1-219-765-8600

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

Busting the Willpower Myth

If I only had a nickel for the number of times I’ve heard, “I don’t have any willpower.”

Let that crazy belief go and let’s move on.

 Eating in a manner that is nutritionally sound a.k.a. eating less junk food, has very little to do with willpower and motivation.

 This game is really about your environment. When healthy foods are convenient and highly visible, you will eat them. When the foods that cause you to binge are not around, it’s tough to binge.  

Here’s an experiment for you to try. Think of it as getting a head start on your spring cleaning, preparing for Lent, taking a stand for better health—whatever works for you.

The Experiment: DO A KITCHEN MAKEOVER

 

Step 1: Make a list of RED, YELLOW, and GREEN light foods.

RED light foods are those that you’d best not have anywhere around. Criteria for these foods: you always overeat them, you don’t feel good after you eat them (in body AND mind), you are allergic/sensitive to them, they don’t help you achieve your health goals. These are typically processed foods.

 YELLOW light foods are the ones that you are moderate with when you’re eating out with others, yet when left alone, unattended…it’s not pretty.

GREEN light foods are great, nutritious, tasty, anytime foods that keep you on track. Eating these foods will definitely make you successful in achieving your goals. These are typically whole foods.

 

Step 2: Clean out anywhere you store food.

 Unload the RED light foods. Toss them or give to a food pantry (if in date and non-perishable).

YELLOW foods may be totally removed, kept in smaller quantities, or somewhat hidden in a very inconvenient place. For example, if you love your homemade trail mix, yet have a tough time stopping at a handful or two when no one is looking, portion it out in small containers and make the rule that you only get ONE container.

Shop for your GREEN light foods. Buy enough for only a few days so they stay fresh, since most of these are in the produce section. Store them in easy to see and reach areas, and have them ready to eat when the hunger monster strikes.

 

Step 3: Take notes.

When you crave a RED or YELLOW food, what happens? Do you go for a GREEN food instead, or do you make a trip to the grocery? Or do you have a glass of water and realize you don’t need to eat anything at all because it’s too much work and you’re not even really hungry?  

Simply notice.

The bottom line is that your environment makes it harder—or easier—to make healthy choices. Always remember this: If a food is in your house, you or someone you love, is eventually going to eat it.

When you remove the foods that notoriously bring you down, this game becomes much easier to win.

Oh, and if you live with other people, like your family, let them know what you’re doing and why. If there are RED light foods they MUST have, make them hide them. You could also eliminate only a few at a time.

Feeling overwhelmed with anything that has to do with food, life, and you? Email me and we’ll find that first step to help you reach your goals!

Much love,
Carol

“Simple is sustainable.”

In Celebration of the Birth Month

I love this time of year, because I get to celebrate my birth month.

While some shy away from birthdays, let alone birth months, I embrace it. The age is merely a number, and matters not.

The good stuff: family came to visit as a surprise, a beautiful bouquet of flowers showed up at my door, a gluten-free cake was baked to my specifications, and we enjoyed dinner at a favorite restaurant.

AND, when my friends realize they missed the day, they’re not late with their wishes, since I celebrate for a solid month.

That being said, Sunday was merely the kick-off to my birth month event. 

Birth months give me plenty of time for reflection. I can look in the rearview mirror and realize all the opportunities that showed up and feel immense gratitude.

Of course, there are always those learning experiences that I refer to as “falling upward.” These are the events we would never voluntarily sign up for, yet they transform us into better human beings.

By the way, I highly recommend the book by the same name, “Falling Upward,” by Richard Rohr. Perhaps it’s time for me to read it again.

A month gives me plenty of time to accept celebratory breakfast/lunch invitations and thoroughly enjoy each one. Why rush? I can only eat so much in a day.

It’s also a great opportunity to determine what life changes I need to make. What stays, what disappears, and what new challenges shall I take on? This is important.

While many people reflect with each new calendar year, I find that this time feels more personal.

This is my year of possibility. As I map out what the next 12 months could look like, what I’ve experienced is that the year typically turns out more amazing than I ever dreamed.

And, there’s the “falling upward” stuff.

