Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018 Goals + Roasted Carrot Bites

It’s January 3rd, and I’m finally publishing this blog post, but, hey, it’s better late than never, right?

Above: Photos from New Year’s Eve

I actually wasn’t even sure if I wanted to write a “goals” blog post. I didn’t write one last year – although, I’ve written many over the years – so I went back and forth whether I really wanted to do the whole New Year’s resolution thing. But after a New Year’s Day chat with Mal (we talked about how 2018 felt like a good “reset” and what we wanted to improve upon in the year), I was pretty motivated to set some intentions. Here’s what I came up with!

Compartmentalize work life and home life – Ah, yes. This one is a never-ending battle, but I *think* I’m finally getting the hang of it. Three things that are working for me right now: 1) Putting my phone in our bedroom when my family is at home; 2) Working ahead and not leaving things to the last-minute; and 3) Asking myself what really matters at the end of the day. The answer is pretty much always my family.

Use fewer iced coffee cups – A reader reached out about my plastic iced coffee cup consumption on New Year’s Day, so I took it as a sign that I needed to get it together and use my tumbler more often when I purchase iced coffee.

Go to bed earlier – My goal is no later than 9:30 PM most nights of the week and 8:30 PM on the nights that I plan to go to the 5:15 AM class at CrossFit.

Listen to my body. Ugh, I had too many injuries this year, so I really want to pay attention to any sort of aches and pains before they get out of control (and land me in the ER). Man, getting old sucks. I’m working with a physical therapist/spine specialist now, so, hopefully, he can help get me to a good place with my imbalances.

Make my snacks count – Maybe it was because of the holiday season, but my snacking was getting a bit out of control. I was reaching for something to munch on pretty much all day long. This year, I want to make my snacks more like mini meals and really beef them up with quality protein, carbs, fiber, and healthy fats. I also want to look forward to my snacks instead of just mindlessly grabbing whatever is around, which bring me to these incredible Roasted Carrot Bites. They’re just 3 ingredients, easy to make, and the perfect nutritious snack when you’re something salty and a little sweet. Definitely give them a try in the new year! 🙂


  • 1.5 pounds carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch-ish pieces
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil (other cooking oils would work too)
  • sea salt to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine carrots, oil, and salt in a oven-safe dish. Bake for 35 minutes, tossing carrots midway through cooking. When time is up, turn off oven and leave carrots in oven until they cool, about 90 minutes to 2 hours. This might seem like a long time, but I typically make them at the end of my meal prep when I no longer need the oven.

Makes 4 servings

Macros: P 2 C 16 F 4

P.S. If you want to update your workout wardrobe in the new year, definitely check out the awesome clearance sale at Nike from now until Jan 4 – AND Take an Extra 25% Off Sale Styles! Discount automatically applied at checkout. I did some shopping during over the weekend and saved big time!

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A Practical Tool For Your 2018 Goal Setting

Inline_New_Year_GoalsToday’s guest post is offered up by one of our own, Erin Power. She’s our awesome Student and Graduate Support Lead for the Primal Health Coach Program as well as an amazingly successful health coach in her own right. I love her message of starting out the year with a solid, actionable goal in hand—and a practical takeaway for defining that New Year objective. Enjoy, everyone!

There’s a tide shift happening—and it’s exciting and inspiring to be a part of it.

Within my health coaching practice, I’m finding the entire vernacular changing. When I ask my prospective clients what their Main Health Goals are, I’m not hearing things like “I want to look good in my swimsuit on my beach vacation.” Or, “I want to rock a body-conscious outfit at my high school reunion.” Or even “I want to lose X number of pounds by X day of the year.”

Check out these quotes from some of my client Intake Forms over the last six months:

“I have an unhealthy relationship with food; I have a sugar addiction and constant food obsession. I need to get rid of all of this.”

“I’m looking for the lifestyle change, and to gain a better understanding of how food works in relationship to my body.”

“I’m uncertain of the foods I should be eating and the workouts I am doing. I need help reorganizing my eating, drinking, sleeping and workout habits.”

“My body feels out of sorts. I want to increase my energy and my overall sense of wellbeing.”

“I have been obsessed about food for my entire life. I just want to understand it all, once and for all.”

When people are put on the spot—and about to make a financial investment in improving their health—they spend some time really thinking about how to specifically articulate their health goals.

They put a lot more time into it than most of us put into our New Year’s Resolutions, which often end up looking a lot like the same hastily-scribbled list from last year.

And that’s a big reason why New Year’s Resolutions don’t work.

A benign list, with no emotion behind it—no strategy, no incentive, no WHY—will almost always fall short in the motivation category. There’s no skin in the game. I’m not talking about a financial investment. I’m talking about an emotional one. A spiritual one.

Why Applying WHYx5 Makes a Difference

The Why-by-Five exercise is a tool that I use with my health coaching clients to help them uncover their true motivating factors for change. Those same old resolutions make it onto the list each year for a reason, and I think we can agree it would be nice to move the needle on a few of them—once and for all. This exercise helps us get to the root. All you have to do is ask yourself WHY, five times.

Allow me to share an example:

My Main Health Goal for 2018 is, as always, improved mobility. Except, that’s too vague. And the way I know it’s too vague is because I literally make this New Year’s Resolution every year and have never once stuck to it.

Let’s go deeper:

I want to practice my barefoot Grok Squat daily, keeping my feet in a relatively neutral position and my chest lifted. I’d like to work up to holding this for ten straight minutes.

Better! Now we work that specific, measurable, realistic goal through the WHYx5 exercise:

400_Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 10.02.48 AMWhy is that important to me?
The lack of mobility through my hips and lumbar spine has prevented me from progressing in both my strength and conditioning program, and my yoga practice.

Why does that matter?
Because I want a really capable body that can do all kinds of badass things, including lifting and bending.

Why is that important?
Because I feel like I’m just going through the motions with my fitness right now, and I want to really optimize the function of my body as I move into middle age.

Why would that be great to achieve?
Because I’ve watched so many people descend into old age and infirmity, and I believe there is a better fate for us—for me! I don’t believe we are destined to be confined to walkers and wheelchairs, and much of this is in my control.

Because I want to know that well into middle age and beyond I’ll be able to trust my body to shoulder the burden of performing badass human tasks like lifting heavy in the gym, training and exercising my horses, playing sports, and just being able to be out DOING awesome things.

From there, simply splice all of those well-thought out intentions together, to achieve an articulate goal worth reaching for.

Here is inspiration I can stick on the front of the fridge:

My 2018 goal is to practice my barefoot Grok Squat daily so that I can keep my feet in a relatively neutral position and my chest lifted, and I’d like to work up to being able to hold this for ten minutes. This will lessen the physical restrictions through my hips and lumbar spine, and enable me to trust my body to shoulder the burden of performing badass human tasks well into middle-age and beyond.

Okay now you go.

Download the WHYx5 exercise here (PDF printable), fill it out yourself, and share your 2018 goal(s) on the comment board. What are you reaching for, and what’s your why behind that desire?

Thanks for reading, everyone, and Happy New Year!

— Erin Power, CHNC, PHC

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NYE in DC – Part II

When I left off Part I of our trip, we were heading over to John’s house for appetizers. Boy, was his spread impressive! He made all of these himself for us to enjoy while we watched football. He drew inspiration from his catering company, Eco Caters, that is quickly becoming one of DC’s most popular organic caterers. So, if you’re local and focus on local/organic food, give them a call!

Those shrimp stacks were epic, and I loved the crab-stuffed mushrooms and deviled eggs!

Later in the evening we had NYE reservations at The Salt Line, a new oyster and seafood restaurant on the river. Too bad it was in the teens – no outdoor dining for us! I loved all the decor and these napkins!

We had a pre-fixe menu with four courses. I started with a celebratory Manhattan!


My first course was a butterhead lettuce salad. I was craving a good salad and I loved the almonds.

Next was a lobster pot pie with a biscuit topping. Loved the biscuit, but the filling wasn’t anything super special.

Everyone at the table got fish, so I branched out and ordered a ribeye with mashed potatoes and cabbage. It hit the spot!

And I almost forgot dessert! I had apple pomegranate crisp with vanilla ice cream.

After dinner we caravanned over to The Wharf (which I hear is new and cool and super fun when the weather is warm!) Our destination was The Anthem for a show. Honestly, I didn’t even know who we were seeing until we got there (d’oh) but the band was Thievery Corporation. They weren’t really my style of music, but we still had a fun time!

They dropped a bunch of balloons on the floor when the clock struck 12!

We got home a little after 1:00 am and crashed until 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. the next morning. The hotel was offering a 2:00 p.m. late checkout if you had brunch at Radiator, the restaurant on the ground floor, so we took them up on the offer. T had Eggs Benedict (again!) and I had an omelet with potatoes, toast, and fruit.

After the holidays and two travel weekends, I am so very ready for some home cookin’ and normal routine life.

You know what I was thinking? The reason the whole world gets healthier this time of year is only partly because they are full from the holidays. It’s because everyone else is doing it! January is the month of the year that it’s easiest to be healthy because there are few parties and everyone wants to meet at the gym for socializing instead of bars. Let’s keep this theme going year round!

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How I Make My Morning (Iced) Coffee [VIDEO]

Good morning and happy 2018, friends!

I have some New Year content coming at ya this week, but I wanted to share a video about one of the most common questions I get from CNC followers: How I make my morning iced coffee!

Here’s how I brew my iced coffee – Mal and I have been making it this same way in the same coffee maker forever. It’s super simple and works great for us! Pro tip: The VARIETY of coffee that you use is much more important than the amount, especially when it comes to the grinds to water ratio. The better (i.e. bolder, stronger, more flavorful), the better your coffee will taste!


Stainless Steel Insulated Shaker Bottle – Ok, so this shaker is not featured in video, but only because I forgot it at the gym, but it’s my favorite go-to shaker. It works awesome, and it’s so pretty! 🙂

Marine Collagen Powder – I use this mainly to add extra protein to my diet, but it’s also great for anti-aging, digestion, and boosting hair and nails.

SFH Vanilla Protein Powder – Vanilla and Churro are my favorite flavors of protein powder. I switch it up depending on my mood in the morning.

SFH Churro Protein Powder – I like SFH because it’s pure whey protein without any funny stuff, which means it doesn’t mess up my stomach like a lot of protein powders on the market.

Stainless Steel Insulated Tumbler – You guys have seen this tumbler a few times on CNC now – love this thing! And it comes in a zillion fun colors… maybe I need two? 🙂

Reusable Stainless Steel Straws – An oldie, but goodie product! I’ve been using these straws since 2009 and still love them today!

Question of the Day

I typically drink decaf coffee, but I haven’t found a brand that I love. I typically like bold, but smooth coffee and usually flavored.

Anyone have a favorite decaf that they like? 

Do you have any fun coffee hacks?

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