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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

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October 17, 2019

A Story with Heart

When considering our health, so many times we think about starting better habits on Monday, or after a big celebration, or at the beginning of a new y

October 10, 2019

Ever Get Mad at…You?

I recently saw a post from a wonderful lady we’ll call Ann. (This is not her real name, so you can insert any name you prefer to use here. Maybe you

October 2, 2019

Managing Inherited Behaviors

Ice cream is still my favorite food. It has been my favorite food my entire life, as far back as I can recall. I firmly believe that my fondness for i

September 29, 2019

Fresh fruits and veggies, fish, good fats make healthy eating delicious

(The following article first appeared in the February 14, 2018 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times. Online version) T

September 26, 2019

Applause for Your Consistency

Today, I acknowledge and applaud you for your commitment to consistency. Whether you consistently make a conscious effort to consume more vegetables f

September 19, 2019

No Time? Quick Meal Ideas

No time. Can you relate? I’ve been feeling the crunch of more scheduled evening events—and I no longer have kids going back to school! As I sat lo

September 12, 2019

The Biggest Nutritional Challenge

When it comes to losing weight and improving nutrition, what is the #1 challenge? Go ahead, take a guess. If your answer is, “I don’t know what I

September 5, 2019

Mr. Non-Compliant Ate Gross Greens

Miracles do happen and life is full of surprises. If your loved one is not keen on eating as healthy as you’d like, keep the faith. I offer you a st

August 28, 2019

The Other 84% of Health

In last week’s blog, I mentioned water intake, slower eating, and increased movement. Did you pick up on the fact that I never suggested WHAT to eat

August 21, 2019

Back to School, Back to Basics

When we break it down, practicing healthy habits is rather elementary. It can also seem rather complicated. Since school is back in session, I figured

Tips for Your New Year’s Resolve

As we count down to the arrival of another year, most of us have the desire to start fresh with some part of our lives–or all of them.

How about you? Anything you’d like to switch up this year?

I’ve said for a very long time now that resolutions (like diets) don’t work. The reason is because we make those resolutions out of context of real life.

Things can go really well for a few weeks, maybe even a couple months. Then, an aging parent needs additional help, the “senior” dog leaves messes on the carpet (we’ve been dealing with this one lately), or everyone in the family has the stomach flu at the same time.

Real life is the norm. The “perfect” life is a fantasy and we all know it. We pretend it’s REAL, and  then wonder why we lose our resolve.

Some of you may be wondering if your intentions for 2019 stand even the slightest chance of surviving through the winter.

They do if you take into consideration real life.

Here are some tips for maintaining your real-life healthy resolutions:

*Set reasonable goals that set you up for success. Planning to work out an hour a day, seven days week, is not realistic when you are getting started. Schedule two or three “appointments” to exercise in your week. Once it becomes routine, increase the time and/or frequency. Finding activities you enjoy are critical to longevity.

*Include some protein for breakfast. Getting your day off to a good start nutritionally sets you up for good energy and smart choices throughout the entire day.  

*Have about five “go-to” dinner menus that you can get on the table in 30 minutes or less. Keep the necessary ingredients on hand so you can switch into autopilot cooking mode. Save those new recipes you’d like to experiment with for weekends when you may have more time. Meal prepping is extremely helpful to do on weekends as well.

*Focus on one or two habits at a time. A confused mind says “no” and gives up when overwhelm sets in. Trying to do too much all at once is the cause of many resolution failures. Think baby steps.

*Give yourself grace to be imperfect. It’s okay to do what you can do, even if it’s not what you had hoped. Take care of yourself the best you can so you are able to help with the needs of others. You may get the protein in for breakfast, but because of real life stuff, getting to the gym isn’t happening. Let it go and start fresh tomorrow.

Last January I made the intention to meditate on a regular basis. Although I wasn’t perfect, I experienced more focus-on-breathing-in-the-moment times in one year than ever before. Taking time for stillness results in higher productivity, so I’m sticking with it.

If you could use some help finding clarity and figuring out what makes sense for you to work on in 2019, let me know. I’m here to hold you accountable and remind you that what you do on a daily basis matters. This is your life.

Cheers to your best year ever,
Coach Carol

Resolve: firm determination to do something.

The Magic of Passion and Purpose

Health is a priceless commodity. While food and exercise are at the top of the list of contributing to good health, passion and purpose are right up there alongside them.

So, while I’m all about eating lots of vegetables and going to the gym, today I’m focusing on passion and purpose.

Imagine that you have a job that really lights you up—the kind of job that when your feet hit the floor every morning, you are over-the-moon excited to see where the day will lead.

It’s a job that requires making tough decisions, however, it’s one that you feel called to do. You meet and connect with people on a daily basis. In spite of the ups and downs, since no job is free of the roller coaster ride, you absolutely love it.

Then in a single day, it’s over. You’re done.

Some of you have been in this place, and may be there right now. The business of your dreams didn’t make it, or you’ve been let go due to downsizing…or you’re an elected official that didn’t get the votes.

As the spouse of a recently UNelected official who absolutely loved his job and didn’t get the votes, it’s painful. It’s also very public.

It’s tough to be told you cannot do what you love any longer. AND, it’s tough to know that you’re not doing the thing that lights you up.

Today, are you living a life that fulfills your passion and purpose?  

Yes, even in the midst of this busy Christmas season.

