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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

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July 2, 2020

It’s Summer, so Bring on the Ribs

In our family, summer means grilling. One of our favorites: baby back ribs cooked to perfection. There’s a rib joint in Porter by the name of Wagner

June 25, 2020

Sniff. What’s That Smell?

How does summer smell to you? What aromas make you happy? Maybe you haven’t thought about it much, unless you have seasonal allergies or a cold. Tod

June 18, 2020

A Time to Celebrate

Big weekend ahead. I wish all you fathers and like-fathers a very special Father’s Day this Sunday. May you enjoy a day filled with love, happiness,

June 17, 2020

Salmon Dill Nicoise Salad

Although a classic Nicoise salad is made with tuna, it’s nice with perfectly cooked salmon. Nicoise salad has all the light and vibrant flavors of a

June 11, 2020

Relax into Summer

The amazing season known as summer is nearly upon us. When I think of it, my mind sees beaches, hammocks, pitchers of iced tea, grills in action, all

June 4, 2020

I’m a Honey Fan

I am often asked about honey—if it’s healthier than sugar. Honey does contain sugar. Per tablespoon, honey has 64 calories and 17g of sugar. That

June 2, 2020

Strawberry Crumble

4 cups strawberries, halved 2 Tablespoons arrowroot (or cornstarch or tapioca starch)      2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 Tablespoon fresh lemo

June 2, 2020

Almond Butter Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe makes a delicious substitute for peanut butter cookies that avoids many of the common food allergens. And they’re vegan and gluten f

June 2, 2020

Nothing to Sneeze At: New theories explored to stem the growth of food allergies, intolerance in children

(The following article first appeared in the March 2018 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times. Online version) Every mo

May 28, 2020

Strawberries, Lilacs, and a Dessert Mr. Non-Compliant Likes

Lilacs are in bloom, and they are magnificent. I have two small lilac bushes that I can snitch a few branches from and bring indoors for my enjoyment.

It’s Summer, so Bring on the Ribs

In our family, summer means grilling. One of our favorites: baby back ribs cooked to perfection. There’s a rib joint in Porter by the name of Wagner’s. Their ribs are outstanding.

Our humble opinion: the ribs we make rival their ribs. Yes, really. They are THAT good. In fact, they are AMAZING!

I’m wondering if you had a thought in your head that went something like this, “How can she eat ribs? Aren’t those BAD—especially with all that barbecue sauce?”   

Raise your hand if you did. I’m watching.

It’s important not to vilify food. Depending on your preferred style of eating, you may be applauding my rib enjoyment or you’re ready to throw tomatoes at me.

To clarify, I eat ribs maybe 2 or 3 times a year. When I do, they are the best. Sure, there’s some “not so good for me” barbecue sauce on them. Oh, and I love the really crispy parts that are blackened. GASP!

They are a treat.

On the other end of the spectrum, I eat a huge green salad with added vegetables almost daily.

We must look at the big picture when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle—which is why I often write about sleep, stress, relationships, having fun, etc.

AND, you do not have to be perfect to see marked results. Give yourself some grace.

 There are foods that are best consumed rarely or in moderate amounts, since they don’t lead us in the direction of our best health.

Then there are those that may be eaten daily—like vegetables. Lots of them.

The trouble arises with additives like chemicals and artificial flavors and colors, that are not real food. Have you read some ingredient labels lately? Another GASP!  

As you enjoy your unique July 4th activities, eat and appreciate those foods you love that are AMAZING. Consume moderate amounts and add some veggies into your day. Drink plenty of water so you don’t dehydrate. Feel grateful and have fun celebrating.

Blessings and love,
Carol

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”—Erma Bombeck

Sniff. What’s That Smell?

How does summer smell to you?

What aromas make you happy?

Maybe you haven’t thought about it much, unless you have seasonal allergies or a cold.

Today, let’s appreciate our sense of smell.

Taking time to enjoy the aroma of a delicious meal enhances the flavors and brings you into a more conscious mode of eating. Slowing down, focusing on each bite, and relaxing long enough to enjoy it, all contribute to maintaining your weight and even shedding some extra pounds.

All sorts of smells may jog our memories to bring back happy feelings. Can you think of any?  

When my boys were young, we’d go strawberry picking. After picking a large bucket of them, we’d stick our heads in, inhale deeply, and giggle with great joy. Now, when I choose my strawberries, I smell them. If they don’t smell like ripe strawberries, they don’t go in my cart.

