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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

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January 14, 2021

The Surprising Truth about Eggplant, and a Recipe

A large eggplant. That is the vegetable size of a baby at week #28. Oh, but wait just a minute. An eggplant is actually a FRUIT because it grows from

January 7, 2021

My Least Favorite Vegetable and a Challenge

At week #27 baby is the size of… …a head of cauliflower. Most of you know that I do not care for this vegetable. I’ve tried. Truth is that cauli

December 31, 2020

Cheers to Scallions and a New Year

At week #26, baby is the size of a scallion. The first question that popped into my head is: What’s the difference between a scallion and a green on

December 24, 2020

The Hope and Excitement of a Baby

A bit of background for my new readers: I’m taking the produce journey along with my good friend who is expecting. As we track the progression, we l

December 17, 2020

Create Your Own Cookbook and Mr. Non-Compliant’s Favorite Vegetable

Those of us who attended the Zoom “Amazing Cookie Bake” had a delicious time baking our cookies. My cookie press was missing its piston—a critic

December 10, 2020

We’re Baking Cookies Together… Sort of

I’m baking cookies this coming Saturday morning, and I’d love for you to join me! Through the magic of ZOOM, we are all gathering to bake and soci

December 2, 2020

So, the Marshmallows Caught Fire…

Thanksgiving Day is but a faint memory, as we fast forward into Advent and the season of Christmas. It was quiet around the Slager home, until the mar

November 25, 2020

Cookies, Carrots, and Giving Thanks

Here it is November, and everything is still pretty weird. I find it hard to believe that we’ve almost blown through another year, even though it se

November 19, 2020

Are Bananas Good for You?

Bananas sometimes get a bad rap. The truth is, they have lots of redemptive qualities. They are among the most important food crops on the planet. Alt

November 12, 2020

What to Make for Dinner When the Power Goes Out

As I was writing this, my power went out. It wasn’t just a flicker. It was a full OUTAGE in our local area. Concerned that this could linger into th

Enjoy National Prime Rib Day

April 27 is the day that has been designated National Prime Rib Day. This is important for all of you meat lovers out there. I’m not a big steak/prime rib eater, so this one is not usually on my radar.

I draw attention to this because last week I promised to give you some tips on the diet vs. exercise dilemma. If you missed it, the bottom line is that we cannot out train a bad diet. 

Here are some tips, based on this knowledge:

  • If you are planning to celebrate National Prime Rib Day by enjoying said cut of beef, make sure it is amazing and be fully present to the experience.
  • Enjoy the salad and baked potato, or whatever accompanies it because that’s how it’s done.
  • Since this day is associated with the anticipation of happiness and joy, do not feel any guilt about celebrating.
  • Share the good news about this special day with all your friends, unless they are vegetarians.
  • If you overindulge on this meal, remember that sometimes healthy indulgences are necessary in order for us to truly feel alive, when they are done as part of an intentional way of living—code for eating real food, exercising on a regular basis, practicing good sleep habits, being fully present to the experience, etc.
  • Plan right now to celebrate Hug a Vegetarian Day, (and hug your vegetarian friends who aren’t celebrating National Prime Rib Day) which is devoted to celebrating cheerfulness and fun. It happens annually on the fourth Friday in September, which this year is September 28.
  • AND plan to participate in Eat Brussels Sprouts Day, celebrated annually on January 31, which also happens to be Hell is Freezing Over Day. (I thought this would be good to know, just in case you have ever said that you would do something when hell freezes over, like eat Brussels sprouts.)

Now perhaps you are wondering who decides on these special days. Any individual or any company can declare any day something special. There is nothing official about them.

These are not the same caliber as the federally observed holidays—the ones you see on your calendars, get the day off work and still get paid.

As for me, I’m going to plan my healthy indulgence for July, which President Ronald Reagan declared as National Ice Cream month. Oh, and no need to mark your calendar—I’ll be sure to remind you!

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”
―Julia Child

You Can’t Out Train a Bad Diet

Fitness begins with food. Why? Because you can’t out train a bad diet.

When it comes to diet vs. exercise, you need both for best results.

CLICK HERE to watch an official experiment of pizza vs. cardio

I did my own experiment as well, so I could share my personal results. Here’s how it played out.

I spent 30 minutes on the rowing machine, doing some interval sprints to push up the calories I would burn. At the end of my workout, I had expended approximately 200 calories.

Just for the fun of it, I did 30 minutes on the stair-stepper another day. My arms were moving too so that I would use up even more of those calories I would be consuming later in the day. Once again, the result was about 200 calories expended.

The good news: If I eat one-half cup of ice cream, I only consume about 140 calories, depending on the flavor.

The bad news: When I do eat ice cream, I doubt it’s one-half cup…I’m being honest here. It’s probably more like one cup. YIKES! So much for my workout negating my splurge.

The BOTTOM LINE: Workouts are good for mental clarity, cardiovascular health, better mood, improving self-esteem, reducing stress, boosting your immune system, improving eating habits, increasing energy, and much much more! However, eating a treat or indulging in a big meal because you “earned” it, is setting yourself up for disappointment when you’re expecting a fat loss.

Coming up next week: Tips on how to manage the diet vs. exercise puzzle.

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

“Just like keeping a healthy diet is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating the right foods is just as important for getting the most out of your workout.”--Marcus Samuelsson

The Art of Floating

New to Northwest Indiana is Float Sixty. Since going for a float seemed like a great way to practice meditation and relaxation, I decided to give it a try. This is a wellness practice that in order to report on, I had to first experience.

I made my appointment online and was fortunate enough to get in the same day. This was something new for me, so I was pretty excited and a bit nervous, all at once.

What is floating therapy? It is the relaxation practice of being buoyant in approximately 10 inches of water in a solution of 1,000 pounds of magnesium sulfate—also known as Epsom Salts.

You have choices when it comes to your float. You may float in a float tank or a float room. I chose a float room, so I had my own small pool.

My personal float suite had a shower with all the necessary amenities: ear plugs, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, and towel. A shower is taken prior to, and after, a float. The suite was a very peaceful and quiet space.

Upon entering the pool and closing that door, it took a few minutes for the light to go out. Except for the blue glow of the pool light, I was in complete quiet and darkness—for sixty glorious minutes.

I did not fall asleep, but some people do. Benefits from my float:

  • My headache disappeared
  • I experienced mental clarity
  • I felt lighter and happier
  • Better nighttime sleep

As I sat in the post float room drinking my herbal tea, I felt very calm and relaxed. If you are not a tea fan, you may have water. However, the tea is delicious and I recommend you give it a try. The Float Sixty tea infuser is charming—when you see it you’ll smile.

Who could benefit from floating? Everyone! The list of potential benefits is quite impressive, partly because of the magnesium salts. Magnesium helps soothe muscles, reduce inflammation and release toxins.

The overall experience was fabulous and I’m looking forward to my next float.

“To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.”― Deepak Chopra

P.S. First Time Floats are $60 for sixty minutes. You may book an appointment by phone (844.float.60) or online at floatsixty.com. When you select First Time Float, and use my VIP code INKWELL (case sensitive) or tell them I sent you, you’ll save $5. Happy Floating!

Easy(er) Food Transformations with Mr. Non-Compliant

Some folks think that eating healthy is hard and boring. Really? Say it isn’t so.

It isn’t so.

There is an easier way. Rather than following a food plan that may include foods you don’t particularly like and meal prep that is ridiculous, try the “just a little bit better” plan.

Take breakfast for instance. This is a true story, of how Mr. Non-Compliant has made subtle changes over time.

What Mr. Non-Compliant Used to Eat for Breakfast   

  • Orange or grapefruit juice
  • Frosted Mini-Wheats (or some similar cereal) with 2% milk
  • Toast or English muffin with butter and jelly
  • A cup of coffee with a bit of cream

 What Mr. Non-Compliant Now Eats for Breakfast

  • Grapefruit or fresh strawberries or some other fresh fruit
  • Egg sandwich consisting of two eggs, slice of Co-Jack cheese, shaved ham or leftover meatloaf, on a piece of Italian toast or English muffin OR
  • A bowl of Greek yogurt with natural granola OR
  • Malt-O-Meal, toast and hard boiled egg or protein shake
  • A cup of coffee with a bit of cream

He eats a breakfast that is tasty and he enjoys. Why is it better now?

  • By eating fresh fruit instead of drinking juice, he is consuming less sugar, and getting fiber, which is more filling and satisfying
  • In every instance, there is more protein
  • Fewer preservatives and sugars by omitting cold cereal
  • Less refined carbohydrates (that tend to raise blood sugar levels)

BENEFITS: he has more energy through the morning, stays full longer, and has increased his nutrient intake.

Could he do just a little bit better?

YES. Some days, he does, when the eggs are scrambled with sautéed spinach, mushrooms and sweet peppers. Adding vegetables is always a good idea.

However, sometimes he eats a donut.

So, if your typical breakfast is a coffee-something loaded with whipped cream and sugar and some type of sweet roll, you could switch to a basic coffee with a single dose of cream and sugar. Instead of the sweet roll, how about a whole grain muffin and hard boiled egg?

Just do a little bit better. When you practice this over time, one meal at a time, it won’t seem hard and boring after all.

“Healthy eating is a way of life, so it’s important to establish routines that are simple, realistically, and ultimately livable. “–Arthur Agatston