrier and therefore equipped to eat more than you usually would for lunch, but also because you’ll have yet to hit the inevitable midday slump that occurs with regularity at around 1 p.m and riddles any concurrent meal with a sense of sluggishness.
3) You can get away with eating stuff like an egg sandwich on a bagel without feeling like you’re trespassing on Saturday’s territory.
4) You’ll be decently hungry again at around 3 p.m., which means snack time will take on a whole new, glorious identity. You’ll want (and have plenty of room for!) something equal parts hearty and delicious–like, say, a large chocolate chip cookie. Or a Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts and honey. Or a bag of popcorn. Or hummus with pita chips. Or a little bit of each of them.
Like I said, I only dabbled in the late morning weekday brunch intermittently at first, but eventually it morphed into something I pursued with jubilant deliberateness because of all the reasons listed above. I picked up recruits along the way, too; colleagues who were willing–nay, eager–to join me in my recalibration. I very much advocate for converting others in your office as it’s never easy being ahead of your time–in this case literally–and when it comes to eating roasted cauliflower at strange hours of the day, the more the merrier!
Occasionally you’ll message a regular weekday brunch companion at 11:15 a.m. to see if they’re almost ready to venture forth, and they’ll sheepishly tell you they happened to eat breakfast that morning and won’t be hungry until later. At first it might feel like a particularly piercing betrayal, but after a few disappointments you’ll start to understand: This path isn’t for everyone. It is, in every sense of the word, a calling.
Does anyone else out there engage in purposeful weekday brunching? Let’s congratulate each other in the comments below.