Crown Point, IN

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

Resolutions vs. Aspirations

Made any? Have any? What’s the difference and why am I even writing about this?

New Year’s resolutions are a thing. People make them. Most break them.

Statistics show that after 6 months, only 46% of people are successful at keeping a resolution.

By definition, a resolution is a decision to do something or behave in a certain manner.

An aspiration is a strong desire to achieve something high or great. 

Aspirations are the dreams you have for your life.

Making the resolution to hit the gym a few times a week sounds like a really good idea; until the alarm goes off and it’s cold, snowy, and the pillow is calling your name.

Aspiring to be a fit person who is living “fit person” ideals NOW, chooses to put on the gym clothes that were set out the night before. And then GO to the gym.

Both involve creating a different habit. Both take work. What differs is the identity behind the habit.

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, refers to these as “identity-based habits.”

Rather than resolving to lose 10 pounds, think about the person you’d like to become and take on that identity.

What would a fit person do? What would a fit person choose to eat?

The focus is on living as that type of person, not getting a particular outcome.

Resolutions tend to be outcome or achievement driven: exercise more, write a novel, save more money, stop smoking.

A few other examples of identity-based habits:

  • When you say “thank you” each day, you take on the identity of a grateful person.
  • The goal is not to read one book, the goal is to become a reader.
  • If you want to be a musician, practice your instrument every day.

Once you determine the type of person you would like to be (your aspiration), break it down into small steps that you can slowly build upon.

Let’s say you aspire to be a healthy eater. You are a healthy eater when you include at least one piece of fruit or serving of vegetables in your day. When you master that, you can up it to two servings a day. 

Any bit of improvement over where you were is a win. Continue to build on other areas as each habit gets easy.

What are your aspirations? Live them today.

If you could use some help creating simple steps to achieve them, email me. I’d love to help you map out a plan to get started.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“If you got a chance, take it, take it while you got a chance. If you got a dream, chase it, ’cause a dream won’t chase you back. If you’re gonna love somebody, hold ’em as long and as strong and as close as you can. ‘Til you can’t.”—Cody Johnson, “Til You Can’t”

What Color is Your Mood Ring?

I heard a song today that had a line that went something like, “She’s wearing her mood ring and it’s never the same.”

Remember the mood rings of the ‘70s? I had one and always wondered how they worked, and if they really reflected my mood.

The reason I bring it up is because I wondered what color mine would be today, post-Christmas festivities, with some cleanup left and a pretty lonely Christmas tree.

All the preparation and anticipation in the rearview mirror. Now what?

Guess it’s time for 2021 reflections and making plans for 2022.

Yawn. I think it’s time to hibernate instead.

Oh, wait. This message is supposed to INSPIRE you. Sorry. Maybe I’ll get there…

So, I think my mood ring color would be (drumroll please): YELLOW. And not because it’s sunny here. It’s been rather dreary for days, which could explain my desire to hibernate. 

Yellow may signify any of the following emotions: mild anxiety, nervousness, confusion, mixed feelings, creative energy, happiness, willing to take risks, good health.

Of course, the meanings for the colors depend on which site you read. This is the spectrum for yellow, and since the emotions are all over the place, I chose it.

Here are some other colors along with their meanings and you can decide what color you’d like to be today. Or, put on your ring and let it tell you.

Black: Stressed, worried, lost, and overwhelmed, OR your mood ring could be broken.

Gray: Beginning stages of worry, fear, sadness, grief, dread, and on the way to black.

Brown: Restless, anxious, impatiently waiting for something, confused.

Green: Calm, stable, relaxed, default color.

Red: Excited, passionate, anger, embarrassment.

Orange: Heightened emotions of yellow.

Blue: Calm, content, peaceful, relaxed, forgetting about all world stressors.

Violet: Enlightenment, balance, intense romantic feelings, clarity, deep purpose.

In case you’re wondering, mood rings change their color based on the changing temperature of the wearer’s body. It does this by making use of liquid crystals with thermotropic properties. Your mood can affect your body temperature.

Mood rings are still on the market, and there are more specific color guides that go along with each manufacturer’s ring. As you may have guessed, they’re not always accurate, and the life span of a mood ring is about 5 years. Toss out the one you have from the ‘70s.

Whatever color you’re feeling, now is probably a good time to think about (and maybe even create a list) of all the things that you’ve accomplished in 2021 that you’re happy about. 

What are you grateful for?

This may even lead you to consider some plans for the coming year.

Which reminds me—my word for 2022 is GRATITUDE. It’s a great word that is a great way to feel all the time. I’m going to focus on practicing more of that.

Since a majority of people begin the year with rather lofty health and fitness goals, I’ll offer some tips next week on how to stay the course with realistic expectations.

Thank you for reading my weekly blog posts and putting up with my many moods.

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, and blessed 2022! (And a blue colored mood ring.)

With love and gratitude,

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”—Brad Paisley

The Case of the Missing Goat Milk

Last Saturday I made a special trip to the grocery store to purchase a can of evaporated goat milk. I needed it to make my nutroll.

Of course, I remembered to pick up a few other items while I was there. 

The next day, I gathered the necessary ingredients for my baking adventure.

I was all set, except for the goat milk. Typically, when I’m going to use an ingredient the day I come home with it or the next, I leave it on the counter.

No goat milk. I searched all the places where it could be and nothing.

I searched again.

Was I losing my mind? (No need to answer that.) How could I lose a can of goat milk in a span of 24 hours?

The item was on my receipt, and yet I didn’t remember taking it out of a bag once I was home.

After minutes of searching and feeling very frustrated, I headed over to the store’s service desk. Lo and behold, it was an item that had been left in a bag with the cashier and turned in.

The crazy thing was that I even asked the cashier if I had all my bags. Mistakes happen.

I got my goat milk, again, and went home to my baking.

I share this story for several reasons.

First, it’s that time of year when all kinds of goofy things happen. Too much going on, we get distracted, we forget. I think it comes with the season. If you’ve experienced some weird stuff, welcome to my world.

Second, if you ever do leave something at the store, take your receipt and go to the service desk. Although the items had been put away, there was a list in their system of all the items that had been returned to the shelves.

Third, I was grateful to know that I didn’t lose a can of goat milk in my house and that I haven’t quite lost my mind.

 I wish you and yours a beautiful Christmas.

Much love,

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”—Isaiah 9:6 

Can You Really Have Too Many Cookies?

Sometimes, yes. It is possible.

Perhaps you hosted a festive holiday gathering and overbought or overbaked.

Or your guests all had the same hostess gift idea.

The cookie exchange was big fun, and now what do you do with all of them?

Since eating too many cookies isn’t the healthiest option, here’s an idea. 

You can freeze all those cookies.

Lately I’ve been surprised to learn that lots of people have not thought about freezing cookies.

When I was little, my mom and grandma would bake a delicious assortment of cookies and a couple batches of nutroll. Something wonderful was always coming out of the kitchen.

Since it’s impossible to bake everything the week of Christmas, they’d bake their way through December and freeze most of it.

When baked goods are stored properly, they freeze beautifully up to six months.

Allow the cookies to cool and gently stack in an airtight container. Depending on the type of cookie, you may want to put a piece of saran, parchment, or wax paper between the layers to keep them from sticking together.

You could also place the cooled cookies on a cookie sheet in a single layer to freeze. Once frozen, then place them in the container.

Cookies that are already decorated with frosting, contain a meringue, or are coated in chocolate or powdered sugar do not freeze well. This explains why mom would freeze the Mexican wedding cookies (also known as snowballs) without the powdered sugar and roll them in it just before serving.

They were fabulous.

Raw cookie dough also freezes well for up to six months. You can freeze drop cookie dough in a solid lump or portioned out into balls.

Dough for cutout cookies can be flattened into a disc and wrapped tightly and bagged before freezing. Alternatively, you can cut out the shapes you desire and freeze them on a baking sheet before storing them in an airtight container to bake later.

While this doesn’t solve the “too many cookie” problem, it’s another way to have fresh cookies without a huge investment of time when you need them. Plus, they’re warm.

If you’re making cookies with a thin batter, it’s best to bake them and freeze the cookies afterward. 

I freeze cookies all year. This allows me to portion out a small amount of Mr. Non-Compliant’s favorites while keeping the rest of them fresh. It keeps him (and me) from eating too many at one time.

Wishing you a healthy, joyful, and delicious week.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

Christmas cookies and happy hearts, this is how the holiday starts.” —Unknown