Category Archives for "Food"

My Choices: Are They Good, Better, or the Best I Can Do?

Good, better or best?

We face choices every day. Choices in what we eat, when we eat our meals, where to eat, eating on the go or taking time to sit, having a meal or drinks with family and friends or alone. Choices hit us even at the grocery store.

You have your meals planned and you’re heading to the store. You’re in front of the strawberries ready to pick up the berries for a salad you planned for dinner the next night.

AH..... you stop because there are two choices. The berries on sale and some organic berries. What do you do?

While your thoughts pause long enough you realize that you could take an hour out of your day tomorrow morning to pick strawberries. It was always a favorite while a kid and now you can make those memories with your own family.

Oh and another option speaks up while you are still standing in the produce section - you could just stop on the way home and buy some at that farm stand.

Oh, what to do, what to do.......

Is there only one right choice?

Life is so so busy. I have 50,000 things on my to-do list just for today. So my best choice is that I should stay at it, hit the ground running and keep on going until all 50,000 are done.

It will make me feel good to check off 50,000 things.

What will it cost me to do all those things?

  1. Sunshine - today is gorgeous and I will miss all of it
  2. Time with my family - one thing I have learned more than anything else is that life is short and I can't get time back with my kiddos or hubby
  3. Sanity - I'm probably not the nicest person as I fly around in a whirl wind
  4. Energy - when I finally finish I will collapse in exhaustion going right to bed
  5. Sleep - I will probably miss some of that or a lot depending on how long it takes me to complete my list 
  6. Another to-do list

What will I gain?

  1. Time tomorrow because nothing is left to do
  2. A big sense of accomplishment
  3. Relief as some of these things have been hanging over my head

What does this have to do with good, better or best?

Everything.

I make choices that involve my being and affects my well-being.

It affects my mood, my family and their moods, it effects my stress levels, my nutrition, my sleep, my relaxation time. It affects it all.

So for me, today, I will not do 50,000 things, more like 20 or less. Because:

  • Sunshine is important to me - more important than to-do's
  • Time is priceless - my to-do list will always be with me
  • Sanity - I can't take back an unkind word, only apologize for it
  • Energy - others deserve my wholeheartedness and I want to give it to them
  • Sleep - I will be a better person (see sanity above)

What is your best plan today?

Coach Nancy

Consistency is Your Trump Card

Consistency is that one things that trumps all else.

It allows for an off day. It allows for us to forget to take out meat from the freezer. It allows us to reach for a candy bar instead of a salad.

But then we start right back up again.

Consistency is also what others know us for. If someone described me in how I ate, how I slept, how I trained, how I grocery shopped, they would do a great job if they had a knowledge base of my normal actions. If I normally eat wonderful foods fixed right at home and train hard which helps me to sleep well, they will know this from knowing me. Since they have had conversations with me, they know I am proactive and supplement my sleep and health, and love to grocery shop quickly.

Often we think of consistency as what we do. It is that, but it is also what we are known for.

It is rare that I stray off the path and don’t train 4 times a week. Strange, but it’s true that I stress out and overindulge in sweets. These are not normal patterns for me.

What is your normal? What do you do over and over that people know you’ll do the next time and almost every time?

Consistency beats out intensity every time.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Asian Slaw

Deb from Concord loves to experiment with new recipes. She received this one from a friend out west. This Asian Slaw recipe combines the tang of rice wine vinegar with the sweetness of mangoes, the slight zing of scallions, and the crunchiness of cabbage.

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 3 medium scallions, chopped
  • 1 mango, not fully ripe, diced
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon black and white sesame seeds

Combine the cabbage, carrots, scallions, and mango. Toss together in a large bowl. Prepare the dressing by whisking together the rice vinegar, lime juice, and soy sauce. Slowly whisk in the peanut oil. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Let it sit at least 15-20 minutes to let the dressing soak in. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.

I made this and my family loved it too. I grilled up some chicken and used this as a side dish. It was even better the next day.

Enjoy great food that is great for you,
Coach Nancy

One Step at a Time

“If you want to teach, to change minds or to cause action, a consistent curriculum is always better than a single event. Drip by drip.”   -Seth Godin

Think about a staircase. It connects two paths. It leads you upward or down. It helps you to the next level. It promotes you to a higher plane.

You have to take the action necessary to achieve that motion. Without you, a staircase does nothing.

How does a stair case work? Simple, one step at a time, one foot in front of the other. Sure you can take two at a time for a brief sprint but most of us travel one step up and then another.

The same holds true when you are connecting paths of nutrition. If you are at point A and want to get to point B, you do that one step at a time.

ProCoach changed my life. While I was ‘eating good’ and in ‘good shape’, it was forced and difficult.

Now, I have a sense of control. I gained that through the consistent coaching and daily focus of ProCoach. It’s not a quick fix. It’s a year long staircase where you take one step at a time.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Be Just Like Superman

I am a big fan of Superman. Like who wouldn’t be? He is a good guy, not just good in what he does but an all around nice guy. But he had bad days like the all of us mere humans do.

What did Superman do to manage his stress? Where did he go? Who did he turn to?

Superman had a Fortress of Solitude. His fortress was a place where the cares of this world didn’t follow him. He could be himself. He could hang up his cape and talk with those he loved.

Superman also had Lois Lane to turn to when things were going downhill. When Superman was with Lois, he could be Clark Kent. He didn’t have to be or do anything special with her. They were a team, they helped each other. Lois was the one who often hid the kryptonite from Superman. He often rescued Lois from danger. Who is your Lois Lane? Who can you team up with?

Superman spent time in his Fortress of Solitude. Superman had Lois Lane.

Superman didn’t live a fairytale where it was all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, he thrived on catastrophes and near world disasters. That is until Kryptonite came out. His biggest source of stress, the thing that weakened him most was Kryptonite.

Now what is your kryptonite? Superman could do extraordinary things but he could easily be turned into a pile of helplessness by being exposed to kryptonite. What makes you lose all your senses when it comes to food? Where do you find yourself always giving in to things that won’t help you get to your health and fitness goals?

Write it down.

Identify your superpower/s when it comes to food. Fill in this statement:

My superpower is ______________________.

Your follow up statement will be:

I will put away/lock up my kryptonite which is _________________.

Remember, I can help you. I can be your Lois Lane. If you are stuck, let me help you get unstuck.

Each day, consistently employ your superpower/s and every day have a strategies to keep your kryptonite locked up.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Breakfast Chili

Crystal is a Rock Star at 6:15am Epsom. She sent me this recipe a while back and I wanted to share it with everyone.

  • 1½ teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 chorizo chicken sausages, finely chopped
  • 4 pieces crispy bacon, chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Dash Himalayan salt
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 handful spinach, optional (Crystal throws in A LOT - "don't be shy with the spinach")
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar

For the chili:
Heat oil and garlic in a medium-sized pot. Add the sliced onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add in the chopped sausage. Cook until no longer pink. In a pan or in the oven, cook bacon until crispy and set aside. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock and spices to the pot and mix well. Add the spinach and bacon, reduce heat to a simmer.

For the poaches eggs:
Heat 3 cups water and add in a dash of vinegar. Crack 1 egg into a ramekin. Right before boiling, use a spoon and swirl the water. Drop the egg into the water (don't freak, it'll look a little crazy for a minute- trust me, Crystal is telling the truth). Carefully spoon out poached egg and serve over stew.

Crystal's notes: When it comes to the poached eggs, I make and store those separately from the chili. When I pack my lunch, I put one on top of the chili in my Pyrex. At work, I take out the egg while reheating the chili in the microwave. I add it back in and submerge it in the chili to warm it up without cooking.

I Have Super Powers

You have super powers. We all have super powers.

I love watching professional sports. The players are amazing athletes. They are Super Stars of what they do.

But I am surrounded by Super Stars.

I see Super Stars all around me each day as over a hundred people come to train with me at Get Fit NH. We’ve all heard since we were little that we are unique and special. I believe that. Many of us see our differences as skin color, or hair color or eye color. I see those difference in super powers.

Super powers do not just come in the type you see in a Marvel or DC Comic Super Hero.

Your super power resides in you. Do you know what it is?

To find your super powers you will need a piece of paper. Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down all the things you did well in the past week.

It could be:

You placed your keys in the same place every day this week so they were quick to grab instead of being lost somewhere in the house.

It could be:

You were on time for work every day.

It could be:

You had your kid’s schedules organized with who was picking up each child for school, sports, piano and the play date before any of them actually happened.

It could be:

You always have food in the house to eat and it isn’t a problem to ‘find’ something when it is meal time.

Go ahead, write it all down. All of it.

I'll wait.

No worries if you’re still writing. Take your time. Don’t shortcut this step by only thinking for 2 minutes. Write for the entire 5 minutes. Remember we are developing your super power.

In my examples, there was a similar thread woven throughout. First, I set my keys in the SAME place. I was consistent. Second, I was on time EVERY day for work. Third, I had PLANNED ahead for schedules. Finally, I ALWAYS have food which means I must shop regularly.

My super power is probably planning. I seem to be able to do this better than other people I know. My super power of planning helps me in many areas but it boils down to I am a planner.

What do you do really well, even better than those around you? That is your superpower. What makes you shine? What are you known for? What seems to come easier for you than your friends? The answer to that is your super power.

Now what is your super power when it comes to nutrition?

It could be your super power when it comes to nutrition is:

  • Planning - meal planning, grocery shopping list, planning your vacation foods.
  • Prepping - you might dice, chop, slice and have things ready to go better than others.
  • Grocery shopping (this is mine) - I can get in and out and avoid excess better than others.
  • Restaurant eating - knowing where to eat to get the best food, knowing how to order and sweet talk your server so they love helping you with special requests.
  • Cooking – you might be that gourmet cook who can make anything superb.

What is your super power?

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Caprese Cauliflower Casserole

I love all the flavors of caprese. This dish has all those flavors and more. And you get a bonus recipe here too!

Caprese Cauliflower Casserole

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 6 apple, Italian, or spinach chicken sausages (about 1 lb)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup Creamy Italian Dressing, recipe below (or Tessamae's balsamic dressing)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Shred cauliflower in food processor to "rice"; put in large bowl. Cut sausages in halve lengthwise, then slice; add to bowl. Dice onion, slice tomatoes in half or quarters, and chop fresh basil; add all to the bowl. Add thawed spinach and minced garlic to bowl (sometimes I caramelize the onion and garlic together in a frying pan). In a separate bowl, whisk together 6 eggs, balsamic dressing, salt & pepper. Stir into large bowl with other ingredients until mixed. Dump into greased 9x13 baking dish and smooth it down so the top is even. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

Creamy Italian Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons homemade mayo
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients in a blender. If mixture is too thick, add either balsamic vinegar or water. Remember, your dressing will get slightly more liquidy as you toss it with your salad. Tip of the day: ½ teaspoon of garlic powder can be substituted for the clove of garlic.

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