1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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August 18, 2022

Mr. Non-Compliant vs. Mr. Corn

It’s that time of year when my dear cousin, Roger, aka Mr. Corn, and his wife Barb, come to Indiana for a visit. They now live in Florida, where swe

August 11, 2022

An Herb that Helps Reduce Anxiety, Induce Sleep, and More

I find it fascinating when one single food, or in this case, an herb, can contribute so much to our health. Cilantro is one such herb. While it’s no

August 4, 2022

Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day may inspire some baking… While preparations have begun for those going back to school, there’s still lots of su

July 28, 2022

A Summer Meal with a Kick

While many of us would like to add more vegetables to our diet, it can be challenging to come up with new ideas. Discovering main dishes that are vege

July 27, 2022

Spicy Mushroom Tacos

These vegan tacos have a kick, so if you’re not a fan of spicy foods, cut back on the cayenne or omit.  Serves 4 Ingredients 1 lb. mixed mushrooms

July 21, 2022

Are They Eggs or Just Eggs?

In an effort to help those who are allergic or choose not to eat chicken eggs, this blog’s for you. And if you love chicken eggs, biscuits and gravy

July 13, 2022

Lipstick on a Pig

For any of my new blog followers, cauliflower is one of the few vegetables that I’m not fond of.  I’ve tried it all sorts of ways. Readers have s

July 13, 2022

Super Simple Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

After rinsing the head of cauliflower, cut it into florets, remove the thick stem portions, and slice it very thin. Arrange in a single layer on a sto

July 7, 2022

Vidalia Onions, Salsa, and Qigong

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s still possible to find Vidalia onions in local stores. I’m not sure how long they will last, so now is the tim

June 30, 2022

Navigating the Holiday Weekend Deliciously

Happy almost 4th of July weekend! The celebrations are about to begin. Parades, barbecues, picnics, watermelon, fireworks, adult beverages, and probab

Holiday Survival Tip: Christmas Cookies vs. Exercise

‘Tis the season of amazing Christmas cookies and so much more. 

What’s your mindset these days?

A. It’s the holidays so I’ll eat whatever I want and deal with it next year.
B. It’s the holidays so I’ll eat whatever I want and spend more time exercising.
C. It’s the holidays so I’ll starve all day to save up for the party food/drinks.
D. It’s the holidays and I’m losing my mind because I’m so stressed out.
E. It’s the holidays and I’m trying my best to not eat too many treats and I’m doing ok.
F. None or ALL of the above or some other combination, depending on the day.

Whatever description best fits you, here’s a fresh idea.

What if you took the focus OFF the food and focused on adding some extra movement into your day?

I think that sometimes we get so caught up thinking about not eating too much of something, we get obsessed with it.   

It happened to me the other day. I’d eaten a satisfying meal rather early in the evening, and then started thinking about popcorn.

Probably because when my family was visiting during the Thanksgiving holiday, we watched a movie and ate some really tasty popcorn—right after dinner.

It was very fun.

So, there I was, on my own, wanting that popcorn.

I kept talking myself out of it, then back into it, until I finally made the stuff.

The good news: I only made a small batch, and I was happy. Done.

Funny thing was that I had plenty to keep me busy, so I wasn’t bored. I just got it in my head that I wanted popcorn and it wasn’t going to go away. However, I was feeling a bit hungry by then… (justification of my actions by the food police.)

That’s what I mean about getting overly obsessed about a food. It could be anything.

If you recall, last week my friend had an encounter with some gingerbread men—12 of them. (But they were small.)

Here’s an alternative to focusing on food.

Get Moving.

Maybe you are already in a good place with walking or running or hitting the gym or something, anything.

Or maybe you’re not.

Whichever it is, focus on sticking with your exercise routine or start walking—even a little bit. (Can you do 5 minutes 3x a week to start?) 

And not with the mindset to burn calories and lose weight. This thought process isn’t productive. There are studies that prove it.

Think of your chosen exercise as something to help you:

  • Increase strength
  • Boost confidence
  • Relieve stress
  • Improve your mood
  • Increase your energy
  • Improve blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood lipids
  • Enhance movement skills, balance, and endurance

The time you invest in starting or continuing your exercise habit is well worth it. Just 15 minutes of medium-intensity exercise can lead to immediate improvements in mood and working memory.

 (Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.)

And speaking of cookies…

Saturday’s Amazing Cookie Bake was a hit and my Christmas tree spritz cookies turned out actually looking like trees this year. 

And yes, they taste amazing.

Last year I had a broken cookie press, so instead of trees I had ornaments. (Round blobs of dough that I named “ornaments.”)

If you’d like help adjusting your current mindset around food and/or exercise, shoot me an email and we’ll work it out. There’s no time like the present.

Merry about 2 weeks away from Christmas,
Health Coach Carol

“When it comes to health and well-being, regular exercise is about as close to a magic potion as you can get.” Tich Nhat Hanh

She Fell for the Gingerbread Men and Last Call for the Cookie Bake

December. Holidays. Parties. Gifts. Puppies.

The commercials and ads portray this as a wonderful, gleeful, joyous time of year. And it is, for a much different set of reasons than the marketing people make it out to be.

At the same time, some real-life stuff brings sadness, stress, loneliness, anxiety. And a bundle of not so happy emotions.

Holiday blues can lead down a path of emotional eating.

Hang with me here. This gets better. I’m really not trying to be a December Debbie Downer. My hope is to bring a bit of comfort to those of you who may be dealing with this month’s real-life tough stuff and the eating binge that sometimes happens.

Like it did to my friend. Three of her friends have passed away in the last month. She’s grieving.

We’ve been working together as she gets healthier, loses weight, and feels really good in her body.

She’s doing the work and accomplishing her goals. Cheers and applause!

The bottom fell out this week when she lost her third friend and discovered the little gingerbread men cookies at the store.

The gingerbread men called to her, managed to somehow jump into her buggy, and make it into her home. 

In a moment of total grief and hopelessness, she opened the bag. She began by eating only 6 of them. (“They’re very small,” she told me.)

She then ate 6 more. According to her, they were AMAZING! (I’m so proud of her for following my rule of only eating what’s amazing.)

She had been craving the warm comforting spices of nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, and ginger, along with the richness of molasses. She honored her craving with a food that brought her comfort, perhaps linked to a happy childhood memory.

Then, she texted me to let me know what had happened, when she finally woke up from her sugar-induced nap.

There are times when this happens to everyone—even the cleanest eating personal trainers and coaches on the planet.

Some of their favorite things: donuts, Oreos, wine, bread. Oh, and ice cream.

I told my friend to let it go, and hide the remaining “bad boys” in the back of the pantry. And eat some vegetables with your next meal.

Today, she has no desire for those little guys. She’s done.

Not only that, she noticed how she feels when she is on sugar overload vs. when she eats nutrient dense foods, like turkey and salad.

Sometimes we have to go off the rails to realize that we actually feel so much better when we don’t.

The gingerbread men accomplished what nothing else could have in those moments. We laughed about how they had seduced her into eating them, one right after another, after another…. The laughter helped relieve her grief. Interesting how we find healing. (There’s a picture of one of them, lurking in the shadows.)

I’ll be touching on topics like this as well as other holiday food challenges during our Zoom cookie bake this Saturday. 

Gingerbread men, anyone?

The Amazing Cookie Bake with Health Coach Carol

I’m baking cookies this Saturday December 4, and I’d love for you to join me! Through the magic of ZOOM, we are all gathering to bake and socialize and have a darn good time.

Now, I know lots of you are sick of zooming. However, this is a very interactive experience and when we’re done, you’ll have a batch of cookies baked and you won’t have to keep wondering when in the world you’re going to find time to do THAT!

AND, if you don’t have cookies for Santa, he may not show. Do you want to risk it?

The Particulars

 WHAT: The Amazing Cookie Bake with Health Coach Carol

 WHERE: ZOOM, so you’re in your own kitchen, and yet we’re together

WHEN: Saturday, December 4, 2021 from 10:00am to 11:30am CST

HOW: You gather the ingredients you need to make whatever cookie you desire, and we all make cookies

WHY: Creating cookies from scratch is an act of love, and the world could use more love

COST: FREE

This will be similar to those cookie exchanges, except we make our very favorite—or try something new—and enjoy a special treat together. And you know my rule, only eat it if it’s AMAZING!

As a result, what may on first glance appear counterintuitive to our health, is not. 

While the cookies are baking, I’ll be coaching you on various aspects of health. We learn from one another and share lots of laughs.

To join in the fun, be sure to email me prior to Saturday, December 4 to save your spot. I’ll then email you the event Zoom link, along with any special instructions.

Sending love,
Health Coach Carol

“Today, me will live in the moment, unless it is unpleasant. In which case me will eat a cookie.”–Cookie Monster

Last Minute Shopping

As hard as I tried, and as much as I planned, I still ended up at two grocery stores the morning before Thanksgiving.

Even the best made plans…

There had been a run on a few of my favorite items in the past several weeks, so I had to try some alternative stores, as well as get creative with a recipe.

I refuse to let some bare shelves get the best of me and my Thanksgiving preparations. 

No bah humbug here. Oh, wait, that’s a Christmas saying. Oh well, that’ll be here soon enough.

At any rate, thank you for reading my blog posts, giving me feedback, and sharing some of my ideas with your friends.

I appreciate you!

Even though it’s Thanksgiving, and I’m spending lots of time in the kitchen, I’m excited about our cookie bake coming up in December.

I’ll continue to post the details this week and next, in case you lose an email and want to participate.

The more the merrier!

I haven’t decided what kind of cookie I’ll be baking yet. If I asked Mr. Non-Compliant, he’d tell me chocolate chip. “Is there any other kind?” He’s pretty predictable.

The Amazing Cookie Bake with Health Coach Carol

I’m baking cookies Saturday December 4, and I’d love for you to join me! Through the magic of ZOOM, we are all gathering to bake and socialize and have a darn good time.

We’ll only mute when the mixers are mixing. It can get loud. We learned that last year. The rest of the time we’ll be enjoying casual chit chat.

Now, I know lots of you are sick of zooming. However, this is a very interactive experience and when we’re done, you’ll have a batch of cookies baked and you won’t have to keep wondering when in the world you’re going to find time to do THAT!

AND, if you don’t have cookies for Santa, he may not show. Do you want to risk it? 

The Particulars

 WHAT: The Amazing Cookie Bake with Health Coach Carol

 WHERE: ZOOM, so you’re in your own kitchen, and yet we’re together

WHEN: Saturday, December 4, 2021 from 10:00am to 11:30am CST

HOW: You gather the ingredients you need to make whatever cookie you desire, and we all make cookies

WHY: Creating cookies from scratch is an act of love, and the world could use more love

COST: FREE

This will be similar to those cookie exchanges, except we make our very favorite—or try something new—and enjoy a special treat together. And you know my rule, only eat it if it’s AMAZING!

As a result, what may on first glance appear counterintuitive to our health, is not. 

While the cookies are baking, I’ll be coaching you on various aspects of health. We learn from one another and share lots of laughs.

To join in the fun, be sure to email me prior to Saturday, December 4 to save your spot. I’ll then email you the event Zoom link, along with any special instructions.

Wishing you the best Thanksgiving!

Gobble gobble,
Health Coach Carol

“Thankfulness is the quickest path to joy.”—Jefferson Bethke

5 Tips to be Buffet Savvy

It’s that time of year. Buffets and holiday gatherings abound, and they’re all centered around delicious food and drink.

LOTS of food.

The setting can cause anxiety for some. What will I eat when there is SO much? How do I get through this without gaining weight?

HELP!

Never fear, Health Coach Carol is here, with some tips for your healthy holiday toolkit as you celebrate with loved ones and friends, as well as acquaintances. 

Tip #1

As you gaze over the massive amounts of delectable foods, zero in on your favorites. You know what they are. Begin with small helpings of those, knowing you can have more if need be.

Tip #2

Begin by eating your protein. You’ll be laying down a great foundation for whatever shows up in the upcoming bites. Eat slowly and enjoy each flavorful food. If it looks better than it tastes, you have my permission to not clean your plate.

Tip #3

Skip the bread or rolls. Really? You can have bread anytime. It takes up too much space. How often do you get to have savory stuffing or real cranberries? And then, what about…

Tip #4

…dessert? Maybe it’s pie or some other sweet treat. If sweets are your thing, be sure to save a pocket of space in your stomach to have a taste. More than one dessert that you simply MUST try? Go for it. Key word here is “try.” A little dab’ll do ya.

Tip #5

Make your time with family and friends the priority, because it is. Bask in the love of those around you and feel grateful. The food is what brings people together, but it’s not the main thing. When you keep this in mind, you won’t leave the table overserved, needing to loosen your belt.

The Amazing Cookie Bake with Health Coach Carol

I’m baking cookies Saturday December 4, and I’d love for you to join me! Through the magic of ZOOM, we are all gathering to bake and socialize and have a darn good time.

We’ll only mute when the mixers are mixing. It can get loud. We learned that last year. The rest of the time we’ll be enjoying casual chit chat.

Now, I know lots of you are sick of zooming. However, this is a very interactive experience and when we’re done, you’ll have a batch of cookies baked and you won’t have to keep wondering when in the world you’re going to find time to do THAT!

AND, if you don’t have cookies for Santa, he may not show. Do you want to risk it? 

The Particulars

WHAT: The Amazing Cookie Bake with Health Coach Carol

WHERE: ZOOM, so you’re in your own kitchen, and yet we’re together

WHEN: Saturday, December 4, 2021 from 10:00am to 11:30am CST

HOW: You gather the ingredients you need to make whatever cookie you desire, and we all make cookies

WHY: Creating cookies from scratch is an act of love, and the world could use more love

COST: FREE

This will be similar to those cookie exchanges, except we make our very favorite—or try something new—and enjoy a special treat together. And you know my rule, only eat it if it’s AMAZING!

As a result, what may on first glance appear counterintuitive to our health, is not. 

While the cookies are baking, I’ll be coaching you on various aspects of health. We learn from one another and share lots of laughs.

To join in the fun, be sure to email me prior to Saturday, December 4 to save your spot. I’ll then email you the event Zoom link, along with any special instructions.

Enjoy this pre-Thanksgiving week!

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“The only thing standing between me and a donut is you.”—Mr. Non-Compliant at church on donut Sunday