Category Archives for "Rules Based"

You Don’t Have To Be Perfect

I am so glad I don’t have to be perfect. Think of being 90%. There will be days when you are successful, and others when you are not.

But missing one mark here and there doesn’t call out the world distress signal. In fact, one or two missed check marks 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 get six boxes checked off and then miss the seventh box.

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.

It is practice. I’ll say this over and over. Practice. I hear myself telling my kids often, don’t get so uptight when you don’t succeed the first time through.

At Christmas my kids decorated a ginger bread house. Karalynn is such a perfectionist that when it didn’t come out like the picture she was in tears. I had to remind her again that it was her first time and the people who did that house had practiced many times before taking that picture.

The same is true with your nutrition. After working at or practicing your habit of eating 3 (maybe 4) meals a day, you will find that the amount at which you have to work at it next week will be less. It will become easier.

The same will become true of Hunger Mastery. Many of us have struggled with this one a bit more but we are working at adjusting our schedule. It is becoming easier.

We started a new skill to practice. Don’t expect 100% right away.

In fact you might have to adjust how you are going to get better at this new skill. Maybe focusing on it two meals a day, Maybe knowing you can do it Monday through Friday.

But don’t worry about tomorrow. What can you do today to be successful?

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Changing the Way I Eat is Hard

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

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

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

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

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

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

 

Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?

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

If so, you are oooooold…like me!

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

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

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

The goal is to eat:

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

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

Vegetables:

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

Fruits:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tomato Plants

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

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

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

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

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


I Hate Meal Planning

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do you think?

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Dear Newbie:

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

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

Keep going!

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

You've got this. 

From one whose walked these steps before you.  

Up the Game by 1%

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

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


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


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

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

Then tomorrow find and decide on the next 1%.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Just One Thing

I know plenty of  “all or nothing” kind of people. Either they do something flat out, 100%, no if's and or buts, or you don’t do it at all. 

Often they get knocked off track – because they're not perfect – they can get aggravated and just throw in the towel.

Sometimes, if everything isn’t perfect from the get go, if all the ducks don't line up in a row right from the start, It never gets off the ground!

So why am I telling you all this?

Because based on my experience with hundreds of clients, there are a lot of you that are a lot like people I already know.

Mulling over in your head all the reason’s why you can’t, which in turn paralyzes you into taking any action at all.

In the arena of diet and nutrition I see this all the time, and my goal is to help you break out of that cycle. We can talk all day long about what your ideal nutrition plan might look like, but then a dangerous thing happens – you start thinking about it, and your mind begins creating all these scenarios and “what if’s” of why it can’t or won’t work.

Here’s what I want you to do to break out of that cycle.

Just.One.Thing

I don’t want you to worry about doing everything right – right now.

Choose just one thing you can do every day and build off that.

  • Not eating breakfast unless it is fast food? Start with one day of sipping a protein shake or having leftovers for breakfast. You could even stop at a sit down restaurant but order your food to go.
  • Vegetables never pass your lips? Add them to just one meal every day for a week.
  • Drinking to many of you calories?  Make sure you drink one cup of water before each meal. 

Then build off that success. It might look like this:

  • Add a protein to your breakfast (eggs, ham, cottage cheese) every day for a week.
  • Eat vegetable at two meals, every day for a week.
  • Leave the starchy foods off the last of your three meals of the day, every day for a week.

Follow that pattern consistently, and pretty soon you have made a significant change into both your habits and how you look and feel!

Here’s a summary of what I have learned from that applies to you …

  • Don’t wait for perfection to get started
  • Don’t expect everything to go perfectly once you have started
  • Don’t try to do everything at once
  • Be Accountable

So let’s hear it. In the comment box below tell me Just One Thing you are going to start doing today.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Spaghetti or Orangetti?

Last time I was shopping I went to pick up a few spaghetti squashes. I was not sure where they went. In there place was a familiar shaped squash but not the same color. What, could it be an "Orange" spaghetti squash? Yep. 

I'm not sure what they did or how they did it but they made a spaghetti squash that usually has a yellow hue to orange. I just had to try it. Actually I picked up three of them. 

Here is what I did with one of my Orangetti Squash. 

Spaghetti Squash "Pasta"

You can take the long way to prep it:

Preheat your oven to 325.

Pierce it (the squash, not the oven) with a sharp knife all around the skin.

Roast it on a pan (you don't need any water) for about 1 hour.

Remove from oven, slice in half long ways, remove the seeds and take the flesh out with a fork.


Or the short way:

Just pierce the squash as suggested above, then microwave it for 8 minutes (flipping it over at 4) and it tastes the same.



That’s as quick as you can cook pasta…

It looks just like spaghetti, yet has a ton less calories and carbs, but a lot more nutrients.

Top it with your favorite pasta toppings and you're good to go!

It doesn't quite taste like pasta, but resembles it and has a great taste in and of itself.

Here is the sauce I made today:

1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon basil

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 Tablespoon dried parsley

1 Tablespoon dried onions

5 cooked Italian sausage cut into bite size chunks 

I heated this on the stove and let it simmer for ½ hour. It was delicious!

To your best Health,

Coach Nancy


Recipe for Change

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

But do you ever think about a recipe for change.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Here is the true "recipe" for meaningful change.

Get clear

Figure out your "want"  

Work towards it with determination.

Tune-out the noise

Tune out the naysayers

Put your head down

Keep plugging away up the proverbial hill.

Tune-in to your inner world.

Walk boldly & steadily but with baby steps.

Make small but resolute changes.


Simmer. Forever.

Let cool. Enjoy.

Servings Per Recipe: Unlimited happiness and resolution.


To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Creamy Chicken Skillet

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

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

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Creamy Chicken Skillet

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

3 slices bacon

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced

6 oz. white mushrooms, sliced

1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 14.5-oz. can coconut milk

2 cups fresh kale, stems removed and shredded

Salt and pepper, to taste

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

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