Simple Garden Tomatoes

Right now is the perfect time for some tomatoes fresh out of the garden! Pick a few of your own and dress them up with this simple but delicious recipe!

  • 3 garden fresh tomatoes (or however many desired)
  • Olive oil
  • Mrs. Dash’s Garlic & Herb seasoning

Slice tomatoes and lay out on plate or serving dish. Brush on olive oil with a pastry brush. Sprinkle on Mrs. Dash’s Garlic & Herb seasonings (all Mrs. Dash seasonings are salt free). Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour at room temperature.

The “take it with you” calorie control guide [Infographic]

There is no need to pull out the food scale and count calories all the time. This is easier.

By Dean Carlson (with a little help from his friends)


If you are like most people, you don't want to do math every time you eat. The good news is you don't have to when you learn how to use this handy calorie control guide. It's a lot more practical than carrying a food scale everywhere!


It's one thing to know what to eat. Most of us know we need less twinkies, more veggies. 

But it's another thing altogether to know how much to eat. Because no matter what your goal is; lose bodyfat, gain muscle, or even both, portion control matters. 

And the dirty little secret about counting calories is out - research shows it can be up to 25% inaccurate, up or down. That is an enormous difference than can really frustrate even the best mathematician.

So let's do this instead.

Download this printable guide and post it in your kitchen.

So much simpler!

Click here for a fully printable version of this infographic. Keep a copy in your kitchen and another at the office for easy reference during every meal.

Note: If you want more resources like this one, check out ProCoach Nutrition Coaching. In addition to personal coaching, accountability, and support, you'll get access to more visual guides, worksheets, and learning materials that help our clients find healthy eating and lifestyle strategies that just plain work in their busy lives.

Thinning Out Carrot Beds

Thinning out carrot beds is similar to what I need to do in my own life. In order to be the best version of me, in order to support my own growth and success, I need to get rid of everything/everyone who isn't helping. I’m wondering if you have some thinning out to do, too.

Some things SLOW me down. I find when I am over tired I drink way too much coffee and I tend to crave sweets. Since I am tired I give in to those cravings too often. It’s not the cravings I have to address as much as the sleep. So I might need to get rid of what is keeping me up late (a favorite TV show, a movie started way too late to fully enjoy, or maybe that coffee needs to stop at a certain point in the day so it doesn’t keep me up). Do you do something that can slow you down?

Energy Zappers steal my strength. There are a few people in my life who always seem to be down. Just listening to their conversations leaves me tired. I work hard to leave them in a better state mentally than when I first started chatting with them. BUT I am drained, not from expelling physical energy, but these people have left me drained emotionally. Naysayers also bring me down. Those that seem to see the half glass empty in my life and want me to fix it. As much as I try to keep an open mind to their thoughts, it tires me out to know others see such a gap in the goodness of what I am doing/trying to do. Do you also have those in your life who unknowingly take some of the positive energy you need to be successful and flourish?

As I’m gardening it's hard to cut out so many little carrot or bean plants. It’s my least favorite part of gardening, because I always feel bad that I didn't let them grow up. I know in the long run, those that are left will grow up bigger, better, and tastier than if I'd left all of them bunched together. While you might not enjoy it, think about who/what needs to be thinned from your own life in order to be the strongest, healthiest, best version of you. And yank them out without mercy. 🙂

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

35 Ways to Drink More Water

1. Always have a water bottle in your hand.

2. Fill a gallon jug with water and only pour water from that. Empty it each day.

3. Leave a water bottle in your purse.

4. Bring a water bottle with you when you go grocery shopping. Drink every time you see something you want to buy that is not on your list.

5. Drink a water bottle on your way to work. Of course, only when your vehicle is stopped.

6. Drink a full cup of water each time you brush your teeth.

7. Have a cup of water near your bed. Drink some before you get up each morning.

8. When talking on the phone, sip water while you are listening to your friend gossip.

9. Add lemon or lime to your water.

10. Drink 8 ounces of water before breakfast.

11. For each glass of liquid you drink besides water, challenge yourself to have an equal amount of water.

12. Bring a water bottle with you to any appointments you have.

13. Always bring water to a business meeting. It might be the only way to stay awake.

14. Add a sprig of mint to infuse your water.

15. Drink 8 ounces of water before dinner.

16. Finish all the water in your glass when taking your multivitamin.

17. After dinner have 8 ounces of water for dessert.

18. As you walk out of the door, bring a water bottle with you to drink in the car.

19. Sip water while walking your dog.

20. Drink 8 ounces of water before lunch.

21. Always drink water while resting during your physical training.

22. Freeze a water bottle or two, it can keep your packed lunch cold while it thaws. Then drink it for lunch.

23. Always have a water glass on your desk.

24. If you watch your favorite TV show, drink 8 ounces before it is over.

25. At the beach, drink water.

26. At your son’s baseball game, drink water.

27. Drink water at dance lessons.

28. Add a few apple slices and a cinnamon stick to your water.

29. Place the number of filled water bottles you want to drink in a day on your kitchen counter. As you drink them they become their own check mark on your to do list.

30. When eating out, ask the server to leave a water pitcher on the table.

31. When you order your coffee, also ask for a glass of water.

32. Buy a special water bottle that shouts out your personality.

33. Remember to fill your water glass during your meals.

34. Strawberries and raspberries make beautiful infused water that tastes amazing.

35. Never leave home without your water bottle.

S3 Party Recipes

Our S3 reveal party was a wonderful time of celebrating all the work and effort that went into 39 days of focusing on nutrition. It is all about the food. Food should be enjoyed. With these recipes, you can jump start your way to better health.

Omelet Muffins

  • 20 eggs, scrambled
  • 1 pound ground pork breakfast sausage
  • Veggies of choice - see the variations below.

Grease 13x9 inch pan with coconut oil.

Onion Pepper Mushroom Omelet –
Use all frozen veggies, add those to the pan first, next add sausage and mix gently, pour eggs on top and bake about an hour or until set.

Onion Pepper and Spinach Omelet –
Use all frozen veggies, then add sausage pour on eggs last and bake until set.

Onion Mixed Peppers Broccoli Omelet –
Love those frozen veggies – one bag of each, add in sausage and pour eggs over. Bake for about an hour.

Onion Mixed Peppers Asparagus Omelet –
Add all the veggies to the pan, then add sausage and pour eggs over it all. Bake for about an hour.

Want to make a smaller batch?

  • Coconut oil or paper muffin liners
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/2 lb chicken or sausage, cooked and cut or crumbled into small pieces
  • 2 cups diced vegetables (1 red bell pepper, 1/4 lb asparagus or broccoli and 1/2 yellow onion is a great combo, but use whatever is on hand)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8 muffin cups with coconut oil or line with paper baking cups. Fill any remaining muffin cups with 1" of water, so they do not scorch while baking.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and add meat, vegetables, salt, ground pepper, and any other ingredients you wish to add. Pour mixture into the muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Chicken Salad with Cucumber & Melon

  • Cooked chicken, chopped (your portion size)
  • ½ cup diced cantaloupe or honeydew melon
  • ½ cup finely chopped cucumber
  • ½ cup finely chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1½ teaspoons orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • Pinch of pepper

Combine lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, cilantro and pepper in a jar. Shake to combine. Mix everything else into a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss ingredients to coat everything.

You can also find the Breakfast Salad recipe right here!

Don’t Fear Fear

When it comes to health and nutrition, what are you afraid of?

- I'm afraid that eating healthy won't work, that my will power is not strong enough, that I won't look like myself anymore.

- I'm afraid it will work and I'll have to live a life of restriction forever in order to keep the weight off.

- I'm afraid if I lose the weight I want to, my relationship with my partner will change.

- Sometimes I think I wear my weight as a suit of armor, if I don't have the weight anymore, how will I protect myself?

- I'm a perfectionist, I'm certainly afraid of failure - failing to lose weight or keep it off or make the right eating choices, etc.

Being afraid is normal. Not knowing what is going to happen can be unraveling. Focusing on the ‘What If’s’ can be paralyzing.

