Category Archives for "Habits"

4 NonFood Ways to Improve Your Health

Typically when we think about simple health improvements or how to make changes with our body we focus on nutrition. Of course that’s important, but let’s look at 4 other completely nutrition “independent” changes we can make starting right now. Each will help us look and feel better. Here’s the best part -- it won’t take long to notice results when implementing just some of these.

• Sunlight. Sunlight is great for our health. Summer has quickly gone by, Fall is here, people are more likely to be outside now compared to the cold of winter. Being out in the sun can absolutely help with mood in general. But our bodies use that time to make vitamin D from sunlight. Vitamin D is a vitamin that much of America is grossly deficient in. It takes about 10 minutes each day. A walk during a break time with coworkers around the building and parking lot, taking the kids to play on the swings, bringing our dog for his daily adventure will all add up the intake of Vitamin D. Enjoy the fresh air and light all while making you healthier!

Moving (your body, not your house). I, of course, encourage regular exercise. When we move outside of the regular gym setting, don't become like a robot. Add some variation -- try picking up that pace while at the mall or bike for short bursts of speed. Break out of your comfort zone and challenge your body. Remember that if you are at Get Fit NH for 1 hour each day, there are 23 other hours that day -- balance it out, move more, be as active as possible at other times too.The results will speak for themselves!

Sleeping. Those who sleep less, weigh more. We also have less energy, making workouts suffer and negatively affecting mental performance and focus as well. Go to bed earlier and you'll actually get more accomplished the following day, rather than burning the midnight oil hoping to "catch up" on your long to do list.

Goal setting. Setting and writing your goals daily will make you more successful--no two ways about it.

Keeping a journal. Write down the foods you eat and beverages you drink. Write down your exercise each and every single day. This increases awareness and will improve your success, guaranteed!

There you have it -- a few general health tips. Nothing crazy. No gimmicks. Just tried and true strategies that WORK. You will reach your goals more quickly when practicing these daily strategies.

​This just in, I saw this as perusing through helpful sites. I just know you'll love this. I learn best by seeing. If you've been trying to lose weight or get healthier and struggling. You might 'see' your missing link. "Common Reasons Why Your Not Losing Weight" In picture graphics. 

Make today better than yesterday!

A Short Amount of Time Spent Planning Can Equal Big Changes

Many of us struggle with planning our meals. It can be that one thing that if done, will make your goal of eating healthy easier. A few of you have rocked this area.

Planning helps you to shop more efficiently and you don't end up buying stuff you don't need (or is unhealthy for you!)

Scott
                 

Rebecca said, "This has helped me budget and eat better!"

According to Stephanie, "This helps me stay more true to my nutritional (fat loss) goals when I plan."

 Now I'm much better prepared, feel less anxiety over "what's for dinner" and have started making a larger variety of healthy dinner choices."

Stacey

Deb said, "It will definitely help me to stay on track the whole week.

The list goes on to include Mary, " It will help me to stay on track, and I won't be inclined to "just pick something up".

I could go on and on. My point is planning meals for the week will;

Save time at the store and at mealtime

Planning saves you money

Planning a menu means less stress

A menu plan equals a happier family. They know what the plan is and for some families they get to help with the planning.

A menu will provide you with healthier meals

Your plan will make life easier for you.

You will not have to think on the fly.

So saving time, saving money, saving your sanity, and making the whole family happy all with a little well spent time at the beginning of each week.

And you? Do you want any of these things to come to you? Ideas on taking the first steps to meal planning can be found right here

Let’s make it happen,

Coach Nancy

It will keep me from running to the store and just grabbing something that probably wouldn't be good for me."

Melissa 
                 

Meal Planning Week Two

The second week of meal planning is easier than the first. In fact each time you make your week’s menu it gets easier and easier. There is something to doing it over and over. Like your coach in Junior High said -"Practice Practice Practice". 

With week one’s meal plan under your belt, use that as a guideline. If you loved each meal then just repeat the week’s meals. If you found a few meals that just didn’t work for your family than adjust that meal. Find another family favorite , add that one in its place and move on. Keep the rest that worked. If you are worried about variety switch the day you served them on and add in a different side dish of veggies. Don’t forget to make your grocery list now. Week two is done. Simple is Easiest, Simple is Best.

If you are starting at week one, here is the refresher course from last week. All this planning saves you time and loads of stress each day.

Planning a week of meals is easier than you think.

  • Write down your family’s favorite meals. To help you out, list the dinner meals you ate last week. You might need to ask your kids for help. Shoot to write down five to seven meals.
  • Tweak these meals if they need it to be healthier versions. Make them contain only PPW. Protein, Produce and Water.
  • List out 2 or 3 PPW breakfast meals you enjoy eating.
  • Alternate these meals on your menu plan the first week. Remember breakfast doesn’t have to be traditional. Eating leftovers at breakfast makes things quick to reheat.
  • Lunch is next. Do you have time to make a meal each day for lunch or is leftovers a better choice. Remember “Simple is easiest, Simple is best”
  • If you choose to make your meals, prep as much as you can the night before.
  • Lunch can be easy. Baked chicken from the night before takes on a whole new appearance on top of a salad. Don’t have leftover chicken? Open a can/bag of tuna to place on top of the salad. Another option is to grab a few hard boiled eggs and make egg salad using an avocado as the mayonnaise. Add in a variety of raw veggies and your lunch is complete.

Knowing is only half the battle. Even if you know what’s good and expect to eat supportively, if the foods aren’t around when it’s time to eat, it’s hard to succeed.

Planning, preparing, and consistent application is the other half of the battle. If you are just starting out and need to a review of the refresher course check out Meal Planning Week One.

You can make this happen! It takes a little planning and dedication once a week to get your plan on track.

My friend Georgie Fear made a Meal Planning ​timeline. 

Meal Planning -Taking that First Step

There’s no doubt that planning your meals is not only crucial to achieving your best body, but also extremely challenging! Today’s hectic lifestyles make “grab and go” a lot more likely than “sit and relax”.

Who’s got the time to make it all happen?

You can achieve your best health and enjoy great food- the key lies in your ability to plan.

Planning your first week of meals is easier than you think.

  • Write down your family’s favorite meals. To help you out, list the dinner meals you ate last week. You might need to ask your kids for help. Shoot to write down five to seven meals.
  • Tweak these meals if they need to be healthier versions. You’re looking to fill your plate with lots of Protein, Produce and Water.
  • List out 2 or 3 PPW breakfast meals you enjoy eating.
  • Alternate these meals on your menu plan the first week. Remember breakfast doesn’t have to be traditional. Eating leftovers at breakfast makes things quick to reheat.
  • Lunch is next. Do you have time to make a meal each day for lunch or is leftovers a better choice. Remember “Simple is easiest, Simple is best”
  • If you choose to make your meals, prep as much as you can the night before.
  • Lunch can be easy. Baked chicken from the night before takes on a whole new appearance on top of a salad. Don’t have leftover chicken? Open a can/bag of tuna to place on top of the salad. Another option is to grab a few hard boiled eggs and make egg salad using an avocado as the mayonnaise. Add in a variety of raw veggies and your lunch is comlete.

Knowing is only half the battle. Even if you know what’s good and expect to eat supportively, if the foods aren’t around when it’s time to eat, it’s hard to succeed.

Planning is half of the battle. Speaking of planning, make a grocery list. Using your meal plan as a guide to what you need to pick up list out the foods to buy.

You can make this happen! It takes a little planning and dedication once a week to get your plan on track.

Here's a peek into a week I planned. Nothing fancy but it gets the job done.

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy​

I just Can’t Seem to Get It Done

I recently had a conversation with a sweet person who is struggling to make continual progress. In fact she told me she was 'failing miserably'. I can relate to that. Many times in my life I have felt like I was given an insurmountable task. Often times I have success for a day or two, sometimes even a week before falling off the trail again. 

I came across some helpful tips that I thought I would share with you. I don't think I am alone when I just can't conquer a skill on a long term basis.


