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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

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April 2, 2020

Mr. Non-Compliant: Where Have All the Flours Gone?

Each trip to the grocery store these days is a new adventure. It has become such a conscious, thought-out process. What time is best? Where am I most

April 2, 2020

Crock Pot Trail Mix

This slightly sweet recipe will give you energy on and off the trail. The nuts offer protein, fiber, and fat, along with some vitamins and minerals. A

March 26, 2020

Cauliflower is the New Kale

Cauliflower. You know it as my least favorite vegetable. I realized something was up when I came to breakfast one recent morning and there was a cauli

March 19, 2020

The Loss of Routine

First of all, I pray that you and your loved ones are safe and well. I also pray that you have whatever you need to get through today: patience, food,

March 12, 2020

The Scoop on the Sumo

In recent weeks, the Sumo orange has come into my life. If you are a fan of citrus, you’ll enjoy learning a bit about this juicy, seedless, ultra-sw

March 4, 2020

Can You Hear Me Now?

Recently, my church sponsored a health fair. Representatives from AccuQuest Hearing Centers were among the many vendors. Since I sometimes think that

February 27, 2020

Create More Time

When we think about time, it’s the one resource we will never get back. We can earn more money, buy more things, and make new friends. Time? It is f

February 20, 2020

Busting the Willpower Myth

If I only had a nickel for the number of times I’ve heard, “I don’t have any willpower.” Let that crazy belief go and let’s move on.  Eatin

February 13, 2020

In Celebration of the Birth Month

I love this time of year, because I get to celebrate my birth month. While some shy away from birthdays, let alone birth months, I embrace it. The age

February 6, 2020

Stop Trying

In the past week, I’ve heard about lots of folks trying to do lots of good things. “I’m going to try to get back to the gym tomorrow.” “I’

Tips to Overcome the Dreaded Plateau

It happens. You are practicing good eating and exercise habits. You feel yourself becoming fit, healthier, and even weighing a bit less. It’s exciting! You are highly motivated and encouraged to stay the course.

And then, IT happens. You plateau, just as things were going so very well! This is just supposed to happen to other people, NOT YOU! It’s simply not fair.

Here is some awesome advice from Dr. John Berardi, along with the reason of WHY this happens.

In addition to calorie and carb cycling, here are some other tips that you may help you get to the “lighter” side:

*Make sure you are drinking plenty of water. A simple rule is to take your weight and divide the number in half. That is a good estimate of the number of ounces you need in the course of your day. Of course, when you are more active and the weather is extremely warm, you may need more. Remember:  fruits, vegetables, broth, and herbal, non-caffeinated teas contribute to this amount as well.

*Look at your fruit intake compared to your vegetable intake. If you are trying to lose fat, your vegetable to fruit ratio needs to be about 5:1. Vegetables typically contain less natural sugar.

*Are you eating enough? As Dr. John mentioned, when you don’t eat enough, your body slows down, similar to a hibernating bear. You actually hang on to fat for protection. Of course, since we usually have grocery stores in close proximity to our homes, this is not as much of an issue as it was when our ancestors had to hunt for their next meal.

*Change up your exercise routine and try something new. Our bodies get accustomed to the same workouts and need a little shake up now and then. (Of course, if you are new to exercise, get clearance from your doctor first.)

*Make sure that strength training is included in your program. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. Yes, muscle does weigh more, and it is worth the extra pounds to have it!

*If you are eating foods that you know bother you, stop it. Foods that upset your body cause inflammation, get in the way of weight loss, and may eventually cause disease. So, if you eat sugar (or artificial sweeteners, white flour, dairy, processed or fried foods– you get the idea) and you are experiencing symptoms, STOP. In fact, many of these and more–are not a good idea for any of us. Eat mostly whole foods.

Hope some of these tips help you continue your journey to a healthier, lighter you.

If you could use some guidance to take charge of your health, and your life, shoot me an email and we’ll make it happen! carol@inkwellcoaching.com

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”—Fred DeVito

Stress and Weight Retention

I’ve heard this frustration more than once: I eat pretty well, I am faithful with my workouts and I still am not able to lose weight. What is the problem?

Are you stressed? What is your stress level on a scale of 1-10 in any area of your life? Chances are if you are at a “10,” or close to it, the stress could be part of the problem.

So, now what? Quit your job, leave your family, and disappear to a tropical island? Not realistic and you would then be concerned about money, your family, or if you could get blown away by a hurricane.

There are much better options.

First of all, if you are feeling stress from every direction and doing killer workouts besides, you may not be doing yourself any favors. Try implementing some form of movement that is a bit more calming, restorative, and meditative. Some examples: walking, yoga, tai chi, Pilates, dance, and any combination of them. By slowing down a bit, you are better able to focus on your breath. Practicing deep, belly breaths as opposed to taking rapid, shallow breaths, is extremely beneficial in restoring balance. These types of exercises also have the potential to keep you in the present moment, which is the best moment of your day, since it’s the only one you’ve got.

This is not to say that you still can’t “kill it” at the gym. What I’m suggesting is finding the balance. Assess how you feel on a particular day and choose accordingly. What is it you need today? Let’s face it, some days we are Energizer bunnies, then there are… others.

What are you incorporating into your life that brings you joy? This idea is about YOU—not your kids, your spouse, your friends or colleagues—but YOU. When was the last time you went out and did something for fun because you could? Or perhaps there is a hobby that you’ve neglected because you feel you don’t have time. Think about something you could do that would make you smile and feel happy. Put it in your calendar for the coming week and treat it as your most important commitment. This could be something as simple as sitting at the park on a sunny day and doing nothing for 10 minutes. Bask in the warmth of summer and breathe. 

Sometimes you simply need to BE. Park yourself somewhere and daydream. Setting time aside to do nothing is not wasted time. Give it a try. Kick it back a notch and see if you notice a shift—not only in your weight, but also in your life.

“To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring—it was peace.” –Milan Kundera

5 Festival Food Tips

Summer Solstice and Festival Fun! These are the days we long for in winter. The trick for many is sticking with a reasonable food and fitness routine through ninety-degree days, corn dogs and elephant ears.

Here’s one idea: You could put it all off until August when the kids go back to school and chalk it up to summer vacation fun. The catch with this plan is that once school begins, life gets fairly hectic and the pressure is on with scheduled activities. Once that rush is over, we’re almost to the holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, and we know what happens then. Next thing we know…oops, time for those resolutions. Sorry to be “Johnny Rain Cloud,” –it’s the pattern I see repeated over and over on a regular basis.

Time to break the cycle and try something new! There truly IS a way to balance life and health, while maintaining sanity and having fun.

To get you going, here are my 5 simple tips to help you negotiate festivals, celebrations and summer vacations! By choosing even ONE, you will feel more positive about your health.

  1. Drink plenty of water every day. I could write a lengthy essay about the reasons this is important, and actually, I did. I covered this in my blog in January 2016 (link: Water Habit Blog just in case you need a refresher). Besides lots of health benefits and combatting dehydration during these extremely hot days, there are zero calories, zero artificial colors and zero sweeteners to contend with. You will feel full on less food and also “save” those calories for something really decadent.
  2. Find and eat a vegetable. I’ve scoped out lots of food establishments, festivals, county fairs, etc. and it IS possible to find some type of vegetable that’s not battered and fried. So, if you are away from home for an extended period of time, eat something in this category that is redemptive at some point. Recently I spotted a fair vendor with beef tips who also offered sautéed vegetables. When on the road, most fast food places offer a salad—which is a good option instead of the fries. I recently had a very good salad with grilled chicken from Culver’s. It’s rare to go to any party and not see something green—besides the M&M’s. I know there is a bit of resistance to eating vegetables at celebrations. Do the best you can and just give it a try.
  3. Check out all the food options, whether you’re at a picnic, festival, or party, before you begin filling your plate. By doing this, you can pace yourself and determine which fun food you want to be sure to enjoy so you feel balanced. Or, sometimes you know what your fun splurge is going to be before you even reach your destination. Make your plan, then stick to it.
  4. When you know in advance that something you are planning to eat will not agree with you, consider passing on it. Do you really want to feel lousy for the next few hours after you eat the elephant ear or fried Twinkie? If there is something you really want to try for novelty, consider sharing it with friends. And for the record, sometimes we need to eat something and then feel bad as a reminder as to why we only do it on occasion. (Depending on your age, you may not understand this theory. Trust me, one day you will.)
  5. If there is a food you absolutely love and it is AMAZING, enjoy it fully. No guilt. No justification. No stories. I ate the Dairy Belle ice cream because I love it. These days, I can skip the elephant ears and corn dogs because skipping the indigestion does not make me feel deprived.

Enjoy your summer and all the delightful celebrations that come with it. Make YOUR plan, then stick with it. Living a healthier lifestyle is about making small changes that add up over time.

For some light-hearted entertainment, check out my Food, Festivals and Fun video by clicking HERE

“The beach is not a place to work; to read, write or to think.” —Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

My Hot Dog Confession and Easy Grilled Vegetables

It was Friday afternoon and someone (my dear husband, “Mr. Non-Compliant”) got hungry and wanted a hot dog. We were about to get on a highway with bumper-to-bumper traffic and Madvek’s Dog House was nearby, so we caved. Yes, I caved. I ate a Chicago style hot dog. Check it out. It was covered with lots of vegetables and CELERY salt. I truly enjoyed it–AMAZING. Once in a while… However, for the record, I DID NOT EAT THE FRIES. Now, moving on to a more redemptive topic: Grilled Vegetables.

One of the best things about summer is the grill. Less cleanup for me, since my dear husband is also a Grill Master. It’s easier to feed a crowd and enjoy entertaining when the cooking is done outdoors.

Here’s an idea for grilling vegetables:

Cut an assortment of fresh vegetables such as yellow zucchini, red bell peppers, Vidalia onions, green beans–whatever you like best or have on hand—into fairly equal pieces. Don’t be concerned about making too many because leftovers are perfect for a snack or with your morning eggs.

Take a large piece of foil and pour a couple tablespoonfuls of olive oil on it to coat. Add the chopped vegetables. Season with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, garlic powder, onion powder or simply salt and pepper. Drizzle with another couple tablespoonfuls of olive oil and seal the foil. Double wrap with another piece of foil. This ensures that you don’t loose your contents. Keep in mind that the more vegetables you have in a packet, the longer the cooking time. I often make two packets and make the packet more flat than round, so the vegetables cook evenly.

Place on the grill and turn halfway through cooking. As far as timing, if your heat is at 300 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes is a good range. Of course, this is only a suggestion to gauge from, since it depends on how you like them cooked and how direct your heat is.

Potatoes are great like this too. Slice them thin or cube them and follow the same instructions. These take about an hour to cook and they are really tasty when some of them get crispy. I like to mix sweet potatoes with the Yukon Gold variety. This works well when there are people who aren’t as fond of the sweet potatoes. Yep, you guessed it–Mr. Non-Compliant.

With such an abundance of summer vegetables to choose from, you can mix, match and try new combinations, which adds great variety to your meals. Happy grilling!

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” –Ann Wigmore