Oops! Life happened. Those moments where you're put in situations where your eating habits are going to be influenced in a way you fear will take your body goals outta control.
So here's what happened:
A friend of mine wanted to go out for Churrasco (Brazilian food where they have a large buffet + staff will walk around with many kinds of meats), so we decided to go on Thursday.
I had totally forgotten that my old colleagues were having a party that they invited me to, which was an American style BBQ buffet scheduled for Friday.
And THEN, I had another friend who was having a Going-Away party which had been scheduled for Saturday lunch at a Steakhouse.
So to explain those three days of my life in two words? BEEF + BUFFET
Background on my habits:
For me, having lots of animal products slows down my digestive system. From a food energetics perspective, animal products are a concentration of a lot of nutrients which means they are considered to be very contractive, warming to the body, and take a much longer time to digest than if you were to get those same nutrients from plants (if you're like "whaaa? Food energetics? Huh? Then check out FOODBOSS™ because I get into that thoroughly and it'll BLOW YOUR MIND)
Since animal products take longer to digest, I knew I could expect two things: probably sluggish bowel movements, and also feeling the need to sleep longer.
Another thing you should know before we get into the deets is that buffets drive me craycray. I spent 3 years in boarding school where it was buffet style eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I was always indecisive over what I wanted to eat, would wind up piling too much on my plate, and then go back for seconds on the only things that tasted good.
So, here's what I did to navigate the 3-day extravaganza without making my body say "dude....please...no.".
1) Know thine likes and dislikes
If you have never really liked carrots, then trying those glazed carrots at a buffet is probably not the best time to "see if your tastes have changed". You know what you like. Take a look at the whole buffet and scope out the foods you know are bound to be good. Don't feel the need to get lettuce leaves just to feel like you're being healthy - stick to the veggies that appeal to you.
2) Take only bite-sized amounts of food from the buffet, the first time around
Since you have a lot of options, you're probably going to go back for seconds for the foods that struck your fancy the first time around. To avoid overeating, just take bite-sized amounts of food for trial and then get just the ones you liked for seconds with more reasonable portions. For me, I tend to get tired of foods after about 4 bites each - after that, I'm just grazing. What about you?
3) Balance the flavors
There are 5 different kinds of flavors - savory, sweet, sour, bitter, and pungent. Usually when you're at an even and there is "fun food", most foods are salty or sweet - and that's a great trigger to want to go back and forth between the two to balance the flavors out.
When I was out, the options for sour foods were tomatoes or olives, so I added some of those. And for bitter, those would be greens - I like mine cooked, so enjoyed the balance of salty meat, sweet corn, garlic spinach, and sour tomatoes. We talk about this more in FOODBOSS™ on how enhancing your flavor variety leads to more overall satisfaction.
4) Have cleansing/healing foods the rest of the day
I definitely wasn't hungry the morning after each day, and as expected, I also slept in at least an hour and a half longer than I usually do (missed a few yoga classes as a result :( ). And also as expected, my bowel movements were sluggish.
In these cases, I like to let my body wake up with warm herbal tea to help cleanse the organs and wake up my system. Then, when I start to feel a bit hungry (which wasn't until about 10:30am when it's usually around 8am), I would have a green smoothie which is easy to digest and help the body rebalance.
As for lunch, I stuck to a vegetarian meal - mostly brown rice and soup with veggies, because it's much easier on the stomach, balances yin/yang, and prepared me for another night of BEEF + BUFFET adventure.
5) Have fun!
Man, all that food was GOOD. All the conversation was FUN. You don't have to let these fun life happenings get in the way of caring for your body - know how you react, know what to do to rebalance, and have fun :D