Crown Point, IN

September 28, 2023

Why You Can’t Stop Eating Junk Food

“Who ate all these chips?!” You look around and, alas, not even a dog to blame. Oops. It’s not your fault.  If you’ve had this experience—r

September 21, 2023

Harvesting the Balance of Autumn

September 23rd ushers in the autumn equinox, a time when day and night are in perfect balance. It also opens the official season of cozy sweaters, pum

September 14, 2023

More Brain-Boosting Foods

Last week I shared a list of brain-boosting foods with the promise of more to come. Here are some additional foods that you may choose to include in y

September 7, 2023

Ten Brain-Boosting Foods

Thank you for the many recommendations of farm stands with tasty corn on the cob. Mr. Non-Compliant happened to be in the vicinity of VanDerGriends Fa

August 31, 2023

Mr. Non-Compliant’s Unwavering Passion for…Corn

Mr. Non-Compliant LOVES corn on the cob. Since the corn season is rather brief, I do my best to oblige him with this indulgence. And as my dear cousin

August 24, 2023

Tips for a Sluggish Thyroid

Lately, I’ve been getting lots of questions about the little gland known as the thyroid. It seems to be underperforming for many of you. Hypothyroid

August 17, 2023

Healthy Anytime Toast

Since my encounter with bar food last week, I’ve been focused on eating more plants. I came across this idea to enjoy “toast” and get more veggi

August 10, 2023

Confessions from The Antler

What does one eat when in a bar? Bar food, of course. The bar options: The Brown Bear vs. The Antler: Horniest Bar Around (There were deer heads with

August 3, 2023

6 Ways to Enjoy a Staycation at Home

August. Already. Is summer slipping by too quickly? Feel as though you’ve not experienced enough lazy days? Can’t manage to get away for one reaso

July 26, 2023

The Wonder of Apricots

When I think about the abundant fruits of summer, apricots make the list. Although some of you may not be fans, I ask that you consider giving this da

Colorful Cauliflower and Fresher Berries

Interesting what shows up in conversation when a bunch of friends gather. Most recently, this is what happened.

“So, have you ever wondered how cauliflower ends up purple and orange? Has anyone tried it? Carol, how does that happen?”

Inquiring minds need to know. So, here you go. 

Purple, green and orange cauliflower contain naturally occurring pigments. They have not been dyed or genetically modified. These colored varieties have been developed over the years from cross-breeding techniques and seed development.

As most of you know from my previous blogs, I am not a fan of this vegetable. I have tried it any number of ways and it matters not.

However, I’ve read that these colorful varieties have a slightly different taste than the white variety.

Green cauliflowers are milder and sweeter and have a texture similar to broccoli. Purple cauliflowers taste sweeter and nuttier. Orange cauliflowers are also sweeter and milder.

Deep colors mean more health benefits. The purple variety contains anthocyanin, an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation in the body. The orange variety has more vitamin A than the white, due to beta-carotene.

I found this of interest: white cauliflower is white because it is protected from the sun. To protect them, they need to have the leaves gathered up and secured with a rubber band or twine. This is called “blanching.”

There are varieties that have leaves that naturally wrap around the curds to protect them from the sun. They “self-blanch.”

Too much heat or sun may result in white cauliflower with a hint of pink or purple.

I may give one of the colored varieties a try, since the flavor is different. We’ll see what happens. It would certainly add great eye-appeal to any meal.

And now, if you’re ever on a game show and this question pops up, you’ll win the big bucks.

Keep Fresh Berries Fresher Longer

I’m still experimenting with this trick, but thought I’d share it in case you’d like to try it too.

When I bring home fresh berries, I gently pour them into a Mason or Ball jar and put the lid with the seal on it. (Remove any berries that are spoiled.) Refrigerate.

I wash them just before eating so they don’t get mushy.   

They look pretty in the jar and I remember to eat them. I suppose this could be part of the reason they stay fresh—they’re not around as long.

Either way, it’s a win-win situation.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”—Mark Twain

5 Ways to Stop Playing the Comparison Game

We all do it. As human beings, it’s part of our nature. We compare for points of reference.

But we don’t have to play the game anymore. If you find that playing it brings you negative feelings about your body, work, success, life, leave the game.

Yeh, right. I hear you. It’s a tough thing to let go of. Comparing.

Stuff happens, like seeing a post and photo of your buddy from college who has the perfect physique, job and healthy-looking meals EVERY DAY on social media. Oh, and even the dog is super cute. 

(Little did you know that she spent 3 hours getting set up for a “smoke and mirrors” photo of all that—including the super cute dog that actually belongs to the neighbor.)

Or, you feel good about sticking with your exercise plan for the new year, until you hear that someone in your inner circle is working out LESS than you and has lost 10 pounds already. Grrr.

You’ve got to be kidding.

For me, it goes something like this, “How can person XYZ eat THAT and be so active and energetic? I’d be dead by now.”

This everyday kind of stuff can bring us down. Some days I feel like throwing in the towel and downing a gallon of ice cream. In one sitting.

So, here’s a novel idea. Let’s practice NOT playing the comparison game.

