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

A Simple Morning Ritual

If you’ve watched television recently, perhaps you’ve noticed that not a commercial segment passes without the mention of a prescription drug.

Or at least it seems that way to me.

Sometimes several drugs are mentioned before regular programming resumes.

The list of side effects seems just as bad, if not worse, than the ailment that the drug is supposed to cure.

There was a day when drug companies were not allowed to market on television or in magazines.

Obviously, times have changed.

As pharmacist turned health coach, this is disturbing.

Of course, I’m thankful that there are so many treatments available for acute and chronic illnesses and diseases.

In my ideal world, we’d see more commercials that encourage a life of quality using alternative practices, such as food and exercise.

When was the last time you saw a commercial about the healing effects of fresh fruits and vegetables? 


Bet you remember the last time you saw a commercial for a fast-food restaurant.

Thanks for reading to this point and please hang with me. I’ll hop off my soapbox now and get to the good stuff.

I’ve been practicing this morning ritual for months. I am the experiment, along with my family.

When results are positive, I share it with you.

 First thing in the morning, drink 16 ounces of lemon water. You can enjoy it throughout the day as well, however it’s the perfect way to hydrate and rid your body of excess toxins that have accumulated while sleeping.

Here’s the recipe: Squeeze ½ a fresh lemon (or 2 limes) in 16 ounces (2 cups) of room temperature or cool water.

Wait 15-30 minutes before consuming any other food or drink. Some of you (and I used to do this) may be adding the lemon juice to warm or hot water. Benefits of the lemon juice are optimal in room temperature or cold water.

By the way, even Mr. Non-Compliant is going along with this healthy habit.

Benefits are numerous and include:

  • Hydration with vitamins and minerals, so also excellent before and after exercise
  • Increased vitality for mind and body
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Helps improve digestion and reduces acid reflux and kidney stones
  • Alkalizes the body, which may be beneficial for relieving chronic pain, boosting bone health and protecting against disease
  • Keeps skin glowing
  • And much, much more 

If desired, you can add one teaspoon each RAW honey and freshly grated ginger to the lemon water. This is even more healing.

Note: While some may have concern about tooth enamel, lemons and limes are highly alkalizing in your mouth and body. If you’re nervous, drink it before brushing your teeth, use a straw, rinse or brush after drinking. Keep in mind that coffee, red wine and tea weaken tooth enamel, as well as orange juice, sodas (diet and regular), some sports drinks, foods with a high sugar and starch content.

Cheers to the lovely lemon.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol 

“Lemon water is the perfect way to hydrate, purify, and revitalize your body each morning. Water coming straight from the tap or a bottle has lost its vitality and its innate living structure. By adding fresh squeezed lemon juice, you “wake up” the water and bring it back to life. This allows it to travel more deeply into your tissues and cells and carry the essential nutrients and compounds you need in order to thrive.”—Anthony William

Baby Angelos Turns Two!

For those of you who have been following my blog for the past 2 ½ years, you may recall my weekly posts about the size of my friend’s baby in utero compared to various fruits and vegetables.

Baby Angelos recently celebrated his 2nd birthday, and I thought it would be fun to share his latest stats.

For starters, he’s no baby. He is quite the little boy, 33 pounds and 3 feet tall. Rough and tumble and had to have a few stitches by his eyebrow a few weeks ago. (No wicked scar.)   

His dad tells me, “Because of your coaching and 52-week column, he is a voracious eater of fresh organic fruits and veggies…about to start a GoFundMe to pay the Whole Foods bill!”

What can I say? Happy to hear it. Just doing my job.

His favorites are carrots, peas, pineapple, watermelon, apples, Sumo oranges, strawberries.

And just so you know, he’s a normal 2-year-old. At his birthday party I witnessed him slamming down his chicken fingers and French fries dipped in ketchup, also known as the “sauce.”

When a cute little girl wanted to take him by the hand to go play, he begrudgingly left his food behind with a French fry in tow. He kept turning around to make sure no one took away his plate.

When he’s not busy learning how to read and increasing his vocabulary, he loves playing with his work bench and hammers, aka boom-booms.

I suspect he’ll soon be looking for some part-time carpentry work to help pay his WF’s bill.

Happy 2nd birthday to Angelos!

Peas are Good

If Angelos likes them, we probably ought to be eating them too.

Green peas are a great source of plant protein and fiber. One-half cup contains 4 grams of each. They are rich in antioxidants and a good supplier of essential vitamins and minerals.

No wonder the bunnies like them so much. I’ve yet to have success growing peas. The bunnies think I plant them for their snacking pleasure.

Peas have a low glycemic index and support healthy blood sugar control. 

Some may have a difficult time digesting peas. If this is you, try eating small amounts (1/3 cup or less) of them at a time. As you slowly make them a regular part of your diet, your body will hopefully get used to them and you may even be able to increase portion size.

Here’s an easy recipe I found from Medical Medium. I bet Angelos will like it.

Sweet Pea Dip


  • 1 cup peas, fresh or defrosted
  • 1 medium-sized avocado, peeled, pitted and dice
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro + more for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Place the peas, avocado, lemon juice, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Wishing you the most marvelous May.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

 P.S. If any of you have young sons and haven’t heard “Watching You” by Rodney Atkins, check it out on YouTube.

“I’ve been watching you dad, ain’t that cool? I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are. We like fixing things and holding mama’s hand. Yeah we’re just alike, hey ain’t we dad?”—
Rodney Atkins, “Watching You”   

Tomatoes and Acidity

This week I was asked, “My young son gets some red irritation around his mouth when he eats lots of tomatoes. Why does this happen?”

The answer: acid in the tomato is irritating the area where it comes in contact. Citrus fruits may have the same effect. 

There are some varieties such as Roma (plum), Oxheart Pink, Oxheart Yellow and Yellow Pear which are considered to be low in acid.

Golden Boy or Lemon Boy and Golden Jubilee are examples of low-acid tomatoes that turn yellow as they ripen.

 Yellow tomatoes are typically less acidic than traditional ones. Their nutritional value differs slightly from that of red tomatoes. They have more niacin and folate, but less lycopene and vitamin C.

Tomatoes that fall into the low-acid range tend to have smaller amounts of seed, and more flesh than other varieties.

Good to know if you have a problem digesting tomatoes due to their acidity—or if you have a little one who loves tomatoes and gets a red ring around the mouth.

You can reduce the acidity of tomatoes by adding a pinch of baking soda after you cook them. Be careful to add only a pinch so that you don’t ruin your sauce. You can also remove the seeds.

The longer tomatoes are cooked, the more acidic they become. This is because the tomatoes lose more water and fiber if boiled longer. In the same way as reducing the cooking time can lower the acid content, avoiding cooking tomatoes will also reduce their acidity. 

Tomatoes help with heart and skin health and cancer prevention.

If you have a patio or area that gets lots of sun, you can try growing your own tomatoes. Here in the Region, it’s usually safe to plant on Mother’s Day weekend.

Wishing you a beautiful week.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”—Lewis Grizzard

Better than a Chia Pet

Lately I’ve been honoring my addiction to chia pudding.

While not everyone is a fan, you may like to give it a try if you:

  • like pudding
  • don’t have an aversion to interesting food textures
  • are trying to increase your intake of plant-based omega-3’s
  • could use more protein and fiber in your diet
  • would like a snack, dessert or breakfast food that is nutritious and fun

Chia seeds are a superfood with a multitude of health benefits.

As you may have guessed, Mr. Non-Compliant is not a fan.


I make it for me and have even been known to eat it right out of the big bowl, guilt-free.

If you’d like to know more about chia seeds, you can check out the article I wrote last year for Get Healthy magazine by clicking here.

You can find chia seeds at your local grocery. Be sure to check the expiration date. Store them in the fridge or freezer to keep them fresh if you buy in bulk or don’t use them often. They can go rancid when exposed to air, dampness, or heat.

Here’s a recipe for the pudding. Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, it will keep for up to 5 days. In my case, it doesn’t last that long. 

Overnight Chia Seed Pudding

½ cup chia seeds
1 ½ cups milk or milk alternative of your choice (almond, oat, coconut, etc.)

In a medium size bowl, combine chia seeds and milk. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When you’re ready to eat, give it a good stir, breaking up any clumps. You can enjoy as is or add some other ingredients to jazz it up a bit. Once you’ve mixed in additional ingredients, portion out into serving bowls.

If you want to make enough for several days, use a large bowl to make a big batch, then portion it out into several small jars or bowls the next morning. You may want to add additional ingredients like fruit or nuts just before eating. This makes a delicious breakfast, snack, or dessert.

Add-in and Topping Options:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruit (banana, berries, apple, your favorite)
  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cocoa
  • Cinnamon
  • Granola

Another Note on Avocados

 My friend Kris has this tip when choosing avocados: “I have found, incidentally, that if you select one with the little stem still firmly attached, it is usually superior to the ones where it has fallen or been pulled off . . .not foolproof . . .they are like a little mini lottery each and every time, aren’t they?”

She also enjoys her avocado with a cup of coffee.

Wishing you a delicious week.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“You are what you eat, so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake.”—Unknown