All Posts by Nancy Carlson

This Costs You Nothing

I recently read, "Be generous with encouragement. It is verbal sunshine. It costs nothing, it warms hearts and enriches lives." I'm not sure if I am the only one who noticed this but after talking with a few of you, I think the general consensus is 'Everyone is a bit grumpy and easily agitated.  

It doesn't matter what you think of Covid or your political association. Americans, with NH included, are tired and at the same time feel the weight of issues that are not totally in their control. 

Here is what you can do to turn the world around. 

  1. Take every opportunity to SMILE. The world needs more happy people.
  2. Give those around you a shout out. It would make a store clerks day if you told her manager that she did a great job or that she took time to acknowledge your presence. If store clerks like it, think what it will do for our friends and family to hear you give a compliment.
  3. Stick to your training regime. Give yourself a high five each day by taking care of your body. Training also boosts your immune system so you can fight off nasty diseases with more ease. When you get healthier you automagically get happier and the world needs more happy.
  4. Eat Better. Okay this one might cost you. It'll cost you in time. Its quick and a bit more expensive if you eat out each night. It usually also means you're either overeating or eating not the best foods. It could also mean you are doing both. Eating better usually requires you fix your meals and buy protein and produce that are going to help you best. Can I suggest doing Sugar Free Me (it does cost you $37)? The payoff being you'll be eating better, doing something for yourself, and feeling better all at the same time. That's a win win. 

The word on the street is everyone is uptight. Don't fret over things you can't control. Pass out compliments like they are candy. Smile often. Eat and train smart. Be the best version of yourself. 

I'm here for you,

Coach Nancy

P.S. To boost your mood, my girls being silly. 

Pumpkin Eating Challenge

Usually when we think of pumpkin, it’s all about pies and desserts and carving Jack - O - Lanterns. Pumpkin can be a really tasty (and healthy!) savory ingredient, too … and a fantastic way to sneak more veggies into your diet.

This week’s challenge straight from Cr8 Fitness Healthy, Happy's Facebook group is to experiment with pumpkin. It's a surprisingly healthy choice, packing in lots of taste and nutrition for the number of calories it contains.

Just look at these numbers: One cup of cooked pumpkin contains 49 calories, 12g of carbs, 3g of fiber, 2g of protein, and less than 1 g of fat … and 245% of your vitamin A intake along with other vitamins, minerals!

Good news! You don’t have to buy a whole pumpkin, carve it, and then bake it. Canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) can be an awesome addition to lots of recipes, especially if you or your family don’t love veggies.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • ½ cup pumpkin pureé
  • 1 scoop Beverly Vanilla or Graham Cracker Protein
  • pumpkin spice (for topping)

Mix together all ingredients (except pumpkin spice) until well combined. Place into molds, I used the small silicone muffin pan. Ice cube trays work great too! Sprinkle with pumpkin spice and place in freezer until firm (about 2 hours). Let thaw a couple minutes before enjoying.

I wonder what Angel Food Cake would taste like here.

Pumpkin Bars

  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • ½ cup butter

  • ½ teaspoon cloves

  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups milk

  • 3 eggs

  • 5 scoops UMP Vanilla

  • 2 cups pumpkin

Heat oven to 350. Place butter into a 9×13 pan and let melt in oven while it is preheating. In the meantime mix the oats, flour, and the brown sugar. Pour over the melted butter and press down with a spoon. Bake for 12 minutes. While crust is baking, scald milk and the spices. Stir in the pumpkin and then the eggs followed by the protein powder. Pour this over the crust and bake for another 20 minutes or until the pumpkin filling is firm to the touch.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

  • 1/3 cup pure pumpkin, canned
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or walnuts, almonds, flax, chia, etc)
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Ice 

Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth and creamy. Pour immediately into a large cup. Eat with a spoon or a large straw. 

Pumpkin Overnight Oats

  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats (do not substitute quick cooking, instant, or rolled oats)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups milk, any kind you like (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal (or swap an equal amount of chia seeds, hemp seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For serving: chopped toasted pecans, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, peanut butter, or any other mix-ins you enjoy with pumpkin

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 scoop UMP Vanilla protein powder
  • 2 TB almond butter
  • 1 TB raw honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • Sea Salt, a pinch

Blend all ingredients, except chia seeds, until smooth. Place the blended mixture into a reseal-able large jar (or 2 smaller jars) then add chia seeds. Seal jar and shake.

Place in refrigerator overnight or for at least 3+ hours. Feel free to shake jars once or twice in between to make sure they didn’t become too gelatinous. Breakfast, snack or post workout recovery is served!

Are you in? Do you have any favorite pumpkin recipes? Please share them!

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

Get Your Gym Bag Ready

Packing your gym bag so you can hop into your car for a drive to the gym requires you get a few things ready before you go. For most of us going into Cr8 Fitness thats a water bottle and a pair of sneakers. Your coach has all your equipment ready for your training once you arrive. 

What if you are training at home using Zoom or doing the daily recorded training session? There are a few things to get ready so your training runs smoother and you don't miss a second of time with your coach. 🙂 Here's are a few things you'll need to have handy.

  • Water bottle 
  • sneakers

 (The first two items were a gimme, I knew you already had those things ready. Here's what you might not have thought of)

  • Foam roller
  • red band 
  • throw pillow- literally to throw
  • towel - they are not just for the beach anymore
  • dowel rod or broom stick, an 18 inch piece of PVC pipe works great too.
  • 2x4 about 2 feet long
  • 2 paper plates 
  • dice 
  • deck of cards
  • scrap paper and pencil just in case the coach wants you to write something important down

Not everything in your home gym bag is just like what we use in at Cr8 Fitness. That's kind of cool. Thinking outside the box is a good thing. If you have other suggestion, let me know. My goal is to make your experience a whole lot of fun while doing a whole lot of hard work. 

See you in the gym,

Coach Nancy

Tell Me You’ll Wear a TuTu

Surprise, It's October. And of course each Tuesday in October is TuTu Tuesday. We've done it for years, Its what we are known for. Join in the fun, be a little crazy, wear a TuTu to training on Tuesday. 

TuTu's make training easier. (LOL, easier might be a slight exaggeration)

Bring on the Fun,

Coach Nancy

Overnight Oats – Its What Your Coach Eats at Breakfast

I have found that I eat nearly the same thing for breakfast for while and then I change it up and go awhile with another recipe. I'm not sure why but I've been on an oatmeal kick for a while now. Its not quite been cold enough every morning to have hot oatmeal so I opted for the cold overnight recipes. The texture of the oatmeal is chewier rather than a bowl suited for someone who just had dental work. Don't get me wrong I do like hot oatmeal I just haven't been in the mood for it yet. As with hot oatmeal the toppings and creations for overnight oats is endless. 

Simple Blueberry Overnight Oats

  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Layer all the ingredients in a small mason jar. Tighten the lid on the jar and give it a good shake to stir things up. Put in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight. 

I made Applesauce Overnight Oats the day before. Here's how I did it. 

Applesauce Overnight Oats

  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup water or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie spice mix

Layer all the ingredients in a small mason jar. Tighten the lid on the jar and give it a good shake to stir things up. Put in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight. 

I've already got tomorrow's recipe planned. Red Raspberry Overnight Oats. 

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Chicken Lime Burrito Bowl

Hot spicy foods are one of my favorites. I also like meals that are quick to make and feel like I took a while to get it done. This is one of the recipes. I can do quite a bit of prep work ahead of time if I want or spend a little extra time chopping and cutting that day. 

Chicken Lime Burrito Bowl

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon taco seasoning mix, 1 of those envelope packs or make your own
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 4 chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup sliced bell peppers, green or red or a combination of both
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup corn, drained
  • 1 cup Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 3-1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Bunch of cilantro, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

Mix 1/4 cup olive oil, taco seasoning mix and lime juice in a medium bowl. Add the chicken, toss to coat and marinate in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 days. After the chicken has marinated, heat a skillet or griddle and coat with 1 teaspoon of oil. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes per side, remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into bite-sized squares. Add the other teaspoon of oil and the onions and peppers to the pan and cook for 2 -5 minutes. Boil water in a large sauce pan, pour in rice and let simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or until the rice has absorbed the water and is soft. Remove from heat and add butter. Cover and set aside. When the butter has melted, toss the rice with minced cilantro, salt and lime juice. To serve, layer ingredients in small individual bowls as follows: rice, beans, tomatoes, corn, chicken, onions and peppers, chopped lettuce, and chopped green onions.

Now for those who want a bit lighter side to this dish. (Lighter in calories not taste) I use cauliflower rice in place of the long grain rice. Since it doesn't need the water I saute it in the butter included in the recipe. All the rest is the same. 

Another variation is to serve this over a bed of lettuce instead of just using a bit of lettuce. In this picture I served this recipe over micro-greens. YUM. I also added some sliced banana peppers and jalapeños on top. 

Enjoy good Food,

Coach Nancy

Commit to ReCommitting

Sound a bit redundant? I think this is the year of Do - Overs. I know I'd like to have a do - over of things I did this year. Including many things pertaining to health and fitness. 

Here's a few things I could do better:

  • drink more water daily
  • drink more water daily consistently
  • eat less junk food
  • eat more veggies
  • train harder
  • take my vitamins on a more regular basis
  • sleep or at least work at sleep harder
  • relax and chill to take the stress out

What about you?

Here's your chance. Commit to REcommitting.

You've Got This,

Coach Nancy

Imagination is Not Real

I am a kid at heart. I think if we all let our adult guard down long enough, the silly side of us will shine. I just tend to let that silly side show a lot. Why not? Telling jokes, getting people to laugh, giggle or truly crack up is fun. Its contagious. 

Last week at Cr8 Fitness we invented a Holiday. It was a holiday of huge importance. In fact it was such a big deal that all bosses everywhere gave you the day off. Many of you used that day to travel, dine, shop, see family and friends or just to take some you time. We called the Holiday - FUN Friday.

Allowing your brain to think of exciting, thrilling events like time travel and all expense paid shopping trips in Europe or even your boss giving you the day off is Imagination. Its a side of us that feels childish and yet it gives us a sense of freedom to think outside of normal. 

I am sure you could see me in a bouncy house full of those little balls playing up a storm. I haven't done that in years.

And at the same time because I would have to travel over an ocean it is less likely I am in a far away country enjoying extraordinary buildings. 

In fact and truly you can do this too, there are filters you can add to your camera that enhance your image, add backdrops, or even change your appearance. 

You guessed it, Imagination is not real. But there is a very real part of my life that should shine, my thankfulness and appreciation of you.  

Thank you for being you. (and being real)

Cr8 Fitness had a Facelift

It feels like Cr8 Fitness is all new at times, don't you think?

So much has changed in the last six months that it almost feels like everything is all new. While some of the changes of Covid can get under our skin many of those changes at Cr8 are just that - Changes. 

Did you know?

Did you know Cr8 Fitness went from 5 training times to 7 training times four days a week? 

Did you know 2 training times are outside? We've been outside at 7:30am and also at 5pm in addition to our training times inside. The inside times are 5am, 6:15am, 9am, 4pm, and 6pm just in case you didn't remember them all.

Did you know you can jump on Zoom to train with us at any of our indoor training hours? Zoom gives you the ability to stay home or work around your new job schedule and still get your training in. Use the number below to get in touch with me if you need that link please.

Did you know reserving your spot each day gives you flexibility too? The regulation to reserve your spot each training time has turned into a fun game for many of you. Each day you can see how many others are going to join you at training, you can quickly change times or days, and even see who is going to be there. Reserving your spot has become my assistant because it keeps you accountable to yourself. Thank you Zen Planner

Did you know you Cr8 Take Out is up and running? Which means by letting me know you need protein powders, vitamins, fish oil, or training bands I can get them all bagged up for your convenient pick up. Cr8 Fitness can be reached at (603) 340-7852 or by emailing

Did you know each day the training is recorded so you can do it at 2:30am if needed? I'm not sure how many need to train at 2:30 in the morning but I know many have taken advantage of training while keeping to your family's new schedule or while away. You can request access to those trainings here.

Did you know your coach wears a mask at work?  My new hero is Zorro. I wear a mask and leave a mark on those around me. (I put this one here to see if you are paying attention)

Did you know all the fun we have and hard work we accomplish can be shared with others? There are a few spots for someone you know that wants to do fitness with others and have a coach to help each step of the way. I love to meet those who hang out with you outside the gym walls. Send them to to get in the loop. You can also give them our number or email address. 

There are some new awesome things that have changed at Cr8 Fitness to go along with the great training, fun atmosphere, and companionship that has always made up the heart of Cr8 Fitness. We didn't anticipate all these new things but they make it feel all new. 

Having the Best Day Ever and you should too,

Coach Nancy

Crockpot Applesauce – For Those People with Little Extra Time

Wow, it feels like Fall has arrived, doesn't it? Our apple tree is overloaded with yummy apples. The girls and I have been out not just to pick a few apples but bowls of them. With the garden still producing vegetables and now apples coming into the house here's an easy way to make homemade applesauce while not being in the kitchen at all. 
Crockpot Applesauce

  • 6 apples, cored and quartered 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup water

Toss the prepared apples, cinnamon, and water into the slow cooker. Let cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low. Stir and mash occasionally. Let cool and blend if you want a super smooth sauce. The peels at this point are almost completely dissolved. Store in the fridge for up two weeks, or two months in the freezer. Makes about 2 cups of applesauce.

Of course if you like to take a little extra time you can peel your apples. I have a large crockpot so I can easily double this recipe. 

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

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