Crown Point, IN

September 28, 2023

Why You Can’t Stop Eating Junk Food

“Who ate all these chips?!” You look around and, alas, not even a dog to blame. Oops. It’s not your fault.  If you’ve had this experience—r

September 21, 2023

Harvesting the Balance of Autumn

September 23rd ushers in the autumn equinox, a time when day and night are in perfect balance. It also opens the official season of cozy sweaters, pum

September 14, 2023

More Brain-Boosting Foods

Last week I shared a list of brain-boosting foods with the promise of more to come. Here are some additional foods that you may choose to include in y

September 7, 2023

Ten Brain-Boosting Foods

Thank you for the many recommendations of farm stands with tasty corn on the cob. Mr. Non-Compliant happened to be in the vicinity of VanDerGriends Fa

August 31, 2023

Mr. Non-Compliant’s Unwavering Passion for…Corn

Mr. Non-Compliant LOVES corn on the cob. Since the corn season is rather brief, I do my best to oblige him with this indulgence. And as my dear cousin

August 24, 2023

Tips for a Sluggish Thyroid

Lately, I’ve been getting lots of questions about the little gland known as the thyroid. It seems to be underperforming for many of you. Hypothyroid

August 17, 2023

Healthy Anytime Toast

Since my encounter with bar food last week, I’ve been focused on eating more plants. I came across this idea to enjoy “toast” and get more veggi

August 10, 2023

Confessions from The Antler

What does one eat when in a bar? Bar food, of course. The bar options: The Brown Bear vs. The Antler: Horniest Bar Around (There were deer heads with

August 3, 2023

6 Ways to Enjoy a Staycation at Home

August. Already. Is summer slipping by too quickly? Feel as though you’ve not experienced enough lazy days? Can’t manage to get away for one reaso

July 26, 2023

The Wonder of Apricots

When I think about the abundant fruits of summer, apricots make the list. Although some of you may not be fans, I ask that you consider giving this da

July’s Outdoor Delights

Mr. Non-Compliant and I have been taking lots of walks lately. In fact, we have an ongoing friendly competition concerning our daily step count.

He usually wins.

Here’s why. We don’t have devices that attach to our bodies to record such statistics. We only go by the (free) ActivityTracker app. It works just fine, except for one thing.

I don’t always have my phone on me. Mr. NC usually does.

Therefore, he wins the step count most of the time because my phone sits on a non-moving surface.

Perhaps I need to attach my phone to a neighbor dog who takes lots of walks. 

Just kidding—that would be cheating.

At any rate, the good news is that we’ve increased our activity level. And we get to spend more time together.

Last week we discovered a yard with a beautiful vegetable garden, several varieties of fruit trees and grape vines with baby grapes.

We’re obviously not speed walking. If you’re not spending much time enjoying the outdoors, I invite you to begin doing so.

Too warm? Try getting out early or late in the day.

Need a walking partner? Find one who will encourage you to get out even when you may not be in the mood.

Walking with a buddy is a win on many levels. You can solve world problems, keep one another on pace, notice the beauty of Nature from a different perspective–all while you’re improving your health.

If you prefer to run, go for it.

Do what you can and enjoy what you do.

Grapes Are Good

Grapes are a delicious and versatile fruit that also pack a nutritional punch. Bursting with flavor, grapes can be enjoyed as a healthy snack or incorporated into a variety of meals.

Grapes contain vitamins C, K, and various B vitamins. They are also a good source of minerals like potassium and copper. Rich in powerful antioxidants, they help protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation.

They are a good source of dietary fiber, promoting healthy digestion and supporting weight management. With high water content, grapes contribute to your daily hydration needs. 

Enjoy them on their own, in a fruit salad, paired with goat or your favorite cheeses, added to chicken or any salad, frozen as a summer treat.

Make grape salsa: Combine chopped grapes, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and a touch of jalapeño for a unique salsa that pairs well with grilled fish or chicken.

Roasting grapes brings out their natural sweetness and adds a caramelized flavor. They can be served as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, or even roasted meats.

Wishing you a joyous July,
Health Coach Carol

“July is a picnic and a red canoe and a sunburned neck and a softball game and ice tinkling in a tall glass.” – Hal Borland

Delightfully Delicious Rainier Cherries

Rainier cherries, with their vibrant golden hue and succulent sweetness, are truly a delight to behold.

Now is the time to enjoy this unique fruit since the growing season is brief.

The growing season for Rainier cherries typically occurs during the summer months, from late June to early August. July 11th is Rainier Cherry Day. 

Washington state is one of the major producers of Rainier cherries due to its ideal growing conditions. They require a certain number of chill hours during winter to initiate fruit production, followed by warm temperatures during the growing season to ensure proper ripening.

Rainier cherries are a favorite of mine. My father-in-law loved them and I think of him every time I see them in the store.

One of the ways I celebrated Father’s Day was to enjoy some cherries in his honor.

Fun fact: The Rainier cherry is named after Mount Rainier in Washington state, where it was developed in the late 1950s by crossing the Bing and Van cherry varieties.

These cherries are not only good, they’re also good for you.

  • They are a great source of essential vitamins, including vitamin C, which supports the immune system, and vitamin A, which is beneficial for eye health.
  • They contain dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy digestive system.
  • Rainier cherries are low in calories and fat, making them an excellent choice for those watching their weight or seeking a guilt-free snack.
  • They also contain antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, which have been associated with various health benefits, including reducing inflammation and protecting against chronic diseases.

Rainier cherries are known for their exceptional sweetness, which is slightly milder and less tart compared to other cherry varieties.

These cherries are often described as having a flavor reminiscent of honey or nectar, with hints of citrus notes. Their delectable taste makes them a true summer treat.

