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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

The Clean Fifteen and a 5-Minute Habit

Last week I covered the Dirty Dozen— the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 12 recommended fruits and vegetables that should be organic whenever possible, due to the excessive pesticide use.

This week, I’ll give you the list of the Clean Fifteen—those fruits and vegetables that are low in pesticides. 

You may choose to buy organics in this list, however it’s not as critical. When budgeting for groceries, you may want to spend the extra money on those that are listed in the dirty dozen and save money by choosing the conventional produce listed here.

The Clean Fifteen

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn*
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya*
  6. Sweet peas (frozen)
  7. Asparagus
  8. Honeydew melon
  9. Kiwi
  10. Cabbage
  11. Mushrooms
  12. Cantaloupe
  13. Mangoes
  14. Watermelon
  15. Sweet potatoes

* A small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically modified produce.

 When I shop, if the organic variety of what I’m looking for is of good quality, I’ll buy it. If it looks sad, or if it’s not available, I’ll buy conventional. I do my best to avoid conventional when buying produce on the Dirty Dozen list.

Buying local produce in stores and from farmers markets is fresher and more nutritious than produce shipped from afar. At farmers markets, you can inquire as to whether the produce is grown organically. Many times, it is.

A Healthy 5-Minute Habit

My most recent 5-minute healthy habit is one that is perfect for summer. I’ve been putting together a fruit salad after dinner as our dessert. 

It’s a sweet treat that is full of nutrients, fiber, and very satisfying.

Any combination of fruit works. Pick up what looks good when you shop and have fun tossing it together in different ways.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”—Miles Kington

In Celebration of June and the Dirty Dozen

With the arrival of June comes Indiana strawberries. It’s also the month to continue planting your vegetables, flowers, and enjoying life.

Some fun, as well as traditional National holidays, are abundant. 

Here are some of them that you may choose to celebrate, or not:

JUNE HOLIDAYS

2: National Rocky Road Day and National Rotisserie Chicken Day

3: Egg Day, Repeat Day (so you can watch your favorite movie over and over and over…) and National Donut Day (since it’s repeat day, eat more than one donut for a dual celebration)

4: National Frozen Yogurt Day

5: National Gingerbread Day

6: National Yo-Yo Day

7: National Chocolate Ice Cream Day

8: Best Friends Day

9: National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day

10: Iced Tea Day

14: Flag Day

19: Father’s Day (remember to spoil dad)

Shopping at the IGA

I was recently shopping at a small-town IGA in search of berries, apples, zucchini, and whatever else looked appealing.

While I found a most of the items on my produce list, there were no organic fruits or vegetables available.

I bought my produce anyway, since conventional produce is better than not eating fruits and vegetables. They will get washed a bit longer than if they were organic. 

Here is the 2022 Dirty Dozen—the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 12 recommended fruits and vegetables that should be organic whenever possible, due to the excessive pesticide use. This is especially important for babies, children, and pregnant women.

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, collard, and mustard greens
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Bell and hot peppers
  8. Cherries
  9. Peaches
  10. Pears
  11. Celery
  12. Tomatoes

If you are trying to decide which items to splurge on when buying organic, you now have your updated list.

Cheers to June,
Health Coach Carol 

“Be shore of yourself. Come out of your shell. Take time to coast. Avoid pier pressure. Sea life’s beauty. Don’t get so tied down on work that you miss out on life’s beautiful waves.” – Advice from the Ocean

Guess What I Caught Mr. Non-Compliant Eating

About a week ago, I walked into the kitchen and saw Mr. Non-Compliant (my dear hubby) eating breakfast.

Up-close inspection revealed that he had a bowl of Greek yogurt, the plain unsweetened variety, with a bit of granola sprinkled in, and a sliced apple on the side.

“Really? You put this together all by yourself?” I said. “Who ARE you?”

Now, to be clear, I’ve seen him eating Greek yogurt and granola before, but usually with a generous amount of honey (he’s been cutting back on the honey over time), and a piece of toast in place of the apple. 

I was in shock.

“Are you ruining your reputation?”

“Oh, don’t worry,” he replied ever so calmly. “I’ll make up for it later.”

And he did. I witnessed him gleefully enjoying a brownie later that day.

The point of this brief exchange is to give you hope. Hope for you and/or the people you live with, as you practice eating more nutritionally dense foods in place of some that aren’t.

The apple and toast are both carbohydrates. The difference is that the apple—a complex carbohydrate—will not spike his blood sugar like toast, offers a wider variety of nutrients, and even has fiber. (He won’t eat whole grain bread.)

This was huge.

He’s learned that he must eat some protein at each meal, less added sugar is better, and carbohydrates in the form of fruits and vegetables is preferred over foods made from white flour.

He still enjoys his treats, however, a little goes a long way. Many foods that he was used to eating on a regular basis are too sweet. His taste buds have adapted and are now happy with less. 

I saw an article on dessert-inspired breakfasts: Boston Cream Pie doughnuts, Tiramisu pancakes, Carrot Cake waffle breakfast sandwich. None of those are happening in my kitchen, and Mr. NC is fine with that.

It is possible to change your taste buds with a bit of patience and conscientious eating.

Cheers to your progress!

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

 “You will find that your taste buds have a memory of about 3 weeks.”—Neal D. Barnard

Treat Your Taste Buds to This Simple Green Salad

As warmer days make their appearance, we tend to trade our hearty soup recipes in for light, bursting-with-flavor salads.

By increasing fruit and vegetable intake, and introducing a variety of produce, we can strengthen the immune system by diversifying the gut microbiome, or “good” bacteria. 

This salad is perfect for a light lunch or even a snack. Add grilled chicken to make it a more substantial meal. 

 Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese and Blueberries

Fill your favorite salad bowl with a mixture of greens. I used mixed spring greens, arugula, and buttercrunch. Crumble goat cheese (or your favorite soft cheese) and add a handful of blueberries to the greens. Toss first with extra virgin olive oil, then add fresh lemon juice and a bit of salt to taste. The sweet blueberries balance out the tart goat cheese and lemon juice. When sufficiently tossed, top with sunflower seeds or chopped nut of your choice.

For dessert, a honeycrisp apple. If you eat apples and don’t have the gadget in the picture, it’s time to invest in the apple corer slicer. With one quick swoop, the apple is ready to eat.

Confession: when I buy greens, I often get the organic varieties that are washed and ready to eat. They come in those recyclable plastic containers. I’m trying to bring home less plastic, however I eat more greens when it’s quick and easy. Still a work in progress here…   

Sautéed Vegetable Mix

This week I also made a side dish with some veggies that were hanging out in my vegetable bin.

It was quite a colorful combo and Mr. Non-Compliant commented on how much he liked them. Yes, you read that correctly. He is enjoying his vegetables these days.

I sautéed Vidalia onion, zucchini, red cabbage, and rainbow Swiss chard in coconut oil (avocado oil is good too, since it is stable when using high heat) until tender. Before serving, I sprinkled on some Tajín Clásico Seasoning, a unique blend of 100% natural chili peppers, lime & sea salt. You could sprinkle with your favorite seasoning, or salt and pepper.

Remember to find something “new to you” in the produce section this week. Have fun creating a simple colorful salad or side dish.

Cheers to colorful and delicious eating,
Health Coach Carol

“Food is not simply organic fuel to keep body and soul together, it is a perishable art that must be savored at the peak of perfec­tion.” – E.A. Bucchianeri