Category Archives for "Habits"

Prepare For Binge Eating

Get yourself ready to overstuff your body.

  1. Plan how much you will eat and make sure you have those Tums and Pepto for afterward.
  2. Surround yourself with all the foods you love and lots of each.
  3. Invite others who want to overeat and don’t mind watching you do it.
  4. Wear just the right outfit.

Sound a bit ridiculous or does it sound like your last Christmas dinner?

Personal insight into my life. This is what I did. Gathering with family meant there would be a lot of food. In fact, all my favorites. I would prepare all the food my own family loved plus a few new ‘cool looking recipes’ to try. I would pack some Tums and Pepto (you know, just in case) and I’d wear a loose fitting long sweater because I deserved to be comfortable too.

I’m not sure why we don’t just lay our list out for all to see.

Here is my Overeating Plan:

  • I’m going to eat more than I should, a lot more.
  • I’ll eat so much I won’t feel so great.
  • My clothes won’t fit very well and that was only after one meal. 
  • And those around me will do the same so I won’t even feel guilty.

All of this sounds a bit over the top, but it also has that ol' familiar feel.

What if we ate satisfying meals, not mini meals, no snacking in between but meals that left us without a feeling of deprivation or starvation? Neither of those feelings empowers us to stick with a plan long term. Instead we would get up from the table and be content.

How cool would it be if you could eat a meal, walk away satisfied with what you ate, how much you ate, knowing you’ll be content until your next meal? Eating meals that you planned each day requires work, but it will get you to this level of satisfaction. I am so thankful I don’t have to be perfect. Think of being 90%. There will be days when all things go as planned and others when they do not. But missing the mark here and there doesn’t call out the world distress signal. In fact, one or two ‘Oops’ means you are perfectly human. Allow yourself the struggle of not making it the first time out, maybe not even the second or the third. You might be on a roll of six days in a row of meals that leave you content then miss the seventh day - you overeat or totally miss a meal. Breaking your perfect score is not the end of the line. Stop trying to be perfect. Build on the struggles you have. Make yourself stronger each time through.

What is easier to plan for? Overeating or satisfaction? More importantly where do you want to be?

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

The “I’m Satisfied” Challenge

"I just ate too much."

"Wow, that was so fantastic I just had to eat the whole plate."

"I really didn't need that last bite."​

It is so easy to eat more then we need. It’s not always about physical hunger. There's other stuff at work. For example:

It's hard to waste food. We can hear our parents’ voices in our head: There are starving children! You shouldn’t leave food on the plate!

Food keeps us occupied. If we stay “busy” with food, then we don’t have to deal with other things… such as “the big stressor in our lives”. Or just plain old boredom.

Food numbs us. It’s a good painkiller for emotional and physical distress.

We confuse emotions with hunger. Often, we mix up emotions such as anxiety or anger with hunger. It feels like hunger… but it isn’t.

Habits. We do many things automatically, such as picking the last tidbit off the kids’ plates as we tidy up dinner, or popping a bite into our mouth as we cook.

We're worried about social consequences. We don’t want to say no, make a fuss, or stand out as a “weirdo” at social events with friends and family.

Our environment. We’re there, and so is the food.

It’s natural to avoid all of these discomforts. So we make choices that don’t fit with our goals. We eat because we’re bored, upset, stressed, or simply near tempting food. We eat more than we need because eating to satisfied is challenging.

Commit to the "I'm Satisfied" Challenge: 

Here is how it works: when you are having a meal or snack, you’ll eat only until you first feel satisfied. You’ll have to slow down to listen to your body. Once you are no longer hungry but not stuffed, you stop eating. No matter what. You’ll feel just like Goldilocks in “The Three Bears” - just right.

And this is what you will receive as you complete this challenge:

  • You’ll be more able to reach your health goals.
  • You’ll feel more in control of yourself and your actions.
  • You'll feel stronger, more courageous.
  • You’ll be proactive rather than reactive.

It’s not easy to change why you do what you do, BUT commit to the challenge.

To your best health, 
Coach Nancy

Plan to Get Back on Track

When you stumble- and we all do when it comes to eating- often, we find the next declaration out of our mouth is, I may as well eat the rest of the cake since I already had one piece”. In Jeremy Dean’s book Making Habits, Breaking Habits, he helps us to face the fact that we are not perfect in our quest to build a habit. We will miss a moment, miss a day, or more. It’s a given. What you need to know is what to do when that happens. Have a plan for when the plan breaks down.

When the plan fails, take these steps.

