Category Archives for "Monday Motivation"

Summer Barbecue for 4

From start to finish this meal screams summer barbecue. It's a favorite. Your family will love it, friends will ask for it. You'll be the talk of the town.  

Melon Strawberry Salad

4 cups Romaine Lettuce, chopped

1 small honey dew melon, cut into cubes

2 cups strawberries, sliced

1/2 medium cucumber, sliced

Fresh mint sprigs


1 cup plain yogurt

½ cucumber, peeled

lime rind

fresh mint sprigs (optional as garnish)

Arrange the lettuce in four, two – cup bowls. Place the cubed melon on the bed of lettuce along with the strawberries and cucumber slices.

To make the dressing add the yogurt, cucumber, mint leaves, and lime rind to a blender or food processor. Blend for 15 seconds until smooth.

Serve the salad with dressing and mint sprigs.

Ginger Chicken Strips

1 cup chicken broth

3 Tablespoon Pineapple juice

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped

1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast

Reduce chicken broth to a ¼ cup on medium high heat. Add the remaining ingredients except for the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Place the chicken in the ginger marinade for 2 hours, up to overnight.

Preheat grill for 10 minutes on medium high. Grill the chicken for 4 minutes, turn and grill for another 4 minutes. Brushing with ginger glaze. Cook until juices run clear.

Quick Grilled Veggies

Zucchini, summer squash, red and green peppers, and portabella mushrooms cut into large chunks (you can use whatever veggies you have on hand)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 T chopped Basil

2 Cloves Garlic, minced

Mix oil, lemon juice, basic and garlic in small bowl. 
Cut up veggies.
 Pour marinade over veggies.
 Let sit 1 hour, mixing occasionally.
 Put on Skewers like Kabobs to grill. Cook on medium high heat on the grill until desired doneness.

Using skewers to do the veggies, works out really well. The veggies did not get all mushy like they tend to do in the foil packets, plus I could more easily see their progress as they cooked.

Summer Berry Delight


2 cups fresh blueberries

2 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup

1 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

½ teaspoon grated lemon rind

2 Tablespoon lemon juice

Dessert Base:

1 ½ cup fresh raspberries

1 ½ cup fresh blackberries

2 peaches, peeled and cut into wedges

Combine all topping ingredients in saucepan, simmer covered over medium heat for 20 minutes. Cool.

Mix the fresh fruit and divide it among four bowls. Top with blueberry topping. Enjoy!

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Bring on Mondays

Everything always starts on Mondays. We start at the gym for our first day on Monday. We start our new eating plan on a Monday. Our new job will start on a Monday. We pick up the brand new puppy on a Monday. 

Our Mondays are the starting point for our week, yet that is the day that often derails us the most. Coach Natasha has a cure for that. Read on, and then complete Coach Natasha's Challenge.

          "I don't know about you, but there is something about starting a Monday off right: Prepared and ready to dive in.   

You make that choice every Monday when your feet hit the floor. Will you be successful this week? Will you not be prepared and hope for the best?

I am well prepared this week to set myself a schedule and stick to it.

What is one thing you want to start doing every week, And Stick To It?"

-Coach Natasha

Tell us in the comments below.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy 

Coach Natasha’s Challenge

Coach Natasha

How many of you find yourself using terms such as
“I can’t” 
“I’ll try”
“I think I will “

My challenge for everyone this week, including myself, is to not use those three phrases! Be sure and be confident!! 
I want to hear : 

I AM going to make it to training four times this week” 
I CAN push myself and get one more rep in” 
I KNOW I am going to go grocery shopping early this weekend instead of waiting until Sunday night “ 

You’ll notice how much more you follow through with things for yourself ! 

Make it Happen, 

Coach Natasha

Dear Me…….

Dear Me, 

Remember that what seems huge or impossible will eventually become a distant memory when it's over and done with. Your opinion and abilities will continue to change over time, and what seems very important now will be replaced by a different priority in the future. Just do the best you can, and take small steps towards better health every day.

Yesterday is gone and today is a new day. A new start. Get back on track and move forward. (I've had to tell myself this once or twice, or 1,000 times.

See, now you feel like crap, shouldn't have eaten that last night huh?

Was it really worth it...?

How many weeks will it take to undo that?

Why did you do that

‪Look at the big picture if it only once no problem, move on. If it is an old habit restarting, refocus and fix it.

‪Start over now... which I did... today.

‪Cut it out idiot. Coach taught you better that that!

Why did you do it? Should have had that glass of water first. Remember it's a mental game. It really wasn't worth it.

This week I am looking forward to increasing my happy healthy life- without food guilt. In fact I wrote myself a note to help me. The constant reminder that consistent action over the long term will far outweigh the small discrepancies. What about you? What are you going to write to you?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Sticking It Out

clockhands-300x219From Seth Godin’s blog post “The First Fifteen Minutes”

“Learning something new is frustrating. It involves being dumb on the way to being smart.”

And that’s really the problem, right? We don’t like feeling dumb, and we are too busy (or we think we are) to dig in long enough to figure it out. But what is the reward for sticking it out and putting in the work to be competent, or even excellent? I read the post as I was in the middle of trying to figure out how to use a piece of software. I had been wrestling with it for awhile and was about to throw my hands up and walk away. But I took a breath and dug in, and sure enough, I eventually (with help from support – more good use of leverage) got it working.

Here is Seth again:

“The problem with evaluating the first fifteen minutes of frustration is that we easily forget about the 5,000 minutes of leverage that frustration earns us if we stick it out.”

So what does that have to do with fat loss and eating well?

What if we spent that fifteen minutes writing out a meal plan and menu for the week? How much time does that save you the rest of your day and week? How much less stressed out will you be? How much more satisfied with yourself will you be?

It might take you more than fifteen minutes the first time, but that’s ok, because you will be that much better at it the next time.

Stick It Out.



You Can’t Trust What You Read About Nutrition

trust“We found a link between cabbage and innie bellybuttons, but that doesn’t mean it’s real.” is the sub-title of a fascinating article by Christie Aschwanden: “You Can’t Trust What You Read About Nutrition”

The article is a behind the scenes look at how nutritional studies are done, and some of the very spurious conclusions that are drawn based on not-so-accurate data.

You see many nutrition studies rely on self-reported dietary assessment. In other words people write down what they eat over a period of time. You have probably done that at some point; it might even have been me that asked you to do it.

Food journaling can and does have value, but most of the value relies on the awareness it creates, not the hard data it provides.


Because most of us, ahem, forget to write everything down, and the length of time we actually keep the log is just not long enough –  there is not a big enough sample size to be valid science.

The reason I bring this all up (yes, there is a point to this) is that we humans like to glom on to sound bites and headlines rather than look at the data behind what is being said. I get it, we are busy, and sound bites and Twitter is just easier. But like Dad used to say, easier doesn’t necessarily mean better.

So the next time you read a headline like that tells you eating red meat is bad for you (or for that matter good for you), or that eating blueberries prevent memory loss, or that vegans are sexier, take a deeper look, or maybe even ask a nutrition coach, we are geeks for stuff like that.

You can read the entire article here:  You Can’t Trust What You Read About Nutrition

You trust me, right?

Coach Dean

P.S. I might try that vegan thing for awhile, I could use some help in that area. 🙂

Rules vs. Resolutions

rulesWe have been discussing the merits of New Years Resolutions over the past couple weeks. For me resolutions don’t work, but I know sometimes I need a little “mindset reset” to get back on track.

And what should appear in my inbox? This great article from Leo Babauta on his blog “Zen Habits”. Head on over and read it, I’ll wait. 🙂

Although we might bristle at the word “rules”, to me it just makes sense. I may not call them by that name all the time, but I do have rules that I live by, and I bet you do too. Good rules protect, not restrict. Games have rules so we know how to win. We can creates rules that help us win too!

For instance in my marriage I understand there are certain things I need to do and certain things I need not to do to have a healthy relationship with Nancy. Basic but important things, like:

  • When I am traveling, it is my rule to call (or as a last resort, text) before bed every night.
  • It is important to her that she get a kiss before we get out of bed in the morning, so that is a “rule” I live by.
  • It is my rule to talk respectfully with all women and never cross a line that anyone, but particularly Nancy, would consider inappropriate.

To me these rules are not restrictive. They actually help create a sense of security and therefore freedom within our marriage. Big win!

The same thing can apply to our exercise and nutrition. We can set goals, but then we must take action in order to reach those goals. By having rules, we create a foundation for taking the action that helps us reach our goals.

Leo gives some great examples in his article, so I won’t be redundant. But I will say it has been very helpful to create some rules for myself in this area. For instance I used to have a loose training schedule. My goal was to start my training by 2:00pm in the afternoon, but all too often I would stay behind my desk and have to abbreviate my training and sometimes I lost track of time and missed it all together – not cool. So now I have established a “rule”. On training days I am in the gym by 1:00pm. So far, so good. Haven’t missed or had to abbreviate a training session yet, and that is progress.

So what about you? What rules do you have in your own life, or what rule are you going to create to help you take the action that pushes you toward your goals?

Share in the comments below!


Goals Under Control

takeactionSome common New Year’s goals:

  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Fit in size 2 jeans
  • Lose 3 inches off my waistline

These are results, and often times (usually) we don’t have control over outcomes.

We do have control over our actions though, and action goals are Goals Under Control.

You can control if you exercise 3 or 4 times a week: “My goal is to train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at least 40 weeks this year”

You can control how much sugar goes into your coffee: “My goal is to gradually decrease my sugar by 1/2 teaspoon a week until I don’t use any”

You can control how late you stay up watching TV before going to bed: “I am going to shut off the TV by 10 and DVR anything after that”

Taking action on those goals will help us get closer to losing that 20 pounds, and even better than that, becoming the kind of person who keeps those 20 pounds off.

Pretty cool, huh? 🙂

What is one of  your “Goals Under Control”?  Share in the comment section below!

Old But Not Obsolete

quotescover-PNG-92You might recognize that line from the sci-fi flick “Terminator 52” (or something like that).

I actually love that line.

“Old, but not obsolete”

We get so caught up in trying to look young, feel young, and even act young that we miss the fact that with age comes other things – perspective, grace, wisdom.

I look at a picture of myself now and don’t hardly recognize the person staring back at me. Age happens.

But it doesn’t mean we have to get worse.

I have been ridiculed for “trying to live forever”, but that is not my goal.

My goal is to be as productive as possible for as long as possible.

Part of that is taking care of myself physically. But I also read voraciously, try to learn something new every day, and try to add something of value to this world.

It’s not about living forever, ain’t gonna happen in this body.

I just want to grow “Old, But Not Obsolete”.

Who is with me?


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