Monthly Archives: September 2019

Fat Loss Follow Along Week 3 : They Are Magical!

The past two weeks we have been working hard on skills designed to help HOW we eat - Keeping a food journal, and slowing down our meals.

This week we are going to focus on our 3rd "Fat Loss Fundamental", and it has to do with WHAT we eat.

Vegetables may be the closest thing we have to the "fountain of youth". If you are looking for the "magic pill" that will help you lose weight, enhance cell health, and have more energy, stop looking and start cooking...

Veggies that is!

Boring you say? Looking for something "sexier", you say?

Establish this habit now and forever, and you'll be looking at "sexier" the mirror!

New Habit: Eat Your Vegetables

Wahoo, today is the first day of your new habit.  Your goal each day for the next week is to  


 "Why use fists?" your inquisitive mind might be thinking.  Well, not everyone has scales or measuring cups with them all the time but most of us have hands with us at all times. Make that hand into a fist and you have yourself the size of one serving of vegetables.  Now, get 5 of them in throughout the day. 

Remember, you can always modify a habit to fit your unique situation.  If the thought of five fists of veggies a day makes your eyeballs pop out of your head, start with three fists instead and work your way up to five.  The goal is not to be perfect but to do just a little bit better.    

When starting a new habit, we need to start with the basics. Today we will lay the groundwork for your vegetable habit.

Vegetable Basics

Ahh, vegetables, the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth.  You probably already know of vegetables but just in case you don't, we will cover a number of them today with you.  We are also going to break them into two categories, non-starchy and starchy vegetables, since not all vegetables are created equal.

Non-Starchy Vegetables
Characteristics of non-starchy vegetables are:
  • Low in calories 
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • Low in sugar
  • High in water
  • High in fiber
  • High in nutrients

Just for the record these are all great things.  Actually, you can think of non-starchy vegetables as being (almost) “free” in terms of the calories they will add to your diet.  Especially, when you consider how much fiber, vitamins, and minerals they provide for your body.  You can eat copious amounts of them everyday without gaining weight. Yes, they are that magical.  

In fact, if you’re ever hungry - even after having already eaten an appropriate amount of food, choosing to eat more vegetables to fill up is always going to be your best bet.  Low in calories, high in fiber, high in water is a recipe for successful weight loss.  

In the end we eat food, not nutrients so let's take a look at the different types of non-starchy vegetables.  

Examples of Non-Starchy Vegetables:

  • All “leafy greens” (Spinach, Kale, Romaine, etc.Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Celery
  • Cabbage (all kinds)
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions (Yellow, Red)
  • Peppers (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green)
  • Sprouts
  • Tomatoes
  • Yellow Squash
  • Zucchini

 This is by no means is an exhaustive list, but it's a good start to get the wheels turning at the grocery store.  Eat these freely, we typically don't put a cap on how many non-starchy vegetables you can eat because the calorie content is so low. 

Starchy Vegetables

Characteristics of starchy vegetables, as compared to non-starchy vegetables:

  • Higher in calories
  • Higher in carbs and starches
  • Higher in sugar
  • High in nutrients
  • Lower in water content

With starchy vegetables, we DO want to be aware of intake because the calories can start to add up.    

Examples of Starchy Vegetables:

  • Squash (Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti) 
  • Pumpkin 
  • Beets 
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes 
  • Turnips 
  • Rutabaga 
  • Peas 
  • Corn (not actually a vegetable but a grain, but most people count is as a vegetable so that's why it's listed here)

How Much Should I Eat?

You want to aim for 5 "fists" of vegetables per day.  Ideally, the majority of those "fists" would come from non-starchy vegetables.  Strive for 3-5 fists of non-starchy vegetables and 0-2 fists of starchy vegetables.  

The great thing about using your own fist as a guideline for portion control is that you always have it with you anywhere you go! 

This means you should still keep your veggies in mind at restaurants, when eating on the go, or anywhere else. 

It is almost impossible to over consume most non-starchy vegetables, so fill up on these foods without worry. If anything, put your effort towards making sure you eat enough of them, as opposed to too much. 


"Every question you have about your health, chances are vegetables are the answer."

Join the Graham Cracker UMP Club

"I’m so glad I joined the Graham Cracker UMP club. I have been starting to feel like I wanted something super decadent."- Mae Lynn

Mae Lynn saw our post 3 Delicious Graham Cracker Recipes. She decided to give a new flavor of Beverly International Protein powder a try. She has now created her own Graham Cracker UMP Recipe. 

Banana Cream Pie Smoothie:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop UMP Graham Cracker flavor
  • Small handful toasted walnuts (a Tablespoon to be precise)
  • 8 ounces almond milk

Mix in a blender and Enjoy!

"I had it after a lunch of a small serving of leftover Pork Chops with Green Beans,Tomatoes and artichokes because I couldn’t wait to try it." - Mae Lynn

I gave her recipe a go and boy she is right. It is decadent! Pick up your own Graham Cracker UMP When you come in to train and join the club today!

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Dan the Million Meter Man

Many of us set goals, some of us accomplish them. Fewer of us accomplish them 4 months ahead of time. When someone crushes a goal it is worthy of a big shout out. Dan did just that. In February of last year, he decided he would ski One Million Meters in a year. As a group we did a Million Meters in March. Each of us skied 626 meters daily in order for the group of 110 peeps at Cr8 Fitness to finish 1,000,000 meters. At the end of March we had a total of 1,006,292 meters. It took daily consistent effort from the team. Magnify that by daily consistent effort from one person to hit 1,000,000. Dan is the Million Meter Man.

Dan crushed his goal. He had his team's support and cheering. You might have a goal you've worked towards. Take aways from Dan the Million Meter Man would be:

  1. Create a plan to make it happen 
  2. Just keep going  
  3. Don't let set backs stop you AND
  4. Listen to good stuff while you're working at your goal. (You'll have to ask Dan what he listens to as he skis.)

Keep Making It Happen - no matter what your goals are,

Coach Nancy

Fat Loss Follow Along Week 2 Is Here!

Last week we started our 2019 "Fall Fat Loss Challenge", and all week we have been creating awareness of our eating habits by keeping a food log. You can catch up on that here. I would urge you to continue to journal/log as we continue onto our next habit/skill practice.

Eat Slowly

Here's this weeks skill and today's lesson:


New Habit: Take 20 Minutes to Eat Each Meal

As always, we are keeping things simple for you right away. However, just because this seems simple does not mean it is going to be easy. Most people don’t pay attention to how much time they spend eating their food. It is time to bring your focus to how quickly you're eating because it is very important step in understanding the cues of our body.

There may be times when you sit down to eat when you are extremely hungry. Do you think you will pause long enough to take your time to eat slowly? Not likely. We are going to teach you why it's important to ALWAYS be mindful of your eating.

There are many health benefits to gain from slowing down your eating:
Better digestion;
Less food consumption;
More quality time with loved ones;
Weight loss;
Experiencing more enjoyment from your food.

We will go more in depth into all of these over the next week, but for now you have a habit to embark on!

Take 20 minutes to eat each meal, starting today. Let’s start making a sustainable change in the way you eat!


Tip: Set a timer or stopwatch, and be purposeful about tracking how long you are actually sitting down and enjoying your food. You may be surprised!

Chicken (or Turkey) Pot Pie

Our family made a turkey this week. I love turkey for several reasons. One is because a turkey in the over makes the house smell so fantastic. Second, it always remind me of Thanksgiving and being grateful for family and friends. Finally the leftovers, leftovers give me peace of mind knowing my meal is ready for me when I want to eat and I already know it tastes good to have a second time. This week I used some of our leftover turkey to make a Pot Pie. Turkey pot pie is an entire meal in and of itself. To me a one dish meal is just another reason to make a turkey. 

Turkey (or Chicken) Pot Pie

  • 5 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 large stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 2½ cups butternut squash cubes
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth 
  • 5 cups leftover shredded turkey or chicken
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • Pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic, and carrots and stir. Cook for a few minutes then add the squash. Stir and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes.

Stir in the broth and turkey. After a minute or two, add the sea salt, pepper, turmeric and parsley. Next, add the coconut milk and green beans, and stir well. Cook 5-7 more minutes and if mixture seems like it needs more liquid, add a bit more broth. Combine almond flour, 3 tbsp. melted ghee and pinch of sea salt in a small bowl using a fork.

Remove the chicken and vegetable mixture from heat and pour mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle almond flour topping evenly over the top and place in oven, uncovered. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

Food Journaling is Like The Worst Cleaning Job Ever

I've been talking to a lot of people about food journaling. While I dislike food journaling as much as I dislike cleaning out the drainage bin under my fridge there are some compelling reasons to do it. Actually there are great benefits to cleaning out the catch all bin under my fridge as well as food journaling. 

A while back we had company and they had a toddler. Wouldn't you know one of their toys rolled under my fridge. I actually thought I'd rather hear the horrified screaming of the toddler thinking they'd never see their toy again than rolling my fridge back at that moment. I couldn't remember the last time I had cleaned under there. It wasn't pretty. Dust balls and dog hair in abundance and I am not sure what some of that other stuff was. I was embarrassed I had let it go that long. Of course I had reasons and excuses and my friends said they were just like me. But it wasn't okay. That mess under my fridge taught me to keep things under control. I needed to expect someone checking up on me to hold me accountable to my cleaning routine. The same holds true of my eating. Food journaling can remind me to stay accountable to my plan. By logging food for just a few days or a week I can see where things have crept in and where the dirt is. Food journaling keeps me accountable to what I expect from myself.

- Food Journaling -

  •  If you know that you are going to have to write down and document everything that you put in your mouth, do you think you might think twice about eating 8 chocolate chip cookies along with a diet coke? It's kind of like allowing someone else to see under your fridge.  

Accountability will help keep you on track with your food choices.

At the same time food journaling brings awareness. Moving my fridge that day and every time since brings awareness. I see what I have let happen over time but it also reminds me to keep things from getting that dirty in the first place. Food journaling does the same thing. Knowing I have to write something down or snapping a picture of my food keeps me aware to make a great choice instead of just eating. 

  • If you know you are going to write down what you will eat at lunch, it will help to steer you towards a colorful salad instead of a hamburger and fries. 

Awareness will help keep you on track with your food choices. 

Next time you are in my house, please don't expect perfection under my fridge, I am only human. The accountability and awareness has created a happier and more efficient fridge and fridge owner. Surprise surprise, food journaling can help to increase your weight loss. A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that keeping a "food diary" may double your weight loss efforts. This was based off of a group of over 1,600 people. Those who tracked their food choices lost almost 10 more pounds following the same advice as the control group. 

Next time you see your fridge, don't just see all the food contained inside those doors, Remember to look under your fridge and see the benefits of keeping it clean. Then grab your pen and paper to journal your food choices. 

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Journalism 101

What to do next?

We already talked yesterday about the importance of tracking your food and beverage choices consistently and accurately. One of the big keys right now is to try to not drastically change your eating habits. Remember, this is a process and changing too much at once will never last.

This does not mean we are giving you the green light to go out and eat McDonalds all the time! If this was what you were doing in the past, it will be beneficial for you to start slowly cutting that out right away!

Instead of trying to eat perfect all the time, just make a very concerted effort to track everything. This is going to give us the data and information we need in order to make good, sustainable changes.

If you make a big change in what you are eating right now while you are tracking it, only to go back to eating exactly what you used to after this week is over, then we really did not make any progress at all.

With that in mind, just write down what you eat and drink for every meal as well as how you felt afterward. If you feel lethargic after a certain meal, make note of it. If you feel like you pepped up after lunch one day, make sure to jot it down. This will help us later on when we look at how to analyze your food journal.


How to do it?

This might seem like a useless section at first right? How to keep a food journal?

“I just write down what I eat! Sheesh, next section please!”


Yes it can be this simple! If you are someone who likes using pen and paper and eat the majority of your meals at home, this will be the best and simplest solution for you.

However, if you are someone who does not eat at home very often and would have a hard time remembering exactly what you ate earlier in the day when you get home, there might be a better solution for you.

If this sounds like you, I am guessing that you have some sort of smartphone in your possession at all times. If you prefer, you can use this as your food journal. Whether it is in a note section on your phone or an app that allows you to track your food choices. The way you do it doesn’t matter, as long as you do it!

You could even just take a picture of everything that you eat so you can write it down later!

The only thing we would like to steer you away from is getting consumed by and analyzing calories and macronutrient percentages (carbs, fats, and protein). There is a time and place for all of this but right now, we are trying to make it simple and sustainable. Keep track of what you eat, not the specific breakdown of what macros it contains. 

If you would like to go the smartphone route, here are a couple apps that we recommend:

  • Calorific
  • My Fitness Pal
  • Evernote
  • MyPlate
  • Lose It!

Find one that works well for you and your needs!



  1. Make sure you are tracking everything you eat and drink.

  2. This can be done on paper or with a smartphone app or by taking pictures for later recording.

  3. Find the best method for you and keep at it.

  4. Don't worry about analyzing calories or food for right now. Just make sure to track!

Follow Along with our Fall Fat Loss Challenge

Today is the start of our 28-Day Fall Fat Loss Challenge, and even if for some crazy reason you didn't sign up for it (it was free, after all), I thought over the next 4 Mondays I'd tell you what we are doing so you can follow along at home.

Here's the habit (or skill if you like) we are working on this week:

Keep a Food Journal Everyday

This habit is nothing revolutionary, but can and will make a big impact.

A lot of us think that we eat pretty healthy and only cheat once in a while. However, if we actually tracked everything that we put into our mouths on a daily basis, we might change our tune just a bit.

Documenting what you eat and drink at every meal will give you a much better look into your true eating habits and not just what you perceive you eat. This can be a very beneficial process.

It usually goes one of two ways:

#1 – “My current eating habits are pretty much on par with what my assumptions were.”

#2 – “I always thought of myself as making decent food choices, but after looking at it for 7 days, I definitely have room for improvement.”

While these two scenarios don't encompass everyone, they are the most common conclusions we see from our clients.

In situation #1, this process helped you focus in on what exactly you were eating and when. It gave you more concrete data than just, “Yeah I think I eat pretty well.”

In situation #2, this process might have opened your eyes to your true eating habits. Maybe before this you thought you only ate dessert once in a great while, when in reality you have 2-3 desserts per week! Now this might be an extreme example but you never quite know what you are going to find out until you actually track something.

Today you need to get a notebook, download an app like MyFitnessPal, or grab a copy of this template and start recording what you ate today.  The process isn't hard and you might need a few reminders today.  Also right now, set a few reminders on your phone to record your food.  

Got it?  


Have a great day. 

DC & The Fall Fat Loss Challenge Team

Spotlight on Crystal- The Knee Grab Ab Queen

I must confess Crystal makes me mad. Not mad in an angry kind of way but mad in a way that urges me to work harder. I wish I could be Crystal when Knee Grab Abs are on the board. She makes me want to be better. That is one thing I love about Cr8 Fitness. We all have strengths that spur others into action.  Crystal strength is in more than just her physical fitness. It is seen in her determination. She has put a goal in place and has been making it happen. It's not always easy or simple. It takes hard work and an inward drive to achieve a goal. Listen in as Crystal shares her story.

High Fives to Crystal. She is 'Making It Happen'. She is also inspiring others to work hard at their goal. Family is important at Cr8 Fitness. Joking, laughing, encouraging, pushing, and helping others to be the best is part of what we do. 

Thank you Crystal for taking time to share your story,

Coach Nancy

4 Fresh from the Tree, Peach Recipes

Peaches eaten right from the tree with the juice dripping down to your elbow reminds me of being a kid again. My Dad has always grown peaches and having a peach as an adult reminds me of all the peaches I ate right from our trees as a kid. It's just what you do in late summer. When Chris brought in a box of peaches picked right from her tree, I couldn't wait to enjoy one and then another. This morning I got carried away and I made 4 different peach recipes for breakfast. My girls throughly enjoyed having mom serve them breakfast. 

Summertime Peach Protein Shake

  • 2 peaches, sliced in half, pit removed
  • 1 scoop Beverly International UMP Graham Cracker flavor (I think I'll try Angel Food Cake tomorrow)
  • 8 ounces water
  • dash of nutmeg
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Ice

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Mix until smooth and enjoy.

Breakfast Peach Crisp (I am sure this would taste good anytime of the day)

        For the filling:

  • slice peaches 
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • tiny sprinkle of nutmeg

        For the crumble topping

  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 2 teaspoon almond flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of walnuts
  • dash of salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

To make the filling slice enough peaches to fill a custard cup. I used just over 1 peach in each cup. Divide the rest of the ingredients between 2 custard cups and sprinkle over peaches. 

In a separate bowl mix all the crumble topping ingredients together. It will be clumpy. Divide it between the two bowls. Be careful your bowls will be very full. Place both bowls in the microwave and cook on high for 4 1/2 minutes. If you prefer to bake in your oven, preheat to 350 degrees and then bake for 30 minutes. Be careful when you take these out, they are hot. 

Peaches with a Protein Punch

  • sliced peaches
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop Beverly International vanilla yogurt
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Fill a ramekin with your sliced peaches. No need to peal the peaches. In a separate bowl mix the yogurt and protein powder together. Top peaches with this mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon. This can also be made in a small mason jar and stored in the fridge to be eaten later or brought to work.


A Peachy Dessert (or a Breakfast treat)

  • Peaches cut in half, pit removed
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil

Heat a grill to medium high heat. Wipe the grates on the grill with olive oil. Lay the peaches cut side down on the grill. In about 4 minutes check them to see if they are warmed and contain grill marks. Remove from the grill. Lightly sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. You won't need much to offset the sweetness of the peaches. 


I won't tell a sole if you eat these for breakfast alongside an omelet. 

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy