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Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge: Booting Out the Bad

We all know when it comes time to commit to a life of fitness, the task can seem a bit overwhelming. Eating right, exercising, and making smart choices sounds easy in theory, but in actuality, can be difficult to put into practice. This year, we focus on laying a strong foundation of habits that will make future challenges that much easier to undertake.

Did you know it only takes 21 days to create a new habit or break a bad habit? This year, our weekly challenges have been created with that in mind. Each month, we’ll focus on one habit to change - either a new, good habit to make or an old, bad habit to break. Twelve months, twelve changes made in a way that will make it easy for you to change into the best you possible.

This week’s challenge is to make a list of everything you do for one day, whether it is making your bed in the morning, doing sit-ups while watching TV, or adding an extra scoop to you ice cream bowl after dinner. Celebrate the habits you are glad you are doing, give yourself a pat on the back- then turn to the rest.

It is time to boot out the bad! Pick one “bad” habit you wish to break and
don’t do it. For 21 days. Start small, and be specific. Share what you’re doing with a friend, family member, or Lorri Ann! Write it down and tape it on your fridge, bathroom mirror, or computer monitor. Remember, if you miss one day, pick it up the next. It’s impossible to be perfect, but not impossible to try.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #5 A Healthy Super Bowl

Did you see Mama Bootcamp on Fox 40 Live last week?  Lorri Ann shared some tasty recipes for healthy appetizers to serve at your Super Bowl Party.  As she mentioned, Mama Bootcamp is not a diet, it's a lifestyle change and so you can still enjoy fun gatherings like a Superbowl Party but with delicious, healthy food.  Your challenge this week is to consider nutrient-packed healthy party foods and keep away from the over-processed junk food.  Dips like salsa or hummus are great with carrots and jicima.  Fresh salsa from the deli or dairy case is better than jarred on the shelf.  If you serve them with chips, go with the baked style instead of fried.  Every supermarket around will be featuring avocados on sale this week since guacamole is a popular football party food.  Here is my simple recipe for guacamole.

Erika's Easy Guacamole
2 or 3 medium sized ripe avocados (if avocados are from Costco, 2 makes a lot)
Juice from 1 lime or 2 tsp of lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh style salsa or pico de gallo (Casa Sanchez mild salsa is my favorite brand)
Chopped fresh cilantro, about 1 tablespoon
Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic powder- season to taste

Remove avocado flesh from the skin and in a medium size bowl mash slightly with a fork, but leave it a bit chunky.  Mix in lime juice, salsa and cilantro.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Taste and add more of anything you want more of.  You can add more heat with a dash of hot sauce (like Frank’s or Crystal brand) or a dash of cayenne pepper.  Note:  I don't care for chopped raw onion in my guacamole, I find it too strong and takes away from the star of the show, avocado.  The addition of the fresh salsa adds just the right amount of onion and tomato as a hint of seasoning.  But if you love onion, go for it.

Want a some more party food ideas?  Check these out-
Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa- Consider using corn or whole wheat tortillas for these instead of fried taco shells. 
Asian Turkey Meatballs with Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce 

Avocado and Mango Salsa

Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #4: A Complaint Free Week

In week one, we talked about paying attention to the positive things in your life. This week's challenge is a play on the same idea: Whatever you feed grows.

This week, continue to feed the positive by eliminating negative words from your life.

How many times in a day do you engage in negative self talk? "I can't do this!" "My hips are too wide!" "I'm too slow a runner!" And how often do you complain about other things? "My husband never puts his dirty clothes in the hamper!" "My mother in law calls too early in the morning!"

We all do it, and it can a hard habit to break!

Give yourself a little visual (and physical) reminder of this week's challenge. Put a rubber band around your wrist and wear it like a bracelet. When you catch yourself in a complaint, give the band a tug. SNAP SNAP!

When you stop complaining, you have no choice but to focus on the positive. And by feeding only the positive, the good stuff grows and grows.

Have a GREAT (and complaint free) week!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #3: Make an Appointment for Fitness!

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!!

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? Will you have a workout partner? 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

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 Weekly Challenge #2: Drink Your Water!!

Drinking lots of a water is one of the easiest way to improve your health and change your body. We recommend that you drink 80 to 100 ounces every single day.

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

** You can 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

Find your Mojo with 80-100 ounces every day. Your body will love you for it!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ashley's Story: Resolutions

The holidays are over and life is back to normal (at least somewhat). Hopefully, that means that I actually remember to blog on Fridays like I'm supposed to!

First, I cannot believe it's 2012! I feel like I blinked and the last year has gone by. Since we're already a week into the new year, we've all probably been doing a lot of thinking about resolutions. I can never decide how I feel about resolutions. Sometimes, I think they're great and other times I think they're just a waste of my time. This year, I stuck to my usual routine and not made a new year's resolution, per se, but I have been working on some new goals lately.

Back in December, I started doing some serious thinking about what I wanted and what I expected from my body. I figured out that those two things were drastically different. I wanted to lose 75 lbs. I expected to lose nothing or to lose, but then gain it all back because that had happened over and over again. When I realized that my desires and my expectations were so drastically different, I decided that I needed to overhaul my thinking.

Thinking about losing and keeping off 75 lbs is overwhelming. Even if I lost two pounds a week it would still take me over half the year to reach my goal. And, really, who do you know other than Biggest Loser contestants who have consistently lost two pounds a week every week for half a year. No one, right? So, I decided that my goal had to be smaller...much smaller.

With an expectation that I would lose nothing, I decided to make my first goal to lose only five pounds. To some, that may sound simple, but I haven't lost five pounds since my pregnancy and that was because I was throwing up everyday from morning sickness. Before that, it had literally been years since the scale had budged. So, five pounds it is. And I'm happy to say that I'm half way there!

Looking through all of the advice Lorri Ann has given me and all of the weight loss stuff I've read and studied over the years, I put together some habit changing steps for myself. The first has been one that I've never been great at and one that Lorri Ann pushes big time - eat your veggies! I started aiming for at least 50% of my daily diet to be from vegetables. It's been amazing!

I've been making soups and stews full of veggies, eating huge salads with different lettuces and spinach, and experimenting with ways to work in veggies to the meals we normally make at home. This week, I've lost 2.5 lbs. Word the mamas. I'm excited!! :)

And I'm proud of myself and feeling like this is actually possible for the first time in a long time. So, while I haven't sat down and said, "In 2012, I'll lose the weight for good," I have resolved to make myself and my life better one habit at a time. I'll hope you'll join me this year and change those habits that keep you from being your best self, too!