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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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November 24, 2022

Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Caramel Flan

Last week I’d mentioned that Mr. Non-Compliant seemed to have designs on a pumpkin caramel flan. Turns out that he left the flan recipe out because

November 17, 2022

Tips for Thanksgiving Preparations

So much to do, so little time. I bet I’m not the only one who’s thinking this right now. However, I’ve always managed to get everything done

November 10, 2022

Versatile gourd adds fiber, flavor and health benefits to fall foods

(The following article was written for and published in the October 13, 2021 edition of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.)

November 3, 2022

The Outward Olive

Today I bring you some happy news about fat. (It’s okay to cheer about this.) Olive oil is a healthy monounsaturated fat that is good for you to con

October 27, 2022

What’s Your Favorite Treat?

It’s that ghoulish time of year again (already) when we can pretend to be someone, or something, we’re not. Take a risk, get out of our comfort zo

October 20, 2022

The Importance of Rituals

There are days when everything just feels BLAH. I don’t really feel like doing much of anything, and I don’t even know what to do first. It’s no

October 13, 2022

4 Tips to Gain Some Control of Your Life

As we approach the holidays and see Christmas decorations showing up in store aisles before Halloween, it can make us a bit, well, CRAZED. How does th

October 6, 2022

5 Fall Health Tips and Nature Journaling

As the weather cools a bit, the pace of our days tends to shift. Maybe not slower, but different. Different means a change in wardrobe, activities, ch

September 29, 2022

Even Mr. Non-Compliant Eats These

I discovered these crackers that are free of many ingredients that people may be sensitive to. Made by Simple Mills, Organic Seed Flour Crackers are s

September 29, 2022

Roasted Root Vegetables

(The following recipe was written for and published in the September 16, 2022 edition of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) I

Because it’s Always Something

So many times in life we think, “If I can just get through this crisis, or away from this job, or away from this person,” everything would be great! Right? Not so much.

We have heard the phrase many times, “It’s always something!” and it is. Whether it’s about our health, relationships, finances, career– there will always be trouble brewing somewhere.

It is in the midst of difficulty that we decide on the attitude with which we face the music. We can learn to do the dance, or stand on the side of the gym. We can be the light that helps others find their way in the dark, or wander without hope. We can bloom where we are planted, or stay stuck in the dirt.

The good news is that we have a choice. (I wrote a poem about that years ago—check out My Poetry page!) We are all connected, so our positive -or negative- outlook will affect everyone around us. Perhaps your co-worker or neighbor is facing some tougher stuff than you.

Think about it next time everything (or even one thing) seems to be a mess. Be brave. Do the dance. Be the light. Bloom in your glory. The people around you will receive a great gift and you will feel amazing!

“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:15-16 NIV

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

When you are looking for a special pumpkin treat on the healthier side, this is perfect!

  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Combine coconut flour, spices and baking powder.  In a separate bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except nuts and chocolate chips until well blended.  Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and blend well.  If you wish,  fold in the nuts and/or chocolate chips until evenly blended.  Grease a loaf pan with coconut or olive oil and add the batter.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool and remove from pan.

 

Why We Need to Retreat

Retreat:  a period of withdrawal from worldly activities for prayer and meditation;  withdrawal into privacy or seclusion, a place for this. (Oxford American Dictionary)

One of my earliest memories of taking retreat is from my college days, as a Delta Gamma pledge going on “walk-out.”  My pledge class left campus one Friday afternoon to go somewhere secret and spend the weekend together.  Our pledge trainer came with, along with a couple other active members we deemed worthy.  We had a blast.  Of course, we had some fraternity education that was supposed to prepare us to become full-fledged members, but what I remember most was the camaraderie and unity we felt as we cocooned from the world.  Oh, and lots of great food!

In the days since then, I have been on an engaged couples retreat, Cursillo retreats, girlfriend getaway retreats, spa weekend retreat, one-day spiritual retreats, and business women retreats.  My most recent retreat was with about twenty business women at a camp located near the snowy Dunes of Michigan.  What a special gift to spend the bulk of an entire winter weekend learning from some of the best leaders and spirited entrepreneurs in Northwest Indiana.

As is typical of retreats, new friendships were cultivated that would have otherwise never had an opportunity to begin.  The practicality of spending the time necessary to really get to know these women just would not happen in the course of “business as usual.”  When we briefly break away from family, work, grocery shopping, laundry, etc, our minds settle into a different realm that is more open to change, friendship, and clarity.  We learn that we are not alone in having bigger-than-life dreams and the courage necessary to bring them to fruition.  Although each of us is on a unique journey, we all encounter a few lions, tigers and bears along the way.

In closing, if you have never gone on retreat, make a plan to go away.  If you have gone on retreat, make a plan to go away.  Why?  In between the moonlit hikes, snowball fights, laughter and tears, you will experience a renewal of Spirit that can only come from withdrawal from the world.  Oh, and lots of great food! 

“In order to understand the world, one has to get away from it on occasion.”  Albert Camus

Avoiding Holiday Eater’s Remorse

One week before the beloved holiday of Thanksgiving, and the official kick-off of a one month food fest.  How do we get through it without adding an additional ten pounds of holiday around the waist?  

Make the decision today to simply raise your level of awareness about what you decide to eat.  Be conscious.  What typically happens is that we just go along for the holiday joy ride and choose to think about facing the music of health and fitness come January.  (Just so you know, I will be here to support you and will not utter any words such as “I told you so.” Promise.)

Sugar is one of the biggest bad boys this time of year.  Between all those delicious sugar cookies, the stress of buying the right gifts, lack of sleep, cleaning the house, change in schedules, and more, our immune systems take a beating.  We get a cold at the most inopportune time. 

Plan to enjoy some of those cookies, but be conscious of that choice.  Fill your days with lean protein, fruits, and vegetables.  When you have a fun event, enjoy a moderate amount of those special holiday foods you love, and really savor those moments.

Sticking with your exercise routine is also a great plan.  This will alleviate some stress and help offset the extra indulgences.  If you don’t have a routine, now would be a great time to begin.  (As long as you have clearance from your physician to exercise.) 

We are all in this together.  Let us support and encourage one another to take care.

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”  3John 2 NIV