1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

Top
July 29, 2021

Choose the Tastiest Cantaloupe, Every Time

I stumbled across some Tuscan-Style Extra Sweet Cantaloupes this week, and they certainly live up to their name. They are produced by Dulcinea Farms w

July 22, 2021

Mr. Corn Comes Home to Indiana

Here in Indiana, it’s corn season. The best and sweetest makes its appearance now through August. Along with the corn season came my cousin, Mr. Cor

July 15, 2021

Getting Creative with Blueberries

Welcome to blueberry season and all the deliciousness that comes with it. This fruit is very versatile, as it can be eaten fresh, frozen, added to a v

July 9, 2021

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

1 cup organic quinoa                                                                                2 cups...

July 7, 2021

What’s the Best Diet for You?

There are many options when it comes to eating: keto, paleo, vegan, low carb, intermittent fasting, and more. Which one is the best? I don’t endorse

July 1, 2021

A Simple Celebration Salad

Happy Independence Day and the kick-off to summer! Since there will probably be a few picnics and family gatherings happening at some point, I thought

June 24, 2021

Ever try butter on saltines?

I’d forgotten about this childhood treat until a friend of mine mentioned it. We’d gathered for an informal dinner, and the next thing I knew we w

June 17, 2021

Beware of the Buggy Bandit

This week, my client and I were enjoying a peaceful grocery shopping field trip at Whole Foods. We were in the produce department reviewing the list o

June 10, 2021

A Delicate Summer Surprise

Apricots are a hidden gem of a fruit. While the delicate little apricot is not even in the running of most popular fruits in the world, it has a speci

June 3, 2021

A Special Pasta Dish Just for You

I was fortunate to work with my friend, Chef Lynn and make this special recipe with her. She recreated it from her favorite dish at Popolano’s and l

Swiss Chard, Your Refrigerator, and Advice from Julia

As we close in on this journey at week #37, baby is the size of a bunch of Swiss chard. 

Swiss chard falls under the extremely nutrient dense umbrella of dark, leafy greens. Kale is often thought of as king of the kingdom; however, this vegetable is so impressive, I think it knocks kale off the throne.

For starters, it tastes better. Swiss chard is not as bitter as kale. The stems are slightly sweet and have a similar taste and texture to bok choy stems. Chard leaves are mild, like spinach.

It’s high in antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, sodium, phosphorus and vitamin E.

Definitely impressive. But wait; there’s more.     

Chard’s high fiber content aids in weight loss and helps improve blood sugar control. It benefits heart health, and the vitamin K aids in blood clotting and increased bone density.

Next trip to the grocery, Swiss chard is coming home with me. I’ve not been tuned in to this great green prior to our journey through the baby development garden.

Speaking of gardens, it can grow in poor soil and has a low requirement for water and light. There are something like 45 varieties (who knew?) with assorted stem colors that would brighten up any meal.

Ways to Add Swiss Chard to Your Life

  • Add to tossed green salad
  • Put a handful in your smoothie (you won’t taste it and you’ll supercharge your drink)
  • Top a pizza with Swiss chard, mozzarella and tomatoes
  • Toss wilted leaves into pasta dishes
  • Add to your frittata
  • Sauté it in coconut oil and add to your scrambled eggs
  • Use it instead of basil when making pesto
  • Stuff a chicken breast with Swiss chard and goat cheese
  • Add to hearty soups and stews
  • Use it instead of spinach in any of your favorite dishes
  • Sauté with garlic as a side dish

 Time to Spring Clean Your Refrigerator

Unless you do this on a weekly basis the day before garbage day, now is a good time to clean out your fridge. It can be quite a rude awakening to discover a scary experiment or two growing in a hidden corner.

Toss any outdated items and mystery sauces hiding out in those take-out containers and packets. Wipe the drawers, shelves, and sides of the internal compartment with a mild solution of your dish soap and water or mix a solution of one-part baking soda and seven parts water. Stay away from commercial cleaners that could transfer scent or chemicals to your food.   

If the thought of cleaning out your entire fridge feels like too much at once, break it into smaller projects. It may be easier to clean out a couple shelves or compartments a day. You may even feel inspired to move on to the freezer.

When you restock, stick with as many fresh whole foods as possible. Beware of foods with mile-long ingredient labels that you need cheaters to read. Use this opportunity to expand your vegetable wardrobe, starting with a bunch of Swiss chard.

Could you use some help getting back on your fitness track? Working your plan and still feeling stuck? Have you had success with a restrictive eating plan or diet and need help transitioning to a more varied menu?

Email me today. Those sizzling summer fashions are waiting for you.

Much love,
Carol

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces—just good food from fresh ingredients.”—Julia Child

Remarkable Romaine and Feeling Zen

It is week #36 for baby and he is the size of a head of remarkable romaine lettuce. Yes, if I haven’t mentioned it before, my friend will soon be the mom of a BOY!

Some may think that romaine is as low in nutrients as basic iceberg lettuce– which is not that exciting to the health-conscious world.

Not so.

Romaine is a good source of vitamins A and C. When it comes to greens, the darker green, the more nutrients, so it does lag behind some other leafy counterparts.

Famous for its crunch, some of the best salads are those that combine the dark green goodness of spinach or kale with romaine. They all get along famously in the bowl.   

Top benefits of romaine include:

*Immunity booster

*Helps heart health

*Helps prevent bone loss

*Promotes healthy eyesight

*Helps heal skin and prevent premature aging

*Helps maintain a healthy pregnancy (due to folate)

*May aid with weight loss

*Helps with digestion and intestinal health (high fiber, mineral and water content)

Obviously, this is another great vegetable to add to your vegetable crisper and to your diet. The most nutrient dense parts are the green leaves. The stalks add the crunch.   

Besides eating romaine in a salad, the enormous leaves make a great sandwich wrap for those who prefer to eat less bread. They add a nutritious crunch to a regular sandwich too.

Add to your smoothie (you won’t taste it) or try grilling or roasting it for a unique flavor.

When choosing your romaine, look for leaves that are sturdy and not brown or yellow. Organic is preferable when available, since it’s easy for the leaves to absorb chemicals and pesticides.

Romaine will keep 5-7 days in your fridge.

How are you today? Really.

Yes, REALLY. How well (or not) are you doing life these days?

There’s a Deep Health Questionnaire that goes surprisingly—deep. When we’re looking to lose weight, have more energy, and enjoy life, there’s much more that determines the outcome than just the food.

Please don’t misunderstand. Food is foundational. And then there’s more… 

A few questions from the questionnaire:

  1. How has your general mood and outlook been lately? Answers can be anywhere on a scale from 1 (utterly miserable) to 10 (hooray for EVERYTHING!)
  2. How supported do you feel right now by the people around you? Scale from 1 (utterly alone) to 10 (Go Team!)
  3. How calm and focused are you today? Scale from 1 (Freaking out and frazzled) to 10 (Zen Master) 

Perhaps, depending on how you answered the sample questions, you may do well to carve out 10 or 15 minutes of quiet solitude each day. Many people are bombarded with noise and never allow time to consider what is happening in their lives.

All of this affects your weight, health, and ability to fight off illness.

If you’d like to take the complete Deep Health Questionnaire and see where you might like to make some improvements, let me know.

Now is a great time to begin.

Much love,
Carol

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live life deliberately.”–Henry David Thoreau

Honeydew Happiness and More Tips on Sleep

This week baby is the size of a honeydew melon. I think of honeydew as cantaloupe’s cousin. It has a similar shape, only a bit bigger, which explains why it’s the fruit for week #35 and not #34.

Honeydew’s sweet flesh is typically light green, while its skin has a white-yellow tone.

To find a sweet one, shake it. If you hear and feel the seeds inside jiggling around, you’ve got a winner. The rind should be smooth and waxy and bright, creamy yellow in color. It should also smell like fragrant flowers. Find the blossom end, which is opposite the end where it was attached to the vine. Give it a press with your thumb and it should feel slightly springy, with a little give.

Your melon will not ripen once it’s cut from the vine, so what you bring home is as good as it gets. 

Before cutting it, wash the rind well. Refrigerate.

Honeydew is full of nutrients and is a healthy addition to your diet.

Benefits of Eating Honeydew

*May help reduce blood pressure because it is low in sodium and high in potassium.

*It helps bone health due to folate, vitamin K, and magnesium.

*Fiber in the fruit may help control blood sugar levels over time and aid in digestive health.

*Electrolytes in the melon help hydrate better than water alone.

*Vitamin C content helps support immune function.

*Honeydew melon contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are known to support healthy eyes and vision.

This fruit is easy to add to your diet. It’s great alone or added to many different dishes, including salad, salsa, smoothies, soup or dessert.

It may be tricky to find a ripe one out of season. Hang in there, summer’s coming.

It’s National Sleep Awareness Month

This month, most of the country moves the clocks forward for Daylight Saving Time. March 14th is the date for us to spring ahead and lose that sacred hour of sleep.

That single hour really does make a difference, and many people feel out of whack for a couple weeks.

Not only can that lost hour make you feel groggy and irritable, studies have found that both heart attacks and fatal car accidents increase after the spring shift to Daylight Saving Time.

Here are 4 tips to help make the time change a bit easier on you. 

  1. Start preparing a few days early. About a week before “springing forward,” start going to bed 15 to 30 minutes earlier than your usual bedtime. Your body needs that bit of extra time to make up for the lost hour.
  2. Stick to your schedule. Be consistent with eating, social, bed and exercise times during the transition to Daylight Saving Time. Exposing yourself to the bright light in the morning will also help you adjust.
  3. Don’t take long naps. Shutting your eyes mid-day is tempting, especially if you’re feeling sluggish. A long daytime nap could make it harder to get a full night’s sleep. If you must take a nap in order to get through your day, take it early and for no longer than 20 minutes.
  4. Avoid coffee and alcohol. Avoid coffee and caffeinated beverages four to six hours before bedtime. Alcohol also prohibits you from getting quality sleep, so avoid it late at night.

Remember last week’s tip to put that phone away 30 minutes before bedtime. Practice slowing down so that your body can relax.

Much love,
Carol

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” —John Steinbeck

Choosing Cantaloupe and a Tip for Better Sleep

Week #34 for baby. These weeks are flying for me. Seems like I just finish writing about one fruit, and it’s time for another. Bet my friend doesn’t think so. I think she’s had enough of this pregnancy stuff. Have I mentioned that this is her first?

It is the week of the cantaloupe. When I hear the word “cantaloupe,” I think of the fruit cups I get when I choose fruit instead of potatoes for breakfast. There are usually a few red grapes and some chunks of honeydew added in. These are pretty durable fruits that are probably easier to have on hand instead of berries.

Cantaloupe is loaded with beta-carotene—as much as carrots. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in the body. It can also act as a powerful antioxidant to help fight free radicals that attack cells in your body. 

Cantaloupe provides vitamin C, folate, water (it’s almost 90% water), fiber, potassium, and small amounts of many other nutrients. It’s low in calories (60 calories/cup) and offers some sweetness to your diet.

It’s a wonderful addition to any fruit salad and delicious all on its own—if you have a ripe one. I like it with my breakfast.

You could add a few chunks to your smoothie.

How to Choose Your Cantaloupe

These are sweeter and often more economical in the summer, although you can find them year-round.

To choose a ripe melon, look for one that is creamy, light-yellow orange with little to no green. It should be symmetrical and feel heavy—a sign that it will be juicy from lots of water. Ripe cantaloupe smells sweet.

It’s best to eat it within 3 days of purchasing for the freshest taste. Store cut cantaloupe in the fridge.

A Tip to Help You Get More Sleep

Seems that quite a few folks (besides my pregnant friend) have trouble falling asleep. A small study found that people who put their phone away 30 minutes before bedtime got a better night’s sleep.

Participants fell asleep 12 minutes faster and slept 18 minutes longer after four weeks compared to those who weren’t asked to restrict their phone use. Bonus: the quality of their sleep improved significantly too.

It makes sense, since your exposure to blue light is diminished. You also avoid any disturbing news, emails, videos, and social media posts that could get you riled up.

Remaining calm before bed is more conducive to a restful night’s sleep. 

It’s worth a try. Keep in mind that getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night improves your health and promotes weight loss/maintenance.

A good night’s sleep will help your attitude too.

Feeling stuck with sleep, weight loss, your exercise routine (or lack of), and not sure where to begin? Let’s talk.

You’ll leave our conversation with clarity, renewed energy, and a plan to get back on track.

Sweet dreams,
Carol

“Instead of working toward retirement, work toward your ideal lifestyle. There is usually a path to get there in a few years instead of a few decades.”—James Clear