When selecting Rainier cherries, look for plump, firm fruits with a bright yellow color and no blemishes. They should feel slightly soft when gently squeezed.

Indulge in this seasonal delight and savor the essence of summer.

Fourth of July Celebration: A Time for Cookouts, Family, and Fireworks

One of the highlights of this festive day is gathering with loved ones for a classic American cookout.

Backyards, parks, and beaches come alive with the aroma of sizzling hamburgers, hot dogs, and juicy steaks on the grill.

I’m not sure what Mr. Non-Compliant will be grilling on Tuesday, however I do know that it will be amazing!

Beyond the cookouts, fireworks, and flags, the Fourth of July is a time for reflection and gratitude.

As the sun sets and the fireworks conclude, may your celebration leave lasting memories of joy, togetherness, and patriotism.  

Happy Birthday, America!

Sending love,
Health Coach Carol

“May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” — Peter Marshall

Embracing the Summer Solstice: Reflect, Renew, Rejoice

Yesterday we celebrated the summer solstice, heralding the onset of summer and embracing the sun’s longest appearance of the year.

I can FINALLY put away my heavy sweaters in exchange for lightweight t-shirts.

As we find ourselves at the halfway point of the calendar, it’s the perfect opportunity to pause, re-examine our lives, and make any changes that are needed to better align with our dreams and aspirations.

In other words, pretend it’s the New Year and time for a fresh start.  

Keep what’s working, let go of what isn’t.  

Consider the summer solstice as a catalyst for personal growth. Here are some simple yet meaningful ways to celebrate the arrival of summer. 

1. Reflect on the First Half of the Year

The summer solstice serves as a natural checkpoint to evaluate the progress we have made to date and assess if we are on track with our goals and desires. Take time to reflect on various aspects of your life—relationships, career, health, personal growth—and ask yourself meaningful questions. What accomplishments have you achieved? What challenges have you faced? Are you content with the direction you are heading? Use this reflection as a foundation to identify areas that require attention and improvement.

2. Set Intentions and Goals

Now is the ideal time to set new intentions and goals for the upcoming months. Consider what changes you would like to make, what habits you wish to cultivate, and what experiences you hope to have. Be specific and realistic, breaking down larger goals into actionable steps. Writing down your intentions and regularly revisiting them will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the rest of the year.

3. Embrace Nature

Connecting with nature is an integral part of celebrating the summer solstice. Engage in activities that allow you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the outdoors. Take leisurely walks in a nearby park or at the beach, visit a local garden, plan a picnic. Spending time outdoors may inspire you and give you a fresh perspective on all that’s possible.

4. Cultivate a Reading Ritual

Summertime offers the perfect opportunity to indulge in the joy of reading, just for the fun of it. Choose a book in any genre that will allow you to relax and destress. Commit to spending quality time outside turning its pages.

5. Engage in Mindful Gardening

Planting flowers or tending to a small garden can be a therapeutic and symbolic act on the summer solstice.    Connecting with the earth through gardening serves as a metaphor for personal growth. Even though some garden centers have reduced their prices since it’s late in the planting season, you can still find flowers, vegetables and herbs that will thrive in a loving environment. Just this week I bought some tomato plants and flowers for half the original price.

6. Dine Al Fresco

Savoring a meal outdoors can be a delightful way to celebrate summer. Whether it’s a picnic in the park, a backyard barbecue, or a quiet dinner on the patio, take advantage of the longer daylight hours and enjoy the pleasures of al fresco dining.

May this solstice be a catalyst for reflection, renewal and rejoicing.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“The summer solstice is a time for strength and vitality for action and movement.” ― Carole Carlton

Fun Ways to Replenish Electrolytes

In a world where commercial sports drinks like Powerade and Gatorade often take center stage, it’s time to shine the spotlight on some naturally hydrating superstars.

If you’re looking to replenish your electrolytes after a tough workout or simply beat the summer heat, you may want to give these refreshing alternatives a try.

  1. Coconut water is nature’s tropical delight when it comes to replenishing electrolytes. Packed with potassium, magnesium, and sodium, coconut water quenches your thirst and helps restore those precious electrolytes. It’s like a tropical vacation in a bottle.
  2. Nothing screams summer quite like biting into a juicy slice of watermelon. Did you know that this delicious fruit is also an excellent source of hydration? With its high water content, watermelon not only helps quench your thirst but provides a natural source of electrolytes like potassium. Be sure to pack this gem in the picnic basket or cooler when you head to the beach. 
  3. Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits add a burst of tangy flavor and offer a citrusy twist to your electrolyte replenishment routine. Add to water or enjoy as is. Packed with potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C, these fruits help keep you hydrated while adding a zesty kick to your hydration game.
  4. Cucumber-mint infused water is cool and revitalizing. Pair cucumber slices with mint leaves in a pitcher of water and let the magic happen. This natural water blend is incredibly refreshing and provides a subtle way to replenish electrolytes. It’s perfect for those who prefer a light, crisp drink on a hot day.
  5. Herbal teas offer a delightful twist on traditional hydration. Opt for herbal blends like hibiscus or chamomile, which not only provide some interesting flavors but also offer natural electrolytes. Sip on a cup of iced herbal tea and let its calming and hydrating properties bring a few moments of peace to your day.

From coconut water’s tropical island flavor to watermelon’s juicy goodness, these options offer a fun and flavorful way to keep your electrolytes in check.

Sunday, June 18th is Father’s Day!

In case you need a reminder, this is it.

You still have time to plan dad’s favorite meal or get him the perfect gift.

Mr. Non-Compliant will be grilling some form of protein since he’s the grill master of the household. I’m in charge of the veggies, of course.

Wishing all you dad’s a fabulous day of family, fun and favorite foods! 

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“When my father didn’t have my hand, he had my back.” —Linda Poindexter