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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012! Weekly Challenge #1

Happy New Year!

Mama Bootcamp is kicking off a great 2012 a continuation of our year of challenges. Rise to each weekly challenge in addition to keeping up with your Bootcamp(s) and homework, and make this your favorite year yet.

Challenge #1: An Attitude of Gratitude
Start off the year by actively being thankful for all the good things in your life. Remembering to be thankful for the good stuff - big and small - can help you get your "attitude on right." Whatever you focus on gets bigger and more important. So instead of focusing on the less positive (something you are angry about, negative feelings about a job, etc.) and making those things more important, take a minute to feel thankful for the positives in your life.

Start keeping a Gratitude Journal. Every day, write down three things you are thankful for. Every entry must be different every day.

What a great way to start 2012!

My Gratitudes for today:
1) I am grateful for family, who supports me in everything I do.
2) I am thankful for my good health and the health of my family.
3) I am grateful for Emergen-C :)

We'd love to know what you are grateful for - will you share?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Weekly Challenge #52: Annual Wrap up and SMART Goals

Its hard to believe we're at week 52 and that the year is almost over.

The New Year is often a time for reflection, and for making goals, and that's what we're working on this week.

Take a little quiet time to yourself to reflect back on the last year. What did you do that you are really happy about or proud of? Give yourself some credit for those things and remember what you did to make yourself successful and to meet your goals.

Next, think about the upcoming year. There are 52 new weeks spread out before you and YOU get to decide what you're going to do with them.

Set a new goal for yourself, something you'd like to achieve over the next year. Specifically, set a fitness goal. Do you want to run or walk your first 5K race? Start training for and complete a triathlon? Complete a half marathon? Be able to do 25 push ups without resting? Goal setting is important - if you don't know where you're going, it is hard to get there.

As you plan a successful and fit 2012, don't just make a list of resolutions set GOALS for yourself instead. Remember to keep your goals S.M.A.R.T. - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. You can read more about SMART Goals here.

It has been an amazing year, full of growth, strength and change. I wish you all a 2012 that is healthy, balanced, and full of joy.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Weekly Challenge #51: Make Ahead Meal

We are in the home stretch with the holiday season.  Chances are, you're not heading home right after work, you are hopefully heading to a boot camp, but you might also be heading to a store for some final holiday shopping.  Your challenge this week is to resist the temptation to stop at a drive through, save your money and make a healthy meal this weekend to have ready to go during this busy week.  Plus, baby it's cold outside!  When you come home you can relax and enjoy a warm, filling and healthy meal.
Here are a some options for you:

White Bean and Kale Soup with Chicken Sausage- You know how we love greens and good fiber!  I love this soup.

Minestrone Soup- Meatless but packed with veggies.  Add in a little whole wheat pasta to make it into a Pasta e Fagioli soup.

Crock Pot Polenta Lasagna- My fellow Food Coach Allison has this delicious recipe that you can prep one night and then assemble and have it cook while you're away.  Or just make it ahead of time and re-heat leftovers.  If you want to add meat, simple brown some lean ground beef or turkey with the vegetable mixture.

Have a great week!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ashley's Story: Getting my Life on Track

I promise I haven't disappeared again. I've just been busy with the holidays, head colds, broken bones, and life in general. It's been an interesting few weeks to say the least. My focus hasn't really been on working out, although I've been doing it.

Right before Thanksgiving, I was having some pain in my collarbone. It had been popping for a few weeks and after a weekend of gardening (read: shoveling four cubic yards of mulch) I was having some nagging pain. I sucked it up and when to see my nurse practitioner. Turns out that I broke my collarbone. I know you're thinking, "How do you break your collarbone shoveling mulch?" Well, the quick answer is I didn't. Earlier in the summer - June or July, maybe - I feel off my bike. My lock got caught in my front wheel and I took a tumble over the handle bars. At the time, I felt like only my pride had been hurt. Turns out that wasn't quite true. So, I've been on a limited bootcamp regiment. I can't do any arm exercises for a couple more weeks, but it's going by quickly. I'll be back to full workout just after Christmas...just in time for tri training to start!

While getting my workout cut back was a small blow to my psyche, I've been feeling overwhelmed with work and was letting that take up all of my energy. And when something takes up my emotional energy, that means that I start to overeat and stop taking care of myself. Fortunately, I have a great trainer who also does some wonderful life coaching. :)

I emailed Lorri Ann and spilled the beans about everything I was feeling - how hopeless and overwhelmed I felt and how I had no idea how to pull it all together. She called me with a plan. Last week, I implemented her plan and accomplished more at work in one week then I had in the month prior. Her help has been a true lifesaver. I'm feeling a lot lighter mentally, like I can tackle things again.

It's no surprise to me that emotions are tied closely to my well-being, but sometimes I forget how much better I feel when things are working mentally. That mind/body connection is no joke!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

weekly Challenge #50: Christmas Core

It's the most wonderful time of the year, but also the busiest time of the year. Between holiday shopping, parties, and spending time with friends and family, it can get hard to find time to take care of yourself.

This week's challenge is simple: take 5 minutes every day to work on your core, anyway you want. You can keep it basic (plank three ways, bicycles, toe taps). You can go back to the Sensational Swimsuit Series (30 Toe taps, flip over for the swim (count to 30), 30 double pump bicycles and super woman for a count of 30). You can do whatever moves you choose and mix it up your own way. Do it by yourself, or grab a partner or friend and help them get healthier too.

Take five minutes every day for yourself, and work on that Christmas Core! Your body will love you for it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Meet Coach Marie

How did you find Mama Bootcamp? 
You know, I don’t know. I think it was an internet search. Or I saw a flier . . . Or I saw something on television. I just know that I put it out in the universe that I was serious and that I wanted a group activity to get me motivated again . . . et viola. . . MBC appeared.

What is your favorite healthy snack? 
Savory: Food should taste good multigrain chips & Whole foods lemon hummus. Chocolate: Think Thin peanut butter crunch peanut butter Refreshing: white nectarine or watermelon Different: Plantain Chips & salsa (thanks Lorri Ann!)

Besides being a Mama Bootcamp Coach, what other ‘hats’ do you wear? 
My daughter is grown and living in Texas, so I don’t get to actively wear my mama hat. M-F, I wear a regulator hat – regulating HMOs for the State of California. Recently, I started Tutoring on Tuesdays (incidentally that’s how I remember when I should go) I help my mom with her non-profit program, B.E.S.T. It helps Oak Park youth with empowerment skills and neighborhood beautification – right now we’re making and selling Oatmeal Cookies in a Jar. I also developed a healthy menu and cooked for 20 teens this summer!!

What do you like to do in your free time? 
Shop! My name is Marie and I am a shopaholic, it’s been 2 days since my last purchase. Hanging out with my cousins – they stretch me. I also like to create – sewing, gardening, scrapbooking, cooking, party planning . . . whatever I can put my own spin on.

What is your favorite part about being a coach and being on the Mama Bootcamp team? 
Teaching is in my blood. . . . my mother, my aunts & uncles and my grandmother were/are all teachers. I think we’re hooked on helping a person have “ah huh moments.” In addition, when I discover something that works for me, I cannot help but want to share it. MBC gives me an opportunity to do both!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Weekly Challenge #49: Decluttering

Tis the season...
The season for family, friends, food (healthy only, of course), and STUFF. Lots and lots and lots of stuff.

I love my family's holiday celebration, but have noticed over the last few years that it leaves me with a big hangover. Not from alcohol (I said healthy, remember?) but from all of the STUFF that comes into the house. Gifts, gadgets, the "too good to pass up" things I just had to buy on Black Friday...all the stuff can get truly overwhelming.

And you know what I've realized? When I'm surrounded by crap, I feel like crap. And that isn't the way I want to go into the new year.

This year will be different. This year I'm going to conquer the clutter BEFORE the holiday hit full force. I'll be more prepared. And it starts now - for ALL of us.

This week, pick an area to de-clutter. Get all the clothes that don't fit anymore out of your closet and pass them on to someone who needs or can use them. Clear out the junk drawer that doesn't quite close anymore. Get rid of the toys that are broken, outgrown or no longer played with. You get the picture, right?

You will live more simply and freely as you de-clutter one step at a time.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Meet Coach Danette

How did you find Mama Bootcamp? 
A girlfriend and I were looking for a way to get in shape before a planned trip to Hawaii. She lives in the Roseville area and saw a group of women running around Maidu park so she stopped to ask them what group they belonged to. The women responded with, Mama Boot Camp, you should try it you will love it. So we did our first 12 week session beginning in September 2009 and by January we had reached our goals for the Hawaii trip. We couldn't stop once we started with the program and I have been an active boot camper since September 2009.

What is your favorite healthy snack? 
Greek yogurt with honey, apples and hummus with veggies.

Besides being a Mama Bootcamp Coach, what other ‘hats’ do you wear? 
Although I am currently working I will be retiring after 35 years with the State of California, currently the HR Director at the Department of Veterans Affairs. My last physical day will be February 3, 2012 and will then be on vacation status until my retirement date of June 2, 2012 my 55th birthday. I have two grown daughters, 25 and 31 who are both nurses, I also have one granddaughter who is 3 years old. I have been married for 29 years and we are best friends and have so many plans when I retire.

What do you like to do in your free time? 
My husband and I are avid bike riders, both road and mountain biking, we have a fifth wheel trailer and love to camp, hike, snow shoe, and jet ski. We plan on going cross country in our fifth wheel when I retire.

What is your favorite part about being a coach and being on the Mama Bootcamp team? 
Bootcamp has given me an opportunity to be in the best shape ever, even at 54 years old. I enjoy the triathlons and the tri training. I have met so many generous and caring women through Mama Bootcamp and it is something that I love participating in so when I retire I can spend more helping other women get healthy. I appreciate the diverse group of women who are part of MBC.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Weekly Challenge #48: Easy Meal for Busy Weeknight

It's a bit of a coincidence that this week you are challenged to make a healthy dish using turkey.  You could use leftover Thanksgiving turkey, but the original recipe uses inexpensive and naturally lean ground turkey.  Your challenge this week is to make this recipe and hopefully it will become something you keep in your cooking arsenal as a go-to dish for a busy weeknight.  This is a recipe where it's really just about the method; the ingredients should be whatever lean protein and healthy green veggies you want to use.  Increase the nutrition with super-veggies like spinach and kale.  Make it meatless using tofu or cooked quinoa.  It's easy to just increase the quantities of everything to feed more people or to ensure you have plenty of leftovers for lunch.
The basic recipe with photos can be found here- e-mealplanning Recipes or you can copy it from below.

Cheap and Easy Turkey Stir Fry


2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp vegetable or canola oil
2-3 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 green onion, diced
1 lb ground turkey
1 zucchini sliced and then cut into match stick size pieces (julienne)
1 carrot julienne sliced
½ lb French green beans (these are the thin kind, fresh or Trader Joe’s sells them frozen and they’re great)
1 clove crushed garlic
2 tbl fresh parsley, chopped
3 tbl hoisin  or teriyaki sauce (flavors are different, just use what you prefer)

In large skillet or wok, heat oils and crushed garlic over medium heat until fragrant.  Add turkey, thoroughly break up and cook until browned.  Remove from pan and set aside.
Turn heat up slightly to medium-high, add vegetables and sauté until just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.  Add turkey back, combine thoroughly, add onion and hoisin sauce, continue to stir to incorporate keeping heat up so a slight bit of carmelization occurs.  Add parsely and soy sauce, stir for one more minute and then serve with steamed brown rice with extra soy sauce on the side.

 Serves 4- Recipe as written has 274 calories per serving, 13g of fat

Have a great week and get cooking!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Meet Coach Shannon

How did you find Mama Bootcamp?
The first time was when I was at the park running and started talking to a group of women who said they were with Mama Bootcamp. They all said they loved it and looked so happy. About a year later, I was talking to a high school friend who was talking all about food logs and working out so I asked her what she was doing. It was Mama Bootcamp so I decided I had to try it out.

What is your favorite healthy snack?
Oh so many! I love any vegetable with hummus or a crisp apple with a slice of Swiss cheese or string cheese.

Besides being a Mama Bootcamp Coach, what other ‘hats’ do you wear?
I am a wife and stay-at-home mom to a 2 year old. When I am working in my profession, I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to spend time with my family and friends. I enjoy reading, going to the movies, exploring the foothills by hiking and/or car rides (depends if our two year old falls asleep). When there is actually free time with a sitter, my husband and I love going on our motorcycle to explore.

What is your favorite part about being a coach and being on the Mama Bootcamp team?
I love seeing mamas' connect through health and fitness. It is amazing to see the joy on a mama's face as she reaches her mini and long term goals. While the inches, weight, and percent body fat loses are awesome, it is also fantastic to hear a mama rejoice in being able to physical activities that they thought they could not do (plank for a minute, go from walking to running, increase the time they can wall sit). They are so inspirational!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Weekly Challenge #47: The Tough Turkey Express Workout!

The number one question I hear this past week at Bootcamp was "Do we have Bootcamp on Thanksgiving?"

The short answer: No, there are no bootcamps scheduled for Thanksgiving Day.

The long answer: No, there are no bootcamps scheduled for Thanksgiving Day BUT you can, and should, still get a workout in!!

This Thanksgiving, treat yourself to the Tough Turkey Express Workout! It will only take a few minutes, and its a great way to start off your holiday weekend.

Here's the set (repetitions in parenthesis are for beginner, intermediate and advanced, respectively):

Pushups - box-style, on your knees or on your toes (20, 25, 30)

Dips (20,25,30)

Butt Bumps (20, 25, 30)

Wall Sit (60 seconds for all levels)

Flutter Kick Hold 10 kick, 10 hold (3 sets, 3 sets, 4 sets)

Need refresher for some of the moves? See the video here.

YOUR CHALLENGE: Repeat the Tough Turkey Express Workout circuit 3 to 4 times in a row. Your body will love you for it!

Have a happy, and HEALTHY, Thanksgiving!

Ashley's Story: Procrastination

My motto has always been "Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?" I've been a procrastinator for as long as I can remember. I work best with a deadline. I thrive when I'm being pushed to finish something NOW. My house gets cleaned when I know company is on the way. I can get two weeks of work done in two days when my annual conference is looming.

Lately, I realize that I've been procrastinating with my body and my health. Despite the month of plague that hit my house, I've been pretty dedicated to my workouts (at least my walking and bootcamp), but my eating habits have hardly changed. I can't say that I'm surprised that I haven't had the greatest results in the past few weeks considering what I've been shoveling into my mouth. So, knowing that I am one of the world's best procrastinators, I've decided to give myself a due date.

Today, I printed out a week's worth of food logs and a code enforcer. I'm writing my workouts onto the code enforcer and those are workout due dates. Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, I challenge you to call me out everyday this next week (even Thanksgiving!) to see if I've filled in my food logs (and for you to do yours too!). I need some accountability. Or if we're not friends on Facebook, call me out on the Mama Bootcamp page.

It's time for me to stop putting this off. Yes, it's going to be hard, but that doesn't mean it won't be worth it!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Service- Get help with Meal Plans and Cooking

Hi!  Coach Erika here.  I'm so excited to be a part of the Mama Bootcamp team!  I write a blog, e-mealplanning.com and I help people with customized meal plans or in-home personal chef services.  I'm now offering these services for Mama Bootcampers as a part of your program!  Check out all the details here - Mama Bootcamp Meal Planning

You can sign up with your coach or contact me directly so we can get started! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Meet Coach Erika

How did you find Mama Bootcamp?  
My friend and fellow coach, Allison Brewer told me about it and how it had changed her life.  I was definitely in need of finding something for myself so I gave it a try and I'm so glad I did!

What is your favorite healthy snack?  
It's a toss up between sweet- sliced apples with peanut butter, or savory- hummus with carrot sticks.

Besides being a Mama Bootcamp Coach, what other ‘hats’ do you wear?  
I am a wife and a mother to 2 girls and a new baby boy.  My oldest plays competitive soccer so I spend a lot of time driving to practices and games.  I write a blog, e-mealplanning.com and work as a personal chef and meal planning consultant.  

What do you like to do in your free time?  
Well, my interests seem to blend with the 'hats' that I wear; I love to cook and bake for family, friends and for my blog.  I also play a lot of Words with Friends, and I love to read and if there was more free time, I would sew more often.

What is your favorite part about being a coach and being on the Mama Bootcamp team?  
The opportunity to meet so many great women who share the common bond of being empowered to strive for living healthier lives and having fun with fitness 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weekly Challenge #46: SHARE THE LOVE!

'Tis the Season...the season of being thankful for what we have, surrounding ourselves with family, and trying to choose just the right gift to give.

This week, give the PERFECT gift to a mama* on your list - share the love of Mama Bootcamp!

Bring a friend (or two!) to a session this week on us and share the love and support of Mama Bootcamp with someone you love. Your friends will get to see what you've been up to, and you'll get a workout partner - that's a win win!

Share the love of Mama Bootcamp - your friends will love you for it!

*Remember, you don't have to be a mom to be a "Mama!" Mamabootcamp is for ALL women :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ashley's Story: Feeling the Love

I'll start off by saying sorry that there was no post last week. All of those germs around my house that I had been talking about finally got to me. I was out of commission for the better part of the week. So, after everyone being sick, me being sick, and then my daughter getting sick again, it seems as though we're all finally on the mend.

While being sick was physically hard, getting through the Great Plauge of 2011 has been mentally exhausting. I had missed almost two weeks of bootcamp, kick started those bad habits that always seem to creep back in when I'm feeling stressed and tired, and generally spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself.

I wish I could say that when bootcamp came around this week (a make-up since I had missed my normal time because my daughter was running another 103 temp), I was rearing to go. That would be a lie though. I had a million excuses running through my mind all day. Fortunately, my coach (and one of my best friends, Lara Callesen) held me accountable. I'm so glad I went.

When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I forget what a wonderful place bootcamp is. I had some great conversations with my fellow mamas as we walked around McKinley Park Thursday night. I remembered that it's okay to not be perfect and that just because I've slipped for a couple of weeks it doesn't have to mean the end. I can pick up and move forward. I doubt the other ladies realize how much they helped to pull me out of my funk, but they did.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weekly Challenge #45: Break(your)fast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Broken record, right? In this case, the old cliche' is really true.

One of the most important things Mama Bootcamp tries to teach is how important it is to eat (i.e. FUEL your body) every 2 to 4 hours. We do this for a couple of reasons. First of all, if you keep yourself from getting too hungry, you'll make better food choices instead of just eating whatever you can get your hands on because you're "starving." But more importantly, eating frequent small meals or snacks keeps your metabolism steady so that energy levels are consistent. Eating every 2 to 4 hours also helps alleviate fatigue and hunger. Your body is always fueled and burning calories.

Imagine a sumo wrestlers - picture him in your head. He eats in order to gain as much fat as possible while using muscle for energy. How does he do that? In addition to making less-than-healthy food choices, he also eats only every 8 hours. If you starve your body all day you are doing the same thing; you are using your muscle for calorie burning instead of fat.

So...back to breakfast.

By the time you wake up in the morning (hopefully after a really good night's sleep), it has usually been at least 10 hours since you last fueled your body. You need to eat as soon as possible in order to refuel your body and turn your metabolism (calorie burning machine) back on. If you skip breakfast, your body will store away fat, and burn muscle to get what it needs instead of burning away the fat.

Now that you know WHY breakfast is important, let's talk about the WHAT! Sorry to break it to you, but coffee isn't breakfast, even if it has milk in it. Around 300 calories is a good target to get your day going.

Try to get in some whole grains, fiber, fruit and some protein. These will not only get your metabolism humming, but will give you the energy you need to get through the first few hours of your day. Add in 40 ounces of water by noon, and you'll be a calorie burning machine!

Your challenge this week: Eat breakfast every single day! Try something new, or stick to an old (HEALTHY!) favorite. And then share the love - come back here and leave a comment letting us know what you had for breakfast and how it helped fuel your day!

I'll start: My go-to breakfast is a whole wheat sandwich thin toasted crispy, with a thin layer of crunchy peanut butter on top. I eat it with a cold crisp tart apple cut into wedges. I've got my whole grain, healthy protein, fruit, and fiber all in one! Combined with my cup of coffee (okay, more than one cup) it give me all the fuel I need to get through the morning chaos.

Break your fast the healthy way EVERY day. Your body will love you for it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mama Bootcamp Tri Training Kickoff!

If you can WALK one BLOCK... 
If you can RIDE a BIKE...
If you can SWIM one lap...
You can do it!

Two locations for Tri Training information sessions:
December 6, 2011 at 6:00pm
Valley Springs Church
2401 Olympus Dr., Roseville


December 8, 2011 6:00 p.m.
McKinley Park, Sacramento

(Please click image to enlarge)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekly Challenge #44: Where's your MOJO?

This week is all about excuses.

We all have them. The reasons we give ourselves, and others, for not doing what we know is best, or what we promised ourselves or others we'd do. But this time we're not just talking about being a couple minutes late to work, or not getting all the laundry done...we're talking about health, fitness, and overall MOJO.

Have you found your MOJO? If not...why not?

Are you in a job you don't like or that doesn't challenge you? Do you throw yourself under the bus first, giving up your fitness appointment for the benefit of someone else? Do you have a hard time setting boundaries with others (boss, spouse, etc.) making it impossible to take care of you?

If you are having a hard time getting motivated, or staying motivated, take a look at why. What are YOUR excuses and why are you sabotaging yourself?

Your challenge this week: Identify the excuses you make that stop you from finding and keeping your MOJO, and make at least one change in at least one excuse.

Knowlege is power. Figure out your inner dialogue (aka excuses) and you can change it. Change the way you talk to yourself, and motivate yourself, and you can find your MOJO.

Ashley's Story: Have You Seen my Motivation?

This is one of those weeks that I've been dreading. I knew I'd get to this point, but I didn't think it would be so soon after my great measurements. I've lost my motivation. Have you seen it?

Last week, I talked about taking care of yourself when you're trying to take care of everyone around you. Well, after my daughter got better, my son got sick, and then my husband starting throwing up. I've been trying to finish Halloween costumes. My house is a wreck. I'm feeling very ambivalent about my job, but reminding myself that I'm lucky to have work. 

I'm in one of those places where things aren't really bad per se, and I know they could be much worse, but I'm just not feeling motivated to do anything right now. I'm trying to tell myself that this journey isn't about losing weight, but instead about being healthy. I'm still working out, but my eating has been horrible. It seems like I have so far to go and I'll never get there. I've tried and failed so many times. What's different about this one?

This will pass. I'll move forward once again, but for now, it's just one of those weeks. I know you've all been there, too. So, how do you kick start your motivation? Where do you look when your mojo is hiding? How do  you keep going when you feel like your goal is so far away?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Weekly Challenge #43: Go Sugarless!

I can hardly belive it is already late October. Its time for crisp fall apples, winter squash, veggie soup and...Halloween Candy. Ugg.

Even the healthiest eaters sometimes struggle at this time of year. Everywhere you turn, there's another bowl of candy, a baked treat, and a "reason to celebrate." But we all know that stuff just isn't good for you. And once you start eating it, it can be pretty hard to stop.

This week, give yourself a jumpstart on the holidays by eliminating the refined sugar from your diet. No soda, no cookies, no ice cream and don't even think about that candy corn. But you weren't eating that stuff anyway, right?)

Natural sugars, of course, are an important part of a healthy diet, so keep eating your fruits and veggies as usual.

One week, no refined sugar. You CAN do it, and your body will love you for it!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ashley's Story: Taking Care of the Caretaker

Last weekend was great. My husband and I dropped off the kids with sitters and went on a double date with two of our best friends. It's one of the first dates (If not the first. It's too hard to remember what we've done in the past eight months!) we've been on since my son was born in February.

My daughter stayed with her grandmother overnight and when we went to pick her up on Sunday, we discovered that her voice was gone. She was so cute whispering to us and generally seemed to feel pretty good despite her missing voice. Things changed Sunday night when a low-grade fever started and really changed when she woke up in the middle of the night with a temp of 103.5 degrees.

My husband had a huge project deadline at work this week and so I took Monday-Wednesday off of work to take care of my croupy girl. It was nice to be with her. She's been needing some one-on-one time lately (my son went to daycare in hopes he wouldn't get sick, too). Monday, I had a low-grade fever, too. We spent the day laying on the couch together watching PBS Kids.

So what does all of this have to do with anything? I missed my walk on Monday and Wednesday and I missed bootcamp Monday night. By the time Wednesday came around, I was feeling beat down and horrible. I had been having caffeine to help me through the days, not drinking all my water, and not exercising. I found myself thinking to myself, "Ugh, I think I'm coming down with some. Something is seriously wrong with me."

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been so busy taking care of my daughter and my family, that I had forgotten to take care of myself. It was so easy to slip into my old habits, but my old habits don't help. Instead, they make me feel like crap and I could hardly stand being around my family. I realized that not only are all of these habits good for my body, but they're so good for my mental health. I have to remember while I dole out care to everyone else, that I have to take care of the caretaker. It's one of those things that I really do know, but I often forget.

So, how do you remember to take care of yourself when things get hectic? Tell me in the comments. I would really love to know that I'm not in this journey alone!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Weekly Challenge #42: The Power of the Push Up

What do you do when your bootcamp coach says "time for pushups?" I'm willing to bet you groan, shoot a dirty look or, at a minimum roll your eyes. Admit it - you know its true!

Pushups aren't the easiest thing in the world to do. But they are worth every bit of effort you put into them. Pushups work SO many muscle groups. Primarily, they work your deltoids (shoulders), triceps (back of the upper arm) and pectorals (chest). As if that weren't great enough, they can also engage your rhomboids (shoulder blade area), Erector spinae(spine), Rotator cuff, Posterior Deltoids (shoulders), Serratus anterior (near your arm pits), Rectus abdominus (abs), Transverse Abdominus (abs), Gluteus maximus (glutes), and Quadriceps (quads).

That's a lot of bang for your exercise buck, so its no surprise they can be challenging!

This week's challenge: Discover the power of the pushup! How many pushups can you do in two minutes? Can you improve on that in one month? Do them whatever way works best for you - on your toes, on your knees or box style.

Challenge yourself to increase your strengh and fitness with pushups. Your body will love you for it!

Ashley's Story: Sweet Success!

Last week, I told you that Lorri Ann was doing my second set of measurements last Monday. I think I almost exploded through the roof of the McKinley pool house when she told me my numbers. I'm down 48.5 inches overall and down 18% body fat! IN SIX WEEKS!!! I knew that I was going to have some loss, but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be that much.

Why was I so shocked? Because in the time I lost all those inches and all of that body fat, I had only lost five pounds. I had stopped getting on the scale because I was feeling so defeated by it. I'm glad I did, because my results showed up in my measurements, not the scale.

So, what's different this time around? Why is it working for me now when it hasn't before? There are a few reasons.

1. I have a workout buddy. At the end of August, my son's daycare provider (who has now become a good friend) asked if I wanted to start walking with her every morning. We walk about 45 minutes each weekday. Knowing that she's walking down to meet me each morning is the motivation I needed to get out of bed and get active first thing in the morning.

2. I saw what bad food choices were doing to someone I loved. Two people who I'm very close to have struggled with food for as long as I can remember. It's starting to show in their health and their lives. I expressed my worry recently and was met with a response that felt like a slap in the face - "Promise me you'll just be at peace when I'm gone." Unconsciously, this person was choosing her addiction to horrible foods over more time here with me and others she loves. I've decided to stop choosing food over the people who are important to me - my husband, my children, my friends, and myself.

3. I got sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I wanted to run around with my daughter. I wanted to be awake enough to enjoy time with my son. I wanted to feel good enough about myself to enjoy time with my husband. Some things in my life needed to change and the way I take care of myself was the biggest change that needed to be made.

So, I've been working at it. I will honestly admit that I haven't completely said goodbye to the drive-thrus or the ice cream. I don't do all the exercise that I could. But I'm doing what I can right now and trying to take small steps into a better, healthier lifestyle. This change is hard. I'm still a work in progress, but I just don't mind doing the work as much as I used to. In fact, I'm enjoying it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Weekly Challenge #41: The Daily Look

How many times a day do you look in the mirror? Be honest! Maybe not a close look, but at least a glance or reflection in a mirror? Probably a lot, right? And when you do see your reflection, how often do you think (or even say) something negative about yourself?

Negative self-talk is something most of us do without even thinking about it. Somewhere along the line, many of us become our own worst critics, far harder on ourselves than we would ever be of others.

There is an old saying: you teach others how to treat you. But really, when you say negative things to yourself about yourself, aren't you teaching yourself how to treat you? And if you say those things aloud in front of your child who looks like you, are you teaching her how to treat herself?

This week's challenge: The Daily Look. Every day this week, at least once a day, look in the mirror and say one nice thing about yourself. Sounds simple, maybe, but you might be surprised by how challenging this can be!

Remember, in order to love and care for others, you have to work on loving yourself. It all starts with you, and one simple look.

Ashley's Story: I'm Back

First of all, let me apologize for disappearing back at the beginning of the summer. Shortly after starting back to bootcamp, my left hip started to hurt to the point that I developed a nice limp. During my pregnancy, I had pubic symphysis diastasis, a condition where your pelvis starts to separate because of pressure. Based on my post partum symptoms, my docs were worried that I had torn cartilage in my hip. I was ordered to stop all exercise.

I had a MRI where they injected ink into my hip (ouch!) and everything came out clear. No torn cartilage, but also no diagnosis. So, off I went to physical therapy. My physical therapist was fabulous. She gave me several exercises to do each day and within a month, the pain that I had been living with since my son was born in February was gone. Now, I'm back.

I started back to bootcamp in late August. Lorri Ann redid my measurements and let's just say those few months off from exercise (where I was eating all of my emotions about having a bum hip) were not good for my waistline. Everything was bigger than it had been six weeks after giving birth. I threw myself a little pity party and then I said, "Enough!"

I've been walking every weekday morning for 45 minutes with friends and going to bootcamp once and sometimes twice a week. I've been trying to pay more attention to what goes into my body as well. Over the past month, I really had some "aha" moments about my issues with food and how I've been living my life. I'll share those with you more in a few weeks though.

My six-week measurements are coming up on Monday. I'm excited, nervous, and hopeful. I have been trying extra hard this week with the knowledge that I have to face the tape measure on Monday.

I have to tell you all that I just wrote that sentence as "I have been extra good..." and then erased it. I'm really trying to work on the way I think about food. I'm trying hard to stop labeling things as good or bad and start thinking of them as healthy or unhealthy. I've found that anytime I limit myself, I binge. So, I am working to make this a lifestyle change where I don't make anything off limits, but instead recognize why I'm important enough to put healthy food into my body. I really am tired of feeling bad, emotionally and physically, and I'm changing my toxic relationship with food.

P.S.-Even if all of that weren't already great enough, today I'm wearing a pair of jeans that I haven't fit in since before I got pregnant!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekly Challenge #40: Fuel your body with the GOOD stuff!

One of the goals of Mama Bootcamp is clean and healthy eating. This isn't about weight, its about HEALTH.

Food is your body's fuel. When you feed your body crap, you feel like crap. If you eat the good stuff, you feel good - great even! Its as simple as that.

This week is all about giving your body the good stuff. Stay away from fast food (you're not eating that anyway, right? RIGHT?!). Pack up your lunch to take to work every day. Get in all your servings of fruit and veggies - make a Grab and Go. Choose whole grains and things with no strange words in the ingredient list. No eating out, and no processed food.

Your weekly challenge: Feed yourself the good stuff, and nothing but the good stuff. Your body will LOVE you for it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekly challenge #39: Get OUT(side)

With the hot weather, and even Spare the Air days, it is easy to feel stuck inside. And with colder weather coming just around the corner, many people will move their workouts and leisure time indoors as well.

This week's challenge: Get outside!

We live in such a great area with Granite Beach, Beals Point, Lake Natomas, the American River Parkway, the Sierras, and so much more. Go for a bike, a hike, a run or paddle!

Do something fun outside and get moving! Your body will love you for it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Weekly Challenge #38: Make a date for fitness!

This week's challenge is all about setting yourself up for success, and making yourself and your fitness a priority.

If you ask an average woman on the street why she doesn't exercise regularly, odds are the answer will be "I don't have time." And the truth is, there isn't a single one of us who has enough time to do everything that needs doing.

Most of the important "to do's" in our lives are scheduled in advance. Dentist? Doctor? Hair cut? Lunch with a friend? Send a card for Aunt Dianna's birthday? Just about all of these things get planned in advance - written on a calendar, note, list, etc. Something as important as your own health deserves at least equal attention!!

Let's be honest: We all know that exercise isn't ALWAYS fun (although it usually is). But neither is brushing your teeth, and you still make sure you do that on a regular basis, right?

This week, schedule an appointment for fitness. Sit down with your calendar (or favorite tech gadget) and set the date and time for your workouts. When will you exercise? Where? What specifically are you going to do? Record it all wherever you keep track of all your other appointments. And then...

KEEP THE APPOINTMENT. You wouldn't stand up your doctor, boss or best friend would you? Give yourself the same courtesy and respect.

By Sunday night at 7pm, have your schedule set. For a little extra accountability, let your coach know what your schedule is, and email her after each of your appointments.

Now go get your calendar and plan for a great week - your body will love you for it!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Weekly Challenge #37: You with YOU

This week's post comes from a friend of Lorri Ann's, who talks about the most important relationship in our lives...

You with You from Cheryl Richardson:

Last night, while having a small dinner party, I listened in on a conversation between my dear friends, Nancy and Max, as they discussed the joys of living alone.

Max has lived by herself for over twenty years and when Nancy asked how it felt to be alone for so long, Max replied, "I'm not alone, I'm in a relationship with myself." As Nancy and I smiled at her answer, Max added, "some people see the word alone as meaning 'all by myself,' but I see it differently. To me, the word alone means, 'all one.' I'm in a relationship with myself and all that exists in the Universe."

What a beautiful perspective. If more of us remembered that we are, first and foremost, in a relationship with ourselves, we'd make it a priority to practice better self-care. We'd engage in those simple, meaningful activities that create memorable moments - the kind of moments that leave us wondering "why don't I do this more often."

This week, stop wondering and start doing. Here are a few ideas to get you started...

Take yourself out on a fun date - go to a movie on your own, enjoy a spontaneous afternoon foot massage, or go to a driving range and hit a bucket of balls.

Give yourself a treat like using linen spray or essential oils on your sheets before going to bed.

Go have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with a good book or your journal instead of with a friend or your computer or phone.

Take a walk or go for a run in a place you've never been before.

Lie at the beach or on the grass and simply listen to the waves, the wind in the trees, or watch the clouds float by in the sky.

Create a few moments for yourself this week!

This week's challenge: At least twice this week (and hopefully more!) create some time for yourself, and foster your relationship with YOU.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Weekly Challenge #36: Get (and STAY) Hydrated!

Yes, I'm going to sound like a broken record here. But really, there are few things as important to your health as WATER. Its simple, doesn't take any time, and its even FREE. And yet so many don't drink enough water to keep their body hydrated and performing at its best.

Here is a reminder about WHY water is so important:

Other than the fact that water tastes refreshing and clean, there are so many other benefits of drinking 80 ounces or more of water every day. Here are just a few…
•Being hydrated reduces/eliminates headaches
•Being hydrated fights fatigue/give you energy
•Drinking water is an appetite suppressant (most of the time that you think you are hungry, you are actually thirsty)
•Water helps kidney functioning properly
•Water helps Liver metabolize and flush out fat and toxins
•Burn 30% more calories when hydrated
•Being hydrated will give you beautiful skin and hair
•Your body is over 80% water (need I say more)

But wait, there’s more! Drinking water at the correct time maximizes its effectiveness on the Human body as well:
•2 glasses of water after waking up; helps activate internal organs
•1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal; helps digestion
•1 glass of water before taking a bath; helps lower blood pressure
•1 glass of water before going to bed; avoids stroke or heart attack

Convinced yet? I hope so!!

Your challenge this week: Drink 80-100 ounces of water every single day. Get 40 of those ounces in by noon.

Get hydrated and stay hydrated - your body will love you for it!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekly Challenge #35: Try something NEW!

As the summer comes to an end, I have been finding myself in a rut. I am doing the same things on the same days week after week after week and it feels like Groundhog Day. Nothing feels new or fresh? Am I alone? Or do some of you feel the same way too?

This week's challenge is about breaking out of the rut, monotony, doldrums or whatever you want to call it...Trying something new might lead to a fun new hobby, a healthy new habit or even new friends or adventures.

Your challenge: Try something NEW! Try a new workout class, a new recipe, a new activity, a new book, etc. Change things up a little bit, and enjoy!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weekly Challenge #34: I'll have a side of Butt and Thighs please!

This week is all about adding a little bit of butt and thigh work to your regular workout. All it takes is 5 to 10 minutes a day to get even more Bootie-licious than you already are!

Here's the workout:
Butt Bumps
Butt Blasters
Leg Lifts

Your challege: Do 4 sets of these moves, with 20 repetitions of each, every day this week.

Order up a set of butt and thighs with your regular workout this week. Your body (and your BOOTIE) will love you for it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekly Challenge #33: Fueling up with protein shakes

(Image via Get Natured)
With the overwhelming variety of sports foods available today, it can be difficult to figure out what to eat to fuel your workouts. Before gels, bars, or sports drinks, though, it is important to note that the best way that you can prepare your body for a workout is to properly recover from your previous workout. Your recovery foods should include protein for muscle recovery along with glycogen-replenishing carbohydrates.

Benefits of protein:
  • Builds lean muscle tissue and aids in muscle recovery after workouts
  • Helps to keep blood sugar even to avoid "bonking" during exercise
  • Prevents carb and sugar cravings and mood swings that come with fluctuating blood sugar levels
  • Works with carbohydrates to replenish your glycogen stores after long workouts, helping to prepare your body for your next workout
  • Gives your meals staying power by helping you to feel full longer 
How should I refuel after a workout?
Most dietitians recommend consuming a post-workout snack or meal that contains a moderate amount of protein (10-20 grams) within 30 minutes. A 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that consuming more than 30 grams of protein in a single sitting didn’t help muscles any further than more moderate amounts. Active.com recommends following the 30/30 rule: eat less than 30 grams of protein in less than 30 minutes post-workout. (source)

Mama Bootcamp is now offering Shakeology protein shakes! Check with a coach for a sample!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weekly Challenge #32: Do Unto YOURSELF

This week is all about YOU. Be kind to YOU. Do nice things for YOU. Remember what is special and what you love about YOU.

This challenge may seem easy, but I'm betting many will have a hard time with it.

Your challenge: Say one nice thing about YOU to yourself daily! Extra bonus points for writing that nice thing down and posting it where you can see it often.

There is only one YOU in all time. How amazing is that?

Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Meet Coach Sharon

How did you find Mama Bootcamp?
While I was welcoming guests at our annual New Year's Eve party my neighbor asked me to consider starting the year with a new routine. She had previously attended Mama Bootcamp and wanted to get back in the lifestyle of healthy eating and fitness.

What is your favorite healthy snack?
Baked chips and salsa followed closely by celery and almond butter.

Besides being a Mama Bootcamp Coach, what other ‘hats’ do you wear?
I am a wife, a mom to two teenage boys, and work as a systems analyst for a non-profit mental health agency. I serve as the minister of music and small groups' minister at my church. In the my churches denomination I serve as the network leader and am in charge of facilitating connection, communication, and care.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Free time is a rare commodity, but when I can find it I love to spend time with the family either playing games or enjoying the outdoors together. Now that I am getting back in shape I hope to spend my summer on the kayak and my winter on the ski slopes. I look forward to returning to the top of half-dome and hope to pick up rock climbing in the near future (El Capitan, here I come!).

What is your favorite part about being a coach and being on the Mama Bootcamp team?
My favorite part of being a coach is definitely the mamas. They are an exceptionally encouraging and empowering group of women. I am thrilled to have a part supporting and assisting each of these lives in their pursuit of being the strong women they have decided to be.

Sharon before and after:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Weekly Challenge #31: BAM! (Back and Arms)

It is tank top season, and nothing makes a tank top look better than toned arms and a strong back. This week's challenge will help you get both in just 5 minutes a day!

Here's the workout:
Single leg rows (20 each side)
Rip curls (to center with knuckles facing, to front and to sides, 20 each)
Hammer curls (20)
Single leg kickbacks (20 each side)
Dips (20)

Your challenge: Grab your hand weights and do the BAM series every day this week. Your back and arms (and tank top!) will love you for it!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekly Challenge #30: A Salad a Day!

Summer is the perfect time for salads. The veggies and fruit are so tasty and fresh, and it is usually just too darn hot to heat up the kitchen.

One of our very own Mamas, Kim Box, has written a new cook book all about the beauty of the salad. Here's a little bit about her:

Kim Box is an inspirational leader, writer and speaker. Kim is passionate about creating gourmet meals that are simple and healthy. Salad Inspiration was a collaboration with her daughter Nicole who did all of the photography of the salads. Kim has also written a recent book on leadership and the power of diversity – Woven Leadership. Kim is an inspirational speaker on leadership, diversity and living a life that is aligned with your passion and purpose. She is active in the community serving on various nonprofit boards and as Executive Director of the non-profit Pathway to Prevention. She lives in Granite Bay, CA with her family and achieves life balance by pursuing her passions of watercolor, creative cooking, and competing in triathlons.

Your challenge this week: Make and eat a salad a day! We suggest using these yummy recipes from Kim, but any healthful and nutritious salad will do.

Day 1: Spinach with Mandarin Oranges, Walnuts & Feta This salad is one of my ‘signature’ salads. It is a favorite at every gathering, and a recipe that has been shared with many of my guests. The dressing is a sweet and sour flavor that ties all of the ingredients together. There is one short cut that I’d like to share. If you like fresh red onion, you can skip the step of cooking the onion and leave it uncooked without the brown sugar.

15 oz fresh baby spinach
1 15 oz can of mandarin oranges
4 oz crumbled feta
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 small red onion
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Sweet & Sour Salad Dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup cider vinegar
3 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seeds

On a baking sheet, roast walnuts in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes then set aside to cool. Slice red onion about 1/4 inch thick. In a medium frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Put the onions in the pan and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes until onions are wilted. Cook until slightly translucent, but do not overcook or they will caramelize. Remove from heat and place on a paper towel to dry and remove excess oil.

Combine the dressing ingredients and stir well with a whisk. Place in the refrigerator to chill. In a salad bowl place the spinach then layer the mandarin oranges, feta, walnuts and onion. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Drizzle on the dressing before serving. Serves: 10-12.

Day 2: Aloha Caesar The Aloha Caesar is an inspiration from vacationing in Maui. We’ve enjoyed many tropical holidays with my sister, Leslie, and her family. Fresh pineapple and Maui onion are so delicious; along with the roasted macadamia nuts which bring together all the flavors of the island. The dressing below gives a tangy flavor or you can use a classic Caesar dressing.

1 head romaine lettuce
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup fresh mango, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1 small Maui (sweet) onion, sliced
1/3 cup parmesan, shredded

3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 egg
1 tablespoon of crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced Maui onion

Mix together the dressing ingredients and chill in the refrigerator. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the macadamia nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until just starting to brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Put the lettuce in a salad bowl, top with the remaining ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and serve immediately. Serves: 8-10.

Day 3: Seared Ahi Salad This is a very special salad inspired by Hailey Holesapple, a friend of my daughter Nicole. Hailey was describing a salad that she thought would be very good for the book. So, I got the ingredients and she supervised while I put the salad together based on her inspiration. When it was completed, it met Hailey’s approval and was even better than she expected. Thanks for the inspiration Hailey!

1 lb ahi (uncooked tuna)
12 oz baby greens
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/2 red or orange bell pepper
1 small red onion
1/3 cup of pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sesame seeds
4 oz goat cheese
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar

Mix the dressing ingredients and put in the refrigerator to chill.

Prepare ahi by slicing into long steaks that are 1 inch by 1 inch around to prepare to sear. Place the greens on four dinner plates (or 6 salad plates for smaller portions). Core the bell peppers and thinly slice, thinly slice the red onion. In a large frying pan heat the tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Sauté the peppers and onion in the frying pan, stirring constantly, add the balsamic vinegar (1 tablespoon) and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Sauté until vegetables are wilted, but not caramelized – about 8-10 minutes. Remove the vegetables onto a couple layers of paper towels to cool and let some of the oil absorb. Lay the sesame seeds out on a plate and roll the ahi on the seeds to coat all sides. Using the frying pan that the vegetables were cooked in, turn the heat to high. Sear about 5 to 10 seconds a side so the outer sides are cooked, but the inside is still raw. Remove from the pan onto a cutting board. Slice the ahi about 1/4 inch thick. Layer the sautéed vegetables on the greens, then the goat cheese, then the kalamata olives. Lay the ahi in a row on each salad. When ready to serve, drizzle with the dressing. Serves: 4-6.

Day 4: Raspberry, Tarragon & Chive Salad
This salad is great for a fresh summer meal or any season. The fresh tarragon and chive give the salad a unique flavor. The raspberries and goat cheese finish it off with a nice blend over the butter lettuce. The dressing is light and tangy. A perfect blend of flavors!

Salad Ingredients:
10 oz butter lettuce – loosely chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives – cut to 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
2 oz chevre/goat cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts

Dijon Dressing:
3 oz extra virgin olive oil
2 oz red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Put the lettuce in a salad bowl; layer each of the salad ingredients on top of the lettuce. Next, mix all of the dressing ingredients with a wire whisk. Chill the dressing until ready to serve. Before serving, mix the dressing then drizzle it onto the salad and enjoy! Serves: 6-8.

Day 5: Spinach & Orzo Salad If you are looking for a perfect companion to your grilled meat (chicken, pork, beef, or whatever sounds good for dinner!), this salad can complete the meal with the great array of vegetables and a little bit of pasta. It is also a wonderful lunch salad with fresh bread. You can add sliced roasted turkey to make the salad a main meal as well.

1/2 lb (1 cup uncooked) Orzo pasta
1 large bunch of fresh spinach or 2 bags of baby spinach
1/3 cup julienne sun dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook orzo according to directions on package, leave to cool down. In large bowl combine all the remaining ingredients, mix well. When orzo is close to room temperature, combine with the other ingredients. Mix well; the spinach should wilt a little bit from the orzo. Serve immediately or refrigerate to chill before serving. Serves: 10-12.

Day 6: Avocado & Tomato Salad This salad is one that is a staple at my family’s dinner table. We are fortunate to have tomatoes and avocado all year round but the tomatoes are definitely best when they come from our summer garden or the local farmers market.

12 oz field greens
2 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded and sliced
6 medium tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 shallots, thinly sliced

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon of dried oregano or 2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

Place baby greens in salad bowl. Layer the tomato, avocado, feta, pine nuts and shallots on top of the greens. Chill until ready to serve.

Combine all of the balsamic vinaigrette ingredients and mix with a fork or wire whisk. Chill until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, drizzle on the vinaigrette and enjoy! Serves: 6-8.

Day 7: Spring Greens with Strawberry Vinaigrette We are so lucky to have fresh strawberries all summer long in our region of Northern California. I can’t get enough of this salad and it’s fresh set of flavors. It is so easy to make and always a favorite with guests!

10 oz spring greens
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup almond slivers
1 apple, sliced with a touch of lemon juice

Strawberry Vinaigrette
1 cup fresh strawberries (halved)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Blend the vinaigrette ingredients, mix well. If you want to make the salad in advance, put the sliced apple in the vinaigrette as well so the flavors can mix and the apple will stay fresh. Place spring greens in a salad bowl with the dried cranberries, almonds and apple (if you haven’t already put them in the vinaigrette). Pour vinaigrette over the salad and serve. Serves: 6-8.

Eat and enjoy a salad a day. Your body will love you for it!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Meet Coach Lara

How did you find Mama Bootcamp? 
I first learned about Mama Bootcamp when Lorri Ann came to my MOPS group to speak. I was struck by her positive energy and her obvious passion for what she does. A few days later, I saw an ad for Mama Bootcamp in a magazine. Shortly thereafter a good friend was going on and on about this wonderful woman she knew (Lorri Ann) who had helped her change her life. I decided that MBC/Lorri Ann showing up in my life three times in a short period must mean something...so I signed up!

What is your favorite healthy snack? 
If I'm in a hurry, I love to grab a low-fat string cheese and run out the door. If I have a bit more time, I love a cold crisp apple with a little crunchy peanut butter, or some low fat vanilla yogurt with loads of fresh strawberries and a sprinkling of crunchy Cheerios on the top.

Besides being a Mama Bootcamp Coach, what other ‘hats’ do you wear? 
I'm a wife and stay-at-home mom to a 4 year old girl. I also work part time from home, and run a small business making and selling custom hand-made kids' clothing and accessories.

What do you like to do in your free time? 
What free time?!? Besides going to the gym or Mama Bootcamp, I like to sew, craft, garden and spend quality time with my girl and hubby.

What is your favorite part about being a coach and being on the Mama Bootcamp team? 
I love seeing women empowering themselves to live their best lives, and discovering how truly strong they are! The MBC team is so warm, supportive, encouraging and uplifting - I couldn't ask for a better group to work with.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Meet Coach Krista

How did you find Mama Bootcamp?
I found Mama Bootcamp through an old high school friend that was already a "mama".

What is your favorite healthy snack?
I go through phases, so it's hard to pick just one! My standards are a handful of almonds, sugar snap peas, or an apple and string cheese. I'm so predictable that my co-workers tease me about having each of these in my lunchbox every day!

Besides being a Mama Bootcamp Coach, what other ‘hats’ do you wear?
I wear the hat of mom to two elementary school-aged children heavily involved in sports, wife, daughter, and environmental compliance project manager for a large engineering company.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to tri train and read. However; my favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon is ignoring all my chores and hanging out with my family at my parents' house.

What is your favorite part about being a coach and being on the Mama Bootcamp team?
My absolute favorite part of being a coach is seeing women progress physically and mentally to meet their goals. I get so excited when "my" mamas do well! (And I have been known to get teary-eyed during measurements!) The best part of being on the Mama Bootcamp team is being surrounded by supportive women who challenge me, support me and open my eyes to new ways of thinking.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weekly Challenge #29: Random Acts of Kindness

Being kind is probably a part of your every day life. After all, you have to be nice, in general, to get what you want and to keep the people you love happy.

But what about being kind simply for the sake of being kind? What about doing something kind for someone you don't need anything from, or even someone you don't know?

Practicing kindness, and passing it on to others encourages other to do the same thing. If we're all being kind, and doing kind things for each other, the world is bound to be a better place. And doing something nice for someone "just because" creates a feel good moment for the giver and recipient!

This week's challenge: Do something kind for someone at least once daily! Offer kind words to a stranger, offer a helping hand to someone who needs it, pay for some one's coffee(remember when that went on at the local Starbucks?!), mow someones lawn, move some one's trash can in on garbage day, leave a kind note on someone’s door, etc. Have fun with it!

Need some good ideas? Check out some ideas posted by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (yep, there really IS such a thing!) here!

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weekly Challenge #28: Sensational Swimsuit Series

Now that it is finally, officially, summer, who doesn't want to look better in a swimsuit? Just 5 minutes every morning is all it takes!

The Sensational Swimsuit Series:
30 Toe taps
Flip over for the swim (count to 30)
30 double pump bicycles super woman (hold for a count of 30)

Your Challenge: every morning, take 5 minutes to do the moves above. You'll be looking sensational in that swimsuit, and your body will love you for it!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekly Challenge #27: Eat Local!

You hear it all the time: Eat Local! But why?

Here are 8 reasons to eat local foods (taken from about.com):

1. Local Foods Are Fresher (and Taste Better)
Food that was picked within the last few days tastes way better than food that was picked (unripened) and trucked thousands of miles to get to you. And fresh food lasts longer, too.

2. Local Foods Are Seasonal (and Taste Better)
It must be said: Deprivation leads to greater appreciation. When does a cozy room feel best? When you've come in from out of the freezing cold. Fresh corn in season tastes best when you haven't eaten any in 9 or 10 months--long enough for its taste to be a slightly blurred memory that is suddenly awakened with that first bite of the season. Eating locally means eating seasonally, with all the deprivation and resulting pleasure that accompanies it.

3. Local Foods Usually Have Less Environmental Impact
Those thousands of miles some food is shipped? That leads to a big carbon footprint for a little bunch of herbs.

4. Local Foods Preserve Green Space & Farmland
The environmental question of where you food comes from is bigger than its "carbon footprint." By buying foods grown and raised closer to where you live, you help maintain farmland and green space in your area.

5. Local Foods Promote Food Safety
The fewer steps there are between your food's source and your table the less chance there is of contamination. Also, when you know where your food comes from and who grows it, you know a lot more about that food.

6. Local Foods Support Your Local Economy
Money spent with local farmers, growers, and artisans and locally-owned purveyors and restaurants all stays close to home, working to build your local economy instead of being handed over to a corporation in another city, state, or country. Since the food moves through fewer hands, more of the money you spend tends to get to the people growing it.

7. Local Foods Promote Variety
Local foods create greater variety of foods available. Farmers who run community-supported agriculture programs (CSAs), sell at farmers' markets, and provide local restaurants have the demand and the support for raising more types of produce and livestock. Think Brandywines, Early Girls, and Lemon Boys instead of "tomatoes."

8. Local Foods Create Community
Knowing where your food is from connects you to the people who raise and grow it. Instead of having a single relationship--to a big supermarket--you develop smaller connections to more food sources: vendors at the farmers' market, the local cheese shop, your favorite butcher, the co-op that sells local eggs, a local café that roasts coffee.

Your challenge this week: Eat LOCAL by shopping at a Farmer's Market near you. Take a look around and choose food that is seasonal, local, delicious and healthy. Your body will love you for it!

To find a Farmers' Market near you, visit: www.cafarmersmarkets.com

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weekly Challenge #26: The power of Encouragement

G. K. Chesterton, an English journalist, once wrote, “The really great person is the person who makes every person feel great.”

When two people interact, they are both changed. The change can be for the better, or not. Whether our influence is helpful or hurtful, positive or negative, depends on whether we give each other the gift of encouragement.

When you interact with someone, are you an encourager or a discourager?

Encouragers are pleasant to be around. They are enthusiastic, and optimistic. Encouragers have the self-confidence to be other-focused rather than self-centered and attention demanding. Discouragers, on the other hand, lead us to doubt ourselves, to put our dreams on a shelf, to focus on our weaknesses and dampen our spirits.

How often do you save your kind words, nice manners and encouragement for strangers, while sending discouragement to those who are closest to you? Funny how the family dog usually hears "what a good dog you are!" while the kids and spouses hear "no you can't" and "why don't you?"

Who needs encouragement? Anyone who is breathing! We live in a discouraging world, looking for an encouraging word.

YOUR CHALLENGE: Encourage someone every single day. It can be anyone - a friend, family member, your hubby, your child, or even a stranger! Do it by cheering someone on, giving a compliment, providing a supportive ear, or giving some positive reinforcement. They will feel uplifted, empowered and motivated. And you will benefit too - it feels great to lift someone’s spirit. That's what I call a total win/win!

Have an excellent week!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekly Challenge #25: The FITT Principle

For most people the hardest part of exercising is just getting started. Mama Bootcampers have already got that nailed!

Even so, you can see why some feel confused about what kind of exercise program will work, especially when the media is constantly bombarding us with the latest “diet research” often times contradicting what may have been reported just weeks earlier. And what about those infomercials swear that 20 minutes of this or 15 minutes of that is all that is required to look like a Hollywood star?

With so much information (and misinformation), it can be hard to decipher what fitness regimen will really deliver results. But truthfully, it’s not difficult at all to determine what workout will provide health benefits.

An easy way to get started is utilizing the F.I.T.T. principle. This acronym stands for Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type.

Frequency: This refers to how often you will exercise. When considering frequency of exercise, be sure to take into account recovery and rebuilding time.

Intensity: This is defined as the amount of effort or work that must be invested in a specific exercise workout. This requires a good balance to ensure that the intensity is hard enough to overload the body but not so difficult that it results in overtraining, injury or burnout.

Time: Time is simply how long each individual session should last. This will vary based on the intensity and type.

Type: What type of exercise will you be doing? Will an exercise session be primarily cardiovascular, resistance training or a combination of both? And, what specific exercises will you perform.

Using the FITT principle makes it easier to plan your workouts. The ACSM (American College of Sport Medicine) has F.I.T.T. guidelines both for cardiovascular work and strength training. For cardiovascular benefits, they recommend exercising for a frequency of 3-5 times per week, at an intensity equal to 60-85 percent of your maximum heart rate for a time of 20-60 minutes. For strength straining they recommend working out a minimum of two times per week at an intensity that is equal to 70-85 percent of your one rep maximum (maximum weight you can use for one rep) for 8-10 reps and 1-3 sets.

Planning a new fitness routine, or changing up your old one, by breaking it into the four F.I.T.T. principle pieces allows you to quickly create a workout plan that will truly provide you with results.

Here’s a quick example of both a cardiovascular and resistance workout program that utilizes the F.I.T.T. principle. Walk (Type) at 4 MPH (Intensity) for 45 minutes (Time) four times per week (Frequency). Perform exercises with dumbbells (Type) at 70% of your maximum 1 rep strength (Intensity) for 8-12 reps (Time) 3 times per week (Frequency).

YOUR CHALLENGE: Play with the FITT principles to change up your workout routine. Add in an extra bootcamp (frequency), try something new like yoga or zumba (type), bump up the intensity by using heavier weights or walking just a bit faster (intensity) and/or lengthen your exercise a little. You will be amazed by how small changes, made with purpose using the FITT principles, can change your FITTness level.

Now get out there and get FITT! Your body will love you for it!

For more information on the FITT Principle read here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weekly Challenge #24: Beyond Basic Training

(aka Back to Basics)

This week's challenge is a bit of a review from some prior weeks as well as a reminder to get back to the basics.

Lorri Ann's top three tips to "make your body a mean, calorie-burning machine!" are:

HYDRATE!! Drinking 80-100 ounces of water a day can boost your metabolic rate by 30% and helps you burn one-third more calories all week long. Your liver, which is an internal fat-flusher, needs lots of water to work properly. Bonus: Because hydration prevents fatigue, you'll have way more energy. So drink up!

DO MINI-MEALS "Grazing encourages your body to use fat for energy." Start drinking water as soon as you get up; "break fast" to kick start your metabolism, then aim to eat "meal snacks" (200-300 calories each) every 2 to 4 hours.

PUMP IRON, ALREADY! "There's this myth still out there that women can somehow bulk up with weight-lifting, but it's so not true. You will build lean muscle mass and lose inches!"

Your challenge this week: Get back to basics. Be sure you are hydrating properly every single day, focus on eating often (the right foods, of course!) and add an extra day of weight lifting to your routine or challenge yourself to increase the amount of weight you are lifting. Your body will love you for it!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Weekly Challenge #23: Build a New Healthy Habit

Your challenge this week is to create a new healthy habit (or break an old unhealthy one). Here's a great article on the topic:

"Research has proven that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Habits are an essential part of our life, without them we would fail in most things we try to accomplish. They help us to reach specific goals, stay focused along the way and keep on pushing when the going gets touch. At the same time, non-supportive habits can keep us from moving forward or even hurt our well-being. As Dr. Andrew Weil says, anything you do with repetition and emotion will become your reality. If you’re not satisfied with your current experience, examine your habits.

Athletes know too well how important it is to stick to habits, especially in training. But most people struggle with their day to day practice of habits and if you are one of them fear no more. You too can change your bad habits into a good one, just take 21 days and you will be well on your way to become a changed person.

Whether you want to practice personal journaling or learn how to play the violin doesn’t matter. Even to change negative habits into positive ones takes time. The problem for most people is that they actually try to attack their issues with too much fervour in the beginning and then give up if they don’t see instant results.

I can’t recount how many times I have tried to lose weight in the past. The problem though was in me simply trying and not doing. It’s kind of a wishful thinking phenomena where we wish for the best but fail in the actual doing part of the whole situation. Please feel free to use the suggestions below to help you get on track and use the next 21 days to form a new habit.

The 21 day habit practice
1.First of all, you will need to be clear on your intentions. Do you really want to play the violin? or was this wish merely conceived when your best friend showed you their instrument.

2.Once you are absolute certain you want to follow through with this, here is what you do. First write down your intentions. It is important you use positive affirmations to write these goals.

3.It helps if you can identify your why. Why do you want to play the violin, lose weight, run a marathon, etc. The bigger your conviction, the easier it will be be for you to make the transition.

4.Create diversions to help you stay on track. If there is a specific weakness you battle that stops you from progressing and practicing every day, try to find ways to distract you from the negativity. It will help to keep you on track. Total honesty with yourself goes a long way here.

5.Celebrate each step, regardless how tiny it is. You need all the help you can get to keep motivated. It also helps to enlist the support of friends or family members. People who can motivate you to keep on going.

6.Stay clear of negative people. There will be those who try to sabotage you. This doesn’t even have to be intentional. It could evolve from a negative statement aimed at you, or even a deep rooted belief you had since you can remember. Any trigger that could bring this out should be avoided.

Use the following tools to help you on your 21 day mission
Positive affirmations are a great tool to keep you mentally stimulated. Practice them daily by saying “I am thankful for having lasted another day”. Before long, the 21 days are over and your new habit is cast in stone – or close to.

You can also use the power of gratitude quotes or pictures to keep you visually empowered. Stick them on your fridge, in your office, next to your bed, in the loo or wherever you will be reminded that it only takes 21 days to form a habit."

SOURCE: http://www.iamthankful.com/science/21-days-to-form-a-habit-you-can-do-it

Monday, May 30, 2011

Jodi's marmalade and granola

Photo via getnatured.com

Recently we asked you on Facebook for your favorite recipes or snack ideas. Bootcamper Jodi shared this recipe for marmalade and granola. Yum, thank you Jodi!

Marmalade and Granola
The key to the recipe is the marmalade. It can also be used as a substitution for jam with peanut butter, on toast or a muffin, or with a curry dinner as a condiment.

Mix together:
1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese
1/2 cup nonfat yogurt
1 teaspoon marmalade (see recipe below)
2 Tablespoons granola, Kashi or Grape-Nuts

Marmalade recipe:
2 whole oranges (option: add strawberries with the oranges)
1/2 cup dates
1 cup apple juice concentrate
optional: chopped walnuts
  1. Wash oranges and cut in quarters (do not peel).
  2. Place in food processor with dates and process to chop fine.
  3. Transfer to a sauce pan.
  4. Add apple juice to fruit mixture and bring to simmer.
  5. Cook until orange rind is very tender (stirring frequently), and marmalade is thickened.
If you have a recipe or snack idea to share, please email it to Mama Bootcamp food coach Allison Brewer (aka "Allibrew") at allibrew@gmail.com. Thank you!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Weekly Challenge #22: Gear yourself up for Sucess

Let's talk about your bra. Yes, you read it right - your bra.

We all know that 8 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong sized bra (thank you Oprah for telling us!). But did you know you may not be wearing the right sports bra?

The very first sports bra was literally two jock straps sewn together. Thirty-some years later, technology has come a long way! Scientists have figured out (finally!) that a sports bra needs to do more than stop up and down movement, it needs to take care of side to side movement as well. Most bras stop only up and down movement, which could be part of the reason more than half of women suffer breast pain during exercise. The right bra, however, can eliminate this pain for about 80 percent of women.

Most sports bras simply compress the breasts - not very comfortable and, in my opinion, not that attractive! A really good and supportive bra encapsulates each breast into its own cup (and of course, the cups have to be the right size!).

This week's challenge: gear yourself up for success from the skin out. Get yourself fitted for a new sports bra and feel the difference!

Can't get to a fitting? Here's some great information on how to measure yourself: http://www.enell.com/size_and_measurement_chart.php

Something else to think about: According to the experts at Fleet Feet, a sports bra should be worn regularly for only about 6 months before it is replaced.

Go shopping for a new sports bra - your body will love you for it!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mama Bootcamp Community Shape-Up: June 18th

Please join us in supporting this wonderful cause with a fabulous workout and much, much more!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Weekly Challenge #21: Break your Fast the RIGHT Way

You know that old saying "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?" Its an old saying for a reason - its TRUE!

Breakfast is just that - time to break your fast. After not eating for at least 10 hours (because you closed the kitchen well before bedtime, and you're getting plenty of sleep, right?) your body is ready to refuel with healthy food. And you might find - as I do - that starting the day eating clean makes it a little easier to eat right all day long!

Here's Coach Renee's favorite breakfast recipe. She says: "This meal helped me achieve my weight loss goal and continues to help me feel energized and ready for exercising!"

1/2 c Olf fashioned rolled oats/1 c hot water
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 banana

Scrambled Eggs:
1 whole egg
2-3 egg whites
*add pepper for flavor

12-16 oz water with a packet of Emergen-C

Total Calories: 320-340
Total Fiber: 5 grams
Total Protein 19-34 grams
More than 100% of your daily vitimin C requirement
Includes potassium (banana), which is important when exercising

Your Challenge: Start EVERY day with a healthy, nutrient-rich, breakfast!

Remember: breakfast like a queen, lunch like a princess, and dinner like a pauper.

Eat your (clean) breakfast - your body will love you for it!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Weekly Challenge #20 - USE SUNSCREEN!

(From Coach Renee)

It is starting to heat up outside (finally!) and its a good time to remember to protect your skin from the sun.

Sunscreen does double duty - The regular use of sunscreen helps protect your skin from cancer-causing sun exposure, and can help your skin look younger. Protecting your health AND your looks? Sounds great to me!

Your face, neck and chest need the most protection. The skin on these areas are the most delicate and are most likely to show signs of aging (due to the fact that these 3 areas typically get the most sun exposure). DON'T FORGET YOUR SCALP! Ditch those visors and wear a hat - many cases of melanoma occur first on the scalp (where you are unlikely to notice it).

Buy a sunscreen with at least SPF 15. You do NOT need to buy anything greater than SPF 45! Look for Broad Spectrum sunscreens as they provide maximum protection against UVA and UVB rays. Look for Zinc Oxide, it absorbs light, therefore reflecting UV rays. Also look for Titanium Dioxide, it provides a physical protection while preventing skin damage and excessive melanin synthesis.

Remember... you might not have early signs of aging now, (i.e. Fine lines, sun spots, wrinkles), but that doesn't mean it won't catch up with you later. If you tan easily you still need protection! One hour in direct sunlight can cause permanent damage. So keep your skin looking healthy and beautiful!!!

Mamas protect your kids too! Most sun damage is done by the time you are 18 years of age.

Your challenge: USE YOUR SUNSCREEN. Use it every single day. Your skin (and your doctor!) will love you for it.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ashley's Story: Week 8 - I Love to TRI!

Today is the last day of my first week back to work since having my baby boy. I'll admit that emotionally it's been a rough week. I cried when I dropped him off at daycare on Monday morning and it's gotten progressively easier to leave, but I still feel an overwhelming sadness when I think about all the time I'm not getting to spend with my children.

By my usual food standards, I've done an amazing job of coping. There has been a run-in with an apple fritter here or a few handfuls of chips there, but by no means have I gone off the deep end. That's a huge success for me.

Yesterday was a real test for me though. I had tri training last night. This was going to be the first night out of the house since starting back to work - something particularly hard because I knew that both kids would already be in bed by the time I got home. That meant that the short time I had in the morning before work would be the only time I'd see them all day long.

All day long I thought of excuses to not go to training. In the morning, I didn't have enough time to get my bike in the car or get my stuff together. My husband helped me get it done. During the day, I felt tired and exhausted. I told myself that I should really probably just go home and sleep. But by the afternoon, I had committed myself to it. I reminded myself that it's one night out of the week and while I wasn't giving that time to my kids, I was giving it to myself. I remembered that I need to treat myself good so that I can have enough to give to the other people in my life, too.

Tri training was fabulous! The workout was great - lots of laps in the pool, some time on the bike to practice clipping in, and a nice walk at the end to help me cool down. The best part of all though was the other women there. It's amazing how the excitement of competing in a tri can bring you all together. We all cheered each other on, gave transition tips we had learned in previous years, and someone (I'm sorry I don't remember your name!) even loaned me a pair of socks when I had forgotten mine!

I came away from tri training last night feeling so thankful for the amazing women I get to see during the week. You're all so strong and giving! Thank you for the support you're showing me. I love that we can all be each other's cheerleaders! Also, a big thanks to Lorri Ann and Marilyn, the two coaches I'm working with the most. You ladies are inspirational and keep me motivated.

I've already decided that I'm going to wait until the August sprint tri to compete. Since I got a late start on training this year, I don't want to jump in too early. Still, that's only 86 days away...not much time in the grand scheme. I'm already thinking about my goals for this year's tri.

2011 Sprint Tri Goals
1. Beat my time from last season. I completed the race in 2:36:26 last year. I want to be the only person I'm competing against, so I'm trying to best this time not beat anyone else in the race.

2. Clip in during the race. Last year, I was too afraid of falling to clip my shoes into my bike. This year, I'm going to overcome that fear and know that, even if I fall, I can get back up and keep going. And, really, everyone falls at least once or twice in clips so it won't be anything that someone else hasn't already done.

3. Enjoy myself and celebrate my accomplishment. This should be an easy goal to meet!