1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

Top
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

December 5, 2019

The Peaceful Way to Christmas

The countdown to Christmas has begun. In fact, it started well before we ate the turkey. There are no Christmas decorations adorning our house, althou

November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is a day my family looks forward to for weeks. We enjoy hanging out, relaxing, cooking, and of course, eating. We typically fry our turkey. This

November 21, 2019

Thanksgiving Tips, Tricks, and Least Liked Classics

One week away from the official start of what many Americans consider to be the holiday season. Since you may not read your emails next Thursday, my s

November 14, 2019

Eating Your Way into 2020

With Thanksgiving only 2 weeks out, and Christmas not far behind, what’s your plan? By that I mean, what is your mindset as you move into the holida

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 TimesOnline version)

There’s a video on the Internet that depicts why eating healthy can be a challenge. The setting is a 1970’s kitchen, complete with lime green cabinets. The wife has made her husband a beautiful breakfast of steak, eggs, toast, coffee and juice. As he sits down to peacefully enjoy this typical American meal, a man from the future continuously darts in with healthy food bulletins. Don’t eat the eggs; eat the eggs, but not the yolks; the entire egg is okay, but toss the red meat; no more toast; and so on. When did eating become so complicated?

 

Today I will give you a few tips so you may calmly enjoy your food as we did back in the day of lime green kitchens. Here are some simple ideas to get you started.

 

Avoid trans fats. These are “bad” fats. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled in 2015 that these artificial fats are not safe for consumption and gave restaurants and food companies three years to eradicate this health hazard. We’re not quite there and they are still in many fried, baked, and packaged foods. Be sure to scan anything you buy that has an ingredient label. These are commonly listed as “partially hydrogenated” and “hydrogenated” oils. Legally, a food can claim zero trans fat and have up to 0.49 grams per serving. Even small amounts play a significant role in cardiovascular disease. Beware of biscuits, cookies, crackers, non-dairy coffee creamer, fried fast foods, microwave and theater popcorn, margarine, to name a few. Choosing to minimize trans fats and all processed fats is a great way to love your heart.

 

The good news. As you seek out foods in the aforementioned categories that are made with real fat (such as butter, olive oil) instead of made-in-a-lab fat, you will begin to taste the difference. What about butter and oils for a healthy heart? Moderation and balance are key. The enjoyment and satisfaction level with real fat is much higher. Less is more.

 

Consume less sugar. Most Americans eat too much sugar. It is highly addictive and tastes delicious. From a health perspective, it’s a slippery slope. Increased blood sugar levels lead to poor heart health. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that men limit their intake of added sugar to 9 teaspoons (36grams) and women limit their intake to 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day. For reference, a 12-ounce can of soda contains about 9 teaspoons. Added sugars include any type of sweetener, whether it’s honey, agave, maple syrup, cane sugar, etc., that is added by the food manufacturer or you. Artificial sweeteners are not the answer, as they are chemicals and introduce health concerns of their own.

 

The good news. Many fruits satisfy a sweet tooth and add fiber and nutrients as a bonus. Eating a sweet treat when the ingredients are real, (see recipe), along with a meal or snack that includes lean protein, vegetables and real grains, is not as tough on the body as having a donut and coffee in the morning on an empty stomach.

 

Minimize intake of processed foods. These typically contain preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, excessive sodium, and other chemicals that aren’t boosting us toward stellar health. Deli meats, bacon, pre-packaged and frozen meals and any food that is not in its natural form could be included here.

 

The good news. There are many foods that will boost heart health: fish (wild-caught) rich in omega-3 fats, such as Alaskan salmon, albacore tuna, Atlantic mackerel, sardines; one to two ounces of dark chocolate that has a cacao (or cocoa) content of at least 70%; a handful of raw nuts; avocados and avocado oil (good fats); a variety of fruits (especially berries) and vegetables in all colors; a glass of red wine (the best option for an alcoholic beverage). Consider following the Mediterranean diet guidelines, which is mostly plant-based (fruits and vegetables), includes whole grains, legumes, extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil, fish, poultry, and limits red meat and sugar.

 

Tasty and healthy snacks. Homemade protein bars, hummus and guacamole with raw vegetables; almond or other nut butters with apples or pears; fresh berries with a drizzle of flavored balsamic vinegar.

 

As for the breakfast from the 70’s? The entire egg is full of nutrients. Skip the juice and eat a piece of fruit–more fiber, more filling. I’d put a splash of real cream in the coffee. Red meat on occasion and true whole grain bread would not upset future man.

 

In Conclusion. Make one change at a time, eat more food that is simple and real, and keep the balance. For those times when you are choosing a treat, here’s a recipe that is a big hit with my family. These are gluten-free, dairy-free (if you use non-dairy chocolate chips) and vegan. You don’t even need a mixer. Deliciously simple.

 

Quick and Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

 

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour*
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ cup Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks** (melted)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 to ½ cup dairy-free 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 Earth Balance, 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 or melted Earth Balance, a little at a time, until it is moist enough to stick together. (You may need an additional 1-2 Tbsp.) Drop by teaspoonful or small cookie scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently press the dough flat.

Bake 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. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.

 

*Benefits of using almond flour: lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein, fiber and healthy fat than some other flour options.

**Earth Balance is a blend of good oils. Butter may also be used.

 

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 for dinner, walk everyday for 10 minutes, or drink your water, you are AWESOME!

I know you are committed, because you share your stories with me–on my Inkwell Healthy Lifestyles Facebook page, via email, or 1:1 conversation. You are making changes that improve your health, well-being, and happiness!

Congratulations!

I know it’s not easy. The road to wellness takes patience, perseverance, and a deep desire to make changes that feel really hard some days.

And we are always learning.  

Last week I attended a class at Mrs. Dornberg’s Culinary Experience in Highland, IN. The title of the class was “Eating for Awesome Energy.” The topic presented was not new for me, yet I learned LOTS of new information to help me on my health journey. Oh, and some very yummy recipes!

For example, do you know how to choose the very best vegetables?

Say you have two heads of cauliflower. (I know, not my favorite. I keep on trying…) One may be larger than the other and both look similar in appearance. Choose the heavier one. Why? It contains more water, which makes for a tastier head of cauliflower. This is true for all vegetables, since they are made up mostly of water. Lighter ones contain less water, and will not be as tasty. Same rule applies for melons, etc.

The moral of the story: by taking ANY of Mrs. Dornberg’s classes, you will learn things that are new. One of the best ways to improve the health of you and your family is to get into the habit of cooking more meals. Learning from Mrs. Dornberg is a great way to go.   

I don’t mean to rush time, however we are only 3 months out from Christmas. If you are already dreading the “holiday five, ten, or fifteen” pounds that seem to appear by the New Year, I can help.

Email me and we’ll have a conversation to set up a plan to keep you on track. It is very possible to enjoy the holiday season without feeling bad. It’s simply a matter of understanding what works best for you, along with committed consistency.

Together, we can do this!

Much love,
Carol

“Every bite you eat will either promote health or promote disease.”—Cheryl Dornberg

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 looking at what happened to my calendar in the last week, I realized that many of my extracurricular activities were on summer sabbatical. They are all back with a vengeance.

EVERYTHING started up at the same time.  

The Challenge: My brain is still stuck in summer mode. Workouts feel hard, I can’t deal with buying more than 15 items from the grocery at a time, and I can barely find the cherry tomatoes in my garden because of the weeds.

Then there’s the little detail of making dinner really fast, so that I can be at my evening functions. Can you believe Mr. Non-Compliant gets hungry and wants more than M&M’s?

He does.

I thought it might be helpful for you to have some REALLY QUICK meal ideas, in case you’re finding yourself in a similar end-of-summer situation.

Here are my last four days of dinner menus, and all took less than 30 minutes to prepare: (Please don’t judge.)

Sunday: Hamburgers, angel hair pasta (for Mr. NC), tossed salad

Monday: Sautéed scallops, sautéed zucchini and onions, brown rice  

Tuesday: Beyond Meat Hot (not really) Italian Sausage sliced and sautéed with broccoli florets, orange bell pepper, and canned mushrooms, leftover brown rice for me and leftover pasta for Mr. NC

Wednesday: Rotisserie chicken (from the grocery) and tossed salad, which neither of us were home to eat—oh well

 

Quick Tips

  • I cook a surplus of pasta and brown (or white) rice so that they are ready to reheat as an accompaniment to the protein of choice. This saves time AND dirty pans, especially since I don’t eat gluten-filled pasta and Mr. NC is not so fond of brown rice. I love my Instant Pot for cooking rice.
  • Keep ground beef/turkey/pork, chicken, sausage—any of your favorite proteins—in the freezer so you don’t have to run to the store. Add a few vegetables (which could also be frozen) and you have a stir-fry. Really easy when you have your rice already cooked.
  • A tossed green or spinach salad goes well with everything and gives you another serving or more of vegetables.
  • Fresh fruit is a good choice for dessert if you don’t have to dash out the door as soon as you set down your fork.

We really DO have time to do the things that matter most, once we get our mindset right. If you’re struggling, I’d like to help. Let me hear from you! Clarity is a wonderful thing, yet it is sometimes tricky to find on our own.

Cheers to fall,
Carol

“Don’t be so easily moved by things that do not benefit the well-being of your soul. Time waits for no one, and you’re going to wish you invested more of yourself into the things that sparked your heart.”

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 should eat,” you’d be kicked off the game show. In fact, that challenge doesn’t even make the top 10.

The #1 nutritional challenge is (drumroll please): Emotional and stress eating.

If that was your guess, congratulations! Although, if that WAS your guess, is it because that is YOUR struggle?

You are obviously not alone. Who doesn’t have “stuff?”    

Let’s face it. Most folks know that eating a side of grilled vegetables is preferable over a side of fried onion rings. Even Mr. Non-Compliant!

Trouble happens when you are upset about (work, a relationship, the weather, etc.) and go for the entire carton of ice cream. Yep, I’ve been there…

There are lots of situations that lead us down the road of stress eating.

In most instances, what keeps people from hitting their health and weight goals has to do with behavior patterns that keep recurring. When we don’t deal with the behavior, nothing changes—long term, anyway.

It is necessary to determine what’s pushing those emotional and stress eating buttons, if you truly want to experience success.

To my point, “It’s always about more than the food.”

Today, I challenge you: If you’re stuck, what’s going to move you in the right direction?

The bad news is that there are many facets that go into the weight loss equation: meal planning, sweet tooth, eating out, cravings—to name a few.  

The good news is that it’s possible to solve these in a way that won’t make you—or your family–crazy.

If it’s time for you to get past whatever it is that’s preventing you from moving ahead with your health and life goals, let me know. Together, we’ll explore what’s working and what’s not and uncover obstacles that are keeping you from achieving your most optimal state of health and wellness.

Send me an email and we’ll set up a time for your complimentary coaching session.

NOW is the time to feel the excitement of knowing EXACTLY what to do next to create the health you truly desire.

Blessings and love,
Carol

“Now is the time to fix the next ten years.”—Jim Rohn