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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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October 21, 2021

The “No Diet” Approach to Health

As promised last week, I’ll present the last 5 principles of Intuitive Eating. In review, the first five are: Reject the Diet Mentality Honor Your H

October 14, 2021

Diets vs. Intuitive Eating

Diet: a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight; to eat sparingly or according to prescribed rules. (Merriam-Webs

October 7, 2021

This Weather is Making Me Tired

Some of us haven’t seen the sun in…well, days. There’s been so much rain that I’ve been looking around town to see if anyone is building an ar

September 30, 2021

Knocking Excuses Down for the Loss

If you’ve been reading my blog for the past year, you probably recall the weekly countdown to the birth of baby Angelos. We followed his size in the

September 23, 2021

Have Fun While Staying the Course

Yes, it truly is possible to do both. Many believe it’s an EITHER, OR situation. This past week I received the following text: “Down 1 pound 🙂

September 16, 2021

Celebrate September with Food

Now that we’ve gotten past the almost official end of summer, Labor Day weekend, thoughts of pumpkins and turkeys begin to dance in our heads. Not.

September 9, 2021

Pinky, the Ice Cream Truck

Last Sunday I was outside and heard the familiar sound of an ice cream truck in the neighborhood. I hadn’t seen one of these in…well, quite a long

September 2, 2021

Delicious Memories and a Recipe

I recently received a head of green cabbage as a gift. Now, I’m not one to buy cabbage, although I like it on occasion. Roasting it seemed like a go

August 26, 2021

Love Chocolate

The good news is that chocolate is actually healthy for us. The bad news is that we must be selective in the quality of chocolate we choose in order f

August 23, 2021

Chocolate Nut Clusters

1 cup bittersweet (at least 70% cacao) chocolate, chopped or wafers 1 cup raw almonds                                           

Lessons from Nature, and Grounding

We must be moving into fall, as school supplies are in the sale ads. Didn’t summer vacation just get rolling?

As I look around, I see many of my lilies dying off, along with a handful of the summer annuals. While there are still many blooms around the house (and weeds), there is tiredness about them. I suppose if I fed them a bit of fertilizer, that would help.

Summer is the time to enjoy so much of Nature’s bounty: a multitude of fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers, available locally in most areas of North America.  

As children return to school and we move into fall, we feel the process of slowing down. Plants and animals begin preparing for the cold that will soon befall many of us. Squirrels start hiding those pesky acorns.

Winter brings hibernation and rest. Bears sleep, people in colder climates tend to hunker down and make soup, and plants are dormant. It’s tougher to get moving in the morning, at least in my house.

When spring finally arrives, the earth awakens and everything, and everyone, comes alive. It’s exciting to see tiny crocuses pop through the dirt, producing those first flowers of hope.

And so the cycle goes– over, and over, and over. The pattern of Nature offers stability and is a great teacher.

As the Earth cycles with the seasons, so do our lives.

Which season are you in today? What energy suits your present situation?

Although the seasons of life seem apparent, they are not necessarily age dependent. I know people in their 70’S+, who appear to be living summer year ’round. They are full of vibrancy and in full bloom, even when winter brings snow.

If you’re feeling a bit weary and disconnected from Mother Earth, here’s a tip: try grounding, or earthing. It’s easy, and even comfortable, this time of year.

All you have to do is take off your socks and shoes and stand on the earth: grass, stone, sand, or dirt work best. You can stand in one place, walk, or lay down.

Connecting directly with the earth helps reduce anxiety, stress, and offers healing in the form of boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and feeling good. About 30-40 minutes a day brings benefits.   

The energy of the Earth supports us. Think about how free and relaxed you feel when you are at the beach, sinking your toes into the warm sand. AAAHHHH.

Go live summer with your toes in the grass, and soak up the sunshine. These are the days we remember in the midst of deep winter.

Much love,
Carol

P.S. Looking to “live summer” year ’round no matter how old you are? What you eat plays a huge role. Send me an email if you’d like help sorting it out.

“Feeling rooted in the earth is soothing to the body, and it is our connection to the earth that gives us our most basic sense of belonging, home, resilience, and safety.” ― Jessica Moore

Creative, Easy, Grilling Ideas

Summer is for taking it easy, and that includes mealtime. Lately, Mr. Non-Compliant and I have been playing with food.

Our latest game: How much can we get on the grill so I don’t have to use the stove? Now, mind you, we have been using a small, portable grill, so this is quite a challenge.

You’ve already been given my recipe on making ANY kind of vegetable, potatoes, or combination: drizzle olive or avocado oil on a piece of foil large enough to wrap your veggies; sprinkle with the seasoning of your choice (love that Tajin!) and a pat of butter if you wish; close the foil, grill, and eat.  

Turns out, you can reheat rice, pasta, and pretty much anything, by oiling the foil, wrapping up the food, and tossing it on the grill. Make double batches initially to save time and dishes.

Our most adventurous experiment: grilled meatloaf. I wrapped it in foil and Mr. NC used a meat thermometer to determine when it was done. The bottom got a bit burned because of the very direct heat…it was still very good. We scraped off the REALLY burned parts, which was no big deal. Leftover meatloaf makes for tasty (cold) meatloaf sandwiches.

Fresh trout (no bones or skin) was cooked in a “pan” made of foil so the juices would not run onto the grates. As soon as the fish lost its pink color, it came off the heat. Overdone fish is not good.

We were very pleased with our grilled crispy chicken. I tossed boneless, skinless, breasts in seasoned brown rice flour and placed on the oiled foil pan, like the fish. The “crispy” was lightly brown and the chicken was tender. Again, the thermometer is your best friend, and will promote your grilling level to that of excellence. Leftovers were perfect in a romaine lettuce salad with a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil and Lawry’s Seasoned Salt.

In the past month, we’ve also cooked Tomahawk pork chops, hamburgers, pork burgers, bratwurst, and steak. Add a vegetable or salad, perhaps some kind of potato, and you’re set. My vegetarian friends have more room on the grill for vegetables.  

Have fun trying something new and see what happens. You may find that this food thing is much easier than you’ve been imagining.

Cheers to summertime fun!
Carol

“Food cooked on the grill is amazing and easily compliant, even though that’s not my first concern.”— Mr. Non-Compliant

Happy National Ice Cream Month

The year was 1984. President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. This year, that special day happens to be July 21st.

In case you are a newcomer to my blog, I LOVE ice cream. It is my favorite food group.

I was raised on ice cream. Childhood memories of my mother making a rich and delicious cream concoction that my father would freeze into an amazing treat are vivid.  

The variety of flavors they made: vanilla, peach, banana, and strawberry. Much to my dismay, chocolate was never even in the running, since I was the only one who voted for it. Gratefully, we had chocolate syrup, which I generously poured over everything.

We often invited friends over on summer Sunday afternoons to share in our treat. As an only child, this was awesome!

I like to tell this story because many of you have a food, or habit around food, that you equate with a happy time in your life.

When that particular food causes you harm (allergy, sensitivity, etc.), it’s wise to find a substitute that your body tolerates –and still allows you to have that great food/memory connection.

If your favorite food is not conducive to achieving your health goals, perhaps some modifications are in order.

There was a time in my life when I ate ice cream almost daily—sometimes right out of the carton. It was my “habit” to eat it in the evening before bedtime.

Sometimes, I still do. I’ve modified my ice cream intake and no longer eat it everyday. There are numerous reasons why consuming my favorite treat before bed is not the best. AND, what kind of example would I be setting?

This is a stunt I’d expect from Mr. Non-Compliant. Yep, he likes ice cream too. (and donuts, M&M’s, cookies and milk…)

My favorite take-home brand is Breyers, since the basic flavors contain only real ingredients like milk, cream, vanilla, sugar, chocolate, strawberries. I can pronounce all the words and I know what they are.

My favorite flavors: combo chocolate and vanilla, Neapolitan, and chocolate. I typically don’t use syrup. There are other ice creams that are lower in fat, sugar, calories…not interested.  

Rest assured that Health Coach Carol, along with Mr. Non-Compliant, will be enjoying ice cream this Sunday. I may try a new flavor, and/or even have two scoops.

We have to be real. We have to find a point of moderation that works. Permission granted to celebrate with me—and only if it’s AMAZING!

Cheers to July,
Carol

P.S. If your favorite food habits seem to be in conflict with your health goals, I’ve got a simple system that works. A complimentary coaching session is yours for the asking! Email me today and we’ll set up a call.

“Keep Calm and Eat Ice Cream”

How to Bok Choy

Summer is adventure time. With the abundance of various fruits and vegetables available at grocery stores and farmers markets, there is no reason to be bored with your food.
Today, I’m giving you the scoop, and a simple recipe, for bok choy. Bok choy, also called Chinese cabbage or pak choi, is a member of the Brassica cabbage family. It is high in folate, calcium, vitamin B6, and fiber. For those of you who are keeping carbohydrate intake low, this vegetable is a winner.
The flavor is very mild, and it may be added to soups, stews, or stir-frys. I sautéed it for a side dish. 
When shopping for bok choy, look for vibrant green at the ends (similar to spinach), and firm stems. Wash it just before cooking. Trim away the bottom, similar to the way you would clean a bunch of celery. Separate the individual stalks, and wash away any mud that is hiding.
Cut the bok choy (or baby bok choy), into similar size pieces. If you have the baby version, you may simply want to cut it in halves or quarters.
Sautéed Bok Choy
Heat oil (I like avocado oil for higher heat sautéing) and add a couple cloves of fresh garlic, minced or pressed. Cook briefly, until fragrant, being careful not to burn it. (I often burn it…)
Mix in the bok choy and stir. Cook until the leaves are bright green and the stalks are     
slightly translucent, about 4-5 minutes, or to your desired tenderness. (This vegetable cooks down, like spinach.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, or your favorite seasonings. I love Tajin  Clasico Seasoning. It has a slight kick to it, thanks to the chili peppers and lime. I’ve been using this on all my vegetables lately, and they are a big hit—even with Mr. Non-Compliant.
Have fun trying something new this week! If you end up with a vegetable you aren’t sure how to prepare, let me know and I’ll help.
Bon appetit!
Health Coach Carol
P.S. If you’d like to simply look and feel AMAZING, I’ve got a simple system that works. A complimentary coaching session is yours for the asking! Email me today and we’ll set up a call.
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”–Ruth Reichl