Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Guest Blog Entry Through the Eyes of Bootcamper Val!

Hi there! Melissa was kind enough to let me submit a guest blog as the fall session of her Boot Camp Challenge class commences. Those of you who know me know that I’ve been around forever. I have been a proud BCC’er for over four years now, and if there is anything I have learned to be successful, it is this: Always Listen to Melissa. Now, her mom may be snickering as she reads that, but from a BCC standpoint, I know it to be true. Listening to Melissa will help you lead a healthy and fit life. I mean, the woman knows what she’s talking about!

 If you’ve taken BCC, you might know what I mean. For example, when we’re cooling down in the last few minutes of each BCC class, I admit it’s easy to lose focus. Often times, Melissa shares with us some golden nugget (not chicken nuggets ha ha) about nutrition. She has said many times that nutrition is a large part of being successful in BCC. It may be hard to believe after you’ve just sweated like a pig through a challenging workout, but I know from first-hand experience that if you don’t eat clean (i.e. whole and nutritious foods, lots of veggies, olive oil, little sugar, etc.) you’re not complimenting your workouts as much as you could be. When I started BCC four years ago, I was 65 pounds heavier, with a cholesterol level of 230. Bad. As other successful BCC’ers have done, I decided that to be successful, I had to listen—and do—whatever Melissa said. So I did. And I was successful. In addition to the fabulous, challenging and variety of workouts that she offered through Boot Camp Challenge, Melissa told us to journal and keep track of everything we ate. I did. I lost 65 pounds, and my cholesterol went from 230 to 167. Yay! I was even able to train for and run in some challenging road races, including a half-marathon.

 Then (cue ominous music) I stopped Always Listening to Melissa. Hubris? Maybe. Laziness? Definitely. I stopped eating clean, whole and nutritious foods. I mean, I ate those, but I added in bigger portions, wolfed down more sugary/refined foods and got lazy on the nutrition. I stopped journaling. I thought I knew what I was doing (heck, I had run a half-marathon…I should have been able to eat whatever I wanted, right? Right?) And 23 of the 65 pounds I had kicked to the curb came home. And I knew why. I had stopped Listening to Melissa.

 So this year, 2011, I finally changed my thinking and realized that Melissa is pretty much always right when it comes to nutrition advice and coaching the BCC workouts she and the other drill sergeants devise. You would have thought I learned that the first time through. But, no. We’re human, and sometimes we have to give ourselves a break, step back, and truly examine the problem, address the issue, and tackle it head-on. I started journaling again, my heart went back into BCC and running, and I started Always Listening to Melissa. The 23 pounds left. They are never welcome back. Ever.

 So that is my BCC journey (so far) that I thought I would share with you, my fellow BCC colleagues and others out there who have known the long struggle of getting your health & fitness act together. I wrote this to save you the time, effort and consequences in case you decide not to listen to Melissa. Don’t disservice yourself the way I did. So remember that! Always Listen to Melissa!   ~BCC’er Val

PS: Some tips I’ve learned over the years:

1)      Buy medium eggs. Smaller, less calories, and get the job done in cooking and baking.

2)      When getting a bagel sandwich, request that they “scoop” out the innards to save on carbs. A favorite bagel sandwich is a scooped out whole wheat bagel, loads of veggies and hummus. Yum.

3)      Buy those “green bags” you see on TV to save your veggies in the fridge…they really work!

4)      The 100 calorie guacamole packets are awesome. Guac is easy to OD on, but these serving portions are just right.

5)      Brew your own tea, and mix your own vinaigrette dressing. Easy-peasy, saves money and allows you to know exactly what the ingredients are (i.e. artificial sweeteners and sugar lurk in bottled teas and dressings)

6)      Want something sweet? A tablespoon of honey! Whole and yummy. The best bees can make.

7)      Cut up bananas, put in a zip lock and freeze. It’s like eating banana ice cream.

8)      Snacking every 3 hours really helps…almonds/nuts, hard-boiled egg, slice of cheese, carrots w/ guac or fruit are some personal favorites.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Healthy Life Cover Model Contest...Final Product..The PINK SHOES even made it!



Thank you all for reading about my awesome week of the photo shoot/make-over for the Healthy Life magazine.  The magazine has been printed and I think you can find it in most Brueggers, Starbuck's and in various docs offices, YMCA's, etc....

They did a great job! They somehow were able to photo-shop the sweat and make-up dripping down my face and made me look soft and pretty...and feminine (which I am totally not).

