Crown Point, IN

May 25, 2023

Raw Honey is Good

I’m with Winnie the Pooh when it comes to honey. Although, I don’t recommend eating pawfuls of it from a honey pot. To get honey’s natural healt

May 17, 2023

Savor the Season

Here in the Midwest, it’s finally safe to plant flowers and vegetables without fear of frost. We hope. I’m going to risk it. The daffodils and tul

May 11, 2023

A Simple Morning Ritual

If you’ve watched television recently, perhaps you’ve noticed that not a commercial segment passes without the mention of a prescription drug. Or

May 4, 2023

Baby Angelos Turns Two!

For those of you who have been following my blog for the past 2 ½ years, you may recall my weekly posts about the size of my friend’s baby in utero

April 27, 2023

Tomatoes and Acidity

This week I was asked, “My young son gets some red irritation around his mouth when he eats lots of tomatoes. Why does this happen?” The answer: a

April 20, 2023

Better than a Chia Pet

Lately I’ve been honoring my addiction to chia pudding. While not everyone is a fan, you may like to give it a try if you: like pudding don’t have

April 20, 2023

No longer limited to ‘the pottery that grows,’ chia seeds add fiber, antioxidant oomph to your diet

(The following article was written for the March 2022 issue of Get Healthy magazine, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) Chia seeds have be

April 13, 2023

The Scoop on Avocados

The avocado can sometimes be a heartbreaker. If you’re a fan, you know what I’m referring to. You buy what appears to be a beautiful avocado. You

April 6, 2023

Time for a Reset

Spring. The time of year when we think of new life, cleaning, outdoors, daffodils—and rain. Lots of rain. Winter was mild here in the Region. Thankf

March 30, 2023

Foods for Healthy Skin

Here’s a big surprise (not): your diet influences the health of your skin. Besides the natural aging process, other factors that affect our skin inc

Bananas, Ice Cream, and Goody…Remembering Sophie

July 28, 2006, was the day our family adopted Sophie Slager, or put another way, the day she became the little princess of our household.

Part Cocker Spaniel and part mystery dog, she was a little bit of a thing that had been unadopted by another family the day before.

We were told that she was about a year old. Since she chewed a few too many of my shoes, I’m guessing that she was a bit younger.

Like us humankind, she had a few favorite foods that could easily have been consumed in excess, resulting in weight gain, or at least some type of digestive distress. 


High in potassium and fiber, no one could eat a banana in the house without her being fully aware.

If she was sleeping in another room, she would wake up and sniff her way to the kitchen and scam the end piece from whoever was eating it.

Even the frozen chunks that I added to my smoothie would get her attention, no matter how quickly I tried to blend them in.

There have been times in recent days that in order not to disturb the sleeping Sophie, we’d forgo peeling open a banana.

The nose always knew.

Ice Cream

We often traveled with Sophie and in each location, we’d make our way to the local ice cream parlor.

I’d go in and decide on my flavor selection while Mr. Non-Compliant looked after her. I’d come out and take over the position. He’d go in and place the order. She knew the routine well.

Sophie would not take her eyes off us as we enjoyed every creamy, delicious bite. We are “ice cream in the cup” people, and she wanted to make sure that she got any leftovers.

She’d lick the cups so clean that they looked unused. I was often accused of not leaving her enough. She and I were cut from the same ice cream loving mold.

We all like our special treats. Moderation in all things.


Her normal food was a protein-rich blend of kibble with freeze dried raw mixed in.  Of course, it was grain free and contained organic fruits and vegetables. She always picked out the goody first, (the freeze dried raw) then decided if she was going to finish the remaining kibble.

Just like a kid, eating the favorites, then moving the rest of it around in a mess until it finally gets eaten under duress, or put away for another meal.

I think she liked the goody best because it was soft, chewy, and maybe had a better flavor than the other kibble. I don’t care to try it, although it probably fits in with my food criteria.

She’d always cock her head up in a very distinct way as she chewed the goody and look around to see who was watching her eat. She made us laugh. 

Dogs, like people, have distinct personalities and are often characters. They make life interesting and have a way of stealing our hearts.

Sophie certainly stole ours. We miss our little banana, ice cream, goody loving girl.  

Sophie Slager
Circa December 2005 – June 20, 2022

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“Dogs leave pawprints on our hearts” – Author Unknown

Easy Ideas for Dad’s Day Dinner

Happy Father’s Day weekend to all the dads in my blog audience! In your honor, I’m sharing a few ideas to accompany those steaks on the grill, or salmon, if you prefer.

(That’s a little joke because NEVER would be the day when Mr. Non-Compliant would choose salmon over steak to celebrate his special day, even though he likes salmon.) 

I don’t know about you, but I prefer to sit and relax with the family and not spend much time in the kitchen doing prep work. That being the case, I’m tossing out some very simple ideas that don’t require much effort.

Whether the dad in your life wants steak, chicken, hamburgers, or even salmon, hopefully you’ll find a side dish that will be just the right accompaniment, with minimal kitchen time.


Clean a pound or so of cremini mushrooms. (All mushrooms absorb water like sponges. Only rinse them if they’re going into a salad or soup. If you’re pan-frying, just rub them down with a damp paper towel or brush them with a pastry brush.) Sauté in olive oil or butter over low-medium heat until slightly brown.


Since it’s Vidalia season slice up a few and sauté them until they’re brown and delicious.


Combine several varieties of greens and add any combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, shredded carrots, zucchini, radishes, etc. Toss with a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper, or favorite dressing.


Here’s a link to a recipe that you could make the day before. Easy peasy. Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad


While you could make any potato variation, this is the easiest. Scrub potatoes, coat with olive oil and kosher salt, wrap in foil, and bake. You could even put these on the grill so that you don’t have to heat up your kitchen.


Yes, this takes a bit of effort to make. However, a friend of mine once told me that he enjoyed a fruit salad because someone put a lot of love into cutting up all that fruit. Enough said.   

If you’re looking for something special to make for dad and need some help figuring out how or what to make, I’m here to help. Shoot me an email and we’ll come up with a dish that is just right.

This weekend, Mr. Non-Compliant gets a free pass with his food choices. I’ll try to maintain silence.

Happy weekend!

Sending you love,
Health Coach Carol

 “And so God created dads so that there would forever be bedtime-story-readers and cover-tuckers, shoulder-carriers at parades and star-pointers on clear nights, bike-riding coaches and driving instructors, love-providers and proud protectors. And He saw that it was good.” —Melvina Young

The Clean Fifteen and a 5-Minute Habit

Last week I covered the Dirty Dozen— the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 12 recommended fruits and vegetables that should be organic whenever possible, due to the excessive pesticide use.

This week, I’ll give you the list of the Clean Fifteen—those fruits and vegetables that are low in pesticides. 

You may choose to buy organics in this list, however it’s not as critical. When budgeting for groceries, you may want to spend the extra money on those that are listed in the dirty dozen and save money by choosing the conventional produce listed here.

The Clean Fifteen

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn*
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya*
  6. Sweet peas (frozen)
  7. Asparagus
  8. Honeydew melon
  9. Kiwi
  10. Cabbage
  11. Mushrooms
  12. Cantaloupe
  13. Mangoes
  14. Watermelon
  15. Sweet potatoes

* A small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically modified produce.

 When I shop, if the organic variety of what I’m looking for is of good quality, I’ll buy it. If it looks sad, or if it’s not available, I’ll buy conventional. I do my best to avoid conventional when buying produce on the Dirty Dozen list.

Buying local produce in stores and from farmers markets is fresher and more nutritious than produce shipped from afar. At farmers markets, you can inquire as to whether the produce is grown organically. Many times, it is.

A Healthy 5-Minute Habit

My most recent 5-minute healthy habit is one that is perfect for summer. I’ve been putting together a fruit salad after dinner as our dessert. 

It’s a sweet treat that is full of nutrients, fiber, and very satisfying.

Any combination of fruit works. Pick up what looks good when you shop and have fun tossing it together in different ways.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”—Miles Kington

In Celebration of June and the Dirty Dozen

With the arrival of June comes Indiana strawberries. It’s also the month to continue planting your vegetables, flowers, and enjoying life.

Some fun, as well as traditional National holidays, are abundant. 

Here are some of them that you may choose to celebrate, or not:


2: National Rocky Road Day and National Rotisserie Chicken Day

3: Egg Day, Repeat Day (so you can watch your favorite movie over and over and over…) and National Donut Day (since it’s repeat day, eat more than one donut for a dual celebration)

4: National Frozen Yogurt Day

5: National Gingerbread Day

6: National Yo-Yo Day

7: National Chocolate Ice Cream Day

8: Best Friends Day

9: National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day

10: Iced Tea Day

14: Flag Day

19: Father’s Day (remember to spoil dad)

Shopping at the IGA

I was recently shopping at a small-town IGA in search of berries, apples, zucchini, and whatever else looked appealing.

While I found a most of the items on my produce list, there were no organic fruits or vegetables available.

I bought my produce anyway, since conventional produce is better than not eating fruits and vegetables. They will get washed a bit longer than if they were organic. 

Here is the 2022 Dirty Dozen—the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 12 recommended fruits and vegetables that should be organic whenever possible, due to the excessive pesticide use. This is especially important for babies, children, and pregnant women.

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, collard, and mustard greens
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Bell and hot peppers
  8. Cherries
  9. Peaches
  10. Pears
  11. Celery
  12. Tomatoes

If you are trying to decide which items to splurge on when buying organic, you now have your updated list.

Cheers to June,
Health Coach Carol 

“Be shore of yourself. Come out of your shell. Take time to coast. Avoid pier pressure. Sea life’s beauty. Don’t get so tied down on work that you miss out on life’s beautiful waves.” – Advice from the Ocean