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!

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

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.

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