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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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February 18, 2021

One of the Healthiest Fruits on the Planet

We are on week #33, counting down with my expectant friend. As some of you know from experience, she is getting pretty uncomfortable. My prayer for he

February 11, 2021

Fun with Jicama

At week #32, baby is a jicama in size. That’s right, a jicama. Starts with a J and sounds like an H. Jicama is a globe-shaped root vegetable with pa

February 4, 2021

Sumo, Coconut, and the Birth Month

If you’re an orange lover, I have some REALLY GOOD NEWS! The Sumo are here. Sumo oranges, that is. I wrote about them last year. If you missed that

January 28, 2021

5 Reasons Why Your Snack Bar May Not Be Your Friend

In a recent conversation, the topic of cereal/granola/protein bars came up. They appear to be a healthy snack, especially for a very busy person who i

January 21, 2021

Getting Back on Track

Baby size at 29 weeks is a butternut squash. And, like last week’s eggplant, butternut squash is technically a fruit. Since I wouldn’t care to eat

January 14, 2021

The Surprising Truth about Eggplant, and a Recipe

A large eggplant. That is the vegetable size of a baby at week #28. Oh, but wait just a minute. An eggplant is actually a FRUIT because it grows from

January 7, 2021

My Least Favorite Vegetable and a Challenge

At week #27 baby is the size of… …a head of cauliflower. Most of you know that I do not care for this vegetable. I’ve tried. Truth is that cauli

December 31, 2020

Cheers to Scallions and a New Year

At week #26, baby is the size of a scallion. The first question that popped into my head is: What’s the difference between a scallion and a green on

December 24, 2020

The Hope and Excitement of a Baby

A bit of background for my new readers: I’m taking the produce journey along with my good friend who is expecting. As we track the progression, we l

Cheers to Scallions and a New Year

At week #26, baby is the size of a scallion.

The first question that popped into my head is: What’s the difference between a scallion and a green onion?

Scallions are the younger version of green onions. The bulb of a scallion is about the same width as the green stem. The bulb of a green onion is slightly wider than the stem and is ovular in shape.  

This makes sense, since the green onion has spent more time in the ground.

They are 89% water and provide some fiber, a few micronutrients, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds.

You can probably use scallions and green onions interchangeably in any recipe, since young onions taste about the same.

Scallions are great in salads, stir-fries, soups and stews. They also make a nice garnish.

They are one of the first crops to plant and harvest come spring. Living on the farm, I remember my dad loving his raw green onions and eating them as a serving of vegetables with any meal.

He stayed pretty healthy too.

 

As we move into another year, I’m grateful for you. Thank you for following my blog week after week and taking steps to implement health and well-being into your daily routines.

With so much information available, it’s often challenging to sort fact from fiction. I relay to you that which makes the most sense, based on my years of ongoing study.

Together we practice the art of living well. And although it is an art that will never be perfected, we always strive to do a little bit better.

In 2021, I plan to have more fun Zoom Kitchen Coaching escapades, continue 1:1 and group coaching, and keep on writing.

What are some of your plans? Share them with me, if you feel so inclined.

You may hear a friend say that he/she is going to soon begin an exercise program, lose weight, and live healthier. Perhaps you’ve heard that person say this to you for as long as you can remember.

Here’s the next question: What is different this time?

Unless something is radically different, you can assure them that come December 31, 2021, you’ll be hearing the same statement.

 Making radical changes can be rather uncomfortable.

 Take a stand for your friend. Give them my name. A year from now they’ll be thanking you, as they too, practice the art of living well.

May 2021 bring you much health, happiness, and love.

In gratitude,
Carol

“Whether you are sixteen or sixty, the rest of your life is ahead of you. You cannot change one moment of your past, but you can change your whole future. Now is your time.”—Matthew Kelly, The Rhythm of Life

The Hope and Excitement of a Baby

A bit of background for my new readers: I’m taking the produce journey along with my good friend who is expecting. As we track the progression, we learn about the vegetable or fruit of the week as it relates to the size of the baby.

It’s fun to think about how different their family will look next Christmas, and the excitement of a new life.

Week #25 and baby is about the size of a rutabaga.   

If you’re thinking that the rutabaga is similar to the turnip, you are correct. It is commonly referred to as a cross between a turnip and a cabbage.

Which means I’m probably not very fond of them. The turnips (baby size at week #17) were rather bitter, and although I could prepare rutabagas as I would potatoes, carrots, or other root vegetables, I’m sticking with REAL mashed potatoes for our Christmas dinner.

Rutabagas can be:

  • boiled and mashed
  • cut into fries and fried
  • roasted in the oven
  • added to a soup
  • thinly sliced and added to a casserole
  • grated raw into a salad

They are an excellent source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamins E and C and other antioxidants. This vegetable is very high in fiber and takes longer to digest, keeping you feeling full longer. This may prevent overeating and, ultimately, weight gain.

They also contain powerful compounds that help fight inflammation, prevent premature aging, and are associated with a reduced risk of various cancers.

I purchased a rutabaga to try, since I think that eating a variety of foods is a good idea. It will probably get roasted along with some Brussels sprouts, another cruciferous vegetable. They’re related, so it may be okay.

As many of us celebrate Christmas, life still feels weird.

I was reminded at a recent prayer service that we think of Jesus’s birth as being all sweet and cozy. We picture him lying quietly in a little manger, surrounded by stable animals and Mary and Joseph. Maybe some shepherds showed up, along with a kid playing his drum.

It has the makings of a perfect Hallmark movie or Christmas card.    

Truth is that the barn and animals most likely smelled—along with Jesus’s diaper. Shepherds hang out with stinky sheep, and they weren’t wearing their Sunday best. And where did they all wash their hands?

It probably felt weird.

And yet, it marked the greatest birth in the history of the world.

May the hope of our Savior bring you peace this Christmas.

Much love,
Carol

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”—St. Augustine

Create Your Own Cookbook and Mr. Non-Compliant’s Favorite Vegetable

Those of us who attended the Zoom “Amazing Cookie Bake” had a delicious time baking our cookies. My cookie press was missing its piston—a critical part—so I ended up with Spritz Christmas ornament cookies instead of trees. Whoops.    

Stuff happens.

Thank you to all the participants for sharing your kitchens and morning with me. We learned about a really cool idea from our fellow baker, Laura. During this pandemic, she used her time to create a cookbook filled with traditional recipes. It will make a great gift for her family members. (Hope they don’t read my blog.)

Many of us are going to make family cookbooks too, as it’s a super idea, it’s super cute, and she said it was super EASY! The website is www.createmycookbook.com. I am IN! Have fun checking this out.

 Week #24 and baby is the size of an ear of corn.

Corn is considered a vegetable and a cereal grain. Sweet corn is a vegetable in the culinary world, and the dried seeds used for popcorn are whole grains. It is rich in fiber and plant compounds that may aid in digestive and eye health.

Because corn is high in starch, it may spike blood sugar, depending on how much is consumed and what else is eaten with it. Diabetics are wise to limit corn intake. It may also prevent weight loss. Consume sparingly.

Corn is one of the most genetically modified crops in the world. 92% of the crop grown in the US in 2016 was genetically modified (GMO). Current research on the safety of genetically modified corn for humans is limited and conflicting.

Avoid high fructose corn syrup and products that contain HFCS for the aforementioned reasons.

When I buy corn for popping or corn chips, I buy organic, non-GMO products. When I buy corn on the cob—which is very infrequently—I buy what is available. It falls into that “only eat if it’s amazing” category.

There are those occasions when I really enjoy home-popped popcorn. I pop it in coconut oil and no butter is needed. It goes great with any Hallmark Christmas movie. (Mr. NC is OUT on the Hallmark movie. Star Trek is preferred. Oh, and he insists that Die Hard is a Christmas movie.)    

There are a variety of ways to cook corn on the cob. I typically drop the shucked ears into boiling water for 5-7 minutes, and they’re perfect. Much to my surprise and the sheer delight of Mr. Non-Compliant, I have been able to buy some pretty yummy ears of corn this month. They come shucked and wrapped in packs of 4. It’s a treat that makes Mr. NC giddy.

I have a cousin who says that corn is merely a vehicle for salt and butter. Yep. How’s the salt and butter in Florida these days?

Whoa, it’s only a week until Christmas Eve! Enjoy the preparations.

Until next Thursday,
Carol

“The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It’s doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile.” — Julia Child

We’re Baking Cookies Together… Sort of

I’m baking cookies this coming Saturday morning, and I’d love for you to join me! Through the magic of ZOOM, we are all gathering to bake and socialize and have a darn good time.

Really. The only time we’ll mute is when the mixers are mixing. It can get loud. We learned this when we did “The Amazing Cake Bake” together.

Now, I know lots of you are sick of zooming. So am I. However, this is a very interactive experience and when we’re done, you’ll have a batch of cookies baked and you won’t have to keep wondering when in the world you’re going to find time to do THAT!

AND, if you don’t have cookies for Santa, he may not show. Do you want to risk it?   

The Particulars

WHAT: The Amazing Cookie Bake with Health Coach Carol

WHERE: ZOOM, so you’re in your own kitchen, and yet we’re together

WHEN: Saturday, December 12, 2020 from 10:00am to 11:30am CST

HOW: You gather the ingredients you need to make whatever cookie you desire, and we all make cookies

WHY: Creating cookies from scratch is an act of love, and the world could use more love

COST: FREE

This will be similar to those cookie exchanges, except we make our very favorite—or try something new—and enjoy a special treat together. And you know my rule, only eat it if it’s AMAZING! As a result, what may on first glance appear counterintuitive to our health, is not. 

While the cookies are baking, I’ll be coaching you on various aspects of health. We learn from one another and share lots of laughs.

To join in the fun, be sure to email me prior to Saturday, December 12 to save your spot. I’ll then email you the event Zoom link, along with any special instructions.

 Are you in December overwhelm?

As you prepare for the holidays, deal with the continuation of the pandemic, miss your friends, and seek the happy news of each day, you may find it a challenge to prepare meals.     

Or get some exercise.

Or meditate.

Or all of the above.

May I suggest a simple solution?

Do ONE of them. Plan one meal that is easy for you to prepare during the week. Just one. And see what happens.

Some quick and easy ideas:

  • Pan fry some hamburgers and add a tossed salad.
  • Slice up a store-bought rotisserie chicken and sauté some spinach. Cook up a big batch of wild rice (or whatever kind of rice you like) to have on hand to go with this and other meals.
  • Broil some salmon to go with that leftover rice and a salad.
  • Get creative with some omelets or roast a massive pan of vegetables.
  • Brown some ground turkey or pork, mix with a jar of spaghetti sauce and cook up your favorite pasta for easy Bolognese. And of course, add a tossed salad.

If you don’t like any of these ideas, I’m sure you have at least one easy recipe that you like to make.

Or schedule a walk or a virtual exercise class into your life. Sit quietly and practice breathing for 5-10 minutes one morning.

You choose.

If you are looking for perfection these days, please let it go. Plan to do something that makes you feel less stressed and happier.

When you accomplish one small thing that you’ve been missing, whatever that is, you create momentum that propels you forward and leads you out of paralyzing overwhelm.

Week #23 and baby is the size of a large mango.

This is not my favorite fruit to cut because there is a HUGE seed in the middle.  

As it turns out, the mango is a drupe, or stone fruit, which means that it has a large seed in the middle.

Clever.

The easiest way to peel and cut a mango is to buy a bag of frozen chunks. By doing this, you don’t have to deal with cutting around the seed.

I like to add a handful to my protein smoothie or Greek yogurt. Mangoes are also good when diced and added to fruit salad, salsa, and quinoa salad.

Because of their impressive nutritional profile, this fruit has been associated with many health benefits, including potential anticancer effects as well as improved immunity, heart, digestive, eye, skin and hair health.

They are high in sugar, so it’s best to limit intake to less than 2 cups per day.

Peace,
Carol

“Sometimes you aren’t listening to your body because you’re listening to everybody else’s expectations.” ― Ann Voskamp