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

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 time to snatch them up.

They are deliciously sweet and perfect on a burger or cooked with your veggies.

Onions contribute to your overall good health. They contain lots of nutrients, antioxidants, and have antibacterial properties.

An interesting fact: The State of Georgia passed legislation in 1986 giving Vidalia onions legal status defining a 20-county-only production area. Only these 20 counties can produce and market the official Vidalia onion. 

The problem I’ve experienced in the past is that Vidalias go bad quickly in my storage bin. A good friend of mine gave me a tip on how to store them, and all onions, so that they last quite a long time.

Wrap each bulb individually in a paper towel, which will help absorb moisture, and place them in the crisper of your refrigerator with the vents closed. A few will naturally go bad, but many will keep for months.

In the movie, Holes, the boys ate raw onions that they found while roaming in the desert. Turned out that the nasty poisonous lizards wouldn’t bite them, for whatever reason. This info may come in handy one day…onions are good.


Salsa is great to have on hand for snacking, flavoring dishes, and as a complement to your morning eggs.

It can be tricky finding one that suits your taste buds. I recently gave the Frontera brand a try, on the advice of my son, Ryan. He said, “It’s so good that you can drink it right out of the jar.”

There are several varieties. I brought home the Tomatillo Salsa with roasted serrano and cilantro. It’s got a medium kick to it, which I find to be just right. 

One of the things I look for in salsa is low to no sugar. This one has less than 1 gram of sugar. For those of you who are concerned with calories, there are 10 in 2 tablespoons, and 150mg sodium.

I’m guessing the salsa is named after the Frontera Grill, Chef Rick Bayless’ flagship Mexican restaurant in Chicago. No wonder the salsa is good enough to drink.


I needed to shake things up a bit, so I tried something new to me.

I tried a Qigong class. “Chi gong” was developed in China thousands of years ago as part of traditional Chinese medicine. It involves using exercises to optimize energy within the body, mind, and spirit, with the goal of improving and maintaining health and well-being.

When I signed up, all I could think of was “wax on, wax off,” from the Karate Kid. We didn’t do that.

We focused on slow, repetitive, movements that came about from our breathing. First, we breathe, then we move.

In general, we are all in too much of a hurry about many things. This is a meditative practice that forces one to slow down. Take away momentum, and you have a workout.

It was exactly what I needed in the moment.

Sending you love,
Health Coach Carol

In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time.” – Leonardo da Vinci

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 probably a brownie or 12.

Enjoy your gatherings and do not obsess about the food. The more you tell yourself that you “can’t” have something, the more you want it. 

Here’s a tip: instead of putting food restrictions on yourself, add a few more nutrient-rich foods to your life.

Consider enjoying that special food, in moderation and only if it’s amazing. In addition to that, have some type of salad, grilled chicken or other lean protein, and watermelon or fruit salad.

When you feel satisfied by treating yourself to something that you crave or really enjoy, it’s easier to eat the “good for you foods” as well.

Moderation is good.

Denial is the pits.

Creating a happy, healthy lifestyle in small increments is much easier than going on diet after diet and having a habit of “starting over” every Monday morning.

It’s About More Than the Food

As you gather with family and friends in the days ahead, keep in mind that your social health—your relationships—are important to your overall health.

Those who have strong, positive, relationships and bonds tend to thrive.

Hopefully the people you surround yourself with are supportive of your goals. 

If you need a new strategy, let me know. We’ll figure out a plan together.

Blessings and love,
Health Coach Carol

“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” — Ronald Reagan

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