Monday, October 08, 2012
I ate Chinese buffet this weekend, whoohoo! I ate a lot of Chinese buffet this weekend and ate until I was stuffed.......And you know what? I didn't ruin my healthy eating plan.
Doesn't eating out sound like a great idea, no cooking, no cleanup.....just good food and great conversation. Someone says....."hey, let's do chinese buffet." and everyone else likes that idea.....except you. But you don't want to ruin everybody elses good time so you groan inwardly, put on a big ol' smile and say..."Yeah, that sounds great."
On the way there, you mentally go over what a typical Chinese buffet looks like. Fried rice, fried wantons, sweet and sour chicken.....oh, things look bleak and you just know you're going to absolutely kill your diet today. All that fat and sodium, just thinking about it makes you feel bloated.
As you enter the restaurant, all the scents of stir fried foods hit your nostrils. You begin to sweat....well you could always eat just steamed rice and drink water with lemon and hot tea....Yes, that would work! (Groan)
Suddenly you see a Chinese chef at a large flat top grill. And surrounding this grill are tons of fresh veggies and lean meats. As your hostess seats you and your friends at a table you order lemon water and hot tea.....so far so good.
As the rest of your table heads for the buffet of fried rice and sweet and sour pork, you meander toward the grill. You look over the sea of veggies and fresh meats and seafood. The chef sees uncertainty in your eyes, but allows you a moment longer to survey the situation. "What would you like today?" He finally asks. "I'm not sure how to do this." You humbly reply. Then you proceed to tell him that you are trying to eat healthier and could these veggies and meats be cooked with minimal oil. You chef just smiles and says. " What would you like for lunch today.
You choose several of your favorite veggies and paper thin sliced chicken, and of course to make it authentic chinese you add some bean sprouts and water chestnuts. The chef ask you if you would like spicy oil, garlic oil or plain oil. You choose spicy.
Now with the utmost care and faster than you can say fried rice, the chef whips up a stir fry that will be the envy of all your friends. Beautifully prepared, wonderfully seasoned, and a plate that is so full, there isn't room for steamed rice.....which you really didn't want anyhow. You tip the chef and return the smile he sends your way as he hands you your lunch. You return to your table with your head held high.
As you sit back down at your table, your friends just stare in amazement. "Are you going to eat ALL that." They inquire. "Aren't you on a diet?" They say almost in unison. "Absolutely, and absolutely." Is your answer as you put the first fork full of this wonderful low fat, high fiber, within your calorie range, stir fry into your mouth... and just smile as you savor each bite.
It is possible to eat Chinese buffet.....or any buffet for that matter if you just make healthy choices. Most Chinese buffets have a chef who will cook your food to order and help you make your healthy choices. Many steak house buffets now have a very nice salad bar. Our local steak house has one of the most awesome salad bars I've ever seen. It's full of mixed baby greens and dozens of fresh veggies from tomatoes to peas. It also has sunflower seeds and other nuts to top your salad with. I always use the large plate for my salads when we go there, because this will be my meal. I don't even look at the hot bar because it's mostly oily, high fat processed foods. Oh, and the price for this steak house buffet for lunch with a big glass of lemon water....$5.49 plus tax. How much is a value meal with a burger, french fries and a drink at a local fast food chain?
See with a little homework it is possible to eat at a buffet and not destroy your diet. Just make sensible choices and yes, sometimes you need to step away from the HOT, TRADITIONAL buffet in order to do that.
Me, step away from the buffet.....Never.