Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Magic of Healthy Living Weekend at Epcot with Pollo a las Rajas

Today has been a much better day than yesterday. For instance, nobody hacked my email this morning to beg all of my kith and kin for a wire transfer. It's the little things like not getting hacked and humiliated that can make a day so much brighter. And Blogher seems to be cooperating a little better today. Not perfect, but better. It's the little things like not having to download the same pictures 753.9 times that make my heart sing zipadeedoodah.

Now, onwards and upwards. Shall we?

Just a couple of weeks ago, Sailor was the lucky recipient of a hefty prize as an essay winner for Disney's Magic of Healthy Living contest. Sailor was just one of fifty. Her cousin, Annaliese, was another one of the fifty, and that made the prize just that much more special. My sister MK and her family joined us at Disneyworld for a whole week, culminating in the prize package weekend for the two girls. On Friday morning, the two girls were lucky enough to be part of a public service announcement that should show up on Disney sometime in the near future. The point of the public service announcement was to show some inexpensive and creative ways that kids could get fit. Sailor was filmed jump-roping and Annaliese was the hula-hooper. They were slated to have an interview with some Disney teen celebs, but the crew ran out of time. The girls were good sports, especially since they still got to meet some Disney VIPs, like Caroline Sunshine of Shake It Up. She was adorable, super friendly and really kind to her adoring little fans.

That evening we had our first official event in a giant warehouse-y structure within Epcot. When we walked through the door, we were greeted by Disney cheerleaders who were whooping and applauding. The whole place was cheerily decorated and full of wholesome Disney loveliness. We couldn't help but smile. Sailor was assigned a team leader with two other cute little girl essay winners. Our families sat together during mealtimes.
Here is Sailor with a healthy dinner. I think she was too excited to eat anything.

Several buffet tables were set up with a wide array of healthy choices, like fava bean succotash, root vegetable potato chips, roasted pork loin, heirloom tomato soup with tofu cream...
Disney put on quite a show for the kids. They watched a couple of picture collages on screen with pictures of the actual kids doing healthy activities with a few headshots sprinkled in. They also had a video message from the First Lady commending them for their commitment to healthy living. We had some Disney characters that showed up to boogie down with the winners, a pots and pan chef's band (The Jammers?), and were introduced to a few more Disney teen celebs that would be hosting for the weekend.
Dessert was an assortment of tiny puddings. We loved the Meyer Lemon and the Strawberry. I can't embrace tapioca in my pudding, even if it is chocolate.

Afterwards, Disney got the kids all pumped up again showered the kids with ticker tape.

We exited through the tunnel of amped-up cheerleaders and headed back to the hotel.

The next morning, Sailor went off on a bus with the winners. We attended a separate breakfast for the families.
We met up with Sailor and her gang at an empty field inside of Epcot. I would never have know these places existed.

The winners particpated in outdoor games throughout the entire morning. Simple games from all over the world. The equipment used was very simple: a ball, a balloon, a rope, a Chinese jumprope. Again, the idea of the weekend was to show that getting fit is fun and doesn't require a whole lot of money, equipment, or time.

There were lots of famous athletes and Disney celebs on hand to hang out with the winners. Maybe you will recognize them. I'm sorry to say that I did not. I don't know who famous people are. Who is Kim Kardashian? Why is Snooki famous? These things I do not ever hope to know.

We had a fun make-your-own lunch spread out on a lazy susan. There were sauteed peppers, grilled chicken, spinach, chopped onions, salsa, chutney, beans, pitas and tortillas-and it was up to you to decide how you wanted to make it. For dessert, we had a fabulous brownie with a banana macaron and strawberry basil ice cream with a green tea swirled cookie thingy. The brownie was excellent. Was it healthy and low fat? Maybe? I got the chef's business card so that I can email him for the recipe.
After lunch the kids met back with their groups for more games inside of Epcot.

Sailor's group went to a grassy knoll in Germany to meet with Dopey and Helga to play more games like "What time is it, Mr. Wolf?"
The also had a gardening class from preteen gardening expert Katie Stagliano of Katie's Krops.
In the evening, we headed back to the warehouse for an awards ceremony and formal dinner.
We ate heirloom tomato water, a grain salad, and a Vietnamese spring roll for appetizers.

The girls were busy sticking foil Mickey Mouse shapes on their water glasses.
For dinner we had roast chicken, heirloom beans and Mickey Mouse polenta. Nice little touch.
The kids marched up on stage to get Healthy Living "diplomas."

I didn't get any pictures, but afterwards Mickey came out to bust some moves with some young, fit Disney singers and dancers. To cap off a great weekend and a great event, we headed into Epcot to watch the fireworks over the lake and enjoy an outdoor dessert bar. My favorite dessert was the low fat lemon cheesecake push pops.

The whole weekend was incredible. I was so impressed with the winners and their families. We met some really remarkable people. Disney was so kind and generous to all of the winners and their families. Their hope is that we will come home and use what we've learned to promote healthy living in our neighborhoods and communities. We've got lots to think about. The best news of all is that Disney is hoping to do the event next year, too. I'm hoping that your kids will be there next.

And now a recipe to share from Epcot. This one hails from the Mexican restaurant inside the pyramid. It would not have been served at Healthy Living event, but I think you will like it anyway. Serve it with chips and salsa and a bed of rice for a lovely meal.

Pollo a las Rajas

4 chicken breast halves

1 cup of chorizo, casing removed and diced (I left this out.)

1 large red bell pepper

1 large Spanish onion

1 large poblano chili

1 garlic clove, chopped 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup sour cream

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

1/2 cup half-and-half cream

1. Season the chicken breast halves with garlic, salt, and black pepper.Place the chicken breast halves in a roasting pan and bake in the oven at350 for 20 minutes or until cooked.2. In a saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of oil and lightly sauté poblano pepperuntil skin starts separating. Peel skin from poblano pepper. Make a slit andremove all the seeds. Slice onion, bell pepper, and poblano pepper intostrips.3. In a heavy skillet heat remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and add chorizo,garlic, onion, and peppers. Cook over medium high heat stirring occasionallyuntil onions and peppers are soft.4. Add sour cream, half-and-half, black pepper and salt and simmer for threeminutes.5. On ovenproof serving dishes, place 3/4 cup of vegetable mixture. Top withroasted chicken breast. Sprinkle 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese on eachserving plate. Broil until cheese melts and turns golden.

Up Next:Harry Potter World and Frozen Butterbeer


The JR said...

How lucky that both families got to attend a wonderful week at Disney.

Fantastic trip.

Seth and Julie said...

First of all, I am mad at Blogger right now too. Lately it keeps squishing all my paragraphs together and it will take me 100 attempts to fix it. AND for some reason, I will type a big long comment and then it will tell me it is unable to process my request. It is also not letting me click the older post button on my blog or anyone else's lately. What is up? But at least my e-mail didn't get hacked, although it has in the past and I find it so embarrassing.

This event looks wonderful. I am not sure I could even force myself to swallow some of that food though. Do they have a Magic of Eating Goodies contest? I have got to get my kids in the contest circuit. Your kids have won some pretty wonderful prizes. I have really been enjoying this one, because we are planning to do Disneyworld in December 2012 and we are starting to collect info about the resorts and such. Maybe we will go sooner if we enter and win this contest next year?

Alright Blogger, please don't delete this comment!

Seth and Julie said...

Oh good, I was sure I was going to have to type that again. Looks like maybe things are on the up and up with Blogger after all.

Prudy said...

I am laughing so hard about the magic of healthy goodies contest. Yes, please let me know if you ever find that contest out there. Hee hee hee! Thanks for sharing my frustation with Blogher. I have no control over spacing anymore. When did that happen?
Anyway, thanks for making me laugh today. I'm excited for your trip to Disneyworld in 2012 or sooner.

Michal said...

looks like a great event! i keep thinking that we need to enter more contests, too. so fun for you and MK's family to go together!

Katie and Mark said...

Great pictures! I love them all, and I am loving all your posts. It's like I "live" through your blog, and I am loving my little "Blog-cation" to these wonderful locations. Don't mess with us now computer-we are on our way to Harry Potter World!!! Woohoo!!!

Emily said...

Yayyyy Sailor! What an amazing prize! Congratulations to her. This seems like such a fun week.

Courtney said...

what fun! Do we get to read Sailor's winning essay?

Lanell said...

I'm am your newest follower. I am so glad I found your blog. Been blog hopping and not even sure where I found you. Plus, I'm new at this. I looked quickly through some of your recipes and my first one to try will be the Brown Paper Bag Apple Pie. Thank you for so many delicious looking recipes.

BlondeBomber said...

YUM to all of that incredible looking food! The chocolate easter eggs got me though!! Last year I had one of the best cupcakes ever and it had a giant fudge easter egg atop the cupcake. This reminded me of that decadence. GREAT blog!

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I am laughing so hard about the magic of healthy goodies contest. Yes, please let me know if you ever find that contest out there. Hee hee hee! Thanks for sharing my frustation with Blogher. I have no control over spacing anymore. When did that happen?
Anyway, thanks for making me laugh today. I'm excited for your trip to Disneyworld in 2012 or sooner.

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