When I think about buffets, feasting and all other excuses for belt-stretching, I think of the Wedding Feast those who obey Jesus will enjoy. Indeed, we will be the guest of honor, as the bride of Christ. No need to worry about dieting there; we can have as much as we want, without guilt.
Jesus told us all we need to know about wedding table dress and etiquette:
Luke 14:7-24 ESV
(7) Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them,
(8) "When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him,
(9) and he who invited you both will come and say to you, 'Give your place to this person,' and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place.
(10) But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, 'Friend, move up higher.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you.
(11) For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
(12) He said also to the man who had invited him, "When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.
(13) But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
(14) and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just."
(15) When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, "Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!"
(16) But he said to him, "A man once gave a great banquet and invited many.
(17) And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'
(18) But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.'
(19) And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.'
(20) And another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'
(21) So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, 'Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.'
(22) And the servant said, 'Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.'
(23) And the master said to the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.
(24) For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.'"
Learn about Today’s Food History on John-Bryan Hopkins’ blog, Foodimentary.
Here’s some expert advice about stuffing yourself responsibly at your favorite buffet, complements of The Gazette:
Do your research: Before you even think about grabbing a plate, take a walk around the table. Check out all the offerings so you can plan accordingly.
Pick up a smaller plate: Instead of looking for the biggest plate at the event, choose a salad or a dessert plate. Studies have shown that smaller plates lead to weight loss.
Think appetizers: You can have a little bit of everything if you stick to the little bit part. One bite of several desserts won’t derail your diet, as long as it’s only one bite.
This is not a competition: There’s no need to pile your plate sky high from the get-go. Start off with something lighter at the beginning, like soup or salad, and move to the appropriate course from there. But don’t be confused! Healthy portion control is always important.
Break for it: A lengthy break in the middle of your meal will give your body a little room to digest. When half the food on your plate is gone, put down your fork, breathe deep, and take stock of how you’re feeling. During this allotted break time, take note of what how much you’ve eaten, your hunger level, and your emotional state.
Remember to hydrate: Forgo soda for water instead. You’ll feel less full and sleepy at your desk, which we all need after holiday vacations.
Check out out a foodie who spent 2011 honoring each food holiday with photos, recipes and fun food facts: http://nationalfoodholidaytour.wordpress.com