Category Archives for "Freedom Based"

Changing the Way I Eat is Hard

"I just start eating and don't stop. What I'd like to know is how I CHANGE that behavior."

 For some people this is an easier process of undoing than others. While some people have one or two poor habits to change you might have several- no worries.

Think of it as a scan of yarn that is all tangled up. Its going to take some time undoing and pulling on strands only to find that it tightened the knot.  Often experimenting with certain types of eating patterns will show us ways we can either loosen or tightened your knot. For example eating in a window of time is one pattern of nutrition that you might explore. It can solve some of your poor eating habits. Using a 8 hour window where you eat all your meals during that time, could be just what you need in order to stop night time snacking. Other options include only having a piece of fruit after having 3 servings of veggies first. This often gives you just what you need to help you achieve all the servings of vegetables you've been missing from your eating plan.

Other things will keep loosening the knot, but it will take time to untangle it all. Pull on one string each day. (pulling is the action item that you can do today) See what happens and if that string gives a bit- pull on it more tomorrow.

You're doing great showing up. Don't stop doing something each day to make yourself better.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

 

Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?

Do you remember playing this game when you were a kid?

If so, you are oooooold…like me!

Actually all three of those categories are vital in a balanced diet, but I want to talk about vegetables in particular.

We all have heard time and time again that’s it important to eat your fruits and vegetables, but how many of us actually do it on a daily basis?

The National Cancer Institutes encourages us to eat at least 3 to 5 servings of vegetables a day. New research has shown that broccoli is one of many vegetables that can inhibit some forms of cancer. I know Coach Meagan  already loves broccoli, now she has another reason to love it even more. – check it out ​here.

The goal is to eat:

  • Five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables
  • A variety of colorful fruits and vegetables
  • High fiber fruits and vegetables
  • At least one vitamin C rich fruit or vegetable
  • At least one vitamin A rich fruit or vegetable

What’s a serving size? Not all that much, really…

Vegetables:

  • 1 cup raw leafy greens
  • 1/2 cup fresh or cooked vegetables

Fruits:

  • 1 medium apple, orange or banana
  • 1/2 cup fresh, canned or cooked fruit
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit

The reason I bring the number of daily servings up is because we get asked a lot – Fresh, frozen, canned, organic – which should I eat?

To which are answer is “All of the above!”

You see it doesn’t really matter which of those choices you make if you aren’t eating enough.

For instance we get asked a lot about buying organic – it’s a hot topic right now, and it seems everything is organic. 

Organic is great, but what matters more is that you are getting enough fruits and veggies first, then worry about super high quality.

I also understand that fruits and vegetables can be expensive, and there is nothing wrong with choosing economical options. Personally my preference would be fresh (organic or not), frozen, and then canned. 

Tomato Plants

You know what may be even more important than organic? Buying your produce locally. A vegetable picked from the farm down the road is going to be tastier and healthier than organic produce shipped halfway across the globe.

Pretty soon Farmers Markets are going to start popping up here in NH, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) are also gaining in popularity. A CSA is where you buy a share of a local farm and get a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly delivery of the farms crops, depending on the agreement.

Look, I am not trying to tell you it is easy to integrate more vegetables and fruits into your eating plan, if it was easy we would all do it all the time! What I am saying is it is worth the effort.  The health and disease prevention benefits are well documented and reliable.

So do what mom said – “Eat Your Vegetables” – she knew what she was talking about!

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


I Hate Meal Planning

​​​What's your biggest stumbling block today?
"I hate planning.  I often use my planning time for other more fun stuff. It's really something I dislike."


Planning meals has been proven to help you in your health journey. Its right up there with stepping on the scale if your goal is weight loss. On top of that there are other side benefits that you'll love is that it saves time, relieves stress, and keeps money in your wallet. And yet, it stills feels like the one thing that holds us back. Lets look at meal planning with a slightly different twist.

What if you look at planning more like giving you options?

Here is what I would do as an experiment to see how you succeed with this version of meal planning.

1. List out all the dinner meals you and your family enjoy eating during this time of year. That list will probably be a bit different in the Summer vs. the Fall vs. the cold of Winter. How many did you get? Aim for at least 10 different dinner meals. Remember some of these might be the quick options like picking up a rotisserie chicken while others are all day cooking affairs like homemade spaghetti sauce.

