Tag Archives: health coach

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone By Feeling the Fear & Doing it Anyway

Hi friends!

How has your week been? It has been quite a busy one for me. Lots of good stuff happening, including my participation in a workshop to get certified to teach Yoga Sculpt!

If you’ve read any of my monthly workout recaps recently, you may have noticed that I’ve been going to Yoga Sculpt classes. I love the mix of cardio, weight training and bodyweight exercises with a bit of Om sprinkled in. It’s a little bit of yoga, and a lot of sweating and sculpting. Out of the many kinds of classes that I’ve taken, the one I’d probably want to teach the most is Yoga Sculpt, so when the opportunity came up for me to take a certification class, I went with my heart and jumped on it.

While I’m obviously a longtime fitness lover and have gotten to do a lot of cool fitness-related things, like getting to workout with Jilian Michaels and attend awesome fitness seminars, fitness certifications are not in my usual wheelhouse. I’ve focused more of the nutrition and integrative health side of things with my health coaching certification. While a fitness certification is entirely new to me, when it came down to it, I asked myself, Why not?

I think that so many people are afraid to get out of their comfort zone, they go most of their lives staying within their little bubble – never taking risks or trying things that are new and exciting. I’m proud to be a person that is continuously just going for it – whether that means going to events where I don’t know a soul, traveling to unfamiliar places (my favorite way to get out of my comfort zone!), interviewing for jobs that are totally out of my usual realm (and then sometimes getting them!), or doing something new like getting a fitness certification.

When it comes down to it, if you want to lead a life that’s full of growth and excitement, you’ve got to feel the fear and do it anyway. Fear-based living is what leads to stagnation, and when you think about it, if you’re not going forward, you’re really going backwards.

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Introducing My Custom Meal Planning & Health Coaching Program!

Happy February!

How’s everyone doing with their New Year’s resolutions & goals for 2017?

According to Forbes, only 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions. JUST EIGHT! Not surprisingly, I’ve also read that the #1 New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to lose weight & eat healthier.

Personally, I’m less of a New Year’s resolution person, and more of a make-goals-at-any-time-and-crush-them kinda girl. Why? Because while I like the idea of a fresh start with a new year, I believe in the power of hard work & consistency to make changes in any month. I also believe that if you’ve already given up on your resolutions, you always have the power to start again with a renewed sense of motivation – no matter the time of the year.

When it comes to weight loss, eating better, & getting healthier, a lot of time people give up because they don’t have the support they really need to be successful – whether that means understanding their food cravings and unhealthy habits, having someone there to support & motivate them, becoming more knowledgable about nutrition, or a bit of all of the above.

So, I want to help you rock your New Year’s resolutions.

I want to help you develop healthier eating habits, shed unwanted pounds, and be the confident, happy person that you’ve been envisioning in your head.

ANNOUNCING… MY CUSTOM MEAL PLANNING & HEALTH COACHING PROGRAM!

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The Best of 2016: Favorite Recipes, Workouts, Adventures & More

Happy New Year!

happy-2017

I hope that 2017 is off to a great start for you. I’m back in California after a week and a half on the east coast for holiday vacation, and ready to see what wonderful things this year has in store for me. Since I love to reflect on the positives of the year at the start of a new one, today we’re looking back at my 2016 favorites!

Recipes. When I think about favorite recipe posts, what pops into my mind are the recipes that I shared with loved ones, made numerous times and couldn’t get enough of! My top 5 recipes of 2016 that were popular on the blog are…

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Mini Pretzel Twists with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. I had a thing for soft pretzels in 2016! 

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Mediterranean Feta & Lemon Hummus Dip. After creating this dip for a health coaching event, I made it several more times throughout the year. I love Mediterranean ingredients like artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes & feta cheese! 

Moving onto the sweeter side of things, these were my favorite healthy snacks/desserts of the year (all vegan + gluten free!):

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Brown Rice Crispy Squares. I like to think of these as a more wholesome, adult version of those blue wrapper rice crispy treats we’re all familiar with!  

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No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cookies. Because the chocolate + peanut butter combo has my heart every year. 

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Peppermint Chocolate Chip Snack Bites. I‘ve been obsessed with all things peppermint this winter! 

Travel. I got to do some awesome traveling in 2016! Here are my favorite adventures of the year:

cliffs-of-moher

Visiting Ireland was definitely a check off of my bucket list, and it also marked the first time that I ever spent time in Europe with my family. I met them in Ireland and got to experience the country with my parents, sister, grandma, aunts, uncle, cousin, and brother during the whirlwind trip. I had the chance to visit the Cliffs of Moher, experience some awesome Irish pub nights, and ate lots of yummy vegetarian food.

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The Healthy Habits I Practice Daily

The following post is sponsored by Dandy®. health is wealth

If there’s something that every single health professional and enthusiast in the world can agree on, I think it’s that being healthy is not a destination, it’s a lifestyle. It’s something you have to put in the effort for each and every day.

Consistently making healthy decisions makes me feel strong, capable, and confident, and it transcends into every other area of my life. Today I wanted to share some of the healthy habits that are part of my everyday routine. They’re ways of life for me that make me feel vibrant and energized, and help me to be the healthiest, happiest person I can be. Let’s get to it!

Morning Stretches Collage

Stretch. Stretching is something that I not only do before and after my workouts, but also on my rest days too. I think it feels great to stretch my muscles, and I’m always working on my flexibility in my yoga practice. I also keep a foam roller, tiger tail, and trigger point bar in my living room so that I remember to use them while I’m watching TV.

Harley beach walk-May 16

Walk. I go on long walks with my dog every day. What started off as something I did to just get her puppy energy out has turned into a daily practice that we both enjoy. We typically go for at least a half-hour walk around my neighborhood, at the beach or a nearby park, and I usually take her hiking with me on a longer excursion once a week. The time in nature is calming and energizing, and we both come home happy!

Dandy celery snacks-5

Eat a healthy dose of fruits & veggies. Scanning through my social media feed on Instagram and Twitter, you can easily see that I enjoy lots of real foods. I’m all about nourishing my body with food made by nature!

With having such a sweet tooth, I could easily eat a ton of fruit and not eat quite as many veggies. I never go a day without eating veggies, but there are times when I don’t eat them until dinnertime. That’s where my new favorite healthy munchies comes in: Dandy® portable snacks.

Dandy celery snacks-4

In business for 90 years, Dandy® produces produce from their family farms in Florida and California. One thing I love about the company is that they’re committed to non-GMO farming practices. Another thing I love? Their new peanut butter + celery snack on-the-go snack packs!

Dandy celery snacks-3

Dandy® has partnered with one of my favorite nut butter brands in the world for their snack packs, Peanut Butter & Co. I’m a huge fan of their Smooth Operator peanut butter paired with Dandy® celery.

Dandy celery snacks-1

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5 Healthy Ways to Add a Little Adventure into Your Everyday Life

Happy, happy Friday! And Happy Labor Day weekend to my fellow Americans!

Hope that you’re looking forward to your long weekend. My hubby has come down with a nasty cold for what will be the first weekend we’ve had together in a month – so I’m just trying to allude the sickness and hoping that he gets better ASAP so that we can have some fun!

Love this sign at a local Pilates studio

Love this sign at a local Pilates studio

Speaking of fun, I definitely consider myself to be a fun, adventurous person. While I’d love to go on a trip every month or jump out of a plane or some other daredevil activity every week, that isn’t really feasible. So, even during the week when I’m busy with normal things like work, I like to add a little spice to my life in small ways.

wheel pose on the Navesink

Wheel posing at my parents’ Jersey shore house a few weeks ago

I think that one of the major ways you can live life to the fullest is to make every day an adventure in some way. I was recently thinking a lot about this, and I thought I’d share with you guys some ways that I add some excitement to my everyday healthy lifestyle.

#1 – Try a new walking/hiking trail: Since I take my dog for a long walk on a daily basis, I like not only having numerous routes that we take, but also trying new trails to switch it up.

Calavera Lake

The other evening at a nearby park we often frequent, I spontaneously turned left when I usually go straight. Was it an earth-shattering adventure? No, but it gave us a change of scenery to enjoy.

#2 – Try a new recipe: Eating the same meals over and over is borrrring. Sure, everyone has their favorite go-to foods and meals, but not only is it fun and different to try out new recipes, it also helps to provide your body with a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that enable you to function at your best – not to mention that it helps to expand your kitchen maven abilities.

Freekah salad-3

My most recent new recipe creation was the above pictured Mediterranean Freekeh Salad. Freekeh was also a brand new food to me last week. You can try it too by entering my giveaway to win a package of freekeh!

#3 – Get out of your workout rut! Go to a new exercise class, or a challenging one that you haven’t done in awhile. Switching up your workout routine not only keeps things interesting, it keeps your body guessing and working harder too.

Core40 class

This week I kept not being in the mood to workout (although I kept pushing through!) and felt kind of bored, so I made a return to the Megaformer machine for a killer Pilates class yesterday. I hadn’t done a class in a few months, and whew, it was tough!

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20 Interesting Health Magazine Stats

Hello, hello!

Hiking at Elfin Forest-June 15

Scene’s from last weekend’s hike

Hope that you had a great weekend. Mine was a nice & low-key few workless days in SoCal, which was just what I needed. My hubby had Marine Corps training, so I had a lot of “me” time: hiking with Harley, recipe testing, running errands and cleaning, and hanging by my pool enjoying yesterday’s perfect weather.

pooltime June 2015

yesterday’s relaxing afternoon scene

First thing’s first: I’m sending out my first health coaching newsletter tomorrow, so if you haven’t subscribed yet and you’d like to receive my monthly e-blast, sign up below! It’s going to include workout and recipe ideas, healthy living tidbits, health coaching discounts and more.



Onto today’s topic, since I’ve been traveling a lot lately, I’ve been doing a lot of magazine reading. I used to be a member with a readership company that sent me tons and tons of magazines, some of which I still haven’t read, and when I travel, it’s my chance to catch up on some health & fitness media reading.

Since I find a lot of interesting tidbits in magazines like Fitness, Islands, Self & Women’s Health, I thought it’d be fun to share some of the stats I’ve read lately. Without further adieu, here are 20 intriguing health facts!

#1 – British researchers have found that people who did yoga just once a week for six weeks reported significantly more energy – as well we clear-mindedness, composure and confidence – than non posers. One theory is that by decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol, yoga helps reduce fatigue and elevate mood. (Fitness, January ’15)

Just more reason to get your Om on!

#2 – 

Metabolizing a Meal-stat

 #3 – There are 2,780 CALORIES in the Cheesecake Factory’s Bruleed French Toast, one of the nine unhealthiest menu items in America. (Fitness, January ’15)

Can you say GROSS?!!

#4 – According to research by Jamba Juice, 28% of people are scared of green juice. (Fitness, June ’14)

I totally get it, green juice can be intimidating. I used to be scared of them too, but now I’m a regular green juice drinker! I dare you to try out my pear, apple & cinnamon cleansing green juice or pineapple sunrise green monster. 🙂

#5 – 

obese women exercise stat

#6 – Once thought to lessen soreness and prevent injury, research now shows that static stretching before exercise can actually decreases performance and make your muscles feel sluggish. (Self, October ’14)

Instead of doing static stretching pre-workout, aim for an active warmup, then do static stretches for your post-workout cool down.

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The Blog Turns Three!

A few days ago I got a WordPress alert on my phone telling me that it had been THREE years since my first WordPress post. Wow, the years have completely sped by!

Happy Birthday FLF

It’s crazy to think about how when I started blogging, I had no idea what a great part of my life it would become. My hubby had just deployed, and I decided to start what was then called Foodie Meets Fitness as a new hobby and a way to share more of my day-to-day life and recipes with loved ones 2,500 miles away. Since then there has been a lot of change and growth around here!

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An Exciting Health Coaching Announcement!

Hi friends!

Today’s post topic is fun stuff you guys, so let’s get to it!

As some of you already know, I became a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified health coach last January. I had gotten to this point where I had become fully aware of just how passionate I am about healthy living, and I wanted to somehow spend more of my energy in the wellness field. When I heard about IIN, it immediately clicked for me. My intuition told me that the school would be a perfect fit, and without giving it much time or too much thought, I enrolled.

The IIN Mission Statement

The IIN Mission Statement

Over the course of the year, I’ve been enthralled in the world of heath coaching. The reality of it is that I’ve been unofficially counseling my friends and family for years on how they can be healthier and happier, and the idea of working with others as a wellness professional to help them create their best lives is exhilarating to me. I’m thrilled to be making health coaching an official title of mine, and I can’t wait to get started….

Nicole Crane Health - Logo

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IIN Chat: American Health Facts

“America doesn’t have a healthcare system. We have a disease management system.” – Andrew Weil, IIN lecturer

As some of you already know, in January I started school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified health coach. The school offers an awesome flexible yearlong program, and I’m in the thick of it and loving it. Every week I feel engaged in the lessons, and it’s great how I can listen to the lectures anywhere on my iPad. As I recently mentioned, lately I’ve gone to the beach a few times to do school work, which provides just about the perfect setting for relaxing while learning! IIN Mission In February I did a recap of my first month of school, and I was planning on doing a post on my favorite ideas and concepts for each month I’m in school… but somehow a few months have flown by! Whoopsies. I want to get back to sharing things with you guys that I’ve learned at IIN more frequently, so today I’m talking about some stats I’ve noted from recent lectures about the health of Americans.

Warning: Some of these stats are downright scary! Talking about some of this info makes me more eager to get out there and start coaching. Knowing that I have the potential to improve the quality of people’s lives through health coaching is very exciting. Here we go:

  • Fact: Americans now eat more than a million chickens AN HOUR….That’s 9 billion chickens each year.

Adorable chick protected by hands

(source)

  • Stat: The average American gets 62% of their calories from processed foods and 27-30% from animal products.

That leaves just roughly 10% for fruit & vegetable consumption! Fruits and veggies provide us with so many vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants that are beneficial to our health in so many ways. We need to eat more produce in order to lead healthier lives, simple as that. produce-1

(source)

  • Fact: 1 out of every 3 Americans has cancer.

That fact is just so sad, but think about, who out there doesn’t know someone who has died of cancer? I think that more of an effort needs to be made to educate people on cancer prevention versus just on finding a cure. Of course a cure is needed and would be nothing less of amazing, but we need to also focus on how to reduce our risk of getting cancer in the first place.

  • Stat: 25 million Americans are affected by osteoporosis.

While increased calcium consumption has been recommended, research has found that those who drink more milk have a higher rate of bone fractures. One major reason why? Because the body need many nutrients working together for good bone health, such as magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc and Vitamin C, D and B6.

By the way, milk and dairy products aren’t the only calcium sources available. Vegan sources of calcium include leafy greens like kale and collared greens, blackstrap molasses, tempeh, soy beans, figs and amaranth. US Obesity

(source)

  • Fact: 70% of Americans are considered overweight.

(Unfortunately that’s no shock.)

  • Stat: The U.S. has the third greatest amount of people with Type 2 diabetes in the world (#2 is China and #1 is India, which I was surprised to hear).

Tidbits on diabetes: It’s the leading cause of kidney disease, blindness and amputations. Those suffering from diabetes are also 2-4x more likely to have a heart attack. flat belly diet

  • Fact: Today in the U.S. there are over 15,000 diet books in print.

No wonder why most people are confused about nutrition huh?

  • Stat: It has been estimated that there are 88 workers per 1 BILLION pounds of meat produced in America.

cattle-feedlot

(source)

…..and this is why food safety in the meat industry is a major concern!!

  • Fact: It’s estimated that healthcare related to obesity costs the U.S. $147 billion dollars annually.
  • Stat: The average American teenager consumers 33 TSP of sugar each day.
  • Fact: 95% of Americans don’t know what quinoa is…

Red_quinoa

(source)

….which, by the way, has the highest nutritional profile of all the grains out there!

So there you have it, some startling facts about the American diet. What are your thoughts/comments on these stats? Are you surprised by any of this?

If you want to learn more about IIN’s program, I talked about it more in-depth here. You can also leave a comment below, shoot me an email, or click on “Study holistic nutrition” banner on the right side over here to find out more about IIN’s program. —->

“People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.” – Wendell Berry

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Hi friends!

autumn leaves

Anyone else psyched for Thanksgiving? It’s 4 PM on Tuesday and I’m already done with my work week! Tomorrow my hubby and I are heading down to San Diego for the rest of the week, and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s crazy to think that I haven’t been back to San Diego since moving from there to the Bay Area earlier this year — which was already 7 months ago. I adore SoCal and my friends there, and we have a lot of fun things planned!

First up, my weekly autumn slim down recap:

With the exception of indulging a little bit more than I had planned on last weekend, the past week my eating has been super healthy and my workouts have been great.

Weekly WODs 11.26.13

I’ve really been enjoying writing down my workouts on a daily basis. It allows me to look back at the whole week and recognize how much time and effort I’ve put into exercising.

For some reason I didn’t lose an ounce of weight, but I’m not really stressing over it. My plan for this week is to be mindful but enjoy all of the good eats of Thanksgiving and San Diego in moderation, be as active as I can, and just to maintain the weight that I’m at. To me, it’s just not realistic to set a goal of losing a pound or two over a holiday week when I know I’ll be splurging. I think that after losing a couple pounds, I’m at this sort of sweet spot, comfortable weight, and have probably plateaued. But after this week is over, I’d like to kick it into high gear for a couple weeks before I fly to Jersey to spend a few weeks with my family and friends for Christmas (and my entire schedule and routine is derailed!). The holidays are such a hectic and fun time, but I set a goal to tone up a bit more, and I’m going to keep at it!

Secondly, I have news to share with you guys…. yesterday I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition! Come January, I will be a student again. I figured I already have a full-time job, freelance work, a slew of activities I commit myself to on an almost daily basis like blogging, working out, taking Harley for long walks/hikes, and cooking, plus squeezing in a couple hours a week of volunteering at the Humane Society, so why not add school to the mix right?! 😉

IIN-logo

When I told my sister, a current college student, the news, she said, “Why would you do that to yourself?!!”

Well, I am so passionate about living a joyful, heathy life and sharing my knowledge & love of eating delicious eats that not only taste good but are good for your body, staying active, and pursuing the things that make you happy — and for me, continuing my education in this field is one of those things!

IIN-Mission

In a nutshell, IIN is a year-long online course to become a certified health coach. Ever since I completed my bachelor’s degree, I’ve wanted to go back to school. I’m actually a big dork who loves to learn and I’m a total overachiever (I graduated with a 3.96 GPA, thank you very much!), so I think that working this program into my schedule is just something that seems to fit and can only benefit my career and personal development. You all will be along for the ride, as I’m sure that I’ll be chatting about interesting aspects of the course on the blog!

Well, I’m off to get a workout in before getting ready for my trip to San Diego and coming up with a dessert for Thanksgiving. Wish me luck!

Question: Have you ever considered going back to school, and if so, what for? If you’re a current student, what are you pursuing?