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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

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September 24, 2020

Pumpkins, Apples, and Pears, Oh My

Welcome to fall and an abundance of pumpkins, apples, and pears. These are just a few favorites that enjoy a big debut this time of year. The Great Pu

September 17, 2020

Creating Space…in Your Refrigerator, Freezer, Life

Lately I’ve noticed that I have the need for more space—physically, mentally, digitally, and when it comes to my schedule. And no, I do not want a

September 10, 2020

Standing in the Doorway of September

We’re standing in the doorway of September. Summer days still linger, yet autumn is inching its way into our lives—and wardrobes. It’s one more

September 3, 2020

Sometimes I Eat My Feelings

Yes, you read that correctly. Sometimes I eat my feelings. How about you? We feel sad, so we eat food that soothes us. We feel like celebrating, so we

September 2, 2020

Carob Brownies

(This recipe first appeared in the August 2020 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) Ingredients:  1/2 cup all-purpos

September 1, 2020

High-fiber, low-fat legume adds the flavor without the drawbacks of chocolate

(The following article first appeared in the August 2020 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) Online version Most pe

August 27, 2020

Are You Ready?

Are You Ready? Or are you waiting for the perfect time to…                             …learn a new skill? …write the book? …ea

August 25, 2020

Gluten Free Pie Crust

This recipe yields two 9-inch pie crusts. 2 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend (Namaste and King Arthur are brands I’ve used)  1/2 teaspo

August 20, 2020

It’s Tomato Time

As I was caring for my tomato plants, I had the memory of my father teaching me about cutting off the suckers–those shoots that show up between

August 13, 2020

Enjoy a Bit of Sabbath Today

Today, take some time to lighten things up a bit and do something you really enjoy—for about an hour. Warning: this may take some discipline. Monks

Pumpkins, Apples, and Pears, Oh My

Welcome to fall and an abundance of pumpkins, apples, and pears. These are just a few favorites that enjoy a big debut this time of year.

The Great Pumpkin
Pumpkin is packed with fiber and a multitude of nutrients that benefit your health—and no, I’m not referring to the lattés that are loaded with calories and sugar. Sorry.

Pumpkin purée can obviously be made from a pumpkin; however, I prefer to buy the canned variety because it’s much easier. The only ingredient in it is PUMPKIN. Be sure to check the label if you pick the easy route too.  

Some ways to incorporate pumpkin purée into your life:

  • Add a couple tablespoons to your protein smoothie. Freeze the remainder of the canned purée in separate baggies to toss in when you have a hankering.
  • Stir a few spoonfuls into your warm oatmeal in the morning.
  • Blend it into just about any creamy vegetable soup for added fall flavor.
  • Mix with equal parts ricotta. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with pasta.
  • Bake something pumpkinny. Mix up your favorite pumpkin pie filling recipe and bake without a crust. Try pumpkin bread, muffins, cookies, anything.
  • Make pumpkin pancakes. (you can find this in my Recipe section under breakfasts)

The Incredible Apple
My favorite variety is the Honeycrisp. They taste just like their name. The best Honeycrisp apples you will eat are harvested September through November. They are typically more expensive than other varieties because they are hard to grow.

I’ve been adding these to my fall fruit salads, eating them with peanut butter or cheese, and all by themselves. The crunch is very satisfying when you get the urge to snack and have taken on the identity of a health conscious individual.

Apples are also a healthy food, so enjoy. Whenever possible, choose organic apples, as conventional apples are highly likely to be contaminated with pesticides.  

Pears: The Other Fall Fruit
While apples take center stage, don’t forget about the supporting role of the pear. This is their big season too. I believe that you can substitute pears for just about anything you can think of that calls for apples.

Allow pears to ripen at room temperature. They’re one of the few fruits that do not ripen on the tree. Therefore, they need time for the sugars to develop, which is why you may have to leave them on the counter for a few days once you get home.

A pear is ripe when the area around the stem gives a little with a gentle squeeze. Then store in the refrigerator and consume within 3-5 days for best quality.

Like the apple, organic is best. The pear is a nutritional powerhouse and excellent source of fiber.

Pears are a great addition to a mixed green salad with blue or goat cheese, and candied (or plain) pecans. Toss with a homemade balsamic dressing, or other favorite.

With options like these, it’s easy to debunk the myth that eating nutrient-dense food is boring.

Bon Appétit,
Carol

“If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not hungry.”—Michael Pollan

Creating Space…in Your Refrigerator, Freezer, Life

Lately I’ve noticed that I have the need for more space—physically, mentally, digitally, and when it comes to my schedule.

And no, I do not want a larger house.

Recalling last week’s blog, I mentioned that our lives change when our habits change.

The simplest way to change who we are, is to change what we do. The behaviors we choose to do day in and day out, reinforce our identity.   

Rather than focusing on the habit, try focusing on the type of person you’re looking to become.

I’m taking on the identity of a space creator. As I create space, I have more free time to do what I love in surroundings that bring me peace and contentment. How lovely.

Living into this ideal is a better process than telling myself that I’ll make the time to clean out the refrigerator or figure out what “To Do’s” I must include in my day. That thinking doesn’t sit well with me, nor has it worked in the past.

I need a fresh perspective. I prefer to think of myself as a space creator.

In order to be successful, I also need a system.

My system looks like this:

I have a block of time in the morning, anywhere from 15-30 minutes, that I typically fritter away. I don’t even know what happens, except that I don’t accomplish anything measurable.

My ONE habit I’m implementing is to spend that small block of time CREATING SPACE, because that’s what space creators do. I know that I must do this in the morning, or it won’t happen. Immediately after breakfast is a good time to add it to my routine. I ALWAYS eat breakfast, so the success rate is high.

The commitment to spend 15-30 minutes feels right for this habit. The fun part is that I GET to CHOOSE where I create the space.

Yesterday I created space in the refrigerator. It was the day before garbage pickup day, so it was perfect. I spent about 30 minutes dumping out all those pesky little containers that were left from the early Covid days of carrying in some meals.

Those little containers went, along with some other ancient items that looked like a science experiment. Scary.

I have SO MUCH SPACE now, that it makes putting together my grocery list a breeze. This is one way I create mental space. Less time thinking about what I have/need.  

Today I put some books that I am not currently using, and need to keep, in a banker’s box that is labelled with the contents. More desk space, less stuff to distract me, and I know where they are when I need them. What a concept.

It’s the small things we do each day that create our identity. This small thing suits me. On my near future hit list: the freezer and pantry. Even one shelf at a time is awesome!

When I feel the need for more mental space, I may simply sit and breathe.

FUN OFFER: Take a guess at what was in any container that I tossed out and send me an email. If you’re correct, I’ll gift you with a 50-minute coaching call and help you get clear around that ONE habit you’d like to take on in order to create your new identity. Hint: we ordered Italian, salads, and even breakfast!

Spaciously yours,
Carol

“When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running.”
― James Clear, “Atomic Habits”

Standing in the Doorway of September

We’re standing in the doorway of September. Summer days still linger, yet autumn is inching its way into our lives—and wardrobes.

It’s one more variable we can add to our current list. (Don’t we have enough of them?)

When my oldest son was a senior in high school, I attended a meeting for parents at the beginning of the school year. He attended an all-boys school, so maybe the following sentiment isn’t true for girls.

What I learned from the speaker was that NO ONE, not the teachers, nor us parents, could stand to be around them at that point in their lives. They were in the doorway between adolescence and adulthood. What a revelation.

They had the desire to be out of the nest, yet they weren’t quite ready. It was a challenging time.

We’re standing in the doorway of September.

Some days I’m extremely focused and productive. There are other days when I just feel like taking a long nap. And there are the days somewhere in between. Can you relate?   

Here’s an idea to help with the transition. Practice the implementation of ONE new habit that will bring about a desirable change in your life.

Our lives change when our habits change. September is a great time for new beginnings—better than a New Year’s resolution.

Who are you becoming? What would that person do on a consistent basis?

Let’s say you’d like to get more exercise. Instead of focusing on getting more exercise, focus on living as a fit person.

What would a fit person do? A fit person makes exercise a regular habit and a priority.

Next, look at your calendar and write in the WHEN and the WHAT. Maybe it’s a 15-minute walk 3x a week to start. When that becomes a habit that you don’t need to think about, increase the time and/or frequency.

This same process works for ANYTHING that you have the desire to do. BE THAT PERSON TODAY by living differently and consistently.

 This shift in your thinking will help ease the discomfort of standing in the doorway. Before you know it, you’ll be standing firmly in autumn leaves.

AND you’ll have a 4-month head start on all those folks who will WAIT to begin their new thing and be THAT person January 1, 2021.    

FUN OFFER: I harvested a batch of tomatoes from my garden this morning. Take a guess at what recipe I made with them and send me an email. If you’re correct, I’ll gift you with a 50-minute coaching call and help you get clear around that ONE habit you’d like to take on. Hint: I wrote a blog about it and did a Facebook live too!

Much love,
Carol

“Some people spend their entire lives waiting for the time to be right to make an improvement.” ― James Clear, “Atomic Habits”

Sometimes I Eat My Feelings

Yes, you read that correctly. Sometimes I eat my feelings. How about you?

We feel sad, so we eat food that soothes us. We feel like celebrating, so we eat food that delights us. We are bored or lonely, so we eat chips.

Sometimes a glass of wine pairs up with the food and we consume a nice neat package of emotions that leaves us feeling…

…a bit guilt-ridden?

We eat our feelings.   

Why, just this week Mr. Non-Compliant walked in the door after a very full day and exclaimed, “I deserve a bowl of ice cream!”

He had experienced an extremely busy day and felt that he deserved a reward.

I had some too, so that he wouldn’t have to eat alone. Frankly, we both felt like eating ice cream, so we did.

There were no sad or bad feelings, although I’m sure he was tired.

We are masters at justifying our reasons for eating. Instead of looking for ways to excuse our behavior, what if we MANAGED our eating habits?

Even when we’re emotionally wrecked.

Here’s an experiment for you to try. Next time you hear yourself justifying why you need to eat the ________________, consider how you feel. Are you happy, sad, bored, or hungry?

Becoming aware of your emotions—becoming conscious of your relationship with food–leads to better management.

It may not change anything at first. Managing your emotions and food takes practice.  

There are times when we’re going to drown our sorrows by eating the cake. I don’t mean a modest piece of amazing cake; I mean an ENTIRE cake that’s not even that good.

There’s a difference. Management.   

The more you are in tune with the behaviors that are not serving you, the better equipped you are to make healthier choices.

Honor where you are in the moment. Sometimes eating your feelings is the answer. Maybe you can get away with one piece of cake, instead of the entire thing.

And let the guilt go.

Much love,
Carol 

P.S. Some of you have made tomato pie, and I applaud you for trying something new! If you missed my Facebook live with recipe tips, you can see it on my Inkwell Healthy Lifestyles FB page. 

“It’s not what you eat, it’s how you feel when you eat it.”—Abraham Hicks