I have attached a few photos and the link if you want see some of the photos that were taken and to read the behind the scenes story.  Thank you again to Janet Reynolds and her team!  I will never forget this awesome experience and I am humbled by the experience and the positive comments and support I have received.  I love this community.....xxxooo

Monday, September 12, 2011

New School Year, New Workout Plan

Every summer I take the month of August off from the gym.  I'm burnt out by August every year.  I need to take the month of to change things up for the summer and to refresh my workout routine.  I always listen to my body and if I have any aches and pains, or if my back flares up (I have a bad back), I take a BREAK! I cannot stress how important rest is when you are an avid exerciser.  With that said, for the past 6 weeks I have not lifted one weight or performed one push up (until today).  I ran and took spin classes all summer long.  My weight stayed the same, but I must admit, I am a little softer.  So, today my new weight training routine started.  I felt refreshed!  Though I had to decrease the weight I was lifting because it has been 6 weeks, I will build it up fast with a new sense of strength and feeling refreshed and rested!  I have a half marathon coming up in 4 weeks, so I need not only focus on increasing my mileage in regards to running but it's very important for me to cross train through weight lifting and spinning in order to keep my major upper and lower body muscles STRONG for my race.

BCC Peeps running the half marathon last year.  What a great race!
Cross training will help to prevent injury.  My new workout routine for the next 4 weeks is as follows:








Normally I would take 2 days off per week, but until the half marathon I will need to workout six days.  Thursdays will be an easy day and Saturdays off each week.

I love the fall.  I always feel refreshed and renewed with my workouts.  Remember...there is no quick fix.  There is no magic pill or shake.  Blood, sweat, tears, sweat and more sweat.  Push yourself, but respect your limitations :)

Be well!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Comfort Food: Butter Nut Squash Soup Recipe

Living with my mom has certainly introduced me to lots of foods.  She is MORTIFIED with the fact that I do not enjoy cooking.  Sometimes she starts preparing dinner at 3:00 in the afternoon and works on it for hours.  She really is a great cook.  However, I am a healthy influence on her and I educate her everyday about nutrition and different ways that we can modify some of her recipes to make them healthier.  The other night she made meatloaf with 93% lean beef and shredded an entire zucchini into the mixture to give it some moisture.  It was to DIE for! She also taught me how to make squash soup the other night.  It is one of those foods that is comforting, but loaded with fruit and veggies and is just delicious.  Here is the recipe and some pictures along the way!

chunks of apples and squash

My mom yelled at me for pretending to cook.  I posed for this.  she did the pulsing
Finished product!
3 lbs of butter nut squash cut in small pieces
3 golden delicious apples cut in small pieces, peeled
14 oz cups of vegetable broth or chichen broth
1 cup of 1% milk.  (do not use fat free half and half.  I tried it one time and it curdled...yuck)
1.5 cups of water
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp of thyme
coarse black pepper

cook up diced squash, apples and broth until soft
pulse with food processor or blender until smooth
let cool for a while
put back on the stove and add the milk.  Simmer until ready to eat!

Try it out and let me know what you think.  Cals: 150, Protein: 2, about 7 grams of fat.  It is filling so 1 cup is all you will need! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy School Year!!!!!!!!

As I sit here blogging, I hear my kids upstairs screaming, jumping, and fighting while playing least they are moving around and active right?  It's their LAST day of summer, so I thought I would be a little more lenient on the wii and tv today.  It's their last "horah" before school starts and it's raining outside. I am trying to block them out right now but it's hard.  I cannot WAIT for school to start!  One more day, one more day....I can do it.  Please don't judge me as a mother.  I'm a good mother.  Actually, I'm an excellent mother but enough is enough...I can't entertain them anymore, especially in a new environment (we just moved into my parents house).  I need to catch up on work and get back to the gym.  I haven't exercised in 6 days, I have drank too much wine the past few weeks (since summer camp ended...go figure), have eaten too many ice cream cones and we ALL just need to get back into our groove!!!!!!!  I love the fall and I look forward to not only school starting, but the change of season, hopefully the calming of this crazy weather we have been having, and all of the wonderful upcoming family milestones.  I have two weddings in October to attend, my husband has a new job that he LOVES, my mom is feeling better (she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis this summer), miracle babies being born, a new home, and lots of other awesome things to celebrate.  Get the Pumpkin Spice coffee out, because Fall is here!!!  I will be posting some awesome recipes for the fall so stay tuned!