Crystal O’Keefe: Welcome to the MetPro Method podcast. I am your host, Crystal O’Keefe, and today I am joined by Kim Crain, MetPro employee and Disney superfan. Today we are going to be discussing all things Disney and food and MetPro at Disney. Kim, welcome.
Kim Crain: Thanks so much, Crystal. I’m so excited to be here and to get to talk about a few of my favorite things.
Crystal O’Keefe: I mean, seriously, Disney is one of my favorite things, too. So I feel like this is just gonna be a fun conversation. I mean, it can’t be a bad day if you’re talking about Disney.
Kim Crain: Right? I get to work and talk about Disney. My day is made.
Crystal O’Keefe: I love it. So, how many times have you been to Disney?
Kim Crain: Honestly, Crystal, I have tried to sit down and count, I’d get ashamed of how many times I’ve been.
So I stop. I stop at a certain point. We have gone probably two to three times a year over the last 10 years. So I would say ballpark 20 to 30 times again. I stopped counting.
Crystal O’Keefe: Yeah. Yeah. We’ve been quite a bit. Yeah. And so Disneyland, Disney World mixture of both?
Kim Crain: Yeah. Yeah. So, we are fortunate to live on the California side and so Disneyland is our home Disney park, and just recently we did have the chance to go to Disney World, but definitely we favor Disneyland just because it’s close to us.
Crystal O’Keefe: Sure. No, I get that. It’s funny because we live in the Midwest, so we can go to either, although we do usually go to Disney World, but that is, that is simply efficiency because there are so many different things to do at Disney World. It’s like a larger park, right? So if you’re going to do all that traveling, it’s just might as well get the most bang for your buck.
Kim Crain: Exactly. Get the most bang for your buck for us to travel from coast to coast. It is in the middle, absolutely, I can’t even blame you for going that way, I’d like to.
Crystal O’Keefe: But I think as many times as you’ve been, I would call you an expert. I feel like you have the system down.
Kim Crain: Yeah, I like to think so.
And being that we have gone to Disneyland so many times, some of the same fundamentals, planning, et cetera, apply and applied when we did go to Disney World, making it so smooth and easy. I think it can be applicable to either park.
Crystal O’Keefe: So I’m curious, when you go, especially in the California side, because it’s so different when you go to Florida, when you go to Disneyland, is it like a few days? Is it go for the day? A mixture? How do you guys usually do that?
Kim Crain: Yeah, we do have still a bit of travel. We’re in Northern California, so it is a bit of travel, so we do try to get the most thing for a book just to save and we do usually make it a trip and that’s typically at minimum a weekend, but usually we like to go to it for three to four days actually being in the park itself. And then, of course, travel on the other ends of things.
Crystal O’Keefe: Yeah. I’m setting up for more questions here, but I’m curious if you stay on property, off property, because how you might eat could look very differently depending on what those choices are.
Kim Crain: Absolutely. And the difference too, this is, I think a big difference between Disneyland and World, is that with Disneyland on the property and off property tends to be pretty much the same. You’re pretty close in proximity.
There are a lot of options near Disneyland that are nearby that are considered off property, but within walking distance, but we’ve done a mix of both.
We’ve stayed at Disney hotels as well as non-Disney hotels. And again, some of the same fundamentals apply, but you’re right. The different amenities can look a little different when you’re staying on or off property. So I have a little experience in both.
Crystal O’Keefe: Okay. All right. And I feel like being that you are a healthy person, you like to eat well.
I’m curious how you handle the desserts and treats at Disney because I’m just saying there are a few options there. Just a couple.
Kim Crain: There are just a few options. Just a few. And I do like to consider myself a healthy person. I’ve been with MetPro both as an employee and as a client for some time.
I do like to find a healthy balance, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I don’t indulge and enjoy a treat or two on our trip. But again, it’s coming to that balance and finding that I can eat healthy, enjoy a treat, and feel great at the end of the day. I do find balance when I’m at the parks.
Crystal O’Keefe: Definitely. Shoo! I’m glad to hear that. I’m glad to hear you were human, Kim. I was worried.
Kim Crain: No, I will not pass up a churro. There are certain things that it just, it wouldn’t be a Disney trip without a Disney treat. I’m so sorry. I’m being honest.
Crystal O’Keefe: I agree. You will find no argument here. None.
Kim Crain: Sorry MetPro Coach!
Crystal O’Keefe: So now how do you kind of plan for these things then? I don’t know, maybe it’s not as much since you’ve done it so many times, but when I plan to go to Disney World, it is a whole thing. Like there are spreadsheets. There’s a lot.
Kim Crain: You are my people. I’ve lessened it over the years, but definitely from the beginning stages, I was like on Pinterest, I had spreadsheets, I had docs, I would print them.
You know, I’m a planner, especially when it comes to our trips. I know not everyone does their trips that way, but that is me. Over the years, I’ve loosened some. I think we have a trip actually coming up next week. I don’t think I have a spreadsheet or a doc because it’s all in my head now.
But yeah, I definitely like to sit down and plan where we’re eating and what kind of foods will have available. So I do plan around my macro meal plan. What rides, what attractions, what entertainment do we want to see? So I plan all elements of our trip because I just enjoy that almost as much as the trip itself.
Crystal O’Keefe: Yeah. I mean, I have to say, I am a planner at heart. Now, in full transparency, I never have planned a full Disney vacation. My husband does all of it. He does zero other planning, but he does all of the vacation planning. He’s like, this is where we’re going. These are the rides I plan to do. This is the day we’re eating here. This is the day we’re going to this park. And I’m like, you just tell me where to be and I will show up.
Kim Crain: That’s me for our family and in fact I do it for others. I have family and friends that will reach out to me. Can you help me? Yes, I would love to help you because it brings joy to me in a weird way.
But again, I’ve loosened up some, we’ve got some more flexibility these days, but yes, I do like the planning.
Crystal O’Keefe: Well, I’m curious how you handle the food side of things like we just talked about. There’s a lot of treats. There’s a lot of temptation. There’s a lot of amazing food there. So, what kind of thoughts go through your head when you’re like, this is where I’m eating?
How do you plan around MetPro?
Kim Crain: So with MetPro, you know, I definitely keep that in mind on my trip again, I find balance, but I find that when I eat well and healthy and on plan throughout a vacation, I don’t crash after or even during it. So, I definitely keep my MetPro meal plan in mind. I do a number of things.
So, planning restaurants that I know their menus will be applicable to my plan. So, a lot of times there’s a Mexican restaurant we love, and I know I can get a fajita and I can make it work for my meal plan. I have my protein, I have my veggies. So that’s one side of things, is looking at the restaurants and their menus.
And then I always pack or have food shipped or delivered to our hotel. That is like a non-negotiable for me. I have to snack. I have to fuel my body throughout my day, whether I’m on vacation or at home, but especially on a trip like Disney where we’re go go go. And there are so many temptations. I need to keep my fuel going throughout the day.
I need to keep myself going throughout the day. So I always have a mix of what restaurants are we eating? How can they apply to my meal plan? And what snacks and/or additional foods like breakfast foods can I bring with me? You can’t bring a ton.
Crystal O’Keefe: Yeah, that’s what I wanted to ask you about because you mentioned bringing food into the park.
Now, in full transparency, I am the type of woman, I hate to say this is a controversial thing. I don’t take bags. Anywhere. I go to a concert, no bag. I go to Disney, no bag. There’s nothing. I take nothing.
Kim Crain: I envy you. I envy you.
Crystal O’Keefe: I’m like, where’s the no-bag lane? That’s what I want to know.
Kim Crain: But at Disney, that is a convenience. You can skip those entry and security lines if you don’t have a bag. I’m the person pulling out the bags. I’ve got a system down, but I got bags.
Crystal O’Keefe: Yeah, yeah, but if you go that often and you live close enough to be able to go that often, I totally get that. It’s just a different mindset, you know, when you’re coming from halfway across the country, you don’t want to be carrying around because like, how are you even going to pack that?
What am I going to do? Put a backpack on the plane, like a separate backpack?
Kim Crain: I do have so full disclaimer. We still have young enough kids that I can squeeze them into a stroller and their stroller turns into our carrying device for said snacks, but there are still options.
And I think whether you’re bringing stuff in or you find stuff at the park, there are still snack options there too. But yeah, I am the girl that has the bags. I actually have a soft cooler that I’m going to show you as an example you can bring.
You can bring a soft cooler with water and drinks. I bring that stuff because again, I’m not just thinking about myself and fueling my own body, but I do have young kids and anyone that has kids knows they are always hungry.
Crystal O’Keefe: Well, not only that, but I mean, again, it is the going to the park is not an inexpensive endeavor.
Kim Crain: That’s a little bit of money. It is a way to save and not constantly have to seek out food. That’s the other thing to have to constantly look at when you’re hungry. It’s not your best friend.
Crystal O’Keefe: Not only is it prepared, but it also takes away time from standing in line for your favorite ride.
Kim Crain: Facts. This is true. Yeah. You can use Genie+ and you can mobile order food if you want, or you can just have a snack while you’re in line. That’s me.
Crystal O’Keefe: I say, we do the ordering in line. I love that they started doing the mobile orders because that is amazing. Also, if you are a Disney Vacation Club member and you’re staying on property, most of those locations come with a full kitchen and you can order your groceries to be delivered and they will be waiting for you downstairs and you just take them into your room.
And that, like just eating a full good breakfast is a game changer. It’s a game-changer.
Kim Crain: Such a game changer, and we absolutely utilized that when we were on a Disney World property. The night we flew in, we had our groceries delivered and carried them into our room. We were able to have a meal with the kids, and breakfast, like you mentioned, I know that I need to fuel my morning properly to have a good day or I’m crashing and burning instantly.
So having even just a microwave, some locations do have a full kitchen, but even just having a microwave, I can add some water to some oatmeal, microwave it, and have something in your body before you start the day. Definitely can help set your day up.
Crystal O’Keefe: As you know, but other people may not know, especially if they haven’t been with little kids, it is exhausting.
I mean, it’s a great day. Like I am not, it is not a negative thing, but If you’re not fueling yourself well and you don’t set yourself up mentally, you’re going to be that parent screaming at the child in the middle of the park at like 2 p. m. So, it’s usually around the time, right? And one of the things that I found is like, if you do stay on property, they used to have, I think they still have them, those meal plans where they give you like credits and you can do the breakfast and stuff.
But I found that going to those cafeterias first thing in the morning put me in the worst mood because everyone’s super crabby and super tired. And so the quiet time of eating in our hotel room and like taking our time and not being in a rush. I didn’t have to chase somebody down to get the last milk.
You know what I mean?
Kim Crain: Even with Disneyland hotels or near property hotels, I used to look for somewhere that offered a continental breakfast and the same thing. Everyone was there. They didn’t have great options and you were just frazzled. I’d rather save that energy for the parks.
So yeah, we eat in our rooms. We absolutely have a small breakfast in our rooms and it just sets your tone for the day, I think. I love that. If continental breakfast is an option. There’s going to be something. A lot of places offer hard-boiled eggs now, a yogurt, I’ve seen, scrambled eggs, there are options.
It’s just having the right mindset, as you mentioned.
Crystal O’Keefe: It is. I once saw two different families fighting, and I mean fighting, over the last of the scrambled eggs and that was when I was like, you know what? I am now done. We are doing this differently from now on. That was kind of my my breaking point when it came to that, and that would just happen to be a bad experience for me I don’t mean that every time you go down there it’s like that, but it just sets your day up. Like you said.
Kim Crain: So, if you can plan to have meals delivered and have groceries delivered that does help take some of that away. And I mean, we have water delivered. I have like a whole meal set up that I have delivered and each trip now it’s just in my car and I’m like, yes, we want all these things. Please deliver them to our room. There are a lot of great options to be able to do that, to do grocery delivery and not have to stress about others.
Crystal O’Keefe: That’s fantastic. Now, how are you handling snacks? What are you taking to the park with you?
Kim Crain: So, nonperishables are my go-to. I actually a lot of times turn to our internal and what we share with clients on our Amazon list.
I have the little packs of almonds. I have some of the packs of peanut butter. I have rice rollers because my kids think those are treats, which I’m not going to tell them. I’m not going to tell them they’re not treats. But those nonperishable small snacks that for us again, I am packing in a bunch of stuff with little ones, but you can still bring a little backpack and have your snacks set for the day.
You know, get your carb, get your protein, get your fat. And I just have those small, nonperishable snacks in my bag. And enough to share, of course, because if you’re going with somebody else if you’re eating, they’re going to go, where’s mine?
Crystal O’Keefe: It’s so true. And I can’t tell you how many clients that I’ve talked to over the years where they’ll be like, they’re going on vacation, doesn’t have to be Disney, and they’ll take their snacks. They’ll take their snacks. And the next thing they know, they have no snacks because their whole family took all of their snacks.
Kim Crain: Everyone realizes how hungry they are the second you pull out snacks. Everyone’s hungry. It is such a mom thing, but I feel like Mary Poppins and my purse just keeps delivering things.
But yeah, I definitely have snacks for me. I always have snacks, like you said, whether it’s Disney or another vacation or just day-to-day life. I keep some nonperishables with me because that’s going to fuel me and keep my energies high and able to get through a fun day at the park.
Crystal O’Keefe: Well, that’s, that’s the goal. That’s always the goal, right? Just having fun. You know, I want to kind of revisit what you can take into the park because a while ago, when you were talking about that cooler, you mentioned even bringing in water. You mentioned bringing in snacks, but I think you told me separately you could even bring in full meals.
Is that true?
Kim Crain: Okay. So yes. And again, I’ve been doing this for some time, MetPro and Disney for some time. In the early years of MetPro and working with a coach, I was so strict with myself and I still am pretty good, but I feel more comfortable and confident going to a restaurant because I can work with my coach and say, “Hey, help me look at this menu” or I just know.
But in the early days, this is story time here, we would actually pack in our meal, and we would pull out our little coolers, and it’s a little work to get it all ready, but It helped, just feel well when we were at the parks. And again, save time. We would find a bench, we would sit down, we would have our little lunch, and we’d go about our day.
That looks a lot different now. I do eat out at restaurants and feel comfortable and confident with that. But yeah, you can bring in, I mean, as long as it’s in a soft cooler, they have measurements on their website, you know, you can’t exceed and bring like a big Igloo ice cooler into the parks, but like a soft ice pack or ice cooler is the word I think I’m looking for.
You can bring that in and have your stuff in there. And I’ve seen families pull out kids little sandwiches and Lunchables, anything really. And again, I’m not saying to bring a Lunchable, but you can pack in your own stuff.
Crystal O’Keefe: Right. Right. Well, the last time we were there, I saw something I had never seen before.
And this guy was like, carrying what looked like a backpack cooler. And this thing was ginormous. It was like your whole back. And I was just blown away. First of all, that’s the opposite of how I approached the park and I was just fascinated. I kind of wanted to go up to him and be like, what’s in there? Let me see.
Kim Crain: Let me see what you have in there. Yeah, I’m always surprised by what people bring with them. And again, if you’re a large family or you’re looking to save money, there are so many great pros, I think, to bringing in your food beyond just being mindful and, you know, applying MetPro to your trip.
There are so many benefits to it, but yeah, a lot of families do it. You’d be surprised and a lot of solo travelers have, like you said, a big old backpack loaded with goodies.
Crystal O’Keefe: Well, I think those are some wonderful tips. I’m also curious how you handle the lunch and dinner. You said you feel comfortable sitting down at restaurants now.
So do you have specific restaurants you always go to? Do you just kind of, you mentioned your favorite Mexican restaurant, or is it you kind of just change it up each time you go?
Kim Crain: We do change it up. We have a few that we try to get to if we can get reservations, you know, Disneyland, I think, has a little more flexibility with reservations as opposed to Disney World. Disney World, you’re booking far in advance.
Crystal O’Keefe: Six months. Six months. Not that I’m counting.
Kim Crain: And you want to be, on that six-month mark, booking your stuff and that’s great. Most of those restaurants you can find something that applies to MetPro and make it work with your meal plan.
But for us, we do find a little more flexibility. Lunch for us is usually more or less on the fly, but there are a lot of great places at the parks where you can find good protein. Veggies are a little harder to come by, so if you can smuggle in some baby carrots, go for it. That’s my go-to. But you can find those things at the park once you feel comfortable and confident.
But yes, I do have a handful of restaurants we like, and I still try to make sure we are flexible too, and I can feel comfortable eating.
Crystal O’Keefe: So I’m also curious, how often do you pass the, you said you never pass up a churro, but how often do you pass by the shops that have the ice cream? And you’re like, okay, it’s three o’clock. It’s hot. I’m eating some ice cream.
Kim Crain: You…this I’m ashamed to admit, I have actually never ordered ice cream at Disneyland.
Crystal O’Keefe: I’m sorry, this interview is over. We can no longer-
Kim Crain: Ice cream is my kryptonite. It is my kryptonite. But I honestly save it for what I will not be able to get outside of the park.
So ice cream, I’m going to eat that at home. But like a churro, a Disney churro, nothing beats a Disney churro. Or there are certain other treats that you can only find there, the little Mickey-shaped cake pops. Or the things that I can only find at Disney, that is what I personally am going for.
Crystal O’Keefe: Okay. Okay. So you’re kind of, you like to be a completist. You like to go find the little gems, the little hidden things that they have.
Kim Crain: If you’re there during like certain seasons, they have certain seasonal treats. And that for me is even more exciting, you know, my son just this morning was like, when we go next week, can I have a poison apple?
It’s a caramel apple. And I’m like, yes, we will do that. When it’s an apple, you know, there’s some health benefits to it, but we seek, I seek out, the desserts, the treats that I can only find there or maybe seasonally there. So I’m a little picky with my treats.
Crystal O’Keefe: Well, I’m not going to Disney next week, but I am going on a Disney cruise next week. So we will both be thinking Disney.
Kim Crain: I love it. I hope you do get to enjoy ice cream and all the things.
Crystal O’Keefe: I guarantee you I will be enjoying some ice cream.
Kim Crain: It’s three o’clock, I’m gonna message you at three o’clock.
Crystal O’Keefe: So, one of the things I love, I know I’m kind of changing gears a little bit. One of the things I love about Disney Cruises, though, is that when you sit down in their dining room. I’m just explaining for people who may not know this because I was fascinated by this. You go to a different restaurant every single night, but your wait staff follows you.
So, you have the same waiters the entire week, your same serving staff, so they get to know you. So, my husband is the pickiest eater on the planet. He will not eat any of the desserts. He doesn’t like when it’s foodie, you know, he likes just like plain, simple.
Kim Crain: Gorgeous.
Crystal O’Keefe: So, he always asks for a Mickey bar, and then the first night they’re always making fun of him and they’ll go and get a Mickey bar off the kid’s menu. You’re on a Disney cruise. By the third day, they’re bringing him two or three. They’re doing things on the plates and spelling names out. Like they have so much fun and I just love that personal experience and Disney just does that so well with everything..
That’s why I love Disney.
Kim Crain: Above and beyond. Yes. I’ve actually not been on a Disney cruise. That’s absolutely on our bucket list. I’ve been on a cruise. We definitely did not have the same experience or the same wait staff. So does not surprise me though, as you said, Disney does things above and beyond and clearly, we’re fans.
Crystal O’Keefe: Yeah. You will go someday. You will absolutely adore it. It’s so much fun. And if you like to find the hidden treats, let me just say they are all dressed up. All the characters are dressed up, but they’re all dressed up in different sailing outfits the whole week, so sometimes they’re as a captain, like Mickey and Minnie come out as the captain and his wife, and then sometimes, they’re in pirate outfits, like they’re special outfits.
Kim Crain: I love a good theme. So, Disney, themes, yeah, that’s me. I almost wore ears today, and I was like, no, Kim, bring it in.
Crystal O’Keefe: Are you guys gonna dress up like do they have a Halloween party next week while you’re there?
Kim Crain: They do have an Oogie Boogie- It’s called Oogie Boogie bash. It’s a Halloween party.
This will be our first year in some time we are not going. Like I said, I love a good theme so I’ve got our outfits planned I plan our snacks, I plan our rides, and I plan our outfits.
Crystal O’Keefe: I love it. I love it. Well, we are dressing up for the big party. They have a Halloween party on the cruise ship, and I am dressing up as Cruella, and Tom is dressing up as a Dalmatian.
So, he’s gonna be the most adorable Dalmatian I’ve ever seen.
Kim Crain: Love it! And I love it when somebody is a willing participant in the shenanigans, that’s what I call them. My husband is totally a willing participant, and now when we plan trips he’s like, alright, what are our outfits, what do I need to get, I’ll link, and I’ll make it happen.
Crystal O’Keefe: Do you guys get the matching Disney shirts too? Like, is it like the family?
Kim Crain: So, I don’t know if this will pick up, I’m gonna show you, we do coordinate outfits, let’s see. Oh, you can kind of see it. I’ll have to share a picture after we don’t do the matching shirts. We did that in 2010.
Now it is themed outfits. We definitely love a good themed outfit. And next week, because it’ll be for Halloween, we definitely have our outfits planned accordingly.
Crystal O’Keefe: I love it. Now I am also curious just one other big question here. Would you handle a day trip differently than you would handle a week-long stay at like Disney World or Disneyland?
Kim Crain: I think the fundamentals are the same. I would still pack in food because your girl’s always hungry and needs to fuel herself, right? But I think when you’re there for a long time, you kind of spread it out. At least that’s what we do. I’m spreading out when we’re eating out.
I can’t eat out every meal every day without not feeling great. Even if I stay as close to my meal plan as possible. It just weighs on me a little differently, but in a day, I feel like if I had a day I might pack in a little more treats and goodness and then get back on it the next day.
Crystal O’Keefe: I think that makes sense. I mean I really do and to your point, I’ve experimented for you Kim and let me just say that if you eat all the meals, all the days, you end up with that sore feeling because of all the inflammation.
Kim Crain: I call it the vacation hangover and I think you mentioned it earlier like Disney’s a lot. You’re go go go. It can be a lot and you have this come down after where you’re just needing to recover from your vacation.
But when you eat unwell on top of it or eat out every meal, there’s a vacation hangover and you just don’t feel great. I don’t like it. I don’t like to have to recover from that, but it was just for one day and then I’m coming home. I could do it.
Crystal O’Keefe: I hear you. I hear you. Are there any other tips and tricks that you want to make sure you share with our listeners?
Kim Crain: I think if you are working with a macro coach, you know, utilize them. They’re a great resource. I still ping mine and go, “Hey, I’m eating here” or just planning ahead if you can so that you’re not on a cut. Sorry, coaches. But MetPro cuts at Disney just- it’s hard.
Crystal O’Keefe: Those two things do not compute.
Kim Crain: No, they don’t compute. So I’ve worked with my coach and told her in advance. Hey, I have a trip next month. And so we plan our phases accordingly because It’s just going to help me be better, feel better, adhere better. So yeah, definitely work with your coach if you can. Bring your food if you can.
Enjoy the treats, but also find balance and bring what you can in and you’ll just feel better after.
Crystal O’Keefe: Well, those are great tips. I would also add, that you said this to me offline. I’m just going to remind you, hydrate. That was a good one to add.
Kim Crain: Yes, yes, please hydrate. Bring in your own water bottles.
You can get water. It’s different fill-up stations at their standalone restaurants. It’s hot. I don’t care if you’re going to Disneyland or Disney World, it’s going to be hot. You’re going to be exerting yourself. Hydrate. And if it’s extremely hot, bring some Noon tablets, bring some additional hydration on top of your water.
But yes, hydrate.
Crystal O’Keefe: Thank you for the reminder. Absolutely. No, it was, it’s a, it’s a really good tip. I wanted to make sure people heard. And I really like adding the Noon tablets. I wish I had had those the last time I went.
Kim Crain: Yeah, I always bring a little pack in our backpack because whether it’s me or the kiddos, midday we’re usually like, Oh, we haven’t drank enough water.
And you’re trying to make up for that. So we just dropped that in it. Tastes like you’re having kind of a treat in a way, and you’re hydrated.
Crystal O’Keefe: It’s a win-win. That’s really smart. That’s really smart. Well, Kim, thank you so much for your time today. This was just delightful. One of my favorite subjects in the world is Disney.
Kim Crain: Thank you. I so appreciate you reaching out and getting the chance to do this.
Crystal O’Keefe: Well, you did an amazing job. Listeners, that’s all for this week. You can find all of the MetPro Method episodes anywhere you get podcasts, or you can go to MetPro.co/podcast. Please be sure to follow the show and rate and review.
That lets other people know what to expect from the show. You can also learn more about MetPro. I’m your host, Crystal O’Keefe, and I will be back next week. Until then, remember, consistency is key.