  • I like lists. What I like better than lists is a list that is all crossed off. One way to build a habit is to add it to your daily To Do list. Even if you feel like the task is so small that you don't need to add it to your list, for instance taking your daily vitamins. Allow yourself the feeling of accomplishment each day as you check it off the list
  • Find your Why? In fact find a deep why. Keep asking yourself why until you just don't have an answer anymore. I did this recently with a student here is her Why. Why do you want to lose 10 pounds? I want to be a size smaller in clothes. Why will being in a smaller size change things? I was that size before my last baby. Why or what does that size allow you to do or feel? It makes me feel happier. Why does a clothing size change your happiness? It makes me feel sexier and then I feel more loved. Why do you feel sexier? Because I have confidence in myself, instead of hiding myself.     Do you see how much more powerful having confidence is rather losing 10 pounds?
    • Start small for a quick reward. Usually when we can't seem to get a task done, it is just too big to conquer all in one day or one week. Its just too big. Taking your goal apart and dividing it into smaller more manageable bite size pieces you'll find greater success. That success can spur you onto more action. Your success is a party given just for you. Enjoy it soak it in. Learn from that success that more of these parties are around each corner. Just make those corners close together.
    • Find some peeps. Losing weight, getting healthier, becoming more fit is a popular there. It probably won't take a long time to find a friend or two looking to do something similar. I have a group of peeps that hang out together on Facebook. We jump into conversations that we want and just listen on other. This is a closed group so while we chat together, the whole world doesn't see it. "Happy Healthy Lives - No Food Guilt" is the name of our group. If you can relate to that title maybe this is the group of peeps you are looking for. No worries if its not, the important thing is to find some people to help you along your journey. 

You might find a combination of these will push you past your hurdle. It might be just one of these ideas that spurs you to reach your goal. But try them out. If one doesn't work, try another one. Find the one that works best for you. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy​

Your BUT is Too Big! And How to Change It.

While driving in the car recently with Dean, he told me; "Your BUT is too big." Of course I was hearing it and not reading his words so I sat quietly for a minute stewing. 

Nancy Carlson 
Coaching Queen

After I realized he wasn't talking about my physical appearance but rather my reasoning behind my lack of action on a project, I calmed down just a bit. You see I was working diligently trying to get this monster project done and struggling. Have you ever been in that position? 

You see I kept feeling like I was stuck. That I had hit a point that I couldn't get over. As we talked about it, Dean kept hearing over and over...... "BUT this and BUT that."​ He heard all the reasons I couldn't get it done. 

My BUT was too big.

Instead of agreeing with me. He helped me to see that I could reduce the size of my BUT. (please realize this is a metaphor for my reasons, my excuses, my sticking points.)

We broke it down to smaller more manageable size pieces.

What does this mean to you?

Have you caught yourself saying: 

  • "I wish I could lose weight BUT........"​ 
  • "I'd love to plan out my meals BUT......."
  • "I can eat healthy most of the time BUT on weekends or at work or while on vacation or when I am visiting the in - laws"
  • "I want to drink more water BUT......"

Your BUT is too big. Try breaking it down into more manageable doses. 

  • I can lose weight by eating 3 satisfying meals when I am hungry.
  • I can plan my dinner meals Monday - Friday. I'll let Saturday and Sunday be for right now until I can tackle them. 
  • I can eat healthy through the week but I can also have a healthy breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. At some point I'll work on the rest of the meals but for now I'm content knowing I'm moving forward. 
  • I can drink more water when I am at work by leaving a water bottle on my desk as a constant reminder. 

Instead of changing your whole world right now. Take a small piece. Work on that until you have a good handle on it. Then take a bit more piece of that world to work on. Those small pieces done well, will become a habit faster by working at them little chunks at a time. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Ease Into Better Eating

The best way to achieve your ideal weight and optimal health is to eat perfectly all of the time. Eat perfectly? Now who can do that? I certainly can’t. I don’t even want to. But with that being said I am on the road to ideal weight and optimal health. I didn’t let the ‘perfectness’ of it all scare me into no action. I am obtaining my goals little at a time.

If your eating habits are looking less that wonderful, change things little by little. Start off with something simple to manage like portion control. Most Americans eat too much of everything. Just read the box of your favorite breakfast cereal or even the package of cookies you just bought. Find the suggested portion size and stick to it.

Here are food portion measurements that can be brought with you anywhere:

  • Vegetable Portion = Two fists fulls or 1/2 plate
  • Protein Portion = Palm of your hand (in width and thickness) or 1/4 plate
  • Fat Portion = Thumb size (from the finger tip to first knuckle) or 1 Tablespoon

Another secret I like to do is fool my brain by using a smaller plate when I eat. Most people like to see a full plate when they sit down to dinner. So train your body by fooling your mind, use a luncheon plate or a dessert plate for you meal. You can fill it up but you’ll be eating fewer calories. Let’s face it a smaller plate can’t hold as much as that large Frisbee-size we often see at place settings.

Just one more secret so you can get yourself going in the right direction. Eat reasonably the first time around. Don’t go for second helpings. You can save those leftovers for lunch the next day.

