1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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July 29, 2021

Choose the Tastiest Cantaloupe, Every Time

I stumbled across some Tuscan-Style Extra Sweet Cantaloupes this week, and they certainly live up to their name. They are produced by Dulcinea Farms w

July 22, 2021

Mr. Corn Comes Home to Indiana

Here in Indiana, it’s corn season. The best and sweetest makes its appearance now through August. Along with the corn season came my cousin, Mr. Cor

July 15, 2021

Getting Creative with Blueberries

Welcome to blueberry season and all the deliciousness that comes with it. This fruit is very versatile, as it can be eaten fresh, frozen, added to a v

July 9, 2021

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

1 cup organic quinoa                                                                                2 cups...

July 7, 2021

What’s the Best Diet for You?

There are many options when it comes to eating: keto, paleo, vegan, low carb, intermittent fasting, and more. Which one is the best? I don’t endorse

July 1, 2021

A Simple Celebration Salad

Happy Independence Day and the kick-off to summer! Since there will probably be a few picnics and family gatherings happening at some point, I thought

June 24, 2021

Ever try butter on saltines?

I’d forgotten about this childhood treat until a friend of mine mentioned it. We’d gathered for an informal dinner, and the next thing I knew we w

June 17, 2021

Beware of the Buggy Bandit

This week, my client and I were enjoying a peaceful grocery shopping field trip at Whole Foods. We were in the produce department reviewing the list o

June 10, 2021

A Delicate Summer Surprise

Apricots are a hidden gem of a fruit. While the delicate little apricot is not even in the running of most popular fruits in the world, it has a speci

June 3, 2021

A Special Pasta Dish Just for You

I was fortunate to work with my friend, Chef Lynn and make this special recipe with her. She recreated it from her favorite dish at Popolano’s and l

Back to School, Back to Basics

When we break it down, practicing healthy habits is rather elementary. It can also seem rather complicated.

Since school is back in session, I figured it’s the perfect time to get back to basics. Here’s a simple review of the ABC’s of getting your weight, energy, and health, in check. And don’t get scared, there aren’t as many basics as there are letters of the alphabet.

My first basic for consideration: Are you drinking plenty of water? The usual response I hear is, “probably not.”    

Before you do anything crazy, really get your water intake to a level that works for your body. A good quantity to begin with is your weight divided by two, in ounces. Some days, you may need more.

Signs of dehydration include headache, fatigue, muscle cramps, and foggy thinking, just to name a few.

When you feel hungry, first have a glass of water, since sometimes you are really thirsty—or bored. Start your day by drinking one to two glasses of water, and always take your water when you leave home.

The next basic is to slow down your eating and savor the experience. Being aware of what and when you’re eating may be a wake-up call. (“Gee, did I really just eat the entire bag of chips? Oops.”)

Are you truly hungry? Is what you’re eating delighting your taste buds? Or are you wolfing down whatever is within reach?

Spend about 20 minutes eating your meals. If that seems like an eternity, add a couple minutes at a time until you reach the goal. Enjoy the food and the people you are sharing the meal with. If you typically eat alone, plan some meals during the week with a friend.   

Closing out today’s lesson with the reminder to move. A gym membership is not a requirement to do this. Consider activities that sound fun and are easy to accomplish, and go from there. Begin by doing something once or twice a week. When it works to increase that goal, go for it.

When we do something in life with intention and commitment, it’s a game changer—even if it seems simple.

Have fun playing your game.

Much love,
Carol

P.S. Need some help with your game? If you’re ready to be intentional and committed, let’s talk. Send me an email and we’ll get started.

“Most people fail not because of a lack of desire but because of a lack of commitment.”— Vince Lombardi

The All or None Syndrome

Ever experience Pause Button Mentality? Perhaps during the holidays, your birthday, after vacation, when work gets crazy, or kids go back to school?

Human beings tend to have this “all or none” attitude, so we usually end up with none—because, last I checked, life is not perfect.

We have the desire to do our best, so if it isn’t going to be our best, we want to start over, or give up entirely. It feels easier. This is actually the route to self-sabotage.

The Pause-Button Mentality only builds the skill of pausing.  

This is not about building willpower. It’s about building skills. How to get and stay fit under non-ideal real life conditions, which happens to be most of the time.

The game of life keeps going on and there is no pause button, no time-out. There is never going to be a time when things are magically easier.

When you hit the bump in the road of life that makes you want to pause, just say NO. Don’t turn off the food and fitness routine that gives you better energy, helps you avoid getting sick, relieves stress, and produces better sleep. Simply dial it down.

If 10 is you hitting all your workouts and eating pretty well, then go for 8, or 5. Even ONE is a courageous choice here. Dial it back up, as you are able. This helps you avoid mental beatings, which so many of us do extremely well.  

The same process holds true with food. Let’s say you go out with friends and REALLY enjoy an amazing burger, fries, and shake. Next meal, make a choice that includes more vegetables than the pickle or tomato you had on that burger—and omit the fried anything.

The mantra of the Balanced Warrior is “ALWAYS SOMETHING!”

Much love,
Carol

P.S. Plagued by a pause you can’t get past? I’m here to support you. Send me an email and we’ll start dialing it up again.

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”—Sean Patrick Flanery

Lessons from Nature, and Grounding

We must be moving into fall, as school supplies are in the sale ads. Didn’t summer vacation just get rolling?

As I look around, I see many of my lilies dying off, along with a handful of the summer annuals. While there are still many blooms around the house (and weeds), there is tiredness about them. I suppose if I fed them a bit of fertilizer, that would help.

Summer is the time to enjoy so much of Nature’s bounty: a multitude of fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers, available locally in most areas of North America.  

As children return to school and we move into fall, we feel the process of slowing down. Plants and animals begin preparing for the cold that will soon befall many of us. Squirrels start hiding those pesky acorns.

Winter brings hibernation and rest. Bears sleep, people in colder climates tend to hunker down and make soup, and plants are dormant. It’s tougher to get moving in the morning, at least in my house.

When spring finally arrives, the earth awakens and everything, and everyone, comes alive. It’s exciting to see tiny crocuses pop through the dirt, producing those first flowers of hope.

And so the cycle goes– over, and over, and over. The pattern of Nature offers stability and is a great teacher.

As the Earth cycles with the seasons, so do our lives.

Which season are you in today? What energy suits your present situation?

Although the seasons of life seem apparent, they are not necessarily age dependent. I know people in their 70’S+, who appear to be living summer year ’round. They are full of vibrancy and in full bloom, even when winter brings snow.

If you’re feeling a bit weary and disconnected from Mother Earth, here’s a tip: try grounding, or earthing. It’s easy, and even comfortable, this time of year.

All you have to do is take off your socks and shoes and stand on the earth: grass, stone, sand, or dirt work best. You can stand in one place, walk, or lay down.

Connecting directly with the earth helps reduce anxiety, stress, and offers healing in the form of boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and feeling good. About 30-40 minutes a day brings benefits.   

The energy of the Earth supports us. Think about how free and relaxed you feel when you are at the beach, sinking your toes into the warm sand. AAAHHHH.

Go live summer with your toes in the grass, and soak up the sunshine. These are the days we remember in the midst of deep winter.

Much love,
Carol

P.S. Looking to “live summer” year ’round no matter how old you are? What you eat plays a huge role. Send me an email if you’d like help sorting it out.

“Feeling rooted in the earth is soothing to the body, and it is our connection to the earth that gives us our most basic sense of belonging, home, resilience, and safety.” ― Jessica Moore

Creative, Easy, Grilling Ideas

Summer is for taking it easy, and that includes mealtime. Lately, Mr. Non-Compliant and I have been playing with food.

Our latest game: How much can we get on the grill so I don’t have to use the stove? Now, mind you, we have been using a small, portable grill, so this is quite a challenge.

You’ve already been given my recipe on making ANY kind of vegetable, potatoes, or combination: drizzle olive or avocado oil on a piece of foil large enough to wrap your veggies; sprinkle with the seasoning of your choice (love that Tajin!) and a pat of butter if you wish; close the foil, grill, and eat.  

Turns out, you can reheat rice, pasta, and pretty much anything, by oiling the foil, wrapping up the food, and tossing it on the grill. Make double batches initially to save time and dishes.

Our most adventurous experiment: grilled meatloaf. I wrapped it in foil and Mr. NC used a meat thermometer to determine when it was done. The bottom got a bit burned because of the very direct heat…it was still very good. We scraped off the REALLY burned parts, which was no big deal. Leftover meatloaf makes for tasty (cold) meatloaf sandwiches.

Fresh trout (no bones or skin) was cooked in a “pan” made of foil so the juices would not run onto the grates. As soon as the fish lost its pink color, it came off the heat. Overdone fish is not good.

We were very pleased with our grilled crispy chicken. I tossed boneless, skinless, breasts in seasoned brown rice flour and placed on the oiled foil pan, like the fish. The “crispy” was lightly brown and the chicken was tender. Again, the thermometer is your best friend, and will promote your grilling level to that of excellence. Leftovers were perfect in a romaine lettuce salad with a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil and Lawry’s Seasoned Salt.

In the past month, we’ve also cooked Tomahawk pork chops, hamburgers, pork burgers, bratwurst, and steak. Add a vegetable or salad, perhaps some kind of potato, and you’re set. My vegetarian friends have more room on the grill for vegetables.  

Have fun trying something new and see what happens. You may find that this food thing is much easier than you’ve been imagining.

Cheers to summertime fun!
Carol

“Food cooked on the grill is amazing and easily compliant, even though that’s not my first concern.”— Mr. Non-Compliant