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!

---

Review:

  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?  

Good!

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


When Everything is Turned UpSide Down

Ok, maybe it’s not quite that bad, but I felt like life was turned upside down today, just a little bit anyway.

You see the unthinkable happened today. The weather was supposed to be warm and sunny and I woke up to rain. 

Now lest you think I am a bit off my rocker and starting to whine. Remember the last time, you hit a bump in the road that threw you for a loop, was it really the end of the world? Did you manage to work your way around it? 

But still, since this post is all about me, let’s get back to it.

This might come as a news flash, but I like routine. Don’t upset the apple cart. Keep my ducks in a row.

So when I came downstairs this morning and saw rain it set my mind into overdrive, trying to figure out how I was going to rearrange my entire day.

How was I going to function in all this dreariness? How was I going to get my outside work done? I was now going to have to go back upstairs to change from shorts and a t-shirt to pants and a long sleeve sweatshirt. 

Now THAT is high drama!

Of course in reality it wasn’t really that bad at all.

Take a deep breath, one thing at a time, double check the weather, and after a small amount of whining to Coach Dean, bam it was over. The whole episode got me to thinking what fickle, fragile creatures we humans can be.

We talk ourselves really quickly into imagining all the worst things that can possibly happen.

Why do we do that? (That is a rhetorical question :))

So here’s the take home:

We are going to have curveballs thrown at us – a lot of them.

How we react makes all the difference.

We have the choice whether or not to let the sick kid, or sick dog, or bad weather propel us into a downward spiral.

We missed a couple days training, so there’s no point to going back until next week, right?

Or someone has to eat that BOX of girl scout cookies to get it out of the house, right?

Or my boss was being a (fill in the blank), so eating this pint of Haagen-Daaz will show HIM who is really boss, right?

I think it was Emerson who said:

“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”

This works both ways.

We can dwell on the negative or focus on the positive.

Both lead us down different paths, different destinations, even different destiny’s.

Where is your mind going to lead you today?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

(By the way the sun did come out so why oh why did I waste time complaining and allowing it to get me down?)

Your Private Chauffeur

I have a personal, private chauffeur. He drives me around a lot. Usually it's to places I don't really want to go. I can't seem to fire him. Every time I "let him go" he comes back, ready to "serve" me, happily ready to carry me to new, and all too often ugly, places.

My chauffeur is like a chameleon, and he goes by many names.

Anger. Irritation. Loneliness. Sadness. Disgust. Shame. Envy. Despair.

This driver I can't seem to get rid of?

You probably know him by this name.

Emotion.

You know the sad thing (no pun intended) is that emotions are really a big part of what makes us human. Indignation at injustice prompts us to action, sadness for others causes us to reach out and be a friend. We seek love and joy.

And yet it seems to be part of human nature to focus more on the negative emotions than the positive ones. It's easier for me to get irritated by something or someone and let it fester than reach out and try to make it right. Fear can be paralyzing. Contempt for others is more natural than seeking to understand and be part of their solution.

And the result of all this negativity? Usually no good. When I am anxious, or depressed, or angry I often reach for food. It's my "drug". It's so easy for me to criticize those who abuse drugs and alcohol, but am I any better when I stuff myself with sugar and fat? It is an attempt to feel better, and the problem is that it often works, at least temporarily. Just like drugs and alcohol. 

And in a very short time I don't feel good. Especially about myself.

Look I am just being real here. Just because I am a "fitness pro" doesn't mean I am a robot. Emotional stress can weaken even the most resolved and disciplined among us. 

Which is why I am looking forward to being part of our Fall Fitness Challenge, starting one week from today, Monday September 16, 2019.

Because it's going to give me an opportunity to "re-center" and practice some skills to help me give my "chauffeur" - my emotional eating - an extended vacation.

We humans ARE emotional beings. Which is why we need to learn to recognize which emotions drive us toward making poor decisions revolving around food and drink, and build the skills necessary to process and respond to them in better ways.

If you are not an emotional eater, I envy you. 🙂

If you are, join me for the challenge. Signup ends on Tuesday Sept. 10th, so please don't delay.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

- DC

Lynn Shines in the Cr8 Spotlight

I am beyond happy to share the conversation I had with Lynn. She is enthusiastic and exudes commitment, so talking with her was a blast! Lynn tells us about her journey from before she joined to this very day. She knew what she wanted before she walked in the doors for the first time and  she shares all the added benefits she wasn't expecting. How many of us can say the same thing? It is so true. Often the benefits we were expecting are ranked right along side those things that happened just because you showed up. I love that Lynn shares her experience with us.

It isn't always comfortable to hit training after a day at work. But you know what? Once you get here you find that you can achieve more than you imagined you could. The success you work hard for is the one that sticks with you most. Find out what Lynn's favorite thing to do while at training. Watch her interview here:

Thank you, Lynn, for sharing with us! I am so happy you put your trust in Cr8 Fitness on that first day and continue to do so today. I can't wait to see what the next two years brings. I am thrilled to have you apart of our Cr8 family!

Give Up This Bad Habit

In the past I used “bad” language when describing some food choices.

No, I didn’t swear about it.

Language as in – “x is a good food” and “y is a bad food”.

In reality food does not have morals, it is not “good” or “bad”.

And what I learned is it really is not helpful to me personally or people I talk nutrition with to think of it that way.

You know it’s true. Calling something  a “bad food” usually just makes us want more of it. In reality there is no single food that we eat (or don’t eat) that by itself is going to make us gain or lose weight. It’s the decision made over and over again that lead to one of those results, and studies have shown over and over that when we do eat what is “forbidden” we eat more of it than if we think of it like we do any other food.

I admit it took me a long time to get comfortable with this. But now it is actually easier to make good choices, because I am not constantly thinking about food and what I do or don’t get to eat.

Now you know that I am not saying that all food is equal. Making a decision to eat a bunch of junk all the time is not going to help you lose fat, get lean and look and feel better.

What I am saying is I needed to change my mind about how I thought about food, so I didn’t obsess and stress about it all the time.

Would that help you too?

Coach Nancy

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