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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Vote for Mama Bootcamp!

Mama Bootcamp has been nominated as one of the Sacramento area's best businesses. Please help us to be number one by voting today!

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Thank you for your support!

Monday, March 28, 2011

And the winner is...

The winner of the free hair highlight from Melissa at Abeille Salon in Roseville has been selected via random drawing. 

Congratulations to...Lara!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Success Story: Sara found her MOJO!

Sara had amazing success during her first 12 week session with Mama Bootcamp in Elk Grove. Here is her story:

I started Mama Bootcamp in late summer 2010. I had just taken my third and youngest child off to college. I was feeling OLD and my nest was empty. I complained to a friend, and she gave me a magazine with an article about the benefits of Mama Bootcamp. My friend thought it would be a good way for me to learn how to take time for myself, now that my kids were in college, and feel healthier.

My first Mama Bootcamp was Coach Marilyn’s first class in Elk Grove. Even though I had run a little before, it was definitely a challenge. But Marilyn was (and continues to be) so supportive and affirming that I just kept coming back and trying to do more each time. With her encouragement and feedback, and the camaraderie of the group, I have been challenging myself to do more physically and now I’m doing things I never thought I could do.

When I started, my first challenge was running the whole 2 mile course without walking. I ran my first timed mile at 12 minutes, 19 seconds; by February 2011 I was at 9 minutes, 52 seconds! I am feeling strong and healthy, and I continue to run a little faster. I lost 16 pounds and almost 20 inches, and my cholesterol went from 220 to 140. Most importantly, I feel so much better.

Now I am training for a triathlon this summer. I have more energy and my clothes fit better. I look forward to shopping instead of dreading it. But beyond helping me get in shape, Marilyn and Mama Bootcamp help give me a weekly boost of motivation and self-confidence!

Sara in July 2010 ("Before")

Sara in November 2010 after 12 weeks of Mama Bootcamp!

Way to go Sara!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Week 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!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Don't forget to enter to win free highlights!

The free highlights giveaway ends Sunday night at 11:59pm PDT. Don't forget to enter, here!

Ashley's Story: Week 1 - A Little Accountability

Three years ago, I met Lorri Ann for the first time. A friend called and said, "I just met the most amazing woman at the park and you have to do this thing with me." At the time, my daughter was six months old. I had gained 70 pounds (!) during my pregnancy and I was feeling pretty down on myself. Mama Bootcamp turned out to be just what I needed.

I'd love to say that I lost all of that weight and you can find me in the success stories, but I didn't. Instead, I lost some weight and a lot of inches, got overwhelmed with being a mom and dropped out of bootcamp. I turned back to the old habits and gained about 20 more pounds over the course of a year. After struggling on my own, I emailed Lorri Ann one day and told her that I needed to come back to bootcamp.

Becoming an Athlete
Lorri Ann welcomed me back and challenged me to do tri training. Last year, with the support of Mama Bootcamp, I completed a sprint triathlon. I never changed my eating habits though, so I competed in what I jokingly called the fat girl category. Despite the fact that I was still very overweight, I was so proud of myself for finishing the race. My whole life I thought I couldn't do things like that and, in fact, I could!

Just a week before the triathlon, I got a positive pregnancy test. I was so excited! My son is now six weeks old. I vowed that I wouldn't gain a ton of weight during the pregnancy and I did a good job of sticking to that vow. I gained about 15 pounds, all of which I've lost since his birth.

Starting Over, Again
So here I am - back where I started three years ago. Except this time, I'm about 15 pounds heavier, but a whole lot stronger and I have so much more faith in my ability to finally have the body that I want. And now, I have a whole new level of accountability that I never had before - you.

Last night, Lorri Ann did my measurements. I've thought long and hard about whether or not I would share them on this blog. I mean, who wants to put their weight and body fat percentage out there for the world to see? But it's only going to get better from here, right? So, world, here's my dirty little (okay, big) secret:

Weight: 210 pounds
Body Fat %: 49.2 (Yes, pretty much half of me is fat. Ugh.)
Clothes Size: 16/XL

My Long-term Goals
This is going to be a long journey. I have some idea of what I want my final goals to be, but I've been overweight my entire life, so I really have no idea of what's realistically possible. Here's what I'm thinking:

Weight: 140 pounds
Body Fat %: Something healthy
Clothes Size: 8/M

More than anything, I want to be healthy. I want to be a good example for my children. I want to feel good and look good. I want to end my battle with food and stop the dysfunction that's kept me overweight my entire life. This time, I will do it.

When you see me at bootcamp, please cheer me on and I'll cheer you on, too. We could all use a little accountability.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A special spring giveaway: free hair highlights!

Spring is a time that many of us feel inspired to freshen things up. We dust, we scrub, we clean out closets. With summer right around the corner, we are also working hard to get ready for bathing suit season.

It's time to reward yourself for your hard work! Melissa of Abeille Salon in Roseville has generously offered a free highlight to the winner of this drawing!

To enter: Please "like" Melissa's Facebook page (here) and leave a comment on this post about spring cleaning- do you have a spring cleaning ritual? 

The fine print:
Contest ends Sunday, March 27th at 11:59pm PDT. The winner will be chosen via random drawing and announced on this blog on Monday, March 28th.

Good luck!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekly Challenge #12: The SWIMSUIT Challenge

Like it or not, swimsuit season is just around the corner. It will be time to peel off those layers, and show the world the excellent work you've been doing at Bootcamp :) Here's a challenge to make the transition from sweaters to swimsuits even more enjoyable!

Your challenge: Set aside 5-10 minutes a day for a Swimsuit workout! Be sure to plan it in advance, and put it on your calendar.

The workout: A set of butt shapers or butt blasters, planking 3 ways (one minute facing down, one minute each side), and 20 bicycles/20 roll outs (3 sets).

You'll be amazed at what a different a few minutes a day can make!

Have a GREAT week!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Whole grains recipes and more

How did you do with the whole grains challenge this week? We encourage you to continue exploring; you might just fall in love with some brand new foods!

Here are some resources to keep you inspired:

Whole grain posts on the Mama Bootcamp blog

Whole grain posts from Get Natured

Whole grain recipes from 101 Cookbooks

Recipes from Bob's Red Mill

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Baked farro risotto

Risotto is one of those dishes that seems like a treat simply because it can be so time-consuming to make. If you have ever cooked risotto at home, you know it requires constant stirring for an extended period of time.

This risotto recipe from 101 Cookbooks is fabulous for a few reasons. First, it doesn't require all of that stirring! Secondly, it is made with farro which a fabulous and healthy grain. Finally, it is simple! The list of ingredients won't fill up your grocery cart or empty your wallet. You can find farro near the pasta or imported (Italian) foods in stores such as Whole Foods, Raley's, Bel Air, or Costco.

Recipe: 101 Cookbooks Baked Farro Risotto

Buon appetito!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Breakfast from the crockpot: Cream of wheat berries

This is a simple way to try a brand new whole grain for a nourishing hot breakfast!

Cream of Wheat Berries
Serves 4
1/2 cup wheat berries*
1/4 cup cracked wheat*
1/2 cup rolled (old-fashioned) oats
4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries

  1. In a 3 1/2 to 4 quart crockpot, combine the wheat berries, cracked wheat, oats, and water. Stir in the cardamom (or cinnamon). Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. (Note: a holiday light timer can be used to automatically shut off the crockpot, if necessary.
*Wheat berries and cracked wheat can be found in the bulk section of the supermarket. 

If you're feeling adventurous, get creative with this recipe! Substitute different grains, add chopped apples, try raisins instead of cranberries, or use different spices. It's up to you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Serves 4
Prep time: 8-10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
10 pitted kalamata olives, quartered
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan and add 2 cups of water. Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  2. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and add bell peppers, olives, onions, basil, mint, and parsley. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, make a dressing by whisking together red wine vinegar, oil, and mustard. Add dressing to quinoa mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. Salad will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Nutrition info (per 1 1/2 cup serving):
221 calories, 7g fat, 33g carbohydrates, 6g protein, 5g fiber

*Tip: For extra protein, consider adding: cooked garbanzo beans, lentils, walnuts, almonds, cooked chicken, or shrimp.

Monday, March 14, 2011


If you haven't ever eaten quinoa, give it a try this weekQuinoa (pronounced "keen-wa") is a grain that is high in protein (considered a "complete protein" because it contains all nine essential amino acids), iron, complex carbohydrates, B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium. Also, it cooks in only about 15 minutesYou can buy it at most grocery stores (in addition to boxed/bagged quinoa, it is also frequently available in bulk) or even at Costco.

Here are four ideas to get you started:
  1. Add lightly toasted sesame seeds and sea salt to cooked quinoa and serve as a side dish.
  2. Toss cooked and cooled quinoa with a bit of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, pepper, and your favorite veggies for a great grain salad or green salad topper.
  3. Instead of oatmeal for breakfast, top warm cooked quinoa with the milk of your choice, fruit, and nuts or seeds.
  4. For meals that are usually served over rice or noodles, use quinoa instead.
Originally published 8/2010

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Weekly Challege #11 - Try a new grain (or two!)

Eating healthy, fiber-rich grains is a great way to improve your diet. Not only are they delicious and good for you, but whole grains also make you feel more satisfied and stick with you a lot longer. Because they are more filling, you usually eat less than you would a white, or refined, grain so you end up consuming fewer calories.

Your challenge this week: Try a new grain.

Here's a simple recipe from Coach Marilyn to help you get started:

1/2 cup quinoa (cook it like you would rice), 1/4 cup each avocado and tomato, 1/8 cup of black olives, and 2 TB of Gerards Greek Feta Dressing and only 195 calories! BIG bang for your nutritional buck!

Post a comment here to let us know which grain you tried, how you cooked it, and how you liked it!

Have a GREAT week!

Monday, March 7, 2011

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Mami2jcn, you won the $35 gift certificate from CSN Stores!

We will email you the gift certificate code. We hope your daughter enjoys her new sandals!

Winner chosen by random drawing using true random number generator from random.org.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Last day for the CSN Stores giveaway!

Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for the $35 CSN Stores gift certificate. Don't miss your chance to win, enter here!

Weekly Challenge #10 - Eliminate the Frenemies (aka Boundary Setting)!

By Lorri Ann Code

Remember the weekly challenge (and all time FAVORITE), when we had you pick a physical area to de-clutter in your lives? You told me about your cars, closets, and even refrigerators! And you loved the freeing feeling of getting rid of the junk that was draining you of your energy and your time. I think this was close to one of our most popular challenges. Well, this is a de-cluttering of the spirit. An emotional kind of clean-up.

You may ask: ‘what the heck is a fenenemy’? Simply put, it is person who says they are your friend but actually is an enemy. May be conscience sort of frenemy, but more than likely it is someone who is not really there for you for a variety of reasons. It is your GF (girlfriend), who when the chips are down and you need someone in your corner…and she is nowhere to be found (either physically or emotionally). It can be disheartening, disappointing, and depending on how embedded she is in your life…downright painful!

Some not quite so painful examples might be: You come into the room sashaying your ‘new look’, fresh from the salon, and your frenemy says “did you do something to your hair?” with a straight face and squinted eyes. Quickly deflating any new sense of confidence you had just acquired through the magical hands of your stylist. Making you doubt your own taste and worse yourself. It is just how we women are built. We look to our friends for confirmation of our new looks and ourselves.

More examples: You call enthusiastically your frenemy, with great news and whole heartedly expect her to join you in your joy. She proceeds to rain on your parade with questions and comments on all the reasons it cannot possibly work or there must be a “catch”, it cannot possibly be that good, instead of enjoying the moment with you. All the while, saying she is just being “realistic” and does not want you to get your hopes up. Why not? Why not get your hopes up?! Through hope, comes change! Hope is a wonderful healing emotion and can be a catalyst for change. Quickly excuse yourself from the conversation before your frenemy quickly and efficiently douses your dreams and enthusiasm in one fell swoop!

The worst way to find out you have a frenemy in your midst is when you really need a friend. Challenge happen in life, whether it be a divorce, a job loss, death in the family, etc. This is the time when you need unwavering, unconditional support and a place to vent. You go to your frenemy looking for your ‘soft spot’ and not only is she not there but worse, she joined the other side. I am sorry to say, but she was never a friend. You actually had a frenemy on the inside (inside your home, social circle, or heart). We, as women, look to each other for positive support and encouragement. A safe place. When the people you surround yourself with are not lifting you up, it is time to cut your losses and move on.

How do you know if you have a frenemy in your life? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

How do you feel when you are with your friend? Do you feel uplifted and a general sense of well-being?

Do you hear her saying small, unsupportive passive aggressive comments towards you?

Do her actions match her words?

Biggest indicator: your gut. Your intuition always knows even if you do not want to listen! Do a ‘gut check’ and see how you feel. Simply put: Do you feel better or worst after spending time with her? Best indicator of all! We always know even when we do not want too. Your intuition can be screaming at you and you are saying,’ no, not Susie, she would NEVER do that’. We have instincts for a reason, trust them.

Look around your circle of friends. You should see a wonderful group of people who you enjoy and trust and who ultimately, make your life better. If not then it might be time to do some emotional de-cluttering. We, at Mama Bootcamp, call it the ‘sister code’. Laugh with one another, cheer each other on, and support one another, knowing they would have your back, when the chips are down. Life can be challenging, you need your circle to be clean and healthy!

“Friendships can be for a reason, a season, or a lifetime”

I love that. Simple right. Oprah says (and I paraphrase): “Gayle, my best friend cheers for me the loudest when I am doing well and is there for me with open arms when I fall”.

Your challenge: take a close look at your "circle." Does it include a frenemy? Or even more than one? If so, reevaluate her/his role in your life, and decide to make a change. Tell her what you think, and what you need. Or simply decide to elevate your circle and to no longer include her in it. Initially this might feel uncomfortable, and even scary. But ultimately, you will only be the better for it. When you are surrounded by "sisters" the world is a much more supportive and happy place.

I wish for all of you a circle of sisters, or as we say at Mama Bootcamp “sistas”. Blessings.