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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.

November’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

RELAX!

This time of year, people tend to be wound pretty tight. The intensity gains momentum as we move into December, in preparation for the holidays. This month, stockings-1816094_640make it a habit to relax.

You may think this relaxing idea 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
  • Burning the candle at both ends may contribute to us being less productive in the long run
  • We make poor food choices when we don’t take some time to plan ahead, which leads to unnecessary remorse
  • Our exercise routine is likely to get pushed aside because we think we are much too busy for self-care, when the exercise will help us feel better
  • Working, shopping, decorating, entertaining are all more enjoyable when you are able to go through the process in a calm, relaxed manner

Have I sold you on this idea yet? Keep in mind that whether you choose to be uptight or relaxed, time will pass you by just the same. YOU decide how you want to live your life, one day at a time. Thanksgiving dinner will come and go whether you are a frazzled mess or lighthearted and calm. Everything works out fine in the end, even if it isn’t perfect!

Okay, so this all sounds like a fairytale, right? Doesn’t have to be. Here are some ideas to help you RELAX your way into 2017:

  • 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 breaths that go into your belly. Doing this little exercise for even a minute or two will allow you to relax into the present moment.
  • Allow more time than you think you need for your tasks. By doing this, you won’t be as apt to rush. For example: shopping at the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving is going to take more time than if you do it the Monday before the holiday. Expect it to take time and if that is the only day you are able to shop, mentally prepare for this and enjoy the process. Odds are good you will run into your neighbors and friends during the outing, so enjoy it!
  • Plan a few minutes at the end of the day for quiet time. You may choose to read something light, listen to your favorite music, or sit in silence and pet your dog. girl-1561943_640(My Sophie likes that last idea best!)
  • 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.
  • Go ahead and exercise when you think you don’t have time. You DO have time and you will feel much more relaxed because you did!
  • What is it that you love to do? Whatever it is, do it, even if it is only for half an hour or so.

I have a client that recently went on an overnight retreat. She unexpectedly had extra time the day she was preparing to leave and spent oodles of time packing. It was very relaxing and peaceful, and it set her up to enjoy her experience of the retreat even more fully.board-393835_640

So, what will I do differently? I am having guests for Thanksgiving dinner this year. I have already begun the process of cleaning the house, so I am not running around like a turkey with my head cut off on Wednesday. I am looking at the week ahead and deciding when I will do the shopping, make the pies, set the table, etc. Simply reviewing the list of what needs to happen and PLANNING makes me feel more relaxed.

Thank you for reading my thoughts. I wish you and your family a most blessed Thanksgiving!

October’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

Need Sleep?

Questions: Do you get enough sleep? How much is enough? Does it really matter over the long haul?

Answers: Probably not. Seven to eight hours seems to be ideal. Sleep is just as newborn-216723_640important as diet and exercise, as it pertains to good health.

This is one of those habits that tends to get overlooked; yet it has a HUGE impact on our health. Studies show that a lack of sleep may contribute to weight gain and obesity. When we don’t get our required amount of sleep, hormones that affect appetite and other important functions may get out of whack. Another big (and perhaps the most obvious) reason that non-sleepers gain weight is simple: they are awake more hours and can do more eating.

Folks who get less than 7.5 hours of sleep each night are at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and sudden cardiac arrest, than those who get more zzzz’s. Along with the weight gain that may be attributed to sleep deficiency, there is also the increased likelihood of insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes.

Wow. Feeling like you should go take a nap?

I think some people think it is heroic to get less sleep; like it is a badge of honor because they are getting more done. Or, perhaps they just like to stay up and watch movies or late night TV to relax. Then, there’s the college-age crowd that studies until some crazy hour, or decides to meet up with friends starting at 11pm. Oh, youth!

Some do not get proper rest because of untreated sleep apnea. If you think your loved one stops breathing during the night, snores loud enough to wake the neighbors, or falls asleep anytime they sit still during the day, consider a sleep apnea test. It could add years to their life, not to mention, life to their years. I know many people who are much happier and healthier because they now have their CPAP machines at night. Their spouses are happier too!                                                                                                            morning-1092771_640What can you do to encourage better sleep habits?
*Maintain consistent bedtimes and wake times, even on weekends
*Keep the room dark and quiet
*Try some form of relaxation and self-care before bedtime, which excludes TV, movies, computers, and stressful discussions
*Keep the temperature of the room between 66 and 72 degrees F
*Avoid any stimulants like caffeine and nicotine later in the day
*Regular exercise improves sleep, although some do not do well exercising in the evening
*Avoid going to bed with a full stomach
*Get help for sleep apneaice-cream-967094_640

So, based on these suggestions for restful sleep, I guess eating a bowl of chocolate ice cream while watching The Walking Dead could explain why I don’t sleep well some nights.

There is always room for improvement…. Sweet dreams!

Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds. ~JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom, 2002

(Reference: Precision Nutrition Blog: All About Sleep by Ryan Andrews)

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.