How to navigate a hotel buffet?

When traveling for work or holiday, it's easy fall out of the natural rhythm and possibly even habits that we've adopted.

Travel is especially tough when it comes to maintaining quality nutrition.

It becomes easier to just say, "Screw it, I'm on holiday, I'll get back to my normal patterns when I get back". And most people never do...

I am not propagating restriction, but eating healthily on the road is even more important than on a regular basis.

Anyway, let's say you're traveling, you're hungry, your hotel has got a wonderful buffet. What do you eat?

The choices are endless and the crappy pastries with horrible quality butter on the side are calling your name.

What I've noticed is that even though you're staying at a 5-star place, the food quality is no better than anywhere else. They might have a few more options to help your decision fatigue and SOME quality foods, but they definitely compensate for them by using cheap industrial cooking oils and cheapest ingredients for everything else.

So knowing that...

What food do you go for at a buffet? How do you navigate it?

1. Egg Station.

Usually a safe bet and most hotels have it. Hard boiled and poached eggs are the best options, but if you're ordering an omelet make sure that they're using fresh eggs rather than the pre-made mixture (those usually have questionable cream or flour mixed in)

2. Salad bar.

You can find some decent stuff here such as olives, broccoli, carrots , cauliflower, nuts and seeds. Last time I even found some asparagus and truffle oil - made my day!

3. Seafood.

When traveling I try to avoid or completely minimize animal products because I know that I'm definitely not getting grass-fed-grass-finished meat, so I opt for seafood instead. Smoked salmon, squid, mussels and trout are my go-to options. I know they're definitely not wild-caught, but I let that slide.

4. Fruit station.

Great for dessert, hotels usually have a decent selection of fresh fruit.

What to avoid:

Again, I'm not about restricting anything, but I can guarantee that these foods are going to make you feel like crap, possibly give you a diarrhea and ruin your holiday or work trip... (That was a bit dramatic)

1. Anything fried.

As mentioned above, everyone is trying to cut corners and use cheap industrial oils that are HIGHLY inflammatory and wreak havoc in your body.

2. Juice bar

If they are not freshly squeezed right in front of you, I'd steer clear of juices. Unless you're into syrup-based awful tasting sugary concoctions.

3. Pastries.

I would definitely go for them if I was in France where the bread is wonderfully crunchy, puffy and its grains aren't sprayed with roundup. Otherwise, they're probably going to inflame your gut, make you feel heavy and taste poor anyway.

4. Cold cuts.

That's something that I wouldn't even touch. I guarantee that they come from the very worst source and I wouldn't be so sure if it's even meat in the first place.

There it is!

Enjoy a nice salad topped with a pouched egg with a side of smoked salmon and find a nice local café or restaurant to indulge in everything else!

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