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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

Tomatoes, Lilies and Being Gratefully Silent

My garden is producing tomatoes–red, ripe, beautiful tomatoes. I picked a large tomato and a handful of cherry tomatoes yesterday.

My assorted lilies are blooming abundantly. They are so delicate and detailed; it’s hard to imagine that they burst forth from little brown bulbs—at exactly the right time.

Each bloom of my lilies lasts only one day. One. Glorious. Day. If all you had was one glorious day, how would you spend it?     

When I ponder the length of the gardening season or the lifespan of a lily in bloom, I am reminded of the brevity of each day.

I am grateful for this moment.

The topic of meditation and enjoying some silent space has come up in conversation numerous times this week.

I have an App on my phone that reminds me to give my sympathetic nervous system a break and breathe for 10 minutes. Or, the 1% (10 minutes) of my day I spend sitting quietly uplifts the other 99%.

There is a strong connection between our bodies and our minds. When our minds are going crazy, our bodies follow along.

The state of the mind has a direct impact on health. And the way we care for our bodies has a direct impact on our minds. Imagine!

Today, find some silent space in which to feel gratitude. Slow your mind and your body for a few brief moments.

If it feels uncomfortable, that’s okay. I would say that about 99% of the time, those things we do that are the most transformative are a bit uncomfortable.

Here’s some good news: unlike the tomatoes and lilies that take weeks or months to produce, the effects of some intentional quiet time has immediate benefits.

I’d love to hear how this exercise made you feel and what differences you noticed, if any.

“The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.”—Rumi

It’s the Same Story

“Now that I’m over _______________ (I usually hear the number 50), the weight just won’t come off and my body isn’t cooperating with me.”

I hear this story from clients, friends, workout buddies, acquaintances, men, women–even ME!  

It’s a common topic, right up there with the weather and how fast summer is flying.

Can you relate?

Which brings up the question, “So, how do I feel about myself and my body today?”

It’s tough. You exercise (at least some of the time), eat the best you can, skip the bread basket, and NOTHING MATTERS. I understand. The reality of aging and having less control over life than we care to think about is hard.

The process of acceptance and actually figuring out what steps to take in order to move through this challenge is a journey I’ve been on for a number of years now. We typically try to hang on to that vision of younger self, yet we have to let go. Ouch.

I’ve done my share of kicking and screaming, to no avail. It’s a practice. It’s MY practice. It’s a “practice” because there are no hard and fast rules, no time frames, no perfect way.

Fitness begins with food. Fitness begins with joy. In my recent interview with breakthrough coach Emily Rose, we touched on the importance of finding joy along the way to our fitness and health.

Where do you find your joy?
What’s keeping you from your “practice?”
What needs to shift for you to find your unique path?

Perhaps you need a new hobby or a different job. Perhaps you need to let go of the perfectionism. Perhaps you need to give yourself compassion.

Whatever it is, I’m here to help you figure out what one small (but mighty!) step you need to take to move through this. I know it may seem scary, but…

…you’ve got one amazing life, so let’s practice living it from the most joyful place possible!

 “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”J.R.R. Tolkien

Summertime Ease

Welcome to the dog days of summer and simple eating. Unlike winter, when those crock pot soups and stews hit the spot, we are now in the season of light…

…Light from more hours of sunshine; light in the weight of our clothing; light in which to sit and be still; light eating to nourish and not overburden.

Here a few ideas to help you enjoy meals that get you out of the kitchen fast AND keep you feeling your best!

  • Hard boil a carton of eggs to keep on hand. These are great as a grab-&-go breakfast or snack, egg salad, or added to greens. Here are the tricks: buy your eggs and keep in the fridge at least a week beforehand. Fresh eggs don’t peel as easily. To cook, put them in your pan and cover with cold water, about an inch above the eggs. Bring to a rapid boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit about 15 minutes then cover them with lots of ice and water. This is the other critical part that helps them peel easily, so keep them iced for about 45 minutes. Peel all of the eggs immediately and refrigerate in an airtight container.
  • When you grill, make extra. Leftover steak is wonderful sliced thin and gently reheated to make fajitas, tacos or added to greens. Same goes for chicken. This is a great idea for any picnic leftovers as well, as long as they weren’t out in the heat.
  • Sauté instead of roast so you don’t heat up the kitchen. This method of cooking is also much faster. Green beans, peppers, summer squash, broccoli, asparagus, etc. sautéed in extra virgin olive oil (lower heat) or avocado oil if you like to crank up the temperature.
  • Any type of “burger” is fast, easy and tastes great with those veggies: ground beef, chicken, turkey or pork. Season with your favorites–Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, onion and garlic powder work for me. The Beyond Meat plant-based burger is another tasty and quick alternative. (I’m practicing the art of consuming less animal protein on some days.)
  • Cold salads: mix canned tuna packed in olive oil with a bit of chopped celery, salt, pepper and lemon juice over avocado and greens; pasta (or quinoa) of your choosing tossed with chopped sweet peppers and raw broccoli or even (ick) cauliflower, any of those leftover meats you grilled, and toss with olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings of your choosing. These can be made ahead in the morning, chilled, and no dinnertime cooking is necessary.

Now is the time to find fresh anything at the local farmer’s market and make up a concoction with what you have on hand. Keep in mind that if you don’t know what to do with some food, serve it on a bed of fresh greens, splash with some olive oil and lemon juice, and you’ll probably be just fine.

Relax, enjoy and remember to drink your water.

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”—Charles Bowden

Little Things Do Matter

How many times do we think that something doesn’t matter because it’s not spectacular or grand enough? We aren’t able to save the world, so why bother recycling the water bottles?

Whatever it is, it DOES matter. In any arena of life, the little things add up to a grand total.

Think about small acts of kindness, such as smiling at the person you pass on the street, saying “good morning” to the cashier where you buy your cup of coffee—and meaning it, allowing a car into your lane of traffic during rush hour.

Now think about not doing those things. That choice adds up to the way we seize the day, and our attitude.

Little things matter, like if you walk around the block, eat an extra vegetable, skip the diet soda for lunch.

And if you don’t.

We are notorious for taking an “all or none” approach. If we don’t do something perfectly, we may as well not do it at all. Eating and moving in ways that nurture our bodies fall into this category.

“I had two pieces of cake, so I may as well keep eating whatever I want.”

“I haven’t been to the gym for two weeks. I’ll start back next month.”

“It’s the weekend and I’m meeting my friends for pizza. Oh, and there’s the birthday party and barbecue. I’ll eat right on Monday.”

WHAT IF you switch up your thinking so that you can enjoy special times with special foods and friends and not feel as though you’ve blown it?

WHAT IF you could get back on track with your workouts and not look back with regret? 

WHAT IF you don’t have to be perfect—just do a little bit better today?

Just as small acts of kindness add up to a more loving community, eating and moving just a little bit better over time, leads to a stronger, healthier, more fit you.

Never underestimate the power of little things.

“Little things are indeed little, but to be faithful in little things is a great thing.”—Mother Teresa