Orlando food recap and how much weight I gained

Now if you’re anything like me, it’s all about the food on holiday. And when it comes to holiday recaps, I want to know ALL about it. So here we go. Get ready to feel a little bit hungry 😉

I’ll also preface this with saying that I pretty much ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and lots of it. I wanted to include my weight into this post because I want to reassure people that it is completely NORMAL to gain weight on holiday. You’re eating completely different foods and you’re on holiday so there’s lots of treats and eating out.

During a normal week I’ll probably eat out once or twice (usually with pudding). I’ll eat treats through the week but in general I’m quite healthy and routine-based in what I eat Monday to Friday. I like what I eat and I don’t restrict myself any food but in general, yes, I eat fairly healthily.

So going to Orlando and eating everything was bound to have an effect. And I was fully aware of this and quite happy with that eventual outcome. I love food and I didn’t want to come home with any regrets about what I DIDN’T eat, not about what I did eat. Food is a big part of what I love and how I like to spend time with people (as it is for Kate & Jamie who I went with) and it was a major part of why the holiday was AMAZING. And on that note…

Starting with the absolute breakfast must for me before a holiday, the usual fry-up affair at the airport.Gatwick South doesn’t have a great amount of choice (and no Jamie’s Italian, which I think does the best fry-up) but we had a fantastic meal at Grain Store Café & Bar. Though I dislike the baked bean contamination going on!

Anyway, onto actual Orlando food. The first night (being five hours ahead it was like ridiculous o’clock in the morning UK time) we arrived at the hotel from the airport and headed to our respective rooms. I promptly ordered room service as it was dinner time in Orlando and I find it best to get into the swing of the time zone I’m in. Annnnd I was hungry so why not!Not the greatest photo but basically I had a chicken burger with chips though I was a bit disappointed as I really wanted was some overly fried crispy fries. And a huge pickle. God I love America with their love for pickles. And I ate it in my PJs in bed watching TV. BLISS.

One of our first proper meals was at Longhorn Steakhouse. I’m not usually a huge steak lover – though I do enjoy them. I wouldn’t have picked this restaurant myself but Kate and Jay raved about it and I was very relaxed this holiday about where and what we were going to eat that I went with their better judgement. I’m so glad I did!I ordered a fillet steak (rare) with a sweet potato. The sweet potato weirdly came with cinnamon sugar butter which I asked for on the side because it sounded wrong to have it on the potato. I didn’t touch it…just weird. The bread at Longhorn was TO DIE FOR as well. Now I’m fairly ambivalent about bread, but this bread was warm and delicious. So a very simple but a very tasty meal.

We followed this with a trip to Menchies for some fro-yo and I went a bit crazy on the toppings (all the animal cookies, the brownie bites, the cookie dough chunks, the turtle chocolate caramel things). So good.

Another top meal was at a Mexican restaurant called Chuy’s which we went to the last time we went to Orlando together. I had chicken fajitas and it came with all the trimmings.At first I thought I’d need to ask for more tortillas it only came with three. But after piling each one with so much filling that they almost exploded, I really didn’t need anymore! I didn’t need my rice either. The guacamole, sour cream, salsa, cheese, tortillas and chicken with onion and peppers were enough!

We then popped into Coldstone Creamery. Jay and Kate had a crazy ice cream concoction but I went for a candy apple because, well, see blog name.I had a rocky road one and it was covered with caramel, chocolate, nuts and marshmallow. Ahh it was so good. I’m not a huge ice cream fan so the apple was always the way forward for me.

After doing Busche Gardens one day we had a late lunch/early dinner at a lovely little Italian pizza place called Giovanni’s. Again, this is one we’ve been to before and we all loved it. I shared chicken wings with Jamie and had a gyro salad with pita bread. The chicken wings. Good God. They were amazing. Possibly the best of the holiday? It’s hard to say. You know me, I love chicken wings and would eat them every day if I could (I did when I went to Boston) so this is high praise indeed. Buffalo sauce and blue cheese dip. I can’t even.We followed this by going to the ice cream parlour next door and I had seven bars flavour and birthday cake flavour. The seven bars flavour is basically seven different chocolate bars within the ice cream – it literally rocked my world. The birthday cake (which was underneath) sadly didn’t compare but was still good.

And something I always get when I go to Orlando… the turkey leg. It’s one of my favourite things. It brings out the true carnivore in me. And why my friends call me a hyena. When we went to Disney we decided to have a more ‘snacky lunch’ as we were going to Chuy’s that evening (see above).I sniffed out where the turkey legs were and settled myself on a bench with the above view while Kate and Jamie headed off to find what they wanted for lunch. Kate, being the pudding pro, went for an ice cream sandwich while Jamie had a hot dog. They had to wait a bit in a queue so I sat on my own started munching away. Jamie said from a distance it looked like I hadn’t been fed for a week and had finally been shown food… smallish girl with giant turkey leg eating like a hyena. I was in my own little happy world, what can I say!What we tended to do is if we were planning a big lunch, then we’d skip breakfast. I would get a fruit salad and a coffee from the Hard Rock Hotel mini-shop and that would tide me over until lunch. We usually also timed this with the previous night having had a huge dinner so I didn’t really wake up that hungry. So most days we’d have one really big main meal (with pudding) and probably snacks either side. I will say though on the days we didn’t have breakfast by midday I was SO ready to eat. But then so were Kate and Jay. We had very similar stomach clocks so this worked nicely. They’re very food-focused so I knew I’d never be without 😉

One of my favourite restaurants we went to (which we went to twice as it was just so good) was a restaurant about 30 minutes from the tourist area called 4 Rivers Smokehouse.Now I know I eat a lot of ribs, but honestly this was PHENOMENAL. I had a full rack of St. Louis ribs (my favourite style of ribs) and it rocked my world a million times over (OK how often will I use this phrase??). I got two chicken wings on the side because as part of the meal you got a load of sides with it (like cornbread, BBQ beans and Mac & Cheese, Southern greens…things like that) but I just wanted the biscuit and wings. The biscuit was ridiculously soft and delicious. The ribs…so good. If you ever go to Orlando, look this place up. Seriously.

We also went to Cheesecake Factory one day. We don’t really have anything similar to this in the UK. The menu is ridiculous. PAGES upon pages of options. Basically we went purely for the cheesecake. I shared some chicken wings with Kate (see, addicted) and then had a chicken and guacamole salad (so much avocado…) followed by the white chocolate macadamia nut cheesecake (not as good as the Ultimate Red Velvet though).For a giggle I worked out how many calories I ate in this mealThat’s pretty insane, right?? I have honestly never felt so full in my life. Yes I ate all of it. While I was eating the cheesecake I was thinking, “I’m a bit full but I’m OK” and then suddenly within the last bite of it I hit the fullest I’ve ever been. We were all stuffed. I literally needed to lie down and curl up in the fetal position. I think in my future full scale in life that Cheesecake Factory moment will be right at the top.

Another day when I literally ate more than I really should have was one of the best meals of my life. MY ENTIRE LIFE. This is a bold, bold statement I know. I went to Orlando knowing I wanted this meal after seeing a YouTuber eating it. This was brunch after the Orlando parkrun (another post to come) at Hash House A Go Go.Fried chicken on BACON-FILLED waffles covered with fried leeks (random but it worked) and hot maple reduction. It was ENORMOUS. But I was in food heaven. I dream about this meal even now.Best meal of the holiday. Best meal of my life. I pretty much ate it all bar maybe one of the waffles and the two random cherry tomatoes they served it with (weird). Jay ate those.It said it came with eggs but I honestly can’t remember eggs being in there. Anyway I felt ridiculously full. We ate about 9.30am? I didn’t eat again (absolutely nothing – not even coffee) until after 7pm (and that was a salad). What do you do after you’ve eaten a ridiculous big meal and feel a bit ill? Go to SeaWorld and do the roller coasters. Ooof. Especially when we went on Manta which holds you horizontal and we got held there at the end for a good 5 minutes as they took ages boarding the next people. I’ve never been sick on a ride but honestly I was THIS close. Stupid, stupid idea.

And the best pudding of the holiday? The chocolate brownie milkshake I got from the new City Walk restaurant, Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. After *cough* chicken wings for starters (with an insanely good chocolate ale sauce) and a chicken salad, I had the best milkshake (and pudding) of the holiday.The brownie milkshake came with chocolate ice cream as the base of the milkshake but I changed to vanilla as I thought it would be a bit too chocolatey. They blend up a brownie in there too so this was a very wise choice. I was in heaven. I dipped the brownie in the milkshake and just floated away to heaven. Kate got the peanut butter one (far right) and Jamie got the Dulche Leche (middle). We all agreed it was AMAZING. My one regret of the holiday is not going back for the red velvet milkshake (they put a red velvet cupcake on top). But a reason to go back…

Other puddings worthy of a shout-out were the slices of red velvet and carrot cake at the bakery in 4 Rivers Smokehouse (can that place get any better?).Kate and I shared the slices as we couldn’t make our minds up. It worked out nicely as I found I preferred the carrot cake and she preferred the red velvet.

And then another candy apple that I got to choose the toppings for in the Disney Springs candy shop.It was a caramel base, a white chocolate covering, Butterfingers and Graham Cracker sprinkled all over and then a dark chocolate drizzle. Oh it was so good. But I felt incredibly sick that evening. Way too much sugar.

This obviously isn’t everything I ate on holiday, but it’s the real highlights. And the reason why I gained half a stone (7lbs)! I weighed myself before going on holiday and then after making a prediction with Kate and Jamie about how much I’d have put on, I weighed myself as soon as I got back from the airport. Half a stone! I mean to be honest I’m surprised I didn’t put more on but we did walk over 25,000 steps a day, I did lots of running and a few gym visits so really I came out quite well I think. I’m quite proud of myself 😉

But having weighed myself today (a week and a half later) I’m pretty much back to my pre-holiday weight. I DID NOT go on a ridiculous starvation diet. I just went back to my usual eating, running and gym visits (no more than usual). Honestly, I didn’t feel guilty or awful about what I ate or how much weight I put on. I knew when I got home things would readjust back. And they have done. I mean if I’m honest, I was craving my normal food and healthier ways of eating when I got back so it wasn’t that hard. Though I miss that milkshake and chicken and waffles every day. EVERY DAY.

So there we go. Go on holiday, eat all the foods, relax and think about the memories you make not the calories you’re eating!

Do you eat lots of holiday?

Best meal of your life?

What’s your favourite pudding you’ve ever had?

22 thoughts on “Orlando food recap and how much weight I gained

  1. Do I eat lots on holiday? Generally, although it really depends where I am. The food in Beijing was seriously hit and miss. I’m not the best at eating exotic food (think birds feet) and ended up having lunch in Mc Donald’s every day. I ended up losing half a stone because I picked at all my main evening meals. However, the food in La Crosse in the States was awesome. So much meat and huge portions. I couldn’t run at the time and managed to put on quite a bit of weight.

    The best meal of my life? There have been a few but Christmas dinner never lets me down. I had a gorgeous meal at Le Relais de Venise the day after the London Marathon. They only serve steak but it was pretty amazing.

    As for my favourite pudding… I struggle to eat ice cream and can’t eat nuts, so it would have to be profiteroles or chocolate cake served with loads of cream.

    Now I feel hungry!
    Emma recently posted…FLEXISEQ Active reviewMy Profile

    • Yes you’re right, it does depend on the country you’re in and what you fancy! When I was younger my family and I would drive to Italy each year for a holiday and I hate French service stations so much that I had McDonald’s instead.
      Oooh yes Christmas dinner. Definitely!
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Tokyo Marathon 2017My Profile

  2. The meal at the Cheesecake Factory looks insane! I can’t believe how many calories are in just one slice of the cheesecake! Holidays are definitely for enjoying different foods and not worrying though – I always have an “anything goes” last day of a holiday which usually starts with cake at the breakfast buffet after resisting it every other morning! x
    lilylipstick recently posted…Art: Anna Laurini – “Profiles”My Profile

  3. I feel so full reading this! Sounds like you had a great time- if that is what you like about holidays, then there is nothing wrong with that at all. You are so active on holiday that extra food isn’t a bad thing either- and probably some of that weight was down to holding on to more fluids from being on a flight, eating more salty foods etc.
    And yes, cinnamon sugar butter on a sweet potato sounds like a dessert and not a side for a steak! How weird! They do like their sweet whipped butter on things, which is not a very British taste I don’t think.
    I think on holiday we tend to have extra treats here and there, but we will usually share (to save on cost, to mean we can try more things- eg share a cookie at lunch and then share an ice cream after dinner- not every day but you get the idea, but also once we tried to each eat a whole ice cream sandwich from Disney , neither of us finished them and both of us felt sick..). I am not big on all the fried foods, and would feel a bit rubbish eating mainly grilled cheese sandwiches (the usual veggie option in those sorts of places) so we tend to go for veggie cafes or places that have a lot of veggie options. I love the Cheesecake Factory- I think once we managed to have 3 courses (shared the starter and dessert) but that feeling of being full lasted for the longest time! We went there on Christmas eve in Boston and the special was a candy cane cheesecake- chocolate and peppermint, and it was amazing- need to go back to the US at Christmas time for that festive special!
    My favourite holiday meals tend to be breakfasts- I’ve had some lovely apple cinnamon pancakes at a B&B in New England, and then the most amazing French Toast made with brioche, topped with fresh fruits and maple syrup, in Montreal. That was pretty special and I was full for the whole day after!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…A weekend in Nottingham (more parkrun tourism, pancakes, snow, cinema..)My Profile

    • Yes exactly! Flights and fluid definitely played a part. I’m pretty sure I didn’t actually put on an actual half a stone. A lot of it was water. But it was interesting!
      You guys are far more sensible and restrained than me. I’m very greedy!
      I always admire the cool breakfasts you find but in general I’m very boring with breakfast and tend to stick with porridge or eggs.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Tokyo Marathon 2017My Profile

  4. This is probably one of my favourite blog posts ever? The level of detail is incredible (and exactly how I would write it!). Always go to town when I’m holiday; not to the point of binging, but just allowing myself to have what I really want! I don’t think it’s possible to settle on the best meal I’ve ever had … a few stand-out meals have been the Indian buffet at Coriander Lounge in Southampton, a Turkish lamb dish I had at Konak in Leicester and chorizo shakshuka at Caravelle after Barcelona Half Marathon. Best pudding? My aunt’s homemade profiteroles. To die for. Closely followed by sticky toffee pudding.

  5. This just sounds amazing.Holidays are all about the food for me too, love deciding where to go for brunch/lunch/dinner! Next holiday might have to be to America

  6. I absolutely LOVE that you ate anything and everything that you wanted. I try really hard to eat whatever I want on vacation, but I always end up holding myself back. Though I do make a point to eat whatever desserts come my way 😉 Looks like you had some freaking amazing food girl!
    kat recently posted…Turmeric & Cranberry White Chocolate BarkMy Profile

  7. Omg Anna this all look amaaaaazing! Glad you had a wonderful time! I am seriously jealous of those milkshakes, they looked incredible.

    I definitely don’t hold back on holiday when it comes to food! I’m a massive foodie as you know and actually since going vegan I am even more keen to seek out all the vegan restaurants when I go somewhere new – and I’m definitely not going to miss out on any treat because of what it might do to my waistline. As you say, the holiday is only temporary and once you’re back to normal eating any weight you gained comes right back off. Memories are definitely most important! xxx
    April recently posted…The Weekly Roundup #5 | 1 down, 2 to goMy Profile

    • You always seem to have such tasty looking food on your Instagram! I’m amazed considering your vegan (I know, I know, I shouldn’t make such silly judgements that vegan food won’t be as nice. You’re proving me wrong!)
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Tokyo Marathon 2017My Profile

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