Your Questions Answered

Last week we asked you to give us your top 3 nutrition questions, and today we are going to start giving some answers.

The first one we chose to answer covers a lot of ground, and addresses a topic that many of our members struggle with. I think it can be summed up like this: How perfect do I have to be with my nutrition and still get results?

The question was prompted as the questioner looked through Nancy’s food log and noticed that there were snacks where protein and vegetable were not consumed. Isn’t that “non-compliant” with the food plan? Shouldn’t Nancy be flogged in the public square?

Before I answer, consider this – Are your goals and Nancy’s goals the same?

Now I know you don’t know her specific goals, so I’ll frame it this way – Will the goals of a woman who is 5′ 7″ tall, weighs 135 pounds and has between 16 and 18% bodyfat going to be the same as a woman who is 5′ 7″  weighs 190 pounds and carries 30% bodyfat? (this is a hypothetical woman, not the questioner)

Of course the answer is no. There can be a significant difference in nutrition specifics because woman #2 needs to drop bodyfat, while Nancy does not. In this case we need to separate the two questions “Am I eating to support my weight loss goals?” and “Am I getting all the vegetables, vitamins and fiber I need?”.  Make sense?

So here is (finally) the question and the answer I gave. It was a great question, and I appreciated it being asked. Let’s hear your thoughts and any followup questions you might have in the comments below.

Unhappy DieterQuestion:

Here I’ve been, wiping myself out to eat protein and veggies at EVERY meal….I can just snack smartly between meals and get all the veggies and protein I need three times a day or so….


Not sure if I would snack on prunes, though. Yuck.

Fruit or yogurt or a small snack of mixed nuts is usually what I can easily find between the larger meals. This is “acceptable” or “compliant,” eh? Or am I on the right track (getting burned out) to eat so many veggies and protein each time I put something in my mouth?


I applaud your hard work and making some significant changes in your nutrition. Let’s back it up a bit. When it comes right down to it the most important thing is making your plan something you can live with – adding stress to the equation (getting burned out) is not what we are after.

Let’s talk about the reasons we are looking to get protein and vegetables in every time we eat. The typical American diet does not contain close to the amount of fruits and vegetables that is recommended in order to meet the nutritional requirements of a sedentary person, never mind someone like yourself who is training hard. The recommendation to eat veggies at each feeding is in order to help meet these requirements. I don’t know anybody (including myself) who eats too many vegetables. Eating protein, even a small amount, helps maintain blood sugar levels throughout the whole day and supports building lean tissue, which in turn helps raise your overall metabolism.

So that’s the theory and strategy. Now let’s talk reality. I have seen what compliance to the nutrition plan can do, and I believe it is optimal for rapid body composition change. That being said, what are the consequences of backing off that and developing a pattern of 3 solid protein/veggie meals and supportive snacks in between? The answer to that lies in the progress you achieve doing it that way, and we find that out with your weight and waist measurements. So try the “new” plan for two weeks, take your measurements, and re-evaluate. If you are making the desired progress, we stay with it, if not something needs to change.

So August 7th is two weeks out. Take your measurements then and shoot me an email so we can re-evaluate. Sound like a plan?

Make It Happen!


Rocking The Referral Rewards!

Today we are talking about the BIG GREEN, and I don’t mean Dartmouth!

We absolutely love it when our happy members tell others about Get Fit NH Bootcamp, and we love passing out the cash to those who do!

Donna Check

I want to go over our Referral Rewards program again so you can get in on the action too!

Here’s Donna happily holding a check for $25 she earned for sending Mark our way.  Donna told Mark about Bootcamp, Mark signed up – and we get to write Donna a check! Outstanding!

But wait – It Gets Better!

Last Week we introduced you to these babies – Bootcamp Referral Rewards 2.0!

Referral Card

And here’s where it get’s really cool –

When we get one of these cards back from one of your friends, family, neighbor, co-workers, postman , whomever – and they sign up for our fat-blasting, body sculpting, energy boosting Bootcamps – Not only do they get $50 off their first month, but we hand YOU a $50 bill as well!

Want Proof? Well here you go!

Dana and Jenn

That’s Jenn on the left with her card and Dana on the right sporting a brand new $50 Bill!

Rumor has it Dana has big plans for that 50 – if it’s not gone already 🙂

Dana didn’t keep bootcamp to herself – she shared with Jenn how much she loved it and EVERYBODY wins!

And never forget, we appreciate each and every one of our members and how you have helped us grow! We WANT to hand out those $50’s, so grab yourself some more cards – Don’t Keep It A Secret!

If you have any questions, let us know!

Make It Happen!

Dean and Nancy


My Favorite Pre-Workout Recipe

We get asked a lot about what to eat before you come to train. I am partial to shakes because they are easy to prepare, digest quickly, and taste great!

Below is my absolute favorite recipe for pre-workout nutrition, a quick breakfast, or a healthy treat. Full of muscle building protein, antioxidants, and carbohydrates to get you through that tough workout, this recipe is a winner!

Very Blueberry SmoothieBlueberries

  • 1 Cup Frozen Blueberries (unsweetened)
  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Whey Protein (Ultimate Muscle Protein is our recommended brand!)
  • 1/2 Cup Nonfat Plain Yogurt (I love Stonyfield)
  • 2 Tbsp Whole Oats
  • 1 Cup Ice

Blend all the ingredients and Enjoy! I usually add 8-10 ounces of water because I like my smoothies thin – your choice!

Nutrition Information (approx)

  • Calories (k/cal) : 289
  • Protein (g) : 27
  • Carbohydrates (g) : 35
  • Fat (g) : 5

Give it a try and let me know how much you love it!

We Had A Great Time!

With some of our moms and their kids yesterday! It’s a lot of fun to get a group of kids in a room and just get them moving around – they are exercising and they don’t even know it!

Thank-you to everyone who could make it yesterday. We are in the midst of a lot of vacations and had a number who were away, but don’t worry, we can’t wait to do it again!

What Do You Want?

This post is all about you.

Your wants, needs and desires – In one specific area.

My observation after many years of training clients just like you is that we very rarely get asked a questions about physical preparation, about training.

I believe that is because you trust us to take care of you while you are with us. You understand we are going to help you train in a safe and effective manner, that you are going to get a great workout and not have to worry about all the details – and that is just what we are aiming for.

On the other hand we get asked about a specific subject almost daily, and that’s a good thing.

I am sure you have guessed the #1 topic of discussion and the area we are most frequently asked about is…


When should I eat?

How much?

Is this good for me?

Can I have this?

What about_________?

So today we are turning the tables and asking you a couple questions, and I need your answers in the comment section below this post. I also want to compile a list of your most frequently asked questions, so fire away. Don’t be shy, you are not the only person who wants to know. The more responses we get the better, so let’s have it!

So here’s my question for you:

A “done for you” meal plan outlines exactly what to eat and when for a specific period of time in order to build good habits and jump start your fat loss. If we provided these plans, would you use them?

Would you attend nutrition classes if offered? If so, what are the topics you would like to see covered?

Now it’s your turn:

What are the three nutrition questions you would like to see answered that you think would make the biggest difference in you reaching your body composition goals?

Now I know it’s Monday, but please do me (and yourself 🙂 a favor and respond below.

Make It Happen!


Is This The Reason You’re Not Losing?

What is the most important weapon in the fat loss arsenal? What one thing do I truly believe will make the biggest difference in achieving your body composition (fat loss OR lean muscle gain) goals?

From a practical standpoint the #1 thing you can be doing right now is this:

Keep a food log!Food Log

Not too sexy I guess. I mean I’ll admit it’s not something you are going to see advertised in an infomercial or endorsed by a celebrity, it’s not a pill you can swallow twice a day and see the fat “melt away before your eyes”, blast your buns or burn your abs.

The bottom line is this – probably 9 out of 10 people believe their nutrition is better than it really is, and in a lot of cases it’s really not your fault. After all you don’t know what you don’t know.

The fastest way to find out how you are really doing nutrition wise? Start writing it down, every bite of food, every drop of beverage.

There is only one reason you won’t do it – because you don’t really want to know (be honest with yourself)!

Consider this – studies have shown that the average person underestimates how many calories they are eating in a day by over 500 calories per day.

Eating 500 calories a day more than your body requires would result in gaining a pound of fat a week – not what we are looking for.

So here’s the deal – We are providing two resources for you to start your food log today.

The first resource you can download and make copies for each day – Nutrition Log

The second is a free online resource that not only shows you what you eat, but gives you total calories and breaks down your protein, carbs, fat, etc.  –

Which one do I recommend?

The biggest advantage of a paper log is that you can carry it with you to work, travel, etc. and you don’t have to rely on your computer, or try to remember it all and enter it later (which you know you won’t do). The disadvantage is the double entry into Fitday or manual calculation to get your breakdowns.

A combination of both is ideal. Log your food daily on paper and enter a day or two a week into Fitday to see how you are tracking.

If you want Nancy and I to take a look at your logs we are happy to do so. We will do a brief overview with you and make recommendations based on what we see. We want to see 2 weekdays and 1 weekend day of the same week. Why? Because it is easier to maintain discipline on the structured days of the week, then the weekend comes and we “let our hair down” – potentially undoing our 5 days of hard work. We also offer complete nutrition analysis, which you can read about by clicking here.

I want to hear your questions and comments below – don’t be shy. You are most likely not the only one with that question, so let’s hear it.

You want to start dropping that fat?

You want to start sculpting that lean body?

Make It Happen – Start that Log – Today!


How do you like your lemonade?

“When you can make lemonade from life’s lemons, your glass will always be full.” – Nancy CarlsonLemonade

(Editors Note: I am attributing that to Nancy ’cause I never heard it before!)

Life always throws us curveballs. We are not in control of so many things that each day we have to adjust and make new plans. In the long run, most of these are just small irritations. But these small irritations can have a big affect on our waistline!

You have heard us say it before – all of us are emotional eaters on some level. We eat when we are happy, we eat when we are sad, we eat to be social, we eat when we feel like being anti-social.

On the purely foundational level, we need to eat to survive – to keep the biochemical reactions in our bodies functioning at a high level.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t sit down before I eat and think – “How will this bowl of ice cream affect how I feel tomorrow”. More likely it’s something like “These kids are driving me nuts, and I need that bowl of ice cream to keep from throwing them out the window”.

When you eat are you eating to nourish your body or just to alleviate stress?  Part of the challenge is we often really are hungry during those emotional times, and we reach for the “comfort food”.

The #1 tip I can give you? Don’t have your favorite “stress reliever” food in the house, or office or car, or wherever. You WILL eat it. You don’t need to eat junk, and neither do your spouse or kids. The “my kids like it” excuse doesn’t fly. If it’s not good for you, what makes it good for them?

Eating 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day will help alleviate those insistent hunger pangs that creep up at the worst times. If your body has been consuming quality nutrition through the day, you are less likely to binge.

But what happens when you are out, planning on being home at a certain time then road construction blocks your path? Or you have to wait in a very long line at the bank and that is only your first stop?  What about when the meeting at work goes over and you are not able to take a lunch break? Bring healthy snacks with when you are out so you aren’t tempted to stop at a fast food drive-thru or visit the candy machine. You never know what life will throw at you but you can be prepared.

Easy snacks that travel well

  • ¼ cup of almonds in a zip lock baggie
  • Carrot sticks, celery sticks, and green peppers
  • Trail mix- walnuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, coconut, almonds, craisins sealed in a zip lock baggie (avoid the store bought blend as they tend to add chocolate chips, think of that in a warm car)
  • One scoop of your favorite protein powder to be mixed with the water in your water bottle
  • Dried fruit – prunes, apricots, raisins, etc…. again watch for added sugar.
  • Mixed nuts in a ziplock bag

Don’t forget to carry a water bottle with you too.

Remember you don’t have to always eat just to satisfy your stomach, eat to satisfy your health.

Make It Happen,

Dean & Nancy

Diet Soda is Better – Right?

I’ll admit that I do drink diet soda – once in awhile. I’ll also admit that it would be better if I didn’t drink it ever.

I used to drink it a lot more, at least one a day, because I figured it was a better alternative to “regular” soda.

But then research started coming out that diet soda might be as bad or worse than sugary sodas.

In reality, neither one are a very good idea – the carbonation in soda messes with the PH in your stomach and can cause serious digestion issues, enough reason on it’s own to stay away from the stuff.

Then there are the artificial sweeteners. There is no question in my mind from much research that I have done and seen that we would be much better off leaving most of them alone. They are also not the weight loss panacea they are made out to be.

I would encourage you to research the subject on your own and draw your own conclusions. Below are some articles that support my point of view. There are others that say otherwise.

If you are trying to lose weight, water is your best bet, there is just no denying it.

I look forward to reading your feedback in the comments below.

MSN – The Truth About Diet Soda

ABC – Study: Artificial Sweeteners Increase Weight Gain Odds

Online Journal – Duty To Warn: Diet Soda Is Poison

Natural News – Buy Your Poison

Your Dog Is Fat!

If your dog is fat, you’re not getting enough exercise.

Fat Dog









Well if Fido was getting enough exercise, chances are you probably would be a lot closer to fitting into those new jeans, right?

Sometimes it’s all about how we look at things.

Perspective is important, and keeping the right perspective is key to reaching your fitness goals. Our 21 Day “Steps to Success” guide can give you that proper perspective – when you use it.

You must actually do something now that the guide is in your hands.  Print out your copy, read it once, then read it again. Congratulations, you’ve done the hard part – you started!

Now do step 1, write down your specific goals, then on to step 2. This is an easy one you can do before your next training session – just weigh and measure yourself, and write it down. You’ve already completed steps 1 & 2 – How hard was that?

Keep in mind your goals are like the finish line at the end of a running race. The weight and waist measurements are the starting line. You need to be able to see where you want to go from where you currently are now. Looking in the mirror from the neck up is not good enough. You’ll end up with the wrong perspective.  Standing in front of a full length mirror with as few clothes on as possible will give you the correct perspective. Taking a picture is even better. What’s that you say – you don’t want to see those pictures? Precisely why you need to take them and look at them every single day. You can fool yourself when you look in a mirror, but pictures don’t lie – they give the real perspective.

No excuses! – Do those first two steps, and you get the momentum going in the right direction.

Remember if your dog is fat, you’re not getting enough exercise.

Now get out there and do it!


Summer BBQ for Four!

BBQBelieve it or not, we are finally seeing some signs of the sun here in the Northeast! It’s time to get the grill fired up and enjoy some healthy and tasty barbecue. Here are four of my favorite recipes that are easy to make,  taste great and great for you!

Let me know which one you like best!



Summer BBQ for Four

Melon Strawberry Salad

4 cups Romaine Lettuce, chopped
1 small honey dew melon, cut into cubes
2 cups Strawberries, sliced
1/2 medium cucumber, sliced
Fresh mint sprigs

1 cup plain yogurt
½ cucumber, peeled
Lime rind
Truvia (stevia) to taste
Fresh mint sprigs (optional as garnish)

Arrange the lettuce in four two – cup bowls. Place the cubed melon on the bed of lettuce along with the strawberries and cucumber slices.

To make the dressing, add the yogurt, cucumber, mint leaves, lime rind, and Truvia to a blender or food processor. Blend for 15 seconds until smooth.

Serve the salad with dressing and mint sprigs.

Ginger Chicken Strips

1 cup chicken broth
3 Tablespoon Pineapple juice
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
1 Tablespoon honey
1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast

Reduce chicken broth to a ¼ cup on medium high heat. Add the remaining ingredients except for the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Place the chicken in the ginger marinade for 2 hours up to overnight.

Preheat grill for 10 minutes on medium high. Grill the chicken for 4 minutes, turn and grill for another 4 minutes, brushing with ginger glaze. Cook until juices run clear.

Quick Grilled Veggies

Zucchini, Summer squash, red and green peppers, and portabella mushrooms cut into large chunks (you can use whatever veggies you have on hand)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 T chopped Basil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced

Mix oil, lemon juice, basic and garlic in small bowl. Cut up veggies. Pour marinade over veggies. Let sit 1 hour, mixing occasionally. Put on Skewers like Kabobs to grill. Grill on medium high heat on the grill until desired doneness.

Using skewers to grill the veggies, works out really well. The veggies did not get all mushy like they tend to do in the foil packets, plus I could more easily see their progress as they cooked.

Summer Berry Delight

2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup Truvia
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 Tablespoon lemon juice

Fresh Fruit:
1 ½ cup fresh raspberries
1 ½ cup fresh blackberries
2 peaches, peeled and cut into wedges

Combine all topping ingredients in saucepan, simmer covered over medium heat for 20 minutes. Cool

Mix the fresh fruit and divide it among four bowls, Top with blueberry topping. Enjoy!