Monthly Archives: November 2019

It’s Never Over

It's time to stop short term thinking.

The modern American life is built around short term thinking. The latest tweet, or sound byte on the news. The new "it" actor or actress. The new cars coming off the assembly line. What's coming to Netflix this month? And the next day we forget about all that and are looking for the latest "new".

What good is that doing? 

I would submit none at all. This way of thinking, of living really, keeps us in this frenzied spin-cycle of trying to keep up and never quite being satisfied with all the blessing we already enjoy.

As I write this we are coming to the end of "Transform in 4", a focused period of building healthy nutrition habits centered around some really tasty food. And the inevitable question is...

"What's Next?"

How about this? Evaluate what you did over the last 4 weeks. What you did well with eating and exercise, and what you struggled with. On the things you did well, why? Was it because you planned and prepped? Was it because you liked the food? Was it because you maintained focus in a structured setting? And the things you didn't do well? Why not? It's not a judgement on your character, discipline or self-worth. It's just an "is". We evaluate, get help where we need it, and keep working at it. 

But DON'T think because the 4-week challenge is over that "It's" over.

Because it's never over. 

I love, love, love this quote from James Clear:


"How long does it take to build a habit?

21 days? 30 days? 66 days?

The honest answer is: forever. Because once you stop doing it, it is no longer a habit.

A habit is a lifestyle to be lived, not a finish line to be crossed. Make small, sustainable changes you can stick with."


Did you catch that? "A lifestyle to be lived, not a finish line to be crossed".

It's not that you HAVE to keep working on your health and fitness for the rest of your life.

It's that you GET to. 

Because I hate to break it to you. - You'll never get it perfect, all the time. But by sticking with it you'll find new ways to make it work better for the life you are living right now. 

So what's the small, sustainable change you can stick with right now?

Do THAT, and don't worry about the rest of it. Because once you do enough of those little "that's", real change starts to happen.

But it doesn't just happen by itself. It's up to you.

To Make It Happen!

- DC

P.S. - If you are not a Modernmeal Subscriber you are missing out on a whole lot of easy. It's a measly 50 cents a day, for crying out loud. Get It Here Now!


Gratefulness does not come naturally to most of us.

It’s kind of like exercise.

We know it’s something we should practice, but we just don’t feel like it.

Seems like it’s easier to find something to gripe about than something to be thankful for.

But just like exercise, when you practice gratitude it becomes easier, and just like exercise an attitude of gratitude just makes life better.

I need more practice.

So here goes:

I am grateful for my hard working hubby who works long hours, can do anything he sets his mind to, and  loves me and his family. I love you Dean.

I am grateful for my 6 kids. The joy and enthusiasm they bring to me each day is priceless. To think I am a Gigi (grandmother) to 3 amazing little ones is more than I can fathom. 

I am grateful for my parents, and siblings. I will never understand why God gave me such a wonderful experience growing up.

I am grateful for Cr8 Fitness. I am grateful to every person who has walked through our doors. You allow me to do what I love to do. By allowing me to help you be better, you make me better. Thank-You!

I am grateful for the daily blessings the Creator bestows every day that is all too often overlooked. The sun that lights our way, the air we breathe, and the beauty of this world.

Practice makes perfect, so even when it’s hard I challenge you to practice a little gratitude each and every day. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Coach Nancy

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. This meal goes hand in hand with the 'comfort food' we often think of in the Fall. My family loved it and I hope yours will too. I served this with a side of applesauce and a salad. 

Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 3 small acorn squash
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 1/2 pounds breakfast sausage
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped

Preheat oven to 400°. Cut each end off squash and halve.

Use a spoon to remove seeds and brush all over with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast until tender, 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile, make filling: in a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage. Breaking up with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally until golden and cooked through, 5 minutes. Add onion and celery and cook until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.

Add kale and cook, stirring frequently. Add cooked rice and sausage to skillet with vegetables and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Divide mixture among the 6 squash halves. Switch oven to broil and broil until tops are golden and filling is warmed, 2 to 3 minutes.

You can add variety by adding in mushrooms and apples or both to this as well. I ended up with extra filling. My family didn’t seem to mind as it disappeared before dinner was over.

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

Thanksgiving Week Schedule Here!

It's almost unbelievable that the Holidays are upon us, and for me they really start with Thanksgiving. I just love everything about it. Food, family and football about sums it up!

Just a heads up on our schedule for next week. I know y'all are busy (so are we), but you'll want to make plans for your training. Yes, it IS that important. 🙂

Training Schedule Thanksgiving Week:

Mon, Tue, Wed: Regular Training Schedule All Classes

Thu, Fri: No Training

Sat: World Famous "Pies Off Thighs" Post-Thanksgiving Day All Family Training at 8:00am

If you have never been to Pies Off Thighs, you don't want to miss it!

Nancy and I are so grateful for you being part of our fitness family. You have been patient with us as the house is being built and I have no been in the gym as much, so thank-you. I feel very inadequate when trying to express how much it means that you put your trust in us and choose to train here.

I've been reading the board of all the things YOU are thankful for, and I am reminded we need to count our blessings more often!

Recipes to Spice Up Your Life

My family really enjoys Mexican foods. Taco, burritos, enchiladas, Mexican Casserole, Refried beans are all a hit when I make them. Since I work hard at bringing healthy to the table too, I attempt to make my own spice mix, salsa and lately Enchilada Sauce. I make them in quantity so they will last several meals. Enjoy. Go Forth and Spice Up Your Life. 

This homemade red enchilada sauce has authentic Mexican flavor! It’s so good and easy, you’ll never go back to store-bought sauce again. I made a double batch and put half of it for later. Yields about 2 cups (16 ounces) sauce.

Enchilada Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour (whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and gluten-free flour blends all work!)
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
  • Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

This sauce comes together quickly once you get started. Mix the dry ingredients (the flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt and optional cinnamon) into a small bowl and place it near the stove. Place the tomato paste and broth near the stove as well. In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, warm the oil until it’s it’s hot enough that a light sprinkle of the flour/spice mixture sizzles on contact. This might take a couple of minutes, so be patient and don’t step away from the stove! Once it’s ready, pour in the flour and spice mixture. While whisking constantly, cook until fragrant and slightly deepened in color, about 1 minute. Whisk the tomato paste into the mixture, then slowly pour in the broth while whisking constantly to remove any lumps. Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, whisking often, for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a bit and a spoon encounters some resistance as you stir it. (The sauce will thicken some more as it cools.) Remove from heat, then whisk in the vinegar and season to taste with a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Add more salt, if necessary.

Taco Seasoning

This mixture of spices approximates what you might buy in a package. It tastes just as good and you eliminate the unwholesome ingredients in the store bought variety.

Depending on your taste you can use as much or as little as you like.  I usually make 4 times this much so I have it ready when I need it.

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.

My daughter Amy was fixing lunch for our family to have a picnic outside. Her heart was set on tacos. She worked hard to feed her family. She had to thaw the hamburger, cook it and then create a taco spice blend. She sliced the olives. She mashed the avocado for guacamole and she made homemade salsa. (her mom didn’t have a stash in the fridge)

I was so proud of her. She did all of this because she wanted too. We all enjoyed the Spring weather but most of all I enjoyed being the mom of this brilliant 11 year old.

Homemade Salsa

  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1teaspoon pepper
  • 3 dashes hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse 3-10 times.

If you have a child who loves to cook, allow them the spread their wings and serve you lunch. They can very well surprise you.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Life Is Not a Dress Rehearsal

Life is short. I am reminded of this today. Looking through past pictures will do that to anyone. Thinking those pictures were taken not too long ago is a reminder that time flies faster than any of us thinks.

We do not get a Do – Over. I know at times, I wished we did. We have assurance of this moment and no other. Today, I want to make sure I let you know, I am proud of you. I am proud of you for taking steps to be better each day. If our lives cross paths momentarily or for a very long time, I am thankful. I am thankful for you being in my life, for touching my life with yours.

AS you train today and everyday, Train as if this is not a dress rehearsal. It isn’t.

AS you work today and everyday, work as if this is not a dress rehearsal. It isn’t.

AS you eat today and everyday, eat as if what you eat today affects everyday. It does.

AS you hang out with friends and co- workers, give them a high five. You are affecting them. It is your choice to affect them positively or not.

AS you spend time with family, let them know you love them. Tell them. Look them straight in the eye and let them know they are not something taken for granted. They are important pieces of you.

You are not practicing to live. You are living.


live a little bigger.

hug a whole lot more.

tell others you love them a more often and in different ways.

take care of myself better each day.

attack each day with vigor.

This is not a dress rehearsal.

Make Every Day Count,

Coach Nancy

Attitude of Gratitude Challenge

Here’s my challenge to you today.

Be grateful, and then put some action behind that gratitude.

Maybe on today it is as simple as saying thank-you, or paying for the Dunkins for the man or woman in line ahead of you in line. I think that is something I should start doing everyday, not just in November.

Don’t just let this day pass you by, let’s make something good happen today.

Let’s give someone else a reason to be thankful – promise?


Coach Nancy

Pacing yourself is one thing…

The picture below from our friends at Growing Bolder made me laugh. A geriatric Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker is just not a pretty picture, right?

I've never really been one to "pace myself" very much. The alternative approach I prefer is to "work hard(er). And when I neglect the second part of that for too long, there are consequences. Recovery is important, and as you age you need more rest and recovery. 


You have to consistently do something to rest and recover from. As we age FREQUENCY of exercise is actually shown to be more important than INTENSITY of exercise. In other words how often we exercise is more important than how much weight we lift. As we get into our fifties and beyond the whole "use it or lose it" concept is heightened. Missing workouts is very counterproductive; strength and mobility start to be lost after only a couple weeks. And we all know how hard it is (and how sore we are) when we miss time and then try to get started again.

So here's my encouragement to you. The holidays are coming. You are going to be busy - you already know this. DON'T miss your training. YOU are as important as anything else that is tugging at you. My goal is as that as we age together, we defy the "normal" and do what it takes to stay active, mind, spirit and body. 

Never stop climbing (and smashing through) walls.

Keep Making It Happen!

- DC

Who Can You Thank Today?

Who Can You Thank Today?

Seems really hard to believe that another holiday season is upon us, but I am glad it is. I think Thanksgiving might be my very favorite holiday. Not because Christmas isn’t fun but because it is generally pretty laid back and relaxing.

This time of year there are a lot of ideas out there about gratitude and thankfulness. An “attitude of gratitude” is much more productive than being a selfish, self-centered, well, whatever. But don’t keep it to yourself. Open your mouth and express gratitude too.

All the 12 year olds out there reading this might be surprised, but the world doesn’t revolve around you. Your mom loves you, but she probably isn’t laying her head on the pillow at night thinking “Oh goody, I get to do more laundry tomorrow, and I sure hope little Jimmy doesn’t volunteer to put the dishes in the dishwasher, because then I will get to do it instead!”

But do we adults act any different? I know I don’t all the time. I often find myself taking a lot of what happens around me for granted. I walk to work every day. I drive a car to the store when I need to go. I food in the house so the kids can eat breakfast. I have it better than 99.9% of the world, and yet if someone cuts me off in traffic am I more likely to let it roll, or try to roll over him? Do I take half a millisecond to consider what he might be going through, or that people make mistakes, or do I just go off? Kinda silly to think so little can get us so worked up, isn’t it?

I have also found that a little more kindness and a little more gratitude, and a little less “gotta have my way” goes a long way. You know the old saying “familiarity breeds contempt”? Does that ever creep into your life like it does mine? What is it if not contempt to walk by someone every day and not acknowledge they exist? 

Being kind is free. It doesn’t cost money to smile. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to say “thank-you” to the barista. Yeah I know they are getting paid to do a job, but so what? Don’t we all need a little more appreciation? Talk to the check-out person. Nicely. You might be the only person who does so all day.

Don’t keep your gratitude to yourself. You have incredible power. You might change someone’s life by telling them how much you appreciate them.

But even better you might change your own life.

And that’s something to be thankful for.

So Thank-You.

If you are reading this in some way, shape or form you are part of the Cr8 family.

Of my family.

And for that I am blessed indeed.

Enjoy the Best Day Ever.

Coach Nancy