1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

Top
June 13, 2024

Refreshing Drink Recipes to Beat the Heat

As the summer sun reaches its peak, staying hydrated is more important than ever. But who says hydration has to be boring? Here are some simple recipe

June 6, 2024

Fun and Healthy Summer Snacks

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy fresh, light, and delicious snacks that not only keep you cool but also pack a nutritional punch. Here are some fu

May 30, 2024

The Surprising Link Between Texting and Better Eating

Ever notice how you just feel a little lighter after a laugh with friends, or a heartfelt conversation with a loved one? These kinds of positive socia

May 22, 2024

Uncovering the Hidden Sweetness in Everyday Foods

(The following article was written for the December 2020 issue of Get Healthy magazine, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times. I’m sharin

May 16, 2024

Mastering the Art of Cleaning Produce

Last week I promised that I’d offer some various ways to effectively clean your produce. Before preparing fruits and vegetables, wash your hands wel

May 9, 2024

Navigating Pesticides in Produce

To buy organic or conventional produce? That is the question of the day. Organic produce, by definition, is grown without synthetic pesticides, synthe

May 2, 2024

Diverse Protein Sources for a Healthier You

Last week I covered the topic of how much protein we need in a day and dispelled the idea that protein causes kidney damage. In case you missed it, he

April 25, 2024

Is Too Much Protein Dangerous?

Twenty-five years ago, there was plenty of skepticism about protein. After all, bodybuilders ate lots of it—and they experimented with all kinds of

April 18, 2024

The #1 Nutrition Principle

“Red wine is better than white wine!” “Kale is better than spinach!” “GRAINS ARE EVIL!!” Ever feel like good nutrition is just too complic

April 11, 2024

Angelos Update and Green Thumb Time

If you’ve been following my blog for a few years, you may recall my weekly posts that were written comparing the size of my friend’s baby in utero

Find the Right Foods for You

You know what it’s like to create a pump-up playlist, right?

You compile a list of songs that—when they come on—make you say: “Yes, I feel like Rocky!”

And then your feet start to move and groove, and you are a force to be reckoned with.

Feels good, right?

Well, what if I told you that you could do this with food?

A traffic light eating method can help you create your own personal power-food list, one that—just like a good playlist—gives you energy, and makes you want to get out there and dance with life. 

Answer the questions below to create your own.

 

🟢 What foods make you feel awesome?

These are your green light foods.

These foods make you feel good—physically and emotionally.

You digest them well, you like the taste, and you have a healthy relationship with them. (Read: You can count on them for regular nourishment; you’re not just calling them up when you’re lonely or sad.)

 

🟡 What foods work for you, but only sometimes?

These are your yellow light foods.

You might like these foods, but when you eat them regularly or in larger portions, you just don’t feel great. For example, a small portion of lentils feels good, but a big bowl of them makes you feel bloated–like one of those big balloons in the Macy’s Day Parade. Yikes!

Alcohol and certain “junk foods” might wind up in this category, but so could kale.

 

🔴 What foods make you want to crawl into a hole after you eat them?

These are your red light foods.

These foods aren’t inherently “bad,” but they sure make YOU feel bad. (Think: They cause allergic reactions, indigestion, or make you feel out-of-control.)

Ultra-processed foods often fall into this category since many people find that, once they start eating them, they can’t stop. Cheetos, chips, M&M’s, ice cream—you get the idea.

At the same time, so-called “healthy” foods can be red-light-listed too. For example, if eggs give you hives, they’re red.

 

Everyone’s lists will be different.

While many nutrition coaching programs and health coaches use the traffic light method, they tend to resemble “eat this, not that” lists: Some foods are allowed and others are forbidden.

And the list is the same for everyone. Well, as you know, not everyone is the same.

With this traffic light approach, no foods are glorified or demonized.

And each person’s list is unique.

Nutrient quality is just ONE consideration.

 

Consider how foods make you feelholistically:

🤔 Does this food feel good in my body?

🤔 Does this food align with my culture and values if that’s important to me?

🤔 Do I like how I behave when I’m around these foods?

When you make choices considering the questions above, you’ll probably tend to eat healthier. But more importantly, you’ll likely feel a greater sense of autonomy, flexibility and enjoyment when you eat.

Need help customizing your best holistic plan? Have a goal in mind that you could use coaching with? 

As your health coach, I don’t tell you what to do, I listen and support what you need to do.

Make this YOUR “Rocky” year. He had a coach. Shoot me an email and we’ll plan 2024 to be your best. 

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“The toughest opponent you’re ever going to have to face is in the mirror.” – Rocky Balboa

Mastering a Dry or Damp January with Style

As the new year begins, many of us look for ways to reset and rejuvenate our bodies and minds.

One popular approach is embarking on a ‘Dry January,’ where you abstain from alcohol for the month, or a ‘Damp January,’ where you significantly reduce your alcohol intake.

Now I realize we’re more than halfway into the month. However, if this is something that you’d like to explore, you can begin today to track your 30 (or more) days of less alcohol. 

While the challenge may seem daunting at first, it’s an excellent opportunity to explore a variety of delicious and healthy drink alternatives.

Many times, “a bit too much alcohol” happens because it’s a habit that has developed.

Relaxing before dinner? Time for a glass of wine or a cocktail.

Out with friends? Having a drink (or several) is part of the scene.

Here are some creative ideas on how to master the process of decreasing your alcohol intake with style.

Herbal Teas: A World of Flavors

Herbal teas are a wonderful way to replace your evening glass of wine or beer. With a vast array of flavors, from chamomile and peppermint to hibiscus and rooibos, herbal teas not only offer a delightful taste but also come with numerous health benefits. Try brewing a warm cup of lavender tea to unwind after a long day or iced lemongrass tea for a refreshing daytime drink.

Mocktails: Fancy and Fun

Who says you need alcohol to enjoy a fancy drink? Mocktails are the non-alcoholic siblings of cocktails, and they are just as delicious. Experiment with ingredients like fresh fruit juices, herbs, sparkling water and even non-alcoholic spirits. Classic recipes like the Virgin Mojito or the No-Gin and Tonic are great places to start. When you’re out, ask the bartender what he or she suggests to keep you on track.

Infused Waters: Simple and Hydrating

Sometimes, simplicity is key. Infused waters are an easy and healthy way to spice up your hydration routine. Add slices of lemon, cucumber, berries, or herbs like mint or basil to a pitcher of water and let it infuse for a few hours. The result is a subtly flavored, refreshing drink that keeps you hydrated and detoxified.

Non-Alcoholic Beers and Wines

For those who miss the taste of beer or wine, there are numerous non-alcoholic alternatives available in the market today. These beverages are brewed in a similar way to their alcoholic counterparts but have the alcohol removed. This means you can enjoy the taste of your favorite beer or wine without the effects of alcohol.

Kombucha: A Fermented Favorite

Kombucha, a fermented tea drink, has gained popularity for its unique taste and health benefits. It’s slightly effervescent, with a tangy flavor, and is known for promoting gut health. Kombucha comes in various flavors, making it a fun and beneficial drink to explore.

Check out my latest Kitchen Coaching video below for a delicious Blood Orange Paloma, compliments of Whole30.

And if you’d like to plan a Kitchen Coaching session, shoot me an email today.

Kitchen Coaching with Carol—making healthy delicious.

Cheers to healthy sipping,
Health Coach Carol

 “The best time for new beginnings is now.” – Unknown

Kitchen Coaching Video, Blood Orange Paloma

 

Gluten-Free Substitutes for Healthier Baking

The world of gluten-free baking can be rather intimidating.

Experimenting with various “other” flours and mixes can sometimes result in frustrating failures.

This is disappointing for the baker and especially the recipient of the product.

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite gluten-free options. 

For many of your baked goods, using a gluten-free mix that measures 1:1 with regular flour will work fine. You may notice a slightly different texture, but you’ll be pleased with the results.

Brands I often use are Namaste (1:1 GF mix and GF pizza dough mix) and King Arthur (1:1 GF mix and GF baking mix for pancakes, waffles, etc.).

Simple Mills is a brand that offers clean, GF baking mixes for muffins, brownies and breads. This company also makes a tasty assortment of crackers and cookies with clean ingredients.

I have noticed that baking times may be a bit longer for gluten-free products, so keep a watchful eye. There have been times I’ve had to pop my cakes back in the oven after they were on the cooling racks for a short time because I could tell they were a little too gummy in the middle. In cases like these, practice makes better.

Almond flour, GF oat flour (may not be acceptable for some gluten-free eaters due to cross-contamination), coconut flour, tapioca flour, brown rice flour are other options that may be used, often in combination with a GF 1:1 flour mix to add more nutrients and interesting texture.

Some of these flours work well on their own and others do not. When choosing any of these options, be sure to follow the specific GF recipe to ensure baking success.

Here’s a recipe for pumpkin muffins that I recently made for a yoga retreat. They fit the bill for Ayurvedic winter eating and were a big hit with the attendees. My sons like them too. They do not get the Mr. Non-Compliant seal of approval. He is not a fan.

Happy healthy baking,
Health Coach Carol

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

INGREDIENTS                                                                                                           

  • 2 cups gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup (at room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or fine pink Himalayan salt

INSTRUCTIONS  

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a muffin pan with 12 liners. In a large bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut oil, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt and use a whisk to mix it well, breaking up any clumps. This works best if your ingredients are at room temperature. If your maple syrup is cold from the fridge, it will cause the coconut oil to harden and thicken up the batter. (It should still bake fine.)
  • Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups, filling them slightly over halfway full. Bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins rise and start to crack.
  • Let the muffins cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store them in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to a week. Baked goods made with oat flour tend to dry out over time, so these have the best flavor and texture the first day you make them. I froze them and they were delicious.

*Recipe to make your own Pumpkin Pie Spice

To replace 4 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, mix:

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice

“No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize.” Julia Child

10 Easy Steps to Kickstart Your Health Journey

Welcome to 2024.

Year after year, resolutions involving health, fitness, weight loss and eating healthier top the list.

How about you? Do you have you some health goals to work on in this New Year?

In case you do or are considering it, here are 10 easy steps to help you begin—and stick with—your health journey. Choose one or two that resonate with you to get started.

  1. As you plan your schedule to exercise, begin slowly and set realistic expectations. Simple things like parking farther away from your destination, taking the stairs, getting to the gym a couple times a week, taking a 10 or 15-minute walk during your break, all add up to increasing your fitness level.
  2. Limit Processed Foods and Sugars: Try to reduce the intake of processed foods, sugary snacks, and beverages. Complete denial may lead to a binge later in January. Make allowances for those special treats—but only when they’re AMAZING!
  3. Have you been drinking plenty of water? Hydration is important for every bodily function. Take your weight and divide by two. Try to drink that amount in ounces throughout the day. Invest in a water bottle that makes keeping track fun and easy.

  4. While extreme diets are not recommended, you may benefit by adding an extra vegetable and/or fruit into your day. No one has ever come to me saying that they gained weight because they ate too many vegetables and fruits. It’s usually chips, cookies, wine, etc.
  5. Cook at Home More Often: Cooking at home gives you control over ingredients and portion sizes, promoting healthier eating habits.
  6. Prioritize Sleep: Good sleep is essential for health. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to help your body repair and recover.
  7. Include lean protein in your day. Skinless poultry, wild-caught fish, beans, lentils, peas, lean beef, bison, powdered peanut butter, plain Greek yogurt are a few examples of good protein sources.
  8. Check in with your stress levels. Practice stress-reduction techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga. Managing stress is crucial for both mental and physical health.
  9. Track Your Progress: Keep a journal or use an app to track your progress. Monitoring your achievements can be highly motivating and help you stay on track.
  10. Seek Support: Grab an accountability buddy, tell your family your plan, make a bet that you really don’t want to lose to help motivate you to stick with your resolution, explore working with your favorite health coach.

BONUS STEP: Book your 30-minute complimentary health coaching consultation and we’ll create a simple plan to get your year off to a great start. (This offer is good for individuals and couples. Yes, I coach couples!) Shoot me an email if you’re interested.

May 2024 bring you an abundance of blessings and good health~

Sending you love,
Health Coach Carol

“New year—a new chapter, new verse, or just the same old story? Ultimately we write it. The choice is ours.”– Alex Morritt