Paying your enemies if you don’t go to camp

Like everyone, there are days when you just don’t want to do the stuff you have to. Whether it’s cleaning your house, filing your taxes or getting your butt out of bed and into the car for camp. Luckily, I have some real life strategies to help keep you on track when you really don’t wanna.

1. Pay your enemies. So, I have employed this one myself in year’s past. Basically you choose an organization you are morally against and you make a deal with yourself that any day you don’t go to camp you’ll donate X amount to their cause. This works best if you REALLY can’t stand them because then the dollar amount doesn’t even matter-you’d definitely go workout before giving even 1 penny to them. I had a camper do this with his college’s rival booster team. No camp? He had to donate $10 to Alabama football.

2. Competition. This can be a version of an accountability partner. Get a friend or two to enter into a competition with you. Everyone can put money into the pot, or you can create an awesome trophy that whoever has the best attendance wins.

3. Find that photo. Do you have a picture of yourself that got you back into working out? One that you saw and 1. untagged yourself and 2. thought “I have got to do something.” Get that one out and put it by your alarm clock or just burn it into your memory. When you don’t want to go to camp think about how you felt when you first saw it and how proud you’ll be of the hard work you’re putting into feeling better.

4. Imaginary friends. I use this when I’m in a workout and just don’t feel like giving it anymore but really know I could push harder. I think of someone I want to be a good example for. It’s usually a child in my life or boot campers. I think of them on the sidelines cheering me on and watching me and it always puts me back in it.

5. Scavenger Hunt. This is for those who just need help getting out of bed. Set yourself up a little scavenger hunt around your place: put your alarm clock in your shoes somewhere that is far enough to have to get up.

6. Technology! If you’re a chronic “snoozer” you’re going to need to use one of these apps. Alarmy (Sleep if you can!) will not turn off until you have taken a photo of a predetermined object in your house-like your coffee pot. And Step Out of Bed has you set a certain amount of steps you have to take before it will turn off. I’d also recommend -if you are sleepin’ solo-setting a timer on a light in your bedroom that goes on 5 min before your alarm-makes the room far less appealing.

For anyone in camp I also recommend making your goals public. Public to your circle of friends or family or in a bigger way on Facebook etc. Let people know what you’re trying to accomplish to enlist their support and get yourself some extra accountability since you know if you stand us up you’re getting an email. We can’t help ourselves, we love you that much.

Source: Decatur – Tips


Pantry Raid Time!

Did you have to do a dbl take on that one? Were you already having Animal House flashbacks? Me too. As promised in last week’s Refrigerator Raider post we take a few steps over to my and MMG’s cabinet to check out what we consider must-have healthy eating set up for success make it easy as possible to make what we eat items.

1. Ah yes, the humble sweet potato. We love you as a side with shaved brussels, sliced as coins with lots of spices, shredded at the bottom of a breakfast casserole and really any other way they come. Also in here, onions (used in almost everything-I like to put a few in the food processor to have ready to throw into anything and everything). And of COURSE garlic. As much as possible as frequently as possible.

2. Sea Salt. Really good salt minimally processed.

3. Balsamic vinegar, olive oil & red wine vinegar. Put a few of these together with salt, pepper (not pictured but very necessary) and some honey and you’ve got a delicious salad dressing.

4. Dates. These are chopped, which just saves a step for such things like homemade lara bars, chocolate paleo balls and paleo turtles. Not pictured is the 100% Dark Chocolate Ghiradelli bar I like to have on hand for these same recipes.

5. Coconut oil. I use this for high heat cooking in place of canola oil.

6. Coconut milk. You HAVE to read the ingredients! This one has nothin’ but coconut extract and water. I use this to make things creamy and in place of milk in baking.

7. Salsa! Again, watch what’s on the ingredient list. After all, the nutrition label and ingredient list is like the side of a medicine bottle, it’s telling you what it is going to do to your body!

8. Plantain Chips. We love these. These are flavored with garlic and salt and are from Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market and are crazy good. I bring these to Mexican restaurants to eat instead of corn chips.

9. Spices, spices, spices. I’ve got a lot of them and use ‘um up!

10. This is a homemade taco seasoning I made and use every time something calls for a little Latin flavor. ¡olé!

11. Honey. Let’s be clear, this is sugar. Don’t kid yourself. Use it sparingly and ideally it will be local.

12. Coffee. Needs no explanation, right?

Source: Decatur – Food


Refrigerator Raider

1. Almond butter! I get it fresh ground from the Farmer’s Market. There’s also some sunflower seed butter that I usually use for THIS recipe. They’re also some raw nuts and seeds. I always keep mine refrigerated.

2. Portioned out fruit salad for tomorrow’s lunch!

3. I make 2 casseroles a week that we eat for lunches and sometimes dinners. This week it’s an enchilada casserole with bison the second is one I could eat every day. I mean, it calls for an entire package of bacon, need I say more?

4. Chicken salad. Light on the mayo, salt and pepper, golden raisins and curry. You’re also seeing a little bit of leftover Brussels sprouts.

5. Defrosting salmon. When you eat casserole for lunch you’re not always keen for it for dinner. Fish is so easy and fast that it’s a regular meal at our place. This is a recipe I’ve made for salmon (switched out sugar for some cinnamon) and we love an almond meal encrusted tilapia. Sides? Usually shaved Brussels or broccoli.

6. The 3rd casserole is always something for breakfast. This week it was spicy turkey with onion and egg just cooked in a glass pie pan. The other most popular at the Gilbert-Ross is THIS one with sweet potato.

7. I make a green salad every week. Arugula or kale. For the kale I make a dressing that is equal parts olive oil, red wine vinegar, & honey. Then some salt & pepper. Whisk it together then dress the salad making sure it’s well covered & let the salad rest for at least 20 min. I add blueberries & avocado. THIS is also a great one with red cabbage I’ve made.

8. Hard boiled eggs. They’re already peeled and great for snacks and a quick protein boost. I put them in cold water and get it to a rolling active boil then turn off the burner and let them sit and continue to cook-from cold to sitting about 15 min. Then after about 10 min I put them in a bath of ice water and start peeling.

9. Fruit salad. I make it on Sundays and spoon it out for lunches. This one is grapes, strawberries, blueberries & some peaches.

Now a peek in my drawers. . . .

1. Carrot chips are always in here. Love to use them for dips/guacamole. Veggie sides also live in here. Grilled asparagus is always a winner.

2. In here? Fuji apples-I typically eat 2 a day.

3. In here is mostly bacon. Usually, I’ve already used the bison, ground chicken/turkey & chicken breasts in the above recipes. Melissa also gets some grass fed beef that she makes sliders for an additional lunch option. I ALWAYS make my chicken breasts in the crock pot. I throw it in there, cover with water and put it on low for 8 hours. BUT I usually take it out early after checking with meat the thermometer.

Have any pals needing a jump start to eating healthy? Share this post on FB or email it their way!

Source: Decatur – Food


Throw out your goals & get on board with the 1%

Ok, not really just kind of and not that 1%. What I’d like to suggest is instead of putting all your emphasis on your BIG HUGE GOAL (BHG) focus your daily energy on just improving a little.
Over the years (ahem, I’m older then I look) I have had campers who come wanting to achieve some pretty big things-and they do-but sometimes they overlook the all the small wins that get them to the finish line because they’re too focused on that 1 BHG. Or worse they spend energy beating themselves up having not done more each day because their steps to achievement weren’t big enough. Stop.that.noise. BHGs take time to get to. They are almost never achieved in 1 month or sometimes even 2 and that leaves a lot of time open to your interpretation of what not having gotten there yet “means.” Meaning, a lot of “sigh, I’m not there yet, I haven’t made my BHG. This feels pointless. I’m never getting there an I’m not good enough.” 1. Punch that mind talk in the throat you don’t have time, won’t tolerate it and 2.You’re not counting any of your small improvements-you know the things that are going to get you to the BHG.
Everything builds on everything else (I know, this is a brilliant point you’ve never thought of) and it ends with achieving the BHG. You have to make the little steps-the seconds off mile times, the healthier meal choice that one lunch, the 1/2 an inch smaller waist line, the 1 more push up-to fit into the smaller pants, or blow out your push up goal, or get strong enough to pick up the bag of dog food. A BHG is the top of the pyramid, but it rests on a whole lotta small every day improvements.
Focus on getting just wee bit-1%-better, just a little better every time you workout, or every food choice think about the foundational blocks to the pyramid instead of thinking how will you ever get to the top. Is your area a mess now? ‘Cause I just dropped a knowledge bomb y’all. Casualties: negative voices and bull$hit.

Source: Decatur – Tips


It takes work, but not as much as you think.

If you remember in and it is work but friends, it’s not as much work as you let yourself believe eating healthy is. And you’re right, I don’t have kids and kids do take up a helluva lot of time (#understatementoftheyear) but I know people who prep like this who do have kids, I know people who do even more by making more of their family’s food from scratch. And above all else I know that there is always someone out there just as busy as you getting it done. That’s some real talk a that I have to turn on myself sometimes. Everyone has excuses as why to not do something. I’m just saying it might be time to really look at it and ask yourself if it’s as much as you think it is. SO, here’s what I do:

Sunday 9AM I go to the farmer’s market with my list separated into sections. I have our staple items listed as well as what we need for the 3 casseroles/soups I’ll make that week. 1 breakfast 2 for lunches & sometimes dinners too.

Example typical G-R list: grapes, apples, strawberries, almond butter, coconut milk, nuts, plantain chips, arugula, sweet potatoes, onions, carrot chips, yellow squash, zucchini, ground chicken sausage, 1 chicken breast, 1lb bison or second chicken breast, bacon, eggs.

I get home by 10:15 and start cooking. I make the breakfast casserole and one other. The regular breakfast casserole at the Gilbert-Ross household is this Sweet Potato & Sausage one. Other popular ones: Enchilada Casserole, Caveboy Casserole, Pizza Casserole, Chipotle Chicken Casserole, Crockpot Chicken Curry (I add yellow squash), Crockpot Pork Tenderloin or just zoodles & meat sauce. At this point I either chop extra onions (I do this in the food processor) for the second casserole next week or I get the crockpot ready for the Chicken Curry – I set it to cook overnight. I also hard boil some eggs, by that I mean I put some eggs in a pot of water and turn on the stove. All this takes (including clean up) about 1.5 hours. Later in the week -Wednesdayish- I make the second casserole and we have it for dinner that night and eat it for lunches Thurs/Friday. That’s it. That’s a weeks worth of breakfast & lunches for 2 people. For dinners we’ll often have fish or a protein cooked in the crockpot or have a night out. I will even cook the chicken I need for a casserole recipe in the crockpot-to me it’s the best and-obviously-easiest way to cook meat. Chicken comes out moist and shreds easily.

A typical packed lunch/food for the day for me: 2 apples, 2 hb eggs, casserole, small curry serving (this isn’t always eaten but there if I need more fuel!), carrot chips + almond butter or guacamole, mixed cut fresh fruit.

Is it time consuming-yes if you’re looking just at Sunday but in terms of a whole week, no way josé. Time for some REAL TALK: you have the time, its not that big of a deal, use this as an opportunity to work on your suck it up muscle. Plus, when you start doing it you like it-or at least like the connivence of having it all ready to go all week.

Source: Decatur – Food


Staying on Track on Vacation

Ah Spring Break. I hear that it still exists but as someone without children and out of school I don’t get to participate in it anymore. BUT there is an occasion that I go on vacation and it’s slightly different than my college sun soaked week long relationships with the Captain, ahhh Captain you treated me so right then so wrong but, I digress. Since you’re likely a grown up that is interested in being healthy and keeping up your hard earned fitness level while on vacation, here are a few tips that I put into practice while on my slightly tamer vacations of late:

1. Pack your workout stuff-I pack tanks with built in sports bras so I can pack less. The Westin even has a gear lending program that will save you the room of your running shoes too. Get some versa loops for easily packed equipment to keep up your strength.

2. Look up a place that you can stay that will support being active on vacay. Maybe somewhere that has a bike path or bike rentals, snorkeling, walking tours and the like.

3. Check out tours or ways to explore that are active-in Asheville we took a bike tour that may or may not have ended and started at a brewery.

4. Be a local and make a run through a park be part of your stay. I love getting up and running through the surrounding area to get an idea of the layout and feel like it’s “mine.”

5. Visit other programs. Is there an activity you like that has an affiliate or location there? Look it up before and plan when you’re going to do it. A rock climbing gym? A CrossFit? A Beach Boot Camp? A 5k?

6. And OF COURSE take a pic of you planking and share it on our facebook page so we can add it to our “planks seen ’round the world” album. You might be thinking but it’s vacation. Well, you’re a grown up and the first rule of boot camp is no whining plus you know and I know that you’ll feel better if you’ve been active.

Source: Decatur – Tips


5 Ways to Check your Inner Perfectionist

I am a type A lady and though I completely acknowledge perfection doesn’t exist -except in the form of my lovely wife (HOLLA! Valentines Day Points!!)-I am regularly surprised at how easy it is for me to slip into the mindset that perfection is real and even more crazy THAT IT MATTERS. I may have blown a few other type A personality’s minds with that one-hold on, more to come.

There are benefits to believing in perfection-I mean, of course there have to be because otherwise why would I get in the trap of thinking that way. What I notice is that the benefits are really mostly serving outside sources and the drawbacks affect lil ol’ gold star wanting-A+ having-believinginthepermanentrecord me.

For example, a belief in perfection with a side of Type A means you’re usually pretty productive. You’re able to get a lot done and complete tasks well and if you’re really a junkie-better than ANYONE else. For employers, this can be amazing and if gone unchecked as a perfectionist this fuels the fire for more crazy tendencies. I find when I’m really in the flophouse that is the perfection junky hangout I have completely over committed myself from the amount of projects for my employer to the social engagements or community service commitments. So here I am participating in all these things that I agreed to -because I totes get a high from being granted responsibility or being trusted with projects-and I am resenting the hell out of all of it. I’ve committed to things I think will be fun, or are good for others, or I think are expected of me and now I’d like to punch everyone in the face for “making me” do it. I think I have an idea who should really get a punch in the face-that honor student self that still thinks she’s trying to get into a good college and some how thinks she’s getting a grade for life. So, for me the perfectionist downside is often that I’m going around resentful and then guilty because I know I got myself into it and am generally tired and miserable←–my perfectionist self would like to act like this part doesn’t exist, it never likes coming down.

The cycle of overcommitting goes on until I realize when I’m trying to invite friends over that I don’t have a weekend free to do it for 2.5 months. And I do the palm to the forehead slap realizing that I’ve done it again. My little perfectionist ego has gotten its way with me and has been feeding on the sweet sweet drug of approval from others and thinking that perfection is real.

So when is this post going to turn into some other than a carefrontation with myself? Right here:

5 Ways to Check your Inner Perfectionist:

1. Bring awareness to your perfectionist tendencies and start examining the mind talk around them-then question that shit! Is it true? do I care about it? does it serve me?

2. Examine the expectations for your task/presentation/etc. and determine how you can deliver on just that. Not the cray cray expectations you’ve put on yourself.

3. AND once you’ve completed the projects/tasks etc at what your gold start lovin’ self would consider an imperfect standard acknowledge that the world 1. did not end and quite likely 2. people were happy with the result as is. Wear a hat for that one ‘cause that shizz can be mind blowing. Sometimes my perfectionist self makes me believe that if I don’t go crazy with doing things “right” and even “better” the only other choice is “barely delivering.” The gap is much broader than that. I know, mind.blown.

4. Give yourself at least 5 minutes before committing to something. Type A Perfectionist Pleasers love to say YES! to everyone but themselves when they want time off. If you’re an over committer block out time on your calendar that is unscheduled so you don’t accidently wake up with your next 6 mos planned.

5. Breathe and accept this side of yourself exists and needs to be questioned. It doesn’t have to be a battle by any means, but when you realize “oh I totally bought into that if this party doesn’t have the most amazing, organic, hard to find cheeses paired with the heavily researched exact RIGHT wines then this party fails” laugh at yourself. Don’t get in the guilt spiral for “doing it again.” We humans are fairly ridiculous and regularly do things that are worth laughing at; laugh more.

So, what is one of your perfectionist scripts? Give me a sentence in the comments below!

Source: Decatur – Tips


How to avoid feeling 50 years older than you are.

I’ve been doing boot camp for a while now-about 7 years. And as much as I love boot camp, and as much as I am IN LOVE with all of my campers, it can get old on my body or more accurately it makes my body feel old, cranky & broken.

Contributing to the issue is that in addition to my derriere being an unproportionately strong muscle I have a pretty big “suck it up” muscle too. It can be great, it can help me get a lot done. It can also turn me into a workhorse. Acknowledging my workhorse tendencies, I recently made a promise to myself: I will do yoga at least once a week. I’ve had membership at a yoga studio 1 mile from my house for about a year because I knew it was something I should do and it’s not like I couldn’t watch a video online, it just wasn’t a priority. But since I made The Promise, I haven’t missed a week and because I have seen benefits and results I often get more than 1 in a week.

I have also started doing some mobility work with a lacrosse ball for those times I feel like I have a knot in my shoulder the size of a clementine. I’ve started taking hot showers and doing 30 minutes of stretching before bed a couple of nights a week. I’ve been taking a full day off. Not going for a jog, not lifting, not cycling. Just restoring. I like to imagine my muscles taking a deep sigh and repairing the microscopic tears I’ve made in them that week. BTW, that’s real science talk. You have to rest for your muscles to repair and that means taking a day off can mean greater workout gains. Since I’ve I been doing this I haven’t felt Granny. I haven’t wondered what the heck I’m doing to my body, haven’t felt the need to question whether boot camp workouts are really good for it; I don’t feel like I’m abusing it.

Often I hear people talk about yoga negatively and I think they feel it should be a blood pumping workout that leaves you crazy sweaty and energized to take on your day-and it can be, but I ask you to free your mind. Look at yoga schedules and find what you think will be the least amount of a workout, the most amount of restorative time. OR find a class here and do it at home.

It doesn’t have to be yoga. You could stretch after an epsom salt bath or a sauna but add an off restoration day and see how you feel and take note of whether your workouts improve-speed, reps, ability for quick pun creation. What is your BEST restoration practice?

Source: Decatur – Tips



No, not a misspelling, my resolutions have “a’s” because they have attitude. Well we’ve done it. We’ve come to the end of a year and started up another one and, if you’re like me, in addition to bringing out my more worn-in jeans (read: roomy waistline), you’ve also made some resalations. While thinkin’ on mine I realized that I am not setting myself up for success and it’s day 3, people.

So it goes like this, the most immediate of my resalations starts January 13th: I want to participate in a “Bodacious Bod” competition AKCF is hosting. The biggest concern about completing the challenge is it’s somewhat strict nutrition element-strict compared to the amount of Sees Candies I have been eating as my main form of sustenance over the holidays. The challenge calls for no processed foods, sugar, proc

essed carbs, or alcohol. Basically it’s all that clean livin’ you’ve been hearing about. I can eat anything I want during the challenge I just earn points for the choices: 0=perfect score. And you know me, I have been known to slip into thinking perfection actually exists.

I’ve already started following the nutrition guidelines to prepare but what I’ve noticed as I’ve been getting ready is that I’ve already started giving myself outs for when the contest starts. Things like “well, I don’t have to tell them everything I put in my mouth” WHAT? I find this so cray. It hasn’t even started and I’m already cheating: not recording accurately is totally a cheat.

This made me realize I am expecting to fail at this challenge and that I may be setting unrealistic expectations, like a perfect score. Noticing what’s goin’ on in this adorable little noggin’ of mine is the first step to getting me where I want to be

with this thing. It’s made me sit down and really think about what I’m hoping to accomplish and the results I’m looking for. So after taking some time noodlin’ that, writing about it in my journal, then creating a song about it to be accompanied by an acoustic guitar,I realized that I haven’t set up a road map to get me where I want to be. I’ve just told myself “I’m going to eat totally paleo fo 6 weeks.” Well, hell. That sounds pretty intimidating and like relying on sheer willpower-instead of say, a plan.

With that in mind I’ve chosen to detail how I’m going to approach this challenge:

  • I’m going to eat paleo/follow the guidelines of the challenge by planning my week’s meals -including lunches.
  • Shopping on Sundays and cooking staples Sunday evenings.
  • Start collecting recipes & identifying 4 different make ahead breakfast options to set myself up for success.
  • Solicit the support of my boo by asking her to attend the info session with me so she has a full idea of the guidelines I’m following.

Maybe it’s the bullet points but this is feeling a lot more doable.

So, friends I ask you not what’s your resalation, but how are you going to do it?

Source: Decatur – Nutrition


Alone time in a family filled house

It’s the time of year that the stress of the holidays and the shifting of your schedules lends itself to not working out. Have no fear babies, JoJo is here! Quite a few years ago, I regularly posted weekend challenges on an Operation Boot Camp blog that you can find HERE. They are no equipment needed workouts that you can power through and there are enough that you can do one for every day of the holiday season. Fo’ free. Yup, reread it, friend I said free. And here’s a little tip from me to you: working out is a great way to get some alone time that family members 1. don’t usually want to participate in and 2. don’t argue for you to stay with them instead. It’s 3 gifts in one: exercise, stress release and alone time. You’re welcome America.

Other ideas for holiday themed workouts: Turkey Squats – hug that butterball to your chest and do some full squats. Cranberry curls – 14oz cans one in each hand and curl them up from hip height to your chest. I recommend you do that one in front of the mirror. Pick that turkey back up and get yourself into a row boat/v-sit position. Start with the turkey in the center then twist and touch it on the ground moving side to side. Agility – get all family members to lay down on the ground and proceed to hurtle/jump over them. 1-3 family members repeat 10 times, 4-10 repeat 8 times.

Source: Decatur – Tips


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