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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

Become Empowered!

October is the month to become empowered. It is the time to get your mental game on with food. Once we celebrate Halloween, many typically begin the season of the “mucous mess.” It is all downhill from that point.     halloween-candy-1014629_640“Mucous mess” refers to the season between October 31st and January 1st. Sugar consumption is at an all-time high; there are severe temperature swings here in the Midwest, often within a day. Add to the mix a lack of exercise–because there is no time for such a luxury—the stress of daily life, and it happens: people start getting sick. Immune systems are a wreck and this dreadful cycle continues for months. The coughing, sneezing, and runny nose syndrome becomes like family that repeatedly visits for the holidays. Oh, not to mention those extra 5, 10 or 20 pounds. Why begin healthy habits in November with all those eating fests on the horizon?

October is my month to boycott this nonsense to the best of my ability and set myself up healthy-food-1348430_640for a healthy holiday season. I practice the art of clean eating, since I am a bit lax in the summer. (Yes, even I sometimes take a healthy food vacation. It’s why I follow the 80/20 rule, 20 being the non-healthy selections. 🙂 ) My mainstay foods are vegetables, fruits, lean protein, good fats and plenty of water. I avoid refined sugars and excess carbohydrates, which translates to ice cream, bread, cookies, etc. I eat REAL food and avoid those foods that do not serve me in a positive way. EVERYTHING we eat leads us toward better health or away from better health. There is no such thing as neutral when it comes to food.

Choosing to eat this way is a very empowering experience, in addition to the health and weight benefits. Think about it: there is very little in this life that we are able to control. What you CAN control is how much you exercise and what (and how much!) you eat. YOU DECIDE!

By practicing the habit of making good choices—not perfect, but BETTER—you may not woman-1209866_640need a resolution January 1, 2017 that concerns losing weight and getting in shape. What if you could begin the New Year with your focus on achieving your lifelong dreams, instead of avoiding the cookies?

That, my friends, is empowering!

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”
― Plutarch

September’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

Less Is More. I’m not referring to how much we eat or the calorie count of a particular food. This month’s habit applies to choosing foods that have had the least amount of processing done to them. The fewer “hands” that have touched the food, the better. And, no, I am not referring to the loving hands that pack a lunch. 🙂

orange-164985_640

One of the easiest examples is this: the orange. Someone picks the orange off the tree and it is shipped to your local store. It contains natural vitamins A & C, calcium, potassium, carbohydrates in the form of sugar and fiber, and even some protein.

Now, let’s take a look at orange juice. Someone picks the oranges; they are shipped to the juice manufacturer; the juice is extracted and stored; since the natural goodness is lost during this lengthy process, the juice is fortified with vitamins and minerals, excess sugar is added, (often as much as in a soda), and preservatives. It is bottled and shipped to your local grocery store.

Orange versus orange juice. The less-handled, less-traveled product wins the prize as the best choice when practicing healthier habits. Less is more. less-is-more-791109_640

Other ideas: choose the baked potato over fries (okay, that one is pretty obvious and I couldn’t resist); apple wins over applesauce; zucchini over zucchini bread; whole oats over packaged cereal. You get the idea. Less is more because the food in its most natural state offers the highest nutritional and health benefits. Simple. Practice choosing whole foods whenever you can.

We are in the home stretch before the holiday season marathon kicks in. The Habit of the Month ideas to date are:

*Drink your water
*Eat slowly and stop at 80% full
*Only eat it if it’s AMAZING
*Make extra for leftovers
*Include protein for breakfast
*Get Moving (start with 5 minutes)
*Breathe
*Add an extra vegetable to your day                   healthy-food-1348430_640

Maybe you have them all mastered. Maybe you are still working on getting one of them to stick. Wherever you are, recommit today to keep practicing. Be patient. Mastering one habit at a time creates a healthy lifestyle.

“Don’t eat less. Eat right.” ~Author unknown

As a health coach, I work with women who have lost themselves and neglected their health in order to raise their families. I help them find their inner compass and live healthier, more balanced lives.

Is this you? If so, Send me an email today!  We will schedule your one-hour “Find Your Inner Compass” Discovery Session. There is no charge for this service and it has the power to change your life.

August’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

I love this month’s habit because local produce is abundant and everything looks and tastes so fresh. What better month than August to add one more vegetable to your day?2016-08-05 09.29.09

Most of us, author of this blog included, do not eat enough vegetables in the course of a week. It takes practice to even consider grabbing celery with hummus instead of chips. The idea of eating 8-12 servings of vegetables and fruits each day is a bit of a stretch. How to improve on this? One day at a time.

This month, practice eating one more vegetable each day than you typically would. Maybe you like eggs for breakfast and you eat them plain. Try stir-frying some chopped sweet peppers or mushrooms in your coconut oil for about 5 minutes, and then add your eggs. Whether you scramble them or make an omelet, you have snuck in that vegetable.

Other ideas: have a mixed green, spinach or kale salad for a snack; add celery sticks with nut butter to your lunch; have an avocado or salsa with your egg; add greens or avocado to your protein smoothie; make “spaghetti” from summer squash; tomatoes are easy to slice, in season, and add great color to any plate.chicken-825232_640

What does one serving look like? One serving equals ½ cup raw/cooked vegetables or 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables. (For reference, one serving of fruit is one medium-sized fruit or ½ cup raw fruit.)

If you are interested in fat loss, eat about five vegetables for every one fruit. If you are interested in muscle gain and/or performance enhancement, the ratio of vegetables to fruit can be more like three vegetables for every one fruit. *                woman-36446_640

This process will get easier and feel more natural over time. Honest—I eat more vegetables than I used to simply because I have the awareness of this practice. When it is EASY to eat one more vegetable a day, go for two more a day. Before you know it, you will be addicted to vegetables!

When you come up with new and exciting ways to eat your vegetables, let my Inkwell Healthy Lifestyles Facebook community know. We are all in this together, so let’s have some FUN!

“The easiest diet is, you know, eat vegetables, eat fresh food. Just a really sensible healthy diet like you read about all the time.”  ~Drew Carey

As a health coach, I work with women who have lost themselves and neglected their health in order to raise their families. I help them find their inner compass and live healthier, more balanced lives.

Is this you? If so, I would love to hear from you.  Send me an email today! 

*Reference: The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition 2nd Edition, by Dr. John Berardi and Ryan Andrews

July’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

Here’s a great habit that has nothing to do with food or eating. So, what’s it got to do with living a healthier lifestyle? EVERYTHING!

This month’s habit is to remember to BREATHE. Yes, I know you are breathing now or you wouldn’t be reading this. The breaths I am referring to are those long, slow, intentional breaths that you control. These take some practice and I will give you some tips on how and when to incorporate them into your day.evening-sun-694425_640

As many of you have figured out, it is pretty easy to do something for 5 minutes. The practice of deep breathing for even 5 minutes may be a great addition to your morning or bedtime ritual. Some refer to this as meditation. Or, you could simply incorporate deep breaths into your day when you catch yourself feeling anxious or uneasy about something.

practice-615644_640One method of conscious deep breathing is to sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a slow, deep breath—really deep, into your belly. Hold it for a few seconds,then slowly exhale as much of the air as you can. Repeat. I like to count to four as I inhale; hold to a count of four; exhale to the count of eight. You don’t have to count at all; the counting helps me focus on my breath when I begin.

This is a great exercise to try when you are feeling agitated about something, like being stuck in traffic when you are already late for work; or dealing with a challenging situation and you are on the verge of exploding. When we get nervous or excited, our breaths typically become very shallow and rapid. By taking a moment to focus on our breathing, we allow ourselves to emotionally step back from a volatile or uneasy situation.

Any time you are thinking into the future and feeling nervous, this breathing exercise will ground you firmly into the present moment and empower you to take the next action step with confidence and conviction. (There may be times when it is not a good idea to close your eyes or even sit down. You can still practice deep breathing on the move.)

So, relax and take a deep breath. Now take another, and another. Excellent! You’ve got this!

“One way to break up any kind of tension is good deep breathing.” ~Byron Nelson

As a health coach, I work with women who have lost themselves and neglected their health in order to raise their families. I help them find their inner compass and live healthier, more balanced lives.

Is this you? If so, I would love to hear from you.  Send me an email today!