by Lori Cunningham @wellconnectdmom
As you know, I love technology but another one of my interests is health and fitness. Taking care of my body through nutrition and exercise gives me hope in knowing my body can better fight off cancers, shorten illness lengths, increase my lifespan, and give my children a good example of how to do the same in their lives. When I heard from fellow MomsLA blogger, Leah Segedie, about Fitcation 2012, I was all over it. Fitcation took place August 16-19th and there were only 20 spots available. Fitcation was part nutrition/exercise and part fun.
Fitcation stems out of a great support community called Mamavation. Mamavation.com is an online support group that offers women the opportunity to go through a 7 week online bootcamp with a personalized fitness and nutritional plan, complete with mentors and a growing community of Mamavation Mamas who have already been through it and support each other. I have not had the privilege to be a part of the Mamavation community, but I can tell you, they are tight. Everyone really seemed to know each other well and had much to laugh at, that had been discussed online. Participants were from current and past campaigns and all just wonderful beautiful women who are making healthy changes for their own lives and the lives of their children.
Mark Segedie, @MrBookieboo
Shelly Oswald, @Momma_oz
Alysa Bejenaru, @InspiredRD
Kia Ruiz, @Bodhi_bear
Amanda O’Dair, @beeacutie2
Andrea Emilien @AndreaEmilien
Angela Bishop, @Ninemoremonths
April Ockerman, @InsightsbyApril
Caryn Bailey, @Rockinmama
Krista Swan, @Kristalswan
Lena Burkut, @elenka29
Lolo M., @Mybaybah
Lori Cunningham, @Wellconnectedmom
Megan Herbert, @mnmspecial
Meagan Carter, @NcCarterFamily
Pamela Kramer, @PamelaMKramer
Resa Barillas, @ResaMichelle
Shannon Sander, @Ariesmommy
Tina Kelley, @Madhattermom
Wendy Del Monte, @Weightsover
I just loved turning on the chandelier in our room at night, it felt so luxurious!
My roomie, Caryn Bailey of RockinMama.net in the lobby of the Four Seasons. We had some good laughs.
As we were exploring the grounds, I found this fun little getaway – it’s a private pool suite you can rent, just 20 steps away from the main pool.
One of the highlights of Fitcation was visiting Dole Foods‘ headquarters, just a short walk across the street from the Four Seasons hotel. The lobby was magnificent. It reminded me of being in Hawaii, as it had similar island decor. In my former life, I worked for Nestle USA, which wasn’t too far away from Dole Foods. It’s been a while since I’ve visited a food company. One of my favorite places at Nestle was the Test Kitchens, and Dole Foods’ Test Kitchens didn’t disappoint…
Dole Foods made a healthy version of oatmeal cookies for us and talked to us about their philosophy of making healthy foods available in ready-to-eat portions. People will eat healthier choices if fruits and healthy snacks are in easy, consumable packaging. Dole Foods is so strongly committed to offering healthy products, that they make all of their sliced fruit bowls in natural fruit juices. Dole is the only company that does this with their fruit bowls. I know because I never offered fruit bowls to my kids before because of the heavy syrups. Several years ago I discovered Dole was using real fruit juices and I have been buying them for my kids ever since.
Dole made us some of their famous Pineapple Banana Hummingbird Mini Loaves, and let me tell you, they were delish! You’ve got to try the recipe for yourselves! Yum!
Dole treated us to a wonderful breakfast with fresh fruit, baked goods, and a fantastic view. Dole employees get to take in the serenity of this beautiful “backyard” everyday along with their lunch.
One of Dole Foods’ new products is Portobello Mushroom powder. Most people are not getting enough Vitamin D naturally from the sun due to the fear of sun burning and the heavy use of sunblock. As a result, our bodies are depleted of this important vitamin. Mushrooms are the only vegetable source that provides Vitamin D. We tried sprinkling the Portobello powder in our oatmeal cookies…and our yogurt to get some extra Vitamin D for the day. The powder has a cocoa smell and taste to it. We found it to be quite yummy in the yogurt parfait two of us tried it in. We each brought a bottle home to sneak into our cooking.
On Saturday, we drove around in a private van to tour many of the highlights of Los Angeles. We visited the local beaches, downtown, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Olvera Street, and more. Above is a shot of Capital Records, an icon in Hollywood. I have visited many of the tourists sights over the years, usually giving the tour and driving “the bus.” But on this day, I was the tourist and could sit back and enjoy the show.
And of course, in Venice Beach, there’s always some sort of “show” going on. This skillful Aboriginal impostor utilized wooden snakes to make his act more engaging. No doubt, he captured people’s attention!
After a long day of sightseeing, we rested in this posh private room of the popular Middle Eastern restaurant, Marakeesh, in Studio City. We were graced with a wonderful belly dancer with a warm smile twice during our fantastic dinner. Although this picture doesn’t show it, most of us got up and danced with her. However, as the available floor space was long and narrow, those of us at the end of the room had a different interpretation of the belly dance as we could only see the person in front of us. I’m afraid the belly dancer would have been appalled by my attempt at belly dance. LOL! A big thank you out to Leading Lady Bras for sponsoring this great dinner!
But Fitcation wasn’t all fun and games. We had workouts too…every morning! I was really looking forward to the workouts until our alarm rang each morning. I found my motivation was lacking in the morning. Fortunately, everyone was counting on my roomied, Caryn, and I to attend, there’s nothing like good old peer pressure to get you to do things that you SHOULD be doing. I can see why Mamavation is so popular! Here, OC Fit Body Bootcamp led our first morning workout. I was sore for 5 days afterwards. I didn’t expect that since I walk hills often as a part of my morning fitness. Our coach worked us hard!
Here is more my speed, this morning workout was provided by Hoopnotica. I was really looking forward to this workout, but was nervous because I have never been able to hula hoop before. Well, as you can see, I’m doing it! The Hoopnotica hoops are bigger and heavier than a normal hula hoop, making it easier to hula hoop. They also come apart into pieces and bundled up so you can carry them around easily. Our instructor taught us some great moves and how to dance while hooping. I still have some practice in the dance department, but fortunately, Hoopnotica provided us with the hoop and a video to learn at home. Hula hooping is a lot of fun and provides a great workout, who would have known?
In addition to the fun long weekend, we were treated with bags full of fun, healthy things to take home with us. New Balance provided us all with fun purple sport shoes and Dole Foods was generous with products and full-value coupons to try additional products. SIP Certified provided a variety of great wines in the evenings along with another company providing a new product called Coco Breve, which is a premium malt beverage with coconut milk and natural flavorings. It gives you a healthier alternative to beer and other wine coolers.
All in all, I had a fun long weekend with the Mamavation girls. If you’re fighting with your weight and could use some camaraderie, accountability, and support, I highly recommend Mamavation. Weight loss can happen if you do it alone, but it is such a more enjoyable journey if you do it with others going through the same thing and know what you’re going through. Leah Segedie, founder of Mamavation and Fictation, genuinely cares about their growing community and is committed to everyone’s individual success. Thank you, Leah, for the opportunity to share in this wonderful Fitcation experience!
* I was provided with all of the items listed in this post as a part of attending Fitcation. I paid a fee for being a part of this fun adventure. All opinions are uniquely mine.