2. Do you have on hand all the items to make these meals? Check your cupboards, freezer, and fridge. Some items can be kept, like canned goods, in your cupboard; others are best fresh so you'll have to purchase those items. But then others can be pulled from the freezer when you need them. 

3. Look at your schedule. See what is coming up that might pull you away from making a meal or that might require a meal that is very quick to make. I leave cans of tuna in my cupboard because when fast and speedy is required, I can quickly put tuna on a salad or cook up some tuna patties. If you will be away from home one night, you'll end up with more options to chose from on the other evenings.

4. Again take a peak at your schedule, this time looking for those times when you might be able to spend more time in your kitchen than usual. I often can do this on Sundays. Its during this time, I prep what I can for other meals, but I can also make a dish that takes more time than I usually have to prepare dinner. 

5. With your favorite dinner meal ideas in one hand and the list of items you need to make these meals in another, head off to the store. 

6. Now when it comes time for your next dinner, you've got options to choose from. 

What do you think?

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Dear Newbie:

I wanted to write a quick little note to encourage you. Starting a new way of living healthy is challenging. I've been there. In fact some days I feel like I am still there. Each day please wake up to make the decision to live healthy again. Post reminders on your bathroom mirror, your car's dashboard, and your computer screen at work. These little reminders will help you to continue to make decisions that will further your progress until they become more natural. Our goal is to make small changes each day that become our new normal. People that meet us a month from now will know a different you than the one standing in front of your mirror today. 

Now there will be days when all goes well and it feels like smooth sailing. Some days will be a bit more challenging but you'll muddle through. Still other days will seem like you've only stepped backward.

Keep going!

It will get easier. Take baby steps. As you increase in confidence make those steps a bit bigger and stronger. Soon you'll look back through time and see all those little steps have added up. 

You've got this. 

From one whose walked these steps before you.  

Up the Game by 1%

Wouldn't it be lovely to have everything change and be the way we want it to be with the snap of our fingers? I know I would like that.

Some people can make a 360 degree turn around. They have that type of personality. Usually it is coupled with a circumstance or situation- maybe a disaster of sorts. For those people a visit to the doctor with a poor diagnosis has prompted complete and utter behavior changes. For Dean, it was the death of our son and realizing life is too short that allowed him to put that stake down in the ground. He did a 360 degree change in his eating, lifestyle, and fitness.
For others it is a slow process, a step by step change. It doesn't happen in one decision but many decisions over the course of time. That is me. While Dean could totally change himself, I dug my heals in and took the slow turn.


Today I describe that slow turn as 1% each day. I look for just a little thing I can do each day to make myself 1% better. But if I take those little turns each day, after a year of slow turning I am 360 % different.


So today, I am waiting until I am hungry to eat. That is my little bit I'm focusing on today. I know I will eat, but I don't have to eat when the clock tells me its time.

What can you do today to make that 1% change?

Then tomorrow find and decide on the next 1%.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Recipe for Change

 You think about food recipes, dinner recipes, smoothie recipes, recipes for lunch or snacks, even dessert recipes. 

But do you ever think about a recipe for change.

Change in you. Is there a "recipe" -- a 'secret sauce' if you will?

Change means something different for everyone. Change can be great and change can be bad.

What I do know is getting what you want -- getting the change you want -- rarely comes from getting your superficial “wants” met. It comes from working towards earning those wants. Working towards what you are wanting to change. Putting in the hard work that creates change. 

The effort to get results, to make meaningful change, is more rewarding then the destination.

FOCUS ON CHANGING.... and when you do this you will find that there is within you a strong desire- The Will- to guide you. When you pay attention, when you can hear it, it knows that what you are striving to change can be done, it will need some effort.

It's why it takes laser focus to ultimately be successful in any aspect of your life.


Here is the true "recipe" for meaningful change.

Get clear

Figure out your "want"  

Work towards it with determination.

Tune-out the noise

Tune out the naysayers

Put your head down

Keep plugging away up the proverbial hill.

Tune-in to your inner world.

Walk boldly & steadily but with baby steps.

Make small but resolute changes.


Simmer. Forever.

Let cool. Enjoy.

Servings Per Recipe: Unlimited happiness and resolution.


To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Creamy Chicken Skillet

One pan meals are my favorite. While I like doing dishes, I don't like looking at a sink piled high with them. This one dish wonder helps me to keep my sanity in more ways than one. 