1. Identify the triggers. Find the moment or rewind your day until you can visualize the cross roads. The place in your life where you could have gone one way or the other. When we are in the moment it is hard to see this crossroad, but often playing our day back in your mind like you would rewind a video to see the good parts can help. It’s defining this moment that will help you most. The more specific you can make it the better. So think in terms of a) time, b) location, c) emotional state, d) other people around, e) the circumstance. So it might look like this: Right before I chose to go through the drive thru and order 4 donuts and coffee for myself, I was in a tense meeting at work that didn’t go well, I yelled at my co-worker for the silliest thing, I didn’t sleep well last night, and I forgot my gym clothes. The driver that cut me off right before I left the parking lot was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I just had to have a donut (or three).

2. Identify the old habit. Be specific about what you are trying to stop. Again, think of all the details about this old habit. For instance, I want to stop relying on donuts when I feel upset and stressed in the car while driving alone.

3. Identify the new habitKnow exactly what you want to do, but create a goal that will take less than 60 seconds to accomplish. That sounds too simple but it isn’t easy. For myself, that would be using my 60 seconds to drive past the donut store. Think about it, it sounds simple but it isn’t easy.

It’s hard to change your behavior. It takes courage to have to do things differently and resilience to keep at it.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

What’s in Your Cupboard?

I went shopping yesterday. 

You may be saying, “Big deal. Why should I care about your grocery shopping?”

Well, many of you have asked me, “What do you eat? How do you make PPW (Protein, Produce, and Water) a reality?”

I thought I might answer that question with a few pictures. While you won’t see exactly what lunch or dinner is, you will see what I use to fix our meals (lunch was Salmon Cakes, salad and Zucchini and Summer Squash, while dinner is Spaghetti Squash Pie).

Our cupboards for our dry goods are filled with spices, tuna, natural peanut butter, and things like ketchup and mustard. The salmon was here until lunch time. This is it besides a big box of oatmeal, dried beans, and almonds. Those are down below so the kids can reach it.

Here’s the fridge. All the typical stuff is here. Veggies located in the bins below but also scattered throughout the place. My rule of thumb is that my grocery cart should not be known for its fruit or highly processed food in a box. If you see me in the store, look for a wide selection of veggies. The white bowl on the top shelf is full of hard boiled eggs. There are over 48 eggs in the picture. They make a great snack – quick and easy.

And the freezer? Its been stocked with frozen veggies, some of which are from our garden. Frozen shrimp, chicken, and other meats. I guess I didn’t need to say ‘frozen’. Imagine that - frozen food in a freezer?

And then finally the picture of my counter (I avoided the piles of papers and stuff that piles high only to clutter). You’ll see the fresh fruit my family enjoys eating.

If you see me at the grocery store, say hi. What’s in the grocery cart won’t embarrass me. I am not always perfectly compliant. No one is. But in general what you see is Protein, Produce, and Water.

Hope you enjoyed taking a peek into the Carlson's cupboards!

Now ask yourself, "What in MY cupboard?"

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Eating Healthy Can Easily Be Summed Up in These 3 Rules

Eating good (or healthy) can easily be summed up in the three rules below. By following these three rules, you’ll make ‘good’ eating, healthy eating.

1) Eat a wide range of veggies every time you eat (with a special emphasis on green veggies). A great rule of thumb when it comes to produce is to consume at least one green item AND as many other colors as possible at each and every meal to get the most health benefits.

2) Eat a wide range of lean proteins at each meal. A great rule of thumb here is to consume at least a fist-sized portion of anything that had a face, that ran, flew, or swam at some point (sorry, doesn’t sound as appetizing this way, but it’s one way to remember!). Protein is the only macronutrient responsible for building and repairing lean muscle.

3) Eat a wide range of healthy fats at each meal (olive oil, coconut oil, beef, salmon, whole eggs, avocado, mixed nuts, flax, full-fat cheese, etc.). Sufficient dietary fat intake is critical to beneficial hormone production. Hormones are designed to help us, not hinder us. They actually make everything else run smoothly and correctly.

As a nutrition coach, one of the most common statements I hear is “I eat really good but….”. Then the blank is filled in with the challenge that person is facing.

We all have challenges and issues when it comes to eating healthy. Instead of focusing on what stops you from success, place your priority on these three things when you eat.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Are You Ready to be SMART?

Recently, I had an amazing conversation with Julie. She has been training with Get Fit NH for over 8 years. Julie works in the financial career path but some of our work actually overlaps. Who knew?

Julie had such incredible things to say about goal setting. I am sharing our dialog here!

Julie: I love reading your posts. I always get a lot out of all your informational pieces….The only other thing I would say is to emphasize the SMART goal format for people’s monthly goals. As a sales coach, I always used SMART goal setting with my clients and I love the idea that it’s all their ideas so they are already sold on the actions it will take to reach there goal.

Me: Great idea Julie.  Thank you for your input. Can you tell me a bit more about SMART goals? Do you have a specific format you use for the SMART goals?

Julie: I would have them on a piece of paper write down the left side of it S. M. A. R. T. S is for specifically what are you going to do. M= measure, how are you going to measure it? A= actions, what actions are you going to take to reach this goal? R = result, what is the result? Finally, T = time frame, what is the length of time you are going to do this in?

So here is an example of SMART goal setting:

S: I want to be a size 6 for my 10th wedding Anniversary in September
M: I will measure my waist using the FIT 3D scan each Monday. I will track my weight each Monday as well.
A: I am going to train a minimum of 4 days at Get Fit NH, I am going to use my food log everyday to track my food intake, I will drink 96 oz of water a day, I will consume nothing white (flour, sugar, breads, rice, or pasta).
R: I will be able to wear a dress I feel good in for dinner at our Anniversary dinner.
T: My timeframe is to weekly off check each one of my actions are being completed and 9/25/17 is the dinner date.

Now that is what I call goal setting!

It is important that we acknowledge our hard work for taking the actions necessary to reach our goal just as much if not more than reaching the goal itself. We can control the process more than we can control the outcome. Put a priority on the action steps you laid out for yourself and then be proud of the work you did when the end time comes.

Many thanks to Julie for helping me set goals.

Are you ready to be SMART?​

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

4 Tips to Get Started Eating Healthy the Right Way

Many people have started a diet or a new eating plan only to quit days later. Now that you have decided that eating healthy may be worth your time after all, ensure your success with the following tips:

1. Make a Commitment 

You know the meaning and value of a solid commitment. It’s in your blood. So don’t view eating healthy as something you will merely try. You will only reap the true benefits when you stick with it. By sticking with it I don’t mean you have to be perfect, but your eating will become more known for the healthy choices instead of those you might be making now. A great way to reinforce your commitment is to solicit the support of your friends and family. Tell them how you plan to improve your health and quality of life through nutrition – who knows, they may join you.

2. Set Reachable Goals

This is an immensely important ingredient to your success. Don’t start your healthy eating program with unreasonable expectations. If you expect to lose ALL of your unwanted pounds, DROP your blood pressure and CURE your joint pain all in one week then you will be sorely disappointed. In fact, I wouldn’t say I was on a diet but my goal is to change the style of my current eating. The key to unlocking all of the benefits of fantastic nutrition lies in one word: consistency. Only then will your body be transformed.

3. Rearrange Your Schedule

They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. This may be because his schedule simply didn’t allow for it. The truth is that as we age there is a tendency to become ‘stuck in our ways.’ The thought of rearranging your schedule may leave you a bit squeamish. Remind yourself that health starts in the kitchen. It is worth your time and energy and also rearranging your plans to make better eating happen. If you don’t currently plan your meals, you’ll need to carve out time on a regular basis to get the first step done. Of course if you are used to eating out every night because you don’t have food at home, you’ll need to take time to shop too. The actual making of your food will have to be worked into your day too. The fact is that you do have time to lend toward better eating and health – you simply need to find it. Your time in the kitchen is an appointment – keep your appointments.

4. Increase the Challenge

You should start your better eating program with the thought of easing into it. Since you haven’t mastered nutrition you will need to build up strength and endurance just like we do in the gym. Think of building your kitchen muscle, gaining strength in the planning phase, using your coordination to balance your schedule to get all the shopping done and finally putting it all together can be known as a sprint to the table.

Consider a car that has been sitting in your garage for years. You wouldn’t turn it on and instantly slam down on the gas, would you? You need to warm it up. However, this warm up period should not last forever. Maybe working on your breakfast meals Monday - Friday is just the right amount of a challenge for you now. Once you feel secure with that routine, you’ll want to bump it up a notch. Maybe your weekends are where you need to start that planning and eating better. No matter where you start - START. When your routine begins to feel easy take that as a hint to increase the challenge.

I want to help you achieve all of the benefits that consistent healthy nutrition can bring you.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

3 Simple Steps to Make Your Nutrition Go as Planned

I'm here to share with you 3 simple steps to making your nutrition go as planned:

1. Plan your meals for the following week on Wednesday morning. Don't forget to create a grocery list at the same time.

2. Grocery shop on Sunday. Stick to the perimeter of the store to avoid temptation (with the exception of frozen veggies!). Keep to your list. 

3. Sunday is prep day. If you don’t have it prepped and planned ahead of time, there is a pretty good chance you will forget something or just skip it (like adding those extra veggies, because you didn’t want to cut them up!). “Prep day” includes:

  • Cut up veggies and bag them for each meal they’re going with
  • Prep meat, whether that means cutting it up or just taking it out of the packaging
  • Try some crock pot meals made easy. Here is Coach Dean's Spicy Shredded Beef. Place it in a freezer bag, add some of your cut up veggies, label it "Monday Dinner" and pop it in the freezer. On Monday, take it out and put it in the crockpot to cook. 
  • I like to brown any ground beef at the same time so its ready to add seasoning for a meal. This saves me time when I'm ready to use it.

