Category Archives for "Coach Nancy"

When I Feel My Best I am a Sheep

Call me crazy but when I feel my best I am just like a sheep. I've been studying sheep (another reason to call me crazy) and here is what I have learned. In order to lie down a sheep must have 4 items met in their lives. So when we see a picture with sheep lazily eating grass and other sheep lying down in the shade here is what had to happen for that picture to be taken. 

  1. Sheep will not lie down unless they are not afraid. That means not agitated or easily riled. Then can't be on edge at all, they need to feel safe, secure, peaceful in order to lie down.
  2. Sheep will not lie down unless they have total peace within the flock. That means each little sheep has to be happy about the sheep next to him, being next to him. They have to be a happy little flock of sheep to lie down.
  3. Sheep will not lie down unless nothing is pestering them. Point number one covered the big fear factors of wild animals and beast eating them. Point number two covered the sheep next to him driving him crazy. This pestering is from the things that drive the sheep personally crazy- flies, ticks, and pests. Ever hear the phrase; "That really bugs me."? It very well could have come from someone trying to get a sheep to lie down. 
  4. Sheep will not lie down if they are hungry. This is easy to put into human terms and no one likes to go to bed hungry and we certainly will not be restful if we are not sure where are next meals is coming from 

So I am at my best when I am like a sheep.

My hubby, Dean, does the best job ever giving me a sense of security in my life. We live in a country where our security is relatively established. 

I am the one more in control of point number 2. I am a better person if I am not irritated by another member of the human race. Wow is that easy to say and yet so hard to do. Having internal peace along with external security helps me to be the best version of me. I don't want to drive others crazy either. 

Taking diligent care of myself physically helps me to keep that small ache or pain from 'bugging' me. The same is true when I let people under my skin and find they annoy the life out of me. Small irritations, little annoyances, petty frustrations, and ever recurring disagreeable circumstances leave me anything but my best. I have to be on my A- game in order to not let these little things pile up to full blown challenges. 

I live in a place where food is thrown out in bushels at grocery stores and restaurants. There is many programs to help those in need. In fact next week if you bring in a canned food item, Chichester Massage will award you a discount to your next massage.They will also pass along your food item to the local food banks. And yet how many of us find ourselves lacking in emotional food. We find ourselves drained and unable to put our best foot forward. Feeding yourself is all about our nutritional food but just as much about food that feeds the soul. 

What do you think? Want to feel your best? BE like a sheep and Make It Happen.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

CrockTober Fest – Mexican Chicken

This is the busiest time of year for so many people. Sports for our kids have us out 3-4 nights a week, plus special events. Work seems to be winding up to end the year instead of winding down. Of course our extended family and friends have expectations on us as well. I rely heavily on my crockpot when life tends to get busy. When I fail to plan, I spin out of control and my eating is the first to end up in the gutter. If you're like me, you wish it wouldn't happen each year. This year I am going to do the Transform in 4 Challenge in order to stop that from happening. Here's a recipe from the guide book to tempt your tastebuds. 

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 1¼ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder 
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅓ cup chicken broth, or water
  • 2 limes
  • ⅓ cup cilantro leaves
  • green onion, sliced, optional garnish
  • chopped cilantro, optional garnish

In a small bowl, combine the cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, coriander, salt and black pepper. Stir until well mixed. 2. Place the chicken inside the your crock pot. Sprinkle the top of the chicken breasts with half of the seasoning. Then, flip the chicken and sprinkle the other side with the remaining seasoning mixture. 3. Add the chicken broth or water to the crock pot. Squeeze the juice from the limes over the top of the seasoned chicken. 4. Add the cilantro leaves, onion wedges, and jalapeño slices to the crock pot, arranging them in and around the seasoned chicken breasts. 5. Cook on low for 3-5 hours, or until cooked through (different crock-pots cook at varying heats) and tender 6. Remove chicken breasts from the crock pot, shred and place in a bowl. Set aside. 7. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the liquid and discarding the solids. Add all of the juices back to the shredded chicken. 8. Stir to distribute them all over the meat. Garnish, if desired, with chopped cilantro and sliced green onions.

Enjoy in a variety of ways throughout the week: - taco salad - burrito bowl with rice, beans, salsa, vegetables - fajitas with peppers and onions - in a lettuce wrap

Serves: 4 Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 5 hours Adapted from Good Life Eats

One of my favorite parts of this recipe is the fact that it gives ways to mix it up just a bit with the leftovers. If your intrigued by the recipe, and need to find a way to stay in control as the end of the year approaches check out our Transform in 4 Challenge. You'll want to sign up now as the challenge starts November 1st.  

Happy Crocktober,

Coach Nancy

CrockTober Fest – Pumpkin Overnight Oats

 Easy, healthy steel cut oats, made in the slow cooker while you sleep! With pumpkin, cinnamon, and vanilla. This is like eating a pumpkin muffin warm out of the oven. 

Pumpkin Overnight Oats.

