The Three O’Clock Munchies

Snacks on snacks on snacks


At a young age, I learned that a myth I was sure my mother had fabricated to countenance her daily tango with an Entenmann’s blueberry muffin — the 5 o’clock sweet tooth — was no myth at all. By the time I was fourteen, every day, as 4:59PM came and went in the reliable 60 seconds that it does, no matter what I was thinking about, where I was, who I was with and whether or not I’d eaten the recommended caloric intake of that day, I needed a snack. But not just any snack; mental images of cookies and chocolate bars and ice cream and donuts — Krispy Kreme donuts! — would seep into my outer conscience and relentlessly stay there until I appeased these conceptions.

I can distinctly recall the qualm that presented itself when I returned home from school on weekday afternoons. The kitchen counter in my mother’s house displayed with poise several bowls of chopped fruits and vegetables, exhibited in ornamental ceramic bowls to mirror their delicacy. And as much as I wanted to remain on a healthful road paved with carrots (untrue), the Green Giant of yore had nothing on Hershey. As I walked toward that counter, every single day, determined that today will be the day I don’t intercept my own intentions with a pillage toward Candy Cabinet, I never succeeded in demonstrating willpower and day after day, M&M after M&M, I would watch as my ass grew plump and decidedly auspicious.

But when I graduated from the years that encompassed my definitive youth (or in other words, when I moved out of my parents’ apartment and joined the work force), the 5 o’clock sweet tooth become the equally deplorable (if not, fine, hedonistically delectable) three o’clock munchies. And now, four years in, in a similar standard set at my tender age of 14, no matter the circumstances of my day  — what I had for lunch, when I ate it, how I ate it, whether I’m in a meeting or deep in the throes of writing a story (presumably about snacks), the clock strikes three and boom — I need a pistachio.

Which is nice, I guess, because it’s not a donut. Has my palette evolved or is it simply…cooler to indulge in healthier snacks in 2014?

Here is a panoply of the items I keep inside my desk.

1. Mixed Nuts: Often raw almonds, sometimes walnuts and always cashews, which I finish faster than a snack eats a mouse.

2. Matt’s Munchies: Sheets of pressed dried fruit (tangy apricot is a particular favorite, with island mango coming in close second) that satiate a sweet tooth but don’t carry the implications of emotional baggage and distress that a chocolate bar does.

3. Shot Caller and Word chocolate bars: For when my emotional baggage and distress needs to be appeased but can be done so organically. (If you look over at the ingredients, you’ll notice they’re all marked “organic” which helps me sleep easier at night but presents the question of what “organic soy lecithin” truly is.)

4. SeaSnax: More sheets, this time of dehydrated seaweed dressed in a variety of sushi-centric seasonings such as wasabi and teriyaki. High in sodium and self esteem!

5. Wine: Almost always white and I know how this sounds but remember what Miranda Hobbes told Steve when he condemned her unhealthy propensity to indulge in trash tabloid magazines? “I love it, it’s my thing, let it go.”

Photos by Charlotte Fassler, shot on W Magazine, September 2014 issue

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  • Blue Labels Boutique

    Great snacks! For some reason, I always eat my snacks right after breakfast. Then I feel super guilty! By the time 3 o’clock comes…i’m starving!

  • Shade of Red Blog

    Nuts, nuts and nuts!

  • Sully Ann

    I am currently obsessed with Cliff Blueberry bars. Just had one!

  • brunetteletters

    lol!! this is me right now…every single time I eat something…I need a sweet afterwards. ALWAYS…people say it will go away if I wait 10 mins but that’s not true! haha

  • I fuckin love seaweed. My go-to snack. One time I took some home from the beach, let it dry, and then ate it. Didn’t taste as good. Probably because I can assume the little boy building a sand castle next to me was wrapping it around his toes.

  • Women’s mag wrote about this earlier this year. Around 4 is when you are “most likely to break your new year resolution diet” because your blood sugar drops. Is this a reputable source? I’m not really sure…but here ya go:

  • Jamie Leland

    Bringing snack wine to work tomorrow.

  • I always eat my snacks between lunch and dinner.. Okay, and sometimes for brunch. Food is love. Food is life.

    ROUGH & TOUGH☯ | I`m on Bloglovin!

  • suzyd

    I am really into hemp seeds right now. They are SO GOOD. Actually, most kinds of seed or nut are great. I’m easy. I’ve also got a secret flask for extra-bonkers days or when I’m feeling three thirsty. Balance is so key!


    For all the latest trends and high-end inspired fashion visit

  • Leah

    Blueberries. They hit that sweet spot and they’re god damn good for you right? This post is making me crave seaweed now…

  • Leah

    Actually, blueberries or Nutella is usually the case.

  • Cinamaron

    My problem is that I acquire desk snacks for this reason and then like a week or two in I get bored of them. No matter how delicious they are at first I always end up wanting something else!

  • I can definitely relate. For me, my snack craving hits between two and three in the afternoon. Never fails. I usually eat some fruit or, if I’m in a particularly adventurous mood, I’ll go for the chocolate chip cookies.

  • We have these weird edamame snack chip things (in the shape of edamame pods) at work that I just love. Satisfyingly salty and crunchy, but not greasy.

    I also have a bag of gourmet dark chocolate covered espresso beans in my desk for a sugar/caffeine kick. Highly recommend. They will last forever because I cannot eat more than 2 in a day without feeling a little crazy.

  • Love the SATC reference. I remember that episode vividly… as I snacked on Jalapeno Cheetos, the strangest and best thing man possibly put in a bag. (Oh, wait, Lays just came out with a cappuccino chip…)

  • Natasha Jarmick

    I’m about to change your [snack] life: DANG COCONUT CHIPS.

    You need to try them. I’m so serious. YOU NEED TO TRY THEM.

    • Esther Levy


  • I usually have a coffee in the early afternoon and while this is not news (not even for stay-at-home freelancers), my brand new and much-loved variety of afternoon coffee is due to you, oh Ladies of MR … 🙂

    After having read about different kinds of milk here I realized I don’t have to be vegan to try plant milk (I already know I am a genius and a fast thinker LOL), so I bought a few products and tried them out.
    Rice milk: OK, but no need to repeat. Almond milk: oh, it’s turned into cream or equivalent thereof?!? Hm, maybe next time. Oat milk: now … mmm … that’s kind of interesting. Yummy even. Yes!

    And before you know it, I found out oat milk is actually GREAT in coffee.

    (if you’re tempted to try it out, start with small quantities – it might be an acquired taste – I don’t know, I have only just started drinking plant milk).

    Anyway, I thought I’d let you know: thank you for my brand new afternoon pleasure!

  • Elle

    I love, love, love Matt’s Munchies! I used to buy them all the time while living in NYC. I love the seaweed sheets too and since I live in Tokyo now I munch on those a lot! I also love to freeze ripe bananas and then eat them like that or mix them to a banana nicecream. – Swedish model and blogger in Tokyo

  • Haha, I believe I need to keep that Miranda quote in mind for everything 😉

  • Lauren Ann Long

    Is chicken noodle soup a weird snack? Because I have it everyday at like 3.

  • When I say that I feel you, I mean it. Case in point, today’s imaginary food diary entry:
    Breakfast: whole wheat tortilla with scrambled egg whites & turkey bacon
    Mid-morning snack: small green apple w/ peanut butter
    Lunch: tilapia & asparagus
    Mid-afternoon snack: 2 ice cream sandwiches & a Dr. Pepper
    Healthy snacks may be cool, but in the relationship between my taste buds and my ass, the former wears the pants.

  • Love this so true – I pack all the stuff you listed to survive the day. People laugh at me because I come ready with my Incase of Emergency Food pack wherever I go. It helps me especially since I only eat non GMP food. Stay Healthy xoxo Erin

  • Mmm you’ve inspired me with the almond/pistachio talk. There’s a chart floating around Pinterest describing if you’re craving this disgusting and delicious thing you actually need this not disgusting but slightly less delicious thing. It’s worth looking for and almonds are DEFF on it.

    Warm Regards,

  • Home baked Madeleines washed down with a homemade banana and vanilla ice-cream milkshake. Works like a charm!

  • atelierjen

    Wine & the Miranda quote – perfect! Thats me sorted.

  • pamb

    Wine in your desk drawer? Must be refrigerated! Otherwise, we seem to have similar taste, with the addition of ‘energy’ bars (kind, Luna, Larabar).

  • ahh i thought it was just me! at around 4 every weekday i feel like i will collapse if i don’t snack!!