1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

Top
June 13, 2024

Refreshing Drink Recipes to Beat the Heat

As the summer sun reaches its peak, staying hydrated is more important than ever. But who says hydration has to be boring? Here are some simple recipe

June 6, 2024

Fun and Healthy Summer Snacks

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy fresh, light, and delicious snacks that not only keep you cool but also pack a nutritional punch. Here are some fu

May 30, 2024

The Surprising Link Between Texting and Better Eating

Ever notice how you just feel a little lighter after a laugh with friends, or a heartfelt conversation with a loved one? These kinds of positive socia

May 22, 2024

Uncovering the Hidden Sweetness in Everyday Foods

(The following article was written for the December 2020 issue of Get Healthy magazine, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times. I’m sharin

May 16, 2024

Mastering the Art of Cleaning Produce

Last week I promised that I’d offer some various ways to effectively clean your produce. Before preparing fruits and vegetables, wash your hands wel

May 9, 2024

Navigating Pesticides in Produce

To buy organic or conventional produce? That is the question of the day. Organic produce, by definition, is grown without synthetic pesticides, synthe

May 2, 2024

Diverse Protein Sources for a Healthier You

Last week I covered the topic of how much protein we need in a day and dispelled the idea that protein causes kidney damage. In case you missed it, he

April 25, 2024

Is Too Much Protein Dangerous?

Twenty-five years ago, there was plenty of skepticism about protein. After all, bodybuilders ate lots of it—and they experimented with all kinds of

April 18, 2024

The #1 Nutrition Principle

“Red wine is better than white wine!” “Kale is better than spinach!” “GRAINS ARE EVIL!!” Ever feel like good nutrition is just too complic

April 11, 2024

Angelos Update and Green Thumb Time

If you’ve been following my blog for a few years, you may recall my weekly posts that were written comparing the size of my friend’s baby in utero

Decrease Your Stress and Enjoy a Muffin

Let’s start with the muffin. Last week I wrote about the health benefits of eating wild blueberries.

Saturday morning, I decided that I had to have a blueberry muffin. (It often happens that when I write about food, I think about it so much that it sends me to the kitchen.)

I set out on a mission to make one that was gluten-free, dairy-free and amazingly delicious

These are yummy. Here is the link to the recipe on my website in case you have similar muffin dietary criteria.

Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Of course, you could make your favorite conventional muffin recipe and add wild blueberries in place of cultivated blueberries. You’ll love them.

Oh, and I tried a few wild blueberries on my baked sweet potato. Interesting combination of flavors. Worth a try if you’re a sweet potato fan. I enjoyed the muffins more.

Decrease Your Stress

If life feels a bit out of control lately, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your day-to-day activities and regroup.

At first glance, or thought, you may believe that nothing can be eliminated or changed in order to feel more peace and calm.

That peace and calm, oh by the way, will lead to improved hormone control, better sleep, less weight gain and a happier, more focused you. You may even discover extra time to do something you thought you didn’t have time to do—like exercise or make a meal.

Keep these points in mind as you review your days.

  1. Delete one or more activities from your day. Start with one thing you do that, upon scrutiny, is a waste of your precious time. Maybe you could spend less time on social media or watching the news. Or is there something you think must get done daily that isn’t that critical?
  2. Delegate a task. Could another member of the household take over a chore or two? If you’re being a perfectionist about this, weigh the pros and cons concerning the task. Revisit why decreasing your stress level is important. If you live alone, maybe you could unload some outdoor chores to a young neighbor looking for work. Or, are you over-extending yourself on committees or boards?
  3. Do less when it’s acceptable. We strive to live in excellence, yet not everything demands top-grade quality. Some examples: You may not really need to vacuum your carpet daily if you don’t have a pet. It’s fine to pick up a rotisserie chicken on hectic days instead of cooking one from scratch. Using frozen vegetables instead of fresh means less chopping, and they’re often more nutritious. Shortcuts count as doing less.

If you’d like a Planning and Time Use Worksheet to help you, shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. 

In the meantime, you may like to find some space in your day to make some muffins.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

 “It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” Henry David Thoreau

Plant-Based Wild Blueberry Muffins

Plant-Based Wild Blueberry Muffins

These muffins are dairy-free, gluten-free and egg-free. The texture is different than mainstay blueberry muffins. I find them to be amazing. 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup almond flour*
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour* (this is a gluten-free flour, non-wheat flour)
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cup monkfruit sweetener or coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup MCT or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup Wyman’s frozen wild blueberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups or grease well. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, and baking powder.

In another bowl, add the almond milk, applesauce, oil, and vanilla. Whisk until uniform. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir until evenly mixed and lump-free. Fold in the wild blueberries until evenly dispersed in the batter.

Spoon the muffin batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 22-26 minutes, until browned on top and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tin, then move to a wire rack and cool completely. Best enjoyed on the day of baking and kept in an airtight container until needed.

Makes 12 muffins

*Note: This recipe is adapted from the Medical Medium (MM) Wild Blueberry Muffin recipe. The original recipe calls for 1 cup gluten-free oat flour instead of the almond and buckwheat flours. You could use 2 cups of a regular gluten-free flour blend as a substitute for all the various flours and they would probably taste more like a traditional muffin. MM also uses coconut sugar in place of monkfruit and alcohol-free vanilla extract or vanilla powder.

Tiny Berry Packs a Powerful Punch

If you’ve not yet discovered Wyman’s Wild Blueberries, now is your time. These tiny little berries are one of the healthiest (perhaps even #1) and most delicious foods on the planet.

While cultivated blueberries that we find locally in stores or pick here in the Midwest are good, wild blueberries have 2X the antioxidants, 33% more anthocyanins (the deep pigment) and 72% more fiber. What this means for us is even greater health benefits, such as:

  • Improved brain and heart health
  • Healthy blood sugar levels due to low glycemic index
  • Promotes gut health
  • Overall wellness

These berries have naturally grown in abundance in Maine and Eastern Canada for thousands of years. 

They can only be harvested one time a year – in August & September. Therefore, most of the fruit is frozen, dried, juiced or powdered to ensure year-round availability.

Wyman’s freezes the berries within 24 hours of harvesting to maintain peak freshness and nutrition. I’ve seen them at Costco and other local groceries near the other frozen fruits.

I also noticed that you could order them directly from the Wyman website.

They come washed and ready to eat. I love adding them to my smoothies.

And our cells love the benefits of that beautiful purple color!

Enjoy them in baked goods, pancakes, pour milk over frozen berries or make sorbet (I’m going to do this soon).

I also saw a suggestion to put them on top of a baked sweet potato. Hmmm. Guess we shouldn’t knock it until we’ve tried it.

Apparently, the tartness of the berries compliments the sweetness of the potato.

I’ll let you know if I try it. I doubt I’ll get Mr. Non-Compliant on board. He’d be all in for a wild blueberry donut—but only if it’s AMAZING.

Be a Lifelong Learner

I’ve recently had the privilege of speaking to some local groups. There is an abundance of health topics that make for interesting, interactive seminars.

While preparing for my seminars and during the presentations, I always learn something new.

No two seminars are ever the same because the audience and questions are different.

Everyone benefits and we have fun.

 If you know of a group or business looking for a speaker, please keep me in mind. 

Curious about a topic or hobby? Have the desire to learn a new language or how to play an instrument? Ever dream of taking singing lessons or a yoga class?

My challenge for you is to listen to an audio or read a book on the topic, take the lessons, sign up for a class.

It’s never too late to learn something new.

Be a lifelong learner.

There is one downside. The more we learn, the more we realize we don’t know.

Much love to you,
Health Coach Carol

“A commitment to lifelong learning is a natural expression of the practice of living consciously.” — Nathaniel Branden

Debate on the Dirty Dozen

“Should I spend my money on organic fruits and vegetables?”

“Is organic produce superior nutritionally?”

“Does it really matter?”

I hear these questions frequently. My response was typically, “Check out the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) ‘Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Clean Fifteen,’ and use that as a guide.” 

 Now I’m not so sure.

I’ve read several articles that discredit the methods that lead to their lists. One such article cited that a toxicologist did an investigation and discovered:

  • The methodology used by the EWG to rank the fruits and vegetables with respect to pesticide risks lacks scientific credibility
  • Exposure to the most commonly detected pesticides on the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables poses negligible risks to consumers
  • Substituting organic forms of the “dirty dozen” foods for conventional forms does not reduce consumer risks

The Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF) is a non-profit organization that represents organic and conventional farmers of fruits and vegetables and farms.

According to their testing tool, for example, an adult woman could eat 3,624 individual strawberries without worrying about potential pesticide exposure. Strawberries are historically on the “Dirty Dozen” list.

I love strawberries but there’s no way I could eat that many in one sitting.

I could go on; however, I’ll get right to the point.

Eat more fruits and vegetables for optimal health, either conventional or organic.

Do not be afraid.

Wash all your produce with plain running water, and if it’s a hearty fruit or vegetable, use your little produce scrubber.

Do what is best for you and your family. Please don’t avoid eating produce because it’s on a list. The benefits of eating more produce far outweigh any possible risks. 

If I learn more information that influences my thoughts on this topic, you’ll be the first to know.

Another Pineapple Tip

A friend of mine wrote me with another tip for choosing the tastiest pineapple. Pluck a leaf and if it comes out easily, the fruit is ripe.

My Report on Orange Cauliflower

A few weeks ago, I wrote about colored cauliflower. I had the courage to try an orange one, and…drum roll, please…It was sweeter than the white variety.

I roasted it with an assortment of other vegetables and enjoyed it. Even Mr. Non-Compliant gave it a thumbs up.

Next time I’ll try a purple one and see what happens.

It’s always good to add more variety to our diets, which is why I continually try to include fruits and vegetables that I don’t normally eat.

I challenge you to do the same.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”— Doug Larson