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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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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

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 ark.

 Temperatures may swing from eighty degrees during the day to the fifties (or lower) at night. Do I run the air-conditioner or turn on the heat?

My favorite is open windows and fresh air. 

Then there’s the all-important question of WHAT TO WEAR? First it’s cold, then it’s hot, then…?

AGHHH!

Another uncontrollable stress (like you need one more stressor)—the change in season. Summer to fall seems to be the toughest on a body.

Unless, of course, you live in a part of the country that’s more temperate. Lucky you.

Oh, AND I read an article about video conferencing calls (like Zoom) being HUGE energy zappers, especially if you keep your camera on and are a woman or a new employee. (Keep reading. I’ll share the WHY of this later.)

All this creates the perfect environment for complacency, mindless eating, and the desire for a few too many comfort foods and/or drinks.

What to do?

Well, I’ve considered binge-watching funny movies and napping, which could be therapeutic for one rainy day. Any more than that could lead to hibernation. Not good.

More ideas to help beat the drab weather blues:

  • Stick with your exercise routine. Moving will help you feel more energetic and give you a mental boost. If you don’t have a routine, now is a good time to start something that you’ve only been thinking about.
  • Pay attention to what you’re eating and drinking. Sugar and caffeine may give you a temporary boost, and then you’ll crash. Noticing what and how much you’re consuming may explain some of your fatigue and moodiness, if that’s an issue.
  • Take a vacation if possible, or at least a one-day getaway to someplace interesting.
  • Do something nice for someone. You’ll both feel happy.
  • Eat an extra serving of vegetables.
  • Make sure you’re getting restful sleep. 7-8 hours is ideal.
  • Listen to your favorite music.
  • Make a pot of soup.
  • Take a mental health day, binge watch movies, and nap.
  • If you’re on Zoom or some other video conferencing platform much of your day, see if you can turn off your camera, at least some of the time. Being in front of a camera gives a heightened sense of being watched and is more draining than meeting in person or having a phone call. Women feel the pressure of having a positive camera appearance more than men, and new employees are more concerned with making a good impression than veterans.

If none of these suggestions work for you, be patient. Eventually the sun will shine, and we’ll be well into snappy sweater weather.

Peace and pumpkins,
Health Coach Carol

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”—Anthony J D’Angelo 

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 womb relative to the size of various kinds of produce until his birth, March 30, 2021.

Yes, that was 6 months ago today. He’s way cuter than any pumpkin in the pumpkin patch and weighs as much as some of them! 

His parents have adapted quite well to the changes brought about by his birth. Mom is in the process of getting her pre-Angelos body back and is very excited about her new BlendJet.

Seriously. Who is busier than a new mom when it comes to getting in shape?

No sleep, no “me” time, no routine, no more fitting into your wardrobe. The list goes on.

At any rate, she told me this week about the BlendJet: the original portable blender.

It’s portable, powerful, USB-rechargeable, and self-cleaning. This cordless, water-resistant, quiet, BPA-free blender is perfect for mixing smoothies, protein shakes, baby food, dressings, and more.

How do I know? She was so excited about this gadget, I had to get one too.

It is pretty cool—and fun. Lots of colors to choose from.

It’s perfect because you can toss in all your ingredients and be on your way. Just push the button and it will blend while you’re sitting at a stoplight. Drink at your leisure.

Our new mom has found this to be life changing. “No more excuses,” she told me. “It’s so easy, and fun.”

Whether she’s mixing a protein shake for breakfast or pureeing a meal for Angelos, this has simplified her life tremendously.

Getting fit can be fun.

I think it should be called FunJet, which is actually an airline and vacation brand. While this is a huge stretch of the imagination, it is easier to operate and clean than a big blender with lots of parts. 

Menu planning, daily walks, and consistent meals. She’s knocked down all excuses and is now fitting into her wardrobe again.

“No excuses” weight loss for the win. Cheers and applause.

If you’d like to check out the BlendJet for yourself, click the link that I posted on my Inkwell Healthy Lifestyles FB page.

While large heavy-duty blenders have their role in the kitchen, I think the BlendJet could make a welcome Christmas gift for folks on the go who claim that they have no time to eat healthy.

Peace and Pumpkins,
Health Coach Carol

“Healthy eating is a way of life, so it’s important to establish routines that are simple, realistically, and ultimately livable.” – Horace

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 🙂 And I went out to eat with people a total of five days in a row. That was crazy. But I ate as healthy as I could, and I increased my steps.”

Win. Win.

Applause all around.

How does that happen? Here’s how. 

This person:

  1. Has an inspired reason for getting fit. When challenges show up, she calls forth the emotion of WHY it matters.
  2. Looks at the online menu before heading to the restaurant and decides exactly what she’ll order. Since the decision has already been made, there’s no falling for a meal that will bring about regrets at some future time.
  3. Takes into account other foods eaten throughout the day in order to balance out her nutritional needs.
  4. Has seen good results with increased movement to go along with her food choices.
  5. Enjoys her friends and the spontaneity of living life in the moment. While we tend to think there will be “another opportunity,” there are no guarantees.
  6. Understands that slow and steady wins the race. Patience pays off when dropping pounds by way of making habit changes that are sustainable for years to come.
  7. Finds it easy to follow the guidelines she has set for herself that are resulting in better health and fitness.
  8. Doesn’t mindlessly snack in the evenings out of boredom or habit. If she’s truly hungry, a small smart snack is the choice rather than a non-nutritional option.
  9. Knows that the scale is only one way to measure improved fitness. Her energy is good, and she is She is aware of the foods that make her feel less than her best and avoids them.
  10. Is in service to others as well as herself.

Many times, we tell ourselves that we can’t possibly enjoy going out with friends or celebrating happy occasions and still stick to our plan. 

That’s simply not the case.

You can. You decide. You’re worth it.

If you’re looking to improve some facet of your life, I encourage you to spend a few moments to figure out one thing you can do today to make the shift.

Then do that thing. Do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. See what happens.

I love good news and I love a good challenge. Feel free to email me your win win and your challenges. I will celebrate you.

Much love,
Carol

“Without hope, I wouldn’t even try. Hope lifts me to consider new possibilities so I can stay the course of my desire, no matter what.”—Sharon Weil

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. So. Fast.

For fun, I checked out some rather whimsical holidays and observances happening the rest of this month, that have to do with food.

The mention of these may give you a snack or meal idea in order to celebrate. You may discover an impromptu theme for a casual dinner with friends. Or you might simply enjoy the frivolity of reading the list. 

Here goes:

Sept. 16- National Guacamole Day (Good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.)

Sept. 17- National Apple Dumpling Day, National Monte Cristo Day

Sept. 18- National Cheeseburger Day, Rice Krispies Treats Day

Sept. 19- National Butterscotch Pudding Day

Sept. 20- National Pepperoni Pizza Day, National String Cheese Day

Sept. 22- National Ice Cream Cone Day, National White Chocolate Day

Sept. 23- National Great American Pot Pie Day

Sept. 24- National Cherries Jubilee Day

Sept. 25- National Cooking Day (Good one. This covers pretty much everything.)

Sept. 26- National Dumpling Day, National Pancake Day (I LOVE pancakes. Who’s with me?)

Sept. 27- National Chocolate Milk Day (This one’s for you A.B. and T.L.)

Sept. 29- National Coffee Day (This one’s for more of you than I can name in this blog. Enjoy!) 

Sept. 30- National Hot Mulled Cider Day

September is also:

  • Better Breakfast Month
  • National Fruit & Veggies Month
  • National Italian Cheese Month
  • National Potato Month
  • National Rice Month
  • Whole Grains Month

As you consider ways to celebrate with food, perhaps you could improve your breakfast and make it just a little bit healthier.

Ideas: add some protein; decrease the sugar or sweetener in your coffee by a small amount; begin eating breakfast if you skip it altogether.

Other ways to celebrate September in line with the observances:

Try a new-to-you fruit or vegetable.

How about a grilled Italian cheese sandwich on whole grain bread, accompanied by fresh tomatoes and a crisp apple?

Make a rice that you’ve been meaning to try. There are many varieties to choose from. Check out my blog about rice if you missed it.

For a real treat, make some Hasselback potatoes. Click here for the recipe.

Eating well in a way that serves your health doesn’t have to be boring. Have fun trying new foods and make every day a cause for celebration.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

 “Our time on this earth is sacred, and we should celebrate every moment.”—Paulo Coelho