Monthly Archives: January 2019

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

Take A Bite Out of Your Purpose for Training


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

Show Your Purpose in 2019 with our Shirt of the Year

Our 2019 theme at Cr8 Fitness is:

"Purpose Unlocks Potential"

Coach Nancy has been encouraging you to think about your purpose for being here - what do you want to get out of all the work you are putting in? 

There really is no wrong answer. But if you want to make real progress this year there needs to be AN answer.

We are your locksmiths, but you hold the keys. There are 4 on our key ring that we need to have and use this year:

  • Commitment
  • Focus
  • Preparation
  • Accountability

I always find it super helpful to have visual reminders about the task at hand. That's why I am excited about our 2019 "Shirt of the Year". The more of YOU I see wearing it this year, the more I am going to be reminded to keep my eye on the prize. So help your old coach out, and order one today. I'd love to see you not only wearing one, but unlocking your potential in 2019.

Order forms are in the gym, and we are taking orders until next Friday, January 18.

Order yours today!

Coach Dean

Train with Your Purpose in Mind

Each January gyms are flooded with new people. Everyone trying to accomplish in a few weeks what they couldn't do all of last year. By the second week of the month, the place is back to normal. Most of the newbies have already given up. Why? And more importantly how to avoid it.

There is nothing wrong with making these common New Year's resolutions, We have all made resolutions that we have failed to keep. 

The good news is that each year is an opportunity for a Fresh Start. And yet each week is a fresh start. Every Sunday is the first day of the week - a new beginning. Actually, every day is an opportunity for a new beginning. 

If you are at one of these 'beginnings' you are at a crossroad. You are at the point of choosing. Choosing what to do, how to do it, and how much to do. That is the time of resolutions. The purpose is not to help you resolve to do something, my purpose to help you stay resolved once you've made that decision.

Resolve takes Focus

Focus on your past choice. You've already made a choice to physically train. You've already made your choice to become healthier. You've already made your choice to achieve a medically sound body composition. Now its about maintaining your Focus. Write down what your purpose is. Then leave it visible for you to see often. Daily is best. Once I have a purpose to achieve a task, I write it and leave it near my bathroom sink. Each morning as I get read for the day, my focus shifts to my purpose. It gives me clarity as I do my daily tasks. 

Resolve takes Commitment.

Commitment is dedication in action. Once you have your purpose, you need to commit to doing something to make that purpose start to happen. It might not happen all at once. Losing 50 pounds is going to take work and more action than one days worth. And yet it all starts with one day, one action repeated over and over. Commit daily to doing one action that will help you achieve your purpose in 2019.

Resolve takes Preparation.

Preparation can be mental but often it to is an action step. Think of preparation as a way of helping yourself out. Preparing your meal plan on Sunday of each week helps you to not stress about "what's for dinner?". It helps you have those foods in the house that will allow you to eat foods that will support your purpose of becoming healthier. Preparation can be help given to you by others. Having others in your family chop veggies while you get the steak grilled, gives you that helping hand so you can get the meal on the table quicker so you don't snack your way to dinner. Find ways to prepare to give that helping hand towards your purpose. 

Resolve takes Accountability.

Accountability is a key we often ignore. It is hard to admit we need help. It is hard to say I will do this better if  you do this for me. It is hard to tell someone your goals. The thought often goes through my mind, "What if I don't actually achieve my purpose?" As a coach I'm going to say, "What if you actually do?"I'm here to help."  Accountability has proven itself over and over. Having a partner or a group of others that will give an encouraging word, others that know your purpose, people that will work along side you; gives you power. Power to push through tough times.

Focus, Commitment, Preparation, and Accountability are your keys to Succeeding in Your Purpose.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


Get Your Zen On and Track Your Training

In December 2018 we moved switched our client software to ZenPlanner from MindBody online. Now before you give me a "So What?", hang with me as I share what that means for you!

Besides being a lot easier for us to use and manage, ZenPlanner has some really cool features for you, specifically the ability to track benchmark workouts and things like personal best on your lifts. 

The first thing you need to do is head on over to the Apple app store or Google Play and download the Member App. The links are included below.

Apple iOS:


After you have the app all loaded up on your device, login with your email address (the one provided us when you signed up as a training client) and your password. Those passwords were sent to you either in December when we did the transition, or when you become a client. If you need to reset your password, click this link and then the "forget your password" link on that page.

Once you are logged into your app, you are good to go! Below are a couple videos I shot showing how easy it is to use the app. 

Note: We will not be programming all our workouts into the app. We will from time to time have specific metrics that we will want you to track, and we'll let you know on those days. But as you can see below, you can record a ton of different lifts and personal best on any day you want. Give it a try, you might just find out how motivating tracking your progress really is!

Make It Happen!

Coach Dean

Shepard’s Pie with a Twist

The recipe is sent in by rock star Sara. Sara plans each week's meals. When I saw this recipe on her plan, I just needed to know the recipe. 

Here’s what Sara said: “The pumpkin shepherd's pie is yummy--it’s adapted from The Fresh 20 cookbook. Jason and I (and the kids) get a good dinner plus a good sized lunch out of it.”

Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie


1 tablespoon coconut oil

½ medium onion, rough chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 inch piece of ginger, grated

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon paprika

1 lb ground turkey or ground beef

2 cups baby spinach


3 large egg whites

2 cups roasted pumpkin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

Directions for the Filling:

Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and carrots, and sauté until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with cumin, salt, pepper, and paprika. Add meat and brown. Toss in baby spinach to wilt, and transfer to a greased 8x8 inch baking dish.

Directions for the Topping:

Using a handheld mixer, whisk egg whites in a large bowl until stiff. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin with the cayenne and salt. Fold in the egg whites. Spread the topping over the filling. Bake for 20 minutes until golden on top.

*Chef Sara’s notes: I made the topping with the eggs the first time, but haven't since. They make it nice and light and fluffy on top, but even without them it still tastes good. Also, I use various types of winter squash in place of the pumpkin all the time, and I probably use closer to 3 cups.

*Coach Nancy's notes: I made a sweet potato topping. I substituted 2-3 baked sweet potatoes that I pealed for the pumpkin. Everything else I kept the same. Isn't it great to have already tasted alternatives?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Purpose Unlocks Potential

What is your purpose in physically training at Cr8 Fitness?

Now what is the question that pops into your head right after you say your purpose?

Hold onto these questions and their answers. They are going to help you unlock your potential and give you success in 2019. 

You are always backing me up and I need that! 

For example: My purpose in physically training and eating to support my lifestyle is so that I do not visit my doctor as often as I did in 2018. While I know there will be some visits; a regular check up, skin cancer and breast cancer were a concern in 2018 so I know I have follow up visits to those. Yet I spent many other visits to doctors and chiropractors to help my ribs, my back, headaches, and my hip. My training suffered and my healthy numbers are spiraling downward. Yet when I first say my purpose out loud a voice in my head says; "Where are you going to start?"
It is then that I bring out my keys to Success. Focus, Commitment, Preparation, and Accountability.

  • Focus- I need to keep my purpose in the front of my daily activity. It is all too often that I left my daily activities dictate my life, instead of having a clear direction. I skip all over the place just to do this and do that. With some clarity I will achieve my daily activities in the priority that my purpose dictates.
  • Commitment- I've already put in place several actions because I am committed. I am not going to wait for the perfect time, or the first day of the week, or for some magical, mystical, spiritual event to hit me. I'll adjust my plan as I need to, for now I need to just get going.
  • Preparation- Some of you might view me as if I have preparation down solid, this is my weakest area. Since as far as I can remember I have crammed for texts, procrastinated until the last minute, and held off on things that are hard until I HAD to do them. That is why I didn't wait for the perfect timing or the perfect plan or to have all the stars line up before beginning. My preparation is tied into my next key heavily. Need some help to get you started? Take a look into some of our Cr8-Tive articles
  • Accountability- I've already asked for help. I have a partner, actually two people, to hold me to my first and most important task. From there I have different peeps who will nudge me when I falter. I'm using an app on my phone to give me feedback. It took courage to ask for help. I have all of you to back me up- I need that and you do too. I wanted to do this alone. And yet that has not worked out very well in the past. Using my key of Accountability will spur me onto action when my focus or commitment or preparation isn't all in.

How does this lead back to those two questions? Your purpose will give you clarity. It will drive you, and keep you from chasing squirrels and going down rabbit trails. The second question is designed to show which key is most important. I didn't know where to start. It seemed like a huge task. My accountability partner helped me line up my focus, I know they will help me when my focus, commitment and preparation are waining.

I have to use all the keys to succeed. Focus, Commitment, Preparation, and Accountability.

This exercise will take a few minutes to complete. Lets find our Purpose and use our Keys to Success so that 2019 will be our best year ever!

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy