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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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April 11, 2024

Angelos Update and Green Thumb Time

If you’ve been following my blog for a few years, you may recall my weekly posts that were written comparing the size of my friend’s baby in utero

April 4, 2024

Tips to Get Past the Springtime Slump

Lately, I have this great desire to take a nap every afternoon around…well, anytime between 2 and 5. What is the deal with THAT? Can you relate? One

March 28, 2024

The Miracle of Breath and Easter

Today while I was busy breathing, doing my best to focus on my breath and not what I would blog about this week, I was flooded with a thought that sho

March 21, 2024

Celebrating the Spring Equinox

This year the spring equinox occurred on March 19 at 11:06 P.M. EDT. That was the astronomical beginning of the spring season in the Northern Hemisph

March 14, 2024

10 Muscle Building Tips for Women

Most women I talk with would like to build more muscle and lose more fat. While strength or resistance training is a key component to building muscle,

March 7, 2024

A Taste of Spring

In case you’ve been missing out on some of the most delectable oranges, this is your friendly reminder that we are in the midst of SUMO season. This

February 29, 2024

10 Healthy Snacks for Busy People

My family loves snacks. I love snacks. Who doesn’t love a good snack? I believe snacking can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle. When you c

February 21, 2024

Saving Dough and a Surprise Cake from Mr. Non-Compliant

Some say it’s expensive to eat healthy. I believe it’s even more expensive, especially in the long run, to eat unhealthy. Today I present some tip

February 14, 2024

My Best Workout Tip for Top Results

Ever wonder how to get the most out of your run or walk or strength training workouts? It’s the same way you can feel the most productive about your

February 8, 2024

Celebrating the Birth Month Without FOGO

This year’s birth month is a rare one because I get to celebrate for 29 days. Those of you who get 30, or if you’re REALLY lucky, 31 days, may not

October’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

Need Sleep?

Questions: Do you get enough sleep? How much is enough? Does it really matter over the long haul?

Answers: Probably not. Seven to eight hours seems to be ideal. Sleep is just as newborn-216723_640important as diet and exercise, as it pertains to good health.

This is one of those habits that tends to get overlooked; yet it has a HUGE impact on our health. Studies show that a lack of sleep may contribute to weight gain and obesity. When we don’t get our required amount of sleep, hormones that affect appetite and other important functions may get out of whack. Another big (and perhaps the most obvious) reason that non-sleepers gain weight is simple: they are awake more hours and can do more eating.

Folks who get less than 7.5 hours of sleep each night are at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and sudden cardiac arrest, than those who get more zzzz’s. Along with the weight gain that may be attributed to sleep deficiency, there is also the increased likelihood of insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes.

Wow. Feeling like you should go take a nap?

I think some people think it is heroic to get less sleep; like it is a badge of honor because they are getting more done. Or, perhaps they just like to stay up and watch movies or late night TV to relax. Then, there’s the college-age crowd that studies until some crazy hour, or decides to meet up with friends starting at 11pm. Oh, youth!

Some do not get proper rest because of untreated sleep apnea. If you think your loved one stops breathing during the night, snores loud enough to wake the neighbors, or falls asleep anytime they sit still during the day, consider a sleep apnea test. It could add years to their life, not to mention, life to their years. I know many people who are much happier and healthier because they now have their CPAP machines at night. Their spouses are happier too!                                                                                                            morning-1092771_640What can you do to encourage better sleep habits?
*Maintain consistent bedtimes and wake times, even on weekends
*Keep the room dark and quiet
*Try some form of relaxation and self-care before bedtime, which excludes TV, movies, computers, and stressful discussions
*Keep the temperature of the room between 66 and 72 degrees F
*Avoid any stimulants like caffeine and nicotine later in the day
*Regular exercise improves sleep, although some do not do well exercising in the evening
*Avoid going to bed with a full stomach
*Get help for sleep apneaice-cream-967094_640

So, based on these suggestions for restful sleep, I guess eating a bowl of chocolate ice cream while watching The Walking Dead could explain why I don’t sleep well some nights.

There is always room for improvement…. Sweet dreams!

Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds. ~JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom, 2002

(Reference: Precision Nutrition Blog: All About Sleep by Ryan Andrews)

Become Empowered!

October is the month to become empowered. It is the time to get your mental game on with food. Once we celebrate Halloween, many typically begin the season of the “mucous mess.” It is all downhill from that point.     halloween-candy-1014629_640“Mucous mess” refers to the season between October 31st and January 1st. Sugar consumption is at an all-time high; there are severe temperature swings here in the Midwest, often within a day. Add to the mix a lack of exercise–because there is no time for such a luxury—the stress of daily life, and it happens: people start getting sick. Immune systems are a wreck and this dreadful cycle continues for months. The coughing, sneezing, and runny nose syndrome becomes like family that repeatedly visits for the holidays. Oh, not to mention those extra 5, 10 or 20 pounds. Why begin healthy habits in November with all those eating fests on the horizon?

October is my month to boycott this nonsense to the best of my ability and set myself up healthy-food-1348430_640for a healthy holiday season. I practice the art of clean eating, since I am a bit lax in the summer. (Yes, even I sometimes take a healthy food vacation. It’s why I follow the 80/20 rule, 20 being the non-healthy selections. 🙂 ) My mainstay foods are vegetables, fruits, lean protein, good fats and plenty of water. I avoid refined sugars and excess carbohydrates, which translates to ice cream, bread, cookies, etc. I eat REAL food and avoid those foods that do not serve me in a positive way. EVERYTHING we eat leads us toward better health or away from better health. There is no such thing as neutral when it comes to food.

Choosing to eat this way is a very empowering experience, in addition to the health and weight benefits. Think about it: there is very little in this life that we are able to control. What you CAN control is how much you exercise and what (and how much!) you eat. YOU DECIDE!

By practicing the habit of making good choices—not perfect, but BETTER—you may not woman-1209866_640need a resolution January 1, 2017 that concerns losing weight and getting in shape. What if you could begin the New Year with your focus on achieving your lifelong dreams, instead of avoiding the cookies?

That, my friends, is empowering!

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”
― Plutarch

September’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

Less Is More. I’m not referring to how much we eat or the calorie count of a particular food. This month’s habit applies to choosing foods that have had the least amount of processing done to them. The fewer “hands” that have touched the food, the better. And, no, I am not referring to the loving hands that pack a lunch. 🙂

orange-164985_640

One of the easiest examples is this: the orange. Someone picks the orange off the tree and it is shipped to your local store. It contains natural vitamins A & C, calcium, potassium, carbohydrates in the form of sugar and fiber, and even some protein.

Now, let’s take a look at orange juice. Someone picks the oranges; they are shipped to the juice manufacturer; the juice is extracted and stored; since the natural goodness is lost during this lengthy process, the juice is fortified with vitamins and minerals, excess sugar is added, (often as much as in a soda), and preservatives. It is bottled and shipped to your local grocery store.

Orange versus orange juice. The less-handled, less-traveled product wins the prize as the best choice when practicing healthier habits. Less is more. less-is-more-791109_640

Other ideas: choose the baked potato over fries (okay, that one is pretty obvious and I couldn’t resist); apple wins over applesauce; zucchini over zucchini bread; whole oats over packaged cereal. You get the idea. Less is more because the food in its most natural state offers the highest nutritional and health benefits. Simple. Practice choosing whole foods whenever you can.

We are in the home stretch before the holiday season marathon kicks in. The Habit of the Month ideas to date are:

*Drink your water
*Eat slowly and stop at 80% full
*Only eat it if it’s AMAZING
*Make extra for leftovers
*Include protein for breakfast
*Get Moving (start with 5 minutes)
*Breathe
*Add an extra vegetable to your day                   healthy-food-1348430_640

Maybe you have them all mastered. Maybe you are still working on getting one of them to stick. Wherever you are, recommit today to keep practicing. Be patient. Mastering one habit at a time creates a healthy lifestyle.

“Don’t eat less. Eat right.” ~Author unknown

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, Send me an email today!  We will schedule your one-hour “Find Your Inner Compass” Discovery Session. There is no charge for this service and it has the power to change your life.

August’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

I love this month’s habit because local produce is abundant and everything looks and tastes so fresh. What better month than August to add one more vegetable to your day?2016-08-05 09.29.09

Most of us, author of this blog included, do not eat enough vegetables in the course of a week. It takes practice to even consider grabbing celery with hummus instead of chips. The idea of eating 8-12 servings of vegetables and fruits each day is a bit of a stretch. How to improve on this? One day at a time.

This month, practice eating one more vegetable each day than you typically would. Maybe you like eggs for breakfast and you eat them plain. Try stir-frying some chopped sweet peppers or mushrooms in your coconut oil for about 5 minutes, and then add your eggs. Whether you scramble them or make an omelet, you have snuck in that vegetable.

Other ideas: have a mixed green, spinach or kale salad for a snack; add celery sticks with nut butter to your lunch; have an avocado or salsa with your egg; add greens or avocado to your protein smoothie; make “spaghetti” from summer squash; tomatoes are easy to slice, in season, and add great color to any plate.chicken-825232_640

What does one serving look like? One serving equals ½ cup raw/cooked vegetables or 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables. (For reference, one serving of fruit is one medium-sized fruit or ½ cup raw fruit.)

If you are interested in fat loss, eat about five vegetables for every one fruit. If you are interested in muscle gain and/or performance enhancement, the ratio of vegetables to fruit can be more like three vegetables for every one fruit. *                woman-36446_640

This process will get easier and feel more natural over time. Honest—I eat more vegetables than I used to simply because I have the awareness of this practice. When it is EASY to eat one more vegetable a day, go for two more a day. Before you know it, you will be addicted to vegetables!

When you come up with new and exciting ways to eat your vegetables, let my Inkwell Healthy Lifestyles Facebook community know. We are all in this together, so let’s have some FUN!

“The easiest diet is, you know, eat vegetables, eat fresh food. Just a really sensible healthy diet like you read about all the time.”  ~Drew Carey

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! 

*Reference: The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition 2nd Edition, by Dr. John Berardi and Ryan Andrews