1-219-765-8600

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

The All or None Syndrome

Ever experience Pause Button Mentality? Perhaps during the holidays, your birthday, after vacation, when work gets crazy, or kids go back to school?

Human beings tend to have this “all or none” attitude, so we usually end up with none—because, last I checked, life is not perfect.

We have the desire to do our best, so if it isn’t going to be our best, we want to start over, or give up entirely. It feels easier. This is actually the route to self-sabotage.

The Pause-Button Mentality only builds the skill of pausing.  

This is not about building willpower. It’s about building skills. How to get and stay fit under non-ideal real life conditions, which happens to be most of the time.

The game of life keeps going on and there is no pause button, no time-out. There is never going to be a time when things are magically easier.

When you hit the bump in the road of life that makes you want to pause, just say NO. Don’t turn off the food and fitness routine that gives you better energy, helps you avoid getting sick, relieves stress, and produces better sleep. Simply dial it down.

If 10 is you hitting all your workouts and eating pretty well, then go for 8, or 5. Even ONE is a courageous choice here. Dial it back up, as you are able. This helps you avoid mental beatings, which so many of us do extremely well.  

The same process holds true with food. Let’s say you go out with friends and REALLY enjoy an amazing burger, fries, and shake. Next meal, make a choice that includes more vegetables than the pickle or tomato you had on that burger—and omit the fried anything.

The mantra of the Balanced Warrior is “ALWAYS SOMETHING!”

Much love,
Carol

P.S. Plagued by a pause you can’t get past? I’m here to support you. Send me an email and we’ll start dialing it up again.

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”—Sean Patrick Flanery

Lessons from Nature, and Grounding

We must be moving into fall, as school supplies are in the sale ads. Didn’t summer vacation just get rolling?

As I look around, I see many of my lilies dying off, along with a handful of the summer annuals. While there are still many blooms around the house (and weeds), there is tiredness about them. I suppose if I fed them a bit of fertilizer, that would help.

Summer is the time to enjoy so much of Nature’s bounty: a multitude of fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers, available locally in most areas of North America.  

As children return to school and we move into fall, we feel the process of slowing down. Plants and animals begin preparing for the cold that will soon befall many of us. Squirrels start hiding those pesky acorns.

Winter brings hibernation and rest. Bears sleep, people in colder climates tend to hunker down and make soup, and plants are dormant. It’s tougher to get moving in the morning, at least in my house.

When spring finally arrives, the earth awakens and everything, and everyone, comes alive. It’s exciting to see tiny crocuses pop through the dirt, producing those first flowers of hope.

And so the cycle goes– over, and over, and over. The pattern of Nature offers stability and is a great teacher.

As the Earth cycles with the seasons, so do our lives.

Which season are you in today? What energy suits your present situation?

Although the seasons of life seem apparent, they are not necessarily age dependent. I know people in their 70’S+, who appear to be living summer year ’round. They are full of vibrancy and in full bloom, even when winter brings snow.

If you’re feeling a bit weary and disconnected from Mother Earth, here’s a tip: try grounding, or earthing. It’s easy, and even comfortable, this time of year.

All you have to do is take off your socks and shoes and stand on the earth: grass, stone, sand, or dirt work best. You can stand in one place, walk, or lay down.

Connecting directly with the earth helps reduce anxiety, stress, and offers healing in the form of boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and feeling good. About 30-40 minutes a day brings benefits.   

The energy of the Earth supports us. Think about how free and relaxed you feel when you are at the beach, sinking your toes into the warm sand. AAAHHHH.

Go live summer with your toes in the grass, and soak up the sunshine. These are the days we remember in the midst of deep winter.

Much love,
Carol

P.S. Looking to “live summer” year ’round no matter how old you are? What you eat plays a huge role. Send me an email if you’d like help sorting it out.

“Feeling rooted in the earth is soothing to the body, and it is our connection to the earth that gives us our most basic sense of belonging, home, resilience, and safety.” ― Jessica Moore

Creative, Easy, Grilling Ideas

Summer is for taking it easy, and that includes mealtime. Lately, Mr. Non-Compliant and I have been playing with food.

Our latest game: How much can we get on the grill so I don’t have to use the stove? Now, mind you, we have been using a small, portable grill, so this is quite a challenge.

You’ve already been given my recipe on making ANY kind of vegetable, potatoes, or combination: drizzle olive or avocado oil on a piece of foil large enough to wrap your veggies; sprinkle with the seasoning of your choice (love that Tajin!) and a pat of butter if you wish; close the foil, grill, and eat.  

Turns out, you can reheat rice, pasta, and pretty much anything, by oiling the foil, wrapping up the food, and tossing it on the grill. Make double batches initially to save time and dishes.

Our most adventurous experiment: grilled meatloaf. I wrapped it in foil and Mr. NC used a meat thermometer to determine when it was done. The bottom got a bit burned because of the very direct heat…it was still very good. We scraped off the REALLY burned parts, which was no big deal. Leftover meatloaf makes for tasty (cold) meatloaf sandwiches.

Fresh trout (no bones or skin) was cooked in a “pan” made of foil so the juices would not run onto the grates. As soon as the fish lost its pink color, it came off the heat. Overdone fish is not good.

We were very pleased with our grilled crispy chicken. I tossed boneless, skinless, breasts in seasoned brown rice flour and placed on the oiled foil pan, like the fish. The “crispy” was lightly brown and the chicken was tender. Again, the thermometer is your best friend, and will promote your grilling level to that of excellence. Leftovers were perfect in a romaine lettuce salad with a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil and Lawry’s Seasoned Salt.

In the past month, we’ve also cooked Tomahawk pork chops, hamburgers, pork burgers, bratwurst, and steak. Add a vegetable or salad, perhaps some kind of potato, and you’re set. My vegetarian friends have more room on the grill for vegetables.  

Have fun trying something new and see what happens. You may find that this food thing is much easier than you’ve been imagining.

Cheers to summertime fun!
Carol

“Food cooked on the grill is amazing and easily compliant, even though that’s not my first concern.”— Mr. Non-Compliant

Happy National Ice Cream Month

The year was 1984. President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. This year, that special day happens to be July 21st.

In case you are a newcomer to my blog, I LOVE ice cream. It is my favorite food group.

I was raised on ice cream. Childhood memories of my mother making a rich and delicious cream concoction that my father would freeze into an amazing treat are vivid.  

The variety of flavors they made: vanilla, peach, banana, and strawberry. Much to my dismay, chocolate was never even in the running, since I was the only one who voted for it. Gratefully, we had chocolate syrup, which I generously poured over everything.

We often invited friends over on summer Sunday afternoons to share in our treat. As an only child, this was awesome!

I like to tell this story because many of you have a food, or habit around food, that you equate with a happy time in your life.

When that particular food causes you harm (allergy, sensitivity, etc.), it’s wise to find a substitute that your body tolerates –and still allows you to have that great food/memory connection.

If your favorite food is not conducive to achieving your health goals, perhaps some modifications are in order.

There was a time in my life when I ate ice cream almost daily—sometimes right out of the carton. It was my “habit” to eat it in the evening before bedtime.

Sometimes, I still do. I’ve modified my ice cream intake and no longer eat it everyday. There are numerous reasons why consuming my favorite treat before bed is not the best. AND, what kind of example would I be setting?

This is a stunt I’d expect from Mr. Non-Compliant. Yep, he likes ice cream too. (and donuts, M&M’s, cookies and milk…)

My favorite take-home brand is Breyers, since the basic flavors contain only real ingredients like milk, cream, vanilla, sugar, chocolate, strawberries. I can pronounce all the words and I know what they are.

My favorite flavors: combo chocolate and vanilla, Neapolitan, and chocolate. I typically don’t use syrup. There are other ice creams that are lower in fat, sugar, calories…not interested.  

Rest assured that Health Coach Carol, along with Mr. Non-Compliant, will be enjoying ice cream this Sunday. I may try a new flavor, and/or even have two scoops.

We have to be real. We have to find a point of moderation that works. Permission granted to celebrate with me—and only if it’s AMAZING!

Cheers to July,
Carol

P.S. If your favorite food habits seem to be in conflict with your health goals, I’ve got a simple system that works. A complimentary coaching session is yours for the asking! Email me today and we’ll set up a call.

“Keep Calm and Eat Ice Cream”