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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

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

These bars are good to have on hand in case you need to “grab and go,” or you need a pick-me-up snack during the day. Store them in the freezer so they stay fresh. This helps for portion control too. Protein from the peanut butter and protein powder, smart carbohydrate from the oats, and minimal sugar, make these a winner with me.

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons oat flour
  • ¼ cup powdered peanut butter
  • ¼ cup vanilla protein powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Optional topping:

  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla protein powder

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8 inch pan and set aside. Microwave the peanut butter and honey in a large glass bowl until smooth, about one minute. Stir well. Let cool a bit while you mix together your dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, combine the oats, oat flour, powdered peanut butter, vanilla protein powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix well.

Add the vanilla extract and egg yolk to the peanut butter and honey mixture and beat well with an electric mixer. Pour the peanut butter mixture, almond milk, and mini chocolate chips into the dry oatmeal mixture. Stir until the ingredients are well combined. The dough will be thick. Press into the pan and bake until the edges are slightly brown and the mixture is set, about 20 minutes.

For the topping, melt the chocolate. Stir in the vanilla protein powder until smooth, and drizzle over the bars. If the mixture is a bit too thick to drizzle, add a bit of melted coconut oil until you reach the desired consistency.

Let cool and cut into bars. Makes 12 bars, unless you’re like me and cut them smaller, since I’d rather eat 2 small bars than 1 large bar.

Notes: To make these gluten free, I use gluten free oats and gluten free oat flour by Bob’s Red Mill. I use a vegan protein powder (Arbonne), which can be easier to digest than whey, and preferable in the case of a dairy allergy or dairy intolerance. For more information on, or to acquire Arbonne products, shoot me an email and I’ll hook you up.

What’s Your Story?

Our lives are fascinating. Sit quietly for a moment and consider a story about your life that someone would find compelling.

And don’t tell me you don’t have one. Yes, you do.

Like the time you and your friend took a bus trip to the largest hosta farm in the Midwest for the weekend, and you don’t even like hostas. In fact, when asked about the variety you were seeking, your response was “green.”

Or how about the time you went out with your buddies, acted like college kids, and laughed so hard that your face hurt the next day.

Or how you got “lucky” and ended up with front row seats to see Kenny Chesney.

Stories hold our memories. Stories connect us.

Sometimes, we tell ourselves stories that do not serve us, and are not REALLY true.

Like:

–I used to be in shape. Those days are gone forever.

–With my schedule, I don’t have time to exercise/eat better/have fun.

–I can’t cook/take time for myself/give up my diet sodas.

These are the stories we can rewrite. We simply need to get to the place of being ready to get creative and try something new.

Ever try to do something you thought you could NEVER in a million years accomplish? Pretty scary. Then when you succeeded, well, talk about empowerment!

I felt that way when my PC crashed and I figured out how to write my blog posts, then upload them to my website, on a MAC. Oh. Yea.

I still feel that way when I try a “new-to-me” class at the gym, and walk away fairly unscathed when it’s over. Look out Wonder Woman.

So, today, what’s your story? Is it true? Is it REALLY true?

If you have an old story that you’re tired of playing over and over and over again, I’d like to hear it. Odds are good I’ll have some creative ways to rewrite it that are really pretty simple. Oh. Yea.

“Your life is your story. Write well. Edit often.”—Susan Statham

Change Begins with a Meal

I find this to be an interesting statement, since most people have an aversion to change; yet most people enjoy a meal.

How does it resonate with you? (Pause, and consider this for a moment.)

I heard this because a radio station was giving listeners an opportunity to make a donation of any size to a shelter that feeds those who have nothing to eat.

A person who had experienced fellowship and meals at the shelter gave his testimony about how much better he felt on so many levels because of the food he was given. He felt healthier, stronger, loved.

Change begins with a meal.  

This is true on many levels as well. Think of the different ways you feel depending on who you share the meal with, the location, conversation, food, your state of mind, etc.

I take my food for granted. I have never been in a situation where I didn’t know where, or when, my next meal would appear.

There are those times when I choose to overeat, make poor choices, and don’t take the time to really appreciate all that I have. Ouch!

Today, I chose to focus on my meal in a more conscious way. I was truly hungry, the flavors were wonderful, and the conversation light.

How about you? What was your most recent meal like? Did you feel good when you were finished? Are there opportunities for you to make mealtime a more positive, joyful experience?

Our lives revolve around food. We need it to survive and it’s even better when it helps us thrive.

Scripture is filled with stories centered around food. Change began with a meal.

A couple things as I close out today’s post:

  1. If you have the means, donate to a local food bank. Since we’re between holidays, many of them are running low on food. People get hungry in the summer too.
  2. If mealtime brings more stress and anxiety than it does happiness and fulfillment, let’s talk. Let’s explore why you can’t lose the weight, have no time to exercise, and hate buying new clothes.

Change begins with a meal. And change begins with self-love.   

Begin today.

“If we really love ourselves, everything in our life works.”—Louise Hay

Just Do a Little Bit Better

In our journey to a healthier, happier life, we often get a bit overzealous.

We think we can conquer it all, all at the same time.

We work out everyday for an hour, give up the sugar and bread, eat massive amounts of fruits and vegetables, and drink only water.

We do really well and start feeling like a million bucks—for a week or two. Then it gets too hard and we quit.

It’s impossible to stay motivated for the long haul.

Here’s an idea. How about trying to do just a little bit better? Practice one habit at a time. ONE.

Maybe you let go of the before-bedtime snack a couple bedtimes a week.

Or you skip devouring the bread basket when you go out for dinner.

Or in my case, eat the ice cream only a couple times a week instead of five.

Whatever it is for you, remember that little things, over time, add up to big results and a happier life.

Patience, persistence, and understanding why any of this is important to you is key.

Life is delicious. Eat it up.


“To live well is to eat well.”—
Author Unknown