1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

Top
February 2, 2023

Colorful Cauliflower and Fresher Berries

Interesting what shows up in conversation when a bunch of friends gather. Most recently, this is what happened. “So, have you ever wondered how caul

January 25, 2023

5 Ways to Stop Playing the Comparison Game

We all do it. As human beings, it’s part of our nature. We compare for points of reference. But we don’t have to play the game anymore. If you fin

January 19, 2023

Dining Out Made Simple

We know that home cooking is the healthiest. For starters, we’re not loading our meals with ingredients that we can’t pronounce and preservatives

January 11, 2023

Look for the Bright Spots

It’s been almost 2 weeks since we’ve celebrated the newness of another year. Perhaps you’ve set up some small action steps that lead to a positi

January 5, 2023

5 Ways to Stay Committed to Your Goals

We’re into another year in what seems like a flash. Even if I didn’t look at a calendar, I’d know this. How, you ask? BECAUSE MY PARKING SPOT IS

December 29, 2022

Wishing You a Happy, Healthy 2023

It’s that time of year when we think about starting something new. Perhaps even a resolution. Or three. Here’s a tip: decide on a small daily acti

December 22, 2022

Hachiya, Winter and the Movie

Curiosity got the best of me. This week I tried the heart-shaped Hachiya persimmon fruit.  I allowed it to sit for several days to ensure that it wa

December 15, 2022

Persimmon, Christmas Movies and Compassion

Intrigued by seeing persimmon fruit in the produce section of the grocery store, I decided to be adventurous. The Fuyu variety that I found are about

December 8, 2022

5 Tips to Help Calm Holiday Overwhelm

In conversation, I’m hearing the sentiment of overwhelm from just about everyone. Too much. Too many. Not enough time. Decorations, parties, gift wr

December 7, 2022

Italian Sausage and Gnocchi Soup

Makes about 6 servings    Ingredients 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil 1 pound bulk Italian sausage (or other ground meat) 1 medi

Summertime Ease

Welcome to the dog days of summer and simple eating. Unlike winter, when those crock pot soups and stews hit the spot, we are now in the season of light…

…Light from more hours of sunshine; light in the weight of our clothing; light in which to sit and be still; light eating to nourish and not overburden.

Here a few ideas to help you enjoy meals that get you out of the kitchen fast AND keep you feeling your best!

  • Hard boil a carton of eggs to keep on hand. These are great as a grab-&-go breakfast or snack, egg salad, or added to greens. Here are the tricks: buy your eggs and keep in the fridge at least a week beforehand. Fresh eggs don’t peel as easily. To cook, put them in your pan and cover with cold water, about an inch above the eggs. Bring to a rapid boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit about 15 minutes then cover them with lots of ice and water. This is the other critical part that helps them peel easily, so keep them iced for about 45 minutes. Peel all of the eggs immediately and refrigerate in an airtight container.
  • When you grill, make extra. Leftover steak is wonderful sliced thin and gently reheated to make fajitas, tacos or added to greens. Same goes for chicken. This is a great idea for any picnic leftovers as well, as long as they weren’t out in the heat.
  • Sauté instead of roast so you don’t heat up the kitchen. This method of cooking is also much faster. Green beans, peppers, summer squash, broccoli, asparagus, etc. sautéed in extra virgin olive oil (lower heat) or avocado oil if you like to crank up the temperature.
  • Any type of “burger” is fast, easy and tastes great with those veggies: ground beef, chicken, turkey or pork. Season with your favorites–Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, onion and garlic powder work for me. The Beyond Meat plant-based burger is another tasty and quick alternative. (I’m practicing the art of consuming less animal protein on some days.)
  • Cold salads: mix canned tuna packed in olive oil with a bit of chopped celery, salt, pepper and lemon juice over avocado and greens; pasta (or quinoa) of your choosing tossed with chopped sweet peppers and raw broccoli or even (ick) cauliflower, any of those leftover meats you grilled, and toss with olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings of your choosing. These can be made ahead in the morning, chilled, and no dinnertime cooking is necessary.

Now is the time to find fresh anything at the local farmer’s market and make up a concoction with what you have on hand. Keep in mind that if you don’t know what to do with some food, serve it on a bed of fresh greens, splash with some olive oil and lemon juice, and you’ll probably be just fine.

Relax, enjoy and remember to drink your water.

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”—Charles Bowden

Little Things Do Matter

How many times do we think that something doesn’t matter because it’s not spectacular or grand enough? We aren’t able to save the world, so why bother recycling the water bottles?

Whatever it is, it DOES matter. In any arena of life, the little things add up to a grand total.

Think about small acts of kindness, such as smiling at the person you pass on the street, saying “good morning” to the cashier where you buy your cup of coffee—and meaning it, allowing a car into your lane of traffic during rush hour.

Now think about not doing those things. That choice adds up to the way we seize the day, and our attitude.

Little things matter, like if you walk around the block, eat an extra vegetable, skip the diet soda for lunch.

And if you don’t.

We are notorious for taking an “all or none” approach. If we don’t do something perfectly, we may as well not do it at all. Eating and moving in ways that nurture our bodies fall into this category.

“I had two pieces of cake, so I may as well keep eating whatever I want.”

“I haven’t been to the gym for two weeks. I’ll start back next month.”

“It’s the weekend and I’m meeting my friends for pizza. Oh, and there’s the birthday party and barbecue. I’ll eat right on Monday.”

WHAT IF you switch up your thinking so that you can enjoy special times with special foods and friends and not feel as though you’ve blown it?

WHAT IF you could get back on track with your workouts and not look back with regret? 

WHAT IF you don’t have to be perfect—just do a little bit better today?

Just as small acts of kindness add up to a more loving community, eating and moving just a little bit better over time, leads to a stronger, healthier, more fit you.

Never underestimate the power of little things.

“Little things are indeed little, but to be faithful in little things is a great thing.”—Mother Teresa

Mr. Non-Compliant Goes to Costco and a Summer Recipe

My husband (aka Mr. Non-Compliant) and I typically do not grocery shop together. I know that many couples do and I can only imagine what that must be like. For us, it is a near nightmare experience.

Recently, we were in Costco and needed less than ten items. We had fifteen minutes for shopping in order to make it to an event without being tardy.

We agreed; only pick up the items on the list and no reading labels. Deal.

We were off, him driving the buggy and me guiding the way and grabbing the items. I resisted temptation and read not even one label. Ten minutes into it, things were going great, in spite of the sample snack booths, crowds and detours.

Suddenly, as I turned to toss the last item into the cart, he had vanished. UH OH! The “look,” folded arms, and toe tapping got me nowhere. I began the search.

You guessed it. He had found the sample booth with beef jerky (we had missed lunch—bad idea) that was located across the aisle from the pantry size jar of plain M&M’s. As he tossed the nearly four-pound container of candy-coated chocolates into the buggy, I simply found the shortest checkout line.

This is what happens when I turn my back for 15 seconds. At this stage in the game, I choose my battles. The one-pound container of mixed spring greens will hopefully offset all that sugar.

Had it been me a few years ago, I would have chosen the peanut variety. I’ve managed to break that habit and when I need chocolate, it’s a square or two of the 85% cocoa variety. He asks why I do that to myself. We blissfully agree to disagree.

In celebration of today’s Summer Solstice, here is my favorite summer potato recipe in case you missed my Facebook Live on Tuesday. Enjoy today to it’s fullest and have some of your favorite summer foods!

Summertime Grilled Potatoes

 Scrub your favorite variety of potatoes, or combine Sweet, Idaho, Yukon Gold, whatever you have on hand. Cut in thin slices and place about two layers on a piece of foil you have coated with olive oil. This will make it easier to spoon them out once they’re cooked. (If you have a crowd, it’s better to make a couple smaller packets so they cook evenly.)  

Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. For variety, try Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, garlic powder, paprika (adds a nice color), and/or rosemary. You can’t mess this up, so have fun experimenting. You could also add sliced onions, zucchini, or peppers. Secure the foil and wrap again for good measure. Grill for about 45 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is, turning halfway through cooking time.

These potatoes are my summer go-to side dish with any grilled meats, poultry or fish.

Summertime Grilled Potatoes

Scrub your favorite variety of potatoes, or combine Sweet, Idaho, Yukon Gold, whatever you have on hand. Cut in thin slices and place about two layers on a piece of foil you have coated with olive oil. This will make it easier to spoon them out once they’re cooked. (If you have a crowd, it’s better to make a couple smaller packets so they cook evenly.)  

Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. For variety, try Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, garlic powder, paprika (adds a nice color), and/or rosemary. You can’t mess this up, so have fun experimenting. You could also add sliced onions, zucchini, or peppers. Secure the foil and wrap again for good measure. Grill for about 45 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is, turning halfway through cooking time.

These potatoes are my summer go-to side dish with any grilled meats, poultry or fish.