Pick ONE small thing you could do today to confront your fear.

- The biggest thing I do to confront my fears daily is to stay with others who are in the same place physically and mentally as I am. Seriously. I can't tell you how many times I think to myself, "I thought I was alone in that thought/feeling/fear."

-Daily I fear this isn't going to work, but I still work on eating one healthy meal at a time. I don’t have to make or eat all my meals at once so why focus on them all at one time?

- Notice when I am feeding myself negative self-talk and then combat it with some affirmation - sounds a bit woo-woo, but it keeps me from staying still. I can move forward and plan my next meal.

-I know these "head fears” are in fact a way to sabotage myself. If I keep listening to the ‘What if’s?’ my fear is reinforced. Instead, I’m addressing fear, “Fear, I see right through you! And I'm determined to make it through.”

Fear is real. But like the monster under our beds as a child, find a way to turn the light on to diminish your fears. Then keep the lights on.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Dwell On “Do”, Not “Done”

Lately, I have spent time paying attention to the personal productivity concept. You know the things I am talking about. Those small changes to what you do on a daily basis or a technique that can save you anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes.

A personal eye opening example of a Productivity Hack is when you're filling your dishwasher at home, put all of the forks in the same cutlery compartment, so when it comes time to empty the dishwasher, you can simply grab them all in one go. You won’t have to spend time sorting the knives from the forks.

Now, these sorts of small tweaks to your day can play a role in getting more done in the same amount of times.

But in my opinion, the biggest productivity wins come from something else entirely: having the right productivity mindset.

For example, I hear from students that they would love to change how they are eating BUT they have this and that as a challenge in front of them.

Essentially what they are saying is: “That is great for you, but it is impossible for me.”

And that might just be the case, BUT what if it wasn’t the case? What if you could do such and such and succeed?

Having a mind frame that allows for the possibility will also allow for challenges to not become impassable obstacles but just a hurdle to overcome.

I recently read an article that was expressing this thought when it came to planning for retirement. They had developed a catch phrase: Dwell on Do, not Done.

Truth be told, I can get caught up in the fact that life is busy and stressful and doesn’t seem to run perfectly smooth for very long if much at all. I get impatient. I want to be DONE.

You see, I take my work very seriously, so does Dean, my husband. Working alongside of Dean we can dive into a problem, and honestly assess what was going wrong.

Usually we discover the core issue isn’t a problem that a "productivity hack" could solve.

Instead, what was required was a change in mindset for how the challenge was perceived.

If we had to be at 'done' on day one, it would require a whole lot of fixing.

The breakthrough comes when you view it in an entirely new way. When you take a problem and break it done into do-able pieces. And then Dwelling on the Do.

How can this help you?

​If your problem is that you want to lose 50 pounds, dwell on what it would take to lose one pound. Then DO that until it doesn’t work anymore.

If your challenge is drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated, dwell on drinking more water than you currently are even if that is just 4 ounces more. Then DO that until you reach your goal.

If your challenge is to eat foods that will support your physical needs, dwell on knowing what those foods are and do what it takes to eat those foods.

Dwell on Do is the power of small, targeted productivity changes.

Now, of course, finding the right practices, habits, and routines that will work best for you is a personal journey, but it helps to have good teachers and guides along the way.

That is where I come in. I’ve helped hundreds of people find that next step. The one thing that will make productivity increase in their health and fitness.

I won’t toot my own horn more than just to say that I’ve been where you are, I’ve found a way out and I can help you like I’ve helped others.

If you're looking to find the right practices, habits and routines that will work for you, The Grateful Plate is the best place to start.

I'm here for you.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy​

Smoky Cauliflower Hummus

This hummus has a great smoky flavor and is sure to be a favorite. Try this as a dip for cucumbers and carrots or as a spread for your favorite burger this summer.

Smoky Cauliflower Hummus

  • ½ head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 2-in. florets (about 4 cups florets)
  • 4½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3½ tablespoons well-stirred tahini (sesame seed paste)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put cauliflower florets in a large bowl and add 1 tablespoon oil, the paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, the cumin, chili flakes, and garlic. Toss to coat thoroughly.

