Crown Point, IN

September 28, 2023

Why You Can’t Stop Eating Junk Food

“Who ate all these chips?!” You look around and, alas, not even a dog to blame. Oops. It’s not your fault.  If you’ve had this experience—r

September 21, 2023

Harvesting the Balance of Autumn

September 23rd ushers in the autumn equinox, a time when day and night are in perfect balance. It also opens the official season of cozy sweaters, pum

September 14, 2023

More Brain-Boosting Foods

Last week I shared a list of brain-boosting foods with the promise of more to come. Here are some additional foods that you may choose to include in y

September 7, 2023

Ten Brain-Boosting Foods

Thank you for the many recommendations of farm stands with tasty corn on the cob. Mr. Non-Compliant happened to be in the vicinity of VanDerGriends Fa

August 31, 2023

Mr. Non-Compliant’s Unwavering Passion for…Corn

Mr. Non-Compliant LOVES corn on the cob. Since the corn season is rather brief, I do my best to oblige him with this indulgence. And as my dear cousin

August 24, 2023

Tips for a Sluggish Thyroid

Lately, I’ve been getting lots of questions about the little gland known as the thyroid. It seems to be underperforming for many of you. Hypothyroid

August 17, 2023

Healthy Anytime Toast

Since my encounter with bar food last week, I’ve been focused on eating more plants. I came across this idea to enjoy “toast” and get more veggi

August 10, 2023

Confessions from The Antler

What does one eat when in a bar? Bar food, of course. The bar options: The Brown Bear vs. The Antler: Horniest Bar Around (There were deer heads with

August 3, 2023

6 Ways to Enjoy a Staycation at Home

August. Already. Is summer slipping by too quickly? Feel as though you’ve not experienced enough lazy days? Can’t manage to get away for one reaso

July 26, 2023

The Wonder of Apricots

When I think about the abundant fruits of summer, apricots make the list. Although some of you may not be fans, I ask that you consider giving this da

The Truth About Green Bell Peppers

Green bell peppers are not a favorite of mine. In fact, when I order veggie skillets, I usually request that they be omitted.

I find them to be bitter. Here’s the reason why.

 Green bell peppers are unripe red bell peppers. They truly ARE bitter. 

Since they take less time to grow, they are more abundant. This is the reason they typically cost less than the other colored peppers.

As the pepper is allowed to grow, it may turn yellow, orange and finally ripen into a sweet red bell pepper. Some varieties turn purple, white or brown.

While green peppers offer a good amount of Vitamin C (twice as much as an orange), along with Vitamins B6, K, A, and E, minerals and antioxidants, red peppers contain the most nutrients.

Another interesting health nugget is that as the pepper ripens, the cancer-fighting antioxidant properties change. This makes the case for including a variety of peppers in your diet.

Peppers are great for skin health, thanks to the high levels of Vitamin C. People with high levels of Vitamin C have skin that is less dry and wrinkled. They also are at a lower risk of developing skin cancer.

Other pepper insights:

  • Through an extremely casual survey, I learned that peppers often don’t agree with people as they age. (Cooking them may help ease digestion.)
  • Bell peppers are part of the nightshade family of vegetables.
  • Botanically, it is a fruit. Nutritionally, it’s considered a vegetable.
  • Red peppers are the
  • If you typically stuff green peppers, you may like to get a little crazy and stuff some other colors for fun.
  • Add to stir fry recipes for color and additional health benefits.
  • They add crunch to any sandwich, are perfect for dipping in hummus and taste great roasted.

Choose your favorite colors and enjoy, as long as peppers still agree with you. 

Something New

As many of you know, I’ve been a contributing editor to Get Healthy magazine, a publication of The Times of Northwest Indiana, for a number of years.

Beginning this month, I have a video accompanying my Get Healthy article. If you have an online subscription to the NWI Times, you’ll be able to view it by clicking the link. If you don’t, you may be blocked. (Sorry)

Get Healthy Facebook Page

Thanks for reading and following my work. I appreciate you!

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“You must prune to bloom. If the dead weight is not pruned and removed, it compromises the quality, performance, and output of the vine. When you prune what’s not working in your life, you make the space and place for renewal to happen and for new growth to spring forth.”
Susan C. Young

Care for an Exercise Snack?

The terminology “exercise snack” is rather intriguing.

I wanted one before I knew what it was. Would it be coated with dark chocolate? Is it low in sugar?

Turns out the answer to both questions is, “No.”

It has nothing to do with food, even though it’s a snack. I think you might even like it.

Here’s the deal. We all know that moving is good for us—mentally and physically. We also know that many of us are a bit too sedentary.

A very small study was done at Columbia University that determined this: just five minutes of walking every half hour, (a.k.a. an exercise snack), can significantly lower your risk of heart disease and other chronic illness.

Reductions were noted when measuring blood sugar and blood pressure. Fatigue decreased as well.

Now, this study was very small, and the control group was extremely sedentary.

However, sometimes we are more sedentary than we care to admit or even realize.

Creating a plan you are willing to commit to that involves more movement throughout the day pays worthwhile health dividends.

We sometimes have the mindset that if we don’t put in a full workout, everything else doesn’t count.

It all counts.

If you’re not sure if you’re moving enough in a typical day, you may like to track it either manually or with a fitness tracker.

Then implement some exercise snacks if necessary. Here in the Midwest we’re experiencing some pleasant days. It’s the perfect time to add extra walking into your life.

On crummy weather days, hop on a treadmill or walk around your house/building.

Set a timer. Five minutes every half hour. Easy. 

Important note: If you’re under a doctor’s supervision, it’s a good idea to get clearance before beginning a new exercise program.

Cheers to enjoying the exercise snack!

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

“It is fine to be committed to work, but our minds need time to recover and our bodies need to move.” — Annika Sorensen

Decrease Your Stress and Enjoy a Muffin

Let’s start with the muffin. Last week I wrote about the health benefits of eating wild blueberries.

Saturday morning, I decided that I had to have a blueberry muffin. (It often happens that when I write about food, I think about it so much that it sends me to the kitchen.)

I set out on a mission to make one that was gluten-free, dairy-free and amazingly delicious

These are yummy. Here is the link to the recipe on my website in case you have similar muffin dietary criteria.

Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Of course, you could make your favorite conventional muffin recipe and add wild blueberries in place of cultivated blueberries. You’ll love them.

Oh, and I tried a few wild blueberries on my baked sweet potato. Interesting combination of flavors. Worth a try if you’re a sweet potato fan. I enjoyed the muffins more.

Decrease Your Stress

If life feels a bit out of control lately, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your day-to-day activities and regroup.

At first glance, or thought, you may believe that nothing can be eliminated or changed in order to feel more peace and calm.

That peace and calm, oh by the way, will lead to improved hormone control, better sleep, less weight gain and a happier, more focused you. You may even discover extra time to do something you thought you didn’t have time to do—like exercise or make a meal.

Keep these points in mind as you review your days.

  1. Delete one or more activities from your day. Start with one thing you do that, upon scrutiny, is a waste of your precious time. Maybe you could spend less time on social media or watching the news. Or is there something you think must get done daily that isn’t that critical?
  2. Delegate a task. Could another member of the household take over a chore or two? If you’re being a perfectionist about this, weigh the pros and cons concerning the task. Revisit why decreasing your stress level is important. If you live alone, maybe you could unload some outdoor chores to a young neighbor looking for work. Or, are you over-extending yourself on committees or boards?
  3. Do less when it’s acceptable. We strive to live in excellence, yet not everything demands top-grade quality. Some examples: You may not really need to vacuum your carpet daily if you don’t have a pet. It’s fine to pick up a rotisserie chicken on hectic days instead of cooking one from scratch. Using frozen vegetables instead of fresh means less chopping, and they’re often more nutritious. Shortcuts count as doing less.

If you’d like a Planning and Time Use Worksheet to help you, shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. 

In the meantime, you may like to find some space in your day to make some muffins.

Much love,
Health Coach Carol

 “It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” Henry David Thoreau

Plant-Based Wild Blueberry Muffins

Plant-Based Wild Blueberry Muffins

These muffins are dairy-free, gluten-free and egg-free. The texture is different than mainstay blueberry muffins. I find them to be amazing. 


  • 3/4 cup almond flour*
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour* (this is a gluten-free flour, non-wheat flour)
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cup monkfruit sweetener or coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup MCT or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup Wyman’s frozen wild blueberries


Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups or grease well. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, and baking powder.

In another bowl, add the almond milk, applesauce, oil, and vanilla. Whisk until uniform. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir until evenly mixed and lump-free. Fold in the wild blueberries until evenly dispersed in the batter.

Spoon the muffin batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 22-26 minutes, until browned on top and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tin, then move to a wire rack and cool completely. Best enjoyed on the day of baking and kept in an airtight container until needed.

Makes 12 muffins

*Note: This recipe is adapted from the Medical Medium (MM) Wild Blueberry Muffin recipe. The original recipe calls for 1 cup gluten-free oat flour instead of the almond and buckwheat flours. You could use 2 cups of a regular gluten-free flour blend as a substitute for all the various flours and they would probably taste more like a traditional muffin. MM also uses coconut sugar in place of monkfruit and alcohol-free vanilla extract or vanilla powder.