Category Archives for "Habits"

Holiday Survival Tips – Appetizers

Okay, now let's talk food. We're kicking off our Thanksgiving suggestions very fittingly -- with the dish people think of first, appetizers.

As if Thanksgiving doesn't have enough calories associated with the dinner alone, we always start it off with hors d'oeuvres or appetizers. My friend’s toddler calls, HAPPYtizers.

Now these can play a critical role, especially if there are hours between when your guests first arrive and when the REAL meal is served. But the calories can also quickly add up, particularly if you are snacking mindlessly.

So here are my strategies for handling appetizers, food and drink that is tempting, and that will be around for a good bit pre-meal. Note: these strategies are good for later that evening with dinner and dessert as well.

5 Tips when It comes to Appetizers

1.Survey your options before eating. Eye everything down first without a plate and determine what you will eat.

2. Skip any food that you can get anytime. A bowl full of M&M's? Who needs them? Not when you can drive past any gas station later that evening and pick some up (That is if you decide your Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without them. And I’m betting that won't happen.) 

3. Fill up on low-calorie options like veggies (watch the dip) or salads (careful on the dressing). Then, look at the entire selection and determine what you'd REALLY like to enjoy. Allow yourself to have some of that -- enjoy it and move on.

4. Don't hang out next to food. C'mon that's just asking for trouble. Once you've enjoyed some appetizers, put your plate away and situate yourself away from the food.

5. Bring your own HAPPYtizers if you're a guest (ones that won't wreck your diet) and if you are hosting, keep the crowd happy with some of these options that AREN'T low on taste!

I'm a people person. One thing I love to do is to make people smile. These two recipes are sure to bring smiles to you and your guests.

Stuffed Mushrooms

1 small white onion

4 portabella mushrooms

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, fine diced

1 pinch nutmeg

1 pinch black pepper

¼ cup Vegetable stock

1 cup feta cheese

Parmesan cheese

Chop onion with 1/8 dice, remove ribbing in mushrooms, cut ribbing and stems of mushrooms. Add oil to a sauté pan. Sauté onions, diced mushrooms and nutmeg through veggie stock, then add garlic until aromatic. Add the feta cheese and stir to combine. Stuff mushrooms with mixture, sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan cheese, and a drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Cut each portabella mushroom into quarters to serve.

Antipasto Sausage Skewers

1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces if large

1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

​12 ounces fully cooked Italian- style sausage, cut in one inch pieces

1/2 cup ​Lightly packed fresh Basil leaves

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage; cook, turning 2 or 3 times, until warmed through and browned, about 8 minutes.

Thread 1 small or 1/2 large basil leaf onto a small wooden skewer. Add a piece of roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato, artichoke and sausage, arranging them on the skewer so that it can stand up on the sausage end. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make about two-dozen skewers.

Discipline- 3 Helpful ways to get a bit more

What is discipline? Simply, discipline is doing the things you need to do to succeed, even when you don’t feel like doing them. Many of us have experienced the lack of discipline in one area or another in our lives. Being undisciplined is the most important contributing factor to why it is so hard to break our habitual patterns. A lack of discipline is also why it is so hard for many to break their chronic eating habits – it is so much easier to continue to do things the way that is familiar or comfortable – even when these habits cause them discomfort or prohibits them from accomplishing their goals.

So how do we create discipline for ourselves and help develop greater discipline so that we can successfully change eating habits and accomplish our goals? Here are 3 powerful ways to create discipline:


1. Create a powerful sense of purpose. When you have a powerful sense of purpose – a ‘why’ achieving this goal is important to me – it is much easier to be disciplined. Write down why changing our habits are important to me. For some it may be to look better because they don’t like how their current diet makes them look while for others it may be to stop feeling the chronic pain or aches they are experiencing. The more personal and real the purpose is, the easier it is to develop the discipline it takes to do positively correct lifestyle habits.

2. Resist the temptation of instant gratification. Our society is based almost entirely upon instant gratification. ‘Take this medication for immediate pain relief.’ ‘Go on this diet and you’ll lose 7 pounds in the first week.’ ‘Use this cream and you’ll instantly look 5 years younger.’ However, even though we understand there are very few things worth having that happen immediately, we can’t help but buy into the temptation of instant gratification. One of the most important things we can educate ourselves on is the concept that everything worth accomplishing takes time. This is true whether the goal is weight loss, gaining muscle, or changing bad eating habits. Remember, our chronic habits didn’t develop overnight and neither will the solution to breaking them happen overnight. Alsoo remember the importance of remaining consistent while resisting the temptation of instant gratification. As mentioned, very little worth accomplishing in life occurs without a consistent effort.

3. Join a support group. The temptation to remain in our current state is great. Developing and remaining disciplined takes the support of others. If you want to develop or expand your expertise, you need to surround yourself with others who also want to develop theirs. Find a positive role model and mimic their journey. I am opening up my ProCoach Group which gives you this piece of help. I'll be there to help you get to your goals. If your tired of dieting but want to make changes in your health, let me be your support.

Developing the self-discipline required to change any habit is challenging. However, by creating a powerful sense of purpose, resisting the temptation of instant gratification, and having a support group, you can develop or increase your discipline.

The Four Year Test

are you physically better than you were four years ago?

It’s an interesting question.

Just the other day I had a conversation with a recent college graduate. She’s 25 years old and was complaining that she’s wearing a size 8 now when she used to be a 2.

So what has changed for you in the past 4 years?

Is the number on the scale the same if you’ve been trying to maintain? How about your pants or dress size? If you’re not "better" than 4 years ago, does that mean you’re worse? Again, we’re talking physically here.

What have you done to change, maintain or improve your fitness? How about your fatness?

The question — then, if you’re not better off than 4 years ago — why?

And, more importantly, what will you do to change that?

Because on October 22, 2020 when I ask this same question …

You surely don’t want to be the "average" man or woman, who has gained several pounds, and continuing on that upward trend.

Your health. Your body. Your strength, fitness and fatness are 100% in your control.

Where you are today is not anyone’s fault but yours — for better or worse. The government can’t fix it. Your spouse can’t fix it. Your friends, kids or parents can’t fix it.

You Fix You! If you’re not happy with where you are, do something to change that.

Maybe it’s with your diet. Maybe it’s with your exercise. Maybe both. But take 1 step NOW — as soon as you read this — to do it.

Here are 10 things you can do TODAY … that can ultimately make a BIG change when continued day after day.

1. Add a 10 minute walking break for every 50 minutes of sitting.

2. Only watch as much TV each day as the amount of time you are active. Favorite shows on tonight? Great, if it’s 2 shows for 30 minutes each … get in 60 minutes of structured physical activity.

3. Don’t drink any calories — no soda, alcohol, sports drinks — nothing.

4. Replace a meal with a salad. Add lean protein on top along with a sprinkling of nuts.

5. Replace 1 snack today with a vegetable.

6. Eat 80% of what’s on your plate. Yes, that means leaving some food behind. You don’t belong to the clean plate club. That membership is hereby revoked.

7. If you go out to eat, ask for them to hold the bread basket

8. Drink 2 cups of water before every meal and snack.

9. Leave the TV off at night — if you have kids, go out and play instead — if not, go for a walk after dinner.

10. Skip dessert.

Think about it again. It’s a big, big question.

Are You Better Off Than 4 Years Ago?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy​

Ten Nutrition Rules To Live By


1. You control the supply lines. You decide which foods to buy and when to serve them. Adults decide which foods are regularly stocked in the house. If its not available in the cupboard and fridge at home you are less likely to make a store run just for a craving.

2. Plan. Plan your meals including snacks if needed. A meal plan will save you time, energy, and aggravation. Knowing ahead of time what is the menu selection will afford you the opportunity to shop only for the items needed that week. You’ll  likely not forget to take items out of the freezer as needed. If you work off your meal plan when it comes time to make the meal, you’ll have everything needed to put the meal together. Don’t forget to also schedule times to eat your regular meals.

3. Quit the "clean-plate club. Please stop eating when you feel you've had enough. Lots of us grew up under the clean-plate rule, but that approach doesn't allow you to listen to your body tell you when feel full or satisfied. When you respond to feelings of fullness, you're less likely to overeat.

4. Try new foods/recipes. Food preferences are developed early in life, so offer variety. Likes and dislikes begin forming even when kids are babies. But that doesn’t mean you can’t develop different taste as you grow older. Try a new ‘old’ food. Prepare a food you didn’t care for in a different way. You never know it might just become a favorite.

5. Rewrite the menu. Who says you have to prepare Tacos every Tuesday and Spaghetti on Wednesday with Fish on Friday? It might surprise you how willing your family is to try a new recipe next week.

6. Drink calories count. Soda and other sweetened drinks add extra calories and get in the way of good nutrition. I don’t know of an adult who thinks of them as nutritious. But many of us will not part with our coffee/ latte topped off with sugar and cream or our Gatorade during a hot day. Alcohol? Again, calories you need to count in your day.

7. Put sweets in their place. Occasional sweets are fine, but don't turn dessert into the main reason for eating dinner. When dessert is the prize for eating dinner, we naturally place more value on the cupcake than the broccoli. Try to stay neutral about foods. Remember moderation is not once a day or even every other day.

8. Food is not love. Find better ways to say "I love you." When foods are used as a reward and to show affection, they start becoming a coping device for stress or other emotions. Enjoy time alone, listening to a favorite song, or buy a new pair of sunglasses. Try anything instead of using food as treats.

9. Kids do as you do. Be a role model and eat healthy. When trying to teach good eating habits, try to set the best example possible. Choose nutritious snacks, eat at the table, try different foods in a variety of ways, and don't skip meals.

10. Limit TV and computer time. When you do, you'll avoid mindless snacking and encourage activity. With limited TV and computer time, you'll find more active things to do. And limiting "screen time" means you'll have more time to be active With those you love together.

​There you have it, Ten Rules to Live By. Which one are you going to tackle first? 

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy​

Three Things I learned at the Vet’s Office

Yearly I make my trek to the doctor for my physical. They take my height, my weight, they listen to my heart, they take my blood pressure. She makes sure I am healthy. She will ask me questions about my lifestyle, She ask questions about my family history, she will even ask me questions about work, my home life, my kids, my hubby. She always asks a lot of questions. Her goal is to get a good picture of me. She pronounces me healthy and I am off.

At times I visit my doctor when I am ill. Usually when I’ve waited well past a few days of being miserably sick and now I want relief or at my family’s insistence, they want relief from me. She again takes my height, my weight, looks, listens, and feels to determine what is wrong. She pronounces her findings and I am off.

Same scenario but just a bit different.

My dog, Buddy, also goes to his yearly doctor visit. They take his weight, listen to his heart, feel around to make sure all moves well. His doctor will also ask questions. But his first question always intrigues me, “What do you feed Buddy?” I didn’t think about this much until Buddy got sick.

While at this sick care visit, they did weigh him, they didn’t do much else. The vet came right in. His first question was “What was going on with our sick dog?” After describing how he was acting, his next question stunned me.

“What are you feeding Buddy?”.

I wasn’t at the vet for his nutritional counseling. I wanted him to help my dog feel better. I needed his help in that way. Of course Buddy wasn’t eating very much food but no one does when they are sick. The vet wasn’t as interested in what he had that day as much as what he is normally fed. In fact the dog doctor was directly linking my dog’s health with the food he was consuming.

Yes, Buddy, had an infection but the doctor explained how his regular diet had contributed to his poor health. I walked out of the doggie doctor’s office thinking "No duh, what applies to dogs applies to us humans too!"

Three Things I learned at the Veterinarian’s Office to help me from getting sick.

1. A healthy eating plan gives your body what it needs to work optimally, not just survive.

2.  Health–Ful means it contains a whole lot of foods that make me healthy.

3. A few bites of “under the table” foods are okay once in a while but I can’t make a habit of them.

So what does this miracle way of eating look like?

1. For us humans filling our plates with lots of vegetables, lean protein, a small portion of healthy fats and drinking lots of water.

2. Find foods that are high in the good stuff while limiting the foods that are highly processed is our key.

Eat as many “colorful foods” as you can throughout the day; real food - think fruits and vegetables. Eat green, purple, red, yellow, and blue. Nature has a very simple way of letting us know which foods are really healthy and full of nutrients - color.

3. While there isn’t any ‘bad’ food, there were some foods that don’t have the bang for the buck (or calorie) we are looking for. Those are foods we have in moderation. It’s a balancing act. Include whatever treats you want into an overall picture of a healthy diet. It’s not about totally taking them out but finding their place in your plan.

My Vet taught me that consistently feeding my animal great food, getting him some exercise, giving him access to water all the time, while limiting the treats was best for his health. It actually helped Buddy not get sick.

Why would I do less for me?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Keeping it Simple to Prep Meals Quickly

Keep it Simple

I love being in the kitchen. If I could I would make everything from scratch. My kids love to help me but I just don't have time to do as much as I would like. So I've cut down the prep time by buying some items that need little to no work.

Since veggies are a big part of PPW (Protein, Produce and Water) that is where I started because that is also where lots of pealing, slicing, dicing, cutting, cleaning etc…. Came in.

Here's my helpful food prep cheats list to buy at the grocery store.

Frozen chopped onion

Frozen chopped onion and pepper combination

Frozen stir fry veggies. (Don't buy the ones with the sauce already added to them)

Frozen veggies

Frozen blends of veggies (the California blend is very yummy with a little olive oil sprinkled on top, salt and pepper then roasted in the oven at 375 for 45 minutes)

Cherry tomatoes (no need to cut these up to throw on a salad, plus they make a great grab and go snack)

Baby carrots

Pre cut celery

Spinach (I've made Spinach Honey Moon Salad many times. (LET- US Alone) But it can be thrown in with eggs for a delicious omelet, added to stir fries, rolled around a slice of chicken or turkey, or sauté with shrimp and garlic)

Precut mushrooms

Coleslaw mixes can be bought. (Use these in stir fries not loaded with mayo.)

Canned or in a jar:

Tomatoe sauce

Petite tomatoes

Plum tomatoes

Tomatoe tomatoes

There are so many tomato products that are canned or in a jar for use in soups, sauces, stir fries, added to your favorite protein dish.

While there are days when I spend a long time fixing just the perfect dinner but more often than not, I’m making things happen, double time. I don’t have to miss out on good food I just have to make that good food as quickly as I can. Keeping things simple have helped cut down my time in the kitchen. If you have time, spend it on cooking even allowing your kids to help. Chicken Enchilada Soup is one of those meals you can make quickly and easily.

Go simple this week. Very simple.

Coach Nancy

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​