Category Archives for "Food"

Survive the Holiday Treats

Sticking with our Handling the Holidays theme... I’m back at it with today’s topic: Too many sweets and temptations.

I’ve heard more than one person complain of all the sweets and baked goods that are around this time of year.

And unless you plan on checking yourself into an institution for the next two weeks, it's hard to avoid. There's the food YOU make at home (for your family or other people), the food that people give TO YOU, and the food that's brought into the office. 

And that's not counting office parties and holiday parties that take place in the last 2 weeks of the year, either.

What's a goal-oriented clean eater to do?

Today we tackle the home environment.

5 Tips  (Plus a bonus tip) Conquer Holiday Treats and Sweets

1. Instead of baking cookies for others, consider other baked goods that you can give as WHOLE THINGS. For example, banana bread, pies, cakes. Most of these are less time-consuming to make than individual cookies, and you won't be tempted. I mean who's going to give a pie to someone with a piece cut out?

2. Consider GIVING away things other than baked goods. Fruit baskets are great choices and many people actually welcome them this time of year, when they've been inundated with other junk food. I opt for making my own for a fraction of the price of store bought.

3. When you are baking at home, those little BLT's add up. Remember, BLT stands for Bite, Lick or Taste. Don't start cooking until after you've had a protein rich meal. If you are baking after breakfast I suggest eating The Carlson Family Breakfast Hash . Your body will be busy digesting that breakfast for hours and you'll be less tempted to snack. If baking is an all day event, plan a decent lunch and take a break to eat. My pick would be a Veggie Pad Thai Chicken. 

4. If you will be baking at home or you just have lots of goodies in the kitchen, brush and floss your teeth after every meal. A clean fresh mouth will make those treats less tempting. Avoid the kitchen when you are bored or craving a little something. Out of sight, out of mind.

5. Are you inundated with food related gifts from family and friends? I almost hate to say it, but re-gift. You can appreciate the thoughtfulness without having to "appreciate" it. Pass on the thoughtfulness to someone else.

Bonus TIp. What's your reason for NOT overindulging this season? If you don't have one, you need to come up with something that will make this a season that is defined by something other than the goodies you can indulge in. With no real reason for sticking to clean eating, you'll be much more likely to convince yourself a little bite here, and a little cookie there won't hurt.

The easiest place to control excess calories this holiday season is your own home. Watch what food you bring in, encourage company to take leftovers and goodies with them or give away what you can.

It's not the food that makes the holidays, it's the memories you make.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Roasted Asparagus

A simple yet delicious way to get your veggies in! It's super easy to whip up and makes a great side.

Roasted Asparagus

by Coach Nancy

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse asparagus under cold water. Grab asparagus spears near the tip with one hand and near the base with the other hand. Bend ends together until spears naturally snap. Discard the bottom portions.

Toss asparagus with coconut oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay asparagus on a backing sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until asparagus is tender.

How to Survive the Office During the Holidays

Calories, calories, calories everywhere! But no where seems worse than the place we spend the majority of our day. The office.

 From Thanksgiving to Christmas its an endless stream of treats and goodies. Clients, reps, patients, students, co- workers and business associates send or bring in all sorts of temptations.

Staff parties, get togethers after work, the annual Christmas party, and giving home baked goodies or items from a specialty shop all mean more food. Food that might not be on your Top Ten healthy list. 

If you are like most, your co-workers might be the biggest culprits. The overachievers who want to show off all of their superb culinary skills by bringing everyone in the office high-calorie, delicious homemade goodness. And insist on watching you try "just one."

Add to all of that, the end of year work related stress that leaves you short-fused, and sleep deprived and you are primed for a sugar-laden calorie bomb before noon!

Here's my top tips for handling this.

5 Tips to Avoid a Food Disaster in the Office

1.Recognize that just because food is there, doesn't mean you have to eat it. Are you eating because you're hungry? Or because you're bored? Before you indulge in anything at the office, take a moment and think about why you are eating. If it's a one of kind treat, offered only once a year, than maybe it's worth the calories. If it's something you could get again tomorrow, why bother? 

2. TAKE the time to prepare and bring your lunch every single day from now until the holiday craziness has passed. And not just any old lunch - think of some of your favorite, clean lunches and bring those, so you won't be tempted by the trays and trays of sub sandwiches in the break room. Pack snacks too. Things that are easy and portable are string cheese, raw nuts, veggie sticks, beef jerky, and fresh fruit. Always aim to eat some lean protein, some healthy fats, and fiber so you will stay full for a longer period of time.

3. Handle the food-pushers assertively. When they offer you tempting goodies, look them directly in the eye and say "It looks wonderful and I'm sure it tastes fabulous, but I am (insert one of the following: full, already had my lunch, limiting how many sweets I am eating this year, going to be eating in an hour and I'll have a little piece then, cutting back on in between meal snacks, etc). The key is to be appreciative, but also direct. If they persist, again, look them directly in the eye, and say, " Thank you, first name, I appreciate the time and love you put into _______ BUT (repeat your rationale)." Leave it at that. It show them you care but you have put up some boundaries.

