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

Enjoy a Bit of Sabbath Today

Today, take some time to lighten things up a bit and do something you really enjoy—for about an hour. Warning: this may take some discipline.

Monks refer to this as practicing Sabbath. (Yes, honoring Sabbath one day a week is on the list as well.)

Practicing Sabbath is one of the secrets to thriving in the monk environment—which we have all sort of been living since the pandemic began. Between working from home, staying away from others except those we live with, and having minimal contact with the outside world, all we need are the brown robes.  

The idea is to do something in your day, everyday, that you really look forward to. It’s the break from the grind that keeps you from breaking.

Taking some time to truly enjoy yourself helps ease tension and stress, which in turn makes you easier to live with.

And by the way, when you’re under stress, hormones get out of kilter and it’s tough to shed excess pounds.

Most people brush off stress like it’s no big deal. It IS a big deal and plays a critical role in your health and well-being. Practice letting it go.

Practice Sabbath daily.

Ideas: watch your dog watch the world go by, take a nap, enjoy a glass of wine, read a magazine, watch a favorite TV show, bake a cake, garden.  

I’m currently reading The Mists of Avalon. It’s the saga of the women behind King Arthur’s throne. I think I’ll spend some time outdoors today and hang out in that magical world for a little while.

What will you do? Hit reply and let me know!

Sending you love,

“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”― Thich Nhat Hanh

3 Simple Strategies to Maintain Your Happy Weight

Weight loss vs. weight maintenance are very different animals. It’s almost easier to be in the camp of losing pounds rather than maintaining equilibrium.


There are 3 simple strategies to help end yo-yo dieting and give you the confidence you need to stay in your happy place.

In order to drop those excess pounds, you had to develop a certain set of habits and skills. You still have them, only they can now be adjusted to suit your lifestyle.  

For instance, you’ve already mastered:

  • An understanding of the foods that work best for your body, avoiding those that don’t align with your goals
  • Ways to incorporate activities you enjoy into your week
  • Consistency in this healthier way of living

You know how rewarding it is to feel this good in your body.


With everything from a pandemic to extreme levels of stress to an overabundance of highly addictive foods, hitting your health and fitness goals is a CHALLENGE.

Now that you’ve hit your goal, here are the strategies to help you stay the course.

#1. It’s okay to say ‘YES” to that special treat sometimes. Let’s say you have been avoiding going out for pizza with friends, eating cake at birthday or graduation parties, or enjoying a glass or two of wine with dinner.

Remember my rule of “only eat (or drink) it if it’s AMAZING” and enjoy that special something. When you say “YES” to the treat, be fully present to the occasion and be happy. Do not feel any guilt when you decide to add a bit of festivity to your life!

You may want to journal about how it felt to be a bit “frivolous” and if it was worth it! Completely denying yourself of fun food experiences with friends will send you back into a full-blown eating frenzy that will not end well.

Practice this attitude of moderation and track the results until you are comfortable. If you go overboard, reign in your “YESSES” before you are out of your happy range.

#2. Adjust your Life Dials. During your weight loss program, perhaps you hit the gym for an hour 3x/week and walked 20 minutes most days. Of late, your job got crazy, and you’ve missed a few of those workouts and/or walks. You may notice that your appetite has diminished a bit, so honor that and eat less.

Or if your stress level has increased, you may dial up those workouts in order to enjoy more restful sleep and minimize stress eating.

You may be feeling a bit isolated from family or friends for any number of reasons. Finding a way to restore those connections will help you maintain your desired weight and health goals.

 Health is your body plus the way you live, think, feel, and connect with others. Once you’re in maintenance mode, you are able to be more attentive to EVERYTHING that may influence the number on the scale.  

#3. Connect with your deep reason to stay motivated. It can be rather novel and exciting to begin a health and fitness program. When the appeal wears off, the habits kick in. Once you’ve reached your goal, well…

Time to dig deep. WHY did it initially matter for you to lose weight, improve your lab numbers, feel like a million bucks, and love who you are in your body? WHAT difference does it make in your life and in your relationships? HOW are you affected if you revert back to your old ways?

Ask yourself WHY any of this matters to you. Then ask yourself WHY that reason matters. Ask WHY, 5 layers deep. Get to the HEART of the matter and use that as your driving force to stay motivated.

Your meaning and purpose can replace weight loss and become your exciting goal—for life.

Trust yourself to be flexible and make the necessary corrections when necessary. You’ve got this!

Much love,

“What’s wrong with extreme dieting and hard-core fitness plans is that they don’t take into account the rest of your life.”— Alison Sweeney

Why I Can’t Get it Together

I’m still out of my pre-pandemic routine.

Some days, the struggle feels way too big. And that soothing bowl of ice cream is SHOUTING my name.

For you, maybe it’s wine, chips, fast food, or binge-watching Netflix. Perhaps all of them, depending on the day.

Everything is complicated, and this emotional roller coaster ride is no fun.

What’s weird is that I’m loving summer, yet I feel out of sync.

Can you relate?

My guess is that many of you can. Here’s the good news: you are not alone in this struggle.

What we’re experiencing is known as collective trauma.

There are many types of trauma that may affect an individual’s deep health. By deep health, I mean every component that makes us human: Relational, Existential, Physical, Emotional, Mental, and Environmental.

Everything affects everything, which is why we must look at more than food when we discuss health.

Today, I’m addressing collective trauma.

Trauma is anything that overwhelms our existing resources and ability to cope. 

Collective trauma is a psychological effect that destabilizes the foundation of a society or group. The current pandemic falls into this category.

Other examples include: Bombings, natural disasters, wars, and famines.

Collective trauma can also come from violence, abuse, and indignities perpetrated against a specific group. This can happen cumulatively over time.

Before you start calling me “johnny rain cloud” here are some ways to cope.

First of all, by recognizing what’s happening and naming it, we have power over it.

Second, it helps to know that there are lots of us dealing with this. We’re all in this together.

Third, when you need to calm yourself, try exhaling twice as long as you inhale. For example: inhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, and exhale for 8 counts. By extending your exhale, you spend a little bit more time in the parasympathetic, calm-down state. 

Fourth, give yourself some grace. Understand that these are trying times, and we are all doing the best we can to cope. Make time each day to do things that bring you joy, even if it’s 20-30 minutes. 

And finally, feel free to book a complimentary call with me. I’m neither a trauma expert nor therapist, however together we will come up with a workable plan to help you get back on track—most days, anyway.

Sending you love,

“I am learning to trust the journey, even when I do not understand it.”—Mila Bron

Vegetables for Lazy Days

There are days, many of them lately, when I’m happy to prepare a meal, yet I am not in the mood to peel and chop a batch of vegetables to sauté, roast or grill. It feels like WAY too much work.

And yet, I know that eating lots of them is a really good idea. Vegetables are very plentiful and extra delicious right now.

So, I’m working on a repertoire of vegetables that I can have on hand for times like these. We have fall and winter months to spend more time chopping for soups, stews and roasting. These days, I’d rather be enjoying the outdoors.

Here are a few of my summertime veggie favorites, designed to keep you healthy and enjoying whatever it is you’d rather be doing.   


I love the versatility of spinach and have discovered that I must never be without it. Toss with other varieties of greens in a salad; spinach salad with strawberries, goat cheese (or your favorite), pecans, and balsamic; sauté in avocado oil and generous amounts of garlic. Ready in 5 minutes or less; toss in your smoothies, omelets and scrambles.


These will be showing up in massive quantities soon. I’m ready! Simply slice them to accompany any meal; make caprese salad; lightly sauté halved cherry tomatoes in a bit of butter and your favorite seasonings; tomato sandwich; tomato toast with chives and sesame seeds; cucumber Greek salad.

Sweet Bell Peppers

My favorites are red, orange, and yellow, as they are ripe and sweeter than the green ones. Slice and add to salads; add to stir fries and eggs; stuff them and bake or put in the crock pot; great raw on their own.

Salad Greens

I keep a big box of mixed spring greens on hand most of the time. Salads are quick, delicious, and lots of other vegetables can be added without much effort. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It’s easy to get 2 to 3 servings of vegetables into your day with one swift swoop. When I use prepared dressing, I like Primal Kitchen brand for the simple ingredients.

As I mentioned last week, it’s time to bake a cake—from scratch! There’s still space for you to join me this afternoon. Let me know and I’ll send you the special Zoom link. Remember, you can make any kind of cake you like!   

Here’s your invitation:

WHAT: The Amazing Cake Bake with Health Coach Carol

WHERE: ZOOM, so you’re in your own kitchen, and we’re together

WHEN: Thursday, July 23, 2020 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm

HOW: You gather the ingredients you need to make whatever cake you desire, and we all make cake

WHY: Creating a cake from scratch is an act of love, and the world could use more love


While the cakes are baking, I’ll be coaching you on a variety of health tips. We learn from one another and share lots of laughs. BONUS: Because it’s a small group, you’ll get some personal coaching!

Much love,

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”—Jim Davis