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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

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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’

January 30, 2020

She Ate All the Chips

I ran into JJ (initials used to protect identity) at the gym the other morning. Upon seeing her, she confessed that she recently ate an entire bag of

January 23, 2020

Keep it Simple

It’s that magical time of year. According to Runner’s World, most resolutions concerning health and fitness were over and done last Sunday, Januar

January 16, 2020

Success is Showing Up

How many times do you schedule your workouts for the week, and one day, you simply don’t want to show up? (Ok, that was me yesterday.) Your heart is

January 9, 2020

When the Body Breaks

Sometimes, in spite of our best efforts, our bodies don’t cooperate. I have friends with replaced hips, knees, and shoulders. Others have asthma, os

December 26, 2019

Getting (Back) into Your Routine

We’ve gotten past the Christmas cookies, candies, and cocktails. It’s now time to get back into your “normal” routine, or figure out what that

December 19, 2019

Unstuffed Pepper Soup

It’s soup weather. It’s almost Christmas. It’s crunch time. You need to eat nutritious food and you’ve get presents to buy, decorating to do,

December 12, 2019

The Buzz on Bone Broth

Lately I’ve been using more bone broth, whether it’s Carol-made or a store-bought variety. When comparing bone broth to basic broth or bouillon, b

The Most Important Person

Last week, I had the privilege of listening to two expert fitness trainers, Erin Hartigan and Estelle Blockoms. They offered great advice and motivation, which I will do my best to convey for those of you who were not able to attend the event.

The most important person you need to take care of is…YOU! Consider this: when you are at your very BEST, how does that affect your energy, sleep, work, relationships? Conversely, when you are NOT doing the things you need to do to take care of yourself, when you are NOT your best, what happens?

Trainers, motivators, coaches all push us to be better—to be our best. What can we really control in our lives? Not much. However, we CAN make good decisions about what we eat and how much we move.

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On exercise: Find activities you enjoy and do them. Start slowly and work your way into a program that is consistent and takes you to a level of fitness that improves your quality of life. Thirty minutes a day will do wonders for your health, stress and attitude. Erin and Estelle have different fitness routines that work for them. Of course, they both mentioned that they aspire to be better tomorrow than they are today. Always changing, always growing.

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On food: Estelle has a list of “FORBIDDENS.” These are the foods she will NEVER, EVER eat. Some of her “forbiddens” are fried foods, sugar, soda, and gluten. She suggested we each come up with ONE FORBIDDEN that will improve our health. Estelle eats a salad everyday, but advises to use caution with the dressing. Erin rarely eats out and makes meals for her family that include lots of vegetables, lean protein and a minimal amount of processed foods and sugars. As we eliminate certain foods from our diet, our taste buds change. For example, if we don’t eat fried foods for several months, it is very probable that we will not enjoy that fried chicken any longer—and it may even make us feel sick. (I know… some of you may not be ready to let that go…think of something else.)

These women lead others to be their best because of their positive attitudes and discipline. The energy in their classes is extremely high, which creates the perfect environment for consistency. Think about the momentum of a moving freight train. Try to stop it. On the other hand, think about getting a stopped train to move. UGH!

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There is connection with mind, body and spirit that works together to make us whole. Once we get that, we’re living a lifestyle that not only brings out our best, but the best of all those around us.

“First we form habits, then they form us.”  Jim Rohn

P.S.  If you are looking for a system to help you stay healthier, lose weight and have more energycontact me today!  It’s never too late to form new habits.

January’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

Closeup of message stones on white background.

Welcome to a NEW YEAR, and the possibility of a NEW YOU. The thing that is fun about the beginning of something is the hope that it can be better—that WE can be better.   The other side of that thinking is that MOST people are resistant to change. We get comfortable doing things the way we have always done them and the thought of mixing it up, even if it gives us a better result, can be SCARY.

Here is my proposition for the “Healthier You” that you may be searching for. I am going to offer you an idea of ONE new habit each month from now until December 2016. (That sounds like a long time from now, but don’t blink…)

So, let’s say you start with January’s habit today. Are you going to see some amazingly crazy change in your health and weight in the next week? NO! Over the course of the next 12 months, if you develop even a few of the habits I introduce, will you see a change in your health and your weight. YES!

What I am offering is “the slight edge” principle.  (The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson is a MUST READ!)  It’s not the monumental things we do that radically change our lives, but the little things we choose to do—or NOT do—day in and day out. In every aspect of life, we are either going in a positive or negative direction based on our choices that day. We never stay stagnant.

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This month’s habit is to drink your water. Sounds easy, right? Maybe not so much. The easiest formula I have learned is to take your weight and divide it in half. You need that many ounces of water in a day to stay hydrated. This does not take into account what happens when you exercise for an hour, are in the sun, or if you drink lots of caffeine (each cup of a caffeinated beverage means you need two additional glasses of water to stay hydrated).

Room temperature water is easiest on the body, but do whatever works. Yes, herbal teas count, and any liquid that does not have caffeine or sugar or fake sugar. (Caffeine is a diuretic, is addictive and is not a healthy additive for some. Sugar has no redeeming benefits, except that it tastes good. It is as addictive as heroin. Fake sugars are chemicals that wreak havoc with us on lots of levels. All of these are topics for future Blogs!) Add a slice of lemon, lime, orange or float a strawberry. Put up post-it notes to remind you. Drink it in your favorite glass or mug or container that measures how much you have. Always take water in the car. This is the month you make water a priority in your life and figure out what you need to do to stay hydrated. You will feel better. Sometimes when you think you are hungry, you are really thirsty. Try water first. A great tip is to drink 8 to 16 ounces when you first wake up. It’s like extra credit before you even get your day going.

Oh, and be sure to LIKE my Inkwell Healthy Lifestyles Facebook page for reminders and other healthy tips to stay on the positive side of living well.

“With true friends . . . even water drunk together is sweet enough.” Chinese Proverb

‘Tis the Season for the Crock-Pot (falalalala,lalalala)

So much to do, so little time. As daylight hours diminish and our “To Do” lists expand, the idea of cooking dinner may seem a bit daunting. With a bit of planning, the good old crock-pot can save the day. Some of you may now refer to this appliance as a slow cooker. It works in the same manner, but term usage could possibly indicate your age bracket. Speak carefully…

I recall getting my very first Rival crock-pot as a wedding gift. Since that was back in the early 80’s, the common crock did not come out of the base. Clean up was tough, since it is not a good idea to get the electrical cord in the dishwater. Thank goodness for technology, since I now have a larger model that: 1) holds more food and 2) has a removable crock for easy cleaning. Yes, I am truly spoiled.

This is the time of year when I tend to use this appliance more frequently. What could be more welcoming than coming home on a cold day to some hot soup that smells and tastes great? Ok, maybe a happy greeting from the family dog.

Here are a couple of ideas to try. If possible, make extra so you have dinner for another day and/or some lunches. If you are cooking for one, freeze in individual serving sizes and you will save yourself some work in the days and weeks ahead.     chicken-1001751_640Chicken:
*Take a 3-4 pound roasting chicken, remove any inside parts; rinse and pat dry.
*Sprinkle with salt, pepper and your favorite flavors such as garlic powder, paprika (adds color), poultry seasoning; or rosemary and thyme.
*Place in the crock-pot or slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours (or High for 4 hours).

I have done this without adding any liquid and it comes out fine; or you could add ½ cup of water or chicken broth, especially if you are planning to cook the chicken on High. (so it doesn’t stick to the pot)

For a more complete meal, put the following vegetables on the bottom of the pot and then add the chicken with seasonings:
*3 carrots, sliced
*2 onions, sliced
*2-3 potatoes or sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
Add ½ cup of water or chicken broth. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours (or High for 4 hours).
The vegetables should be tender and the chicken should easily fall off the bone.

Check out my Recipe page for another crock-pot meal!

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” -J.R.R. Tolkien

P.S. Don’t make another New Year’s resolution that will go by the wayside after a month or two.  If you are looking for a system to help you stay healthier, lose weight and have more energy as we move into the new year, contact me today!

Beef Vegetable Soup (Crock-Pot)

You will need:             frog-929341_640
32 oz. organic beef broth/stock
2 small onions, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1-14½ oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt (optional)
2 cups frozen green beans
12 oz. package frozen soup mix vegetables
1/4 cup quinoa
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained

At the end of cooking time:
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup flour (use brown rice flour or gluten-free flour blend if you avoid gluten)  

Directions:
Put all ingredients in the crock-pot, except the butter and flour. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours (High for 4 to 5 hours).

One hour before serving, make a roux by melting the ¼ cup butter in a small saucepan, then stirring in the ¼ cup flour, until smooth. Add this mixture to the soup and stir. Cook the soup on High until it thickens a bit.

For variety you could:
*Substitute ground turkey or ground chicken for the beef (and use chicken broth in place of beef. I have never done this, but why not?) Or, finely diced chuck roast, browned.
*Add different vegetables

Hints:
*I usually double this recipe so I have plenty of leftovers
*Brown your ground beef (or ground turkey or chicken) ahead of time and freeze so you can put this together quickly on another day.
*No time to chop vegetables? No problem. Use a couple bags of frozen soup mix or other vegetables you like. It will be tastier than any soup that comes out of a can or box.