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WIA[WDW]

19 Jul

a.k.a. What I Ate at Walt Disney World!

I’m a few weeks behind (um, obviously) but I figured I’d do a special WIAW post on how to eat at Disney. :)

Note: We were fortunate enough to have a full kitchen at our hotel, which influenced the way we ate somewhat. I’ll still chat about some of the park options though I definitely didn’t photograph everything we ate! Also some of the photos are of less-than-stellar quality since I took them with a camera phone… sigh.

Breakfast:

Not photographed, but I basically had oatmeal every single morning; I had the foresight to bring some packets with me, and when we went to the grocery store we stocked up on a canister of oats for my dad & mom. If you have a microwave in your hotel this is a much cheaper, healthier option than eating at the parks!

Lunch/Dinner:

Usually we ate one meal at the park and one at home (which was usually some variety of sandwich, often with boiled eggs… I would have loved to actually cook something, but we didnt’ want to buy cooking spray/oil or furnish the kitchen for 10 days, so we stuck to some simple stuff).

Animal Kingdom

We ate at Pizzafari and I got some kind of salad that had a bunch of random stuff on it… including salami, which I gave to my father (I was trying to not make a huge fuss and just go with the flow, but I wasn’t really interested in cheese pizza).

Epcot

Epcot DEFINITELY had the best options. My favorite was inside “The Land”; there was a little “food-court” type area called Seasons that had a variety of vegetarian options and was generally much healthier than the rest of the food in all of the parks.

I had a fabulous vegetable soup with a cracker.

My mom had a grilled veggie and hummus pita (well, I helped :) )

My dad had a beet & feta salad… and a huge piece of chicken but I left that out.

There were fish options, stir fries, and a cold case full of different to-go wraps and even some gluten-free bars.

Definitely the most health-friendly spot I found.

Epcot’s World Showcase

This had the most INTERESTING eats, though we barely touched most of it. The World Showcase has mini areas devoted to a number of major countries, and each one has restaurants for that particular country’s cuisine. All of them looked fantastic, and if I’d had loads of time I probably would have gone through methodically and sampled a bit of everything on different days. As it was, we just wound up eating at the French bakery one day.

While they didn’t really have a vegetarian sandwich, they did have a cheese plate that came with a loaf of bread… Not exactly the most balanced meal in the world, but it worked.

Of course we saved room for dessert. :) We actually saw a few families walk out with trays FULL of desserts as their entire meal… I wish ;)

I love berries. And my camera lens. Swoon.

Personally I wanted to eat some of the falafel in Morocco, but we never got a chance. Oh well!

Magic Kingdom

We ate at the Columbia Harbor House, which was probably the best option within this park that I found… They had a good Hummus sandwich on thick, hearty bread. It had a kinda weird broccoli slaw, but it was still pretty good (if not photogenic).

Universal Studios

I originally wanted to partake in Harry-Potter themed goods at their restaurant, but none of the options looked especially good, so we wound up walking out of the park to Moe’s at citywalk where I had a delicious taco salad (I’m obsessed with salads with beans & tons of salsa!)

Other goodies

I just love going around to all of the bakeries and admiring their beautiful cupcakes & cookies & caramel apples. We didn’t really have any, but they’re so colorful & fun!

We did, however, end up going to Ghirardelli for ice cream on our final day, at Tara’s recommendation. :)

And one of my personal favorites are the chocolate covered frozen bananas they sell throughout all of the parks, though I didn’t ever photograph any of them!

General recommendations:

  • If you have a fridge, go out and buy some bread & cheese/peanut butter and bring sandwiches some days. It gets extremely expensive to just eat at the parks; each meal is $8+
  • If you DO have to eat exclusively their food, look into the Disney Dining Plan. We didn’t use it, but it seems like a decent deal.
  • Go to a grocery store and stock up on some easy snacks. The Publix that’s 2 miles away had really great prices, while the other grocery store (Good’s?) that was closer was unkempt and exorbitantly expensive.
  • Only semi-related, but drink lots of water! Preferably by reusing waterbottles; there are plenty of drinking fountains.
  • It’s kind of hard to find healthy food or vegetarian food in all of the parks. A lot of the salads have chicken, though you might be able to ask them to leave it off. I’ve heard if you’re on top of things you can call in advance and they’ll accommodate almost any dietary restrictions, but we basically played it by ear. It turned out okay, but there weren’t a ton of options.
  • At Universal, they have a special key for restaurants with healthy/vegetarian options. Unfortunately, their idea of a healthy option is a Ceasar salad. And vegetarian = cheese pizza. Sigh.
  • If you get a chance, eat your way through Epcot. LOTS of options there, and the food is not just typical-park-food. :)
  • It’s easier to eat 1-2 good-sized meals rather than lots of mini-meals like I’m used to, and ends up being less expensive. You’re on vacation and walking a TON, so give yourself some slack and enjoy what you eat! :) My general thing is if I’m going to be spending lots of money & eating more calories, I damn well better be eating something delicious ;)
  • Try eating at some places outside of the parks themselves, as I think a lot of times they’re a little bit cheaper. HOWEVER, do not deny yourself the experience of having a truly Disney-ish meal; I think having at least one sit-down dinner in the parks is fun & worth the money. Might as well do it while you’re there! :)

Any experience eating out at theme parks?

