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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

Saving Dough and a Surprise Cake from Mr. Non-Compliant

Some say it’s expensive to eat healthy.

I believe it’s even more expensive, especially in the long run, to eat unhealthy.

Today I present some tips to help you cut grocery costs AND eat well.

  1. Plan Your Meals: Before you go shopping, plan your meals and snacks for the week. This helps you buy only what you need, reducing impulse purchases and food waste. Don’t go to the store hungry!
  2. Make a Shopping List: Based on your meal plan, create a shopping list. Stick to it to avoid buying unnecessary items that can inflate your grocery bill.
  3. Buy in Season: Purchase fruits and vegetables that are in season. They are often less expensive and fresher than out-of-season produce. For the Midwest in February, look for root vegetables, winter squash and citrus fruits.
  4. Choose Whole Foods: Opt for whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins when you can. They are often cheaper and healthier than processed foods.
  5. Buy Store Brands: Store brands are usually a better value than name brands and are often of similar quality. Don’t hesitate to try them out. For example, my sons prefer a store brand of green olives over a fancy variety.
  6. Use Coupons and Discounts: Look for coupons, discounts and loyalty programs at your local grocery store. Just make sure to use coupons for items you were already planning to buy and avoid the temptation to purchase a convenience food just because you have a coupon.
  7. Buy in Bulk: Purchase non-perishable items like whole grains, dried beans and nuts in bulk. They are usually cheaper in larger quantities. When I purchase a large bag of nuts, I put a portion in an airtight container in the fridge and freeze the rest. This keeps them from turning rancid.
  8. Cook at Home: Preparing meals at home is generally less expensive and healthier than eating out or buying pre-made meals.
  9. Use Leftovers: Plan to use leftovers in your meal planning. For example, leftover grilled chicken can be used in salads, soups or sandwiches.
  10. Limit Meat Consumption: Meat is often one of the most expensive items in the grocery store. Consider having meatless meals a time or two a week, using plant-based proteins like beans and lentils, which are cheaper and heart-healthy.
  11. Freeze Extras: If you find a good deal on perishable items, buy extra and freeze for later use. This works well for fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.
  12. Compare Prices: Pay attention to the price per unit (such as per ounce or per pound) to compare different brands and package sizes. This helps you get the best deal.

Still Celebrating My Birth Month!

And Mr. Non-Compliant made me a fairly compliant and very delicious birthday cake! I love homemade layer cake. I think my love for cake can be traced back to my Austrian grandma who was an excellent baker.

My friends are still sending happy wishes, my sons showered me with flowers, and I admit to being a very spoiled older human being.

I’m grateful and blessed.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“Birthdays are nature’s way of telling us to eat more cake.” – Edward Morykwas

My Best Workout Tip for Top Results

Ever wonder how to get the most out of your run or walk or strength training workouts?

It’s the same way you can feel the most productive about your days.

Intention.

Intentionality involves being present and fully engaged in the current activity, making conscious decisions aligned with one’s values and goals.

Let’s say you’re doing strength training exercises to build up your biceps (or any muscle group).

According to a new study, achieving maximal strength requires as much mental effort as physical exertion.

In other words, the more you put into training—including mental effort—the more you’ll get out of it.

When you intentionally focus on those biceps while you’re lifting and lowering those weights, the more benefit your work will have on that muscle.

Of course, if you’re new to an exercise program, simply showing up and moving through your routine with proper form will bring results–even if you’re thinking of your “To Do” list instead of focusing on your movements.

However, if you’ve been training for some time, getting intentional could give you the edge you’re looking for. You can actually think yourself stronger.

Simply imagining yourself contracting your muscles as forcefully as possible will increase your strength.

If you’re going for a run or taking a walk, what is it you’re trying to accomplish today? Never mind that you’re training for a big race in a month or moving in order to lose 10 pounds.

What is this doing for your mindset, body, energy now? Is it fun—or drudgery? If it’s the latter, what can you change about your intention to make it more fulfilling?

Perhaps you’d like to feel powerful, peaceful, relaxed, happy, carefree. Take your pick.

Intention can be applied to all areas of life to experience increased productivity, better decision-making, more meaningful relationships, improved mental health and a deeper sense of fulfillment.

In yoga, we are often encouraged to choose an intention for our practice—one that we can take with us and come back to throughout our day.

What is it that you need today?

Sending love,
Health Coach Carol

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” –Mary Anne Radmacher

Celebrating the Birth Month Without FOGO

This year’s birth month is a rare one because I get to celebrate for 29 days.

Those of you who get 30, or if you’re REALLY lucky, 31 days, may not appreciate the beauty of this.

Fellow February Birth Month Celebrators Rejoice!

“We are always the same age inside,” said Gertrude Stein, an American writer who also had a February birthday.

That’s how I feel. The number changes each year, yet when I get together with my Delta Gamma (aka DG) sisters from college, we’re still the same in many respects.

Probably because we don’t have FOGO.

Fear Of Getting Older.

Perhaps you’ve heard of FOMO—Fear Of Missing Out.

Those of you who have even a slight case of FOMO probably don’t have FOGO.

In other words, you’re enjoying life, staying active, have a sense of purpose and love deeply.

This is good because FOGO can actually accelerate aging and poor health.

The reason: People who have high age-related anxiety typically participate less in health-promoting activities.

Those who enjoy physical activity tend to have less psychological concerns about aging and less overall aging anxiety.

People who participate in more strengthening activities are less concerned about their physical appearance as it relates to health and fitness with aging. They are also more confident.

Strength training is not only great for maintaining muscle, promoting bone health, and increasing metabolism, it may also serve as a potent anxiety-reducing tool.

If you should experience FOGO, remember that an effective antidote is exercise. Find activities that you enjoy and get moving. Go dancing, garden, take a bike ride, join your friends in a strength training class.

Cheers to celebrating the birth month—and to all my DG sisters who are still 18, sort of.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw

How to Stick with Exercise

Work is really busy.

Or your kid is going through a “phase.”

Or it’s chocolate season.

Any number of obstacles, distractions, and competing demands can make it so easy (and understandable) to put your fitness, nutrition and health goals on hold.

Most of us have done this. We tell ourselves, “I’ll start that new habit when life calms down a bit.”

Problem is…

Things never really slow down permanently.

And so, we persistently delay improvements to “another time.”

Occasionally, life does offer a tiny, ideal window, and we try to do it all—all the food prep, all the fitness classes, all the meditating.

But it’s just a window.

When it closes, we’re stuck again, struggling to make progress.

Here’s how to keep moving.

It starts with a paradigm shift:

Don’t think of your health habits as an “on” or “off” switch; imagine they’re on a dial.

 When life is sweet and smooth, you can turn your exercise, nutrition and sleep dials way up—if you choose. Hit the gym most days, eat arugula and kale salad like it’s going out of style, meditate like a monk.

But if life is bumpy and crunched, you don’t have to switch off completely.

Just turn the dial down a little.

If you can’t do the whole workout, do some stretches for 10 minutes. If you can’t make healthy, balanced meals at home, add a side salad to your takeout and skip the French fries.

Here’s how the dial method might work for exercise, but you can apply this same thinking to your nutrition, sleep, stress management, relationships and environment.

Whatever the goal, there’s a range of improvements to make—it’s never “all or nothing.”

The Big Secret: The strongest people aren’t doing it all.

They’ve just learned to do something—even on the messiest, busiest, temptation-filled days.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. People can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.”– Jeffrey Gitomer