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It's the most wonderful time of the year... unless you're dreading having to go to countless holiday parties between work and families and you know that holiday deserts threaten your healthy lifestyle and weight loss goals. Just when you think Epcot is safe territory because the Food and Wine Festival is over, in rolls the International Festival of the Holidays, which used to showcase just different cultures' wintertime traditions... but now is just as loaded with food and drink as Food and Wine is.
Have no fear - the menu is out so we can peruse in advance! As I always say with the Epcot festivals, what's great about these seasonal events is that most of the options are in a smaller, sample-sized portion - that means you shouldn't worry too much about food guilt if you do indulge. I've snagged the menu right from Disney so that way you can see what's what and I'm also highlighting some of my recommendations if you're still trying to count your calories or Weight Watchers SmartPoints.
GF = Gluten/wheat friendly | KA = kid-approved
Photos in this graphic are from DisneyParksBlog!
Feast of the Three Kings (Near the Mexico Pavilion):
Magically Fit's recommendation: Despite the queso, I'd actually reach for the Arepa with Shrimp - you've got a little protein from the shrimp, and it's a leaner protein than the beef option.
Holiday Sweets & Treats (Promenade Refreshments):
Magically Fit's recommendation: This is a tricky one because it's all sweets - definitely know your food triggers before hitting up this food stand! If you're worried about calories, the sugar cookie is probably the lesser of two evils here. And while I'm not saying not to have any alcoholic beverages, option for the hot cocoa without any booze will help cut back on some calories too.
Want something sweet but don't want to set off any food triggers! I always like to bring a 3 SmartPoint Built Bar! Flavors range from 110-130 calories (except for the 4 SmartPoint, 170 calorie peanut butter flavor) and they're coated in real chocolate. It's a great way to curb your sweet tooth but since it's a protein bar, it'll be much more filling! Plus the coupon magicallyfit gets you 10% off. Pro tip: I like 'em refrigerated!
L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen (Between Morocco and France):
Magically Fit's recommendations: Latkes - especially sample-sized ones - probably won't be too much of a heavy hitter, so I'd reach for one of those to feel more festive. Shoutout to the smoked salmon one for packing some extra protein and a healthier fat than the sour cream!
Refreshment Port (Near the Canada Pavilion):
Magically Fit's recommendations: Not really many options here - just your eggnog, really, and the turkey poutine which I'd personally stay away from. If you really want these things, it would be much more satisfying to just have a Thanksgiving-style meal instead of a copycat version of it on French fries!
Yukon Holiday Kitchen (Canada Pavilion)
Magically Fit's recommendations: I'd go for the Canadian Wild Rice and just be cautious of the size of the pretzel roll due to everything that comes on the salmon! Plus there are other healthier salmon options at different stands.
Canada Popcorn Cart (Canada Pavilion):
UK Beer Cart (United Kingdom Pavilion):
UK Tea Caddy (United Kingdom Pavilion):
Le Marché de Noël Holiday Kitchen (France Pavilion):
Magically Fit's recommendation: I'd go for the Turkey and Mushrooms - even though it's in a cream sauce, you can push some of that out of the puff pastry if you've got a lot of it that you're worried about.
L’Artisan des Glaces (France Pavilion):
Boulangerie Patisserie Les Halles (France Pavilion):
Sapphire Holiday Kitchen (Morocco Pavilion):
Magically Fit's recommendation: This is another good pavilion to visit if you're set on sampling around the world showcase! Your Lamb Kebab is grilled, and the Chicken Drum comes with mostly-healthyish (for a theme park, anyway) options. I'd probably lean towards the lamb, though - less sugar!
Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen (Japan Pavilion):
Magically Fit's recommendation: Japan always offers up some of my favorites, and for the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, it's no exception! Buckwheat soba noodles are Zero SmartPoints on the MyWW Purple Plan, so even though there's some vegetable tempura going on, it makes for a good option. The sushi Christmas tree is also adorable and a great option!
However, don't be fooled by the matcha creme brulee - even though matcha is packed full of health benefits, this is a sugar-loaded dessert! However, if you're looking for something sweet that won't necessarily trigger a chocolate craving and don't want to bring your own dessert or aforementioned Built Bar, then this may be a good choice of indulgence.
American Holiday Table (The American Adventure):
Magically Fit's recommendations: Either of your options here probably are comparable, so you're looking at two options with decent protein! The cranberry sauce with the turkey and the sweet potato casserole are probably a trade-off as far as a sugary side dish goes. However, if you are worried about having more sides, I'd go for the ham. If you're here for something sweet, the gingerbread cookie will probably pack some similar flavors to the tart without as many calories from the whipped cream and sauce!
Funnel Cake (The American Adventure):
Fife & Drum (The American Adventure):
Block & Hans (The American Adventure):
Tuscany Holiday Kitchen (Italy Pavilion):
Magically Fit's recommendation: I'd go for the Bianca Neve flatbread; beef is protein, but it's white-wine braised and not the leanest of protein options. You're also getting to skip out on "caramelized" and "creamy" aka dressings that are high in SmartPoints even in tiny amounts.
Bavaria Holiday Kitchen (Germany Pavilion):
Magically Fit's recommendation: I'd split the cheese fondue in the bread bowl with a friend and hog the baby vegetables!
Prost! (Germany Pavilion):
Refreshment Outpost (African Outpost):
Shanghai Holiday Kitchen (China Pavilion):
Magically Fit's recommendation: I'd opt for the barbecue pork with steamed rice - easier to control your carb count than a bao bun!
Norway- Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe (Norway Pavilion):
Magically Fit's notes: In case you aren't sure what this is, typically a Norweigen holiday rice cream is essentially a leftover rice porridge refresher with whipped cream, vanilla, and/or sugar added. It's usually topped with a red berry or fruit sauce. Similar to my Matcha Creme Brulee note on the Japan Pavilion's offerings, this might be a good dessert option for someone who doesn't want to bring their own sweets but would rather indulge in Disney's without triggering a chocolate craving, and would likely be a lighter sweets option than a Christmas Yule log cake or a pumpkin spice funnel cake.
Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen (Mexico Pavilion):
Magically Fit's recommendation: Because it's a leaner protein, my vote goes to the Tamal de Pollo. However if you're watching your carb intake, the Tostada de Puerco might be easier since you can just opt to not eat the tostada it's served on.
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company:
Future World East: Choco-Latte: Latte with Chocolate Sauce and Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur
Canada: Ginger Chai Madness: Chai Latte with Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur and Gingerbread Syrup
Showcase Plaza: Coconut Snowstorm: Latte with RumChata and Coconut Syrup
The American Adventure: Toffee Coffee: Latte with Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur and Sea Salt Caramel Toffee Sauce
The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays starts on November 29th and runs through December 30th! What are you most looking forward to trying? Let me know in the comments, on Instagram or on Facebook!
Feb 2020 Update: What we thought we knew about myWW turned out to hold true! This plan is an exciting way for members to customize their experience. I personally have been swapping between Green and Purple depending on where life takes me (and avoiding Blue because it does not work for me personally, but I'm glad knowing it is there for those who love and need it!). This makes it something sustainable in the long term, and in research, WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined) was actually found to be the best long-term diet plan by Consumers Advocate! For more info on that research, you can check it out on their website.
On to the article!
There’s a new Weight Watchers plan coming around, and I’m so excited about it! As many of you know, I lost the bulk of my weight with Weight Watchers during their Beyond the Scale program that launched in 2015 and introduced SmartPoints. But I struggled immensely when they updated to Freestyle, and have switched to a third party knock-off WW app to continue using my 30 points per day program that actually worked for me. Many of us wished to Return to 30, but many did see success with Freestyle because one size does not fit all with weight loss programs.
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This is why I am so excited for the new WW program launching, myWW. MyWW launched in Australia already, so we have a sneak peek at what it will look like for those of us in other parts of the world, and it launches here in the United States on Monday, November 11.
myWW is being advertised as their most ground-breaking program ever because it’ll be, to a degree, customizable. Here’s what we know so far…
There are three plans offered
Which one is right for me?
This is all so exciting because I’ve so desperately tried to make Freestyle work for me, but it hasn’t. I think giving users the option to try different things that all have similar cores is a great idea and will help people find success without feeling trapped!
Are you looking forward to myWW? Let's discuss!
Jessica is a huge Disney, anime, and Star Wars nerd who channeled that love into motivation to lose 75 lbs.