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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

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July 18, 2019

Happy National Ice Cream Month

The year was 1984. President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. This ye

July 11, 2019

How to Bok Choy

Summer is adventure time. With the abundance of various fruits and vegetables available at grocery stores and farmers markets, there is no reason to b

July 4, 2019

Relax and Enjoy

Welcome to the dog days of summer and simple eating. Unlike winter, when those crock pot soups and stews hit the spot, we are now in the season of lig

June 27, 2019

Atomic Habits

My current summer (now that it’s official!) read is “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. I’m working on improving a few of mine—slowly—one at a

June 13, 2019

Ten of My Best Tips

Q. What to blog about when I have too many ideas flying around my brain and I simply am not able to choose? A. Tips that cover a variety of topics, wi

June 6, 2019

The Joys of June…and Strawberries

Along with June come some fun celebrations. Besides the new season of life celebrated by many graduates (and parents, now free of tuition payments), a

May 30, 2019

Avocado Toast

Shake up your morning and your taste buds with an order of avocado toast. I’ve seen this on some menus, and it’s a quick and easy dish to make at

May 23, 2019

Float Your Troubles Away

There are many ways to improve your state of mind and health that have nothing to do with food. Floating is one of them. Floating therapy is the relax

May 16, 2019

Fitness Made Simple

When you boil it all down, getting fit is really very simple. Here’s the secret: Create a habit that leads you in the direction of improving your he

May 9, 2019

I Ate Raw Cookie Dough

As I was making a batch of gluten free chocolate chip cookies, I caught myself swiping my finger along the inside of the bowl. I then proceeded to lic

Happy National Ice Cream Month

The year was 1984. President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. This year, that special day happens to be July 21st.

In case you are a newcomer to my blog, I LOVE ice cream. It is my favorite food group.

I was raised on ice cream. Childhood memories of my mother making a rich and delicious cream concoction that my father would freeze into an amazing treat are vivid.  

The variety of flavors they made: vanilla, peach, banana, and strawberry. Much to my dismay, chocolate was never even in the running, since I was the only one who voted for it. Gratefully, we had chocolate syrup, which I generously poured over everything.

We often invited friends over on summer Sunday afternoons to share in our treat. As an only child, this was awesome!

I like to tell this story because many of you have a food, or habit around food, that you equate with a happy time in your life.

When that particular food causes you harm (allergy, sensitivity, etc.), it’s wise to find a substitute that your body tolerates –and still allows you to have that great food/memory connection.

If your favorite food is not conducive to achieving your health goals, perhaps some modifications are in order.

There was a time in my life when I ate ice cream almost daily—sometimes right out of the carton. It was my “habit” to eat it in the evening before bedtime.

Sometimes, I still do. I’ve modified my ice cream intake and no longer eat it everyday. There are numerous reasons why consuming my favorite treat before bed is not the best. AND, what kind of example would I be setting?

This is a stunt I’d expect from Mr. Non-Compliant. Yep, he likes ice cream too. (and donuts, M&M’s, cookies and milk…)

My favorite take-home brand is Breyers, since the basic flavors contain only real ingredients like milk, cream, vanilla, sugar, chocolate, strawberries. I can pronounce all the words and I know what they are.

My favorite flavors: combo chocolate and vanilla, Neapolitan, and chocolate. I typically don’t use syrup. There are other ice creams that are lower in fat, sugar, calories…not interested.  

Rest assured that Health Coach Carol, along with Mr. Non-Compliant, will be enjoying ice cream this Sunday. I may try a new flavor, and/or even have two scoops.

We have to be real. We have to find a point of moderation that works. Permission granted to celebrate with me—and only if it’s AMAZING!

Cheers to July,
Carol

P.S. If your favorite food habits seem to be in conflict with your health goals, I’ve got a simple system that works. A complimentary coaching session is yours for the asking! Email me today and we’ll set up a call.

“Keep Calm and Eat Ice Cream”

How to Bok Choy

Summer is adventure time. With the abundance of various fruits and vegetables available at grocery stores and farmers markets, there is no reason to be bored with your food.
Today, I’m giving you the scoop, and a simple recipe, for bok choy. Bok choy, also called Chinese cabbage or pak choi, is a member of the Brassica cabbage family. It is high in folate, calcium, vitamin B6, and fiber. For those of you who are keeping carbohydrate intake low, this vegetable is a winner.
The flavor is very mild, and it may be added to soups, stews, or stir-frys. I sautéed it for a side dish. 
When shopping for bok choy, look for vibrant green at the ends (similar to spinach), and firm stems. Wash it just before cooking. Trim away the bottom, similar to the way you would clean a bunch of celery. Separate the individual stalks, and wash away any mud that is hiding.
Cut the bok choy (or baby bok choy), into similar size pieces. If you have the baby version, you may simply want to cut it in halves or quarters.
Sautéed Bok Choy
Heat oil (I like avocado oil for higher heat sautéing) and add a couple cloves of fresh garlic, minced or pressed. Cook briefly, until fragrant, being careful not to burn it. (I often burn it…)
Mix in the bok choy and stir. Cook until the leaves are bright green and the stalks are     
slightly translucent, about 4-5 minutes, or to your desired tenderness. (This vegetable cooks down, like spinach.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, or your favorite seasonings. I love Tajin  Clasico Seasoning. It has a slight kick to it, thanks to the chili peppers and lime. I’ve been using this on all my vegetables lately, and they are a big hit—even with Mr. Non-Compliant.
Have fun trying something new this week! If you end up with a vegetable you aren’t sure how to prepare, let me know and I’ll help.
Bon appetit!
Health Coach Carol
P.S. If you’d like to simply look and feel AMAZING, I’ve got a simple system that works. A complimentary coaching session is yours for the asking! Email me today and we’ll set up a call.
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”–Ruth Reichl 

Relax and Enjoy

Welcome to the dog days of summer and simple eating. Unlike winter, when those crock pot soups and stews hit the spot, we are now in the season of light…

…Light from more hours of sunshine; light in the weight of our clothing; light in which to sit and be still; light eating to nourish and not overburden.  

Here a few ideas to help you enjoy meals that get you out of the kitchen fast AND keep you feeling your best!

  • Hard boil a carton of eggs to keep on hand. These are great as a grab-&-go breakfast or snack, egg salad, or added to greens. If you have an Instant Pot, use it to cook your eggs. 5 minutes to hard cook them, 5 minutes of natural release, and 5 minutes immersed in ice water. Peel all of the eggs immediately and refrigerate in an airtight container. EASY! No Instant Pot? Well, use older eggs and once hard cooked, immerse in an ice water bath for about 30 minutes and peel. I wish you luck with the peeling part…
  • When you grill, make extra. Leftover steak is wonderful sliced thin and gently reheated to make fajitas, tacos or added to greens. Same goes for chicken. This is a great idea for any picnic leftovers as well, as long as they weren’t out in the heat.
  • Sauté instead of roast so you don’t heat up the kitchen. This method of cooking is also much faster. Green beans, peppers, summer squash, broccoli, asparagus, etc. sautéed in extra virgin olive oil (lower heat) or avocado oil if you like to crank up the temperature.
  • Grill vegetables. Grab a piece of foil large enough to wrap your vegetable(s) of choice. Oil the foil and add your cut vegetables, onions, whatever. Season with salt and pepper or Tajin (seasoning with a hint of lime and a kick). Drizzle with more olive oil and add a pat of butter, if desired. Wrap in another layer of foil and toss on the grill. Vegetables are fantastic this way, so make lots!
  • Any type of “burger” is fast, easy and tastes great with those veggies: ground beef, chicken, turkey or pork. Season with your favorites–Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, onion and garlic powder work for me. The Beyond Meat plant-based burger is another tasty and quick alternative. (I’m practicing the art of consuming less animal protein on some days.)
  • Cold salads: mix canned tuna packed in olive oil with a bit of chopped celery, salt, pepper and lemon juice over avocado and greens; pasta (or quinoa) of your choosing tossed with chopped sweet peppers and raw broccoli or even (ick) cauliflower, any of those leftover meats you grilled, and toss with olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings of your choosing. These can be made ahead in the morning, chilled, and no dinnertime cooking is necessary.

Now is the time to find fresh anything at the local farmer’s market and make up a concoction with what you have on hand. Keep in mind that if you don’t know what to do with some food, serve it on a bed of fresh greens, splash with some olive oil and lemon juice, and you’ll probably be just fine.

Relax, enjoy, and remember to drink your water.  

Happy 4th to you,
Carol

P.S. If you’re feeling heavy and burdened and are struggling with creating a happy and healthy you, I’m here to help. A complimentary coaching session is yours for the asking! Email me today and we’ll set up a call.

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”—Charles Bowden

Atomic Habits

My current summer (now that it’s official!) read is “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. I’m working on improving a few of mine—slowly—one at a time.

A simple one: Do It Now. If a task takes less than 5 minutes, I’ll do it. I find that I spend less energy getting it done. If I think about it, decide to do it later, then I have to think about it AGAIN and still do it. AGH!

Some examples:

  • Loading the dishwasher and washing those few miscellaneous pieces by hand
  • Folding the laundry when the dryer stops (rather than allowing it to sit for hours and get REALLY wrinkled)
  • Making my bed when I first wake up
  • Tossing the junk mail before setting it down

I’m not perfect at my “Do It Now” habit, by any means. However, I’m showing signs of improvement. In the long run, I gain time to do other things.  

The author, James Clear, explains several ways we can go about creating or changing a habit. For example, if you spend too much time on social media, he suggests allowing only a finite amount of time to do so, and only AFTER you accomplish whatever it is you NEED to do.

He says, “In the long run, the quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits.”

If we choose to live a life of excellence, we’d better develop excellent habits.

He also talks about creating a new habit by stacking it onto a habit you already have in place. Let’s say you always eat breakfast and you’d like to begin a meditation practice. Immediately after breakfast, meditate for 2 minutes, and build from there.

Motivation, willpower, inspiration, and discipline—these are great, and not always easy to call into the moment. When we don’t know what to do, or life gets challenging, we go into default habit mode. 

If sitting on the couch watching television in the evening is associated with having cookies and milk, then that’s what will happen, unless a new habit is created.

If you’ve had enough of whatever habits you have that are keeping you from the health and life you dream about, let’s get started. Send me an email (it will take less than 5 minutes) and we’ll get to work. 

It’s amazing how shifting one tiny habit can lead you into a completely new and exciting way of life.

Much love,
Carol

“If you show up at the gym five days in a row—even if it’s just for two minutes—you are casting votes for your new identity.  You’re not worried about getting in shape.  You’re focused on becoming the type of person who doesn’t miss workouts.  You’re taking the smallest action that confirms the type of person you want to be.” ~ James Clear, “Atomic Habits”