Wednesday, March 3, 2010


If I had to pick a favorite food in this whole wide world, it'd have to be Asian cuisine. I love Chinese food, sushi, Thai noodles... pretty much all of it. But one thing I love, possibly above all food ideas you can throw at me, is... CHINESE BUFFET.

I visited a Chinese buffet that I frequent in Battle Creek the other day. I sat down in my booth, and felt a familiar problem- I felt like I couldn't reach the table. "Why are these tables ALWAYS so far from the booth?!" I thought. Then, I looked around.

I was definitely in the minority. Most of the people who were eating at the Chinese Super Buffet were fairly... erm, "super" themselves. Could it be possible that these booths were fashioned to accommodate those with larger mid-sections?

I felt kind of sad, really. To me, a buffet presents the ability to choose whatever kind of Chinese fare I want that day. I'll usually start with a soup I created- wonton broth with a little scoop of rice and some scallions. Sometimes I'll have a small salad. Then I'll pick whatever I want for a main course, something with lots of vegetables. If there's any room leftover, I'll have some fresh fruit for desert. I like to leave the place feeling "satisfied, not stuffed."

To many people in this "super-size it" nation, however, a buffet presents the ability to stuff yourself with as much food as you can for a lesser price. Plate after plate of orange chicken, with a big plate of three or four different desserts afterward.

Portion size is ALWAYS important. You might be surprised to learn that a "real" serving of chicken breast is about the size of your fist. Or a serving of pasta is half a cup. A serving of salmon is a deck of cards. As a country, we over-eat SO much, all the time. Of course our stomachs are hungry if we eat "real servings"- we've stuffed them to the point that they think they need bigger portions.

But again, you should be eating to the point that you feel satisfied, not stuffed. And wait 20 minutes after you're done with a meal to decide if you're still hungry. If you're still really hungry, okay. But usually, if I wait, I find I wasn't as starving as I thought I was.

So check portion sizes. If you're making pasta or rice, flip that box around to see what you're actually supposed to be eating. Google a meat (which sounds hilarious, now that I've typed it) to see the real portion size. Or websites like can help you set up proper portion sizes.

Also, I was telling a friend the other day- I treat vegetables like spinach, broccoli, squash, etc. (most aside from corn and potatoes) as "freebies", I eat as much of them as I like. So if you're finding that it's hard to adjust to a life-style of smaller portions, make extra broccoli or winter squash that night. It'll fill you up for less calories/more nutrition that an extra cup of rice.

until later...

If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree. ~Jim Rohn

1 comment:

  1. I treat veggies like freebies too! I figure, if I'm not hungry enough to eat some baby carrots or roasted brussell sprouts (which are seriously a-mazing) then I'm probably not truly hungry. Sometimes figuring out WHY we are eating in the first place (bored? sad? habit?) is just as challenging as realizing that a serving of shredded cheese for your nachos is 1/4 cup, that was devastating.

    Love the blog!