Do You Know How to Taco?

Call me crazy but there was a point in time I didn't know Fish Tacos existed. In fact I only believed there was the traditional beef taco with shell, tomato, lettuce, and cheese. I'm so glad I opened up my mind to other possibilities and then gave some of those a try. I'm still finding new ways to taco. If you have a great recipe please share it with me and others. 

Fish Taco

  • ¼ cup of lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ Tablespoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds of halibut or any white fish
  • 2 cups black beans (canned or made from scratch)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces of sour cream
  • Papa Dean's Microgreens to serve all this goodness on

Cooking Instructions

In a large zip lock bag combine lime juice, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, oregano and pepper. Add fish, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Place fish in pan and bake until it flakes easily. About 15 -20 minutes.While fish is cooking heat black beans. When fish is done flake it with a fork. Assemble tacos by spooning beans onto a bed of salad greens, top with fish, then cheese and salsa. Adding a bit of lime juice to the sour cream makes this dish over the top!

Want to try another fantastic Fish Taco recipe? Click here for Fish Taco with Mango Salsa.

Need a recipe for the slow cooker while still taco-ing? Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

What’s Different at Cr8 Fitness?

Fitness and Health are NOT the same things.

Because those two words are often put together it is easy to get the impression they are the same thing. I was reminded of this in an article from our friends at InBody ("Why Your Perception of Fit is Probably Wrong (And the Reality of What’s True)"

So what's the difference?

I like Coach Dan John's definition of fitness: "The ability to perform a task".

All too often we view fitness in the like of aesthetics; if a person looks fit, they must be. But six pack abs doesn't mean that person is healthy. People do some very unhealthy things in the pursuit of "fitness". Wrestlers and bodybuilders, whom perform very specific tasks, can die in pursuit of cutting weight and looking good. The cover models of your average fitness magazine look great, but being in this industry for awhile I can tell you there is a lot of magic with lights and mirrors. I am not saying you shouldn't train to look good. I want to look good too. But sacrificing health is not worth it. 

And what about "health"?

Phil Maffetone defines health as: "The optimal interplay of the organs".


In other words, you need your liver to liver, your lungs to lung and your kidneys to kidney. You want all the amazing systems in your body to play nice together. You really shouldn't have to take antacids and aspirin all the time.

When you eat well, exercise smart, and enjoy life, you are pursuing healthy.

Dean and I have talked about this. If we had to do it all over again, we would not have called our business "Cr8 Fitness". Yes, we are a training facility, and yes, we exercise, and yes we work on fitness. 

Even though all those things are true, we should have called it "Cr8 Health."

Because that really is our main focus. To keep your body working well, for as long as possible. To encourage all the facets of a healthy lifestyle - making great food choices, a well-balanced exercise regimen, and having some fun. Your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being is really what matters, not that you have a six-pack or 10% bodyfat. If those are your goals, I am all for it, just don't neglect the others in the pursuit. Health comes first, fitness can and should be a by-product of the holistic process. Make sense?

We look forward to helping each new day be a little healthier than the one before. Thank-you for letting us be part of the journey. 

Jenn and others at her 5pm training time gave their two cents about what makes Cr8 Fitness (we haven't changed our name) different. Check it out. You'd be surprise to know its not only the physical side of health that they mention. 

Thank you again for being who you are and adding your encouragement to myself and those surrounding you at the Cr8 Fitness. If you know others who would like to make a difference in their own health and fitness I'd appreciate it if you could send them our way. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Chill Out over Recovery Week

Recovery week is almost here. June 26th - July 4th is a scheduled time off from your training at the gym. Most of us take planned vacations from work where your mind can take a break from the routine of all that you do each day at work. We look forward to them, enjoy them, and feel better when we do get back to work. It's refreshing. The same is true for your physical training at Cr8 Fitness. 

If you've been with us for a length of time, your body is giving you a few signals that you are ready for a time away. If this is your first time taking a recovery week here are 5 reasons why it is important. 

C- Confidence. Physical training and the health it brings is what Dean and I specialize in. The trust you place in us continually inspires us to be the best and do the best for you. We design in hour in the gym as part of our plan through the week, the month, and the year. Through the whole process we work at keeping the confidence you placed in us. Check out this great article written by Coach Dean covering the ins and out of "Why Recovery Weeks?"

H- Health, your health is our primary concern. Each day as you give your all it takes a toll. Remember you train like athletes because life is an event you want to do very well. Every sport has its season and it's off season. Even during a sport season there are weeks off or longer breaks in between games. It's on purpose to keep you training longer and staying healthy for it all. Same goes for you and your training at Cr8 Fitness.

I- Injury prevention. If you are hurt you can't train. (or at least you can't train as hard as you want) Ignoring those little aches and over tired body muscles can be a precursor to injury. 

L- Longevity. Dying is just not on my To Do list- EVER. I'm not in control of all that is going to happen to me and you aren't either. Yet, we can choose to live the best life possible. You've chosen to have a coach. Trust me when I say you need a week just to do something a bit different. 

L- Love yourself. Be good to yourself during this week. It might mean extra sleep, or chilling with a friend, or kicking your feet up to read a book or starting to create a better eating routine. You will love how it makes me you feel. 

What are some good things to do while on recovery?

P- Prepare. "Before anything else, Preparation is the key to success." - Alexander Bell, He's a pretty smart guy. Think of how good you'll feel and how much less stress you'll create for yourself if you have your meals planned and prepared for the week. What about a meal ready to go in the freezer for those crazy days you will encounter? How about making your shopping list so your grocery trip is easier? Spend some time checking out some ways we can help you with that too, right here

I- Be Idle. Give yourself permission to do nothing. Seriously when is the last time you could just sit and do whatever came to mind for an hour. My days are filled with rush rush, so this is a true gift. Better yet spend that hour with your spouse, a friend, or someone who needs encouragement. Win/win for both of you. 

L- Lighten your work load. Take the hour you would have trained to tackle that nagging item off your To Do list. Cleaning out a closet is one of my favorite ways to feel like I've completed a monumental task. It takes time but I love the organization it gives me. I often have items to donate or give away. And I often find a treasure I had forgotten about. All wins

L- Leisure. That's a fancy word for do what makes you feel good. Hiking, biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, walking, shopping, whale watching, camping, or any other leisurely activity that brings out those happy feelings. Remember the world needs a lot more happy. 

Take it from me- Take a Chill Pill this recovery week. (June 26 -July 64th) We'll be back at training on July 5th. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

One Piece of Training to Remember

Coach Dean posted this blog awhile ago. It is such an important piece to training I want you to read it again.

“Anybody that walks into a gym to train for the first time, or the first time in a long time, deserves a lot of credit.

Unfamiliar place, all these weird looking instruments of torture, people standing around gawking at the “newbie”. And dumbbells? That’s how you are left feeling sometimes. Who needs that mess? (In reality nobody, which is why Cr8 Fitness is the real “anti-gym”)

All that weirdness, and you did it anyway – really cool. As for results? In the beginning just about any workout will start to get you at least some results. But regardless of how long you have been training, you need to pay attention if you want to make the most progress, the quickest. 

Good training design incorporates progression. “Progressive Strength Training” isn’t some political thing, it simply means that you need to be continually increasing key training variables, usually volume and/or intensity, to continue making progress.

And that’s why you need to settle down and pay attention when you are training. For instance the most common “progressive” variable our training cycles here at Cr8 Fitness uses is volume. The work periods increase over the 4-6 week cycle; from 30 seconds to 60 seconds, or even more at times. That’s the easy part for you, at least from a “paying attention” standpoint. Load selection, or how much you are lifting, is where we miss the boat at times. If you are not paying attention and tracking, at least mentally, how much you are lifting on a weekly basis you will not progress as fast. 

Here’s an example why it matters:

Let’s say we are working on single arm overhead presses. In week one we do 30 second sets, and you use a 30 pound dumbbell. Our speed of movement is 3-1-x, so you are getting about 6 reps per side. The next week you come in, notice we are doing 45 second sets, so you drop the weight to 20 pounds, because the work period is longer (not an ideal strategy, but I’ll get to that). Or you simply don’t remember what you used last week. In the 40 second set you get about 8 reps. That’s more reps than last week, so that’ good, right? Well if you add up the total work you are doing, in week one you lifted 180 pounds total (6×30), and in week two you lifted 160 pounds (8×20). You see where I am going with that? Even though the set took longer, you did less work. Dropping back only to 25 pounds would have been better, and in reality staying at 30 would have been the best strategy. 

The take home on this? You have to know week to week what load you have been using, so you can track how much work you are actually doing. This is the key to progress. Smartphone, moleskin notebook, permanent marker on your forearm. Any of those will work. 🙂

I was talking to another “athlete of aging” this weekend and we were commenting that the older you get, the faster you have to peddle just to stay in place. It may not be “fair”, but it is pretty accurate. And you need to keep track of how fast you are peddling somehow. Speedometers on a car, thermostats on an oven, numbers on the scale. They all give us crucial information, and let us know how we are tracking and if and when we need to make adjustments. Keeping track of how much you are lifting does the same thing.

And to put it bluntly, that’s about the only thing you are responsible for when you train here, besides showing up. Our training design and coaching takes care of the rest; proper exercise selection, coaching your form, number and length of sets, rest periods, macro and micro-recovery strategies, the whole gamut. This one piece is where we have “co-responsibility”, which is why we are consistently encouraging you to increase load, where appropriate. (Coach Nancy is SO mean, right?) 🙂

We have a recovery week coming up next week (June 26 – July 4th). This too is by design as part of your overall plan. You can check out why here: You Are Not A Unicorn. Recovery Matters.

