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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

Penne Pasta with Fr. Leo

I recently attended the inaugural Northwest Indiana Catholic Women’s Conference. It was an energizing day spent with over 600 women from the Diocese of Gary, sharing friendship, faith, fun and FOOD!

We enjoyed listening to several speakers, including Bishop Donald J. Hying and Father Leo Patalinghug. What was a bit different, at least from my past retreat experiences, was that part of Father Leo’s presentation occurred while he was cooking.

One of the perks of the retreat was that 10 of us would be chosen at random to enjoy lunch with Bishop Hying, Father Leo, and Father Kevin Huber. How fun! My hope for the past several weeks was to be chosen to enjoy that lunch.

Since I love everything about food–I write about it, eat it, cook it, coach on it, buy it, study it, etc., I really wanted to meet a priest who had competed in a Throwdown with Bobby Flay and WON!

As Father Leo shared words of inspiration and faith, he chopped, sautéed, simmered and stirred. He made penne pasta with vodka sauce.

When it came time to draw the names, I expressed to my friends how much I REALLY wanted to be chosen. As Father Leo called the names and I heard mine, it was as if I’d won the lottery. As far as I was concerned, I had.

The penne pasta was fabulous! It was accompanied with a green salad, boneless chicken breast, bread, butter, sparkling water and red wine. Lunch with my new friends was so much fun, I had to share the story with you.

Father Leo is the driving force behind a movement known as Plating Grace, founded on the belief that shared meals strengthen family relationships and marriages. He travels widely as an inspirational speaker, is an award-winning cook, and has a TV show, all while being a priest.

I left the retreat with nourished body and soul, and two cookbooks written by Father Leo: Grace Before Meals and Spicing Up Married Life. He personalized them for me, and took a selfie of us.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, he beat Bobby with his “Fusion Fajitas” back in June 2009. The recipe is in Grace Before Meals, along with many others that sound delicious and are quick to put together.

This week, I challenge you to throwdown a simple meal and share it with family and/or friends. And remember, it’s about much more than the food.

Bon Appetit!

“In my experience, nothing creates a better environment for a great
conversation than time shared in the kitchen.” –
Fr. Leo

Enjoy National Prime Rib Day

April 27 is the day that has been designated National Prime Rib Day. This is important for all of you meat lovers out there. I’m not a big steak/prime rib eater, so this one is not usually on my radar.

I draw attention to this because last week I promised to give you some tips on the diet vs. exercise dilemma. If you missed it, the bottom line is that we cannot out train a bad diet. 

Here are some tips, based on this knowledge:

  • If you are planning to celebrate National Prime Rib Day by enjoying said cut of beef, make sure it is amazing and be fully present to the experience.
  • Enjoy the salad and baked potato, or whatever accompanies it because that’s how it’s done.
  • Since this day is associated with the anticipation of happiness and joy, do not feel any guilt about celebrating.
  • Share the good news about this special day with all your friends, unless they are vegetarians.
  • If you overindulge on this meal, remember that sometimes healthy indulgences are necessary in order for us to truly feel alive, when they are done as part of an intentional way of living—code for eating real food, exercising on a regular basis, practicing good sleep habits, being fully present to the experience, etc.
  • Plan right now to celebrate Hug a Vegetarian Day, (and hug your vegetarian friends who aren’t celebrating National Prime Rib Day) which is devoted to celebrating cheerfulness and fun. It happens annually on the fourth Friday in September, which this year is September 28.
  • AND plan to participate in Eat Brussels Sprouts Day, celebrated annually on January 31, which also happens to be Hell is Freezing Over Day. (I thought this would be good to know, just in case you have ever said that you would do something when hell freezes over, like eat Brussels sprouts.)

Now perhaps you are wondering who decides on these special days. Any individual or any company can declare any day something special. There is nothing official about them.

These are not the same caliber as the federally observed holidays—the ones you see on your calendars, get the day off work and still get paid.

As for me, I’m going to plan my healthy indulgence for July, which President Ronald Reagan declared as National Ice Cream month. Oh, and no need to mark your calendar—I’ll be sure to remind you!

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”
―Julia Child

You Can’t Out Train a Bad Diet

Fitness begins with food. Why? Because you can’t out train a bad diet.

When it comes to diet vs. exercise, you need both for best results.

CLICK HERE to watch an official experiment of pizza vs. cardio

I did my own experiment as well, so I could share my personal results. Here’s how it played out.

I spent 30 minutes on the rowing machine, doing some interval sprints to push up the calories I would burn. At the end of my workout, I had expended approximately 200 calories.

Just for the fun of it, I did 30 minutes on the stair-stepper another day. My arms were moving too so that I would use up even more of those calories I would be consuming later in the day. Once again, the result was about 200 calories expended.

The good news: If I eat one-half cup of ice cream, I only consume about 140 calories, depending on the flavor.

The bad news: When I do eat ice cream, I doubt it’s one-half cup…I’m being honest here. It’s probably more like one cup. YIKES! So much for my workout negating my splurge.

The BOTTOM LINE: Workouts are good for mental clarity, cardiovascular health, better mood, improving self-esteem, reducing stress, boosting your immune system, improving eating habits, increasing energy, and much much more! However, eating a treat or indulging in a big meal because you “earned” it, is setting yourself up for disappointment when you’re expecting a fat loss.

Coming up next week: Tips on how to manage the diet vs. exercise puzzle.

(Important Note: Do not begin a new exercise routine without first checking with your physician!) 

“Just like keeping a healthy diet is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating the right foods is just as important for getting the most out of your workout.”--Marcus Samuelsson

The Art of Floating

New to Northwest Indiana is Float Sixty. Since going for a float seemed like a great way to practice meditation and relaxation, I decided to give it a try. This is a wellness practice that in order to report on, I had to first experience.

I made my appointment online and was fortunate enough to get in the same day. This was something new for me, so I was pretty excited and a bit nervous, all at once.

What is floating therapy? It is the relaxation practice of being buoyant in approximately 10 inches of water in a solution of 1,000 pounds of magnesium sulfate—also known as Epsom Salts.

You have choices when it comes to your float. You may float in a float tank or a float room. I chose a float room, so I had my own small pool.

My personal float suite had a shower with all the necessary amenities: ear plugs, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, and towel. A shower is taken prior to, and after, a float. The suite was a very peaceful and quiet space.

Upon entering the pool and closing that door, it took a few minutes for the light to go out. Except for the blue glow of the pool light, I was in complete quiet and darkness—for sixty glorious minutes.

I did not fall asleep, but some people do. Benefits from my float:

  • My headache disappeared
  • I experienced mental clarity
  • I felt lighter and happier
  • Better nighttime sleep

As I sat in the post float room drinking my herbal tea, I felt very calm and relaxed. If you are not a tea fan, you may have water. However, the tea is delicious and I recommend you give it a try. The Float Sixty tea infuser is charming—when you see it you’ll smile.

Who could benefit from floating? Everyone! The list of potential benefits is quite impressive, partly because of the magnesium salts. Magnesium helps soothe muscles, reduce inflammation and release toxins.

The overall experience was fabulous and I’m looking forward to my next float.

“To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.”― Deepak Chopra

P.S. First Time Floats are $60 for sixty minutes. You may book an appointment by phone (844.float.60) or online at floatsixty.com. When you select First Time Float, and use my VIP code INKWELL (case sensitive) or tell them I sent you, you’ll save $5. Happy Floating!