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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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September 23, 2021

Have Fun While Staying the Course

Yes, it truly is possible to do both. Many believe it’s an EITHER, OR situation. This past week I received the following text: “Down 1 pound 🙂

September 16, 2021

Celebrate September with Food

Now that we’ve gotten past the almost official end of summer, Labor Day weekend, thoughts of pumpkins and turkeys begin to dance in our heads. Not.

September 9, 2021

Pinky, the Ice Cream Truck

Last Sunday I was outside and heard the familiar sound of an ice cream truck in the neighborhood. I hadn’t seen one of these in…well, quite a long

September 2, 2021

Delicious Memories and a Recipe

I recently received a head of green cabbage as a gift. Now, I’m not one to buy cabbage, although I like it on occasion. Roasting it seemed like a go

August 26, 2021

Love Chocolate

The good news is that chocolate is actually healthy for us. The bad news is that we must be selective in the quality of chocolate we choose in order f

August 23, 2021

Chocolate Nut Clusters

1 cup bittersweet (at least 70% cacao) chocolate, chopped or wafers 1 cup raw almonds                                           

August 19, 2021

Rice Substitutes and Recipes

While rice is a staple food item around the world, there may be those occasions when a substitute is in order. Whether you’re looking to have more v

August 12, 2021

Brown vs. White vs. Wild Rice

Rice is a staple carbohydrate in our house. The big question when I serve rice as an accompaniment to a meal: which variety? White rice actually start

August 5, 2021

Best Brownies and Bad Berries

First topic: Bad Berries We have some trees in our yard that currently produce small, purple, inedible berries. They’re a nuisance. The birds eat th

August 5, 2021

The Best Dark Fudgy Brownies

The Best Dark Fudgy Brownies (That happen to be gluten and dairy-free)                  INGREDIENTS 2/3 cup cacao powder or Dutch-process coc

Have Fun While Staying the Course

Yes, it truly is possible to do both. Many believe it’s an EITHER, OR situation.

This past week I received the following text:

“Down 1 pound 🙂 And I went out to eat with people a total of five days in a row. That was crazy. But I ate as healthy as I could, and I increased my steps.”

Win. Win.

Applause all around.

How does that happen? Here’s how. 

This person:

  1. Has an inspired reason for getting fit. When challenges show up, she calls forth the emotion of WHY it matters.
  2. Looks at the online menu before heading to the restaurant and decides exactly what she’ll order. Since the decision has already been made, there’s no falling for a meal that will bring about regrets at some future time.
  3. Takes into account other foods eaten throughout the day in order to balance out her nutritional needs.
  4. Has seen good results with increased movement to go along with her food choices.
  5. Enjoys her friends and the spontaneity of living life in the moment. While we tend to think there will be “another opportunity,” there are no guarantees.
  6. Understands that slow and steady wins the race. Patience pays off when dropping pounds by way of making habit changes that are sustainable for years to come.
  7. Finds it easy to follow the guidelines she has set for herself that are resulting in better health and fitness.
  8. Doesn’t mindlessly snack in the evenings out of boredom or habit. If she’s truly hungry, a small smart snack is the choice rather than a non-nutritional option.
  9. Knows that the scale is only one way to measure improved fitness. Her energy is good, and she is She is aware of the foods that make her feel less than her best and avoids them.
  10. Is in service to others as well as herself.

Many times, we tell ourselves that we can’t possibly enjoy going out with friends or celebrating happy occasions and still stick to our plan. 

That’s simply not the case.

You can. You decide. You’re worth it.

If you’re looking to improve some facet of your life, I encourage you to spend a few moments to figure out one thing you can do today to make the shift.

Then do that thing. Do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. See what happens.

I love good news and I love a good challenge. Feel free to email me your win win and your challenges. I will celebrate you.

Much love,
Carol

“Without hope, I wouldn’t even try. Hope lifts me to consider new possibilities so I can stay the course of my desire, no matter what.”—Sharon Weil

Celebrate September with Food

Now that we’ve gotten past the almost official end of summer, Labor Day weekend, thoughts of pumpkins and turkeys begin to dance in our heads.

Not. So. Fast.

For fun, I checked out some rather whimsical holidays and observances happening the rest of this month, that have to do with food.

The mention of these may give you a snack or meal idea in order to celebrate. You may discover an impromptu theme for a casual dinner with friends. Or you might simply enjoy the frivolity of reading the list. 

Here goes:

Sept. 16- National Guacamole Day (Good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.)

Sept. 17- National Apple Dumpling Day, National Monte Cristo Day

Sept. 18- National Cheeseburger Day, Rice Krispies Treats Day

Sept. 19- National Butterscotch Pudding Day

Sept. 20- National Pepperoni Pizza Day, National String Cheese Day

Sept. 22- National Ice Cream Cone Day, National White Chocolate Day

Sept. 23- National Great American Pot Pie Day

Sept. 24- National Cherries Jubilee Day

Sept. 25- National Cooking Day (Good one. This covers pretty much everything.)

Sept. 26- National Dumpling Day, National Pancake Day (I LOVE pancakes. Who’s with me?)

Sept. 27- National Chocolate Milk Day (This one’s for you A.B. and T.L.)

Sept. 29- National Coffee Day (This one’s for more of you than I can name in this blog. Enjoy!) 