4. Lastly, the most simple and direct tip I can give you. Avoid the food. Don't hang out where food is stored or sitting out. You'll constantly have to tell yourself "no" and repeating "no" over and over doesn't actually increase your conviction, it weakens it. It's like exposure to a cold or illness. The greater (more frequent) the exposure, the greater the chance you will catch the bug and give in.

5. Ask a few of your co- workers or Organize  a workplace lunch walk or other activity. What a great way to destress the office, get a bit of fresh air, and get those joints moving. On top of that it builds friendships without relying on food as the tool to bring you closer.   ​

Avoiding a disaster might not mean that you are perfect at all these tips all the time. But taking one or two of them and putting them into practice might help you keep the disaster at bay.

To your Health,

Coach Nancy

Get Fit NH’s Fall Beef Stew

Get Fit NH's Fall Beef Stew

by Coach Nancy

I love this recipe because it brings all the beauty of fall and its colors to the stove. It also makes the kitchen smell fantastic. You'll hardly be able to wait to eat it once you smell it cooking!

  • 2 pounds stew meat
  • 32 oz beef stock
  • 2 large carrots, choppe
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, cut into halves
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Adobo seasoning (it's a mix of garlic, onion, pepper, oregano, bay, turmeric, and sea salt)

Place all ingredients in a large pot and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours. Better yet, place all ingredients in a crock pot in the order they are listed and cook on low for 8 hours. Yummy!

 

Sweet Potato, Kale & Chicken Patties

Sweet Potato, Kale & Chicken Patties
Recipe Type: Main Dishes
Author: Coach Nancy
These yummy patties can be eaten hot or cold, as a snack or as part of a meal, and are great on the go! You can also add chili powder to give it a little kick. Shout out to rockstar Marcy for sharing this recipe!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound bag kale, chopped finely
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, fresh or dried
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1-3 pounds ground chicken
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons coconut flour
  • Coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Chop kale in a food processer.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add green onion, kale, salt, garlic, paprika, and rosemary. Cook for a few minutes until kale is soft.
  3. While that is cooking, microwave the sweet potatoes until soft, about 10 minutes. Then chop the sweet potato into small cubes.
  4. Add kale mixture, sweet potatoes, ground chicken, eggs, and coconut flour to a large bowl.
  5. Once cooled enough to handle, mix everything together with hands until well combined.
  6. Form mixture into patties.
  7. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add patties to the pan. Cook about 5 or 6 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked all the way through.
  8. OR, spray muffin tins with coconut oil and fill each with mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

 

 

5 Mental “Must Do’s” for Nutrition Success

I read and sometimes there is more power packed into a few paragraphs than one hundred pages written on a subject. So take these nuggets of nutritional information and put them into use.

1. Train to get better, not to get done.

Are you eating each meal as if the quality/quantity of the foods you eat will dictate your success? Are you treating each snack with that same respect?

2. Be a Champion. Championships aren't won Overnight.

Being the best takes months of practice, a willingness to work and a genuine passion for what you're doing. Everyone is a champion at something. Would you like to be known for someone who is in champion of his or her body?

3. Have small victories.

Winning one game doesn't mean you will win a championship - but it's a way to measure your progress and validate your efforts. Measure your efforts with a short- term scale, always working towards that championship.

4. Compete.

I think this is a biggie. Winners of competition don’t go through the motions. Athletes train. Everyone else works out. (Sound familiar to anyone?)

The difference - competition.

Part of training is the fuel you feed your body. Are you going through the motions in your nutrition?

5. Handle adversity.

In baseball, hitters that didn't let one bad at bat turn into a bad game were the most successful. With eating habits, it's the same. A missed healthy meal doesn't mean you can’t succeed. A bad choice in the evening doesn't mean you're destined for failure. Learn from it and move on.

In other words - You'll learn by doing. You’ll find what works by taking action, making changes, and sticking to your goal.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

NancyCoaching Queen

If you want something to happen, you have 3 choices:

1. Sit around and hope it happens.

2. Complain about why it isn't happening.

3. Go out and Make It Happen!

If you chose number 3, everything won't always go perfectly - but I guarantee that each day you'll get a little closer to making your goals a reality. 

