Category Archives for "Habits"

Making Healthy Meal Planning Easy– Week Three

We are on a roll and just getting the hang of meal plans. The amount of time it takes this week will be shorter than the first two weeks. The process gets quicker and easier every week.

With week one and two’s meal plans in front of you, use it as the base for week three. If you loved each meal then just repeat the prior week’s meals. If you found a few meals that just didn’t work for your family than adjust that meal. It might be time to make a new recipe meal night. Adjust one or two meals. Don’t go crazy and change up everything that is working. Lets keep the changes small and consistent. Mix up the side dishes you served with a different meal and move forward. Don’t forget to make your grocery list too. Week three is done. Simple is Easiest, Simple is Best.

Still struggling to make it happen? Don’t give up. Anything new takes a bit longer until we have made the system our own. All this planning saves you time and loads of stress each day.

Start with the basics and keep moving forward.

  • Write down your family’s favorite meals. To help you out, list the dinner meals you ate last week. You might need to ask your kids for help. Shoot to write down five to seven meals.
  • Tweak these meals if they need it to be healthier versions. Make them contain only PPW. Protein, Produce and Water.
  • List out 2 or 3 PPW breakfast meals you enjoy eating.
  • Alternate these meals on your menu plan the first week. Remember breakfast doesn’t have to be traditional. Eating leftovers at breakfast makes things quick to reheat.
  • Lunch is next. Do you have time to make a meal each day for lunch or is leftovers a better choice. Remember “Simple is easiest, Simple is best”
  • If you choose to make your meals, prep as much as you can the night before.
  • Lunch can be easy. Baked chicken from the night before takes on a whole new appearance on top of a salad. Don’t have leftover chicken? Open a can/bag of tuna to place on top of the salad. Another option is to grab a few hard boiled eggs and make egg salad using an avocado as the mayonnaise. Add in a variety of raw veggies and your lunch is complete.

​You read Getting started with Planning Meals  or Week Two of Meal Planning.

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5 Reasons to Journal What You Eat

Five Very Good Reasons for Keeping a Food Journal

  1. Account for all those ‘little extras’
. Aiming to lose a pound a week, but eating just a few extras (eg. a can of coke, a cookie and a packet of crisps) during the day can prevent you from seeing results on the scales.

  2. Be aware of when you’re eating Keeping a food diary highlights patterns, showing if you overeat at particular times. Perhaps you binge late at night, because you’ve been eating too little all day? Or perhaps you graze constantly? If you don’t keep a food diary because you have no hope of remembering everything you eat … you may need to change your habits.
  3. Fight ‘portion creep’ Those of us who’ve been dieting or maintaining for a long time often get used to “eyeballing” portions rather than weighing everything out. But if your weight loss has plateaued, or if those pounds are edging back on, keeping a diary means you need to weigh your foods. That “medium” portion might be bigger than you think…
  4. See your habits changing It can be motivational to look back on a food diary from a few months or even years ago and see how your nutritional choices have changed. Perhaps you’ve curbed your chocolate habit, or maybe you now eat proper meals instead of junk-food snacks. And if you’re having a bad day, flicking back to a “perfect” week in your diary is encouraging: if you did it once, you can do it again!
  5. Boost your self-control Knowing you have to write down everything you eat makes you think twice about that donut, or that second plateful at a buffet. Even if you’re the only person who’ll see your diary, recording your food intake is a very easy way to improve your self-control.

Starting a food journal is as easy as an empty sheet of paper and a pen. Use those two tools to write down everything you eat and drink for 3 days. You'll want to add details to your paper as well. Things like how much of each food did you eat, when, were you hungry? How was your food prepared? Did you eat at home? at the table, in the car, or inside a restaurant. 

Those questions work for me. But let me know what helps you best.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Three Simple Steps to Eating Less

Eating the food we need and not overindulging is challenging. The more consistent we are with portion control the better we maintain the body we want or the faster we get to the body we want. There are three things I want you to start doing.

1. Use a smaller plate size. Simple but effective way to see a plate full of food and yet the portions are smaller because the plate can only hold so much.


2. Don't go back for seconds. Enjoy the first serving but don't reach for a second spoonful (helping) of foods. 

3. Put a reminder on the table to eat slowly. By eating slowly you will your body the chance to naturally signal it is satisfied or 'full'. You can do this in a variety of different ways. Moving the kitchen clock so it is directly across from where you sit will remind you to eat slowly during your meals. Put out different placemats or place a vase of flower on the table. Use that cue of something different on the table to trigger you to act differently. Using a smaller forks and spoons will naturally slow you down as well.


Take one of these ideas or all three and use them to help you.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


School is Back In Session

Now What?

This school year is all different for me. I have one going back to 'real' school and two staying with me for another year of homeschooling. If it was the right thing, I'd keep all my kids home with me every day forever. I don't think my married boys would like that, and I also am willing to admit they can gain from being away from the nest. 

School schedules can make life a bit more hectic and harried in the morning. 

Here are a five things I do for my specific situation that make sure each morning is enjoyable, stress free and ready to go:

1. Prepare the coffee pot. I put fresh coffee grounds in and make sure the water tank is full. I then hit the automatic button and voila in the morning my coffee is ready for me. I even put the mug next to the coffee maker; all I have to do is pour. If you are a tea drinker, you can have your tea bag out and water ready to go. It may sound silly, but sometimes we’re a little foggy in the morning and spend a lot of time trying to remember what we were just about to do.

2. Box up your lunch. Whether it is left overs or a fresh salad, put it in Tupperware the night before so that all you have to do is grab and go. Since I stay home and send one to school, he boxes up his lunch the night before. This mom isn't able to run a forgotten lunch down to the school. 

3. No dishes in the sink. This is a house rule. Who wants to start their day by cleaning up a mess? A clean home really is a happy home. This is one I am working on, so please be patient if you see that kitchen clutter at my house.

4. My kids make their own breakfast. I know a lot of you have young kids who need to get up and get ready for school…how can you help them and you have a better morning and not feel rushed? You would be surprised what a minute here and a minute there can do to change the mood of the entire day. If you don’t have kids, then all you have to worry about is YOU and getting yourself ready for the next morning, and you can use the same practices for your own breakfast. If you usually have veggies with your eggs, make sure your veggies are chopped and ready to go for the morning.

5. Make a daily list. What do you WANT your morning routine to look like and what CAN happen the night before to help that run smooth. I live and operate off of lists. I know we have to veer off that path because things come up every now and then, but routines are a good thing and we can’t get into a routine without a plan.

What are you going to do to make sure you have the day you want to have? You are in control, but not without a plan!

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Healthy Eating Doesn’t have to be Boring

If we maintain the status quo, we really aren’t growing, are we?
But growing and changing doesn’t have to be (and probably shouldn’t be!) a super-serious and boring business.
It should be fun!

How can I make healthy eating more fun?

  1. Make meals with lots of color and textures
  2. Try a new food or a new recipe
  3. Share a meal with others 
  4. Create your own dish 

What else can I do to keep things lively, interesting, fun? 

  • eat in outside
  • go for a picnic
  • bring out the placemats and fancy china- even at work
  • invite a friend to eat with you
  • make a meal for someone elderly and eat with them

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


Practice for the Best Day Ever

Plan, Prepare, Adjust, Learn, and Grow

I can't assure you 100% success each and every day. I can help you achieve better and better days but it takes practice. 

Be ready for today. 

  1. Look ahead at your schedule. Look for the big things that will take time or need to be done at a certain time. Work your schedule around these things. We'll call these your rocks for the day. Put them in your glass jar called your schedule first. 
  2. Plan for the next big items. Your meals, your To Do list, family, and your commute to work. We'll call these the pebbles for the day. Put them in your glass jar called your schedule next. These items will take time but they are a bit more flexible than your Rocks.
  3. All the rest of things you'll do today is sand items in your glass jar. There are lots of them but they work like filler items. Its kind of like throwing a load of dishes in the dishwasher. You don't have to stand there while the machine washes your dishes either. 
  4. Give yourself time to adjust to your schedule. No one is perfect and things don't operate like it reads on paper. Cars breakdown, we feel sad, others input things on us we didn't anticipate and so on but we can do our best to plan for the day to help make our day the Best Ever.

There are no guarantees in life and you can work at making life better each day.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Dialing it Up or Dial it Down

Dialing your choices to fit your goal is how we reach them. If we could flip a switch and instantly see change we'd sell that magic button to everyone. Instead life isn't switches but dials.

Dials that help us to turn up the volume, turn down the speed, its slight adjustments make it feel more like a car turning a lazy corner than having the breaks slammed on while the car is thrown in reverse.

Dialing down your high carb choices in place of lower amounts of carbs is a starting point. But you could focus on turning down the amount of carbs or making a slight adjustment to quality of your carb choices. For example you could eat a SLICE of cake or you could dial down the portion size and enjoy a 'slice' of cake. You could also chose to forgo the icing and just eat the cake part. Dialing things down could be you chose to eat a bowl of berries while others are eating cake. You could apply those same principles to using regular pasta or dial it down to quinoa or dial it in a different direction but still on the downward trend by making zucchini noodles instead of the pasta.

Of course Carbs are not the only thing that can be dialed up or down. Increasing your sleep time or quality improves health too.

I love to do the opposite as well. I dial up the goodness. I'll fill my plate with veggies by doing that I've increase my vegetable intake and I've left little to no room for foods that I would normally focus on dialing down anyway.

Its just a different spin on the same thing.

What are you going to dial down today?

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Turn Down the Speed

...........Turn the Speed down to your advantage.

To many of us rush here and there. The western diet of fast food, pour from a can or out of a box, heat and serve, grab and go is slowly killing us. Lets slow ourselves down and eat to regain our health.  

  1. Eat slowly and mindfully. Pay attention. Breathe.
  2. Make food that looks beautiful and smells good. Taste it as if you were at a wine tasting event.
  3. Share mealtime with others. A bonus would be to eat in a relaxing environment.
  4. Eat whole foods. Notice the different textures, temperatures, and tastes.  
  5. Get plenty of protein, along with healthy fats and beautiful colorful veggies.
  6. Include fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi to keep the intestinal bacteria happy and healthy.
  7. Stay active. Our bodies work best when we move.
  8. Relax. Recover and de-stress. Get at least 7 hours of sleep.

Slow yourself down, It does YOUR body good.

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!)

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 I can have. There are thousands of varieties of vegetables and fruit alone. Open your mind and mouth to new possibilities!

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?

Eat foods your grandmother (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 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 when I go on my next trip.  I’m going to eat fresh foods that are easy to recognize (before and after they are cooked). I’m finding foods that my grandmother would enjoy.

That’s not so hard, is it?

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Tangerine Lime Salad Dressing

Tangerine Lime Salad Dressing:

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

juice of half a tangerine

juice of half a lime

Mix the ingredients for the dressing. Whisk well, so the oil and juice mix properly and the dressing gets a little bit thicker.

Served best with this salad:

4 big handfuls of mixed salad greens

handful of olives, halved

5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped-

(soaked if necessary)

Handful of nuts, roughly chopped (I used walnuts)


Toss the nuts, tomatoes and olives with the salad leaves and add the dressing. Mix well, preferably with your hands, make sure every leaf gets a good coating of dressing.

Simple but delicious. This salad will definitely be served a lot during barbecue season!

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

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