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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

Always Do Something

It’s time to embrace imperfection. Yes, you read that correctly. Today, we are going to consider doing some things imperfectly, rather than not doing them at all.

It is about now that the seasonal roller coaster ride begins. It lets up, oh, sometime in February—or July. What often accompanies this roller coaster ride (also known as “real life”) is what one of my mentors, Dr. John Berardi, refers to as “pause-button mentality.”

Examples of this phenomenon go something like this:

*”With all the parties in December, I may as well wait until January to start my health and fitness program. It will be one of my resolutions.”

*”I’ll go to the gym once my job settles down, the kids finish their __________ season, and I get my mom moved into her condo.”

*”It will be easier to eat better meals once the holidays are over. With all the baking, card writing, shopping and decorating, I have NO time.”

*”I was going to start eating more vegetables this week, until I remembered it’s my Birth Month. So many of my friends like to take me to lunch, I can’t possibly consider doing such a crazy thing until NEXT month!” (I’ve used this one before…can you believe it?)

Do any of these stories sound familiar? Okay, perhaps they aren’t exact—you get the picture. For the record: I am guilty of playing the pause-button game. Also for the record: It doesn’t work very well.

We all like to start over, begin again, and erase the slate clean. So do I. The problem: Hitting the pause button delays us living our life and playing full out.

Say your “ideal” routine includes nicely balanced meals every evening, your favorite workouts 5 days a week, quiet prayer/meditative time daily, 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and a good dose of family and social time mixed in with work. Perfect!

We all know that what we plan in life and what happens are usually not the same. We have to take the good stuff along with the not-so-good stuff.

Short term, we can stick with a regimented plan, which is why there are lots of 30-day programs. Life may allow us to get away with a fairly “perfect” 30 days. Then what?

Here’s an alternative to hoping for perfect. Always do something. Pausing the button on various aspects of our life when things get out of whack only leads to regret, and sometimes a more difficult road in the future.

If you are unable to get in your typical workouts, take a 10-minute walk at some point in your day. It will bring mental and physical benefits. Can you get to the gym at least twice a week instead of five? Stay for thirty minutes instead of an hour?

So you can’t get in your wonderfully balanced meals every evening, eat a salad once a day and do the best you can. If you must resort to drive-thru, skip the soda and fries. Practice doing just a little bit better. A little bit better is awesome!

And all those holiday parties? Choose a few of the “healthier” options, drink lots of water, and go for those decadent treats only when they are AMAZING!

Living your best life is not about having lots of willpower, or constantly denying yourself the fun of parties, friends and great food. This game is about developing the skills to hang in there and do what you can, even when you really want to pause. It’s knowing that life is always going to happen, no matter how well you plan.

Embrace the imperfection of doing something. Always.

“Fitness in the context of real human life is just like the rest of life. We’re all just doing the best we can in challenging, complicated circumstances. We are all living messy, imperfect lives. We are all human. If we can just keep moving forward, no matter what happens, no pause buttons, no do-overs, we win the game.”—Dr. John Berardi

We Fry a Turkey

Yes, you read that correctly. The Slager family fries a turkey (or two) each year to celebrate Thanksgiving.

I know. Fried food is not a healthy option. My boys come home to celebrate and it’s their favorite. We fry the turkey, and it’s AMAZING!

We enjoy this delicacy once a year. I advise you to do the same with whatever your favorites are. Thoroughly enjoy them. Our health walk is not one of deprivation. It is one of abundance and choice.     

So many times we eat because it’s time. We eat because it’s there. We eat because we’re bored, stressed, sad, lonely, just because. We eat too much, and it’s not even that good. 

This Thanksgiving, how about we eat because we are enjoying every delicious bite with gratitude. How about we eat slowly, stop BEFORE we are bursting at our seams, and focus on our relationships.

That being said, here are a few safety tips in case you’d like to attempt frying a turkey this year.

  • Place your fryer away from any buildings to avoid a fire.
  • Keep children and pets a safe distance from the frying area.
  • Have your turkey at room temperature and dry off any moisture.
  • Make sure your oil is the correct temperature to fry the turkey.
  • SLOWLY lower the bird into the hot oil, and wear gloves. My husband spends several minutes lowering the turkey into the oil, so it doesn’t spatter or cause the oil to overflow.
  • Check your time. Frying a turkey is a very quick way to cook it.
  • Allow the turkey to rest once it’s cooked. By doing this, you don’t loose the juices.

Whatever foods you enjoy this Thanksgiving, I wish you the best. In case you’re wondering, we eat pumpkin pie too!

Thanks for reading and following my blog.

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” –Meister Eckhart

A Fun Day of Celebrations

I find it quite curious that the day after many folks around the world celebrate Halloween, we find ourselves with more than we bargained for on November 1.

Christians, celebrate All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day, in honor of all saints known and unknown.

I recently learned that November 1 is also World Vegan Day, and November is World Vegan Month. In case you’re not up on the specifics, Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients.  

And if that’s not enough, today is Give Up Your Shoulds Day, a day to give up thinking about something you “should” do. For example, perhaps you are thinking, I SHOULD go to the gym. Whether you go to the gym or not, the idea behind this holiday is to let go of the thought that is burdening you. In this case, the “should” of going to the gym. The point is to lessen our stress and ease our minds by practicing the art of not “shoulding” ourselves to death.

There’s more–National Author’s Day. Celebrate this day by writing your favorite author, if he/she is still living, and flying the American flag. Another fun thing to do is ask your friends their favorite author, and what books those authors have written. You may find your way to the library later to check out one of them.

Ladies, this one will be a big hit with you: because it’s the first Thursday of November, today
is National Men Make Dinner Day. (Guys, please don’t hate me. I’m merely the blogger.) Better warn him early, or you’ll be making reservations later. I think most men are pretty good at grilling a steak, however that will not work if they’re celebrating World Vegan Day. 

Today holds so much possibility. Whatever you do, make today great. And if your special guy needs help planning dinner, I’m here to help. Just don’t make him feel as though it’s something he “should” do.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”― Maya Angelou

Healthy Diet = Brighter Brain

The age-old question I hear is this, “What is the best diet for me?”

Although some people have food sensitivities or allergies, there is a way of eating that works well for brain health, cardiovascular health, diabetes prevention, and overall good health for a majority of the population.

The Mediterranean diet is the winner that keeps showing up in much of my research. This diet includes:

  • mostly plant-based food (legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, whole grains)     
  • eating poultry and wild-caught fish at least twice a week
  • eating primarily olive oil (extra-virgin, cold-pressed)
  • limited red meats and sugars

What makes it so effective? Some argue that it’s the olive oil; others the fact that it consists of high vegetable, low meat intake; perhaps it’s due to the reduction of processed foods and sugar.

I believe it’s a combination of all of the above.

At any rate, because this way of eating decreases inflammation, it helps protect the body from diseases related to chronic inflammation: obesity, type 2 diabetes, dementia (such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s), heart disease, depression, and cancer.

People in the Mediterranean region seem happy and full of life. It’s important to note that it’s a combination of their lifestyle factors and their unprocessed diets that has promoted their longevity and low rates of disease for centuries.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “Together with regular physical activity and not smoking, our analyses suggests that over 80 percent of coronary heart disease, 70 percent of stroke, and 90 percent of type 2 diabetes can be avoided by healthy food choices that are consistent with the traditional Mediterranean diet.”

Wow, pretty impressive!

As we approach the holiday season, make a plan now that you can realistically follow so a resolution about “eating better,” “losing weight,” or “going to the gym,” doesn’t show up on your 2019 list.

If you’re not sure what that would look like, or how to begin, I’m here to help. Please do not wait until you’re feeling the misery of too many Christmas cookies. Send me an email today. Together, we can make this your brightest holiday season ever!

“Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food.”–Hippocrates