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 but 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? This smoothie is like apple crisp in a cup!

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?


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'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

Chris Stars in the Spotlight

I caught Chris right before training one day to chat with her. Chris doesn't back down from a challenge so when I asked if I could video our conversation, she jumped all in. Chris loves to take life just as it comes to her and makes it the best version of circumstances of anyone I know. I know there have been days in her life when things are the opposite of sunshine and rainbows and yet she makes the best of them all. 

The frozen frame of this video says it all. It looks as if Coach Nancy (that's me) is giving her the talking to. I do that sometimes but mostly with my kids. She is taking it in stride and smiling right back.  

There are others like Chris who are always looking and finding that silver lining to life. I like hanging out with Chris as her positive attitude rubs off on me. The benefits of her attitude and her training is clearly seen in Chris's life. 

Way to Make It Happen,

Coach Nancy

Did you know I've captured more than just Chris on video? Check out more RockStars here. 

Dessert Done Right- Peanut Butter Cookie Delight

Peanut Butter Cookies are a favorite of mine but not a favorite to my waistline. There are times though when I would like just a little something to satisfy that sweet tooth. 'Little' being the key word. You see I know myself. If I make a whole batch of cookies, I will eat the whole batch or as many as I can. This dessert is just the right amount and it is packed with protein. It's missing all the sugar, all the flour, and all the extra fat in a real cookie. Don't take my word for it. After you make this recipe, let me know what you think in the comment section below. 

Peanut Butter Cookie Delight

1 scoop Vanilla UMP

! scoop Cookies and Cream UMP

2 teaspoons peanut butter


In small mixing bowl combine, Vanilla UMP, peanut butter, and about 3oz water. Mix until smooth. In separate mixing bowl, combine Cookies & Crème UMP and just enough water to make another pudding. Layer the pudding in a serving dish. This will make enough for two. Place both bowls into freezer for 15-20 minutes to set. Remove and try to breathe between bites.

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

The Ultimate Meal Planning Guide: An Introduction

A  note from Nancy and Dean: Over the next 8 Mondays we are going to cover everything you need to know about meal planning. The Why's the How's and the What's. Heck we'll even cover some of the "Where's". And you don't have to wait all 8 weeks if you don't want to. The complete online guide is available by clicking here, and once there you'll have the option to get your own .pdf copy too. Let's get to it!


Cr8 Fitness Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning

Your complete step-by-step guide for achieving your health and weight loss goals by putting great food on your plate, and in your belly, every time you eat.

meal planning

Who Is This Guide For?

In reality, this guide will be helpful to just about everyone. If you eat, meal planning will save you time and money. But I specifically created this guide after seeing my clients work really really hard at the gym, only to see less results than they could because of what they eat. It's not that they don't want to, or know what healthy choices are. It's because life gets in the way and they don't actually have a plan for eating healthy, especially when things get crazy. If that sounds familiar, this guide is definitely for you.

What is the Big Deal about Meal Planning?

When your goal is to eat healthier and lose weight, meal planning may be the key that unlocks the door to that ever elusive goal. Almost everyone I talk to claims to know what to eat to lose weight, the challenge is actually doing it. The busyness of life always seems to get in the way of planning and prepping, and when we aren't prepared we are going to fall back on what is easy, even if it's not the healthiest. Hey I get it. That's life, and I have done exactly the same thing. Getting a pizza delivered or a quick run through the drive-through seems like a good idea when the kids are screaming and the fridge is a bit empty.

The good news is meal planning doesn't have to take forever; that's what this guide is all about. By the time you finish, you'll have all the tools you need to be a "meal plan master", and you'll be reciting our meal planning mantra "Simple Is Easiest. Simple Is Best." (We like to keep things simple around here

So what's the big deal? Here are five big benefits of upping your meal planning game:

Achieve Your Health and Fitness Goals Quicker

Regardless if your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle and strength, or both, meal planning is crucial to your success. Eating better can 3x (or even 10x) the results you get from the exact same exercise plan. 

Spend Less on Groceries

Planning your meals = spending less money. You'll spend less eating out, less on things that are not helpful to your diet, and less overall because you are going to go shopping with a list and just get the items you need.

Reduce Food Waste

This one goes with the previous reason. Most of us buy more food than we need, don't plan for the leftovers, and end up throwing a lot of food out. When you plan and stick to it, everything you buy has a healthy meal it belongs too. 

Save Time

This is huge. When you plan your meals out, you won't be scrambling around trying to figure out what's for dinner, and by building your plan around what you enjoy cooking, you'll actually have some fun. If you know you are going to be short on time, you can plan a meal that doesn't require a lot of prep work.

Get The Family Involved

It can be challenging when you are trying to healthier and feel like you are dragging your spouse or kids along. By getting them involved you will hear less whining, and you'll be teaching them about good nutrition. My girls love to cook, so spending the time teaching them how really paid off.

What You'll Learn

The Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning is broken down into eight chapters. While you can skip to a chapter that interests you, the guide builds on itself as the chapters progress, so it's a good idea to go in order. Ready? Let's dive in!

Table of Contents

Easy Hummus Chicken

I love dinner meals that are easy for me to prepare earlier in the day so my family can finish them off while I am at work. It is like a fine tuned piano to walk into the kitchen to the smell of dinner almost done. I'm talking a concert of pianos. Here is a meal I made this past week that allowed me to do just that. Wow, it was fantastic. 

Hummus Chicken

12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 yellow squash, sliced

1 zucchini, sliced

1 red bell pepper, 2” chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 lemons

Salt and pepper, to taste

Italian seasoning

1/2 cup hummus, homemade or store bought (I bought it) 

2 Tbsp. dried rosemary

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. smoked paprika

Generous drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar

Preheat oven to 450°. Prepare one large baking dish and lightly coat with olive oil. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. In a large bowl, toss the sliced zucchini, squash and onion with olive oil until evenly coated. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cover each chicken breast with 1 TB of hummus each. Then place on top of the vegetables. Place all vegetables on the bottom of a 9×13 dish in an even layer. Lay the chicken evenly on top. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the chicken and vegetables. Lightly season the entire dish with chopped rosemary and paprika. Thinly slice the remaining lemon, and place a few thin slices in the dish. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top, then bake for about 25 - 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve immediately

I cooked my chicken separately from the veggies. My family likes that better and I aim to please. This time around I sautéed my veggies. Other times I roast them next to the chicken. 

Enjoy Your Food,

Coach Nancy

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