1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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July 29, 2021

Choose the Tastiest Cantaloupe, Every Time

I stumbled across some Tuscan-Style Extra Sweet Cantaloupes this week, and they certainly live up to their name. They are produced by Dulcinea Farms w

July 22, 2021

Mr. Corn Comes Home to Indiana

Here in Indiana, it’s corn season. The best and sweetest makes its appearance now through August. Along with the corn season came my cousin, Mr. Cor

July 15, 2021

Getting Creative with Blueberries

Welcome to blueberry season and all the deliciousness that comes with it. This fruit is very versatile, as it can be eaten fresh, frozen, added to a v

July 9, 2021

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

1 cup organic quinoa                                                                                2 cups...

July 7, 2021

What’s the Best Diet for You?

There are many options when it comes to eating: keto, paleo, vegan, low carb, intermittent fasting, and more. Which one is the best? I don’t endorse

July 1, 2021

A Simple Celebration Salad

Happy Independence Day and the kick-off to summer! Since there will probably be a few picnics and family gatherings happening at some point, I thought

June 24, 2021

Ever try butter on saltines?

I’d forgotten about this childhood treat until a friend of mine mentioned it. We’d gathered for an informal dinner, and the next thing I knew we w

June 17, 2021

Beware of the Buggy Bandit

This week, my client and I were enjoying a peaceful grocery shopping field trip at Whole Foods. We were in the produce department reviewing the list o

June 10, 2021

A Delicate Summer Surprise

Apricots are a hidden gem of a fruit. While the delicate little apricot is not even in the running of most popular fruits in the world, it has a speci

June 3, 2021

A Special Pasta Dish Just for You

I was fortunate to work with my friend, Chef Lynn and make this special recipe with her. She recreated it from her favorite dish at Popolano’s and l

The Coconut Cake

For those of you who are interested in the coconut cake I mentioned last week, the recipe is now on my website.

You’ll find it in the Recipes section under Treats, of course.

It’s AMAZING.

Full gluten eaters even like it.

If you’re not a coconut fan, there’s also a recipe for Strawberry Crumble. I made the crumble this week using half rhubarb and half strawberries. 

Eating well to maintain good health is about the balance. Every once in a while, in between my many salads with chicken, I just need a piece of coconut cake.

When I make the cake, I often cut a portion of it in small pieces that I wrap individually and freeze.

It’s a perfect treat.

The Wascally Wabbit

My resident rabbit still hangs around and has brought friends. They’ve managed to eat the okra plants in my garden.

Okra is typically a southern plant and a popular dish is stewed okra and tomatoes. I like to add a little okra to my beef vegetable soup.

Guess I’m out of luck, unless I find more plants.

Sneaking in Exercise

With the onset of warmer weather, getting some exercise doesn’t necessarily mean a trip to the gym.

Consider the many activities you can enjoy outdoors that get your heart rate up, allow for some stretching, and help improve muscle tone.

We know that exercise extends life while reducing the risk of everything from heart disease to cancer to dementia.

And the best form of exercise is the one you’ll do consistently.   

Gardening, golfing (walk instead of riding in a cart), biking, mowing the lawn, playing tennis, are just some of the ways you can have fun while extending your life and its quality.

Low Gluten Communion

As was listed in my series on gluten, communion wafers typically contain wheat. My church offers low gluten (not 100% GF, but ok for many) hosts which makes me very happy.

If this is something that affects you, I suggest you call your church office and see if there are special accommodations for those who must avoid gluten.

Wishing you a magnificent week!

Much love,
Carol

“A party without cake is really just a meeting” – Julia Child

Carol’s Amazing Gluten Free, Dairy Free Coconut Cake

2 ½ cups Namaste Perfect Flour Blend
5 eggs, separated, room temperature
5 Tbsp. Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, room temperature
½ cup coconut oil, melted
2 cups sugar (may decrease sugar to just a little more than 1 ¾ cups and you won’t notice)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
1 cup reconstituted goat milk (or other non-dairy beverage) with 1 Tbsp. white vinegar or fresh lemon juice added
1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut     

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 13×9 pan or two round baking pans. (I like to use some Earth Balance or coconut oil.) If using round baking pans, line with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter, coconut oil, and sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Combine flour and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternating with the goat milk mixture. Start and end with the dry ingredients. Blend in the coconut.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites just until peaks form. Fold gently into cake batter. Bake for approximately 40 minutes for a 9×13 pan or about 25 minutes for cake rounds. Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Frost with vegan cream cheese frosting.

 

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, room temperature
One 8-ounce container vegan cream cheese, out of the fridge for 1 hour (like Kite Hill plain cream cheese)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 to 5 cups organic powdered sugar

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add softened butter and beat well. Add vegan cream cheese and vanilla, and mix again until creamy and smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar in 1 cup (or less) increments until thick and spreadable.
  3. You want this frosting to be fairly thick so it won’t slide around. Keep adding powdered sugar until it reaches the right consistency. Refrigerate the frosting for about 30 minutes to make it easier to frost the cake. 

NOTES:
*Other gluten free flours may work well, although I usually use Namaste.
*You can cut the sugar in a cake recipe by 10%. It won’t affect the consistency and it’s  sweet enough—especially with frosting.
*Adding vinegar or lemon juice to goat milk creates “buttermilk.” My favorite goat milk is Meyenberg Whole Powdered Goat Milk. The powder keeps well in the fridge for months and you can make fresh when needed.
*The first time I made this cake, I underbaked it a bit. Once the toothpick comes out clean, I bake it for a few more minutes, as long as it’s not getting too brown. Gluten free products sometimes need a little more cooking or baking time. Also, the more I make it, the better it seems to turn out. Like everything, practice makes perfect. So, if your first cake doesn’t quite hit the mark, try again.

Cake recipe derived from Namaste.
Frosting recipe derived from Minimalist Baker.

Are You Having Fun Yet?

If you haven’t had some fun lately, it’s time to make a plan, then execute your plan.

 Your health is affected by your world as well as your food. If you’re not enjoying life, even with all of its uncontrollable ups and downs, it’s time to make a shift.

For those of you with a spouse or significant other, when did you last have a date night? I highly recommend to my client couples that they make time to have some fun and relaxed time together. 

Alone.

The date doesn’t have to be anything fancy, although it can be.

Our sons were on the cross-country team in high school and had to ride to the meet on the team bus. My husband, (aka Mr. Non-Compliant), and I would drop them off, then go to breakfast.

It was the perfect date.

With the warmer weather, dates could be a bike ride to a favorite coffee or dinner spot, relaxing in your backyard with your favorite beverage, taking a walk in your neighborhood or on one of the many trails in the community.

The important part is to stay connected.

There are couples that make Friday nights their sacred date night. Depending on your schedules, it may be more conducive to meet once a week for lunch. 

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

For those of you who are typically solo, you could make plans to meet up with a friend each week. While solitude can be a good thing, too much of it may lead to overworking, burnout, or loneliness. 

And for all of us, why not schedule an Artist’s Date? I learned about artist dates from Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way.

 “The Artist’s Date is a once-weekly, hour-long solo expedition to explore something festive or interesting to your creative consciousness.”—Julia Cameron

 This is a date that is planned in advance with yourself. Treat it is as you would an appointment with your dentist or doctor or someone you would never let down.

My plan is to go to a garden center and buy more flowers to plant. They make me happy.

We are all artists in some fashion, and our creativity is screaming to be let loose on the world.

Have some fun.

Speaking of fun…here are some things I have coming your way. 

I’ll be posting the recipe for my now famous gluten and dairy free coconut cake on my website this week so you can make one of your very own! AND I’m putting together a 4 or 6-week group coaching program to help those of you struggling with the gluten thing. Details coming soon.

Wishing you a week with some FUN in your life. I’d love to hear what you’re up to.

Much love,
Carol

“A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.”—Frank Capra

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 I’d like to cover before summer arrives.

That being the case, if you are struggling with how to manage a gluten-free lifestyle and enjoy great food, we need to talk. I’ve been practicing for several years now.

Gluten can sometimes be found in ingredients that you’d not expect. It’s tough to avoid something when you don’t know that you should—like licking envelopes. 

While this is not a complete list, here are some names that are often code for gluten:

  • Caramel color (frequently made from barley)
  • Hydrolysate
  • Hydrolyzed malt extract
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Maltodextrin
  • Modified food starch
  • Natural flavoring
  • Yeast extract
  • Soy protein
  • Vegetable protein

This is another reason why it is important to eat a diet that consists primarily of whole foods. Long lists of ingredients often lead to food that isn’t that good—taste wise and for you.

5 Tips to Help You Eat Gluten-Free Deliciously

  1. You’ve heard this one before, yet it can’t be overstated: When grocery shopping, stick primarily to the perimeter of the store, where whole, nature-made foods live. Avoid the middle aisles which are filled with processed foods.
  2. Make a shopping list and don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. Crazy things end up coming home with you when you skip this tip. Been there, done that.
  3. On those occasions when I’d like a special treat, I’ve found that Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend, as well as King Arthur GF flour, work very well. Recipes using their products can be found on their websites. 
  4. For convenience foods (like crackers, muffin mixes) made with real and healthy ingredients, look for Simple Mills. You can pronounce the ingredients and your body will recognize them as real food.
  5. These products can be found at most local groceries. I also like to shop at vitacost.com. When I’ve left products in my shopping cart for a day or so, I often get an email with a coupon and reminder to finish my shopping.

May is Celiac Awareness Month and vitacost.com is offering 15% off on select gluten-free foods.

To learn MUCH more about how gluten and grains affect us, a great book is Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter.

Enjoy the lilacs of May.

Much love,
Carol

“Food is medicine. We can actually change our gene expressions with the foods we eat.”—David Perlmutter