Beating the Breakfast Buffet Bulge
As with most of you, I have to watch what I eat and keep active to keep my weight at a healthy level.
Holidays can be a little taxing on good intentions…. I am one to think life should be enjoyed and not always kept in denial but there is nothing worse than coming home feeling bloated and way over your ideal weight.
Although I am not one to back off on holidays I do have an underlying creed that helps me enjoy myself without too much collateral damage. I thought I might share a few simple ways you can indulge and enjoy your holiday, without returning home feeling you’ve really blown it.
Over the past years I have engrained into my thought process to always ask myself a simple question: “Does this food nourish me?” It is as simple as that for me.
However I like to tell my clients and I pretty much follow the 80/20 rule…. Life should be embraced and enjoyed, not always strict and denied. Not many of us can sustain a strict diet and will eventually often lead to a blow out of some kind.
I find holiday breakfasts the biggest culprit to overeating, they are almost always buffet and so hard not to over eat and over indulge. So here are a few tips to enjoy and not feel denied on your holiday:
Better Breakfast Buffet Feast
Firstly, remember….. don’t panic… there is always tomorrow to try another food on the buffet!
Is so divine and often 100% nicer than we can get here. Eat fruit first and allow some time before your next food. The fibre in fruit slows the time it takes the stomach to empty so it can help with overeating. It has always been suggested not to eat fruit with other foods as it tends to sit and ferment. However I have recently read this is untrue – either way having a rest before eating more is a good way to slow down your meal and not overeat.
In Asia are mostly freshly squeezed (never choose bottled fruit juice as the pasteurisation and storage takes out the nutrients). Even so, as juicing takes out the important fibre, all fruit juice will spike your blood sugar. It they have a juice station go for carrot, celery or other greens, ginger with a dash of favourite fruit if you need it sweeter, or maybe a nourishing beetroot juice if you like. You can’t beat fresh coconut water, so refreshing and adds in electrolytes you may be needing 😉
I lovvvvve soup! But it’s not just the flavour, my subconscious also craves soup because it retains the goodness and nutrients of the foods cooked in it. It nourishes, rehydrates and puts back some vital salts needed especially in hot weather. Most Asian breakfast buffets have a yummy clear soup which you can add lots of vegies, egg, chicken, chilli, coriander etc (I skip the noodles but can’t resit the dumplings!).
Skip these options for breakfast at least. They are often full of oil (which may be unhealthy trans fat) and little fibre or nutrients. If you just can’t resist, have a taste but add some nourishing vegies and egg etc.
There is no good reason why you can’t enjoy delicious sautéed spinach and vegetables for breakfast…. think of all that goodness! Here’s some delicious kimchi (fermented vegies, so good for your gut bacteria) I had in Ko Samui
Pastries and bread
I hardly ever have (or crave) cakes, pastries, bread or sweets at home – I just don’t feel the need for it any more since I have changed my tastebuds by eating low gi, and because I know how destructive non organic, gluten grain products are to our gut bacteria. However my holiday treat is a small pastry, or a thin slice of their gorgeous dark bread toasted with tomato and cheese – it’s divine especially at the end of a week of asian food.
Asia is not known for having good coffee! I hardly ever drink coffee (and never strong perculated) but for some reason I drink a (weak) coffee in Bali… go figure?? Coffee by itself wreaks havoc with your adrenal hormones and insulin. Although I advise to lean towards less acidic and more antioxidant rich teas, if you do love your coffee make sure it’s with protein and good fat – with breakfast!!! and hold off on the second or third or so on throughout the day.
Good alternatives, which are so easy in Asia
- Coffee – pressed vegie juice, coconut water
- Noodle dishes – rice paper wraps, take advantage of the affordable seafood and soups
- rice – ask for accompanying vegies instead
You can almost always choose healthy options wherever you are while still enjoying and splurging a little. What are your tips for healthier holidays?
If you are off to Seminyak sometime, these meals were divine:
- Chandi – vegetable wraps
- Bistrot – thai beef salad
- Nirvana – kepap fish in banana leaf
We went to an organic farm in Ko Samui – it was so interesting with aquaponics, worm farm, mushroom room, chooks, vegie garden – I was in my element!! We had a cooking class while there and I was taken back by how much sugar was added and how sweet the Pad Thai was.
Have you noticed Thai cuisine uses quite a lot of sugar. Check out the pastes next time and see where sugar is on the ingredient list. Look for the less sugar and no artificial ingredients or better still make your own..mmmm!
BTW: Indian cuisine mostly uses little to no sugar.
Raw Pad Thai with zucchini zoodles – don’t go by the photo, it’s surprisingly delicious.
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