You can modify these tips to fit your schedule, too. By taking the time do this, you’re saving precious time during the week and there is no extra thinking involved.

Make sure you take into account days that you might be working late or getting home late. When you plan ahead, you can mark those days down for dinner in the crockpot. That way when you get home your house smells amazing and you are eating your nutritious, planned meal.

Bonus! Here is a quick lunch idea:

  • On your prep day as you are cutting all of those veggies, place a few in several small Ziploc baggies. Add a slice of lettuce to each bag as well. You can mix and match some of those veggies if you like. In another small baggie, add 2-3 slices of deli meat. You’ve just created a the fixins’ for a lettuce wrap sandwich and fresh veggies for your lunch at work or school.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Everything Goes Like a Yard Sale

The last two hours of a yard sale are boring. All the good stuff is gone and you are dreading what to do with all the things left on your lawn. I sort of feel like that right now. Half the year is gone and I am not sure what is in store for the rest of the year. It all goes like a yard sale. The good stuff is gone and what is left is not quite what I was expecting to see. Or is it?

At this point of the year, I always ask myself and reflect on the answers to the following 3 questions:

Did I accomplish or am I on the way to accomplishing my goals that I set out for myself?

  • If yes, then I celebrate (insert happy dance here).
  • If no, what can I correct to get myself back on track? All is not lost.

Did I have any unexpected wins or failures?

  • Unexpected wins? Doesn’t have to be the lottery, but maybe a job promotion or a gift from a friend. List and celebrate them. Of course happy dances are allowed here too.
  • Unexpected failures? These seem to be easier to spot. List them and reflect upon how they can help going forward. List them as facts instead of wrapping them up with emotional ties.

Have I worked on myself?

Personally and professionally, I have a long term goal of being able to ski-dive at 90 years old when my grandchildren ask me to go with them. They are going to know that I could do it if I want to. I also want to change the world. Working at Get Fit NH, (insert link) I know that if you become healthier you’ll automagically become happier. The world needs more happy, and I want to be a part of that for many people.

  • If yes, are there any areas I need to continue to focus on for the next six months?
  • If no, what am I going to do to recommit myself to developing personally and professionally?

The great news is, if I’m on track with my business and personal goals, I still have another 6 months to continue to grow and develop. And if I’m not where I want to be with business, I still have 6 months to refocus and/or to make adjustments.

Please don’t wait until a new year to write out your goals for the year. Do that today. Take the next step and break apart your goals into what you are going to do monthly, weekly, and daily to help you reach them. Mark your calendar with dates you wish to reach your goals. Finally, post your goals. Keep them in a prominent place. Who cares if others see your goals? In fact, invite people to read them. This will be a huge factor in reaching your goals.

So don’t feel like everything is going like a yard sale. Take charge of your life. So the yard sale has happened. Now you have a clean slate.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

3 Simple Steps to Practicing Gratitude

It may seem simple, but most of us want to be known as grateful people but we don’t act like it. Showing appreciation is different than thinking it in your head. Being thankful has been shown to:

  • Create a stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure.
  • Give higher levels of positive emotion.
  • Bring you and others more joy, optimism, and happiness.
  • Circle you with more generosity and compassion.
  • Help you feel less lonely and isolated.

How can you practice being more grateful?

1. Write it all down!

Yes, just thinking about your daily gratitude can help but there is something very powerful about putting pen to paper and getting those grateful thoughts out of your head and into the open. It makes them more real and allows you to really gain a better perspective.

2. Make them authentic.

Just writing down three things as quick as you can isn't going to give you great results. They have to be something real and authentic to your daily life to give you the most benefit. They don't need to be some profound revelation. For example, I am grateful for the chair I am sitting on. It sure beats sitting on the floor.

3. Do it daily.

Being grateful once in awhile won't make the changes you are looking for. Working yourself up towards daily practice will help you to get the amazing benefits. It doesn't have to take you a long time every day, but this can be a skill that impacts not only your life but the lives of people close to you.

Bonus: Find a common theme.

This is a tip that you don't have to follow, but I have found to be helpful. Instead of writing down three random gratitudes every day, I try to find a common theme. It might be the relationships I have in my life, something to do with nature, or even my overall health. The theme does not matter, but it does help me focus on one area of my life for that day (or week) and get a much deeper appreciation.

Executing your gratitude does not need to be a difficult task. Use these tips to help make it a daily practice!

To your best health,
Coach Nancy