I have a hard time with brunch. Don’t get me wrong—I love brunch food and am often the person who suggests getting together for this midday meal (usually around 12 or 1 pm). I consider eating “fancy” eggs one of life’s simple pleasures and will take basically any opportunity to do so. It’s just the “breakfast-lunch” concept I struggle with. Perhaps if I slept late enough to make it logical to combine my first two meals of the day into one I’d feel differently, but alas, I am a freaky morning person who not uncommonly wakes up at 6:30 without an alarm. 5-a.m. wake-ups on the days I work at the hospital don’t exactly tip the balance in the other direction either.
From a nutritional perspective, brunch can be what you a might call an alcohol-induced bad decision risk, especially if you opt for the bottomless drink option. Additionally, when we get into the mindset of thinking we need to eat two meals (breakfast and lunch) in one sitting, we may take in far more than we actually need. This can also happen if we show up ravenous because we feel like we’re not supposed to eat anything before brunch.
Here are a few ways to keep it real during brunch:
- Think of brunch as if it were breakfast or lunch—not both.
- Keep the booze to one drink max.
- Eat something before you show up, especially if you’re anticipating a wait at the restaurant.
So what should you eat before brunch? That depends on what time you wake up relative to what time brunch is.
Let’s say brunch is at 1 pm. Here’s what you should eat if you wake up at:
- 6 am—Chances are you’ll have plenty of time to hit, the gym, do laundry, clean the bathroom, or whatever other random human things you need to do. You should also eat a real breakfast somewhere in there. If you find your stomach growling again at 11:45, have a small piece of fruit or sliced veggies with hummus to keep the hangry-ness at bay.
- 9 am—If you wake up hungry, have a small breakfast like a smoothie or some yogurt with ground flax and berries.
- 12 pm—Grab an apple for emergencies and get your ass out the door.
The other day, I had plans for 1:00-ish at Doma Na Rohu in the West Village. Naturally, my inner clock had me up and at ’em before 7. After a sweaty workout, I made a bowl of savory oats. Then when I started feeling hungry again around 11, I had some non-fat ricotta (~1/4 cup) and strawberries with a little of the rosemary fig honey I bought at the Tea and Coffee Festival:
The snack turned out to be a good thing, as our food didn’t arrive until close to 2:00. Speaking of the food, it was awesome! If you go to Doma, order the Strammer Max, which was two fried eggs and speck atop a slice of rye with a lovely green salad on the side. It paired perfectly with a big mug of black coffee. I was a happy camper. Now I just need an excuse to go back there…
What’s your favorite brunch food?
Hungry for more?
Subscribe to get the latest nutrition information, self-care strategies, and healthy living tips delivered right to your inbox.