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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

What I Learned In Knife Class 101

Since I have finally become a responsible adult, I decided I ought to know how to properly use kitchen knives. This being the case, I took a Basic Knife Skills class this week.

I visited Mrs. Dornberg’s Culinary Experience in Highland for this specialty class. After two hours of slicing, dicing, and chopping, I realized I have been doing some things the hard way for my entire cooking life.

THE LESSON: we aren’t born knowing how to do most things, so at some point we need to learn. My knife skills were the ones I learned from my mom, who probably learned from her mom.

The same principles go for cooking, baking, homemaking, parenting, and so on. YouTube, and television don’t allow for hands-on experience and correction.

A few knife tips, just in case you’re curious:

  • The chef’s knife, typically with an 8-inch blade, is used for 90% of our cutting needs. (I rarely used this knife. Oops.)
  • A paring knife is used 10% of the time.
  • The serrated knife is used to slice bread.

These are really the only three knives you need. (Better not tell the Cutco people.)

Sharp knives are a must. Oh, and if you cut yourself, the wound heals quicker than if you had used a dull knife.

As we practiced the proper way to use sharp knives, bad habits emerged. Do you typically scrape your chopped food off the cutting board with the knife? Time to retrain and use a plastic scraper instead.

I have several habits that I need to break in order to be more efficient and make prep time easier. Practice, practice, practice.

Oh, and did you know there are goggles you can get so the onions won’t make you cry? True! 

If you find cooking a challenge, I suggest you check out Mrs. Dornberg’s Culinary Experience. The skills you learn from her make the process much easier—and fun.

If you have some food and fitness habits that could use some work, I’m your girl. Together, we’ll practice better habits so this will be much easier—and fun.

“A sharp knife cuts the quickest and hurts the least.”—Katharine Hepburn

Spring Cleaning for Fitness

It’s the time of year when I feel the need to let go of things in my environment that no longer bring me joy. Relax; I’m keeping Mr. Non-Compliant and the dog.

Over the years, I’ve collected books the way Imelda Marcos collected shoes. (However, I do not have one thousand and sixty books, which is the number of pairs of shoes she claims to have owned.) Many of these books have served me well and are now making their way to the church book sale.

Our environment influences our well-being, habits, and life. Truth: if I have ice cream in my freezer, I’m going to eat it. The same can be said for salad greens, strawberries and avocados.

A Few Environmental Thoughts and Ideas

As a healthy and fit person, what do you choose to have in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry? Do the other members of your household understand your expectations and support you? How about your friends and co-workers?

Almost everything around you should help you reach your goals. Keep your space positive and productive. (Too many books, shoes or potato chips?)

Could you plant a small garden with herbs and a few favorite vegetables?

Would a comfortable pair of sneakers (they’re not Imelda shoes) get you to spend more time walking the dog—and you?

If snacking is your downfall, are you prepared with snack foods that offer health benefits such as nut butters, hard boiled eggs, hummus, fresh fruits and vegetables?

How well are your daily sleep and relaxation rituals working for you?

Get rid of what hinders you and acquire whatever it is you need to help you.

This week, I challenge you to do a quick scan to determine if there is one thing you could add or eliminate to spring clean. The goal: do a little more, and a little better today.

And please, keep your family–and the dog.

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ―John C. Maxwell

It’s Party Time!

Graduations, Confirmations, Communions…the parties are in full force, and Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner. All these celebrations are filled with delectable foods and cupcakes with gobs of colorful frosting, not to mention bowls of assorted chips.

What is a fit person to do? Do not let your stomach (or your heart) be troubled. There are times when it is fine to break our normal ways of eating, with the very clear understanding that we are making a choice to enjoy the party.

It is a healthy indulgence.

Decide ahead of picnic time how you are going to eat. Start by thinking about how really good you feel when you are doing your workouts and eating clean:

  • energy is good
  • sleep is more restful
  • digestion is better
  • your mood is lighter (and perhaps, so are you!)

This is the lifestyle you are practicing and it suits you well. There is no reason to feel like you are blowing it all to bits with one little barbecue.

Start with some protein. For those of you who love fried chicken, it is preferable to remove the fried and simply eat the chicken. Enjoying the burger or sausage without the bun is a good trade-off for a helping of pasta salad, or maybe a few chips.

Salads, green and otherwise, are typically prevalent. Enjoy those that do not have a creamy dressing, which may not be so good in the heat anyway. A handful of nuts is a good option if they are around. Vegetables are like a “get of jail free” card.

I love baked beans and am the only one in my family who does, so this is my big opportunity to enjoy. Choose water or unsweetened ice tea instead of soda– diet or otherwise.

Remember the 80/20 rule. The weekend party is probably part of the 20; I’m going out on a limb here.

As for dessert, those cute cupcakes with little checkered flags flying in the frosting often look better than they taste. If I’m wrong about that and they are amazing, enjoy every bite. If not, go for the fresh fruit salad or have extra greens.

If you’re going to splurge, it had better be worth it!     

You are eating to live your best. Feel great and don’t carry the burden of starting over after the long weekend. Remember, it’s not about being perfect; it’s about doing just a little bit better. Cheers!

“A party without cake is just a meeting.”—Julia Child

Lemon Lovelies

These delightful lemon lovelies are dairy free and a childhood favorite of my boys.

  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • ½ cup (1 stick) softened Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together the flour, Earth Balance, and powdered sugar in a bowl. Press the dough into an ungreased 8-inch square pan. Press the dough onto the sides of the pan as well. (Flour your hands if the dough is sticky.) Bake for about 20 minutes. Mix the remaining ingredients together until frothy. Pour over the hot crust. Bake an additional 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.