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Thank You All: How to turn a "pasta bar" into a low carb/Paleo delight...

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

And it didn't involve Pixie Dust!

My hotel had a reception tonight that essentially equaled free dinner - the catch is it's whatever they cook. Tonight was a pasta buffet: garlic bread, linguini lightly sauced w tomato sauce, penne Alfredo, a pan of Bolongese (red meat sauce w lots of veggies), and a very small salad bar with maybe 6 items on it and two high calorie dressing options.

In the past - I'd have gladly had a fat and carb fest with the Alfredo pasta and garlic bread - and I must admit I was totally uninspired by the idea of a boring little dry salad for dinner. :(

Instead, tonight I thought about my personal goals and I thought about each of You...

You are my inspiration: those who have succeeded (and started where I am now), those who are just starting to figure out if Spark has something here that could help them, and those of you like me who are still finding our way down this newest path we are choosing for the rest of our lives and are grateful to have found a supportive community like Spark with people who can laugh, cry, but most of all problem solve with us. You may not even realize that you inspired me when I read one of your blogs where you were voicing a challenge I too face(d), or I read your words of inspiration to someone else and I was moved by your level of commitment / compassion, or perhaps I've tried one of your recipes - even if I modified it first...

So, what was dinner: about a cup of fresh spinach spread out over the bottom of my plate, topped by a half cup of fresh diced mushrooms, and the whole thing topped by off with a scoop of steaming hot Bolognese sauce. By the time I was seated with my water, the spinach had wilted to perfection, the mushroom has softened - and best of all, I didn't miss the bread or pasta.

I went for a walk this morning but only got in about 7,000 steps. So after dinner, I knew I still owed You something more. I've joined your team goals and need to pull my weight here too. So I got out and finished of my personal goal of 10k steps a day.

Good night Spark... Thanks to each of you for inspiring me that I too can acieve my personal goals. You are all appreciated more than you know.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MAZACK 2/26/2013 5:35AM

    Thank-You very much for this blog. It is a real reminder that there is a lot to learn and the friendships that can be formed can be great. I have really slacked off and I'm trying to get back on track with a balance of time.

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FARMERGIRL63 4/15/2012 7:04PM

  Yes SparkPeople has helped many of people even
myself. I have come a long ways since I have been
with SparkPeople.

So I give you the same encouragement to do the
same and keep up the good work.

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_WAGATHEGREAT 3/4/2012 11:07PM

  thank YOU

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MAYBER 3/3/2012 6:31PM

    Thank you for sharing you great inspirational blog
Am so glad that you were able to find a silver lining in the buffet table and then going to achieve your walking steps
One day at a time
emoticon emoticon

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MYRAL85 3/1/2012 1:21PM

    You blogged so elegantly what I've been wanting to blog about for a week now. Thank you.

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon YOU, are my inspiration!! Thanks for sharing!! emoticon

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SKINNYMINNIE25 2/23/2012 12:00PM

    When eating at a conference buffet, I frequently use salsa or plain spagetti sauce to top my salad. Then I add a little balsamic vinegar and yum. Nice job.


emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHERYLDS 2/16/2012 5:35PM

    Hey rock
I'm slow opening my email

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MSHUFFNPUFFN 2/13/2012 11:42PM

    Great job!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JESSYLOSES4GOOD 2/13/2012 12:19PM

    Great post! I've been having a bit of trouble and this lightened up my spirits emoticon

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JSEATTLE 2/13/2012 11:59AM

  Buffets are tough for me, I love my carbs. Thanks for reminding me that I can make good choices with the options available!

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NICOLETTE01 2/11/2012 6:24PM

    Thank you for sharing, you are an inspiration also !
Just keep moving forward bit by bit, one step and activity at a time and you will get there. Change by change and with determination and the eye on your prize, reaching your goals!
All I can say is that Spark People WORKS!

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GRANDMAPATTYV 2/10/2012 10:14PM

    YOU INSPIRE ME! Thank you so much! emoticon

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DRAGONCHILDE 2/8/2012 6:01PM

    You have way more self control than I ever have. Pasta is my major weakness.

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GOLFLADY11 2/8/2012 1:47PM


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DHALYIA 2/8/2012 12:48AM


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OHMYGOD49 2/7/2012 10:06PM


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OTHERRIEN1 2/7/2012 12:34PM

    thank you so much for sharing, I may not be always on track, but reading articles and blogs like yours seem to bring me right back to where I need to be. I look at you and others who share as blessings from God. emoticon

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FUNMAMASPARK 2/7/2012 7:31AM

    I lOve doing stuff like this- I feel like I'm cheating the system. You think you'll make me eat junk? Not so fast, I'll do thing my way!

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JESSNEW8888 2/7/2012 2:00AM

  Good for you!!! I too, find it very hard to complete all my goals some days. I have been doing pretty good with eating healthier, but in-between my very busy schedule, sometimes I find my self avoiding my exercise because I can't possibly imagine mustering up the energy for a workout session. It is disheartening to see a great effort by way of my food journal, coming in second to the blank lines left in the space for my daily exercise . I am however, constantly uplifted and motivated by the people of Spark and the choices they make and more importantly the fact that they they keep going. I wake up every day knowing that I have another chance to make good choices and I get a motivational shot every time I log in to Spark and read stories from people like you.
Thank You!

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45632B 2/6/2012 10:51PM

  Thanks, here's back at you..We are all in this together, starting each new day ready to face the battle which some days can seem hopeless but spark people keeps our focus . What we read on the Spark People site does inspire and motivate each and everyone one of us who daily struggle to make healthy lifestyle choices. emoticon

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MISSB8604 2/6/2012 2:46PM

    LOVE this!!!!!!!!!!

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FITITGIRL 2/6/2012 9:35AM

    Wonderful! Way to go!!

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HEALTHYGRAMMY49 2/6/2012 12:56AM

    Brilliant on adapting an otherwise unhealthy meal to a delightfully Sparkaliciously healthy one! emoticon emoticon
But I would like to take the liberty to make just one seems to me that You are the inspiration to each sparker that is lucky enough to read and learn by your example. emoticon emoticon

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CBKS810 2/5/2012 8:56PM

    Like you, I love to take some time to poke around Sparkpeople. I love this enormous community that pushes ahead through its challenges and then achieves success. I'm proud to count myself among them. emoticon job you did that night.

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ONUTHIN125 2/5/2012 4:45PM

    Great Blog! Thanks for the motivation! emoticon emoticon

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JODIWHITE19 2/5/2012 3:15PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EVWINGS 2/5/2012 11:33AM

    I really enjoyed your blog! You have a lot of common sense going on for you!! I feel the same way about everyone - and everything here a SP. You put a lot of feelings into your writing that are expressed beautifully. Ev

emoticon emoticon

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LINKYSD 2/5/2012 11:06AM

    Congratulation on finding a good alternative among the choices you had. Isn't that the hardest thing to do sometimes. Keep up the good work.

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 2/4/2012 11:49PM

    Great experiment! Sounds like it went perfectly!! emoticon Great job on sticking to your goals!

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LINDABENEDICT 2/4/2012 10:28PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PALEOKRAZY 2/4/2012 8:36PM

    WOW! Way to go on the choices. I am starting Paleo, well I'm trying...I still can't seem to keep my carb intake lower than 30 but I'm working on it. What adds up as carbs in my diet is the heavy cream for coffee and veggies like a 1/2 cup baked sweet potato, or cheese. I have lost 6 pounds and am feeling great. I was SO EXCITED when I saw someone else here doing Paleo. I'm going to go read your spark page now. Congrats on making the best choice for you with all the other stuff staring you in the face. AMAZING!!

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SEAJESS 2/4/2012 6:56PM

    Congrats on a commitment well kept and a gratitude well expressed. I, too, rely on my Sparkpeeps to get me through the tough ones.

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DUXGRL1 2/4/2012 3:21PM

    Will power, but also a great idea! Good for you!

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LESLIE56 2/4/2012 2:59PM

    I love your post. emoticon Keep up the good work. You certainly will succeed.

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    Great post....

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BRITTHORT9 2/4/2012 11:23AM


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MARTINT011 2/4/2012 11:11AM

  good for you.

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SUPERSYLPH 2/4/2012 10:36AM


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BLACKBIRDSING 2/4/2012 10:31AM

    Love this! Thanks for posting!

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MOM25CUTIEPIES 2/4/2012 9:33AM

    That took willpower. Great Job! I don't think I'm at the point where I could step away from all the "bad" food at a buffet.

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BECCA315 2/4/2012 8:03AM

    Congrats! I did the same thing last night. Took the family to a Mexican restaurant and had Carne Asada. (Grilled steak!) My older son commented that I was the only one who didn't order an authentic Mexican dish. I told him I ate something I would be proud to add to my nutrition log, and it was one of the few things that wasn't fried or covered in sauces or condiments...


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EFFIEANNIE 2/4/2012 7:42AM

    Good job, it just shows you there are always some options, we just have to make the best choices!

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ROOSTER72 2/4/2012 2:58AM

    Good thinking!

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HAYSRACHEL 2/4/2012 2:54AM

  You have a better control than I. I would have given in and even went back for seconds. Keep up the good work. emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 2/4/2012 2:05AM

    awesome post!

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RHSWEETPEA 2/4/2012 1:36AM

    Wow that was an awesome blog. You are an inspiration as well. Good luck with your new program emoticon

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    Way to not buckle to the carb-fat-fest! You may be a stronger person than I.


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TILLYFLOSS1ST 2/4/2012 12:54AM

  Thank you for sharing. I'm new to the site but I'm slowly warming up to communicating with others. I appreciate hearing about how you are coping, and fulfilling your commitment day by day, situation by situation. Keep up the good work and inspiring others. emoticon

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    Buffets are tough, and your's sounds like one of the toughest ones--few good choices--but you did so well, you made lemonade out of lemons!

I go to a Chinese Buffet with my son, it's his favorite restaurant. They have a Mongolian grill, and that's where I head, avoiding completely all the fried rice, and chicken and beef and pork offerings on the buffet line.

I get about half a cup of the noodles, and a little chicken, then pile the bowl up with veggies. LOTS and LOTS of veggies--mushrooms, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, green peppers! Then when it comes to sauces, I totally avoid the oil sauces. I read somewhere they are the really high caloried ones. I don't know how many calories that heaping plate of veggies is, but I do know it's delicious. Hopefully it's not too bad calorie-wise. I've been eating it all during my weight loss journey, and it didn't seem to slow down my progress. Now I'm on maintenance, but still eat the same thing when we go there (we went today for lunch), and so far so good. I do know it's quite salty (must be the sauces), cause afterwards I'm quite thirsty, so I just drink lots and lots of water! If I gain a pound or two, it comes right off as soon as the water does its work!

So, we are proof that eating healthy even at the buffets can be done. Yea Us!!

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Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.