Thank you for reading my weekly blog posts. You tell me they make a difference in your life. My plan is to continue writing these, as they made the “stay” list.

I appreciate all your birthday greetings, whether on Facebook, in person, or otherwise. You are making my month even more special!

My birth month request: please pass my weekly blogs on to others who could use a bit of loving inspiration. It’s important that I reach as many people as possible with the birth months I have yet to celebrate. 

With love and gratitude,
Carol

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”—Maya Angelou

Stop Trying

In the past week, I’ve heard about lots of folks trying to do lots of good things.

“I’m going to try to get back to the gym tomorrow.”

“I’m really trying to stick to this new diet.”

“This time, I’m trying really hard to change my habits.”

Even I admit to saying something like, “I’ll try to get to the grocery today.”

TRY (verb use): make an attempt or effort to do something.

Let’s be honest here; when we TRY to do something, we give ourselves the loophole to NOT get whatever it is done. We have an out.

As a kid, I recall one instance when “try” seemed really appropriate. Maybe you heard this when you were a kid too, and maybe you’ve said it to a youngster, or oldster. “Before we get in the car, you should try to go to the bathroom.”

That works. Just try.

In so many other instances, we must stop trying. It holds us back. We must simply DO. 

DO: perform, accomplish, achieve, complete, finish, implement.

Practice saying the words out loud, about something you’d like to see happen in your life. See which version feels stronger and has the most positive impact on your psyche.

Here’s an example:

“I’m going to try to not eat snacks after dinner.” OR “After dinner, I’m done eating for the day.”

Speak the intention. Which version do you think is more likely to create the desired result?

Our words have great power, and it’s important to choose them wisely.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”– The Empire Strikes Back  

If any of you are Star Wars fans, you’ll recognize this as Yoda’s most memorable quote. This is a line from the X-wing sequence on Dagobah, and the last instructions the Jedi Master gives Luke before he attempts to raise his fighter from the swamp. Yoda had consistently tried to teach Luke to focus on the present, and essentially, to grow up. In this moment, with these words, he makes it clear.  

This is our reminder to commit oneself to something completely, win or lose.

Be bold. Go do, and stop trying.

Cheers to you,
Carol

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”—Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

She Ate All the Chips

I ran into JJ (initials used to protect identity) at the gym the other morning. Upon seeing her, she confessed that she recently ate an entire bag of potato chips. At one time. (It’s interesting that people feel the need to confess their food and fitness blunders when they see me.)

“What kind were they?” I asked. “I need specifics.”

To which she replied, “Mesquite BBQ, crinkle cut. They’re seasonal, and I got them at Aldi. It was a family size bag.”

“You ate the entire bag?”

“Yes.”

Her conscience was clear. She could move on.   

Turns out that JJ was emotionally satisfied after the chip incident, yet felt physically horrible. The chips caused bloating, then guilt. Ugh. She was a mess.

Does this scene resonate with you in any way? Maybe not with chips, but with cookies, ice cream, wine, candy, anything?

Here are some considerations when faced with your personal “chip” situation.

  • When you’re at the grocery, remember that whatever goes home will be eaten by someone. If that someone is you, and you tend to go into unconscious binging at times, don’t even put it in your buggy. Leave it at the store. You can always buy it another day. Oh, and beware of the story that it’s for another family member. Right.
  • Keep the mindset of abundance over deprivation. JJ could have had a handful of chips and enjoyed them immensely, then moved on to do something that brought her happiness: listen to favorite music, read scripture, eat more nutritionally sound food if truly hungry, get to the gym, phone a friend. She would have been fed emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Win.  
  • Consider who’s in control. Although we really don’t have much control over what happens in life, we usually have control over what and how much we eat. The chips had control over JJ. Do you have control over the food, or does it have control over you?

We’ve all been where JJ was, at one time or another. It offers us an opportunity to do just a little bit better in the future.

If you keep getting stuck, email me and we’ll work through it together.

Live your life of abundance, and feel great doing it.

Much love,
Carol

“See yourself living in abundance and you will attract it. It always works, it works every time, with every person.” -Bob Proctor