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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

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July 9, 2020

Cheers for Rainiers

What is this Saturday, July 11, you ask? Why, it’s National Rainier Cherry Day! In 1952, Harry Fogle of Washington State University developed the Ra

July 2, 2020

It’s Summer, so Bring on the Ribs

In our family, summer means grilling. One of our favorites: baby back ribs cooked to perfection. There’s a rib joint in Porter by the name of Wagner

June 25, 2020

Sniff. What’s That Smell?

How does summer smell to you? What aromas make you happy? Maybe you haven’t thought about it much, unless you have seasonal allergies or a cold. Tod

June 18, 2020

A Time to Celebrate

Big weekend ahead. I wish all you fathers and like-fathers a very special Father’s Day this Sunday. May you enjoy a day filled with love, happiness,

June 17, 2020

Salmon Dill Nicoise Salad

Although a classic Nicoise salad is made with tuna, it’s nice with perfectly cooked salmon. Nicoise salad has all the light and vibrant flavors of a

June 11, 2020

Relax into Summer

The amazing season known as summer is nearly upon us. When I think of it, my mind sees beaches, hammocks, pitchers of iced tea, grills in action, all

June 4, 2020

I’m a Honey Fan

I am often asked about honey—if it’s healthier than sugar. Honey does contain sugar. Per tablespoon, honey has 64 calories and 17g of sugar. That

June 2, 2020

Strawberry Crumble

4 cups strawberries, halved 2 Tablespoons arrowroot (or cornstarch or tapioca starch)      2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 Tablespoon fresh lemo

June 2, 2020

Almond Butter Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe makes a delicious substitute for peanut butter cookies that avoids many of the common food allergens. And they’re vegan and gluten f

June 2, 2020

Nothing to Sneeze At: New theories explored to stem the growth of food allergies, intolerance in children

(The following article first appeared in the March 2018 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times. Online version) Every mo

March’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

Welcome spring and the month of gusty kite-flying days, a green Chicago River (well, brighter green than usual), and celebrating the Irish. The flower bulbs that were planted before winter are peeking through the dirt, and there are more of us taking longer walks with our dogs in early evening. It is also a month, like most months, when family gatherings tempt us to overeat.

March’s healthy lifestyle habit will help you decide when you should indulge in something decadent. The philosophy is very simple. Only eat it if it’s amazing.IMG_0287

For example, let’s say you are visiting Aunt Irene, who makes the most delicious coconut cake you have ever eaten. You know, without a doubt, that if her cake is on the dessert table, you will have to eat it. That is a perfect plan. Have a piece, really enjoy it, and savor the flavors.

My theory is that when we continually deny ourselves from having those “special treats,” we hit the wall and fall prey to an eating binge. We may find ourselves eating a dozen store bought cookies or an entire bag of chips that we don’t really enjoy, are not really even that good, and fill us with “eater’s remorse” for at least a day. Not the best plan.

The moral of the story, to reiterate: if it’s not amazing, why are you eating it? Great question. Think about it. There is no need to feel guilty about completely enjoying Aunt Irene’s coconut cake (or whoever’s whatever) when it is part of your plan. Besides, you don’t want to hurt her feelings. If she offers you more, be gracious and take a piece home for another day. Living a healthy lifestyle must be sustainable, or you won’t stick with it. This is all about the balance.

On the other side of that, if you find yourself eyeing an entire array of potluck items or a giant buffet table covered with desserts, CHOOSE WISELY. If you make a poor selection and it is not amazing, don’t IMG_0055eat it! Keep in mind that many times, food looks better than it tastes. If you are questioned about your way of eating, confidently state that you are practicing the art of not overeating for your good health. You may start a movement within your circle of friends.

To recap our 2016 healthy habits to date (from previous BLOGS if you want more info): 1) Drink your water 2) Eat slowly and stop at 80% full 3) Only eat it if it’s AMAZING!

If you are still getting another habit down, that is OK. Creating healthy habits on your timeline means they will be sustainable.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Virginia Woolf

P.S.  If you are looking for a system to help you stay healthier, lose weight and have more energycontact me today!  We will practice our habits together!

What’s Really in My Food? Label Reading 101

Eating healthy would be easier if what we saw was actually what we got, right? We see lettuce, we get lettuce; an apple is simply that, an apple.apples-214148_640 The food industry has come a long way since the days of bartering butter for eggs, but like everything in life, with the good comes the not so good. And so it is with food.

This topic is very lengthy. Here is a very brief overview and I will go into more detail over the course of future blogs.

Serving Size. This fact makes me laugh. If I had offered my adolescent sons “one serving” of pasta or cereal, I would have been accused of starving my children. Most of us adults consume a quantity of food that is more than we actually need. The problem occurs when we believe that we only had one serving and we probably ate twice that. Remember February’s Habit and stop at 80% full.

Ingredients. It is true that these are listed in order of the highest content first. Be wary of this list when it is as long as your arm. When you can’t pronounce the words and have no idea what they are, odds are you shouldn’t eat it.  sherlock-holmes-147255_640

Natural, Real Juice, Healthy. Food companies love to use these words in their names and on the labels. Whatever is inside the box or bottle is perceived to go along with these claims. Read the Nutrition Facts.

AHA (American Heart Association) Trademark. A food or beverage may be considered ok for your heart health, but may not good for the rest of you.

Trans fats. If the label reads “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,” “shortening,” “hydrogenated vegetable oil,” “margarine,” then you are eating trans fats. Eating these contributes to a variety of health issues. You can typically find trans fats in various baked goods, fried foods, crackers, cookies, some soups, dressings, oh the list goes on. And don’t assume because it reads “Zero Trans Fat” that it’s ok. Read the ingredient list anyway. In the United States, if the food has less than 0.5 Grams of trans fat, it can state “Zero.” Any amount is too much.

And More. Other “not so good” ingredients to be wary of: artificial vegetarian-233834_640sugars (terms such as Lite, Light, Zero, on the label), artificial flavors and colors, preservatives, and items marketed as Fat Free. Our bodies get confused by all of this. Be kind to you.

My Advice: Eat REAL food as much as possible. Do the best you can. Choose ONE thing to look for that you would like to eliminate or begin to cut down on in order to avoid overwhelm. Practice reading the labels on foods you eat and understand that changing habits takes time and patience.

*This information is not intended to help cure, treat, diagnose or prevent any disease state. Any questions you have concerning food as it pertains to a specific medical condition should be addressed with your physician.

“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”  Michael Pollan

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.

February’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

practice-615644_640Now that you have gotten in the habit of drinking your water, it’s time to practice another simple concept. This month’s habit: Eat slowly and stop at 80% full. This habit is straight from the pages of my coaching textbook, The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition, second edition. The authors, Dr. John Berardi and Ryan Andrews, are experts in the field of exercise and nutrition.

Eat Slowly. How many times do we rush through a meal? snails-214765_640We’re so busy sometimes that if questioned about what we had for lunch, we are clueless. Or perhaps we are distracted by the newspaper or TV. Beginning TODAY, focus on your meals and snacks and really taste the food. Spend at least 15-20 minutes enjoying your meal. It takes that long for your stomach to get the signal from your brain that it’s being fed. If you are with family or friends, it’s easy to savor the conversation and the food. The temptation to “hurry up and eat” typically happens when dining alone. If you customarily eat in 5 minutes, slow down and eat for 6 minutes. (Set a timer) Practice slowing down a little at a time until you master this. Turn off the TV. Remove the distractions. Savor the flavors.

Stop at 80% Full. When we stop eating because we are full, we have probably eaten more than we need. A good way to think about this habit is to stop eating when we are no longer hungry as opposed to eating until full. Although it may be a challenge to figure out the 80% part, do your best. Stopping at any level less than your current habit will be a positive step toward your goal.

evening-sun-694425_640By eating slowly and stopping at 80% full, odds are good that you will consume less food and over time, experience weight loss. You will truly enjoy your meals and your digestion will improve. This habit is awesome because we are not even taking into account WHAT you are eating! (The WHAT is a habit for another month!)

If you are one of those people that need to gain weight, eat faster and stop at 100% full.

For those of you who are still getting the water habit down, that is OK. Keep working on the water and practice this new habit when you feel ready. Remember, changing your lifestyle is a process. How many years have you been creating habits that may not serve you? Good things take time!

“The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”  Lucille Ball

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.

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.