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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!"

March Message from the Mama

I love spring! The vibrant colors, promise of new life, change and the option for growth….oops…did I just say “option”?? A lot of people started the year with the promise of losing weight, starting a running program, or cleaning up their diet. Maybe they were going to stop eating fast food, get up and run before work, or join the newest “biggest loser” contest at work. Maybe they actually did, but for whatever reason, did not reach their goal or what I like to say “find their mojo.” It could have been that “it’s too hard to get up that early” or “my job is too stressful to make changes now” or “my hubby, boss, friends, sisters, etc. sabotage my efforts.” Lots of excuses…oops, there I go again, LOL! I mean “reasons”. 

Here is what I LOVE to remind my Mamas: at ANY point and time you can change your mind. I recently had a conversation with a Mama after she had lost over 40 pounds and I asked her, what after all these years, changed for you? And she said, “I decided to honor my word and myself.” It's that simple. She changed her mind and started to honor herself.

When you change your mind you start making small, simple changes: walking at lunch, drinking 40 ounces of water by noon, eating broccoli with dinner, cutting out soda or fast food, etc. Did I ever say this was easy? No there will be challenges along the way, but I think it is much harder to keep sitting on the coach, letting life pass you by. Please read the following and look at ALL the benefits to changing your mind. 

WARNING!! Living a fit and healthy lifestyle could result in the following side effects: a feeling of euphoria, peace of mind, over abundance of confidence, sense of purpose, long and active life, increased libido, positive outlook on life and looking and feeling great!

Happy Spring from me and all of my Mama Team!
Lorri Ann

Friday, March 2, 2012

Weekly Challenge #10: 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. Delicious, filling, and only 195 calories! BIG bang for your nutritional buck!

Have a great week!
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!