Category Archives for "Habits"

Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?

Do you remember playing this game when you were a kid?

If so, you are oooooold…like me!

Actually all three of those categories are vital in a balanced diet, but I want to talk about vegetables in particular.

We all have heard time and time again that’s it important to eat your fruits and vegetables, but how many of us actually do it on a daily basis?

The National Cancer Institutes encourages us to eat at least 3 to 5 servings of vegetables a day. New research has shown that broccoli is one of many vegetables that can inhibit some forms of cancer. I know Coach Meagan  already loves broccoli, now she has another reason to love it even more. – check it out ​here.

The goal is to eat:

  • Five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables
  • A variety of colorful fruits and vegetables
  • High fiber fruits and vegetables
  • At least one vitamin C rich fruit or vegetable
  • At least one vitamin A rich fruit or vegetable

What’s a serving size? Not all that much, really…

Vegetables:

  • 1 cup raw leafy greens
  • 1/2 cup fresh or cooked vegetables

Fruits:

  • 1 medium apple, orange or banana
  • 1/2 cup fresh, canned or cooked fruit
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit

The reason I bring the number of daily servings up is because we get asked a lot – Fresh, frozen, canned, organic – which should I eat?

To which are answer is “All of the above!”

You see it doesn’t really matter which of those choices you make if you aren’t eating enough.

For instance we get asked a lot about buying organic – it’s a hot topic right now, and it seems everything is organic. 

Organic is great, but what matters more is that you are getting enough fruits and veggies first, then worry about super high quality.

I also understand that fruits and vegetables can be expensive, and there is nothing wrong with choosing economical options. Personally my preference would be fresh (organic or not), frozen, and then canned. 

Tomato Plants

You know what may be even more important than organic? Buying your produce locally. A vegetable picked from the farm down the road is going to be tastier and healthier than organic produce shipped halfway across the globe.

Pretty soon Farmers Markets are going to start popping up here in NH, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) are also gaining in popularity. A CSA is where you buy a share of a local farm and get a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly delivery of the farms crops, depending on the agreement.

Look, I am not trying to tell you it is easy to integrate more vegetables and fruits into your eating plan, if it was easy we would all do it all the time! What I am saying is it is worth the effort.  The health and disease prevention benefits are well documented and reliable.

So do what mom said – “Eat Your Vegetables” – she knew what she was talking about!

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


I Hate Meal Planning

​​​What's your biggest stumbling block today?
"I hate planning.  I often use my planning time for other more fun stuff. It's really something I dislike."


Planning meals has been proven to help you in your health journey. Its right up there with stepping on the scale if your goal is weight loss. On top of that there are other side benefits that you'll love is that it saves time, relieves stress, and keeps money in your wallet. And yet, it stills feels like the one thing that holds us back. Lets look at meal planning with a slightly different twist.

What if you look at planning more like giving you options?

Here is what I would do as an experiment to see how you succeed with this version of meal planning.

1. List out all the dinner meals you and your family enjoy eating during this time of year. That list will probably be a bit different in the Summer vs. the Fall vs. the cold of Winter. How many did you get? Aim for at least 10 different dinner meals. Remember some of these might be the quick options like picking up a rotisserie chicken while others are all day cooking affairs like homemade spaghetti sauce.

2. Do you have on hand all the items to make these meals? Check your cupboards, freezer, and fridge. Some items can be kept, like canned goods, in your cupboard; others are best fresh so you'll have to purchase those items. But then others can be pulled from the freezer when you need them. 

3. Look at your schedule. See what is coming up that might pull you away from making a meal or that might require a meal that is very quick to make. I leave cans of tuna in my cupboard because when fast and speedy is required, I can quickly put tuna on a salad or cook up some tuna patties. If you will be away from home one night, you'll end up with more options to chose from on the other evenings.

4. Again take a peak at your schedule, this time looking for those times when you might be able to spend more time in your kitchen than usual. I often can do this on Sundays. Its during this time, I prep what I can for other meals, but I can also make a dish that takes more time than I usually have to prepare dinner. 

5. With your favorite dinner meal ideas in one hand and the list of items you need to make these meals in another, head off to the store. 

6. Now when it comes time for your next dinner, you've got options to choose from. 

What do you think?

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Dear Newbie:

I wanted to write a quick little note to encourage you. Starting a new way of living healthy is challenging. I've been there. In fact some days I feel like I am still there. Each day please wake up to make the decision to live healthy again. Post reminders on your bathroom mirror, your car's dashboard, and your computer screen at work. These little reminders will help you to continue to make decisions that will further your progress until they become more natural. Our goal is to make small changes each day that become our new normal. People that meet us a month from now will know a different you than the one standing in front of your mirror today. 

Now there will be days when all goes well and it feels like smooth sailing. Some days will be a bit more challenging but you'll muddle through. Still other days will seem like you've only stepped backward.

Keep going!

It will get easier. Take baby steps. As you increase in confidence make those steps a bit bigger and stronger. Soon you'll look back through time and see all those little steps have added up. 

You've got this. 

From one whose walked these steps before you.  

Get out of Balance to Find Success

I just enjoyed a morning with several of my clients. We connected on food, family, and life. Most of us had coffee, some sipped on a smoothie while one had breakfast. You guessed it, she had salad. It looked delicious and she had us all wishing we had waited for breakfast as well. 

Why a salad? Why at breakfast?

She said in order to give herself the best chance to make progress towards her goal, she needed to stay out of balance. Balance for her was her normal way of eating and living. She purposely is trying to stay out of 'normal' - out of balance. 

I totally agree and have seen getting off balance gives you the opportunity for success. By staying away from what is normal eating for you, you'll have to focus on being not normal. You'll find new ways to find satisfaction in food and in life.

Here are 4 ways we strategized to keep us off balance:

  1. Change up your normal type of food. In this case eat salad for breakfast instead of what you normally would have ordered or grabbed from home.
  2.  Keep yourself off balance by not bringing your trigger items into your living space. For one of us, that meant leaving the hummus at the store so she wouldn't be tempted to grab the chips too
  3. Giving yourself perimeters to live by also keep us off balance. "If God didn't make it then I'm not eating it", was what one of the ladies desires to live by. It was another way of saying - I'm not going to eat processed foods.
  4. Bring your own food or drink to social occasions. Bringing enough to share of your favorite healthy food at a potluck of  is one way, but also carrying your own water bottle when others are drinking calorie laden drinks helps. 

Mental focus and physical determination will allow you to be off balance and yet move closer to your goal. 

What will throw you off balance today?

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

 

​​

Up the Game by 1%

Wouldn't it be lovely to have everything change and be the way we want it to be with the snap of our fingers? I know I would like that.

Some people can make a 360 degree turn around. They have that type of personality. Usually it is coupled with a circumstance or situation- maybe a disaster of sorts. For those people a visit to the doctor with a poor diagnosis has prompted complete and utter behavior changes. For Dean, it was the death of our son and realizing life is too short that allowed him to put that stake down in the ground. He did a 360 degree change in his eating, lifestyle, and fitness.
For others it is a slow process, a step by step change. It doesn't happen in one decision but many decisions over the course of time. That is me. While Dean could totally change himself, I dug my heals in and took the slow turn.


Today I describe that slow turn as 1% each day. I look for just a little thing I can do each day to make myself 1% better. But if I take those little turns each day, after a year of slow turning I am 360 % different.


So today, I am waiting until I am hungry to eat. That is my little bit I'm focusing on today. I know I will eat, but I don't have to eat when the clock tells me its time.

What can you do today to make that 1% change?

Then tomorrow find and decide on the next 1%.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Just One Thing

I know plenty of  “all or nothing” kind of people. Either they do something flat out, 100%, no if's and or buts, or you don’t do it at all. 

Often they get knocked off track – because they're not perfect – they can get aggravated and just throw in the towel.

Sometimes, if everything isn’t perfect from the get go, if all the ducks don't line up in a row right from the start, It never gets off the ground!

So why am I telling you all this?

Because based on my experience with hundreds of clients, there are a lot of you that are a lot like people I already know.

Mulling over in your head all the reason’s why you can’t, which in turn paralyzes you into taking any action at all.

In the arena of diet and nutrition I see this all the time, and my goal is to help you break out of that cycle. We can talk all day long about what your ideal nutrition plan might look like, but then a dangerous thing happens – you start thinking about it, and your mind begins creating all these scenarios and “what if’s” of why it can’t or won’t work.

Here’s what I want you to do to break out of that cycle.

Just.One.Thing

I don’t want you to worry about doing everything right – right now.

Choose just one thing you can do every day and build off that.

  • Not eating breakfast unless it is fast food? Start with one day of sipping a protein shake or having leftovers for breakfast. You could even stop at a sit down restaurant but order your food to go.
  • Vegetables never pass your lips? Add them to just one meal every day for a week.
  • Drinking to many of you calories?  Make sure you drink one cup of water before each meal. 

Then build off that success. It might look like this:

  • Add a protein to your breakfast (eggs, ham, cottage cheese) every day for a week.
  • Eat vegetable at two meals, every day for a week.
  • Leave the starchy foods off the last of your three meals of the day, every day for a week.

Follow that pattern consistently, and pretty soon you have made a significant change into both your habits and how you look and feel!

Here’s a summary of what I have learned from that applies to you …

  • Don’t wait for perfection to get started
  • Don’t expect everything to go perfectly once you have started
  • Don’t try to do everything at once
  • Be Accountable

So let’s hear it. In the comment box below tell me Just One Thing you are going to start doing today.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Changing Your Child’s Diet


Many moms want to eat healthy and they want their kids to eat healthy too but how do you get a ten year old to choose healthy eating? How do get them to crave foods that will not harm their bodies? How do you go from Fruit Loops and Pop Tarts to Baby Carrots and Fresh Fruit?

There is hope. In the process of changing children’s diets, you must remember that they are probably not as excited about this new way of eating as you are, yet they do respond much more quickly to diet change than adults. Remember you can’t change anyone overnight. Here are a few points to keep in mind if you don’t want to face a food battle each day.

  1. Set an example, the old motto “ children do as I say” does not work well unless they can also “do as you do”. They are aware even if you think they are not watching.
  2. Sit your child down and explain to them on their level what a good diet and bad diet can do. Let them know about diabetes, how TV commercials seldom advertise healthy foods, and what different types of food do once they are in your body.
  3. Make mealtime a positive time for the family. Let them fix part of the meal, talk about fun activities at the table. This is not the time to go over the note sent home from the teacher. Why not let them choose a meal each week?
  4. Try to make your meals as colorful as possible.
  5. Try one new recipe each week. This will gradually give you a large variety of meals to prepare. This can also add to the fun. Monday night could be designated “Mom’s new meal night”. How about letting each child pick a recipe out to try each week?
  6. Encourage your children to eat salad. You can add many different types of veggies into the salads and offer a wide variety of salad dressings.
  7. Most children love bread. Try to replace most of the bread in your children’s diet.  This might be the one area you tackle before making a main dish that is all-natural and healthy. Instead of serving bread try Cauliflower Rice, quinoa, spaghetti squash, or mashed cauliflower.
  8. Variety is the key to a balanced diet. It is more important to have a variety of foods eaten at one meal than quantity.

Change happens little by little and inch by inch. Changing one or two things in your family’s diet each month will evoke less resistance than emptying out the cupboards of everything familiar and replacing them with foods your kids don’t recognize.

To Your Best Health and Your Family's Health,

Coach Nancy


Spaghetti or Orangetti?

Last time I was shopping I went to pick up a few spaghetti squashes. I was not sure where they went. In there place was a familiar shaped squash but not the same color. What, could it be an "Orange" spaghetti squash? Yep. 

I'm not sure what they did or how they did it but they made a spaghetti squash that usually has a yellow hue to orange. I just had to try it. Actually I picked up three of them. 

Here is what I did with one of my Orangetti Squash. 

Spaghetti Squash "Pasta"

You can take the long way to prep it:

Preheat your oven to 325.

Pierce it (the squash, not the oven) with a sharp knife all around the skin.

Roast it on a pan (you don't need any water) for about 1 hour.

Remove from oven, slice in half long ways, remove the seeds and take the flesh out with a fork.


Or the short way:

Just pierce the squash as suggested above, then microwave it for 8 minutes (flipping it over at 4) and it tastes the same.



That’s as quick as you can cook pasta…

It looks just like spaghetti, yet has a ton less calories and carbs, but a lot more nutrients.

Top it with your favorite pasta toppings and you're good to go!

It doesn't quite taste like pasta, but resembles it and has a great taste in and of itself.

Here is the sauce I made today:

1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon basil

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 Tablespoon dried parsley

1 Tablespoon dried onions

5 cooked Italian sausage cut into bite size chunks 

I heated this on the stove and let it simmer for ½ hour. It was delicious!

To your best Health,

Coach Nancy


Ingredient Food Log

The importance of keeping a nutrition log for increasing eating awareness is a well known fact. This can be accomplished by using a fancy app on your phone, a notebook kept on your kitchen counter, snapping a picture of your meals, or using one of Get Fit NH's food log books.

But what about keeping a journal of all the ingredients you eat.



What?

Why?



Let me explain more with an example.

If you eat an apple and natural (unroasted or no-salt added) almonds for a snack, you'd simply write:

 1. Apple
   2. Almonds



Just 2 ingredients

.

On the other hand, if you eat a Krispy Kreme doughnut, you'd write (better make sure your pencil is extra sharp):



1. Enriched white flour contains 

2. bleached white flour

3. Niacin

4. Reduced Iron

5. Thiamine Mononitrate

6. Riboflavin

7. Folic Acid

8. Dextrose

9.Vegetable Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil)

10. Water

11. Sugar

12. Soy

13. Flour

14. Egg Yolks,

15. Vital Wheat Gluten

16. Yeast

17. Nonfat Milk

18. Yeast Nutrients

19. Calcium Sulfate

20. Ammonium Sulfate,

21. Dough Conditioners

22. Calcium Dioxide

23. Monocalcium Phosphate

24. Dicalcium Phosphate

25. Diammonium Phosphate

26. Sodium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate

27. Whey

28. Starch

29. Ascorbic Acid

30. Sodium Bicarbonate

31. Calcium Carbonate

32. Salt

33. Monoglycerides

34. Diglycerides

35. Lecithin

36. Calcium Propionate (Preservative)

37. Cellulose Gum

38. Malted Barley Flour

39. Natural Flavors

40. Artificial Flavors

41. Enzymes

42. Sodium

43. Caseinate

44. Corn Maltodextrin

45. Corn Syrup Solids

46. BHT (to Help Protect Flavor)

 Glaze Contains: 47. Sugar   48. Water   49. Corn Starch   50. Calcium Carbonate   51. Calcium Sulfate 52. Agar   53. Dextrose   54.Locust Bean Gum   55. Disodium Phosphate    56. Sorbitan                       57. Monostearate  58. Mono   59. Diglycerides   60. Artificial Flavor  61. Salt.
   

61. ingredients 

Which do you think is better for you?
 


Makes you think twice about the doughnut, huh?  Of course few people eat JUST a doughnut during the day. You'd have to then add in everything else you eat/drink during that meal too and then the rest of the day. 



Aim to eat foods with 5 or less ingredients.

 While we don't know what most additives do to us in the long run at this time, the less junk we can put in our body, especially of ingredients we can't pronounce, the better. 

What if you went to your doctor for surgery and he said "Well, I really don't know how this will work in the long run, but heck, why not give it a whirl..."

  

We don't really know if this is going to have an effect on your body in the long run... Um, I'd rather play it safe than wait and see to find out.

 So if you are a bit too reliant on packaged and processed food, give it a try. 

Take a look at all you're eating and drinking and write it down daily! If your hand starts to cramp from too much writing by lunchtime, maybe it’s time to switch up your foods!

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Recipe for Change

 You think about food recipes, dinner recipes, smoothie recipes, recipes for lunch or snacks, even dessert recipes. 

But do you ever think about a recipe for change.

Change in you. Is there a "recipe" -- a 'secret sauce' if you will?

Change means something different for everyone. Change can be great and change can be bad.

What I do know is getting what you want -- getting the change you want -- rarely comes from getting your superficial “wants” met. It comes from working towards earning those wants. Working towards what you are wanting to change. Putting in the hard work that creates change. 

The effort to get results, to make meaningful change, is more rewarding then the destination.

FOCUS ON CHANGING.... and when you do this you will find that there is within you a strong desire- The Will- to guide you. When you pay attention, when you can hear it, it knows that what you are striving to change can be done, it will need some effort.

It's why it takes laser focus to ultimately be successful in any aspect of your life.


Here is the true "recipe" for meaningful change.

Get clear

Figure out your "want"  

Work towards it with determination.

Tune-out the noise

Tune out the naysayers

Put your head down

Keep plugging away up the proverbial hill.

Tune-in to your inner world.

Walk boldly & steadily but with baby steps.

Make small but resolute changes.


Simmer. Forever.

Let cool. Enjoy.

Servings Per Recipe: Unlimited happiness and resolution.


To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy