Coach Dean
Author Archives: Coach Dean

Are You Sensitive (to food that is)? [Infographic]

Could giving up make you feel better?

Dean Carlson, Pn2


True story. I had been eating the same breakfast almost every day for a couple years. Greek yogurt with a scoop of UMP whey protein mixed in. It was my favorite! High protein, really tasty, and so quick and easy to make. What I didn't know is that it was also the cause of some of the "intestinal distress" I was having at times.


And then we did our first "21-Day Detox", which is really more accurately called an elimination diet. The purpose is to remove some foods that are associated with allergies and sensitivities, and then gradually add them back in and see what happens. What I found out after adding dairy back in is that it made me really sick! My stomach was not happy at all. And I confirmed it was not a "one off" situation by trying to add it back more than once, and each time things didn't go too well.

It's a possibility that you also have a food sensitivity, and like me, you don't even know it. 

There are a wide variety of foods that can contribute to sensitivities, two of the more common being dairy and wheat, but also certain citrus fruits, nightshades (ask Tom Brady), and even certain spices and sweeteners.

So what?

Well, food sensitivities can affect anything from your general health, your skin, even your mood. And they are not necessarily benign, as the GI issues they can cause can create a damaging cascading effect on the rest of your body.

Elimination diets seek to "hunt down" what might be causing the issue by removing certain foods, temporarily, and then slowly reintroducing them. Like me, you might find a certain food make you feel pretty ucky. Other times you may notice other symptoms, such as a runny nose, which can often happen when reintroducing wheat. Hmmm....

Take a look at the infographic below, and then Print This Guide and see if an elimination diet might be a good idea for you.

Sound like a daunting task? Knowing what to do isn't always easy, but we can help you make sense of it. Contact Us Here to find out how The Grateful Plate nutrition coaching works, and why nutrition coaching can help smooth out the rough spots.

You can also check out the accompanying article by our friends at Precision Nutrition: Food sensitivities and intolerances: How to do an elimination diet.  for a more in depth study of elimination diets.

You po-TA-to I po-TOT-o. Who wins? [Infographic]

There is no debate!

Dean Carlson, Pn2


I'll raise my hand and plead "guilty", because I too have been caught up in this debate. The reality is that choosing between sweet potatoes and "regular" potatoes is like choosing between a BMW and a Mercedes. I think most of us would be happy with either. So it's even cooler when we don't have to choose and can have both!


It's really easy to get caught in the weeds when we are talking about what we "should" and "shouldn't" eat. 

We are bombarded daily with seemingly contradictory "evidence" that this or that food is good or bad.

So it's really no surprise that something as humble as the potato got caught up in one of these fierce discussions. I mean it seems to make sense that since potatoes are one of the dreaded "white" foods, like bread, pasta or rice, that avoiding them is probably better.

And if the only way you are eating potatoes is in the form of french fries, you probably are better off keeping them off your plate. 

But both white and sweet potatoes, as part of a balanced and intentional diet, provide a great variety of nutrients and are just plain tasty!

Download this infographic from my friends at Precision Nutrition to learn more and find out when you can and should consider adding them to your nutrition plan.

Pretty cool huh? Share this infographic with your family and friends by downloading it here.

Want to learn more?

Most of us know that getting enough sleep, moving more, eating well and stress management are important for looking and feeling great. But often there is a gap between knowing and doing, right?

At The Grateful Plate, we help you close that gap and make it easier in the context of an already too busy, stressful life. Check Out how we help people stop dieting and start living healthier lives, one step at a time.

Sugar Free Me Is Here!

Sugar Free Me Is Here!

I can't even begin to tell you how pumped up I am to be teaming up with Dan DeFigio, the bestselling author of "Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies", to help you get off sugar and help you take back control of your eating.

The goal of Sugar Free Me is ambitious. To give you the education, resources and support you need to overcome your addiction to sugar and carbs, and regain control of your life!

Now some of you may think I am going overboard with the word "addiction". After all while we know eating too much sugar isn't great for us, does it really reach that level? Evidence suggests it can, as sugar has been shown to stimulate the same pleasure centers of the brain as some drugs.

I don't think it's any big secret that sugar and sweets are a big "go-to" when we are stressed, or tired, or lonely. The kick of dopamine that sugar gives us can lead to a very destructive cycle, actually altering our neural pathways , and it's also no secret the cycle of sugar addiction can be hard to beat.

What Is Sugar Free Me?

Sugar Free Me is a 28-day step-by-step education, accountability, and strategy course that helps you understand the root causes of sugar addiction, how to address them to create your plan of action, and help you kick the cycle of eating excess sugar.

What we are going to learn:

  • How to create your "New Normal"
  • The Different Types of Sugar Addicts
  • Meal Planning
  • The Anti-Craving Blueprint
  • Sustainable Nutrition
  • How To Fall Off The Wagon and Still Win
  • What To Do When A Craving Does Strike

We are also going to fill up your "Sugar Free Me Toolbox" with six new tools that are going to help you Avoid Temptation, Find and Avoid Your Food Triggers, and explore What You REALLY Want when you reach for the sweets. (Hint: It's not sugar)

The most valuable thing you are going to get over the course of this course (see what I did there) 🙂 is daily accountability and incredible support from both those taking this journey with you and our incredible team of coaches.

You will have your own account created in a really cool program called "Coach Catalyst". Every day you will get an email or message to your phone that delivers your daily "Sugar Free Me" lesson and asks the question: "Did you avoid eating all added sugars yesterday?" 

Don't underestimate the power of answering that daily question honestly. This simple action does a couple of very important things. It creates a record for you to look back on and evaluate under what conditions and in what circumstances you tend to reach for the sweets. But it also helps your coach know when you need a little extra help to get moving in the right direction.

You also get access to our Private Facebook page, where you can hang out with folks on the same journey and where your coaches can offer more support. We have found these groups are a powerful way to stay connected and see that you are not the only one struggling. Take advantage of this page!

I really appreciate Dan making his resources and expertise in this area available to us. His full online course is priced at $95, but we are able to offer the 28-Day Sugar Free Me course for only $27. This is an incredible deal for everything you get!

The "Sugar Free Me" Challenge Officially Starts Monday, October 2, 2017, but don't be "that guy", and sign up today!  As a bonus, you will get immediate early access into the Facebook Support group. 

A Personal Note from Coach Dean

​For someone who loves sweets (like I do), you may be wondering what you might be getting yourself into.

As with anything we do that is "new", it's going to take a little time to adjust to your "new normal". Here's a thought to consider.

Did you know that one of the keys to success and happiness in life is to practice self-compassion?

We are SO hard on ourselves when we don't live up to our expectations for ourselves, and that usually leads to a downward spiral of guilt and feelings of failure. I have lived it, and it usually meant reaching for more food. That's how I got to 280 pounds.

But I learned really fast that to take it off I needed more than education (I knew eating junk food wasn't good for me), or more willpower (when I am tired or feeling blue I have none). I needed a strategy for dealing with the inevitable stuff that comes up to derail me perfect plans - I think it's called life! 🙂

And that is what Sugar Free Me is all about. Sure there is an education component involved, but more importantly we are going to give you real world strategies to set yourself up to succeed, including what to do if (when) you aren't perfect and fall off the wagon.

No program is magic. Change takes effort and self-reflection. It takes a willingness to step out of your comfort zone and embrace something new. 

Salespeople everywhere are going to shudder, but DON'T invest in this program if you can't or won't take the 10 or 15 minutes a day it will take to read the lessons and get involved with the group. The last thing I want is for you to have another reason to beat yourself up. 

If you want to talk to me or another coach to see if this 28-Day focus is right for you, you can drop us a line here.

To your success,

Coach Dean

28-Day “Sugar Free Me” Coaching

I can't even begin to tell you how pumped up I am to be teaming up with Dan DeFigio, the bestselling author of "Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies", to help you get off sugar and help you take back control of your eating.

The goal of Sugar Free Me is ambitious. To give you the education, resources and support you need to overcome your addiction to sugar and carbs, and regain control of your life!

Now some of you may think I am going overboard with the word "addiction". After all while we know eating too much sugar isn't great for us, does it really reach that level? Evidence suggests it can, as sugar has been shown to stimulate the same pleasure centers of the brain as some drugs.

I don't think it's any big secret that sugar and sweets are a big "go-to" when we are stressed, or tired, or lonely. The kick of dopamine that sugar gives us can lead to a very destructive cycle, actually altering our neural pathways , and it's also no secret the cycle of sugar addiction can be hard to beat.

What Is Sugar Free Me?

Sugar Free Me is a 28-day step-by-step education, accountability, and strategy course that helps you understand the root causes of sugar addiction, how to address them to create your plan of action, and help you kick the cycle of eating excess sugar.

What we are going to learn:

  • How to create your "New Normal"
  • The Different Types of Sugar Addicts
  • Meal Planning
  • The Anti-Craving Blueprint
  • Sustainable Nutrition
  • How To Fall Off The Wagon and Still Win
  • What To Do When A Craving Does Strike

We are also going to fill up your "Sugar Free Me Toolbox" with six new tools that are going to help you Avoid Temptation, Find and Avoid Your Food Triggers, and explore What You REALLY Want when you reach for the sweets. (Hint: It's not sugar)

The most valuable thing you are going to get over the course of this course (see what I did there) 🙂 is daily accountability and incredible support from both those taking this journey with you and our incredible team of coaches.

You will have your own account created in a really cool program called "Coach Catalyst". Every day you will get an email or message to your phone that delivers your daily "Sugar Free Me" lesson and asks the question: "Did you avoid eating all added sugars yesterday?" 

Don't underestimate the power of answering that daily question honestly. This simple action does a couple of very important things. It creates a record for you to look back on and evaluate under what conditions and in what circumstances you tend to reach for the sweets. But it also helps your coach know when you need a little extra help to get moving in the right direction.

You also get access to our Private Facebook page, where you can hang out with folks on the same journey and where your coaches can offer more support. We have found these groups are a powerful way to stay connected and see that you are not the only one struggling. Take advantage of this page!

I really appreciate Dan making his resources and expertise in this area available to us. His full online course is priced at $95, but we are able to offer the 28-Day Sugar Free Me course for only $27. This is an incredible deal for everything you get!

The next "Sugar Free Me" starts October 2, 2017!

A Personal Note from Coach Dean

​For someone who loves sweets (like I do), you may be wondering what you might be getting yourself into.

As with anything we do that is "new", it's going to take a little time to adjust to your "new normal". Here's a thought to consider.

Did you know that one of the keys to success and happiness in life is to practice self-compassion?

We are SO hard on ourselves when we don't live up to our expectations for ourselves, and that usually leads to a downward spiral of guilt and feelings of failure. I have lived it, and it usually meant reaching for more food. That's how I got to 280 pounds.

But I learned really fast that to take it off I needed more than education (I knew eating junk food wasn't good for me), or more willpower (when I am tired or feeling blue I have none). I needed a strategy for dealing with the inevitable stuff that comes up to derail me perfect plans - I think it's called life! 🙂

And that is what Sugar Free Me is all about. Sure there is an education component involved, but more importantly we are going to give you real world strategies to set yourself up to succeed, including what to do if (when) you aren't perfect and fall off the wagon.

No program is magic. Change takes effort and self-reflection. It takes a willingness to step out of your comfort zone and embrace something new. 

Salespeople everywhere are going to shudder, but DON'T invest in this program if you can't or won't take the 10 or 15 minutes a day it will take to read the lessons and get involved with the group. The last thing I want is for you to have another reason to beat yourself up. 

If you want to talk to Nancy or I to see if this 28-Day focus is right for you, you can drop us a line here.

To your success,

Coach Dean

Nutrition strategies for injury recovery. [Infographic]

Food and supplements that speed healing.

by Dean Carlson, Pn2


Injured? Tired and more sore than usual? You can help speed the healing process with the right strategy. Check out these powerful tips on nutrition for injury recovery, and get back to hard training faster!


The Number 1 goal we have in our training facilities is Injury Prevention. We say it over and over again; "If you are injured, you can't train".

But Injuries do happen. And while we don't accept them as normal, we do want to get back in the game as quickly as possible.

Just like good nutrition is a powerful ally in gaining and maintaining your general health, it can be even more important when recovering from injury. But most of us probably think "ice pack" and never think about all the complex mechanisms that sprang into action to start the healing process. And it may have never even crossed our mind that our nutrition can help speed the healing process.

Let's change that right now!

Click Here for a fully printable version of this infographic. If you have a buddy that trains somewhere else 🙂 and is getting hurt all the time, print a copy out and give him a helping hand.

If you want to know more about the science behind nutrition and injury recovery, check out this video series by Dr. John Berardi.

Eat, move, and live... better.

The health and fitness world can be a confusing place, but it doesn't have to be. 

We have created a special report (it's kind of a personal story, actually), to help you make sense of it all. 

You'll learn how to Stop Dieting, or starving yourself, or spending hours in the gym chasing weight loss and fitness.

Click here to read the story.

ProCoach Nutrition Coaching Secrets [Infographic]

How THIS system helped me lose over 100 pounds and KEEP it off...nearly a decade later.

by Precision Nutrition Master Coach Dean Carlson, Pn2


Here is the step-by-step system that helped me, and has and is helping thousands of other people, reach their health and body composition goals. 


Remember the old Victor Kiam commercials "I loved the shaver so much I bought the company?" (yeah, I am that old). Same kind of thing for me. My results using the ProCoach based system convinced me to become a PN certified master coach. ProCoach is not a diet, it's about learning the skills needed to get results. It's not magic, but proven science.

I am excited to share an infographic that MY nutrition coach and mentor Dr. John Berardi created. Print out your own coaching secrets guide, and start practicing the "Five S" Formula today!

Take these tips with you by downloading the fully printable version here.

Want to read more about how to put these coaching secrets into action that will make a difference? 

Learn how to get off the diet roller coaster and build lifelong nutrition skills. Read the "Stop Dieting" story here.

Eating For Two? What to eat during pregnancy (Infographic)

Are you really eating for two? How the food you eat affects you and your baby.

by Coach Nancy Carlson, Pn2


Staying healthy while we are pregnant makes logical sense, and your diet during these nine months can matter more than you may think. Here's what you need to know.


When I was pregnant I did have food craving. Not pickles and ice cream so much, but chocolate? Umm, yeah. And chocolate ice cream probably was on the list, come to think of it.

But while it's perfectly normal (and necessary) to gain weight when we are pregnant, that number is not unlimited. And we all know how hard it can be to get it back off, and any extra isn't going to make that any easier!

Print out this simple guide to help you create your optimal pregnancy nutrition plan. You'll get insight on how much to eat, the kinds of food that will keep you and your baby healthy, and some things to avoid during your pregnancy. I'll be honest, with my first couple I didn't pay as much attention as I should have, probably because I didn't know what I didn't know. This is better.

Click here for a fully printable copy of this infographic you can take anywhere.

Want to learn more? Check out Dr. John Berardi's expanded article; Eating during pregnancy: Foods that support your health - and your baby's. 

Eat, move, and live... easier.

At the Grateful Plate, our passion is helping you figure out how to make fitness and nutrition fit into your life, your way. Find out how you can stop dieting forever and start living better here.

Your Restaurant Cheat Sheet Is Here!

Let's face it. Life is getting busier and busier, and sometimes something has just gotta give.

For many that "something" is time in the kitchen, cooking and eating. Whether it's late nights at the office or running the kids all over creation, more and more the choice is "eating out".

One of the problems this creates less control of portion sizes, and the vast array of choices makes it oh-so-easy to eat way more than is helpful for our health and fitness goals. The fact that so often we are stressed and rushed when we are doing makes it even more likely our choices will be, let's say, less than optimal.

But first let's get some perspective.

If you go out to eat once or twice a month, or less, indulging in something you enjoy is not going to set you back for very long, if at all. There is some amazing food out there to taste, and I enjoy it as much as the next person.

But I know people who eat out two, three or more times a week, either out of necessity or choice. And travel is a whole 'nother animal, right? 

When that's the case, we need a strategy to navigate through all those big portion sizes and calorie traps. It's a losing battle to eat out without one.

And that's what the Restaurant Cheat Sheet is all about. 

Actually I think "Cheat Sheet" is selling it short, as this 53 Page e-book offers nutritional guidance and menu ordering tips for:

  • 6 Coffee Shops
  • 10 Fast-Food Restaurants
  • 20 Sit -Down and Casual Dining Restaurants
  • and even 10 client recommended favorites in and around the Concord, NH area!

Get yours for absolutely free below, and let me know how it has helped you.

Enjoy!

The “take it with you” calorie control guide [Infographic]

There is no need to pull out the food scale and count calories all the time. This is easier.

By Dean Carlson (with a little help from his friends)


If you are like most people, you don't want to do math every time you eat. The good news is you don't have to when you learn how to use this handy calorie control guide. It's a lot more practical than carrying a food scale everywhere!


It's one thing to know what to eat. Most of us know we need less twinkies, more veggies. 

But it's another thing altogether to know how much to eat. Because no matter what your goal is; lose bodyfat, gain muscle, or even both, portion control matters. 

And the dirty little secret about counting calories is out - research shows it can be up to 25% inaccurate, up or down. That is an enormous difference than can really frustrate even the best mathematician.

So let's do this instead.

Download this printable guide and post it in your kitchen.

So much simpler!

Click here for a fully printable version of this infographic. Keep a copy in your kitchen and another at the office for easy reference during every meal.

Note: If you want more resources like this one, check out ProCoach Nutrition Coaching. In addition to personal coaching, accountability, and support, you'll get access to more visual guides, worksheets, and learning materials that help our clients find healthy eating and lifestyle strategies that just plain work in their busy lives.

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