Who We Are

Welcome to the LanCo Whole Health Group Blog! We started as a few employees at CNH interested in learning more about nutrition and general well-being. Since our first meeting in January of 2011 our membership has increasingly grown within our local company offices as well as to a number of friends and family outside of our area. We invite you to become a member as well!

For everyone else, check in often! A weekly email blast is created and sent to our members with Nutrition News, Tips, Workouts, Inspiration, Ideas, and more.

Disclaimer: We are in no way, shape, form, or manner officially associated, branded, supported, or encouraged by CNH America, LLC or any of its' various corporate attachments. We're a group of people dedicated to seeking better health - and we want you to join our family.

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13 February 2012

Nutrition: Lunch Bunch Idea, 13 Feb 2012

Hello! Officially one month in to your health challenge – how do you feel? Are you making progress and hitting your goals? Now is a great time to pull those goals back out (or since they should be already pasted on your wall look more closely them) and check your results. Do you need to make a better commitment in one area or another? Is everything right on track? Should one be tweaked to make it more attainable? Take some time this week and re-evaluate. And don’t forget to re-take your measurements as well as your pictures for the file. Send me a quick email with any questions or struggles you may be having. I might have a trick for you! If not a trick, we can certainly find you a healthy way to treat too.


Now that I am on a holiday theme – Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.


Whew. Glad that’s over. So much pressure! Something far less pressured… Welcomes! To new member Megan! Glad you are joining us!


Without any emails from the group this week (working the swing shift really cuts into our interaction…sorry, gang!) I came to work with-out a specific topic to tackle. That is until one of my co-workers came by and said this, “I really want to lock-down my nutrition but I’m just not going to do it on my own. So I was thinking that you could make doubles and I’ll just give you money for groceries.” GREAT IDEA! (Disclaimer: It’s a great idea because though Miss Stacey and I already cook tons of food for ourselves – and on-the-cheap I might add – it plays into my great idea. It’s one of those self-promotional things.)


Enter – The Lunch Bunch.


Here’s the playbill. You and three (or four) of your friends and/or co-workers decide to eat together every day of the week. That’s pretty easy, yes? You most likely already do this. Each day ONE of you will bring in the food for all four (or five) of you to devour. The next day it’s someone else’s turn. This goes on each day of the week so everyone gets to play host and maybe one of the days you all go out to eat.


The best part? It’s fun! You don’t know what lunch is going to be today. So there’s anticipation. You do know you are going to get to hang out with your friends. So there’s camaraderie and friendship. And it’s cheap! Don’t believe me? Just try it. It is far cheaper for you to make one meal for four adults than it is for you to make five single meals for yourself (or I forbid – eat out four - five times a week).


You get to know more about each other, you will tend to try and outdo another in the creative meal department, sharing food and the experience is a social staple in most cultures – especially ones that are more fit than our own. And it’s supportive. Which study after study, as well as many anecdotal experiences, have proven is one of the best ways to become successful. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes! Try it for a month and keep a log of the food and the costs. I am willing to bet you a really nice supper (of my creation!) that you’ll find it a pleasurable experience.


Did you like last week’s workout? Here’s another fun one. Super easy but effective. Don’t forget to play!


This Week’s Workout

·         30 Leg Lifts (lie on floor facing up, keep back flat and abs tight.  Lift legs 6-8" inches off floor, with legs straight and tuck hands under small of back for support.  Keep legs higher if back starts to arch).

·         100 Bicycle Crunches Do not pull on neck, keep elbows back and use oblique’s to twist torso.  Keep legs as low as possible without straining back.

·         30 Sit-ups  (Use abmat or rolled towed under curve of back, butterfly legs, soles of feet together)

·         100 Jumping Jacks (yes, that's right, Jumping Jacks!) Start standing with feet together and hands at your sides, jump and spread legs apart about shoulder width, at the same time your hands go over head and clap, return to start position.

Do this work-out three times this week like this:

·         3 rounds for time

·         As Many Rounds as Possible in 15 minutes

·         One Minute movement/Thirty Seconds rest - Repeat till Completion.


To eating together. The most heart-full experience of all.


08 February 2012

Nutrition: Casserole Comfort, 8 Feb 2012

Is it Wednesday already? Or, by the time you read this, Sweet! It’s Thursday!


This week has been going by very quickly. With a couple warm days and now a nice snowfall this is great late-winter weather! Bonnie and I were just talking last night about getting ready for gardening season. I am so excited to be able to have a garden this year with the help of Miss Stacey. All those delicious veggies I eat by the truckload coming fresh out of the backyard harkens back to childhood when I would browse Mom’s garden at-will! I do wish I had the gardening fever back then and learned all the lessons she had to teach, but alas I will just have to learn the Mike way – experiment!


I recently was asked a very good question regarding one of these backyard beauties – the green bean. Whether you call it a green bean or string bean, these little wonders can fill your picking basket quickly and they make great use of otherwise unusable space like fence borders and porch rails. I was asked whether they are okay to eat if you are following a whole-foods or Paleo template for your diet. Most of the websites and authors out there have their own opinion due to the fact that they are technically legumes (which we don’t recommend eating). Then there is the lecithin content (this is usually bad, such is the case in any SOY product, including Protein Powders which use soy lecithin almost exclusively). I’m going to give you an emphatic “YES!” green beans are great for your plate.


I don’t have the time today to pull up the studies or even get you a link to Mark’s Daily Apple where he has several articles on this subject, but here’s the deal. Legumes as a plant are not a problem. The progeny of a legume plant (the bean) has the same toxin and anti-nutrient issues that grains do. They are bad for us as much as they are good for the beans survival until it can grow into a new plant. See Robb Wolf for more scientific details on this one. So, eating the bean in its’ mature, dried state is not recommended. (Nor is anything else that causes gas, indigestion, or must be processed to be edible.) To eat a bean without these effects one must soak it in a brine solution for 24-48 hours with several changes of water, sprout it (this kills off the toxins), or ferment it. Go to The Nourished Kitchen and buy their e-course on this if you desire to eat grains and beans – it’s worth every penny.


Here’s where the green bean becomes a winner. It is still considered a vegetable because what you are eating is technically not the mature ovary. For the most part you are eating WAY more pod than bean (usually the string beans with big beans inside taste wonky straight off the plant) and the plant has not had the time or energy (all of that is going into making the baby) to add in the toxins and anti-nutrients. Does this click for you? I sure hope so.


An easy way to test out if it is okay to eat? If you can kill it or grow it and it looks on the plate mostly like it did in life – eat it. And if it tastes good right out of the garden and doesn’t make you sick, well then have at it! And while you are at it, pick up a pound of green beans at Market for $2 or after you’ve harvested your first bushel from the garden have at this recipe: Italian Beef and Green Bean Casserole from Jan’s Sushi Bar (a website).


To that snap. Of spring!



Italian Beef and Green Bean Casserole

serves 6


2 pounds ground beef, preferably grass-fed
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped or 2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 small delicata squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Heat a large, heavy, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat; add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula, until it’s almost browned and much of the fat and liquid has been released. Season with the salt and pepper and add the onion. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened. Add the garlic to the pan, stir and cook for another minute or until the ground beef is completely cooked through.

Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, herbs and red pepper flakes, if using. Add the squash and green beans; cover and place in the oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender and the green beans are tender-crisp. Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired.

Nutrition (per serving): 504 calories, 33.4g total fat, 113.4mg cholesterol, 1702.7mg sodium, 1360.3mg potassium, 20.8g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 10.5g sugar, 31.4g protein.


06 February 2012

Nutrition: Food Intake and Fat, 6 Feb 2012

Happy, Post-Super Bowl Monday! Did you survive the night to make it to work this morning? No matter what team you wanted to win – the question stands, How did you fare with your fare? Did you make good choices or did you choose to cheat because of some arbitrary argument that you won with yourself? I would love for it to be the former, though we all know that it was mostly the latter. Let’s not stress over it. The scale might care however, so get back on track ASAP for your contest – and more importantly, for your health. Pay close attention to how you felt today and through the next 4 or 5 days. If you’re sore, tired, cranky, overly energetic, bloated, gassy, not able to sleep, overly thirsty, or anything similar – note it! Then you can see how these conditions go away and stay away as you get back to whole, healthy eating.


This is one form of something called an “elimination diet.” Where you take out the “might be bads” and then after 30 days try them again and see how you feel. Since we started this year, I was using the Whole30 eating plan which eliminated all dairy from my diet. This included the yogurt and cottage cheese that usually made up a portion of my breakfast. After two weeks (my nutrition maturity is slightly advanced of yours, one month of elimination is ideal), I reintroduced the cottage cheese and within a day started to note some negative effects. You probably don’t want to know what, but it was certainly enough to get me to re-evaluate. So I’m pulling the dairy again. And in two weeks I’ll try it in yogurt form. If the symptoms return then I’ll have the culprit! If they don’t then I’ll know yogurt is okay, but cottage cheese is not.


This week will mark the fourth week of your nutritional journey. Did you start your journal yet? This is really important! If you have, go back and look through it. See what kind of changes you have made and what are the results you are seeing. Also- it’s the end of a month so plan on taking your second set of photographs and measurements soon. Because many of you will experience decreased inflammation from the elimination of grains and beans your measurements may be more telling than the number on the scale right now. Shoot me a quick email to let me know how you are progressing!


Speaking of emails and personal appeals; over the last couple of weeks I have had several conversations with people about their food intake. Some have come from our parenting-age group and a couple have come from our just-out-of-college group too. Mostly I have seen two main issues when we have talked. First, many of you are choosing to NOT EAT ENOUGH. Mostly this is because of conventional wisdom and the old adage that weight loss comes from eating less than you are burning. Excuse me when I say this is bull. So forget it. And start to eat again. If you need some guidance use the MealSimple template that was in the attachment a couple weeks ago or check out this posting from our site 28 Jan 2011:


Attached is a document listing the Zone Blocks with a bunch of recipes that have been modified to fit from 2 to 5 blocks. Eat ONE of these recipes and you have your entire meal done – perfectly balanced. There are also a list of one block snacks that can be doubled for 2 block snack times if desired. I’m including the unfavorable carbs list as well since I know many of you will want some pasta or bread. With this, you must be real, real strict on your portion size. If you need more recipe ideas then you can borrow my Zone Meals in Seconds book or register and go online to Zonediet.com – ignore the advertising and just use the recipes that are listed there for free.


Remember, the women are at 12 blocks – the guys range from 15 to 18. Your kids should have 2 blocks – 4 times a day, 1 block – 1 time. Most husbands should be at 16.


The second issue comes from this statement “I was eating high protein, low fat…” I stopped him right there. Listen, you need to eat fat. It’s extremely important in a way I don’t have the room to explain here. So important that Dr. Kurt Harris of PaNu tells us as number 2 on his 12 step list to substitute calories that came from sugars and flours with animal or coconut fats. Fat is energy dense so a little goes a long way! Here’s another posting from last year (23 Feb 2011):


Nutrition Tip of the Week: It’s okay to go against conventional wisdom. Eating FAT will not make you FAT! A super quick email yesterday after the meeting brought up the topic of Saturated Fats. The basis started in my very brief explanation of the Seven Countries Study by Ancel Keys in which he condemned Saturated Fat as the reason behind our country’s increasing Heart Disease rate in the 1940’s. Below is a link to Mark Sisson’s Definitive Guide to Saturated Fats in which he does a very good job of addressing the study as well as other points of this debate. Personally I like the line where he states – “Saturated fat is also a fantastic source of energy, at least if you trust your body to make the right decision – otherwise, why else would we store excess carbohydrates as saturated body fat?” There are three things you can do with fat once it is in your body – burn it (through ketosis), excrete it (no explanation needed), or store it (through the direction of any extra insulin you have floating around due to excess carb intake). Keep your insulin levels down and there goes the storage factor! Also check out the Wikipedia article for a viewpoint from the supporters of Keys’ study.


We promised you a way to get moving this week. The following workout can be done very easily and very quickly. Perform it three times this week and go for an extended walk this weekend (at least 1 hour). Be sure to check the notes to see how to vary the workout so you can do it three times, three different ways.


Workout of the Week: (Yes, these will not take very long. Buck Conventional Wisdom. Do them at high intensity and you'll get the effect.)