And if both of those fail, drink a large glass of water thirty minutes before your meal. This is a good practice anyway but something we have to train ourselves to do.

Using these tips, I’ve changed how I look and feel. Now its your turn. Pick the one thing in your eating that you know you can do. Pick it and stick with it. That one thing could make the biggest difference toward your goals.
Take that first step, don’t be afraid because the task is big, little by little.

To Your Best Health,
Coach Nancy

Listen UP

listen-to-others-clipart-1The other day I had to stop at the gas station to fill up my car. It was on empty. I know it needed fuel; the little red light had come on. What I didn’t know was exactly how much gas it needed nor did I know how much was actually still in the tank. I mean really how much farther could I have gone without worrying about running out of fuel?

I took out the handy dandy owner’s manual. I read that my vehicle had a 21 -gallon tank. After filling up with gas I found I actually had over 2 gallons in the tank and could have gone on further in my journey. My point?

My car signals me when I need more gas in the tank to make my car go. I even have a little leeway after that signal blinks on.

One of the biggest game changing skills you can develop is listening to what your body is already telling you. Like the little light that goes on when your car reaches a level of lowness in fuel, our bodies send us similar signals when we are getting low on fuel.

While we don’t have a little light on top of our heads to sound out the warning signs, I’ll have to admit that would be very handy, we do have a signal that lets us know we are getting low on fuel. Hunger is our body’s signal. It often starts as a low level of emptiness. That feeling can come and go at first but steadily gets stronger. Eating only after our bodies give us that signal will help us in many ways.

1. Mindless eating is one of the biggest culprits of sabotaging our body. Food is in sight so we eat. Others are eating so we eat. We just saw this great commercial on TV so we eat. There is nothing else to do so we eat. We walk past a restaurant and the smells are just so too wonderful, so we eat.

But eating when we don’t need to is not necessary. And when we eat food our bodies don’t need it gets stored as fat.

2. Snacking on a regular basis takes away our abilities to even hear our bodies speak. Many of us don’t know what hunger feels like. While others panic at the first sign of being hungry and stuff too much food down for what the signal is saying. Remember the first signs of hunger are there just to warn us at some time in the near future we should eat. It doesn’t mean we are starving.

3. Our bodies actually enjoy a break from constantly having to digest food. The time between meals allows your body to focus its attention on other things.

4. Without using your hunger signal properly you can overeat your way to an unhealthy weight and not understand how to bring it back to healthy again.

My suggestion to you is first know what hunger feels like. Hunger is a growing sensation that at first comes and goes but after a bit is a constant hollow or empty ache. We should be hungry for at least 30 minutes before eating each meal. It is a skill to work on daily. But with practice, you’ll soon comfortable being hungry for a bit before filling your tank with fuel.

Take baby steps. If you feel paralyzed to eat all your meals after being hungry first, then start with listening to hunger before eating your dinner meal. Just start listening. By listening you learn and by learning more about yourself you will build that skill for a lifetime.

To your health,

Coach Nancy

The Master Habit

groundhogdayCoach Dan John thinks “Showing Up” is the master habit. Couldn’t agree more.

Not when it’s convenient, not when you feel like it, not when you don’t have something better to do.

All.The.Time.

Remember the film “Groundhog Day” when Bill Murray’s character kept living the same day over and over, and every day he did something better, until he finally got it “right”? That movie was about the Power Of Habit as much as anything else.

Here is an excerpt from a great article from Chelsea Handler on that subject:

“Later in life, my habit for reliability bled into my stand-up vocation. I kept showing up. When there were only two people in the audience at the Comedy Store at the 9 p.m. show, I showed up and did 10 minutes of material every time I got the 9 p.m. slot. (It turns out that if you can make two people laugh, then you can make two thousand people laugh).

I used to walk into coffee houses that held “open mic” nights and absolutely dreaded making a fool out of myself in front of people who were only there to write screenplays and drink coffee. I hated doing stand-up in the beginning. I couldn’t wait for a set to be canceled because no one showed, but after getting cold feet many times, I made an agreement with myself that I would show up, get up, and do my set, no matter what the circumstance.

Once I showed up enough times, it became my reality; it was no longer an option to not show up. I now practice “showing up” with everything I do. It has permeated every facet of my life. Whether it’s wanting to cancel a workout, a friend’s party, a public appearance, my family in New Jersey. Whatever it is, when I commit, I show up.”

Once I showed up enough times, it became my reality; it was no longer an option to not show up.

Truth.