Category Archives for "Habits"

35 Ways to Drink More Water

1. Always have a water bottle in your hand.

2. Fill a gallon jug with water and only pour water from that. Empty it each day.

3. Leave a water bottle in your purse.

4. Bring a water bottle with you when you go grocery shopping. Drink every time you see something you want to buy that is not on your list.

5. Drink a water bottle on your way to work. Of course, only when your vehicle is stopped.

6. Drink a full cup of water each time you brush your teeth.

7. Have a cup of water near your bed. Drink some before you get up each morning.

8. When talking on the phone, sip water while you are listening to your friend gossip.

9. Add lemon or lime to your water.

10. Drink 8 ounces of water before breakfast.

11. For each glass of liquid you drink besides water, challenge yourself to have an equal amount of water.

12. Bring a water bottle with you to any appointments you have.

13. Always bring water to a business meeting. It might be the only way to stay awake.

14. Add a sprig of mint to infuse your water.

15. Drink 8 ounces of water before dinner.

16. Finish all the water in your glass when taking your multivitamin.

17. After dinner have 8 ounces of water for dessert.

18. As you walk out of the door, bring a water bottle with you to drink in the car.

19. Sip water while walking your dog.

20. Drink 8 ounces of water before lunch.

21. Always drink water while resting during your physical training.

22. Freeze a water bottle or two, it can keep your packed lunch cold while it thaws. Then drink it for lunch.

23. Always have a water glass on your desk.

24. If you watch your favorite TV show, drink 8 ounces before it is over.

25. At the beach, drink water.

26. At your son’s baseball game, drink water.

27. Drink water at dance lessons.

28. Add a few apple slices and a cinnamon stick to your water.

29. Place the number of filled water bottles you want to drink in a day on your kitchen counter. As you drink them they become their own check mark on your to do list.

30. When eating out, ask the server to leave a water pitcher on the table.

31. When you order your coffee, also ask for a glass of water.

32. Buy a special water bottle that shouts out your personality.

33. Remember to fill your water glass during your meals.

34. Strawberries and raspberries make beautiful infused water that tastes amazing.

35. Never leave home without your water bottle.

Don’t Fear Fear

When it comes to health and nutrition, what are you afraid of?

- I'm afraid that eating healthy won't work, that my will power is not strong enough, that I won't look like myself anymore.

- I'm afraid it will work and I'll have to live a life of restriction forever in order to keep the weight off.

- I'm afraid if I lose the weight I want to, my relationship with my partner will change.

- Sometimes I think I wear my weight as a suit of armor, if I don't have the weight anymore, how will I protect myself?

- I'm a perfectionist, I'm certainly afraid of failure - failing to lose weight or keep it off or make the right eating choices, etc.

Being afraid is normal. Not knowing what is going to happen can be unraveling. Focusing on the ‘What If’s’ can be paralyzing.

Pick ONE small thing you could do today to confront your fear.

- The biggest thing I do to confront my fears daily is to stay with others who are in the same place physically and mentally as I am. Seriously. I can't tell you how many times I think to myself, "I thought I was alone in that thought/feeling/fear."

-Daily I fear this isn't going to work, but I still work on eating one healthy meal at a time. I don’t have to make or eat all my meals at once so why focus on them all at one time?

- Notice when I am feeding myself negative self-talk and then combat it with some affirmation - sounds a bit woo-woo, but it keeps me from staying still. I can move forward and plan my next meal.

-I know these "head fears” are in fact a way to sabotage myself. If I keep listening to the ‘What if’s?’ my fear is reinforced. Instead, I’m addressing fear, “Fear, I see right through you! And I'm determined to make it through.”

Fear is real. But like the monster under our beds as a child, find a way to turn the light on to diminish your fears. Then keep the lights on.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Dwell On “Do”, Not “Done”

Lately, I have spent time paying attention to the personal productivity concept. You know the things I am talking about. Those small changes to what you do on a daily basis or a technique that can save you anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes.

A personal eye opening example of a Productivity Hack is when you're filling your dishwasher at home, put all of the forks in the same cutlery compartment, so when it comes time to empty the dishwasher, you can simply grab them all in one go. You won’t have to spend time sorting the knives from the forks.

Now, these sorts of small tweaks to your day can play a role in getting more done in the same amount of times.

But in my opinion, the biggest productivity wins come from something else entirely: having the right productivity mindset.

For example, I hear from students that they would love to change how they are eating BUT they have this and that as a challenge in front of them.

Essentially what they are saying is: “That is great for you, but it is impossible for me.”

And that might just be the case, BUT what if it wasn’t the case? What if you could do such and such and succeed?

Having a mind frame that allows for the possibility will also allow for challenges to not become impassable obstacles but just a hurdle to overcome.

I recently read an article that was expressing this thought when it came to planning for retirement. They had developed a catch phrase: Dwell on Do, not Done.

Truth be told, I can get caught up in the fact that life is busy and stressful and doesn’t seem to run perfectly smooth for very long if much at all. I get impatient. I want to be DONE.

You see, I take my work very seriously, so does Dean, my husband. Working alongside of Dean we can dive into a problem, and honestly assess what was going wrong.

Usually we discover the core issue isn’t a problem that a "productivity hack" could solve.

Instead, what was required was a change in mindset for how the challenge was perceived.

If we had to be at 'done' on day one, it would require a whole lot of fixing.

The breakthrough comes when you view it in an entirely new way. When you take a problem and break it done into do-able pieces. And then Dwelling on the Do.

How can this help you?

​If your problem is that you want to lose 50 pounds, dwell on what it would take to lose one pound. Then DO that until it doesn’t work anymore.

If your challenge is drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated, dwell on drinking more water than you currently are even if that is just 4 ounces more. Then DO that until you reach your goal.

If your challenge is to eat foods that will support your physical needs, dwell on knowing what those foods are and do what it takes to eat those foods.

Dwell on Do is the power of small, targeted productivity changes.

Now, of course, finding the right practices, habits, and routines that will work best for you is a personal journey, but it helps to have good teachers and guides along the way.

That is where I come in. I’ve helped hundreds of people find that next step. The one thing that will make productivity increase in their health and fitness.

I won’t toot my own horn more than just to say that I’ve been where you are, I’ve found a way out and I can help you like I’ve helped others.

If you're looking to find the right practices, habits and routines that will work for you, The Grateful Plate is the best place to start.

I'm here for you.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy​

Don’t Wish For Easy

"Don't wish it was easier, wish you were better." 
– Jim Rohn

Think about that for a moment.

The truth is that change is challenging. Often as I work my way through a new recipe or change my timing of meals or even just try to drink more water. I wish it would just be over. I want to be out of the changing part of the situation and be to where it is already done. I don’t like change, it’s hard.

In reality I know that the process of change is actually a curriculum to becoming a better version of myself.

The question is, how are we facing that curriculum?

Are we leaning into it? Am I looking at change and saying bring it on with all of the challenges of doing and being different?

Or am I complaining, wishing that it was easier?

I do both of these. Don’t you? Of course, but the more we shift our perspective from the latter to the former, the better we will be.

Where can you make that shift? I’ve found two areas have helped me the most. Using these two tools have changed my eating so that being healthier is easier for me to tackle.

  1. Take it one step at a time - don’t try to change everything all at once. Pick something you know will be relatively easy for you to tackle. By picking something easy, it will give you success and propel you forward.
  2. Be patient with yourself - change isn’t easy. Being perfect is not what you are working towards but figuring out how to change is.

Take one step at a time and give yourself a little grace if it doesn’t go as you expect the first time out.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Make Two Lists

Everyone knows that vegetables are good for you. Medical professionals are always shouting out the goodness of adding more and more vegetables to your nutrition plan. These lists are your reasons for eating more vegetables. I gave you some ideas but don’t copy my list, create your own.

Each list has a purpose. Each list is real and true.

On one list, identify the grievances, the fears, and challenges with adding more vegetables to your day.

  • People will look at you strange in the grocery store
  • Some vegetables are expensive
  • I don’t know how to cook all the vegetables sold in the store
  • I might not eat it before they go bad
  • My family is going to complain

It's all legitimate, it's all real. Don't hold back.

On the other list, write down the benefits, advantages and opportunities you have when more vegetables are on your plate each day.

  • Your plate will have a lot more color with each vegetable
  • New recipes are exciting to make and try
  • You’ll be eating foods that are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber
  • Veggies tend to have a significant lower number of calories compared to bread, pasta and rice
  • Learning new things will keep your brain engaged as well as be good for your body
  • Your family likes new adventures so they’ll be supportive
  • Dropping a few pounds or more is your goal and will most likely be result of better eating habits
  • You’ve been wanting more energy and this is one way to work on that

Now, take one list and put it in a drawer. Take the other list and tape it up on your refrigerator. Read the list in the drawer once a month or once a year, just to remind you that it's safe and sound. Read the other list every day.

The daily list will determine what you notice, how you interpret what you see and the story you tell yourself about what's happening and what will happen.

You get to pick which list goes where.

Picking your list is possibly the most important thing you'll do all day.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Turn the Speed Down to Your Advantage

Too many of us rush here and there. The western diet of fast food, pour from a can or out of a box, heat and serve, grab and go is slowly killing us. Let’s slow ourselves down and eat to regain our health.

  • Eat slowly and mindfully. Pay attention. Breathe.
  • Make food that looks beautiful and smells good. Taste it as if you were at a wine tasting event.
  • Share mealtime with others. A bonus would be to eat in a relaxing environment.
  • Eat whole foods. Notice the different textures, temperatures, and tastes.
  • Get plenty of protein, along with healthy fats and beautiful colorful veggies.
  • Include fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi to keep the intestinal bacteria happy and healthy.
  • Stay active. Our bodies work best when we move.
  • Relax. Recover and de-stress. Get at least 7 hours of sleep.

Slow yourself down. It does YOUR body good.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

If You’re Too Busy For These 5 Things: Your Life Is More Off-Course Than You Think

Despite turbulence and other conditions keeping airplanes off-course 90 percent of flight time, most flights arrive in the correct destination at the intended time. The reason for this phenomenon is quite simple — through air traffic control and the inertial guidance system, pilots are constantly course-correcting. When immediately addressed, these course corrections are not hard to manage. When these course corrections don’t regularly happen, catastrophe can result. Small things — if not corrected — become big things, always.

5 Things You Shouldn’t Go Without Doing On a Regular Basis

1. Plan your meals. Planning your meals each week frees up your brain power for other things. After you create your plan you won’t have to rely on your brain every meal to think about what you are going to have. Your stress levels will be reduced greatly because you will have one less thing to worry about during the week. If you take a few minutes to think about the week ahead, you will be able to develop a plan to overcome any barriers that might come up. Then when the stress hits, you already have a plan on how to handle it.

Most people like to plan on Sundays, but do what works for you. Some like to plan 3 days at a time, some like to plan the entire week. Some plan at night for the next day. The strategy isn't important, taking action is. Try a strategy and see how it works. Pay attention, analyze, and decide if you should continue with that same strategy or try a new one for better success. Everything is better with a clear plan.

2. Shop from your plan. Shopping can feel complicated, or like a pain in the butt — if you don’t have a clear system and structure. It doesn’t have to be like that. With a shopping list full of foods that you like and will eat, you can hit the grocery store, get in and out quickly, and leave knowing you’ve bought all the things you need to make your meal plan happen.

3. Take time for meal prep. As you go along, you’ll learn more about what works for you, and how to make healthy eating part of your regular routine. You’ll practice planning, preparation and having strategies for when you’re busy, traveling, and/or eating at restaurants — or for anything else that life throws at you. This will help you feel confident and in control of your choices, and help you stay on the path towards the goals you want to achieve. Over time, you’ll build a “meal prep ritual” of your own: something you like, find easy, and can do reliably.

4. Eat slowly. Eating slowly takes practice every day. Lucky for you, since you eat multiple times per day, you'll get lots of practice! If you find yourself rushing mid-meal, set your fork down, take a deep breath, and start fresh and slow.

5. Listen to your body. When the clock tells you it is time for a meal ask yourself: Are you physically hungry? Pause and check in. Look for signals like a rumbling stomach, lightheadedness, irritability, etc. If you had a scale from 1-10, you’d want to be a 7 out of 10 on the hunger scale. During your meal, keep on listening to those signals. Pause after you eat your normal amount of food. Before you eat more, give your brain time to catch up. You want to feel satisfied, not stuffed. You’ll know you ate just enough when an hour after eating you are still physically satisfied with no desire to eat another meal.

5 things that sound so easy to do, but just like an airplane you can easily get off course. These steps will keep giving you’re that course correction to get you back on track.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

I Want to Change the World

I want to change the world. I know it can be done. Americans are getting fatter and less healthy all the time. New Hampshire isn't leading the way to break the childhood obesity epidemic. I see those around me in poor health.

I know this trend can change. I’ve seen it happen in people around me. I’m not content to change the world slowly. I need your help.

Here are 5 ways you can help me change the world.

1. Eat more vegetables daily and share your veggies with others. Vegetables contain a boatload of vitamins and minerals. They fill you up and satisfy you. Veggies are high in fiber. Another big bonus is that they are lower in calories than other foods we tend to eat.

