Where am I headed? Only the Happiest Place on Earth (my #1 vacation destination)!
|Photo credit: Disney|
Now that I realize my trip is so soon, I have begun doing a bit of vacation planning. Not creating itineraries or planning activities -- I've been to Disney a lot, so I have my plans down. The kind of planning I'm talking about is making sure I'm continuing to take care of myself (with good food and exercise) while I'm away. I have some good momentum going and I want to keep that up, and I know when I'm doing the right things just feel better -- and I'm going to need tons of energy for my trip! A Disney vacation is amazing, but it can really kick your ass.
So here's the plan...
This is actually pretty easy. A vacation in Walt Disney World = tons of walking. Estimates vary, but it is not hard to log 5+ miles a day trekking through the parks, hiking to various modes of transportation, and even walking from your hotel lobby to your room. And the kind of touring I do is pretty vigorous -- we park hop (sometimes 2 and 3 times), and sometimes the best touring strategies involve a lot of criss-crossing the parks. I'm going to try to remember my Garmin so I can really keep track of how much distance I cover.
And if for some reason all that walking isn't enough, I have a few other fun options...
Splashing in Stormalong Bay
We're staying at the Beach Club, which has an amazing pool. I'm not sure how many calories are burned floating in a lazy river, but I'm sure it is at least a million.
Jogging along the Crescent Lake Trail
|Photo credit: Swan and Dolphin Hotel|
Riding a Surrey Bike
I've always wanted to do this! Of course, I'd make my brother do most of the pedaling...
Using the Ship Shape Health Club
|Photo credit: Disney|
This presents a bit more of a challenge, but I think I'm up for it. Here's my vacation strategy -- I will not:
- Go crazy and stuff my face with every tasty morsel in sight
- Make myself nuts trying to stick to an incredibly restrictive eating plan
I think something in between is where I'm trying to land. I haven't talked a lot about what I consider healthy eating, but for me I do best when I'm really watching the white stuff: sugar, flour, etc. Ultimately, it is pretty low-carb. But a smart low-carb -- this isn't Cheese-and-Sausage-fest 2011. I eat lean proteins, lots of veggies, and whole grains, so it ends up being pretty low in fat, too. Not necessarily the easiest to achieve on a Disney vacay, but not impossible.
A lot of people treat vacations as "time off" from their usual eating plans, and I can understand the instinct. Everything is different on vacation -- all the rules are out the window, and you're usually having the time of your life. And if you're lucky, you're in the presence of really good food. Still, I think that this kind of "off/on" mindset is a slippery slope. It seems dangerously close to the "good/bad" thinking I try to avoid, and it really isn't a healthy way to think of fueling your body.
I also know that you're setting yourself up for failure if you're trying to eat nothing but salad in a place where the scent of popcorn, Main Street Bakery cookies, and churros fill the air. And people snack on these bad boys as a between meal snack:
|Photo credit: Disney Food Blog|
Deprivation is no good. You'll be miserable, and then ultimately you will snap and march yourself over to Beaches and Cream to consume one of these:
|The famous Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream. Say it with me: "A whole can!"|
Photo credit: Yahoo Associated Content
Since I do know Disney so well, I feel like I can do a good job of sourcing as many of the fresh, healthy options in the parks, and balancing those choices with some of my favorite treats.
For example, I would be terrifically happy to enjoy one of these every single day:
|Cobb Salad at the Brown Derby|
Photo credit: Disney
We will also hit a couple of the character buffets during our trip. On the surface, "buffet" doesn't scream healthy, but Disney buffets always have lots of fresh fruit and salad options. And it is easy to satisfy cravings for something rich by adding just a bite or two to your plate. Also, it is hard to concentrate on your food when you're eagerly waiting for a hug from Winnie the Pooh.
And just yesterday, Meghann from Meals and Miles posted about a new food find from her Disney trip (she is a Florida girl and a Disney expert). There's a yummy veggie flatbread sandwich at the Golden Oak Outpost (note: this used to be a McDonald's fry cart -- change is good!). It looks like this
|Nom nom nom...|
Photo credit: Very Vegan Holiday
And after a lot of walking and a bit of smart eating, I will be excited enjoy some of the more delicious treats Disney has to offer. I love a good burger with all of the fixins from Pecos Bill. I always need to go to Goofy's Candy Kitchen and make my own Mickey head krispy treat with lots of goodies. My brother always gets a funnel cake and I always sneak a few bites. And I'll probably try a few new things, too -- like this adorable sundae! It looks almost too cute to eat...
|Photo credit: Milkway Photography|