Coach Nancy’s Top 5 Ways to Avoid Couch Coma

Want to avoid feeling (and looking) like a stuffed turkey on Thanksgiving day?

Here’s 5 Tips for keeping control and prevent yourself from developing the dreaded “couch coma” while still enjoying that incredible meal.

Eat Breakfast– Thanksgiving finds most of us rushing around baking and preparing food for the feast later in the day. If we take time to think about eating we feel we should avoid it since we KNOW we’ll eat too much later on. Eating your regular meals in smaller portions sizes keeps our blood sugar levels even. This internal function will help your mood stay level (which your family may thank  you for) as well as avoid that starving sensation which can lead us to overloading our plate at the main meal.

Exercise before and or after your meal – Your body will respond well to getting out in the fresh air and moving after the meal. Exercise aids in digestion but also getting in some movement before that meal will keep us focused on why we are thankful. We have bodies that can move and our health is important to us.

Desert Desserts – While eating sweets is probably planned for most of us on Thanksgiving we don’t have to eat obscene portions for our desserts. Our ‘Treats’ should be planned and thought out ahead of time. If dessert is served buffet style ask someone else to pick you something that looks good. Tempting yourself by ‘seeing’ all the choices can defeat an otherwise healthy meal. If you can’t find someone to decide for you, stick to a small plate and fill it only once. (This tip works well for the main meal too) No one says you have to have seconds.

Drink plenty of water –  Drinking a glass of water before and during your meal helps you to feel full, helps your food digest better, and gives you the ability to keep your hands from filling your mouth with calories. (Besides if you drink enough you’ll also avoid the tired- needing- to- take- a- nap- after- turkey feeling because you’ll be making trips to the bathroom)

Be generous with your leftovers – What goes on at Thanksgiving stays at Thanksgiving. If you are hosting the meal, send your guest home with the leftovers, especially the desserts, sauce covered veggies, and casseroles. Keep the turkey for your turkey caesar salads, turkey soups, and turkey roll ups.

Bonus Tip – Don’t just be present at Thanksgiving – Give Thanks! Enjoy your time with family, friends, and those you come in contact with over the holidays. Going into a “treat meal” like Thanksgiving with a plan will help you overcome the guilt associated with overeating. Winning the battle of not eating too many calories that leave you with a weight gain will jump you into the holiday season with confidence to be remain healthy and happy the whole year.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,

Coach Nancy

Plan Your Hydration

Most of us have had some practice at meal planning and preparation. We realize the importance of planning our meal times in order to make life go smoother with less stress and yet healthier for us and our family. In fact Cr8 Your Plate is a Meal Planning service.  I've written many posts on Meal Planning and how to make it easier and faster.  Hydration is also a subject we are familiar with. We know the importance of drinking water for our health, for weight loss, for our body's to function properly and overall well being. Yet we fail to plan for hydration. We just know we need to drink water and we should drink more than we currently do. 

Let me encourage you to plan to drink more water. Similar to planning to eat healthier, we need to prepare for it. 

Simple steps to drink more water.

  1. Cut up lemon or lime to keep in the fridge to add to your water 
  2. Know how much water you want to drink each day.
  3. Use a pitcher or a specific water bottle to help you measure that every day.
  4. Buy a water bottle to take with you when you are away from home.
  5. Sample other flavorings or a mixture of flavorings to add to your water. 

Planning and preparing to drink more water doesn't have to take long but a few minutes to prepare will make getting in that water easier. Let me know what you do to help you drink more water. 

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Chicken Cacciatore

Crockpot cooking is one of the easiest ways to get a meal on for dinner that you don't have to spend hours and hours preparing. While you do have to get the recipe together, the crockpot does so much of the work. You can take all the credit for it. 

This crockpot meal is a win/win. While you can make this meal right away, you can also prepare it, put it in a storage container and freeze it for later. When you're ready take container out of the freezer and put it in the crockpot. Again the crockpot does the rest of the work. You'll get the credit for a delicious meal. 

Chicken Cacciatore

4 chicken thighs 

4 chicken legs 

1 onion 

1 red bell pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

28 ounce can of diced tomatoes

2 Tablespoon dried parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 6- 8 hours. This is delicious  served over cauliflower rice

Here is some tips to make this meal:     

  • Use chicken breast or chicken quarters in place of the thighs and legs. These can come directly from the freezer. 
  • Use frozen chopped onion and pepper.
  • Use 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in place of the fresh garlic
  • This meal can also be prepared in the oven. Brown the chicken first in a pan with some coconut oil on all sides. Remove the chicken and sauté the onion and peppers until they are tender.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the onions and peppers, mix well. Transfer the chicken and the veggies to an oven safe pan and bake until chicken is cooked through.  

