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

Italian Sausage in the Crockpot

Recently my family and I hit the fair. Fair food is usually not known for being on the healthy side. My kids love Italian Sausages. So why not recreate it at home? 

Italian Sausage

2 pounds Italian sausage links

2 large green peppers

2 onions

4 c diced tomatoes

1 T onion powder

1 T garlic powder

Place the ingredients in your crockpot in the order listed. Give a quick stir. Cook on low for 6 hours.

To make this a Freezer Meal: Add all ingredients to a Ziplock bag or freezer container. Write on bag: Cook on low 6 hours. Place in freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in fridge before cooking as directed. 

Hold on  you can prepare this meal in less than 60 seconds! 

*This recipe is great on top of Spaghetti Squash! or Cauliflower Rice 

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

No Good or Bad Days- Just Planned Days

After talking with Laurie the other day, she told me she is no longer labeling her days as Good or Bad. She is focusing on Planned Days. 

What a different mind set! You see Laurie is retired. I know Laurie is just as busy as when she worked full time, she has chosen to fill her days differently. While some would say being retired brings a 'come what may' attitude, Laurie is choosing just the opposite. She is choosing to plan her days in order to stay successful.

Planned Days could include:

  1. Hitting the gym daily or planning active movement
  2. Scheduling appointments for a massage, a doctor appointment, or to get your car repaired 
  3. For most that means being to work on time and putting in a full day
  4. Knowing ahead of time what is for each meal of the day
  5. Accomplishing certain chores on a weekly basis. For example changing sheets on your bed every Tuesday
  6. Meeting others for coffee or lunch
  7. Getting to the grocery store for the food you'll eat that week
  8. Getting to your kids or your grandkids sporting events
  9. Setting aside time for yourself- reading a book, taking a walk, meditating
  10. Spending time with those you love

What do days look like that aren't well planned?

Seriously days we don't plan well feel like we are working really hard but getting no where. How can you go from Auto-Pilot Days to Well Planned Days

  • Planned time in the gym or very active time 
  • Plan time to get those necessary things done, like hair cuts, vet visits, and meeting with your child's teacher
  • Plan to be at your job- this part usually runs on Auto Pilot but it didn't always
  • Plan everything you'll eat today. Remember to include snacks. Need help getting started?
  • Plan set days to get certain chores done. 
  • Plan outings with friends and family
  • Plan and schedule a set time to go grocery shopping. You can't leave this to chance or it won't get done.
  • Plan your day around your children's activities. Knowing what days you'll be home later than usual will also help you to plan the night's meal best.
  • Plan time each day for yourself. That time might be at the gym, getting your nails done, reading your favorite magazine or even working on your next day's schedule. Do something each day that gives you joy
  • Plan time with those you love most. Time goes by too quickly to take them for granted. 

Your plan might not always go as perfect as it looks on paper, but you'll feel successful knowing you worked through a plan instead of just winging it. 

To Your Best Health

Coach Nancy

Self Assessment Time

Think back to school. At the beginning of the year, your teacher needed to figure out where you were at skill wise in a subject.  They often did this with review along with a quiz or test. 

Why not start with that same format for your nutrition.  Lets start off with a fun quiz of sorts, a self-assessment!

Below you'll see a list of 10 nutritional habits.

Some are focused on how we eat, others more on what we eat. It's expected you'll be better at some than others. Your specific feedback might make angels sing, but you might feel lukewarm about describing what you do confidently. Whatever you need, we're working on that.

For each one, rate yourself from 1-10 on how effective you feel at this right now. Angels singing = a 10, but if you feel lukewarm about describing what you do confidently you're closer to a 1.

1. Eat three meals a day: Eat only these meals with nothing in between. No skipping any meals. No snacking in between

2. Hunger Mastery: Hold on eating until your body sends that hunger signal and you’ve noticed it for 30-60 minutes then you eat.

3. Eat Just Enough: The Goal is to eat a reasonable meal so that you are comfortable and remain that way until 30-60 minutes before you eat again.

4. Eat Whole Foods: Foods that are closest to their natural state for the bulk of our meals. Can you avoid items in the foil bag? cardboard boxes or plastic trays?

5. Eat Lots of Veggies: The goal is to eat between 2-3 cups of veggies at each meal.

6. Boost your Satiety with Protein: I recommend eating 30-40 grams of protein as each meal.

7. Eat the right amount of fat. Not too much, not too little but just right. We are looking to get 15 grams of fat at each meal.

8. Meeting your Carb Need Wisely: I always recommend getting your carbs from mostly veggies and fruit. These are the best source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and they are low in calories. Its a win, win. But there is no food that is off limits or bad. The goal is find that perfect carb level for your optimal happiness, physical well - being, and fat loss.

9. Managing our Treats: Remember not to label foods ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Our treats, those foods we eat just for the emotional enjoyment should be fully enjoyed. Make sure it is worth it.

10. Changing our physical and social environment: Using these four areas (Home, Work, Restaurants, and Grocery Store) and the people in your life in these areas. Make changes to improve your chances of success.

Which one of these received your highest ranking? Give yourself a high five for all the work that represents. Which one is where you want to focus?  It doesn't have to be the lowest number! Once you feel confident in that area, choose another one. This is your test. There isn't a failing grade only places you have shown yourself you need to work on. 

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

P. S. The Little Black Dress Project might be just the thing to help you get focused or stayed focused on that one area until you have more success. 

One of the Hardest Things I do

.......... is eat Sugar Free.

Above is the sum of my daily check ins for The Sugar Free Me Challenge. 

Some would look at that and say, "she failed". Others would say, "I need to try harder".
I agree with both of those.

Can I also add that I am still on that journey? I didn't give in after the first two days of answering no, and you shouldn't either. I could have seen all of those red boxes and told myself I'll never be able to go Sugar Free. Instead I know it is better to take each day as on its own and enjoy those days most when I can check off and earn a green box, while I learn what I can do better on those other days.
I'm a work in progress. What about you? We have a new challenge coming up; The Little Black Dress Challenge. I'm looking forward to working my way through it along side of you. I'm not perfect but I will not give up either.

Coach Nancy

Pumpkin Pie in a Shake

Stacking wood, carving jack-o-lanterns, warm houses, cook air, frost on the ground-  I love Fall and how it lights up all our senses. I used to grow sugar pumpkins so I could roast them for Pumpkin pies. While I still love a homemade pie, I have found I can enjoy pumpkin pie each morning without guilt if I wanted. 

Pumpkin Pie in a Shake

1/2 cup pumpkin from a can or roast your own

8-10 ounces of water

4-5 ice cubes

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup of walnuts

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice1 scoop vanilla protein powder -my fav is Beverly International's UMP

All of these ingredients go into your blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds and enjoy. For extra pizazz sprinkle cinnamon or more pumpkin pie spice on top. 

If you would like more smoothie recipes please check out my other creations. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Breakfast Hash in a Hurry Recipe

Breakfast doesn't have to be complicated or take an excessive amount of time. I grabbed a few things from my freezer and whipped up a delicious meal for the kids in about 15 minutes.  You could take a bit more time to do all the chopping yourself but its nice to have frozen veggies as an alternative to doing it all yourself. 

Breakfast Hash 

1 butternut squash pealed and diced, and roasted for an 30 minutes

1 onion, diced

2 peppers, your choice of colors sliced

4 cups of kale, chopped fine

2 teaspoons Paprika

2 teaspoons garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Add your veggies to a pan and saute until soft about 15 minutes.  Season with the spices. Enjoy with an egg on the side. 


Breakfast Hash  in a Hurry​​​​​​​

1 roasted frozen butternut squash pealed and diced. (You can also buy it this way at the store.) 

1 frozen onion, diced

2 frozen peppers, sliced

1 cup of frozen kale, chopped fine

2 teaspoons Paprika

2 teaspoons garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

All ingredients go in your preheated pan, Saute for about 15 minutes until hot. Add your spices, stir and serve. Enjoy with an egg on the side or a few sausage links. 

Either way you chose to make Breakfast Hash it will taste yummy! 

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

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