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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

Southwestern Chopped Salad

 

  • Large head of Romaine 15 oz.
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large orange bell pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen, thawed)
  • 5 green onions

Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Toss with desired dressing.

Dressing

  • 1 bunch of cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 avocado (or 1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt or Greek yogurt)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

 

Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Strawberry Mousse Parfait1 can full-fat coconut milk (Thai Kitchen is my favorite)
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
Stevia or honey to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or some other flavor, peppermint perhaps?)
Optional:  shredded coconut, almond butter, cinnamon

Chill the unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Scoop out the solidified cream into a mixing bowl and beat vigorously with a whisk or electric mixer until softened (it shouldn’t liquefy). Add the cocoa powder, stevia or honey, and vanilla. Continue to beat until light and fluffy. You may top the mousse with coconut, almond butter or cinnamon.

Leftovers keep well in the fridge and the concoction becomes a bit thicker and fluffier. This is great a dip for strawberries, bananas, apples.

 

April’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

I think you’ll like this month’s habit because it is REALLY EASY! In fact many of you may be doing this already, but if you aren’t, time to give it a whirl.

When you cook, make extra so you have leftovers for another meal. This is especially handy when you grill because there are no dirty dishes! Ideas: grill extra chicken to make chicken salad or add to greens; extra abstract-1239143_640steak may be sliced thin and made into a stir fry with lots of vegetables or used in fajitas; bratwurst or any type of sausage may be sliced and added to pasta with sauce or vegetables.

Soups, chili, roasts, and just about everything, will be delicious the next day for lunch or dinner. The one exception that comes to mind is fish, which is not my favorite when the next day. Salmon, the exception, is good when added to greens, but only warm it slightly so it doesn’t dry out.

Ok, I hear some of you whining that you don’t like leftovers. I understand this can be a problem when there is SO much left that you are eating it for days. There is rebellion in my home when we are still eating the same soup for 3 days. If you don’t like to eat something two days in a row, skip a day, then have it for lunch. This is a much better option than fast food or no food.
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If you get carried away and have too many leftovers, freeze them. You could also give them away to a friend or neighbor.

This is such a super habit because the biggest obstacle standing in the way between families and a good meal is planning ahead. When you decide to cook a meal, capitalize on the time it took to plan, shop and prepare it. Make this process work for you!

We grilled chicken thighs and bratwurst and ate about half. (It is hardly worth heating up the charcoal grill for four pieces of chicken or bratwurst.) Whether lunch or dinner, we are set for another meal or two, and that makes me very happy.

Oh, and if you have a “leftover” whiner, I’m sure that person would be delighted to take a turn and make dinner.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin

P.S. If you’re looking to lighten up for spring, shape up for summer, and have more energy to play outdoors, contact me today.  We can do this together!

March’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

Welcome spring and the month of gusty kite-flying days, a green Chicago River (well, brighter green than usual), and celebrating the Irish. The flower bulbs that were planted before winter are peeking through the dirt, and there are more of us taking longer walks with our dogs in early evening. It is also a month, like most months, when family gatherings tempt us to overeat.

March’s healthy lifestyle habit will help you decide when you should indulge in something decadent. The philosophy is very simple. Only eat it if it’s amazing.IMG_0287

For example, let’s say you are visiting Aunt Irene, who makes the most delicious coconut cake you have ever eaten. You know, without a doubt, that if her cake is on the dessert table, you will have to eat it. That is a perfect plan. Have a piece, really enjoy it, and savor the flavors.

My theory is that when we continually deny ourselves from having those “special treats,” we hit the wall and fall prey to an eating binge. We may find ourselves eating a dozen store bought cookies or an entire bag of chips that we don’t really enjoy, are not really even that good, and fill us with “eater’s remorse” for at least a day. Not the best plan.

The moral of the story, to reiterate: if it’s not amazing, why are you eating it? Great question. Think about it. There is no need to feel guilty about completely enjoying Aunt Irene’s coconut cake (or whoever’s whatever) when it is part of your plan. Besides, you don’t want to hurt her feelings. If she offers you more, be gracious and take a piece home for another day. Living a healthy lifestyle must be sustainable, or you won’t stick with it. This is all about the balance.

On the other side of that, if you find yourself eyeing an entire array of potluck items or a giant buffet table covered with desserts, CHOOSE WISELY. If you make a poor selection and it is not amazing, don’t IMG_0055eat it! Keep in mind that many times, food looks better than it tastes. If you are questioned about your way of eating, confidently state that you are practicing the art of not overeating for your good health. You may start a movement within your circle of friends.

To recap our 2016 healthy habits to date (from previous BLOGS if you want more info): 1) Drink your water 2) Eat slowly and stop at 80% full 3) Only eat it if it’s AMAZING!

If you are still getting another habit down, that is OK. Creating healthy habits on your timeline means they will be sustainable.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Virginia Woolf

P.S.  If you are looking for a system to help you stay healthier, lose weight and have more energycontact me today!  We will practice our habits together!