What’s this Precision Nutrition Thing all About?

The world of health and fitness can be SO overwhelming. I feel like the “diet industry” is really just out to confuse you into spending more and more money on the next big diet or fad. Every couple of years something comes along that promises to be the answer to all your health and fitness problems. And this time of year is the absolute worst. Everyone is pushing their own diets and solutions for you to buy into. They know you are getting ready to get into your resolution mindset so they promise you a solution that will make them rich and leave you more confused. They sell you a band aid for the symptoms instead of helping you get to the root of the problem.

For me, the hardest part of this journey has been the nutrition. I’ve talked several times about how confused I was when it came to nutrition. I got bogged down with labels and fads and restriction. I felt so alone trying to figure it out. The moment when things really changed for me was when I hired a nutrition coach. He gave me detailed meal plans, and those plans worked when I worked the plan. I did that for close to a year. I made huge progress when I followed the plans he gave me. I loved the safety of having someone tell me exactly what and when to eat. I thrived on having someone to report to for check ins/measurements. It was just what I needed at the time. But after a year I felt… stuck? I felt like I had to follow that meal plan or I wouldn’t see any progress. When I was following the meal plan strictly I did fine. It was when I had to eat “off plan” I would freeze up in fear. If I wasn’t able to eat my 4 ounces of chicken, 3 ounces of sweet potatoes, and 2 ounces of green beans than I didn’t know what to eat. And all of a sudden that safety I loved about having a nutrition coach started to feel more like restriction. I had relied too much on him and I just didn’t know how to trust myself. Hiring a nutrition coach like I had wasn’t bad, it was what I needed at the time. He did nothing wrong, I hired him to make meal plans for me and that’s what he did. And they worked. But I started wanting a little more freedom, and I wanted to learn more about the how and why behind the meal plan instead of just blindly following it.

I looked into different Nutrition certification programs but I found that many of them required lots of pre-requisites or had a nutrition philosophy I just couldn’t get behind. Then I stumbled upon Precision Nutrition. Their blog articles were all spot on with what I wanted my nutrition philosophy to look like. It was all down to earth, balanced, scientific backed information. They acknowledge the fact that everyone is different when it comes to nutrition plans and that there is no one size fit all program. I felt relieved when I read “If you want to take control of your nutrition and lead a healthy lifestyle, then there is absolutely no “best diet” that you should follow.” They weren’t trying to cram “their way” of eating down my throat. They wanted to help me learn what worked for me. They offered a nutritional progression model that helps you change your habits instead of just telling you what to eat. They also operate on a results based model. The only one way to determine whether your nutrition plan is any good is look at your results.

I spent hours reading articles on their blog. Then I came across the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification Presale List. I signed up to be on the pre-sale list for the next session of the Certification course. They only offer it twice a year! The next course begins in March 2015. You can sign up for the pre-sale list like I did to be sure to get into the next session and receive a discount. In the meantime you can sign up for this Free Starter Kit for for Fitness Pros to get some tips and tools you can use now.


A photo posted by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on


A few months ago I started the Certification program. It is a go at your own pace study program, which is great for this busy mama/wife/business owner. The Certification program is broken into 2 sections: The Nutritional Science and The Nutritional Practice. I’m taking my time going through the science section. It is all about Food Intake, Absorption, Macronutrients, Micronutrients and all that fun stuff. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken any kind of science so I’m taking my time making sure I understand it all. The second part is going to be about how to help clients learn this information, providing a nutritional plan, setting goals and monitoring behavior. Once I take my test and become Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified I will be able to coach clients into better health habits they can use long term.

If you don’t want to wait a few months for me to be certified and start offering coaching services you can sign up for the Precision Nutrition Coaching Presale List! This isn’t just a “meal planning” program. It is a year long mentoring program. It’s not just about telling you what to eat and what not to eat, but about teaching you about your body. I have known several people who have gone through this program and seen amazing results not just physically, but mentally as well.


They only open 2 sessions of coaching a year and they sell out pretty quick so be sure to sign up for the pre-sale list (plus you get a discount!) If you can’t wait until January to dive in you can get their Free Starter Kit for Women or Free Starter Kit for Men with actionable steps you can start with today.

If you don’t want to commit to a year long coaching program but are interested in learning more you can order the stand alone Precision Nutrition System. This is the self guided version of their coaching program.

Overall, I’ve been extremely satisfied with everything I’ve seen from PN so far. If you are struggling with your nutrition, want to lose fat, gain muscle, or become a certified Nutrition coach… check them out. Do your research, does it line up with what your nutrition philosophy? If nothing else, spend some time on their blog, they have lots of great articles and infographics to get you thinking.

What is your nutrition philosophy? Have you ever done any kind of nutrition coaching? Would you be interested in nutrition coaching?


Disclaimer: No, I’m not getting paid to write this. I’m actually paying out of my own pocket for this certification. I am just really excited about it! Some of these links may be affiliate links meaning if you make a purchase I receive a small commission. However, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

3 Tips to Beating Diet Boredom

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Progresso™ through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Progresso™, all opinions are my own.



When you tell someone that you are trying to eat healthier the last thing they probably think of is flavorful foods. The stereotypical “healthy diet” usually consists of bland chicken breasts, steamed green beans, and rice or potatoes. My biggest pitfall when it comes to sticking with a diet or eating plan is that I default to those same safe, boring foods. Then I get bored and I want to eat all the unhealthy things. That can turn into a full on train wreck, derailing all the progress I’ve made. All because I was bored with chicken, green beans, and potatoes. Sticking to a diet or eating plan doesn’t have to be torture. Here are my 3 tips for beating diet boredom


  1. Experiment with Flavor and Spices

When I first got married spices scared me. As I got more adventurous I would add salt and pepper… Crazy, right?! The more I learned the less scared I was of trying new things. Chili Powder, Paprika, Turmeric, Cumin…. Heck, even a dash or two of a pre-mixed seasoning blend makes all the difference! I eat a lot of chicken breast but by using different seasoning blends creates a whole new Flavor Experience! Speaking of flavors, did you know Progresso™ soup has 40 delicious flavors at 100 calories or less per serving?





  1. Create a Sampler

One of my favorite new ways of escaping boredom is to create a sampler or snack plate. By using several different types of food you can stay interested in what you’re eating, experience different flavors and textures, and when you portion them out and it saves calories too! One thing I did this week was created a sampler of deli meat, pickles, tomatoes, cheese, and Progresso™ Light Savory Beef Barley Soup. My meal clocked in at 355 calories, had a good mixture of protein, carbs and fat, and kept me full for hours. And it fits in with tip number 1, because it was full of flavor!





  1. Make It Pretty

The more colors, the better! I know I tend to take more pleasure in my food when it is aesthetically pleasing. I used to not care what food looked like and would scarf it down without thinking. No, just because it looks good doesn’t mean it’s going to taste better. But if you take the time to create a beautiful meal you will be more likely to want to take your time eating it, enjoying the entire process and you’ll be likely to eat less. So go buy a pretty new bowl. Get a colorful mixed salad. Use your fancy china.



When you defeat diet boredom and trim up you might just need some new clothes, right? Well Progresso™ wants to help you out!


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Your Turn: Tell me how you defeat diet boredom!


Weekend Recap & Menu Planning Monday 10/6

Another week has come and gone already. Worse yet, the weekend came and went even faster! We seem to be on this trend of having one busy weekend followed by a not busy weekend. When we have a busy weekend it is stupid busy. When we have a not so busy weekend it is such a breath of fresh air. The hubs’ family wanted to spend some time with Payton so we were on our own Friday night. So we had a random date night. An early Happy Hour dinner at Bar Louie in St Charles followed by coffee at Picasos. It was fun and spontaneous!

Saturday we had a great morning workout and brunch with friends. Then we met up with the family to pick up Payton. We got to relax at home for a few hours before going to meet up with friends for dinner. While Saturdays are usually go go go, I try to take Sundays to get stuff done. That is when I normally do my meal planning.


I looked at this week’s eMeals Clean Eating Slow Cooker Plan and decided that 3 of the dishes looked really good, so I added them into our weekly plan. I super duper puffy heart love my crock pot.

Sunday- Smoked Meat and Dip
Monday- Chili
Tuesday- Chipotle Pork and Garlic Potatoes (eMeals)
Wednesday- Cuban Sandwiches & Artichoke Dip (eMeals)
Thursday- Gingered Broccoli & Beef with Glazed Carrots (eMeals)
Friday- OUT

Saturday- Leftovers

I love planning ahead, it makes it so much easier! For example, the Chipotle Pork on Tuesday doubles as the meat for the Cuban sandwiches on Wednesday. Cook once, eat twice. Also with the eMeals app on my phone I can skip the meals I wasn’t planning on making and it automatically updates the shopping list for me. I’m all about working smarter, not harder.

After putting together the menu I headed to the grocery store. I usually shop for 80% of my groceries at Target and get the 20% of specialty items, meat, and produce from Dierburgs (a local grocery store). Target has an awesome app for your phone called Cartwheel, I use that with Coupons, sales, and the Red Card and end up saving a good amount of money. I love saving money.

What are you eating this week? Did you have a good weekend?

I’m linking up with OrgJunkie for more Menu planning tips and inspiration!