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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

Why We Need to Retreat

Retreat:  a period of withdrawal from worldly activities for prayer and meditation;  withdrawal into privacy or seclusion, a place for this. (Oxford American Dictionary)

One of my earliest memories of taking retreat is from my college days, as a Delta Gamma pledge going on “walk-out.”  My pledge class left campus one Friday afternoon to go somewhere secret and spend the weekend together.  Our pledge trainer came with, along with a couple other active members we deemed worthy.  We had a blast.  Of course, we had some fraternity education that was supposed to prepare us to become full-fledged members, but what I remember most was the camaraderie and unity we felt as we cocooned from the world.  Oh, and lots of great food!

In the days since then, I have been on an engaged couples retreat, Cursillo retreats, girlfriend getaway retreats, spa weekend retreat, one-day spiritual retreats, and business women retreats.  My most recent retreat was with about twenty business women at a camp located near the snowy Dunes of Michigan.  What a special gift to spend the bulk of an entire winter weekend learning from some of the best leaders and spirited entrepreneurs in Northwest Indiana.

As is typical of retreats, new friendships were cultivated that would have otherwise never had an opportunity to begin.  The practicality of spending the time necessary to really get to know these women just would not happen in the course of “business as usual.”  When we briefly break away from family, work, grocery shopping, laundry, etc, our minds settle into a different realm that is more open to change, friendship, and clarity.  We learn that we are not alone in having bigger-than-life dreams and the courage necessary to bring them to fruition.  Although each of us is on a unique journey, we all encounter a few lions, tigers and bears along the way.

In closing, if you have never gone on retreat, make a plan to go away.  If you have gone on retreat, make a plan to go away.  Why?  In between the moonlit hikes, snowball fights, laughter and tears, you will experience a renewal of Spirit that can only come from withdrawal from the world.  Oh, and lots of great food! 

“In order to understand the world, one has to get away from it on occasion.”  Albert Camus

Avoiding Holiday Eater’s Remorse

One week before the beloved holiday of Thanksgiving, and the official kick-off of a one month food fest.  How do we get through it without adding an additional ten pounds of holiday around the waist?  

Make the decision today to simply raise your level of awareness about what you decide to eat.  Be conscious.  What typically happens is that we just go along for the holiday joy ride and choose to think about facing the music of health and fitness come January.  (Just so you know, I will be here to support you and will not utter any words such as “I told you so.” Promise.)

Sugar is one of the biggest bad boys this time of year.  Between all those delicious sugar cookies, the stress of buying the right gifts, lack of sleep, cleaning the house, change in schedules, and more, our immune systems take a beating.  We get a cold at the most inopportune time. 

Plan to enjoy some of those cookies, but be conscious of that choice.  Fill your days with lean protein, fruits, and vegetables.  When you have a fun event, enjoy a moderate amount of those special holiday foods you love, and really savor those moments.

Sticking with your exercise routine is also a great plan.  This will alleviate some stress and help offset the extra indulgences.  If you don’t have a routine, now would be a great time to begin.  (As long as you have clearance from your physician to exercise.) 

We are all in this together.  Let us support and encourage one another to take care.

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”  3John 2 NIV

The Art of Slowing Down

“Sometimes you have to go slow in order to go fast.”

How many times have we heard this phrase?  This thinking has been cited by many; however my quote today is from Chris Brady in his book A Month of ITALY Rediscovering the Art of Vacation.  This is a great read about family, Italy, food, travel, and the art of slowing down.  So much of our life is spent going as fast as we can to get to the next event, job, task or soccer game, that we lose sight of today.

Yes, we all have commitments and schedules and responsibilities.  These have a tendency to rule our lives.  The challenge lies in breaking the cycle of crazy to enjoy the moment.  I have watched loved ones get so caught up in the stress of day-to-day life that it caused illness.  The best antidote?  Slow down; take a vacation; RELAX. 

If you are at the breaking point, schedule some time away somewhere.  There are so many great getaways not far from home, no matter where you call home.  Make a plan and go.  It doesn’t need to be Italy and it doesn’t need to be for a month.  Although, that would be delightful!

Even as you go through the day, schedule some time to sit outside and bask in the warmth of the summer sun, take a walk, or sit on your front porch.  Look around and simply enjoy being.  Slow down, and see what a difference in makes in the grand scheme of your day, of your life.  Have you ever heard anyone at the end of their earthly existence wishing they had worked more? 

“We do not know the true value of our moments until they have undergone the test of memory.”  Georges Duhamel

Much Ado About Tulips

I am in a quandary.  Recently I learned that the proper way to care for tulips is to dig up the bulbs once they have finished blooming and the tops are beginning to dry.  (Which is right NOW!)  Yes, dig them up.  Every last one of them.  Then the bulbs are to be stored in a cool, dry place so that air can circulate around them over the summer.  To be very proper, one should put the various colors together and label accordingly.  When fall arrives, take said bulbs and plant them again.  I was told from an authentic Dutchman that this is what authentic Dutch folks do.  This technique would explain why the Dutch are known for their amazing tulips.  They really work hard at it! 

Ok, so back to my quandary.  I carry around a very authentic Dutch name.  Translated, Slager means “butcher,” which is probably why my family will have no part of ever becoming vegetarian.  I get that.  But, this tulip thing is an overwhelming task to say the least.  Do I go along with proper gardening practices because of my last name?  My dear husband reminds me how much we all enjoyed the gigantic tulips that I freshly planted last December.  Breathtaking they were!  I tell him that in my family (Irish, German, Slovakian mix) we keep adding new bulbs every year and it works out just fine.  Then I get “the look.”  

So, while I discern the tulip dilemma, I will plant some annuals that have been waiting so patiently for the rains to pause.  I believe that somewhere between the dirt, weeds and worms, I will find my answer.    

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV