The Easy Health Trick I Learned from Disney

When you think Disney, you probably think Princesses, Mickey Mouse, rides, long lines and big crowds. Maybe Space Mountain, Dole Whips and Tonga Toast {google it!}. Healthy isn't necessarily on that list. I can't believe it made it on mine with all the temptation from {free!} cookies to fudge mousse to mini cheesecakes and roasted marshmallows our resort offered us during our stay. Even complementary Seven Dwarf themed chocolates were placed on our neatly made beds each day. And with days full of a screaming baby, 100 degree temps and 90 minute waits for the fun rides, adult beverages with pretty little umbrellas served in big ol' pineapples were super tempting. So, how on Earth, of all places, did I manage to pick up a healthy habit at Disney World on a 4 day vacation? 

Healthy food was hard to find at Disney World. But this trick kept me from piling on the vacay lb.'s.

Healthy food was hard to find at Disney World. But this trick kept me from piling on the vacay lb.'s.

Four days of this. #therealdisney

Four days of this. #therealdisney

Easy. At Disney, you're nonstop, on the go. Especially when you have a sleeping baby in your stroller that will only stay asleep if you keep moving. Stop for a second, no lie, and the screaming ensues. {Talk about motivation to get your steps in!} So, eating at Disney becomes something for survival purposes only. I literally just ate to live. I was thirsty, and with the strong sun beating down on us and that humid, suffocating heat surrounding us, hunger was not something I felt. Between the heat and the need to keep moving, I learned that it really takes a lot less food than we commonly think we need to be satisfied. Let that sink in... 

It takes a lot less food that we think we need to feel satisfied. 
Keep that baby sleeping. I skipped hitting up the fitness center and running trails and walked it out at Disney.

Keep that baby sleeping. I skipped hitting up the fitness center and running trails and walked it out at Disney.

Typically, I'm so guilty of eating huge portions. Even though I eat really healthy things 90% of the time, I eat LOTS of them. I figure my body needs it, especially since I'm still feeding Emma. This adds up to me eating until I'm uncomfortable most of the time. Yuck. At Disney, I never felt uncomfortable after eating, even though, and, here is the kicker, I didn't always eat the healthiest. I ate the best choice available to me at the parks and indulged in {much-needed} wine and dessert at night sometimes. There was no time to mindlessly snack and since we stayed so busy and my attention was so focused on keeping my kiddos happy and hydrated, I didn't get that boredom hunger either. 

Here's my typical day of Disney eating:

Upon Waking: Lots of water, then banana and black coffee

Little fingers always trying to snatch my smoothie 😂 ALOHA saved me and my waistline on this vacation.

Little fingers always trying to snatch my smoothie 😂 ALOHA saved me and my waistline on this vacation.

Breakfast: ALOHA Vanilla Protein, ALOHA Daily Good Greens, water in my blender bottle {Could not believe how tasty this was and how satisfied it left me until lunch}

Lunch: {Food from the park} Grilled chicken on mixed greens with sliced tomatoes. No dressing. I brought single serving packets of hemp hearts and poured a pack on my food to up the nutritional content. 

FREE dinner. I craved water-rich produce after the long hot & humid days at the park.

FREE dinner. I craved water-rich produce after the long hot & humid days at the park.

Snack: Raw or ALOHA Trail Mix {Not the whole thing at once}

Dinner: Free appetizers at the resort: 2 small appetizer plates of sliced cucumbers, whole fancy carrots, celery and a small branch of grapes with a glass {or 2!} of chardonnay. 

Dessert: A couple bites of a fudgey Mickey Mouse mousse or the good part of a chocolate chip cookie Saturday and Sunday nights... the days we really racked up the steps in the Disney Parks. 

There's something to be said for not eating when you're bored and especially, for following the "Hara Hachi Bu" rule of eating until you're 80% full. It's a practice the Okinawan people have practiced forever and one of the reasons they live such long and healthy lives. In America, many of us have learned to eat until our plates are clean and then you can have dessert. The 80% full rule is more of a check in with your body before your plate is clean to see how you will likely feel if you take one more bite. This ingrained habit of clearing our plates regardless if we are still hungry is very hard to unlearn. But, at Disney, it was easy because there was always something to do next to occupy my mind. It was simply eating for survival at Disney and not necessarily for pleasure. 

The easiest health trick I learned from my Disney that kept the vacay pounds from creeping on while still enjoying wine and dessert. Image courtesy of simplifyyourlife.tumblr.com. {Pretty sure I need that spoon!}

The easiest health trick I learned from my Disney that kept the vacay pounds from creeping on while still enjoying wine and dessert. Image courtesy of simplifyyourlife.tumblr.com. {Pretty sure I need that spoon!}

So, while I'd normally come back feeling guilty and carrying a few extra lb.'s after vacation, this time I came back thinner and feeling better. Wow. Thanks Disney. Now, the trick is to keep it going now that I'm back. But, like I always remind myself,

"Once you know better, you do better." 

Have you ever felt healthier on vacation than in your normal day-to-day life? Do you follow the Japanese 80% rule? How do you typically eat on vacation?