Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Navigate Your Plate

Is it just me, or do long weekends make the week even harder?! Whatever the case, I don’t mind, because I had a wonderful weekend. I did a ton of shopping (all thrifting of course!), and got a super present from my mom! Keep an eye out for a post on that later this week. I also picked up a like-new waffle maker for $2.99, some recipe books, and a set of ramekins for under $2! And of course new clothes for the upcoming fall season :o)

On our little trip, we ate at one of my favorite restaurants--Old Country Buffet. I am a huge fan of buffets—more customization, and usually cheaper too! Do you have a favorite buffet that you like to eat at? Mine is Old Country Buffet , or when we go down to Florida, I like Sweet Tomatoes.

But buffets can spell trouble if you don’t practice moderation. Endless food, dessert bars, and some not-so-healthy fare. Here’s some tips to keep you on track at the buffet:

  • Before you start filling up your plate, always walk around to survey what foods you will want to eat. That way you won’t go overboard and can practice balancing your meal.
  • Start with a basic salad with greens, veggies, maybe some hard boiled eggs and a pinch of cheese. Go light on the dressing(one serving ladle usually amounts to 2 Tbsp) and croutons. If you plan on having your salad as a meal, then that’s a different story—in that case you can add more protein, maybe some cottage cheese, etc.

This is the salad that I started with.

(Spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, carrots, onions, mushrooms, and lite Italian dressing)


  • Next, I usually can’t pass up the steaming soup if they have a kind I like. Go for broth soups vs. cream based soups if you are planning on having it as a side dish. If your soup is the main highlight, then have a cream based if you choose. Some minestrone, black bean, chicken noodle, chicken rice, miso soup, vegetable soup, and tomato soup are always good and light choices.

I chose chicken noodle—one of the best!


  • I usually skim over the bread unless there is something outta-this-world. But usually it’s just your average French bread, or buttery rolls, which I don’t really care for anyway.
  • Don’t choose the usual foods you eat on a regular basis, such as burgers, pasta, or chicken. Instead try foods you rarely, if ever, eat. This trip I tried Spinach Marie, which I actually didn’t care for. Overall, eating different foods will enhance your buffet experience!

  • Don’t fill up with liquid calories. It can be easy to keep going back and refilling your glass with sugary soda, fruit juices, and iced teas. Instead stick to one glass of milk or juice, and then the rest diet soda, or just plain water.

  • When it comes to your entree plate, try to remember: protein, produce, and some sort of grain or starch. Basically, keep it balanced out! You know what works for you :o)

Here’s what works for me!

Some roasted baby potatoes(starch), carrots, corn, and beans (produce), salmon and white fish (protein), and some coleslaw!


As for my mom, she enjoyed the veggie bruschetta they brought around.


We had a great time! So good to catch up with my mom and grandma!




brandi said...

what a fun time! and great tips :)

Lexi said...

Cute photos! Thanks for the great buffet style tips!

Krista said...

I don't like all my food touching so buffets are not good for me. That and I can't eat my money's worth!

Kim said...

Sounds like you all had a great time! I haven't been to a buffet in a long time. They aren't always the best places for little ones: ) I love the salad bar at the buffet, there are always so many toppings and choices that you don't usually have available at home.

Erica said...

Great weekend! Totally adorable pics. I'm not much for buffets because I always feel like the food quality is kind of meh....but it totally depends on the buffet! Love the tips. We're already to Wednesday- hooray!

Jenny said...

chicken noodle soup and a soda on the sideeeee.. I def. have that song stuck in my head now :) sounds like a great time and gorgeous company!

Anonymous said...

I Definitely agree with all your tips!! I always start with a veggie salad too, but i go crazy with hot food toppings for protein! I also head to the "mexican" spread for salsa and jalapenos to top off the greens. :) I don't really practice moderation when it comes to the hot food though...gotta practice more. hehehhe

My favorite buffet has got to be at the Peninsula hotel in Hong Kong. It is AMAZING!!!

Anonymous said...

I love chicken noodle soup, it's so comforting.


Sunny Anderson said...

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marygoldhunter said...

Hey that is nice. You got the chance to spend the 3 days vacation with your family and with him (your bf)