How to Win at Life/Brunch
Life has its downs (traffic, backordered shoes, denim on denim) and its ups (micropigs, brunch). In order to savor brunch/life but not walk away drunk as a skunk at 3 PM on a Sunday off of bottomless mimosas and all-you-can-eat waffles, we must be strategic about our brunch choices. Brunchiness is next to godliness, but to walk away from brunch feeling svelte and energized is divine.
But First, we Drink:
Bottomless is bad news bears. You’re apt to overindulge in mimosas/sangria/bloody Mary’s, etc. to get your money’s worth. Opt out of the group pitcher purchase, and savor your own cocktail. A Bloody Mary is your best option; it’s got the least amount of calories compared to mimosas/bellinis/sangria, the least amount of sugar, and we can pretend that tomato juice is a vegetable. Match your sips of booze with sips of water to stay hydrated. Also, for brunch’s sake, just have one. Trust me, no one will notice once they’re 4 pitchers in, and your wallet/stomach will thank you.
Coffee is full of antioxidants! Yay! Have a cup. But keep it black as the night, or ask for some almond milk/soymilk on the side. Sweeten with Stevia packets that you keep in your wallet (it’s what the cool kids do) if you must, and add a dash of cinnamon for an anti-inflammatory zing. Tea is always a fine choice. So many catechins, antioxidants, and ummm basically you’re a proper British royal if you drink it, if you ask me.
Then, We Brunch.
1. Prioritize Protein: The incredible edible egg is likely make an appearance. Eggs are the most bioavailable (read: absorbable) source of protein around and the cholesterol in them is not an issue; we now know it doesn’t have an effect on your blood cholesterol. Plus, eggs are incredible sources of choline, biotin, lutein, and other phytochemicals that prevent disease. Oh, and I LOL at fools eating egg whites: you’re missing all the good nutrition in the yolk andddd they taste like cotton. Sucks to suck. You run into trouble when you douse your eggs in Hollandaise, cheese, salt, sauces, and oils. I don’t care whether they’re poached, scrambled, soft-boiled, or hard-boiled; eat ‘em. And ask for them to be cooked in olive oil, not PAM or vegetable oil. Season them with tons of herbs and spices (not salt) and use vegetables as complementary flavor/color add-ins.
2. Keep Your Veggie Game Strong: Eggs are sad without veggies. So very sad. I don’t care which veggies you choose to either put in your omelette (or should I say, NOMelette), but try to get to three. Tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, kale, whatevs. Add ‘em in, add ‘em on top, mix them into whatever you order. Or order them as a side. You’re adding fiber, minerals, and happiness. (No fried veggies!) Oh, and avocado. Avocado always. Avocado over everything.
3. Feel Fruity: Fruit is nature’s candy. Again, whichever you choose are A-OK with me. I like a nice fruit salad so I don’t get bored, and am always pleasantly surprised when I find sneaky nuts inside a fruit salad as well.
4. If you’re going for the parfait option; be wary. Flavored yogurts are loaded with sugars. Always order plain yogurt and avoid the dried fruit, which is basically candy, that restaurants love to serve. Add fruit, and if the resto has plain oats – hip hip hurray, but if not, their house granola is OK; just know that it also probably has added sugars and oils. It would be best to just order some 100% whole wheat toast or plain oatmeal on the side instead of the granola add-in.
5. Carbs, I guess: Oatmeal is best. Plain. No raisins/brown sugar. Add cinnamon and your trusty Stevia, or a teaspoon of honey. You can also opt for a couple slices of 100% whole wheat bread with your eggs or yogurt. Some places are even serving sweet potatoes/squash in the morning: I approve! Vitamin A everywhere! You’ll run into bloat and sadness later in the day with:
- white pancakes
- white waffles
- white potatoes
- hash browns
- french fries
Luckily, restaurants seem to be entering the 21st century where we actually care about our bodies and creating dietitian-approved versions of traditional brunch foods like buckwheat pancakes, almond flour waffles, zucchini fries, etc. Keep in mind, these still have many carbohydrates, however fibrous they may be, and many calories and are likely cooked with added sugars/butter. Not a fabulous choice, but not as bad as a butermilk shortstack or a Belgian waffle whipped cream monstrosity.
6. Get Saucy: avoid creamy sauces like Hollandaise. Opt for hot sauce/Tabasco/mustard, since it tends to have less sugar (although a fair amount of salt), and avoid ketchup, since it’s basically all sugar/salt. Real maple syrup/blackstrap molasses/honey are better sweeteners, but still highly caloric and loaded with sugars, but anything is better than mean Aunt Jemima. If you must sauce, dunk your fork in the sauce and then onto your food; don’t douse your meal with it.
Boozy Brunch = feelin Woozy Brunch. Keep your brunch yummy, but also nutritious, and you’ll actually be able to get through your Sunday errands with your wits about you rather than stumbling back to bed feeling like a sloshing pitcher of prosecco.