How do you deal with eating “healthy” on vacation?

wordful [what-i-ate] wednesday

21 Jun

It’s (basically) time for WIAW! I always post on Tuesday. And let’s be honest this is what I ate over a week ago. And now that I’m writing it up I’ve realized I did not adequately photograph this day, but that’s okay. I’m all about them words. :) (Jason Mraz, anyone?)


Breakfast

This was while my guests were still in town. Actually, it was the day I made those banana-almond muffins.

But before I made those, there was french toast for me (I was up early…)

This is the easiest, most basic french toast ever. Just a couple pieces of bread that I let sit out of the package overnight, dipped in 1/3 cup egg beaters + a couple tablespoons milk + a couple dashes cinnamon & sugar. Cooked in a nonstick pan. Perfection.

Yayyy maple syrup.

Lunch

Not pictured… we went to visit my Microsoft & ate lunch there. I had a massive salad as I am going through serious salad-bar withdrawals.

We also visited a very tall building with a lovely view of Bellevue & Seattle across the lake.

However, it was also incredibly windy. Witness below.

Also, this sign spoke to me… because I am sort of a decrepit old lady about half the time, and my friends make fun of me.

And here’s the three of us patiently waiting to be picked up.

Dinner

I had delicious Thai take out with all of my best girl friends. This also wasn’t pictured. I fail, I’m sorry!

Dessert

Okay, don’t burn me at the stake, but I made cake. From a mix. Angel Food Cake, to be exact.

It’s one my goals in life to bake an Angel Food Cake from scratch but this mix was actually pretty good. Not entirely sure how (nor am I sure that I want to know) but the batter was extremely fluffy and beat-able. Yay chemistry?

This was amazing when paired with heated frozen berries and just a smidge of vanilla ice cream. I’m just sayin’.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?

Have you ever made angel food cake?? Or do you have a favorite cake mix? 

tourist-ing: pike place market

16 Jun

Or: I am the worst tourguide ever.

I told you earlier in the week that I had some friends staying with me. Of course, this meant getting in some of the Seattle essentials… particularly Pike Place Market.

We literally left their luggage with my mom, hopped on the lightrail, and headed straight downtown from the airport…

Lightrail shenanigans.

And didn’t even get lost on the INCREDIBLY long (sarcasm) way from Westlake to Pike Place!

Here’s the thing, though. I’m kind of a little country bumpkin. Okay, not really, but I live on the Eastside for those of you who know Seattle, in a teensy little suburb about 30 minutes outside of the city. And there just aren’t that many occasions for me to go to the city. So when I actually DO take friends tourist-ing, I typically end up learning as much as they do.

Hard to tell who’s more of a tourist…

Fortunately it’s hard to mess up Pike Place… except when you go the wrong direction to Starbucks.

Yes, visiting the first-ever Starbucks was essential. As a former barista I’m kind of a groupie. Don’t judge.

Me, friend, camera, phone, & Starbucks… perfect :)

Of course, the plethora of delicious foods at Pike Place more than made up for my relative lack of knowledge. I distracted them with samples so they wouldn’t realize I had no idea what to do or where to go.

First stop was “Sotto Voce”, home of ridiculously delicious balsamic vinegars and oils. Oh, and bread. I love bread.

Then, as we waited for my other friends to join us (read: waited for my friends who actually live in Seattle to help me navigate) we took pictures of the beautiful water.

This (and a few pounds/my love of carbs) is why I will never model.

After they got tired of taking obviously flattering pictures of me (ha), we moved towards the market & loitered there while sampling many other goodies.

As my friend pointed out… I WOULD take a picture of the sign that says “produce”

Not sure what in this picture is nuttier…

FINALLY my friends arrived and directed us towards lunch: CREPES.

We weren’t terribly hungry after eating far too many different flavors of hazelnuts and almonds so we all split a salmon crepe and a peaches & creme crepe. Both were absurdly delicious.

And apparently my guests still had room for the infamous mini-donuts…

Personally, I didn’t want any. Unfortunately, I had no say in the matter and had powdered donut shoved in my face.

Again, model status…

We then wandered down to the gum wall. It’s super amusing, and I realized when I was there that I’d actually never seen it in person. Seattle-ite failure? Yes, yes I am.

There were also some fun beer names…

I always liken Seattle to that one homely girl in high school who pulls out all the stops for Prom and somehow looks like a princess. 90% of the year, my little city is covered in clouds and rather homely. But when it’s sunny? There’s nowhere that’s quite as beautiful.

After a little jaunt along the waterfront we arrived at the entrance to the sculpture park and my dear, sweet friends nearly pushed me into a fountain.

Laughs & smiles were had. Probably at my expense… Oh well.

All in all, ’twas a good day… followed by a few more good days (including a visit to a chocolate factory) that will be documented later :)

Ever been to Pike Place? Tell me your stories! :)
Are you a good tourguide? Slash when can I come visit? ;) I’ll bring cookies… Promise!

WIAW: delayed dorm edition.

14 Jun

First off… read about the updates on my life here! I’ve missed y’all!

Secondly… apparently I’m famous! :-P

I was featured on WordPress’s Freshly Pressed on the front page (for this post). Trust me, I did NOT see this coming nor did I really have any idea how it worked, but I am absolutely thrilled and flattered! To any of my new readers… hello! :) If you’re looking for some information about me, there are a few “get to know you” type posts I can refer you to… like this one and this one.

Most weeks I like to participate in my dear friend Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday… and I accumulated some photos of my dorm food from when I was in school (not the greatest photos… all taken with the little point-and-shoot rather than my baby SLR). As I mentioned in my last post, I’ll be eating a lot less of dorm food next year so this is one of the last dining-hall posts you’ll see!

Breakfast

Oatmeal & fresh fruit. Not gonna lie, having delicious strawberries all year was a definite plus, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to justify the expense of buying strawberries all the time at home… Partly because if I buy a 2-pound thing of strawberries chances are it’ll be gone within 12 hours. Oops!

Lunch

I saw someone use the waffle iron to make a pressed sandwich and had to follow suit! I opted for gluten-free Udi’s bread just for kicks… a little dry, but pretty good! My sandwich had hummus and lots of veggies.

And of course more vegetables because I’m insatiable.

Snack (one of many)

PINKBERRY.

A highly necessary study break. Also loaded with fresh berries (I’m an addict okay?!) By the way their salted caramel is delicious, though I ended up opting for the plain kind :)

Dinner

I was super busy (last week of school!) and ended up with a frozen Amy’s meal.

I kind of loved this. I don’t know if it was weeks of not having anything vaguely ethnic, but I couldn’t even pick a favorite part of this dish! Obviously fresh is better but in a pinch… Amy’s is always a good option ;)

Come back tomorrow for a new recipe, at long, long last!

Eat anything good today? And new readers… chime in with any little ole thing about you, thanks for reading! :)

WIAW: workload wednesday.

18 May

Oh how I love me some alliteration… Here’s a rather brief WIAW, because I want to procrastinate just a little longer.

Before we get started… everybody check out Kate’s raffle over here where you can bid on delicious desserts and support a fabulous cause (she’s fundraising for a hospice she’s running the Chicago Marathon for!)! My cookies are up for bids too. :)

Breakfast

Okay, so I made cooked overnight oats with peanut flour. I am newly obsessed with the stuff and may or may not have gone through a bag in about a week. These oats were SO creamy and peanutty and protein-filled and delicious!

Peanut-Flour Overnight/Voluminous Oats

1/3 cup oats
1 teaspoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons peanut flour
sweetener to taste
a few dashes of cinnamon
~2/3 cup of water or almond milk (possibly more)

Nuke for about two and a half minutes and stir well; cover and leave in fridge overnight. Stir in more liquid in the morning if desired! :)

Lunch

I had me a salad. With some of this salsa on top…

I bought it at the little market my school has and it’s kind of awesome, definitely has a kick to it. But now I have to work on using it all up! So I’m putting it pretty much on everything… Though I’ve always loved salsa on salads. :)

Snack

I went for a run on this day (last Friday)… 3.1 miles! That would be my second run in 6 months. I’m not, however, sharing how fast it was because it was incredibly slow… And my shins are still a little tender which is making me freak out a little bit but we’ll see. I pulled a Matt and refueled with (my very first!) Kombucha and Fage 2%

Um, yeah, this was pre-shower… And the posters in the background are my roommate’s. Just sayin’.

Dinner

I had soup at the lunch room but was hungry again about an hour later (silly running!) so I made some savory oats. Just added some nutritional yeast into the oats and some salsa on top per Heather‘s suggestion.

Oh, and I bought these. They were ridiculously hot and kind of made me cry, so I washed them off a bit which helped… I did like the crunch they added!

**I had more snacks throughout the day that were not photographed!! Just a disclaimer! :) **

Hope you’re all having lovely days… I’m back to hitting the books & learning about the occipital and parietal lobes. Three tests in two days… Oh and a term paper in a week. Whoops.

Eat anything delicious recently? Tell me about it! :) Or go check out my post from yesterday with lots of random facts about me and tell me something about yourself ;)

what i ate (last) wednesday [pumpkin-chia pudding]

10 May

Procrastinating studying by getting a head start on WIAW… yay for being proactive? ;)

Breakfast:

I had some pumpkin in my fridge (side note: organic pumpkin is not as good as Libby’s, I’m sorry, it’s true) so I made some pumpkin-chia pudding. This was not my entire breakfast but it was the prettier part so it’s all I’m sharing. ;)

Pumpkin-Chia Pudding

1/4 cup pumpkin
1/3 cup almond milk (maybe a little less or more, I’ve rather forgotten)
1 scoop protein powder (I use Aria)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
dash cinnamon
sweetener to taste

Mix it all up and let it chill for a couple hours until it gets thick and delicious. Top with blueberries if you want to, or just stuff them all in your mouth.

Lunch

It was a gorgeous sunny day, so I opted for a salad. I’ve taken to eating my salads with chopsticks… not entirely sure why. Also, mushrooms are my new bffs. Though my bell peppers may still be turning me orange…

I also had some chocolate milk mostly because it was free, honestly. It was kind of too sweet though.

And I enjoyed this light lunch in the sun while looking at roses. Sorry to bore you to tears with more rose pictures but I just couldn’t resist…

My school is pretty. Come visit me. I’ll bake you cookies…


Snack

One of my snacks was a Fage yogurt with blueberries.

Okay, firstly… I’ve always had Fage 0%. But oh my gosh, 2% is the bomb. I don’t know how or why I deluded myself into thinking 0% was better just because it had fewer calories, because the 2% definitely satisfies me more. Also, the blueberries are awesome. It’s a little too sweet and I wish it didn’t have so much sugar, but it actually tastes like BERRIES. Still prefer plain old fresh berries, but hey.

Sat in the grass while eating it too! Yay sunshine. :)

My school was also having a book sale and this was $1. Somehow I only walked away with two books… Trust me, that’s impressive. I love books. My goal in life is to have a library like Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

Anyone read this? I dunno, it looked possibly interesting…

Dinner

Not photographed, sowwy. I had soup & a sandwich at the cafeteria with my friends. :)

And what I wore… please excuse my hair. I have a hair-washing problem.

Oh, and a face-making problem, & a focus problem. Oh well. I got this dress for $5 at a rummage sale :) (Cheap college student much?)

Tell me about your day! :) Also, get pumped because I have a fab guest post coming up tomorrow… and now it’s back to the books for me! ;)

WIAW: a weary wednesday [with banana-chia-pudding!]

27 Apr

So… I got about 3 hours of sleep. I couldn’t fall asleep because I was too busy humming in my brain about a variety of drugs (only one of which I was consuming… thank you caffeine… not gonna tell you the mechanism coz the test is over now!).

But here’s my rather tired little post because I cannot resist doing WIAW. :)

Breakfast

Banana-Chia-Pudding

1/2 banana, mashed
3/4 cup almond milk
2-3 tablespoons chia seeds
sweetener to taste
cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and stir well then put in fridge, covered or uncovered. Wake up and devour in the morning, with a spoonful of peanut butter on the side. ;)

Lunch

I’ve been feeling a little sick so I had Coconut Lentil Soup from the cafeteria… which means I didn’t photograph it. But it was delicious!

Dinner

More soup… I bought this at our cellar market. I didn’t like it at first but it definitely grew on me. But I prefer soup with actual bits to bite, and this was just “broth” (though a thick broth!). I did add some frozen veggies + nooch.

And I definitley forgot to take a picture of it in the bowl! Oops.

And some of these crackers. They’re kind of super addicting (and not bad nutritionally, it’s got a decent amount of protein and fiber and not a whole lot of ingredients!). I also snacked on these with some hummus in addition to other snacks. :)

Weather

Upper 60s and sunny! I broke the shorts out.

I definitely didnt want to post this picture because I’m feeling exceptionally self-conscious about my body and showing it, since I’m pretty sure I gained some weight… Confidence is kind of shot recently. But I’m posting it in an effort to just accept the way my body looks.  And on that note, the wisdom!

Angela over at Oh She Glows wrote an absolutely beautiful post about learning to accept your body and yourself just the way you are and learning to love it. I would comment on it but I think she about covered it… Definitely something I need to work on… Click here. Seriously. Read it.

And this is my tired-face… please excuse my unkempt appearance!

Hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow with a few more words and a few more brain cells that are actually awake. ;)

Any tips for self-confidence/body acceptance? Tell me your tips for self-confidence. I’m kind of hitting a slump.

On a lighter note… Do you function without sleep? Because I clearly don’t. At all. It’s kind of humorous actually…