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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

Easy(er) Food Transformations with Mr. Non-Compliant

Some folks think that eating healthy is hard and boring. Really? Say it isn’t so.

It isn’t so.

There is an easier way. Rather than following a food plan that may include foods you don’t particularly like and meal prep that is ridiculous, try the “just a little bit better” plan.

Take breakfast for instance. This is a true story, of how Mr. Non-Compliant has made subtle changes over time.

What Mr. Non-Compliant Used to Eat for Breakfast   

  • Orange or grapefruit juice
  • Frosted Mini-Wheats (or some similar cereal) with 2% milk
  • Toast or English muffin with butter and jelly
  • A cup of coffee with a bit of cream

 What Mr. Non-Compliant Now Eats for Breakfast

  • Grapefruit or fresh strawberries or some other fresh fruit
  • Egg sandwich consisting of two eggs, slice of Co-Jack cheese, shaved ham or leftover meatloaf, on a piece of Italian toast or English muffin OR
  • A bowl of Greek yogurt with natural granola OR
  • Malt-O-Meal, toast and hard boiled egg or protein shake
  • A cup of coffee with a bit of cream

He eats a breakfast that is tasty and he enjoys. Why is it better now?

  • By eating fresh fruit instead of drinking juice, he is consuming less sugar, and getting fiber, which is more filling and satisfying
  • In every instance, there is more protein
  • Fewer preservatives and sugars by omitting cold cereal
  • Less refined carbohydrates (that tend to raise blood sugar levels)

BENEFITS: he has more energy through the morning, stays full longer, and has increased his nutrient intake.

Could he do just a little bit better?

YES. Some days, he does, when the eggs are scrambled with sautéed spinach, mushrooms and sweet peppers. Adding vegetables is always a good idea.

However, sometimes he eats a donut.

So, if your typical breakfast is a coffee-something loaded with whipped cream and sugar and some type of sweet roll, you could switch to a basic coffee with a single dose of cream and sugar. Instead of the sweet roll, how about a whole grain muffin and hard boiled egg?

Just do a little bit better. When you practice this over time, one meal at a time, it won’t seem hard and boring after all.

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

New Life

I love this time of year. Spring, Easter, crocuses, daffodils, buds on trees, coloring Easter eggs, and the smell in the air after an early morning rain—or 3-day rain, which sometimes happens here in the Midwest. It’s a time of new beginnings, new life.      

The egg, which is often hard-boiled then colored for Easter, represents new life, fertility and rebirth in many cultures around the world. For Christians, the Easter egg is symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As a child, I remember my grandma and her friends ornately decorating the eggs. They’d use wax to draw a design, and then color them until they were perfect! I didn’t want to crack them they were so beautiful.

These days, my hubby colors the eggs with the ever-popular PAAS Egg Decorating Kit. Our big problem each year is the same—trying to peel them so they don’t look massacred by the time we get finished.

I’ve tried all kinds of tricks to help the peels “slide right off.” What I have determined is that you cannot hard-boil fresh eggs and expect them to peel easily. So, if you’re reading this and have not yet purchased your eggs for coloring, you are in trouble. Good luck.

Eggs are a healthy food, and that includes the yolk. Most of the nutrients and vitamins are found there. One egg contains about 6 grams of protein, vitamins A, B12, D, riboflavin (B2), pantothenic acid, folate, some antioxidants, and cholesterol. Wait, what? Cholesterol? Relax; the cholesterol in the egg does not raise blood cholesterol. YAH!

As we celebrate this time of new life, what would you like to make new? If you’re ready to break up with a habit that’s weighing you down or create a new habit that will positively affect your life, there is no time like the present.

Begin today. Take that walk, eat more vegetables, do those push-ups, drink your water, skip the soda. Do, or don’t do, that ONE thing that will make you feel new. Remember, I’m right here, cheering you on!

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”– Psalm 118:24

 

Savor the Good Stuff

This past weekend, my dear beloved, aka Mr. Non-Compliant, made me the most delicious Birth Month Cake. I refer to it as the Birth Year Cake, so we have agreed to disagree. Since my birthday is in February, the Birth Year concept offers much grace.

My cake was yellow with chocolate frosting, made with real, organic ingredients. Oh, and most importantly, he made it with LOVE. The best part was that my boys and some friends were in town to share it.

The point of this is that I savored every bite, including the ice cream that came along for the ride. This indulgence is one of my very favorite treats.

One of the tricks of eating in a healthy manner over the long haul, is to savor the good stuff. Every bite of that cake was a reminder for me of birthdays past when my mom or grandma made me a cake. It was as much about reliving a childhood memory as it was about the food. And, it was amazing.

How many experiences are the same for you? You make the apple pie the same way your grandma did, and the smell of it baking warms your heart. The Easter breads and nutrolls remind you of a time when no one said much about gluten.

This week, whether you are enjoying a simple cup of coffee, spinach salad, or homemade Birth Month cake, practice the art of enjoyment. Whatever you choose to eat and drink must be worthy of nourishing the only body you have.

Sometimes circumstances dictate food options that are not ideal. Do the best you can and choose to enjoy whatever it is that you’re eating. And when you are presented with the most wonderful treat that’s made with love, allow gratitude to fill your heart and savor the moment. Oh, and share.

“Cakes are healthy too, you just eat a small slice.” –Mary Berry

Tips to Stay and Get Back on Course

There are those times when we are consistent and persistent with a good habit, and positive results aka success, elude us. This may be the case with your health and fitness, your work, and your life.

What then? What next? Do you revert back to an old way of thinking and doing? Do you get depressed and eat an entire bag of chips or carton of ice cream?

Sometimes. Sometimes, we simply feel like giving up and wallowing in our misery. Then, suddenly, we hear that little voice that says, “Wait! Keep going. Have faith and keep moving forward.”

And so it goes—the rollercoaster of life.

If you’re feeling like eating the chips or ice cream, WAIT! Here are some tips to help you not commit dietary suicide in 15 minutes or less. In other words, here is your HOPE.   

*If you’ve been following a solid routine of exercise and eating nutritionally sound and are not seeing results on the scale, remember that time is necessary for your body to shift. Is there another way to measure the benefits of your new routine? Has energy, blood pressure, sleep quality, mood, self-esteem, attitude, ANYTHING improved? I’d bet big money that SOMETHING is better. And kudos for eating foods that are higher in nutrition and moving your body. Success in every way.   

*Look back on how you were doing with your program two, three or six months ago. What’s gotten easier? What’s a habit now, that wasn’t then? Don’t act like it’s no big deal that you used to eat two vegetables a day and now you eat three. This is progress!

*Let’s say you spent a weekend binging on food, drink and non-activity and feel downright crummy. Do the next right thing. Drink a glass of water, take a walk, eat a spinach salad (even if you have to get it from the grocery salad bar), roast a big pan of vegetables for a snack, call your friend to meet you at Zumba, schedule your workout plan for the week ahead then do ten push-ups. Do the next right thing.

*Remember this is about progression, not perfection. We all have days, even weeks, that come apart at the seams from time to time. Wallow for 5 minutes, then listen to your favorite music that lifts your mood and shifts your attitude. Change your state. Movement helps immensely!                           

*Set up a time to have a free chat with me. Sometimes all it takes is another perspective to get you headed in the right direction. Here’s the deal: you tell me the “elephant” in your life that is keeping you stuck and I’ll help you get out from under his really big foot. This is what my research and coaching session is about. My curious mind wants to know: What is your elephant?
CLICK HERE to book your chat 

 “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” –Corrie Ten Boom