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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                                           

Chocolate Protein Bars

  • 2 Cups (or 16oz. jar) Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 Cups Organic Honey
  • 2 Cups Chocolate Vegan Protein Powder (I like Arbonne)
  • 3 Cups Rice Krispies

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter and honey. Heat for about 90 seconds until it stirs easily. Add protein powder and Rice Krispies and mix thoroughly (The mixture will be thick). Press into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until solid enough to cut into bars. Store in refrigerator or freezer. These keep well for weeks in the freezer.

Recipe Alternatives:

  • Almond Butter in place of Peanut Butter
  • Vanilla Protein in place of Chocolate Protein
  • Oats (gluten-free) or puffed rice or cocoa rice krispies in place of Rice Krispies
  • 100% Pure Maple Syrup in place of honey or use some of each
  • When using Vanilla Protein, add a teaspoonful or so of cinnamon

Note: You can obviously be as creative as you like with these. Have fun experimenting, as the options are numerous as to what you could add or substitute. I like Arbonne protein because it tastes great, is easily digestible, is gluten and dairy free (if either of those are an issue for you), and contains no artificial sweeteners, colors, or sweeteners. For more information on, or to acquire Arbonne products, send me an email.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

These bars are good to have on hand in case you need to “grab and go,” or you need a pick-me-up snack during the day. Store them in the freezer so they stay fresh. This helps for portion control too. Protein from the peanut butter and protein powder, smart carbohydrate from the oats, and minimal sugar, make these a winner with me.

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons oat flour
  • ¼ cup powdered peanut butter
  • ¼ cup vanilla protein powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Optional topping:

  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla protein powder

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8 inch pan and set aside. Microwave the peanut butter and honey in a large glass bowl until smooth, about one minute. Stir well. Let cool a bit while you mix together your dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, combine the oats, oat flour, powdered peanut butter, vanilla protein powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix well.

Add the vanilla extract and egg yolk to the peanut butter and honey mixture and beat well with an electric mixer. Pour the peanut butter mixture, almond milk, and mini chocolate chips into the dry oatmeal mixture. Stir until the ingredients are well combined. The dough will be thick. Press into the pan and bake until the edges are slightly brown and the mixture is set, about 20 minutes.

For the topping, melt the chocolate. Stir in the vanilla protein powder until smooth, and drizzle over the bars. If the mixture is a bit too thick to drizzle, add a bit of melted coconut oil until you reach the desired consistency.

Let cool and cut into bars. Makes 12 bars, unless you’re like me and cut them smaller, since I’d rather eat 2 small bars than 1 large bar.

Notes: To make these gluten free, I use gluten free oats and gluten free oat flour by Bob’s Red Mill. I use a vegan protein powder (Arbonne), which can be easier to digest than whey, and preferable in the case of a dairy allergy or dairy intolerance. For more information on, or to acquire Arbonne products, shoot me an email and I’ll hook you up.

What’s Your Story?

Our lives are fascinating. Sit quietly for a moment and consider a story about your life that someone would find compelling.

And don’t tell me you don’t have one. Yes, you do.

Like the time you and your friend took a bus trip to the largest hosta farm in the Midwest for the weekend, and you don’t even like hostas. In fact, when asked about the variety you were seeking, your response was “green.”

Or how about the time you went out with your buddies, acted like college kids, and laughed so hard that your face hurt the next day.

Or how you got “lucky” and ended up with front row seats to see Kenny Chesney.

Stories hold our memories. Stories connect us.

Sometimes, we tell ourselves stories that do not serve us, and are not REALLY true.

Like:

–I used to be in shape. Those days are gone forever.

–With my schedule, I don’t have time to exercise/eat better/have fun.

–I can’t cook/take time for myself/give up my diet sodas.

These are the stories we can rewrite. We simply need to get to the place of being ready to get creative and try something new.

Ever try to do something you thought you could NEVER in a million years accomplish? Pretty scary. Then when you succeeded, well, talk about empowerment!

I felt that way when my PC crashed and I figured out how to write my blog posts, then upload them to my website, on a MAC. Oh. Yea.

I still feel that way when I try a “new-to-me” class at the gym, and walk away fairly unscathed when it’s over. Look out Wonder Woman.

So, today, what’s your story? Is it true? Is it REALLY true?

If you have an old story that you’re tired of playing over and over and over again, I’d like to hear it. Odds are good I’ll have some creative ways to rewrite it that are really pretty simple. Oh. Yea.

“Your life is your story. Write well. Edit often.”—Susan Statham

Change Begins with a Meal

I find this to be an interesting statement, since most people have an aversion to change; yet most people enjoy a meal.

How does it resonate with you? (Pause, and consider this for a moment.)

I heard this because a radio station was giving listeners an opportunity to make a donation of any size to a shelter that feeds those who have nothing to eat.

A person who had experienced fellowship and meals at the shelter gave his testimony about how much better he felt on so many levels because of the food he was given. He felt healthier, stronger, loved.

Change begins with a meal.  

This is true on many levels as well. Think of the different ways you feel depending on who you share the meal with, the location, conversation, food, your state of mind, etc.

I take my food for granted. I have never been in a situation where I didn’t know where, or when, my next meal would appear.

There are those times when I choose to overeat, make poor choices, and don’t take the time to really appreciate all that I have. Ouch!

Today, I chose to focus on my meal in a more conscious way. I was truly hungry, the flavors were wonderful, and the conversation light.

How about you? What was your most recent meal like? Did you feel good when you were finished? Are there opportunities for you to make mealtime a more positive, joyful experience?

Our lives revolve around food. We need it to survive and it’s even better when it helps us thrive.

Scripture is filled with stories centered around food. Change began with a meal.

A couple things as I close out today’s post:

  1. If you have the means, donate to a local food bank. Since we’re between holidays, many of them are running low on food. People get hungry in the summer too.
  2. If mealtime brings more stress and anxiety than it does happiness and fulfillment, let’s talk. Let’s explore why you can’t lose the weight, have no time to exercise, and hate buying new clothes.

Change begins with a meal. And change begins with self-love.   

Begin today.

“If we really love ourselves, everything in our life works.”—Louise Hay