I don’t want to confuse you – today is Tuesday, not Wednesday. I just couldn’t wait until tomorrow to discuss what we ate in Disney.
First, may I just say that the fruit-waters available at the hotel all day were super fun.
Lemon/lime, orange and cucumber one day…pineapple, cantaloupe and watermelon the next…
One of the main reasons we stay at the Hilton Bonnet Creek resort when in Disney World is for the breakfast buffet.
I know I don’t take full advantage because I have no use for omelets and rarely eat the muffins, croissants, French toast, waffles and pancakes but I do love unlimited fruit, steel-cut oatmeal and cup upon cup of coffee.
My son on the other hand takes full advantage of the buffet.
He enjoyed an omelette each day followed up with the sweet stuff where he had a ton of fun going up by himself to load his plate.
I was oatmeal and fruit all the way, just like the last time we stayed at this hotel.
But I really screwed up on this trip.
Let me explain.
The last time we went to Disney was only days before I became a vegetarian (exactly three years ago).
I came down with a stomach virus within 24 hours after arriving home from that trip (I blame the airplane) and I never looked at meat or poultry again.
What does this have to do with things? A lot.
I am not the same person that I was three years ago.
I currently run an average of 40+ miles a week. While I certainly exercised back then, my running was not anywhere near where it is today which means my appetite and needs are completely different.
And, being a vegetarian now changes things in terms of how I get my protein which is needed not just for the muscles but for satisfying the appetite and avoiding that blood sugar spike and crash.
While it was fine for me back on that trip at the end of 2011 to be all oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, possibly because I was loading up on protein at the rest of my meals and possibly because my fitness level and appetite didn’t require what it requires now, it did not work for me this time.
On this trip, I felt sick within two hours following breakfast.
I was so nauseous-hungry, slightly dizzy and the more I think about it, my stomach didn’t feel right. It was bloated, most likely because I was not eating balanced.
Of course I felt this way -> Where was my protein? Where was the fat?
I have nothing to say for myself other than …I just wasn’t thinking. I know better than this, of course I do.
I was on vacation.
Even though I brought my peanut butter and they had peanut butter available, I just didn’t even care (how weird is that?!) to add it to my breakfast.
It took me two mornings to realize I could have been adding greek yogurt to the oatmeal and fruit like I do every other day of the year.
Which by the way, was the best greek yogurt I ever ate. I will assume it was the full-fat variety which I may now seek out at the grocery store. Or at least start eating the 2% kind.
Saying this to you now, I see how crazy it all sounds but honestly, I just wasn’t thinking much.
I try to travel as easy as possible in that I don’t overthink what I need to eat and that I don’t need special attention made to my massive running/vegetarian appetite but the truth is, it does need attention.
I may not have been running on the regular for the few days that we were away but my body is used to eating a ton and still requires a ton and when I say a ton, I may a ton of the right nutrients.
Of course I brought my emergency snacks but the banana I ate when I woke up in the hotel room wasn’t going to help me beyond getting me dressed and ready to go to breakfast.
And really, my little snacks and packets of peanut butter were not meant to be my meals — they were really just the extras.
When lunch rolled around, I realized nothing was truly satisfying me either.
I ate a ton of salads which is lovely and all but I really needed more. More in the form of a protein source and just more food in general.
Some restaurants had a greek salad option such as Cosmic Rays in the Tomorrowland section of Magic Kingdom.
It’s a quick service-type place that has an awesome fixin’s bar with lots of toppings like mushrooms, tomatoes, pickles, onions, sauerkraut, lettuce etc.
I added a ton of toppings to the greek salad I ordered which made it super big and more my style but was that really enough? Nah.
At the ESPN Club, I had a terrific grilled vegetable salad but there was no protein.
At the hotel, I had ANOTHER grilled vegetable salad which had chick peas but I should have asked for more.
And the salad you see with shrimp and nuts on the side? It was terrific but, um, I do have a slight nut allergy which I decided after this trip I need to respect a bit more.
I didn’t feel myself really after any of the lunches the more I think about it until the lunch I had in the airport of all places.
At that point, I was smart about the protein and had a big cup of yogurt from Au Bon Pain which I doctored up with peanut butter and one of my oatmeal packets.
I did have sushi though two times which was nice.
Dinner at Tokyo Dining in Epcot.
I didn’t make us reservations for lunch at Hollywood Studios because we didn’t decide to go there until the last-minute.
Not to mention, we like the 50’s Prime Time café and when I glanced at the menu this time, I noticed that it really wasn’t overly vegetarian friendly.
I ended up with this quick sushi at one of the lunch spots that my son picked even though I would have preferred to find a better (more filling) option.
Disney is really good at offering vegetarian, vegan and allergy-friendly meals — you just have to know where most of them are.
I mean, you can really make anything vegetarian but that doesn’t mean it will be filling. Nothing worse than eating just a side salad, especially if you have my appetite.
I knew there were pizza options, I knew of other food spots and restaurants in the park because I researched it a bit before we came but again, I didn’t want us to have to trek across the park or even further just so mom could have something else.
I made up for my mistakes with dessert…
A much-needed chocolate covered banana at Hollywood Studios.
And you already know I had a chocolate-covered apple as soon as I walked into Magic Kingdom.
My favorite chocolate chip cookies stuffed with ice cream was really special too and just as I remembered it.
There was a slice of deep dish apple pie one night after dinner.
And bags of candy happened a few times too.
My combo was always chocolate-covered raisins, nonpareils, tutti frutti jelly beans and sometimes m&m’s.
I had a bag of candy actually after the unsatisfying salad at ESPN Club. The dose of chocolate helped.
Did I show you my Ghirardelli cookie sundae, I can’t remember.
My son had some favorites too, one of which was a Mickey Mouse Rice Krispy Treat.
I think we had fudge too. There was so much to choose from but you know what? I only had the one chocolate-covered apple.
I thought I would want more but when I went to order another one day, I realized I really didn’t want it. So I didn’t get it.
Looking back on this post as I write it, I really can’t believe I missed the important proteins in the morning.
I may be a predominately plant-based vegetarian but I need that drop of greek yogurt (or egg) in the morning.
I need the fat in the peanut butter. I need two breakfasts and I need to make sure I am getting the right amounts of nutrients throughout the day if I want to feel my best.
Dessert is certainly one of the most important meals in my world but breakfast really is the most important meal of all.
It sets you up for the day; if you get it wrong in the morning, if you skimp or fail to consume enough balance between protein, fat and carbohydrates, I am pretty sure the rest of your day will suffer or at least not allow you to feel and perform your best.
I think I am now hungry. Time for breakfast!
Favorite breakfast buffet foods?
Are you a big breakfast eater?
Do you have nut allergies? Which nuts?