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

Resolutions vs. Aspirations

Made any? Have any? What’s the difference and why am I even writing about this?

New Year’s resolutions are a thing. People make them. Most break them.

Statistics show that after 6 months, only 46% of people are successful at keeping a resolution.

By definition, a resolution is a decision to do something or behave in a certain manner.

An aspiration is a strong desire to achieve something high or great. 

Aspirations are the dreams you have for your life.

Making the resolution to hit the gym a few times a week sounds like a really good idea; until the alarm goes off and it’s cold, snowy, and the pillow is calling your name.

Aspiring to be a fit person who is living “fit person” ideals NOW, chooses to put on the gym clothes that were set out the night before. And then GO to the gym.

Both involve creating a different habit. Both take work. What differs is the identity behind the habit.

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, refers to these as “identity-based habits.”

Rather than resolving to lose 10 pounds, think about the person you’d like to become and take on that identity.

What would a fit person do? What would a fit person choose to eat?

The focus is on living as that type of person, not getting a particular outcome.

Resolutions tend to be outcome or achievement driven: exercise more, write a novel, save more money, stop smoking.

A few other examples of identity-based habits:

  • When you say “thank you” each day, you take on the identity of a grateful person.
  • The goal is not to read one book, the goal is to become a reader.
  • If you want to be a musician, practice your instrument every day.

Once you determine the type of person you would like to be (your aspiration), break it down into small steps that you can slowly build upon.

Let’s say you aspire to be a healthy eater. You are a healthy eater when you include at least one piece of fruit or serving of vegetables in your day. When you master that, you can up it to two servings a day. 

Any bit of improvement over where you were is a win. Continue to build on other areas as each habit gets easy.

What are your aspirations? Live them today.

If you could use some help creating simple steps to achieve them, email me. I’d love to help you map out a plan to get started.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“If you got a chance, take it, take it while you got a chance. If you got a dream, chase it, ’cause a dream won’t chase you back. If you’re gonna love somebody, hold ’em as long and as strong and as close as you can. ‘Til you can’t.”—Cody Johnson, “Til You Can’t”

What Color is Your Mood Ring?

I heard a song today that had a line that went something like, “She’s wearing her mood ring and it’s never the same.”

Remember the mood rings of the ‘70s? I had one and always wondered how they worked, and if they really reflected my mood.

The reason I bring it up is because I wondered what color mine would be today, post-Christmas festivities, with some cleanup left and a pretty lonely Christmas tree.

All the preparation and anticipation in the rearview mirror. Now what?

Guess it’s time for 2021 reflections and making plans for 2022.

Yawn. I think it’s time to hibernate instead.

Oh, wait. This message is supposed to INSPIRE you. Sorry. Maybe I’ll get there…

So, I think my mood ring color would be (drumroll please): YELLOW. And not because it’s sunny here. It’s been rather dreary for days, which could explain my desire to hibernate. 

Yellow may signify any of the following emotions: mild anxiety, nervousness, confusion, mixed feelings, creative energy, happiness, willing to take risks, good health.

Of course, the meanings for the colors depend on which site you read. This is the spectrum for yellow, and since the emotions are all over the place, I chose it.

Here are some other colors along with their meanings and you can decide what color you’d like to be today. Or, put on your ring and let it tell you.

Black: Stressed, worried, lost, and overwhelmed, OR your mood ring could be broken.

Gray: Beginning stages of worry, fear, sadness, grief, dread, and on the way to black.

Brown: Restless, anxious, impatiently waiting for something, confused.

Green: Calm, stable, relaxed, default color.

Red: Excited, passionate, anger, embarrassment.

Orange: Heightened emotions of yellow.

Blue: Calm, content, peaceful, relaxed, forgetting about all world stressors.

Violet: Enlightenment, balance, intense romantic feelings, clarity, deep purpose.

In case you’re wondering, mood rings change their color based on the changing temperature of the wearer’s body. It does this by making use of liquid crystals with thermotropic properties. Your mood can affect your body temperature.

Mood rings are still on the market, and there are more specific color guides that go along with each manufacturer’s ring. As you may have guessed, they’re not always accurate, and the life span of a mood ring is about 5 years. Toss out the one you have from the ‘70s.

Whatever color you’re feeling, now is probably a good time to think about (and maybe even create a list) of all the things that you’ve accomplished in 2021 that you’re happy about. 

What are you grateful for?

This may even lead you to consider some plans for the coming year.

Which reminds me—my word for 2022 is GRATITUDE. It’s a great word that is a great way to feel all the time. I’m going to focus on practicing more of that.

Since a majority of people begin the year with rather lofty health and fitness goals, I’ll offer some tips next week on how to stay the course with realistic expectations.

Thank you for reading my weekly blog posts and putting up with my many moods.

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, and blessed 2022! (And a blue colored mood ring.)

With love and gratitude,

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”—Brad Paisley

The Case of the Missing Goat Milk

Last Saturday I made a special trip to the grocery store to purchase a can of evaporated goat milk. I needed it to make my nutroll.

Of course, I remembered to pick up a few other items while I was there. 

The next day, I gathered the necessary ingredients for my baking adventure.

I was all set, except for the goat milk. Typically, when I’m going to use an ingredient the day I come home with it or the next, I leave it on the counter.

No goat milk. I searched all the places where it could be and nothing.

I searched again.

Was I losing my mind? (No need to answer that.) How could I lose a can of goat milk in a span of 24 hours?

The item was on my receipt, and yet I didn’t remember taking it out of a bag once I was home.

After minutes of searching and feeling very frustrated, I headed over to the store’s service desk. Lo and behold, it was an item that had been left in a bag with the cashier and turned in.

The crazy thing was that I even asked the cashier if I had all my bags. Mistakes happen.

I got my goat milk, again, and went home to my baking.

I share this story for several reasons.

First, it’s that time of year when all kinds of goofy things happen. Too much going on, we get distracted, we forget. I think it comes with the season. If you’ve experienced some weird stuff, welcome to my world.

Second, if you ever do leave something at the store, take your receipt and go to the service desk. Although the items had been put away, there was a list in their system of all the items that had been returned to the shelves.

Third, I was grateful to know that I didn’t lose a can of goat milk in my house and that I haven’t quite lost my mind.

 I wish you and yours a beautiful Christmas.

Much love,

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”—Isaiah 9:6 

Can You Really Have Too Many Cookies?

Sometimes, yes. It is possible.

Perhaps you hosted a festive holiday gathering and overbought or overbaked.

Or your guests all had the same hostess gift idea.

The cookie exchange was big fun, and now what do you do with all of them?

Since eating too many cookies isn’t the healthiest option, here’s an idea. 

You can freeze all those cookies.

Lately I’ve been surprised to learn that lots of people have not thought about freezing cookies.

When I was little, my mom and grandma would bake a delicious assortment of cookies and a couple batches of nutroll. Something wonderful was always coming out of the kitchen.

Since it’s impossible to bake everything the week of Christmas, they’d bake their way through December and freeze most of it.

When baked goods are stored properly, they freeze beautifully up to six months.

Allow the cookies to cool and gently stack in an airtight container. Depending on the type of cookie, you may want to put a piece of saran, parchment, or wax paper between the layers to keep them from sticking together.

You could also place the cooled cookies on a cookie sheet in a single layer to freeze. Once frozen, then place them in the container.

Cookies that are already decorated with frosting, contain a meringue, or are coated in chocolate or powdered sugar do not freeze well. This explains why mom would freeze the Mexican wedding cookies (also known as snowballs) without the powdered sugar and roll them in it just before serving.

They were fabulous.

Raw cookie dough also freezes well for up to six months. You can freeze drop cookie dough in a solid lump or portioned out into balls.

Dough for cutout cookies can be flattened into a disc and wrapped tightly and bagged before freezing. Alternatively, you can cut out the shapes you desire and freeze them on a baking sheet before storing them in an airtight container to bake later.

While this doesn’t solve the “too many cookie” problem, it’s another way to have fresh cookies without a huge investment of time when you need them. Plus, they’re warm.

If you’re making cookies with a thin batter, it’s best to bake them and freeze the cookies afterward. 

I freeze cookies all year. This allows me to portion out a small amount of Mr. Non-Compliant’s favorites while keeping the rest of them fresh. It keeps him (and me) from eating too many at one time.

Wishing you a healthy, joyful, and delicious week.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

Christmas cookies and happy hearts, this is how the holiday starts.” —Unknown