1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

Top
June 13, 2024

Refreshing Drink Recipes to Beat the Heat

As the summer sun reaches its peak, staying hydrated is more important than ever. But who says hydration has to be boring? Here are some simple recipe

June 6, 2024

Fun and Healthy Summer Snacks

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy fresh, light, and delicious snacks that not only keep you cool but also pack a nutritional punch. Here are some fu

May 30, 2024

The Surprising Link Between Texting and Better Eating

Ever notice how you just feel a little lighter after a laugh with friends, or a heartfelt conversation with a loved one? These kinds of positive socia

May 22, 2024

Uncovering the Hidden Sweetness in Everyday Foods

(The following article was written for the December 2020 issue of Get Healthy magazine, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times. I’m sharin

May 16, 2024

Mastering the Art of Cleaning Produce

Last week I promised that I’d offer some various ways to effectively clean your produce. Before preparing fruits and vegetables, wash your hands wel

May 9, 2024

Navigating Pesticides in Produce

To buy organic or conventional produce? That is the question of the day. Organic produce, by definition, is grown without synthetic pesticides, synthe

May 2, 2024

Diverse Protein Sources for a Healthier You

Last week I covered the topic of how much protein we need in a day and dispelled the idea that protein causes kidney damage. In case you missed it, he

April 25, 2024

Is Too Much Protein Dangerous?

Twenty-five years ago, there was plenty of skepticism about protein. After all, bodybuilders ate lots of it—and they experimented with all kinds of

April 18, 2024

The #1 Nutrition Principle

“Red wine is better than white wine!” “Kale is better than spinach!” “GRAINS ARE EVIL!!” Ever feel like good nutrition is just too complic

April 11, 2024

Angelos Update and Green Thumb Time

If you’ve been following my blog for a few years, you may recall my weekly posts that were written comparing the size of my friend’s baby in utero

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 which focuses on providing reliably great-tasting fruit—as opposed to a high yield and long shelf-life.

Choosing a delicious melon can be a gamble, even when following the tasty melon guidelines. 

Have you ever brought home what you thought to be a great-tasting melon or peach, only to sink your teeth into a piece of mush? UGH!

Since this company prides itself on controlling the growing, shipping and marketing of their produce, I feel a bit more confident tossing their fruit in my buggy. There were even tips on the label to help me find a ripe melon.

ripe cantaloupe will have beige, tan, creamy yellow or golden rind. Green rind indicates that the fruit is unripe.

I found these cantaloupes at Costco, two per net bag. It’s the “one for now, one for later” principle. Since they both smelled ripe, I put my second one in the fridge (intact) to keep it from getting overly so.

Dulcinea Farms produces a variety of melons (including mini-seedless watermelons), grapes, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, and oranges. If you spot fruit with their sticker, you may want to give some a try.

While their produce may be a bit pricier than other brands, your tastebuds may tell you it’s worth it.

Remember to always wash the outside of your melons before cutting them in order to avoid spreading any bacteria to the inner fruit.

Here’s a summer salad that fits the criteria of healthy, light, tasty, simple. (I found a salad using cantaloupe, but it was much more complex. Never mind.)

Dulcinea® Pureheart® Watermelon Mediterranean Salad (Yields 6 servings)

  • 5-oz bag Baby Romaine lettuce
  • 3/4 cups crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 cups cubed Dulcinea® PureHeart® Mini Seedless Watermelon
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cups walnut pieces (optional)

Toss lettuce, cheese and watermelon in serving bowl. Whisk oil and vinegar in small bowl until well blended, season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss salad with dressing. Top salad with walnuts, if desired. 

Note: White balsamic vinegar has a sweet, subtle flavor and a clean color. This vinegar is mainly used in marinades, salad dressings and light-colored sauces. It is aged up to 12 years. Oxidation may occur over time, causing a darkening of the lighter product from gold to deep amber. The quality is not affected. Dark balsamic vinegar is considered to be the real balsamic and is the most commonly used vinegar. It’s aged for a minimum of 12 years. Both types are made from white grapes, usually Trebbiano, grown in Modeno, Italy.

If you’re trying to lose weight, I know that it can be complicated. I’ll help you simplify the process and even eat your favorite foods. Give me a call. 219-765-8600.

Much love,
Carol

 “The longer it takes you to select a cantaloupe, the worse it is!” — Kin Hubbard

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. Corn (aka Roger) from Florida. He and his wife had tickets to a Sox game, however I know he really came back home for some Midwestern corn. Oh, and to visit his darling cousin.

Sweet corn is a favorite food of his. My dad used to say that if the corn wasn’t picked while the water was already boiling, it wasn’t fit to eat.

Mr. Corn would agree. He is a corn expert and I refer to him as “keeper of the corn.” Whenever we eat corn, the cooked ears are kept in a cooler to stay hot, and all ears are distributed by him.   

Since many folks embrace corn as their favorite vegetable, I thought you might enjoy learning a bit more about those irresistible little kernels.

Corn is one of the most popular cereal grains and is primarily composed of carbohydrates. It also has a fair amount of fiber, mostly insoluble—meaning it does not dissolve in water and is left intact and undigested.

Organic corn is a high-antioxidant food (a good thing), and is a source of protein, vitamin C, certain B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium.

Because it is a complex carbohydrate food that is also high in fiber, it supports steady energy levels, and ranks low or medium on the glycemic index scale.

It is naturally gluten free and can be a good substitute for wheat or other gluten-containing foods.

I can hear Mr. Corn now. “See, I always knew it was good for me.” Yes, he and my Mr. Non-Compliant husband stick together.

When corn is genetically modified (GMO), and about 88% of all corn grown in the U.S. is, there are health concerns. Some of these include:

  • Changes in gut environment
  • Increased risk for antibiotic resistance
  • Problems with endocrine and reproductive systems
  • Increased aging symptoms

Here’s the good news. Sweet corn, the kind we usually eat whole, off the cob, is mostly Non-GMO corn.

Field corn, the kind used to make corn oil, high fructose corn syrup, livestock feed, and many chemical ingredients that are added to packaged, processed foods, is usually GMO.

There are a variety of ways to cook corn on the cob. I usually cook the shucked, silk-free ears in a large pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes.

Organic, non-GMO corn can be a part of an otherwise balanced and healthy diet, but the same can’t be said for GMO and processed derivative ingredients.   

As for Mr. Corn, I hope he gets his fill while he’s back home in Indiana. Florida is not famous for its corn crop. And we only eat it when it’s amazing.

Much love to Roger and to you,
Carol

“Corn on the cob is a carrier for salt and butter.”—Roger Ash

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 variety of baked goods, and made into juice, jams, and jellies.

They offer a variety of health benefits and are often referred to as a superfood.     

Benefits of blueberries include:

  • Low glycemic index, so unlikely to cause major spikes in blood sugar.
  • Low in calories and fat and offer a good amount of fiber.
  • Good source of several vitamins and minerals.
  • Potent antioxidants concentrated in the skin are responsible for many of their health benefits.
  • May decrease risk of heart disease, boost brain health, lower blood sugar levels, and improve insulin sensitivity.

If you haven’t yet enjoyed this season’s berries, now is the time.

They’re great all by themselves, added to fruit salad, smoothies, and even added to a tossed green salad for a refreshing change.

I like to add them to oatmeal and pancakes. Perhaps there are some gluten free blueberry muffins in my future. I’ll have to work on a recipe—and share it, of course.

Blueberries are the perfect fruit to include in a healthy eating plan.

Savor the flavors

One tip to help you eat less and not feel deprived is to truly SAVOR your food. This is best accomplished with minimal distractions (like not watching television or checking your phone) and enjoying the company of those you’re sharing the meal with. 

Most people get into trouble when they’re not paying attention to what and how much they’re eating. Example: watching TV and suddenly noticing that an entire bag of chips or cookies has disappeared. Oops.

Taking this one simple action of savoring your food may help you eat a bit less, which could ultimately result in some weight loss.

Now that’s sweet and savory.

Blessings and savory blueberries,
Carol

“They would think she was savoring the taste (blueberries, cinnamon, cream-excellent), but she was actually savoring the whole morning, trying to catch it, pin it down, keep it safe before all those precious moments became yet another memory.”—Liane Moriarty

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

  • 1 cup organic quinoa                                                                               
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup peeled and diced cucumber
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • ¼ cup kalamata or black olives, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoonful chopped mint (optional)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. Let cool. Combine quinoa, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, parsley, cheese, olives, and mint in a large bowl. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper together. Pour over quinoa mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator.

Serve as a side salad or add grilled chicken to make it a main dish for lunch. This is also tasty as a topper for tortilla chips. (I like Late July brand chips.)

There are scads of variations for quinoa salad. Experiment to your heart’s content and have fun.