Warm-up: 2 rounds of 15 reps - Jumping Jacks, Shoulder stretches, Push-ups (5 reps ea rnd), Samson Stretch (hold 10 secs ea leg), Squat (hold bottom of last rep for 10 secs).

Workout: Run 400 m THEN with a countdown of 8 minutes do as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) of - 15 squats and 10 push-ups. THEN run 400m again. If you can't measure distance run 2 minutes each one.

Notes: You can do it this way too! Run, do 3 rounds of the 15/10, Run again. Here’s another way: Run, do 21 squats, 21 push-ups, 15 squats, 15 push-ups, 9 squats, 9 push-ups, Run again.


This was a lot! And I’m sure you’ll have questions so please send them along. I look forward to hearing from you!


To eating well. And bucking Conventional Wisdom.




The Definitive Guide to Saturated Fat

It’s probably the one thing that prevents people from fully buying into the Primal Blueprint. Almost anyone can agree with the basic tenets – eating more vegetables, choosing only clean, organic meats, and getting plenty of sleepand exercise is fairly acceptable to the mainstream notion of good nutrition. The concept of Grok and a lifestyle based on evolutionary biology can be a harder sell, but anyone who’s familiar with (and accepts) the basics of human evolution tends to agree (whether they follow through and adopt the lifestyle is another question), at least intellectually. But saturated fat? People have this weird conditioned response to the very phrase.


01 February 2012

Nutrition: Breakfast Recipe, 1 Feb 2012

Happy February! A beautiful spring day has graced us early. I hope that you took full advantage and headed outside to soak in the Vitamin D, fresh air, and break into a spontaneous sprint session! We had a big day at the collective hunting down new personal bests in the clean and rocking a 6 minute lung and arm burner. Great programming, JW!


To recover from a hard workout – or to fuel for the day, we need to supply our bodies with good quality protein, nutrient-dense vegetables, and energy-rich fats. With our breakfast theme started yesterday, Miss Stacey of The Gluten-Free Glutton, graciously provides us with a simple Crust-less Quiche that is simple to prepare, easier to cook, delicious, and is a great grab and go.


Basic Crustless Quiche

I combined recipes from Primal Blueprint (Sisson) and an oldie but a goodie, The Joy of Cooking (Rombauer, Becker, and Becker), taking some ideas from each (if you think you need to toss all your traditional cookbooks just because you’ve changed your way of eating, think again!).  Quiche, especially made crustless, is a VERY forgiving and easy dish to make even though it sounds fancy shmancy.  It's also delicious and versatile, and pretty darn good cold if you don't have an extra minute to heat it up in the morning.  Just grab and go!


I have included ingredient options.  Feel free to experiment with your own ideas, just be sure that the egg:liquid ratio remains in favor of the eggs so it all stays together and cooks through.  Sausage, bacon, and other raw meats need to be fully cooked before adding to the quiche.  In general, it's good to pre-cook firmer fruits/vegetables when you're adding the to your quiche creation.



·         4-6 eggs - however many you have to use will do!

·         1/2 - 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk (FULL fat) or heavy cream - adjust quantity of cream based on quantity of eggs.  If you're a little short on the liquid though, no big deal.  

·         1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt 

·         1/4 teaspoon pepper

·         1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 

·         1/4 - 1/2 cup grated cheese of choice (totally optional)

·         Butter, oil, shortening or lard for greasing the pan


Optional add-ins and their preparation:

2-4 cups broccoli florets:  Drop in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, until emerald green, then remove and drain.  Add to egg mixture last.


3-6 strips of bacon:  Cut into 1/2 inch squares and cook in skillet until starting to crisp.  Remove to a plate (don't worry about a paper towel - some added bacon grease in the quiche is tasty!).  Place in prepared dish and pour egg mixture over bacon.  


Green pepper & kale:  Chop pepper into small dice and sauté in olive oil or F.O.C. until just beginning to get tender, then add finely chopped kale and cook both together until kale has wilted.  Add a bit of salt or basil if you like.  Remove to a plate.  Add to egg mixture last. 



·         Preheat oven to 400.

·         Grease a 9 or 10" round pie pan or other round pan, or a square pan of similar size.

·         Whisk together the eggs, coconut milk or cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  

·         Stir in any other add ins. 

·         Pour into prepared baking dish and bake 20-25 minutes or until set in middle.  

·         Enjoy!


That last bullet is the most important. Give this one a go and share with us your thoughts!


To ever achieving more. And nourishing our body.


30 January 2012

Nutrition: Breakfast Ideas, 30 Jan 2012

Hello, All! How does the end of January find you? I trust that you’ve made some simple changes in your lifestyle by now. Have you had any trouble incorporating some of these strategies? One of our readers sent in a question just such a issue. Hopefully, you will find something to help yourself out as we answer it.


Side Note: No new welcomes this week. If you have any friends or family who should be getting these emails pass their contact information along so we can help them too! And as always, these emails can be forwarded and are always available for viewing at our blog: http://lancowholefoods.blogspot.com.


Reader Question: “This week [my] family has been enjoying some recipes found on Health Bent, and so far so good.  Just wanted to get your input for breakfast suggestions.  I’m usually running out the door at the last second; head wet, only one sleeve in the jacket, and if it’s a frosty morning my windshield wipers and washer fluid are going at high speed.  I’ve been grabbing a bowl of cereal to eat at my desk, but realize that may not be the best choice.  Do you have any quick breakfast ideas…or something that can be pre-made and re-heated?”


Response: It’s great to hear that you and your family have found some healthy (and from my experience with the Keatley’s – DELICIOUS) meals! Health-bent, as well as, Everyday Paleo (a very kid friendly food site and book since she has 3 of them ages 3 to 15) are excellent resources. Also be sure to check out TheFoodee.com as it is a clearing house of meals from more websites than you can imagine. All made with healthy whole food ingredients and they have that nifty grocery list function.


Now, to your question. That’s a very normal issue with most people. Especially any who have kids. I know that the simple answer “Wake up earlier” is most likely not the one you want to hear since you’re probably dragging yourself out of bed with an alarm (which leads to the next suggestion…”Go to sleep earlier”). So! I have a solution for you. Pre-made breakfasts. Or in my house – leftovers. To quasi-quote Bobby Boucher’s momma “Cereal is the devil.” It may be quick and easy but it has nothing in it you want or anything that will help your body heal and work naturally. Not even granola does it. You need a solid 3 to 4 oz of protein and a couple servings of fat to get going. You can have some carbs or not – it doesn’t really matter. Breakfast cereal is nothing BUT carbs. That’s why you are also probably hungry again within a couple hours.


So what would I eat? Well, since you are not going to be whipping up a quick omelet with sautéed veggies – how about a Chorizo Breakfast Casserole? You can make this crustless quiche-like meal at any time, cut it into servings and tuck it into some Tupperware for a quick grab and go. That’s what we do at my house! Or take some leftover chicken (you should always cook a couple more pieces than you need for the meal) shred it, add some shredded apple and nuke it until it’s hot and steamy. Add a dash of cinnamon and some crushed almonds. YUM! Sarah from Everyday Paleo and Megan from Health-Bent both have many recipes on their sites that are prebake breakfasts. Tomato boats (halve a cooking tomato and crack an egg in it – then bake), Egg Muffins (scrambled eggs with all kinds of great veggies mixed in, baked in muffin tin), Breakfast Pizza (With or without a delicious almond flour crust – see our blog for the crust, add any toppings you want!) Most of these can be prepped beforehand and tossed in the oven while you shower. Or cooked over the weekend and put into baggies for a grab and go. The muffins are great to make mini-size, stick a bunch in a bag and freeze as a back-up. (Remember, just because it’s “breakfast” does not mean you need to be eating “breakfast” foods – a piece of baked salmon and a hand-full of almonds is a delicious way to start your day!)


And now some other thoughts: Next week you will start seeing a weekly work-out on the Monday post. Now that you have pulled your eating in-line it is time to supercharge your fat-burning monster with some high-intensity exercise courtesy of CrossFit Collective. They are all very easy to do, can be done anywhere, and usually take only 10 minutes or less, 3-4 times each week. Also – if I remember correctly, the twice-a-week fitness class from the NH Rec will be starting up after work soon. Take advantage of both!


I look forward to your comments and questions. I will never use your question for a posting unless you have given me your permission. Your privacy is of the upmost importance to me.


To starting the day. With a full tank.