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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

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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

Peanuts, Peppers, and Pancakes

Sometimes Mr. Non-Compliant and I snack on dry roasted peanuts. They offer a good amount of protein, about 7 grams per ¼ cup. Much of the taste attraction is due to the salt content, so the lightly salted variety doesn’t cut it.

The other day I needed to replenish our stock. Here’s the crazy thing. I usually read every ingredient label and if it passes my rigorous health standards, it may end up in the cart.

I’ve been buying Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts on a fairly regular basis. Last week I was in Whole Foods and picked up a jar of their 365 Everyday Value brand. I made sure that they only contain dry roasted peanuts and sea salt. Same thing goes for peanut butter.   

When I got home, I pulled out the Planters peanuts with only a few in the jar. I happened to read the label and much to my surprise, here’s what I learned.

Ingredients:
PEANUTS, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SEA SALT, SPICES (CONTAINS CELERY), DRIED ONION, DRIED GARLIC, PAPRIKA, NATURAL FLAVOR, SUGAR, GELATIN, TORULA YEAST, CORNSTARCH, DRIED CORN SYRUP, MALTODEXTRIN.

Ewwww. I can’t believe I missed this. (Sometimes companies change things without telling me.) Of course, Mr. NC would say, “No wonder they taste so good. What’s the problem?”

Fortunately, he hasn’t complained about the 365 brand. If he says anything, I’ll remind him that he’s a purist.

We all mess up. Moving on…

Peppers

This is week #18 for my pregnant friend and baby is the size of a bell pepper. Green, yellow, orange, and red bell peppers are all the same variety only at different stages of ripeness. Green is the least, red the ripest, with yellow and orange in between.

The colorful peppers are sweeter because they are more fully ripened and have an increased sugar content. They also pack more nutritional content for the same reason. All colors offer health benefits. The ripe peppers are my favorite, and I like to add them to eggs, salads, and stir fries.  

I roasted week #17 turnips along with carrots. The turnips have a bit of a bitter taste that I remember from my childhood. While I’m not a big fan of the turnip, it’s okay when combined with other vegetables or added to vegetable soup.  

Pancakes

Yesterday I had a taste for pancakes, as I still have that carb craving on occasion. I made some gluten-free pancakes with Simple Mills Pancake and Waffle mix. The mix is made from seven clean ingredients (fewer than the Planters peanuts). You only need to add eggs, oil, and milk or water. Easy.

As you continue your search for cleaner, tastier, foods that make healthy eating simpler, Simple Mills products may be a good choice for you.

FUN OFFER: What snack food binge would you like to have more control over as we move into the holiday season? Send me an email and I’ll gift you with a 50-minute coaching call to help you figure out a plan.

Sending love,
Carol

“Without peanuts, it isn’t a cocktail party.”—Julia Child

It’s Turnip Week

Lots of things change in 30 years. These days, when a woman is pregnant and tracking the weeks, the size of the baby is likened to a piece of produce.

I recently learned this because I have a friend who is pregnant. Each week I get the report of the fruit or vegetable that the baby resembles in size.

This is fascinating to me, and much easier to imagine than a measurement in centimeters.

I’ve decided that each week, I’ll include that piece of produce in my diet. Even if I’m not familiar with what it is or how to cook it. I figured that by doing this, I’ll pretty much work my way through the produce section by the time the baby is born.

Last week was avocado week. Turns out that week 17 is a turnip.

Today I picked up a few turnips at Whole Foods. I can’t tell you the last time I ate turnips, however I remember that my father liked them.   

I’ve decided to roast the turnips with carrots. They have a sharp taste, so roasting them will mellow the flavor, and the sweetness from the carrots will be a nice complement.

Roasted Turnips and Carrots

Take about 2 pounds of turnips and carrots. Peel them and remove the root tips and the rough end where the greens were attached. Dice in uniform pieces. Toss with 2 tablespoons or so of avocado or olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet or stoneware. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 30 minutes, turning once or twice. The vegetables should be somewhat browned and tender when you insert a fork. At the end of roasting, combine a mixture of thyme, oregano, and garlic powder, and sprinkle over the vegetables. Toss and bake another 5 minutes.

 

If any of you are in a bit of a rut with eating, try working your way through the produce section with me. We’ll have a good time, and my friend’s pregnancy will be quite an adventure for many of us.

Sending you love,
Carol

“I love root vegetables: carrots, parsnips, and turnips.” — Julia Child

 

When You Hate Your Bathroom Scale

Quick quiz today.

True or False: What the bathroom scale tells you is a very good indicator as to whether or not your nutrition plan is working.

You’ll be happy to know that the above statement is FALSE. Your body composition, health status, and whether or not you’re eating habits are improving are NOT totally scale dependent.

The scale may offer a bit of guidance over time as to whether or not you’re making progress. However, it is definitely not the only measure of what’s truly happening with your body.   

Other ways to know if you’re on the right track with your nutritional habits.

  • You aren’t hungry all the time. When you eat nutritionally packed foods with the right balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates for YOUR body, you feel satisfied after meals and for several hours after.
  • You have more energy. Your old ways of eating left your energy levels bouncing around like a roller coaster. Now you feel your energy staying fairly consistent throughout the day.
  • You’re sleeping better and feel more rested in the morning. When your blood sugar remains consistent due to eating fresh whole foods, your hormones are also more stable, and you get better rest.
  • Your mood is improved. Now that you’re eating more regular meals and snacks and letting go of the junk food binges, you feel happier. No more “hangry” moments! You may even attract some new friends.
  • You feel stronger and can manage challenging workouts. As your body gets the fuel it needs to perform, you’re able to increase your endurance and enjoy an easier recovery.
  • Your clothes fit looser or tighter. You can zip those jeans from last year without having to lay on your bed and hold your breath. Or, the shirt that hung on you like a tent is now filled out with toned muscle in just the right places. You even look amazing in that big sweater. (True: Muscle weighs more than fat.)
  • It has become your lifestyle and feels right for you. Unlike diets—which feel hard and restrictive—you’ve discovered how good you feel eating an abundance of delicious, nutritional foods.

Because our brains are wired for immediate satisfaction, it can be tough to stay the course over the long haul without some positive feedback. We’d much rather enjoy the chips NOW than think about the morning weigh-in, let alone extending our longevity.  

Having a variety of ways to “check in” will give you the motivation and gratification you need to keep you on your nutritional path. Even when you’d like to toss the scale out the back door.

Looking for someone to celebrate your success or encourage you through a challenge? I’m your girl! Email me and we’ll schedule a call to do just that.

Your biggest cheerleader,
Carol

“The bathroom scale knows nothing of extenuating circumstances.”—Mason Cooley

Cool Crisp Days and My Craving for Waffles

As we turn the corner into cooler days and nights, my body thinks it needs more carbs.

My mind agrees.

This is typical for me. Every year when the seasons change, I notice a slight increase in my potato, pasta, and bread consumption. (Gluten free and equally as satisfying.)

I feel like a bear storing up for a long winter’s nap. Some mornings I feel as though the hibernation process is already in progress.

And it’s only October.

A week or so ago, I took a self-care morning. It was very refreshing.   

I decided to indulge my intuitive voice—the one that is often overridden by the dutiful voice.

“What is it I need TODAY to promote good health and happiness?”

In response to this question, I stayed in bed longer than usual and skipped my morning workout. I then proceeded to make waffles from scratch for Mr. Non-Compliant and myself.

It was wonderful.

Sometimes it’s good to listen to that voice that tells you to step back, break a self-imposed rule, and take some time to get off the hamster wheel of life.

Sometimes you just have to eat waffles. (Not the frozen variety either.)

Your method of self-care may look much different than mine, however the result is that you experience great joy in the moment.

Stepping back for an hour, a morning, or a day, has the potential to change your attitude and offer you a fresh outlook on current situations. You will probably find that when you get back into your routine, you are more focused and more productive.

My waffle morning was a mini-retreat and I didn’t even have to leave my home.

As for the carb cravings, the situation is not out of control. It is my “normal” for now. This too shall pass.

One really chilly day, I baked some potatoes so that I could use the oven. It was a win-win, since I wasn’t quite ready to turn on the furnace.

Meal prep is in transition mode. I’m pulling out the crock and instant pots, turning on the oven more, and picking the last of my garden tomatoes. So long tomato pie… 🙁

New adventures in eating are possible with fall produce in abundance. It’s time to roast winter squash, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Make extra so you have leftovers for snacks or another meal.  

If you’re craving a few more carbs these days, take comfort in knowing you are not alone. This girl is right there with you.

FUN OFFER: What are you craving these days? Send me an email and share your out-of-control cravings and I’ll gift you with a 50-minute coaching call to help you come up with a way to manage them.

Peace, potatoes, and pumpkins,
Carol

“People who love to eat are always the best people.”—Julia Child