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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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May 6, 2021

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Final Week

Today I’m going to wrap up this topic. Not because I’ve covered everything that there is to know about gluten, but because there are other topics

April 29, 2021

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Part 2

How do you know if you have a gluten issue? It’s possible that you may eat foods containing gluten and not experience any significant digestive issu

April 23, 2021

Veggie Stuffed Turkey Burgers

(The following recipe first appeared in the September 2020 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) Ingredients: 1 tablesp

April 22, 2021

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Part 1

What are your thoughts on gluten? Do you eat it, or not? Why are so many people talking about it these days? Just this week I received a call from a f

April 15, 2021

Anchor Habits, Being Still, and My Resident Rabbit

It almost feels as though our world is sort of opening up again. For now. How very indefinite. At any rate, prior to everything shutting down, perhaps

April 8, 2021

3 Reasons Why Losing Weight is Hard

It seems like such a simple concept. Expend more calories than you eat, and BOOM. Off go the pounds. Not so fast. There are lots of reasons why it’s

April 1, 2021

He’s Here, and He’s Adorable

This is week #39 of baby, and guess what? He arrived! Little Angelos is perfect and looks like a little angel—well-dressed in monogrammed attire wit

March 26, 2021

Leek, Potato and Zucchini Hot Cakes

Ingredients: 1 medium potato 2 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)                                             

March 24, 2021

For the Love of Leeks, and Hot Cakes

It’s the week of the leek. From the looks of the leek I have in my fridge, it’s a good thing that at week #38, baby is about to make his grand wor

March 18, 2021

Swiss Chard, Your Refrigerator, and Advice from Julia

As we close in on this journey at week #37, baby is the size of a bunch of Swiss chard.  Swiss chard falls under the extremely nutrient dense umbrell

Choosing Cantaloupe and a Tip for Better Sleep

Week #34 for baby. These weeks are flying for me. Seems like I just finish writing about one fruit, and it’s time for another. Bet my friend doesn’t think so. I think she’s had enough of this pregnancy stuff. Have I mentioned that this is her first?

It is the week of the cantaloupe. When I hear the word “cantaloupe,” I think of the fruit cups I get when I choose fruit instead of potatoes for breakfast. There are usually a few red grapes and some chunks of honeydew added in. These are pretty durable fruits that are probably easier to have on hand instead of berries.

Cantaloupe is loaded with beta-carotene—as much as carrots. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in the body. It can also act as a powerful antioxidant to help fight free radicals that attack cells in your body. 

Cantaloupe provides vitamin C, folate, water (it’s almost 90% water), fiber, potassium, and small amounts of many other nutrients. It’s low in calories (60 calories/cup) and offers some sweetness to your diet.

It’s a wonderful addition to any fruit salad and delicious all on its own—if you have a ripe one. I like it with my breakfast.

You could add a few chunks to your smoothie.

How to Choose Your Cantaloupe

These are sweeter and often more economical in the summer, although you can find them year-round.

To choose a ripe melon, look for one that is creamy, light-yellow orange with little to no green. It should be symmetrical and feel heavy—a sign that it will be juicy from lots of water. Ripe cantaloupe smells sweet.

It’s best to eat it within 3 days of purchasing for the freshest taste. Store cut cantaloupe in the fridge.

A Tip to Help You Get More Sleep

Seems that quite a few folks (besides my pregnant friend) have trouble falling asleep. A small study found that people who put their phone away 30 minutes before bedtime got a better night’s sleep.

Participants fell asleep 12 minutes faster and slept 18 minutes longer after four weeks compared to those who weren’t asked to restrict their phone use. Bonus: the quality of their sleep improved significantly too.

It makes sense, since your exposure to blue light is diminished. You also avoid any disturbing news, emails, videos, and social media posts that could get you riled up.

Remaining calm before bed is more conducive to a restful night’s sleep. 

It’s worth a try. Keep in mind that getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night improves your health and promotes weight loss/maintenance.

A good night’s sleep will help your attitude too.

Feeling stuck with sleep, weight loss, your exercise routine (or lack of), and not sure where to begin? Let’s talk.

You’ll leave our conversation with clarity, renewed energy, and a plan to get back on track.

Sweet dreams,
Carol

“Instead of working toward retirement, work toward your ideal lifestyle. There is usually a path to get there in a few years instead of a few decades.”—James Clear

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 her, and her dear hubby, is a restful night’s sleep BEFORE the little one arrives.

We’ll keep this quiet—but once baby is here, getting sleep is a bit challenging. Shhhh….

I’m pretty excited about this week’s baby size fruit: the pineapple. 

The pineapple is indeed a fruit. A tropical one. No goofy reclassification like we had with the eggplant, which I thought to be a vegetable and is really a fruit.

Pineapple makes the list of “20 healthiest fruits on the planet.” And it is very delicious, in my opinion.

Pineapple is rich in vitamin C and manganese. It also contains a mixture of enzymes that help reduce inflammation and digest proteins. Its antioxidant properties help reduce the risk of chronic disease.

All of these benefits promote a healthy immune system which equates to a healthier you. And it’s WAY tastier that cauliflower—again, my opinion.

Ways to incorporate pineapple into your diet

  • Keep frozen on hand to add to smoothies
  • Add to a mixed fruit salad
  • Top your homemade pizza
  • Make a salad with roasted chicken, pineapple, blueberries (another top 20 fruit), and almonds. Serve on a bed of greens.
  • Top your burger with a pineapple ring for a Hawaiian flair
  • Goes great with cottage cheese (this makes a nice breakfast when you’re tired of the usual foods)
  • Eat it all by itself

How to choose a tasty pineapple

  1. Look for a bit of yellow, which should be present at the eyes at the base of the fruit, but a green tint elsewhere is fine. The leaves should be a vibrant shade of green.
  2. Squeeze it. The body of the pineapple should not be soft. It should be firm and give slightly with pressure.
  3. Sniff near the stem. It should smell sweet. No scent means it’s not ripe. If it smells like vinegar or alcohol, put it down. It’s past its prime and you don’t want anything to do with it.
  4. The heavier, the better. As with melons, there’s more water so it’s juicy.
  5. I also read that if you store it upside down before you cut it, the sweet juice from the bottom which was connected to the plant, circulates throughout the pineapple. 

I sometimes let it sit on my counter for a few too many days and it goes bad. Putting it in the fridge if I’m not quite ready to cut it helps keep it from spoiling.

If you have trouble cutting a pineapple, check out one of the videos on YouTube. It’s much easier than trying to explain it. Cutting a fresh pineapple is not hard once you know how to go about it.

It is definitely worth the effort.

Welcome to the 40 days of Lent

We are now marking the time until Easter. Lent is a great time to reflect and perhaps make some changes. It’s an opportunity for personal spiritual growth.

In the midst of winter, with snow piled so high that I have to shovel a path for my little Sophie dog, the Lenten season brings hope.

About the time we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, we also see the beauty of spring in bloom.

My friend will be a new mom.

How will you spend these 40 days?

Much love,
Carol

“Do not be afraid to dream. Perhaps your fear is of failure. There is no shame in trying to attempt mighty things and failing. The shame is in failing to attempt those things.”—Matthew Kelly

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 papery, golden-brown skin and a starchy white interior.

Raw, it tastes similar to an apple. It crunches like one too and is a tasty addition to salads.

Cooked jicama takes on the flavor of whatever you season it with.

You can substitute jicamas for potatoes. The good news is that they are low in carbs, fat, calories, and sugar. They are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, fiber, and prebiotics (they help increase the good bacteria in your gut).

Unlike a potato, you must peel jicama before eating. This is best accomplished with a sharp knife.

The way I buy jicama is already peeled, cut, and packaged. Yes, that’s correct. I cheat. 

Ways to include jicama in your life:

  • Add it to a vegetable salad for extra crunch
  • Combine with mango, pineapple or papaya for a tropical fruit salad
  • Cut it into thick slices and serve with a dip like guacamole or hummus
  • Add it to a vegetable platter
  • Stir-fry it with sesame oil and rice vinegar
  • Sprinkle it with lime juice and chili powder for a spicy snack

 Jicama can be baked just like a potato. Simply pierce the whole, washed jicama with a fork and bake it at about 375 degrees until softened, approximately 45 minutes. Serve it, sliced open, with butter, sour cream or Greek yogurt and chives.

Or make jicama fries:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Either microwave the jicama in a bowl of water for approximately 6 minutes or pour boiling hot water over the jicama fries and allow to set for 10 minutes. This gives them the crispy French fry quality when roasted. Drain jicama fries and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with salt or seasonings of your choice. Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Have fun experimenting with jicama.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Much love,
Carol

“Cooking is like love: It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” — Harriet van Horne

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 post and would like to know more, here’s the link.

https://inkwellcoaching.com/2020/03/12/the-scoop-on-the-sumo/

I found some at Whole Foods. Good luck getting them now though. I told my pregnant friend that they’re in season and I think she may have cleaned them out. Just kidding! 🙂

Speaking of pregnant friends, she is now at week #31. Baby is the size of a coconut.

One of the oils I use on a regular basis is coconut oil. I coat my pan with it when I cook eggs and make grilled cheese. Sometimes I use it in baked goods when the recipe calls for some type of oil/butter.

The kind I use is virgin, unrefined, cold-pressed, organic. The unrefined coconut oil has a smoke point of 350 degrees F.

 Refined coconut oil has a higher smoke point of up to 400 degrees F. It also has less of a coconut taste and fewer nutrients due to the refinement process. Choose chemical-free methods if you go with this one.

Coconut oil is a healthy fat and may help reduce hunger. We need to include a variety of healthy fats in our diets to provide energy, support cell growth, protect organs, keep our bodies warm, and add flavor to food.

Oh, and another tidbit of REALLY GOOD NEWS!

February is my Birth Month! 

Let the celebrating begin…and continue. I highly recommend celebrating the “Birth Month” as a bonus to the traditional birthday.

By doing so, there’s no more “belated” for those who may miss the day.

And there are many more opportunities for fun with family and friends.

Cheers to celebrating life at every age.

Much love,
Carol

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”—Maya Angelou