How Can I Lose Weight?

Did you ever wish there was a “magic pill” that could help you get the body of your dreams? To take out the wiggle and jiggle, and replace it with lean and tight?

If that “magic pill” existed, it would come in the form of a food journal. Research shows there is no better predictor of weight loss and maintenance of that loss than keeping a record of what you eat – really cool!

But also a little scary, right? I mean we don’t really expect you to write everything down, do you? 

Let’s start here: There is no morality to fat loss. I like what fellow nutrition coach Josh Hillis had to say “…nothing you eat is bad or wrong. Nothing you eat is good or right. You are not a bad person if you eat junk food. You aren’t a good person if you eat organic veggies with grass fed beef” – Josh Hillis Fat Loss Starts on Monday

Some food choices will get you closer to your goals, and some won’t. I’ll make you a deal; I won’t judge you for what you write down in here if you don’t. Because if you are like me, you are your own worst critic. 

So instead of judging, beating yourself up, and just plain feeling crummy (negative emotions) let’s do the helpful thing, which looks like this.

  • Evaluate my food journal
  • See where I can improve
  • Plan a strategy for what you can do differently
  • Go to the store, buy good food, bring it home, cook it (positive actions)

Easy? I am afraid not. Eating healthy is a skill, and just like any other skill, it takes practice and persistence to get good. 

And that’s what this food journal is all about. Developing the eating skills of a lean person so we can be lean too. 

So embrace the journey, be consistent with your journal, and practice doing what it takes to Get Lean. Lose Fat. Look and Feel Great.

Make It Happen!

Coach Nancy

Shopping List Week of: ____________________

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Monday

Plan

Actual

Vitamin □   Fish Oil □    Water □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □

Today I am grateful for

Tuesday

Plan

Actual

Vitamin □   Fish Oil □    Water □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □

Today I am grateful for

Wednesday

Plan

Actual

Vitamin □   Fish Oil □    Water □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □

Today I am grateful for

Thursday

Plan

Actual

Vitamin □   Fish Oil □    Water □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □

Today I am grateful for

Friday

Plan

Actual

Vitamin □   Fish Oil □    Water □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □

Today I am grateful for

Saturday

Plan

Actual

Vitamin □   Fish Oil □    Water □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □

Today I am grateful for

Sunday

Plan

Actual

Vitamin □   Fish Oil □    Water □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □

Today I am grateful for

Notes for next week: ________________________________________________

Want a printable version? Click here.

Chicken Bacon Salad

The other day I needed to fix lunch but when I went to grab the leftovers, they were already gone. Now that's usually a good thing but that day. I needed to fix lunch quick. A quick survey of my fridge told me I was down to bare bones. Here's what I came up with. 

Chicken Bacon with avocado dressing on microgreens. As I served it, I was hoping it would taste good. It was fantastic. In fact my family asked me to make it the next day too. Its easy give it a try.

Chicken Bacon Salad

  • 1 chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
  • 4 pieces of bacon
  • microgreens from Papa Dean's
  • Avocado dressing
  • 1 Tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese 

I fried the bacon until it was crispy. I took it out to drain. Then cook the chicken in the same pan. Put the warm chicken, bacon, cheese, and dressing on top of the microgreens. BAM! Deliciousness is served

You can make your own dressing but this time I bought Aldi's Avocado Tomatillo salsa and used that. 

Avocado Dressing

  • 1/2 avocado, pit removed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Pinch of salt

Blend the ingredients with an immersion blender or in a regular blender and process until smooth. Add more water if necessary to reach desired consistency. Taste for seasoning.

Enjoy good Food,

Coach Nancy

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

A few years ago if you would have mentioned Fish Tacos to me, I would have looked at you with a blank stare. Inside my head I would have been telling myself' "Is that such a thing?" I should not have knocked it until I tried it. They are so good. I've tried different recipes but this is one of my favorites.

Fish Tacos

  • 2 large oranges (juiced)
  • ½ lime (juiced)
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 6 oz. tilapia fillets (cut in 1” chunks) Or your favorite white fish

 For the salsa

  • ½ red pepper (diced) 
  • ½ tomato (diced)
  • ½ red onion (diced)
  • ½ mango (diced)
  • ½ avocado (sliced)
  • chopped cilantro

Mix the orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, cumin, and salt in a bowl and combine well.

Gently place the pieces of Tilapia into a large Ziploc bag and pour in the juice. Marinade for 2-4 hours in the refrigerator, flipping the bag over about half way through.

Next, heat some olive or coconut oil over a large skillet. When the pan is warm, add the Tilapia and cook for about 4-5 minutes on 1 side, then turning only once, finish cooking on the other side (about 8-9 minutes total)

Prepare your tacos to your liking, adding the fish, Mango salsa (be creative and add anything else you think may taste great on there!)

Here's how I made them. I added some corn to my salsa (you could also try black beans)  I left the avocado in slices. I added jalapeños to my taco. I served it over cilantro cauliflower rice on a bed of Papa Dean's Spicy Blend microgreens. Sliced green onions added a final touch or color on top.

It’s very refreshing and absolutely DELICIOUS! Once you get the marinade in the fridge, it will only take you about 10 minutes to prepare them.

No leftovers from this meal. 

Eat Good Food,

Coach Nancy

 

Breakfast Hash in a Hurry – Reboot

Great recipes don't get lost they get memorized. I love breakfast. I remember having my mom serve my brothers, sister, and I breakfast each day before school. It was a family event which is one reason I love it so. This recipe I make for my kids before they hit the books. 

Carlson Family Breakfast Hash

  • 1 onion chopped, I used a bag of frozen chopped onion
  • ½ green pepper, I used a half bag of frozen green peppers
  • ½ red pepper, I used a half bag of frozen red peppers
  • 2 cups cooked butternut squash, cubed – guess what I had leftovers so it was already done for me
  • 2 cups Sausage (or ham cut into bite size pieces – and again I had it leftover so super easy)
  • 1 apple cut into bit size pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil

Sauté the onions and peppers in the oil until soft and translucent. After about 4 minutes add in the apple. Let this cook for a few minutes before adding in the rest. Heat until everything is hot. (about 5 minutes)

I fried two eggs to add on top of each portion. It was yummy.

Options: Vary the amounts for your family size, but if you make a large batch you have breakfast for the week all done. Use Chorizo or other flavorful meat you have on hand in place of the ham. Substituting sweet potato or other winter squash for the butternut squash adds a new twist on the taste. I like to add cinnamon to this dish too. If you like other veggies add them in too. But always, always enjoy. If you have someone whose not fond of eggs, it is super yummy on its own.

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Frosting for Breakfast

I am so glad Dean is a helpful type of guy. Yesterday he helped a friend move a bedroom set and in return they gave him some hand picked blueberries from their freezer. YUM. So today at breakfast I remembered this fabulous recipe that Coach Dean came up with years ago. Frosting for breakfast. You've got to try this. 

Frosting for Breakfast

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 scoops Beverly International Angel Food Cake protein or Vanilla Protein
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Whip this in your blender for true frosting consistency. I mixed it by hand which tastes the same but is a denser version. 

Since I mixed this by hand it was perfect for the top of my oatmeal. It melted down into the oatmeal as I ate. Fantastic. 

We've whipped this with a mixer and then used the frosting as a dip for strawberries or any other fruit. Also truly delicious. 

Give it a whirl. 

Thank you Coach Dean for helping others, and also having a creative mind to create this recipe for your family and others to enjoy.

Eat Good Food,

Coach Nancy


Italian Sausage in the Crockpot

Searching through my archives of recipes, I came across this favorite. It is soooooo easy. I mean it is soooooo easy. Add in that my entire family loves this recipe and I've hit the jackpot. 

Italian Sausage in the Crockpot

  • 2 pounds Italian Sausage
  • 1 16 - ounce bag frozen peppers and onions
  • 2 cans Italian diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder

Put all the ingredients in your crockpot and turn on low for 6-8 hours. I use frozen but you can also use fresh peppers and onions you've cut up and thawed sausages. It'll cook a bit faster but the time in the crockpot adds to the flavors. 

Eat Good Food,

Coach Nancy

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs

During recovery week I have a bit more time. Today I'm planning to make a dinner feast for my family. It includes the chicken thigh recipe below as well as sautéed summer squash, microgreen salad, applesauce, and cheddar bacon biscuits. I'm getting hungry just thinking about this meal. Here's the recipe for the chicken thighs. I'll post the biscuit recipe if they turn out good. 🙂

Oven Baked Chicken Thighs

  • 1/2 cup stone ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 chicken thigh, bone-in, skin-on
  • 5 sprig thyme
  • Salt and pepper , to taste


Preheat oven to 375˚F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together mustard, stock, and garlic. Set aside. Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Once skillet is hot, add oil. Season chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper.

Sear chicken thighs skin side down for about 3 minutes or until browned. Flip each thigh over and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat. (this can be done in batches so you don’t overcrowd the skillet when searing). Once all thighs have been seared, drain all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and fit all thighs into skillet, if done in batches.

Pour sauce over chicken thighs and add thyme sprigs.

Place skillet in oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes (or until the internal temperature of chicken reaches 175˚F and juices run clear when pierced with a knife).

Remove skillet from oven and allow chicken to rest, about 5 minutes.

Spoon sauce over chicken thighs, season with a little more salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves. Serve.

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

InBody Scan Challenge in April

Cr8 Fitness just finished the YOU 2.0 in 21 Challenge. If you didn't catch the end results check them out here. YOU amazed your coach once again with your consistent work to be healthier. Let's keep that momentum rolling forward. Summer will be here before you know it. Summer always finds us wanting to be outside and active. It just feels good to be in the fresh air. It's so much easier to keep excuses at bay if our bodies are feeling and looking good. 

We need to keep on Making It Happen. Stepping on the InBody once a month will give you feedback on how you are doing. Of course every other week while staying focused on nutrition will help us make tweaks in our eating plan. 

In April you'll step on the InBody at least once. To help keep you accountable I've created a calendar on one of the large white boards in the gym. 

Currently all of your names are surrounding the calendar. The first day you come into training move your name to the day you are going to scan. (no Sundays please) You can see my name is already on April 7th. I'll scan on that day. This calendar is right above the Kettlebell rack so we can remind each other of our scanning day. We're not posting our scan information so relax. This calendar is a giant To Do list for you and your friends to use to schedule your InBody scan. 

I found this information on the InBody website


What are the benefits of body composition?

  • Find your baseline so you know what you need to lose, gain, or maintain
  • Assess your Percent Body Fat so you can focus on fat loss, not just weight loss
  • Maximize your workout routine to fit your unique health and fitness goals
  • Calculate your caloric needs and create a personalized nutrition plan
  • Set realistic goals, accurately monitor progress, and stay motivated
  • Make more educated decisions to improve your body composition

All of this from the information on your scan. Check out their website to learn all sorts of cool stuff, here. 


What should you do if you train on Zoom and still want to scan? Just let me know, I'll make sure you can scan when it works for you. I'll add your name to the calendar and keep you accountable. How cool is that? 

Next step for you? Next time you are into Cr8 Fitness place your name on the date you'll scan. Then scan on that date. That seems pretty easy. Your peeps and I will keep you accountable to your scan day. Then use that information to help you move even farther into a healthy routine. 

There are some tools we've created to help you along your journey.  

Click on a few or click on them all. They are here for you to take advantage of. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Bacon Deviled Eggs

Everything is Better with Bacon. Deviled Eggs just got kicked up a notch. How to make them got easier too. It's almost Easter so many of us will be coloring eggs. I know my family loves to color the eggs but not so hot on eating hard boiled eggs for the next 10 days. They like deviled eggs and these little guys have bacon in them. I let the girls taste test one. They gave it a thumbs up. They probably would have told me how awesome they were but since they had food in their mouths a thumbs up worked well.

Bacon Deviled Eggs

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon mayonaise
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard
  • paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3-4 slices of cooked bacon (about 1/4 cup chopped)

Hard boil the eggs, let them cool completely before peeling. Then cut them in half, scoop out the yolk. Add the yolks with the mayo, mustard, salt and pepper along with 1/8 teaspoon of paprika. Mix until the mixture is smooth. Then add in half of the bacon. Spoon this into each 1/2 egg white shell. Garnish with the remainder of the bacon and sprinkle with more paprika. 

Two thumbs up. 

That is not the end of the story. Dan from 6:15am, not to be confused with Danno from 6:15am. introduced me to an egg cooker. In fact he presented me with a gift of one last week. Dean already tried it out but I wanted to use it too. It is the fastest and easiest way to make hard boiled eggs. I know some love the traditional method. Others love the instant pot for hard boiled eggs. I haven't had much luck especially peeling them to look deviled egg quality. The Egg Cooker works! I don't get a kick back for saying I like this kitchen tool. I can't even tell you where to find it because mine was a gift. I can tell you it works. I'm going to try poached eggs in it next. 

No matter how  you get all those eggs hard boiled for Easter, this recipe will make quick use of the eggs after they've been colored. 

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy


The Winner of YOU 2.0 in 2021 is……

Back in January of this year, we began a 6 -week nutrition challenge. There were 56 people who joined this challenge to eat healthier, lose some fat, and gain some health. What is crazy about this challenge is 24 of those people do not train with us at Cr8 Fitness. You spread the word and invited friends and family to join you on this quest. We had people from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Texas and Greece. (Kinda cool if you ask me.) Since my life goal is to change the world, you made me proud that you spread the word like that. 

Winning this challenge took consistency. Since we were not looking for losing just body weight but body fat, you had to work a bit harder to achieve results. We used the InBody scan to determine our results. The InBody can delineate between overall weight, muscle mass, body fat, and hydration levels. The results were close. In fact the winner took the prize by just one tenth of a percent. Let me say that again. the winner won by just the smallest of fractions. Not only that but there were 8 people within 1.72 percentage points away from winning. I am so proud of this group. If only I could award them all a prize.

The prize is a week's worth of dinner meals prepared by me, Coach Nancy. The winner will be able to choose their 7 meals from a menu. That way they can order ahead what they know their family will enjoy. You can check out the Winner's Menu plus see all the recipes here

So knowing that this person won by .1% and that 7 other people were within 1.5% you know the competition was tight.

In fact I need to shout out some of the accomplishments of this person before I disclose their name. They were involved in helping others through this challenge from day one. Our group had a private Facebook group and we often shared recipes, tips, ideas, struggles, and inspirational quotes. One person took it on themself to organize all the recipes that were posted in the group during the six week period of time. She accumulated 77 pages of recipes for our group to use going forward. She also won a mini challenge at the beginning of YOU 2.0 and walked away with this knife set.

Many of those in YOU 2.0 in 2021 already have guessed who is our overall challenge winner. Congratulations to Holly Kemp for losing 12.1% body fat in the last six weeks.  

Here is what Chris said about Holly during the challenge: "When this busy mom of a tribe is not cranking out homemade sausage or making a recipe book she’s probably ...researching a new vaccine for Covid while doing pushups!! Holly you are awesome!!" (by the way I don't think Chris and Holly have ever met personally- they are YOU 2.0 friends) Holly also celebrated a birthday during the challenge, Happy Birthday Holly. 

Congratulations to all who worked hard during YOU 2.0 in 2021. Taking steps to make yourself healthier will automagically make you happier. The whole world needs a bit more happier!

Watch for an InBody Scan Challenge to start in April.

Coach Nancy

Remember if you want to sneak a peak at what she has won here is the Winner's Menu. 10 Recipes for YOU.  

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