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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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November 24, 2022

Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Caramel Flan

Last week I’d mentioned that Mr. Non-Compliant seemed to have designs on a pumpkin caramel flan. Turns out that he left the flan recipe out because

November 17, 2022

Tips for Thanksgiving Preparations

So much to do, so little time. I bet I’m not the only one who’s thinking this right now. However, I’ve always managed to get everything done

November 10, 2022

Versatile gourd adds fiber, flavor and health benefits to fall foods

(The following article was written for and published in the October 13, 2021 edition of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.)

November 3, 2022

The Outward Olive

Today I bring you some happy news about fat. (It’s okay to cheer about this.) Olive oil is a healthy monounsaturated fat that is good for you to con

October 27, 2022

What’s Your Favorite Treat?

It’s that ghoulish time of year again (already) when we can pretend to be someone, or something, we’re not. Take a risk, get out of our comfort zo

October 20, 2022

The Importance of Rituals

There are days when everything just feels BLAH. I don’t really feel like doing much of anything, and I don’t even know what to do first. It’s no

October 13, 2022

4 Tips to Gain Some Control of Your Life

As we approach the holidays and see Christmas decorations showing up in store aisles before Halloween, it can make us a bit, well, CRAZED. How does th

October 6, 2022

5 Fall Health Tips and Nature Journaling

As the weather cools a bit, the pace of our days tends to shift. Maybe not slower, but different. Different means a change in wardrobe, activities, ch

September 29, 2022

Even Mr. Non-Compliant Eats These

I discovered these crackers that are free of many ingredients that people may be sensitive to. Made by Simple Mills, Organic Seed Flour Crackers are s

September 29, 2022

Roasted Root Vegetables

(The following recipe was written for and published in the September 16, 2022 edition of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) I

Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Strawberry Mousse Parfait1 can full-fat coconut milk (Thai Kitchen is my favorite)
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
Stevia or honey to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or some other flavor, peppermint perhaps?)
Optional:  shredded coconut, almond butter, cinnamon

Chill the unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Scoop out the solidified cream into a mixing bowl and beat vigorously with a whisk or electric mixer until softened (it shouldn’t liquefy). Add the cocoa powder, stevia or honey, and vanilla. Continue to beat until light and fluffy. You may top the mousse with coconut, almond butter or cinnamon.

Leftovers keep well in the fridge and the concoction becomes a bit thicker and fluffier. This is great a dip for strawberries, bananas, apples.

 

April’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

I think you’ll like this month’s habit because it is REALLY EASY! In fact many of you may be doing this already, but if you aren’t, time to give it a whirl.

When you cook, make extra so you have leftovers for another meal. This is especially handy when you grill because there are no dirty dishes! Ideas: grill extra chicken to make chicken salad or add to greens; extra abstract-1239143_640steak may be sliced thin and made into a stir fry with lots of vegetables or used in fajitas; bratwurst or any type of sausage may be sliced and added to pasta with sauce or vegetables.

Soups, chili, roasts, and just about everything, will be delicious the next day for lunch or dinner. The one exception that comes to mind is fish, which is not my favorite when the next day. Salmon, the exception, is good when added to greens, but only warm it slightly so it doesn’t dry out.

Ok, I hear some of you whining that you don’t like leftovers. I understand this can be a problem when there is SO much left that you are eating it for days. There is rebellion in my home when we are still eating the same soup for 3 days. If you don’t like to eat something two days in a row, skip a day, then have it for lunch. This is a much better option than fast food or no food.
chicken-825232_640

If you get carried away and have too many leftovers, freeze them. You could also give them away to a friend or neighbor.

This is such a super habit because the biggest obstacle standing in the way between families and a good meal is planning ahead. When you decide to cook a meal, capitalize on the time it took to plan, shop and prepare it. Make this process work for you!

We grilled chicken thighs and bratwurst and ate about half. (It is hardly worth heating up the charcoal grill for four pieces of chicken or bratwurst.) Whether lunch or dinner, we are set for another meal or two, and that makes me very happy.

Oh, and if you have a “leftover” whiner, I’m sure that person would be delighted to take a turn and make dinner.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin

P.S. If you’re looking to lighten up for spring, shape up for summer, and have more energy to play outdoors, contact me today.  We can do this together!

March’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

Welcome spring and the month of gusty kite-flying days, a green Chicago River (well, brighter green than usual), and celebrating the Irish. The flower bulbs that were planted before winter are peeking through the dirt, and there are more of us taking longer walks with our dogs in early evening. It is also a month, like most months, when family gatherings tempt us to overeat.

March’s healthy lifestyle habit will help you decide when you should indulge in something decadent. The philosophy is very simple. Only eat it if it’s amazing.IMG_0287

For example, let’s say you are visiting Aunt Irene, who makes the most delicious coconut cake you have ever eaten. You know, without a doubt, that if her cake is on the dessert table, you will have to eat it. That is a perfect plan. Have a piece, really enjoy it, and savor the flavors.

My theory is that when we continually deny ourselves from having those “special treats,” we hit the wall and fall prey to an eating binge. We may find ourselves eating a dozen store bought cookies or an entire bag of chips that we don’t really enjoy, are not really even that good, and fill us with “eater’s remorse” for at least a day. Not the best plan.

The moral of the story, to reiterate: if it’s not amazing, why are you eating it? Great question. Think about it. There is no need to feel guilty about completely enjoying Aunt Irene’s coconut cake (or whoever’s whatever) when it is part of your plan. Besides, you don’t want to hurt her feelings. If she offers you more, be gracious and take a piece home for another day. Living a healthy lifestyle must be sustainable, or you won’t stick with it. This is all about the balance.

On the other side of that, if you find yourself eyeing an entire array of potluck items or a giant buffet table covered with desserts, CHOOSE WISELY. If you make a poor selection and it is not amazing, don’t IMG_0055eat it! Keep in mind that many times, food looks better than it tastes. If you are questioned about your way of eating, confidently state that you are practicing the art of not overeating for your good health. You may start a movement within your circle of friends.

To recap our 2016 healthy habits to date (from previous BLOGS if you want more info): 1) Drink your water 2) Eat slowly and stop at 80% full 3) Only eat it if it’s AMAZING!

If you are still getting another habit down, that is OK. Creating healthy habits on your timeline means they will be sustainable.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Virginia Woolf

P.S.  If you are looking for a system to help you stay healthier, lose weight and have more energycontact me today!  We will practice our habits together!

What’s Really in My Food? Label Reading 101

Eating healthy would be easier if what we saw was actually what we got, right? We see lettuce, we get lettuce; an apple is simply that, an apple.apples-214148_640 The food industry has come a long way since the days of bartering butter for eggs, but like everything in life, with the good comes the not so good. And so it is with food.

This topic is very lengthy. Here is a very brief overview and I will go into more detail over the course of future blogs.

Serving Size. This fact makes me laugh. If I had offered my adolescent sons “one serving” of pasta or cereal, I would have been accused of starving my children. Most of us adults consume a quantity of food that is more than we actually need. The problem occurs when we believe that we only had one serving and we probably ate twice that. Remember February’s Habit and stop at 80% full.

Ingredients. It is true that these are listed in order of the highest content first. Be wary of this list when it is as long as your arm. When you can’t pronounce the words and have no idea what they are, odds are you shouldn’t eat it.  sherlock-holmes-147255_640

Natural, Real Juice, Healthy. Food companies love to use these words in their names and on the labels. Whatever is inside the box or bottle is perceived to go along with these claims. Read the Nutrition Facts.

AHA (American Heart Association) Trademark. A food or beverage may be considered ok for your heart health, but may not good for the rest of you.

Trans fats. If the label reads “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,” “shortening,” “hydrogenated vegetable oil,” “margarine,” then you are eating trans fats. Eating these contributes to a variety of health issues. You can typically find trans fats in various baked goods, fried foods, crackers, cookies, some soups, dressings, oh the list goes on. And don’t assume because it reads “Zero Trans Fat” that it’s ok. Read the ingredient list anyway. In the United States, if the food has less than 0.5 Grams of trans fat, it can state “Zero.” Any amount is too much.

And More. Other “not so good” ingredients to be wary of: artificial vegetarian-233834_640sugars (terms such as Lite, Light, Zero, on the label), artificial flavors and colors, preservatives, and items marketed as Fat Free. Our bodies get confused by all of this. Be kind to you.

My Advice: Eat REAL food as much as possible. Do the best you can. Choose ONE thing to look for that you would like to eliminate or begin to cut down on in order to avoid overwhelm. Practice reading the labels on foods you eat and understand that changing habits takes time and patience.

*This information is not intended to help cure, treat, diagnose or prevent any disease state. Any questions you have concerning food as it pertains to a specific medical condition should be addressed with your physician.

“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”  Michael Pollan

P.S.  If you are looking for a system to help you stay healthier, lose weight and have more energycontact me today!  It’s never too late to form new habits.