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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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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

Standing in the Doorway of September

We’re standing in the doorway of September. Summer days still linger, yet autumn is inching its way into our lives—and wardrobes.

It’s one more variable we can add to our current list. (Don’t we have enough of them?)

When my oldest son was a senior in high school, I attended a meeting for parents at the beginning of the school year. He attended an all-boys school, so maybe the following sentiment isn’t true for girls.

What I learned from the speaker was that NO ONE, not the teachers, nor us parents, could stand to be around them at that point in their lives. They were in the doorway between adolescence and adulthood. What a revelation.

They had the desire to be out of the nest, yet they weren’t quite ready. It was a challenging time.

We’re standing in the doorway of September.

Some days I’m extremely focused and productive. There are other days when I just feel like taking a long nap. And there are the days somewhere in between. Can you relate?   

Here’s an idea to help with the transition. Practice the implementation of ONE new habit that will bring about a desirable change in your life.

Our lives change when our habits change. September is a great time for new beginnings—better than a New Year’s resolution.

Who are you becoming? What would that person do on a consistent basis?

Let’s say you’d like to get more exercise. Instead of focusing on getting more exercise, focus on living as a fit person.

What would a fit person do? A fit person makes exercise a regular habit and a priority.

Next, look at your calendar and write in the WHEN and the WHAT. Maybe it’s a 15-minute walk 3x a week to start. When that becomes a habit that you don’t need to think about, increase the time and/or frequency.

This same process works for ANYTHING that you have the desire to do. BE THAT PERSON TODAY by living differently and consistently.

This shift in your thinking will help ease the discomfort of standing in the doorway. Before you know it, you’ll be standing firmly in autumn leaves.

AND you’ll have a 4-month head start on all those folks who will WAIT to begin their new thing and be THAT person January 1, 2021.    

FUN OFFER: I harvested a batch of tomatoes from my garden this morning. Take a guess at what recipe I made with them and send me an email. If you’re correct, I’ll gift you with a 50-minute coaching call and help you get clear around that ONE habit you’d like to take on. Hint: I wrote a blog about it and did a Facebook live too!

Much love,
Carol

“Some people spend their entire lives waiting for the time to be right to make an improvement.” ― James Clear, “Atomic Habits”

Sometimes I Eat My Feelings

Yes, you read that correctly. Sometimes I eat my feelings. How about you?

We feel sad, so we eat food that soothes us. We feel like celebrating, so we eat food that delights us. We are bored or lonely, so we eat chips.

Sometimes a glass of wine pairs up with the food and we consume a nice neat package of emotions that leaves us feeling…

…a bit guilt-ridden?

We eat our feelings.   

Why, just this week Mr. Non-Compliant walked in the door after a very full day and exclaimed, “I deserve a bowl of ice cream!”

He had experienced an extremely busy day and felt that he deserved a reward.

I had some too, so that he wouldn’t have to eat alone. Frankly, we both felt like eating ice cream, so we did.

There were no sad or bad feelings, although I’m sure he was tired.

We are masters at justifying our reasons for eating. Instead of looking for ways to excuse our behavior, what if we MANAGED our eating habits?

Even when we’re emotionally wrecked.

Here’s an experiment for you to try. Next time you hear yourself justifying why you need to eat the ________________, consider how you feel. Are you happy, sad, bored, or hungry?

Becoming aware of your emotions—becoming conscious of your relationship with food–leads to better management.

It may not change anything at first. Managing your emotions and food takes practice.  

There are times when we’re going to drown our sorrows by eating the cake. I don’t mean a modest piece of amazing cake; I mean an ENTIRE cake that’s not even that good.

There’s a difference. Management.   

The more you are in tune with the behaviors that are not serving you, the better equipped you are to make healthier choices.

Honor where you are in the moment. Sometimes eating your feelings is the answer. Maybe you can get away with one piece of cake, instead of the entire thing.

And let the guilt go.

Much love,
Carol 

P.S. Some of you have made tomato pie, and I applaud you for trying something new! If you missed my Facebook live with recipe tips, you can see it on my Inkwell Healthy Lifestyles FB page. 

“It’s not what you eat, it’s how you feel when you eat it.”—Abraham Hicks

Carob Brownies

(This recipe first appeared in the August 2020 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.)

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour                                        
  • 1/2 cup roasted carob powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar to sprinkle on baked brownies (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Grease an 8×8 pan.
  3. Place dry ingredients (minus the sugar) in a bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
  4. In another large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar and cream the mixture until fluffy and white. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
  5. Add dry ingredients and nuts (optional.) Beat just until wet and dry ingredients are combined. Scrape brownie mixture into prepared baking pan. (If you make a double batch, divide the mixture evenly between two pans for best results.)
  6. For a metal pan bake for about 25 minutes at 350° F OR if using a glass pan bake about 35 minutes at 325° F. Check them for doneness 5 to 10 minutes before your timer beeps.
  7. Watch cooking times carefully. When a toothpick inserted into center of baking dish comes out clean brownies are done. Try not to over-bake as brownies are supposed to have a soft, chewy center.
  8. Cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting. When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional). Store in an airtight container.

Note: These have the taste and consistency of brownies made with cocoa. There are variations that lean to the healthier side that I’m happy to share if you wish to contact me. Reducing the sugar by about 10% is a good first step and will not affect consistency.

High-fiber, low-fat legume adds the flavor without the drawbacks of chocolate

(The following article first appeared in the August 2020 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) Online version

Most people I know are chocolate fans. Unfortunately, there are those who like the taste of chocolate, and it doesn’t like them. Allergies and sensitivities can bring on a variety of symptoms, such as headaches, stomach cramps, hives, to name a few. The caffeine present in chocolate can cause problems for some. Then there are those individuals with an unhealthy chocolate addiction that may be grateful for a bit of help.

Superfood carob to the rescue. An alternative to cocoa, carob comes from the pods of carob trees, native to the eastern Mediterranean region and cultivated elsewhere. Ripe pods contain a sweet pulp that is dried, roasted, then ground into a powder. It is classified as a legume.

Carob is less bitter than chocolate and has a roasted, naturally sweet flavor. The really good news is that there are numerous health benefits to consuming carob products.   

Health Benefits of Carob
High in insoluble fiber, so you stay fuller longer which may help you eat less and even lose weight. In addition, carob consumption helps decrease the amount of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) produced in the body, resulting in decreased appetite. High fiber foods are also helpful in controlling blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, preventing constipation, and contributing to overall gut health.

Provides calcium, an important mineral for bone health. Calcium also helps your heart, nerves, and muscles function well. Two tablespoons of carob powder contain 42mg of calcium, about 4% of the recommended daily value.

Does not contain oxalates, natural compounds found in chocolate and many other foods. Oxalates bind to calcium and are eliminated in the stool, therefore promoting calcium excretion. A diet high in oxalates increases your risk of developing kidney stones, especially if you have a history of this painful occurrence.

Good source of magnesium, iron, and potassium. Other minerals found in carob include copper, manganese, zinc, and selenium.

Rich in polyphenol antioxidants. Two of the main compounds, gallic acid and flavonoids, reduce oxidative stress, thereby helping the body ward off serious conditions linked to chronic inflammation such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer.

Free of gluten and caffeine.

Rich in pectin and tannins, carob bean juice has been used to treat diarrhea.

Tyramine-free and considered safe to eat if you suffer from migraines. Foods that contain tyramine, like chocolate, may trigger migraine headaches.

Virtually no fat and no sodium. One cup of carob powder has 51 grams of sugar and less than 1 gram of fat. One cup of cocoa powder contains 1.5 grams of sugar and about 12 grams of fat. One cup of semisweet chocolate chips has 92 grams of sugar and 50 grams of fat. The choice is yours, depending on your individual health goals. Carob with its natural sugar, fiber, and protein, has a low glycemic index and does not spike blood sugar the way that chocolate does. You may find that you can add less sweetener to recipes when using carob in place of cocoa.

Fido and feline friendly. Carob does not contain high levels of theobromine, a compound found in chocolate that is toxic to dogs and cats in large quantities. Those dog treats you see in the pet stores that look good enough for us humans to eat are made with carob, not chocolate.

Use carob powder as you would cocoa. Some ideas:

  • Add to smoothies
  • Sprinkle on yogurt or ice cream
  • Add to your favorite quick bread or pancake batter
  • Make a hot carob drink in place of hot chocolate
  • Make a creamy carob pudding
  • Replace candy bars with carob bars
  • Brownies
  • Substitute carob chips in any recipe that calls for chocolate chips    

Carob can be used in a 1:1 ratio in most recipes that require chocolate or cocoa. If you’re not sure about the flavor, you might first try swapping half of your cocoa chips or cocoa powder with the carob chips or powder. Carob can be purchased in many of the same forms as cocoa products, including chips, powder, extract, and syrup. They can be found at health food stores, specialty stores, and online.

The FDA has approved carob for consumption and as an additive in food, medications, and cosmetics. Carob allergies are rare.

As you relax and enjoy your carob treats, remember to drop a few crumbs for the dog.