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

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Sriracha Deviled Eggs
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Coach Nancy
Even though this recipe doesn’t have pumpkin in it, it’s still a fun recipe for fall and Halloween! The Sriracha sauce gives the filling an orange hue. I sprinkled them with paprika and added a green onion stem. Super cute but my kids don’t allow these cute pumpkins to last long.
Ingredients
  • 12 hard boiled eggs
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 -2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 green onion, green part only for garnish
  • Paprika, if desired
Instructions
  1. Peel eggs and cut the eggs in half, then remove the yolks.
  2. Place the yolks in a bowl.
  3. Add mayonnaise, mustard, and sea salt and mash with a fork to combine.
  4. Add in the Sriracha sauce to taste.
  5. Fill the eggs whites with the yolk mixture; you can pipe the filling in or use a spoon.
  6. Sprinkle each with paprika and add a green onion stem

Pumpkin Custard

Pumpkin Custard
Author: Coach Nancy
This is all the greatness of a pumpkin pie but without the crust!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 pinches of grated nutmeg
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Set a pot of water on to boil (enough water to fill the baking pan as directed below).
  3. Combine pumpkin and all spices in one bowl.
  4. In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs lightly then whisk in the vanilla and coconut milk.
  5. Whisk the egg mixture into the pumpkin mixture until well combined.
  6. Pour the custard into six ½-cup ramekins.
  7. Place the ramekins in a baking pan and add enough boiling water to the dish to come up 2″ high around the ramekins.
  8. Carefully place in the oven and bake for 60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the custard comes out clean.
  9. Serve warm or chilled.

 

 

Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie

Pumpkin Shepherds Pie
Recipe Type: Main Dishes
Author: Coach Nancy
The recipe is sent in by rock star Sara. Sara plans each week’s meals. When I saw this recipe on her plan, I just needed to know the recipe. Here’s what Sara said: “The pumpkin shepherd’s pie is yummy–it’s adapted from The Fresh 20 cookbook. Jason and I (and the kids) get a good dinner plus a good sized lunch out of it.”
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ medium onion, rough chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 lb ground turkey or ground beef
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 cups roasted pumpkin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and carrots, and sauté until slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Season with cumin, salt, pepper, and paprika.
  5. Add meat and brown.
  6. Toss in baby spinach to wilt, and transfer to a greased 8×8 inch baking dish.
  7. Using a handheld mixer, whisk egg whites in a large bowl until stiff.
  8. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin with the cayenne and salt.
  9. Fold the egg whites into the pumpkin, then spread the topping over the filling.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes until golden on top.
Notes
*Chef Sara’s notes: I made the topping with the eggs the first time, but haven’t since. They make it nice and light and fluffy on top, but even without them it still tastes good. Also, I use various types of winter squash in place of the pumpkin all the time, and I probably use closer to 3 cups.

 

Three Things I learned at the Vet’s Office

Yearly I make my trek to the doctor for my physical. They take my height, my weight, they listen to my heart, they take my blood pressure. She makes sure I am healthy. She will ask me questions about my lifestyle, She ask questions about my family history, she will even ask me questions about work, my home life, my kids, my hubby. She always asks a lot of questions. Her goal is to get a good picture of me. She pronounces me healthy and I am off.

At times I visit my doctor when I am ill. Usually when I’ve waited well past a few days of being miserably sick and now I want relief or at my family’s insistence, they want relief from me. She again takes my height, my weight, looks, listens, and feels to determine what is wrong. She pronounces her findings and I am off.

Same scenario but just a bit different.

My dog, Buddy, also goes to his yearly doctor visit. They take his weight, listen to his heart, feel around to make sure all moves well. His doctor will also ask questions. But his first question always intrigues me, “What do you feed Buddy?” I didn’t think about this much until Buddy got sick.

While at this sick care visit, they did weigh him, they didn’t do much else. The vet came right in. His first question was “What was going on with our sick dog?” After describing how he was acting, his next question stunned me.

“What are you feeding Buddy?”.

I wasn’t at the vet for his nutritional counseling. I wanted him to help my dog feel better. I needed his help in that way. Of course Buddy wasn’t eating very much food but no one does when they are sick. The vet wasn’t as interested in what he had that day as much as what he is normally fed. In fact the dog doctor was directly linking my dog’s health with the food he was consuming.

Yes, Buddy, had an infection but the doctor explained how his regular diet had contributed to his poor health. I walked out of the doggie doctor’s office thinking "No duh, what applies to dogs applies to us humans too!"

Three Things I learned at the Veterinarian’s Office to help me from getting sick.

1. A healthy eating plan gives your body what it needs to work optimally, not just survive.

2.  Health–Ful means it contains a whole lot of foods that make me healthy.

3. A few bites of “under the table” foods are okay once in a while but I can’t make a habit of them.

So what does this miracle way of eating look like?

1. For us humans filling our plates with lots of vegetables, lean protein, a small portion of healthy fats and drinking lots of water.

2. Find foods that are high in the good stuff while limiting the foods that are highly processed is our key.

Eat as many “colorful foods” as you can throughout the day; real food - think fruits and vegetables. Eat green, purple, red, yellow, and blue. Nature has a very simple way of letting us know which foods are really healthy and full of nutrients - color.

3. While there isn’t any ‘bad’ food, there were some foods that don’t have the bang for the buck (or calorie) we are looking for. Those are foods we have in moderation. It’s a balancing act. Include whatever treats you want into an overall picture of a healthy diet. It’s not about totally taking them out but finding their place in your plan.

My Vet taught me that consistently feeding my animal great food, getting him some exercise, giving him access to water all the time, while limiting the treats was best for his health. It actually helped Buddy not get sick.

Why would I do less for me?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

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