1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

Top
April 2, 2020

Mr. Non-Compliant: Where Have All the Flours Gone?

Each trip to the grocery store these days is a new adventure. It has become such a conscious, thought-out process. What time is best? Where am I most

April 2, 2020

Crock Pot Trail Mix

This slightly sweet recipe will give you energy on and off the trail. The nuts offer protein, fiber, and fat, along with some vitamins and minerals. A

March 26, 2020

Cauliflower is the New Kale

Cauliflower. You know it as my least favorite vegetable. I realized something was up when I came to breakfast one recent morning and there was a cauli

March 19, 2020

The Loss of Routine

First of all, I pray that you and your loved ones are safe and well. I also pray that you have whatever you need to get through today: patience, food,

March 12, 2020

The Scoop on the Sumo

In recent weeks, the Sumo orange has come into my life. If you are a fan of citrus, you’ll enjoy learning a bit about this juicy, seedless, ultra-sw

March 4, 2020

Can You Hear Me Now?

Recently, my church sponsored a health fair. Representatives from AccuQuest Hearing Centers were among the many vendors. Since I sometimes think that

February 27, 2020

Create More Time

When we think about time, it’s the one resource we will never get back. We can earn more money, buy more things, and make new friends. Time? It is f

February 20, 2020

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.  Eatin

February 13, 2020

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

February 6, 2020

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’

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”

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, with the hope that at least one thing will help improve your quality of life.

Tips for Today

  • When you’re not feeling quite right, you think you’re hungry, or you’re bored, review your water intake for the day. It’s a critical check-in point, and it’s easy to work on immediately. Your weight divided by two in ounces is about the right amount. Consider your activity level as you evaluate.
  • Road construction a problem? Too much idle time in your car? Try downloading audio books from the library and listen as you sit, and sit, and sit. You could also use Audible. The library is free. Audible is not.
  • Weight not coming off? Perhaps you are not eating enough. Oh, and when you are eating, are you getting the necessary nutrients to make your body happy from real, whole foods? Be honest.
  • If you enjoy flowers, pick a bouquet from your flower garden or pick one up when you do your grocery shopping. (Guys, would a surprise like this light up someone special?) Any old vases you have collecting dust, drop them by a floral shop. They’ll usually give you a bouquet as a “thank you.” If they don’t offer, ask them and see what happens.
  • When you have a craving, wait 10 minutes and figure out who’s in charge—you or the craving? Are you really hungry, or bored? Is it a time of day that snacking has become a habit? If you must eat, is there a more nutritious option? Go back to Tip #1 and drink water.
  • Muscles aching? Relax in an Epsom salt bath (2 cups in a standard tub for about 20 minutes) or head over to Float Sixty. The magnesium in the salts soothes the soreness, and you’ll probably sleep better. If you’d like to add an essential oil to your bath, add a few drops to the salts, then add the salts under running water.
  • A beautiful new yoga studio opened in St. John, Now Yoga Club, on Wicker in the Lake Central Plaza. I’ve tried it, I like it. Friendly people, classes for every level—even kids! If you enjoy yoga or are new to the idea, this is a great place to explore.
  • Do something today to re-energize. Take a walk, get a massage, spend time in a garden, head to the nearest body of water and sit, phone a friend, read a book, meditate, bake something delicious, mow the lawn—whatever works for you.
  • Be sure you’re getting enough sleep. The ideal for most adults is between 7-8 hours. If you’re cranky, people won’t want to be around you.   
  • When the bunnies eat your tender spinach plants from the garden, buy it from the store or farmer’s market, and keep smiling. Buying local produce as we head into summer is the best—more nutritious, tastier, supports your neighbors.

Stuck with your weight/health/life goals? Wondering why you’ve “hit the wall?” Confused about what to even eat anymore? Call or email me to set up your complimentary coaching session. (There is no obligation for more coaching. One powerful session may give you incredible clarity!)

Wishing all you dads a happy Father’s Day this Sunday!

Much love,
Carol

“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.”—Charles Wadsworth

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), and newlyweds, there are a variety of other important days you may find of interest:

  • Donut Day, June 7 (Mr. Non-Compliant is VERY excited)
  • Family Fitness and Health Day, June 8 (probably to compensate for the donuts)
  • World Bike Naked Day, June 8 (interesting—apply plenty of sunscreen)
  • Flag Day, June 14 (is your flag in good condition?)
  • Father’s Day, June 16 (be sure to remember dad)
  • Summer Solstice, June 21 (plan a special dinner al fresco)
  • Take Your Dog to Work Day, June 21 (schedule the grooming appointment)
  • National Eat at a Food Truck Day, June 23 (is there a salad food truck?)
  • Pink Flamingo Day (lawn ornaments), June 23 (order yours today)

June is also the month that local strawberries are available here in Northwest Indiana. I checked the website of Johnson’s Strawberry Farm in Hobart, and U-pick for the strawberries begins June 15. (Probably a good idea to call first.)   

When my boys were younger, we would make the annual trip to Johnson’s, ride the school bus out into the dusty fields, and pick berries until the complaining was more than I could bear.

As we picked the berries, we would often put our heads into the buckets and inhale deeply. The strawberry scent was fresh, sweet, and made this annual event deliciously memorable.

Once home, I would make jam, shortcake, and we’d eat them plain, non-stop. It was the official beginning of summer.

Fortunately, strawberries, and all berries, are extremely healthy. They are low in sugar, full of antioxidants, high in fiber, help fight inflammation, loaded with nutrients, and they’re delicious.

I often enjoy fresh berries in my Greek yogurt (Fage 5%) along with some granola, as a breakfast or snack. If you’re in the mood for chocolate, mix in some cocoa or cacao powder and a bit of honey.

Add berries to your protein smoothie, as a topping for your oatmeal, or side garnish with your eggs. Spinach salad with berries, pecans, goat cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, is a summertime favorite.  

By including fresh, nutrient-rich foods in your life, like berries, you won’t miss those snacks that may not lead you to your health goals.

Cheers to June…and strawberries,
Carol

 “As our lives speed up more and more, so do our children’s. We forget and thus they forget that there is nothing more important than the present moment. We forget and thus they forget to relax, to find spiritual solitude, to let go of the past, to quiet ambition, to fully enjoy the eating of a strawberry, the scent of a rose, the touch of a hand on a cheek…” ~ Michael Gurian