  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats (do not substitute quick cooking, instant, or rolled oats)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups milk, any kind you like (I will use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/8 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal (or swap an equal amount of chia seeds or hemp seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook 4 hours (on high) or 7 hours (on low) ​Since I am up well before my kids, I can put this together the night before and get the crockpot going at 4:30am. Otherwise just let it cook on low all night long. You'll wake up to all sorts of yummy smells.

Happy Crocktober,

Coach Nancy

CrockTober Fest – Coconut Lime Chicken

Soccer season, kids working, a busy hubby, homeschooling and keeping myself sane is going to be a challenge this week. That is why I am relying on the crockpot to help serve up meals when my family needs them. We don't all tend to eat at the same time anymore. This is one of those meals that can stay warm and my family can serve themselves when they need to eat. 

Coconut Lime Chicken

I put the meal together the day before so all I had to do was plug in the crockpot the next morning. Win/win.

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup red onion chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice about 1 large lime
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk from a can or coconut cream
  • pinch turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon arrow root starch 

Sprinkle each side of the chicken with salt and pepper. Add all the ingredients into the crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours.

 Add the starch and water at this time if you're using it. You may need to raise the heat slightly higher to bring this to a boil to activate the starch. Once the sauce thickens reduce it back down onto low for another hour.

Serve with cauliflower rice with the sauce spooned over the top.

Add an extra sprinkling of cilantro & chili flakes

*I used baby kale and spinach on the bottom of my plate to add some greens to this dish and then topped with cauliflower rice. The greens and rice absorbed all of that good sauce!

Happy Crocktober,

Coach Nancy

By the way our newest challenge starts on November 1st. You'll need to sign up before then. Transform in 4 is my plan to get my eating on track before the busiest time of the year strikes.

Crock- Tober Fest – Two Recipe Bonus

I posted this blog a while back. Since its Crock-Tober its time to share all the recipes I can with you. You can see the original posting of these recipes on TheGratefulPlate .org 

"Making and preparing a dinner meal for your own family can be time consuming and taxing. The thought of feeding 15- 20 people can feel like an overwhelming event. I've found two recipes that make a crowd happily fed but its easy on the time budget as well. 

These two dinner meals go in a crockpot and can cook while you're doing other things. Glance over the recipes now, you'll see the time to put them together doesn't take long." 

Cilantro Lime Chicken

  • 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper (or 1/2 bag of frozen peppers)
  • ¼ cup of lime juice
  • 1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • I cup chopped onion (or ½ bag frozen chopped onion)

Everything goes in the crockpot and you cook it on low for 5-6 hours (or on high 2-3 hours).

This meal can also be made into a freezer meal for later. Combine everything in large Ziploc bag and toss to coat. When ready to cook, thaw overnight or just put straight into the crockpot frozen. If thawed, cook about 2 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low. If frozen, cook 3-4 hours on high, or 5-6 hours on low. Shred the chicken with two forks before serving.

Green Chili Pepper Stew

(This recipe came from Hall of Fame peep- Judie who modified the original recipe from the Green Chili Bible Cookbook)

  • 2 pounds of beef stew meat
  • 1 1/2 onions chopped (or a bag of frozen chopped onion)
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 - 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 3 4.5 ounce cans of diced green chilis
  • 2 squares of beef bouillon

Place all the ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours. 

This meal can also be made into a freezer meal for later. Combine everything in large Ziploc bag and toss to coat. When ready to cook, thaw overnight or just put straight into the crockpot frozen. If thawed, cook 7-8 hours on low. If frozen, cook 3-4 hours on high, and then 5-6 hours on low. 

Happy Crock -tober,

Coach Nancy

Crock-Tober Fest – Applesauce

Fall is apple picking time in New England. Since we planted trees a few years back, I find myself with an abundance of apples. Making Applesauce in the crockpot has been a life savor on the time I spend in the kitchen. While I am trying to put the applesauce in the freezer to use in the middle of winter, often we dig right into the warm sauce for dinner. You'll find it is quick and easier than watching a stove top. 

Applesauce in the Slow Cooker

  • 3 pounds large apples, any variety (about 6)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Peel and chop the apples. Peel the apples. Quarter them through the stem, then cut out out the cores. Coarsely chop the apples into 1- to 2-inch pieces, depending on how chunky you prefer your applesauce. I have purchased an apple peeler that does all of this in one step.

Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Place the apples in a 5-quart or larger slow cooker. Add the water, cinnamon, lemon juice, and salt, and stir to combine.

Cook the applesauce for 4 hours. Cover and cook on the HIGH setting for 4 hours, stirring twice during cooking. I have also set it on low and let it cook while I am sleeping. 

Purée the applesauce (optional). If you like chunky applesauce, you can skip this step altogether. But if you prefer a smooth texture, remove the cinnamon stick, then use an immersion blender to pureé the applesauce.

Cool and store. Let the applesauce cool to room temperature. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

For all those using an Instant Pot here is how you can make applesauce: Set your machine to Slow Cooker once the ingredients have been added, increase the heat level to "More," adjust the cook time to 4 hours, then seal the lid.

Happy Crock-tober,

Coach Nancy

Don’t Be Distracted By the “What If’s?”

At times, I am distracted by the many 'if only's'. If only I was younger. If only I was taller. If only I needed  to vacuum my house just once a year. If only I had all my kids still at home. If only I had my dinners perfectly planned out for the next month. If only I could be just a tad bit more organized. The list could go on and on. Yet despite my characteristics, my personality, my age, my demeanor, my kids  or even because of them; I count my life a success. And you should too.

  • "Make the most of every opportunity"
  • "Seize the day"
  • "Do everything to the best of your ability"

These and many more sayings proclaim how valuable you are as an individual. We cannot all be successful in the eyes of the stock market. We cannot all be a hit when it comes to the models on Vogue. We cannot all be the boss of our company or the governor of our state. And yet we can all do the best in whatever situation we find ourselves. 

Three tips to staying away from the Distractions of the 'What If's"

  1. Always be Thankful. Gratitude is missing is so many people's lives. We wish for this or that to change and yet we miss the blessing of all that is in front of us. When those 'What if's' come creeping into your day, shoo them away with being grateful for who you are, where you are, what you look and act like, and all those around you. 
  2. Be pleasant. Every word you speak should be enjoyable to those you are talking to and easy on the ears of all who might be listening. We've all been in ear shot of someone else giving a piece of their mind to a store clerk or restaurant manager. In all that we say, say it like you would want someone to say it to you. Be nice and play nice. 
  3. Be content. Those 'What if's' sneak up on us when we are looking at others and wishing we had what they did, acted like they do, go where they go and spend like they spend. I bet if you could jump into their thoughts they are just as human as the rest of us. 

Today has enough to think and dwell on that is in the realm of reality. Stay in the moment and live it to be the Best Day Ever. 

Coach Nancy

I know I still have it Better than 90% (or more) of the World - Best Day Ever

Crock- Tober Fest

With working full time, having three children to homeschool, and trying to get into a new house, I need quick and easy. This is one meal that fits that category. Not much on the prep side of the meal so it goes in the crockpot quick. As it cooks I can be out doing my thing and come back into a meal that taste amazing. 

Asian Pork in the Crock Pot

  • 2 pounds boneless Pork loin 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil 
  • 1 cup chicken broth 
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos 
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon hot sesame oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice 
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger 
  • 8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced 

 Garnishes after cooking: (optional of course but definitely adds to the whole dish)

  • 1/4 cup of scallions 
  • 1/4 cup cilantro 

Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet on medium. Melt the coconut oil and brown the pork on all sides. 

In the crock pot combine the broth, coconut aminos, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, Chinese five spice, garlic, and ginger. Add the pork. Set the crock pot to 8 hours on low. 

Thirty minutes before the timer goes off, remove the pork. Set aside to rest. Add the mushrooms to the pot and continue to cook for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile shred the pork with two forks. When the mushrooms are tender, remove about 1 cup broth and reserve if needed. Add the pork back to the pot and mix well. (you can add baby spinach to the pot too and let it set until it wilts.) Add more liquid if needed. 

I like to serve this over cauliflower rice

Happy Crock-tober!

Coach Nancy

Spotlight Shines on Challenges

Nutrition Challenges

Words are powerful. There is a time to speak and then there is a time to take action. Our challenges give you the ability to put your words into practice. 

You see words in themselves are not enough. You need action or a time to practice what your words are telling you. Actions bring those words into deep conviction that are lived out practically.

The unique aspect of the Nutrition Challenges we hold through Cr8 Fitness is it touches lives. Powerful words will not have a lasting impact in our action unless your life is consistent with the message. It is not just words on our lips but words that impact our lives. 

Gretchen and Donna took time with me recently to tell me their favorite aspects of the challenges they have already completed. With our new Transform in 4 Challenge coming in November it is always helpful to hear from some veterans.  

Thank you Gretchen and Donna (and Kim behind the camera) for taking time with me after training. You ladies rock.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

P.S. Don't forget to sign up for Transform in 4

P.S.S. Remember you don't need to train with us so grab a friend to help you stay accountable to Transform in 4. I'll be there too. 

Crock -Tober Fest- Breakfast Style

This is a hit at my house with my kids and it’s also a hit for me as it’s so quick to prepare. In fact, I prepare it the night before, and then pull the crockpot out of the refrigerator at 4:30am. Its ready to eat when I am. It’s a great medley of sweet potatoes, scrambled eggs, veggies, and bacon – all in one.

Breakfast Casserole in the Crockpot

  • 12 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 30-ounce bag sweet potato cubes (or fresh sweet potato cubes cut in chunks)
  • 4 slices cooked bacon
  • ½ onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1 small head broccoli, roughly chopped

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, mustard, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Lightly grease the bottom of the crockpot. Place half the potatoes on the bottom. Layer with half the bacon, onion, bell peppers, and broccoli. Add the other half of the potatoes, then top with the rest of the veggies. Pour the egg mixture on top. Cover and cook for 4 hours on low. Serve it hot!

Quick tip: Riced sweet potatoes and broccoli can also be used. Frozen pepper and onions make for a faster prep time.

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy