Monthly Archives: January 2019

Become UnStoppable

I recently sent this out to a group doing the Fresh Start Challenge. I know we could all use this to inspire us to stay with it, to get moving, to eat healthier, to lift more, to work longer, to perfect a hard exercise, to do what makes us- us.

“Get Ready for it,          ....SELF- DISCIPLINE!!

Just something to think about today.

We're faced with hundreds of decisions each and every day. Self-Discipline is a CHOICE...and a very empowering one.

Each time you choose to move forward in the direction of your success, you gain momentum.

Each decision (even the small ones) builds momentum until you can NOT be stopped!

Today, make one extra decision that will move you closer towards your goals where you may have otherwise have made a different choice.


Many of you written down a Purpose for Training in 2019. How are you doing as you hit one month into the year? Have you made some progress towards your goal? A small daily step that moves you consistently forward? Maybe one of those giant steps like a Shark Bite that propelled you into greater action?

These ladies took on a challenge to do Snurpees (Burpees in the snow). It was so cold outside that schools had been delayed yet they became UnStoppable. They did what they could and Made It Happen. I'm proud of them.

Can you see yourself just taking a step forward and laughing with friends along the way? Did others take this challenge? Of course, these ladies allowed me to video them. 🙂

They just kept more and more crazy as we had more and more ladies join in.

Don’t stand still this year. Be UnStoppable! Your first step is to stay at it. Be consistent with yourself. No one can help you more then you help yourself.

Did you know Cr8 Fitness can help you with your Nutritional goals and eating habits too? If you haven’t seen our stuff, let me point you in the right direction. Click here to see what I am talking about.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Injury is a Teacher

I am reminded often that getting older is not for sissies. For those of us who live in New England, I think that is why it is so fascinating to see an athlete like Tom Brady maintain a high level of performance in a very demanding game for so long. He said this morning on WEEI he wants to keep playing for a few more years, although he only negotiated with Gisele for another year. I bet that's getting as difficult as winning another Super Bowl!

I have been training off and on with weights since I was a teenager. (Unfortunately for a number of years I was a lot more "off" than "on"). I have never had a severe training accident in the gym which caused me to miss a bunch of time. But there are times I have done something unwise which put me out of commission for a few days.

If there is one thing injuries have taught me over the years is this:

Avoid Them At All Costs!

Now you may be thinking "no duh", but don't dismiss the obvious. Getting injured is not only about accidental slips and falls. Sometimes the "come out of nowhere" aches and pains are the cumulative effect of ignoring the seemingly minor. 

Here are three things you shouldn't ignore:

1) Attention To Properly Warming Up.

I didn't write just "warming up" for a reason. Being present and going through the motions is not the same as giving attention to it. Focus on each and every movement, work to complete the full range of motion, and spend the time getting focused for your session.

2) Pain.

There IS a difference between pain, tightness, and soreness. I designed this poster with the input of Dr. Brett Coapland at Performance Health a number of years ago. The take home on this? Your coach needs to know! 

2) The Stress of Daily Life.

I want you to train has hard as you should, every day you are supposed to be here. And yes, I said "should" not "can" purposely. None of us our at our best 100% of the time. The teacher of experience has taught me when to go full bore and when to back off a little. Technologies like HRV monitoring keep me honest about it. Learning this has also kept me from making the mistake so many of us do - not training when we don't "feel" like it. I don't feel like it more often than you may think, which is why I have training partners and why training with a coach and group that will keep you accountable is vital to long term success.

Injury is not something I want any of you to experience. The good news is - being proactive and paying attention to the "Big 3" outlined above can go a long way to preventing it. 

Remember. You can't train if you have a serious enough injury. If you are tight, sore, or in pain, let us know. That way we can help you or refer to someone who can. Eat like an adult. Sleep like a baby. Train like your best life depends on it.

Because it does.

Coach Dean

P.S. Please share this post by clicking the buttons below or to the left. Facebook is our friend! 🙂

Go Pats! I Love Football

I am a Patriots fan. I'll be watching in just over a week as they play again for a Super Bowl title. The consequences of watching the game is a late night. I am usually like a toddler when it comes to bedtime- 8:00pm and lights out. But it's hard not to watch the Big Game - there is a high amount of energy as the whole house loves football. So I'm not going to bed early, I'll be up late watching the game! 

So what? Here's What. You asked for it, you got it!

Turns out I'm not the only Patriots fan around here (who knew?) 🙂 There are plenty of us at the 5:00am and 6:15am training that are fans of the game. Good News! The post game celebrations won't need to be shortened this year because of an early morning training schedule. 

Here's how we are going to celebrate the Super Bowl.

On Monday February 4th we will not be opening until the ladies class at 9:00am. The crew at 4:00 and 6:00pm will train just like normal. We're going to push the 5:00am and the 6:15am that day to 5:00am and 6:15 on Wednesday, February 6th. 

Here's the deal for that time; the training on Wednesday morning will be the same training as everyone else will have already enjoyed on Monday. (So try to keep the training a surprise, don't tell them how much FUN they will have). Remember; It's ONLY the first two training hours that will be affected on Monday. Everyone else has the same schedule the whole week. 

Yeah, I am the coolest coach ever. 🙂

Since you aren't going to be stressing about staying up late, you'll have more time to prepare some awesome food for the Big Game. Here's is on of my family's absolute favorites. These take a while to make but are delicious. I’m excited to have them as a special treat while watching the Patriots win the Super Bowl this year.

Avocado Chorizo Sweet Potato Skins


  • 1lb chorizo
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved and seeds removed
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon almond flour


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Use a fork to poke some holes in your sweet potatoes. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft when you poke them. (Time will range depending on how fat they are. I used thin ones)

While your sweet potatoes are baking, pull out a large skillet, place over medium heat and add your chorizo to it. Use a wooden spoon to break up your chorizo while it cooks.

When chorizo is halfway done cooking, add your onions to sweat it out.

When your chorizo is cooked completely through, put your chorizo mixture on a plate with a paper towel to soak up some of the excess fat and to cool.

Now pull out your handy dandy food processor. Use a spoon to scoop out the inside of your two avocados and place in the food processor. Mix until you get a smooth paste.

Add your lime, lemon, cumin and a bit of salt. Pulse until mixed thoroughly.

Place your chorizo and ¾ of your avocado mixtures in a large bowl to incorporate. Leave the other ¼ of avocado mixture for toppings.

When your sweet potatoes are done cooking, let cool, cut in half, scoop out insides (leaving about ½-1 inch of sweet potato still inside) of sweet potato, and use a pastry brush to brush on coconut oil on the inside and all around the sweet potato.

Place back on cooking sheet and in the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until crispy.

Once potatoes are crispy, add your avocado and chorizo mixture into your sweet potato, top off with a little sprinkle of almond flour, and place back in the oven for around 5 minutes.

 Top off with your leftover avocado mixture, and enjoy!

Happy Super Bowl Watching- Go Pats!

The Art of Steering Through Life

My life is marked with many different scratches. Not the physical scratches you get when you scrape your car against a metal post but the emotional and mental scratches of making poor choices. Although I would like to keep these as vague memories, I know I am responsible for them. They come as a result of the difficulty of steering through life circumstances. 

I've heard it said, "I wish my kid came with an owner's manual." and even more relevant, "Its a live and learn situation, in hinds sight I would have done this much differently".

Well we don't have an owners manual for ourselves let alone anyone else. We also can't turn back the clock to do things over again differently.

Wisdom has been defined as 'the art of steering' - Gerhard Von Rad

I like that. 

As you go through life, you will need to navigate many tight situations that require great wisdom in order to avoid poor or even flat out wrong choices. 

1. Avoid Wrong Turns. Going on a binge eating spree is an example of a wrong turn. We all know that chocolate cake (an entire cake) won't give you lasting happiness, feel any better, get stronger, have more success, or beat the snot of the person who made you feel this way in the first place. It may look attractive to eat or drink __________ (you fill in the blank) but in the long run it leads to a cycle that ends in poor choices and then poor health. 

2. Choose a Good Path. Difficult times in your life can take you off course and in the wrong direction. But if you stay on the right course it will lead to greater compassion and more wisdom. 

  • The good path- since we are talking paths of health, when "life gives you lemons make lemonade". We've seen it in others. People who have had shocking health news, or a death of a loved one, a loss of job, a car accident, any situation life can thrown at us. Some people come out shining. They have followed a path that is helping them. So when life throws you challenges, think now of what you might do to stay on track. Be prepared. How can you prepare for such events? Routine and Resolve. Stay with what is working for you. Have the stick - to - itiveness that plows through the rough times. I don't always do a good job at handling crisis in the immediate sense. I tend to curl up in a ball. Yet I know in the bigger picture of things, I'm sticking to my plan of being in the best health I can to handle what life throws me. In essence I pick myself up off the floor (often with help from family and friends) and get back at it. 
  • The ungood path- (yes, I know that is not a word) Yet when life gives you lemons, and it will, don't just take it. Do something. I've' walked away from friends in the past because I didn't want to face them. I've ignored others because it made me uncomfortable. I've tried to wiggle myself out of difficulty because I didn't want to fess up. I'm human. My choices have cost me. Will your choices cost you? As a teen ager, I chose to drink myself to oblivion. I knew it wasn't a good choice but I chose it anyway. Life had given me lemons and I chose to act like they weren't there. Those choices I made then, are still costing me. 

How do you avoid Wrong Turns and also Choose the Good Path?

Use wisdom to steer through life.

 In health, having some fundamental values set in place as habits or routines will guide you through circumstances. 

Imagine this situation with me. You go on vacation and choose to eat and drink to your hearts content on the first and second day away from home. By the third day, you don't feel quite so good, your body is keeping you closer to the bathroom and you feel sluggish. Since you have built in a routine of training and eating lean protein with lots of veggies you get yourself up on the third day, eat a breakfast of a veggie omelet and then stay active. By dinner or maybe the breakfast the fourth day you're feeling yourself and you enjoy the rest of you trip. You used the principles you regularly live by to navigate and steer yourself back on course. You got yourself back on routine using the wisdom of physical activity and healthy food choices. 

This is not rocket science but set yourself up for life by gaining wisdom and allowing it to steer you to your best health. Wisdom not feelings is your guide.  

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


From The Heart

Can I share my heart with you? If not, just click away from this post right now, because you are not gonna want to read this. We good?

Ok, if you are still here, I want to say thank-you. I appreciate your time and energy.

One of the scariest things I have ever done in my life is start a business and go out on my own. The only analogy I can think of is like a bird flinging itself out of its nest for the first time. Either you flap your wings hard and figure out how to do it, or you go "SPLAT". I am grateful no one has had to scrape me off the pavement yet.

Another one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life is sell Get Fit NH Concord, for a whole variety of reasons. But frankly one of the biggest reasons it was scary is because now that Cr8 Fitness in Epsom is our only location, we have a lot less room for error. That margin has been shaved razor thin. The scale of having two locations and sharing expenses is gone. Making it all work is a challenge we are attacking head on. Nancy and I have been working harder than ever at making this the best possible experience for you; we want you to be here, we want you to have fun, and we want you to get the results you are looking for. Our goal is to keep every client happy and coming back for more, for life. 

You know what's scary about that? We are human, we fail often, and when it comes down to it, that's not a goal we are probably ever going to achieve, no matter how hard we try. But that doesn't mean we are going to stop. Can I ask you a favor? When we don't serve you as well as you deserve, can you let us know BEFORE it gets past the point of no return? I am going to be honest, it HURTS when one of y'all stops coming to the gym, and it's not just all about us. We know how hard it is to get started in the first place, and we don't ever want you to stop reaching for your happy and healthy.

Every single one of you matters to us. Do we fail to show it sometimes? Yes, but not purposely. I can honestly tell you that both of us have shed tears at times over this business. I don't say that to make you feel bad for us, and I know that no one is out to get us. But you all are family, and when family doesn't come around anymore, it stinks. And yes, I am writing this today because one of the family has decided to not come around anymore. When that happens, we take it seriously, and this note is partly to let you know that. I believe we do a good job the vast majority of the time, but I know we haven't reached perfection. Regardless, I am going to be bold here, and ask you for three things:

1) When we screw up, let us know. We can't get better if we don't know and don't have a chance to talk with you about what's bugging you. Send us an email, shoot us a text, give us a call, or even better, let's just talk face to face. 

2) Don't give up. On us, our on yourself. You came here for a reason. Let's keep working on that, together.

3) Don't keep Cr8 Fitness to yourself. As I said before, I believe the vast majority of the time we are worthy of sharing with your friends, family, co-workers - even your medical professionals. One of Nancy and my goals this year is to get to the point where we are not spending ANY money on advertising, and we can't do it without you. We've made it easier than ever, and our community benefits too. (Read more about that here)

You Rock.

You really do. We don't say it enough. We'll do better.

Thank-you for choosing to train with us.

Coach Dean

Sweet Potato Sliders

There isn’t anything so sweet as a sister. I have my sister living in Indiana but for the last 32 years, I’ve been able to call Dean’s sister mine as well. She just posted this delicious looking picture and I had to make them right away. Now it is your turn. Make these sliders right away.  Next step is to post the link for this recipe for others to make.  Keep these gems going.

Sweet Potato Sliders

  • 1.5 pound ground turkey or lean ground beef, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon steak seasoning
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 slices cooked bacon
  • lettuce torn into small pieces (slider size)

Mix ground turkey with garlic salt and steak seasoning. Shape into 8-10 mini patties (about 1/4 of a cup meat). Set aside. Remember these are small patties. Look at the size of your sweet potato slices to judge what size to make each patty. The slices will be the bun.

Slice sweet potatoes into 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 400 for 20-30 minutes (flipping half-way through). You want edges to be slightly crispy.

While potatoes are roasting, grill the burgers. Place patties on a well-heated grill flipping after 3-4 minutes, and cook until cooked through (and desired done-ness).

Assemble burgers, placing a mini burger in between two roasted sweet potato slices. Garnish burgers with lettuce, bacon, guacamole, and/or mustard.

Be creative.  What do you like on your burger?

(I used McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning.)

Remember share this recipe link with others and share recipes back to me too

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Shark Bite or Minnow Bite. You Decide.


Read that one more time, let it sink in.


I talk to people everyday who want to lose weight, get more energy or get back in shape, they're just waiting to "GET MOTIVATED"

Most of those people are still waiting.

This year you've started the year out on solid ground. You've taken the time to write your Purpose for Training at Cr8 Fitness in 2019. You've even identified a stumbling block or something you foresee that might just slip you up. I am proud of you for Training with a Purpose in MInd

And yet there is more to do. 


Its time to take some action. 

Decide now whether to take a Shark Bite or a Minnow Bite on your Purpose.


Shark bites are one time actions that you can do NOW in order to move you forward in your purpose. Its an action you don't need to repeat because once is done. Its kind of like why you should not swim in the ocean. One bite from a shark and YOU"RE Done. 

For example, My purpose for training is to stay out of the doctor's office for unplanned visits. I know I'll have a yearly check up, and a check up for cancer that seems to crop up in my family. A shark bite for me would be to go ahead and make those appointments. I call once and I am done, appointment made. 

If your purpose in 2019 is to get to a healthier body fat, your one time Shark Bite could be to sign up for the Fresh Start Challenge or the Crockpot Workshop. Once you've done either one of these you've done a step that won't have to be repeated. Its a Shark Bite. 


Minnow bites on the other hand are daily consistent little nibbles at your purpose. Its something you are working to build into a habit or turn into consistent behavior. They become rituals. It is also why swimming in a lake or river is not as dangerous, minnows only take little nibbles you hardly notice. (In case you don't know, I'm not a fan of ocean swimming)

For me, a minnow bite might include taking my daily vitamin, or making sure I drink 100 ounces of water a day, or cutting my coffee intake to one cup a day. It is something that over time becomes natural and easy. I still have to work at it, yet it is not something that usually takes 15 minutes every day. 

If your purpose is to do 10 push ups in 2019. Your minnow bite could include 2-3 minutes of push up work a day that might not be push ups at all. Remember we have to stretch and take care of those muscles as much as we want them to work hard. Your minnow bites would also include heat, or massage, or fish oil, or LaCross ball work. 

Shark Bite or Minnow Bite- you decide, but decide.

I talk to people everyday who want to lose weight, get more energy or get back in shape, they're just waiting to "GET MOTIVATED"

Most of those people are still waiting. Don't be one of them. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


Stability Breeds Strength

Are you stable?

If you ask most people that question about me, the answer is a resounding no, but I digress.

The American Council on Exercise defines fitness related stability as: the ability to maintain or control joint movement or position. Stability is achieved by the coordinating actions of surrounding tissues and the neuromuscular system.

Before you start yawning, let me tell you why this is all about you. The more appropriate stability you can demonstrate and achieve, the more of a rock star you will be in the gym. Seriously, I am not even kidding a little! 🙂

In fact, you will never reach your full potential until you have developed your personal optimal stability (and mobility, but that's for another day).

The practical ramifications of stability include being able to control your joints on uneven or unstable surfaces and staying off your butt. Icy driveway in a NH winter anybody? 

Postural stability is critical in the controlled environment of the gym as well. Heavy lifts (relative to your current strength, skill and ability) is crucial for proper performance and injury prevention. 

In my own training, as well as my programming, working on stability has become a "big rock". In other words it's a consistent focal point. Now that doesn't mean I don't still lift heavy things off the floor, but I am lot more careful to address left to right imbalances and instability on a consistent basis. I know that is what is going to help you and me train hard for the rest of our lives. I learned the hard way that ignoring unilateral instability not only stunted my gains, but it put me in a world of hurt. 

For this kind of work I like to program training tools that create a requirement to stabilize through the core and fire the myriads of little muscle we don't even think about.

Let's take the Turkish Getup for example; I can perform them with a 12kg Kettlebell very easily, but a 25 pound sandbag, with it's shifting contents, requires significantly more effort to perform. If you have been training here lately, you know what I am talking about.

We are also starting to implement tools such as Leverbells into our training programs, which are a whole new way to promote and enhance stability. Far from being the latest "fad" tool, these bad boys have been around in some form for a gazillion years (at least). They were introduced to me by Josh Henkin of DVRT fame, and after getting some instruction and training with them, we decided to share the joy with you.  You're welcome. 🙂

Here's an easy way to test your stability (and strength), and also to identify left to right imbalances.

In Case You're Wondering, This Is Cheating.

Stand on one foot, bring your thigh parallel to the floor and your lower leg perpendicular to the floor. How long can you stand there? Now try the other leg.  A baseline time to achieve is 60 seconds per leg. If you can stand for significantly more time on one rather than the other, you have a left to right imbalance, for some reason. Could be mobility, stability, or strength. 

Remember strength is relative, no matter if you ever want to lift heavy weights or not. You must have ENOUGH strength to stabilize, so don't ignore strength training. This stuff helps with cardio too. Your joints must be healthy and have the stability required to take the repetitive forces cardio produces. It applies to everyone, so if you are an "everyone", it applies to you!

Let's get stable!

Coach Dean

Join in on Your Favorite- The Crockpot Freezer Workshop

My favorite meals are those that are easy to fix, don't have me in the kitchen for hours at a time, and taste fantastic. One of my favorite tools to help make that happen is the crockpot. What's better than one meal that is easy to fix, fast to put together, and that the whole family loves? Five Crockpot meals! 

About three years ago, I found a process for Crockpot Freezer Meals. It was one of those moments when I thought: "I wish I would have thought of that, It's brilliant!".

Imagine this you trek to the grocery store, spend an hour or more shopping for the week and then come home and prepare all your dinner meals within the next hour. How cool would that be? When you're ready to leave the house each morning, you place one meal in the crockpot and when you arrive back home- Voila, dinner is done. Repeat that for a total of five days. (You'll probably have leftovers for lunch too. Win/Win) That is a picture of how it will feel after you participate in the Crockpot Workshop. And yet there is one small difference. You can take out the grocery shopping because I already will do that for you.

At the crockpot workshop you'll walk away after an hour with five meals ready to place in the freezer until you are ready to cook them in your crockpot (or Instant Pot). It might not actually take you an hour to put these meals together. It goes that fast. 

Here's what you get at this workshop:

  • Every Ingredient is provided to make 5 meals that feeds 4-6 people
  • I do all the shopping for you
  • I set up and clean up for you
  • You walk out with 5 meals ready to cook in your crockpot (or instant pot). 
  • These meals can also be thrown in the freezer until you need them.
  • Use these meals when you want or need them most.
  • I often give one or more of these meals away to someone who is sick, had a baby, going through a rough time etc. Then they have an option when they need it most. 

What you don't get:

  • Long lines at the grocery store
  • Figuring out which recipes are Coach Nancy approved 🙂
  • Forgetting an ingredient at the store so you have to make a second trip
  • Being alone as you prepare your meals. Friends make this workshop even more fun.
  • A messy kitchen. These meals go from Ziploc bag to Crockpot. BAM you're done.

The Crockpot Freezer Meal workshop is:

Wednesday, January 30th.


At Cr8 Fitness in Epsom

The cost for this workshop is only $105. That is $21 for a meal that feeds 4-6 (most likely with leftovers).

A note from Coach Dean about the cost of the workshop: For the amount of work I see Nancy put into this workshop, that is a super price. The girls help out too; compiling all the ingredients, running around doing all the shopping, measuring and portioning the protein into freezer bags, setup, running the workshop, cleaning up - all of it. As you are well aware, food prices are on the rise. We chose not to raise the price last time, this time we really had little choice. We would like to do more of these, because we want to make great eating as easy as possible, and it's got to work for everybody -  that includes the chef! 🙂

Want Proof?

Here is what others have said after they finished the workshop.

"Thank you Nancy! This is the most efficient, high quality, useful, and good for me "cooking workshop” I’ve ever taken. No, it’s the second one I’ve taken because I’m still working on the proceeds of the first one. I look forward to the next one!" - Elizabeth

"Nancy, Thank you so much for last night's session! I appreciate how efficient the 1 hour prep process was to get 5 meals prepared and new recipes for my family. With the kids busy sports and music schedule we have been eating out far too often. It will be nice to replace eating out with home cooked crock pot meals. Thank you! We are trying the first meal this evening." -Tammy

"I loved the crockpot seminar. It was fun and has been feeding my family for the past several weeks. We loved the cashew chicken and beef stew the best! I liked how we were able to leave with the meal completed and participate. Thank you for putting this on!"  -Christine

If you're curious if your family will like the meals we prepare, here's the five meals we'll fix in less than an hour.

  1. Cashew Chicken
  2. Balsamic Chicken
  3. Thai-ish Chicken Wings
  4. Italian Chicken
  5. Beef Stew

All these recipes are Carlson Kid tested and approved. 🙂

Sign up quickly, because although I'd love to have everyone there, I only have room for 20 Crockpot Chefs!

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Fantastica Buffalo Chicken Wings

Game day or any day, these wings are delicious. I always make more than I think I need. They are that yummy. I've included two ways to add finishing touches to these No Fry Wings. 

Wing Sauce

  • 2/3 Cup Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted. Whisk and enjoy!

Hester's Wing Spice

  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup Spanish paprika
  • 2 T onion powder
  • 2 T garlic powder
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 2 T thyme
  • 2 T basil
  • 2 T oregano
  • 2 T coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 T. ground black pepper

Sprinkle generously on the wings immediately after they come out of the oven.

Both of these add the finishing touch to magnificent wings. I can't wait to hear which is your favorite.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy