If you’re as indecisive as I am, choosing what to eat for lunch every day of the week can be a stressful or daunting task. With endless options in and around midtown Manhattan, it’s nearly impossible to choose what to eat, let alone where to get it from. This might sound like a good problem to have but, having spent significant time on many a morning, scrolling through Instagram’s foodie accounts hoping to come across lunch-spiration, I decided this is largely a waste of time. After reading an article published by The Atlantic that’s been circling the food world, which posits (based on several accounts) that eating (mostly) the same lunch every day is good for your overall health, focus, and sanity, I thought this might be something worth trying.
At first, the idea of eating the same thing over and over seemed drab, but the article makes some pretty solid points about its inherent benefits. The author explains that by bringing the same lunch each day, you’re eliminating the time consuming, distracting, and sometimes downright stressful task of debating what to eat, keeping you more focused, and increasing productivity. Often times we end up selecting a fairly forgettable salad or sandwich, too, so the part of the argument contends we wouldn’t be missing an important food experience, in the grand scheme of things.
More importantly than upping productivity levels, bringing the same lunch can help you make healthier eating choices or stick to a diet, if that’s a goal. By planning your lunch ahead of time and packing it in the morning, you’re far more likely to choose a thoughtful and balanced meal that will provide proper nutrients and energy for the day. Essentially, you’re saving yourself from yourself, so you won’t give in to a greasy slice of pizza as you make your way towards Sweetgreen with the best of intentions. It goes without saying that if you make a habit of eating a Big Mac and fries every day, you’re not going to see health benefits from a same-lunch-on-repeat program, but if you stick to a salad or protein-packed sandwich, it could have a pronounced and positive impact on your weekly diet.
Related Reading: 6 Cookbooks That Are All About Salad
Now, just because the base argument is to eat the same meal every day, doesn’t have to be the exact same tuna salad sandwich on wheat. It’s okay to say yes to lunch with co-workers every now and then or make small alterations to your day-to-day meal in order to add some variety and still net benefits from a semi-consistent lunch routine. If it’s a salad you’re sticking to, go for different proteins, rotating between grilled chicken, sliced turkey, salmon or tofu. If it’s a sandwich, switch up your condiments, or add in some different veggies to keep things from growing dull.
In case this monotonous lunch lifestyle still seems too much like a snooze fest to you, here are some easy lunch ideas that might spark some inspiration. Or try the salad our executive editor Hana Asbrink is obsessed with.
And finally, remember the benefits don’t just end with increased time, focus, and nutrition; with the average storebought salad costing well over 10 bucks, just think how much money you’ll save if you prep and pack your own healthy lunch every day. Many celebrities even swear by eating the same thing day after day too; in fact, Kim Kardashian claims to eat the same salad for lunch every day, which we can only imagine is for budgetary reasons as much as anything else.
Ok, now I’m sold.