Be Just Like Superman

I am a big fan of Superman. Like who wouldn’t be? He is a good guy, not just good in what he does but an all around nice guy. But he had bad days like the all of us mere humans do.

What did Superman do to manage his stress? Where did he go? Who did he turn to?

Superman had a Fortress of Solitude. His fortress was a place where the cares of this world didn’t follow him. He could be himself. He could hang up his cape and talk with those he loved.

Superman also had Lois Lane to turn to when things were going downhill. When Superman was with Lois, he could be Clark Kent. He didn’t have to be or do anything special with her. They were a team, they helped each other. Lois was the one who often hid the kryptonite from Superman. He often rescued Lois from danger. Who is your Lois Lane? Who can you team up with?

Superman spent time in his Fortress of Solitude. Superman had Lois Lane.

Superman didn’t live a fairytale where it was all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, he thrived on catastrophes and near world disasters. That is until Kryptonite came out. His biggest source of stress, the thing that weakened him most was Kryptonite.

Now what is your kryptonite? Superman could do extraordinary things but he could easily be turned into a pile of helplessness by being exposed to kryptonite. What makes you lose all your senses when it comes to food? Where do you find yourself always giving in to things that won’t help you get to your health and fitness goals?

Write it down.

Identify your superpower/s when it comes to food. Fill in this statement:

My superpower is ______________________.

Your follow up statement will be:

I will put away/lock up my kryptonite which is _________________.

Remember, I can help you. I can be your Lois Lane. If you are stuck, let me help you get unstuck.

Each day, consistently employ your superpower/s and every day have a strategies to keep your kryptonite locked up.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Breakfast Chili

Crystal is a Rock Star at 6:15am Epsom. She sent me this recipe a while back and I wanted to share it with everyone.

  • 1½ teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 chorizo chicken sausages, finely chopped
  • 4 pieces crispy bacon, chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Dash Himalayan salt
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 handful spinach, optional (Crystal throws in A LOT - "don't be shy with the spinach")
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar

For the chili:
Heat oil and garlic in a medium-sized pot. Add the sliced onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add in the chopped sausage. Cook until no longer pink. In a pan or in the oven, cook bacon until crispy and set aside. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock and spices to the pot and mix well. Add the spinach and bacon, reduce heat to a simmer.

For the poaches eggs:
Heat 3 cups water and add in a dash of vinegar. Crack 1 egg into a ramekin. Right before boiling, use a spoon and swirl the water. Drop the egg into the water (don't freak, it'll look a little crazy for a minute- trust me, Crystal is telling the truth). Carefully spoon out poached egg and serve over stew.

Crystal's notes: When it comes to the poached eggs, I make and store those separately from the chili. When I pack my lunch, I put one on top of the chili in my Pyrex. At work, I take out the egg while reheating the chili in the microwave. I add it back in and submerge it in the chili to warm it up without cooking.

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

Right Now!

Planning, preparing and prioritizing our lives help us achieve the balance so many of us are seeking. While no one is in total control of their lives some people seem more in control than I feel. Why is that?

When I pose this question to those people who seem to have it all lined up and their lives in order, I find they have an agenda. They have a goal in mind and they do what they can to achieve that goal. They have their focus on.

Each of these people have come up with an action plan.

Their plan is to ACT — purposefully and meaningfully.

Step one is to have a plan.
Step two is to act on that plan.
Step three is to continue to act with intent to fulfill that plan.

No sure how to come up with a plan? Check out how to make SMART goals.

Now with your action plan in hand, prioritize. Focus on the most urgent or important task for right now.

Ask yourself:

  • What do I need, right now?
  • What will be most productive, right now?
  • What will truly promote change and growth, right now?
  • What will help me most, right now?
  • What can I actually handle or do, right now?

Choose ONE task, goal, and/or step. Focus.

Yes, I know it can be tough. There are often lots of awesome and exciting options! Narrowing down to what you can do right now drives focus.

Think back to those people who appear to have it all together. They have learned to dial it in by focusing on what needs to be done first. They know what needs to be done right now in order to make after that run smoother.

Once you’ve put your action plan into place and focused on one task at a time for two weeks, evaluate how well you did.

Simply repeat that process.

Plan, dial it in, and act.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

I Have Super Powers

You have super powers. We all have super powers.

I love watching professional sports. The players are amazing athletes. They are Super Stars of what they do.

But I am surrounded by Super Stars.

I see Super Stars all around me each day as over a hundred people come to train with me at Get Fit NH. We’ve all heard since we were little that we are unique and special. I believe that. Many of us see our differences as skin color, or hair color or eye color. I see those difference in super powers.

Super powers do not just come in the type you see in a Marvel or DC Comic Super Hero.

Your super power resides in you. Do you know what it is?

To find your super powers you will need a piece of paper. Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down all the things you did well in the past week.

It could be:

You placed your keys in the same place every day this week so they were quick to grab instead of being lost somewhere in the house.

It could be:

You were on time for work every day.

It could be:

You had your kid’s schedules organized with who was picking up each child for school, sports, piano and the play date before any of them actually happened.

It could be:

You always have food in the house to eat and it isn’t a problem to ‘find’ something when it is meal time.

Go ahead, write it all down. All of it.

I'll wait.

No worries if you’re still writing. Take your time. Don’t shortcut this step by only thinking for 2 minutes. Write for the entire 5 minutes. Remember we are developing your super power.

In my examples, there was a similar thread woven throughout. First, I set my keys in the SAME place. I was consistent. Second, I was on time EVERY day for work. Third, I had PLANNED ahead for schedules. Finally, I ALWAYS have food which means I must shop regularly.

My super power is probably planning. I seem to be able to do this better than other people I know. My super power of planning helps me in many areas but it boils down to I am a planner.

What do you do really well, even better than those around you? That is your superpower. What makes you shine? What are you known for? What seems to come easier for you than your friends? The answer to that is your super power.

Now what is your super power when it comes to nutrition?

It could be your super power when it comes to nutrition is:

  • Planning - meal planning, grocery shopping list, planning your vacation foods.
  • Prepping - you might dice, chop, slice and have things ready to go better than others.
  • Grocery shopping (this is mine) - I can get in and out and avoid excess better than others.
  • Restaurant eating - knowing where to eat to get the best food, knowing how to order and sweet talk your server so they love helping you with special requests.
  • Cooking – you might be that gourmet cook who can make anything superb.

What is your super power?

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Caprese Cauliflower Casserole

I love all the flavors of caprese. This dish has all those flavors and more. And you get a bonus recipe here too!

Caprese Cauliflower Casserole

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 6 apple, Italian, or spinach chicken sausages (about 1 lb)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup Creamy Italian Dressing, recipe below (or Tessamae's balsamic dressing)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Shred cauliflower in food processor to "rice"; put in large bowl. Cut sausages in halve lengthwise, then slice; add to bowl. Dice onion, slice tomatoes in half or quarters, and chop fresh basil; add all to the bowl. Add thawed spinach and minced garlic to bowl (sometimes I caramelize the onion and garlic together in a frying pan). In a separate bowl, whisk together 6 eggs, balsamic dressing, salt & pepper. Stir into large bowl with other ingredients until mixed. Dump into greased 9x13 baking dish and smooth it down so the top is even. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

Creamy Italian Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons homemade mayo
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients in a blender. If mixture is too thick, add either balsamic vinegar or water. Remember, your dressing will get slightly more liquidy as you toss it with your salad. Tip of the day: ½ teaspoon of garlic powder can be substituted for the clove of garlic.

Are All Carbohydrates Bad?

Carbohydrates.

The word “carb” is ingrained into our minds, and usually when we think of it in the term of nutrition we think of all the “Low Carb” diets out there – not so much fun.

Carbohydrate is not a dirty word. Your body functions best when you eat carbohydrates, that’s not really the question.

Let’s put it this way. If I ask most people what they think about when they hear the words “Carb” or “Carbohydrate” this is the answers I get:

  • Bread
  • Muffins
  • Cookies
  • Doughnuts
  • Pasta
  • Cake
  • Potatoes
  • French Fries
  • Rolls

And they are right, those all contain a lot of carbohydrates.

But here’s another list:

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Kiwi
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Whole grains (not pretend whole grains, I mean “whole” whole grains)

These are all carbohydrates too! The big difference is the way your body handles these carbohydrates.

The first list is made up of simple carbs. Simple carbs are made up of one or two sugar molecules and break down very quickly and easily.

The second list are what we call complex carbs. These are comprised of more than two sugar groups, and these take much longer to break down in your system.

Both of these, simple and complex carbs, are digested into simple sugars before the body uses them.

But there is a big difference in the speed of digestion between a cinnamon roll and a string bean, or even a bowl of oatmeal for that matter.

This speed of digestion is also a factor in how much insulin is released into our bloodstream.

When you’re eating for weight loss, the slower the better. When you’re eating for health, the slower the better. There are no BAD foods, but there are better choices. Choose wisely.

To your best health, 
Coach Nancy

Meal Planning Made Eas(ier)

One of the most challenging obstacles we face when trying to eat healthy is the mindset that it has to take a long time to prepare a nutritious meal. Here’s 11 lunch or dinner ideas that can be fixed in a jiffy and don’t cost and arm and a leg.

Can’t think of anything to eat? Here are some nutritious, well-balanced ideas! Each line has a complete meal. Select one and try it tonight.

Click Here to Download your own printable copy of this handy guide to hang on your fridge and take shopping with you. You'll thank me later! 🙂

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

Get ready for one delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner! That's the beauty of quiche, it works for any meal. This quiche is delicious and as a crust you won't feel guilty about.

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling crust
  • 1½ - 2 cups roughly chopped Brussels sprouts
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 3-4 slices bacon
  • 1 precooked sausage link, diced
  • 7 large eggs
  • ¼ cup canned coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder, optional

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Peel the sweet potato and slice it thinly into rounds about ⅛ inch thick for the bottom of your crust. For the sides of the crust, slice into semi circles. Grease a 9-inch pie dish with coconut oil, and, grease your sliced sweet potatoes lightly with coconut oil as well as you arrange the crust in the dish. Overlapping a bit is fine, since the potatoes will shrink when roasted. Sprinkle the crust with a bit of sea salt, and roast in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are soft and beginning to brown. Check them midway to make sure none are browning too quickly.

As the crust bakes, prepare the filling. Cook the bacon slices over med-high heat in a heavy skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside, reserving the rendered fat in the pan. Add the chopped Brussels sprouts to the skillet and cook, stirring until they begin to soften. Add the diced onion and continue to cook for another minute until softened. Once the Brussels sprouts and onion are soft, add the diced sausage link to the pan and cook, stirring, for another minute to brown a bit. Remove from heat, then crumble the cooked bacon and add to the skillet. Stir to combine. Once the crust has baked, pour the entire Brussels sprouts mixture into the crust evenly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder if using. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the Brussels sprouts mixture evenly - it will spread throughout the dish, which is fine, since the eggs will "fill in" any empty spaces between the sweet potatoes.

Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees, and bake the quiche for about 25 minutes, until the edges begin to turn golden brown and the middle has just set. My sweet potatoes did not overly brown, but if yours begin to just cover the top with foil as it bakes. After removing from oven, let the quiche sit for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing to serve (this helps it to "set" more for easy serving). Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Enjoy!

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