" "blank

Friday, February 28, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #9: Body Care!

We all know that exercise is an integral part of getting and keeping our bodies healthy. But how many of us really take care of the body we are requiring so much of? This week's challenge is all about taking care of your body.

What is body care?  Glad you asked!!!

Ice Massage: Fill a small paper cup up about half way with water, and freeze. When frozen solid, peel down the paper to just below the ice. Use this to massage areas that are tight or sore - just use the ice and dig right in. The ice acts as an anti-inflammatory to help ease the pain and inflammation that can come after a hard workout. (I especially like to do this one on my shins after a long run.)

Massage: Need I say more? Who doesn't love a good massage?!?

Ice Plunge: When you're muscles are tired, sore and have had enough, try reviving with an ice plunge. Put some ice and cold water in the tub, and climb on in. Coach Krista advises keeping some type of shirt on (good tip!) and you might want to have something hot to drink as well. Sounds crazy, and maybe a bit scary, but once you try an ice plunge you'll know for sure that there are few better ways to get your body feeling great.

Foam Roller: Using a foam roller to "work out the kinks" is a quick and easy way to release sore spots. It is great for your calves, hips, quads, hamstrings, and low back. Borrow one at bootcamp, or pick one up at the sporting good store (even Target has then recently). There is a great video here on the blog to help you get started.

Epsom Salt soak: add two cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for about 20 minutes. It will help draw the toxins out of your system, and as a bonus will probably make you sleep like a baby! Be sure to drink a lot of water, as this can be dehydrating, and please note that diabetics should NOT use this modality without first consulting with a doctor.

YOUR CHALLENGE:  Every day this week, take care of your body. And at least every other day, try one of the body care regimens listed above.  You'll feel great, and your body will love you for it!

Have a great week, and remember to take care of your body!

Friday, February 21, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #8: Eat your (VEGGIE) Soup!

One of the the best things you can do for your body is fuel it right, and there's nothing better than veggies.

In the winter, at least for me, it gets a little harder to get in all 7 to 9 servings of vegetables my body needs. When it is cold and rainy outside, and all I want is comfort food, a salad or crunchy carrots just doesn't seem to fit the bill.

That's where this soup comes in. Warm and delicious, and versatile enough to enjoy as a snack or a full meal, veggie soup is comfort good that it good for your body.

Your challenge for the week: Cook up a big pot of veggie soup on the first day of the challenge. Add your favorite veggies, or add some protein to make it a complete meal. Eat it when you need a snack, or a meal, or just something warm and delicious. Enjoy your comfort food, and know that you are doing something great for your body and your health.

Have a great week!

1-2 cloves fresh garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
3-4 (or more) cans chicken broth
1 onion
1 head of cabbage
3-4 carrots
3-4 celery stalks
1 red bell pepper
1-2 yellow squash
1-2 green squash

Chop all the vegetables and saute all but the squash in a big soup pot with a little oil and add 2-3 cloves of fresh chopped garlic. Saute for about 15-20 minutes until the veggies are starting to get soft. Chop and add the squash and 1 can of diced tomatoes. Then add 3-4 cans of chicken broth, or more if you want it soupy. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for about 30-40 minutes.

You can add whatever vegetables you like to this soup. To change it up use a can of Rotel tomatoes with mild green chilies, or add a can of kidney beans, black, beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans or potatoes. You can also add turkey or chicken for a change.

Friday, February 14, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #7: DeClutter your Life!

This week’s challenge is to de-clutter your life!

Clutter can be draining and de-energizing. By getting more organized, you simplify and live a more meaningful life.   I don't know about you, but when I'm surrounded by crap, I feel  like crap and can't live my best life.

This week, pick a drawer, a closet, or a room depending on your time and ambition  and get rid of the junk!  You can give away things you no longer use, and dust off the things you forgot you had! You will live more simply and freely as you de-clutter one step at a time.

Have an outstanding week!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Healthy Breakast Options

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  But somehow it seems to be the hardest meal for many people to eat.  They don't want to eat in the morning or they are too busy.  Kids too, they get up and rush to get dressed and off to school.  This week I wanted to offer some breakfast ideas and I also wanted to provide a clean eating option for creamer in your morning coffee.  I compiled a list of breakfast ideas on my blog, E-mealplanning.com.  You can find the list of healthy breakfasts that you can eat on the go, here.  You can also look back at all of the breakfast related posts here on this blog.

So often we are brain washed to think that fat free, sugar free is better for us.  If a food in it's whole, natural state is fat free and sugar free, then yes, it probably is.  But processed and chemical-laden food that is created to be fat free and sugar free is often no good.  Taste good?  Maybe.  Good for you?  No.  So after seeing so many Mamas listing in their food logs processed coffee creamers I went in search of alternatives.  What I discovered is that it's so easy to make something yourself!  And it's less calories and clean eating!  Creamy half and half mixed with skim milk, sweetened with sugar or honey and a little bit of vanilla extract.  Simple, not processed and 25 calories in 2 tablespoons.  Coffeemate French Vanilla creamer (liquid) is 35 calories in 1 tablespoon and contains partially hydrogenated soybean oil.  Hydrogenated oils contain trans fats.  In a single tablespoon it's less than 1 gram.  If you use 2 tablespoons in your coffee it becomes 1 gram and if you have that every day, it can add up.  So here is a recipe I found for clean, simple Vanilla Coffee Creamer.

Do you want non dairy?  Its simple to just swap out for any non dairy milk.  Or if you don't want to make it, Organic Valley has great products and they make a non-dairy coffee creamer.

If you need more ideas/inspiration or have questions, please comment here or email me at erika@e-mealplanning.com

Friday, February 7, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #6: What's YOUR Excuse?

This week is about excuses.

We all have them...the voices in our heads that come up with amazing reasons not to work out,  to procrastinate on a project, or to avoid someone we promised to spend time with. These voices are excuses, and we really all do have them and heed them more than we should.

How are your excuses preventing you from living your best life?  How do your excuses steal your Mojo?

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: Listen to the voices that make up your excuses and hear what they are saying. Write them all down.  Then come up with a strategy to defeat them.  Use a reward systems, an accountability partner or even a simple mantra to break through your excuses and get back to (fitness) business.

Remember this:  If something is truly important to you, you will find a way to make it happen.  If it isn't truly important, you can always find an excuse.

How important is your MOJO to you?

Have a great week!

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Quick and Easy Weeknight Meal

This is a recipe where it's really just about the method; the ingredients should be whatever lean protein and healthy green veggies you want to use.  Increase the nutrition with super-veggies like spinach and kale.  Make it meatless using tofu or cooked quinoa.  It's easy to just increase the quantities of everything to feed more people or to ensure you have plenty of leftovers for lunch.

The basic recipe with photos can be found here- e-mealplanning Recipes or you can copy it from below.

Cheap and Easy Turkey Stir Fry


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

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

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

2014 Weekly Challenge #5: A Healthy Superbowl

The BIG GAME is this weekend, and that means party time!

Leading a fit and healthy lifestyle doesn't mean you have to forgo the celebrations this weekend.  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 a great recipe for guacamole from our food coach Erika!

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.

The most important part of your party plan should be just that:  PLAN!  Plan what you will eat, and what you will skip.  Plan to bring your favorite water bottle and use it to stay hydrated.  Plan to have a great day!  And, of course...plan to cheer on the 49ers!

Have a great week!