Category Archives for "Coach Nancy"

Train with Your Purpose in Mind

Each January gyms are flooded with new people. Everyone trying to accomplish in a few weeks what they couldn't do all of last year. By the second week of the month, the place is back to normal. Most of the newbies have already given up. Why? And more importantly how to avoid it.

There is nothing wrong with making these common New Year's resolutions, We have all made resolutions that we have failed to keep. 

The good news is that each year is an opportunity for a Fresh Start. And yet each week is a fresh start. Every Sunday is the first day of the week - a new beginning. Actually, every day is an opportunity for a new beginning. 

If you are at one of these 'beginnings' you are at a crossroad. You are at the point of choosing. Choosing what to do, how to do it, and how much to do. That is the time of resolutions. The purpose is not to help you resolve to do something, my purpose to help you stay resolved once you've made that decision.

Resolve takes Focus

Focus on your past choice. You've already made a choice to physically train. You've already made your choice to become healthier. You've already made your choice to achieve a medically sound body composition. Now its about maintaining your Focus. Write down what your purpose is. Then leave it visible for you to see often. Daily is best. Once I have a purpose to achieve a task, I write it and leave it near my bathroom sink. Each morning as I get read for the day, my focus shifts to my purpose. It gives me clarity as I do my daily tasks. 

Resolve takes Commitment.

Commitment is dedication in action. Once you have your purpose, you need to commit to doing something to make that purpose start to happen. It might not happen all at once. Losing 50 pounds is going to take work and more action than one days worth. And yet it all starts with one day, one action repeated over and over. Commit daily to doing one action that will help you achieve your purpose in 2019.

Resolve takes Preparation.

Preparation can be mental but often it to is an action step. Think of preparation as a way of helping yourself out. Preparing your meal plan on Sunday of each week helps you to not stress about "what's for dinner?". It helps you have those foods in the house that will allow you to eat foods that will support your purpose of becoming healthier. Preparation can be help given to you by others. Having others in your family chop veggies while you get the steak grilled, gives you that helping hand so you can get the meal on the table quicker so you don't snack your way to dinner. Find ways to prepare to give that helping hand towards your purpose. 

Resolve takes Accountability.

Accountability is a key we often ignore. It is hard to admit we need help. It is hard to say I will do this better if  you do this for me. It is hard to tell someone your goals. The thought often goes through my mind, "What if I don't actually achieve my purpose?" As a coach I'm going to say, "What if you actually do?"I'm here to help."  Accountability has proven itself over and over. Having a partner or a group of others that will give an encouraging word, others that know your purpose, people that will work along side you; gives you power. Power to push through tough times.

Focus, Commitment, Preparation, and Accountability are your keys to Succeeding in Your Purpose.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


Shepard’s Pie with a Twist

The recipe is sent in by rock star Sara. Sara plans each week's meals. When I saw this recipe on her plan, I just needed to know the recipe. 

Here’s what Sara said: “The pumpkin shepherd's pie is yummy--it’s adapted from The Fresh 20 cookbook. Jason and I (and the kids) get a good dinner plus a good sized lunch out of it.”

Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ medium onion, rough chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 lb ground turkey or ground beef
  • 2 cups baby spinach


  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 cups roasted pumpkin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions for the Filling:

Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and carrots, and sauté until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with cumin, salt, pepper, and paprika. Add meat and brown. Toss in baby spinach to wilt, and transfer to a greased 8x8 inch baking dish.

Directions for the Topping:

Using a handheld mixer, whisk egg whites in a large bowl until stiff. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin with the cayenne and salt. Fold in the egg whites. Spread the topping over the filling. Bake for 20 minutes until golden on top.

*Chef Sara’s notes: I made the topping with the eggs the first time, but haven't since. They make it nice and light and fluffy on top, but even without them it still tastes good. Also, I use various types of winter squash in place of the pumpkin all the time, and I probably use closer to 3 cups.

*Coach Nancy's notes: I made a sweet potato topping. I substituted 2-3 baked sweet potatoes that I pealed for the pumpkin. Everything else I kept the same. Isn't it great to have already tasted alternatives?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Purpose Unlocks Potential

What is your purpose in physically training at Cr8 Fitness?

Now what is the question that pops into your head right after you say your purpose?

Hold onto these questions and their answers. They are going to help you unlock your potential and give you success in 2019. 

You are always backing me up and I need that! 

For example: My purpose in physically training and eating to support my lifestyle is so that I do not visit my doctor as often as I did in 2018. While I know there will be some visits; a regular check up, skin cancer and breast cancer were a concern in 2018 so I know I have follow up visits to those. Yet I spent many other visits to doctors and chiropractors to help my ribs, my back, headaches, and my hip. My training suffered and my healthy numbers are spiraling downward. Yet when I first say my purpose out loud a voice in my head says; "Where are you going to start?"
It is then that I bring out my keys to Success. Focus, Commitment, Preparation, and Accountability.

  • Focus- I need to keep my purpose in the front of my daily activity. It is all too often that I left my daily activities dictate my life, instead of having a clear direction. I skip all over the place just to do this and do that. With some clarity I will achieve my daily activities in the priority that my purpose dictates.
  • Commitment- I've already put in place several actions because I am committed. I am not going to wait for the perfect time, or the first day of the week, or for some magical, mystical, spiritual event to hit me. I'll adjust my plan as I need to, for now I need to just get going.
  • Preparation- Some of you might view me as if I have preparation down solid, this is my weakest area. Since as far as I can remember I have crammed for texts, procrastinated until the last minute, and held off on things that are hard until I HAD to do them. That is why I didn't wait for the perfect timing or the perfect plan or to have all the stars line up before beginning. My preparation is tied into my next key heavily. Need some help to get you started? Take a look into some of our Cr8-Tive articles
  • Accountability- I've already asked for help. I have a partner, actually two people, to hold me to my first and most important task. From there I have different peeps who will nudge me when I falter. I'm using an app on my phone to give me feedback. It took courage to ask for help. I have all of you to back me up- I need that and you do too. I wanted to do this alone. And yet that has not worked out very well in the past. Using my key of Accountability will spur me onto action when my focus or commitment or preparation isn't all in.

How does this lead back to those two questions? Your purpose will give you clarity. It will drive you, and keep you from chasing squirrels and going down rabbit trails. The second question is designed to show which key is most important. I didn't know where to start. It seemed like a huge task. My accountability partner helped me line up my focus, I know they will help me when my focus, commitment and preparation are waining.

I have to use all the keys to succeed. Focus, Commitment, Preparation, and Accountability.

This exercise will take a few minutes to complete. Lets find our Purpose and use our Keys to Success so that 2019 will be our best year ever!

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Merry Christmas

Gifts come in all shapes and sizes. They can be store bought or hand made. They can be given between people with a common bond and given between strangers. Some gifts are wrapped up in fancy paper and bows and some just wrapped up in a hug or smile.

This Christmas I will enjoy many gifts. I am truly blessed. 

And yet the best gift of all I often don't share or talk about. God has given me the gift of eternal life because of what Christ did on the cross as he died for my sins. It is this gift that encourages me deep down to love all, give all I can, and share joy everywhere I go. 

This Christmas I want to thank you, my friends for a gift that is rare. You and I care about each other. We each want what is best for the other. Friendship is a gift. I thank you for sharing your life with me and my family. 

I will treasure this Christmas as no other, I encourage you to take time today just to look around and treasure up sights and sounds and family in  your heart. Those moments are gifts you can give back to yourself later in the year. 

Merry Christmas,

Coach Nancy

Christmas Funnies to Lighten your Mood

Laughter is always the best medicine. When the holidays roll around and tension and stress levels are high, a few giggles will lighten your mood and your emotional load.

How much did Santa pay for his sleigh?

Nothing. It was on the house!

What do you call a kid who doesn't believe in Santa?

 A rebel without a Claus.

What do you call a snowman with a six pack?

An abdominal snowman

What’s Santa’s favorite snack food?

