Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Buddha Chakras


Happy Buddha explores the Chakras. This is an image in photoshop that has the hue changing behind the image of a Happy Buddha statue.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Maverick likes Disney Medals

I was cleaning out my drawers this afternoon and I took my medals out and had them sitting on table. I look over and Maverick is sniffing each one of them so I asked if he wanted to try them on. He gave me a look which I took to mean yes and I put all three of them around his neck. He looked so happy with them on that I asked him to stay while I grabbed the camera and look at that happy dog. I think my medals are now his. :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Yoga Wisdom by Georg Feuerstein

Yoga Wisdom: Teachings on Happiness, Peace, and FreedomYoga Wisdom: Teachings on Happiness, Peace, and Freedom by Georg Feuerstein
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Interesting audio book. It starts with some great music and a chant. The second part is definitely more interesting than the first part. There is also a great discussion of Chakras. Most of it is common knowledge about Yoga (at least it was to me)and I do not think that they are as buried as the author insinuates. Those of us who practice Yoga know the Yoga wisdom, but I guess there many of us who do not ingrate it into our daily practice. This is a good book if you are interested in yoga at all.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never SeenBorn to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fantastic book. It not only tells a great story about a group of athletes who set out to complete the greatest race of all time it also gives advice to every runner. "The more it is like work the more you are working." This book, and a personal experience have made me seriously consider to start training running barefoot. So much of the chapter of how runner's injuries are linked to the invention of the running shoe made sense that I think I may just give up my own shoes. I do not think I can, nor do I really want to ever be an Ultra runner but it was really awesome to hear the stories of those who did become Ultra runners. If you have any interest in running at all, read this book!

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

When I Learned to Surf Super Chunk


Much like Amanda I have been writing for years about the adventures I have taken but I don’t usually publish anything. However I will occasionally update http://absenceoftime2.blogspot.com/ with some of my stories which I will try and associate with my music interests. This will offer a 2 dimensional perspective. Although the music I like to write about is often not liked in mainstream venues it helps me taste my youth for a seconded time.
 So These are the stories my best friend and I share around the fire.

I found a great song by Super Chunk When I Learned to Surf. free download at amazon Learn to Surf

“When I learned to Walk you know Humans roamed the earth I can’t hold my breath anymore I stopped sinking and learned to surf” DVC02932  This is the story of when I stopped sinking and learned to surf...
 The hard thing about aging and great friends is that when we are ready to start our journey our friends are often retreating from theirs. It is difficult to be in sync as we grow distant from each other. If by some chance we meet in the middle between the rise and fall of our dreams may we remember what youth felt like and the reasons for chasing surf together. DVC02933 School synchronizes our achievements or the lack of creating opportunity through synergy. The emotions we feel get amplified when we group ourselves with likeminded friends. I learned to surf because of my best friend and honestly if not for him I would have stopped right when the best of us start (after high school). I traveled with this friend for years chasing the excitement found in surfing together. DVC02938 I often ask myself where I would be at this moment if not for a chance meeting with my best friend in a dropout prevention class in 10th grade. Well I would have believed what the world believed. I was a loser. However through our adventures I found I had real ability to live a life much greater than the one I was stuck in DVC02947 After I dropped out of YCAT Lab at South East high school in 11th grade I was told I was a looser by my instructor. She was right I suffered a great loss in my high school achievement. And while I know I should have tried harder in high school it just felt like a rigged game I could not win. So I gave up and took a GED at 19 and at 23 found a backdoor into CU Boulder. DVC02944 But I should say that the time after dropping out and before Going to college was where I learned to harness the naturally occurring momentum of turbulence by learning to surf. Don’t get me wrong when I first dropped out of high school I lived my car. I even rented a 3x8 shed to live in while I delivered pizza. This was a very hard time for me but its always hard building a foundation for the first time. I built my first business and watched it get taken from me in 1 day. It was such a sad time but my best friend and I would surf every chance we got. And this saved me form giving up. DVC02926 Often during this time I wished for death. I hated living in my car and feeling like everyone knew I was homeless. Life seemed so overwhelming and when this is happing life are only kicks harder when you’re down. But while surfing with Aaron… I was free, It was like the water could wrap me in a protective barrier that could somehow stop the chaos of my life. We would surf for days with little food and water just sleeping at Sebastian Inlet or on the beach at Cocoa beach pier. DVC02930 Eventually I realized that the only thing I wanted to do was travel and surf. So I did. And by a happy accident I was living in LA and friend invited me to Boulder. And Boulder CO just about handed me a great wife, 200 thousand dollars and an MBA. No, it was work and a lot of it. But it almost seems all my off shaped quirks fit for the first time here. I remember learning to snowboard quickly and then using these skills to sell liquidated merchandise for SNIAGRAB on commission in 1999 as manager of the snowboard department and made more money in 3 months than I ever have seen in my entire life. DVC02955 I was 22 and this was a turning point for me. I owe Garts sports and now Sports Authority and my manger Dan a tremendous debt for this gift. Because of it I was able to snowboard the rest of the season and start at CU Boulder. Going to college was very freighting for me. But I made a pack with myself that I would do well in college or join the military. I was not joking I forced myself to do well in college and it was not easy. I had no computer experience and had never written an essay and my first class was an introduction writing course for football players and others struggling students. But they were all more advanced than me. DVC02936 To give you an idea of how bad it was when I went to the computer lab I could not find how to type. I did not know what Word was and I ended up in an engineering lab. After about 2 hours of clicking I finally left absolutely devastated. I was so embarrassed because everyone seemed to use computer so easily and I could not find how to type. The feeling of shame I had for not knowing what everyone seemed to know was excruciating. But by luck I worked with a business major named Brooke who took the time to teach me what labs to use what programs to use. After that I had a fitting chance and spent every day in the labs typing. Often I would forget to snowboard. I was on a mission and I was so afraid of failing in college because I really didn’t want my old high school teacher to be right in calling me a looser. Do you know what I mean? If one person calls you a loser well this is just one however when many call you a loser maybe I would be forced to admit I was. DVC02934 However life opened up to the young wide smiling, energetic, long harried surfer I became. Honestly, I don’t know if I deserved the opportunities that through themselves in my path. However the ones I did grab lead to a life I feel resembles the life I wanted. I should state that I did graduate high school and even obtained an MBA in marketing. I don’t know if the scholarly education is worth the cost but I defiantly got my monies worth learning to surf with Aaron.
 The Absence of Time is a great feeling Thanks for reminding me Super Chunk “ I seem a little out of it” .DVC02945

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Champion 5k at Dick's Sporting Good Presents ESPN the Weekend 2011


Champion 5k
Originally uploaded by Amanda's Weekly Zen
On March 5, 2011 I participated in the Champion 5k at Dick's Sporting Good Presents ESPN the Weekend 2011 held in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was my first Disney 5k and it was a lot of fun. I took my camera and felt like a tourist as I walked through Hollywood Studios for the first time in a couple of years. I had forgotten what was inside Hollywood Studios it was great to be reacquainted with Disney’s HS. Here is a breakdown of the packet pickup and mile by mile:
fitness apps
Packet Pickup: Since this was my first Disney 5k and my first Champion 5k I really did not know what to expect. I was told from others who had done the race in previous years that last year it was held indoors and that you had the opportunity to pickup anytime between noon-8pm on the Friday before and then the morning of. This year it was outside and you could only pickup from 5-8pm on Friday then an hour before on the morning of. The lines were really long and really slow. A lot of people were in line for 30-40 minutes. I have also seen many people stating that they ran out of goody bags and not everyone who signed up received one (posted on the Run Disney Facebook page).

What is inside the Champion 5k at Dick's Sporting Good Presents ESPN the Weekend Goody Bag? I have to say this is the most interesting goody bag I have received from a Disney race. There were little bottles of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, meat seasoning, lotion (utter cream), a coupon for music, coupons for items at Dick’s Sporting Goods, a tech tee, final race instructions, our bib and d-tag (see the photo below). While I am a fan of balsamic vinegar and olive oil it was the strangest thing I have seen in a goody bag. I was somewhat disappointed with the tech tee. Up to this point all my race shirts have been pretty neat, some better than others but this one was sort of ugly and really large. When I registered small was the smallest size and it is huge! Another thing about the Goody bag was that in the race instructions it mentioned that there should be a sticker that you would place on the plastic bag (like a shopping bag from the Champion Store) they gave you and that would be used for bag check… there was not sticker. Also there were no safety pins for our bibs.

Champion 5K Goody Bag
Above: The contents of the Champion 5k Goody Bag

Getting to the Race: This was very confusing and made a lot of people really mad. I went with a group of people who luckily knew Hollywood Studios very well and were aware of a second entrance. What happened though was the main entrance was blocked off (because we would later run through it) and there were no signs (nor instructions in the race instructions) which told you where to enter Hollywood Studios. It was a little bit chaotic at the gate from what I heard from others. Also the bus transportation from the host resorts seemed to be having some issues. Other races said that the buses did not start to leave until 6:30 am for a 7am start, and it was stated in the race instructions that they would begin to leave at 5:30 and you had to be on the bus by 6am.

Race breakdown: As mentioned above the race took place inside Hollywood Studios at 7am. Here is the race breakdown mile by mile.

Mile 1: The first mile was pretty much a move from the parking lot out on the road outside of Hollywood Studios then through the main gate into Hollywood Studios. We then came in through the side of Hollywood Studios and ran through Light’s, Motor, Action where we saw the first camera and our smiling faces up on the big screen. We moved along through Muppet Vision and past the Star Tours ride. During this mile (right before we got to the Muppet Vision) area there is a nice little bathroom of to the side so I stopped for a bathroom break. Some of this first mile was a little tight, at one point the road was split and we could see the runners who were ahead of us. My time for the first mile was 15:10.

Champion 5k March 5, 2011 Hollywood Studios Disney World FL
Above: Going through the Streets of America in Hollywood Studios. While we came around the corner we faced this hill and some girl near said "OH MY GOD!" She was relived to find out that the hill was just a facade.

Mile 2: This was my favorite mile of the 5k. By this point my legs started to warm up and we were approaching the best part of Hollywood Studios… Mickey’s Hat! We ran past the Great Movie Ride and around Mickey’s Hat. In front of the Sorcerer’s Hat a stage was set up and Mulch Sweat and Shears was parked in front playing. We then continued down Hollywood Boulevard and toward the Rockin’ Roller Coaster and around the Tower of Terror. This was the most narrow part of the course, right behind the Tower of Terror. The course becomes a crumbling sidewalk where a lot of people slowed down even more so as not to hit each other. My time for mile 2 was 14:55.

Champion 5k March 5, 2011 Hollywood Studios Disney World FL
Above: Going around the Sorcerer's Hat in Hollywood Studios

Mile 3: After doing a circle around the Tower of Terror we then came back down Hollywood Boulevard, past the entrance gates and back out to the same place where we started. The finish line was awesome. At the end Minnie and Mickey dressed in their sports gear were high fiveing people along with the Harlem Globe Trotters. Unfortunately people were asked to keep moving so I could not stop for pictures with them. My time for mile 3 was 14:31 and my overall chip time was 46:56. What I learned about myself with this 5k was that the 20 minute walk to the corrals that we have to do for the larger Disney races really helps to get me warmed up so my legs are ready to go by the time I get to my first mile. During this one I really never felt warmed up until it was just about over.

Minnie and Mickey Champion 5k
Above: Mickey and Minnie at the Champion 5k Finish Line

The Pros and Cons of the Champion 5K:

Pros: This gave me the opportunity to see Hollywood Studios which I have not been to in a couple of years. I also got to high five the Harlem Globe Trotters which was pretty cool. Also this course was rocking! There was not a moment of the course when you could not hear music playing and they played so pretty fun music, there was no need at all for my iPod. And lastly the medal was really cool!

Champion 5k medal
Above: The 2011 medal for the Champion 5k

Cons: Too short for a Disney race. Since it was so short I felt that I could not stop as often to get my picture taken in front of neat things (also there were not that many cast members or volunteers around to ask as there are at the bigger races). There were also some logistical problems with this race that were discussed above.\

Overall I had fun and I have another very cool Disney medal to add to my collection.

Want to see more of my photos from the Champion 5k? Check out my Champion 5k at Dick's Sporting Good Presents ESPN the Weekend 2011 album on flickr.

Friday, March 04, 2011

A Look Into the Vegan Salad


Vegan Salad
Originally uploaded by Amanda's Weekly Zen
While I would not really call myself a complete Vegan (I do still use butter on occasion) I do tend to eat primarily fruits and vegetables (no meat and no other dairy except for butter). This year I am making an effort to learn more about the foods that I eat and what benefits they offer me. In this post you will find a list of ingredients of one of my favorite lunches and what each ingredient can provide its eater.

Note: This is a sweet and tangy dish with a few strong flavors from the capers and white onions.The drink in this photo is a glass of hot Jasmine Green tea with a little bit of raw and unfiltered Ambrosia honey.

Cucumbers: The most common variety of cucumber is the slicing cucumber which has a large water content but also contains such vitamins as vitamin A &C as well as potassium. Cucumbers are great for your complexion and will reduce skin irritations and swelling. For more information on the Cucumber check out this website.

Radish: Radishes are known for being able to help with all sorts of ailments and they can also act as a breath freshener. To read more about radishes check out this website.

Dried Cranberries: While cranberries can be good for your eyes these probably little more than a sugar snack (they are dried cranberries with sugar) but they are really great flavor contrast with the capers.

Capers: The capers on this salad were soaked in water, white vinegar and salt. Capers are known to be packed with natural antioxidants and it is theorized that they may help with fighting cancer. They are a great tangy flavor. For more information on Capers check out this article.

Sweet Mini Peppers: Mini Peppers will vary (based on color) as to how much Vitamin A, C or Beta-carotene they contain. To learn more about peppers check out this website.

Roma Tomatoes: Are loaded with vitamins and because of their high content of lycopene they could help to protect cells and help to prevent heart disease. For more information on tomatoes check out this website.

Chickpeas: Lots of fiber, protein and iron! For more information on chickpeas check out this website.

Italian Parsley: Parsley has some unique nutrients that you cannot find in many other foods. They can neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke). For more information on parsley check out this website.

White Onion: Onions come in many varieties and will vary in flavor. These particular white onions were very strong. Onions have been used (and are still used) to treat colds, breathing problems (such as asthma) and bacterial infections. For more information on the onion check out this website.

Sea Salt: Mainly used for seasoning

Black Pepper: Mainly used for seasoning

Balsamic Vinegar: Balsamic vinegar is my favorite vinegar. Sort of sweet and tangy it offers a great flavor to any dish (in fact it is in most everything I eat). It acts as a digestive aid.

Organic Girl 50/50 mix: baby spinach, baby green romaine lettuce, baby red romaine lettuce, tango, baby red oakleaf lettuce, baby green oakleaf lettuce, baby red chard, baby green chard, lolla rosa, arugula, mizuna, tatsoi, baby greenleaf lettuce, baby redleaf lettuce. For more information about each of the leaves and lettuces in the 50/50 mix check out Organic Girls Website.

Disney World Running Trails

Many of the resorts will have small walking/jogging paths that you can get outside and run on. Here is a list of the ones that I know of or have tried myself. If you know of a great place to run in Disney World and it is not on this list please email me at amanda@amandasweeklyzen.com and I will add it to the list. (Still updating March 4, 2011)


All-Star Resort Jogging Trail (1 mile): 
This run is about 1 mile and it is a paved trail along West Buena Vista Drive. It travels along the back of all three resorts. Here is a MAP of the All Star Jogging Trail.

Animal Kingdom Lodge (.16 mile loop):   
Animal Kingdom has many places for walking around inside and at the animal viewing area but it is slim pickings for runners. The only designated outside trail is a paved trail around the Uzima Pool area. Maps are available at the concierge.

The Boardwalk/Epcot Loop (0.8 loop): 
This run will take you past the Swan and Dolphin, The Boardwalk Inn, Beach Club Resort and Villas and the Yacht Club Resort. You can also run up the walkway to the Epcot entrance. The whole run will take you around Crescent Lake (this is the same path you take in the Walt Disney World Marathon). Be aware that there are many people walking and biking this same path especially at night. Best time to go is early morning. MAP of the Boardwalk/Epcot Loop
Caribbean Beach Resort (1.4 mile): 
This is a scenic paved path along Barefoot Bay. It is mostly un-shaded. If you are staying in any of the Caribbean Beach resort areas EXCEPT Trinidad South you will be able to access the path, just head towards the Bay (away from the main road). It will take you past Old Port Royale Center Town. A MAP is available at the concierge. 


Contemporary Resort (1.1 miles):  
This is a route that I have not yet tried. According to DisneyRunning.com you can get a mile by running around the North Garden Wing past Contemporary Tower and then around the South Garden Wing. This path is paved and most likely will be busy with resort traffic. There is a map of this route available on DisneyRunning.com

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Disney World Races

There are a number of endurance events that take place at Disney World in Orlando Florida (Lake Buena Vista FL) each year. Below is a list of event weekend along with dates, races that happen during the event weekend and links to the Disney World page for more information or to register for the event. Right now there are 5 endurance event weekends but in April there is supposed to be an announcement for a sixth event. This will be updated with all the info on the new race.

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (January 5 – 8, 2012 registration opens March 15, 2011)
  • Walt Disney World Marathon
  • Walt Disney World Marathon Relay (New in 2012)
  • Walt Disney World Half Marathon
  • Goofy’s Race and Half Challenge
  • Buzz and Woody’s Best Friend 5K
  •  Mickey’s Marathon Kid’s Fest
Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend (February 25 – February 27 2011)
  • Disney's Princess Half Marathon 
  • Beauty and the Beast Royal Family 5K 
  • Disney's Royal Family Kids' Races  

Champion® 5K at Dick's Sporting Goods (March 5, 2011)

  • Expedition Everest™ Challenge
  • Disney Kids' Races
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay
  • Halloween Family Fun Run 5K
  • Disney Kids' Races

Yoga Breathing by Richard Freeman

Yoga BreathingYoga Breathing by Richard Freeman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great instruction on pranayama. Very easy exercises but most of the time is spent explaining the techniques so it is not very great for meditation sessions since he will interrupt your breathing with instruction.

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Disney Princess Half Marathon Photos From ASI


Princess 9
Originally uploaded by Amanda's Weekly Zen
If you were at the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2011 the photos are now up that the ASI photographers took. I am very pleased this year that there were so many of me and they actually found video of me as well! I am tossed up though as to whether or not buy them. Not a fan of paper photos anymore so I would really want a digital download of the photos and video that they took, but I am having a really hard time paying $99.95 for 3 videos and 15 photos. That just seems really costly just to download photos. What are your thoughts on the ASI photos? If you are looking for yours here is the link where you can find your photos...

Action Sport International Disney Princess Half Marathon 2011 Photos (ASI)

Want to see my Disney Princess Half Marathon 2011 photos? Check out my flickr album Disney Princess Half Marathon 2011.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Zen Shorts by Jon Muth

Zen Shorts Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely adorable. A fantastic book book with Zen tales for children. Stillwater tells tales that are simple yet still thought provoking.The first tale is of Stillwater's uncle who likes to give gifts to the people he loves for his own birthday. He is so giving that one day a robber comes to his house while Stillwater's uncle is home. The uncle welcomes the robber and because he does not like to let anyone leave empty handed he takes his only possession, the rob he is wearing, and gives it to the robber who leaves uncomfortable by the uncle's generosity. Little tales such as these are good for young children. While the audiobook was delightful to listen to having the illustrated book would be best. The illustrations are very cute. 

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