Oh So Good Chili

Chili in the winter go hand in hand. A great chili recipe is a prized possession. This one is a keeper. It has several secret ingredients that adds to  It’s AWESOMEness!

1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 pound ground beef 

1/2 pound ground turkey

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

14-ounce can crushed tomatoes

8 ounces tomato sauce

2 ounces can diced green chili’s

1/2 cup beef stock

1 Tablespoons chili powder

1/2 Tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 Tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt to taste

OPTIONAL: 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced to taste

Sliced avocado

In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic until onions begin to soften. Then, add the beef and turkey, and stir occasionally until browned.  Add the rest of the chili ingredients (except the avocado- save that for garnishing). Let simmer, stirring every so often for 15 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

Share your favorite Chili recipe below,

Coach Nancy

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili

Soup is a favorite on a New England Winter day. This one also brings its own heat. Its like Buffalo Chicken Wings without the messy fingers.  

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili

1 ¼ cups dice Onion

1 cup dice Carrot

2 ⅔ cups dice Celery

1 large sweet potato, diced

2 ½ teaspoons mince Garlic, Cloves

6 ⅔ cups cook and dice Chicken, Boneless Breasts

⅓ cups Chili Powder

2 tablespoons Cumin

1 tablespoon Paprika

½ cups Buffalo Wing Sauce

30 ounces Tomato Sauce

15 ounces Diced Tomatoes, Canned

¼ teaspoons Salt

¼ teaspoons Black Pepper

In a skillet over medium heat, saute onions, carrots, celery and garlic.

Transfer to slow cooker and add remaining ingredients.

Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Coach Nancy's tips for faster preparation time:

  • Use frozen diced onion instead of taking the time to chop a fresh onion. 
  • Use a pound of frozen chicken breast, Increase the cook time to 6-8 hours and shred the chicken before you serve it. 

Enjoy the spiciness of this chili. Remember you can control the 'heat' by  adding 1/2 the Wing sauce while it cooks and more as needed after the chicken is done cooking.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Try This to Gain Weight or Do the Opposite for Weight Loss

To gain weight fast: Eat as much and as fast as you can.
 And to get the opposite effect? To lose weight, try the Opposite: Eat slowly and deliberately without distractions.

Quickly devour everything and gain weight. 

Our “satiety mechanisms” kick in about 20 minutes after we start eating a meal. No matter how much we eat during the first 20 minutes, our bodies don't feel satisfied or even full until we hit the magical satiety time.

That’s why many people overeat: they eat too much during the first 20 minutes, thinking they’re not full. Then, 20 minutes later, they feel “overfull” and guilty.

Why not do the Opposite?

Slow down. Enjoy your food. Stay "checked in". Nibble for the first 20 minutes of your meal until your satiety mechanism kicks in.

You’ll feel more physically and mentally satisfied with less food. Your stomach will thank you.

Eating slowly can improve our digestion. Calm us down. And help us feel more satisfied with less food.

Which means we lose weight while enjoying life more. Win. Win!

You chose. Eat Fast- helps you to gain weight OR Eat Slowly and see what happens.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

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