Put the Mickey Ice Cream Bar Down: Disney Part 2

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Disney Part 2
Put the Mickey Ice Cream Bar Down!!

Ok, just kidding. I mean if you look at how many calories you burn when you’re walking around Disney World you’re entitled to a treat or two if you’d like, but there is no reason to completely abandon your diet or your exercise program just because you’re going to Disney World. img_7274
No one hears Disney and thinks healthy food. People think about Mickey ice cream and cheese fries and Mickey beignets and Caramel Corn and all the calorie packed snacks we ate as a kid. One of my favorite things in the world? The Mickey Mouse rice krispy treats from Disney. That being said, I kept it to a minimum on this trip. I made it my goal to find healthy food options at Disney World and you know what? It was easier than I had thought. They are literally everywhere.
We had a car so before we went to the hotel we went to Wal-Mart and picked up protein bars and protein powder and some healthy in-room non refrigerated snacks. Let’s just say this… I DO NOT recommend Body Fortress protein. Sure it was cheap, but if you remember what protein was like back in the day when it tasted like chalk? Yeah that’s it. Spend the extra 2 bucks and get something better. When we went to the parks I filled a water bottle with water and put a few protein bars in a bag to have so my muscle didn’t catabolize. You are ALLOWED to bring water and snacks into the park!! Do it! img_6408
Ok now for meals and snacks inside the parks. Let’s divide it by park and what day we spent where so the first day we went to Hollywood Studios. For lunch we ate at Starring Rolls Cafe and my wife and I split a super delicious Ham sandwich which was packed with lean ham. Starring Rolls also has many other healthy options. They have tomato bisque soup and salads, yogurts, mixed greens salad with chicken, and various fruits (the basics apples oranges bananas). Beware before going in here though the temptation is real. Their pastries are insane. Walk on by. For dinner later that day we ate at Hollywood and Vine, which is a character dining spot and buffet style eating. I know what you’re thinking. Disney and Buffet….has to be bad…wrong! Not only healthy but delicious. How does braised shortrib, fresh carved moist turkey, sliced roast pork, green beans, turkey meatballs, mussels, salad and fresh mozzarella sound? Pretty good right? And it was very tasty not only that but our daughter met all her favorite classic Disney characters all dressed up for Halloween. img_6087
The second day was Epcot. Now during this time of year it’s the Food and Wine festival so you can get whatever food your heart desires, but this year I was all about keeping it on the healthy side. That being said I did enjoy two beers. One In Germany an Altenmunster Oktoberfest of course and one in Brazil, a small Kaiser brewery Xingu black beer. I don’t drink that much and wanted to try some. Like I said, you’re walking 10 miles a day, you’re going to burn it. So for the delicious food. Now how it works if you’ve never been there is each country has available usually one or two savory small plates, one dessert small plate a wine selection and a beer selection. The permanent countries In Epcot still also serve their traditional fare. My wife and I split our small samplings. In Ireland we chose the Irish Cheese Selection Plate: Irish Cheddar, Dubliner and Irish Porter and a marmalade. The Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Pepper, Onion and Snap Peas in Australia was super tasty and was in a berry based sauce with a nice bit of heat that I liked. At “The Chew” collective we had a Ricotta and Zucchini Ravioli with Rustic Tomato Sauce. The tomato sauce was perfectly fresh. In Brazil we ate Escondidinho de Carne which is a Layered Meat Pie with Mashed Yucca which reminded me of a Brazilian shepherd’s pie. In Japan we got the Spicy Sushi Roll Tuna and Salmon with Kazan Volcano Sauce. In Hawaii I got the Spicy Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Nori Rice which was probably my favorite dish there. They really did a good job of getting a lot of flavor Into the sauce. The most surprising dish I had was the Heirloom Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, and Micro-Basil at the Greenhouse Guru because all of the salad veggies were Florida greenhouse grown and extremely mouth watering. In Germany I got a pretzel (sue me).

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The next day was bright and early for a breakfast reservation at Be Our Guest restaurant before the park was even open. I ordered the Croque Madame which was an open faced egg sandwich with ham and gruyere cheese and a side of fresh fruit. I enjoyed it, but the lunch version of this is much better although not better for you. My wife ordered the charcuterie which was awesome. It’s a plate of Alpine-smoked Ham, Serrano Ham, Sopressata, and Cheese with Marmalade, Fresh Fruit, and Toasted Baguette. For lunch we ate at our resort cafeteria which I honestly thought was going to be awful…it wasn’t. I ate a delicious green salad with olives, feta and chicken.

img_6313For dinner that night, it was the biggest princess dinner of all princess dinners. Inside Cinderella’s Royal Table restaurant where somehow we were able to sit right by the window for the fireworks. A once in a lifetime opportunity. All the princesses came out to meet our daughter as we ate some of the finest food Disney’s Magic Kingdom has to offer. I ate the Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Crushed Fingerling Potato Confit, Shrimp, and Seasonal Vegetables which was fantastic. My wife had
the all natural chicken served over creamy Goat Cheese Polenta and Baby Rainbow Carrots with a Madeira Mushroom Reduction, which I liked way better than my dish and regret not ordering.

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The next day we slept….a lot. We went back to Magic Kingdom that night for the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and with our ticket for that we were able to enter the park before the party and we ate at a new Jungle Cruise themed restaurant called Skipper Canteen which did not disappoint. I ordered the “sustainable fish” which was grilled fish served over veggies which was excellent and I would check it out next time if you’re there. img_6442
The next day was our day at Animal Kingdom. The restaurant of choice for today’s lunch was a new restaurant which is right by where Avatar land is going to be and it’s called Tiffins. Two words Unexpectedly Amazing. I had no idea what I was expecting here but this was the best restaurant I have eaten in in a Disney park ever. That being said you need to enjoy flavorful foods. This is what we had. For an appetizer we had the Signature bread service. GET THIS! It’s a selection of flat breads from around the world with Pomegranate Olive Oil (AMAZING!!), Harissa Yogurt, Zhough Yogurt, Black-Eyed Pea Hummus. I also had to try the Lobster-popcorn Thai curry soup because when you hear “lobster popcorn” you have to try it. It was definitely worth it what a bowl of extravagant flavors. I even dipped some of the bread in there. Then for our entrees we ordered from the Taste of Tiffins menu and chose two each. We both had the 72 hour shortrib which came with Carrots and Chimichurri served with Jade Blend Rice. I can’t describe the amount of flavor in this. All I’m going to say is I have eaten in some celebrity chef restaurants that couldn’t touch this. The second dish I chose was the Masa and Pulled Pork Tamale served with Hominy Succotash and Red Molé Sauce. My wife chose the Chermoula rubbed chicken with Dried Fruits, Olives, Couscous, and Harissa Yogurt. Everything was unbelievably good, light, and healthy. We can’t say enough about this place. Seriously if you like bold World flavors you have to try.

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So that was the healthy food we ate while in Disney. Yes I had a Mickey rice krispy treat or two. Yes I tried the Buffalo popcorn (like 2 bites seriously crazy good) in Epcot. Yes we ate a few Mickey pretzels and had a Lefou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern. After all, I was Gaston, how could I not? img_6457The point is we had some treats (you will burn a treat or two off nbd) but the majority of our meals and snacks were healthy and it’s super easy at Disney World. There are so many light fare options and I didn’t even mention the fruit and healthy snack stands around that make it easy to stay on track and not over-do it while on Vacation. Next time you think of Disney Food don’t just jump to the treats. There is plenty of gourmet cuisine that is not only out of this world tasty but also light and healthy.

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