If you have one dish dinner meals, pass those along by replying with the recipe in the comment section. 

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Creamy Chicken Skillet

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 slices bacon

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced

6 oz. white mushrooms, sliced

1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 14.5-oz. can coconut milk

2 cups fresh kale, stems removed and shredded

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and crumble. Set aside. Discard the bacon fat from the pan except for one tablespoon. Add the onion to the pan and sauté for 4-5 minutes until soft. Push the onion to one side and add the chicken to the pan. Lightly brown the chicken, and then stir in the bell peppers and mushrooms. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon. Add the white wine vinegar to the pan to deglaze. Add the coconut milk and kale. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the kale is wilted and the sauce is slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

How to be Successful when Eating Healthy

Habits of Successful People

Successful people notice, learn, and adapt to reach their goals.  A great practice to get into at the end of each week is a strategy called Review and Prepare. 

First REVIEW, look back at your calendar and see how successful you were last week.  

  • Do you see lots of checkmarks or is it lots of circles and question marks?
  • What went right last week?  What went wrong and why?

 

Next, PREPARE for the week ahead. 

  • Based on what went well last week, prepare to do more of that this next week
  • Based on what went wrong and why?  What do you need to do to make sure you can improve this week. 

 

What do you need TO DO TODAY to be successful this week?

  • Plan your meal
  • Prep your food
  • Be Prepared!

 To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


"The future depends on what you do today." - Gandhi

   

4 Reasons to Prep All Your Meals

4 Reasons Why Meal Prepping Works:

  • It takes the excuse out of eating well.
    • Say goodbye to “I have no time to cook today,” and “There was nothing healthy at home for me to eat.”
  • It gives you more control over what you eat.  
    • More homemade meals means less takeout and meals at restaurants which also means more green stuff in your pockets.  
  • It gets you in the habit of eating portioned meals.
    • For storage, you will pre-portion out your carbs, proteins, and fats for each day.
  • It frees up more time in your schedule
    • What will you do with your extra time??

 

Here are a couple of strategies to help you find the best meal prepping technique for you. 

Cook 1x Per Week 

On Sunday afternoon (or whatever day you have 2-3 hours) put in an epic cooking session.  Bulk cook everything you will need fo assembling meals throughout the week.  Fire up the oven, get all your pans out, plug in the rice cooker, and start filling up crockpots.  This strategy works well for 1-2 person households or VERY busy households that don't have much time in the evening. 

Cook 2x Per Week

This is probably the most common strategy.

On Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening cook up what you need for the next 3 days.  Make a 3-day meal plan and get to it.  This is a great strategy to save yourself a ton of time in the kitchen.  Spend 1-2 hours prepping, cooking, and cleaning and then don't cook for 3 days. This strategy works well for a larger family that has evening obligations most days of the week.  

Each meal prep day will probably take you about 2 hours of cooking (4 hours per week), but then you are off the hook for days, which ultimately saves you lots of time and hassle.  Put in the work on the front end and save time on the back end.  

The "Dinner is Lunch" Strategy

Some people like to cook and enjoy cooking most days of the week.  For this type of person, try the double portion dinner strategy. 

Each time you make your evening meal, you will make a double portion and save the second portion for lunch the next day.  You get two birds with one stone.  

What do you do to make your food preparations go faster or smoother?

We'd love to hear from you in the comment section below.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy



Dear Me…….

Dear Me, 

Remember that what seems huge or impossible will eventually become a distant memory when it's over and done with. Your opinion and abilities will continue to change over time, and what seems very important now will be replaced by a different priority in the future. Just do the best you can, and take small steps towards better health every day.

Yesterday is gone and today is a new day. A new start. Get back on track and move forward. (I've had to tell myself this once or twice, or 1,000 times.

See, now you feel like crap, shouldn't have eaten that last night huh?

Was it really worth it...?

How many weeks will it take to undo that?

Why did you do that

‪Look at the big picture if it only once no problem, move on. If it is an old habit restarting, refocus and fix it.

‪Start over now... which I did... today.

‪Cut it out idiot. Coach taught you better that that!

Why did you do it? Should have had that glass of water first. Remember it's a mental game. It really wasn't worth it.

This week I am looking forward to increasing my happy healthy life- without food guilt. In fact I wrote myself a note to help me. The constant reminder that consistent action over the long term will far outweigh the small discrepancies. What about you? What are you going to write to you?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

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