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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

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January 14, 2021

The Surprising Truth about Eggplant, and a Recipe

A large eggplant. That is the vegetable size of a baby at week #28. Oh, but wait just a minute. An eggplant is actually a FRUIT because it grows from

January 7, 2021

My Least Favorite Vegetable and a Challenge

At week #27 baby is the size of… …a head of cauliflower. Most of you know that I do not care for this vegetable. I’ve tried. Truth is that cauli

December 31, 2020

Cheers to Scallions and a New Year

At week #26, baby is the size of a scallion. The first question that popped into my head is: What’s the difference between a scallion and a green on

December 24, 2020

The Hope and Excitement of a Baby

A bit of background for my new readers: I’m taking the produce journey along with my good friend who is expecting. As we track the progression, we l

December 17, 2020

Create Your Own Cookbook and Mr. Non-Compliant’s Favorite Vegetable

Those of us who attended the Zoom “Amazing Cookie Bake” had a delicious time baking our cookies. My cookie press was missing its piston—a critic

December 10, 2020

We’re Baking Cookies Together… Sort of

I’m baking cookies this coming Saturday morning, and I’d love for you to join me! Through the magic of ZOOM, we are all gathering to bake and soci

December 2, 2020

So, the Marshmallows Caught Fire…

Thanksgiving Day is but a faint memory, as we fast forward into Advent and the season of Christmas. It was quiet around the Slager home, until the mar

November 25, 2020

Cookies, Carrots, and Giving Thanks

Here it is November, and everything is still pretty weird. I find it hard to believe that we’ve almost blown through another year, even though it se

November 19, 2020

Are Bananas Good for You?

Bananas sometimes get a bad rap. The truth is, they have lots of redemptive qualities. They are among the most important food crops on the planet. Alt

November 12, 2020

What to Make for Dinner When the Power Goes Out

As I was writing this, my power went out. It wasn’t just a flicker. It was a full OUTAGE in our local area. Concerned that this could linger into th

July’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

Here’s a great habit that has nothing to do with food or eating. So, what’s it got to do with living a healthier lifestyle? EVERYTHING!

This month’s habit is to remember to BREATHE. Yes, I know you are breathing now or you wouldn’t be reading this. The breaths I am referring to are those long, slow, intentional breaths that you control. These take some practice and I will give you some tips on how and when to incorporate them into your day.evening-sun-694425_640

As many of you have figured out, it is pretty easy to do something for 5 minutes. The practice of deep breathing for even 5 minutes may be a great addition to your morning or bedtime ritual. Some refer to this as meditation. Or, you could simply incorporate deep breaths into your day when you catch yourself feeling anxious or uneasy about something.

practice-615644_640One method of conscious deep breathing is to sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a slow, deep breath—really deep, into your belly. Hold it for a few seconds,then slowly exhale as much of the air as you can. Repeat. I like to count to four as I inhale; hold to a count of four; exhale to the count of eight. You don’t have to count at all; the counting helps me focus on my breath when I begin.

This is a great exercise to try when you are feeling agitated about something, like being stuck in traffic when you are already late for work; or dealing with a challenging situation and you are on the verge of exploding. When we get nervous or excited, our breaths typically become very shallow and rapid. By taking a moment to focus on our breathing, we allow ourselves to emotionally step back from a volatile or uneasy situation.

Any time you are thinking into the future and feeling nervous, this breathing exercise will ground you firmly into the present moment and empower you to take the next action step with confidence and conviction. (There may be times when it is not a good idea to close your eyes or even sit down. You can still practice deep breathing on the move.)

So, relax and take a deep breath. Now take another, and another. Excellent! You’ve got this!

“One way to break up any kind of tension is good deep breathing.” ~Byron Nelson

As a health coach, I work with women who have lost themselves and neglected their health in order to raise their families. I help them find their inner compass and live healthier, more balanced lives.

Is this you? If so, I would love to hear from you.  Send me an email today! 

 

Let’s Do This!

Crazy isn’t it, that we are six months into the New Year? Here is my question: any of you make some type of resolution way back in January to–

  • Eat better                                                                        new-years-day-1111888_640
  • Work out a couple times a week
  • Use the gym you joined
  • Plan healthier meals

And so on? If the answer is “Yes,” have you stuck with it? If you have, congratulations! Go enjoy the 4th of July celebrations! If you haven’t, keep on reading.

Most people struggle with ANY type of resolution, and very few stick with it more than a few months. Why? Habits are tough to change, especially when we try to change more than one thing at a time.

So, if you fell out of the “I’m going to do better” wagon, you are not alone. You are normal. The question to ask now is, “What action can I take that will get me back IN the wagon?”pull-25799_640Good news! This is the perfect time to begin again. Summer offers beautiful weather, great produce from local farms, fun activities to do outdoors, vacations. Meals can be cooked over a charcoal or gas grill, so there is even less time spent in the kitchen—and fewer dishes!

Figure out what ONE thing you can do that would move you closer to your ideal of “better health.” Maybe you go to a local farmer’s market once a week and pick up more vegetables. Or you make a date with a friend to golf, bike or play a game of tennis. I love to garden, so I have been scheduling time in the evening to spend about 30 minutes weeding or planting. (I have LOTS of weeds that will keep me busy all summer.)

The key here is only making ONE change. You may be getting tired of hearing that from me. Oh well. It is what works. Get into one new habit and once you have it down, add a new one. This is why I present a healthy habit each month. If you master even two of them by the end of the year, you have done well. Change can be tough. Celebrate your victories, small as they may seem to you.

Here are a few things I have been celebrating with my clients:

  • Tried fresh beets and even LIKED them
  • Cut WAY down on diet soda
  • Taking two walks a day most days, even if they are only ten minutes
  • More planned and healthy meals for the family
  • Better prepared with snacks while traveling

These are all HUGE victories! We work on these goals together and we are a team.american-flag-825635_640

I encourage you to begin today. DO NOT wait until after the holiday weekend and all the picnics. Do what you can now and celebrate your victory on Tuesday when your co-workers will be starting that diet…AGAIN.

“Don’t look back you’re not going that way.”
–Unknown

If you are feeling overwhelmed with how to begin YOUR health and fitness program, send me an email and I will be glad to help you! contact me

June’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

What a glorious time of year here in the Midwest! This is the perfect month to address another great habit: moving. No, not as in moving to another house or part of the country; moving YOU!

fitness-1208141_640 Now, please don’t do the eyeroll and start telling yourself a story like, “I don’t have time.” You haven’t read my blog yet, so hang with me here.

You can have success with moving even if you feel like you don’t have time (which is never true), don’t belong to a gym, hate to exercise, only do “a little something” a few times a week, don’t have the proper fitness attire, etc. How do I know? I have clients who are right there with you and they are successful with this part of my program!

Here’s how it works: think of activities you enjoy. I’ll help you: dancing, gardening, skating, golfing, volleyball, running, walking, yoga, swimming. Keep thinking of things until you have a list of two or three. You may even be one of those people who enjoys going to a gym to do an “official workout.” If you are, that is great too. Almost everything counts here.

Now, look at the week ahead, beginning today. That’s right, not Monday or next week, TODAY. Let’s say you like to walk. Maybe you even have a dog that likes to walk that you can take along. Decide when you can take a 5-minute walk today. That’s it—5 minutes.

woman-892309_640Tomorrow, do the same thing. Or pick something else you like to do and schedule the time to do that. Obviously if you like to golf, you will spend more than 5 minutes. Walk more than you ride in the cart.

What if it rains for 2 days in a row and you don’t have an indoor mall or other facility to take a walk in? Could you spend 5 to 10 minutes doing some stretches or make up your own Zumba moves to a couple favorite songs?

The idea of this habit is to stop looking at exercise with drudgery and telling yourself the story that you have to go to a gym for it to “count.” Make moving fun and do a little to begin with. It may even seem too easy and you think it won’t matter. That’s okay! It all matters! As you stick with your program, add a bit of intensity or change what you do to shake things up a bit. When my clients and I plan their fitness goals for the week ahead, we make it a goal that works with their life!

Another tip: it is more beneficial to do something for a short time on a consistent basis, than to do it for a long period of time only once a week. (This is the case for lots of activities, like reading, prayer, meditation, weeding, etc.) Walking 5 minutes a day is more beneficial than a 30-minute walk only once a week. Why? Five minutes a day will become a habit, like drinking a glass of water every morning when you first wake up. Taking a long walk once a week—too easy to let it go and skip it. Then you are back to not doing anything at all. And depending on the activity, you could find yourself in pain!thankful-1081614_640

In closing, when you get out of your routine because LIFE took over, simply begin again, and move TODAY.

Important Note: Do not begin a new exercise routine without first checking with your physician!

“Now, I just want a plan that keeps me lean, healthy, strong, and fit. One that’s not based on uncomfortable overeating followed by uncomfortable undereating. One I can just “do” – every day, as long as I want to do it.”–Dr. John Berardi

If you are feeling overwhelmed with how to begin YOUR health and fitness program, send me an email and I will be glad to help you! contact me

Quick and Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour*                                                        Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ cup virgin coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup 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 coconut oil, 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, a little at a time, until it is moist enough to stick together. (You may need an additional 1-2 Tbsp. depending on the humidity.)

Drop by teaspoonful or small cookie scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently press the dough flat if you like. (I left them round and they were delicious!)

Bake at 350 degrees F 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. Makes about 24 cookie bites.

These are gluten-free, dairy free (if you use non-dairy chocolate chips) and vegan. I store them in the freezer to keep them fresh, and the texture resembles raw cookie dough! (They may even last a bit longer since they are “hiding” in the cold.) 🙂

*Benefits of using almond flour: lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein, fiber and healthy fat than some other flour options. With the combination of almond, coconut oil and chocolate, it reminds me of an Almond Joy– only healthier!

Another version of this recipe appeared in the February 2018 issue of Get Healthy