1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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October 21, 2021

The “No Diet” Approach to Health

As promised last week, I’ll present the last 5 principles of Intuitive Eating. In review, the first five are: Reject the Diet Mentality Honor Your H

October 14, 2021

Diets vs. Intuitive Eating

Diet: a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight; to eat sparingly or according to prescribed rules. (Merriam-Webs

October 7, 2021

This Weather is Making Me Tired

Some of us haven’t seen the sun in…well, days. There’s been so much rain that I’ve been looking around town to see if anyone is building an ar

September 30, 2021

Knocking Excuses Down for the Loss

If you’ve been reading my blog for the past year, you probably recall the weekly countdown to the birth of baby Angelos. We followed his size in the

September 23, 2021

Have Fun While Staying the Course

Yes, it truly is possible to do both. Many believe it’s an EITHER, OR situation. This past week I received the following text: “Down 1 pound 🙂

September 16, 2021

Celebrate September with Food

Now that we’ve gotten past the almost official end of summer, Labor Day weekend, thoughts of pumpkins and turkeys begin to dance in our heads. Not.

September 9, 2021

Pinky, the Ice Cream Truck

Last Sunday I was outside and heard the familiar sound of an ice cream truck in the neighborhood. I hadn’t seen one of these in…well, quite a long

September 2, 2021

Delicious Memories and a Recipe

I recently received a head of green cabbage as a gift. Now, I’m not one to buy cabbage, although I like it on occasion. Roasting it seemed like a go

August 26, 2021

Love Chocolate

The good news is that chocolate is actually healthy for us. The bad news is that we must be selective in the quality of chocolate we choose in order f

August 23, 2021

Chocolate Nut Clusters

1 cup bittersweet (at least 70% cacao) chocolate, chopped or wafers 1 cup raw almonds                                           

Creating Space…in Your Refrigerator, Freezer, Life

Lately I’ve noticed that I have the need for more space—physically, mentally, digitally, and when it comes to my schedule.

And no, I do not want a larger house.

Recalling last week’s blog, I mentioned that our lives change when our habits change.

The simplest way to change who we are, is to change what we do. The behaviors we choose to do day in and day out, reinforce our identity.   

Rather than focusing on the habit, try focusing on the type of person you’re looking to become.

I’m taking on the identity of a space creator. As I create space, I have more free time to do what I love in surroundings that bring me peace and contentment. How lovely.

Living into this ideal is a better process than telling myself that I’ll make the time to clean out the refrigerator or figure out what “To Do’s” I must include in my day. That thinking doesn’t sit well with me, nor has it worked in the past.

I need a fresh perspective. I prefer to think of myself as a space creator.

In order to be successful, I also need a system.

My system looks like this:

I have a block of time in the morning, anywhere from 15-30 minutes, that I typically fritter away. I don’t even know what happens, except that I don’t accomplish anything measurable.

My ONE habit I’m implementing is to spend that small block of time CREATING SPACE, because that’s what space creators do. I know that I must do this in the morning, or it won’t happen. Immediately after breakfast is a good time to add it to my routine. I ALWAYS eat breakfast, so the success rate is high.

The commitment to spend 15-30 minutes feels right for this habit. The fun part is that I GET to CHOOSE where I create the space.

Yesterday I created space in the refrigerator. It was the day before garbage pickup day, so it was perfect. I spent about 30 minutes dumping out all those pesky little containers that were left from the early Covid days of carrying in some meals.

Those little containers went, along with some other ancient items that looked like a science experiment. Scary.

I have SO MUCH SPACE now, that it makes putting together my grocery list a breeze. This is one way I create mental space. Less time thinking about what I have/need.  

Today I put some books that I am not currently using, and need to keep, in a banker’s box that is labelled with the contents. More desk space, less stuff to distract me, and I know where they are when I need them. What a concept.

It’s the small things we do each day that create our identity. This small thing suits me. On my near future hit list: the freezer and pantry. Even one shelf at a time is awesome!

When I feel the need for more mental space, I may simply sit and breathe.

FUN OFFER: Take a guess at what was in any container that I tossed out and send me an email. If you’re correct, I’ll gift you with a 50-minute coaching call and help you get clear around that ONE habit you’d like to take on in order to create your new identity. Hint: we ordered Italian, salads, and even breakfast!

Spaciously yours,
Carol

“When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running.”
― James Clear, “Atomic Habits”

Standing in the Doorway of September

We’re standing in the doorway of September. Summer days still linger, yet autumn is inching its way into our lives—and wardrobes.

It’s one more variable we can add to our current list. (Don’t we have enough of them?)

When my oldest son was a senior in high school, I attended a meeting for parents at the beginning of the school year. He attended an all-boys school, so maybe the following sentiment isn’t true for girls.

What I learned from the speaker was that NO ONE, not the teachers, nor us parents, could stand to be around them at that point in their lives. They were in the doorway between adolescence and adulthood. What a revelation.

