When you have so many choices at a buffet, do you usually pick the best ones? Or do you pick the "good-for-you" things -- the fresh fruit, the baked seafood, the steamed veggies -- and then throw in some onion rings and fries, and polish it off with pie a la mode?
This month's Shape magazine mentioned that the more food choices people, the more they tend to overeat. I'm a prime example. Last week I spent several days visiting at the National Post Office Education Center where my husband is taking a three-week class. The thing I enjoy most about this place is the well-stocked gym, with just about any piece of body-building equipment, treadmills, bikes, and so on. My first day here, I did five miles on the treadmill, and went through all the weight machines, then hit the yoga class.
The second thing I love is the Olympic size salt water pool. I love swimming lap after lap, and then collapsing in the sun to dry off. And the weather was sunny and warm — what a relief from the Utah rain!
And the third thing I love is the food court where the meals are all served. Despite the stainless steel, "cafeteria" look of the place, the dishes are a far cry from the old-time "institutional" chow lines of limp veggies, gelatin salad and mystery meat. Somehow, the chefs manage to make nearly every seem freshly cooked, even though it's mass-produced. At every meal, there's a variety of veggie dishes -- a sauteed turnip/sweet potato medley, corn spiked with a little nutmeg, orange-flavored carrot coins, sauteed broccolini with garlic cloves, crisp-tender green beans and asparagus. There's also a salad bar. Every day there's at least one type of seafood, such as teriyaki glazed salmon, Mediterranean-baked swordfish, spice-dusted barramundi. There's an herb garden in the courtyard of the dining area, and it's a good bet that the dishes benefit greatly from a sprinkling of fresh chives, cilantro and thyme.
But in addition to all the tasty "healthy" food, there are also french fries, onion rings, bacon, burgers, pie and Blue Bell ice cream. Too often, instead of making a choice between the healthy and the not-healthy food, I end up taking a little of everything.
So, it's back to the gym in hopes of cancelling out my calories.