One of my favorite things in Europe is eating breakfast. Depending on where you stay the breakfast is usually a great selection of yogurt, fruit, cheeses, nuts/seeds and of course carbohydrates of many types depending on the country.
Our hotel is Brussels (Hotel Metropole) had one of the best breakfast buffets I’ve seen and could have ended up being a food nightmare so I thought I would share my strategy.
- Look around the buffet first to get the lay of the land and see what is available.
This breakfast had many options – a “protein” station of several varieties of cheese, lox, ham, etc. Another station had multiple types of yogurt including several varieties of plain.
There was a fruit section, a hot section of boiled and scrambled eggs, and hot mushrooms and tomatoes (common in Europe). There was a large carb section of the Belgian treats of waffles, breads and pastries and of course the American cereal and milk section.
- Decide what you really want and how to balance your meal so you’re satisfied, even-keeled and not over full.
After scanning the stations I had my plain yogurt with fruit, a slice of cheese and some lox (which was one of the best I’ve ever had – no fishy taste), a few bites of scrambled egg, a mushroom, and a tomato. The carb treat I chose was a mini-croissant – something I allow myself in Europe or France since they are worth it.
I left breakfast feeling a little more full than usual but I’m walking around all day and went to the gym this am so I could “afford” the extra carbs versus sitting and seeing clients all day – one of the benefits of a walking trip. In addition, we were on the 5th floor with an old-fashioned lift that was difficult to open so we ended up walking up and down these long flights of stairs multiple times a day.
So whether you are at a breakfast buffet in Europe or America, you can enjoy your food and be healthy and conscious at the same time – it just takes a little planning and thought while making your selections. Bon Appetit!