1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

Top
June 13, 2024

Refreshing Drink Recipes to Beat the Heat

As the summer sun reaches its peak, staying hydrated is more important than ever. But who says hydration has to be boring? Here are some simple recipe

June 6, 2024

Fun and Healthy Summer Snacks

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy fresh, light, and delicious snacks that not only keep you cool but also pack a nutritional punch. Here are some fu

May 30, 2024

The Surprising Link Between Texting and Better Eating

Ever notice how you just feel a little lighter after a laugh with friends, or a heartfelt conversation with a loved one? These kinds of positive socia

May 22, 2024

Uncovering the Hidden Sweetness in Everyday Foods

(The following article was written for the December 2020 issue of Get Healthy magazine, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times. I’m sharin

May 16, 2024

Mastering the Art of Cleaning Produce

Last week I promised that I’d offer some various ways to effectively clean your produce. Before preparing fruits and vegetables, wash your hands wel

May 9, 2024

Navigating Pesticides in Produce

To buy organic or conventional produce? That is the question of the day. Organic produce, by definition, is grown without synthetic pesticides, synthe

May 2, 2024

Diverse Protein Sources for a Healthier You

Last week I covered the topic of how much protein we need in a day and dispelled the idea that protein causes kidney damage. In case you missed it, he

April 25, 2024

Is Too Much Protein Dangerous?

Twenty-five years ago, there was plenty of skepticism about protein. After all, bodybuilders ate lots of it—and they experimented with all kinds of

April 18, 2024

The #1 Nutrition Principle

“Red wine is better than white wine!” “Kale is better than spinach!” “GRAINS ARE EVIL!!” Ever feel like good nutrition is just too complic

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

10 Random Tips for Today

Here are 10 interesting tips for you. Perhaps at least one of them will help you have a happier day.

  1. As we age, the amount of acid in our stomach decreases. Drink most of your water between meals, and drink only minimal amounts (8 oz. or less) while eating, to aid in swallowing. This will improve digestion and help to avoid bloating and nutrient malabsorption. Eating slowly, spending about 20 minutes to enjoy your meal, chewing thoroughly, and being relaxed, will also help with healthy digestion.

 

  1. Father Mike Schmitz’ Bible in a Year hit the #1 podcast on iTunes for 2 consecutive years. Listeners are of every religious denomination, as well as atheists. In case you’d like to see the recent CBS clip about it, Here’s the link. This podcast may offer hope to you or someone you know. 

 

  1. In last week’s blog post, I mentioned that I was trying a sleep mask. I’ve decided that it does improve my sleep quality and have continued using it. Increasing melatonin with the darkness is a good thing.

 

  1. Easter is just a little over a week away. For those of you who assemble Easter baskets for loved ones, it’s time to begin collecting those special treats. If you need to mail them, best to do so sooner than later for on-time arrival.

 

  1. A generosity challenge: next time you enjoy a meal out, over tip your exceptional server and make his or her day. Notice how you feel when you do.

 

  1. Increasing your steps by 1,000 in a day, no matter how many you typically do, benefits your health. And don’t feel pressured to hit that 10,000 number. If you are currently doing about 3,000 and hit 4,000, that’s a win! Take the stairs, walk during a 5 or 10-minute work break, vacuum, park farther away from your destination.

 

  1. If your climate is still unpredictable and you have gardening fever, pansies like cold weather and would probably survive a big chill. 

 

  1. Have some goals but not feeling motivated to move toward achieving them? Take action first in order to drive your behavior. Even doing a little something builds positive momentum.  Here’s a worksheet to help you.

 

  1. Scheduling specific times to enjoy a serving of “junk food” may prevent binge eating and lead to long-term success when it comes to practicing a lifestyle of healthy eating. You don’t need to eat perfectly 100% of the time to make progress. Food restriction may lead to anxiety and stress. Work your way to eating nutritionally dense food 70% to 80% of the time and you’ll probably be in your happy place.

 

  1. Success is showing up. Congratulations!

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”– Arthur Ashe

Produce Baby is One, and a Way to Improve Your Sleep

For those of you who have been following my blog for the last year and a half, you may recall my weekly posts about the size of my friend’s baby in utero compared to various fruits and vegetables.

Baby Angelos celebrated his first birthday, and I thought it would be fun to share his latest stats. 

Yes, it has been a year already.

At 30 pounds, he’s especially fond of his dad’s chicken noodle soup, grilled and rotisserie chicken, steamed veggies, strawberries, mango, and apple sauce. His favorite fruit is the Sumo orange, and he can knock down over half of one for a snack.

I must say, he’s off to a great start with his eating habits.

His vocabulary consists of mama, dada, duh (that’s Angelos for dog), banana.

He keeps his parents busy and highly entertained.

My dad once grew a pumpkin about the size of Angelos. He’s come a long way since I first wrote about him at week #17 when he was as big as a turnip. 

Happy Birthday, and birth month, to Angelos!

The Sleep Secret of Major League Baseball Players

I read an article recently about a top sleep doctor, Dr. Chris Winter, who is also an adviser to the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Minnesota Twins.

He’d recommended wearing a sleep mask to a friend who works for the Twins. A couple players tried it, loved it, and now everyone wants to wear one.

“Most people who really get into a sleep mask, or who can really black out their room, will tell you their sleep’s a lot better,” says Dr. Winter.

By eliminating ALL light, even light from those tiny bathroom night lights or a red light on a smoke detector, your brain ramps up its production of melatonin.

This is a hormone that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Light signals your brain to stop making melatonin, so that you wake up and feel alert.

 For best results when using a sleep mask, turn off all electronic devices and bright lights about 30 minutes before bedtime, so that you can ease into your sleep mask darkness.

They aren’t for everyone since they can feel cumbersome on your face. I’ve tried it a couple nights, and I’m still getting used to it.

Since I have a senior citizen dog who often wakes up during the night, I’m not sure if it helps me sleep better, since I still hear the dog. I do know that with the mask, it is very dark. Maybe I need ear plugs too…

Sleep is critical for good health and maintaining proper weight, so you may like to give the sleep mask a try. Let me know how it works for you.

Sweet dreams,   
Health Coach Carol

“Sparkle and shine, it’s first birthday party time.” 

Increase Productivity and Minimize Stress Eating

In last week’s blog post, I addressed ways to combat stress eating.

One idea I had mentioned, is to be prepared with other things you can do instead of turning to food for comfort. I suggested making a list of activities that take anywhere from 1 to 15 minutes.

I received a text message from a dear friend, with photos, of her action plan. I love it!

She took colored sticks and wrote an activity on each one. They all live in a jar that is highly visible. 

When she thinks she hears a snack calling, and it’s not mealtime or she’s not hungry, she dips her hand into the activity jar and pulls out a wooden stick.

This sets her in motion that takes her thoughts away from diving into the refrigerator, at least for a while.

Many times, that’s all we need. We get involved in something else and get our mind off the food.

I took her idea and decided to use it to help improve my productivity level as well as curb any procrastination snacking.

There are days when I can get caught up being busy, yet don’t accomplish as much as I’d hoped.

I took index cards and cut them into strips. Each strip has a task/activity written on it. I put them in a brass mortar—as in a mortar and pestle.

Her colored sticks are more fun. I had an excess of index cards.

At any rate, we’ll see how it goes. It’s a creative way to implement a new habit.

Got a tip that I can share? Send me an email and let me know what works for you. 

 

What’s Growing in Your Blender?

This is a friendly reminder to take your BlendJet or Nutribullet (or whatever blender you use) apart and clean it thoroughly.

Quick daily cleanings by running it filled with sudsy water are usually sufficient. However, it’s a good idea to periodically take the gaskets off and clean underneath, since food can get stuck and turn ugly.

Maybe that can be one of the activities for your idea jar. 

Wishing you a delightful week!

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“We overeat, not because we enjoy food too much – it is because we don’t enjoy it enough.” –Charles Eisenstein

Living Abundantly and Tips for Stress Eating

“What you stay focused on will grow.”—Roy T. Bennett

 Today, I’m living with an intention of abundance.

Considering that what I stay focused on will grow, focusing on abundance, will bring about more…

…of everything!

This feeling leads to gratitude, which leads to generosity. This in turn leads me down the path of HOPE.

Know anybody who could use some hope?   

As I write this, I think that this could work in reverse, or even in one big cycle that keeps repeating. Hope…generosity…gratitude…abundance.

At any rate, having an intention for your day that is positive will bring about good things for you and all those around you.

Abundant living.

How many times have you cleaned out a drawer of clothes, only to discover a favorite item that got stashed beneath other clothes?

Or as you look in your freezer for something to make for dinner, you discover something else that is a fun surprise, like a box of your favorite cookies? (That is, if they made it to the freezer.)

Where in your life today would you like to feel abundance?

Focusing on all that we have helps us see that we have much to be grateful for.

Stress Eating

While the numbers vary, stress eating is a problem for lots of people. Some do it on a regular basis, and others have an occasional bout with it.

Whatever the case may be, here is a link to an article I wrote recently on ways to manage stress eating.

Tips to Help Manage Stress Eating

In addition to the article, here are some tips to try before you attack that package of gingerbread men or bag of chips.

 

(The following section first appeared in the January 19, 2022 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.)

Preparing for the next thing

Before you stress eat, pause, and try one or two other activities first. Each activity can take anywhere from about 1 to 15 minutes. Choose things that you enjoy and believe that you’ll actually do. What works to keep you away from your pantry or fridge one day may not work on another, depending on the stressor, your mood, the day. Be open to experimentation and be flexible. Here are a few ideas to get you started so that you can come up with your own list. Once you create your list, keep it handy for those stress emergencies. 

  • Read a few pages of an engaging book
  • Phone a friend
  • Close your eyes, sit quietly, and breathe
  • Play with your pet
  • Go outside for some fresh air
  • Do some stretches or push-ups
  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Write a brief note to someone who would love to hear from you
  • Journal about what’s driving you to eat or about your happy place
  • Sort through mail
  • Vacuum a room or toss in a load of laundry
  • Drink a glass of water

Wishing you an abundance of love,
Health Coach Carol

“Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature.”– Steve Maraboli