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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

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is a day my family looks forward to for weeks. We enjoy hanging out, relaxing, cooking, and of course, eating.

We typically fry our turkey. This year, we’re changing things up a bit. The bird is going on the charcoal grill.  

Also on the menu:

  • Mashed potatoes (dairy free)
  • Maple glazed sweet potatoes
  • Sautéed green beans
  • Amish stuffing (filled with gluten, for the family)
  • Cranberry sauce with apples (for me)
  • Cranberry jelly out of the can (Mr. Non-Compliant won’t eat real cranberries)
  • Pumpkin pie with CocoWhip (gluten free and dairy free)

I’m going to try my hand at making gravy, since I discovered turkey stock in the freezer.

Sometimes naps happen. It’s a great day, and I’m very thankful.

Whatever Thanksgiving holds for you, I wish you a beautiful, blessed, and gratitude-filled day.

Thank you for reading my Thursday morning blog posts. I appreciate you.

Much love,
Carol

Thanksgiving Tips, Tricks, and Least Liked Classics

One week away from the official start of what many Americans consider to be the holiday season. Since you may not read your emails next Thursday, my special nuggets are hitting the page today.

Turkey
If you’re planning to cook turkey and purchase a frozen bird, you’d best go buy it today. Depending on the size, it could take a week to thaw in your fridge. I typically cook a fresh bird. Surprisingly, I found fresh, organic turkeys at Costco.

Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a favorite side dish. This year, instead of peeling the potatoes and boiling them for mashing, I’m going to bake them, then peel and mash. Baking dries them out more than boiling, allowing for maximum absorption of the butter and milk, resulting in a fluffier texture. 

If you choose to boil your potatoes for mashing, leave the skins on and boil them whole. Once tender, transfer them to a bowl of ice water for about 20 seconds, The skins will slide off, and you’re ready to mash—a simpler way to peel.

Least Liked Sides
According to a recent survey, canned cranberry sauce is the least liked Thanksgiving food that people eat “just because.” Of course, Mr. Non-Compliant loves the stuff. Apparently a third of households serve it still in the shape of the can.

Chef Jacques Pepin—whose wife loves the canned sauce—slices the jelly on a mandolin. He then lines a martini glass and cuts some of the slices in half for the center, twisting them a bit. It looks like a rose, complete with a sage leaf tucked in the side.

Chef Jacques and I prefer the real thing–cranberry sauce or relish. We agree, that there’s always one in every family who only eats the canned variety.

Green bean casserole came in second in the least liked category. Thankfully, my family prefers sautéed green beans or asparagus. We can actually taste the vegetable, and the sodium content is much lower.

Also on the list: sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie, and turkey.  

More Tips and Tricks

  • If you really don’t care to eat something, politely pass. Why fill up on food you don’t like?
  • Enjoy your favorite foods, and stop eating before you’re stuffed. Slow down, enjoy being with your family and friends, and save room for your favorite dessert.
  • Only eat it if it’s amazing!
  • Be grateful.
  • Schedule a complimentary call with me, and keep the seasonal weight gain from making its appearance.

 Thanks for reading. Wishing you and your family a beautiful Thanksgiving!

Much love,
Carol

“Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.” – Johnny Carson

Eating Your Way into 2020

With Thanksgiving only 2 weeks out, and Christmas not far behind, what’s your plan? By that I mean, what is your mindset as you move into the holiday season?

Are you prepared to make self-care a priority?

Now is the time to decide how you’ll begin 2020. How about a fresh start that is actually a continuum of today?

Be advised: deciding to NOT think about how you’ll eat, move, and enjoy your holidays, is in itself, a decision. Heading into January with the idea that you’ll start living healthier after the parties, is not the best self-care.  

I’ve heard the same line for years. “Once the holidays are over, I’ll eat right and go to the gym.”

Every decision you make either moves your health in a positive direction or a negative direction. There is no neutral.

I’m not saying you need to avoid all the fun stuff. I, too, enjoy the parties and special treats that make their appearance for a few brief weeks. My goal is to keep my eating on track 80% of the time. The other 20%…

Use moderation and choose wisely. Save your sugary treat consumption for something really special and amazing—like grandma’s nutroll. Be aware of drinking your calories. The dinner rolls simply take up stomach space that may better be served eating a piece of homemade pumpkin pie. Stop eating before you’re full and avoid misery.

Get your sleep, drink your water, stick with your workout regimen, and decide how you’ll maneuver the party before you arrive. Eat a small nutritious snack or drink a small protein shake before you go so you’re not tempted to overeat. It’s tough to nibble and make conversation anyway. Enjoy one favorite cocktail or glass of wine, then switch to sparkling or plain water with lemon.

There will be times when you deviate from your plan. When that happens, begin again. Avoid the temptation to wait until a later date. Your life is happening now.  

If you have a pattern of falling into the holiday eating trap, I’d like to help. Send me an email. Make 2020 the year you feel really good about your body January 1. It’s a great way to ring in the New Year.

Much love,
Carol

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” ― François de La Rochefoucauld

The Holidays are Coming, so Relax

This time of year, people tend to be wound pretty tight. The intensity gains momentum as we move into December. My suggestion: slow down, and relax.

You may think this sounds crazy, so let’s analyze the facts:

  • Stress causes LOTS of health problems and can sometimes make us cranky.
  • When we feel rushed, we tend to make mistakes, forget important details and even get hurt.
  • Sleep deprivation contributes to us being less productive in the long run, throws off our hormones, and has the potential to help us gain weight.
  • We make poor food choices when we don’t plan ahead, giving us one more thing to feel guilty about.
  • Our exercise routine is likely to get pushed aside because we think we are much too busy for self-care, when actually the exercise will help us feel better.
  • Working, shopping, decorating, entertaining are all more enjoyable when we are able to go through the process in a calm, relaxed manner.    

Whether you choose to be uptight or relaxed, time will pass just the same. Thanksgiving dinner will come and go whether you are a frazzled mess or lighthearted and calm. Everything will be ok, and it won’t be perfect.

Here are some ideas to help you RELAX your way into 2020:

  • When you feel anxious, focus on your breathing. Take some slow, deep, breaths by breathing in for a count of four, holding for four, and exhaling for eight. Try to take breaths that go into your belly. Doing this little exercise for even a minute or two will allow you to drop into the present.
  • Allow more time than you think you need for your tasks. By doing this, you won’t feel rushed and you might even enjoy the process.
  • Plan a few minutes at the end of the day for quiet time. Do some light reading, listen to your favorite music, or sit and pet your dog.  
  • When you have lots to accomplish and feel stressed, ASK for help. Are there other members of your family who can run and pick up the item you forgot at the store, or wrap the last-minute gift? This small favor may give you a chance to sit for 5 minutes and breathe.
  • Exercise when you think you don’t have time. You do have time and you will feel much better because you did.
  • Do something fun that makes you happy.

If you need help sorting it out, let me know. We’ll create a plan for you to begin the New Year feeling great!

Blessings and love,
Health Coach Carol

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…Including you.” — Anne Lamott