Spread florets evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 18 to 20 minutes, stirring once, until florets are cooked through and a little crispy. Let cool.

Put ½ cup water in a blender with roasted cauliflower and garlic, lemon juice, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the tahini, and remaining 1½ teaspoons salt. Blend, adding more water if needed and scraping sides often, until you have a creamy purée, about 4 minutes. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if you like.

Spoon into a serving bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of smoked paprika. Make up to 3 days ahead and chill in an airtight container.

Why eating healthy is so confusing [Infographic]

9 reasons that "healthy eating" isn't as straightforward as we would like it to be.

by Dean Carlson


I get it. There seems to be so much conflicting evidence and expert opinion how what the "best way" is to eat. But a lot of time it boils down the scientific process and the nature of discovery. We use the best information we have available at the time, and when new data comes in we analyze what it means and whether we need to "pivot" on recommendations. 


Are eggs good for you, or killers? What about coconut oil? Someone told me if I eat too much broccoli I'll turn green. (Wait, I actually think that was my 12 year old trying to get out of it.)

You get the point. What was once "settled science" now has proved to be not as clear as we thought. And while that is aggravating, it is the nature of how science should work.

Isn't nutrition science just one big mess?

It can certainly seem that way. One study says one thing, one says another. 

And people who really want to do the right thing when it comes to nutrition and fitness are stuck in the middle, dazed and confused.

It's not as bad as you think

You see, science doesn't happen in a moment in time. Competing theories, the ones that make sense and the ones that don't, ALL have to be considered, studied, and tested, sometimes over hundreds of years, before we find out who the "winner" is.

Nutrition science hasn't even been around very long, in the grand scheme of things. Macronutrients (fat, protein and carbs) weren't even discovered until the mid-1800's. Vitamins? The 1900s.

And it's really been in only the last 20 years that we have had to investigate first world nutrition problems - a lot of available, tasty, and highly processed foods - and very little movement.

It will get better.

Nutrition science will mature; the scientific method is at work. 

In the meantime, take a look at this infographic that shows us 9 reasons why nutrition science can be so maddening.

And why the media (sometimes? often?) doesn't get it right.

So while it may not make you any happier, at least we have some very good reasons why nutrition science can be so confusing at times. And why listening to the media about it is not always the best tactic.

Print out or download this infographic, and next time a study comes out that makes you want to binge eat ho-ho's, pull it out as a reminder that it's not as bad as it seems. You can also share it with your friends that are feeling the same frustration, I bet they'll appreciate it.

How should I eat?

Eating better and getting more active can be overwhelming at times. At The Grateful Plate, we help make it less confusing so you are confident you are headed in the right direction.

The women and men in our coaching programs get the education, support, and guidance they need to take what can be confusing subjects and fit them more easily into their crazy lives, for a lifetime.

Don’t Wish For Easy

"Don't wish it was easier, wish you were better." 
– Jim Rohn

Think about that for a moment.

The truth is that change is challenging. Often as I work my way through a new recipe or change my timing of meals or even just try to drink more water. I wish it would just be over. I want to be out of the changing part of the situation and be to where it is already done. I don’t like change, it’s hard.

In reality I know that the process of change is actually a curriculum to becoming a better version of myself.

The question is, how are we facing that curriculum?

Are we leaning into it? Am I looking at change and saying bring it on with all of the challenges of doing and being different?

Or am I complaining, wishing that it was easier?

I do both of these. Don’t you? Of course, but the more we shift our perspective from the latter to the former, the better we will be.

Where can you make that shift? I’ve found two areas have helped me the most. Using these two tools have changed my eating so that being healthier is easier for me to tackle.

  1. Take it one step at a time - don’t try to change everything all at once. Pick something you know will be relatively easy for you to tackle. By picking something easy, it will give you success and propel you forward.
  2. Be patient with yourself - change isn’t easy. Being perfect is not what you are working towards but figuring out how to change is.

Take one step at a time and give yourself a little grace if it doesn’t go as you expect the first time out.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy