travel

Travel Tuesday #TT – restaurant review + travel tip

For you regular readers y’all know that food is a big topic here on the blog. Admittedly, I struggle everyday, all day making good choices. You also know that I am weird about eating out. I’m not a picky eater because I love food, but I am a judgemental eater. I easily get weirded out by restaurants and those that prepare my food *germaphobia*

I met a friend last week for dinner and I felt so compelled to write a review because it was such a great experience. Let’s dig in to why I had to write about my meal. My friend suggested we meet in the Dr. Phillips area of Orlando. We met at Stefano’s Grill. I figured,”grill” there had to be something I could eat. I have to start by saying our waiter greeted us like we were in his home, I felt so welcomed. He then asked about our food preferences – what??!!! Asked about allergies, he shared that they have gluten free meals-YES, gluten free (hallelujah!!)  and that they can accomodate requests because they make everything from scratch!  Everything made fresh…ahhhhhhh, music to my ears. He shared the specials in great detail (which I loved), he explained all of the produce is organic and locally sourced, except the tomatoes which are brought in from Italy, they are not messing around #quality —it keeps getting better. I said that I like to eat healthy and he shared some of his favourite picks with me. He genuinely cared about our dining experience, not just take the order and place the food in front of you. 

Now let’s get into the food. Stefano’s Grill has something for everything. It is an amazing grill with a variety of incredible steaks to rival any steakhouse but they also specialize in Italian fusion (look at their website and get ready to drool) .

Image

There is something on the menu to satisfy every kind of appetite. Their gluten free menu is what I was really curious about. Gluten free meals can be tough to make, especially pasta which is very tempermental.

We decided to start with an appetizer their house special crab cake (no filler or heavy breading- just big chunks of crab)Image

and the claims

Image

Both were incredible. 

I opted for the fresh caught salmon for my entree and it came with pasta, I asked for the gluten free.

Image

Image

My friend went with the Kale salad and added shrimp to it.

Image

Wow! SUCH GOOD FOOD -yes all caps. 

I have to say they nailed the pasta. The sauce was incredibly infused into the pasta–how did they do that?! I don’t eat pasta so this was a real treat. My salmon was cooked perfectly. It was such a great meal, I really have to rave about it. I havent eaten that well and felt that comfortable at a restaurant in a long time. The staff came by frequently and asked about the meal, they really wanted to know.

 My only regrets:

-not trying my friends Kale salad – but I was too busy inhaling my dinner.

-not having enough room for dessert 

When you are in Orlando go and eat there (thank me later). They also offer a Sunday brunch that has a lobster omelette…what the what?! I will definitely be going back.

I give it 4 Carrie stars which is the highest honor I can.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Travel Tip Tuesday

Whenever I travel I always talk to locals and find out where they go for food. If the locals eat there you know there has to be some good eats! This tip has never failed me. I have had the best Key Lime pie in Key West Florida, out of this world Jerk chicken in Jamaica, incredible (and authentic) Thai food in Toronto (yes Toronto-Canada!) 

Most people are incredibly honest about food and their food experiences–so ask! 

 

Question of the day (three parter):

-What is your best travel food tip? 

-Where have you had the best _________ ?? 

-If I came to visit you, where would you recommend I go and eat?

 

Travel Tuesday #TT — Trainer Tips on How To Stay Fit While Travelling

 

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to travel #NoSurpriseThere.

I can have suitcases packed, children ready to fly and a reservation at the kennel for the dog in 4.5 minutes. #notkidding

 

Image

 

I guarantee that some of the items I’ll have packed are extra clothes for working out and shoes for running. I love to eat on vacation and may even sample a ‘special drink’, but I will never change my health and fitness workout routines. I never have to buckle down before a vacation either to drop those ‘extra few bathingsuit’ pounds because I make sure my lifestyle supports my goals before vacation.

 

But that can’t be said about so many people who work out hard to drop a couple of pounds before they travel, only to put it all back on and them some during their vacation. #stopdoingthat

 

The number one reason, sorry…excuse, people use to avoid being fit is that they don’t have time to exercise. Vacation is the elimination of that excuse because you have all the time in the world –taaadaaaaa!

 

So, for the happy vacationers and the weary business travelers, here are some tips to help you stay fit on vacation or when you are heading to your next conference.

 

ProTip #1

While waiting for my flight I always walk the through the terminal-always! No need to sit at your gate only to get on the plane and sit some more. I find out what time the flight is supposed to start boarding and I walk until I need to return. This isn’t a full out power walk that will raise eyebrows or the suspicions of over zealous TSA agents, but a walk to keep my muscles moving and my blood flowing.

 

ProTip#2

Traveling by car. Every rest stop I get out and move around. If it’s only stopping for gas, I will walk a few laps of the gas station parking lot and likely throw in some walking lunges – oh and yes, people will stare #whatevs . Get the blood flowing, and stretch out my legs. When we’re stopping to eat. I will always walk after my meal. Nothing worse than having a meal then sitting for another 5 hours in a car. You can always add 15 minutes on your rest stop breaks to walk. Calf raises on parking curbs are another great move along with wall push-ups.

 

ProTip #3

Always pack healthy snacks. I’ll be the first to admit that if I see a donut and there is a empty spot in my stomach, I will be saying, “Get in my belly.” I will want it. I always pack apples, nuts, protein powder and bars, cut up veggies. Don’t give into snack temptation. A 600 calorie muffin is not worth it.

Image

 

Sharing Moment: Once I had gotten to the airport, gone thru security to realize I left my snack bag in the car. It was close to boarding time but I jetted back to the car and went thru the whole shoe removal security line again. All for the sake of having my healthy snacks!

 

ProTip #4

Know before you go. Find out what your hotel or resort offers in terms of fitness equipment, so you can have an idea of what you will do.

Not keen on equipment? Go for a run, do a body weight workout in your room, pack an exercise band/ jump rope or run the hotel stairs.

Sharing moment: I stayed at a hotel once and they were renovating the gym. I would run a set of stairs, do walking lunges across the hallway on each floor, run the next set of stairs, walking lunges. I have been known to do circuit workouts in hotel parking lots. Push ups, squats, sprints, burpees, lunges. You do what you can with what you have!

 

ProTip #5

Recon the restaurants. Get an idea of what food is available and look for the healthy options that are available.

Image

I like to have an idea of what I will order so I don’t get tempted by something creamy or deep-fried. Just about every restaurant is willing to accommodate food preferences. Ask for turkey bacon, see if they will swap out the creamy side dish for veggies or a side salad. Don’t be afraid to ask. Most restaurants are happy to cater to guests with special dietary needs which includes healthy eaters.

 

ProTip #6

Talk to your hotel resort about fitness options where you are staying. Are there running trails or paths near your hotel/resort? Is there a great gym close by that the locals rave about? Are there activities that the hotel offers like aquafit, fitness classes, yoga, hikes? I just found out aout this “Hotel Hike” workout at the Aria hotel/resort in Las Vegas – it is a series of exercises intended to work the same muscles you would target during an actual hike. Be prepared to walk a whole lot of stairs (this is my kind of workout!!) Your instructor leads you through the mammoth hotel and the outdoor spaces at CityCener which passes a few Starbucks (woot woot!)

 

Getting sidelined from your workouts while you travel sets you back. It lines you up for more work when you get home. Do something everyday, try new things as well.

 

Fail to plan…plan to fail.

Image

 

Your health and fitness success is only determined by you!

 

You are where you are by the choices you make.

Image

 

Here is a workout to try next time you are traveling. Let me know what you think!

Image

 

QUESTION – 2 parter:

-what do you do to stay fit while you are traveling? (share your tips in the comments)

-know of a fun/different hotel/resort workout? share it!!!

 

 

 

 

7 Real Reasons, you need to visit Walt Disney World

We all need a vacation (can I get an Amen?!)   Us Canadian’s and northerner’s who experienced a brutally cold winter are probably in need of a vacation, more than most! There are literally millions of reasons why a trip to the sunny south should be on your mind. I’m here to give you 7 real reason’s why you should be booking your next trip to Walt Disney World.

I was lucky to attend the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train media dinners as a guest last week and let me tell you, it is something that you can not miss on your next visit to the most magical place in earth!  As I said, there are more than a million reasons to visit Walt Disney World, but I have 7 more to tip the odds in your destination decision.

7 Real Reasons You Need to Experience the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train

1. At no point in the interactive queue to get to the Mine Train, or once you are on the train itself, will you ever feel SLEEPY. Sleepy_BBS

2. The intense excitement of the New Fantasyland and the new Mine Train Ride will leave you with the feeling that you might want to see a Doc…actually, THE Doc.

Image

3. You will never be left feeling GRUMPY because you’ve booked your Fast Pass + and have your Mine Train Ride time booked before you arrive! Everything is made very easy through My Magic + 6968_Grumpy_Dwarf_Standup_678

4. Don’t worry if you have allergies, you won’t find any dust on this ride through the mine. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride has been made with Disney magic (those Imagineers are amazing!) , so you will never feel SNEEZY.

Sneezy_OK_214145C4b

5. If you claim to not be a “ride person”, now is the time to change your mind. Hop on this ride with your friends and family, this is not the time to be BASHFUL

the_bashful_dwarf_by_ifoxspirit-d5sfia1

6. A fantastic Interactive queue and new animatronics, help you experience where the 7 Dwarfs work , how could you not be HAPPY.

Image

7. I didn’t want to say it, because it may seem very un-Canadian of me but, the only people who wouldn’t want to experience the new Mine Train ride are kinda DOPEY (there I said it).

Image

Now get on board and take this full ride through.

Here are a few more pics from last week.

Celebrity siting’s –

I got to show my HAPPY side with Happy!

(insert Pharrell Williams song here…because I’m happy, lalalallaallalalala  )

happy pic

 

 

I got to see DOC…who says healthcare is bad?! lol

20140501_193733

 

#RockYourDisney side @RealGrumpyCat – oh yes!

Love that she wore her press credentials!

Image