2. Drink lots of water. Hydrate your system to keep all your tiny cells working well while helping to keep your body working optimally clean.

3. Have protein at each meal. While the saying milk does a body good, I think it should be changed to protein does a body good. It’s the building blocks your body uses.

4. Enjoy healthy fats. Fats are not evil as once thought. In fact your body works best with a portion of healthy fats at each meal. Olives, avocados, nuts, and seeds are some ways to get them at each meal.

5. Learn to cook. More and more people are stopping at fast food joints on the way home from work to help them feed their families. While they are feeding them food, they are missing the opportunity to teach their children how foods are cooked. Our society cooks less now then 30 years ago and we cook so much less than our grandmothers.

These few things will make an impact. Pick one or two to work on. Once those become a easier part of your day add in another step. You might find that by starting to work on one area, another area picks up the pace.

Help me change the world, one step at a time.

To your best health (and the health of those around you),
Coach Nancy

Start with the End First

Imagine you just ate a really wonderful meal. It looked great, tasted fantastic, and it was high on the healthy scale. You knew it was full of fabulous proteins, incredible vitamins and minerals along with your share of healthy fats. It was a meal you’d be proud to share with me.

Now how did you feel after you ate that meal? What if you ate all your meals that day just like it? Imagine the goodness running through you.

Let’s back it up just a bit so we can see how that might work.

What did you have to do to make that one meal happen?

What would you do to make it happen over again?

3 Tips to Reverse Planning and Prepping

1. What made this meal so good?

  • It was served at just the right temperature.
  • The vegetables on your plate.
  • The meal prep (as in whether the protein was grilled, sautéed, fried, baked, etc).

2. What happened to prepare this meal?

  • Everything was in the house.
  • You just went shopping.
  • Some of the meal was already prepared.

3. How can you do this again?

  • Shop once a week.
  • Cook foods in bulk.
  • Cut and chop up vegetables.

You’ve just created a starting point for you to do this more and more often. By increasing the good stuff you already have going on, it will bring up the whole meal’s value.

Maybe you need to add in more crockpot meals so that you don’t have to wait for dinner, or cook enough chicken on the weekend to serve until mid week. Maybe you’ll need to take advantage of the bagged pre-mixed salads at the grocery instead of trying to clean, chop and make your own salads.

Make it as easy for yourself as possible. Start with the end, what you already can do. Then just do more of that.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Changing Your Body Composition is Easy

Changing your body composition is only easy if you are trying to do one thing – be overfat.

Most of us have experienced that – you wake up one day and you weigh 30 pounds more than you did a couple years ago, and you didn’t even have to try!

Going the other way is not that easy, as many of us have also discovered over the years.

But it isn’t rocket science either. The #1 reason why we don’t make the progress we desire is because we are unwilling to change what we are doing, usually in the area of nutrition.

  • Unwilling to record your daily eating
  • Unwilling to plan and prepare
  • Unwilling to limit non-supportive foods

I defy anybody to demonstrate they have taken these three steps over a reasonable period of time (8 weeks maybe?) and not have made significant progress toward a better body composition.

I want to help you out. Do you really want to make the changes necessary to achieve your goals? I believe you do.

So here is what I want you to do.

Step #1

I want you to find a way that will work for you to log (record) every bite of food you eat. There are several apps you can download. MyFitnessPal and Fat Secret are two of the more popular ones. If you are like me still a paper girl you’ll find a great food diary and planner at Get Fit NH for only $7. It will last you a whole year. Logging your food can also be done by snapping a picture of your plate each time you eat. Its eye opening what happens when you start to write your food on paper.

Step #2

Log your food intake into your account for one week. When you have done that, send me an email and let me know. Don’t stop after a week, continue every day to be consistent.

Step #3

After two weeks you’ll start to notice a recurring pattern or habits. Use that information, whether your habits are already good and need to become better or whether you realize you’ve made poor choices that need to be lessened. Sometimes we don’t ‘see’ our poorer choices until we write them down on paper. A habit of eating dessert every night might need to be tweaked so that is once a week instead.

No other changes, no other hassles, no nothing. Those three simple steps. Find a tool to use to journal. Use that journaling tool consistently. Evaluate the information you have in front of you.

I am excited to hear your success stories. Sometimes doing it on your own even though it seems like a simple plan isn’t as easy to carry out. I am more excited than ever about helping you reach your goals. The Grateful Plate is soon going to open up ProCoach for Women and ProCoach for Men. If simple steps like those above leave you feeling like it’s not that easy, let me know.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy