#PrincessBootCamp Recap

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Princess Boot Camp Disney Inspiration Fitness Plan Blog Series

So…8 weeks ago I embarked on an adventure to share with you my homemade fitness plan: Disney Princess Boot Camp. I told you at the beginning that I wouldn’t be stepping foot on a scale and I haven’t…for the whole of this 8 week plan, I have listened to my body and really relied on my senses to guide me.

Foods that didn’t sit well got cut out, surprisingly that included a lot of breads and dairies. Foods that energized me will be added to my permanent shopping list, like spinach and pork cutlets and all things coconut.


Here’s a recap of each week’s theme and fitness:

Week 1: Cinderella Week

Princess Boot Camp Cinderella Week Fitness Blog series

This week I shopped the diet of a 18th century peasant, lots of staple foods, very lean cuts of meat and fruits and vegetables that might be grown in an English garden. And the fitness routine this week included: deep cleaning my parent’s garage and pool, running down stairs and ball room dancing.

Week 2: Ariel Week

Princess Boot Camp Ariel Week Disney Fitness Blog

This week’s meal plan was all about the ocean. Fish, seafood, seaweed, vegetables that might translate like cabbage and lettuce. And the only activity I did was swimming. But I utilized a variety of strokes in order to change things up. This was the week that my arms really started to feel the burn!!

Week 3: Pocahontas Week

Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness Pocahontas WEek nerd blog post

For Pocahontas Week, I faithfully followed a traditional Native American diet. Lots of foods that come from the Earth. Nuts, grains, game meats like pork, berries and vegetables that might be grown by Native Americans like Pocahontas. The activities this week included rowing, running and canoeing. And I fell in love with canoeing. I really felt like it was the kind of full body workout that was both energizing and relaxing at the same time!

Week 4: Mulan Week

Disney Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week stick fighting nerd fitness blog post

This week I paid homage to China. The foods they eat, Chinese movies and fitness that one might find in China. My shopping list included things I had never eaten before like: bitter melon, rambutan, lychee, ya pears, bok choy and napa cabbage. The fitness routines this week really kicked my ass as I tried Tai Chi and Shaolin Kung Fu!!

Week 5: Rapunzel Week

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This week, my shopping list had a lot of items inspired by Rapunzel and the Disney movie Tangled, more than an actual diet Rapunzel might have eaten. Whimsical things like angel hair pasta (get it!) and flax seed items (a food that promotes hair growth) as well as other proteins good for hair growth and of course, Rapunzel’s favorite, hazelnut soup! For fitness I tried rock climbing and folk dancing (line dancing…I live in the South!)

Week 6: Merida Week

Disney Princess Boot Camp Merida Week meal plan nerd blog post fitness

Merida Week was spent eating a classic Scottish diet consisting of cabbage, leeks, berries, shellfish, wild game meats and yes, even Haggis. And while Merida didn’t exhibit a love for Scottish dancing in her movie, Brave, I felt I just had to add it to my fitness plan after seeing an ad at the local community center! As well as Scottish dancing, I went horseback riding and tried archery. This week was very active and exciting!

Week 7: Elsa Week

Disney Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week nerd blog post fitness

I thought Elsa Week might prove a little harder for a Florida girl like me, seeing as how Elsa is all Frozen and stuff and in the middle of summer, a cool breeze is hard to come by in the sunshine state. But with a Scandinavian diet of foods like: root vegetables, nordic yogurt, whole grains, beans and fish and the surprising discovery of a virtual reality Winter Ski Club as well as ice skating at the RDV Sport’s Complex, I felt all those cool, frosty, Frozen vibes even in the midst of a balmy Florida summer!

Week 8: Moana Week

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I finished my plan strong with Moana week and a Polynesian diet of tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, chicken, pork, fish, coconut, starchy fruits and nuts. For fitness this week, I did a lot of paddle boarding and hot hula. This was one of my favorite weeks!


Because I’d given up weighing myself from day 1, I can’t actually tell you how much weight I lost. I like not weighing myself. I like listening to my body and not some number on a scale. Don’t ever forget that muscle weighs more than fat and numbers don’t tell the whole story!! I’m gonna go ahead and estimate it to around 20-25 pounds. What I can tell you is how I feel. I feel stronger. I feel happier in my own skin. I dropped 2.5 pant sizes and feel confident when I look in the mirror that what I’m seeing in myself is what I’m presenting to others.

Don’t read this and think that you need to change! Don’t read this and think that I don’t believe with all my heart that all sizes and shapes are beautiful…they are and I do believe that! But I also know that I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin anymore. The 20-30 pounds I had gained were from stress and sadness. And I couldn’t seem to get over the hump of releasing that garbage from my soul and from my body.

Leave it to Disney to inspire me to get off my ass and get fit in a really fun and magical way (it’s not like magic is their thing or anything!) But listen, this worked for me!

I’m not a doctor…don’t do what I said and think that this is medical research. But guess what…if you take the pressure off of yourself by putting your focus on something fun, eat a moderate and healthy amount of foods that are good for you and up your fitness level…you’ll probably lose a little weight or at the very least feel a little happier in your own skin. That’s all I can offer. That’s all that I did! And damn…it feels good!

Disney Princess boot Camp recap blog post fitness Lizzie Nerd in the City happy nerd

If you want to try my Disney Princess Boot Camp, let me know!! I am a great encourager and would be happy to send thoughts, memes, gifs, encouragement and inspiration your way, as well as offer the tips and tricks I used to stay motivated!! If I can feel this good…you can too!

#PrincessBootCamp – Moana Week Inspo

Disney Princess Boot Camp Moana Week inspo music movies list nerd blog post

Princess Boot Camp Moana Week Nerd Disney Fitness Blog

This week’s playlist is populated with selections from the Moana soundtrack, naturally, as well as songs about water and the ocean. It great for a lazy day at the beach or to get you pumped for Hula class or even to take paddle boarding with you!

  1. Deep Wide Ocean – The Jezabels
  2. Orinoco Flow – Enya
  3. The Ocean – Mike Perry, Shy Martin
  4. The Ocean, The Wild Wind
  5. We Move Like the Ocean – Bad Suns
  6. Walk on the Ocean – Toad the Wet Sprocket
  7. Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride – Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu
  8. Hawaiian Air – Friendly Fires
  9. Tuloa Tagaloa – Olivia Foa’i
  10. Where You Are – Christopher Jackson
  11. How Far I’ll Go – Auli’i Cravalho
  12. We Know the Way – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  13. How Far I’ll Go (Reprise) – Auli’i Cravalho
  14. I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors) – Rachel House, Auli’i Cravalho
  15. Know Who You Are – Auli’i Cravalho
  16. We Know the Way Finale – Lin-Manuel Miranda
  17. How Far I’ll Go – Alessia Cara
  18. Only Time – Enya
  19. Caribbean Blue – Enya
  20. Dark Sky Island – Enya
  21. Brighter than the Sun – Colbie Caillat
  22. Something in the Water – Carrie Underwood

Moana

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This movie was long anticipated. But I had no idea how much I would love Moana till I went and saw it in theaters…three times! Moana is the story of a young girl, the daughter of a chief. With her very birth comes the expectations of family and tradition. But Moana’s heart feels that #wanderlust and she wants to do out beyond the borders of her island life. Her meddlesome Gran is in her corner, but the call of her family is strong. And something just keeps holding her back. Until her true destiny is thrust into her hands by her Gran, who on her death bed tells her she has to follow her heart! Moana follows it past the shores of her island. She follows it to the demigod Maui. She follows it into the unknown, where she fights monsters and wrestles with her true nature. If you still haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for? It’s on Netflix…go on, I’ll wait!

Life of Pi

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Life of Pi has a lot in common with Moana. Where Moana’s story is one of discovery, Pi’s story is one of survival. But they both have familial expectations to wrestle with and come to terms with. Pi’s family is lost on a voyage across the ocean. And only him and the family’s zoo tiger, Richard Parker, survive. This movie’s visuals are stunning! Definitely worth a watch, especially during Moana Week!!

Cast Away

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Cast Away may seem like a strange choice for Moana Week. But when you look deeper into the story of Cast Away and the way that Tom Hanks has to survive insurmountable odds, there are a lot of similarities to draw upon. Plus can’t you just see the similarities between Moana’s silly chicken Hei-Hei and Tom Hanks’ volleyball companion, Wilson!!

Journey 2: Mysterious Island

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Ok I mainly chose this one because it’s a fun little movie and has The Rock in common with Moana. There aren’t a lot of comparisons to draw between Journey 2: Mysterious Island and Moana. But Josh Hutcherson and the Rock are dreamy and there’s an island and I could go on, but I’m really just stretching here! Watch it for fun!

Waterworld

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Ok…Waterworld. I know…I know, worst movie ever made. Huge inflated budget, one of the most expensive films ever made. And what’s worse..it tanked at the box office. But have you gone back and watched Waterworld? I don’t think it’s as horrible as we all seem to think/remember. I’m not saying it deserves Oscars or anything, though it was actually nominated for one. I’m just saying, I wanted a reason to watch it and it really only seemed to fit on my Moana Watch List for Princess Boot Camp. So here it is… Waterworld. The story of a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future where the polar ice caps have melted and the world is submerged underwater, forcing the remaining citizens of Earth to survive in the perpetual ocean…the water world, if you will (yep, I did that.)

Atlantis: The Lost Empire

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Who among us isn’t captured by stories of Atlantis? Have you ever dreamed of being among those who find the lost empire? I know I have! And Atlantis made me think a little of Moana. Both stories have that element of the search for something, the journey taken and the fellowships we make along the way to our destination. Did you know that Disney had plans for an underwater park based on Atlantis, but since the movie didn’t overwhelm at the box office, they cancelled it? I’m sad about that! I would love to go to an underwater theme park with an Atlantis theme!!

 

Swiss Family Robinson

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There’s a theme on this watch list and it’s survival. Which is not really what Moana is about at all. When Moana leaves her island of Motunui, it isn’t survival that is first on her mind, it is mission. But with adding ocean and island tales to my list, survival themes just seem to come naturally with that. Swiss Family Robinson is the story of a shipwrecked family…the Robinsons. Who are forced to survive on an island together. And to rebuild their lives in the face of overwhelming odds. And there are pirates.

Muppet Treasure Island

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Speaking of pirates. I added Muppet Treasure Island as a little visual and musical treat for everyone. It wouldn’t be right not to have another musical selection on the list. And this movie has lots of ocean and islands and journey through oceans to islands. Incidentally, it’s also one of my family’s favorite movies to quote. Enjoy!

#PrincessBootCamp – Moana Fitness Plan

Princess Boot Camp Moana Week Nerd Disney Fitness Blog

I am a summer girl through and through. So Moana Week is right up my alley with the beachiness, the tropical food and the love of water. Next to Pocahontas, I think Moana is the next Disney Princess that I most connect to.

Disney Princess Boot Camp Moana Week fitness blog post

The call of the unknown certainly calls to me and sometimes I feel like I don’t have the freedom to just pick up and follow that call. But also like Moana, I continue to learn over and over again that “the call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me. It’s like the tide always rising and falling!”

In order to get fit like Moana, this week, here’s a look at the activities that will help you channel the spirit of Moana:

Surfing

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Picture from Patagonia.com

I wasn’t actually able to take surf lessons this week. But it’s on my master bucket list of things to do one day. And, I think, if surfing was an option on the tiny island of Motunui, Moana would really be great at it. It’s similar to our next fitness activity, but much harder. The reason I decided not to go through with a singular lesson, is because it’s an activity that needs a lot more dedicated lessons and practice to really get down. One day!

Paddle Boarding

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Picture from paddleboardthrills.com

Paddle Boarding is having a serious moment this summer. It’s a cousin to surfing and utilizes a lot of the same muscles groups, but is far easier. You don’t have to be as attuned to the ebb and flow of the tide for paddle boarding. In fact, I did all my paddle boarding this week in a lake. So no need for tides at all! What I love about paddle boarding is that you can do it a couple different ways. You can stand and paddle or sit down or be on your knees. You can also go on full paddle boarding adventures and take breaks during the day. I packed a little lunch, threw it onto my board and had some really amazing moments out on the water. No one else was around and it was relaxing and energizing at the same time. I went out on the water 3 times this week. This is an activity that can feel like you aren’t burning as much as you are…I was sore, to say the least! The good kind of sore!

Hula Dancing

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Picture from Vimeo.com

To finish out the activities this week, I added Hula Dancing to my list. Hot Hula to be exact. There was actually a hula class at the community center that I wanted to try out, since the community center had worked for me during other weeks. But the scheduling didn’t work out. I think I will try it some time in the future, though. And if you have a live class available to you, I encourage you to try it. I always prefer a class of other human beings over a video at home. There’s something great about doing something new with people. It helps you create new connections. But this week, it was videos for me. Specifically these on You Tube:

 

Enjoy!!

#PrincessBootCamp – Moana Meal Plan

Disney Princess Boot Camp Moana Week Meal Plan fitness blog post

Princess Boot Camp Moana Week Nerd Disney Fitness Blog

“See that line where the sky meets the sea…it calls me!”

Moana Week had to be my very favorite week of all 8 Disney Princess Boot Camp weeks. And as it rounded out the end of my fitness plan, I was able to get really energized and finish strong!

If you haven’t seen the movie Moana yet, it is recently on Netflix and is a delightful addition to the Disney Princess canon of movies! When we first meet Moana, she is just a baby, daughter of the chief and her destiny is basically laid out in front of her. Her path is set, her future decided. But Moana has a wandering spirit and she just wants to see what is beyond the shoals of her tiny island.

Moana Week
Photo by Cristina Fowler @thelittlestfowler

Her wise old grandmother is constantly telling her to seek her own future, make her own choices. But the call of duty is very strong for Moana as well. She does not want to let her family down. It isn’t until a deep sickness threatens the island of Motunui and her grandmother’s dying words encourage her to follow her heart, that Moana finally seeks her true destiny to find the demigod Maui and restore the heart of Te Fiti.

Since Moana is raised on the little Polynesian island of Motunui, this week’s menu follows a Pacific Islander’s diet. Here’s the shopping list:

-Seafood

-Chicken

-Pork

-Coconut and Coconut Milk

-Tropical Fruits (pineapple, mango, kiwi, etc.)

-Nuts (macadamia, peanuts, lichi)

-Root Veggies

-Starchy Fruits (green bananas, cassava, breadfruit, taro)

-Ginger

-Lemon and Lime

-Garlic

-Onions and Scallions

I really enjoyed this menu. So many delicious flavors, I wasn’t bored with any of my meals this week! I hope you enjoy it!

#PrincessBootCamp – Elsa Week Inspo

Disney Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week inspiration Movies and Music fitness blog post

Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week Nerd Fitness

  1. Sisters – Rosemary Clooney
  2. Sisters and Brothers – Cast of Sofia the First
  3. Sisters & Brothers – Sidewalk Prophets
  4. Frozen Heart – Frozen Soundtrack
  5. Stone Cold – Demi Lovato
  6. Frozen – Madonna
  7. Cold As Ice – Foreigner
  8. Colder Weather – Zac Brown Band
  9. A Narnia Lullaby – Global Stage Orchestra
  10. Winter Light – Tim Finn
  11. Coldest Winter – Pentatonix
  12. Frozen – PON CHO, Paige IV
  13. Cold Water – Major Lazer, MØ, Justin Beiber
  14. In Like a Lion (Always Winter) – Reliant K
  15. Do You Wanna Build a Snowman? – Frozen Soundtrack
  16. Frosty the Snowman – Michael Bublé, Puppini Sisters
  17. For the First Time in Forever – Frozen Soundtrack
  18. For the First Time in Forever (Reprise) – Frozen Soundtrack
  19. Love is an Open Door – Frozen Soundtrack
  20. Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
  21. In Summer – Josh Gad
  22. In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry
  23. Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
  24. Summerland – Florida Georgia Line
  25. A Little More Summertime – Jason Aldean
  26. Summer Wind – Frank Sinatra
  27. Summer Nights – Grease Soundtrack
  28. All Summer Long – Kid Rock
  29. Summer Nights – Iration
  30. Summer Nights – Tiësto, John Legend
  31. Summer Nights – Rascal Flatts
  32. Long Hot Summer – Keith Urban
  33. Summertime Romance – Johnnyswim
  34. Melt My Heart to Stone – Adele
  35. Melt – JONES
  36. Let it Go – Idina Menzel
  37. Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson
  38. Break Free – Ariana Grande
  39. Freedom – Soulive, Corey Glover
  40. Breaking Free – High School Musical Soundtrack
  41. Let It Go – Demi Lovato
  42. Viva La Vida – Coldplay

Have of the Elsa Week movie list is ice cold, the other half is filled with the warmth of sisterhood. Enjoy!

Frozen

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Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. Frozen is the story of two sisters…best friends, really. Who are ripped apart by poor parenting, sorry to speak ill of the dead. But when Elsa’s powers become too powerful and she injures little sister Anna, their parents take them to see the mysterious and unexplained rock trolls who hold all the secrets to Elsa’s powers without ever actually giving explanations. So Elsa is made to feel ashamed of her gifts and is told to conceal and not to feel (bad advice for a super powered little girl, if we’re honest!) Years later, Elsa’s powers manifest at her Queenly coronation after years of seclusion. Is it any wonder that basically being a recluse wouldn’t lead to extraordinary people skills? Don’t worry, it has a happy ending, you just have to cry a lot to get there. “Do you wanna build a snowman?”

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

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Speaking of frozen tundras, let’s look to Narnia. That magical land that can be found in a wardrobe. I’m specifically putting Lion, Witch and Wardrobe on the list, as this is where the tale of Narnia begins, as far as the silver screen is concerned. After years of eternal winter, Lucy Pevensie makes her way into Narnia, after choosing a particularly deep wardrobe to hide in during a game of hide and seek with her siblings. Long story short, the Pevensie children all make their way to Narnia and break the curse of endless winter. There’s a lion and spiritual metaphors and it’s a beautiful story that pairs well with Frozen.

Rise of the Guardians

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If you’ve never seen Rise of the Guardians, do yourself a favor and watch it. The Guardians are Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman. When the world is threatened by Pitch Black, the Guardians will enlist Jack Frost to help put things back to right. Also a bonus reason to watch this movie, a lot of Elsa fans out there seriously ship her with Jack Frost and I really dig that ship. Watch the movie and judge for yourself if Jack would be a good match for the Queen of Frozen!

Dr. Zhivago

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Ok, this one is off the beaten path of what’s on the list before it. A bonafide tragedy, Dr. Zhivago really only shares a world of ice in common with Frozen. But if we’re looking for things that give you that frosty air, this is a movie that will make you feel those Frozen vibes for sure!

White Christmas

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White Christmas, a classic Irving Berlin flick that should be watched every Christmas. This movie features cold, white stuff and a pair of adorable singing sisters with a penchant for the occasional disagreement.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

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Moving away from the snow and ice, we head towards those sister vibes with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. The story of 4 best friends going through life together. As life events pop up for each of them, they fight like hell to keep the bonds of friendship and sisterhood alive by sharing a pair of pants that magically fit them all perfectly. And discover that even without the pants, their bond stands the test of time!

Invisible Sister

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This is an adorable little Disney Channel original movie starring Rowan Blanchard from the ill fated Girl Meets World. When Molly, Cleo’s way more popular older sister, turns invisible after a science experiment goes awry, Cleo starts to have more of an appreciation for her sister. And Molly sees her sister after years of overlooking her. It’s about sisters and it’s adorable!

Little Women

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One of the most classic tales of sisterhood in all of literature, I present Little Woman for the list. Yes, there’s tragedy (looking at you, Beth.) But that’s sort of a theme for a lot of the entries on this list. Chalk it up to the Disney effect (looking at you, parents of Elsa and Anna!)

#PrincessBootCamp – Elsa Fitness Plan

Disney Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week ice skating fitness blog post

Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week Nerd Disney Fitness Blog

For Elsa Week, the activities are cold…chilly…icy…frosty…well, Frozen, if you will. And if you’re currently living in an icy tundra, activities like these might be easier to come by: skiing, sledding, snow tubing, snow ball fights, ice skating, making snow angels. If said tundra is available to you, take full advantage! It’s what Queen Elsa would do.

Me? I live in the tropical land of Florida…Central Florida. Where snow is scarce, especially in July…for that matter, it’s scarce in winter as well. So icy sports and activities are few and far between. But I do have a few options to work with for Elsa Week and maybe you will too.

Ice Skating

Disney Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week ice skating fitness blog post

When I want all the excitement of living in a cold, wintry place without actually having to live in one, I head to the RDV Sport’s Complex for their open skate. The hours are pretty particular and not always available, but they play fun music and you can burn a lot of calories with a couple hours of skating a week.

Roller Skating

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If ice skating is not an option, try roller skating. Same amount of calories will be burned, but it’s much warmer in a roller rink. Bonus: that sweet smell of sweaty teenagers (if teenagers still go roller skating. Do they? Who has the time to know!)

Winter Ski Experience

Disney Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week fitness Winter Ski Club virtual reality blog post

This one is random! Around the corner from my office is a virtual skiing experience. There’s a big screen and ski simulators that give you all the muscle work of skiing without the snow and the falling off your skis in the snow and the breaking your arm cause you fell off your skis in the snow! I don’t know how popular these are across the country, but if you’re in Central Florida, give it a try!

And let me know which Elsa Week activities are getting your heart rate up!

#PrincessBootCamp – Elsa Meal Plan

Disney Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week nerd blog post fitness

Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week Nerd Disney Fitness Blog

Let’s first discuss that Elsa is no Princess…she is the Queen! Now that we got that out of the way…

This week we are off to Arendelle for our fitspiration. Home of mystical powers that only Queen Elsa has and only those rock trolls know anything about. Home of some seriously dead Disney parents. And home of Elsa and Anna, two sisters that just can’t seem to talk things out until it gets really, really bad.

After the death of Anna and Elsa’s parents, (and possibly leading to the birth of their brother Tarzan, fan theory…Google it!) the sisters become distanced by a secret that Elsa has been keeping since she was a little girl. She has ice powers. Where did she get them? We don’t know. Why was it the best idea to keep them a secret and make her feel like the villain in her own story? Oh, it wasn’t! But here is where we find ourselves.

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Photo by Cristina Fowler @thelittlestfowler

Years of not building snowmen together has left these sisters on opposite sides of the castle door and on Elsa’s coronation day, they are finally opening that door to the people of their kingdom, as well as to the surrounding kingdoms. Well, if you’re guessing that no good can come from this…you are right. No good does come from it. Anna meets Prince Hans…the seemingly perfect other half of her sandwich. The kingdom is subjected to the Duke of Weselton and the truth finally comes about about Elsa’s powers and the kingdom is plunged into a Frozen tundra.

Which brings me to our shopping list this week. I based this week’s food selection on a Nordic diet and shopped in the Frozen food aisle as much as I could. Here’s what you’ll need this week…

-whole grains (barley, rye, oats)

-frozen berries (strawberries, rasperries, blueberries, blackberries)

-root vegetables (carrots and potatoes)

-cabbage

-frozen vegetables (peas and broccoli)

-fish (salmon, mackrel, herring)

-pork

-beans

-eggs

Lots of health benefits to a Nordic Diet. I really liked the food this week and the little nod to the frozen food section is just for continuity. You can feel free to eat the fresh versions of fruits and vegetables. Though I love to have frozen berries for dessert! Great substitute for other frozen desserts that might tempt you.

#PrincessBootCamp – Merida Week Inspo

Disney Princess Boot Camp Merida Week Brave fitness inspo nerd blog post

Princess Boot Camp Merida Week Nerd Fitness

  1. Wild Horses – Birdy, Sam Feldt
  2. Brave – Sara Bareilles
  3. Brave Honest Beautiful – Fifth Harmony, Meghan Trainor
  4. Brave – Moriah Peters
  5. Brave the Dark – Bird Passengers
  6. Touch the Sky – Julie Fowlis
  7. Into the Open Air – Julie Fowlis
  8. Siúil A Rún – Lisa Kelly
  9. Girl Named Freedom – Lisa Kelly
  10. The Lark in the Clear Air – Loreena McKennitt
  11. To the Sky – Owl City
  12. Skylines – Glades
  13. Fairytale – Alexander Rybak
  14. Catch the Wind – Donovan
  15. Babel – Mumford & Sons
  16. Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes
  17. After the Storm – Mumford & Sons
  18. Dirty Paws – Of Monsters and Men
  19. I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
  20. 9 Crimes – Damien Rice
  21. Thirteen Sad Farewells – Stu Larsen
  22. Follow the Sun – Xavier Rudd
  23. Blue Skies – Noah and the Whale
  24. Sons and Daughters – Allman Brown, Liz Lawrence
  25. Daughters – John Mayer
  26. Daughters – Lissie
  27. His Daughter – Molly Kate Kestner
  28. Warrior Daughter – Wildwood Kin
  29. Beer Hands – Private Island
  30. The Monster – Eminem, Rihanna
  31. Touch the Sky – Hillsong United
  32. Noble Maiden Fair – Brave Soundtrack
  33. Learn Me Right – Karoline Sem Larm
  34. The Merry Sisters of Fate – Lúnasa
  35. He Mo Leannan (Hey my Love) – Mary Jane Lamond
  36. Under Pressure – Queen, David Bowie
  37. The Apple Tree – Nina Nesbitt
  38. Lon-dubh (Blackbird) – Julie Fowlis
  39. Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird a’ Chuan – Julie Fowlis
  40. Hug air a’ Bhonaid Mhoir – Julie Fowlis
  41. Tunes Set – Julie Fowlis
  42. Pride – Amy Macdonald
  43. The Whole of the Moon – The Waterboys
  44. Way in the World – Nina Nesbitt
  45. Don’t Stop Believing – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  46. Scottish Fiddle Jig – The Scottish Bagpipes Highland Pipes

 

Brave

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We start our movie list with our fiery haired heroine, Merida from Disney’s Brave. As the daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor, there is a certain life that Merida can look forward to. The life of a royal princess and future Queen of the Scottish lords. This means she must marry and she must behave herself. She’s supposed to learn from her mother and not bring her weapons to the dinner table. But Merida wasn’t born the perfect little princess and she believes her destiny lies on a different path from the one she was born with. What I love about Brave is that it’s the story of a tumultuous relationship between mother and daughter, not about a Princess falling in love with a Prince. This movie breaks from Disney Princess movie tradition and sets a precedent for Disney Princesses to come. It’s ain’t all about the man and given her choice among the sons of the Scottish lords vying for her hand…can you blame her? Respect, Merida! Respect.

Braveheart

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Staying in the borders of Scotland, the next movie on our Merida Inspo list is Braveheart, a natural follow-up movie to Brave! I mean…if you’ve never seen Braveheart then you’ve been living in a cave or you are like…6 years old and if it’s the latter, this blog is a little old for ya, kid! If it’s the former, welcome back to the world…go watch Braveheart! “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take…our FREEDOM!” No matter how you feel about the decline of Mel Gibson, that moment is still pure movie magic!!

Highlander

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Ok, the premise of Highlander and ensuing spin offs and sequels is intense. There are Immortals…they fight to the death and of course “there can only be one.” Connor MacLeod, our main character, is one such Immortal as is his and his mentor (hey Sean Connery.) This movie did very poorly when it came out in 1986, but has gained a cult following. And obviously became popular enough to garner Highlander II: The Quickening, Highlander III: The Sorcerer, Highlander: Endgame, Highlander: The Source, and not only a TV series, but an animated TV series as well! Dive in, but beware the Highlander current will sweep you away (or maybe not. I’ve personally never felt the need to watch any of the sequels.)

Hunger Games

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Bad ass chicks who shoot bow and arrows stick together! Katniss and Merida have plenty in common. Mommy issues? Check. Mad archery skills? Check. A destiny that calls them where they don’t want to go? Double check! This movie has plenty of those Brave vibes and you have to be brave to make it through the Hunger Games…see what I did there!

Lord of the Rings Trilogy

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Ok, it’s not Scotland, but there’s archery and sweeping country side and that’s about where the comparison between Brave and LOTR ends, but the Lord of the Rings trilogy basically belongs on every list…so, here it is!

Brigadoon

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Brigadoon has absolutely nothing in common with the above list of more action oriented movie, other than the Scottish thing…to tie it back to Brave. But it’s a classic Hollywood musical starring Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse and Van Johnson and is an absolute treasure, hence it’s addition to this list! Brigadoon is a disappearing town in the Highlands of Scotland that appears once every 100 years. One that Gene Kelly and Van Johnson happen upon when they are on holiday shooting grouse or whatever it is you shoot in Scotland. And guess which day they happen upon the usually wild and empty space where Brigadoon usually isn’t…yep, that 100th day. Gene meets Cyd and falls in love, obviously. But Gene and Van have lots of questions about this disappearing paradise, especially after a native tries to leave and gets shot in the process. Mystery abounds, love is in the air and there’s lots of singing!!

The Decoy Bride

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This one is a bit of a fringe choice and unless you are a big fan of the 10th Doctor and have actively searched out all you can find of David Tennant, you might not know anything about it. But this rom-com has 2 things going for it that are directly relevant to Brave. #1: It takes place on the island of Hegg, which “lies half-drowned and wind-battered, the furthermost drop of the outermost spray of the curling wave of the Outer Hebrides.” And #2: The Decoy Bride stars Kelly Macdonald, none other than the voice of Merida herself. It’s a simply adorable romantic comedy and on sick days, it is my go to feel better movie these days! Give it a watch, why don’t ya?!

#PrincessBootCamp – Merida Fitness Plan

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Princess Boot Camp Merida Week Nerd Fitness

Merida is easily one of the fittest princesses Disney has in cannon. She rides a horse and shoots a bow and is just generally on the move throughout the entirety of her movie, ‘Brave.’ That’s why the life of a royal doesn’t appeal to her. She has no interest in quietly sitting and weaving a tapestry. Not when there are archery competitions to enter and wide open spaces to ride through. No, for Merida, life is about moving and seeing and doing!

So this week…just keep moving. Keep Merida in your mind’s eye and pick up a new activity when you have some down time. It doesn’t have to be a horseback ride through the Scottish Highlands. Most of us don’t have easy access to horses all the time, at least I don’t. But use what you have around you to support your fitness. Yoga doesn’t require any equipment at all, neither does running.

But if you do want to try those activities that Merida might have partaken in, here’s a look at what you can do:

Archery

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It’s not as simple as point and shoot. Archery is a skill. One that, to be honest, I am not good at quite yet. The couple of times I’ve done archery, including for Merida Week and for Hawkeye week when I was an #AvengerinTraining, hasn’t quite been enough to provide proficiency, but it’s an activity I really love doing. Lining up the target, pulling back the bow and letting the arrow fly (far, far, far away from not only the bullseye, but the target itself) is a great feeling. If you’ve never tried archery, you should!

Horseback Riding

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Horseback riding is an activity that has a lot of different levels. You can go for a jaunty trail ride, which isn’t very challenging and doesn’t really take skill. Or you can learn how to horseback ride, which takes a lot more skill and does challenge you. Any level of horseback riding is a great activity for Merida week, but it’s the actual skill that I wanted to focus on. Though this is something that you cannot obtain after one session. It really requires a lot more dedication and practice. But an intro class to horseback riding is so much fun! And if you have a place near you that is decently priced, do it!

Scottish Dancing

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Ok, this one isn’t really something we see Merida do in Brave, but as I was flipping through the Sunday paper this week, my eye caught a posting for local Scottish Dancing and hello…I had to try it. This is definitely something that could be hard to come by based on where you are located. But always try your local paper or anywhere that might post local events. You never know what treasures await you!