#PrincessBootCamp Recap

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

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 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 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 Meal Plan

Disney Princess boot Camp Merida Week fitness nerd blog post
Princess Boot Camp Merida Week Nerd Fitness
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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.

Merida Week

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)

-Oats

-Wild Game Meats: Venison, Quail, Pheasant, Boar (substitute Boar for plain old pork and Pheasant for plain old chicken if you must)

-Turnips

-Potatoes

-Leeks

-Cabbage

-Shellfish (mussels, oysters, lobster, crab)

-Haggis (if you can handle it!)

-butter and cheeses (moderate amounts)

-Fruits (Raspberries, Strawberries, Tayberries)

-Scottish Ale (in moderation)

-Breakfast Tea

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!

#PrincessBootCamp – Rapunzel Meal Plan

Princess Boot Camp Rapunzel Week Disney Fitness Blog
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Rapunzel is a young girl who was taken from her family as a baby and raised by an evil woman in a tower. She is a hopeful dreamer who thinks that there must be something beyond the borders of her little tower. She is a trusting, happy soul who never once stops to question why she has to stay in the tower in the first place.

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This week, we are focusing on Rapunzel as represented by Disney Studios in Tangled. If you are unfamiliar with the original, more gruesome version…look it up. That is not the one we are focusing on, but it’s interesting to read the original fairytales and wonder, how in the world Disney saw the happy, romance in such cautionary tales? I pose that question to you.

But aside from that, we are talking Rapunzel. She of the impossibly long and enchanted hair. For our meal plan this week, we’re getting creative. This is probably a province of England, though no one has accents…so choosing a menu based on region proves a little more difficult this week. Instead we are focusing on foods that are inspired by the movie Tangled and foods particularly helpful in promoting healthy hair growth.

Here’s our shopping list this week:

-angel hair pasta (get it!)

-flaxseed (great addition to smoothies and yogurts)

-Fruits (blackberries, apples, strawberries, etc.)

-Spinach and/or Kale

-Brussel Sprouts and Green Beans

-grilled Chicken, pork and/or beef

-Hazelnut Soup (Rapunzel’s favorite)

-beans and nuts (for extra sources of protein)

Like I said, this shopping list is a little more whimsical than the other princesses. I hope you enjoy it!

#PrincessBootCamp – Mulan Meal Plan

Disney Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week Chinese meal plan fitness nerd blog post

Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week Disney Fitness Blog

After a brief hiatus, we are charging forward into Week 4: Mulan Week! This week we are in China and studying all about Chinese culture, foods and fitness all while keeping Mulan herself as the central inspiration for the week.

When the Emperor sends out conscription notices to every family in the face of a looming attack from the Huns, Fa Mulan takes the place of her father, Fa Zhou, who is too old to fight. In an effort to spare her father, Mulan disguises herself as a man and uses the moniker, “Ping” to gain access to the training camp and not only pretends to be a soldier in the Emperor’s army, but eventually becomes one!

Disney Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week Chinese meal plan fitness nerd blog post
Photo by Cristina Fowler (@thelittlestfowler)

With the help of Mushu, a diminutive dragon who was decidedly NOT sent by Mulan’s ancestors to aid her, Mulan manages to find her place in the world in the most unlikely way. She discovers a strength in herself that was not permitted for women at the time. And, in turn, becomes the hero she deserves to be. (And in the meantime she gets the hots for Captain Li Shang, voiced by very American actor, Donny Osmond.)

Mulan is voiced by Chinese actress, Ming-Na Wen (most recently Agent May on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), while her singing voice is Lea Salonga (also the voice of Jasmine.)

This is another movie that lives in that happy place for me. I was a freshman in high school when this movie came out and was still very much into Disney movies! So despite it’s flaws, I can easily find it’s virtues. But I can also call a spade a spade and recognize that Disney could have done a lot better to do justice to Chinese culture and representation.

That being said, here’s a look at my meal plan for Mulan Week, which includes a rich assortment of Chinese foods:

-green tea

-meat (chicken, pork and moderate amounts of red meat)

-Chinese fruits (kiwi, lychee, dragon fruit, pomelo, rambutan, ya pear)

disney Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week Meal Plan
Rambutan…tricky to get into, but ultimately delicious!

-Chinese vegetables (bok choy, napa cabbage, water spinach, watercress, pea shoots, bitter melon)

-Other vegetables (broccoli, green beans, carrots, cauliflower)

-soy sauce (use very moderately or swap out regular sauce for a low sodium or light version)

-soup at every meal (the Chinese believe in yin and yang meals that consist of wet and dry foods together)

-white rice (another thing to eat moderately)

A note about switching from a Native American (Pocahontas Week) meal plan to a Chinese (Mulan Week) meal plan. It was a drastic change for my stomach and I tried very hard to ease into the new assortment of foods. I had never tried some of these fruits and vegetables, which was a lot of fun. But it meant that I didn’t know how they would effect me. Just be careful and try things in small amounts and who knows, you might discover some delicious flavors you’ll want to keep eating after Mulan Week is over! I personally loved the Chinese ya pear. It is a fruit I have added to my shopping list permanently!!

There are plenty of other Chinese foods to choose from, this is just the shopping list I was working with. I tried to keep it balanced with the food groups I’d already been working with. Fruit, lots and lots of vegetables, very moderate grains, and meats. The new piece to this week’s equation was the balance of wet foods and dry foods creating the yin/yang meals found in an average Chinese diet. Another interesting fact I found out, the Chinese believe vegetables to be more of a main course item than meat. So a lot of the recipes are veggie centric, which I really enjoyed! Stir-fry was an easy go to for dinners when I wanted something filling and easy to make.

Disney Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week Meal Plan stir Fry nerd blog post

Enjoy!!

#PrincessBootCamp – Pocahontas Week Meal Plan

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

Week 3 has begun and it’s all about Pocahontas.

Princess Boot Camp Pocahontas Week Disney Fitness Blog

Pocahontas is a great Princess to find fitspiration with and incidentally she is the Disney Princess I find myself relating to most. (No one is making a case for historical accuracy here. Favorite things often defy reason and logic!) Pocahontas is free-spirited, strong, fiercely independent and has her own way of looking at life that often contradicts her upbringing.

The older I get, the more I feel like Pocahontas sometimes. I don’t always fit in with “the way of things.” I’m over 30 and unmarried and sometimes I feel like life is waiting for me “Just Around the Riverbend.”

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

This week, particularly, I felt very connected to the fitness that I was doing and the foods that I was eating. This week’s meal plan is based on what Native Americans were eating in the early 16th century. Here’s a look at Pocahontas Week shopping list:

-lobster, oysters, shrimp

-corn

-berries (black, rasp, blue, straw)

-nuts and seeds (peanuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc)

-pumpkin

-wild game (I don’t like game meats, so I substituted pork and called it wild boar!)

-beans

-honey

-wild rice

-eggs

-greens

This shopping list offered a lot of variety and I felt so healthy this week because everything was very natural. This is a week to appreciate what the Earth can give us in the way of natural foods. Mother Earth provides everything we could ever need. And I had no desire or cravings for processed or refined foods. I started to feel much better in my own skin.

I still haven’t checked to see how much weight I’ve actually lost, as far as numbers on a scale go. But I started to find myself wondering about it less and less and actually focusing on how much healthier I was feeling. How much more I appreciated my muscles after working them. I took note of the way the different foods I was eating made me feel and discovered that dairy wasn’t sitting so well with me and quickly decided to cut it out altogether. Something amazing happens when you listen to your body…it starts communicating with you. That was new!

#PrincessBootCamp – Ariel Week Meal Plan

Princess Boot Camp Ariel Week Disney Fitness Blog

I made it through Cinderella Week, ready and energized to head into Week 2. If you missed all that Week 1 had to offer CLICK HERE.

Week 2 I looked Under the Sea to Ariel:

Princess Boot Camp Ariel Week Disney Fitness Blog

Now, to be honest with you, while I have loved the movie, The Little Mermaid, since I was a little girl, as a grown woman I’ve got problems up and down with Ariel as a Disney Princess and role model heroine.

The Little Mermaid is the story of a mermaid princess who is unhappy in her royal circumstance. She wants to see what is beyond the borders of the ocean into the world of men. But guess what…she doesn’t have legs or the ability to be on land for extended periods of time. It doesn’t help that she saves a hunky sailor, Prince Eric, from certain death and falls instantly in love with him.

After making a deal with an evil octopedal sea witch, she is given mere days to make the handsome Prince fall in love with her or else doom herself to returning to the sea (where she lives, grew up and has a loving family.) The catch is…she must head to land with no voice to aid in her quest. That doesn’t stop Prince Eric from finding her on the beach, taking her into his home, almost kissing her and starting to fall in love with her. So many issues. And yet so many fun songs and memorable moments that have stayed with me from childhood.

Who among us doesn’t want to live the #mermaidlife? That’s not to say Ariel doesn’t have redeeming qualities. She has bravery and purpose driven ambition to see beyond her borders. These days we call that wanderlust. The whole ocean is her palace and yet she dreams of dancing and walking and strolling down the street. These things we humans take for granted. (That’s really stretching to give her redemption as a character, but hey, I tried!) Here’s a funny Buzzfeed post poking fun at this beloved Disney Classic (there is language in this post.)

Princess Boot Camp Ariel Week Disney Fitness Blog
Photo by Cristina Fowler @thelittlestfowler

Obviously for a Ariel Week Meal Plan, we’re gonna be looking to the sea. Here is week 2’s shopping list:

-fresh fish (tilapia, salmon, sea bass, grouper, etc)

-scallops

-shrimp

-lobster

-crab

-sushi is an option this week

-fruits (I stuck with more tropical fruits like starfruit, pineapple and mango)

-veggies (seaweed, lettuce, spinach, cabbage)

-coconut oil (for cooking)

-coconut and seaweed snacks

-fruit infused water

There are extensive debates about a typical mermaid diet. Would Ariel have eaten fish and lobster given that her two best friends were a fish (Flounder) and a lobster (Sebastian)? You can decide for yourself if you want to go ocean vegan or not. I didn’t. Lobster best friend…look away!!

Whether you go vegan or not, may I specifically recommend these delicious vegan snacks as options this week: Go Raw Coconut Crisps & Sea Gift’s Roasted Sea Weed Snacks. I tried to stay as natural as I could, but sometimes throughout the day you just need a crunchy snack. These 2 products are delicious and won’t ruin any progress you’re making.

#PrincessBootCamp – Cinderella Week Meal Plan

Cinderella Week Princess Boot Camp Fitness Blog Disney

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 Week Princess Boot Camp Fitness Blog Disney

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…

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Photo by Cristina Fowler @thelittlestfowler

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

-oatmeal/porridge

-eggs

-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

-tea

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!

Next up: Cinderella Week Fitness Plan