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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

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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

August 15, 2019

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? H

August 8, 2019

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 lil

August 1, 2019

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 w

July 18, 2019

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 ye

July 11, 2019

How to Bok Choy

Summer is adventure time. With the abundance of various fruits and vegetables available at grocery stores and farmers markets, there is no reason to b

July 4, 2019

Relax and Enjoy

Welcome to the dog days of summer and simple eating. Unlike winter, when those crock pot soups and stews hit the spot, we are now in the season of lig

June 27, 2019

Atomic Habits

My current summer (now that it’s official!) read is “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. I’m working on improving a few of mine—slowly—one at a

June 13, 2019

Ten of My Best Tips

Q. What to blog about when I have too many ideas flying around my brain and I simply am not able to choose? A. Tips that cover a variety of topics, wi

June 6, 2019

The Joys of June…and Strawberries

Along with June come some fun celebrations. Besides the new season of life celebrated by many graduates (and parents, now free of tuition payments), a

Ten of My Best Tips

Q. What to blog about when I have too many ideas flying around my brain and I simply am not able to choose?

A. Tips that cover a variety of topics, with the hope that at least one thing will help improve your quality of life.

Tips for Today

  • When you’re not feeling quite right, you think you’re hungry, or you’re bored, review your water intake for the day. It’s a critical check-in point, and it’s easy to work on immediately. Your weight divided by two in ounces is about the right amount. Consider your activity level as you evaluate.
  • Road construction a problem? Too much idle time in your car? Try downloading audio books from the library and listen as you sit, and sit, and sit. You could also use Audible. The library is free. Audible is not.
  • Weight not coming off? Perhaps you are not eating enough. Oh, and when you are eating, are you getting the necessary nutrients to make your body happy from real, whole foods? Be honest.
  • If you enjoy flowers, pick a bouquet from your flower garden or pick one up when you do your grocery shopping. (Guys, would a surprise like this light up someone special?) Any old vases you have collecting dust, drop them by a floral shop. They’ll usually give you a bouquet as a “thank you.” If they don’t offer, ask them and see what happens.
  • When you have a craving, wait 10 minutes and figure out who’s in charge—you or the craving? Are you really hungry, or bored? Is it a time of day that snacking has become a habit? If you must eat, is there a more nutritious option? Go back to Tip #1 and drink water.
  • Muscles aching? Relax in an Epsom salt bath (2 cups in a standard tub for about 20 minutes) or head over to Float Sixty. The magnesium in the salts soothes the soreness, and you’ll probably sleep better. If you’d like to add an essential oil to your bath, add a few drops to the salts, then add the salts under running water.
  • A beautiful new yoga studio opened in St. John, Now Yoga Club, on Wicker in the Lake Central Plaza. I’ve tried it, I like it. Friendly people, classes for every level—even kids! If you enjoy yoga or are new to the idea, this is a great place to explore.
  • Do something today to re-energize. Take a walk, get a massage, spend time in a garden, head to the nearest body of water and sit, phone a friend, read a book, meditate, bake something delicious, mow the lawn—whatever works for you.
  • Be sure you’re getting enough sleep. The ideal for most adults is between 7-8 hours. If you’re cranky, people won’t want to be around you.   
  • When the bunnies eat your tender spinach plants from the garden, buy it from the store or farmer’s market, and keep smiling. Buying local produce as we head into summer is the best—more nutritious, tastier, supports your neighbors.

Stuck with your weight/health/life goals? Wondering why you’ve “hit the wall?” Confused about what to even eat anymore? Call or email me to set up your complimentary coaching session. (There is no obligation for more coaching. One powerful session may give you incredible clarity!)

Wishing all you dads a happy Father’s Day this Sunday!

Much love,
Carol

“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.”—Charles Wadsworth

The Joys of June…and Strawberries

Along with June come some fun celebrations. Besides the new season of life celebrated by many graduates (and parents, now free of tuition payments), and newlyweds, there are a variety of other important days you may find of interest:

  • Donut Day, June 7 (Mr. Non-Compliant is VERY excited)
  • Family Fitness and Health Day, June 8 (probably to compensate for the donuts)
  • World Bike Naked Day, June 8 (interesting—apply plenty of sunscreen)
  • Flag Day, June 14 (is your flag in good condition?)
  • Father’s Day, June 16 (be sure to remember dad)
  • Summer Solstice, June 21 (plan a special dinner al fresco)
  • Take Your Dog to Work Day, June 21 (schedule the grooming appointment)
  • National Eat at a Food Truck Day, June 23 (is there a salad food truck?)
  • Pink Flamingo Day (lawn ornaments), June 23 (order yours today)

June is also the month that local strawberries are available here in Northwest Indiana. I checked the website of Johnson’s Strawberry Farm in Hobart, and U-pick for the strawberries begins June 15. (Probably a good idea to call first.)   

When my boys were younger, we would make the annual trip to Johnson’s, ride the school bus out into the dusty fields, and pick berries until the complaining was more than I could bear.

As we picked the berries, we would often put our heads into the buckets and inhale deeply. The strawberry scent was fresh, sweet, and made this annual event deliciously memorable.

Once home, I would make jam, shortcake, and we’d eat them plain, non-stop. It was the official beginning of summer.

Fortunately, strawberries, and all berries, are extremely healthy. They are low in sugar, full of antioxidants, high in fiber, help fight inflammation, loaded with nutrients, and they’re delicious.

I often enjoy fresh berries in my Greek yogurt (Fage 5%) along with some granola, as a breakfast or snack. If you’re in the mood for chocolate, mix in some cocoa or cacao powder and a bit of honey.

Add berries to your protein smoothie, as a topping for your oatmeal, or side garnish with your eggs. Spinach salad with berries, pecans, goat cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, is a summertime favorite.  

By including fresh, nutrient-rich foods in your life, like berries, you won’t miss those snacks that may not lead you to your health goals.

Cheers to June…and strawberries,
Carol

 “As our lives speed up more and more, so do our children’s. We forget and thus they forget that there is nothing more important than the present moment. We forget and thus they forget to relax, to find spiritual solitude, to let go of the past, to quiet ambition, to fully enjoy the eating of a strawberry, the scent of a rose, the touch of a hand on a cheek…” ~ Michael Gurian

Avocado Toast

Shake up your morning and your taste buds with an order of avocado toast. I’ve seen this on some menus, and it’s a quick and easy dish to make at home.

If you have a ripe avocado, mash it, and add a dash of salt and a squirt of fresh lemon juice; spread on a piece of whole grain toast, or as I did, on a gluten free English muffin.

Your creativity can now take over. I added a fried egg, raw spinach and fresh tomato. Amazing! Other topping possibilities: crumbled goat cheese, red pepper flakes, diced green onions, fresh basil or other herbs, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  

A recent discovery of mine that makes this recipe even easier is a single serving of avocado mash. I’ve also seen single serving sizes of guacamole–a delicious option.

When it comes to prepared avocado, I like the single servings since leftovers don’t keep well.

The good news about avocados: they are full of nutrients, contain more potassium than bananas, provide heart-healthy fat, are loaded with fiber, help you absorb nutrients from other plant foods, contain antioxidants that contribute to eye health, and help you feel—and stay—full.

Avocado toast also makes a perfect lunch or snack. As summer produce and farmer’s markets become abundant, it’s a great time to experiment with various ways of adding more vegetables into your life.

Eating well doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless. I challenge you to discover a vegetable this week that you may have overlooked in the past. If you aren’t sure what to do with it, email me and we’ll come up with some tasty ideas together.

Focus on eating real food that’s fresh and flavorful. Over time, you’ll reach your health and wellness goals without feeling deprived.

To Your Health,
Carol

“An English muffin with avocado is one of my favorite breakfasts.”—Mia Hamm

Float Your Troubles Away

There are many ways to improve your state of mind and health that have nothing to do with food. Floating is one of them.

Floating therapy is the relaxation practice of being buoyant in approximately ten inches of water and 1,000 pounds of magnesium sulfate—also known as Epsom Salts.

At Float Sixty Northwest Indiana, you have choices when it comes to your float. You may float in a float tank or a float suite.

I experienced my first float over a year ago, and thought I’d report now that I’ve had more floats.

The private float suite has a shower with all the necessary amenities: ear plugs, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, and towel. A shower is taken prior to, and after, a float. The suite is a very peaceful and quiet space.   

Upon entering the pool and closing that door, it takes a few minutes for the light to go out. I then enjoy complete quiet and darkness—for sixty glorious minutes.

Unlike my first float, when I was a bit unsettled about what to expect, I now know.

While practicing the art of relaxation and focusing on my breathing, I think about how nice it would be to fall asleep. Then I wonder if I’d wake up when I’m supposed to if I do.

I’ve considered that if I were deaf and blind, this is what it would be like, since it is completely silent and dark. (You may choose to have a small light on in the pool if you prefer.)

Maybe floating is similar to what it was like for us before we were born.

Has it been sixty minutes yet? When is that light going to pop on and end my bliss?

As I try not to think about anything, this is a sampling of the stuff I’ve not thought of. Interesting.

Other benefits from my floats:

  • Mental clarity
  • Better nighttime sleep
  • Complete relaxation
  • Decreased pain–if I had any

I always enjoy the post float room and my herbal tea. The Float Sixty tea infuser is charming and always makes me smile.

Who could benefit from floating? Everyone! The list of potential benefits is quite impressive, partly because of the magnesium salts. Magnesium helps soothe muscles, reduce inflammation and release toxins.   

As a gardener who sometimes over-gardens, this is all good stuff. And if floating doesn’t do the trick, there is always cryotherapy to eliminate any aches and pains.

Owner Gloria Morris chats with Off The Dome Radio on why floating is so beneficial to your overall health and well-being… give them a listen today! Click Here to Listen

Happy Floating,
Carol

P.S. For membership specials and more info on floating and cryotherapy, Float Sixty. When you schedule your appointment, tell them I sent you!

“To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.”― Deepak Chopra