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Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 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 fresh new glorious 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? Learn to swim?  Try yoga?  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, challenges, triumphs and change. I wish you all a 2013 that is healthy, balanced, and full of joy.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 21, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #51: Give YOURSELF a gift

Is it just me, or have you spent the last few weeks scouring the planet for gifts?  Gifts for the kids, your best friend, family, coworkers - even the dog gets a gift this time of year.  It is fun to give, and picking out just the right thing is rewarding but...what about YOU?

This might be one of my favorite challenges because this week I want you to give a gift to YOURSELF!

Your gift can be whatever you decide on that works for your life.  Feeling a little chilly at bootcamp this winter?  Gift yourself a cozy hat.  Some new running socks?  You deserve them.  A water bottle to help you stay hydrated? Done.  Feeling like you need some time to yourself?  Give yourself the gift of an extra bootcamp this week, or even better a pedicure or massage!

Most women spend the majority of their non working (or even working) hours taking care of the needs and wants of others.  This year, give yourself the same treatment and give yourself a gift.


Friday, December 14, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge Week #50: Hydration

Yep, back up on my soap box again...This weeks' challenge is all about HYDRATION.

Living where we do, it is almost impossible to forget to drink water in the summer.  Those triple digit days make it pretty easy to remember our water bottles when we leave the house, and all that sweating reminds us we need to restore our body's balance.

In the winter...well, the winter is a different story.  In the winter, it feels easier and more intuitive to grab an extra cup of coffee, or snuggle up with hot tea.  And a cold drink of water on a cold morning isn't exactly the first thing I think of grabbing.

Guess what though?  Hydration in the winter is important too!  The heaters are blowing on us all the time, drying out our skin and our membranes and leaving us even more susceptible to dehydration.  And don't forget that if you are even a little bit dehydrated - 2% - you will burn 30% fewer calories during your workouts and your regular activities of daily living.

This week's challenge:  Be sure to get your 80-100 ounces of water every day.  Do what you need to do to make it happen:  add lemon, add mint, set a timer to remind yourself to get up and get another glass of water, give yourself a reward.

Stay hydrated!  Your body will love you for it!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #49: Say No to the Good, and Yes to the GREAT!

'Tis the Season, right?

The season for parties, family commitments, shopping, wrapping up projects at work, charity events, Secret Santa, visits to Santa, Elf on the Shelf, open houses, white elephant gift exchanges...the list goes on and on and on.  What this adds up to is one very full calendar, and one exhausted Mama!

How many things on your list do you really want to do?  I don't mean what are you willing to do, or what you fell you "should" do, but what do you WANT to do?

This week, we challenge you to say NO to the good, and YES to only the GREAT.

Next time someone asks you to do something, no matter what or who it is, say yes only if it is something you really want to do.  If it isn't something great that will make you feel happy and good, then politely decline and fill your time with something better.  Think about what YOU want to do, and make it happen.

By saying no to the good, you leave more time for the GREAT, and more time for you in the process.

Have a GREAT week!

Friday, November 30, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #48: Pick Your Day!

Tis the season for parties, celebrations, get togethers...food is everywhere all the time this time of year, and it isn't always the healthy stuff.

The bad news: the average person expects to gain weight during the holidays, and does so.
The good news:  YOU don't have to!

This holiday season, make a deal with yourself:  Do your best to eat healthfully and clean six days out of the week.  And pick ONE day a week to indulge.

Now let's be clear here, indulge does not mean "eat the entire cheesecake followed by a chocolate fondue chaser with a bottle of champagne to wash it all down."  Nope, not gonna happen.  Right?

What I do mean is: decide that you will have a small piece of that cheesecake, enjoy a glass of wine, and take a day to not count calories.

Of course even on an indulgent day you will still want to get those veggies in and hydrate - in fact, you should hydrate extra to get the extra sodium flowing right out of your body.  But take a day to indulge, and celebrate.

Happy December :)

Happy December!

Hi Mamas!

Just a quick note to let you know what's on tap here on the blogfor the month of December.

I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling like this is the very busiest time of the year.  Lots of family to visit with, lots of shopping and cooking to do, and just a lot of feeling pulled in every direction.   Please, tell me I'm not alone!

As everyone else is pulling at you wanting something, we want to give you a little bit of time that is all about YOU! 

Every week this month we will challenge you - ALLOW you - to do something for yourself.  Have a day to indulge, say NO when you want or need to, keep your body healthy, and give YOURSELF a gift.

I hope you will find a moment to put, and keep, yourself on your priority list. 


Wednesday, November 28, 2012


If you can swim a lap (barely)...
If you can ride a bike...
If you can walk a block...

You CAN do a Triathlon!

Join Mama Bootcamp for a fun and informative evening to kick off our Triathlon training season.

There will be two sessions:

Monday, December 3 at 6:30pm
Valley Springs Presbyterian Church
1401 Olympus Dr


Thursday, December 6 at 6:30pm
McKinley Park Pool House
East Sacramento

The triathlon coaches will be there to answer your questions, and we'll have food, raffle prizes and lots of fun.

Ask your coach if you have any questions!


Friday, November 23, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #47: What have you learned?

Thanksgiving is over, the fall decor is almost gone, and hopefully the last of the turkey leftovers are eaten...but the month of being Thankful isn't over yet!

Live is about learning and growing.  When you know better, you can do better, right?  This week, we are thinking about lessons learned.

Think about the important lessons YOU have learned this year, and how it has changed how you think, how you act, how you feel and then...

Share it with someone!

Join us on the Facebook page and tell your Mama Bootcamp family what lesson you are most thankful for.  Could be just the lesson one of your sisters needs to learn, too.

Have a great week!

Friday, November 16, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #46: The Tough Tukey 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!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #45: WHO are you thankful for?

Our month of Thanks Giving continues!

Last week, we told the world (ok, Facebook) what we were thankful for.  This week's challenge is about giving thanks to someone who may or may not still be in your life who helped you. You may have never told them, but now is your opportunity.

Our Main Mama Lorri Ann says:  "Mine was Miss Machado, my 8th grade teacher.  She believed in me, and encouraged me as my English teacher to write and express myself. Having a chaotic and painful home life, I looked forward to her words of encouragement to me. She never knew how big an influence she was on my life."

WHO are you thankful for?  If that person is still in your life, give him or her a call and say so!  If you can't do it in person or by email, post on Facebook to tell us all about it.  You may just make someone's day!  

2012 Weekly Challenge #44: A Month of being THANKFUL

NOVEMBER 3, 2012

In this month of Thanksgiving, we at Mama Bootcamp are all focusing on what we are thankful for. 

We are thankful for our health, our families, and for all the beauty in our lives.  And of course we are especially thankful to have our MOJO, and to be able to share it with each and every one of our Mamas.  In short, we are thankful for YOU!

This week, your challenge is to focus on your attitude of gratitude.   What are YOU thankful for?  Post it on Facebook to share it with the other Mamas and with your proud and THANKFUL coaches.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #43: Express Workout

Think you don't have time to exercise? Guess again! In just 10 to 20 minutes, you can get an excellent full body workout. Its called the Express Workout, and you can do it wherever you are, whenever you want!

For a quick workout at home, on vacation, or even in the office, try this circuit (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)

Repeat entire circuit 3 or 4 times.

Need a refresher?  Check out our video section to see Master Trainer Lorri Ann Code at work!

Your challenge:  Do the Express Workout every non-Bootcamp day this week.  Your body will love you for it!

Friday, October 19, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #42: 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.

Friday, October 12, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #41: 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.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #40: Go Sugarless!

I can hardly belive it is already 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, September 28, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #39: 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!

Friday, September 21, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #38: 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.

Friday, September 14, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #37: 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.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Weekly Challenge #36: 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, August 31, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #35: 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!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #34: 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, August 17, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #33: 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!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August Recipe- Keeping Cool Cook-Free Recipes

We are in the middle of a heat wave.  Keeping hydrated and staying cool is always important and this month I wanted to share a couple of recipes to keep you cool and keep you fed without having to generate extra heat in the kitchen.
Lori Ann was recently on KCRA My 58 in the morning and she shared a delicious recipe for Cucumber Boats.  It's a dish that is packed with nutrition, but low in calories.  Beans, corn and shrimp that provide fiber and protein, sweet and delicious mango with vitamins A and C, avocado which also has vitamin C as well as healthy Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.  It's pulled together with lime juice, cilantro, onion and jalapeno pepper, then you put that as a filling in a cucumber boat; cool and refreshing.

I also wanted to share a recipe of my own that it's very similar and versatile in how you can eat it.  Tomato, Corn and Avocado Salsa.  It's great to bring to a party serve at a barbecue, but be warned- it will disappear in minutes!  Serve it with whole wheat pita or baked tortilla chips.  Make some for yourself as a healthy and filling snack, you can actually make it ahead of time and just add avocado when you are ready to eat it.  Use it in a salad or top your tacos with it.  This is a great recipe for using delicious local corn and all those garden tomatoes you find yourself needing to use.

Enjoy these finals weeks of summer, keep cool, give these recipes a try and see you at Boot Camp!

Friday, August 10, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #32: 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!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #31: I'll Have a Side of Butt/Thigh with that, 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!

Friday, July 27, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #30: Fuel Up with a Protein Shake

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)

Your Challenge this week: Fuel up (or refuel) with a protein shake. Your body will love you for it!

Friday, July 20, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #29: 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!

Friday, July 13, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #28: 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!


Friday, July 6, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #27: 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 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 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, June 29, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #26: 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!

Friday, June 22, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #25: Sensational Swimsuit Challenge

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!

Friday, June 15, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #24: 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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June Recipe- Watermelon

This month we’re focusing on watermelon.  It’s not just a fruit suitable for slicing and mixing in a fruit salad or eating plain on a hot day.  There are a variety of applications in recipes.  Just like strawberries, watermelon is a sweet addition to a savory salad.  You can also make this very easy watermelon salad and bring it to your next BBQ pot luck; Watermelon Salad with Mint LeavesOr try this unique appetizer, Watermelon Feta Bruschetta

Another tip- Make about a cup of pureed watermelon and add it to your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce and use it over chicken or pork. 

One cup of cut watermelon contains no fat and about 50 calories.  It’s also a source of some great nutrients such as potassium, vitamins B6 and C as well as the antioxidant lycopene.  When buying a watermelon, tap it and if it sounds hollow, it’s ripe.  The outside may have a yellowish spot where it sat on the ground while growing, and that’s fine but the rind should be green striped and smooth.

And lastly, here’s a drink recipe using watermelon; Watermelon Lemonade.  Sometimes it seems like a great idea to buy a huge watermelon.  But when you cut it up, it’s A LOT of fruit to eat.  Which is great, but if you want a way to use up some of it, try making this refreshing drink.  You can easily use agave to sweeten this instead of sugar or simply omit the sugar since the watermelon and the lemonade may be sweet enough.

Friday, June 8, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #23: 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!

Friday, June 1, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #22: 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

Friday, May 25, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #21: Gear Yourself Up for Success

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!

Friday, May 18, 2012

2012 weekly Challenge #20: 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 a great clean meal that will get your calorie-burning engine going and set you up for a successful and energy-full day. As a bonus? It is delicious and will leave you satisfied!

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!

Friday, May 11, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #19: Use SUNSCREEN

It is starting to heat up outside 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.

Monday, May 7, 2012

May Recipe- Get Grilling

Hello, it's your Food Coach, Erika.  As I'm sure you probably (correctly) assume, in my house I do most of the cooking and that also includes the grilling.  Grilling is not a duty that I wrestled away from my husband and that doesn't mean he isn't capable of grilling; he is and back in the early days of courtship he cooked and grilled for me.  He actually does most of the laundry (washing and folding) in our house, so I'm quite happy to do the cooking and I really enjoy grilling.  So this month I am sharing a grilled chicken recipe and I'm also letting you know that I don't believe grilling should be "the man's job" when it comes to cooking in your home.  Mama's can grill too!  To me, everything tastes better grilled and it doesn't even have to be covered in sauce, all by itself it brings flavor to food.  So go out there and get grilling!  Try this very simple recipe and you will get hooked and want to grill all the time.  :)
The recipe also includes a very easy vegetable stir fry, which I guess is technically not stir fry as it's not with Asian flavors, it's a saute, but it goes well with the chicken and can be prepared on the stove, or in a pan you place on the grill.  The recipe is linked below.

Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Glaze and Vegetable Stir Fry

Friday, May 4, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #18: Close the Kitchen

Late night snacking can sneak up on you when you don't even see it coming. That last bite of something left on the kitchen counter, a few cookies during the evening news, a cup of hot chocolate... Because you are slowing down for the day, late night calories don't get burned off. Instead, they go to bed with you, stowed away as fat.

To avoid late night munching, try "shutting down your kitchen" right after dinner:
  • Put away leftovers and do the dishes
  • Wipe down the counters
  • Close the blinds and turn off the lights
Once the kitchen is closed, brush your teeth. This will further discourage you from snacking!

Creating a simple evening ritual of closing the kitchen can help you to avoid excess calories and bring an organized end to busy days.

Friday, April 27, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #17: Express Workout

Think you don't have time to exercise? Guess again! In just 10 to 20 minutes, you can get an excellent full body workout. Its called the Express Workout, and you can do it wherever you are, whenever you want!

For a quick workout at home, on vacation, or even in the office, try this circuit (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)

Repeat entire circuit 3 or 4 times.

Need a refresher on some of the moves? Here's Lorri Ann to show you how to do it!

Your challenge this week: Do your express workout at least three times this week. Your body will love you for it!

Friday, April 20, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #16: An APPLE a Day

You know that old saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away?" Turns out it might be more true than you thought!

Apples are the perfect snack food. They are crunchy, sweet (but not too sweet) and delicious and also chock full of nutrition. Apples are low on the glycemic index which helps stabilize your blood sugar. They are also high in fiber which is not only good for your digestive system, but also helps you feel satisfied. As an extra bonus, apples don't need to be refrigerated and come in their own "wrapping" making them the epitome of a "grab and go" snack.

Your challenge: Eat an apple a day. When you do your grocery shopping, branch otu and try more than one variety of apple. Pay attention to what your favorites are, and make this challenge a part of your regular eating routine throughout the year. Be sure to come back to the blog and post a comment letting us all know what your favorites are so we can all try them too!

Have a great week, and remember: An apple a day DOES keep the doctor away, and so much more.

Friday, April 13, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #15: STRETCH!

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

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

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

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

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

Have a GREAT week!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #14: Veggie Bags!

(I apologize for the lapse in weekly challenges - a computer glitch on my end. We're picking up right where we left off with challenge #14!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April Recipe- Spring Salad

Salad is such a great way to get in your veggies, especially those dark, nutrient-rich greens like spinach.  I love a good salad, but sometimes I struggle at home to fix salad because I want it to have a lot of parts, but it can be a pain to prep it all when it's just myself or two of us.  It helps if I just create my own at-home salad bar.  Using containers to store all the elements, you take the time once to get it all prepped and then throughout the week, just pull it out and fix a salad.  In my house, it's far easier to do that then to toss it all together, only to not have it all eaten at once and then risk getting spoiled.
The other thing I like about salad, is "special" salads, the not your usual green salad with typical ingredients, but ones with seasonal ingredients or dynamic flavor combinations.  So when I came across a spring salad with mixed greens and blood oranges, I just had to share it here.

Blood Orange Salad with Gorgonzola, Pecans and Baby Greens

If you don't find blood oranges, naval oranges work fine, or even strawberries.   This would make a great addition to your Easter meal.  It's an easy salad to keep the elements stored separately and then assemble one just for yourself. 

Need other salad ideas?  Don't forget this previous post- A Salad A Day.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Recipe- Asparagus

Although we are finally getting the rain we needed, spring is around the corner and asparagus has begun to be sold in markets at lower prices.  So this month I want to share with you some information about asparagus as well as a couple of recipes.
Asparagus is one of the best vegetable sources of folic acid as a 5.3 oz serving provides 60% of the recommended daily allowance. There is also 3 grams of protein in a serving. It's a great source of fiber, it's low in sodium and it's a good source of  potassium, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin.  It contains an abundance of an amino acid called asparagine, that helps to cleanse the body of waste material. The high alkalinity of the juice in asparagus is effective in reducing the acidity of the blood and helps cleanses the tissues and muscles of waste.  So, now that we know what a great veggie it is, let's get down to the business of eating it.

Asparagus Artichoke Salad- This is a delicious little salad of grilled or roasted asparagus tossed together with marinated artichokes, grape tomatoes and onion. 

On the same page as this recipe, she provides some links to several other recipes as well as methods for simple roasting and grilling.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Weekly Challenge #12: Appreciate your Body (aka 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 make 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, and it is getting stronger every day!

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 9, 2012

Weekly Challenge #11: 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!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Inspirational Mama - Stefanie Valencia

My name is Stefanie Valencia. I started Mama Bootcamp in March of 2009.  At the time I was 25 years old and had 205 lbs on my 5'2" frame. I went back and forth between a size 16 and size 18 dress size.  I had always been overweight. I remember as a child in the 3rd grade thinking, "I can never wear what those little girls are wearing. I'm too big." I eventually grew up into an overweight preteen, teenager and finally adult. I had never once looked at myself and thought, "I look beautiful." Instead, I avoided mirrors, cried when I went clothes shopping, and hated every single picture of myself. Year after year after I told myself, "This is the year, Stefanie. This is the year you get healthy." And, year after year the days came and went.

I was working at a preschool when I met Pantea Dunn. Her children were enrolled in our school. A co-teacher and I had been talking to her, and she had mentioned how she went to Mama Bootcamp. The two of us decided to go. I was not really sure of what I was getting involved in. I didn't exercise. "Run" was not a part of my vocabulary. "BFAS" was definitely not on that word list either. Water? I only showered with it. I drank a soda or two a day. Fast food was not a sometimes food but almost an everyday occurrence. So there I was, with all of these healthy women, at 7:30 in the morning, ON A SATURDAY!! I made it through the core warmup and then came time for cardio. I remember Lorri Ann asking, "Who's walking?." I sheepishly raised my hand. Obviously, I was going to walk. She said to follow a woman because she knew the route. I thought, "Great! She's pregnant. I can keep up with her." Little did I know, the pregnant woman would pass me up by a quarter of a mile. The whole time I'm sweating, I have shin splints and I'm struggling to keep up. This woman was pregnant! So pregnant I didn't see her again because she had her baby. Then as if it wasn't bad enough I hear feet quickly coming up from behind. An old man, who I believe to be bionic, begins to pass me up. He says, "You're not going to let an 82-year old man pass you up, are you?" It was at that moment that I decided enough was enough. I was 25-years old, and a pregnant woman and 82-year old man passed me up. P.S. He caught up and passed the pregnant woman. I signed up that day. I got my measurements done that Monday and by the next Saturday (after lots of epsom salt baths and unbelievable muscle soreness) I officially began my new journey.

The process was not magic, as Lorri Ann continually reminds us.  After all, 25 years of lifelong bad habits are hard to kick. Its been a little over a year and a half, and I have to admit, I still fight those habits. I hated vegetables, and still am not a raw vegetable kind of girl. BUT! I found ways for me to like them. I made sure that I threw vegetables into almost everything that I ate. I gave up soda, and if I needed a fix, forced myself to drink diet instead. My 32oz water bottle was my every day, every where companion. It still is. I stopped the fast food and I did my homework. I began walking 30 minutes a day around Maidu. I then decided I wanted to run. I wanted to be one of those outer loop girls. So I started giving myself small goals. I would jog 10 feet then walk. Until I was jogging 20 feet, then 30 feet, until finally I made it around the whole loop. I'm sure I scared a lot of people because I was huffing and puffing so badly that I sounded like i was in Lamaze or having an attack. But I kept on going. 

Which brings us to today. I am 57 lbs lighter, 102 inches smaller and in a size 8 dress size. Today, "run" is a part of my daily vocabulary. I even have "love" and "run" in the same sentence now. I can look in the mirror, I dont cry when I go shopping anymore, and I jump in front of that camera. As far as my ultimate body goal, I still have not arrived. I still am in process. I will keep running until I hit my goal, and when I do, I still wont stop running. I have to remind myself that its not about my size, its not about the numbers on the scale, and its not about how I look to everyone else. Its about being healthy and loving myself enough to take care of my body. Movement and healthy eating is my new lifestyle. Don't get me wrong, I still eat that cookie, and I eat out for dinner with friends, but I know that I am in charge of my body. I am the only one taking care of it. When I eat a little too much, its ok. I do the next right thing for me. I go for that run. I add in another bootcamp session. I say no when I need to say no. The most important message I could say is love yourself. You're worth it. Oh, and "nobody every died from the burn." So, "Go to your happy place! and give me 20 torso twists, 20 bicycles and 20 push ups! 5 sets!"