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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

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 only one way of eating, and I’ve worked with people who enjoy a wide range of eating plans.

The best diet (or eating plan, since the word diet is restrictive), is the one that works for youyour body type, activity level, genetic makeup, health and weight goals.

A word of caution when you’re looking for a specific way of eating: please don’t base your decision on what is working for your best friend or rates high on a single or limited study.

Be careful not to be misled by those diets that promote quick weight loss. While they sound dreamy, most of them are not sustainable for 10, 20 or 30 years.

And by the way, that which is lost rapidly tends to come back and bring friends. 

Sustainability is important, unless you’re happy restricting food intake and food groups for the rest of your life.

Most of us are not. (Unless of course there are food allergies/sensitivities and it’s in our best interest. I have eliminated certain foods due to this.)

It’s good to experiment with different ways of eating, allowing at least a couple weeks before making judgements on how a specific way is working—or not.

 A few points about ALL nutrition plans:

*They raise awareness and attention about what you’re eating, which tends to contribute to improving health and weight goals.

*They focus on eating whole foods, helping to eliminate nutritional deficiencies. Limiting processed foods is always a good idea.

*They allow for better appetite control and food intake.

*They promote regular exercise.

 My role as a coach is helping people find their best eating plan, whatever it looks like. And we actually have some fun doing it together.

So, the best diet is the one that best suits you.

If you’re struggling with finding YOUR way, or if you’d like to take an easy, 16-question self-assessment quiz to determine how well your current plan is REALLY working for you, let me know.

Apricot Alert: This week I discovered some limited-edition, white-flesh apricots at Whole Foods. They are juicy like a really ripe peach and the sweetest apricots I’ve ever eaten. If you find them, you may want to try them. They are AMAZING! 

Fun Firefly Fact: The Say’s Firefly, a native species to the Hoosier State, was designated the official state insect of Indiana in February 2018 due to the perseverance of Cumberland Elementary School students in West Lafayette.

Prior to that time, Indiana did not have a state insect. The students became involved in the legislative process and accomplished their goal which had begun during the 2014-2015 school year.

And now I’m going to kick back and enjoy one of those white-flesh apricots while I watch fireflies.

Much love,
Carol

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”—Charles Bowden

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 you’d enjoy a simple, tasty, and (don’t tell Mr. Non-Compliant) healthy salad.

This quinoa salad is great for hot weather events because there are no ingredients that will easily spoil. Also, you can make it ahead of time and the flavors will blend.

One cup of cooked quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has about 8 grams of protein and is a good source of fiber. It has a crunchy texture, nutty flavor and is gluten-free.

Quinoa is a complete protein source, which means that it provides all nine of the essential amino acids our bodies need. These are the amino acids that we cannot make and that must be acquired through diet.   

It is a good source of antioxidants and minerals, providing more magnesium, iron, fiber, and zinc than many common grains.

While I don’t care for warm quinoa on its own, I do like it in a cold salad with vegetables and a simple dressing. The first time I made quinoa I treated it like rice and decided that there must be a tastier way to enjoy it.

There are scads of variations for quinoa salad. Experiment to your heart’s content and have fun.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

  • 1 cup organic quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup peeled and diced cucumber
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • ¼ cup kalamata or black olives, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoonful chopped mint (optional)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. Let cool. Combine quinoa, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, parsley, cheese, olives, and mint in a large bowl. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper together. Pour over quinoa mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator.

Serve as a side salad or add grilled chicken to make it a main dish for lunch. This is also tasty as a topper for tortilla chips. (I like Late July brand chips.)

I wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday weekend. 

Much love,
Carol

“Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I’m not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be.”—John Wayne

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 were all snacking on Glutino gluten-free crackers topped with Earth Balance (dairy-free) buttery spread.

It was almost like eating saltines with butter.

Of course, this was in addition to the veggie tray.   

This treat led to some other fun childhood summer memories like:

*Catching lightning bugs and keeping them in a jar with air holes in the lid. I put my jar in the freezer. Why I did this, I’m not sure, however catching them was a favorite summer night pastime with my neighborhood buddies.

*Eating fresh peaches and nectarines and the juice running down my chin.

*Riding bikes with my friends and staying out until it got dark and our moms made us come in.

*Homemade ice cream on Sundays when friends came to visit—banana, vanilla, or peach. Never chocolate because my dad didn’t like chocolate ice cream.

*Having more time to read Nancy Drew mysteries.

*Running through the sprinkler on really hot days.

*Setting up a Kool-Aid stand and ending up in the red. I think I employed a few too many friends.

Consider taking some time to live summer like a kid. I got my bike out for the first time in ??? years. It was fun, although I need to toughen up my “sitting on a bike seat” muscles.

It’s Fruit and Veggie Time

Many people I consult with are practicing the art of increasing their fruit and vegetable intake. This is a great aspect of eating to focus on, and one that is much easier now that more of the produce is local.

A simple way to do this is to take note of the number of servings of vegetables and fruits you typically eat in a day. Practice increasing it by one a day over time. I find that eating a tossed green salad almost daily is an easy way to add 2-3 vegetables.

Take a handful or two of greens, and add any of the following: chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, sweet peppers, zucchini, carrots, etc.

Toss with a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. Easy.

The ultimate goal is 10 servings per day. A good ratio is 3:1 vegetables to fruits, 5:1 if you’re interested in weight loss.

It’s easy for me to reach my fruit intake, tougher to get in the suggested number of veggies. I continue to practice. 

Just try to do a little bit better.

Whatever health challenge you’re facing today, I’m here to support you.

Much love,
Carol

“Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the tree house; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape…” — Harper Lee

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 of fruits and vegetables we needed.

When my client went to put carrots and green beans in her buggy, she couldn’t find it. Thinking she’d left it in another area, she began searching the entire produce section. 

Her buggy had vanished. Poof. Gone.

The worst part: she had found the perfect avocados for her breakfasts to go with her veggie omelets. They were in the missing buggy.

Don’t you just hate when that happens?

She quickly took off to search other areas of the store and had no luck. We began again, filling a new buggy and keeping close watch.

We had almost finished restocking the second buggy when her initial buggy appeared next to the apples. She was never near the apples, didn’t plan to buy apples, yet there it was, next to the apples.

 The good news: nothing was missing from the cart and she had her beloved avocados back.

We then proceeded to return all the produce from the second buggy.

This same thing has happened to me in the past.

The moral of the story: beware of the buggy bandit. And if you happen to be a BB, at least grab one with really great avocados.

 A Fun Strawberry Fact

It’s strawberry season here in the Midwest, and U-Pick farms are open for picking.

I remember taking my sons to pick berries when they were little. We’d ride a hot, dusty school bus out into the fields and pick our buckets full.

While we were picking them, we’d often stop, stick our heads in the buckets and inhale the wonderful aroma of the best strawberries anywhere.

June strawberries in Indiana are amazing.   

I just learned that strawberries help with longevity. Yes, that’s correct. They’re delicious and they have anti-aging properties!

Strawberries contain a plant compound called fisetin which acts as an antioxidant, reduces inflammation in the body, and kills senescent cells. Senescent cells have lost their ability to divide but do not die, leading them to accumulate and inflame surrounding cells. This is characteristic of aging.

UGH! Try to eat ½ cup of strawberries daily or several times per week in order to keep this aging process from happening to you.

And on that note, I wish all you dads a very Happy Father’s Day! May you and your families enjoy a delicious celebration on Sunday, as we also ring in summer with the Solstice.

Much love,
Carol

“One way of celebrating the Solstice is to consider it a sacred time of reflection, release, restoration, and renewal.” —Sarah Ban Breathnach