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Friday, April 11, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #15: STRETCH!

Taking care of your body is an essential part of any exercise program. And yet it is one of the things we are most likely to skip. Everyone knows they should stretch before and/or after exercise, and that it is a good habit to have just as a part of daily living. But really...how often do YOU do it?

Stretching keeps you flexible, prepares your muscles for exercise and helps your body heal after a tough workout. Besides being good for you, it has the extra benefit of feeling GOOD (usually).

Don't know how to start? Start by taking a look at the stretch chart in your Mama Bootcamp binder, and look for the ones that stretch the areas on your body that are tight or sore.

Your challenge this week: Spend 5 minutes at the end of your day stretching.

Pick a few stretches that target your "problem" spots (sore, tight, etc.) and do them. Hold each stretch to your comfort level, but shoot for about 30 seconds. If you're up for even more of a challenge, try to incorporate some body care into your entire day by taking a couple of minutes every hour or so to stretch. Your body will love you for it!

Have a GREAT week!

Friday, April 4, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #14: Veggie Bags (aka Grab-n-Go)!!

Even if you only just started Mama Bootcamp, you know that one of the cornerstones in our nutrition training is eating veggies. Lots and lots and lots of veggies.

You'd have to have been living under a rock to NOT know that a healthy diet must include lots of vegetables. But let's get real - even though we all KNOW it, we don't all DO it every day. For me, a big factor is the time - those veggies have to be washed, dried, and cut before I can eat them!

The small time investment is more than made up by the benefit. By eating your veggies, you are not only loading yourself up with vitamins and minerals that are essential to healthy living, you are giving yourself so much more. Veggies not only help your body function better, but they can help you lose weight, look younger and even help prevent cancer. Sounds like a good deal to me!

Your challenge this week looks (and sounds familiar): Eat your veggies! But this week, let's work on making it part of your regular routine and making it EASY (and fast, too!). You should be eating 7-9 servings of veggies every single day. With one serving the equivalent of .5 cups, you can fit a whole day's worth of these health-making beauties into one quart-size plastic bag.

Your challenge: Make your Grab-n-Go Veggie bags. By 7pm on Sunday, have your veggie bags for the week ready to go. Pick out several different veggies, and try to be sure to cover as many "colors" as you can. Dark green, light green and red are my favorites, with a little white thrown in, too. Chop them up into the size you like best, and fill up your quart-sized bags. Put them in the fridge so they're ready to go (maybe pair them up with your favorite dip - hummus is mine).

With just a small time investment, the "work" is done for the whole week! On your way out door every morning this week you can grab a bag full of yum! Snack on it all day long, and enjoy the awesome results.

One of my favorite quotes is: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Veggies bags are a perfect example of planning to meet your goal of eating 7 to 9 servings of veggies a day.

Put together your veggie bags and eat them up!  Your body will love you for it.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

Our Main Mama with her Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili!

At a recent Make Ahead Meal Session we prepped a delicious and healthy meal that is so easy.  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili.  It's really good!  You could eat it in a bowl just like any other chili, you could serve it over brown rice, you could also scoop it up with a slotted spoon to remove some liquid and wrap it in a tortilla.  Like any chili, you can adjust the heat to your own liking to make it mild or spicy.  To prep this ahead of time like you see in the photo, place the chicken into a freezer safe zipper bag or wrap with plastic wrap.  In a separate zipper bag add all the other ingredients.  Then place that bag and the chicken into another freezer safe zipper bag.  The night before you want to cook it, place in the refrigerator to begin the defrost.  The next day, put everything into your slow cooker, even if it's still frozen.  When it's cooked you can stir it all together and if you need to, pull out the chicken to shred it.

Recipe:  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

I also highly recommend using this homemade taco seasoning mix to use in the recipe.  It's very easy to make and tastes great.  Plus it's clean eating!  Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix Recipe

Friday, March 28, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #13: Appreciate your Body (Positive Self-Talk)!

In earlier challenges, we focused on being grateful and positive instead of negative and complaining. The whole purpose of those challenges was to realize that what you say and think makes a difference in how you act and feel. Whatever you focus on is what you feed, and what you feed grows. If all you think about is what you don't have, your dissatisfaction grows; if most of what you say comes out as a complaint, you forget to see the positive.

This week's challenge builds on that idea.

How many times in a day do you engage in negative self-talk about your BODY? I know I do it ALL.THE.TIME. "I can't wear those, my thighs are too fat." "I hate my arms." "My back is killing me." "I'm just not strong enough." Honestly, I've probably said each of these things to myself, in my head, just in the last 3 hours.

But what about the GOOD things about my body and all of the amazingly positive and wonderful things it has done for me? My legs are strong and get me where I want to go, and I can move around and play with my daughter whenever I want to. I may have stretch marks, but they came from having a baby - a wonderful gift my body gave me. My body may not be perfect, but it sure has served me well so far!

Your challenge this week: Positive Self Talk! Your Bootcamp coach will give you an index card. Give yourself a minute to think about the beauty of your body and then write down some positive things your body has done for you. As the week goes on, listen to yourself (speech and thoughts) and squash that negative body-talk. Use your card to write down something you love about your body, or something wonderful your body has done for you. Anytime you start having those negative thoughts, pull out your card and remind yourself how strong, beautiful and lucky you really are!

Have a great week!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Kale Salad with Quinoa

Photo of Kale with Quinoa Salad from Mountain Mama Cooks

I'm excited to share this recipe with you this week because it's such an awesome complete meal.  Dark leafy greens, whole grain protein, anti-oxidants, and plenty of nutrients.  Not to mention, it can be made in advance and then eaten throughout the week.  So easy!!  Feel free to improvise and add other ingredients.  Macadamia nuts can be pricy, raw or even roasted almonds could be used instead.  I definitely love to have the crunch of nuts in my salads and for this one, if you intend to make enough to eat over several days, just add nuts to your serving.  The same goes for avocado.

Kale Salad with Quinoa by Mountain Mama Cooks

Friday, March 21, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #12: Declutter and get ready to SWAP!

This week’s challenge is to de-clutter your closets!

The Mama Bootcamp Clothing Swap is coming soon - Sunday May 4, 2014 to be exact!  Clear your closet and bring clothing to your  Bootcamp Coach.  All the Mamas will be given an opportunity to "shop" through the donated items on May 4 and take what they need to fit their healthier bodies.  You don't need to donate to shop, but the more donations we have, the more variety and opportunity there will be.

Just to be clear - we aren't talking just workout clothes, not at all.  Any clean and wearable items you don't want anymore that are still in good enough shape can be donated. 


Clutter can be draining and de-energizing. By getting more organized, you simplify and live a more meaningful life.   I don't know about you, but when I'm surrounded by crap, I feel  like crap and can't live my best life.

This week, pick a drawer, a closet, or a room depending on your time and ambition  and get rid of anything that doesn't fit (you KNOW some of your clothes are too big now!) and that doesn't make you feel fabulous!  You can give away things you no longer use, and dust off the things you forgot you had! You will live more simply and freely as you de-clutter and, who knows - that dress you don't love might be just what another mama is looking for!

Have an outstanding week!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Try a Grain- Wheat Berries

This week's challenge is to try a new grain.  So here's another recipe you should try.  It's very flexible, he provides suggestions for other root vegetables to use and even other grains. It's a hearty, "rustic" salad that you can enjoy with a protein like roasted chicken or even as a meatless meal.

Roasted Root Vegetable and Wheat Berry Salad