4 Tips to Get Started Eating Healthy the Right Way

Many people have started a diet or a new eating plan only to quit days later. Now that you have decided that eating healthy may be worth your time after all, ensure your success with the following tips:

1. Make a Commitment 

You know the meaning and value of a solid commitment. It’s in your blood. So don’t view eating healthy as something you will merely try. You will only reap the true benefits when you stick with it. By sticking with it I don’t mean you have to be perfect, but your eating will become more known for the healthy choices instead of those you might be making now. A great way to reinforce your commitment is to solicit the support of your friends and family. Tell them how you plan to improve your health and quality of life through nutrition – who knows, they may join you.

2. Set Reachable Goals

This is an immensely important ingredient to your success. Don’t start your healthy eating program with unreasonable expectations. If you expect to lose ALL of your unwanted pounds, DROP your blood pressure and CURE your joint pain all in one week then you will be sorely disappointed. In fact, I wouldn’t say I was on a diet but my goal is to change the style of my current eating. The key to unlocking all of the benefits of fantastic nutrition lies in one word: consistency. Only then will your body be transformed.

3. Rearrange Your Schedule

They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. This may be because his schedule simply didn’t allow for it. The truth is that as we age there is a tendency to become ‘stuck in our ways.’ The thought of rearranging your schedule may leave you a bit squeamish. Remind yourself that health starts in the kitchen. It is worth your time and energy and also rearranging your plans to make better eating happen. If you don’t currently plan your meals, you’ll need to carve out time on a regular basis to get the first step done. Of course if you are used to eating out every night because you don’t have food at home, you’ll need to take time to shop too. The actual making of your food will have to be worked into your day too. The fact is that you do have time to lend toward better eating and health – you simply need to find it. Your time in the kitchen is an appointment – keep your appointments.

4. Increase the Challenge

You should start your better eating program with the thought of easing into it. Since you haven’t mastered nutrition you will need to build up strength and endurance just like we do in the gym. Think of building your kitchen muscle, gaining strength in the planning phase, using your coordination to balance your schedule to get all the shopping done and finally putting it all together can be known as a sprint to the table.

Consider a car that has been sitting in your garage for years. You wouldn’t turn it on and instantly slam down on the gas, would you? You need to warm it up. However, this warm up period should not last forever. Maybe working on your breakfast meals Monday - Friday is just the right amount of a challenge for you now. Once you feel secure with that routine, you’ll want to bump it up a notch. Maybe your weekends are where you need to start that planning and eating better. No matter where you start - START. When your routine begins to feel easy take that as a hint to increase the challenge.

I want to help you achieve all of the benefits that consistent healthy nutrition can bring you.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Water You Waiting For?

Fun facts to know and tell about water. These are absolutely worth sharing.

We’ve talked about the importance of drinking enough water and how it affects muscle soreness and fat loss.

Here’s some more good reasons to keep that water bottle handy…

  1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated (this likely applies to half the world population).
  2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.
  3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as 3%.
  4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
  5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
  6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
  8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and make you 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Are you drinking the amount of water you should drink every day?

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Amy’s Summer Pops

My youngest daughter loves making these and sharing with her friends on a hot summer day.

  • 1/4 of a watermelon, or 8 cups diced watermelon
  • 15-20 blueberries
  • Popsicle molds

Place watermelon in a blender and blend until texture of applesauce. This takes about 10 seconds. Pour watermelon into freezer molds and then add 3-5 blueberries per pop.

Freeze and enjoy!

How to exercise safely while pregnant [Infographic]

It's safe to exercise during pregnancy...here's how.

by Coach Nancy Carlson


Most women can, and should, exercise during pregnancy. As a mom of 6 and a physical preparation coach, I tell women they are training for the hardest thing you have ever done. Building your strength and endurance can make a huge difference when it comes to your delivery. 


Research shows that both you and your baby can gain tremendous health benefits, both now and down the road, if you exercise during your pregnancy.

But as with most things, knowing what and how much to do is key to gaining those benefits.

Our friends at Precision Nutrition produced this helpful guide for staying lean and fit during pregnancy, effectively and safely.

You can download your own copy to print and share with your friends by clicking here.

You'll be the cool mom-to-be!

Click here for a fully printable version of this infographic. You can take them to the gym, share them with your OB, or just keep them as a handy reminder next time you train.

Want to learn more? Coach John Berardi, PhD, has written a complete explanation of this infographic in his article "Pregnancy Workouts: How to exercise during pregnancy."

3 Simple Steps to Make Your Nutrition Go as Planned

I'm here to share with you 3 simple steps to making your nutrition go as planned:

1. Plan your meals for the following week on Wednesday morning. Don't forget to create a grocery list at the same time.

2. Grocery shop on Sunday. Stick to the perimeter of the store to avoid temptation (with the exception of frozen veggies!). Keep to your list. 

3. Sunday is prep day. If you don’t have it prepped and planned ahead of time, there is a pretty good chance you will forget something or just skip it (like adding those extra veggies, because you didn’t want to cut them up!). “Prep day” includes:

  • Cut up veggies and bag them for each meal they’re going with
  • Prep meat, whether that means cutting it up or just taking it out of the packaging
  • Try some crock pot meals made easy. Here is Coach Dean's Spicy Shredded Beef. Place it in a freezer bag, add some of your cut up veggies, label it "Monday Dinner" and pop it in the freezer. On Monday, take it out and put it in the crockpot to cook. 
  • I like to brown any ground beef at the same time so its ready to add seasoning for a meal. This saves me time when I'm ready to use it.

You can modify these tips to fit your schedule, too. By taking the time do this, you’re saving precious time during the week and there is no extra thinking involved.

Make sure you take into account days that you might be working late or getting home late. When you plan ahead, you can mark those days down for dinner in the crockpot. That way when you get home your house smells amazing and you are eating your nutritious, planned meal.

Bonus! Here is a quick lunch idea:

  • On your prep day as you are cutting all of those veggies, place a few in several small Ziploc baggies. Add a slice of lettuce to each bag as well. You can mix and match some of those veggies if you like. In another small baggie, add 2-3 slices of deli meat. You’ve just created a the fixins’ for a lettuce wrap sandwich and fresh veggies for your lunch at work or school.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Everything Goes Like a Yard Sale

The last two hours of a yard sale are boring. All the good stuff is gone and you are dreading what to do with all the things left on your lawn. I sort of feel like that right now. Half the year is gone and I am not sure what is in store for the rest of the year. It all goes like a yard sale. The good stuff is gone and what is left is not quite what I was expecting to see. Or is it?

At this point of the year, I always ask myself and reflect on the answers to the following 3 questions:

Did I accomplish or am I on the way to accomplishing my goals that I set out for myself?

  • If yes, then I celebrate (insert happy dance here).
  • If no, what can I correct to get myself back on track? All is not lost.

Did I have any unexpected wins or failures?

  • Unexpected wins? Doesn’t have to be the lottery, but maybe a job promotion or a gift from a friend. List and celebrate them. Of course happy dances are allowed here too.
  • Unexpected failures? These seem to be easier to spot. List them and reflect upon how they can help going forward. List them as facts instead of wrapping them up with emotional ties.

Have I worked on myself?

Personally and professionally, I have a long term goal of being able to ski-dive at 90 years old when my grandchildren ask me to go with them. They are going to know that I could do it if I want to. I also want to change the world. Working at Get Fit NH, (insert link) I know that if you become healthier you’ll automagically become happier. The world needs more happy, and I want to be a part of that for many people.

  • If yes, are there any areas I need to continue to focus on for the next six months?
  • If no, what am I going to do to recommit myself to developing personally and professionally?

The great news is, if I’m on track with my business and personal goals, I still have another 6 months to continue to grow and develop. And if I’m not where I want to be with business, I still have 6 months to refocus and/or to make adjustments.

Please don’t wait until a new year to write out your goals for the year. Do that today. Take the next step and break apart your goals into what you are going to do monthly, weekly, and daily to help you reach them. Mark your calendar with dates you wish to reach your goals. Finally, post your goals. Keep them in a prominent place. Who cares if others see your goals? In fact, invite people to read them. This will be a huge factor in reaching your goals.

So don’t feel like everything is going like a yard sale. Take charge of your life. So the yard sale has happened. Now you have a clean slate.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Karalynn’s Super Scrumptious Kale Chips

My daughter has fallen in love with kale chips. Brookford Farm’s CSA program delivers a large bag of kale to us each week. Before it even gets into the house, she is asking to make kale chips. Since they take about 15 minutes to make, the kale chips at our house will be devoured in less than 45 minutes after it arrives fresh at our door. In short, my kids love them!

  • 1 large bag of kale, washed
  • ¼-½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the kale by taking the large rib out of each leaf. We do this by holding the leafy part of the plant and pulling the stem up towards our hand until it breaks off. Depending on the size of the leaf, we might break the leaf in two pieces.

Lay the leaves out so that none are overlapping each other on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil across the leaves and then use your hands to mix the olive oil around on the kale. Again, lay out the leaves so they aren’t overlapping each other. Sprinkle garlic powder on top. You’ll have to judge how much you want to your taste. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the leaves are crispy. My kids eat them right off the pan as soon as they are cooled!

3 Simple Steps to Practicing Gratitude

It may seem simple, but most of us want to be known as grateful people but we don’t act like it. Showing appreciation is different than thinking it in your head. Being thankful has been shown to:

  • Create a stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure.
  • Give higher levels of positive emotion.
  • Bring you and others more joy, optimism, and happiness.
  • Circle you with more generosity and compassion.
  • Help you feel less lonely and isolated.

How can you practice being more grateful?

1. Write it all down!

Yes, just thinking about your daily gratitude can help but there is something very powerful about putting pen to paper and getting those grateful thoughts out of your head and into the open. It makes them more real and allows you to really gain a better perspective.

2. Make them authentic.

Just writing down three things as quick as you can isn't going to give you great results. They have to be something real and authentic to your daily life to give you the most benefit. They don't need to be some profound revelation. For example, I am grateful for the chair I am sitting on. It sure beats sitting on the floor.

3. Do it daily.

Being grateful once in awhile won't make the changes you are looking for. Working yourself up towards daily practice will help you to get the amazing benefits. It doesn't have to take you a long time every day, but this can be a skill that impacts not only your life but the lives of people close to you.

Bonus: Find a common theme.

This is a tip that you don't have to follow, but I have found to be helpful. Instead of writing down three random gratitudes every day, I try to find a common theme. It might be the relationships I have in my life, something to do with nature, or even my overall health. The theme does not matter, but it does help me focus on one area of my life for that day (or week) and get a much deeper appreciation.

Executing your gratitude does not need to be a difficult task. Use these tips to help make it a daily practice!

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

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!

Leveling Up Is a Choice

Some people talk about continuing education as if it’s an option. Especially when you are talking nutrition and your own health, you have to keep on learning.

Let’s face it, our lives are very different than when we were kids. The time my kids spend playing is astounding to me. I wish it wouldn’t change but I know it will. Think back to when you were just driving. The amount of freedom it afforded you also cascaded to other choices and options. For me, I had the freedom to drive myself to work and therefore stop at any convenience store I wanted to buy what my paycheck could afford to feed me. That meant a lot of Little Debbie’s snack cakes.

Life has changed again. I am now the mother of 6 and Gigi (grandmother) to 3. I work full time. I rarely just ‘play’ and I certainly don’t have a whole lot of use for Little Debbie’s. While they still might taste good, I have learned what a diet of those can do to a teenager, and I don’t want to experiment with a 50-year-old body.

! am constantly learning about new hormones my body is not producing as well or hormones that are raging that I didn’t know effected sleep so much. I am glad there is someone out there who is knows all this medical stuff to help me out.

Don’t stop learning. While your circumstances are different from person to person and your life is constantly shifting gears, you have to match your nutritional needs to you.

I can help you do that. There are far too many barriers in health, but once you’ve started to make changes to your system (it could be the system of how you think about food, how you look at each meal, how you put portion sizes on your plate, etc), the opportunity to level up is largely driven by you. Level up the field by what you choose, by how much your chose, how often you chose to go outside of the plan and by who you choose to learn from.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy