Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 308 More Egg-Less Calories and The Chinese Buffet Showdown #2

Day 308

More Egg-Less Calories and The Chinese Buffet Showdown #2

A day of rest was in order today. I even took an afternoon nap! It was awesome my friend. I knew that the evening would be packed with celebrating Courtney's birthday in Stillwater, working out, and blogging, so it was good that I rested. I needed to be alert and on my A-game for another buffet showdown in China Town. More on that later in this post.

This morning I finally gave in and gave up whole eggs. I've been told by a bunch of people how much better egg whites are and how horrible whole eggs can be. But still, I was stubborn. And if a two egg cheese omelet checks in at 200 calories, then where's the harm? After several people told me the wonderful benefits of egg whites, I realized that not one of them mentioned the calorie content. Curious, I went straight to Google and searched “Large egg white calories.” I was thrilled to find a large egg white contains only 17 calories. Seventeen! That's it? That's all the convincing I needed. I quickly separated four large eggs, with the high calorie-but tasty yolks going straight in the trash. I grabbed two high fiber whole wheat tortillas (8 grams of fiber each!) and warmed them for ten seconds in the microwave. Then I scrambled those four egg whites with pepper and some onion powder. I planned on adding some salsa, but we're out of salsa. I divided the egg whites between the two tortillas and used my expert burrito rolling skills to make two very filling breakfast burritos---and all for an amazingly low 228 calories! What? Yes! 228 calories. The egg whites were only 68 calories total and the tortillas were 80 each. 228. Very, very nice. Had I used whole eggs, those two breakfast burritos would have checked in at 440 calories. Big difference. I'm sold on egg whites. I'm not like “Rocky” sold on them, but I'm sold.

Tomorrow our youngest daughter turns sweet sixteen! We decided to celebrate tonight mainly because with Irene's new position, she can't take off tomorrow night to celebrate. We decided to meet my mom, grandma, aunt Kelli, and uncle Keith at a restaurant of Courtney's choosing in Stillwater. Something I may or may not have shared before is Courtney's love for Chinese food. She loves it dearly. And since we've started this journey, she's developed an understanding of Chinese food calories. Much of the stuff is loaded! Let's not even consider the sodium content. The calories are enough to seriously consider a ban on Chinese food, but remember, nothing is off limits! Courtney's birthday dinner, she wants a Chinese buffet, she gets a Chinese buffet. I remember this Chinese place from early on this journey. If you've read the archives, perhaps you remember Day 49 “The Buffet Showdown.” Here's an excerpt:

I knew someday I would face-off against a buffet like two gunslingers standing on Main Street in the middle of Dodge. The showdown was set. As we approached the scene of the dual I kept remembering all of our previous trips to this same locale. This was the place that made me like Chinese, mostly because they have a bunch of non-Chinese items. Did that even make sense? Anyway...They have amazing food! Their coconut shrimp is the best ever, I've had an entire plate before. The little stuffed mushrooms are incredible, the deep fried everything is amazing, and they have a nice big selection of fruit and deserts. I knew going in what I was up against. I was armed with my desire to stay true to my mission and a 49 day perfect record. I knew they would beat me financially, because there was no way I was eating the $7.95 worth, but they had a really tough opponent as far as will power was concerned. As we arrived I made some game time mental adjustments. I reminded myself of what I had to do and what I couldn't do. I had a cocky confidence walking in and then it was like everything was in slow motion. I made eye contact with the man at the register and he glared back. His stare told me that he's seen my kind through those doors many times. Really big guys like me that go in and pay $7.95 for $30.00 worth of food. I don't know for sure, but he probably alerted the kitchen of my arrival. But my opponent wasn't any one individual in that restaurant. My opponent was five hot lines, two cold lines, a desert line, and a sushi line. My first strategy was ordering a big tall glass of ice water. Then, without hesitation, I gave one last pre-showdown look at my family and headed straight for the battle. Like an old west gunfight, we (The buffet lines and me) stared each other down. I had my plate ready in my trembling hand. Then I started evaluating everything in front of me. It never took this long to decide before. Usually I would load up pretty quick, and head back to my chair, knowing that I would go back for more later. But this time was so different. There would be no going back this time. To win this fight I had to get in and get out as fast as possible, and never return.

