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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

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December 6, 2018

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

November 29, 2018

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

November 14, 2018

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 optio

November 1, 2018

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 Novem

October 25, 2018

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

October 18, 2018

Warm Up with a Frittata

It’s that time of year when it actually feels good to turn on the oven. The warmth in the kitchen helps take the bite out of the chilly morning air.

October 18, 2018

Fall Frittata

8 ounces organic uncured turkey bacon, diced (I like Applegate brand)      2 green onions, including much of the green, diced 1 bunch asparagus, ch

October 11, 2018

Embracing the Uncomfortable

Today’s topic hit me like a brick when I was doing just that–embracing the uncomfortable. Why would anyone do such a crazy thing? It hardly ma

October 4, 2018

Farewell, Flag Pants

“You’re getting a little wide in the beam, aren’t you kid?” Those words literally kicked me into the basement of reality and sadness, all

September 27, 2018

Share the Love

Today, give some positive encouragement to another human being. This person may be a workout buddy, neighbor, co-worker, friend, family member, strang

New Year Tips

Happy New Year!

How are you feeling, now that the Christmas cookie siege has passed? My guess, if you’re reading this, is that you have some type of plan in place to improve your fitness. You’re in good company, since the majority of Americans do, including me.

I have already noticed an increase in the number of potential new friends hanging out at the gym. The classes have been full and that is awesome! My hope is that my potential new friends keep attending class long enough for me to get to know them. If you’ve noticed this same phenomenon where you exercise, be sure to encourage any newcomers and help them stay committed. Something as simple as, “Hey, see you next time,” may hit them two days later when it’s snowing or below zero and staying home seems like the best option. It’s almost like a promise– and it would not be good to let your new friend down.

Friends at the gym are a huge incentive to help keep you on track. Accountability.

As I mentioned in my last blog, my plan is to meditate on a regular basis, preferably daily—for at least 10 minutes. I think I’ve already messed up, and it’s only been 3 days, which brings me to my next point: accepting imperfection with your plan. Daily is pretty unrealistic, so let’s say I sit quietly and focus on my breathing most days of the week. That’s an improvement over last year. And that, my friends, is a win.

Remember in all your life goals, to set realistic expectations and delight in improvement. It’s similar to my healthy eating rule of 80/20. Most of us know what foods contribute to better energy, improved fitness and overall well-being. We sometimes go unconscious and eat all the chips or M&M’s or whatever. So, keep it in perspective and if you follow your plan 80% of the time, you’re probably going to be fine.

A couple more things that have come to mind: be sure to drink your water, whether you’re in a warm or freezing climate. Those of us in the freezing climate have dry air from the furnaces continuously running. If you don’t want to shrivel up like a prune, you had better drink your water. (Take your weight and divide by two. That is the approximate number of ounces you need each day. Non-caffeinated and non-carbonated beverages may count toward that total, along with fruits and vegetables.)

The other thing is to get your sleep. I continue to read and listen to seminars preaching that ideally we need 7-8 hours each night. The reasons are many—enough for another blog. Trust me on this and we’ll talk about it another time. Here’s the best reason for flu season: lack of proper rest takes a toll on your immune system which means it is tougher to fight off germs.

Sweet dreams,
Carol

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cheers to You

Santa came and he ate the brownies, the cookies, and drank the milk. If you recall, I was planning to use the barely expired Ghirardelli brownie mix to make his treats. They were a hit, with Santa and the family.

We enjoyed our favorite Christmas foods per family tradition: Sauerkraut mushroom soup with dumplings, Shrimp de Jonghe and spinach salad on Christmas Eve. Homemade nutroll Christmas morning, and fresh beef brisket, mashed potatoes, green beans and asparagus later that day. What a treat!

Now, we get back in our usual routine. Time to decrease the sugar intake, downsize the carbohydrate servings and increase the vegetables. Holiday food tends to be a bit rich, even when it is homemade. As holiday festivities come to a close, we are more attentive. Are you with me here?

Moving into the New Year, are you excited? Do you feel as though you would like to make a fresh start? As you reflect on 2017, what went really well for you? Is there anything you’d like to do differently in the coming year?

As I think about those questions, “yes,” is the answer for all of the above. What went really well? That is a loaded question that takes me to a place of much gratitude. I recently heard a thought-provoking question that went something like this: As you consider all that you are grateful for, what if only the things you list are what you will see the next day? Wow! Talk about the need to be quite thorough!

One of the practices I have more recently incorporated into my day is meditation. This practice of grounding yourself into the present moment by focusing on your breath has a multitude of benefits. It does not need to take lots of time and you will feel calmer and more peaceful as it becomes a habit. You can’t mess it up and it’s free!

Thank you for reading my weekly blog posts and incorporating new habits and practices into your life. If you feel stuck in this area, let’s talk. I’d love to help you sort it out. I’m only an email or phone call away. Remember, by changing one thing at a time over time, you create a lifestyle that best suits you!

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018,
Carol

The Miracle of Christmas

This year, I got most of my baking finished earlier than usual. I’m not sure how that happened, however as of this writing, there is no Christmas tree. Maybe tomorrow. Oh, and I do need to make those Ghirardelli brownies for Santa. You remember, the box I discovered in my pantry a couple weeks ago. It’s calling my name.

I completely enjoy all the Christmas festivities and fun foods that come along for the ride. May you enjoy your favorites, your family and friends, and your way of celebrating this special season.

The Miracle of Christmas

Can you imagine all the miracles
That came from One so small?
A baby born of Mary
In a cold and lowly stall.

Three Wise Men came to worship
The star so brightly shined
Oh holy night so peaceful
Oh Holy One Divine.

What gifts have we to offer
That are worthy of The King?
Our talents and our treasures
In humbleness we bring.

We pray to Him with wonder
Amazed and full of awe
You still believe in miracles
From God, who’s not so small?

His Being has no limits
Our minds can’t understand
The fullness of His glory
Stilled waters with his hand.

So ask God for your miracle
Pray with all your heart
Believe in Love who hears you
Ne’er too late to start.

Now imagine all the miracles
That come from One so small
The baby born of Mary
Not so little after all.

 

Blessings, miracles, and love to you,
Carol

What I Made With The Beans

Less than two weeks out from Christmas, and I have yet to buy any presents. My priority was figuring out how to use those beans.

If you recall from last week’s blog, I had a few unruly items running amuck in my pantry that were barely out of date for best flavor and taste. Two cans of beans–Garbanzos and Great Northern–were on the list.

Should you happen to discover cans of beans hiding somewhere in your kitchen, here are some ideas for you, along with a recipe for Tuscan White Bean Salad. This is a copycat recipe from Houlihan’s that I found on Pub Chain Restaurant Copycat Recipes. If you are looking for a favorite recipe to recreate, this is a good site to check out.

That being said, I changed the copycat recipe to suit my tastes. I encourage you to do the same. Nothing really bad will happen when you stray from the original recipe a little. For example, if you don’t have a red onion, use whatever onion you have, or a few sprinkles of onion powder. The red onion looks pretty and has a little different flavor than other varieties, which is why it works well. Oh, and Mr. Non-Compliant missed out on this dish, which I’m sure will make him very sad.

Other ideas for the beans:

*Add to any soup you make. Extra protein and fiber are a good thing. (It’s a good idea to drain and rinse canned beans to get rid of the excess starch, sodium and any metallic taste that may come from the can.)

*Make hummus by mixing a can of garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed) in a food processor or blender with ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 clove crushed garlic, 1 tsp. ground cumin, ½ tsp. salt. Add a tablespoonful or two of water if needed to make it the right consistency. Blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to your taste.

*Make white bean and chicken chili for a change from traditional.

*There are LOTS of recipes for beans. I’m stopping with the salad recipe so I can go buy some presents!

Tuscan White Bean Salad

1 can Great Northern or Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tomatoes, diced
2 cups salad greens
½ red onion, diced
¼ cup feta or goat cheese, crumbled

Place ingredients in a bowl and toss with the dressing.

Balsamic and Olive Oil Dressing

Whisk together:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/8 tsp. salt
pinch of sugar

Once dressing is blended, add to the salad and lightly toss. Serve with your favorite crackers or toasted, crusty bread. Perfect as a light lunch or dinner.

This simple salad would be a nice addition to a holiday buffet, since it offers some nutritional value, which is often missing from those amazing Christmas cookies!