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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

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November 25, 2020

Cookies, Carrots, and Giving Thanks

Here it is November, and everything is still pretty weird. I find it hard to believe that we’ve almost blown through another year, even though it se

November 19, 2020

Are Bananas Good for You?

Bananas sometimes get a bad rap. The truth is, they have lots of redemptive qualities. They are among the most important food crops on the planet. Alt

November 12, 2020

What to Make for Dinner When the Power Goes Out

As I was writing this, my power went out. It wasn’t just a flicker. It was a full OUTAGE in our local area. Concerned that this could linger into th

November 5, 2020

Peanuts, Peppers, and Pancakes

Sometimes Mr. Non-Compliant and I snack on dry roasted peanuts. They offer a good amount of protein, about 7 grams per ¼ cup. Much of the taste attra

October 29, 2020

It’s Turnip Week

Lots of things change in 30 years. These days, when a woman is pregnant and tracking the weeks, the size of the baby is likened to a piece of produce.

October 15, 2020

Cool Crisp Days and My Craving for Waffles

As we turn the corner into cooler days and nights, my body thinks it needs more carbs. My mind agrees. This is typical for me. Every year when the sea

October 8, 2020

Do You Suffer from Food Trauma?

(The following article first appeared in the October 2018 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) Online version If you

October 1, 2020

A Little Secret

This may come as quite a shocker. People in the health and fitness industry sometimes fall off the health and fitness wagon. Yep, it happens. Some “

September 24, 2020

Pumpkins, Apples, and Pears, Oh My

Welcome to fall and an abundance of pumpkins, apples, and pears. These are just a few favorites that enjoy a big debut this time of year. The Great Pu

Cookies, Carrots, and Giving Thanks

Here it is November, and everything is still pretty weird. I find it hard to believe that we’ve almost blown through another year, even though it seems like we’ve been in 2020 for SO long.

Wherever you are celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you have something and someone to be grateful for today—and every day. As I again read “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, I am reminded that the way to live fully is to always count my gifts.     

Always.

If you’re looking for some light reading after your turkey dinner, stay here and learn a bit about carrots, the size of my friend’s baby at week #21. Oh, and I have a surprise for you after the carrot recipe. If you love to eat AMAZING cookies, you must check it out!

Cool Stuff to Know About Carrots

Carrots are a root vegetable with a number of health benefits. It has been claimed as the “perfect health food.” I’ve heard the same claim from the egg and banana people.

That being said, I guess those are 3 foods that should always be on our grocery list.

Carrots are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, especially biotin, potassium, and vitamins A (from beta carotene), K1 (phylloquinone), B6, and fiber.

They have a relatively low glycemic index (ranging from 16-60). Raw at the low end, then cooked, then puréed.

They contain lots of plant compounds, including carotenoids. These are substances with powerful antioxidant activity that have been linked to improved immune function, a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, as well as improved eye health.   

Eating fat with your carrots will help you absorb more beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A in your body. Roasting or sautéing carrots in avocado oil is one way to accomplish this. If you eat them raw in salad, the fat from an olive oil-based dressing is perfect.

A side note: Avocado oil has a high smoke point, making it a good choice for cooking at higher temperatures. And no, it doesn’t taste like an avocado. It’s very mild.

Carrots add great color to any dinner plate, making them a perfect side dish. Here’s a simple recipe so you can eat more of this “perfect food.”

Roasted Carrots

  • 1 pound carrots, quartered or cut into sixths lengthwise depending on the size, then into 2-inch lengths
  • Avocado oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Thyme, oregano, or your favorite seasonings

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss sliced carrots in a bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of oil, just enough to coat the carrots. Add your desired seasonings and toss. Spread in a single layer on a pan (stoneware is my preference) and place in center of oven. Stir after about 15 minutes, and check for desired tenderness after about 25 minutes. Roasting time depends on how tender you like your carrots. I like to char mine a bit. These will keep several days in the fridge, so make plenty for leftovers.

Your Special Invitation and My Gift to You

WHAT: The Amazing Cookie Bake with Health Coach Carol

WHERE: ZOOM, so you’re in your own kitchen, and yet we’re together

WHEN: Saturday, December 12, 2020 from 10:00am to 11:30am (central time)

HOW: You gather the ingredients you need to make whatever cookie you desire, and we all make cookies

WHY: Creating cookies from scratch is an act of love, and the world could use more love

COST: FREE

This will be similar to those cookie exchanges, except we make our very favorite—or try something new—and enjoy a special treat together. And you know my rule, only eat it if it’s AMAZING! As a result, what may on first glance appear counterintuitive to our health, is not.   

While the cookies are baking, I’ll be coaching you on various aspects of health. We learn from one another and share lots of laughs.

To join in the fun, be sure to email me prior to Saturday, December 12 to save your spot. I’ll then email you the event Zoom link, along with any special instructions.

Wishing you the most blessed Thanksgiving,
Carol

 “Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped. God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy.”― Ann Voskamp, “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are”

Are Bananas Good for You?

Bananas sometimes get a bad rap. The truth is, they have lots of redemptive qualities.

They are among the most important food crops on the planet.

Although this fruit is high in carbohydrates, it contains a good amount of potassium, and vitamins B6 and C.  

They have a relatively low glycemic index of 42-58, depending on their ripeness. Bananas have a high content of resistant starch (that which passes through your gut undigested) and fiber, thereby promoting colon health.

Their potassium and antioxidant content contribute to heart health.  

They make a good snack, since they come already wrapped and are easy to grab when you’re on the go.

Bananas are sweet, satisfying, and give you a boost of energy when you hit that low point between meals.

They go great with peanut butter.

My Sophie dog loves bananas–and peanut butter for that matter.

People with type 2 diabetes should avoid eating lots of well-ripened bananas, especially on an empty stomach. While they have a rather low glycemic index, it’s advisable to check blood sugar levels after consuming high carb/sugar foods.

A baby at week #20 is the size of a banana.

My best banana tip: When they become overripe, I peel them, break in half, and toss in a plastic bag in the freezer. This is my stash for protein smoothies or banana muffins.

So, if you enjoy bananas, they are a good fruit to add to your healthy eating plan.   

This week, we are all preparing—or not–for a unique Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for you.

Much love,
Carol

 “Life is full of banana skins. You slip, you carry on.”– Daphne Guinness

What to Make for Dinner When the Power Goes Out

As I was writing this, my power went out. It wasn’t just a flicker. It was a full OUTAGE in our local area. Concerned that this could linger into the dinner hour, I began thinking about what I would do about food. What could I make without power?

Tossed salad with canned tuna, tomatoes, cheese, peppers, and broccoli came to mind. I knew this would not thrill Mr. Non-Compliant, however. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were another possibility–acceptable for lunch, not dinner. Most anything we could toss on the grill was frozen, with the exception of some ground pork. Oh, but we had pork burgers yesterday.    

Fortunately, the power was only out for a couple hours, and I was able to carry out my original plan of sautéed scallops, carrots, rice and some leftover green beans.

Good thing the problem was resolved because I need Wi-Fi to send you this email. It’s amazing what we depend on in a day.

Tomato Tip
I recently began to make vegetable beef soup and realized that I didn’t have a can of tomatoes. Not being one to run to the store for a necessary item, I looked around for a substitute. I discovered that 2 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes equal one small can of diced tomatoes. Luckily, I had plenty of grape tomatoes. It took a bit of time to cut those little tomatoes into quarters, however the results were delicious. I must say that the fresh tomatoes made the soup even tastier.

At week 19, my friend’s baby is the size of an heirloom tomato. So, how is an heirloom tomato different than a Beefsteak or Early Girl? Heirloom, a term used interchangeably with Heritage, refers to varieties of tomatoes whose seeds have been passed down for generations. You can actually save seeds from these, plant them, and expect new tomato plants to grow. Not the case with popular commercial varieties. Heirloom tomatoes are not always available, since they are seasonal and typically found at farmer’s markets and produce stands. They come in a variety of colors, sizes, flavors, and textures. When we’re comparing the baby to a tomato, the measurement is about 6 inches in length from head to bottom.  

Now that we’re into fall here in the Hoosier state, I couldn’t find any heirlooms. I stocked up on grape tomatoes, just in case I need to make more soup.

Who Do You Know?
Do you have a friend or family member who is struggling with weight, diabetes, complete overwhelm, or perhaps all of the aforementioned? I have coached clients with these challenges, and more, to a happier, healthier way of life. My program, which typically lasts a minimum of 6 months (it takes time to shift gears after YEARS of struggle), is designed specifically for the individual’s needs. I don’t take on a client unless I know we are a good match, and we have plenty of discussions before a commitment is even considered.

So, who do you know that would benefit from my coaching? Please give it some thought, then pass along this email. With the magic of Zoom, it doesn’t matter where they live, as long as my power is on. 🙂

Sending love,
Carol

“Our coaching experience with Carol far exceeded our expectations. We were overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do or where and how to start. My husband is diabetic and despite all of his medication he was unable to consistently control his blood sugar. With Carol’s help we were able to find a way to accomplish this, and so much more. This was more than a weight loss program. It is a lifestyle program that focuses on how through better food choices and eating habits you can become healthier, sustain weight loss and lead a better life.”—Stella, May 2020

Peanuts, Peppers, and Pancakes

Sometimes Mr. Non-Compliant and I snack on dry roasted peanuts. They offer a good amount of protein, about 7 grams per ¼ cup. Much of the taste attraction is due to the salt content, so the lightly salted variety doesn’t cut it.

The other day I needed to replenish our stock. Here’s the crazy thing. I usually read every ingredient label and if it passes my rigorous health standards, it may end up in the cart.

I’ve been buying Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts on a fairly regular basis. Last week I was in Whole Foods and picked up a jar of their 365 Everyday Value brand. I made sure that they only contain dry roasted peanuts and sea salt. Same thing goes for peanut butter.   

When I got home, I pulled out the Planters peanuts with only a few in the jar. I happened to read the label and much to my surprise, here’s what I learned.

Ingredients:
PEANUTS, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SEA SALT, SPICES (CONTAINS CELERY), DRIED ONION, DRIED GARLIC, PAPRIKA, NATURAL FLAVOR, SUGAR, GELATIN, TORULA YEAST, CORNSTARCH, DRIED CORN SYRUP, MALTODEXTRIN.

Ewwww. I can’t believe I missed this. (Sometimes companies change things without telling me.) Of course, Mr. NC would say, “No wonder they taste so good. What’s the problem?”

Fortunately, he hasn’t complained about the 365 brand. If he says anything, I’ll remind him that he’s a purist.

We all mess up. Moving on…

Peppers

This is week #18 for my pregnant friend and baby is the size of a bell pepper. Green, yellow, orange, and red bell peppers are all the same variety only at different stages of ripeness. Green is the least, red the ripest, with yellow and orange in between.

The colorful peppers are sweeter because they are more fully ripened and have an increased sugar content. They also pack more nutritional content for the same reason. All colors offer health benefits. The ripe peppers are my favorite, and I like to add them to eggs, salads, and stir fries.  

I roasted week #17 turnips along with carrots. The turnips have a bit of a bitter taste that I remember from my childhood. While I’m not a big fan of the turnip, it’s okay when combined with other vegetables or added to vegetable soup.  

Pancakes

Yesterday I had a taste for pancakes, as I still have that carb craving on occasion. I made some gluten-free pancakes with Simple Mills Pancake and Waffle mix. The mix is made from seven clean ingredients (fewer than the Planters peanuts). You only need to add eggs, oil, and milk or water. Easy.

As you continue your search for cleaner, tastier, foods that make healthy eating simpler, Simple Mills products may be a good choice for you.

FUN OFFER: What snack food binge would you like to have more control over as we move into the holiday season? Send me an email and I’ll gift you with a 50-minute coaching call to help you figure out a plan.

Sending love,
Carol

“Without peanuts, it isn’t a cocktail party.”—Julia Child