The strategy tonight was nearly identical to the strategy used 259 days ago. A taste of this, a little of that—and one plate! OK, I had two plates, but one was for fruit. I didn't want the fruit juices to mix with my dinner selections. I avoided breads, like those little deep fried-sugar coated biscuits. I also avoided the fried rice. But the biggest strategy at 'Chinese Buffet Showdown #2,': No piling. One plate with zero piling. You know what I'm talking about. Piling: The art of putting as much food as scientifically possible on a single plate, resulting in what appears to be a mini-mountain of mixed edibles. I made sure to grab some of my favorites like mini-stuffed mushrooms and the creamy coconut shrimp. Instead of the fried potatoes, I chose the small baked potato slice topped with cheese and bacon. A single layer of food was the rule. The calories wouldn't be exact here, and I'm OK with that. As long as I'm completely honest with the guesstimate---I'll be alright. I guesstimated my plate, including the fruit---at 700 calories. It may have been less, but I seriously doubt it was a calorie over 700. This violated my personal guideline of keeping meals at or below 500 calories, but still I was well within my calorie budget for the day. I enjoyed every bite, but I enjoyed the company and celebration of Courtney's sixteenth birthday even more, that was the main focus. Not the food. Courtney's not big on cake, so we didn't have a traditional birthday cake. She's a cheesecake kid. We'll probably split a slice of cheesecake tomorrow. I might even splurge for a Cheesecake Factory slice. When the dust had settled---We were once again victorious at the Chinese buffet, and I'm sure the restaurant staff was relieved that our “victory” didn't mean eating up their profits.

As soon as we returned to Ponca City, I laced up and headed for the trail. I wanted nothing less than a 5K tonight. And that's exactly what I did. I power walked the entire 3.1 miles, without doing my normal spurts of jogging. I'm still taking it easy on this right leg. I control the intensity of the power walking to fit my idea of a good workout, and it was good, real good my friend.

And so, here we are. Another successful day in the books. I tried to produce another “On The Go” Video from along side the buffet lines, but I kept attracting strange and concerned looks from the restaurant staff. I decided on a quick version on the way out---It's posted below along with a picture of my food selections. Thank you for reading and following my transformation. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,

Here's another "On The Go" Video from outside the scene of the showdown.

700 calories worth of yumminess. Maybe even a little less, but I would nearly guarantee not a calorie over.


  1. Oh just looking at that plate of good gave me goose bumps. Isn't that sad? Good job with the buffet man--I know how hard that can be. Please wish Courtney a happy birthday from us! Blessings--Bonnie

  2. Happy Birthday to Courtney!

    And you did well at the Chinese Buffet - woo-hoo!

  3. Well I told you yesterday that I think I finally got my head straight...but damn Sean! There's no need in TORTURING myself! lol I choose to stay far, far away from the buffets. Glad you were able to handle it so well. Happy B-day to your youngin'! :)

  4. Happy Birthday to your daughter. You are so funny about the "show down." Can I add you to my site?

    - Lisa

  5. Happy birthday Courtney :)
    I admit last time i went and probably this week again i piled! But it was all steamed veggies, all kinds of veggies, steamed shrimp, and mussels so i wasn't in the least bit worried and i'm hoping to do the same this week. Oh and i also had fruit for desert!
    You've taught me well obi wan kenobi

  6. Happy bday to your daughter! I love your videos. It's like I'm right there with you. You did good Sean.

  7. Sweet 16. Oh, you are in trouble now...

  8. I'm glad I don't like chinese food! You did a good job of "no piling" and I always love your on the go videos!

  9. berry nice! I'm not nearly ready for a buffet just yet, but I will get there. I did advance to 1 1/2 miles on the treadmill today! And Joshua was on for almost 2 miles. Some of it he jogged! I am so excited! And thank you for the very nice things you said about me in yesterday's blog. You are just such an awesome leader and inspiration for us all. You are truly contagious, Sean. Keep it up!

  10. I knew when you compared my shoes to Courtney's that she was young. . .but 16??! Yikes! She has youthful quirkiness on her side. . .I just have quirky. . :)

    Great job with the buffet showdown. Your strategy reminded me of one a Weight Watchers leader shared with us one Thanksgiving. She said we could eat anything we wanted and follow only 3 rules:

    1) No foods could touch on the plate
    2) No food could be higher than 1/2 inch high on the plate
    3) Only 1 plate!

    So glad you are all doing so great and so great that you are in my life (at least virtually!)

  11. Great job at the buffet. I like your way of thinking on the single layer or food when eating at a buffet and only having one plate of food. I will have to use that next time we eat at a buffet which is not often since I am not a big fan of them. I see you are still "sporting" the facial hair-it looks good, I think you should keep it. Well Happy Birthday to Courtney and hope you all enjoy your shared piece of cheesecake!

  12. Sean that is great !! At the Chinese Buffets here in Tulsa we also have Mongolian BBQ...basically it is veggies/meat/sauce and they stir fry it for you. In my case I pile it high with cabbage, brocolli, carrots, onions with teryaki sauce and pineapple and have him stir with NO oil....It is great and lots of food for little calories. So far Ive lost 84 pounds since I started in January. I am so proud of you and your family. If you get a chance drop me a line

  13. Congratulations on the showdown with the buffet!!! I'll have to remember the single layer idea the next time we go. My weakness is the crab rangoon and the coconut shrimp and of course the sweet and sour chicken. After that...those tasty little coconut cakes top it off for me with a little dab of ice cream! I hope Court had a great birthday! Love to you all! P.S. I'm glad you still have the looks great on wear it well!

  14. It's true, I'm a wee bit sad my master piling skills will no longer be put to use ;)
    Happy 16th to Courtney!! Looks like y'all had an awesome time :)


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