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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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August 18, 2022

Mr. Non-Compliant vs. Mr. Corn

It’s that time of year when my dear cousin, Roger, aka Mr. Corn, and his wife Barb, come to Indiana for a visit. They now live in Florida, where swe

August 11, 2022

An Herb that Helps Reduce Anxiety, Induce Sleep, and More

I find it fascinating when one single food, or in this case, an herb, can contribute so much to our health. Cilantro is one such herb. While it’s no

August 4, 2022

Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day may inspire some baking… While preparations have begun for those going back to school, there’s still lots of su

July 28, 2022

A Summer Meal with a Kick

While many of us would like to add more vegetables to our diet, it can be challenging to come up with new ideas. Discovering main dishes that are vege

July 27, 2022

Spicy Mushroom Tacos

These vegan tacos have a kick, so if you’re not a fan of spicy foods, cut back on the cayenne or omit.  Serves 4 Ingredients 1 lb. mixed mushrooms

July 21, 2022

Are They Eggs or Just Eggs?

In an effort to help those who are allergic or choose not to eat chicken eggs, this blog’s for you. And if you love chicken eggs, biscuits and gravy

July 13, 2022

Lipstick on a Pig

For any of my new blog followers, cauliflower is one of the few vegetables that I’m not fond of.  I’ve tried it all sorts of ways. Readers have s

July 13, 2022

Super Simple Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

After rinsing the head of cauliflower, cut it into florets, remove the thick stem portions, and slice it very thin. Arrange in a single layer on a sto

July 7, 2022

Vidalia Onions, Salsa, and Qigong

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s still possible to find Vidalia onions in local stores. I’m not sure how long they will last, so now is the tim

June 30, 2022

Navigating the Holiday Weekend Deliciously

Happy almost 4th of July weekend! The celebrations are about to begin. Parades, barbecues, picnics, watermelon, fireworks, adult beverages, and probab

Pantry Surprises and Crab Cakes

As I was rearranging my pantry the other day, my discoveries made me laugh. It also gave me fun content for another blog.

Earlier this year I cleaned out the pantry. At that time I tossed out an interesting variety of foods that were SO OLD, there wasn’t even a “Best if used by_______” disclaimer stamped on them. YIKES! How could I be so negligent? What in the world am I thinking when I shop?

Always more questions than answers in life.

Back to present day: I decided to take my latest discoveries that were on the verge of the “Best” date and see what I could make. Here’s what I pulled out of my what-I-thought-was-organized pantry:

*A partial box of Prince Jumbo Shells–the kind you stuff with ricotta cheese, and since my boys who are now well into their twenties are allergic to dairy, I quit stuffing them long, long ago. Only God knows how many years those shells were in my house. In the garbage they went with no regrets.

*Several boxes of Organic Chicken Stock—still in date, barely. I buy a case at a time and since it was just summer, I didn’t make much soup. No big embarrassment here.    

*One can of Bush’s Best Garbanzo beans and one can of Great Northern beans. Mr. Non-Compliant is not a bean fan. Once in a while I sneak a can into a recipe that calls for two or three cans. I better practice my sneaky skills, since these are dated October 2017.

*Three cans of Bumble Bee Crabmeat. I recall I was going to make crab cakes and somebody didn’t feel like having those for dinner. Ever. Date: November 2017. Now I have to figure out something with crab and beans.

*Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix. This was about the only mix I’d buy, since it is not full of a thousand ingredients and this particular one was dairy free. Note the word was. The new recipe contains dairy, along with many of their other brownie formulas and chocolate chips, so this box is a collector’s item. Guess what Santa will find on his special Santa treat plate this Christmas Eve?

*A jar of maraschino cherries and a jar of strawberry preserves. I don’t think they ever go bad.

In order to regain my reputation for using food on hand, I got right down to business and made crab cakes. They are easy and tasty. “Somebody” simply didn’t get a choice about what was for dinner that evening. The beans are going to be a surprise another time.

Crab Cakes

3 cans of crabmeat, drained (6 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. bread crumbs or rice cracker crumbs (I made rice cracker
crumbs by finely crushing some crackers I had on hand.)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley or about 2 tsp. dried
1 egg
1 ½ Tbsp. mayonnaise
½ tsp. ground dry mustard
¼ tsp. paprika
Dash of hot pepper sauce or St. Elmo Cocktail Sauce (found this in the fridge and it was perfect!)

Mix together the crabmeat, bread or cracker crumbs, salt, pepper, and parsley. Whisk together the egg, mayonnaise, dry mustard, paprika and hot sauce. Add to the crab mixture and mix well. Make into patties of uniform size. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. This keeps them from falling apart so easily since they have a chance to set. Broil for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned, turning halfway through.

Serve on a bed of lettuce or bun. This recipe made 6 patties and two of us ate them all as a dinner with sides. These would make a nice appetizer or light lunch.

Broiled Crab Cakes

3 cans of crabmeat, drained (6 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. bread crumbs or rice cracker crumbs (I made rice cracker crumbs by finely
crushing some crackers I had on hand.)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley or about 2 tsp. dried
1 egg
1 ½ Tbsp. mayonnaise
½ tsp. ground dry mustard
¼ tsp. paprika
Dash of hot pepper sauce or St. Elmo Cocktail Sauce (found this in the fridge and it was perfect!)

Mix together the crabmeat, bread or cracker crumbs, salt, pepper, and parsley. Whisk together the egg, mayonnaise, dry mustard, paprika and hot sauce. Add to the crab mixture and mix well. Make into patties of uniform size. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. This keeps them from falling apart so easily since they have a chance to set. Broil for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned, turning halfway through.

Serve on a bed of lettuce or bun. This recipe made 6 patties and two of us ate them all as a dinner with sides. These would make a nice appetizer or light lunch.     

 

 

Embrace Imperfection

Wait, what? Embrace imperfection? Yes, you read that correctly. Today, we are going to consider doing some things imperfectly, rather than not doing them at all.

It is about now that the seasonal roller coaster ride begins. It lets up, oh, sometime in February—or July. What often accompanies this roller coaster ride (also known as “real life”) is what one of my mentors, Dr. John Berardi, refers to as “pause-button mentality.”

Examples of this phenomenon go something like this:

*”With all the parties in December, I may as well wait until January to start my health and fitness program. It will be one of my resolutions.”

*”I’ll go to the gym once my job settles down, the kids finish their __________ season, and I get my mom moved into her condo.”

*”It will be easier to eat better meals once the holidays are over. With all the baking, card writing, shopping and decorating, I have NO time.”

*”I was going to start eating more vegetables this week, until I remembered it’s my Birth Month. So many of my friends like to take me to lunch, I can’t possibly consider doing such a crazy thing until NEXT month!” (I’ve used this one before…can you believe it?)

Do any of these stories sound familiar? Okay, perhaps they aren’t exact—you get the picture. For the record: I am guilty of playing the pause-button game. Also for the record: It doesn’t work very well.

We all like to start over, begin again, and erase the slate clean. So do I. The problem: Hitting the pause button delays us living our life and playing full out.

Say your “ideal” routine includes nicely balanced meals every evening, your favorite workouts 5 days a week, quiet prayer/meditative time daily, 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and a good dose of family and social time mixed in with work. Perfect!

We all know that what we plan in life and what happens are usually not the same. We have to take the good stuff along with the not-so-good stuff.

Short term, we can stick with a regimented plan, which is why there are lots of 30-day programs. Life may allow us to get away with a fairly “perfect” 30 days. Then what?

Here’s an alternative to hoping for perfect. Always do something. Pausing the button on various aspects of our life when things get out of whack only leads to regret, and sometimes a more difficult road in the future.

If you are unable to get in your typical workouts, take a 10-minute walk at some point in your day. It will bring mental and physical benefits. Can you get to the gym at least twice a week instead of five? Stay for thirty minutes instead of an hour?

So you can’t get in your wonderfully balanced meals every evening, eat a salad once a day and do the best you can. If you must resort to drive-thru, skip the soda and fries. Practice doing just a little bit better. A little bit better is awesome!

And all those holiday parties? Choose a few of the “healthier” options, drink lots of water, and go for those decadent treats only when they are AMAZING!

Living your best life is not about having lots of willpower, or constantly denying yourself the fun of parties, friends and great food. This game is about developing the skills to hang in there and do what you can, even when you really want to pause. It’s knowing that life is always going to happen, no matter how well you plan.

Plan to embrace the imperfection of doing something. Always.

“Fitness in the context of real human life is just like the rest of life. We’re all just doing the best we can in challenging, complicated circumstances. We are all living messy, imperfect lives. We are all human. If we can just keep moving forward, no matter what happens, no pause buttons, no do-overs, we win the game.”—Dr. John Berardi

Thanksgiving

Blessings to you this Thanksgiving, and throughout the year. Today I offer you this poem. I think it captures the realism of life; the struggle when some blessings are quite hidden, and the amazement when others are bigger than we could ever dream.

Thanksgiving

Sitting in gratitude
Every breath given, another opportunity
Alongside days of heaviness
Having potential to crush my spirit
Sadness of life and accompanying grief
And yet, I am blessed

Sitting in gratitude
Every breath given, another opportunity
To live my story
Intertwined with others’
Perhaps even lifting their narrative
And they, lifting mine

Sitting in gratitude
Every breath given, another opportunity
Appreciating this moment in all its glory
Receiving and waiting
Dazzled by the unfolding
Pursuing the dream

Sitting in gratitude
Every breath given, another opportunity
Joy beyond measure
Fleeting at times
Savor the richness and linger
Thanksgiving

Thank you for reading. Enjoy your day of Thanksgiving.

Much love,
Carol