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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

What’s Your Story?

Our lives are fascinating. Sit quietly for a moment and consider a story about your life that someone would find compelling.

And don’t tell me you don’t have one. Yes, you do.

Like the time you and your friend took a bus trip to the largest hosta farm in the Midwest for the weekend, and you don’t even like hostas. In fact, when asked about the variety you were seeking, your response was “green.”

Or how about the time you went out with your buddies, acted like college kids, and laughed so hard that your face hurt the next day.

Or how you got “lucky” and ended up with front row seats to see Kenny Chesney.

Stories hold our memories. Stories connect us.

Sometimes, we tell ourselves stories that do not serve us, and are not REALLY true.

Like:

–I used to be in shape. Those days are gone forever.

–With my schedule, I don’t have time to exercise/eat better/have fun.

–I can’t cook/take time for myself/give up my diet sodas.

These are the stories we can rewrite. We simply need to get to the place of being ready to get creative and try something new.

Ever try to do something you thought you could NEVER in a million years accomplish? Pretty scary. Then when you succeeded, well, talk about empowerment!

I felt that way when my PC crashed and I figured out how to write my blog posts, then upload them to my website, on a MAC. Oh. Yea.

I still feel that way when I try a “new-to-me” class at the gym, and walk away fairly unscathed when it’s over. Look out Wonder Woman.

So, today, what’s your story? Is it true? Is it REALLY true?

If you have an old story that you’re tired of playing over and over and over again, I’d like to hear it. Odds are good I’ll have some creative ways to rewrite it that are really pretty simple. Oh. Yea.

“Your life is your story. Write well. Edit often.”—Susan Statham

Change Begins with a Meal

I find this to be an interesting statement, since most people have an aversion to change; yet most people enjoy a meal.

How does it resonate with you? (Pause, and consider this for a moment.)

I heard this because a radio station was giving listeners an opportunity to make a donation of any size to a shelter that feeds those who have nothing to eat.

A person who had experienced fellowship and meals at the shelter gave his testimony about how much better he felt on so many levels because of the food he was given. He felt healthier, stronger, loved.

Change begins with a meal.  

This is true on many levels as well. Think of the different ways you feel depending on who you share the meal with, the location, conversation, food, your state of mind, etc.

I take my food for granted. I have never been in a situation where I didn’t know where, or when, my next meal would appear.

There are those times when I choose to overeat, make poor choices, and don’t take the time to really appreciate all that I have. Ouch!

Today, I chose to focus on my meal in a more conscious way. I was truly hungry, the flavors were wonderful, and the conversation light.

How about you? What was your most recent meal like? Did you feel good when you were finished? Are there opportunities for you to make mealtime a more positive, joyful experience?

Our lives revolve around food. We need it to survive and it’s even better when it helps us thrive.

Scripture is filled with stories centered around food. Change began with a meal.

A couple things as I close out today’s post:

  1. If you have the means, donate to a local food bank. Since we’re between holidays, many of them are running low on food. People get hungry in the summer too.
  2. If mealtime brings more stress and anxiety than it does happiness and fulfillment, let’s talk. Let’s explore why you can’t lose the weight, have no time to exercise, and hate buying new clothes.

Change begins with a meal. And change begins with self-love.   

Begin today.

“If we really love ourselves, everything in our life works.”—Louise Hay

Just Do a Little Bit Better

In our journey to a healthier, happier life, we often get a bit overzealous.

We think we can conquer it all, all at the same time.

We work out everyday for an hour, give up the sugar and bread, eat massive amounts of fruits and vegetables, and drink only water.

We do really well and start feeling like a million bucks—for a week or two. Then it gets too hard and we quit.

It’s impossible to stay motivated for the long haul.

Here’s an idea. How about trying to do just a little bit better? Practice one habit at a time. ONE.

Maybe you let go of the before-bedtime snack a couple bedtimes a week.

Or you skip devouring the bread basket when you go out for dinner.

Or in my case, eat the ice cream only a couple times a week instead of five.

Whatever it is for you, remember that little things, over time, add up to big results and a happier life.

Patience, persistence, and understanding why any of this is important to you is key.

Life is delicious. Eat it up.


“To live well is to eat well.”—
Author Unknown

Keeping it Real, Recipe Included

I’m writing this after returning home from Julia Child’s birthday celebration. This evening, at Mrs. Dornberg’s Culinary Experience, we toasted to a wonderful cook, who would have been 106 today. 

There is much that we could celebrate about Julia and what she brought to American cooking. After viewing some television clips, what is quite obvious is that she was real.

She burned food, ruined recipes, dropped chickens, and kept right on going. Nothing stopped her from teaching us with great zeal and humor, as imperfect as she was.

I find that quite comforting.

Our birthday meal consisted of:

  • Gruyere Stuffed Mushrooms (Champignons Farci)
  • Eggplant Pizza
  • Salad greens with Basic French Vinaigrette
  • Poached Salmon with Cucumber Sauce
  • Buttered String Beans (Haricots Verts a la Maitre d’Hotel)
  • Chocolate Mousse topped with whipped cream

We toasted with a bit of champagne, and appropriate wine pairings were also available. Julia did lots of wine pouring and toasting, celebrating food and life.

As we continue to celebrate summer, kids going back to school, and beautiful sunsets, I offer you a recipe we enjoyed. It is from Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom, by Julia Child.

Basic French Vinaigrette
Makes about 2/3 Cup

  • ½ Tablespoon finely minced shallot or scallion
  • ½ Tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ Tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1/3 to ½ Cup excellent olive oil or other fine, fresh oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

Either shake all the ingredients together in a screw-topped jar or mix them individually as follows. Stir the shallots or scallions together with the mustard and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar, and when well blended start whisking in the oil by droplets to form a smooth emulsion. Beat in freshly ground pepper. Taste by dipping a piece of the salad greens into the sauce and correct seasoning with salt, pepper and/or drops of lemon juice.

Vinaigrette is always at its freshest and best when served promptly, but you can store it in an airtight container and refrigerate for several days. The shallots and fresh lemon juice will eventually go off, spoiling the taste of the dressing.

*Add minced fresh herbs to dressing as desired after all the oil has been added.

A true French salad is simply mixed greens with vinaigrette such as this. It helps to cleanse the palate between courses.

Cheers to Julia, eating amazing food, and keeping it real.

“Remember, ‘No one’s more important than people’!” In other words, friendship is the most important thing—not career or housework, or one’s fatigue—and it needs to be tended and nurtured.” –Julia Child, “My Life in France”