Andy and I found it a bit frustrating to stick to our low-carb diets while vacationing. It’s not that we were tempted by high-carb foods, it’s just the fact that our society is carb-obsessed! It’s incredibly easy to find sugar anywhere you go, and Disneyworld is no exception. Donuts, pastries, pies, cakes, cookies, ice cream, “healthy” fruit-flavored yogurts and smoothies (yeah, right!)….all are readily available!
Do you know how federal agents learn to identify counterfeit currency? By studying real money. When they become so familiar with the way real money looks and feels, they know right away when they are faced with counterfeit money.
Well, the same thing applies to eating low-carb. Low-carb food is the real money, and high carb food is the counterfeit. It may seem really hard and confusing at first, but after you’ve been doing it for a while, day in and day out, you get very familiar with what a low-carb diet looks like. Then you get to a point where you are able to filter out the healthy, low-carb food items from the unhealthy, carb-loaded ones. You take this skill with you everywhere you go – restaurants, the airport, Disneyworld.
Here are a few “low-carb rules” to keep in mind when deciding what to eat:
- No ketchup or BBQ sauce
- No sugar or anything sweet
- No rice, potatoes, corn, or beans
- No breads, grains, or breaded items
- Try to think “meat and veggies”
Surprisingly, Disneyworld does have quite a bit of low-carb food options available – you just have to be familiar with a low-carb diet and look for them! Here below are some low-carb food options that Andy and I observed while we were there. It’s not an exhaustive list, and I’m sure there are more options than what I’m sharing, but here’s what we found:
- Caesar salads. Remove croutons and use full-fat dressing!
- Lobster salad. A large restaurant in Magic Kingdom sells lobster salad sandwiches. I saw others with them and they looked really good, so I ordered one and discarded the bread. It was delicious!!! My girls had some fries and I had read somewhere that fries are about 1 carb each, so I indulged: I ate TWO FRENCH FRIES!!!! Oh, how I savored those deep fried potatoes.
- Pizza toppings. We ordered a meatball & pepperoni pizza at Pizza Planet – the girls ate it like normal people while Andy & I used our forks and knives to eat the sauce, cheese, and toppings. It was still yummy without the crust! If you decide to get a pizza so you can eat the toppings, it almost goes without saying – be sure to get a pizza with lots of toppings! Also, avoid high-carb toppings like pineapple or BBQ sauce.
- Antipasto – We also got this at Pizza Planet for lunch one day. It was a delicious salad with different kinds of cheeses, pepperoni, salami, olives, peppers, and mushrooms. Perfect for anyone on an LCHF diet. We asked for regular blue cheese and Ranch dressings, which are between 0.5 and 1 carb. They also gave us a package of vinaigrette – stay away from that one! It contained 8 carbs!
- Salads with grilled/baked chicken, steak, or fish – of course, make sure they are not breaded. Also be sure to remove any croutons or other bread items. Indulge in the meat and cheese toppings, and only use full-fat dressing since low-fat dressings tend to be full of carbs.
- Steak – you can’t go wrong with steak, which has zero carbs! Ask for some butter to put on top, or try horseradish sauce. I love that stuff!
- Hamburgers – it’s pretty easy to order a hamburger or cheeseburger and remove the bun. Add any low-carb toppings like mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, onions, dill pickles, etc., and eat it with a fork and knife. Avoid ketchup and sweet pickles!
- Grilled/roasted/baked chicken, pork, or fish. Any plain (non-breaded), roasted, grilled or baked meats are always a smart choice.
- Turkey Legs – I saw these at Epcot and wanted to get one, but we never did. But oooh my, they looked and smelled sooooo good! They are a perfect zero-carb snack or meal!
- Light beer – we just had to have a beer one hot and sunny afternoon in Epcot. It is also the only park that serves alcohol. We ordered Coors Light, which cost us 5 carbs a piece!
- Eggs with bacon, ham, or sausage. We did not eat breakfast out, but these low-carb breakfast items are usually available. Most other breakfast items are very high in carbs, so be careful.
Some low-carb options at the All-Star Movies Resort
- Sliced turkey and gravy – I had this one night and asked for just a very small amount of gravy. Gravy has carbs, but a small amount of it only adds 3-4 carbs.
- Peppery London broil – very good, and I just had a little of the broth drizzled across it for added moisture.
- Roast chicken – this bone-in, skin-on chicken tasted like it had been baked in butter. It was delicious!
- Salmon – I had this one night too. It was broiled and topped with onion slices. It was pretty good but not my favorite.
- Make your own salad – they have this option. The restaurant is cafeteria style, so you tell them what you want on it and they make it for you. They have a lot of deli meats you can ask for. Be sure to get low-carb, high-fat dressing. Read the label!
- Taco salad – ask for it to be served in a bowl (not a shell) and don’t get beans. I got my seasoned ground beef topped with cheese, olives, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. It was very good and filling!
- Green beans – this was the only low-carb side option for a dinner plate. The plates come with 1 meat and 2 sides. The only other sides they offered were mashed potatoes, rice, and stuffing. Ugh. Luckily I love green beans and didn’t get tired of them!
Eating low-carb at the airport and on your flight
It’s not that hard to eat low-carb at airports since they generally have plenty of restaurants to choose from. You just have to know what you’re looking for. Many of the options I listed above will be available at the airport.
It’s even possible to eat low-carb at fast food restaurants if you know what you’re doing! Most fast-food restaurants have nutritional information on their websites, which makes it really convenient. Stick to their salads (not salad containing corn or rice), full-fat dressings, grilled chicken, and burgers without buns. Stay away from chili, potatoes, fries, etc.
Now actually on the airplane is a different story. If you’re lucky, they’ll give you salted peanuts. The rest are just carb fests. Pretzels, cookies, crackers, chips, honey-roasted peanuts…say no thank you!
We knew this would happen, and with a 5-hour flight, we also knew we’d get a little hungry. So we went grocery shopping at home and packed food to bring along:
- Macadamia nuts
- Shelled sunflower seeds
- Slim Jims
- String cheese
- Summer sausage
We also packed some of these things in our drawstring bag that we took to the parks every day so we would have low-carb food readily available for snacking. NOTE: The cheese was kept fairly cool just in a reusable shopping bag since we were constantly in A/C – and the plane was freezing! We put it in the mini-fridge in our room when we got to the resort. The summer sausage didn’t need refrigeration.
If you are traveling, you can see that while it may be a challenge, it’s not impossible to stick to your low-carb diet! There are plenty of delicious, low-carb foods available that will leave you feeling satisfied. You know what happened when I got back from our trip? I stepped on my bathroom scale and found that I had lost two more pounds during that week at Disney! And the best part was that I never felt deprived. I love living low-carb!