Category Archives for "Food"

Eat Your Way Right Through the Holidays- the rubber hits the road

There are many of you that are working diligently, planning and prepping and being ready for the inevitable pitfalls to healthy eating that come with office parties, candy dishes, and family feasts. You've been eating only when you're hungry and you've learned to stop eating when you're satisfied. 

Keep up the great work!

But for some of us, we still are practicing all of these skills. 

Keep going- Don't give up!

Remember these quick meal prepping tips.

  • Wash, cut, and even sauté your veggies after grocery shopping
  • Divide, season and cook your meats after grocery shopping
  • Make a double batch of a main dish. Some can be used for lunches or frozen for another meal.
  • Cook similar items together. Butternut squash and spaghetti squash can roast at the same time veggies are roasting. 
  • ALWAYS, Always have a plan.

Here are two recipes I like to make on a cold winter's evening. 

Chicken Bacon Alfredo

1 spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed

1 larger butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed

1 pound chicken tenders

4-6 slices bacon, diced  (use nitrate free, sugar free bacon- it is hard to find but well worth your health)

½ cup canned coconut milk

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried parsley

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your 425 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash butternut squash in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and excess threads. Don’t be dainty. Place open side down on a baking sheet (use aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy clean up) and cook for 20-25 minutes. You will know when they are done cooking when you can poke the outside skin and it ‘gives’ a bit.

Now you can either cook your chicken at the same time or after the squash is done cooking. Whatever you’d like. Just place chicken on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet, sprinkle some olive oil over the chicken (or other kind of fat), salt and pepper it, and sprinkle just a bit of basil on top.  I cooked my tenders for around 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.

Once your squash is done cooking, pull it out of the oven; dethread the spaghetti squash into a large bowl with a fork. Go against the grain, if spaghetti squash had grain.

Now throw your diced bacon into a skillet and cook until done. Use a slotted spoon to pull out your cooked bacon, but leave behind the grease.

Take your butternut squash and hollow it out.  Use the insides and dump them into your warm skillet filled with bacon grease. Then add your coconut milk. You may need to add a little bit more coconut milk depending on how runny you like your sauce. Mix thoroughly with a ladle to break up the squash a bit.

Add seasonings to the mix and salt and pepper as needed. Mix thoroughly and cook on low for about 5 minutes to simmer. Now dice up your cooked chicken. Pour sauce over spaghetti squash and add your chicken to the mix. Mix well & top with bacon. (Original Recipe from Paleo OMG)

Can’t get Enough - Chicken Curry           

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, diced into one inch cubes

½ - 1 can coconut milk

1-2 Tablespoon yellow, green or red curry paste OR

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 ½ teaspoon ginger root

1 Tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

And 4-6 cups veggies  (try combinations of these veggies- butternut squash cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, onion, pineapple, red pepper, sweet potatoe, broccoli, eggplant, green beans, green peppers, snow peas, spinach, zucchini. Be creative, use what you have fresh or frozen)

Coach Nancy's quick tip: make both these meals at the same time. They both need chicken cooked and it can bake while the squash and veggies cook.

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Eat Your Way RIGHT Through the Holidays- What’s the Point?

You might have asked yourself that question already, as in “Why even bother? I always gain weight this time of year.”

If that’s the case, I understand. I think you need an attitude check , but I really do understand. If it was easy, we wouldn’t be having this “conversation”.

However when I asked the question “What’s The Point?” I am talking about the end game. Where are we going with this whole thing?

I mean if you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to know when you get there? 

Here is my goal every time I talk nutrition:

To inspire you to build nutrition habits, that when applied consistently and correctly, will create the optimum environment to help you lose body fat and gain/maintain lean tissue (aka muscle).

In other words I want you to eat in a way that makes you look and feel great

So what’s the main obstacle to progress?

Continue reading

Eat Your Way Right Through the Holidays – the plan

I was reading the paper yesterday and came across an article by Dr. Oz’s. Now I know how much some of you love Dr. Oz so I figured I’d give him a shout out.

Anyway in the article he refers to the “Five Food Felons”

  • Added Sugars
  • Added Syrups
  • Most Saturated Fat
  • All Trans-fats
  • Grains that are not 100% whole grain

The list got me to thinking about a crucial part of our nutrition plan.

The actual planning!

Because there are some foods (like in the list above) you need to plan to avoid. Added sugars for example. You have to read the label and see what’s in there, which is another good reason to purchase as much “label free” whole foods as possible.

Well if we are going to “Eat Our Way RIGHT Through The Holidays” we are going to have to implement the other PPW…

Planning + Preparation = Winning.

We’ve talked about it before. You can’t go into the grocery store and wing it. From the moment you walk through the door you are being set up to buy more, and the choices ain’t all good.


To that end you need to have a meal plan so you can have a  shopping List”.

My challenge to you, next time you go shopping buy only items on this list.

Should really simplify the process, and you will be feeding your body what it needs. 

Plus you’ll have a head start stocking your kitchen with the foods you planned to eat.  You will be setting yourself for success.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


 

Yes, You can Eat Good at the Holidays

Christmas is a busy time of year. Don’t let it be an excuse to not eat healthy meals prepared at home. My favorite kitchen aid is my crock pot. It serves up delicious meals without a lot of fuss. Plus it makes the house smell good all day while it cooks. Here are three meals when served with a salad will keep you on track nutritionally.

Salsa Style Pork

  • 1 pound pork loin, cut into one inch cubes
  • 1- 20 ounce jar of salsa
  • 1- 4 ounce jar of diced green chilies, drained
  • 1- 15 ounce can of black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Combine pork loin, salsa, chilies, and black beans in crock pot and mix well. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low. Sprinkle cheese and cilantro over top and serve.

Herbed Turkey Breast

  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 12 baby carrots
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1- 4 pound boneless turkey breast
  • 1- 14 ounce can of chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/8 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Place vegetables in the bottom of the crock pot. Top with turkey breast. Combine seasonings and chicken broth. Pour over the top. Cover and cook on low heat for 5-7 hours.

Sirloin Tip Roast with Horseradish

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼pound boneless beef sirloin tip roast, cut in half
  • ½ cup beef broth

Combine seasonings. Spread over roast halves. Place in slow cooker. Add broth. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Remove from cooker. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing diagonally across the grain. Scoop juices from crock pot into gravy dish. Serve with horseradish if desired.

Enjoy,

Coach Nancy

Shut the Negative Out

"I can't lose weight."

"I can't find the time to plan my meals."

"I can't find the energy to get to training."

Our minds are powerful. Your internal dialog sets the tone for what you believe is true about yourself. If you keep telling yourself “I can’t lose any pounds off the scale” or “I can’t find the motivation” then you WON’T! You need to start BELIEVING you CAN!!! Can’t is a four letter word that we want to banish from our internal self.​

Somewhere between being perfect and giving up, there’s BETTER.

Many of us strive for perfection, especially on the journey of weight loss. When things don’t go as planned you might say “Forget it, I will start again tomorrow” and tomorrow turns into Monday and so on. Then that voice inside your head might tell you, you failed again so why bother trying any more. You need to SILENCE that voice and get back on track! Every day (even every minute) is an opportunity to get better and closer to our goals!

We must choose to be positive and shut the negative out! There is so much negative going on in the world it is hard not to be brought down by it. Be grateful. Write down something positive about each day and see the difference it makes. Small shifts like this can make a big difference in yourself. I wouldn’t doubt that soon gratitude will be overflowing to others.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Cauliflower and Sausage Hash

We're continuing with my favorite cauliflower recipes! This one can be a side dish for any meal, or you can add a few eggs to it and make it your breakfast.

  • Ground sausage, browned
  • 3/4 lb. cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 2 tsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 4 eggs, fried (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook the sausage in a skillet over a medium-high heat until crispy (about 10 minutes). Remove from the skillet and set aside. In the same skillet, add the cauliflower, garlic, and onion. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until it starts to golden. Add the smoked paprika and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the water. Cover the skillet and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 5 minutes. Return the sausage to the skillet. Add the lemon juice and cook for another 2 minutes; then remove from the heat and sprinkle fresh parsley on top. Serve with eggs, or as a side for any meal.

Time Outs Have Rules, Too

One of the best ways to relieve stress is to give yourself a time out. As a parent, I have often taken a few deep breaths before talking to my child about a situation that has emotions high. When my kids were little I would help them to calm down and ‘think’ about an issue by having them sit in a time out. That small amount of time gave them a chance to avoid more aggravation by taking time just to be alone. Time outs are valuable for adults too.

5 reasons why adults should have timeouts:

  1. Stress. Being an adult is tough work. While we might want to do one thing, we realize we have obligations and other people who are relying on us. Daily pressures add up to a mountain of stress.
  2. Sleep. If only we could take our own advice and get to bed when we need it, it seems like there is always one more thing we have to do. Then on top of that, we don’t sleep like soundly like we once did.
  3. Work. This might be the cause of our stress but often it just adds to the stress we place on ourselves.
  4. Nutrition. I don’t know about you but there is always room for improvement when it comes to my eating. I get a bit anxious when I think about the possibilities I could have if only I could eat better.
  5. Physical training. While this is fantastically wonderful for you, training is self imposed stressed on our bodies. With proper sleep, great nutrition and plenty of water that stress is negated by all the goodness of training. But see above if you have any doubt there might be an issue.

Ahhh a time out, a place to gather focus. A time to energize and feel like a human again. A time out is a place to get better. As a child we had time outs in order to calm us, help us to regain focus, energize ourselves so we could rejoin the group. As grown ups we can gain all those benefits again.

Here is what you do for an adult time out:

  1. Lie flat on your back with a small pillow under your head to keep your spine in total alignment. Breath. Deep inhales with your exhale becoming like a relaxing sigh. Putting your thoughts into alignment with your breathing. Think about your breathing. Listen to the sound of the air traveling in and out. Notice what happens to your shoulders and your toes. This is not an opportunity to work out your next list of things to do or think about the meat you forgot to take out of the freezer.
  2. If taking time to lie down in the middle of your office floor is not a good idea to keep normal in other people’s mind, the next best place to do a 5 minute time out, at your desk with your head back on the head rest and eyes closed. Set a timer so you don't fall asleep. Again focus on your breathing. Notice and feel what how your body is responding. While in your time out, consider it your time.

Time outs are an effective way to manage your stress but also become a better version of you.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Cauliflower Rice

Here is another of my favorite cauliflower recipes! This is a great side dish that is super easy to make and will go great with any meal.

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, grated (I run it through a food processor)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large pan and start to sauté the grated cauliflower over medium heat. Add the chicken stock. Continue sautéing, stirring, until the cauliflower is al dente. Don’t cook it too long or it will turn to mush. I estimate this takes 5-7 minutes, but just taste it as you go and pull it off the heat when it’s done.

Stay tuned for more cauliflower recipes!

14 Ways to Make It Happen at Breakfast

Breakfast can be tough because so many times we are in a rush. Here are some ideas to help you make breakfast happen!

1. Cook eggs the night before. This is what Dean has for his breakfast each day. I precook his eggs, mixed veggies, a small container of salsa and black beans.

2. Yummy for my Tummy Oatmeal

3. Grab and go breakfast - hard boiled eggs served with cut veggies

4. Lunch meat with salad – who says you can’t have it at breakfast?

5. Breakfast Sundae

6. Breakfast burritos

7. Cottage cheese and cut veggies

8. Protein icing - you’ll never be bored with breakfast after this one

9. The Breakfast Stack – a slice of ham, a slice of cheese, with a poached egg on top

10. The Wonder Bowl - cottage cheese and a scoop of UMP

11. Eggs in a Mug

12. Better than Eggs for Breakfast

13. Crustless Sunday Quiche

14. Super Shakes

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

My Favorite: Cauliflower

My favorite vegetable this week is cauliflower. I have it just about every day. Yesterday I had it in cauliflower bacon hash for breakfast and at dinner I love Mexi-cauli Beef. It’s already in the oven along with broccoli and carrots to roast for dinner.

The Bomb Mashed Cauliflower 

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup water or coconut milk

In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, steam the cauliflower and cashews in water until cauliflower is tender. Drain water and transfer cauliflower mixture to a food processor or blender. Add coconut milk and puree (in small batches, if needed). Top with butter, salt and pepper to taste.

Stay tuned for more of my favorite cauliflower recipes! 🙂