So now that you know, how are you going to keep track? It might just be the piece you have been missing to making even better progress.” – Coach Dean

Need some help? That’s what I am here for!

See you soon, 

Coach Nancy


Memorial Day 2022

Thank-you to the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States who died serving this country with distinction to preserve our freedom throughout the world.

My heart is sobered on days like today. 

"Nathaniel Sherburne is a Revolutionary soldier buried in the Nathaniel Sherburne Cemetery, New Orchard Road, Epsom, NH. The only grave stone there is a hand carved fieldstone."

I found this information in an Epsom HIstorical document. It added the listing of his family and it is all I know of the first owner of the property at 167 New Orchard Rd. 

Cr8 Fitness is located at 167 New Orchard Rd. I live there. I have been dwelling on the fact of Nathaniel's life lately. He didn't die in battle. Yet his life is summed up by his service. It was important. It is still very important. His life made a difference. I admire a man who's life is known by his work. Since I lived in the same house as he did, his work was a reality to my family. Walking in the same fields, seeing the same pond, traveling the same road brings the importance of his life into mine. His gravestone is in my backyard.

On Memorial Day we remember those who died in service. It is also a chance to remember all who served our great Country. 

Thank you,


  Below is a picture of the old homestead. 

Get a Grip on Meal Planning

Planning meals has been proven to help you in your health journey. It's right up there with stepping on the scale if your goal is weight loss. On top of that there are other side benefits that you'll love. Meal planning saves time, relieves stress, and keeps money in your wallet. And yet, it stills feels like the one thing that holds us back. Let's look at meal planning with a slightly different twist. 

Let's do an experiment to see how you succeed with this version of meal planning.

1. List out all the dinner meals you and your family enjoy eating during this time of year. That list will probably be a bit different in the Summer vs. the Fall vs. the cold of Winter. How many did you get? Aim for at least 10 different dinner meals. Remember some of these might be the quick options like picking up a rotisserie chicken while others are all day cooking affairs like homemade spaghetti sauce.

2. Do you have on hand all the items to make these meals? Check your cupboards, freezer, and fridge. Some items can be kept, like canned goods, all year round; others are best fresh so you'll have to purchase those items. But then others can be pulled from the freezer when you need them.

3. Look at your schedule. See what is coming up that might pull you away from making a meal or that might require a meal that is very quick to make. I leave cans of tuna in my cupboard because when fast and speedy is required, I can quickly put tuna on a salad or cook up some tuna patties. If you will be away from home one night, you'll end up with more options to chose from on the other evenings.

4. Again take a peak at your schedule, this time looking for those times when you might be able to spend more time in your kitchen than usual. I often can do this on Sundays. Its during this time, I prep what I can for other meals, but I can also make a dish that takes more time than I usually have to prepare dinner.

5. With your favorite dinner meal ideas in one hand and the list of items you need to make these meals in another, head off to the store.

6. Now when it comes time for your next dinner, you've got options to choose from.

 Did you know Coach Dean came up with an entire guide to Meal Planning. It covers everything. You should check it out here.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Reason 21 and 22 Why Cr8 Fitness is Amazing!

There are 5 banners hanging on the walls of Cr8 Fitness. Each one holds 5 names. Those names represent an amazing person who has trained with us for 10 years. That is 120 months of training or 480 weeks or 1920 hours for each one of those people. They deserve to be highlighted. Each person has dedicated time each week to keep themselves healthy and strong. One shout out doesn't seem like enough. They'll forever be on the walls of Cr8 Fitness.

We just added two more names to our banner. Lori and Wayne have joined the crew of Banner peeps. 

I can't wait to see your name hanging on the wall to forever shout out your accomplishment.

There's room for more names just like there is room for more pictures to be taken. Keep making It happen,

Coach Nancy

Greek Cucumber Salad Recipe

I made this for the family on Monday. It made a huge bowl. Just a smidge leftover - it was that good.

Greek Cucumber Salad

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic pepper
  • 1 15- ounce cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 can olives , sliced
  • 4 cucumber , cut into 3/8" slices
  • 1 red onion , thinly sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 cup of chopped chives

You can add some olive oil to this recipe. I didn't because the artichokes were in an olive oil base.

I'm tempted to make this again. Dean said it was a meal all in itself. I had my Greek Salad on Papa Dean's Microgreens.

Next time I made this recipe I didn't use Artichoke hearts. I added a 3 cups of cooked Quinoa to it. Also very good.

To good food,

Coach Nancy

Happy Birthday to Us

We’ve always celebrated birthdays together. We sometimes celebrate them twice because you are just that special. Alone? I would never have guessed that I would be doing so many Birthday Burpees. We do Birthday burpees for your birthday, we do burpees for my birthday and we do birthday burpees for Cr8 Fitness’s Birthday. This year we turn 14!

I love of my Cr8 Family.

On May 8, 2008, in the middle of another really bad economic downturn, we ran our first training. 5:00am, under lights we rigged up on a basketball hoop in our yard. 1 paying client and 9 crazy friends turned into 2 locations, one of which we sold on 2018 and is now under the stewardship of the amazing Meagan Sbat. You might know that gym as it exists under our original name – Get Fit NH. I am so grateful for all the wonderful people and amazing relationships built while that gym was under our care.

Today we have over 100 people who show up regularly to the Little Gym in the Woods to train hard. We have a blast while here. The benefits of physical training are immense. Adding in the stress relief, health benefits, and energy boosts, it seems it can’t get much better. Yet the relationships we share and the bond we develop becomes priceless. 

I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I don’t know how many more years Cr8 Fitness will be around; we are probably going to retire sometime in the next 15 or 20 years, right? 🙂 But however long we are here we will continue to serve you in the best way we know how. To get better, like you are getting better. To coach you to eat well and exercise smart, to have fun, and to enjoy life.

We couldn’t, and can’t, do it without you.

Thank-you for choosing to train with us.

Happy Birthday, and here’s to many more.

Coach Nancy

I have more birthday wishes and shout outs coming your way. Be on the look out for them

Probably the Cheapest Step to Better Health

Take the quiz below to find out the best way to start better nutritional habits for life.

What one food item do 75% of Americans not get enough of daily?

  • Twinkies
  • Dark chocolate
  • Ice cream Sundaes
  • Water

What is one system of your body that typically feels like hunger even if you know you are not?

  • The emotional heart break
  • The Mind games that are played at work
  • Stress after looking at our bank statement
  • Thirst. Instead of drinking you tend to eat

The number one cause of daytime fatigue is?

  • Not taking a break at work
  • Eating too much at your lunch hour
  • Having to sit at a desk all day
  • Lack of hydration, you need to drink more water

What can you consume to ease back and joint pain for 80% of people?

  • Bacon, (Hint: not everything is better with bacon)
  • Ketchup, (another hint: you can’t cover up pain, it’s inside you)
  • Sprinkles or Jimmies, (rainbows and sparkles roll right off your back and don’t stick to your joints)
  • Water (hint: water aids in lubricating our joints)

5 Glasses of water a day can decrease the risk of?

  • Colon Cancer by 45%
  • Breast Cancer by 79%
  • Bladder Cancer by 50%
  • All of the Above

If you are just 3% dehydrated, what starts to slow down?

  • Short term memory- Ever walk upstairs and wonder why you did?
  • Our intestinal tract
  • Metabolism
  • All of the Above

By now you might have guessed that the last answer was the correct answer to each question.

 Water is the most important nutrient we can feed our bodies. Let’s face it we all know we can survive a lot longer without food than without water but we certainly don't act like it. If you are like me, I sometimes feel like I am starving (like every few hours) and yet I rarely say I am dying of thirst. If I truly believed that water is the most important nutrient I would be drinking water all the time. Again I usually drink with my meals and rarely in between. To me that looks like I am giving just as much focus on the food I eat as the water I drink. Science tells us that the body would die without water in just a few days and yet we could survive 3-4 times that without food. Some of us could go even longer. What do we need so much water for?

· 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half world pop.)

· In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.

· Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.

· One glass of water deters hunger pangs for 98% of the dieters observed in a University of Washington study.

· The biggest trigger of daytime fatigue is lack of water.

· Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

· A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

· Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, breast cancer by 79%, and develop bladder cancer by 50%.

· Water serves as a lubricant

· Water forms the base for saliva

· Water forms the fluids that surround the joints.

· Water regulates the body temperature, as the cooling and heating is distributed through perspiration.

· Water helps to alleviate constipation by moving food through the intestinal tract and thereby eliminating waste- the best detox agent.

· Regulates metabolism

Did you see that last one? That is how our bodies use the fuel we give it.

This list is not exhaustive but it only touches the surface. Our bodies are 98% water so we need to replenish it and renew it.

So how much water does all this take? Researchers say to take half of your body weight and drink that in ounces. So if you weigh 150 pounds that is 75 ounces of water a day. Remember the 8-10 glasses that your doctor told you to drink. If there are 8 ounces of water in each glass you are not getting enough. (10 glasses times 8 ounces is only 80 ounces of water, so make it 16 ounces of water or two cups in each glass and you are there.)

Drink up,

Coach Nancy

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