Build A Better Brunch

2 Feb

Last Saturday, I went to a ladies’ brunch at my church. Although the speaker wasn’t my favourite, I had a great time at the brunch afterward with the women at my table. I wanted to enjoy the day and the food, but at the same time, I wanted to choose wisely since I had a splurge dinner out coming up. Like many other times when dining out of the house, the food at this event was completely beyond my control. I lucked out this time, as there were some great choices. The word brunch for me conjures up images of rich pastries and egg dishes, fatty breakfast meats, and maybe if I’m lucky, some fruit to go down with it. Thankfully, the fruit was there, but none of the aforementioned items. And it was really more of a lunch than a brunch.

As is often the case when I dine out, my healthy choices began before I even left the house. I didn’t know exactly when we’d be eating, so I ate a grapefruit before leaving the house (and it was a good thing too – the brunch started at 10:30, and it was close to 12 when we finally ate!) so I wouldn’t be starving. I also made sure to build exercise into my day by making the time to go to a spin class at the gym before the brunch.

Lunch was a buffet, so that made it easy to pick and choose healthy choices. I avoided the potato salad (while I enjoy it, if you don’t make it yourself, it’s usually best to avoid it since 99% of the time is a fat and calorie trap – made with high fat mayo and lots of eggs) since it’s not really worth it for me. There were veggies and dip, so I made sure to load up my plate with veggies but skipped the dip (again – at restaurants/buffets, if there’s a creamy white sauce or dip, it’s practically guaranteed to be high in fat/calories). We had a selection of wraps to choose from – I think there were chicken Caesar, egg salad, vegetarian and ham and Swiss. I figured ham and Swiss was the best option – as both are packed with protein, and a leaner option than the Caesar or the egg salad. And even though I think the wrap had mayo on it, it was only a half wrap anyway so it couldn’t amount to much. Of course, I added fruit to my plate.

There were a number of baked goods available for dessert, some looked good, but most didn’t look totally amazing. As you can see above, I did take some cinnamon hearts (they may not do it for you, but I actually really do enjoy them, and they are a once a year treat for me), but I decided to pass on the baked treats. This is one way to save calories – be a dessert snob! I am never one to go without dessert, but if something isn’t absolutely delicious, it’s not worth the calories for me. Don’t worry – I did satisfy my sweet tooth though. All of the ladies received a mini Laura Secord 70% dark chocolate bar at our place – this was perfect for me! I LOVE dark chocolate, and it was just big enough to satisfy my cravings without busting my calorie budget. I savoured the rich creaminess, and got something I really enjoyed, as opposed to settling for a pastry that was just so-so.

I left the brunch without regret, having made smart choices and enjoyed good laughs and great conversation with some lovely women (and it turns out that most of my table are followers of HHH). Thanks for your support ladies! Keep reading and spreading the word. And for those ladies, here is a link to an article about the difference between sweet potatoes and yams (it was a topic of discussion at our table).

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