Peaches are another happy memory producer. My mom and grandma used to buy a bushel basket of them each summer to freeze. One summer I snuck a few too many while they were peeling them, and that memory isn’t pleasant. Fortunately, I’ve gotten past it.

 I took a vacation last year and the peaches were the most amazing I’ve ever eaten–and smelled. The juice ran down my face with each bite. 🙂

There are even some happy smells that only deal with food indirectly.

I had an aunt that lived on a small lake. The wooden pier had a distinct odor that I get a whiff of now only on rare occasions. It reminds me of my hours spent fishing, floating in a big inner tube, and eating her southern fried chicken with all the fixings. (The fishing didn’t go well enough to feed us.)

Food, smells, and memories are an integral part of who we are. Honor those that are happy.

Perhaps this week you can think of some fun smells and foods to help you relive some fun times.

Practice the art of relaxation and inhale summer deeply.

Summer love,
Carol

P.S. I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me a brief email and let me know what summer smells like to you. And by the way, if the pandemic happenings have left you with a few excess pounds, and loss of focus and self-loving habits, I’ll gift you with some coaching to help get you back on track. Don’t stay stuck in the mire! Email me today.

“Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.”—Diane Ackerman

A Time to Celebrate

Big weekend ahead.

I wish all you fathers and like-fathers a very special Father’s Day this Sunday. May you enjoy a day filled with love, happiness, and all your favorite foods.   

Saturday, June 20th, 4:43pm central time, marks the 2020 Summer Solstice. It is the official beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring when Earth arrives at the point in its orbit where the North Pole is at its maximum tilt toward the Sun, resulting in the longest day and shortest night of the calendar year.

 The summer solstice celebrates the return of the light of the sun and that same light that shines within all of humanity. Traditionally, people also celebrated renewal, life, the potential for a good harvest, inner and outer abundance, and ascension.

 It is the perfect time to release any old, dark energy and focus on BEING the light.

Summer nights spark my memories of catching lightening bugs as a kid and putting then in a jar. We’d punch holes in the lid so they could breathe, and they’d twinkle in my room as I fell asleep.

I’m still fascinated by those little creatures. Rest easy, I no longer capture them.  

Here are some ways you could celebrate the beginning of summer:

  • Plant a small herb or flower garden
  • Go to the beach
  • Build a bonfire and make S’mores
  • Do yoga and include some sun salutations
  • Enjoy being outdoors and do nothing at all
  • Review and renew goals then set intentions to build upon
  • Begin something new
  • Reread a favorite book
  • Include the Salmon Dill Niçoise Salad in your special feast
  • Be happy and grateful
  • Hang out with your favorite people and enjoy much laughter

In many ways, June 20th can take on the feel of a New Year.

Let us dare to live this uncertain life with gusto.

May you be abundantly blessed,
Carol

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.” —John Lubbock

Salmon Dill Nicoise Salad

Although a classic Nicoise salad is made with tuna, it’s nice with perfectly cooked salmon. Nicoise salad has all the light and vibrant flavors of a salad, with a satisfying heartiness too. What does Nicoise mean? A French phrase meaning “in the style of Nice (France)”, which refers to the cuisine of that area.  

Ingredients

2 filets wild salmon, fresh or thawed
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling over salmon
½  lemon, juiced
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
1 tsp honey
¼ tsp sea salt
3 cups Boston lettuce leaves, torn
1 cup baby potatoes, boiled and quartered
1 cup green beans, steamed or sautéed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
½ cup black olives
½ cup dill leaves, chopped

Directions   (Yield: 2 servings)

First, cook your salmon filets: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a pan with parchment paper. Drizzle the salmon filets with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place filets skin-side-down on to the parchment and place the pan in the oven. Salmon takes about 4-6 minutes per half inch of thickness to cook. Most filets are about an inch thick at the thickest part, so begin checking the salmon at about 8 minutes in. Salmon is cooked when the flesh has turned opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

While the salmon is cooking, make the dressing: Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, honey, and salt, and whisk together until combined. Set aside.

Divide lettuce, cooked potatoes, cooked green beans, tomatoes, and olives between two shallow bowls. Remove skin from salmon and place over salads, sprinkle with dill and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.

Notes
*When I make fish, I allow about one-half pound per person.
*This is a quick dinner to make when the potatoes and beans are already cooked. Consider making excess for another meal earlier in the week so that they’re left over. Cooking the fish and assembling the salad then takes under 30 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Precision Nutrition’s Encyclopedia of Food