Enjoy this family favorite,

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

At a recent party for challenge winners, I served these delightful little snacks. The dainty little bites of goodness were so easy to make. I almost felt guilty because each one looked like it took a very long time to make. And they were gobbled up. 

4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup pumpkin pureé
1 scoop SFH Pure Churro Whey Protein
pumpkin spice (for topping)

Mix together all ingredients (except pumpkin spice) until well combined. Place into molds, I used the small silicone muffin pan. Ice cube trays work great too! Sprinkle with pumpkin spice and place in freezer until firm (about 2 hours). Let thaw a couple minutes before enjoying.

I've also used Beverly UMP Graham Cracker Protein. The Protein powder will give it that extra boost of flavor. 

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Help its Halloween

While scrolling through my pictures the other day.... I saw something AMAZING!

There were two beautiful girls who took a selfie next to each other. While it shouldn't be that a mom is surprised when her two teen age girls are enjoying a moment of fun together yet some days are filled with the opposite going on in our home.  What a way to start my Saturday morning!

I really needed to see smiling faces that day and those two faces in particular made my day even better.

What does this have to do with my email today? Nothing,  I wanted to share the pic because it made me smile I am hoping you'll smile too.

Ok, back to business. 

We all know how having candy in the house can tempt even the best of us. It's just easier to remove temptation and get all it out of the house... for you and for your kids!

So... instead of going Jimmy Kimmel style and telling your kids the tooth fairy ate all of their Halloween Candy... here's another approach to try:

Give it a try. You might find those happy faces don't dim when the candy is not there. 

To you and your family's best health,

Coach Nancy

Bring New Life to Your Oatmeal

Breakfast is my favorite meal. During those cold months, oatmeal becomes a staple each day. It doesn't have to be the same ole same old oatmeal though. In fact with these recipes, everyone in my family can treat themselves special with the same pot of oatmeal.

Whether you chose to make Old Fashion Oatmeal or Steel Cut Oats these recipes will be a hit. The challenging part will be which one will you choose each morning. 

Blueberries and Cream Oatmeal  (Strawberries work great too)

1 Serving of hot oatmeal

1 scoop Angel Food Cake Protein Powder (vanilla works great too)


1/3 cup blueberries

Mix the water with the protein powder until it forms a pudding type mixture. Pour on top of your hot oatmeal then add your blueberries. Enjoy. 

Bananas and Cream Oatmeal

Bananas and Cream Oatmeal

I Serving of hot oatmeal

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

2 Tablespoons of plain yogurt

1 teaspoon of sunflower seeds

1 teaspoon of unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 banana, sliced

Mix the protein powder with the yogurt. It will be a thick. Pour this and then all the remaining ingredients on the hot oatmeal. Enjoy

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal

1 serving of hot oatmeal

1 scoop of chocolate protein powder

1 Tablespoon of natural peanut butter (or almond butter)

Mix the protein in the hot oatmeal. Add the peanut butter on top. It will melt into the oatmeal. Enjoy while you eat this right up.

Cinnamon Graham Cracker Oatmeal (This recipe comes from Super Star - Brian, who fixes this at work each day) 

1 Serving hot oatmeal

1 scoop Graham Cracker Protein powder

1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) cinnamon

Mix the protein powder in the hot oatmeal. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top. Enjoy.

Now do you see what I mean? How do you choose what to eat in the morning with all these fantastic choices just to have with your oatmeal?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

8 Tips to Meal Planning Success

Meal Preparation: Tips and Ideas

1. Create a morning, evening or weekend ritual.

  • Do your grocery shopping on the same day(s) each week
  • Prep food meals on Sunday, the night before and/or in the morning. 
  • Get into a routine to make food prep efficient and effective.

2. Pre-cook chicken.

  • Purchase boneless skinless chicken in bulk and season to taste.
  • Cook in large Pyrex dish, covered in tin foil at 350-400° for 20-40 minutes.
  • Store in a glass container and you have a ready-made protein source.

3. Pre-chop chicken and beef for stir-fries.

  • Purchase boneless chicken and beef in bulk. 
  • Chop meat into 1-inch cubes, portion into 4-8oz servings, and freeze them.
  • Quick tip if you're in a hurry: thaw the meat in bowl of tepid water for 10-15 minutes. 
  • Make a tasty and balanced stir-fry, seasoned to your liking.

4. Pre-chop fresh vegetables.

  • Chop each vegetable into desired sizes and store in individual containers.
  • Use them or omelets, salads, stir-fries and more.

5. Prepare ahead of time.

  • Make large batches of food like chili, stews, stir-fries, and smoothies.
  • Pack your own snacks and lunch (by utilizing Tip 1).
  • Eat breakfast; or pack a Super Smoothie for on the go nutrition. (there are a ton of free recipes here.)

6. Shop at farmer’s markets, if possible.

  • Farmer’s markets provide local, fresh and sustainably grown meat, produce and eggs at reasonable prices.
  • You know exactly where, when and how your food was grown.
  • You develop a relationship with the people who grow your food.

7. Order by the principles above when at restaurants or school.

  • The healthy principles of nutrition do not cease to exist when eating out.
  • You still need high-quality: protein, carbs, fruits, vegetables and fats.

8. Spice up your food

  • Spices and herbs add tremendous health benefits and flavor to your food.
  • Different spices can make tired meals and recipes seem new and exciting.

When I first started changing my family's diet, I worked slowly through this list. Start with one thing this week you can start doing. And do that one thing. It might take a week or two for that to hit a grove, when it does add in the next item on the list. Soon you'll be tackling meal prep like a professional.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Overnight Pumpkin Oatmeal in a Jar

Fall is the time for yummy pumpkin recipes. While most of them seem to be snacks or desserts this is a great breakfast recipe. I love it most because I can make it ahead of time and its ready when I am in the morning.

Overnight Pumpkin Oatmeal in a Jar

1/2 Cups oatmeal

1/3 Cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 Cup pumpkin puree

1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 Tablespoon pumpkin seeds (You can also try chopped walnuts or sliced almonds)

Add oats to a jar or other container. Pour in yogurt. In small bowl stir together pumpkin and cinnamon; layer over yogurt. Top with pumpkin seeds or walnuts. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy in the morning

Let me know how you liked it.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Pumpkin Soup – It hits the Fall Soup Spot

A simple, 7-ingredient pumpkin soup that's savory and made completely from scratch! Healthy, satisfying, and perfect for chillier weather.

2 sugar pumpkins (Yield ~2 1/4 cups)

2 red onions, small ( you can use shallots too)

2 heads of garlic

2 cups vegetable broth

1 can coconut milk

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 tsp each sea salt, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut the pumpkins in half. Use a spoon to scrape out all of the seeds and strings. Place face down on the baking sheet. Wrap the garlic cloves in foil and drizzle with ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Peal the skin from the onions, cut in half. Drizzle with ½ teaspoon of olive oil and then wrap onions in foil. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the skin of the pumpkins easily. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then peel away skin and set pumpkin aside. For the cloves of garlic, once they are cool enough to touch, pinch the garlic cloves from the bottom and the roasted garlic will be released. Throw the skins away. Put the garlic and the onion with the pumpkin.

To a large saucepan over low heat add all the liquid ingredients. Give them a stir and allow them to heat up.

Add remaining ingredients, including the pumpkin, garlic and onion. Using an immersion blender puree the soup. You can also use a blender by pouring small amounts of the soup into the blender. Blend that until smooth. Continue to blend all the soup in small batches.

Continue cooking over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes and taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve as is or with crushed kale chips on top. I’ve also used toasted sesame seeds or raw pumpkin seeds as a garnish.

Recipe serves 3-4. Leftovers keep in the fridge for up to a few days and in the freezer for up to a month or more.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Super Foods = Power Foods

So you have made a decision to eat healthier. No more fast food, fritos and fudgicles. But what are you going to eat? What food choices can you make that will help you get leaner and feel better?

Let me assure you, healthy eating does not have to be boring! This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a great place to start! Filling your fridge and pantry with these healthy foods (and getting rid of the unhealthy stuff) is a big step to changing your habits, and taste buds!

Protein Sources
Extra Lean Ground Beef
Chicken/Turkey Breast
Turkey Sausage
Wild Salmon

Baby Carrots
Shiitake Mushrooms

Its a challenge to myself to eat a variety of color, raw and cooked choices of my vegetables each day.

Red Grapes

Fruit is nature’s dessert, and we know not to make most of our diet be dessert! While fruit is very good for you, be aware the sugar content in fruit needs to be recognized and monitored. Also frozen vegetables and fruits are a great option, especially when not fresh is out of season or not locally grown.

Rolled Oats
Beans (Your Favorites)
Whole Wheat Pasta
Steel Cut Oats

Raw Walnuts
Raw Almonds
Raw Pecans

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Apple Cider Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar
Green Tea

If you haven’t tried some of these varieties of vinegar, I encourage you to try them on your salads and in your cooking. They are a great way to spice up and add flavor to your meals!

Be creative and add healthy variety to your diet. Don’t get stuck eating the same old thing all the time. Trying new things helps keep you motivated and also helps you get the vitamins and minerals you need.

No excuses! Start eating healthier today!

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy