Eating Low Carb At Buffets & Catered Events


I just returned from the Exposure & Profit Conference in Toronto where I was speaking on content marketing and social media (which is what I do for a living).

During the event we had a wonderful catered social, which was sponsored by Perceptive Public Relations. The food spread was impressive, and everyone LOVED it! I’ll show you what was served, and what I ended up having myself.

I know how hard it can be to pass up certain foods at buffets and catered social events, but there is usually *something* low carb and healthy available!

I was fully prepared to go in and socialize, then leave for a healthier meal somewhere else – which is always an option too. πŸ˜‰ Fortunately there were plenty of beautiful foods to choose from, and I had more than enough to eat.

*Viewer Discretion Advised: What you are about to see includes tempting carb-filled dishes. LOL, we’re all adults here. The fact is, we’re faced with these types of temptations all the time. I’ll show you how I navigate them, and stay healthy!

food blogger

While you’re preparing yourself for the tour (*grin*) ^ this is me with the head chef and the hotel manager at the International Plaza Hotel. It was a great place to stay! There were several restaurants, a Starbucks, a pool with water slides + a hot tub, a full gym and several nice shops. The rooms were extremely nice and very spacious too. Especially for the rate. Loved it! It’s super close to the Airport so it’s very convenient if you’re flying into Toronto.

Back to the catered social, which took place in their gorgeous glass atrium.

Walk with me around the room. I’ll give you a quick tour of the food spread…

When you first walk into the Atrium, the table on the right was set up with plates and salad. I was happy to see it was Caesar Salad! I grabbed a big round plate and lined it with romaine lettuce and topped that with a thin layer of fresh parmesan cheese. I decided to skip the crumbled bacon (just out of preference) but drizzled Caesar dressing over the parmesan…

Next were the beautiful side dishes: a pasta with mango, a fruit & vegetable salad and bruschetta. The salad had a very light Italian dressing on it, so I picked some zucchini from the dish and put that on the side of my plate…

I gazed for a moment at the beautiful spring rolls and fried coconut shrimp with fancy sauces, but kept strolling. πŸ˜‰

The last table featured gorgeous rolls, mayonnaise and a fancy mustard, and a HUGE ham. The chef cut off a generous number of slices and created a thick pile on the top of my salad. I added a big fat dollup of mayo to the side of my plate too. I love dipping. πŸ˜€

I bypassed the full bar, and browsed by the dessert table. My eyes lit up! – and I grabbed two plump fresh strawberries on a small dessert plate…

There was also a “brie pie” – a giant pastry full of brie and fruit, with crackers and fruit spread to the side. It was absolutely beautiful. πŸ™‚

After a few people took a slice, the brie oozed out and away from the fruit & pastry just enough for me to swirl a dab of it onto my dessert plate with the juicy strawberries. πŸ™‚ YUM!

low carb dessert

Those were THE BEST STRAWBERRIES I have ever eaten in my life!!! Wow. lol. Seriously, they were better than anything else on that entire dessert table. πŸ˜‰

Paired with that beautiful brie and OMG… (I’m having a “food flashback” moment as we speak, lol). YUM.

Of course I did eat my dinner first, and here’s what my plate looked like:

low carb dinner

Hmm, looking at the picture it doesn’t “look like” very much food – but that’s actually close to a cup of cubed zucchini, and there are more slices of ham on that plate than you can tell really. I was STUFFED after this meal. lol.


It was tempting, sure. But we’re faced with that every single day. If you go into a Starbucks or Tim Horton’s for a nice low carb coffee, you’re standing right in front of a case of pastries. Which is why I usually go through the drive-thru. πŸ˜› haha. Seriously though – this type of stuff happens. It’s part of everyday life. Food is EVERYWHERE.

The main purpose of the social was… to be social. Not to gorge myself with ridiculous amounts of food, or make myself sick – but to enjoy great company with old friends, and socialize with new people I wanted to get to know better.

It does help to focus on the purpose of the meal – instead of the meal. πŸ˜‰

It’s the same if you’re going to the fair, out to see a movie, at a birthday party, enjoying a cookout, etc. Learn to focus on the FUN and on the people around you, and still enjoy a wonderful meal. It’s so easy to ignore the best parts of the day when all you’re focused on is the food, and totally miss out on the people and the fun.

Since I’ve forced myself to switch my focus like that, I’ve found I am enjoying life SO much more!

Sometimes when I feel consumed by the array of food around me, I’ll intentionally change directions – like offer to hold the baby while a young mom makes her plate, and FULLY focus on engaging with that sweet baby. πŸ™‚ It’s a moment you’ll never forget, long after the food is GONE (and sitting on your hips for life). I’m fortunate to have a wonderful man in my life, so sometimes I’ll lock eyes with him and enjoy a long few seconds of that silent exchange as a means of shifting my focus. Or just find someone FUN to talk to for a minute!

Consider that next time you’re out, and the entertainment revolves around food. It doesn’t have to. You can CHOOSE to focus on the entertainment instead, and just enjoy the food for the sustenance it is. Not to say you can’t ENJOY the food, because I sure as heck enjoyed mine. πŸ˜€ lol. Just to say… focus on the fun, focus on the people around you. Focus on the experience and on making new memories. πŸ˜‰

Apologies for the “tour of temptation” lol, but I do hope it helps you come up with new ways to enjoy healthy foods and fun events – with zero guilt and a GREAT time.

Lynn Terry, aka @LowCarbTraveler

p.s. This photo (below) was taken the next day at Ontario Lake just outside of Toronto. When I made my food choices at that catered dinner, I knew I still had a few days of travel and fun ahead of me – and I wanted to feel GREAT and ENJOY it!

I still have 15 or 20 pounds to lose (the most stubborn pounds, lol) but it hasn’t been very long that I’ve been able to wear these jeans again. And I’d like to STAY in them. Because I know all too well just how fast the weight will come back on – if you let it. πŸ˜› Thoughts like those help me stay on track, even when I *am* tempted…

Lynn Terry

About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
This entry was posted in Low Carb Restaurants, Travel Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.


19 Responses to Eating Low Carb At Buffets & Catered Events

  1. Joan says:

    Good Job Lynn!
    You are a great inspiration! I got to stay motivated like you!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you, Joan! πŸ™‚ I think it really takes a lot of self-discipline to stay motivated. It does for me. It’s a constant conversation in my head: this vs that, good vs bad, etc – basically which thing do I want more?

      I’m turning 42 in June and I really WANT to look and feel my best. It’s the prime of my life, and I don’t want to miss out on a single thing! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      It does help to have something coming up to help you keep your focus – an event, vacation, reunion, or some really GOOD reason to look and feel amazing.

  2. Margaret says:

    Enjoyed reading your travelling food article and glad you and Rick are home again safe

  3. Erin says:

    You look really healthy and beautiful Lynne!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thanks, Erin! πŸ˜€ My big focus right now (on top of eating healthy) is to MAKE myself work out consistently. I’m doing the T25 Workout – a fast track to get in shape.

      I have a beach trip in a few weeks, and I’m already dreading any pictures taken of me in a tank top. πŸ˜› lol. I have exactly one month to see what kind of difference I can make.

      I do love a good challenge. πŸ˜‰ lol… *cheers*

  4. Vicki Kron says:

    Thanks Lynn for all your good tips and support.

    Your comments and sage advice have been such a big help. I especially like all the pictures that go along with the commentary…they are really good at showing what a normal portion of food is.

    90 Day Low Carb Challenge and your blog give us wonderful recipes and lots of ideas that we can adopt as our own.

    Congratulations on your success fitting into those small jeans. That is encouragement too…now if I can only fit into my small jeans I’ll be very happy. It’s taking me longer than 90 days to reach my goals, but I know I’ll be there soon.

    Thanks again.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Vicki! The challenge group is GREAT for recipes and meal ideas – I agree. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much. I’m glad this is encouraging. But it has taken ME a lot longer than 90 days to reach my goals too… and I’m still working on it. πŸ™‚

      As for normal portions, I used to eat A LOT more food. I find when I eat “super clean” and a very low carb / high fat ketogenic diet – I have a much lower appetite. I get full quicker, I assume because 1) the diet is a natural appetite suppressant but also because 2) the foods I am eating are naturally high in healthy fats… which are much more filling.

      1/3 cup of pecan halves for example, doesn’t look like much food. But it’s as filling as a bowl of oatmeal – without making me feel bloated. I love that! It makes it easy. πŸ™‚

  5. You look really good! I know all too well that it takes some strong discipline! πŸ˜‰ However, you CAN do it.

    Those food pics you took were excellent too. So glad you are back to “happy”!! <3 πŸ™‚

  6. Tammy says:

    You are most welcome!

  7. mary says:

    I love this article and the wonderful advice of how to change your thought process and refocus when tempted. It is tough learning to eat to live vs live to eat. So it’s always welcome to have great ideas to get past those rough times! You look amazing BTW!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you, Mary! πŸ™‚ It’s been a serious process for me – the UNdoing of learning to “eat to live” vs “live to eat” – that’s for sure. lol. I still have to make a conscious effort to turn my focus on the things that MATTER (and away from the food). πŸ™‚

  8. Pingback: Exposure & Profit 2 Event Recap

  9. Pingback: Cheat Meal vs Cheat Day – Do They Work? [Low Carb Diet Discussion] | Low Carb Diet Tips for Busy People

  10. Jan Hughes says:

    Thanks again Lynn for making low carbing just so simple. I think that’s why I have not been successful until I found your FB page – I was trying to make it complicated. This morning I was 149! I have had such a struggle getting out of the 150’s. You’re the bomb!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      That makes my day, Jan! πŸ™‚ It’s SO easy to over-complicate it, and like you… that would make me FAIL every single time. Easy is GOOD. πŸ™‚

      Congrats on your weight loss! I should be getting out of the 150’s soon myself. Yay! lol… *cheers*

  11. Jennifer says:

    Always inspiring Lynn! I had bad “carb creep” today. Didn’t realize until I put my food into MyFitnessPal, how my handful of peanuts here, and handful of almonds there, added up. Not to mention, I take “bites” of my girls food, and teenagers don’t eat low carb! Ugh. Over my mark today but lesson learned. Have a great night. πŸ™‚

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Those “bites” will really add up on you. πŸ˜› I track as I go, and find that incredibly helpful – because then I know exactly where I stand at any given time in the day. It helps you to keep the fat/protein ratios in check too! πŸ™‚ *cheers*

Leave a Reply to Erin Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *