Give Yourself a Break

 Have you ever found yourself giving others a break for a small mistake or bad choice while condemning yourself for that same action? I do.

Student: "I ate a huge bowl of ice cream yesterday because it was there and it looked great."


Me: "Yes, but look at all the other stuff you did great yesterday. You ate a fantastic breakfast, you are drinking one cup of regular coffee instead of 4 like before, and you avoided the fried foods at lunch."

I end up encouraging them. I've helped them to see the good in their life.

BUT if I do that same thing.

Me : I ate three cookies at lunch actually they were lunch.

Me: I can't believe you ate three cookies. What were you thinking? Well you better not do that ever Ever EVER again. Actually you don't do much right, so never mind. You're hopeless.

(Yes, I do the same thing....give others lots of slack and encouragement while beating myself up...a work in progress for sure.)

You: I ate three cookies at lunch; actually, they WERE lunch.

‪Me: Were they worth it? Are we back on-board with a supper plan? If it's not a lunchtime habit, forget it and move on. In times of stress and rushing from place to place I have survived worst lunches.

Here is a way to move on from it and use it to do better the next time. (Though this is STILL a hard one for me! ) In the long run the 3 cookies won't sink you, unless you let them.

Tell yourself you did a great job at ______________today.

Go ahead a I dare you. What did you do today better than most? 

Here is a list I saw just this morning:

People Motivating others

‪Moms Taking care of their mom.

Running 2 miles and walking 4 more

‪Rocking the chin up bar this morning ..!

Getting myself to 5 am training

‪Training as hard as I could today

‪Planning my supper

Staying calm

When you find yourself discouraged for one action or poor choice. Find other actions or great choices that will spur you onto better action.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


Good stress vs. bad stress [Infographic]

Stress is Stress is Stress. Job, family pressures, traffic, how you train, how you eat - it all adds up. Here's how to find the "sweet spot" to help push your progress forward. 

complied by Dean Carlson, Pn2


It's something we face every day, and usually we think of stress as a "bad thing". 

Too much stress is, but not enough stress is just as bad when it comes to making your best progress.

For those of you who train using a system like BioForce HRV, you have a great tool to dial in just the right amount of stress to reach your potential, without burning out.

This infographic from our friends at PN explains the crucial factors in balance allostatic load, and some concrete steps to get it right. 

You can also read this article on Heart Rate Variability and how you can further dial it all in.

Don't forget you can also download the infographic for printing, and share it with your frazzled friends! 🙂

Stress is no joke, and taking positive steps to focus stress to our favor is a big part of not only our fitness, but our happiness in general. 

For those of us who tend to the "anxious, obsessive, aggravated side of the spectrum, putting these action steps into practice could be just what we need. Put some of that new found knowledge into action, today!

5 Ways To Control Your Appetite So You Can Drop The Weight You Want

Losing weight (body fat) ultimately comes down to one thing. You need to eat fewer calories than you burn. It's science (physics), and you just can't get around it, no matter how much we would all like to.

Exercise alone (or maybe at all) isn't going to cut it. Exercise burns at best a few hundred calories an hour, and that is very dependent on your physiology. You can't out-exercise overeating. I know, I've tried.

On the flip side, you might be surprised how easily you can cut a thousand calories out of your eating a day with just a few small changes to your diet. 

And it doesn't mean you have to starve yourself, or never eat the foods you enjoy. Here are 5 ways you can control your appetite, make smart food choices, and eat fewer calories.

1) Count calories for two weeks

It's about awareness. We are really good at telling ourselves we aren't eating too much, but we are rarely willing to back up that claim. The simplest way to create awareness is to do the work of tracking your calories, and the good news is you don't have to do it forever. The good news is once you create awareness and start making better food choices, you probably won't have to. 

I suggest buckling down and tracking everything you eat for two weeks using an app like MyFitnessPal or FatSecret. Be honest, and track everything, food and drink. You are going to have to weigh and measure the food, which takes a little getting used to. The other thing that tracking helps me do? Simplify. It's a lot easier to enter 6oz of steak or chicken into a calorie tracker than a complicated recipe.

If this sounds like too much of a hassle, we can "goldilocks" this habit and make it easier. Simply carry a little notebook and write down every food you eat and every thing you drink. For some of us, this creates all the awareness we need. If your log has primarily eggs, lots of veggies, chicken and fish, you know you are on the right track. If it is mostly bagels, cereal, and pasta washed down with coke or a latte, you know that too. Just the habit of writing it down can help us make better choices. Ask yourself the question: Would I show this list to my coach or nutritionist? 🙂

2) Create a crowd

I don't like crowds. But when it comes to controlling our appetites, crowds are our friend. Huh?

You have probably heard that "a calorie is a calorie", and in terms of energy content that is true. But when it comes to a foods ability to help you feel full, that's baloney. You know it to be true - 100 calories of broccoli (over 3 cups!) fills you up way more than that 100 calorie pack of cookies or crackers, or even 100 calories of a better choice, like almonds are walnuts.

The broccoli creates a crowd in your stomach; more volume of food means less room for other food. It's magical! Use your MyFitnessPal app or a tool like the SELF Nutrition Database to get an idea of the nutritional content of the foods you love. I'll bet you'll find that you already make some good choices - eat more of those!

Once you figured out those "fuller foods", a good strategy is to eat those first. Filling up on veggies, lean meats and healthy fats creates that "crowd control" we are looking for, and you will automatically eat less.

3) Exercise for your health, not to burn calories

While it might seem that exercising more is just going to make you hungrier to compensate, that is not necessarily the case. This article explores many of those factors, and many studies show the opposite to be true. Learning to refuel your body appropriately after exercise is crucial; you don't want to train and then not eat for hours and hours.

Mindset is key here. Viewing food as a reward for exercise is counterproductive. I have done it, and it's just plain a bad strategy. Exercise for the health benefits, not so you can have another donut. 

4) Hack your food prep 

Even those of us who enjoy cooking don't always make/find/have the time to spend in the kitchen. If you do, that is awesome - so enjoy!

The good news for the rest of us is we don't have to. Getting in the habit of cooking in bulk, twice a week, is a tremendous help. It's just as easy to grill or roast 5 or 6 chicken breasts as it is two. Roasting veggies and Chicken-in-a-Crockpot are two of my "go-to's" when time is tight. 

Another favorite "hack" of mine is to spice it up! There is a whole wide world of flavors open for those brave souls who use more than just salt and pepper. Coriander, Cardamom, Cloves, Cumin. And those are just some of the "C's". Be bold and experiment, it's a lot of fun.

5) Go to bed

When I don't get enough sleep I find it much harder to control my appetite, and I found out at least one reason. Turns out when you don't get enough sleep your body produces endocannabinoids  - you literally can get the munchies.

But even when your appetite doesn't increase, your willpower and decision-making abilities are affected by lack of sleep. Less sleep = more bad food choices. For me that tends to lead to overeating. I can turn a handful of nuts into half a pound of nuts pretty fast. 

Human beings need 7-9 hours of sleep a night to perform at their best, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have seen people exercise religiously and make positive changes to their nutrition and still have trouble dropping the weight. Sleep made the difference.

Less Calories = Less Fat

Fat Loss is simple - you just have to eat fewer calories than you burn. But that doesn't mean it's easy, far from it. The good news is that you don't have to follow a specific diet plan or food restrictions to lose weight. There is no one-size-fits all, but you do have to put in the work to discover what works best for you.

If you are having trouble nailing down your diet and you want to make real progress this year, use these 5 tips to help you get dialed in. And as always, we are here to help.

- DC

Hope

"Hope is like the light at the end of a tunnel.

But you have to walk toward the light or it doesn't get brighter and brighter."
- NMC

What are you hoping will happen this year?

What do you hope will be the result at the end of this month?

Where do you hope this week will find you feeling?

How do you hope to experience today?


Don't leave things to chance. Take some actions toward your goal each day. Those little steps you take every day toward your goal will stack up and lead your way. Hope is wonderful because it can move you forward if you let it. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

 


 


Are You A Bubble Gum Brain? or a Brick?

Everyone knows the tangible difference between bubble gum and a clay brick. While bubble gum can be moldable and moveable and brick is solid and strong.

Each one has its purpose. Bubble gum is designed to change shape and be an enjoyment while you chew. A Brick is created to build a firm object.

But which one would you like your brain to look like? Would you like your brain to have the ability to grow, change shape, take on new actions, evolve to what is needed at the time?

Or....

Would you like to have a brick for a brain? A solid object that can not take on new ideas or thoughts. You'd be set in your ways and firm against change.

Many times I have heard that as you age you become set in your thinking. I want to encourage you to age with a bubble gum brain.

When it comes to nutrition allow yourself to think new thoughts, try new concepts, be open to different ideas.
It could be that you will try a new recipe or a food you 'just know you won't like'. What about experimenting with going without a snack, or going to the movies without eating popcorn.

Don't lock yourself into one solid idea. Be open- a little creative, mold, be bendable, moveable and grow. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

I just read "Bubble Gum Brain" by Julia Cook. She took "Mindset" by Carol Dweck and made it easy enough for a child to grasp. 

Recovery- What is it?

And Why do I need it? 

Recovery comes in many forms.

  • Recovery from training could include the foods that you eat afterward. Supportive foods will help your tired, spent muscles to recover faster than food with little nutritional value.
  • Recovery from training could include your sleep. Your body needs rest in order to repair and replenish.
    Recovery from training could include your water intake. Your body needs extra after a training session even if we don't feel thirsty.
  • Recovery from training could include your vitamins and fish oil (supplements) Things we rely on to help fill in the holes in our nutrition. But they also help to give the body what it needs after we physically spend ourself.
  • Recovery from training could include your practice of stress relief. Since physical training causes stress inside your body you need to actively work to recover. We do this at Get Fit NH with foam rolling, stretching, and using the LaCross ball.

Recovery could be one of these things or all of them. Which one do you think you need to work on most?

To Your best Health,

Coach Nancy


Phyto-what-are-we-talking-about? [Infographic]

Mom was right about eating your fruits and vegetables. Here's Why.

by Dean Carlson, Pn2


You have probably heard "eat the colors of the rainbow", and no I am NOT talking about candy. But it's a true story, the colors tell the tale of the power packed punch hidden inside all the goodness, as the colors hold the key to the "phytonutrients" or plant nutrients, that help us fight disease and stay healthy.

Learn what phytonutrients are all about, what they do, and why you need more purples, blues, yellows, oranges, reds, greens and even whites.

Download this free Infographic and print it out for reference. You might even send a copy to mom in a thank-you card!

Pretty co​ol, huh?

Not only are all these colors good for you, they taste really good too, and help you get the fiber your body needs. 

Don't forget to download your copy to print out and hang by the fridge. There are a few dozen different ideas and tips for getting more of these into your diet, and you'll want it handy for easy reference.

Something to Ponder

On investing.

"It was a life well spent 
"I've spent my life working for this"
"She spent her time well"
"If I spend my time working now, I can enjoy my time later"

Phrases like that roll off the tongue so easily we rarely, if ever, give them a second thought; but what are we really saying?
Spending is time sensitive, finite...has a beginning and end. Once something is spent, it's gone.

What if we replace the verb "to spend" with "invest"?
And what if we actually live each moment as if it is an investment in somebody's "forever"?

Now that right there changes the entire paradigm for living eh?



Deep Thoughts from,

Coach Nancy

Food Resolutions

New Year Food Resolution

Doing a complete overhaul in a day can be right for some people but for most taking a snip-it of that overhaul at a time is the best plan.

Take your big picture and tear it down into small pieces. Pieces small enough so that when you look at them you know you can easily add it to your day. So how does that look for you?

Puzzle Piece 1: Go Slow

One piece at a time. Find the one thing that you can do today and tackle that first. Look over all your choices and pick the easiest one to do right away. Resolving to get more fiber in your diet this year? Do you want to add more fish or vegetables? Any change is easier if you take slow, small steps.

For example:

  • Vow to add a piece of produce to your brown bag lunch daily.
  • Designate a day as fish day.
  • Package up a single serving of nuts for an after work snack

Puzzle Piece 2: Water, Water, Everywhere

Water: It's gives your body a quenching boost. Find the idea of eight cups a day daunting? Think small:

  • Drink one glass first thing in the morning, before you brush your teeth.
  • Tempted by more soda? Another glass of wine? Drink a cup of water before you reach for a calorie laden drink.
  • Resolve to drink one more cup of water today than you had yesterday.

Puzzle Piece 3: Tackle Mindless Munching

You're chatting with friends around the dinner table or watching a DVD -- and you just keep nibbling. Try these tips to reign in the munchies:

Keep a glass of water nearby and make sure it is always full.

Brush or floss your teeth.

Pay attention -- look at each piece of food you plan to eat.

Busy your hands by folding clothes, doing your nails, or reading a book.

Puzzle Piece 5: Stack the Odds in Your Favor

Don't forget to help yourself succeed, and to reach out for help when you need it.

Get Fit NH is all about family, and we are here for you. Tell a friend or family member your goals and then share your ideas, plans, and successes regularly.

Leave the temptations -- ice cream, chips, soda -- at the grocery store. Promise yourself you'll cater to cravings only outside the home, in one-serving portions.

Socialize with non-food events. Get your friends together in the park, for a hike, or at the movies.

Puzzle Piece 6: Baby Your Body

Prevention: It's a lot less daunting than treating a chronic condition, so do the little things that keep your body moving and thriving today.

Get rolling. Foam rolling, stretching, lacross ball work is all there to make you move better. Take time to get extra benefits for your muscles. They’ll thank you for it.

Get those tests you know you need. Cholesterol checks, prostate exams, pap smears -- stay ahead of the game by staying healthy.

Get all the snooze-time you need. Sleep helps body and soul recharge, stay healthy, and cope with stress.

Take enough steps and you'll reach any goal. Resolve to put a few small pieces of your puzzle together for your resolutions this year. Watch the picture open up before your eyes!

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

What are You Known For?

What did you get for Christmas? Did you get several gifts with the same theme running through them?

Chocolate?

Candy?

Sweets?

Food?

Your gifts were given by friends and family that know you enjoy that type of gift. They want to give you a gift you'll enjoy. They gave you what you were known for. 

I used to get those gifts. Yep that is me. But really take a look at me. Its me but a different version of me. That is the me that was known for enjoying and eating chocolate- lots of it. IN fact that was my chocolate bar - 5 pounds of it- given as a gift for my birthday. 

The giver knew I would love that gift. I was known as a chocolate lover and it showed. That older version of me hit the dessert bar heavier than the salad bar.

Its not the same type of gift that I receive now. I'm not known as a chocolate lover to that degree any more. 

Don't get me wrong, I still love chocolate. But now I am known for a different style of eating. When my friends and family sit down to eat with me, they see my plate filling up with lean protein, lots of veggies, a little healthy fat, and maybe a small portion of starchy carbs. That is what is normal for me. Guess what it shows. Not just in the kitchen but on me. 

This picture was taken 16 years after the one with the candy bar. While I might have aged, I've changed in other ways too. Instead of carrying a 5 pound candy bar, I have a backpack on my back right before going on a hike.  Ask my friends if they see candy, sweets, and chocolate in my hands often. As for gifts, I've gotten pears, oranges, and other fruits. That is what I am known for. What are you known for? I bet is shows in more places than on your plate or in your kitchen. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy