Crown Point, IN

September 28, 2023

Why You Can’t Stop Eating Junk Food

“Who ate all these chips?!” You look around and, alas, not even a dog to blame. Oops. It’s not your fault.  If you’ve had this experience—r

September 21, 2023

Harvesting the Balance of Autumn

September 23rd ushers in the autumn equinox, a time when day and night are in perfect balance. It also opens the official season of cozy sweaters, pum

September 14, 2023

More Brain-Boosting Foods

Last week I shared a list of brain-boosting foods with the promise of more to come. Here are some additional foods that you may choose to include in y

September 7, 2023

Ten Brain-Boosting Foods

Thank you for the many recommendations of farm stands with tasty corn on the cob. Mr. Non-Compliant happened to be in the vicinity of VanDerGriends Fa

August 31, 2023

Mr. Non-Compliant’s Unwavering Passion for…Corn

Mr. Non-Compliant LOVES corn on the cob. Since the corn season is rather brief, I do my best to oblige him with this indulgence. And as my dear cousin

August 24, 2023

Tips for a Sluggish Thyroid

Lately, I’ve been getting lots of questions about the little gland known as the thyroid. It seems to be underperforming for many of you. Hypothyroid

August 17, 2023

Healthy Anytime Toast

Since my encounter with bar food last week, I’ve been focused on eating more plants. I came across this idea to enjoy “toast” and get more veggi

August 10, 2023

Confessions from The Antler

What does one eat when in a bar? Bar food, of course. The bar options: The Brown Bear vs. The Antler: Horniest Bar Around (There were deer heads with

August 3, 2023

6 Ways to Enjoy a Staycation at Home

August. Already. Is summer slipping by too quickly? Feel as though you’ve not experienced enough lazy days? Can’t manage to get away for one reaso

July 26, 2023

The Wonder of Apricots

When I think about the abundant fruits of summer, apricots make the list. Although some of you may not be fans, I ask that you consider giving this da

The Importance of Rituals

There are days when everything just feels BLAH. I don’t really feel like doing much of anything, and I don’t even know what to do first.

It’s not that I don’t have plenty to keep me busy.

Could the weather have something to do with it? Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep. Perhaps I’m trying to do too much.

Am I striking a familiar chord with any of you? 

We all have days.

This is where rituals come into play. They’re important. They help us stay grounded. They’re what we rely on when everything feels discombobulated. (Yes, it’s a real word.)

Rituals: an act or series of acts done in a particular situation and in the same way each time.

Rituals are the autopilot of life that can get us through a day.  

Like steppingstones across a fast-moving river. If we want to get to the other side, we had better look for those stones.

Perhaps you have a morning ritual. You wake up, head to the bathroom, brush your teeth, make the coffee…

The day goes on. You head to work, make the necessary calls, are courteous to others, say “thank you,” have dinner with your family, conclude the day with your bedtime ritual.

Those things we just do because they’re the right thing to do, no matter how we feel.


Consider your daily rituals. Are there any that you’d like to change or improve upon?

Maybe it’s time to revamp some of them because circumstances have changed.

Are you a recent empty nester? Is your youngest child in school all day—finally? Is your work satisfying?

Various life situations can push us to come up with different rituals in order to improve the quality of our lives.

I have a good friend who found herself feeling a bit depressed. Her children are grown and gone. She needed to find a new purpose for her life. She found a job. She has a new reason to get moving. She’s happier.

Sometimes we simply need to spend a few quiet moments to consider our day-to-day activities.

We can easily fill our days with busyness, and not feel as though we’re accomplishing anything worthwhile.

And sometimes we just feel BLAH because we need more sleep and sunshine. 

If many of your days are discombobulated, perhaps you could stand to update some of your rituals.

As a coach, I can help you find the clarity necessary to make a small, yet significant, update.

Send me an email and we’ll figure it out together.

You’ll even enjoy the process.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

 “There is a comfort in rituals, and rituals provide a framework for stability when you are trying to find answers.”—Deborah Norville

4 Tips to Gain Some Control of Your Life

As we approach the holidays and see Christmas decorations showing up in store aisles before Halloween, it can make us a bit, well, CRAZED.

How does this happen? Where do the days, months, years disappear to? 

Maybe it’s just me. I highly doubt it. It’s true what my dad told me years ago. The older I get, the faster the years seem to fly by.

My dad was a very smart man.

A word of truth to all of you who are control people: There’s not much that we can really control in life. (I’m only the messenger, so please don’t delete me from your Inbox.)

With that being said, there are some things we CAN control that will help us feel more at peace, even on the craziest of days.

These are simple. The key is remembering how to spend your time and energy.

4 Tips to Gain Some Control of Your Life

  1. Focus on what you CAN control. It might help to make a list so that you can refer to it on really challenging days. For instance, you can decide your mindset for the day, how you’ll best utilize foods that are available to you, how much you’ll move your body (even if you have limitations), when you’ll begin your sleep ritual so that you get a good night’s rest, the relationships you’ll nurture and those that you’ll release.
  2. When you don’t know what to do, do the next right thing. What can you do that takes 5-10 minutes that will help you move forward in your day? Perhaps you can write a quick note to a friend who could use some cheer, meditate or pray, wash the dishes from the last meal, take a walk around the block, read a few pages of a very good book, fill up your water container and take a drink, make a salad for later. Doing a quick and easy activity starts the momentum when you feel stuck.
  3. When things go way off track, give yourself permission to start over and let the guilt go. Life isn’t perfect for anybody, even though social media may lead us to believe a different story. Whether it was the pizza, chips, or disagreement with a coworker that brought you down, consider what pushed you to that point, then move on. Forgive, and go back to tip #2. Do the next right thing.
  4. Take some slow, deep breaths. When we get stressed, our breathing gets shallow, or we may even forget to breathe. Paying attention to our breath and exhaling slowly tells our brain that we are safe. We reduce the stress and anxiety that we are feeling.

Something else to keep in mind. I know many people that are grieving loss, battling illness, nervous about world affairs, and much, much more. 

As we take on a spirit of loving kindness, we help others feel better, whatever their circumstances.

People will wonder what you are up to. Keep them guessing.

Remember, you have control over your mindset.

Much love to you,
Health Coach Carol

P.S. Need coaching around this topic? Would you like to create a plan that sends you into 2023 with some well-established fitness habits? Let’s do this together!

“Let go of the need to control. Trust in the wisdom of a divine plan.”— Cheryl Richardson

5 Fall Health Tips and Nature Journaling

As the weather cools a bit, the pace of our days tends to shift. Maybe not slower, but different.

Different means a change in wardrobe, activities, chores, comfort foods, exercise, priorities.

There’s much to do, and daylight is lessening.

Fall makes me want to stay home, go hiking, roast marshmallows, wear cozy sweaters, drink hot tea in the afternoon. 

Here are 5 tips to help you stay healthy and happy as we move into a quieter time in Nature.

  1. Dust off your crock-pot or instant pot and scout out a couple of recipes that are simple and abundant in veggies. Remember to use bone broth as a base, either homemade or store-bought. You’ll get more protein and health benefits.
  2. Enjoy some outdoor time doing things that make you happy. Hike the Dunes, go for a bike ride, sit fireside with good friends, take a walk around the block, visit a park and sit on a swing. Depending on your age, you could try the merry-go-round, but that can be a bit scary. (How did I not kill myself on that thing when I was a kid?)
  3. Stay hydrated. Many people remember to drink plenty of water in the summer, then neglect this healthy habit with cooler weather. If you’re feeling “off,” it could be dehydration. About half your weight in ounces is a good foundation for your water requirement. Adjust accordingly. If this is a challenge, get a fun container to help you keep track. Make a game out of it with those you live with. Water is necessary in every season to help you stay healthy.
  4. Beware of sugar intake and overload. It starts pre-Halloween and continues into the New Year. Nip it in the bud now, before it’s a problem that equates to increased illness, increased weight, increased blood sugar. Moderation in all things except for maybe vegetables. I’ve not heard of anyone overdosing on vegetables.
  5. Reprioritize your “To Do List” if necessary. I love summer and neglect many indoor projects to play outside. Now my priorities shift to getting stuff done. It may be time to clean out your fridge/freezer/pantry and stock it with staples that are better suited for seasonal cooking. Wardrobes sometimes need a clearing. Perhaps you can lessen some extracurricular activities and simplify your life a bit.

Nature Journaling

 Nature journaling is a great way to connect with the natural habitats near where you live. It’s the process of sketching, painting, and writing about natural subjects that you encounter while exploring the outdoors.

The neat thing about nature journaling is that it can be whatever you’d like it to be. There’s no wrong way to do it.

You can take a break from your hike, walk, or bike ride, and make notes or sketch something that catches your eye. 

The only equipment you need is a journal of some sort, and a pen or pencil. There’s usually a good selection of reasonably priced journals at stores like T.J. Maxx or Marshalls. Your supplies can include colored pencils and more sophisticated pens if you feel so inclined.

Remember, no rules. And don’t even try to make it perfect.

Need help with your fall priorities? I’m here for you.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!”—Rainbow Rowell

Even Mr. Non-Compliant Eats These

I discovered these crackers that are free of many ingredients that people may be sensitive to.

Made by Simple Mills, Organic Seed Flour Crackers are so good, even Mr. Non-Compliant (my hubby) finds them delicious and addictive.

They are gluten free, corn free, grain free, Paleo-friendly, and vegan.

Besides being tasty, the seed flour blend of sunflower, pumpkin, and flax, provides protein, fiber, and antioxidants.

These crackers make a healthy snack and go well with hummus or cheese.

This brand offers a variety of cookies, crackers, and mixes (muffin, brownie, pancake, etc.) made with simple, easy-to-pronounce, real, purposeful ingredients. 

Nothing artificial.

Part of their mission statement: “Clean, nutritious foods, for a greater life. It’s that simple.”

I’ve found Simple Mills products in local grocery stores, health food stores, Vitacost website, and the Simple Mills website.

It’s important to have healthy, tasty snacks available for those times when the snack monster appears. Being prepared is key.

My complaint: the box isn’t big enough. The crackers disappear quickly, especially when Mr. NC finds the box in the pantry.

Root Vegetables

‘Tis the season for root vegetables. Potatoes, carrots, beets, and onions, to name a few, are the stars of autumn.

They are delicious roasted, as well as in soups, stews, and as accompaniments to a variety of roasts. 

Mr. Non-Compliant is a fan of roasted root vegetables—with the exception of beets.

We have a deal. I won’t make him eat beets, and we both avoid cauliflower.

There are plenty of vegetables to choose from, and we don’t have to like them all.

If you’d like to learn more about root vegetables, here is the link to an article that I recently wrote for Get Healthy. You’ll find a simple recipe too. Root Vegetables

Sending love,
Health Coach Carol

Q. Why was Frosty standing in front of the carrots in the grocery store?
A. He was picking his nose.

Thanks for the laughter, Michelle.