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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

1020 Woodhollow Drive, Schererville, IN

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April 19, 2019

Frittata in a Mug

Serves 1 ½ cup packed fresh baby spinach leaves 2 Tablespoons water 2 large eggs 2 Tablespoons cottage cheese ¼ cup grated cheese 4 grape or cherry

April 18, 2019

Celebrate New Life

About two decades or so ago, a construction worker appeared at my pharmacy consultation window looking for advice. He needed help falling asleep, and

April 11, 2019

Good Snacks

As I mentioned last week, I had to put together some serious snacks to get me through a busy weekend. I was highly successful! Here’s what I packed

April 4, 2019

Cauliflower, Commitment, and Courage

As many of you know, I am not a cauliflower fan, even though I’m fond of most other vegetables. I’ve been challenged by lots of you on various wa

March 28, 2019

What Lights You Up?

In the course of your day, what makes you happy, brings up your energy, and makes you feel truly alive? What lights you up? Did a number of things com

March 21, 2019

To Instant Pot…or Not

I recently took the plunge and bought The Instant Pot. I’m not what I would consider a gadget junkie, however when I learned the ease with which I c

March 7, 2019

The Power of Food

Is there a particular food(s) that has power over you? For some people, if there is a bag of chips, cookies, chocolate—you get the idea—in the hou

February 28, 2019

What Are You Grateful For?

I walked past a couple people recently and overheard a comment that went something like this: “There’s got to be more to life than getting old and

February 21, 2019

What Are You Committed To?

Commitment: the trait of sincere and steadfast fixity of purpose. Today, I’d like you to consider what you are committed to that is all about you.

Take a Step…Back

Do you often feel as though you can’t move fast enough? Too much to do and not enough hours in the day, right?

We can get so caught up in our “To Do” lists that we barely breathe, and that’s never good. Sometimes we propel ourselves forward by first, stepping back. So, how does this work?

Stop for a moment and consider all the things you’d like to accomplish, today. From the moment your alarm goes off and your feet hit the floor, it’s a race to get it all in. At some point, take a step back by thinking about the action you are stepping into. Is it a good idea? Could you make a wiser choice? Is what you are doing worth your time?

Examples:

*You know you feel better and are more efficient when you have breakfast. However, you tell yourself you simply don’t have 10 minutes to make a protein smoothie or cook a couple eggs.

*You see that the evening is packed with kids going in several directions, you have a meeting, and your personal chef called off for the year. You saw this craziness coming at you like a freight train early in the week and it is the perfect day to toss a chicken or pot roast in the crock pot. You never made it to the grocery and now you don’t have anything to make for dinner.

*You’ve been burning both ends of the candle and have not gotten proper rest for weeks. Everyone at work and in your social circle is sick. No time for sleep, or so you think. You are invincible, so not to worry.

*You’re going through the drive-thru because you’re starving and you don’t have many options. Would you like a drink with that hamburger and fries?

*There has not been meaningful conversation with your spouse for…a very long time because you are always on the go.

In every case, if we stop, breathe, step back and think for a moment, we can make what appears to be a crummy situation a bit better. Grab a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts or even a nut butter sandwich as you run out the door; pick up some food from one of the hot food bars or a rotisserie chicken at a local grocery; go to bed thirty minutes earlier; if you must have the burger and fries, drink water, add tomato and lots of lettuce to the burger, and don’t supersize anything. Maybe even skip those fries; Go on a date!

Practice stepping back from habits that don’t serve you—the ones that keep you stuck. When you do this one small step at a time, it adds up. Eventually you will find yourself in a different place that, in the past, seemed impossible to reach.

“Step with care and great tact, and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.” –Dr. Seuss

Ever Dream of Being a Superhero?

I did something out of the ordinary this week. I went to see a movie with my girlfriends. We all needed a break from real life to relax and have fun. The “scenes” before the featured film showed regular, everyday people becoming Superheroes, seemingly overnight. Cool!

This got me thinking–each one of us has the potential to be a Superhero. We don’t need to morph into some special form or do battle with a force of evil from another world. We can simply support someone we care about as they face their personal battle.

Have a friend working too many hours? Or perhaps a co-worker struggling to stick with an exercise program or stop smoking? Are you feeling a bit down because snow is covering the beauty of the crocuses? Do you need to be a bit kinder to you?

There are times when I get caught up in my own stuff and lose sight of what someone else is experiencing. Everyone is dealing with something and so much of the time, whatever I may be feeling bad about, is not a big deal.

You may be reading this and having the best day, or possibly your worst day. Wherever you are in this picture, perhaps you can be a Superhero to someone. You don’t need any special powers to make this work. Oh, I take that back. You do need to pay attention and be present to the people around you. That in itself, is a special gift.

Whatever battle you are encountering, you will face it in a more powerful way because you helped someone else. Whether you offer someone kind words, encourage them to go with you to the gym, listen to their struggle, or take them to the movies, you are a Superhero. Every little thing we do matters.

If you are great at being the Superhero for your family and friends, at the expense of taking care of you, send me an email. We will work on this Superhero thing together.

“The door is more than it appears. It separates who you are from who you can be. You do not have to walk through it…you can run. –Franklin Richards (of The Fantastic Four)

Unlock The Door to Your Happiness

I’m working my way through a book entitled Resisting Happiness, by Matthew Kelly. This is a book you cannot simply read. Well, you could, but it would have minimal impact on your life. Therefore, I am working on the principles Matthew discusses. 

You may be wondering what this has to do with living a healthier lifestyle. My friend, it has EVERYTHING to do with it. Yes, I know I owe you an article on the negative effects of artificial sweeteners. Today, this is what I am supposed to give you.

Are you happy? Do you know what makes you happy? If you answered, “YES” to those questions, then this one is not for you. However, what I have discovered is that there are times we are not even sure WHAT makes us happy. And when we know, we may not understand what is getting in the way of our happiness.

As I am learning from Resisting Happiness, we are resistant to doing those things that ultimately lead to our happiness. It’s crazy, and it’s true.

I know that I am happiest when I get plenty of sleep, work out with my friends, eat nutrient dense foods, and feel as though I am fulfilling my life purpose. When my relationships are solid, when I take time for prayer, when I am of service, I am happy.

In the course of each day, there are hundreds of times I must overcome resistance to reach the happiness side of things. Here’s what I face as I practice happiness:

  • When I stay up too late, I don’t want to get up when my alarm goes off in the morning. When I ignore the alarm, the plan for my day is delayed and I feel defeated before I even get out of the gate. So much for my morning prayer and quiet time. Resistance.
  • It’s the lunch hour and I eat my green salad with chicken or tuna and then I think about ice cream. REALLY? Yes, really. I love ice cream. Resistance. I could have a cup of tea and an orange instead. How will I feel later, depending on my choice?
  • In order to be my best, I need to continue learning on a daily basis, which means lots of reading. Some days I think I don’t have enough time, or I’m too tired. (Those are excuses and are not acceptable. Resistance.) Could I have spent a little less time looking at Facebook or emails so I could read at least ten pages of a good book? Resistance.
  • Good relationships don’t just happen; they are built on solid foundations of communication and love. Have I reached out to my family and friends, or am I too busy doing other stuff? Resistance.

The next time you are deciding what to eat or if you should go to the gym or plan a night out with your spouse, you will face resistance. What will you do about it? Will you allow it to get in the way of your happiness?

The Action Step in the book is to write down all the times you encounter resistance for a week. Awareness is the first step in fixing the problem. Give it a try and see what you discover—especially if you don’t want to! Resistance.

“The hardest war to win is one you don’t even realize you are fighting, and the hardest enemy to defeat is the one you don’t even know exists. Every day you are at war with resistance.” –Matthew Kelly in Resisting Happiness

The Beauty of Community

Recently I attended a business retreat in San Francisco with over one hundred entrepreneurs from around the globe. We all have different passions, backgrounds, interests and personal beliefs. What we all have in common is our desire to have a positive impact in the world. Our mentor and his team have the same dream.

I bring this up because what was so significant was the spirit of community. The energy of knowing that there are so many others with a similar dream inspires and catapults us to another realm. We are cheerleaders for one another and the geographical miles matter not. We connect through our Facebook community and group phone sessions.

As you practice healthier habits—from fitness to food to taking care of YOU—it helps to know there are others “out there” doing the same. It helps to know that you are not in this challenge alone.

Another aspect of this is the concept of social networks and how they affect us physically, emotionally, and impact who we become. If you would like to become a more positive person, it is best to surround yourself with positive people. Weight gain, as well as weight loss, is contagious. And this is the case not only with our friends, but also with our friends’ friends’ friends!

In this TED talk by Nicholas Christakis, he addresses the influence of our social networks, not only when it comes to health, but our happiness, and more. Check it out and be prepared to be enlightened! You will learn how far-reaching and powerful the social network effect really is.

He concludes, “It is the ties between people that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts.” And, “I think we form social networks because the benefits of a connected life outweigh the costs.” Oh, yes, I certainly agree.

If you are struggling with any aspect of your life, find those people who are looking to achieve the same goals and have a similar attitude, to support you. This is the reason I must leave my home and go to a fitness center to workout with a group. The mindset of those I spend my time with support who I am trying to become. I would not do as well by myself!

There are a variety of groups that support a healthy lifestyle, so find those that work for you. You may also choose to “Like” my Inkwell Healthy Lifestyles Facebook page. It is a public group and those who follow it are looking for ways to make small changes that add up over time. We are community, we support one another and we are better because we are not alone.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”  –Mother Teresa