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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

1020 Woodhollow Drive, Schererville, IN

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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

Atomic Habits

My current summer (now that it’s official!) read is “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. I’m working on improving a few of mine—slowly—one at a time.

A simple one: Do It Now. If a task takes less than 5 minutes, I’ll do it. I find that I spend less energy getting it done. If I think about it, decide to do it later, then I have to think about it AGAIN and still do it. AGH!

Some examples:

  • Loading the dishwasher and washing those few miscellaneous pieces by hand
  • Folding the laundry when the dryer stops (rather than allowing it to sit for hours and get REALLY wrinkled)
  • Making my bed when I first wake up
  • Tossing the junk mail before setting it down

I’m not perfect at my “Do It Now” habit, by any means. However, I’m showing signs of improvement. In the long run, I gain time to do other things.  

The author, James Clear, explains several ways we can go about creating or changing a habit. For example, if you spend too much time on social media, he suggests allowing only a finite amount of time to do so, and only AFTER you accomplish whatever it is you NEED to do.

He says, “In the long run, the quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits.”

If we choose to live a life of excellence, we’d better develop excellent habits.

He also talks about creating a new habit by stacking it onto a habit you already have in place. Let’s say you always eat breakfast and you’d like to begin a meditation practice. Immediately after breakfast, meditate for 2 minutes, and build from there.

Motivation, willpower, inspiration, and discipline—these are great, and not always easy to call into the moment. When we don’t know what to do, or life gets challenging, we go into default habit mode. 

If sitting on the couch watching television in the evening is associated with having cookies and milk, then that’s what will happen, unless a new habit is created.

If you’ve had enough of whatever habits you have that are keeping you from the health and life you dream about, let’s get started. Send me an email (it will take less than 5 minutes) and we’ll get to work. 

It’s amazing how shifting one tiny habit can lead you into a completely new and exciting way of life.

Much love,
Carol

“If you show up at the gym five days in a row—even if it’s just for two minutes—you are casting votes for your new identity.  You’re not worried about getting in shape.  You’re focused on becoming the type of person who doesn’t miss workouts.  You’re taking the smallest action that confirms the type of person you want to be.” ~ James Clear, “Atomic Habits”

Ten of My Best Tips

Q. What to blog about when I have too many ideas flying around my brain and I simply am not able to choose?

A. Tips that cover a variety of topics, with the hope that at least one thing will help improve your quality of life.

Tips for Today

  • When you’re not feeling quite right, you think you’re hungry, or you’re bored, review your water intake for the day. It’s a critical check-in point, and it’s easy to work on immediately. Your weight divided by two in ounces is about the right amount. Consider your activity level as you evaluate.
  • Road construction a problem? Too much idle time in your car? Try downloading audio books from the library and listen as you sit, and sit, and sit. You could also use Audible. The library is free. Audible is not.
  • Weight not coming off? Perhaps you are not eating enough. Oh, and when you are eating, are you getting the necessary nutrients to make your body happy from real, whole foods? Be honest.
  • If you enjoy flowers, pick a bouquet from your flower garden or pick one up when you do your grocery shopping. (Guys, would a surprise like this light up someone special?) Any old vases you have collecting dust, drop them by a floral shop. They’ll usually give you a bouquet as a “thank you.” If they don’t offer, ask them and see what happens.
  • When you have a craving, wait 10 minutes and figure out who’s in charge—you or the craving? Are you really hungry, or bored? Is it a time of day that snacking has become a habit? If you must eat, is there a more nutritious option? Go back to Tip #1 and drink water.
  • Muscles aching? Relax in an Epsom salt bath (2 cups in a standard tub for about 20 minutes) or head over to Float Sixty. The magnesium in the salts soothes the soreness, and you’ll probably sleep better. If you’d like to add an essential oil to your bath, add a few drops to the salts, then add the salts under running water.
  • A beautiful new yoga studio opened in St. John, Now Yoga Club, on Wicker in the Lake Central Plaza. I’ve tried it, I like it. Friendly people, classes for every level—even kids! If you enjoy yoga or are new to the idea, this is a great place to explore.
  • Do something today to re-energize. Take a walk, get a massage, spend time in a garden, head to the nearest body of water and sit, phone a friend, read a book, meditate, bake something delicious, mow the lawn—whatever works for you.
  • Be sure you’re getting enough sleep. The ideal for most adults is between 7-8 hours. If you’re cranky, people won’t want to be around you.   
  • When the bunnies eat your tender spinach plants from the garden, buy it from the store or farmer’s market, and keep smiling. Buying local produce as we head into summer is the best—more nutritious, tastier, supports your neighbors.

Stuck with your weight/health/life goals? Wondering why you’ve “hit the wall?” Confused about what to even eat anymore? Call or email me to set up your complimentary coaching session. (There is no obligation for more coaching. One powerful session may give you incredible clarity!)

Wishing all you dads a happy Father’s Day this Sunday!

Much love,
Carol

“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.”—Charles Wadsworth

The Joys of June…and Strawberries

Along with June come some fun celebrations. Besides the new season of life celebrated by many graduates (and parents, now free of tuition payments), and newlyweds, there are a variety of other important days you may find of interest:

  • Donut Day, June 7 (Mr. Non-Compliant is VERY excited)
  • Family Fitness and Health Day, June 8 (probably to compensate for the donuts)
  • World Bike Naked Day, June 8 (interesting—apply plenty of sunscreen)
  • Flag Day, June 14 (is your flag in good condition?)
  • Father’s Day, June 16 (be sure to remember dad)
  • Summer Solstice, June 21 (plan a special dinner al fresco)
  • Take Your Dog to Work Day, June 21 (schedule the grooming appointment)
  • National Eat at a Food Truck Day, June 23 (is there a salad food truck?)
  • Pink Flamingo Day (lawn ornaments), June 23 (order yours today)

June is also the month that local strawberries are available here in Northwest Indiana. I checked the website of Johnson’s Strawberry Farm in Hobart, and U-pick for the strawberries begins June 15. (Probably a good idea to call first.)   

When my boys were younger, we would make the annual trip to Johnson’s, ride the school bus out into the dusty fields, and pick berries until the complaining was more than I could bear.

As we picked the berries, we would often put our heads into the buckets and inhale deeply. The strawberry scent was fresh, sweet, and made this annual event deliciously memorable.

Once home, I would make jam, shortcake, and we’d eat them plain, non-stop. It was the official beginning of summer.

Fortunately, strawberries, and all berries, are extremely healthy. They are low in sugar, full of antioxidants, high in fiber, help fight inflammation, loaded with nutrients, and they’re delicious.

I often enjoy fresh berries in my Greek yogurt (Fage 5%) along with some granola, as a breakfast or snack. If you’re in the mood for chocolate, mix in some cocoa or cacao powder and a bit of honey.

Add berries to your protein smoothie, as a topping for your oatmeal, or side garnish with your eggs. Spinach salad with berries, pecans, goat cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, is a summertime favorite.  

By including fresh, nutrient-rich foods in your life, like berries, you won’t miss those snacks that may not lead you to your health goals.

Cheers to June…and strawberries,
Carol

 “As our lives speed up more and more, so do our children’s. We forget and thus they forget that there is nothing more important than the present moment. We forget and thus they forget to relax, to find spiritual solitude, to let go of the past, to quiet ambition, to fully enjoy the eating of a strawberry, the scent of a rose, the touch of a hand on a cheek…” ~ Michael Gurian

Avocado Toast

Shake up your morning and your taste buds with an order of avocado toast. I’ve seen this on some menus, and it’s a quick and easy dish to make at home.

If you have a ripe avocado, mash it, and add a dash of salt and a squirt of fresh lemon juice; spread on a piece of whole grain toast, or as I did, on a gluten free English muffin.

Your creativity can now take over. I added a fried egg, raw spinach and fresh tomato. Amazing! Other topping possibilities: crumbled goat cheese, red pepper flakes, diced green onions, fresh basil or other herbs, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  

A recent discovery of mine that makes this recipe even easier is a single serving of avocado mash. I’ve also seen single serving sizes of guacamole–a delicious option.

When it comes to prepared avocado, I like the single servings since leftovers don’t keep well.

The good news about avocados: they are full of nutrients, contain more potassium than bananas, provide heart-healthy fat, are loaded with fiber, help you absorb nutrients from other plant foods, contain antioxidants that contribute to eye health, and help you feel—and stay—full.

Avocado toast also makes a perfect lunch or snack. As summer produce and farmer’s markets become abundant, it’s a great time to experiment with various ways of adding more vegetables into your life.

Eating well doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless. I challenge you to discover a vegetable this week that you may have overlooked in the past. If you aren’t sure what to do with it, email me and we’ll come up with some tasty ideas together.

Focus on eating real food that’s fresh and flavorful. Over time, you’ll reach your health and wellness goals without feeling deprived.

To Your Health,
Carol

“An English muffin with avocado is one of my favorite breakfasts.”—Mia Hamm