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

Creating Art in Your Kitchen

Years ago, I did not believe that I had a single creative bone in my body. This was due to the fact that I got poor marks on my drawings in art class. Stick figures were a challenge for me.

Art = Drawing, and that was that.

Interesting how our belief system develops when we’re children and has immense staying power.

Today, I challenge you to discover your creative self in the kitchen. Designing meals, playing with recipes, creating delicious dishes with ingredients that you have on hand, all equal priceless artwork.

Cooking and baking can be a form of meditation—when you’re not rushed to get food on the table in 10 minutes.  

Now, I know that if you have young children or children that require chauffeuring or you’re working 60 hours a week, you may have to carve out some time on the weekend to enjoy your creative binging.  

Perhaps you could bake a cake. When did you last take the time to measure out flour, sugar, butter, salt, baking powder, eggs, milk, and vanilla, to make an amazing “scratch” cake?

I’ve been thinking about making a coconut cake (gluten and dairy free) for a long time. The standard birthday cake in our family is yellow cake with chocolate frosting, so that’s what happens.

Next week, I’m going for the coconut cake. It will be fun to try something new.

Care to join me? 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


Once you taste your homemade cake from scratch, you’ll have an entirely new perspective of a cake that tastes AMAZING! And you know my rule, only eat it if it’s AMAZING! As a result, what may on first glance appear counterintuitive, is not.  

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.

To join in the fun, be sure to email me prior to Thursday, July 23 to save your spot. I’ll then email you the special Zoom link, along with any special instructions.

Much love,

“I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.”—Julia Child

Cheers for Rainiers

What is this Saturday, July 11, you ask? Why, it’s National Rainier Cherry Day!

In 1952, Harry Fogle of Washington State University developed the Rainier cherry by cross-breeding the Bing and Van cherry varieties.

Rainier cherries are large in size, so it’s quite appropriate that they were named after Washington’s largest mountain, Mt. Rainier.

The season for Rainiers is short. They grow in Washington from June thru August.

I love these cherries. They have a low acidity level, are higher in sugar than Dark Sweet cherries, and are yellow, with a tinge of red.   

Why are Rainiers pricier than the Dark Sweet cherries? Growers must take extra pains to ensure the fruit does not go to the birds. They cover the trees in nets and plant them between red cherry trees to encourage the bees to pollinate the blossoms. Besides hand-picking the fruit, the harvesters place the cherries into small bags to avoid bruising. Every necessary precaution is taken, so the cherries arrive in the market in perfect and delicious condition.

If you enjoy cherries, these are so worth it!

There are a number of health benefits that accompany their deliciousness.

  • They are an excellent source of potassium, which can reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke
  • Rainier cherries contain bioactive anthocyanins, which have been found to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-obese properties
  • Good source of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, folate, and fiber
  • They promote healthy sleeping patterns through their melatonin content

In honor of this holiday, a top-notch chef from an iconic restaurant in each of the 50 states will be presenting their guests with a menu item centered on Northwest cherries. In Indiana, the winner is Recess on College Avenue in Indianapolis. If you’re nearby, you may want to check it out.

I plan to celebrate by simply eating them.

Cheers to cherries,

P.S. While many are enjoying the lazy days of summer, perhaps life for you is not a bowl of cherries. If you’re feeling stressed, out of shape, or facing health challenges, I’m here to help you sort it out. Email me and we’ll set up a call. It’s my summer gift to you in our wabi-sabi life.

“The notion is called wabi-sabi life, like the cherry blossom, it is beautiful because of its impermanence, not in spite of it, more exquisite for the inevitability of loss.”— Peggy Orenstein 

It’s Summer, so Bring on the Ribs

In our family, summer means grilling. One of our favorites: baby back ribs cooked to perfection. There’s a rib joint in Porter by the name of Wagner’s. Their ribs are outstanding.

Our humble opinion: the ribs we make rival their ribs. Yes, really. They are THAT good. In fact, they are AMAZING!

I’m wondering if you had a thought in your head that went something like this, “How can she eat ribs? Aren’t those BAD—especially with all that barbecue sauce?”   

Raise your hand if you did. I’m watching.

It’s important not to vilify food. Depending on your preferred style of eating, you may be applauding my rib enjoyment or you’re ready to throw tomatoes at me.

To clarify, I eat ribs maybe 2 or 3 times a year. When I do, they are the best. Sure, there’s some “not so good for me” barbecue sauce on them. Oh, and I love the really crispy parts that are blackened. GASP!

They are a treat.

On the other end of the spectrum, I eat a huge green salad with added vegetables almost daily.

We must look at the big picture when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle—which is why I often write about sleep, stress, relationships, having fun, etc.

AND, you do not have to be perfect to see marked results. Give yourself some grace.

 There are foods that are best consumed rarely or in moderate amounts, since they don’t lead us in the direction of our best health.

Then there are those that may be eaten daily—like vegetables. Lots of them.

The trouble arises with additives like chemicals and artificial flavors and colors, that are not real food. Have you read some ingredient labels lately? Another GASP!  

As you enjoy your unique July 4th activities, eat and appreciate those foods you love that are AMAZING. Consume moderate amounts and add some veggies into your day. Drink plenty of water so you don’t dehydrate. Feel grateful and have fun celebrating.

Blessings and love,

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”—Erma Bombeck

Sniff. What’s That Smell?

How does summer smell to you?

What aromas make you happy?

Maybe you haven’t thought about it much, unless you have seasonal allergies or a cold.

Today, let’s appreciate our sense of smell.

Taking time to enjoy the aroma of a delicious meal enhances the flavors and brings you into a more conscious mode of eating. Slowing down, focusing on each bite, and relaxing long enough to enjoy it, all contribute to maintaining your weight and even shedding some extra pounds.

All sorts of smells may jog our memories to bring back happy feelings. Can you think of any?  

When my boys were young, we’d go strawberry picking. After picking a large bucket of them, we’d stick our heads in, inhale deeply, and giggle with great joy. Now, when I choose my strawberries, I smell them. If they don’t smell like ripe strawberries, they don’t go in my cart.

Peaches are another happy memory producer. My mom and grandma used to buy a bushel basket of them each summer to freeze. One summer I snuck a few too many while they were peeling them, and that memory isn’t pleasant. Fortunately, I’ve gotten past it.

 I took a vacation last year and the peaches were the most amazing I’ve ever eaten–and smelled. The juice ran down my face with each bite. 🙂

There are even some happy smells that only deal with food indirectly.

I had an aunt that lived on a small lake. The wooden pier had a distinct odor that I get a whiff of now only on rare occasions. It reminds me of my hours spent fishing, floating in a big inner tube, and eating her southern fried chicken with all the fixings. (The fishing didn’t go well enough to feed us.)

Food, smells, and memories are an integral part of who we are. Honor those that are happy.

Perhaps this week you can think of some fun smells and foods to help you relive some fun times.

Practice the art of relaxation and inhale summer deeply.

Summer love,

P.S. I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me a brief email and let me know what summer smells like to you. And by the way, if the pandemic happenings have left you with a few excess pounds, and loss of focus and self-loving habits, I’ll gift you with some coaching to help get you back on track. Don’t stay stuck in the mire! Email me today.

“Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.”—Diane Ackerman