They had the desire to be out of the nest, yet they weren’t quite ready. It was a challenging time.

We’re standing in the doorway of September.

Some days I’m extremely focused and productive. There are other days when I just feel like taking a long nap. And there are the days somewhere in between. Can you relate?   

Here’s an idea to help with the transition. Practice the implementation of ONE new habit that will bring about a desirable change in your life.

Our lives change when our habits change. September is a great time for new beginnings—better than a New Year’s resolution.

Who are you becoming? What would that person do on a consistent basis?

Let’s say you’d like to get more exercise. Instead of focusing on getting more exercise, focus on living as a fit person.

What would a fit person do? A fit person makes exercise a regular habit and a priority.

Next, look at your calendar and write in the WHEN and the WHAT. Maybe it’s a 15-minute walk 3x a week to start. When that becomes a habit that you don’t need to think about, increase the time and/or frequency.

This same process works for ANYTHING that you have the desire to do. BE THAT PERSON TODAY by living differently and consistently.

This shift in your thinking will help ease the discomfort of standing in the doorway. Before you know it, you’ll be standing firmly in autumn leaves.

AND you’ll have a 4-month head start on all those folks who will WAIT to begin their new thing and be THAT person January 1, 2021.    

FUN OFFER: I harvested a batch of tomatoes from my garden this morning. Take a guess at what recipe I made with them and send me an email. If you’re correct, I’ll gift you with a 50-minute coaching call and help you get clear around that ONE habit you’d like to take on. Hint: I wrote a blog about it and did a Facebook live too!

Much love,
Carol

“Some people spend their entire lives waiting for the time to be right to make an improvement.” ― James Clear, “Atomic Habits”

Sometimes I Eat My Feelings

Yes, you read that correctly. Sometimes I eat my feelings. How about you?

We feel sad, so we eat food that soothes us. We feel like celebrating, so we eat food that delights us. We are bored or lonely, so we eat chips.

Sometimes a glass of wine pairs up with the food and we consume a nice neat package of emotions that leaves us feeling…

…a bit guilt-ridden?

We eat our feelings.   

Why, just this week Mr. Non-Compliant walked in the door after a very full day and exclaimed, “I deserve a bowl of ice cream!”

He had experienced an extremely busy day and felt that he deserved a reward.

I had some too, so that he wouldn’t have to eat alone. Frankly, we both felt like eating ice cream, so we did.

There were no sad or bad feelings, although I’m sure he was tired.

We are masters at justifying our reasons for eating. Instead of looking for ways to excuse our behavior, what if we MANAGED our eating habits?

Even when we’re emotionally wrecked.

Here’s an experiment for you to try. Next time you hear yourself justifying why you need to eat the ________________, consider how you feel. Are you happy, sad, bored, or hungry?

Becoming aware of your emotions—becoming conscious of your relationship with food–leads to better management.

It may not change anything at first. Managing your emotions and food takes practice.  

There are times when we’re going to drown our sorrows by eating the cake. I don’t mean a modest piece of amazing cake; I mean an ENTIRE cake that’s not even that good.

There’s a difference. Management.   

The more you are in tune with the behaviors that are not serving you, the better equipped you are to make healthier choices.

Honor where you are in the moment. Sometimes eating your feelings is the answer. Maybe you can get away with one piece of cake, instead of the entire thing.

And let the guilt go.

Much love,
Carol 

P.S. Some of you have made tomato pie, and I applaud you for trying something new! If you missed my Facebook live with recipe tips, you can see it on my Inkwell Healthy Lifestyles FB page. 

“It’s not what you eat, it’s how you feel when you eat it.”—Abraham Hicks

Carob Brownies

(This recipe first appeared in the August 2020 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.)

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour                                        
  • 1/2 cup roasted carob powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar to sprinkle on baked brownies (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Grease an 8×8 pan.
  3. Place dry ingredients (minus the sugar) in a bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
  4. In another large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar and cream the mixture until fluffy and white. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
  5. Add dry ingredients and nuts (optional.) Beat just until wet and dry ingredients are combined. Scrape brownie mixture into prepared baking pan. (If you make a double batch, divide the mixture evenly between two pans for best results.)
  6. For a metal pan bake for about 25 minutes at 350° F OR if using a glass pan bake about 35 minutes at 325° F. Check them for doneness 5 to 10 minutes before your timer beeps.
  7. Watch cooking times carefully. When a toothpick inserted into center of baking dish comes out clean brownies are done. Try not to over-bake as brownies are supposed to have a soft, chewy center.
  8. Cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting. When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional). Store in an airtight container.

Note: These have the taste and consistency of brownies made with cocoa. There are variations that lean to the healthier side that I’m happy to share if you wish to contact me. Reducing the sugar by about 10% is a good first step and will not affect consistency.