The Twin Terrors of Aging

I think the effects of aging really hit me as I watched my grandparents bodies decline toward the end of their lives. They looked, and were, fragile. My recollection is that the first time I heard of Osteoporosis was in the context of my grandmother having it. It also occurs to me that these two were some of the hardest working people I ever knew; they had far from a sedentary job. They owned a small business, a bait and tackle shop in New Milford, CT. In the summers they would open at 5:00am and close at or often 7:00pm, and they were open every single day. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood were spending a week or two in the summer with them, as my grandfather had a route delivering bait and tackle, checking his chub traps, the shiner tanks sloshing around in his red International truck. There was a lot of manual labor involved. But even that wasn't enough to keep them from "The Twin Terrors of Aging" - Sarcopenia and Osteopenia.

twin terrors

Simply defined, Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass, and Osteopenia is the loss of bone density. These twin terrors have a cause and effect relationship on the aging process.

Losing muscle tissue (Sarcopenia) has been shown to cause a decline in your bodies ability to use glucose and a corresponding decline in insulin signaling and sensitivity. This becomes a vicious cycle, as a decrease in insulin sensitivity makes it more difficult for the body to grow and repair itself, which can lead to further muscle atrophy, which can lead to further decreased insulin signaling, and around and around we go. And don't miss the important distinction here. Muscle Atrophy is losing mass because the cell is getting smaller - this is largely reversible. But a muscle cell that dies is difficult if not impossible to replace. 

Bone mass has been shown to peak at about age 35 and decline with age. Our bones are living active tissue, and just like muscle if you don't give them much to do they will start to decline and you lose bone density more rapidly, which leads to Osteopenia, and can progress to Osteoporosis. 

And this leads to the frailty I saw in my grandparents - because of muscle and bone loss they became easier to break - they became fragile.

But let's back up a little. Why and how did this muscle and bone loss get started? While it might seem like it, nobody wakes up one morning after the "fragile fairy" visited, weaker and fatter. More than likely they have been experiencing a very gradual decline, which like a snowball racing downhill, becomes bigger and bigger as momentum gathers.

Have you ever been diagnosed with one or more of the following?

Hypertension - elevated blood pressure.

Dyslipidemia - abnormal amounts of blood lipids (triglyceride/cholesterol). In North America, this is usually hyperlipidemia - elevated cholesterol and/or triglyceride.

Systemic Inflammation - these can be measured with a Hemoglobin A1C and C Reactive Protein blood test, among others.

Insulin Resistance and/or Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) - these were briefly discussed above.

Visceral Obesity - accumulation of fat around the internal organs. The InBody scanner at Cr8 Fitness is one way to get a measure of this.

Usually these disorders build on each other, and often lead to Metabolic Syndromewhich affects 1 out of 3 Americans.

Including, at one time, me. 

Yes. Yours truly had hyperglycemia, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, high visceral obesity, and if I remember correctly my A1C tilted toward the high side too.

Key word: HAD

So what can we do about it? 

That is the million dollar question, right?

Now I don't want you to get me wrong here. I am not a doctor, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the hard work it takes to become one. There are realities of the system and constraints that medical professionals have to navigate and work within. But the cold hard truth is that much of western medicine is very broken.

If you look up the word "Medicine" in the Cambridge Dictionary, you will find the following definitions in the following order: 

  1. the science dealing with the preserving of health and with preventing and treating disease or injury:
  2.  a substance taken into the body in treating an illness:

I LOVE the words "preserving (health)" and "preventing (disease).

Yet I bet you if you asked, 9 out of 10 people would equate the word "medicine" with "drugs". And while there are certainly appropriate drugs to be taken in acute circumstances -  where would we be without penicillin? - I am talking about other kinds of drugs that function far differently.

In "The Barbell Prescription" Dr. Sullivan introduces a word, Polypharmacy, which he simply defines as "lots of drugs". 

It got me thinking. How many people do I know that take prescription medications regularly take only one?

Rarely do we see clients that are only on one med, usually there are three or four or more. Often we will see a diabetes drug (or two) paired with blood pressure medicine, maybe thyroid or statin thrown in, with a side of something to help indigestion, or just as likely constipation, caused by the other drugs. Prescription anti-inflammatory and SSRI's are also very common. 

Again, don't get me wrong. I am NOT "anti-drug", and recognize the necessity for these in certain situations. And I am not making a value judgement here, because I have no room to talk given my history.

But in my mind there is a crucial question and subsequent conversation we should be having. "What is this plethora of prescriptions doing to solve the underlying cause, rather than just covering the symptoms?"

Drugs are not like vitamins. You can have a Vitamin D deficiency. You do not have a Lisinopril, or Celebrax, or Zantac, or Cardizem deficiency. There is an underlying cause that is rarely being addressed simultaneously to the prescription being filled. 

And even worse is that some of these drugs can actually increase the rate of muscle and bone loss we discussed before.

Is that really healing? Preserving health and preventing disease? I think not.

Years ago I remember talking to a co-worker who had just been to the doctor. He said the doctor told him he was clinically obese, and if he got on a regular exercise program and good eating plan he could lose the weight, without drugs. But then he said (according to my co-worker), "Since I know you aren't going to do it, I am going to put you on X, Y, Z." I couldn't settle on if that was a bigger indictment of my (still unhealthy) co-worker or the doc. You decide.

Dr. Sullivan also pointed out an interesting thing about modern medicine. We don't generally don't die of syphilis and smallpox anymore. Instead we die of heart failure, stroke, myocardial infarction (told you he was a doctor) and dementia. And not when we are in our eighties and nineties. It's very common for any and all of those things to happen in our 50's and 60's.

I am not afraid of dying. But I have no desire to live longer if in reality it is just extending the length of time I hurt, don't want to move, and have no energy. And I am guessing neither do you.

So we've discussed one option to the "Twin Terrors" - drugs. Is there an alternative?

As an Athlete of Aging, I'll be you already know at least part of the answer.

We'll explore next time. Until then, take stock. If you take prescription drugs; Do you know what they are for? Do you know how they interact with each other? Have you discussed with your doctor a path to get off of any or all of them? If not, consider investigating these your homework.

Until next time,

Coach Dean

This post is second in a series called "Athletes of Aging".

Coconut Curry Chicken

This is one of the tastiest recipes. In fact I made this the other day for some winners of a weekly S3 challenge and my daughter was so excited thinking she was going to get to eat it. A little disappointment crossed her face when she realized she wasn't getting any. I did make it for the family the very next day. 

On top of this being super yummy, it is super easy. I use frozen chicken breasts. I bake them at 350 degrees with salt and pepper until done. That is usually 45 minutes. At the same time, I put in a pan of frozen mixed veggies with salt and pepper, and drizzled with olive oil. The veggies take about 65 minutes. In between the time when the chicken is done and the veggies are done, I dice the chicken. The chicken, coconut milk, and curry paste go into a deep pot on the stove. It heats up and then I add the veggies when they come out of the oven. Everything should be hot to serve by then. Be prepared for - Yum. 

Using leftover chicken or grilled chicken you can follow the recipe directions below. 

Coconut Curry Chicken

  • 2 Chicken breast, cooked and diced into bite size pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon Green curry paste
  • 4 cups of my favorite veggies ( I used broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, and onions)
  • 1 can of coconut milk

Sauté veggies until crisp tender. Add coconut milk and curry paste to skillet. Cook until simmering. Add in chicken. Garnish with chopped scallions or chopped cashews. 

Now don't tell everyone how easy it is to make, just enjoy the wonderful flavor of curry on the go. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


Ten Things you Might or Might Not Know about Coach Nancy

(in no particular order of importance or significance)

  1. I have three brothers and one older sister. My brothers are to blame for any competitiveness you see in me. They are also the reason for me being on the winning team of anything I play. My siblings and their families all live in or near Indiana, which is where my parents still live. I of course had to make sure I won the “moved farthest from home award”.
  2. I stalked Dean for about three weeks before he noticed me. Yes, I was a secret admirer. I wrote him notes and left them around where I knew he would find them. Eventually I fessed up and we’ve been together ever since. And of course, I won the award for “meeting my spouse in the most unusual way”
  3. Dean and I celebrated our 33rd anniversary this year. While I didn’t win the award for being married first in my family. I did win the award for having the most children. Tim, Jeff, Derek, Drew, Karalynn, and Amy. My youngest brother has since tied me with six children but I did it first!
  4. While I have worked in many different jobs, the longest was owning my own day care. I had this day care in two different states in three different locations. I operated the day care for almost 17 years. Again, I am the only sibling to own her own business.  I win that category as well
  5. When I met Dean my name was Nancy Carlson. Think about that for a minute…… My married name is actually Nancy Carlson Carlson. I just happened to fall in love and coaxed a man with my same last name to marry me. This makes for a very difficult situation when we tried to explain to our kids going to grandparents and Aunts and Uncles. They were almost all Carlson’s. So now I am winning and making unique impressions on more than just my side of the family. 
  6. In high school I played football. Yes, my brothers are responsible for the competitive edge. In fact I am so competitive, in my high school yearbook each senior picture had a list of accomplishments during their school years. I wanted my list to be long so I joined as many different clubs and teams as I could. If being well rounded was an event back then, I would have won. Some of the crazy things I did was be a Pom Pom girl, cross country, swim, French club, football, several plays, and other things that I can’t even remember.
  7. I was raised to love my God, my country, and my family. I remember so clearly the celebration of loyalty when our country turned 200 years old. I am still in love with this great nation. I am a patriot through and through. Sure I wish some things were different. There is not a perfect place on this earth.  I have so much joy in traveling around seeing all the great monuments and natural occurrences in the USA. I wish I could say I’ve been to all 50 states but I have not. In fact I have only been west of the Mississippi to travel to Texas, where Dean was stationed and our first son was born. If I could give out an award it would go to the best country ever.
  8.  I am a swimmer through and through. I swam competitively from 6 years old to high school. I love being in the water or near it. My parents have a small cabin in Wisconsin. We would stay there all summer as kids. My dad was a firm believer in making sure his two daughters could do everything his sons could do. (maybe that is where I get my competitiveness from). If I went fishing I found all the worms I would need, put the worm on the hook, as well as cleaned the fish too. I enjoy fishing to this day. By the way, I can drive a standard car and change oil because my dad made sure I could if needed.
  9. I would follow Dean to the end of the earth. There are quotes from the movie: Show Me the Money, “You had me at Hello” and “You complete Me”. That sums up Dean and I. He has always wanted to own his own gym. It was a no brainer when he suggested Cr8 Fitness. I was in. I would do whatever I could to make his dream come true. In doing so I have found my love of coaching. I was a shy kid. It would shock most people to know I talk in front of people. The Cr8 Fitness family has made me break out of my comfort zone in more than just this one way.
  10. God is a very important part of my life. I have gone through too much, seen too much in life not to think it was organized and put together by someone greater than myself. All that is good in me, is from God. I trust you see it.

I love my Cr8 Fitness family. I am so thankful you choose to train with us. The stories you’ve created because of stepping out of your comfort zone inspire me and the rest of your Cr8 Fitness family. Continue to Make It Happen.

Coach Nancy

Sarah puts Coach Nancy in the Spotlight

Things sometimes get turned around in life from the normal. It happened to me today as Sarah, a RockStar, interviewed me. Since I love to talk, I was able to manage. (insert smile here) Sarah is a RockStar in that she has trained with Cr8 Fitness for 5 years. Being a RockStar is more than the time she sets aside for training. It show commitment. It shows determination. It requires so much from each person that earning RockStar status is just that. Sarah is now a RockStar. Many of you have earned that title and many more are working towards it. Thank you Sarah for turning the microphone on me. 

I can't wait for another eleven years of memories. Looking back, Cr8 Fitness works and acts like a family. We work together for the good of the group and yet as individuals. We help and encourage through the best days and the not so best days. We pick each other up. We apologize when needed and move on. Cr8 Fitness is family and I am so glad you are here with us. 

Coach Nancy

Thank you Sarah for taking time from your work day to do this video.

Resistance Is Not Futile

This post is first in a series called "Athletes of Aging".

Nancy and I used to be huge fans of the TV series "Star Trek:The Next Generation". In the second season we were introduced to the Borg, a seemingly unstoppable collective of cybernetic organisms (how's THAT for displaying some ultra-geekdom?) whose phrase "Resistance Is Futile" has become a catchphrase in pop culture for any force which is deemed to be unstoppable.

But I am here to tell you that for those of us who want our best health and fitness, resistance in not only not futile, it is the best and most impactful of all.

The resistance I am referring to, is of course resistance training - training for power and strength. 

I have often shared with our expecting clients that being pregnant and delivering a baby is the hardest event many women will ever train for. It ain't for sissies, which is why they don't let men do it. 🙂

I have come to believe that while pregnancy is indeed one of the toughest events, there is one that is even tougher, for women and men.

Aging Well.

You see we are all going to get older, until we don't. But there is a big difference between being alive and living. Between having more days and making the most of the days you have. Between taking breath in and breathing life to those around you, for as long as you can.

I am going to do something that is not very popular these days. I am going to contend that there is a best way for the aging adult to train, and its foundation is by becoming stronger.

dumbbell

This isn't just my opinion. In the past few years there has been a virtual explosion of evidence, published biomedical evidence, that resistance training - training to get stronger, is key to slowing and even reversing many of the effects of aging. We don't have to get weaker, lose mobility and balance, and get fatter. We can actually gain muscle in our 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's and beyond, and reap the benefits that come with it.

Dr. Jonathan Sullivan, in his book "The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40", co-authored with Andy Baker, likens "every bout of strength training as a prudent deposit into a 'Physiological 401 K': saving strong muscle, hard bone, and full mobility for your retirement."

As we all know when it comes to our retirement savings, the earlier you start and the more consistent you are, the greater the benefits. It is absolutely no different in the "strength training bank of life". 

I am the first to recognize that strength training, more colloquially known as "lifting weights" is not the only form of exercise. And again I will contend it is to be the foundational modality of exercise, the "mother modality" if you will. We start with strength training, and we remain focused on strength training, now and forever. All other forms of exercise rely on this simple fact - you must be strong enough to actually do them. Yes, even walk. We strength train so we can do the other activities we enjoy doing, because when we are stronger, we can do them better. 

It's also why I like the term "resistance training", because we can create resistance in many different ways and with many different tools. Bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, leveraged bodyweight resistance with a tool such as a TRX suspension trainer, and many others. But there is another word we need to add to the equation - Progressive.

As in "Progressive Resistance Training". In other words we must consistently be seeking to increase the resistance - the load we are working against - as our body adapts to the load we are currently putting it under. Put simply, to get stronger, you gotta keep lifting heavier. At some point some modalities that may initially increase strength when you start doing them; yoga, pilates, biking, swimming - all wonderful things mind you, will no longer be able to add to the strength and muscle you already have, and certainly as not as efficiently as progressive strength training.

You will also note that I use the word "Training" very purposely. There is a huge difference between "Working Out" and "Training".  "Working Out" refers to what you do for exercise, but that is not training. Training encompasses so much more than that. 

Training is exercise that manipulates training variables (load, speed of movement, time under tension, rest periods, to name a few) as part of a long term program designed (purposeful word) to improve one of more of the general fitness qualities - Strength, Speed, Power, Endurance, Flexibility.

Training also includes what happens outside of the gym - recovery, sleep, stress mitigation, nutrition. We call this "The Other 165" - the hours you aren't in the gym exercising. You must treat those hours as seriously as the hours you are resistance training if you want to remain healthy, injury-free, and continue to progress.

What do you think of when you think extreme sports? The X-Games? BASE jumping? Cave diving? 

Extreme all, for sure.

But it's those brave souls who take on the ultimate challenge against an unbeatable foe (for who among us will ultimately cheat death?), who daily take up the mantle of training for their best life by continuously seeking to learn and improve, and to strengthen body, mind and soul, who are the most extreme athletes of all.

These are the Athletes of Aging.

Make no mistake, when you train, you are an athlete. You may not feel like one, or think you act or look like one, but you are. 

Embrace it.

Posted right in front of me is a note card that is titled "My Why":

To be as useful as I can 
To as many people as I can
For as long as I can

I'm not going to accomplish that sitting on my tail feathers all the time, and neither are you. 

It's time to join the resistance.

Get after it!

Coach Dean

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Pie Recipe

Spaghetti Squash and I are best friends. I love the stuff. I find it super easy to roast in the oven and it goes with just about everything. My family enjoys it as the pasta under spaghetti sauce or as a side dish with some salt and pepper. So when I heard someone say they had never had spaghetti squash I was amazed. After a few minutes of discussing ways to fix it and how best to eat it, she  agreed to give it a try. Thank you Jill for suggesting this recipe for her first adventure into the world of spaghetti squash. This is one recipe that everyone likes, seriously - Everyone! Its tastes like pizza. 

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Pie

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (no sugar added)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 eggs, whisked

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a fork easily goes into it, then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees. While squash is cooking, place a skillet over medium heat. Add Italian sausage, onion, and peppers. Cook until meat is no longer pink and veggies are soft. Once squash is done cooking, remove the seeds and shred. Place into a greased 13×9 glass baking dish. Add sausage and vegetable mixture to squash and combine. Add pizza sauce, dried basil, and salt and pepper to the baking dish and mix well. Finally, add whisked eggs to the baking dish and mix thoroughly. Bake for 1 hour.

If you have a favorite way to prepare spaghetti squash share it below. You'll soon be best friends with this squash too.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


Looking for More Tomorrows

Olympics in Beijing, The Big Movies included The Dark Knight and Iron Man, Minimum Wage was $6.55, the Phillies won the World Series and the Celtics took home the NBA Championship, Wall-E toys and Elmo Live were big Christmas gift buys. 

All those things made the headlines in 2008.

What didn’t make any headlines is that Dean Carlson started Get Fit NH (now Cr8 Fitness) on May 8, 2008.

Some of the early crowd at 5am - 2008

11 years later and he's grown a physical training business that is well known in the Capital area and far beyond. In fact Dean sold Get Fit NH- Concord to Coach Meagan Sbat last year so he could slow down just a bit. (The slowing down piece hasn't happened much as he is a 'wanted' speaker and teacher along with his desire to help more individuals succeed) Cr8 Fitness is thriving under his direction and guidance. Here is Dean's passion: "My life is better because of all the people who have walked through our doors over these last eleven years, and for that I am grateful. It is what drives me to serve you to the best of my ability, every day. Thank-you for being a part of our lives. Thank-you for the effort you put in to making yourself better so you can serve those special people in your life better. The world needs more of you. I am privileged that you call me “Coach”."

When we started out under the halogen light attached to the basketball hoop in the backyard (true story) at 5:00am on that crisp May morning, I always knew Dean could make this happen. Drew was 5 years old, and now he is going to driver's ed. KJ was 3 and Amy was 1 – and look at them now. We have 3 grandchildren for crying out loud! Dean and I are working toward 3 1/2 decades of marriage – my time flies. 

 The 4pm crew in 2019! 

Coach Dean wears his heart on his sleeve for all to see; "So when the junk is flying around you and it seems like life is about to crush you, know that you have a family that is here for you. We laugh together, cry together and love together. If that’s too mushy for you, too bad. I don’t say it enough, but you all mean the world to me. My challenge to you today is to hug someone just a little harder, smile just a little wider, and remember that you make a bigger impact on the world then you can ever imagine."

So thank-you. For putting your trust in us for these many years. For putting in the hard work to get better. For choosing every day to be extraordinary, to go out of your comfort zone, to make your health and fitness a priority.

Here’s to many more years…

of Making It Happen!

Coach Nancy side by side with Coach Dean

Ultimate Meal Planning Guide: Chapter 8

The Cr8 Fitness Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning

Chapter 8: Planning For Eating Out 

Now I have to be frank; my family and I do not eat out very much. MAYBE once a month, but usually less. When I do I still make good choices and try not to pig out, but if there is a great looking dessert on the menu, I may just go ahead and get it. But it's a lot different when I travel or go on vacation. The "generous" restaurant portions really add up, and very quickly. If you are an occasional "eater outer" it's not a big deal, but if you go out frequently, you need to think about portion control.

You CAN plan for these times. When our family goes on vacation we, you guessed it, plan out our meals. We'll take a look at what the hotel offers for breakfast; many have a decent hot breakfast with eggs and fruit for, instance. Then we talk about the rest of the day. Will we eat any meals in our room or pack some lunches? Do the kids need to carry some snacks? For dinner we don't always know exactly what restaurant we are going to eat at, but we do know at which meals we are planning to do so. And when we figure it out the "where", it's really easy to hop online and take a look at the menu and see what our choices will be. Using your menu planner ahead of time saves time and money, and it's kinda fun!

Before Heading To The Restaurant

  • Check the menu online before you go, so you know ahead of time exactly what you’ll be ordering.
  • Look or ask if a ‘gluten free’ menu is available (gluten free is not magic, but will save carbs and calories)
  • Drink 8 ounces of water before you leave home.
  • Eat something light before you go (apple + almonds). This will help you ward off the chip/bread bowl, and also keep your portion sizes under control.

At The Restaurant

  • Choose a protein with 2 vegetables and a healthy fat (avocado).
  • Order your burger with no bun or on a salad.
  • Change up the dish – if there is some kind of meat over pasta, just ask for the same but over salad instead.
  • Make sure not to order anything fried.
  • Add extra vegetables.
  • Ask for a double order of vegetables instead pasta or rice.
  • For breakfast, instead of hash browns ask for sliced tomatoes or a side of fruit.
  • Ask for steamed vegetables as a side (add real butter or olive oil)
  • Order a grilled protein (chicken, salmon, etc.) with just salt and pepper.
  • Ask for a lettuce wrap instead of bread or a bun.

As you can see, you can still enjoy a wonderful, tasty meal while saving on some extra calories. Once in awhile it's ok to splurge, but when you eat out often it really adds up. Planning ahead will make for an enjoyable time without feeling bad ucky a little later.

Congratulations! You've Read The Whole Guide - So What's Next?

First of all thank-you so much for reading this guide. We don't take your time for granted, which is one reason we actually wrote this guide. And we get it. We've covered a lot of ground here. You are a busy person, and taking the time to do your meal planning might seem like too much to take on. And the reality is that it is, it might be.

Some people I know really like sitting down every week and planning out their menu. They have practiced their "meal plan mastery" skills, they keep it simple, and they practice the basics:

  • Plan Dinners First
  • Plan Breakfast Second
  • Leftovers for Lunch
  • Shop with a List
  • Build your Portfolio

But what about the rest of us?

I think we can agree the benefits of meal planning, both to your health and your wallet, are just too numerous to ignore. And if you aren't ready to tackle it yourself, we've got you covered. We started our "Cr8 Your Plate" meal planning service for people just like you. Hard working people who just need some assistance fitting it all in.

How the "Cr8 Your Plate" Meal Planning Service Helps You

For as low as $15 a month, we do everything for you but the shopping. Each month you receive 4-weeks of Master Nutrition Coach designed "Done For You" Meal Plans, a new Recipe Collection, and your Shopping List. You also get a subscription to the Modernmeal Menu Planning software platform, where you can add your own recipes, change up the meal plan, scale the serving sizes, and much more. A subscription will save you 5x the amount of time and money you are investing instead of doing it yourself.

Look at it this way. You want to get healthier. Maybe you need to lose some weight. You have to eat something, and you have to go grocery shopping. Why not let us do the heavy lifting and click here to subscribe today to the "Cr8 Your Plate" meal planning service? We will even give 30 days for free to test it out. The only downside is if you don't take us up on it. 🙂

So there you have it. The "Cr8 Fitness Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning". We've given you all our best stuff, and everything you need to put nutritious and tasty food on your plate, every day. You have the knowledge, now it's up to you take action. We are here to help every step of the way. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy & Coach Dean


Please Be Kind and Share This Guide. Thanks!

Do You Know How to Taco?

Does the kitchen drive you crazy? Do you think that there is some gene you are missing that doesn’t allow you to make healthy and tasty meals – and do it fast?

I was there, and I am always learning.

I started out not ever having made a butternut squash until I was married. I didn’t even know what one looked like. I also had not made real potatoes until after I was married. As far as I knew they come out of a box. Thank you Dean for teaching me more about food than anyone.

So it’s probably no surprise it was one of those “AHA” moments when I realized I could make my own taco seasoning.

Tacos are wonderful because of all the diverse veggies and even the healthy fats you can add to tacos (think olives and avocado). My family makes “Naked Tacos”, otherwise known as Taco Salads.

Instead of grabbing the little packages at the store that usually have added sugar, here’s how to make your own. And the best part is that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it’s comes to using all these great spices.

Taco Seasoning

  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Blend together and enjoy. Better yet, make a large batch and store in an empty spice container for next time.

Enjoy making meals at home,

Coach Nancy

The Bracelets Are A Win-Win!

With May being the month Cr8 Fitness celebrates its anniversary I often find myself thinking back to the many students we have had the opportunity to serve, some from the very beginning. One common thread that shines brightly as a fitness family is our desire to give back. Many of you train in order to give back to your own family the best version of you that you can. You give yourself and your time during challenges to encourage and help those around you. And each time we have some sort of a fundraiser you give more than we thought possible. 

Lisa invited Kari and BAM another $100 to Catamount.

This year we started a new chapter in our Referral Reward program, designed to let us say thank you to you, as well as well as giving back to the community we all live in. Your Referrals Make a Difference.

For many years we have had a Referral Rewards program as a small token of appreciation for sending your friends, family and co-workers to us. And an interesting thing happened along the way. We had clients tell us "Why don't you donate that money to a local charity instead? So we are. This year every time we get a referral who becomes a client, we are honored to donate $100 to an amazing local non-profit, Catamount Womenaid.

Deb Shore from Catamount Womenaid gave us insight into this group. "Catamount Womanaid is a nonprofit organization that was formed in 2011 and provides emergency financial assistance to men, women and children living in the towns of Deerfield, Epsom, Northwood, Pittsfield and Strafford. We are neighbors helping neighbors. In the last 18 months, Catamount Womenaid has received 65 requests for financial assistance and has provided over $20,000 for expenses such as housing, medical, heating and utilities, home repair, transportation and even funeral expenses. We started a new initiative last year: School Essentials Fund. Through this fund, we have provided money to guidance counselors in all of the schools in our five towns. These replenish-able funds are being used to provide supplies, such as clothing, boots, eyeglasses, etc. to schoolchildren in need. Please check out our webpage for additional details of the work we do and to find out how you can help. catamountwomenaid.org "

We've come up with another way to help support this great organization as it helps our community. Dean designed these great bracelets. They come in two colors (don't worry guys- they are not all girly colors). Simply purchase one of these bracelets for $5 and we'll donate the proceeds to Catamount Womanaid. How cool is that? 

Win the Day has become the new saying around Cr8 Fitness. Win the First Hour - Win the Day. Many in our community need a helping hand to win the day, and you can help them. 

I love how Deb put it, 'We are neighbors helping neighbors'. That is what Cr8 Fitness has become known for. We help each other and now we can reach farther out to our community. 

Purchasing one of these bracelets is truly a "Win-Win". You remind yourself to set yourself up for success, and Catamount Womenaid gets more of the help it deserves. Please buy one (or more) of these sweet bracelet for only $5 today. Thanks!

Thank you for choosing to train with us, 

Coach Nancy


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