Category Archives: American Cancer Society Fundraising

Week of September 1, 2013

Yes, there’s class on Labor Day at the usual time; 6:30pm in Fairfax. See you then!

Another Boot Camp in Lamoille County

We hear you Lamoille County residents . . . Yes, we’re trying to finalize an 8am Saturday class at the Cambridge Elementary. We’ll keep you posted!

Remember, boot camp classes are year-round!

See you tomorrow at the Cambridge Fun Run! Here’s their link:

Boot Camp Dinner Time

At least once a year, we like to meet up at a restaurant where we look presentable. Who’s up for dinner on Friday, Sept. 13, 6:30 at El Zorro’s in Jeffersonville? Click on this dinner reservation link so I can contact El Zorro’s:

Yes, significant others are welcome!

Last 50 Day Challenge

Ready to start taking better care of yourself? You don’t want to miss the last Challenge.

Yes, this is going to be the last Challenge offered with Megan and myself. Our wonderful Megan is practicing what she tells all her clients . . . to be the happiest and healthiest . . . and she’s doing it through lots of travel. She’s going to make Vermont a part-time home. She will still be available for one-on-one nutrition consultation by reaching her at:

This last Challenge will fill up fast. It’s going to be held September 16 – November 4 (just before the Holidays). The nutritional seminars will be based out of the Cambridge/Jeffersonville area.

For those of you not familiar with this program, there is nothing like this in your area! No shakes, no meal replacements . . . REAL food. No fancy fitness routines . . . real movement.

The nutritional seminars will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6-8 at a location TBA (college level, there’s a lot to learn about your body and the food we eat). There will be a kick-off meeting the evening of September 15 (6-8pm), location TBA.

Contact me as soon as possible to reserve your spot. Some of you already sent me a message. You don’t want to miss this last one.

Support the American Cancer Society at the Vermonster

(Merged with Boot Cancer)

Limited spots. In Montpelier area. Here’s the link:

Rec. Criteria

  • Deadlift multiple reps at 95 (men) or 65 (women)
  • Shoulder-to-Overhead reps at 55 (men) or 35 (women)
  • Swing a 16 kg (men) or 10 kg (women) Kettlebell

All rec. division workouts will be designed to accommodate scaling, but we will score only the athletes who do the workouts as prescribed.  Remember, all proceeds from Rec division (and Teen and Kids!) registrations are donated to the American Cancer Society through our partnership with BootCancer.

Teen Criteria

  • Deadlift multiple reps at 95 (men) or 65 (women)
  • Shoulder-to-Overhead reps at 55 (men) or 35 (women)
  • Swing a 16 kg (men) or 10 kg (women) Kettlebell

Kids Criteria

  • The ability to have fun!

Workouts to be announced 2 weeks prior to competition

Change or Die, a Book for Everyone.

Read on and see why.

What if you were given that choice? If you didn’t, your time would end soon—a lot sooner than it had to. Could you change when change matters most?

This is the question Alan Deutschman poses in Change or Die, which began as a sensational cover story by the same title for Fast Company. Deutschman concludes that although we all have the ability to change our behavior, we rarely ever do. From patients suffering from heart disease to repeat offenders in the criminal justice system to companies trapped in the mold of unsuccessful business practices, many of us could prevent ominous outcomes by simply changing our mindset.

A powerful book with universal appeal, Change or Die deconstructs and debunks age-old myths about change and empowers us with three critical keys—relate, repeat, and reframe—to help us make important positive changes in our lives. Explaining breakthrough research and progressive ideas from a wide selection of leaders in medicine, science, and business (including Dr. Dean Ornish, Mimi Silbert of the Delancey Street Foundation, Bill Gates, Daniel Boulud, and many others), Deutschman demonstrates how anyone can achieve lasting, revolutionary changes that are positive, attainable, and absolutely vital.

To dive deeper, go to:

Hungry for Hummus?

Hummus is a dip/spread that is made from chickpeas. In fact, hummus is the Arabic word for chickpea. You may notice that many hummus recipes call for garbanzo beans, not chickpeas. Don’t worry, garbanzo is the Spanish translation of chickpea. They are called cece beans in Italy.

Hummus is one of the oldest foods dating back to ancient Egypt. We know that chickpeas were used quite frequently over 7,000 years ago.  Source:

Check out these links for different recipes:


Holiday Post

‘Twas the Night before Xmas Fitness Style . . .

I found this online and loved it!!

Twas two months before Christmas and in the North Pole Santa gobbled down his ninth sausage roll.

The time had come for the first practice run of the year, The sleigh piled high; harnessed were his eight reindeer.

The sleigh was polished, shiny and red, And the reindeer were looking a little too well-fed.

Their bellies were rounder, their cheeks much more plump; They were fatter throughout, from their nose to their rump.

With great effort Santa climbed into his present-filled sleigh, He then realized how much more this year he did weigh.

Winded and weary, Santa quickly became; As he struggled to call each reindeer by name.

The reindeer did pant, their muscles did quiver, Their lungs did burn, but strength they could not deliver.

In the air they hovered; but then soon did fall; In the snow they did crash, presents and all.

Out of shape and overweight they realized they were, This Christmas could be difficult, Santa worried for sure.

The past year was spent fascinated with the computer and T.V., Santa and his reindeer didn’t get much physical activity.

Too many snack foods and couch time got in the way Of eating fresh veggies and walking 10,000 steps everyday.

“Enough is enough!” Santa did proclaim, He knew he only had himself to blame.

Christmas was coming, only two months away, Healthy living for all must be started today.

No more of Mrs. Claus’ baking or trans fat filled treats, Only whole grains, fruits and veggies, and healthy lean meats.

A training program would be followed most days of the week To help Santa and reindeer improve their physique.

Santa and reindeer trained together each day, A training a partner kept them from going astray.

No matter the weather- snow, sleet or fog, The started each day with a half hour jog.

Much sweat was shed, and many a tear, But Santa knew the children needed him this year.

Weight was soon lost, and muscles soon toned, Santa stayed focused, he would not let Christmas be postponed.

When Christmas Eve came; Santa leapt onto the sleigh, The reindeer were fit, with renewed energy to display.

“Ho Ho Ho!” Santa called as they soared across the sky, “Exercise and healthy living is worth it, just give it a try!”

Holiday Schedule & Changes in the New Year

Fairfax: Thursday, Dec. 27 at 7pm and Thursday, Jan. 3 at 7pm. Possibility of a New Years Eve workout. Stay tuned for details. Then we resume our regular schedule of Mondays and Thursdays in the BFA Fairfax school at 7pm.

Essex: Tuesday classes will now be at the Essex Junction Recreation Department’s building. The first Tuesday class of 2013 will be January 8 at 6:30pm. Saturday classes at Aspire resume on January 12 at 7am. You can register for an entire session, purchase a punch card or just drop in. Details can be found at: http://

Weeks in Review


“This past Tuesday night we enjoyed (is that the right word??) the Deck of Death work-out. After a brief warm-up Cristina, Laura, Kristen& I shuffled a deck of cards and lay them face down on the ground. We each took a turn flipping a card.  Whatever card number and suit came up , we did the the number of reps on the card with the associated movement. We worked throught the entire deck! Laura was super motivating and let me tell, that girl’s burpee form is fantastic.  Cristina did her first tricep dip and was very proud of herself, we were too! And Kristen was our peppy little jack-squatter. All-in-all it was a great work-out and a good way to end to our third session with EJRP.  Happy Holidays everyone, see you in 2013!–Lisa S., 11/18

Two Tuesday’s Ago: “Tis the season and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, the Twelve Days of Christmas work-out is a whole lot of fun!  It mirrors the song and has twelve movements instead of twelve gifts.  Though I like to think of the moves as little gifts to our health – cheesy but true! Dan, Betty, Donna, Kristin & Christina were my testers to see how long it would take.  We couldn’t quite get through the whole workout in an hour, some minor tweaks should do the trick,  but it was a good all over body workout as evidenced by Dan’s t-shirt and feedback from the ladies. As the holiday’s frantic schedule peaks this week, be sure to carve out some time for yourself and move your body!” –Lisa S., 12/11

We’ve been welcoming the Frosty Turtles from Fleet Feet to the Saturday classes. The Frost Turtles are a group of runners led by Kris Gleason. These runners realize the importance of a strength training program incorporated as part of their running regiment. Another piece of good news, is we are welcoming another new instructor who’s is based out of Essex. Details will be released next week!! Next class is January 12 at 7am in the Aspire Studio.


The workouts in Fairfax have had their twists and turns that last few weeks. The 12 Days of Christmas, Every Minute on the Minute (EMOTM) and BFA Cheerleaders. We welcomed new boot campers . . . Jensen’s husband, Tucker, Jody’s friend Mindy and her daughter, the a big, warm welcome to Lisa Schukei’s husband, Rob. It’s nice to see more couples working out together. There’s several mother-daughter/son groups, husband-wife teams and father-daughter/son pairs. This is what makes our fitness community truly unique. Let’s continue to grow this community!! See you all this Thursday, Dec. 27 at 7pm.

Next Challenge: Push-Ups . . . Can also benefit the American Cancer Society

Last year, many of us participated in a nation-wide push-up challenge for the Children’s Cancer Network, where you chose to perform 5,000 or 10,000 push-ups in one month. You do the math as to how many you need to do each day 🙂

If you do the challenge, you have the option of collecting pledges and/or donating any amount to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. A Challenge is not meant to be easy, nor is battling Cancer!!

A link to the Boot Cancer Team will be forwarded to everyone before the New Year. Remember, you have the option of doing only the Challenge to prove that you can just plain ole attack a challenge; a commitment to the Relay for Life is not required, nor will you be asked if you’re donating or collecting pledges. I’m committing to 10,000!!

Are you accepting the Push-Up Challenge for January 2013? Enter your name here:

A February Challenge: This one we all can do!

Brian Bill Memorial Challenge, Sunday february 17th , 2013, 0900am – Norwich University – Northfield – VT

Let’s get a team together. You’re not expected to run this thing. Let’s think of it as a hike through the woods with a few obstacles in our way. My husband is almost committed!! Paula, talk to your husband. Lisa S., will Rob do it? I know Kris Gleason, Lisa & Geoff Dike are in. Deb P. are you still in?

Week of Oct. 13, 2012

Taking a Poll

Paula has an idea for a referral program. I want to ask our boot campers, a few questions to capture your thoughts. Can you take 30 seconds to answer this one question. Thanks!!!

Week in Review

First, if you want to purchase a full session at Essex Junction Recreation and Parks, the next one starts 10/22. If you don’t purchase a session, YOU CAN DEFINITELY still drop in or purchase a punch card. Go to or sign up at class.

Also, if you have a jump rope–bring it! If you’re interested in purchasing a high-quality, tailored rope, let me know.


“Monday night started off with 3 runs around the school….and if one was very quiet, you could hear the proud cry of Karen G….. “Ahy (I) did it!…Ahy (I) did it!! Two times around the school without stoppin’!” (in that sweet Alabama accent). Kudos to you Karen, you’ve come a long way baby!
For the workout all the troops eagerly lined up on the wall to be tortured. We turned on some tunes and performed a tight fitting ladder workout. Pushups for 8 mins…8 ct. bodybuilders for 8 mins., which was a real crowd pleaser! And 8 mins. of jump squats, or touch squats, if you preferred that sort of thing. All touch squatters were asked that they wash their hands when finished. Everyone was working out HARD! We finished the night with 3 new ab moves….”Thanks Betty” for being my eyes!… and a fire hydrant move, compliments of Kevin G. General consensus for the entire evening….Stupid!
A big CONGRATS goes out to Lisa Schukei for setting her best time in the 5k. run over the weekend. She completed it in 30 mins.! Best part is she skunked her husband Rob by 45 sec. You rock!!”–Paula

Man, Thursday’s workout left my legs and butt tender. I love that loop of the school. It’s a great way to get walking, weighted lunges in (6 rounds of them). Deb P. was on FIRE! She was ahead of the pack all night . . . I’m glad she’s now on our Zombie team! Christina from Essex came–I was really pleased to see her.


“Tuesday Bootcamp started with a tougher than it looks Ladder Warm-Up.  Everyone put in an excellent effort to get their musles warmed up and ready for a Tabata work-out.  The ADL school has an excellent variety of work-out equipment and we put it to good use. Arms and legs were burning!!! Pam & Angela’s sons, 2nd graders, not only participated in the entire work out, they helped clean up afterwards- what great kids!  Deb P, very proud to see you Tue night, obviously committed to your 2-a-week BootCamp Challenge – go Deb!” — Lisa S.

Saturday morning even had my entire body in tremors . . . I’m not going to say too much of what we did because guess what?  I’m unleashing it on you next Monday . . . . hoohoohaahaa!! Extra evil during Halloween season!

Boot Cancer

What a day last Sunday! People from around Vermont came to Collins-Perley Sports Arena in St. Albans to participate in the Boot Cancer Fitness Challenge for the American Cancer Society. My sister, Rachel and her friend Tayna took over the reins without much time to plan and they pulled it off without a hitch. Thank you Amber W. for being my partner. We complimented each other in each of thePhoto two workouts. A huge thank you to Dana C. for being the backbone of the event and another thank you to Paula for hanging out for the day and driving my family home. Lastly, I’m so proud of two of my children who poured their heart and soul into the one workout for kids. My 6 year old said later that night, “Mom, I didn’t compete to win today, I did it for Cancer.” Spoken from the heart for sure!

Link to fantastic pictures:!i=2135112814&k=j2xwns3

From the St. Albans Messenger:

Boot Cancer: A workout with a cause

Written By:     Leon Thompson

Fitness fans compete at Collins-Perley

ST. ALBANS TOWN –– Shortly after participants started their first heat at the Boot Cancer sweat-a-thon here Sunday, Rachel Harbaugh, event co-chair, asked local DJ Brian Fredette to crank Boston’s 1976 hit, Smokin’. “Sure!” Fredette replied. “Let’s rock ‘n’ roll!” Fredette spun hours of tunes at the Collins-Perley Sports & Fitness Center as 30 fitness fanatics toiled their way through Boot Cancer, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Franklin County.        This was the fourth-annual Boot Cancer challenge. Participants in four categories – men, women, partners and youth – engaged in friendly competition structured after popular boot camp-style exercise classes that have popped up throughout Vermont over the last handful of years. “There’s a lot of camaraderie here, as much as there is competition,” said Dave Ainsworth, 51, of Fletcher, a first-year participant in Boot Cancer.        Like other Boot Cancer competitors, Ainsworth paid a $50 fee and raised other money in pledges. (The children’s fee was $5.)        And, like other Boot Cancer competitors, cancer has affected Ainsworth’s life. His mother, sister-in-law and grandmother all died of the far-reaching ailment, so Boot Cancer means something different for him, he said. “We’re all here for a good cause,” said Ainsworth, while catching his breath after a “very tiring” first heat.        There were 14 total heats, held inside and outside Collins-Perley. Participants threw weighted balls at elevated wall targets, flipped tractor tires, pulled weighted sleds and raced each other as human wheelbarrows. There were six volunteer judges on site.        Winners received medals according to age group. The Messenger expects to have complete results soon. “I haven’t done a wheelbarrow since I was 10 years old,” said Tanya Noyes, 40, of South Burlington, Harbaugh’s co-chair. “It was crazy.” Noyes is a cervical cancer survivor and was diagnosed 10 years ago, when she was 30. Harbaugh’s husband, Brian, 38, is also a cancer survivor; they live in Danville.        Rachel Harbaugh’s sister, Lisa Durocher, of Fairfax, started Boot Cancer locally in 2008. She teaches boot camp classes in Fairfax and was driving in her car one day when the idea for Boot Cancer came to her. She had already started a similar fundraiser, the local Ronald McDonald House golf tournament, about 20 years ago. “I knew how to do it, so I thought, ‘Let’s try this,’” Durocher said.        Durocher spent much of this year furthering her education, so Harbaugh and Noyes offered to organize Boot Cancer for her – but they only had a month to do it. “A lot of the phone calls we just made in the last 30 days,” Noyes said.        Eleventh-hour planning might have caused participation to drop by about half this year, the co-chairs said. Last year, 60 Boot Cancer participants raised about $7,500 for Relay for Life. Harbaugh and Noyes estimated Boot Cancer would raise $2,000 this year.        They also guessed participation dropped due to the high number of Franklin County residents that were still recovering from the grueling Spartan Beast race, held last month in Killington. “I couldn’t be happier with how this turned out in a month,” Noyes said, as she and Harbaugh – both dressed in pink warm-up tops, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month – watched children participate in their first heat of the day (with lighter exercises, of course). “This is my favorite part,” Harbaugh said. “When I was a kid, playing sports, there wasn’t anything like this for conditioning. Now, there are classes for kids. It’s so important, no matter how old you are.” Carmelo Miceli, 8, made the trip from Huntington with his family to participate in Boot Cancer. He takes boot camp for kids at Champlain Valley CrossFit, in South Burlington. “I liked the broad jump the best,” he said, after his first heat. “I feel good, but not tired.” Miceli’s mother, Kris, 39, lost her father-in-law to cancer last year, and her sister-in-law is a recent breast cancer survivor. Kris said the Micelis would return to Boot Cancer in St. Albans next year. “This is a great community, and this is a great way to raise awareness and funds,” she said.

ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare (OFFICIAL TRAILER 2012)

Take 2:30 to watch this short video:

Two Upcoming Fun, Different Races (not your average 5k!!)

Zombie Run, Oct. 20…………….

Zombie Run

Lamoille Obstacle Run (my business students created this event for Make-A-Wish Foundation), Nov. 10 …………….

  • My name is Leo Wrighton and as a student of GMTCC Business Administration class I have been charged with the creation of a large scale event which evolved into Lamoille’s first obstacle race.
  • All of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont.  This non-profit organization was unanimously chosen by our class to receive these donations because of what they accomplish.
  • The obstacle race that I am creating will be around a 5K run through the network of trails that Lamoille Union High School maintains.
  • This lap will include ten obstacles of varying difficulty placed at random intervals.  If any of these obstacles prove too difficult for any contestant or they choose to opt out of that obstacle, they will be required to perform a stationary physical exercise equivalent to the amount of time it would take to complete the obstacle.  This event will be for age groups 13 and over.

Week of October 6, 2012


Monday we officially moved the sign-ins inside due to lack of light. However, if the weather permits, we’ll go outside for a bit, then peel the layers to finish inside. The energy was amazing . . . 4 different stations, 2minutes on, one minute of football drills, then shift to the next station . . . 3 rotations. Special thank you to our young drill sargent, John Seaman’s son (hesitant to post children’s name). He proudly took control and told all of the adults when to drop to the ground. The room grunted louder and louder as our bodies hit the gym floor, only to pop-up and wait to hear the loud demand of “drop!” again. Too much fun . . .

Multi-Generation Boot Campers

Thursday’s recap by Lisa Schukei: Everyone pumped it up with an intense circuit workout. It still amazes me how heavy a chair can feel after pumping it up and down for a measly minute. The measly minute feels like an hour!   It was so good to see Lonnie and Jen again.  And a shout out to Art & Celeste, what is that expression? The couple that sweat together, stay together? Anyway, good job sweating together everyone and keep moving, do a little something everyday!


Tuesday was a circuit sylte workout in the large gym at ADL middle school in Essex Jct. After a good warm-up the 4 stations were burpee jumps over cone, chariot races with bands, kettlebell swings and jump roping. In between completing a full rotation, we gathered for a round of tabatas . . . push-ups and jump squats . . . we finished with a nice long, grueling core attack! My son paired with Angela’s son and they were awesome, a perfect team. It was nice to meet Michelle F. and Lisa L’s mom. Plus, Tuesday night was the night Amber responded to my question I popped the question on Monday night . . . the question of “Would you be my partner in the Boot Cancer event this Sunday?” She officially said “Yes!” Wish us luck this Sunday! We’re doing it for the American Cancer Society.

OHhhhh….That Mother Nature can be a cruel woman! It was another rainy Saturday morning! The crowd was small; but we had a great workout!…. and had a good time doing it! We showed up…held ourselves accountable… and cranked the tunes! “Thanks” Laura and Kris for having more than one song on your Ipods. We all warmed up by doing several inchworms, bear crawls, jumping jacks, windmills and lunges. The 25 min.workout was fast paced !…4 stations to attend with no lines, no waiting and absolutely no bottle necking!! We performed a couple of new moves… The hula hoop station, which Crystal T., Kris G.,Laura G., and Lisa D. all performed like pros! The second was the 8ct body builder…Which everyone is going to love ….. Trust me! —Paula


50 Day Challenge: My goodness, people are moving and grooving with intense exercise . . . choosing and chewing much healthier foods. Last week’s meeting about hormones was amazing. The Challenge is like a mini-college course . . . a lot of new content to process and remember. We all need this type of nutrition education . . . thank you Megan Walsh!!

Boot Cancer Challenge: That’s this Sunday in St. Albans. Kids can do a mini-workout for a minimum pledge of $5.00. Adults can still join to compete as an individual or with a partner. That’s a minimum pledge of $50.00. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. Thank you to my sister, Rachel for taking on this event. Also, another thank you to Dana C. for continuing to be the backbone of accounting and score keeping. Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Zombie Run: That’s October 20. Not too late to register. It’s only in Essex.

NEW!! A business student of mine has created an event for the Make-A-Wish foundation. It’s the Lamoille Obstacle Run. Don’t let the word “obstacle” deter you. This race is designed for all levels  . . . the 5k run is through the beautiful trails on the Lamoille Union campus. It’s open to people 13+ years old. Registration is $25.00 for adults and $20 for those under 18 years old. Here’s the website (which has the registration link to

October Unprocessed: Challenge & Sample Menu (including pumpkin smoothie!!)

