You have taken the plunge a few weeks ago and made a New Year’s resolution to be healthier. Maybe you’ve started a diet or a new work out plan. The one thing you don’t want to do is derail yourself while on vacation, but you also don’t want to deprive yourself of the things you love on vacation. I’ve got some tips for how to look at your dining options to stay on track with your path to a new you!
My first tip is to plan in advance. If it’s a new work out plan, make sure you set aside time to keep up with at least some of your activities. It might mean getting up a little early or taking a break in the middle of the day to hit the gym. If you started a new diet it means really taking charge of where, when and what you are going to eat. That sounds like some pretty serious planning doesn’t it? Don’t worry it won’t be so bad!
The first thing to do is look at menus for restaurants in which you might be interested. Comprehensive menus for Walt Disney World can be found at http://allears.net/din/dining.htm. The AllEars web site also has menus for Disneyland, if you are heading to the West Coast. Once you have the menus available to you, you can decide what items are going to fit into your diet plan. Most chefs at the Table Service restaurants are more than happy to take allergy and dietary needs into consideration, just let them know ahead of time when you make your reservation, or call the restaurant directly a day or two before your reservation. The problem you might run into is at those pesky Counter Service Restaurants. Many of the menus are not at all diet friendly. I’m thinking specifically of one of my favorites: Casey’s Corner. There are several options at each park that do provide some options, so I’m going to tell you about my favorites!
In the Magic Kingdom, near the Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square, you will find Columbia Harbor House.
While there are certainly temptations at CHH it’s not too difficult to make good decisions. They have two diet friendly sandwiches and two salads on offer. The Lighthouse Sandwich is hummus and broccoli slaw with tomatoes. It’s my favorite Counter Service meal at the Magic Kingdom. Another good option is the Broccoli Peppercorn Salad, with grilled chicken. Just ask for the dressing on the side. Try and stay away from the locations that are heavy on burgers and fried food and you’ll do just fine at the Magic Kingdom.
Moving over to Epcot there are many more options available to you. Some have incredibly healthy options and others do not. Here is where planning becomes incredibly important. Don’t plan to go to Lotus Blossom, the Chinese CS restaurant or Yorkshire County Fish Shop. You won’t find any good options at either of those locations. Do plan to eat at Sunshine Seasons in the Land Pavilion, Tangerine Cafe in Morocco, or Katsura Grill in Japan. You will still have decisions to make once you chose the right dining location. My favorite of the bunch is Sunshine Seasons over at the Land. Ride Living with the Land before eating to get an idea of all the interesting things to eat that are grown right at Epcot. Then when you get to lunch choose the Beet and Goat Cheese Salad from the soup and salad pod or the Oak Grilled Vegetable Flatbread Sandwich from the sandwich pod. See that wasn’t so hard, was it?
Over at Hollywood Studios, there are many more pitfalls to be had. While most of the Counter Service offerings have at least one healthy choice, I’m always tempted by the other options. That being said, Studio Catering Company and Starring Rolls offer the best options. The problem with Starring Rolls is that you will also discover cases of cupcakes and baked goods. Over at the Catering Company there are several healthier options: a Chicken Caesar Wrap, a Grilled Vegetable Sandwich, and a Greek Salad. In case you’ve never noticed it Studio Catering Company is over near the entrance to the Back-lot Tour.
Finally, we come to Animal Kingdom. It sounds of course like this should be the easiest place to find a healthy meal. I have found just the opposite. Each restaurant offers at least one healthy option, but there is no escaping the opportunity to chose differently. At Flame Tree BBQ you can order a Smoked Turkey Sandwich, but you might want to hold the mayo. Pizzafari offers a Chicken Caesar Salad and an Antipasto Salad. Restaurantosaurus has a Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries that is very tasty. Over at Tamu Tamu Refreshments you can order a Turkey Sandwich. Last but not least, is the Mandarin Chicken Salad at Yak and Yeti Counter Service. On Animal Kingdom day I like to hop on the bus to Kidani Village and have a sit down lunch at Sanaa, where I can be sure not to fall off the wagon.
Good luck with your New Year’s Resolutions everyone and Happy Eating!