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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

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October 17, 2019

A Story with Heart

When considering our health, so many times we think about starting better habits on Monday, or after a big celebration, or at the beginning of a new y

October 10, 2019

Ever Get Mad at…You?

I recently saw a post from a wonderful lady we’ll call Ann. (This is not her real name, so you can insert any name you prefer to use here. Maybe you

October 2, 2019

Managing Inherited Behaviors

Ice cream is still my favorite food. It has been my favorite food my entire life, as far back as I can recall. I firmly believe that my fondness for i

September 29, 2019

Fresh fruits and veggies, fish, good fats make healthy eating delicious

(The following article first appeared in the February 14, 2018 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times. Online version) T

September 26, 2019

Applause for Your Consistency

Today, I acknowledge and applaud you for your commitment to consistency. Whether you consistently make a conscious effort to consume more vegetables f

September 19, 2019

No Time? Quick Meal Ideas

No time. Can you relate? I’ve been feeling the crunch of more scheduled evening events—and I no longer have kids going back to school! As I sat lo

September 12, 2019

The Biggest Nutritional Challenge

When it comes to losing weight and improving nutrition, what is the #1 challenge? Go ahead, take a guess. If your answer is, “I don’t know what I

September 5, 2019

Mr. Non-Compliant Ate Gross Greens

Miracles do happen and life is full of surprises. If your loved one is not keen on eating as healthy as you’d like, keep the faith. I offer you a st

August 28, 2019

The Other 84% of Health

In last week’s blog, I mentioned water intake, slower eating, and increased movement. Did you pick up on the fact that I never suggested WHAT to eat

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

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! 

 

Let’s Do This!

Crazy isn’t it, that we are six months into the New Year? Here is my question: any of you make some type of resolution way back in January to–

  • Eat better                                                                        new-years-day-1111888_640
  • Work out a couple times a week
  • Use the gym you joined
  • Plan healthier meals

And so on? If the answer is “Yes,” have you stuck with it? If you have, congratulations! Go enjoy the 4th of July celebrations! If you haven’t, keep on reading.

Most people struggle with ANY type of resolution, and very few stick with it more than a few months. Why? Habits are tough to change, especially when we try to change more than one thing at a time.

So, if you fell out of the “I’m going to do better” wagon, you are not alone. You are normal. The question to ask now is, “What action can I take that will get me back IN the wagon?”pull-25799_640Good news! This is the perfect time to begin again. Summer offers beautiful weather, great produce from local farms, fun activities to do outdoors, vacations. Meals can be cooked over a charcoal or gas grill, so there is even less time spent in the kitchen—and fewer dishes!

Figure out what ONE thing you can do that would move you closer to your ideal of “better health.” Maybe you go to a local farmer’s market once a week and pick up more vegetables. Or you make a date with a friend to golf, bike or play a game of tennis. I love to garden, so I have been scheduling time in the evening to spend about 30 minutes weeding or planting. (I have LOTS of weeds that will keep me busy all summer.)

The key here is only making ONE change. You may be getting tired of hearing that from me. Oh well. It is what works. Get into one new habit and once you have it down, add a new one. This is why I present a healthy habit each month. If you master even two of them by the end of the year, you have done well. Change can be tough. Celebrate your victories, small as they may seem to you.

Here are a few things I have been celebrating with my clients:

  • Tried fresh beets and even LIKED them
  • Cut WAY down on diet soda
  • Taking two walks a day most days, even if they are only ten minutes
  • More planned and healthy meals for the family
  • Better prepared with snacks while traveling

These are all HUGE victories! We work on these goals together and we are a team.american-flag-825635_640

I encourage you to begin today. DO NOT wait until after the holiday weekend and all the picnics. Do what you can now and celebrate your victory on Tuesday when your co-workers will be starting that diet…AGAIN.

“Don’t look back you’re not going that way.”
–Unknown

If you are feeling overwhelmed with how to begin YOUR health and fitness program, send me an email and I will be glad to help you! contact me