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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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July 29, 2021

Choose the Tastiest Cantaloupe, Every Time

I stumbled across some Tuscan-Style Extra Sweet Cantaloupes this week, and they certainly live up to their name. They are produced by Dulcinea Farms w

July 22, 2021

Mr. Corn Comes Home to Indiana

Here in Indiana, it’s corn season. The best and sweetest makes its appearance now through August. Along with the corn season came my cousin, Mr. Cor

July 15, 2021

Getting Creative with Blueberries

Welcome to blueberry season and all the deliciousness that comes with it. This fruit is very versatile, as it can be eaten fresh, frozen, added to a v

July 9, 2021

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

1 cup organic quinoa                                                                                2 cups...

July 7, 2021

What’s the Best Diet for You?

There are many options when it comes to eating: keto, paleo, vegan, low carb, intermittent fasting, and more. Which one is the best? I don’t endorse

July 1, 2021

A Simple Celebration Salad

Happy Independence Day and the kick-off to summer! Since there will probably be a few picnics and family gatherings happening at some point, I thought

June 24, 2021

Ever try butter on saltines?

I’d forgotten about this childhood treat until a friend of mine mentioned it. We’d gathered for an informal dinner, and the next thing I knew we w

June 17, 2021

Beware of the Buggy Bandit

This week, my client and I were enjoying a peaceful grocery shopping field trip at Whole Foods. We were in the produce department reviewing the list o

June 10, 2021

A Delicate Summer Surprise

Apricots are a hidden gem of a fruit. While the delicate little apricot is not even in the running of most popular fruits in the world, it has a speci

June 3, 2021

A Special Pasta Dish Just for You

I was fortunate to work with my friend, Chef Lynn and make this special recipe with her. She recreated it from her favorite dish at Popolano’s and l

Nothing to Sneeze At: New theories explored to stem the growth of food allergies, intolerance in children

(The following article first appeared in the March 2018 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times. Online version)

Every morning while I got ready for school, mom would pack my lunch. Sometimes my main course was a salami, yellow mustard and sweet pepper sandwich on white Wonder bread. Other days, it was peanut butter, jelly and potato chips—only I added the chips in at lunchtime so they didn’t get soggy and because my sandwich style grossed out my mom. There was no way she would smash chips on a sandwich for her daughter then send her to school.

Interestingly enough, there was never a problem with the peanut butter causing a life-threatening situation for any other students. Most of my friends brought sandwiches made on Wonder bread too. We all managed to grow up unscathed. And this was in the 1960’s!         

So why is it that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of children with food allergies increased 50% between 1997 and 2011?

The main theory will probably surprise you, and here’s a clue: Think back to “War of the Worlds.” (I’ll share the answer at the end if you are stuck.) The most accepted theory is known as the “Hygiene Hypothesis.” Basically, we need to let kids play in the dirt. Infants need a certain level of microbe (bacteria, virus, mold, germ, etc.) exposure in order to regulate and strengthen their developing immune systems. Our obsession to kill every last germ with antibacterial products has come with higher rates of allergy, autoimmune disease, and asthma. We’ve lost the balance. Children who were raised on farms, have numerous siblings, had pets or spent early years in daycare, have lower rates of asthma and allergy.

Another theory is that parents have been told to wait until after a baby’s first birthday to introduce foods that could cause a reaction. Because of this, when the child tries a new food later in life, the immune system is primed and ready to get rid of anything that seems out of line. Eat a peanut, and boom! What experts have now determined is that these foods should be introduced before the first birthday, since that’s when the immune system learns the difference between safe and dangerous.

What is the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance? A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system recognizes a certain food as harmful and reacts by causing symptoms. Eating that food results in reproducible symptoms (an allergic reaction) that occur immediately (within a few hours) and with every exposure. Foods that cause allergic reactions are allergens. Typical symptoms include: hives, swelling, itching, difficulty breathing and/or swallowing, vomiting, low blood pressure (which can cause the person to pass out), anaphylaxis, and death.

The most common foods that account for over 90% of allergic reactions are: cow’s milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.

Food intolerances occur when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract doesn’t respond well to a specific food or an ingredient used to prepare the food. These responses are not always immediate nor are they always reproducible. Symptoms may include gas, bloating, heartburn, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, congestion and headache. Intolerances may occur if a specific enzyme is missing to help digest a food, such as with lactose intolerance. Other common food intolerances include wheat/gluten, food additives (found in processed foods), corn, soy, and monosodium glutamate or MSG.

Food allergies affect between 5 to 8% of all kids. If there is no family history of allergies, the odds are good the kids will escape them. Intolerances are more prevalent than food allergies and may be difficult to determine since they are unique to the individual. Based on this information, could it be that a child believes an allergy exists, when it may actually be food intolerance? This can be tricky!

Based on all these theories, some ideas that may help:

  • Stop trying to be so anti-bacteria.
  • Breastfeed through the first year.
  • Don’t introduce solid foods before baby is 17 weeks old.
  • Introduce a variety of foods before your child turns 1.
  • Limit packaged and processed foods.
  • Avoid using any lotion or topical product on baby’s inflamed skin containing peanut oil if there is a family history of peanut allergy.

Oh, and in “War of the Worlds,” the aliens died from a common human germ since they had never been exposed to it to develop immunity. They probably died from the common cold. To an alien who grew up in an entirely different and perhaps germ-free environment, there is nothing common about an Earthly cold.

Strawberries, Lilacs, and a Dessert Mr. Non-Compliant Likes

Lilacs are in bloom, and they are magnificent. I have two small lilac bushes that I can snitch a few branches from and bring indoors for my enjoyment.

They make me happy. Natural aromatherapy.  

It’s almost strawberry season, and I don’t want you to miss out. This is your friendly reminder that June is usually when markets have local berries. Locally grown strawberries are typically smaller than California or Florida berries, and they are sweeter.

They make me happy too. I have a few strawberry plants in my garden, however critters usually get the berries before I do.

To celebrate strawberries, I’m sharing a recipe with you that is AMAZING! It’s really easy. The crumble topping is very similar to my recipe for the Quick and Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites—minus the chocolate chips, of course.

 I hope you seek and find a few simple pleasures today that make you happy. Let me know how you like the Strawberry Crumble. I had a few stalks of rhubarb and added them in with the berries. WOW! Even Mr. Non-Compliant likes it, so you know it’s a winner!

 

STRAWBERRY CRUMBLE

  • 4 cups strawberries, halved
  • 2 Tablespoons arrowroot (or cornstarch or tapioca starch)     
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup

FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING

  • 1 cup almond meal/flour (or all-purpose flour or oat flour)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil (melted) or avocado oil
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, toss together the strawberries, arrowroot, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Transfer to an 8” x 8” baking pan. Mix together the ingredients for the topping in a mixing bowl. Spread it over the strawberries as evenly as possible. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the strawberries are juicy and bubbly, and the topping is golden-brown.

You could substitute other fruits for the strawberries, depending on what’s in season.

Much love,
Carol

“I made wine from the lilac tree/Put my heart in its recipe/It makes me see what I want to see/And be what I want to be” -Nina Simone

Sending You Love and Gratitude

Today, I’m sending you love and gratitude. (No mask required.) Maybe you’ve got plenty, and now you have extra. Please share.

In the book, “The Miracle of Water,” the author Masaru Emoto, demonstrates how water’s unique role in transporting the natural vibration of these words can help you welcome change and live a more positive and happy life.

Dr. Emoto has photographed thousands of water crystals in his years of research, and few have been as beautiful and life affirming as those formed from the words “love and gratitude.”  

He also has photos of water crystals impacted by negative words. The difference is amazing.

Considering that the human body is primarily water, about 70%, it’s a really good idea to surround yourself with positive, happy words. What have you said to yourself and others lately?

A bit of advice from Dr. Emoto:

  • Have the biggest dreams possible
  • Look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re beautiful out loud (yes, even if you need a haircut)
  • Nurture high-quality friendships with people you feel comfortable with
  • Make every morning and evening relaxing in order to avoid stress
  • Practice the habit of extending a loving hand to those around you, and whenever you feel discouraged and down, loving hands will raise you up

This Memorial Day weekend will be unique. If you’re feeling a bit sad about “what might have been,” give love and gratitude a whirl.

And maybe make a nice fruit salad. I picked up some pretty tasty nectarines this week that scream summer. There’s something about the juice running down my chin that brings back fun memories. 

Thanks for reading.

Much love,
Carol

“When you continually think thoughts of love and gratitude, you simply cannot help but be changed. These thoughts will change the water within you, and the result will most certainly be a changed you.”—Masaru Emoto

Is Dairy Your Friend?

Maybe…maybe not.

It’s possible to have a sensitivity to dairy, be allergic, or lactose intolerant. Or, have no ill effects from consuming it at all.

Much of this is linked to your genetic makeup, and it can get pretty complicated. There are those who are a mess when they drink a glass of milk, yet can eat some aged cheese or Greek yogurt and feel terrific.  

The point is, if you’re experiencing symptoms, it may be time to play detective and simply notice what happens in your body when you consume certain foods. Sometimes dairy is the bad guy.  

Dairy products include milk, cheese, sour cream, yogurt, ice cream, whey protein, butter, kefir, half & half, ice milk, sherbet, curds, and more.

Some things to consider about dairy:

  • It can increase mucous production—really not good to ingest when you have a cold
  • You may experience bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, or stomach cramps if your system doesn’t like dairy
  • Acne may be linked to consumption
  • Allergy may present as congestion, brain fog, skin disorders such as eczema, and more
  • It’s an ingredient in lots of foods that you may not be aware of
  • It’s easier to avoid dairy now than it was 30 years ago

If you or someone you love is having issues with dairy, I can help.

My book, “Cookies No Milk, Pizza No Cheese: An Ice Cream Lover’s Guide to Raising Children with Dairy Allergies,” offers real solutions and alternatives to make living without dairy EASY!

Yes, in case you haven’t guessed, the title says it all.   

Dairy alternatives were a bit more difficult to find in the 90s than they are today. At any rate, working with folks who have food sensitivities/allergies is a specialty of mine. I have my sons to thank for this training.

Ideally, food makes us feel good, provides nourishment, is delicious—and encourages optimal health.

Sometimes, this is a challenge.

If you’d like to check out “Cookies No Milk, Pizza No Cheese: An Ice Cream Lover’s Guide to Raising Children with Dairy Allergies,” on Amazon, CLICK HERE. Besides containing a wealth of information on dairy allergies, there are funny stories, family favorite recipes, and even a few of my poems.

Much love,
Carol

“People vary in their ability to digest and tolerate dairy, whether because of genetics, age, or digestive health and intestinal microbiota.”—Ryan Andrews