I left my job in the pharmacy in 2011 to pursue a calling that led me here. Some days, I’m not sure exactly where “here” even is. It’s that roller coaster ride—and I love it.

Life is short. If you’re not doing the thing that lights you up, why not?

On a recent call with my coach, I had to decide what I was committed to in the coming year.

I’m committed to showing up powerfully for you. As your coach, I’ll help you get back on that roller coaster, even if you aren’t sure whether it’s heading up or down—and especially when you’re too scared to get on at all.

I’ve been there. I get it. And I’m stronger because of it.  

I’d love to help you discover possibility. It’s part of the magic of the season. If you don’t believe me, watch “The Santa Clause” or “A Charlie Brown Christmas” or your favorite Christmas classic.

Believe in the magic of passion and purpose.

Christmas blessings and love,
Carol

 “There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”– Nelson Mandela

Consistency, Perseverance, and Toasted Almonds

‘Tis the season to be jolly. So…what if you’re not feeling it?

Some days I’m not. Some days I’d rather stay in bed with the covers pulled over my head.

Sometimes our lives don’t mimic those happy Hallmark Christmas movies with the seemingly perfect endings. Happy couple, cute dog, every light working on the tree.

Wouldn’t it be sweet if we could sometimes rewrite our movie script?    

It’s tough when along with the joyful festivities of the season comes loss; loss of a loved one, job, relationship, pet, health, identity. The list goes on.

The stress of December takes a toll. It can be a challenge to persevere when instead of sending a bowl of lemons, life sends a gigantic lemon tree. But wait. The commercials tell us that we are supposed to be HAPPY!

This is when it is easier to be consistent. It is easier to show up each day and simply do those tasks that are habit—the ones you don’t need to think about.

Recently, in dealing with one of those lemon trees, I felt consistently sad. There was nothing I could do to cheer up and make that old-fashioned lemonade we hear about in the cliché. I just needed time.

It was in this consistent bummer of a mood that I chose to persevere with routine. My logic: If I could get through those things that I didn’t need to think too hard about, perhaps one day I’d get to the other side.

It worked. I trusted the process of consistency and perseverance, and I’m happy to report that I am in much brighter spirits. Falalalala. And, thank you for the prayers.

I know many people who are in a sad place due to one or more of the aforementioned reasons, and the holidays only make it worse.

During this season of Christmas, may we be consistent in showing loving kindness, whether it be to the clerk at Kohl’s, the driver that cut us off, or the friend who lost their loved one.

We may be helping them exchange that lemon tree for a Christmas tree—even if it is the Charlie Brown variety.

 

Toasted Almonds

In a large skillet over low heat, melt about 2 tablespoons of unrefined, organic virgin coconut oil. Add 2 cups of raw almonds. Sauté for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Watch closely so they don’t burn. You will hear some popping as the almonds are toasting. Remove from heat and put on a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb the oil. Salt to taste. With all the flavored salts on the market, you could have fun experimenting. For chocolate almonds, after salting, sprinkle some cocoa or cacao powder on while still warm. Stir to coat. Once the nuts have cooled, store in an airtight container. Caution: the chocolate almonds are not sweet.

Tip: When buying large bags of nuts, store in the freezer so they don’t become rancid. Keep smaller quantities in the refrigerator for snacking.

 

“Christmas gift suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.”

— Oren Arnold, American novelist

Slow Down to Speed Up

This mantra seems counterintuitive, especially since there are only 19 days until Christmas. Yet, it hit me during a recent time of stillness.

It also reminded me of a book I’d read years ago, “Be Quick—But Don’t Hurry!” by Andrew Hill with John Wooden.

I can hear you now, gasping for air because there is SO MUCH TO DO. Relax. Breathe. Slow down. You’ll get more accomplished.

How many times have you been rushing and set the car keys down, only to forget where you put them? Or, you had your cell phone just a minute ago, where is it now?

In our haste to hurry or speed up, we waste precious time.  

 This also happens to me when I don’t do a simple task (taking 5 minutes or less) in the moment that it shows up. I’ll spend more time thinking about it than if I had just done it immediately. I’m practicing the “Do It Now” principle. (Fold the laundry, sort the mail, write the thank you, etc.)

I’ve also been distracted in the kitchen when measuring an ingredient, hurried, then wondered if I’d measured correctly. UGH!

Need I go on?

The more we hurry, the more stress and anxiety we experience. The result is poor sleep, hormone imbalances, a lack of energy, frustration, cold or flu, and sometimes—a few extra pounds.

Slow down. Spend a few moments in quiet solitude each day. You will be calmer; you will have more clarity about what is most important; you won’t appear crazy, even if you have doubts on occasion. (We all do.)

You will experience more joy and fulfillment because you are taking the time to enjoy each moment. This goes for the decorating, choosing that special gift for each person on your list, and even eating your favorite holiday treats.

The season of Advent, these four weeks leading up to Christmas, is a time of waiting. We wait with hope  for Christ’s coming. Children wait impatiently for Santa to deliver the goods. Adults can’t wait until it’s over. ‘Tis the season! 

Take a few extra minutes today and slow down. Be quick in knowing what it is you need to be attentive to, then methodically go about getting it done–But don’t hurry.

Make your plan. Work your plan. Have fun, doing the best you can.

“Keep calm and enjoy Christmas.”