1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

1020 Woodhollow Drive, Schererville, IN

Top
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

June’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

What a glorious time of year here in the Midwest! This is the perfect month to address another great habit: moving. No, not as in moving to another house or part of the country; moving YOU!

fitness-1208141_640 Now, please don’t do the eyeroll and start telling yourself a story like, “I don’t have time.” You haven’t read my blog yet, so hang with me here.

You can have success with moving even if you feel like you don’t have time (which is never true), don’t belong to a gym, hate to exercise, only do “a little something” a few times a week, don’t have the proper fitness attire, etc. How do I know? I have clients who are right there with you and they are successful with this part of my program!

Here’s how it works: think of activities you enjoy. I’ll help you: dancing, gardening, skating, golfing, volleyball, running, walking, yoga, swimming. Keep thinking of things until you have a list of two or three. You may even be one of those people who enjoys going to a gym to do an “official workout.” If you are, that is great too. Almost everything counts here.

Now, look at the week ahead, beginning today. That’s right, not Monday or next week, TODAY. Let’s say you like to walk. Maybe you even have a dog that likes to walk that you can take along. Decide when you can take a 5-minute walk today. That’s it—5 minutes.

woman-892309_640Tomorrow, do the same thing. Or pick something else you like to do and schedule the time to do that. Obviously if you like to golf, you will spend more than 5 minutes. Walk more than you ride in the cart.

What if it rains for 2 days in a row and you don’t have an indoor mall or other facility to take a walk in? Could you spend 5 to 10 minutes doing some stretches or make up your own Zumba moves to a couple favorite songs?

The idea of this habit is to stop looking at exercise with drudgery and telling yourself the story that you have to go to a gym for it to “count.” Make moving fun and do a little to begin with. It may even seem too easy and you think it won’t matter. That’s okay! It all matters! As you stick with your program, add a bit of intensity or change what you do to shake things up a bit. When my clients and I plan their fitness goals for the week ahead, we make it a goal that works with their life!

Another tip: it is more beneficial to do something for a short time on a consistent basis, than to do it for a long period of time only once a week. (This is the case for lots of activities, like reading, prayer, meditation, weeding, etc.) Walking 5 minutes a day is more beneficial than a 30-minute walk only once a week. Why? Five minutes a day will become a habit, like drinking a glass of water every morning when you first wake up. Taking a long walk once a week—too easy to let it go and skip it. Then you are back to not doing anything at all. And depending on the activity, you could find yourself in pain!thankful-1081614_640

In closing, when you get out of your routine because LIFE took over, simply begin again, and move TODAY.

Important Note: Do not begin a new exercise routine without first checking with your physician!

“Now, I just want a plan that keeps me lean, healthy, strong, and fit. One that’s not based on uncomfortable overeating followed by uncomfortable undereating. One I can just “do” – every day, as long as I want to do it.”–Dr. John Berardi

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

Quick and Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour*                                                        Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ cup virgin coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine almond flour, salt and baking soda in a large bowl, using a pastry blender to break up any clumps of flour. Stir in melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla with a large spoon until dough forms. Stir in the chocolate chips. If the dough seems dry and crumbly, add more honey, a little at a time, until it is moist enough to stick together. (You may need an additional 1-2 Tbsp. depending on the humidity.)

Drop by teaspoonful or small cookie scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently press the dough flat if you like. (I left them round and they were delicious!)

Bake at 350 degrees F for 6 to 8 minutes, until slightly brown. Be careful not to overbake. Leave them alone to set and cool for about 15 minutes so they don’t crumble and break. Makes about 24 cookie bites.

These are gluten-free, dairy free (if you use non-dairy chocolate chips) and vegan. I store them in the freezer to keep them fresh, and the texture resembles raw cookie dough! (They may even last a bit longer since they are “hiding” in the cold.) 🙂

*Benefits of using almond flour: lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein, fiber and healthy fat than some other flour options. With the combination of almond, coconut oil and chocolate, it reminds me of an Almond Joy– only healthier!

Another version of this recipe appeared in the February 2018 issue of Get Healthy

May’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

Let’s Talk About Breakfast

People say it’s the most important meal of the day. In my humble opinion, they are ALL important! I do believe that breakfast is the most abused meal. By this I mean that we Americans make the poorest choices at that time of day. (Could it be because we don’t get enough sleep? Hmmmm?)

We probably eat more foods that give us the least amount of nutritional value for breakfast than any other time of day. Consider: bagels, donuts, coffee cake, toast with jelly, pancakes with syrup, orange juice (it’s loaded with sugar), Pop Tarts, cold cereal.donuts-844023_640Wow! No wonder so many folks “crash” and need a coffee fix around ten!

These aren’t necessarily “bad” foods. They simply result in not-so-healthy outcomes.

As we replace those typical options with:

  • Protein rich foods such as eggs, leftover meats from dinner, protein shakes
  • Whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, millet
  • REAL food that is unprocessed and low in sugar
  • Vegetables, fruit (instead of juice) and nuts 

We may gradually experience:

  • Increased energy
  • Balanced blood sugar
  • Less depression and better moods
  • Lower cholesterolfoodiesfeed.com_paleo-breakfast3
  • Less body fat
  • Improved muscle retention and strength
  • Healthier eating the remainder of the day

As I was saying, those typical options are not “bad,” if you don’t mind feeling rather grumpy and lethargic for half the day! 🙂  There are other reasons too—reverse the potential positives that occur with better eating, (i.e. poor energy, spiking blood sugar, depression, etc.), and meditate on those answers awhile. It’s not pretty.

May’s habit is to practice eating more nutrient rich foods for breakfast—especially protein.

Men need protein equivalent to about two palm-sized portions (30-40grams) each meal. Women need one palm-sized portion (20-30grams) each meal.

Many of you know that I enjoy pancakes. On those occasions when I eat them, I make sure I have eggs too. The eggs help fill me up so I eat fewer pancakes. I am less apt to “crash” later in the morning. Syrup is not necessary because I add blueberries or strawberries to them while they cook. This adds natural sweetness. By adding the eggs (protein), consuming fewer pancakes without syrup (lower carbs and sugars), I experience less of a sugar rush. See how this works? I have my pancakes and still keep my cheery, high-energy disposition!

Remember, this isn’t something that will happen naturally, if toast and coffee have been foodiesfeed.com_healthy-homemade-baguette2your “go to” for the last twenty years. Be patient. Start small. Set an achievable goal like adding an egg to your morning. Baby steps lead to lasting results!

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”
A.A. Milne

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

(Resource: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-breakfast)

Gourmet Made Simple

How could you not love a meal that is simple and AMAZING? Many people overlook the light and delicious flavor of fish…perfect for the warm and lazy days of summer. There are some great benefits to including wild caught varieties in our diet. The thought of making it in the comfort of your own home can be intimidating for a variety of reasons:

  • It smells bad or ‘too fishy.’                 market-897990_640
  • How should I cook it?
  • When is it done?
  • How do I know if it’s fresh?
  • I don’t know what kind to buy.

We recently had a fish dinner that was outstanding! I picked up about a pound of fresh Alaskan Halibut steaks at Whole Foods when they were on sale. I can’t recall if I have ever bought this type of fish before, but I decided to be adventurous. Since I only needed two pieces of halibut, it wasn’t a huge investment, even if things went really, really bad.

I marinated the fish for about 45 minutes in equal parts (about ¼ cup) olive oil and white wine, juice of one lemon, rosemary, salt and pepper. There are a variety of marinade recipes floating around for halibut. Since it is a mild fish, I chose a marinade that has subtle flavors, so it wouldn’t be overpowering.lemon-972941_640

While the halibut was marinating, some Golden Yukons were baking over the charcoal. Next we added a bunch of fresh asparagus that had I tossed with olive oil, directly onto the grate. (Careful not to lose them in between!) When the spears were tender and a little crispy, some coarse sea salt was sprinkled over them.

The fish was also cooked directly over the coals. (We brushed a bit of olive oil on the grate first so it wouldn’t stick.) Since halibut is a thicker type of fish, it was not necessary to put it in a foil pan. Each side was on the grill about 4 minutes and it was perfect! It is always better to undercook than overcook fish. Overcooked fish is BAD. It should easily flake, but not to the point of dryness.

The dinner was 5-star restaurant caliber for about $10 per person.stars-720213_640

Here is my challenge to those of you who feel a bit nervous about cooking fish: Give it a try. If you aren’t sure what or how much to buy, ask the person working in the fish department. Those people are trained to help you figure this out. They can help you select the freshest (Fish that is fresh is not stinky!) and tell you how to season and cook it too.

If you are at a loss and need a bit more encouragement, send me an email and I will be glad to help you! contact me