The people I work with think I’m crazy.
Luckily, it’s not because I talk to myself in my cubicle or punch my laptop when it freezes, however tempting that may be. Instead, it’s because I’m slightly addicted to Chipotle. And by slightly, I mean completely.
In time, this addiction has evolved, and now as the lunch hour approaches, you can find me dreaming of burrito bowls at my desk whilst salivating like Pavlov’s dogs.
It wasn’t always this way, however. Let me explain.
I work in the suburbs of Atlanta in a place called Alpharetta. I don’t happen to live there. In fact, I try to spend as little time as possible there, making my way to the office, grabbing a bite to eat, perhaps running the occasional errand, and then heading back home. No detours.
No offense, Alpharetta, but I’m not trying to explore the area. This may sound snooty or lazy, but there is actual logic behind my decision. And to be fair, I do still get out with co-workers on occasion, so I’m not completely missing out on the hidden gems that do actually exist there (like Made — skip the paella and opt for the seared scallops and grilled artichokes instead. Yum!).
So, why have I opted for Chipotle as my default lunch spot?
All right, this is a real no-brainer. Chipotle is close to the office and I can usually make over there in less than ten minutes. This helps me maximize my lunch hour so I can focus on enjoying my meal or catching up on podcasts, while also taking a break from the office for a bit. In addition, it’s close to my main errand-running locations, so if I need to grab something from Target while I’m out, it’s quick and painless.
Wham. Bam. Thank you, ma’am.
Obviously this one depends on what you choose, but if you do it right, Chipotle can be a great option for a quick and healthy meal. In fact, in his book, The 4-Hour Body, Tim Ferriss cites examples from two guys, Eric and Brent, who followed his Slow-Carb Diet by relying on Chipotle for lunch and dinner and ultimately lost 91 and 120 pounds, respectively. It’s possible! Ease off the rice, sour cream, and cheese and you’re all set!
Not sure how healthy your selection is? Check out their nutrition calculator to create the ultimate healthy meal.
And in more ways than one. They use quality ingredients and actually prepare the food right there in the kitchen. Instead of cutting open plastic bags of pre-made everything, you can watch them mix the lime juice into the rice, chop veggies, and man the grill packed with chicken and steak. Their food is well-seasoned and flavorful, unlike most typical, bland fast food options.
Not only that, but they focus on sustainability and humanely raised meat as well. There aren’t many companies that will take a huge revenue hit like Chipotle did when pork farmers failed to meet their standards. It’s refreshing to see that values matter more than profit.
Less brain power wasted on decision-making
This one is the kicker and the main reason I stick with Chipotle for my midday meal on a regular basis.
Did you just roll your eyes? I see you…
I bet you’re thinking, “Huh? Deciding where to go for lunch is wasting brain power? You’re nuts.”
But hear me out.
According to Brian Wansink’s book, Mindless Eating, the average person makes more than 200 food-related decisions every day. Two hundred! Every day! That’s a lot of time spent thinking about chicken or pasta. Is that restaurant nearby? Should I eat there or take it to go? Is that place good? I wonder if they have a healthy option. Can I substitute the fries with a salad?
By simply choosing Chipotle when I want to grab a bite, I eliminate all of these questions and waste less time and energy in the process. There’s no hemming and hawing. No debating. I simply grab my keys and head out. In fact, I go so often that I can usually time the crowds, which means I’m guaranteed to find a parking spot and spend less time waiting in line.
Altogether, this is HUGE!
Over time, those unasked questions, unmade decisions, and time saved result in additional brain power for more important things, more time for taking a break from work, and more satisfaction with my one decision. There’s no buyer’s remorse, so to speak, since there was only ever one option. This is an incredibly easy way to create certainty in my life when there are tons of other distractions and worries that also consume my attention.
Choosing Chipotle for lunch is my version of the Steve Jobs black turtleneck. No need to think about it; there are simply bigger and better things to focus on.
P.S. In case you’re wondering what keeps me coming back day after day, here’s my typical order:
- 1 scoop of brown rice
- Black beans
- Fajita veggies
- Tomatillo salsa
- Sour cream
For Slow-Carb, leave out the rice, sour cream, and cheese. Add more beans and depending on cilantro levels, perhaps some pico.