Monthly Archives: March 2019

The Spotlight is on Lauren

Popcorn. You know the light as air fun you pop in your mouth. About the only way I enjoy popcorn is trying to catch it one piece at a time with my mouth. I know you've all done that. It's the little bit of kid that stays inside us even as we age. Popcorn like that is the food I would use to describe Lauren's personality. She keeps the mood around her light and airy. She sparks fun like the fun we had as kids. At Cr8 Fitness Lauren catches me smiling because she is reaching her goals. She works, she goes to school and she trains with us. Through it all she is like popcorn- she brings out the kid in all of us. 

I'm excited to see what the next year is going to bring in Lauren's life. 'Moving Forward' is her middle name. Lauren is officially a member of the "Hall of Fame" at Cr8 Fitness. Every time you see a red shirt at Cr8 Fitness, you're meeting a Hall of Fame-r. Lauren has earned hers and is moving forward.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Eat the Rainbow

I know what you are thinking, no not we are not going to talk about Skittles.

What does it mean to "Eat the Rainbow?"

Simply aim to eat as many “colorful foods” as you can throughout the day; real food - think fruits and vegetables, not Skittles. Eat green, purple, red, yellow, blue and orange.

Kind of sounds like advice for a child right? That's good, it should be that simple!

Why Color is Important

Whenever you are about to eat a meal, look down at your plate and ask yourself “where is the color here?” You want to be able to easily spot 2-3 different colors every time you eat. This is an indication that you’re eating foods that contain many different nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants.

Nature has a very simple way of letting us know which foods are really healthy and full of nutrients - color.

Close your eyes for a second and try to visualize this: the strong blue/purple color of fresh blueberries, the deep red hue of tomatoes, the bright orange of carrots.

These colors indicate nutrient content and and also the presence of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and other free radical fighting ninjas which are important in slowing the aging process and helping our body deal with inflammation.

Think Lots of Color

The different colors in fruits and vegetables indicate the different types of antioxidants. There are many types of helpful antioxidants, so you want to make sure you are exposing yourself to a variety by including different colors on your plate. You don’t want to consume only orange and red fruits and veggies while ignoring the greens and yellows. You want a wide variety.

Branch out, eat the rainbow.

Avoiding White-and-Beige-Only Meals

A standard unhealthy diet is going to be made up of many white, brown, and beige foods. As you can tell, this means colors (antioxidants) are lacking. If you notice that a lot of the foods on your plate are white (potatoes, rice, cereal, bread, pasta), brown (beef, pork, sausages, heavy sauces) and beige (cheese, processed carbs, low quality chicken and turkey), then it’s time to add some color to your plate in the form of fruits and vegetables.

Remember, every single meal you consume should have noticeable colors in it. Aim to get 2-3 different colors into every meal and you will be on the right track. Once you get the hang of that, think about your day/week as a whole and figure out which colors you might be ignoring (greens? Reds? Orange? purples?), then start adding more of those kinds in too.

Need some help to get you started? Try this recipe for Rainbow Chicken.

Rainbow Chicken

This chicken is a fiesta of rainbow colors, and is quick and easy to prep and bake – give it a try tonight!

  • 4-6 skinless boneless chicken breast (thin cut)
  • 2 cups no salt added chicken broth
  • 1 small purple onion
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 small orange pepper
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 1 medium tomato
  • Goya Adobo seasoning

Preheat oven to 425

Pour chicken broth into 9×13 pan and lay in chicken seasoned with 2 Tbsp of Goya Adobo.

Slice onion, peppers and tomato and arrange on top of chicken, and sprinkle an additional 2 Tbsp of seasoning.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 20 minutes or until chicken cooked through.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Fantastic Tasting- Golden Crusted Almond Pork Loin

I’ve shared this recipe several times and everyone has always raved about it when they prepared it. It is easy but looks and taste sensational. I serve this with roasted mixed veggies and a side salad. I know when I serve this meal, I am assured that my family has food that will keep them happy, but that I am not filling them just to fill their bellies. I’m giving them food that will fuel their bodies.

Golden Crusted Almond Pork Loin

  • 4-pound boneless pork loin roast
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season pork with salt and pepper and rub with mustard.
  3. In a food processor, with the motor running, add garlic and process until minced. Add almonds and parsley then pulse until mixture is finely chopped.
  4. Pat almond mixture over roast, pressing to coat well.
  5. Place roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and cook for 2 hours until the crust is lightly browned and a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 155 to 160 degrees.
  6. Transfer roast to cutting board and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
  7. While the pork is cooking, prepare the sauce.
  8. In a saucepan over medium heat, simmer chicken broth until reduced to 1 cup.
  9. Reduce heat and whisk in the mustard. Whisk in butter, a few pieces at a time, until butter is incorporated and the sauce is smooth.
  10. Serve the pork roast with sauce.

(If you don't have time to make the sauce, like I didn't yesterday, don't panic. No one missed it) The pork doesn't need it. Its one of those special things that makes it just shine even more. 

Enjoy your food,

Coach Nancy

Ultimate Meal Planning Guide: Chapter 2

The Cr8 Fitness Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning

Chapter 2: Planning Your First Week

Now that we know how to go about planning one meal, we can start planning out our first week.

While this might sound like a daunting task, it's simple when you break it down step-by-step.

First, go ahead and click this link to download and print out our simple meal planning template.

Once you have downloaded and printed the template, follow the steps on the infographic below and begin filling out your first week's plan.

meal planning

Here are some tips:

If you find a whole week is just too much to start with: 

Simply scale back and start with just your dinner meals. You will be amazed how having just one meal a day planned out will make you feel. And remember, there is no prize for getting it "perfect". Meal planning really is a skill, and it gets easier the more you do it. And don't forget to start building your "meal planning portfolio" by saving your weekly plans, no matter how complete they are (or aren't).

Build on your skills: 

Once you nail your dinner planning routine down, move on to step 2 and plan out your breakfast, then your lunches. Don't overcomplicate, avoid overwhelm - remember:

Simple is Easiest, Simple is Best.

In Chapter Three will cover how we use our "meal planning portfolio" and continue building our meal planning skills.

Cinnamon Apple Pie Shake

Just this morning someone asked if I had a shake recipe that tasted like Apple Pie. This one came to mind right away. Yes, it tastes like apple pie AND with lots of protein and holding off on the tons of sugar that usually is in pie. 


Who doesn’t love the combination of apples and cinnamon? Apple pie in a cup it is!


Apple Pie Smoothie

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 scoop vanilla Ultimate Muscle Protein Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons dry oatmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 2 Tablespoons walnuts (use almonds if you don’t have walnuts)
  • 1 cored apple
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend on high for one minute. For a delightful touch sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top. The oatmeal adds thickness to your shake. It's perfect to enjoy right after a training session. 

Enjoy your food,

Coach Nancy

Sharing is Caring…… About Yourself

Have you ever set a goal, and then just kept it to yourself?

Did you reach that goal?

I have done it a hundred times. I set a goal, but then I just kinda kept it to myself. Less pressure that way, you know?

That was a bad plan for me, and I am guessing it wasn’t too helpful for you either.

Lately a few people have shared their goal with me, and also with a few others. In fact at the moment the entire Cr8 Fitness family is working on a goal that started out with one person. Our Million Meter Match is all about a goal and working a daily plan in order to reach that goal. You know what? We are doing amazingly. We're just mid point on our time line but over half way there in outcome. 

That is because we shared. We shared our goal and we are consequently sharing the work load.

On top of that, we kept track of our progress and shared our successes too.

Turns out that sharing your progress is one of the best things you can do.

Check out this article that shows how participants in a weight loss challenge actually lost about 5x more when they shared how they were doing (including selfies of their progress!)

If you have a goal - Share it.

Like mom always said, sharing is fun!

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


 

Tuesday Tease: S3 2019 Is On The Way!


Can you believe it's that time of year already? Spring is around the corner, and you know what Spring leads to?

SUMMER!!!

And it also means we are getting ready to ramp up for our annual challenge... 

The Sizzlin' Summer Slimdown!

We are stoked to be getting the whole gang back together from the the two best gyms in New Hampshire, Get Fit NH in Concord and Cr8 Fitness in Epsom, for what has traditionally been our biggest challenge of the year.

The goal?

Getting healthier and shedding some unwanted pounds and inches as we head into the summer season.

 Remember this from last year?

Sizzlin' Summer Slimdown 2019
hosted by

All the details are coming soon, but here's just a little snippet to be thinking about. This year the brain power behind the two gyms (Coaches Nancy and Meagan) brought back one of our favorite challenge formats -

Teams of Four! (happy dance ensues)

Why teams? Because we all need someone to lift us up on the down days, and kick us in the pants when we are slacking off. And the truth is we are more motivated to do our best by not letting others down...it's a fact. 

More details are on the way, so really all you need to be doing right now is to be thinking of who you want to team up with, and be brainstorming a team name. Your team could be from your own gym, a mix of peeps from both gyms, or even friends and family (framily?) who don't train with us - yet! 

And don't worry, we'll be flexible with team sizes (from 3-5), and if you need help finding a team, we will assist you with that too!

Cant' Wait!

- DC

Ultimate Meal Planning Guide: Chapter 1

The Cr8 Fitness Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning

Chapter 1: How To Plan A Healthy Meal

Plan Your Meals To Nourish Your Body, Not Simply Fill It Up

Before we can plan a whole week's worth of meals, we need to start with just one meal, and we need to figure out what we are doing all this planning for anyway, right? I mean it doesn't take any planning to go to a fast food joint and fill my stomach, so there must be something more we are trying to do

Here's what I mean.

Good meal planning is more than just about getting rid of the rumble in our tummy. It's about providing nourishment - giving our body what it needs to be healthy and work as it should. There is nothing that has more to do with how healthy you are (and good you can feel) than the food and drink you consume.

Remember Hippocrates? It's ok if you don't, but he is widely considered the father of modern medicine. Here's what he had to say about it;

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food"

I don't know if ole' Hippocrates was the first naturopathic doctor, but he knew what he was talking about. We know now what he didn't know; that many if not most of the diseases in the western world are lifestyle related, and a huge part of that is what we eat. Is there a place for medicine? Of course. But I think a worthy goal is to stay off the medications, and in that regard good eating just makes good sense.

With that in mind, take a look at the infographic below. While it's primarily focused on planning a healthy dinner meal, the principles apply to all of our meals.

meal planning

Building Your Meal

You see that we are not shy about emphasizing protein as the foundation for healthy meal planning. Getting enough protein is super important, especially if you are trying to lose weight (body fat). While you will have to eat less calories to lose weight, don't eat less protein. This is a straight path to muscle loss and a weight "rebound" when you are done.

Once you choose your protein source (beef, chicken, pork, etc.), decide on how you are going to spice it up - literally. You can mix and match your own seasonings and spices, and there are also a lot of really tasty spice blends you can buy pre-made in the store. You don't have to settle for plain grilled chicken all the time. You can "taste the world" with a little creativity.

Next on your plate go some healthy fats. Good Fats help keep you full, add flavor, carry fat-soluble vitamins, are anti-inflammatory, and are good for heart health. Get some of the good stuff on your plate with your meals.

Focus on your vegetables next. Veggies provide so many good things - vitamins, minerals, and fiber, just to name a few. There are literally hundreds of vegetables to choose from, and they can be stir-fried, roasted, steamed, sautéed, grilled, sliced, diced, and riced. The possibilities are truly endless.

"Other" carbohydrates are things like rice, grains, beans, and potatoes (starches). There is nothing wrong with these, we just don't want to emphasize them when planning our meals. You can eat a lot of these foods very quickly, they are very calorie-dense, and in excess they can make it hard to lose or maintain weight. 

Here's what your plate should look like, most of the time. If you choose to add starches once in a while, eat less fat and eat a reasonable amount of beans, rice, or potato in its place. 

meal planning

Keep It Simple

The "Super Simple Shopping" list at the bottom of the infographic is designed to get your meal planning ideas started, without overwhelm. If you did nothing more than fill your grocery cart with these items from week to week and keep your cupboard stocked with spices, you would never run out of healthy meal ideas and options.

Ready to keep going? Click the button below!

7 Simple Steps for Snoozing

The perfect night’s sleep is everyone’s dream, but few actually achieve it on a regular basis. These simple steps could be the key to your perfect night’s sleep.

1. A bedtime ritual is key to winding down. Get in the habit of doing the same activities 30 minutes before you climb into bed.  A warm bath touched with a few drops of lavender oil in the water will enhance your relaxation.  Also try to avoid stressful stimulation from the evening news or violent movies, instead listen to soothing music.

2. Eat Right.  Focus on protein and veggies. Avoid simple carbohydrates like processed foods such as cookies, cakes, candy, crackers. Don’t eat anything two hours before bedtime. Giving your body a break from the work of digestion will allow it to do the work it is designed to do while you sleep instead. 

3. Lay off the caffeine. Avoiding stimulants like tobacco, coffee, alcohol, and sugar, particularly in the afternoon and evening. I know, sounds like it's impossible...but it's not. Suffer through the sleep deprivation for the day, and sleep more soundly the next night.

4. Take your Supplements. Vitamins B complex helps in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, so a good vitamin B supplement in the morning along with vitamin C is sleep insurance. I also use a calcium/magnesium supplement, ZMA, to help relax any tense muscles. Cr8 Fitness carries ZMA to help you out even more. 

5. Drink Plenty of water. This sounds counter productive to sleep. Drinking at least 1/2 your body weight in water each day will help you body to function best. Since we're talking about sleep here, drink most of that water during the day and not right before you try to sleep 8 hours straight. A dose of helpful herbs can be found in a cup of chamomile tea. This hot tea is a soothing way to end the day. It has a tranquilizing effect, induces sleep, and improves sleep quality.

6. Expend energy - Don't skip your workouts. Training at Cr8 Fitness produce endorphins. These endorphins are those feel good hormones that boost your self esteem. They also help ease depression and improve sleep. But observe the two-hour rule by stopping physical activity at least two hours before bedtime.

7. Make your bedroom a quiet place. Keep the room dark and cool. Remove the TV, computer, and even the clock if these items make you restless. A comfortable bed and pillow are going to be key items if you want to sleep well.

Bottom line, ask yourself is staying up late to do whatever you need to do, really worth it? Are these expectations you have of yourself necessary or even important to you? If not, it's time to let go. Relax—you’ve earned it. You’ll be just a nod away from sweet dreams.

Coach Nancy

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