Tag Archives: weight loss

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.


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My HIIT Studio 6-Week Challenge Health & Fitness Results

Hello, hello!

Last weekend marked the end of a 6-week challenge that I participated in with my favorite HIIT studio, The Fit Mill. I collaborated with the studio as the health coach for the challenge, and was a participant as well. We’re all a work in progress, and I had goals that I was striving to reach at the same time that I was supporting the participants in reaching their own.

Fit Mill Tranformation Challenge

The premise? A 6-week “Transformation” challenge to kick off 2016 in high gear. The rules were that participants had to workout at The Fit Mill 4 days each week, and then the studio and I provided goals, recommendations, tips, recipes, and support throughout the challenge. Pre-challenge and post-challenge evaluations were held to take measurements and gage fitness levels on a variety of exercises. The goals were totally up to the participant, and mine were to reduce my body fat, increase my strength, and shed a couple of pounds.

Photo via The Fit Mill // taken during an event last month at the gym

Photo via The Fit Mill // taken during an event last month at the gym

My Strategy 

Since I already usually workout 6 days a week and eat a healthy plant-based diet full of whole foods, the only way for me to change my body is kick up my workouts into high gear and tighten up my diet. I was pretty strict in making sure that my macros and calories were consistently right where I wanted them to be – particularly with balancing out carbs and fat and making sure I ate enough protein.

One of my go-to post-workout small meals

One of my go-to post-workout small meals

I also reduced the amount of treats I had, so there was less wine and dessert in my life. I definitely still had them (no way I would totally give up either!), but they were more calculated and planned into my diet.

A go-to treat of mine: Halo Top protein ice cream. Tastes awesome & has 240 calories + 24 grams of protein in a whole pint!

A go-to treat of mine: Halo Top protein ice cream. Tastes awesome & has 240 calories + 24 grams of protein in a whole pint!

Besides doing 4 HIIT workouts a week, I also did some kickboxing, hiking, yoga, and cycling with my new bike trainer. I was a workout maniac – even more than usual! – and I did a lot of 2-a-days. I usually do short yoga sessions most mornings, so I kicked my morning movement up a notch. I added in high-intensity moves, lengthened my AM sessions a bit, and made sure to get a good burn in first thing in my day, along with my nighttime sweat sessions.

Fit Mill workout collage

I’ll further elaborate on this in another post soon, but last year I decided to drop some weight. At the time, I was within a healthy weight range and lead a very active life, but I decided that aesthetically, I didn’t like where I was at. So, I worked to get to the lower end of my healthy weight range. Over a substantial period of time, maybe 6 months, I dropped about 8 pounds. Going into the challenge, I wanted to shed another 3-5 pounds, build muscle mass and reduce body fat. Having a Beets BLU Smart Scale helped me gage where I was at throughout the challenge and served as a great tool.

Beets BLU Smart Scale-2

The Results

First, I got all of my measurements taken. I knew that I felt leaner and had worked hard, but I was a bit surprised at how much my measurements reflected that.

Measurements. The biggest changes were both my body fat, which I reduced 4%, and my hips, where I lost 4 inches. The body fat analyzer at the gym measures me a bit higher than my Smart Scale. My body fat is currently in the high 19% range on my at-home scale, and at the gym, my body fat measurements went from 25% to 21%, which is a huge change!

I also lost a bit everywhere else, including 2 inches in my thigh, 1 1/2 inches in my waist, 3/4 inch in my chest, and 1/2 inch in my arm. I measured my muscle mass at home with my scale throughout the challenge, and increased it from 35.7% to 36.1%. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but increasing muscle mass takes time and I was satisfied with any increase. I mentioned in my recent Smart Scale review that I had a goal to push into the 36% range, so I’ll take that progress!

handstand practice-Jan 16

I’ve never done a fitness challenge where every area gets measured, and it was pretty awesome to see my hard work pay off with the results of lost inches all around.

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Weight Is Only Part of the Equation {Beets BLU Smart Scale Review}

When it comes to shaping your body through diet and exercise, sometimes people put too much emphasis on their weight alone (I’ve been guilty of doing this in the past too!). Of course weight tells you part of the story, but it’s not the whole picture.

Women's Health-Food for Thought

(Source: Yahoo Health! via Shutterstock)

Case in point: There’s a woman whose 5’6″ and weighs 140 pounds. She sporadically eats healthy but mostly eats a diet high in simple carbs, saturated fat, and sugar, and doesn’t get consistent exercise. Perhaps she’s lucky in that she has good genes allowing her to easily maintain a healthy weight, but she might also be “skinny fat” and have some internal things going on with her body that she’s not yet aware of (like high cholesterol or being at risk for Type 2 diabetes).

On the other hand, there’s another 5’6″ woman that weighs 140 pounds, but she eats a diet plentiful in whole foods and healthy fat & carbs. She also maintains an exercise schedule, and has an athletic build.

Woman 1 may look completely different than the second woman even though they share the same height and weight. The second woman is probably much healthier than the first with better health biometrics, including a higher percentage of muscle mass.

Eat Well Move Daily-quote

So you see, weight isn’t everything – and thanks to new technology available to us health conscious consumers, we can get on a scale and see not only weight, but other data like fat percentage, muscle mass and body water.

Enter the Beets BLU Smart Scale. A couple of months ago, the company sent me the scale to try. If I had to share my thoughts on it in one short sentence, I’d say: It’s kind of awesome.

Beets BLU Smart Scale Review

One thing I absolutely love about the scale is its ease of use. I had previously owned another scale that monitored similar data, but it was much harder to use. I had to push buttons to switch users from my husband to me, which sometimes wasn’t all that easy. Although this other scale kept track of past weigh-ins, it wasn’t simple to access that history, so instead I would take pictures on my iPhone of my weigh-ins for future reference (annoying).

With Beets BLU Smart Scale, the data from my weigh-ins automatically sync to my iPhone as soon as the scale gathers the info. It keeps tracks of all previous weigh-ins so that I can easily access them to do things like compare where I was 3 weeks ago from today. The app shows me my weight, fat percentage, muscle mass, BMI and water weight.

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New 1:1 Health Coaching Offering!

My active, healthy lifestyle is such a big part of my life. As a health coach, I love getting the opportunity to share some of my knowledge and passion about health, and to help support my clients in reaching their healthy living goals.

start living healthy

I believe there’s no greater feeling than feeling healthy & happy from the inside out! That feeling transcends into every other part of life. Making an active lifestyle a priority, feeling like you have the power in your diet, and coping with stress in healthy ways are some of the things that I work on with my clients.

Nicole Crane Health - Logo

Normally, I offer a 6-month health coaching program, where the client and I “meet” (via in person, Skype or phone) every other week to hold an hourlong session. In between those meetings, we often communicate via email, where I send motivational notes, informational handouts about things we’ve discussed, and answer any questions that pop up. My program is tailored to the individual, so I customize it depending on their needs and challenges.

To Be Healthy - quote

While 6 months is thought to be an ideal amount of time to make healthy changes a habit and create a new lifestyle that can stick, I understand that committing to 6 months is a lot for some people. That’s why I’m offering a brand new option that allows you to become a health coaching client without diving right into a whole program: a 6 session package!

6 Session Offer

Just what does this offering include?

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DietBet Week 4 Recap (I Made It!)

Hi there!

Hope that everyone who has off from work for Memorial Day today is enjoying it. My weekend has been very low-key just as I wanted it to be, and has included a tennis session with my hubby, some shopping and cleaning, and renting a movie. If the cloudy skies clear out here, I’m going to head to the beach today, but before I hopefully become a beach bum for the afternoon, I wanted to share a recap of my last week participating in Jen Widerstrom’s Summer Shake Down DietBet!

Working on my tennis serve on Saturday

Working on my tennis serve on Saturday

In case you missed my past DietBet recaps:

Since I knew that I’d be in Palm Springs the weekend before the end of the DietBet, my original plan was to lose 4% of my body weight – what I needed to win the game – in the first 3 weeks, then be able to just relax and indulge while I was away. However, as it sometimes goes, those pounds melted off very slowly and I went into the weekend still needing to lose a pound to win.

Food packed for Palm Springs and eaten as snacks, breakfast, and lunch one day

Food packed for Palm Springs and eaten as snacks, breakfast, and lunch one day

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DietBet Week 3 Recap + 5 Ways to Drink More H20

Hello, hello!

I’m back on this lovely Wednesday to give you a week 3 update on the DietBet game I’m participating in. Just in case you missed my other weekly recaps and want to check them out:


Activity-wise, I killed it in week 3. Lots of kickboxing, HIIT, walking my pup, a few hikes, and some yoga practice thrown in there. Saturday was my rest day to relax and give my body a chance to recover, and I did some foam rolling and icing throughout the week – though I’m making a mental note to try to ice every single day.

Crow and Tripod Headstand practice

A yoga transition I’ve been working on: tripod headstand –> Crow pose –> tripod headstand


Food-wise, week 3 started off kind of shaky. I was eating healthy, I just wasn’t nixing the extra stuff enough. The night that I met up with other health bloggers I had a few drinks, which would have been fine, but the night before I had made these cookies:

choc pb oatmeal cookies

Chocolate chip peanut butter banana oatmeal cookies. Drool. I had eaten a couple of cookies that night, and then a few nights later, ate a few more.

Either indulgence would have been okay and within my balanced eating ideal, but I know that I can’t splurge multiple days in a row and lose anything at all… which would have been fine except for the fact that I’m doing a DietBet that ends soon! So, long story short, I got more serious after that during the second half of the week.

sesame brown rice dinner

Dinner a few nights ago: Gardein mandarin crispy chick’n with brown rice + sesame seeds + sesame oil + sautéed bell pepper, onion & some sort of greens that I nabbed at a farm stand nearby

I got on the scale this morning and was 1/2 pound down from my last weigh-in. There’s a week left in this DietBet, and I’m aiming to lose 2 more pounds. I’m working hard but it might be a bit challenging this weekend because I’m going on a little getaway with my love (more on that to come!), so wish me luck!

one pound graphic


This Week’s Healthy Living Theme

Today for my healthy living theme of the week, I’m talking about my favorite beverage: wine  water.

When people tell me they don’t really like drinking water, I think I look at them like they have 3 heads. I mean come on, how can you not like something so refreshing that we can’t thrive nor even survive long without?!

The cells in our bodies are full of water. Water helps deliver oxygen all over the body, enables the process of digestion, and allows our cells to thrive and reproduce, among lots of other essential processes.

Harley loves water too!

Harley loves water too!

I drink a ton of water. In fact, drinking a big glass of water is one of the first things I do when I wake up in the morning.  I was recently watching a (very sad) documentary about the scarcity of clean water in India, and have been thinking about how easy it is to take having healthy water for granted. In the spirit of my love for good ole H20, I wanted to share with you 5 ways to drink more water. They’re tips that I use all the time to stay hydrated, and being hydrated can make a world of difference in how I feel. Let’s get to it!

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DietBet Week 2 Recap | Persevering When the Scale Won’t Budge

Hi friends!

DietBet game

Last week I shared details of the DietBet game that I’m currently participating in and did a week 1 recap, so today I’m chatting about week 2. You can check out my first post here, but the idea is that I bet a few bucks that I could lose 4% of my body weight in a month in a game with 2,101 other people.

Week 2 Recap 

Workout Room gear

I’ve been spending a lot of time in my workout room!

Workout-wise, in contrast to my recent weeks of trying out lots of fitness studios in my area, last week was full of mostly at-home exercise, including FitnessGlo HIIT workouts and some Jillian Michaels strength & cardio DVDs. I also went on a nice long hike with pup and had my first swimming session of the year last weekend.

Acai bowl lunch date with a friend last week!

Acai bowl lunch date with a friend last week!

Diet-wise, I did pretty well. As I mentioned in my week 1 recap, all I’m really changing is my portion sizes (a little bit less each meal) and the amount of indulgences I have (less wine, less dessert). Putting last week’s theme of not having an all-or-nothing mentality in effect, I ate clean probably 80-90% of the time, with some treats sprinkled in – like a mini bag of popcorn:

Popcorn & boxing

Munching on popcorn while (illegally) watching last weekend’s boxing fight – Can you tell that my peering pup likes popcorn?!

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DietBet Week 1 Recap + Letting Go of the All-or-Nothing Healthy Living Mentality

Hi friends!

My post title makes this pretty obvious, but I’m currently participating in a DietBet game. I figure that springtime is the perfect time to shed a couple of pounds and tone up. Each week for the next month I’ll be doing a recap of my weekly progress, as well as discussing an important healthy living theme.

Summer Shake Down

So what is DietBet?  

DietBet is a game that emphasizes online community in helping people to lose weight. I’m participating in Jen Widerstrom’s Summer Shake Down – whose The Biggest Loser trainer – which currently has 2,128 players and a pot of $63,840! For this game, all participants bet $30 on themselves that they can lose 4% of their body weight in a month. Everyone that achieves that goal wins the game and gets to split the pot evenly (after an admin percentage is taken out).

Why am I doing a DietBet?

I did a DietBet once before a few years back (<– whoa, old school blog post!), and I enjoyed participating it in back then, so I figured I’d like doing it again. Some of you may be thinking, “Why is a health coach doing a diet challenge?” But the fact of the matter is that health coaches are human too, and we have our own health challenges.

[Enter a delicious looking sweet treat…]

Irish Cupcake

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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?! 😉


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!


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?

Autumn Slim Down Update & What I Ate Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

Firstly, here’s my weekly update on my autumn slim down challenge: I think that taking a break from the scale last week was a great idea for me, and I continued to push forward with eating smaller portions of healthy, delicious food with some indulgences sprinkled in, and working out daily. I don’t think I could lose the scale completely, but I think I might ditch the scale for a week or more at a time more often. Since I first talked about wanting to lose 5-10 pounds a little over a month ago, I’ve lost 5 pounds. I feel great, and want to continue my weight loss efforts for the next couple of weeks to see if I can tone up a bit more and lose another couple of pounds.



For anyone out there reading this whose trying to lose weight, I know that it feels like progress is made so annoyingly slow, but I just want to say Hang in there! Your body composition and weight change little by little, and it’s really all about the day-to-day choices you make that will help form positive habits and get you to where you want to be. So don’t give up on yourself!

Past slim down posts you may want to check out:

Week 3 Recap

Week 2 Recap

Week 1 Recap

And with that, I’m joining the Peas and Crayons link-up party this week to share a What I Ate Wednesday post. I feel like a bit of a cheater because this is what I ate yesterday, but here goes:


For breakfast, I whipped up some pumpkin spice pancakes, (minus the pecan topping but instead) drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon. Nom nom nom!


For part of lunch, I tried making butternut squash hash browns for the first time. All I did was 1.) shred some butternut squash with a box grater, 2.) chop up a bit of onion, 3.) mix the shredded squash and onion together, along with some salt, pepper & paprika, 4.) melt a TBSP of butter in a pan over medium heat, and 5.) let the squash cook until crispy brown, flipping over occasionally. It took around 20 minutes, and I loved them!

I ate my hash browns with a bit of ketchup + a peanut butter & cherry preserves-topped English muffin:


Pre-workout, I ate a cinnamon roll Quest bar…


…as well as the salvageable pieces from an overripe pear. Boo for mushy pear!


My dinner was a bit of a rare occurrence. On the vast majority of days I eat a real dinner, but every once in awhile, I come home from a workout not in the mood for dinner food (or am just feeling lazy!). I got back from the gym around 7 and was all Hmmm I think I’ll just eat a yogurt bowl, so that’s what I did. Cherry Greek yogurt + cinnamon almonds + an apple sprinkled with cinnamon + Kashi Go Lean cereal to be exact.


And that’s all she wrote!

Have you ever tried butternut squash hash browns?