1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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August 18, 2022

Mr. Non-Compliant vs. Mr. Corn

It’s that time of year when my dear cousin, Roger, aka Mr. Corn, and his wife Barb, come to Indiana for a visit. They now live in Florida, where swe

August 11, 2022

An Herb that Helps Reduce Anxiety, Induce Sleep, and More

I find it fascinating when one single food, or in this case, an herb, can contribute so much to our health. Cilantro is one such herb. While it’s no

August 4, 2022

Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day may inspire some baking… While preparations have begun for those going back to school, there’s still lots of su

July 28, 2022

A Summer Meal with a Kick

While many of us would like to add more vegetables to our diet, it can be challenging to come up with new ideas. Discovering main dishes that are vege

July 27, 2022

Spicy Mushroom Tacos

These vegan tacos have a kick, so if you’re not a fan of spicy foods, cut back on the cayenne or omit.  Serves 4 Ingredients 1 lb. mixed mushrooms

July 21, 2022

Are They Eggs or Just Eggs?

In an effort to help those who are allergic or choose not to eat chicken eggs, this blog’s for you. And if you love chicken eggs, biscuits and gravy

July 13, 2022

Lipstick on a Pig

For any of my new blog followers, cauliflower is one of the few vegetables that I’m not fond of.  I’ve tried it all sorts of ways. Readers have s

July 13, 2022

Super Simple Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

After rinsing the head of cauliflower, cut it into florets, remove the thick stem portions, and slice it very thin. Arrange in a single layer on a sto

July 7, 2022

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 tim

June 30, 2022

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 probab

A Time to Celebrate

Big weekend ahead.

I wish all you fathers and like-fathers a very special Father’s Day this Sunday. May you enjoy a day filled with love, happiness, and all your favorite foods.   

Saturday, June 20th, 4:43pm central time, marks the 2020 Summer Solstice. It is the official beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring when Earth arrives at the point in its orbit where the North Pole is at its maximum tilt toward the Sun, resulting in the longest day and shortest night of the calendar year.

 The summer solstice celebrates the return of the light of the sun and that same light that shines within all of humanity. Traditionally, people also celebrated renewal, life, the potential for a good harvest, inner and outer abundance, and ascension.

 It is the perfect time to release any old, dark energy and focus on BEING the light.

Summer nights spark my memories of catching lightening bugs as a kid and putting then in a jar. We’d punch holes in the lid so they could breathe, and they’d twinkle in my room as I fell asleep.

I’m still fascinated by those little creatures. Rest easy, I no longer capture them.  

Here are some ways you could celebrate the beginning of summer:

  • Plant a small herb or flower garden
  • Go to the beach
  • Build a bonfire and make S’mores
  • Do yoga and include some sun salutations
  • Enjoy being outdoors and do nothing at all
  • Review and renew goals then set intentions to build upon
  • Begin something new
  • Reread a favorite book
  • Include the Salmon Dill Niçoise Salad in your special feast
  • Be happy and grateful
  • Hang out with your favorite people and enjoy much laughter

In many ways, June 20th can take on the feel of a New Year.

Let us dare to live this uncertain life with gusto.

May you be abundantly blessed,
Carol

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.” —John Lubbock

Salmon Dill Nicoise Salad

Although a classic Nicoise salad is made with tuna, it’s nice with perfectly cooked salmon. Nicoise salad has all the light and vibrant flavors of a salad, with a satisfying heartiness too. What does Nicoise mean? A French phrase meaning “in the style of Nice (France)”, which refers to the cuisine of that area.  

Ingredients

2 filets wild salmon, fresh or thawed
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling over salmon
½  lemon, juiced
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
1 tsp honey
¼ tsp sea salt
3 cups Boston lettuce leaves, torn
1 cup baby potatoes, boiled and quartered
1 cup green beans, steamed or sautéed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
½ cup black olives
½ cup dill leaves, chopped

Directions   (Yield: 2 servings)

First, cook your salmon filets: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a pan with parchment paper. Drizzle the salmon filets with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place filets skin-side-down on to the parchment and place the pan in the oven. Salmon takes about 4-6 minutes per half inch of thickness to cook. Most filets are about an inch thick at the thickest part, so begin checking the salmon at about 8 minutes in. Salmon is cooked when the flesh has turned opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

While the salmon is cooking, make the dressing: Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, honey, and salt, and whisk together until combined. Set aside.

Divide lettuce, cooked potatoes, cooked green beans, tomatoes, and olives between two shallow bowls. Remove skin from salmon and place over salads, sprinkle with dill and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.

Notes
*When I make fish, I allow about one-half pound per person.
*This is a quick dinner to make when the potatoes and beans are already cooked. Consider making excess for another meal earlier in the week so that they’re left over. Cooking the fish and assembling the salad then takes under 30 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Precision Nutrition’s Encyclopedia of Food

 

Relax into Summer

The amazing season known as summer is nearly upon us. When I think of it, my mind sees beaches, hammocks, pitchers of iced tea, grills in action, all wrapped around a laid-back attitude.

I urge you to prepare to fully participate in SUMMER.

You’ve got lots going on and there may even be added stress—stuff you have absolutely no control over. You may be feeling anxious, sad, mad, a bunch of emotions all mixed up together, depending on the day.

So for now, think happy summer thoughts. What makes this season special for you?

What could you do that would make this summer shimmer fondly in your memory?

I have been enjoying my garden. Some years I don’t do much with vegetables and herbs. This year, I have made the effort to plant enough so that I will have a bumper crop of tomatoes, green beans, and zucchini.

We’ll see. My dad was a farm boy. His vegetables did amazingly well. Let’s just say, “I try.”  

I am an imperfect gardener. The weeds often get the best of me.

Flowers make me happy, and I picked bouquets of peonies until the storms ended my fun. Seems as though there is always a bare spot in the yard that could use some color, leading me back to the garden center.

Farmers markets are open, offering lots of opportunities to try some great local produce–and the honey that I wrote of last week.

 As you enjoy summer foods, my hope is that you are not stressed about eating/not eating.

 Relax. I’m here for you.

As part of my summer fun, I’m offering Carol’s Group Kitchen Coaching on Zoom. This has been a hit with former participants, and I’ve decided to keep it rolling.

We talk food, challenges, successes, and have group interaction. We learn together with folks from various cities. And we have a very good time in each other’s virtual kitchens.

I’ve come up with a variety of coaching topics that stand alone, so you don’t have to commit to a series. I’ll let you know the topic, date, time, and any details as I plan them. If it sounds interesting to you and you’re available, great!

I’ll also vary the days and times, to try and accommodate ever changing relaxed summer schedules.   

My Next Class: Tuesday, June 16 from 4:00pm-5:30pm (central)

The topic: How Much do I Really Need to Eat? Portion control made easy. No counting calories, no food scale, no stress. Sometimes simply adjusting the quantities of what you’re eating can cause a shift in body composition and weight. We’ll also make an interesting salad you can serve for dinner.

Where: Your Kitchen. I’ll send you the Zoom link to join the class when you sign up, along with the list of ingredients so we can cook together.

Cost: $14.99 (may pay with PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle)

If you’re interested in joining me for How Much do I Really Need to Eat? Portion control made easy, send me an email.

Make this the summer you stopped stressing about food.

Much love,
Carol

“Smell the sea, and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly.”—Van Morrison

I’m a Honey Fan

I am often asked about honey—if it’s healthier than sugar.

Honey does contain sugar. Per tablespoon, honey has 64 calories and 17g of sugar. That being the case, it will cause blood sugar to levels to increase. Good to be aware of, especially if diabetes is present.

Note: the American Heart Association’s Daily Added Sugar limit is 25 grams for women (about 6 teaspoons) and 36 grams for men (about 9 teaspoons). Added sugars are any form of sugar added to food. Honey counts as added sugar. Sorry.

Here’s the happy news: If you’re using a sweetener, honey is a better choice than sugar or high fructose corn syrup. It is still to be consumed in moderation.     

Commercial honey is typically pasteurized and comes from a blend of floral sources and has a mild taste and pale color. It’s the product we usually see on store shelves. The honey has been filtered and is very clear.

Pasteurized honey has been heated in order to destroy potential bacteria or yeasts. Unfortunately, the pasteurization process also destroys enzymes, trace nutrients, and antioxidants found naturally in honey.

In order to enjoy honey’s natural health benefits, look for raw or unpasteurized. Local raw honey (Any raw honey that is harvested nearby where the same sort of plants are blooming at roughly the same time can be considered local.) is beneficial for pollen allergies, has some healing properties (may help with sore throats, stomach flu), and has antiseptic properties when applied to wounds, burns, and other skin conditions.

Young kids are more prone to acute coughs because they’re still developing their immune systems. If your two-year-old develops a cough, give them honey. Mix a teaspoon or two into warm water and give it to your child to drink daily until the cough has gone away. Children under the age of 2 should not consume honey, as there could be bacteria present that could make them sick.

Some of you may be advocates of Manuka honey, a type of honey native to New Zealand. Its antibacterial properties are what set it apart from traditional honey. Manuka honey has been known to help treat a variety of ailments.  

I’m a honey fan. A drizzle over my plain Greek yogurt along with summer peaches is a delicious breakfast or snack.

Cheers to a bit of honey, the coming of summer, and “The Secret Life of Bees.”

Much love,
Carol

“We lived for honey. We swallowed a spoonful in the morning to wake us up and one at night to put us to sleep. We took it with every meal to calm the mind, give us stamina, and prevent fatal disease. We swabbed ourselves in it to disinfect cuts or heal chapped lips. It went in our baths, our skin cream, our raspberry tea and biscuits. Nothing was safe from honey…honey was the ambrosia of the gods and the shampoo of the goddesses.” ― Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees