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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

Tomatoes, Lilies and Being Gratefully Silent

My garden is producing tomatoes–red, ripe, beautiful tomatoes. I picked a large tomato and a handful of cherry tomatoes yesterday.

My assorted lilies are blooming abundantly. They are so delicate and detailed; it’s hard to imagine that they burst forth from little brown bulbs—at exactly the right time.

Each bloom of my lilies lasts only one day. One. Glorious. Day. If all you had was one glorious day, how would you spend it?     

When I ponder the length of the gardening season or the lifespan of a lily in bloom, I am reminded of the brevity of each day.

I am grateful for this moment.

The topic of meditation and enjoying some silent space has come up in conversation numerous times this week.

I have an App on my phone that reminds me to give my sympathetic nervous system a break and breathe for 10 minutes. Or, the 1% (10 minutes) of my day I spend sitting quietly uplifts the other 99%.

There is a strong connection between our bodies and our minds. When our minds are going crazy, our bodies follow along.

The state of the mind has a direct impact on health. And the way we care for our bodies has a direct impact on our minds. Imagine!

Today, find some silent space in which to feel gratitude. Slow your mind and your body for a few brief moments.

If it feels uncomfortable, that’s okay. I would say that about 99% of the time, those things we do that are the most transformative are a bit uncomfortable.

Here’s some good news: unlike the tomatoes and lilies that take weeks or months to produce, the effects of some intentional quiet time has immediate benefits.

I’d love to hear how this exercise made you feel and what differences you noticed, if any.

“The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.”—Rumi

It’s the Same Story

“Now that I’m over _______________ (I usually hear the number 50), the weight just won’t come off and my body isn’t cooperating with me.”

I hear this story from clients, friends, workout buddies, acquaintances, men, women–even ME!  

It’s a common topic, right up there with the weather and how fast summer is flying.

Can you relate?

Which brings up the question, “So, how do I feel about myself and my body today?”

It’s tough. You exercise (at least some of the time), eat the best you can, skip the bread basket, and NOTHING MATTERS. I understand. The reality of aging and having less control over life than we care to think about is hard.

The process of acceptance and actually figuring out what steps to take in order to move through this challenge is a journey I’ve been on for a number of years now. We typically try to hang on to that vision of younger self, yet we have to let go. Ouch.

I’ve done my share of kicking and screaming, to no avail. It’s a practice. It’s MY practice. It’s a “practice” because there are no hard and fast rules, no time frames, no perfect way.

Fitness begins with food. Fitness begins with joy. In my recent interview with breakthrough coach Emily Rose, we touched on the importance of finding joy along the way to our fitness and health.

Where do you find your joy?
What’s keeping you from your “practice?”
What needs to shift for you to find your unique path?

Perhaps you need a new hobby or a different job. Perhaps you need to let go of the perfectionism. Perhaps you need to give yourself compassion.

Whatever it is, I’m here to help you figure out what one small (but mighty!) step you need to take to move through this. I know it may seem scary, but…

…you’ve got one amazing life, so let’s practice living it from the most joyful place possible!

 “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”J.R.R. Tolkien

Summertime Ease

Welcome to the dog days of summer and simple eating. Unlike winter, when those crock pot soups and stews hit the spot, we are now in the season of light…

…Light from more hours of sunshine; light in the weight of our clothing; light in which to sit and be still; light eating to nourish and not overburden.

Here a few ideas to help you enjoy meals that get you out of the kitchen fast AND keep you feeling your best!

  • Hard boil a carton of eggs to keep on hand. These are great as a grab-&-go breakfast or snack, egg salad, or added to greens. Here are the tricks: buy your eggs and keep in the fridge at least a week beforehand. Fresh eggs don’t peel as easily. To cook, put them in your pan and cover with cold water, about an inch above the eggs. Bring to a rapid boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit about 15 minutes then cover them with lots of ice and water. This is the other critical part that helps them peel easily, so keep them iced for about 45 minutes. Peel all of the eggs immediately and refrigerate in an airtight container.
  • When you grill, make extra. Leftover steak is wonderful sliced thin and gently reheated to make fajitas, tacos or added to greens. Same goes for chicken. This is a great idea for any picnic leftovers as well, as long as they weren’t out in the heat.
  • Sauté instead of roast so you don’t heat up the kitchen. This method of cooking is also much faster. Green beans, peppers, summer squash, broccoli, asparagus, etc. sautéed in extra virgin olive oil (lower heat) or avocado oil if you like to crank up the temperature.
  • Any type of “burger” is fast, easy and tastes great with those veggies: ground beef, chicken, turkey or pork. Season with your favorites–Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, onion and garlic powder work for me. The Beyond Meat plant-based burger is another tasty and quick alternative. (I’m practicing the art of consuming less animal protein on some days.)
  • Cold salads: mix canned tuna packed in olive oil with a bit of chopped celery, salt, pepper and lemon juice over avocado and greens; pasta (or quinoa) of your choosing tossed with chopped sweet peppers and raw broccoli or even (ick) cauliflower, any of those leftover meats you grilled, and toss with olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings of your choosing. These can be made ahead in the morning, chilled, and no dinnertime cooking is necessary.

Now is the time to find fresh anything at the local farmer’s market and make up a concoction with what you have on hand. Keep in mind that if you don’t know what to do with some food, serve it on a bed of fresh greens, splash with some olive oil and lemon juice, and you’ll probably be just fine.

Relax, enjoy and remember to drink your water.

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”—Charles Bowden

Little Things Do Matter

How many times do we think that something doesn’t matter because it’s not spectacular or grand enough? We aren’t able to save the world, so why bother recycling the water bottles?

Whatever it is, it DOES matter. In any arena of life, the little things add up to a grand total.

Think about small acts of kindness, such as smiling at the person you pass on the street, saying “good morning” to the cashier where you buy your cup of coffee—and meaning it, allowing a car into your lane of traffic during rush hour.

Now think about not doing those things. That choice adds up to the way we seize the day, and our attitude.

Little things matter, like if you walk around the block, eat an extra vegetable, skip the diet soda for lunch.

And if you don’t.

We are notorious for taking an “all or none” approach. If we don’t do something perfectly, we may as well not do it at all. Eating and moving in ways that nurture our bodies fall into this category.

“I had two pieces of cake, so I may as well keep eating whatever I want.”

“I haven’t been to the gym for two weeks. I’ll start back next month.”

“It’s the weekend and I’m meeting my friends for pizza. Oh, and there’s the birthday party and barbecue. I’ll eat right on Monday.”

WHAT IF you switch up your thinking so that you can enjoy special times with special foods and friends and not feel as though you’ve blown it?

WHAT IF you could get back on track with your workouts and not look back with regret? 

WHAT IF you don’t have to be perfect—just do a little bit better today?

Just as small acts of kindness add up to a more loving community, eating and moving just a little bit better over time, leads to a stronger, healthier, more fit you.

Never underestimate the power of little things.

“Little things are indeed little, but to be faithful in little things is a great thing.”—Mother Teresa