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Monday, March 31, 2014

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

Our Main Mama with her Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili!

At a recent Make Ahead Meal Session we prepped a delicious and healthy meal that is so easy.  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili.  It's really good!  You could eat it in a bowl just like any other chili, you could serve it over brown rice, you could also scoop it up with a slotted spoon to remove some liquid and wrap it in a tortilla.  Like any chili, you can adjust the heat to your own liking to make it mild or spicy.  To prep this ahead of time like you see in the photo, place the chicken into a freezer safe zipper bag or wrap with plastic wrap.  In a separate zipper bag add all the other ingredients.  Then place that bag and the chicken into another freezer safe zipper bag.  The night before you want to cook it, place in the refrigerator to begin the defrost.  The next day, put everything into your slow cooker, even if it's still frozen.  When it's cooked you can stir it all together and if you need to, pull out the chicken to shred it.

Recipe:  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

I also highly recommend using this homemade taco seasoning mix to use in the recipe.  It's very easy to make and tastes great.  Plus it's clean eating!  Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix Recipe

Friday, March 28, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #13: Appreciate your Body (Positive Self-Talk)!

In earlier challenges, we focused on being grateful and positive instead of negative and complaining. The whole purpose of those challenges was to realize that what you say and think makes a difference in how you act and feel. Whatever you focus on is what you feed, and what you feed grows. If all you think about is what you don't have, your dissatisfaction grows; if most of what you say comes out as a complaint, you forget to see the positive.

This week's challenge builds on that idea.

How many times in a day do you engage in negative self-talk about your BODY? I know I do it ALL.THE.TIME. "I can't wear those, my thighs are too fat." "I hate my arms." "My back is killing me." "I'm just not strong enough." Honestly, I've probably said each of these things to myself, in my head, just in the last 3 hours.

But what about the GOOD things about my body and all of the amazingly positive and wonderful things it has done for me? My legs are strong and get me where I want to go, and I can move around and play with my daughter whenever I want to. I may have stretch marks, but they came from having a baby - a wonderful gift my body gave me. My body may not be perfect, but it sure has served me well so far!

Your challenge this week: Positive Self Talk! Your Bootcamp coach will give you an index card. Give yourself a minute to think about the beauty of your body and then write down some positive things your body has done for you. As the week goes on, listen to yourself (speech and thoughts) and squash that negative body-talk. Use your card to write down something you love about your body, or something wonderful your body has done for you. Anytime you start having those negative thoughts, pull out your card and remind yourself how strong, beautiful and lucky you really are!

Have a great week!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Kale Salad with Quinoa

Photo of Kale with Quinoa Salad from Mountain Mama Cooks

I'm excited to share this recipe with you this week because it's such an awesome complete meal.  Dark leafy greens, whole grain protein, anti-oxidants, and plenty of nutrients.  Not to mention, it can be made in advance and then eaten throughout the week.  So easy!!  Feel free to improvise and add other ingredients.  Macadamia nuts can be pricy, raw or even roasted almonds could be used instead.  I definitely love to have the crunch of nuts in my salads and for this one, if you intend to make enough to eat over several days, just add nuts to your serving.  The same goes for avocado.

Kale Salad with Quinoa by Mountain Mama Cooks

Friday, March 21, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #12: Declutter and get ready to SWAP!

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

The Mama Bootcamp Clothing Swap is coming soon - Sunday May 4, 2014 to be exact!  Clear your closet and bring clothing to your  Bootcamp Coach.  All the Mamas will be given an opportunity to "shop" through the donated items on May 4 and take what they need to fit their healthier bodies.  You don't need to donate to shop, but the more donations we have, the more variety and opportunity there will be.

Just to be clear - we aren't talking just workout clothes, not at all.  Any clean and wearable items you don't want anymore that are still in good enough shape can be donated. 

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 anything that doesn't fit (you KNOW some of your clothes are too big now!) and that doesn't make you feel fabulous!  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 and, who knows - that dress you don't love might be just what another mama is looking for!

Have an outstanding week!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Try a Grain- Wheat Berries

This week's challenge is to try a new grain.  So here's another recipe you should try.  It's very flexible, he provides suggestions for other root vegetables to use and even other grains. It's a hearty, "rustic" salad that you can enjoy with a protein like roasted chicken or even as a meatless meal.

Roasted Root Vegetable and Wheat Berry Salad

Friday, March 14, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #11 - Try a New Grain (or Two)!

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

Your challenge this week: Try a new grain.

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

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

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

Eat your grains!  Your body will love you for it!  Have a GREAT week!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Blood Orange Salad

We have warm sunshine!  Spring will soon be here. But we are also still enjoying delicious winter citrus.  This is a great salad from the beautiful blog, Skinny Taste for a Blood Orange Salad with Gorgonzola, Pecans and Baby Greens. This is a great lunch salad or side dish with your dinner.  Dark leafy greens, the citrus and nuts provide anti-oxidants, Vitamin E and Vitamin C.  It's a delicious source of good nutrition.  You could even add chopped turkey or chicken for protein and make it an entree salad.

Enjoy Blood Orange Salad with Gorgonzola, Pecans and Baby Greens!

Friday, March 7, 2014

2014 Weekly Challenge #10 - Eliminate the Frenimies

By Lorri Ann Code

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do her actions match her words?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, March 3, 2014

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

These are uncooked and have marinara sauce added on top

Earlier this month Lorri Ann featured this recipe on her Fox 40 Mojo Monday segment.  We also made this recipe at our most recent Make Ahead Meal Session.
You can view the video of that segment here- Heart Healthy Meal For Your Loved One

You can learn to make other great meals like this one at our monthly Make Ahead Meal Sessions.  Space is limited so sign up today! Be sure to click on the Events tab to see the information on an upcoming session.

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
By Erika Huckaby, adapted from http://damndelicious.net/
This meatless high protein meal is incredibly simple to assemble and leaves plenty of opportunity to adjust to your tastes.  You can increase the heat adding chilies or more chili powder.  Depending on the time of year, you can use fresh cut corn and tomatoes for a fresh and sweet taste.
•    3 cups cooked quinoa
•    1 cup corn kernels
•    1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
•    1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
•    1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
•    3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
•    1 teaspoon cumin
•    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
•    1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
•    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
•    6 bell peppers, tops cut, stemmed and seeded

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, corn, beans, tomatoes, cheese, cilantro, cumin, garlic, and chili powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Spoon the filling each bell pepper cavity. Place on prepared baking dish, cavity side up, and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, about 25-30 minutes. Serve!
To make ahead and freeze:  Wrap each cooked and cooled pepper in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer safe bag.  Defrost and warm as needed.  Or, wrap each filled pepper uncooked and place in a freezer bag.  Then you can defrost and cook as written in step 3.