Sept. 30- National Hot Mulled Cider Day

September is also:

  • Better Breakfast Month
  • National Fruit & Veggies Month
  • National Italian Cheese Month
  • National Potato Month
  • National Rice Month
  • Whole Grains Month

As you consider ways to celebrate with food, perhaps you could improve your breakfast and make it just a little bit healthier.

Ideas: add some protein; decrease the sugar or sweetener in your coffee by a small amount; begin eating breakfast if you skip it altogether.

Other ways to celebrate September in line with the observances:

Try a new-to-you fruit or vegetable.

How about a grilled Italian cheese sandwich on whole grain bread, accompanied by fresh tomatoes and a crisp apple?

Make a rice that you’ve been meaning to try. There are many varieties to choose from. Check out my blog about rice if you missed it.

For a real treat, make some Hasselback potatoes. Click here for the recipe.

Eating well in a way that serves your health doesn’t have to be boring. Have fun trying new foods and make every day a cause for celebration.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

 “Our time on this earth is sacred, and we should celebrate every moment.”—Paulo Coelho

Pinky, the Ice Cream Truck

Last Sunday I was outside and heard the familiar sound of an ice cream truck in the neighborhood. I hadn’t seen one of these in…well, quite a long time.

I was so amused and delighted when I heard the music, that I decided I had to track it down. I also wondered if the kids were as excited about catching up to it as I was.

The sound came closer. When I saw a line of children and parents forming, I knew it was only a matter of time.

Patience.

I felt like I was 8 years old again.   

Not that I wanted any ice cream. I really didn’t. I simply had this overwhelming desire to see the truck. I was caught up in the memory and filled with inexplicable giddiness.

I recalled the orange dreamsicles, root beer and banana popsicles, and the traditional ice cream bars.

All eaten with my best live-down-the-block buddies. (I lived on the corner at the top of a hill.)

Pure Happiness.

I caught up with Pinky, the ice cream truck. The driver was one very happy guy. And yes, I did stop him and ask him to pose for the photo.

On another block, little ones (accompanied by mom and dad) ran to the curb yelling, “Wait, don’t go!” He slowed and stopped, and squeals of delight ensued.

How could you not be happy when you’re making a little kid’s day? I walked home smiling and thinking how fun it was to get caught up in that memory.

Interestingly, when I mentioned Pinky to Mr. Non-Compliant, he recalled that his younger sister had a Pinky. His grandma crocheted Pinky, an extremely thin rabbit with very loooong dangly legs.

Apparently THAT Pinky was often in grandma’s repair shop.

Mr. Non-Compliant had Deego—a stuffed dog that grandma had to recover oodles of times.

My oldest son fondly remembers our family dinners. When I was cooking, it was relaxing and warm in the house. He had a calm feeling knowing that there was nowhere else any of us had to be.

That is still a feeling he gets when anyone prepares a home cooked meal for him. (Good to know.)

What memories bring you a sense of comfort, happiness, security, giddiness, love? What do other family members, children, or grandchildren fondly remember? This might be a conversation you’d like to have sometime in the coming week. 

Last week’s Haluski story and recipe struck a memory chord with several of you. Perhaps there are more stories tucked away that will make you smile.

Happiness and good feelings bring about more of the same.

Hoping that you rediscover your “Pinky” memory.

Much love,
Carol

“I go running when I have to. When the ice cream truck is doing sixty.” —Wendy Liebman

Delicious Memories and a Recipe

I recently received a head of green cabbage as a gift. Now, I’m not one to buy cabbage, although I like it on occasion.

Roasting it seemed like a good idea, so I sliced it in rather thin wedges, placed the wedges in a single layer on my pan, and sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.

After about 30 minutes, in a 400 degree oven, I had some pretty tasty roasted cabbage.

A day or so later I was faced with the leftovers. Recalling that my Slovakian grandma used to make a noodle and cabbage dish that was wonderful, I decided to make something similar. 

I sautéed the leftover roasted cabbage in a skillet with some cooked rice noodles. Pretty good stuff. This was a quick and easy dish that brought back a delicious memory.

Last week, I decided to make the more traditional dish. It took a bit more time and was definitely worth it. I had plenty for a couple meals as a side dish.

This is a rediscovered comfort food for me. It’s not quite like grandma’s, as she used to even make her noodles! It’s good enough, and I find it to be very delicious and satisfying.

Here’s my version of a recipe that I found. Hope you enjoy it!

Haluski—Cabbage and Noodles

  • 1/3 cup butter or so, divided (or Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
  • 1 small head of cabbage, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A couple handfuls of your favorite noodles, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • Sweet paprika (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Melt about half of the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat; cook and stir onions until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Cook and stir remaining butter and cabbage into onions until cabbage is softened but not browned, 5 to 8 more minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Add the cooked noodles and stir gently to combine. Place the mixture into a buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown on top, 30 to 40 minutes.

Notes: I used Thai Kitchen stir-fry rice noodles and they worked great. The suggested noodle is medium-wide egg noodles. Of course, you could use homemade noodles if you have them. Adjust the amount of noodles according to your personal preference. 

In case you’re wondering, cabbage belongs to the same group as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale, known as the Brassica family. 

It is inexpensive, easy to store, and is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, folate, and a great source of protective phytochemicals.

I highly recommend that you give Haluski (some version) a try. You may have a new comfort food to help get you through the chilly months ahead.

Sending love,
Carol

“I grew up in Austria, and for me real comfort food is Wiener Schnitzel. Wiener Schnitzel and mashed potatoes because it reminds me of my youth… It reminds me when I grow up and it feels very comforting.”—Wolfgang Puck