One thing I haven’t been able to master is staying on a specialized diet plan in Disney World. Luckily, I have a few friends who have been able to be diet plan superstars while on vacation, and they’ve agreed to share some of their secrets with you! This series will include information about vegetarian, vegan, and low-carb dining, as well as dining in Disney World after having weight loss surgery.
Today, we welcome guest author Christina Relacion again to the food blog. She’s been successful with the South Beach low-carb diet in Disney World and has some great tips and tricks!
Healthy dining at Walt Disney World. That sounds like an oxymoron. With fried foods, hamburgers and devilish desserts around every corner, it must be impossible. I’m always trying to watch my weight, and being a foodie, that can be hard with all the great choices at home and on the road, especially at a place like Walt Disney World.
Last year, I started on the South Beach Diet, a diet plan created by Arthur Agatston that helps you determine good carbs from bad carbs and good fats from bad fats. One of the first things I thought of when beginning the diet was: “Can I do this while I’m at Disney?” And you’re probably saying to yourself…Hmm, this means no Dole Whips, no Oreo bon-bons and no beignets.
No one can go to Disney and not indulge. Being on a specialized diet plan — whether it’s South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers or another plan — is all about making the right choices. And one thing Disney does well is give you choices.
Restaurants To Try
You don’t have to sacrifice good flavors and fine dining to keep your waistline in check. Here are some great places to try if you’re trying to watch your weight or just want something a little healthier:
Try the variations of hummus on the buffet at Boma. I really enjoyed the black bean version. Many of the foods at Boma, like the couscous and fufu (a sort of sweet potato casserole), are high in fiber and grain and great choices. They’ll keep you feeling fuller longer, too. For dessert, try some of the great fresh fruits. For South Beachers on phases 2 or 3, you can even enjoy some of the exotic African wine selections.
What better to get your Omega-3’s and good fats than fish!? The sushi and other dishes at Tokyo Dining are fabulous. (You can read my Disney Food Blog guest review of Tokyo Dining by clicking here.) One of my favorite dishes is the miso soup with tofu. A wonderful start to a meal that provides a good source of protein.
One restaurant I haven’t tried, but would love to based on its menu, is Restaurant Marrakesh at the Morocco pavilion at Epcot. Its variety of couscous dishes and seafood sounds amazing. I would love to hear from you if you’ve tried it.
Tips and Suggestions For Staying on Track
One of the most important things to remember as you vacation is to be conscious of the decisions you make:
- Instead of having that Mickey ice cream bar, try a piece of fresh fruit
- Pack your own snacks. Many diet plans offer quick meal replacement bars. I really enjoy South Beach’s dark chocolate covered soy nuts. They’re a quick and easy way to stave off hunger and small enough to throw in a purse.
Also, remember when you make your dining reservations to let the cast member know that you have dining restrictions such as low-carb, diabetic, gluten-free, or another allergy. Then, kindly remind them when you check in for your reservation that you need to avoid certain foods. At many buffets, a chef will walk you around to show you choices that you should avoid or even prepare you something special. Just be sure to ask! (Editor’s Note: Check out our Special Diets Reference Section for lots of good info about how to contact Disney before your trip to discuss dining needs.)
I have been no saint since deciding to start losing weight. But, in six months, I have lost 17 pounds. Even better, my blood pressure is lower and so is my cholesterol. Slowly but surely the pounds are coming off and I’m confident that I can keep them off even while vacationing at Disney as long as remember to keep the sugary sweets and refined flours in moderation. Plus, with all the walking every day –- I don’t feel as bad!
So what other tips do you have for healthy dining at Disney? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to Tweet me @CRelacion!
Thanks again, Christina! To see another take on healthy eating in Disney World, check out our previous general post on the subject! Also, stay tuned for more in the special diets series, coming soon!