This week we head to Medieval Scotland and find our inspiration in the Scottish Highlands with Merida from Disney’s Brave.
The story of Brave begins with a girl and her destiny. The fiery haired Merida wants nothing less than to be free to ride her horse through the country side, but her royal station in life dictates that she behave like a lady and marry a man worthy of her. Her mother takes great care to teach her such Queenly activities like making tapestries. Merida has no interest in that life and after finding a witch’s hut in the woods, finds a way around her current problem and casts a spell on her mother.
The spell backfires and Queen Elinor is turned into a bear and if the spell isn’t broken in time, Merida’s mother will end up that way permanently, just like her father’s arch nemesis Mor’du.
Brave is unique in the Disney cannon because it is the first time a Disney Princess isn’t looking for a Prince, trying to win the heart of a Prince or even ending up with a Prince in the end at all. Merida has no interest in marriage. She wants to live her own life and be free to choose her own path, not blindly follow destiny.
For this week’s meal plan, we take our inspiration from a traditional Scottish menu:
-Fish (salmon, trout, pike)
-Wild Game Meats: Venison, Quail, Pheasant, Boar (substitute Boar for plain old pork and Pheasant for plain old chicken if you must)
-Shellfish (mussels, oysters, lobster, crab)
-Haggis (if you can handle it!)
-butter and cheeses (moderate amounts)
-Fruits (Raspberries, Strawberries, Tayberries)
-Scottish Ale (in moderation)
This Scottish Menu is a little heavier than what I was used to, so I went really easier on the heavier things like potatoes and cheeses and the foods I’d never had before like Haggis! But I enjoyed this menu a lot!
One of my first orders of business last week (Cinderella Week) was to clean my parent’s pool and deck to get it ready for Ariel Week. One Princess helping another one out! With Cinderella’s hard work behind me, I was ready to dive in and get my swim on.
As a native Floridian, I’m no stranger to swimming. I love swimming, but I’ve never done it as a workout before and boy did it kick my ass!
This week, as I was eating fish and channeling my inner mermaid spirit, you could find me in my parent’s pool in the mornings. And let me tell you, Ariel week was in January…so that pool was frigid. Instead of being off putting, I found it strangely invigorating.
Since swimming is the only activity I chose to do for Ariel Week, I had to find ways to create variety in a single activity. I did some research on the different kinds of strokes and styles that swimmers do and tried to a little bit of each stroke every day I was working out (4 days a week.)
Here are the strokes I did:
-Mermaid Stroke (I made this one up)
Each day I swam, I did as many laps as I could of one style till my body started to get sluggish and my pace started to slow, then I’d switch to another stroke or style and on and on till I’d hit around 60 minutes of swimming.
It was slow going at first, but by day 4 I really started to feel stronger. I could go longer with each style and my rhythm and breathing improved. On the weekend, I added a bonus day at the beach so I could try some of the strokes and styles out in the ocean itself (home of all mermaids.) It was much more difficult to do in the freezing January ocean waves, but it was a fun challenge that I had spent the week preparing for and was able to handle.
Swimming is an activity that I decided would make an appearance in future workout schedules because I enjoyed it so much and saw quick results with consistency and that was just one week. Imagine what a month of swimming could accomplish.
One week can’t change your whole body. One week isn’t enough time to meet aggressive goals, like the ones I’d created for myself. But one week can start you down a better path. One week can wake you up to a better life. I don’t like to call this a diet…it’s not one. It’s a lifestyle. Now, am I going to live like this for the rest of my life? No. Will this work for everyone? No. Did I find success doing it? Yes. And the point is to share that success with you!
Because when I created it, I had no idea what would happen. But I learned that my success came from diving in with both feet and taking this challenge seriously. Success came from constantly staying in a Cinderella state of mind through my Food Plan, Fitness Plan, Movies and Music, and Fashion choices.
As I mentioned in my introduction, I gave up weighing myself for the whole of this 8 weeks. So, I can’t tell you how much weight I lost after the first week, but I know my arms felt stronger from cleaning and weeding and lifting. My legs were pleasantly sore from stairs and dancing. Sugar had no hold on me after this week and while I continued to take each day as they came, I started to believe that I could meet the goals I’d set for myself. It felt like I’d really created something that ensured a successful outcome for me.As a major league Disnerd, a fitness series based on Disney Princesses is right up my alley!
Starting is always the hardest part with it comes to a new fitness plan. At least for me it is. Months of eating poorly and choosing Netflix over any strenuous physical activity had left my body in very poor shape. I live in a 2nd floor apartment and stairs were quickly becoming my nemesis.
At the start of 2017, I chose the word “Believe” as my word of the year. I picked it at a time when I was having trouble believing in anything, myself least of all. But I saw this challenge as a chance to start believing again. And for the next 8 weeks, that’s what I did. I dove into #PrincessBootCamp with both feet and I started to believe that I could do things I hadn’t done in a long time, believe that I could do things I’d never tried before!
As I said in my introduction post, I’m in a different place than I was when I was an #AvengerinTraining and repeating what worked then simply wasn’t an option. So a new series was born.
Week 1 I focused on Cinderella.
Cinderella is the story of a girl who loses her mother, then loses her father and is left in the care of her evil stepmother and stepsisters. She is basically held captive by these uncaring women and with little love or compassion, is left to a life of slavery and cruelty. Her socio economic status makes it impossible for her to break free from this household.
Being the kind-hearted, optimistic young women she is, Cinderella takes each challenge as it comes to her and never lets it make her cruel or bitter herself. She is a hard worker who spends plenty of time dreaming of what could be. Does she dream of princes? Yes. But given her situation in life, and her view of the palace, can you blame her? It’s a tangible representation of the life she could have, if only…
Cinderella spends her days in the kitchen cooking for her “family,” in the garden working her fingers to the bone. She does the chores in the house and she makes sure everything is in working order. If there is back breaking work to be done, it falls to Cinderella’s slender shoulders and do we ever hear her utter one complaint in most of the movie adaptations? One bitter invective? No, we do not. This Princess is kind and persistent and she does not let the circumstance of her life change her kind heart. Now, that is something to aspire to!
In an effort to channel Cindy for this first week of #PrincessBootCamp I created a meal plan for the week based on what a 19th century peasant girl might have been eating at the time. My shopping list looked like this:
-whole grain bread (the cheapest kind)
-butter or low cost jams
-inexpensive cuts of meat (ie: ground beef, chicken, whatever is cheapest at the market)
-greens (brussel sprouts and spinach)
-apples, blackberries, raspberries
-water, water, water
Monday through Saturday, I adhered strictly to the above list and DID NOT DEVIATE…can I tell you what a win it was to make a plan and stick to it. Even for 6 days. It was a bloody triumph!!! Now the amount of food I ate from day to day varied. With an elevated level of activity, some days I needed more energy than others. And since all the food on my list was good stuff, I felt perfectly fine not counting the calories and just trusting my body. I also gave up weighing myself for the whole 8 weeks. In fact, I encourage you to do the same with any fitness plan you take on. That scale becomes a crutch very quickly if we let it. Don’t let it!
On the seventh day, I let myself go to the ball and I indulged in a delicious piece of chocolate cake from my favorite place in Winter Park: The Briar Patch. In order to fully embrace your inner Cinderella, you have to accept that home girl probably got her eat on at that ball, despite what we see on screen! I think she would have taken the chance to taste something delicious at some point in the night. Even if she was short on time and dazzled by a handsome prince! Think what you want…I choose to believe in the power of cake!
Today I want to talk about Princes. From a young, young age, little girls are taught about the Princes. “Someday My Prince Will Come.” “Kiss a frog, you might find a prince.” I just want to ask, where are all these Princes?
Obviously America is not a monarch nation. So we don’t actually have any of the Princes over here. And while we know they do exist, what is the point of dreaming of Princes? Yes, if you dream it it can happen. Believe all things. Dream all things. I don’t believe in limiting the imagination. But I just wonder about this Prince thing. Is it purely an invention of the House of Mouse? Or have girls been dreaming of Princes for far longer than we know?
In Europe and many other nations, dreaming of Princes is definitely a valid thing. They have them over there. They’ve had them over there for a very long time. So it makes sense that little girls and little boys might dream of handsome princes. I’ve never been one to dream of Princes. Sure, I have my favorite Disney Princes (we’ll get into that later.) But it was never an actual dream of mine to marry a Prince. If the Princess Diaries and The Prince and Me taught us anything, it’s that Princessing is really hard work. I’d have to fall hard for a Prince to want to take up a crown.
But, just for fun, let’s take a look at the Princely options today’s world has to offer. These are the, as yet, unmarried Princes.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai
Hussein Bin Abdullah, Crown Prince of Jordan
Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark
Prince Wenzeslaus of Liechtenstein
Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg
Prince Albert of Thurn and Taxis
Prince Nicholas of Romania
Prince Joachim of Belgium
Prince Lorenzo Borghese
Prince Harry of Wales (Hubba, Hubba, if I’m being honest!)
Prince Azim of Brunei
Prince (Farewell!! We miss you so!)
Personally, I’d pick Prince Royce out of all the Princes on this list. Which Prince would you let steal your heart?
On the subject of friendships that will not be stopped by distance, hard times or stormy weather! Two of my quality handful came down to sunny, ole Florida for Ladies’ Weekend and it was completely epic!!
Thursday, I picked the girls up from the airport and revels were had!
On Friday, the three of us boarded the Hogwarts express and headed for that magical land known as Universal, home of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!! Where we represented each of our houses in style.
I am the resident Gryffindor…brave, daring, chivalrous, courageous.
Erin is the our Hufflepuff…loyal, kind, honest and friendly.
And Cristina is our Slytherin…cunning, ambitious, determined, a leader.
Together we are a powerful force to be reckoned with and while it’s true that we didn’t have a Ravenclaw to bring along on this trip, we really weren’t missing one. We are quite possibly the best traveling companions. Cristina is the planner, the one who keeps us organized and on schedule. I’m the one who makes sure we veer off schedule every once in a while and allows the wind to blow us here and there. And Erin steadies the two of our opposing forces. We are stronger together and it made for the most delightful day!
Check out our Harry Potter adventures on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #SlytherGryffinPuff
Saturday, we were off to the other magical place in Florida…the most magical place in all the land (sorry Harry, the House of Mouse wins!) Disney World!! We had lofty goals and were going to attempt all four parks! We made it to everything we wanted to do at Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom and ended up in Epcot for dinner and fireworks. (Sadly Animal Kingdom had to be sacrificed for the greater good.) The best part of all is that months ago we decided to Disney Bound for our magical day. And we had a blast!
I was Rapunzel.
Erin was Belle.
And Cristina was Snow White.
(Cristina is a crafty princess who managed not to get her individual princess portrait taken….. clearly a Slytherin!)
For more from these gorgeous creatures who I am lucky enough to call friends, go check out their blogs. Yep…they’re both bloggers. Imagine that!
The weekend may be over, but these friendships will last forever!! Next year we are deciding between New Orleans and Las Vegas and 2018 will see us in London for the most epic #SlytherGryffinPuff expedition ever imagined.
Today’s is one of my favorite Disney princesses. Though not my very favorite (hint: brunette, blue bow, reads a lot.)
But ‘Hail to the Princess Aurora,’ none the less!
To create this Disney perfect hair, I used my straightener to create curls facing towards my face. Then I made a big roll curl with my bangs in the front and topped it off with a black headband from Claire’s.