Monthly Archives: February 2019

2 Match-A-Million in March

March is typically known for crazy weather, a leprechaun's pot of gold, and College Basketball playoffs (March Madness). It seems to me that March is deemed to be the time of reaching high fetched dreams. That sounds perfect for our group challenge. 

Let me tell you a story first. 

"Once upon a time there was a man on a mission. This man's name was Dan. His mission was to complete a million meters of skiing in a year. He laid out his plan. He thought it well through. In order to achieve his goal he would complete 20,000 meters each week. He'd ski 1,500m before each training and 1,500m after each training session. At home he would work on the remaining 8,000m for the week. He even planned in rest weeks from his schedule. Before long those in his training time got word of Dan's Million Meter Mission. They were there with encouraging words and spent time skiing next to Dan to keep him going. Then the word spread far and wide and soon others were joining in on the skiing fun." 

..... Oh Wait, this is not a fairy tale. Dan trains at 6:15 and he really has a Million Meter Mission this year!

In March as a team we are going to match Dan's Million. He is going to take a year. With over 100 of us at Cr8 Fitness, we're going to accomplish our Million Meter's in a month. "It's March Madness- Baby!"

I did some number crunching. With everyone skiing this month, each person will need to ski 10,000m in March. I know some of you can do that in one taking. For the rest of us: Each day as you come in, ski 313m meters before training and another 313m afterwards. Now I know some of you will take this challenge very seriously and do more than your fair share. I'm counting on that. There are those that will need a boost with their numbers as they train 2 days a week.  I built in a bit of cushion room as we have 113 people in the Cr8 Fitness Family. I'll join in and I know Coach Dean loves a good challenge too. 

We'll be marking our meters on the board so everyone can see the progress we're making towards our Million Meter Match Mission in March. (I just had to write out all those M words one More time)

I can't wait to blow your mind as we take home the pot of gold because no matter what the weather is like outside, we can ski inside. March Madness begins Friday. 

This is the BEST Challenge Ever,

Coach Nancy

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:

Saturday, March 23rd.


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.

"Nancy, Thank you so much, I felt like I was on a game show. Can't wait to put the Crock -Pot into action!!" -Anne

"Last night was a lot of fun! It was totally worth it to be a repeat participant. You do an amazing job with the shopping and having everything so easy to assemble. Walking out with five delicious crockpot meals makes meal planning easier for the upcoming weeks. The fact that I got a chance to socialize on a Wednesday night was an added bonus." - Tracy

"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. ​Queso Chicken Chili
  2. Scrumptious Coconut Chicken Curry
  3. Easy Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore
  4. Yummy Italian Chicken
  5. Slow Cooker Taco Chicken

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

Egg Roll in A Bowl

In the last two weeks I have heard this recipe mentioned at least 3 times. Each time one person was proclaiming the greatness of the taste or how fast it is to make or how much their entire family love it. Everyone listening said, "I need that recipe" Coach Nancy wouldn’t hold this tasty meal back from you. We want to share.

You won’t be disappointed with this dinner meal.

Egg Roll in A Bowl

  • 1 pound ground beef or pork
  • 1 package coleslaw mix
  • 3 ribs of chopped celery
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 3-4 Tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1-2 teaspoon rice vinegar

Cook ground beef (you can also use ground pork) until done and remove from pan, leaving the drippings. Add onions, garlic and celery to the pan and sauté until nearly cooked through. Add coleslaw mix and continue to cook about 15 minutes, then mix in cooked ground pork. Add the freshly grated ginger, coconut aminos, rice vinegar. Allow simmer 5-10 minutes.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Warm Up With This Chicken Enchilda Crockpot Soup

I love me some tasty soup, so on the frigid February day I pulled out one of Nancy's classic recipes to share.

It's super easy to make AND super tasty. In fact if you don't have time to saute' the onions and chop the garlic, just substitute some pre-chopped frozen onions and some garlic from one of those monster jars in your fridge. (You DO have one of those, right?) 🙂 

You can eat it right from the crockpot, or add one or more of these garnishes to add some POP!

  • Scallions
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Jalapenos
  • Avocado Slices
  • Black Bean Dip
  • Salsa

Use your imagination!

The recipe is below, but first check out the vintage "Cooking With The Carlson's" video I pulled from the archives - sweet!

Enjoy and let me know how you like it!

- DC


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons of Chipotle chili in adobo sauce (you can add more if you like the heat)
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 3 skinless chicken breast


  1. Sauté onion in a pan over medium heat until translucent and browned.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, except the garnish, to a crock pot in the order listed.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Using two forks, shred the chicken, taste, and adjust the seasonings to preference.
  4. Serve in bowls and top with your favorite garnish.

1 3 Steps to Finding Your Fitness Focus in February

I'm right there with you.

February may be the shortest month in days, but it sure seems like the longest month to slog through.

And while the days are getting longer and it's not getting dark quite as soon, it seems more like a tease as we not so patiently wait for the warmer weather.

And our motivation wanes.

We are sick and tired of getting up early and driving to the gym in the dark, or doing the same on the way home from work. 

I get it. 

And I also know if we aren't careful and proactive about pushing through, we are going to get on that slippery slope from always to sometimes to seldom to never.

So what are we going to do about it?

Here Are Your 3 Steps to Finding Your Fitness Focus (in February).

First, go back and revisit why you train in the first place. When we get tired, or discouraged or sore, we lose focus on the vision we had when we started. We forget "why" we are on this personal journey of better health through fitness. 

The solution is straightforward.

Make sure you have your "Why" written down. Seriously, take out a 3x5 card and write it down.

Here's Mine:

Then post it where you will see it EVERY day. Mine is on the cabinet right above my workstation. It hits me in the face every time I sit down and stand up.

And of course there is no "right or wrong" here. Your why is, well, yours. It is not for anyone else to judge.

The second part of the "find your fitness focus" process is to hang around the right people. And I don't just mean your friends and family. We get inundated by voices all around us; on the radio, on television, social media - all of it.

In fact most of "hang around" the virtual world more than the real world. And frankly most of those voices are full of negativity, whining and complaining. What effect do you think this is having on your emotional well-being? You can't hang around with pigs without getting muddy and a bit smelly. 

Instead of consuming so much media, focus your attention on habits that will build and enrich your mind. Reading, keeping a journal, playing games. These things strengthen your "mind muscle" rather than fill it with garbage and tear it down. 

Who or what do you need to not hang out with anymore?

Lastly, you need to take action toward your "Why", every single day. Nobody I know feels like showing up and training every single day. I know I don't. As the old saying goes, "If it were easy, everyone would do it". It's not going to be easy all the time, maybe most of the time. And that's ok. Rarely does anything great get accomplished taking the easy road. 

In his book Unstoppable, author and coach Craig Ballantyne reminds of us of one of his favorite phrases;

"Action Beats Anxiety. Motion Beats Meditation. Work Beats Worry."

There is a time for taking a break and slowing down. In the training context, that's what rest days and recovery weeks are for. But when you miss scheduled training days, you are setting yourself back, sometimes farther than you think. And worrying about stuff does nothing positive for us, in fact just the opposite.

My "Why" reminds me of that. I see too many good people sell themselves short, and never realize the amazing potential that resides in each one of us. People as young as 40's thinking life has already passed them by. That is not good.

I was listening to Tim Ferris' podcast interview of former Stanford professor and author Jim Collins, whose books such as "Good To Great" and "Built To Last" are multi-time best sellers and award winners.

Jim is 61 now, and he said this; "The big years to are 60 to 90, to me."

Right on.

He went on to share that many of the hero's of his life did more work, and their best work in those "later" years, as opposed to when they were younger. He sought to emulate that in his own life, and as he has just released another book he is well on his way.

I love that. 

I love that a guy who has already accomplished more than most of us will in our lifetime is not content to settle. In fact he also asks himself the question "How can I be more useful?"

That's why I think it's worth it for you and me to keep showing up, keep working hard, and keep focused on our why. If you haven't written it down yet, go do it now. If you'd like to share it with me, putting it in the comments below will make it even more real.

The best is still to come.

You coming with me?

Coach Dean

Chocolate Covered Strawberries in a Shake- YUM!

February is the month of Chocolate and Love. (For some that is the Love of Chocolate.) And why not? It's not a bad thing to love the foods you eat. I happen to be one of those that love chocolate. On Valentines Day I made a delicious shake for everyone to try. And I want to let you take advantage of that shake over and over. 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries in a Shake

  • 1 scoop Chocolate Protein. My favorite is Beverly International's UMP
  • 8 ounces of water
  • `1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon shaved Baker's unsweetened chocolate

Mix all but the shaved chocolate in a blender until smooth. Add more water if you like a thinner shake. This one is thick enough to eat with a spoon. Garnish with the shaved chocolate. Enjoy!

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

P.S. All your favorite protein powders can now be on an automatic delivery system. Let me know what flavor you'd like and I'll have it waiting for you each month when you come to the gym. It'll save you the worry about making sure you have the protein you need for your shakes.

I Don’t Care

Yes, you read it right. "I Don't Care." There are so many things in this world that I am passionate about but there are probably many more that I just don't care about. It might be that I don't have an interest in the subject matter. Take the aerodynamics for the wing of a speckled nose brown bat. Or if you mentioned how to test the quality of the ingredients that make up the oil that goes into your lawn mower, I might roll my attention elsewhere. It's not that I hate the subject I just don't care enough about it to take a big interest. 

It might be that I say I don't care because it doesn't effect me. Going back to the oil in the engine of the lawn mower, if I was the one responsible party for mowing our lawn or buying the lawn mower, I might have a more vested interest. Currently others in my household take care of that for me, which I am very grateful. 

My "I don't care"- Attitude could also stem from the toddler living inside me. When things are tough for me, I just don't want to put in the effort it would take to learn, or study, or grow, or become familiar with, or get comfortable doing. 

Sometimes I need to grow up a bit and throw off my "I don't care" personality and learn to care. I am old enough to realize I might not have the time or energy to invest in caring. In those instances I want to take advantage of others desire and care. When Dean and I dove into a healthier lifestyle there were many things I just didn't care to know. I wanted to stay comfortable eating how I was eating, doing what I was doing. I wanted to be healthier but I didn't want to "Care Enough" to make it happen. I had to grow up a bit and force myself to 'care'. I also took advantage of others knowledge and invested in their efforts in order to help me along.

What about you? Do you have the "I don't care" - attitude? And is that attitude serving you well in all areas of life? 

I often hear that I am so glad I can come to Cr8 Fitness where Dean and Nancy have created a plan that is already in place. You don't have to come up with a plan or know what is the best choice of exercises, the time to do an exercise, or the tool to do it with. You are grabbing hold of our knowledge and using that to your advantage. It's not that you don't care about your health, you do. You've made a wise decision to train where a plan is designed and well executed. 

Can you say the same for your nutrition? Do you have a plan where you can rely on a system that is known to work? Do you care enough to fuel your body with the food you know will help you reach that healthy lifestyle? It took me a long time to figure out, study, educate myself on what is a great system to not only eat well, but will increase my health, and works to make getting that food on the table easier. Cr8 Your Plate with Modern Meal is the easiest system I have found.  Again grab hold of our knowledge and use it to your advantage. 

When I was a teen my Dad taught me how to change the oil in my car, check brakes, and do some minor maintenance on vehicles. I very much appreciate it. I now invest in others to tend to my vehicle. I care about maintaining my car in working order, I just don't care enough to do it myself. There are some things I do have to do though. I have to watch my gauges, I still fill up the care with gas and note when services are due. The end responsibility falls on my shoulders. 

It can be like that for your health and nourishment. Cr8 Fitness is the tool you use to help yourself and in the end it is your responsibility to Make It Happen. Let us make it easier for you each step of the way. 

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Belly Fat May Be More Dangerous for Women

Last week I wrote about why where you carry your body fat matters. We learned that visceral fat, the stuff that encircles your organs, is much more dangerous than subcutaneous fat, which lies just under the skin.

We also talked about how the InBody 570 measures your visceral fat level, that anything over 10 on that measurement indicates you are in the danger zone, and we really want to shoot for that measurement to be 5 or under.

If you don't have easy access to an InBody, an easier gut check (ha!) is to measure your waist circumference, and/or you waist-to-hip ratio. Here's where three respected organizations research shows those measurements should be:



Definition of Abdominal Obesity

American Heart Association

Waist Circumference

Women: > 35 inches

Men: > 40 inches

International Diabetes Federation

Waist Circumference

Women: > 31.5 inches

Men: > 35.5 inches

World Health Organization

Waist-to-Hip Ratio

Women: > 0.85

Men: > 0.9

The chart above shows where the risk lies for both men and women. If you are over these numbers, you are at a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and a whole host of other health problems. 

And according to the March 6 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association, a study that involved over 500,000 people (55% women), women who carry more weight around the middle have a 10% to 20% greater risk of heart attack than those women who just had a high Body Mass Index (BMI).

In fact compared to BMI, waist-to-hip ratio (remember: a measurement of central adiposity and indicator of visceral fat) in women was 18% stronger as a heart attack indicator as compared to 6% in men.


According to Dr. Barbara Kahn, the George Richards Minot Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, the message is less about the gender differences and more about the overall risks presented by central adiposity.

A Reminder: Why the Location of Your Body Fat Matters

People with fat around their abdominal area are at greater risk of developing hypertension when compared to those with a similar BMI who primarily have fat concentrations elsewhere on the body. 

You have two types of adipose tissue (body fat): subcutaneous and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat lies just under your skin around the belly, thighs, rear, and extremities. Visceral fat lies below your abdominal muscles and encircles your organs. Depending on your body type, you may be unaware that you have a high level of visceral fat if you only rely on BMI

When the weight gain is in the abdominal area, there’s a greater risk for high blood pressure because this type of body fat is more likely to cause the arteries to become thick and stiff. When your blood vessels get stiff, it becomes harder to push the blood throughout your body. The body then has to create more pressure to move the blood, which may lead to a lasting increase in blood pressure.

Additionally, visceral fat is thought to interact more intimately with the kidneys and adrenal glands, which are responsible for regulating your blood pressure. By interfering with the function of those organs, visceral fat is a serious promoter of high blood pressure.

So What Do We Do About It?

This will probably not surprise you. If you need to lose body fat and get rid of that dangerous belly fat, you need to nourish your body with good food and get your body moving - exercise.

What MAY surprise you is the type of exercise you need to focus on. 

Because we lose muscle mass as we age (without proper exercise), focusing on resistance training is one of the big keys to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Muscle is metabolically active - it does stuff so it burns calories - fat is not, it just sits there. The more muscle and less body fat we have the better. According to Harvard Health Online, adding strength training a minimum of twice a week can help you maintain a healthy weight, may improve blood sugar in people with diabetes, and also may help you maintain your weight.

It's really not more complicated than that. If you want to get rid of that excess belly fat and improve your long term health, you need to get into the weight room a couple times a week.

If you're reading this and want to drop some belly fat, but haven't worked out in years, or maybe are dealing with some lingering injuries, I am confident we can help. Just contact us here and we'll set you up with a free consultation with one of our coaches and help you map out a plan.

-Coach Dean

Make Breakfast Easier

Breakfast for most of us are a rush- rush occasion. Often grabbing just a few bites of food if at all. I’m fortunate enough to have time to eat with my kids each morning, but that doesn’t mean I have all the time in the world to cook breakfast. My good friend Kathy taught me this quick tip. She makes her own eggbeaters. What a great idea to get those veggies and protein in one dish quickly.

Make Your Own EggBeaters

  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup onion
  • ½ cup red and green pepper

Blend until thoroughly mixed in a blender. Store in glass mason jar for 2-3 days. Shake before using.

Variations: Any vegetable will work instead of the onion and peppers, adding to the blender try: 2-3 stalks asparagus, ½ cup broccoli, mushrooms,  After blending  you can add: ½ cup salsa, ¼ cup green onions, also experiment with different spices.

Share your favorite combination of vegetables and spices you use. I am sure we have some interesting food combinations to try. Let us know your favorite.

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Body Fat and Blood Pressure. A killer combination.

I have a tendency toward high blood pressure. Because of that, and because my doctor is VERY aggressive in treating hypertension (high blood pressure), I take blood pressure meds. To be frank, I hate being on any medication, however hypertension is not something you want to mess around with. Consistent high blood pressure is not only not good, it's extremely dangerous, as it can cause damage to blood vessels and your heart, and lead to cardiovascular disease.

Being over fat (overweight and obese) has long been correlated with high blood pressure, and it doesn't matter how old (or young) you are. And while many of us want to lose weight because we want to look better, it goes a lot deeper than that.

Our partners at InBody have written a comprehensive article on this subject; Your Blood Pressure and Body Composition are Related. Here's What You Need To Know.

Here's an excerpt from that article that you NEED to read and pay attention to:

Why the Location of Your Body Fat Matters

People with fat around their abdominal area are at greater risk of developing hypertension when compared to those with a similar BMI who primarily have fat concentrations elsewhere on the body. 

You have two types of adipose tissue (body fat): subcutaneous and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat lies just under your skin around the belly, thighs, rear, and extremities. Visceral fat lies below your abdominal muscles and encircles your organs. Depending on your body type, you may be unaware that you have a high level of visceral fat if you only rely on BMI

When the weight gain is in the abdominal area, there’s a greater risk for high blood pressure because this type of body fat is more likely to cause the arteries to become thick and stiff. When your blood vessels get stiff, it becomes harder to push the blood throughout your body. The body then has to create more pressure to move the blood, which may lead to a lasting increase in blood pressure.

Additionally, visceral fat is thought to interact more intimately with the kidneys and adrenal glands, which are responsible for regulating your blood pressure. By interfering with the function of those organs, visceral fat is a serious promoter of high blood pressure.

The take home is WHERE your body is carrying fat is just as if not more important as the total amount of body fat you have.

And that's where our InBody 570 comes in.

If you look at your InBody results sheet or on your app, you will see a heading; "Visceral Fat Level".

This is where we find out how much fat we are packing in and around our organs. We want that number to be as low as possible. 10 and under is considered "healthy" (my doc is looking for 5 and under). Anything over 10 and you are on a dangerous path. 

Having a family history of high blood pressure is something you can't control. You didn't choose your parents. But controlling your visceral fat levels through good nutrition and exercise is something you definitely DO control.

And that's great news!

The other piece of really good news for our clients is that you can monitor your visceral fat levels on a regular basis to measure both your progress AND your health. 

This is much more than just a matter of aesthetics. Sure, we all want to look better naked, but that is NOT the best reason for controlling our body fat levels and reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. Heart disease is nothing to mess around with, and the fact that if you are a client of Cr8 Fitness you have a medical grade diagnostic tool as part of your arsenal is something you need to take advantage of on a regular basis.

If you haven't been taking advantage of this important tool, now is the time.

Your health depends on it.

Make it happen.

Coach Dean

P.S. Not a client? You can still take advantage of the InBody 570 with a scanning package or membership. Contact us now to set an appointment.