Eat This. It's Good!
Author Archives: Eat This. It's Good!

Set Yourself Up For Success

Knowing what to eat, when to eat, how to eat is necessary. Help yourself out and plan for success. I recently had a nutrition coaching student who sent me her plan to succeed with her nutrition. She found by simply answering questions about her physical environment that she succeeded more often with her eating.

My physical environment helps me to slow down to eat when…
I sit and take a deep breath. The TV is off. My plate is smaller. I have to get up and go in the kitchen to get more food.

My physical environment helps me to choose healthy foods when…
My pantry is organized and well stocked. I write out a list (based on a plan) and take it to the store. The are healthy choices available. I have ready options when I need them, especially for breakfast and lunch.

My physical environment or daily routines can help me a bit more when... 
I prep lunch the night before.

Three ways to help the foods you know you should eat actually make it onto your plate.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Prepare For Binge Eating

Get yourself ready to overstuff your body.

  1. Plan how much you will eat and make sure you have those Tums and Pepto for afterward.
  2. Surround yourself with all the foods you love and lots of each.
  3. Invite others who want to overeat and don’t mind watching you do it.
  4. Wear just the right outfit.

Sound a bit ridiculous or does it sound like your last Christmas dinner?

Personal insight into my life. This is what I did. Gathering with family meant there would be a lot of food. In fact, all my favorites. I would prepare all the food my own family loved plus a few new ‘cool looking recipes’ to try. I would pack some Tums and Pepto (you know, just in case) and I’d wear a loose fitting long sweater because I deserved to be comfortable too.

I’m not sure why we don’t just lay our list out for all to see.

Here is my Overeating Plan:

  • I’m going to eat more than I should, a lot more.
  • I’ll eat so much I won’t feel so great.
  • My clothes won’t fit very well and that was only after one meal. 
  • And those around me will do the same so I won’t even feel guilty.

All of this sounds a bit over the top, but it also has that ol' familiar feel.

What if we ate satisfying meals, not mini meals, no snacking in between but meals that left us without a feeling of deprivation or starvation? Neither of those feelings empowers us to stick with a plan long term. Instead we would get up from the table and be content.

How cool would it be if you could eat a meal, walk away satisfied with what you ate, how much you ate, knowing you’ll be content until your next meal? Eating meals that you planned each day requires work, but it will get you to this level of satisfaction. I am so thankful I don’t have to be perfect. Think of being 90%. There will be days when all things go as planned and others when they do not. But missing the mark here and there doesn’t call out the world distress signal. In fact, one or two ‘Oops’ means you are perfectly human. Allow yourself the struggle of not making it the first time out, maybe not even the second or the third. You might be on a roll of six days in a row of meals that leave you content then miss the seventh day - you overeat or totally miss a meal. Breaking your perfect score is not the end of the line. Stop trying to be perfect. Build on the struggles you have. Make yourself stronger each time through.

What is easier to plan for? Overeating or satisfaction? More importantly where do you want to be?

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Spicy Almonds

Almonds are a great healthy snack, but sometimes just plan almonds can get boring, right? This recipe will give your almonds a little kick of flavor to spice up your snack. They will also go great as a topping on your salad.

  • 3 cups almonds
  • 4½ teaspoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon anchou chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic

Spread the almonds on a baking sheet in a thin layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. While they are baking mix the spices together in a bowl. When the almonds are done baking, drizzle the oil over and mix to coat. Sprinkle the spices on top and mix well. Cool. Store in an airtight container.

The “I’m Satisfied” Challenge

"I just ate too much."

"Wow, that was so fantastic I just had to eat the whole plate."

"I really didn't need that last bite."​

It is so easy to eat more then we need. It’s not always about physical hunger. There's other stuff at work. For example:

It's hard to waste food. We can hear our parents’ voices in our head: There are starving children! You shouldn’t leave food on the plate!

Food keeps us occupied. If we stay “busy” with food, then we don’t have to deal with other things… such as “the big stressor in our lives”. Or just plain old boredom.

Food numbs us. It’s a good painkiller for emotional and physical distress.

We confuse emotions with hunger. Often, we mix up emotions such as anxiety or anger with hunger. It feels like hunger… but it isn’t.

Habits. We do many things automatically, such as picking the last tidbit off the kids’ plates as we tidy up dinner, or popping a bite into our mouth as we cook.

We're worried about social consequences. We don’t want to say no, make a fuss, or stand out as a “weirdo” at social events with friends and family.

Our environment. We’re there, and so is the food.

It’s natural to avoid all of these discomforts. So we make choices that don’t fit with our goals. We eat because we’re bored, upset, stressed, or simply near tempting food. We eat more than we need because eating to satisfied is challenging.

Commit to the "I'm Satisfied" Challenge: 

Here is how it works: when you are having a meal or snack, you’ll eat only until you first feel satisfied. You’ll have to slow down to listen to your body. Once you are no longer hungry but not stuffed, you stop eating. No matter what. You’ll feel just like Goldilocks in “The Three Bears” - just right.

And this is what you will receive as you complete this challenge:

  • You’ll be more able to reach your health goals.
  • You’ll feel more in control of yourself and your actions.
  • You'll feel stronger, more courageous.
  • You’ll be proactive rather than reactive.

It’s not easy to change why you do what you do, BUT commit to the challenge.

To your best health, 
Coach Nancy

Knowledge Won’t Do You Any Good!

Lately, I’ve been dwelling on the fact of how much information we have access to. I mean it is so easy to type a few words into Google or talk to Siri and find oodles of facts and tidbits to help me out.

I mean, seriously, you type in “Is water from a plastic bottle okay to drink?” and there are over 5 pages of articles, blogs and places to buy water from that pop up.

But knowledge won’t do you any good!

Typing those words into Google didn’t help me savor healthier drinking water. Even if I took the time to read all 5 pages worth of over 60 articles and blogs, it wouldn’t help me. If I memorized all the steps and knew the difference between phthalates, antimony, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, it wouldn’t make me healthier.

Knowledge won’t do you any good…… until you take action.

In his book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill knew this. He states, “Knowledge becomes power only when, and if, it is organized into definite plans of action”. He was mostly talking about growing your wealth, but the same principles apply to our health. We have to grow our health.

How do we turn actions into goals?

Use SMART Goals

S = specifically what you are going to do.
M = measure, how are you going to measure it?
A = actions, what actions are you going to take to reach this goal?
R = result, what will the result be?
T = time frame, what is the length of time you're going to do this in?

Evaluate your actions versus your knowledge. Are the things you’re doing now moving you toward your goal? Are you stuck, or worse, moving farther from your goal even though you know all there is? Take Coach Meagan’s advice, you might be telling yourself the 4 Most Dangerous Words.

7 Tips to Turn Actions into Results

  1. Get quality sleep
  2. Surround yourself with people that encourage you
  3. Exercise regularly
  4. Eat a clean healthy diet
  5. Finish what you started
  6. Eliminate "can't" and "but" from your vocabulary
  7. Focus on your strengths

There is a lot of knowledge in this article, what you do with that information is up to you. One last thought from Coach Dean, “A Goal Is a Dream with a Deadline”.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Yummy UMP Graham Cracker Recipes

We've recently gotten in a new flavor of UMP (Ultimate Muscle Protein). Its graham cracker flavor and we have some delicious recipes to share with you! 

Check out this Graham Cracker Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding that Coach Dean came up with. It will satisfy chocolate and peanut butter cravings!

Here are a few more recipes with the UMP graham cracker protein powder.

Dan's Dynamic Shake

  • 1 scoop graham cracker protein
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein
  • ½ scoop chocolate protein
  • 1½ teaspoon peanut butter
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 fistful spinach
  • About 10 ounces of water

Blend until smooth in a blender. If you use a fresh banana, add in a few ice cubes to chill it. Enjoy!

Marquita's Marvelous Shake

  • 1 scoop graham cracker protein powder
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 10 ounces of water
  • Ice

Blend until smooth in a blender.

Homemade Granola Bar

  • 4 scoops graham cracker protein powder
  • 2 cups oats
  • ½ cup crushed walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • About ½ cup of water

In a large bowl, combine all the oats, protein powder, walnuts, flax seed, sunflower seeds, salt, and raisins. Add in the vanilla, coconut oil, and then the water a little at a time. At first it will seem very dry but be patient it will blend up. Coat an 8x8 pan with coconut oil. Press the mixture on the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut into bars or squares.

The great things about these granola bars is that they are flexible. Some shredded coconut or cacao nibs would go great in here. Experiment with different protein powder flavors for a different spin, too.

Get Your Head in the Game

Lose weight with three mindset tips.

Stop chasing the quick fix and focus on the basics to lose pounds and inches.​

To lose weight we need to be in the right frame of mind. I believe too many people enter into a nutrition or fitness plan without mentally preparing for it first.

Weight loss is possible, being healthier is possible, getting stronger is possible. Everybody knows that. The challenge is getting started. And that takes the right mental attitude and social support. I’ve worked with scores of men and women who want to lose weight, but the most successful ones – the ones who keep the weight off – are the ones who have the right mental disposition before starting.

Follow three mindset tips for permanent weight loss:

1. Surround yourself with the right people.

People need to understand they will need to make some different lifestyle choices to change how they look, feel and act like right now. Starting a new healthier life will include physical training and nutrition changes. In order to keep progressing in your healthier life and keep the weight off, it will involve further changes. Some of those changes may very well mean not being able to socialize with others who are a negative influence. You’ll need to find others that have the similar goals and hang out with them. That camaraderie will be like a secret driving force or accountability.

2. Don't expect it to be easy.

While losing weight doesn’t have to be an all-consuming chore, those seeking weight loss need to come to grips with the fact that it is going to take effort. Anything worth doing is going to take work. Accept the fact that there are obstacles to overcome. This is another great reason to surround yourself with positive people, as they will help you get over the inevitable hurdles.

3. Don't expect rapid progress to continue forever.

When starting a fat loss program, many people see dramatic results right away. But hang on because it won’t always be that way. People need to shift their focus from short-term losses to long-term results. Permanent lifestyle changes need to be made in order to prevent unwanted fat and a decreased health from coming back.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Plan to Get Back on Track

When you stumble- and we all do when it comes to eating- often, we find the next declaration out of our mouth is, I may as well eat the rest of the cake since I already had one piece”. In Jeremy Dean’s book Making Habits, Breaking Habits, he helps us to face the fact that we are not perfect in our quest to build a habit. We will miss a moment, miss a day, or more. It’s a given. What you need to know is what to do when that happens. Have a plan for when the plan breaks down.

When the plan fails, take these steps.

1. Identify the triggers. Find the moment or rewind your day until you can visualize the cross roads. The place in your life where you could have gone one way or the other. When we are in the moment it is hard to see this crossroad, but often playing our day back in your mind like you would rewind a video to see the good parts can help. It’s defining this moment that will help you most. The more specific you can make it the better. So think in terms of a) time, b) location, c) emotional state, d) other people around, e) the circumstance. So it might look like this: Right before I chose to go through the drive thru and order 4 donuts and coffee for myself, I was in a tense meeting at work that didn’t go well, I yelled at my co-worker for the silliest thing, I didn’t sleep well last night, and I forgot my gym clothes. The driver that cut me off right before I left the parking lot was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I just had to have a donut (or three).

2. Identify the old habit. Be specific about what you are trying to stop. Again, think of all the details about this old habit. For instance, I want to stop relying on donuts when I feel upset and stressed in the car while driving alone.

3. Identify the new habitKnow exactly what you want to do, but create a goal that will take less than 60 seconds to accomplish. That sounds too simple but it isn’t easy. For myself, that would be using my 60 seconds to drive past the donut store. Think about it, it sounds simple but it isn’t easy.

It’s hard to change your behavior. It takes courage to have to do things differently and resilience to keep at it.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

It’s hot and its summer, so of course we are thinking of dipping into some of the cool stuff to enjoy.

Guess what? It doesn’t have to be bad for you! Try this delicious and easy to make recipe next time you need a cool treat.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon cocao nibs
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 3 scoops chocolate UMP
  • 4 cups of ice

Add all the ingredients into a powerful blender (we use a Vitamix). Using a damper, blend for 30-45 seconds. Going longer will melt your ice cream. Scoop this out and enjoy – it is really good!

Look for more new recipes soon using UMP’s newest flavor Graham Cracker! Watch out, it is fantastic!

Enjoy your summer,
Coach Nancy

Food Fun!

Nail the kale

Rock the broc

Win it with spinach

I'm maddish about raddish

Yes, this is what I do. I have fun with food. We’re all kids at heart. I’ve grown up a bit since my days in junior high and food fights. That only leaves me with a messy kitchen that I end up cleaning up. I find different ways to have fun with food now.

This week I had fun with new recipes. I experimented with making a spaghetti sauce that didn’t have hamburger in it as the protein but lentils.

It was surprisingly yummy. My kids ate it without question. Of course I used spaghetti squash as the noodles.

Here's how I made the sauce:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 28-ounce can of petite tomatoes
  • 1 12-ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1½ cups of dried lentils, rinsed
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper

Sauté the onion, celery and garlic until soft. Add the lentils and water and cook for about an hour on low, covered. Add in the tomatoes and tomato paste along with the seasonings. Cook uncovered about 15 minutes until lentils are soft and mushy. Serve over spaghetti squash.

I also had fun with my food this week by using paper plates. I’m not sure what it is, but it makes it like a whole different gathering something kid like when you eat on paper plates. P.S. I didn’t use paper plates the night I served spaghetti.

One more way to have fun with your food when it comes to how you serve it. Try serving your omelet in a mug. This recipe works great.

Besides what you eat, and how you eat, there is also where you eat. This week with the weather being so nice outside, we took our meals outside. What could be better than enjoying a great meal, with family, outside. Hint: you don’t have to clean up crumbs as much outside as you do at the kitchen table. Besides eating outdoors beats eating on the couch where everyone is glued to the TV and doesn’t even noticed you made a delicious meal for them.

Have some fun this week with your food.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy