Category Archives for "Coach Nancy"

Eat the Rainbow

I know what you are thinking, no not we are not going to talk about Skittles.

What does it mean to "Eat the Rainbow?"

Simply aim to eat as many “colorful foods” as you can throughout the day; real food - think fruits and vegetables, not Skittles. Eat green, purple, red, yellow, blue and orange.

Kind of sounds like advice for a child right? That's good, it should be that simple!

Why Color is Important

Whenever you are about to eat a meal, look down at your plate and ask yourself “where is the color here?” You want to be able to easily spot 2-3 different colors every time you eat. This is an indication that you’re eating foods that contain many different nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants.

Nature has a very simple way of letting us know which foods are really healthy and full of nutrients - color.

Close your eyes for a second and try to visualize this: the strong blue/purple color of fresh blueberries, the deep red hue of tomatoes, the bright orange of carrots.

These colors indicate nutrient content and and also the presence of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and other free radical fighting ninjas which are important in slowing the aging process and helping our body deal with inflammation.

Think Lots of Color

The different colors in fruits and vegetables indicate the different types of antioxidants. There are many types of helpful antioxidants, so you want to make sure you are exposing yourself to a variety by including different colors on your plate. You don’t want to consume only orange and red fruits and veggies while ignoring the greens and yellows. You want a wide variety.

Branch out, eat the rainbow.

Avoiding White-and-Beige-Only Meals

A standard unhealthy diet is going to be made up of many white, brown, and beige foods. As you can tell, this means colors (antioxidants) are lacking. If you notice that a lot of the foods on your plate are white (potatoes, rice, cereal, bread, pasta), brown (beef, pork, sausages, heavy sauces) and beige (cheese, processed carbs, low quality chicken and turkey), then it’s time to add some color to your plate in the form of fruits and vegetables.

Remember, every single meal you consume should have noticeable colors in it. Aim to get 2-3 different colors into every meal and you will be on the right track. Once you get the hang of that, think about your day/week as a whole and figure out which colors you might be ignoring (greens? Reds? Orange? purples?), then start adding more of those kinds in too.

Need some help to get you started? Try this recipe for Rainbow Chicken.

Rainbow Chicken

This chicken is a fiesta of rainbow colors, and is quick and easy to prep and bake – give it a try tonight!

  • 4-6 skinless boneless chicken breast (thin cut)
  • 2 cups no salt added chicken broth
  • 1 small purple onion
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 small orange pepper
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 1 medium tomato
  • Goya Adobo seasoning

Preheat oven to 425

Pour chicken broth into 9×13 pan and lay in chicken seasoned with 2 Tbsp of Goya Adobo.

Slice onion, peppers and tomato and arrange on top of chicken, and sprinkle an additional 2 Tbsp of seasoning.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 20 minutes or until chicken cooked through.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Fantastic Tasting- Golden Crusted Almond Pork Loin

I’ve shared this recipe several times and everyone has always raved about it when they prepared it. It is easy but looks and taste sensational. I serve this with roasted mixed veggies and a side salad. I know when I serve this meal, I am assured that my family has food that will keep them happy, but that I am not filling them just to fill their bellies. I’m giving them food that will fuel their bodies.

Golden Crusted Almond Pork Loin

  • 4-pound boneless pork loin roast
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season pork with salt and pepper and rub with mustard.
  3. In a food processor, with the motor running, add garlic and process until minced. Add almonds and parsley then pulse until mixture is finely chopped.
  4. Pat almond mixture over roast, pressing to coat well.
  5. Place roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and cook for 2 hours until the crust is lightly browned and a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 155 to 160 degrees.
  6. Transfer roast to cutting board and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
  7. While the pork is cooking, prepare the sauce.
  8. In a saucepan over medium heat, simmer chicken broth until reduced to 1 cup.
  9. Reduce heat and whisk in the mustard. Whisk in butter, a few pieces at a time, until butter is incorporated and the sauce is smooth.
  10. Serve the pork roast with sauce.

(If you don't have time to make the sauce, like I didn't yesterday, don't panic. No one missed it) The pork doesn't need it. Its one of those special things that makes it just shine even more. 

Enjoy your food,

Coach Nancy

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 AND 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? Apple pie in a cup it is!

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


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
  • 1 scoop Cookies and Cream UMP
  • 2 teaspoons peanut butter
  • Water

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

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

Lauren is Taking Over the Spotlight

Have you ever met someone who totally makes you feel like you've known them for years within the first few minutes after you meet them? That is Lauren. Her smile is there for everyone who walks in the room. She has an encouraging word whether your day needs it or not. During training Lauren keeps those around her going by talking them through it. Secretly I think she is keeping herself going with those same words she helps others with. 

I'm going to allow Lauren to tell you her story. She does a far better job than I can.

Lauren has made her own success by taking advantage of Cr8 Fitness's program design and eating more nutritiously. I'm proud of her. She is making it happen. 

Lauren is joining others who have hit their goals and kept going. Check out Kim's story

Coach Nancy

3 Steps You Need to Take Now to Reach Your Goals

I love hearing success stories. It inspires me to dig deeper inside myself when I see others have already conquered their goals. After years of reading and hearing others succeed I've found they have 3 things in common. 

Share. The first thing I have noticed about those that succeed is that they don't keep their goals to themselves. They elicit others to share in their experience. Take Dan for example, Dan told me (his coach) he had a goal of doing a Million Meters in a Year. He had already laid out a plan to accomplish his goal. I merely listened and encouraged him to tackle it. I'd be there to help. He soon told others in his training time. He asked them to ski alongside him each morning. They were sharing in his experience and in the process helping him. It's gone further as now Cr8 Fitness has a goal to Match a Million Meters in March. By one person sharing his goal, we all have a short term goal that I am sharing with everyone who reads it here. (by the way its being posted on Facebook and Instagram to enhance that experience even more)

See. The second observation I saw was those that have experienced great success have posted their goals where they could 'see' them often. Crystal is taking advantage of all the offerings of Zen Planner. It's the app we use at Cr8 Fitness to track your attendance. Inside of Zen you can 'see' a calendar of all the training times you've attended. These can be printed out if you needed to. Crystal has a goal of 100% perfect attendance. Seeing her boxes fill in each day inspires her to keep going. She has also shared her goal with her training time and her coach. She is taking her goal seriously and she is making it happen. 

Say. Say it out loud. Over and over goals are reached by those that are clear cut and easy to digest. "A Million Meters" - sums up Dan's goal. "Perfect Attendance" is Crystal's goal in a nut shell. How can you sum up your goal in a sentence? Be able to 'Say' it out loud. Cara and Roni have shared their goals with each other. They have posted pictures you can see.  They have also said it out loud to themselves and to others. They want to "Keep Going". They have not completed their goals yet. So "Keep Going" has become their mantra. 

Share, See, and Say. Do these three things after determining your goal, and watch your success rate soar!

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

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