1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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August 18, 2022

Mr. Non-Compliant vs. Mr. Corn

It’s that time of year when my dear cousin, Roger, aka Mr. Corn, and his wife Barb, come to Indiana for a visit. They now live in Florida, where swe

August 11, 2022

An Herb that Helps Reduce Anxiety, Induce Sleep, and More

I find it fascinating when one single food, or in this case, an herb, can contribute so much to our health. Cilantro is one such herb. While it’s no

August 4, 2022

Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day may inspire some baking… While preparations have begun for those going back to school, there’s still lots of su

July 28, 2022

A Summer Meal with a Kick

While many of us would like to add more vegetables to our diet, it can be challenging to come up with new ideas. Discovering main dishes that are vege

July 27, 2022

Spicy Mushroom Tacos

These vegan tacos have a kick, so if you’re not a fan of spicy foods, cut back on the cayenne or omit.  Serves 4 Ingredients 1 lb. mixed mushrooms

July 21, 2022

Are They Eggs or Just Eggs?

In an effort to help those who are allergic or choose not to eat chicken eggs, this blog’s for you. And if you love chicken eggs, biscuits and gravy

July 13, 2022

Lipstick on a Pig

For any of my new blog followers, cauliflower is one of the few vegetables that I’m not fond of.  I’ve tried it all sorts of ways. Readers have s

July 13, 2022

Super Simple Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

After rinsing the head of cauliflower, cut it into florets, remove the thick stem portions, and slice it very thin. Arrange in a single layer on a sto

July 7, 2022

Vidalia Onions, Salsa, and Qigong

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s still possible to find Vidalia onions in local stores. I’m not sure how long they will last, so now is the tim

June 30, 2022

Navigating the Holiday Weekend Deliciously

Happy almost 4th of July weekend! The celebrations are about to begin. Parades, barbecues, picnics, watermelon, fireworks, adult beverages, and probab

Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened, smooth almond butter
  • 1/2 cup canned 100% pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, almond butter, pumpkin, sugar, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly mix the dry ingredient mixture into the wet ingredients. Combine until cookie dough forms, then stir in the chocolate chips. If dough is too sticky and difficult to work with, chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Once dough is chilled, roll into balls, or use a small cookie scoop. Place scoops on cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper, for easy cleanup. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they are set. Be careful not to overbake. Remove from oven and let set for about 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer. I store my cookies in the freezer, as they are always soft enough to eat immediately.

*Homemade pumpkin pie spice: 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp allspice, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Tips for Your New Year’s Resolve

As we count down to the arrival of another year, most of us have the desire to start fresh with some part of our lives–or all of them.

How about you? Anything you’d like to switch up this year?

I’ve said for a very long time now that resolutions (like diets) don’t work. The reason is because we make those resolutions out of context of real life.

Things can go really well for a few weeks, maybe even a couple months. Then, an aging parent needs additional help, the “senior” dog leaves messes on the carpet (we’ve been dealing with this one lately), or everyone in the family has the stomach flu at the same time.

Real life is the norm. The “perfect” life is a fantasy and we all know it. We pretend it’s REAL, and  then wonder why we lose our resolve.

Some of you may be wondering if your intentions for 2019 stand even the slightest chance of surviving through the winter.

They do if you take into consideration real life.

Here are some tips for maintaining your real-life healthy resolutions:

*Set reasonable goals that set you up for success. Planning to work out an hour a day, seven days week, is not realistic when you are getting started. Schedule two or three “appointments” to exercise in your week. Once it becomes routine, increase the time and/or frequency. Finding activities you enjoy are critical to longevity.

*Include some protein for breakfast. Getting your day off to a good start nutritionally sets you up for good energy and smart choices throughout the entire day.  

*Have about five “go-to” dinner menus that you can get on the table in 30 minutes or less. Keep the necessary ingredients on hand so you can switch into autopilot cooking mode. Save those new recipes you’d like to experiment with for weekends when you may have more time. Meal prepping is extremely helpful to do on weekends as well.

*Focus on one or two habits at a time. A confused mind says “no” and gives up when overwhelm sets in. Trying to do too much all at once is the cause of many resolution failures. Think baby steps.

*Give yourself grace to be imperfect. It’s okay to do what you can do, even if it’s not what you had hoped. Take care of yourself the best you can so you are able to help with the needs of others. You may get the protein in for breakfast, but because of real life stuff, getting to the gym isn’t happening. Let it go and start fresh tomorrow.

Last January I made the intention to meditate on a regular basis. Although I wasn’t perfect, I experienced more focus-on-breathing-in-the-moment times in one year than ever before. Taking time for stillness results in higher productivity, so I’m sticking with it.

If you could use some help finding clarity and figuring out what makes sense for you to work on in 2019, let me know. I’m here to hold you accountable and remind you that what you do on a daily basis matters. This is your life.

Cheers to your best year ever,
Coach Carol

Resolve: firm determination to do something.

The Magic of Passion and Purpose

Health is a priceless commodity. While food and exercise are at the top of the list of contributing to good health, passion and purpose are right up there alongside them.

So, while I’m all about eating lots of vegetables and going to the gym, today I’m focusing on passion and purpose.

Imagine that you have a job that really lights you up—the kind of job that when your feet hit the floor every morning, you are over-the-moon excited to see where the day will lead.

It’s a job that requires making tough decisions, however, it’s one that you feel called to do. You meet and connect with people on a daily basis. In spite of the ups and downs, since no job is free of the roller coaster ride, you absolutely love it.

Then in a single day, it’s over. You’re done.

Some of you have been in this place, and may be there right now. The business of your dreams didn’t make it, or you’ve been let go due to downsizing…or you’re an elected official that didn’t get the votes.

As the spouse of a recently UNelected official who absolutely loved his job and didn’t get the votes, it’s painful. It’s also very public.

It’s tough to be told you cannot do what you love any longer. AND, it’s tough to know that you’re not doing the thing that lights you up.

Today, are you living a life that fulfills your passion and purpose?  

Yes, even in the midst of this busy Christmas season.

I left my job in the pharmacy in 2011 to pursue a calling that led me here. Some days, I’m not sure exactly where “here” even is. It’s that roller coaster ride—and I love it.

Life is short. If you’re not doing the thing that lights you up, why not?

On a recent call with my coach, I had to decide what I was committed to in the coming year.

I’m committed to showing up powerfully for you. As your coach, I’ll help you get back on that roller coaster, even if you aren’t sure whether it’s heading up or down—and especially when you’re too scared to get on at all.

I’ve been there. I get it. And I’m stronger because of it.  

I’d love to help you discover possibility. It’s part of the magic of the season. If you don’t believe me, watch “The Santa Clause” or “A Charlie Brown Christmas” or your favorite Christmas classic.

Believe in the magic of passion and purpose.

Christmas blessings and love,
Carol

 “There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”– Nelson Mandela

Consistency, Perseverance, and Toasted Almonds

‘Tis the season to be jolly. So…what if you’re not feeling it?

Some days I’m not. Some days I’d rather stay in bed with the covers pulled over my head.

Sometimes our lives don’t mimic those happy Hallmark Christmas movies with the seemingly perfect endings. Happy couple, cute dog, every light working on the tree.

Wouldn’t it be sweet if we could sometimes rewrite our movie script?    

It’s tough when along with the joyful festivities of the season comes loss; loss of a loved one, job, relationship, pet, health, identity. The list goes on.

The stress of December takes a toll. It can be a challenge to persevere when instead of sending a bowl of lemons, life sends a gigantic lemon tree. But wait. The commercials tell us that we are supposed to be HAPPY!

This is when it is easier to be consistent. It is easier to show up each day and simply do those tasks that are habit—the ones you don’t need to think about.

Recently, in dealing with one of those lemon trees, I felt consistently sad. There was nothing I could do to cheer up and make that old-fashioned lemonade we hear about in the cliché. I just needed time.

It was in this consistent bummer of a mood that I chose to persevere with routine. My logic: If I could get through those things that I didn’t need to think too hard about, perhaps one day I’d get to the other side.

It worked. I trusted the process of consistency and perseverance, and I’m happy to report that I am in much brighter spirits. Falalalala. And, thank you for the prayers.

I know many people who are in a sad place due to one or more of the aforementioned reasons, and the holidays only make it worse.

During this season of Christmas, may we be consistent in showing loving kindness, whether it be to the clerk at Kohl’s, the driver that cut us off, or the friend who lost their loved one.

We may be helping them exchange that lemon tree for a Christmas tree—even if it is the Charlie Brown variety.

 

Toasted Almonds

In a large skillet over low heat, melt about 2 tablespoons of unrefined, organic virgin coconut oil. Add 2 cups of raw almonds. Sauté for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Watch closely so they don’t burn. You will hear some popping as the almonds are toasting. Remove from heat and put on a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb the oil. Salt to taste. With all the flavored salts on the market, you could have fun experimenting. For chocolate almonds, after salting, sprinkle some cocoa or cacao powder on while still warm. Stir to coat. Once the nuts have cooled, store in an airtight container. Caution: the chocolate almonds are not sweet.

Tip: When buying large bags of nuts, store in the freezer so they don’t become rancid. Keep smaller quantities in the refrigerator for snacking.

 

“Christmas gift suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.”

— Oren Arnold, American novelist