Check out this website . . . .

Week of 9/30/12

Schedule Change for This Week

In Fairfax, classes are Monday and Wednesday this week due to the BFA-Fairfax Open House. No parking, plus many boot campers will be attending the Open House.

Don’t forget that starting this week, we’ll start to meet inside to check-in. We’ll go outside for a bit, then finish inside due to lack of light. So remember to dress appropriately (layers, hat, etc.)

Since we’re moving inside, break out your jump ropes. I love when we can start doing this again!!

See everyone Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday (M & W in Fairfax, Tu in Essex at ADL and Sat in Essex at Aspire Studio).

Volunteers Wanted! Competitors & Kid Competitors Too! Let’s Kick Cancer’s @$$!!

Want to help judge the Boot Cancer Fitness Challenge? Want to help Dana at the scoring table, help at registration? Adults can compete as individuals or with a partner. Kids do one workout (see bel0w). All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. Kids are a min. pledge of $5.00 and Adults are a min. pledge of $50.00. Starts at 9am on 10/7 at Collins-Perley in St. Albans. More information, go to If you want to volunteer, please contact myself or my sister Rachel at


Week in Review


Monday was squat presses, bar-facing burpees, and wheelbarrow suicides. We were doing most of it in the dark, but I could still see the sweat on everyone! Last Thursday by Lisa Schukei:   ” Just when you thought it was safe to come to Boot Camp….Zombie Attack!!! What a fun warm-up. At one point Amber ran past like a gazelle with Chris hot on her tail running like a zombie cheetah. I noticed some zombie groups planning strategies to group attack their human prey…yikes! We followed up with an Intense 100 rep workout..  This was  our last all-outside workout so we took advantage of the extra space.  Tricep Dips, Squats, Walking Lunges, Push-Ups, Step Hops…arms and legs  were burning! I even heard the infamous, “This is Stupid!” a few times,  a sure sign everyone was working hard to get stronger, leaner and fitter.  The best part for me was seeing the smiles, camaraderie, and encouragement in each group, you guys rock!  Good News of the Night: Brenda is about to become a grandma in just a few short weeks!! ”


Tuesday we struck gold with all of the medicine balls at ADL. They’re brand new!  Boy, we’re going to have fun with them! We had an amazing workout with wall balls, burpees, and suicides. It all ended with partner med-ball sit-ups. The stars of the night were the kids! These boys were machines, plus they wanted to learn about exercises they could do at home. That’s what I love about our boot camp classes . . . families working out together. Amber & Marianne, Paula & Betty, Christine & Miriam, Barb & Rebecca, Lisa & Kris, Laura & Angela, Pam & Jessica, plus the boys paired up and worked incredibly hard! Looking forward to this Tuesday.

Paula’s Trip on Saturday: Yup…..It was a rainy Saturday morning…What a wonderful day to sleep
in…..Not!…We had a hardworking and determined group of eight that
got up and moved, complained and groaned! Kudos to you! Lisa D and her  husband Jeff, nice to have you join us Jeff! There was Kris G.,who was off for a run after class! Laura G., Betty B. (can you believe that!),  Crystal L., Mariam H., and better late than never…Karen G. showed up for the last part of class, once she found her keys! Not trying to toot our own horn… but before most of you even opened your eyes we completed 75 each j.jacks, x-c skis, lateral lunges, and windmills, warming up….Then right into 350 squats, 140 rear lunges, 125 push ups, 110 burpies and crunches. We all finished up with 200 ab moves…. Not bad, all before 8 am…Great job everyone!! Toot! Toot! … See you next
Saturday at 7:00am!!

October Challenge . . . Who’s In?

It’s the Unprocessed Challenge. Can you avoid processed foods for the entire month of October? This challenge is sponsored by Eating Rules!

Week of September 23, 2012

Week in Review

What a week of activities . . . 4 boot camp classes, 50 Day Challenge kick-off, Boot Camp Bash and Spartan Race. Myself and Megan kicked off the 50 Day Challenge in Essex Junction last Sunday. This group is ready to commit the grit! Thank you for making all new boot campers feel comfortable and supported in their commitment to leading a more active lifestyle!

Fairfax Location

Paula’s Blog about Monday night: “Monday night’s warm up started off strong!  23 cabooses in a  l o n g train run around the soccer field (a few times!). As if that wasn’t tough enough, we had 4 medicine balls being passed through the line the entire time! …Without hesitation, off to the green monster for a wicked wood weighted workout! Art tried to get away with his little blue tooth pick,but it was quickly lost in the grass when he dropped it! Nice try Art! Our workout included 15 hill runs, 120 overhead presses and 120 squats, all without dropping the weights! Unbelievable!! Everyone was pushing hard and gave it their all! Kudos to the 50 day challengers for sweating with the best of them! You’re all off to a GREAT start! It was nice to see Chris again and some fresh new faces amongst us. Great job Marissa (starting with a weighted backpack… Wow!), Melissa and Kristi. Hope to see you all again and again as regulars. Don’t let the pain scare you off! Everyone finished up with some new planking moves all-the-while swatting mosquitoes! We all were still able to do much more, but had to call it a night when we could no longer see…Fantastic effort everyone!! I love my boot camp family! What a wonderful bunch of people, I’m so fortunate to be able to hang with you!!…So inspiring, witnessing you all pushing past what you “thought” was your limit….That was your limit, yesterday! ….”

Thursday was a combination of Trivia Pursuit (from the 80s) and Suicides on the soccer field. It was a great class for Karen’s boyfriend to attend (by the way Karen, Chris is in GREAT shape, plus he knew his trivia!!). Partners were asked a trivia question and were penalized with squats or push-ups for incorrect answers. We were all laughing soooo hard . . . . what a great time! People were jumping up and down and high-five’ing when they answered correctly. The team of Dan and Art answered all but one and yes, Joe and Jake, Montana is an acceptable answer. We’ll never forget who shot J.R. and the name of Playboy’s comic strip (Answer: Kristin Shepard; Answer: Little Annie Fanny).

Essex Location

Lisa Schukei’s Blog: “Tuesday in Essex saw our first all inside Boot Camp class. High winds and rain chased us inside. We kicked into high gear with a Ladder Workout involving weighted Squats and Overhead Presses peppered with Mountain Climbers. Talk about sweat…it was pouring off us! We topped it off with a relay race where it was great to see everyone cheer on their team mates. Just when we thought we couldn’t do another thing…we did… and finished strong with some intense plank/ab exercises. Everyone put forth excellent effort and kept their ‘can-do’ attitude going to the end. Welcome 50-Day

Challengers, Lisa D, Kris, and Miriam – you go girls! A shout out to Lisa L’s mom, Charone, she cut it up like a teen-ager!

Saturday morning in Essex at the Aspire Studio was intense. We mixed it up with tabatas inside and running outside. It was nice to see John and Dan. Michelle, Lisa D., and Kris tore it up!! I was surprised to see Amber since the night before she was at the Boot Camp Bash. I picked up Paula (both of us were quite tired from the Bash), but boy, it felt amazing when we were done (however, I did sneak in a nap later in the day).

Boot Camp Bash

Well . . . . All I can say is, LET’S DO THIS AGAIN!! What a great time we all had. I laughed so hard that my throat is still sore. To top it all off, the gang presented me with a framed collage of pictures from the Renegade Playground Challenge along with a signed “Thankenstein” card. Wow, I couldn’t ask to be surrounded by more special people!

Spartan Racers

Congratulations to Sandra, Julie, Katie and our own Megan Walsh for competing in the Spartan Beast this past Saturday in Killington. They had 35+ obstacles to overcome, 4 peaks of the Green Mountains to climb & over 13 miles of running. Then there’s the Ultra Beast competitors. They’re doing twice that amount in distance & obstacles! Bill West and Megan’s man, Skye completed the Ultra Beast.

Here’s an update from Katie: Bill did awesome! He could still walk after about 28 miles of torture. And he qualified for the Spartan season pass for next year. He is crazy! Oh and guess what? I somehow managed to come in first in my age group.

Way to go Katie!

Never though that would happen. All thanks to Bill and his nutty training. It worked! Here’s a picture of Megan and I and our dirt. And my happy little kids after their race.  Probably won’t be at boot camp this week. I am letting my body rest.

Our very own Megan & Katie!!

Compete as an individual, with a partner . . . Kids? Yes, there’s a kids workout! All proceeds go to American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life to help boot cancer’s @$$!!  Volunteers needed! Prizes from businesses are needed!!

Date: Sunday, October 7

Location: Collins-Perley in St. Albans, VT

Price: Minimum of $50.00 (fundraise for more!); kids are $5.00

Register at:


Week of Sept. 16, 2012

Week in Review

Announcement! For Monday in Fairfax and Tuesday in Essex, please BYOW (bring your own chunk of wood). Many of you heat with wood, or know of someone who does. Bring a hefty piece that you’ll feel challenged carrying around (not a tiny stick Lynn Finn). You may want to bring a few chunks for others. It’ll be a love, hate relationship with your wood. I’ll have substitutes for those who don’t BYOW.

On Monday, Lisa Schukei led a solo performance in Fairfax. Lisa Schukei and Paula Coli are the newest addition to the LSD instructors team. She led a group of feisty and fun boot campers with a workout dedicated to 9/11. Pogo jumps, two exercises, pogo jumps, two exercises, etc., followed by 911 sit-ups (not really, but something similar 🙂

Tuesday kicked off the first Essex Jct. Boot Camp with LSD session. It was great to see boot campers from the Fairfax class (Heather, Marianne, Amber and Michelle). Welcome Christina, Pam, Angela and Lisa! You have been officially bitten by the boot camp bug. We all know to get hard, we have to work hard and you certainly started off with that mindset.

Thursday in Fairfax was baseball, boot camp style. BUT, this didn’t start until a few laps of burpees over the fence (yes, the entire fence in front of the Town Clerk’s office and school). After baseball, everyone grabbed either a weight or a warm-up stick for overhead walking lunges 2x around the diamond . . . then we finally finished on our stomachs swimming for our lives! Welcome Joanne, Pam and Brenda!! You jumped right in and smiled up until the end!

At the Aspire studio location, the first Saturday am class in Essex left us dripping with sweat, gasping for air, grunting during sit-ups . . . it left us wanting more! Welcome Lindsay, who was bitten by the boot camp bug!  Since we stay outside as much as possible, the Aspire location will be an urban workout . . . concrete, pavement, curbs . . . but don’t worry, there are grassy hills 🙂

Upcoming Events

1. Boot Camp Bash this Friday night (if it doesn’t rain). At my house; starts around 6:30; bring a dish or your favorite drink. I’ll have margaritas and nonalcoholic beverages.

2. 50 Day Challenge starts with their first boot camp class this week. Kick-off meeting is tonight. It’s going to be exciting to work with another group of people ready to make a change!

3. Boot Cancer Fitness Challenge for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life is Sunday, October 7 in St. Albans at Collins-Perley. Need competitors (adults and children) and volunteers. Compete as an individual or with a partner. Go here to register: Website is

4. Zombie Run in Essex. If you want to participate, let me know so I can order a shirt for you. It’s happening on October 20. Website is:

Can You Eat Healthy for $1 a Meal?

Megan shared this link on the 100 Day Challenge Facebook page.

In recent years, as the pace of the US economic recovery has slowed, the number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program has skyrocketed, now reaching an all-time high of roughly 46 million Americans.

With so many people in need of assistance to purchase food for their families, the question of whether or not it is possible to truly eat healthy on a food-stamp budget has become all the more pressing.

Husband and wife filmmakers Yoav and Shira Potash tackled this inquiry with both their cameras and their stomachs in the acclaimed documentary film Food Stamped.

Can You Eat Healthy for $1 a Meal?

While food assistance varies from state to state, a typical food-stamp budget amounts to a paltry $1 per person, per meal.

At the start of Food Stamped, nutrition educator and filmmaker Shira Potash reveals that teaching healthy cooking classes to elementary students in low-income neighborhoods gave her the idea to take the food stamp challenge. As she says in the film, “Even though I can get kids excited about fruits and vegetables, can their families realistically afford to make the kinds of things we’re introducing in school?”

In its depiction of a wide variety of people who receive food assistance dollars, Food Stamped shows that many of these Americans live in “food deserts” – areas without grocery stores, and perhaps only a convenience store where they can purchase their food.

Like all Americans, there’s a decent chance that these low-income individuals may lack any knowledge of healthy eating and cooking, let alone the resourceful combination of skills and habits required to transform a $1-meal budget into a tasty, balanced diet for themselves and their families.

The filmmakers acknowledge that they had some advantages from the start. For one, Shira’s experience as a nutrition educator provided her not only with the knowledge of what constitutes a healthy meal, but also the practice of how to prepare it. Meanwhile, the filmmakers took their food stamp challenge not in a food dessert, but in the “food-mecca” of Berkeley, California, a city with plentiful access to healthy food and farmer’s markets.

On the other hand, Shira’s filmmaker husband Yoav possesses no formal nutrition knowledge and was, more or less, dragged into the challenge by his health-crusading wife. In a humorous scene in which the couple traipses through the grocery store with their low-budget shopping list in hand, Yoav asks – incredulously – “You’re choosing lettuce over coffee?” When Shira reminds Yoav of the high price of his daily habit, he mentions that perhaps he will have to “crash Alcoholics Anonymous meetings” for the free coffee.

While this filmmaking couple has a charming and light-hearted presence on-camera, when they are behind the camera they provide a deep and powerful look at the struggles many families face as they attempt to put three square meals on the table. The filmmakers visit food stamp enrollment clinics and tag along with low-income shoppers who tend to opt for the cheapest, most filling foods, such as white bread, factory-farmed ground beef, and ramen noodles.

Meanwhile, in interviews with Members of Congress who also took the food stamp challenge, Food Stamped shows how our elected officials – when forced to eat on meager budgets themselves – likewise fell prey to the allure of cheap convenience foods.

“The food that we ended up buying was the least healthy food,” says Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern of Massuchusetts in a poignant interview featured in the film. “The less nutritious the food, the cheaper it is, the more you can afford.”

Looking beyond our personal food choices, Food Stamped explores the faults in US food and farm policy. Why, for instance, is fresh produce hard to come by while fast-food restaurants seem to pop up on every corner?

Government Food Choices That Make or Break Your Health

If your meals consist of $1 burgers and super-size drinks, your diet may be cheap, but it is also excessively high in grains, sugars, and factory-farmed meats. This is a recipe for obesity, diabetes and heart disease, just to name a few calamitous conditions that befall those who consume “the Standard American Diet,” which Food Stamped memorably depicts with a red frowny face and the abbreviation S.A.D.

In a wonderful distillation of the US Farm Bill, the documentary shows how we have the US government to thank for this cheap food. Farm subsidies, particularly for corn, lead to the production of high-fructose corn syrup, cheap fast food, animal factories, monoculture, and a host of other contributors to our unhealthful modern diet. (A U.S. PIRG report on federal subsidies used an “apples-to-Twinkies comparison” to reveal the shocking truth about where your tax dollars are really going.)2

As Food Stamped uses graphics to show the billions of taxpayer dollars given to commodity crops every year, food policy experts, such as Shereen D’Souza, Director of the California Food and Justice Coalition, describe how the US farm subsidies program is actually promoting foods that are extraordinarily high in calories, fat, and sugar.

By examining the farm subsidies program and government-assisted nutrition education efforts side by side, Food Stamped reveals the glaring contradictions is US food policy. In one USDA program, our tax dollars are subsidizing junk food while across the hall another USDA program funds an anti-obesity campaign. This hypocrisy shows just how broken and wasteful our regulatory system really is. No wonder so many people fall into the junk-food trap.

The Allure of Junk Food That Keeps You Coming Back for More

For me, watching Food Stamped made me think about how many Americans purchase junk food not because of their own financial limitations, but simply because they choose to. Make no mistake: junk food is convenient, economically alluring, and engineered to appeal to your primal drive for calories, fat, sugar, and salt.

From the intense advertising to the lab-tested recipes, the junk food system is orchestrated to keep you buying more junk in lieu of real food. As you consume more and more of these highly processed products, you lose touch with the foundations of healthy eating – and your kids may grow up never knowing the value of a home-cooked meal.

The fact that manufacturers are able to keep pulling the wool over people’s eyes, convincing them that these products are “foods” worthy of buying is nothing more than a marketing victory, albeit a very persuasive one.

One telling shot in Food Stamped reveals the ubiquity of fast-food with a simple but effective zoom-out. As the filmmakers visit a farmer’s market in the low-income food desert of Watts, California, the camera reveals a Jack-in-the-box directly across the street from the farmers and the fresh produce. The implication is clear; on the one hand, the farmers and their produce have arrived in the ghetto, helping to make fresh and healthy food available in an area where it is sorely needed. On the other hand, the farmer’s market is an occasional institution, operating just one day a week, while the fast food franchise pumps out its low-nutrient fare seven days a week, 365 days a year.

While it’s possible to make the healthy choice, under these conditions, it’s not easy.

And yet, Food Stamped provides inspiring glimpses of people like an African-American woman shopping at the Watts farmer’s market who proudly conveys that her doctors tell her to “keep doing what I’m doing – a lot of fruits, a lot of vegetables, a lot of water, no fried foods.”

But cost is just one factor. The convenience, pervasive presence, and the addictive nature of processed food are what drive so many Americans – rich or poor – to eat far too much junk.

In response, I want to highlight healthy foods that are very affordable, and also offer eight tips for stretching your food budget in a manner that is good for your health and your pocketbook.

Healthy Foods That Are Under $1

I’m often surprised at the prices people are willing to pay for boxes of breakfast cereals that are full of nothing more than sugar, or for bags of chips that offer nothing good for your body whatsoever. And don’t get me started on soda and all the other sugary drinks that flood our stores. In short, they are an absolute health disaster!

These pricey processed foods will eat up your grocery budget in the blink of an eye, and will cause disease in the long-term. In reality, any money spent on junk food is a waste, and purging these items from your grocery list is the first step to eating right on a budget.

Some of the healthiest foods are incredibly affordable, even under $1 a serving, such as:

  • Raw organic milk
  • Raw nuts and seeds
  • Two cage-free organic eggs
  • Avocado, berries and broccoli
  • Fermented foods you make at home

Getting back to the original question, is it possible to eat healthy even on a very limited budget, I believe it can be – if you keep these foundational rules in mind…

8 Tips for Stretching Your Food Budget and Still Eating Real Food

In order to protect your health, I believe you should spend 90 percent of your food budget on whole foods, and only 10 percent on processed foods (unfortunately most Americans currently do the opposite). This requires some strategy, especially if you’re working with a tight budget:

  1. Identify a Person to Prepare Meals. Someone has to invest some time in the kitchen. It will be necessary for either you, your spouse, or perhaps someone in your family prepare the meals from locally-grown healthful foods.
  2. Become resourceful: This is an area where your grandmother can be a wealth of information, as how to use up every morsel of food and stretch out a good meal was common knowledge to generations past. Seek to get back to the basics of cooking – using the bones from a roast chicken to make stock for a pot of soup, extending a Sunday roast to use for weekday dinners, learning how to make hearty stews from inexpensive cuts of meat, using up leftovers and so on.
  3. Plan your meals:If you fail to plan you are planning to fail. This is essential, as you will need to be prepared for mealtimes in advance to be successful. Ideally this will involve scouting out your local farmer’s markets for in-season produce that is priced to sell, and planning your meals accordingly, but you can also use this same premise with supermarket sales.You can generally plan a week of meals at a time, make sure you have all ingredients necessary on hand, and then do any prep work you can ahead of time so that dinner is easy to prepare if you’re short on time in the evenings.It is no mystery that you will be eating lunch around noon every day so rather than rely on fast food at work, before you go to bed make a plan as to what you are going to take to work the next day. This is a marvelous simple strategy that will let you eat healthier, especially if you take healthy food from home in to work.
  4. Avoid food waste: According to a study published in the journal PloS One,4 Americans waste an estimated 1,400 calories of food per person, each and every day. The two steps above will help you to mitigate food waste in your home. You may also have seen my article titled 14 Ways to Save Money on Groceries. Among those tips are suggestions for keeping your groceries fresher, longer, and I suggest reviewing those tips now.
  5. Buy organic animal foods. The most important foods to buy organic are animal, not vegetable, products (meat, eggs, butter, etc.), because animal foods tend to concentrate pesticides in higher amounts. If you cannot afford to buy all of your food organic, opt for organic animal foods first.
  6. Keep costs down on grass-fed beef. Pasture-finished beef is far healthier than grain-fed beef (which I don’t recommend consuming). To keep cost down, look for inexpensive roasts or ground meat. You may also save money by buying an entire side of beef (or splitting one with two or three other families), if you have enough freezer space to store it.
  7. Buy in bulk when non-perishable items go on sale. If you are fortunate to live near a buyer’s club or a co-op, you may also be able to take advantage of buying by the pound from bins, saving both you and the supplier the cost of expensive packaging.
  8. Frequent farmer’s markets.You may be surprised to find out that by going directly to the source you can get amazingly healthy, locally-grown, organic food for less than you can find at your supermarket. This gives you the best of both worlds: food that is grown near to you, cutting down on its carbon footprint and giving you optimal freshness, as well as grown without chemicals, genetically modified seeds, and other potential toxins.Just as restaurants are able to keep their costs down by getting food directly from a supplier, you, too, can take advantage of a direct farm-to-consumer relationship, either on an individual basis or by joining a food coop in your area. Many farmer’s markets are now accepting food stamps, so this is an opportunity most everyone can join in on.