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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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February 18, 2021

One of the Healthiest Fruits on the Planet

We are on week #33, counting down with my expectant friend. As some of you know from experience, she is getting pretty uncomfortable. My prayer for he

February 11, 2021

Fun with Jicama

At week #32, baby is a jicama in size. That’s right, a jicama. Starts with a J and sounds like an H. Jicama is a globe-shaped root vegetable with pa

February 4, 2021

Sumo, Coconut, and the Birth Month

If you’re an orange lover, I have some REALLY GOOD NEWS! The Sumo are here. Sumo oranges, that is. I wrote about them last year. If you missed that

January 28, 2021

5 Reasons Why Your Snack Bar May Not Be Your Friend

In a recent conversation, the topic of cereal/granola/protein bars came up. They appear to be a healthy snack, especially for a very busy person who i

January 21, 2021

Getting Back on Track

Baby size at 29 weeks is a butternut squash. And, like last week’s eggplant, butternut squash is technically a fruit. Since I wouldn’t care to eat

January 14, 2021

The Surprising Truth about Eggplant, and a Recipe

A large eggplant. That is the vegetable size of a baby at week #28. Oh, but wait just a minute. An eggplant is actually a FRUIT because it grows from

January 7, 2021

My Least Favorite Vegetable and a Challenge

At week #27 baby is the size of… …a head of cauliflower. Most of you know that I do not care for this vegetable. I’ve tried. Truth is that cauli

December 31, 2020

Cheers to Scallions and a New Year

At week #26, baby is the size of a scallion. The first question that popped into my head is: What’s the difference between a scallion and a green on

December 24, 2020

The Hope and Excitement of a Baby

A bit of background for my new readers: I’m taking the produce journey along with my good friend who is expecting. As we track the progression, we l

Cheers for Rainiers

What is this Saturday, July 11, you ask? Why, it’s National Rainier Cherry Day!

In 1952, Harry Fogle of Washington State University developed the Rainier cherry by cross-breeding the Bing and Van cherry varieties.

Rainier cherries are large in size, so it’s quite appropriate that they were named after Washington’s largest mountain, Mt. Rainier.

The season for Rainiers is short. They grow in Washington from June thru August.

I love these cherries. They have a low acidity level, are higher in sugar than Dark Sweet cherries, and are yellow, with a tinge of red.   

Why are Rainiers pricier than the Dark Sweet cherries? Growers must take extra pains to ensure the fruit does not go to the birds. They cover the trees in nets and plant them between red cherry trees to encourage the bees to pollinate the blossoms. Besides hand-picking the fruit, the harvesters place the cherries into small bags to avoid bruising. Every necessary precaution is taken, so the cherries arrive in the market in perfect and delicious condition.

If you enjoy cherries, these are so worth it!

There are a number of health benefits that accompany their deliciousness.

  • They are an excellent source of potassium, which can reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke
  • Rainier cherries contain bioactive anthocyanins, which have been found to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-obese properties
  • Good source of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, folate, and fiber
  • They promote healthy sleeping patterns through their melatonin content

In honor of this holiday, a top-notch chef from an iconic restaurant in each of the 50 states will be presenting their guests with a menu item centered on Northwest cherries. In Indiana, the winner is Recess on College Avenue in Indianapolis. If you’re nearby, you may want to check it out.

I plan to celebrate by simply eating them.

Cheers to cherries,
Carol

P.S. While many are enjoying the lazy days of summer, perhaps life for you is not a bowl of cherries. If you’re feeling stressed, out of shape, or facing health challenges, I’m here to help you sort it out. Email me and we’ll set up a call. It’s my summer gift to you in our wabi-sabi life.

“The notion is called wabi-sabi life, like the cherry blossom, it is beautiful because of its impermanence, not in spite of it, more exquisite for the inevitability of loss.”— Peggy Orenstein 

It’s Summer, so Bring on the Ribs

In our family, summer means grilling. One of our favorites: baby back ribs cooked to perfection. There’s a rib joint in Porter by the name of Wagner’s. Their ribs are outstanding.

Our humble opinion: the ribs we make rival their ribs. Yes, really. They are THAT good. In fact, they are AMAZING!

I’m wondering if you had a thought in your head that went something like this, “How can she eat ribs? Aren’t those BAD—especially with all that barbecue sauce?”   

Raise your hand if you did. I’m watching.

It’s important not to vilify food. Depending on your preferred style of eating, you may be applauding my rib enjoyment or you’re ready to throw tomatoes at me.

To clarify, I eat ribs maybe 2 or 3 times a year. When I do, they are the best. Sure, there’s some “not so good for me” barbecue sauce on them. Oh, and I love the really crispy parts that are blackened. GASP!

They are a treat.

On the other end of the spectrum, I eat a huge green salad with added vegetables almost daily.

We must look at the big picture when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle—which is why I often write about sleep, stress, relationships, having fun, etc.

AND, you do not have to be perfect to see marked results. Give yourself some grace.

 There are foods that are best consumed rarely or in moderate amounts, since they don’t lead us in the direction of our best health.

Then there are those that may be eaten daily—like vegetables. Lots of them.

The trouble arises with additives like chemicals and artificial flavors and colors, that are not real food. Have you read some ingredient labels lately? Another GASP!  

As you enjoy your unique July 4th activities, eat and appreciate those foods you love that are AMAZING. Consume moderate amounts and add some veggies into your day. Drink plenty of water so you don’t dehydrate. Feel grateful and have fun celebrating.

Blessings and love,
Carol

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”—Erma Bombeck

Sniff. What’s That Smell?

How does summer smell to you?

What aromas make you happy?

Maybe you haven’t thought about it much, unless you have seasonal allergies or a cold.

Today, let’s appreciate our sense of smell.

Taking time to enjoy the aroma of a delicious meal enhances the flavors and brings you into a more conscious mode of eating. Slowing down, focusing on each bite, and relaxing long enough to enjoy it, all contribute to maintaining your weight and even shedding some extra pounds.

All sorts of smells may jog our memories to bring back happy feelings. Can you think of any?  

When my boys were young, we’d go strawberry picking. After picking a large bucket of them, we’d stick our heads in, inhale deeply, and giggle with great joy. Now, when I choose my strawberries, I smell them. If they don’t smell like ripe strawberries, they don’t go in my cart.

Peaches are another happy memory producer. My mom and grandma used to buy a bushel basket of them each summer to freeze. One summer I snuck a few too many while they were peeling them, and that memory isn’t pleasant. Fortunately, I’ve gotten past it.

 I took a vacation last year and the peaches were the most amazing I’ve ever eaten–and smelled. The juice ran down my face with each bite. 🙂

There are even some happy smells that only deal with food indirectly.

I had an aunt that lived on a small lake. The wooden pier had a distinct odor that I get a whiff of now only on rare occasions. It reminds me of my hours spent fishing, floating in a big inner tube, and eating her southern fried chicken with all the fixings. (The fishing didn’t go well enough to feed us.)

Food, smells, and memories are an integral part of who we are. Honor those that are happy.

Perhaps this week you can think of some fun smells and foods to help you relive some fun times.

Practice the art of relaxation and inhale summer deeply.

Summer love,
Carol

P.S. I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me a brief email and let me know what summer smells like to you. And by the way, if the pandemic happenings have left you with a few excess pounds, and loss of focus and self-loving habits, I’ll gift you with some coaching to help get you back on track. Don’t stay stuck in the mire! Email me today.

“Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.”—Diane Ackerman

A Time to Celebrate

Big weekend ahead.

I wish all you fathers and like-fathers a very special Father’s Day this Sunday. May you enjoy a day filled with love, happiness, and all your favorite foods.   

Saturday, June 20th, 4:43pm central time, marks the 2020 Summer Solstice. It is the official beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring when Earth arrives at the point in its orbit where the North Pole is at its maximum tilt toward the Sun, resulting in the longest day and shortest night of the calendar year.

 The summer solstice celebrates the return of the light of the sun and that same light that shines within all of humanity. Traditionally, people also celebrated renewal, life, the potential for a good harvest, inner and outer abundance, and ascension.

 It is the perfect time to release any old, dark energy and focus on BEING the light.

Summer nights spark my memories of catching lightening bugs as a kid and putting then in a jar. We’d punch holes in the lid so they could breathe, and they’d twinkle in my room as I fell asleep.

I’m still fascinated by those little creatures. Rest easy, I no longer capture them.  

Here are some ways you could celebrate the beginning of summer:

  • Plant a small herb or flower garden
  • Go to the beach
  • Build a bonfire and make S’mores
  • Do yoga and include some sun salutations
  • Enjoy being outdoors and do nothing at all
  • Review and renew goals then set intentions to build upon
  • Begin something new
  • Reread a favorite book
  • Include the Salmon Dill Niçoise Salad in your special feast
  • Be happy and grateful
  • Hang out with your favorite people and enjoy much laughter

In many ways, June 20th can take on the feel of a New Year.

Let us dare to live this uncertain life with gusto.

May you be abundantly blessed,
Carol

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.” —John Lubbock