Crisp Pringles.

Where do snowmen keep their money?
Beats me.
In a snow bank.

What do fish sing during winter?
Christmas corals.

What do you get when you eat Christmas ornaments?
Not sure.

Crack a smile, it’s okay to laugh out loud.

Coach Nancy

Give Yourself a Checkup: How are you doing being, “Hot for the Holidays”?

How are you doing on the "Hot for the Holidays Challenge?"

You know, that challenge where we are working on maintaining our bodyweight through the holidays? 

Oh yeah, THAT challenge!

Hot for the Holidays? “Why even bother? I always gain weight this time of year. What’s the point?”

When asked the question, “What’s The Point?”, my answer is always the same. Every time Cr8 Fitness challenges you in your nutrition our goal is this:

To teach you nutrition habits, that when applied consistently and correctly, will create the optimum metabolic environment to help you lose body fat and gain/maintain lean tissue (aka muscle).

In other words Cr8 Fitness wants you to eat in a way that makes you look and feel great. We want you to the be the healthiest version of you possible. 

So what’s the main obstacle to progress?

I think it’s that we have too much information.

If you were to head over to and search for “diet books” you would get 78,496 results. Holy cow!

Is it any wonder that there is confusion over the “right” way to eat?

So right off the top let me make it clear. “Hot for the Holidays” is not a diet, in the sense we are going to starve ourselves to try to lose weight. It's a prompt to stick to the principles we know are going to make us healthier and happier in the long run.

So get ready to challenge yourself. Open up to the possibilities, and challenge what you think you know about nutrition and what you are capable of doing, even around the holidays.

Get ready to get a little uncomfortable. It IS hard to turn down all those holiday goodies being thrown at you from every angle. Enjoy some, just not all of them!

And it's a GOOD uncomfortable, one that leads to good results, not the uncomfortable where you ate so much such you are looking for your stretchie pants. 🙂

I am super excited about this challenge. It's our (yours and mine) chance to take one step forward in our health when most everyone else is going backward. 

Are you ready?

Let's do this!

Coach Nancy

Too Many Calories at Christmas

Sticking with my Handling the Holidays theme... I’m back at it with today’s topic: Too many calories.

I’ve heard more than one person complain of all the sweets and baked goods that are around this time of year.

And unless you plan on checking yourself into a spa for the next two weeks, it's hard to avoid. There's the food YOU make at home (for your family or other people), the food that people give TO YOU, and the food that's brought into the office.

And that's not counting office parties and holiday parties that take place in the last 2 weeks of the year, either.

What's a goal-oriented clean eater to do?

Since there's so much to discuss on this one, I'm breaking it down into two environments.

The home environment.

Tip #1. Instead of baking cookies for others, consider other baked goods that you can give as WHOLE THINGS. For example, banana bread, pies, cakes. Most of these are less time-consuming to make than individual cookies, and you won't be tempted to slip in a piece. I mean who's going to give a pie to someone with a piece cut out?

Tip#2. Consider GIVING away things other than baked goods. Fruit baskets are great choices and many people actually welcome them this time of year, when they've been inundated with other junk food. Make your own for a fraction of the price of store bought.

Tip#3. When you are baking at home, those little BLT's add up. Remember, BLT stands for Bite, Lick or Taste. Don't start cooking until after you've had a protein rich meal. Your body will be busy digesting for hours and you'll be less tempted to snack. If baking is an all day event, plan a decent lunch and take a break to sit while eating. 

Tip#4. If you will be baking at home or you just have lots of goodies in the kitchen, brush and floss your teeth after every meal. A clean fresh mouth will make those treats less tempting. Consider chewing peppermint gum as well and if possible, avoid the kitchen. Out of sight, out of mind.

Tip#5. Are you inundated with food related gifts from family and friends? I almost hate to say it, but re-gift. You can appreciate the thoughtfulness without having to "appreciate" it. Pass on the thoughtfulness to someone else.

Tip#6. What's your reason for NOT overindulging this season? If you don't have one, you need to come up with something that will make this a season that is defined by something other than the goodies you can indulge in. With no real reason for sticking to clean eating, you'll be much more likely to convince yourself a little bite here, and a little cookie there won't hurt.

The easiest place to control excess calories this holiday season is your own home. Watch what food you bring in, encourage company to take leftovers and goodies with them and give away what you can.

It's not the food that makes the holidays, it's the memories you make.

And those calories are coming from everywhere! But no where seems worse than the place we spend the majority of our day. The office.

There's clients, reps, patients, and business associates who send or bring in all sorts of goodies.

There's the staff office parties which typically means a catered lunch or... ten, depending on where you work.

And then there's your co-workers. The overachievers who want to show off all of their superb culinary skills by bringing everyone in the office high-calorie, delicious homemade goodness. And insist on watching you try "just one."

Add to all of that, the end of year work related stress that leaves you short-fused, and sleep deprived and you are primed for a sugar-laden calorie bomb before noon! Here's my top tips for handling this:

  • Recognize that just because food is there, doesn't mean you have to eat it. Are you eating because you're hungry? Or because you're bored and you CAN? Before you indulge in anything at the office, take a moment and think about why you are eating. If it's a one of kind treat, offered only once a year, than maybe it's worth the calories. If it's something you could get again tomorrow, why bother?
  • TAKE the time to prepare and bring your lunch every single day from now until the holiday craziness has passed. And not just any old lunch - think of some of your favorite, clean lunches and bring those, so you won't be tempted by the trays and trays of sub sandwiches in the break room. Pack snacks too. Things that are easy and portable are beef jerky, string cheese, raw nuts, fresh fruit. Always aim to eat some lean protein and fiber so you will stay full for a longer period of time.
  • Handle the food-pushers assertively. When they offer you tempting goodies, look them directly in the eye and say "It looks wonderful and I'm sure it tastes fabulous, but I am (insert one of the following: full, limiting how many sweets I am eating this year, cutting back on in between meal snacks, etc). The key is to be appreciative, but also direct. If they persist, again, look them directly in the eye, and say, " Honestly, first name, I'm _______(repeat your rationale). Leave it at that.
  • Lastly, the most simple and direct tip I can give you. Avoid the food. Don't hang out where food is stored or sitting out. You'll constantly have to tell yourself "no" and repeating "no" over and over doesn't actually increase your conviction, it weakens it. It's like exposure to a cold or illness. The greater (more frequent) the exposure, the greater the chance you will catch the bug and give in.

During this “busy holiday season”, it’s important to pull the reins back a bit.

Now, I’m not here to say live off celery and tofu for the month.

But what about setting up a little challenge with yourself.

Skip the seconds on Christmas Day.

Pick and choose your favorites, whatever you want, but don't go back for a second plate.

Who's with me?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Holiday Survival Guide – Sleep

Are you an "All or Nothing" type of person?

Soon it is Christmas. Do you have an all or nothing mentality?

During the Christmas Season, do you eat and eat and eat and eat, because it is there? Do you leave each meal or party feeling stuffed and guilty for overindulging again?


At Christmas, do you feel deprived, hungry, pick at only a few food items, watch as everyone else gets to eat what they want?

Are these your only options?

This Christmas, put a plan in place. Enjoy special times with family and friends, choose small portions of those food items that aren’t typically on your menu plan. Don’t go at it with a buffet line mentality, but with a treasured meal that you’ve looked forward to and it has finally arrived mentality.

With the holidays here in full effect, I thought I’d cover some common struggles we all face during this time of year.

And that leads me to our first one. LACK OF SLEEP.

It's true when we're rushing to fit it all in, sleep is the very first to go. We stay up later than we should knowing that we "just need to get through the next couple of days...week or month." And yet, even though we may finish a project or task by staying up later, that sleep decrement bleeds into the next day. Lack of sleep is more than just self-imposed 'punishment' for not being able to get everything done.

It can lead to weight gain, difficulty concentrating, and can flat out ruin your holidays.

So if you're already putting sleep on the back burner to start crossing things off your holiday to-do list, take a moment and consider what really needs to get done.

Ask yourself, what do you want to create the most this holiday season? Instead of telling yourself you need to have a perfectly decorated house, home made goodies for every acquaintance you can possibly think of, the ideal Christmas present for everyone on your list, in addition to being perfectly dressed, coiffed and manicured, maybe you pick a 'theme' for the season.

Focus on ONE thing and let go or delegate the rest. I know it sounds easier said than done...but how many years have you tried to pack everything in and watched the month vanish at a blink of an eye....with no real meaningful memories in it's place?

Here are just a few trade-offs to consider so that you may go to bed earlier each night.

  • Purchase gift cards instead of presents for people on your list. Easy one stop shopping and little gift wrapping involved. Plus, as a friend always says - it's 2 gifts in you have a reason to go shopping too!
  • Hire someone to clean your house.
  • Pick one or two key rooms to decorate and let go of the rest.
  • Shop at stores that offer gift wrapping with purchase.
  • Having a party? Have it catered and/or hire a bartender and enjoy the opportunity to visit with family and friends rather than spending your time in the kitchen.
  • Shop online.

And yes, I know, sometimes you DO NEED to stay up later than you'd like. Here's your recipe for the next day.

Take a nap if you can. 15-20 minutes. No more or else you'll end up creating a cycle that could make falling to sleep at night harder.

Lay off the caffeine. 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.

Drink plenty of water and focus on protein and veggies. Avoid simple carbohydrates like processed foods such as cookies, cakes, candy, crackers, etc which is what your body will be craving.

Don't skip your workouts. The exercise will help to make you feel energized. At the least, get outside for a quick 15-20 minute walk in the brisk air. Invigorating.

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.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Yummy Recipes for Graham Cracker Protein Powder

We've recently sampled Graham Cracker UMP (Ultimate Muscle Protein). I have more delicious recipes to share with you! 

Check out this Graham Cracker Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding that Coach Dean came up with. It will satisfy chocolate and peanut butter cravings!

Here are a few more recipes with the UMP graham cracker protein powder.

Dan's Dynamic Shake

  • 1 scoop graham cracker protein
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein
  • ½ scoop chocolate protein
  • 1½ teaspoon peanut butter
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 fistful spinach
  • About 10 ounces of water

Blend until smooth in a blender. If you use a fresh banana, add in a few ice cubes to chill it. Enjoy!

Marquita's Marvelous Shake

  • 1 scoop graham cracker protein powder
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 10 ounces of water
  • Ice

Blend until smooth in a blender.

Homemade Granola Bar

  • 4 scoops graham cracker protein powder
  • 2 cups oats
  • ½ cup crushed walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • About ½ cup of water

In a large bowl, combine all the oats, protein powder, walnuts, flax seed, sunflower seeds, salt, and raisins. Add in the vanilla, coconut oil, and then the water a little at a time. At first it will seem very dry but be patient it will blend up. Coat an 8x8 pan with coconut oil. Press the mixture on the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut into bars or squares.

The great things about these granola bars is that they are flexible. Some shredded coconut or cacao nibs would go great in here. Experiment with different protein powder flavors for a different spin, too.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Eat Your Way RIGHT Through the Holidays

There are two ways you can read that.

Eat your way right through..... The Holidays” – such as, eat everything in sight from Halloween to New Year’s and ensure yourself 10 new pounds of belly blubber for the new year.


“Eat your way RIGHT..... through the holidays”, as in eat correctly and supportively over the next few weeks, enjoying the seasonal treats in a planned and controlled way, continuing to focus on good habits and making progress.

Big Difference! (no pun intended)

One cookie is different than one plate of cookies!

Take these 4 things and help yourself to Eat RIGHT through the holidays

  1. Plan your meals
  2. Prep your meals or as much as you can ahead of time
  3. Eat when you are hungry
  4. Stop eating when you are satisfied.

That is it. Four things that sound super simple and easy to do. If you dismiss one of those items, you make your chances of Eating RIGHT through the holidays twice as hard. 

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy