Thursday, October 13, 2011
Buffet - Friend or Foe?
Three hours of sleep + 8 a.m. class of 35 students + 10 oral presentations = NOT FUN!
Still, overall it was worth it - at least it's finally the weekend (Fridays and Saturdays are off in Kuwait).
So last night we went to a buffet for dinner. I've read quite a few blog posts about people going to buffets and seeing it as an absolute nightmare. Patter after platter of food and no portion control -- you can go up as many times as you want and eat as much as you want ... there is nobody there to stop you ...
Well, I think that's just one side of the story.
I was actually relieved that we were going to a buffet. For me it meant that I was in complete control. I didn't need to look at a menu and try to figure out what I wanted - guessing how much sauce something came with, wondering if there would be cheese on top of something, etc. etc. Instead I could go up and look at all my options -- what was fried, what looked like it had rich sauces, and of course identify the healthier options - salad, vegetables, fish ...
It is tricky though, especially the salad bar -- I approached it first, thinking that I could fill up on the salad ... but I noticed that most of the salads were already mixed with creamy dressings ... that was a no go for me. There was a platter of grilled vegetables - zucchini, red bell peppers, and eggplant ... I just had a few slices of the zucchini. Stayed completely away from the bread and rice - and was relieved that their one fish dish was grilled tandoori fish -- dry heat, no sauce perfect for me given the circumstance. I was also relieved that most of the other dishes had meat in them ... it definitely makes it a LOT easier since that just removes the temptation ... Did I overdo it? I don't think so. I didn't feel full after I left ... I think it also helps that I'm a slow eater and that I was surrounded by friends so the talking/laughing was more of a priority than eating.
Yes, lots of laughter ...
and that was before I saw the gorgeous pair of heels inside the box ;)
I think it's important to have and stick to a food plan ... but I think it's also necessary to be able to cope when you're in a situation where there are factors out of your control. Even in those situations you can have a plan -- you can control how much you put on your plate. At a buffet no server will come and plop a massive serving of buttery mashed potatoes on your plate ... if it's on your plate - YOU PUT IT THERE. I don't think you need to starve or deprive yourself of food -- I've definitely been there. I remember a time when I was afraid to eat ... every mouthful - even if it was just a cucumber - was followed by guilt. Look how far that got me -- nowhere at all.
My attitude towards food has definitely changed. Even foods that I used to find tempting before don't tempt me anymore. Some people post pictures of cupcakes oozing with chocolate frosting or lasagnas bursting with cheese ... I can honestly say that it doesn't make me think 'Ooo I wish I could have some of that' ... and I think another thing that has helped is taking more control of my cooking at home. Buying fresh ingredients, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and cooking in a way that is not only portion controlled but ingredient controlled seems to have changed my taste buds ... do I still like chocolate, ice cream, and all that stuff ... of course. Do I want any. No.
So last night was not a normal day in my routine, but I think I handled it very well, and I had an amazing time. I guess we'll see if my approach to food worked when I weigh in on Sunday. No matter what choices you make, the proof is in the numbers. If I weigh in and I've put on a few pounds then you can tell me that everything I just wrote is BS ... but I'm confident in what I've said. We'll see. [By the way, here's a short article about how to approach a buffet.]
No gym today - lots of furniture moving in preparation for tonight and some boxing skill training that I can do at home (I restart lessons next week - gotta be prepared) ... and perhaps a nap to recover from just a few hours of sleep last night!