Here are 5 ways to help you (and me) stop playing in relation to body image and health:

  1. Concentrate on your actions, not your outcomes. Complete daily actions that you’ve set in place and stop worrying about the result. Let’s say you want to lose 5 pounds and you decide to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. You’re also committed to exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes 3x a week. Follow through with your habits and be less concerned about the number on the scale. Oh, and less concerned about how much weight your friend lost in 3 days. Weight loss is complicated.
  2. Keep things in proper perspective. Choose to be happy about what you’re grateful for (3 things), what you’re excited about (1 thing) and something you’ve accomplished (1 thing). Quickly jot them down at the end of the day and sit with reality. By focusing on the positive, there’s less room for the negative. Look back in a month or so and check out your progress. Gold star for you. 
  3. Drop the comparison triggers. If participating in an advanced aerobics class week after week brings out the comparison monster, making you feel less than, stop. Stay in a place that motivates you but doesn’t derail your mindset. Grow into tougher as you get stronger, then go for it. Same idea for your eating plan. The “diet” that works for your best friend may be horrible for you.
  4. Declutter your social feeds. If you have virtual friends or follow someone who makes you feel bad about what you’re accomplishing, drop them like a hot bag of greasy French fries. Stay around positive people—virtually and in real life. You’ll love yourself (and others) more. 
  5. Build meaningful connections. Surround yourself with genuine people and be vulnerable with one another. You’ll realize that so much superficial stuff doesn’t matter anyway. You do YOU beautifully.

Wishing you the best day ever.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dining Out Made Simple

We know that home cooking is the healthiest. For starters, we’re not loading our meals with ingredients that we can’t pronounce and preservatives to make the food last for weeks.

There are times, however, when it’s socially correct to go out and enjoy a meal with family or friends. After all, it’s fun to be waited on and skip the planning, cooking and clean-up.

(By the way, Mr. Non-Compliant is great at doing dishes. Thank you, Mr. NC.)

There are also business lunches and dinners and various celebrations. 

When we dine out, it’s easy to get swept away and lose control with all the goodies that appear on the table before us. While some restaurants inquire as to if you’d like bread, it often shows up uninvited.

And it brings along some very tasty friends: butter, olive oil, cheese, vinegar.

Then there are the cocktails, wine, appetizers, rich creamy soups, homemade pastas, desserts.

Indulging in the “extras” on occasion will probably not send your healthy eating goals out the window.

It’s the excessive number of food-centered meetings and events that tend to pack on the pounds, especially when there are several in one week.

Should you find yourself in this situation, here are some simple guidelines to help keep you from outgrowing your clothes.

Health Coach Carol’s Simple Dining Out Guidelines

  1. Skip the bread.
  2. Skip the alcohol.
  3. Skip the pasta.
  4. Skip the dessert.
  5. If steps 1-4 are not possible for you, choose two options out of the four—sort of like “You Pick Two” at Panera Bread.
  6. Whatever two you choose, make sure they are AMAZING!

When desserts are AMAZING, often a table shares a few options so that everyone can have a sample of each.


Mr. Non-Compliant is a tough negotiator. Even he can handle choosing two. For example, when the bread is fresh out of the oven, he’s going to enjoy it, slathered with butter.

If he’s at a banquet hall dinner where the dessert is sitting by his place at the beginning of the meal, it’s probably not going to be AMAZING. Same goes for the bread or rolls.

These simple guidelines allow for a delicious dining experience without feeling as though you’ve overindulged.

No calorie counting. No food stressing. No outgrowing your clothes.

Bon appétit!

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“We should enjoy food and have fun. It is one of the simplest and nicest pleasures in life.”—Julia Child

Look for the Bright Spots

It’s been almost 2 weeks since we’ve celebrated the newness of another year. Perhaps you’ve set up some small action steps that lead to a positive change.

Keep in mind, this could be about anything, not only health and fitness related goals. 

Whatever the case may be, how are you doing with them? Are you tracking your successes? Are you stuck in a mindset of failure?

About 99% of the time, when I talk with clients and friends, I first hear about the “mess-ups” that happened.

True confessions.

I don’t ask. They just tell.

My response to whatever I hear is, “What went well for you? What did you do that you feel good about?”

It’s much more fun and beneficial to uncover positive accomplishments. Nothing is too small to note. Every win counts.

Next time you feel as though you’ve “messed up,” try looking for the bright spots. Odds are that you’re doing a much better job with reinforcing your new habits and sticking to your commitment than you think. By focusing on the bright spots, you maintain forward momentum. You’ll feel successful and accomplished.

If you’d like a Bright Spots Tracker to help you practice this, shoot me an email telling me of a success you had this week, and I’ll send it to you.

A Little Goes a Long Way

Movement, that is.

Just in case you’ve committed to going to the gym, walking, swimming, playing volleyball, etc. and are struggling, know this: Anything is better than nothing.

And since consistency is key, discovering movement that you enjoy is critical.

Check out the wide range of possibilities and go for it. Do what you can and build upon that. 

Even walking 15 minutes a day 4 times a week is beneficial.

Exercise adds to longevity. It reduces the risk of cancer mortality, cardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality.

For example, there is a 14% decrease in coronary heart disease for those who exercise 150 minutes per week compared to those who do not exercise. 300 minutes a week lowers the rate to 20%.

At my gym, I always see the 3 Musketeers, as I call them. Three women who do a class or two a day, usually together. They are older than me. They have fun. They keep moving so that they can move. I aspire to be like them, and hopefully will age just as gracefully.

Trying to figure out what is possible for you? Let’s talk.

 Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“Just for the record darling, not all positive change feels positive in the beginning.” —S. C. Lourie