Category Archives for "Rules Based"

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

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

Make Yourself a NOT To Do List

Recently, I was challenged to do a task that I knew wasn’t going to be helpful to me. It was a generic call out to a group. I thought through the reason that challenge was being given and then politely said, I wasn’t going to participate. I found a great coach who instead congratulated me on not doing the challenge.

I thought about how we all have this long list of to-dos that cause us angst as we struggle to check them off. It felt good to know I had some things already settled. I have some things in my daily routine that already help me.

What would be on your list of things NOT to-do?

For me, I shouldn't combine too many outside activities into one week. I can handle one outside- the- norm appointment without going a bit wacky each week. In my schedule, one doctor appointment or one speaking engagement a week, one out of office visit, or one trip to visit with a friend is comfortable. Trying to add more than just one thing can make me a bit bonkers.

For me, I shouldn't try to stay up past 10. I just shouldn't do that. I fall asleep any way so I don't enjoy whatever I am trying to enjoy.

For me, I shouldn't try to put my vitamins away in the cupboard. I need the constant reminder of them being on my counter in order for me to take them each day.

For me, I shouldn't make three new recipes in one day. I just don't have that extra time to spend in the kitchen.

For me, I shouldn't go to the grocery store while I am hungry. I am tempted just like most people by the wonderful smells coming from the bakery or the lure of chocolate at the checkout line.

What should be on your NOT to-do list?

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

Food Journaling Tweaks

A food journal is a quick way to assess your current eating habits. It has been proven that keeping a record of what you eat on a regular basis leads to quicker fat loss and helps you keep it off. When you don’t journal, you don’t get an accurate picture of the quantity or quality of your nutrition. We are very good at fooling ourselves into thinking we eat less calories and have made better choices than we really do!

There are some common themes I have evaluated in food logs.

Here are my “Top 5 Tweaks” to help skyrocket your progress:

Tweak #1: Eat like you want your child to eat. Coffee is not breakfast. Two crackers for a meal is not a meal. If you have kids, take your own advice and sit down and eat some real food.

Tweak #2: Eat protein. It helps keep you full longer, it helps keep your blood sugar stable, and you are probably just not eating enough.

Tweak #3: Peanut butter is not an ideal source of protein. Yes, peanut butter has protein, but it comes at a high calorie cost. A serving of natural peanut butter (2 Tbsp) has 210 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of protein. That translates to about 144 calories from fat, 24 from carbs and 32 from protein. That means there are 4.5 times more calories from fat than protein – once again not ideal. I love peanut butter as much as the next, I just need to be careful not to depend on it!

Tweak #4: Where's the green? There is some serious vegetable-phobia out there in food log land. There were many times a 3 day food journal had nothing green on it at all! More veggies is a sure way to get that weight loss moving in the right direction.

Tweak #5: Late calories. If you must eat after dinner, default to more protein/veggies. Your body can use some more protein to repair while sleeping. That bowl of ice cream (or even fruit) will spike your blood sugar/insulin response right before bed – right when you don’t want it. Your body is not going to use that energy while you sleep, so it’s going to store it – ouch!

I bet you there is one simple change you can make this week.

To Your Best Health,
Coach Nancy

Three Rules for Eating on Vacation

Here are my three rules to easy eating while on vacation (thank you Michael Pollan for the fantastic ideas in your book “Food Rules”- great read for anyone!):

1. Eat foods that you can visualize in their raw state. If I’m not able to identify where a particular food came from, I’m going to avoid it. At restaurants that means avoiding foods covered in goop and sauces. Where does that cheese like substance come from anyway? Fried food? Not happening. I don’t know what is in the coating or what they fry it in (not to mention the fat and calories). That leaves me with very few choices, so I’ll probably starve, right? No way! Think of all the grilled items, vegetables, fruits, fish, eggs and more that I can have. There are thousands of varieties of vegetables and fruit alone. Open your mind and mouth to new possibilities!

2. Eat foods that spoil quickly. If a food like substance can stay on the shelf for years, it is probably very low in nutrients. If a rodent will not even go after it, do we really want to put it in our mouth?

3. Eat foods your grandmother (or great-grandmother?) would recognize. I love my grandmother; she was a wonderful cook. But I’m sure if she looked at a Go-Gurt, she’d have no idea what to do with it. What about Spam, Velveeta, or powdered drink mixes? She did her cooking with items readily found in her area, that she grew herself, or that my grandfather fished or hunted. She didn’t have a whole lot shipped from other countries, or items found out of season in her area. I’m going to imagine sitting at her table each time I eat.

So that’s my plan. I’m going to eat fresh foods that are easy to recognize (before and after they are cooked) that my grandmother would enjoy.

That's not so hard, is it?

Ask me how I did when I get back!

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​