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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

Oatmeal Bake

Here is a breakfast dish that can be prepared the night before and baked in the morning, making it a simple weekday treat.  I cut back on the sweetener, so if it’s not quite to your liking, drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the top once it’s baked.  Serving it with berries or another fruit will add sweetness without overpowering the oats.  Alternatives are given to make this dairy and gluten-free.

Oatmeal Bake
1/3 cup melted butter or Soy Free Earth Balance
2 large eggs
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 ½ teaspoons baking powderfile711336976676
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons milk or reconstituted goat milk
3 cups gluten-free oatmeal            

Grease 1 ½ quart baking dish. Drop eggs in and whisk until well beaten.

Add maple syrup, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and whisk until there are no lumps. (This may take a minute or two, but keep whisking.)

Whisk in melted butter and milk. Stir in oatmeal and mix well.

Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until set in the middle.  (If you need to bake it immediately, that will work fine too.)

Serve warm with sliced strawberries or fruit of choice.

The Seasons Change and I Feel Icky…Why?

Summer changes to autumn. It is a beautiful time of year here in the Midwest. So, why are you so tired, you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep, your nose is runny and your throat and head hurt, your indigestion has kicked up, and you just feel icky? If any of this sounds familiar, read on. If not, you are blessed and I wish you well.
Autumn BeachThe body needs stress to survive, and even thrive—to an extent. When we have too much stress in our everyday, we get sick. We may not always get indicators, but stress is cumulative. It is kind of like the straw that broke the camel’s back. One more thing and…we are done.

The beautiful change in season is simply one more stressor. It is a physical stress that cannot be avoided when you live in the Midwest. Think about it: we have had 40-something degree nights and tomorrow could be near 70. These radical swings happen often until we settle into the next season, so we pay a price. (Review some symptoms in paragraph #1.) It is tough on our endocrine system and our immune system gets kicked too. When I practiced pharmacy, the prescriptions for ulcers, anxiety and sleep increased in spring and fall.

Once we have a hard frost and temperatures stay more consistent, we will all feel better. Here are some tips to help reduce some stress so you can make it through another day:

*Breathe—deeply and often.
*Move—walk, dance, run, find a sport you enjoy.
*Drink pure spring water. Lots of it.
*Eat only when hungry, and steer clear of sugar and refined carbohydrates. In other words, eat pure food and stay away from those that come in packages.
*If it’s not delicious, don’t eat it.
*Laugh more often.
*Create boundaries.
*Stay away from negative people.
*Begin and end the day with prayer, meditation, reflection.
*Be instead of do.
*Cultivate gratitude.

LAUGH 1

These are some suggestions (with adaptation) from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance. (A great book, by the way.) You may not get rid of your stuffy nose, but you will a happier, calmer person with a stuffy nose.

Live well,
Carol

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

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The year was 1984. President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. This year, that special day happens to be July 19th. Hmmm, wonder how we should best celebrate?

I was raised in a family that cherished ice cream. Childhood memories of my mother making a rich and delicious cream concoction that my father would freeze into an amazing treat are vivid. The flavors were vanilla, peach, banana or strawberry. Much to my dismay, chocolate was never even in the running, since I was the only one who voted for it. Gratefully we had plenty of chocolate syrup on hand, which I generously poured over everything.IMG_20150612_002352 Today, as your wellness coach and healthy lifestyle advocate, I will celebrate National Ice Cream Day by enjoying a scoop– ok, two–of my beloved childhood treat. Life is about the balance. Permission granted to celebrate with me.

“Keep Calm and Eat Ice Cream”

 

About Those Carbohydrates…aka “Carbs”

How much is too much? Are there “good” carbs and “bad” carbs? What is a carb anyway?

Carbohydrates–foods that contain sugars, starches and fibers–are sometimes not considered to be our friends. Truth of the matter is this: we need some carbohydrates in our diet to help supply energy and provide enough food (glucose) to the brain. The number of grams of carbohydrates we need in a day will vary depending on our size, metabolism, activity level and lots of other parameters. The problem seems to be that most Americans consume way too many refined, low fiber, processed carbohydrates. Too much of anything can cause trouble, especially when it comes to maintaining good health. 01396

 

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has suggested 130 grams per day as the minimum, but again, that number will not work for every body. To measure the amount of  carbohydrates you should eat with most of your meals, cup your hand. Women should eat one cupped-hand size portion and men should eat two.  This is for the carbohydrate-dense foods, such as grains, fruits, starches, and figuring you may eat four times a day.  A good starting point for most people.  Pretty simple!

Calories? They are not created equal. And, they are not fun to count. I know. After my freshman year in college, I spent the summer counting them to lose 25 pounds. One-hundred calories of a spinach, strawberry salad will provide lots more nutrients than one-hundred calories of cookies.

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The best carbs to eat are these: vegetables, fruits, and whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, whole oats (not the oats in little packages with loads of sugar), legumes. Examples of the “bad” or refined carbs and those you should do your best to minimize are: store-bought breads (white or wheat), white rice, white pastas, cereals, cookies, etc. and foods with added sugars. It is the refined carbs that contribute to Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, weight gain, and the list goes on.

Is it possible to lose weight by cutting carbs? Yes, especially when the carbs we eliminate are the breads, cookies, cereals, candy…you get the idea…and you replace them with extra vegetables, fruit and lean protein.  Oh, and check out my prior post on making some very tasty vegetables!

“Eat your vegetables!” Mom