1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

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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

December 17, 2020

Create Your Own Cookbook and Mr. Non-Compliant’s Favorite Vegetable

Those of us who attended the Zoom “Amazing Cookie Bake” had a delicious time baking our cookies. My cookie press was missing its piston—a critic

December 10, 2020

We’re Baking Cookies Together… Sort of

I’m baking cookies this coming Saturday morning, and I’d love for you to join me! Through the magic of ZOOM, we are all gathering to bake and soci

December 2, 2020

So, the Marshmallows Caught Fire…

Thanksgiving Day is but a faint memory, as we fast forward into Advent and the season of Christmas. It was quiet around the Slager home, until the mar

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

EAT: And Think Like a Champion

I’m inviting you to join me in this 4-week group course I’ve created in response to our recent life of magnified uncertainty; a life that has perhaps created a bit more stress.

Working with me virtually, you’ll gain clarity around the best ways to conquer foggy brain, fatigue, low mood, anxiety, and more.  

Through a unique combination of attitude AND kitchen coaching, you’ll learn techniques to help you:

  • Be more confident
  • Have more energy
  • Gain mental strength
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Be happy in your own skin

In addition, I’ll address:

  • Why depression and low mood are linked to what you eat
  • The role stress plays in your overall health and well-being
  • What it means to eat mindfully and why diets are unsuccessful on many levels
  • The role of quality sleep

And, we will be in virtual community which allows for ongoing interaction with one another!  

4-Week Course Outline

Lesson 1: The Mind-Body link. Stress, stress eating and mindfulness—WHAT we mean by these terms and HOW to incorporate helpful strategies. We’ll make stress-busting food that’s quick and delicious.

Lesson 2: Risks of a high sugar diet and the link to foggy brain. Bummer, right? We’ll make a tasty low sugar treat.

Lesson 3: Food is THE SOLUTION, and why quality sleep is important. We’ll enjoy some superfoods.

Lesson 4: Healthy habits for life—and what about red wine? Letting go of the stress of thinking about eating perfectly. Since we all like tasty snacks, we’ll make something today.

Each week I’ll let you know in advance what supplies you’ll need for us to create together. You’ll understand what foods will help you overcome a number of ills. You’ll eat and think like a CHAMPION!

The particulars for “EAT: And Think Like a Champion” 4- Week Online Course:

  • We’ll ZOOM on Thursdays from 11:00AM to 12:30PM (central) on May 7, 14, 21, and 28.
  • The class will begin with the topic of the day and we’ll reinforce the lessons in the kitchen making food together, through the magic of ZOOM. (I’ve been doing this with my private coaching clients. It’s fun and we all get to eat our creations!)
  • The value of this offer is $297, yet the fee is only $97 for the ENTIRE 4-WEEK COURSE!

Email me today to reserve your spot and take advantage of this special deal! Payments can be made through PayPal, and I’ll send you the Zoom link prior to our class.

Much love to you,
Carol

“I may have slipped, but that’s okay. She finds the positive, doesn’t judge, and helps me move forward. I have learned to celebrate both small and big victories. Thanks, Carol!–Carol W. on Coaching with Carol

Eating to Boost Immunity and Stay Healthy

Today, more than ever, we’re looking for ways to stay healthy. To be clear, there is no magic potion, exercise routine, supplement, or diet plan that will guarantee your optimal health.

The good news is that there are many ways you can increase your odds of avoiding illness.

While it’s important to reduce stress levels, get good quality sleep (7-9 hours), move your body, and wash your hands (I’ve never been told to wash my hands this much since I was a kid), in today’s blog, I’m going to focus on proper nutrition.   

Making lots of changes at one time is overwhelming and fleeting. As you look at immune boosting practices, choose one that is simple for you to implement today. When it seems easy to manage, add another one. Mastering good habits slowly, over time, is the way to make them permanent.

By making good nutrition a priority, you will increase your body’s ability to fight off illness now and in the years to come.

Avoid deficiencies by eating a variety of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, protein, and healthy fats. Stay away from processed products as much as possible—you know what I’m referring to–those packaged goods that have ingredient lists filled with words you can’t pronounce–and that you can barely read without cheaters.

Protein
Aim for a serving of protein at every meal/snack. A typical serving for women is one palm size, and for men, 2 palm sizes. Sources of protein include lean meats, fish, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, dairy. Beans and legumes are protein sources for plant-based eaters.

Protein is the building block of antibodies. People who are protein-deficient are more susceptible to infectious disease.

Vitamin C
Whole foods are the best sources, as vitamin C is needed to prevent and fight infections. Because this vitamin is water-soluble, we need to replenish it daily. Some of the more common foods high in vitamin C are kale, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, oranges, lemons, yellow sweet peppers, chili peppers, guava, thyme, parsley, mustard spinach, kiwis, broccoli, papayas.

Aim for 1-2 servings per day. For vegetables, a serving is 1-2 fists worth. For fruits (carbs), 1-2 cupped handfuls.  

Vitamin D
Unless you live near the equator, you’ll probably need to supplement. There are foods fortified with vitamin D, however we typically need more. The only way to determine how much you need in a supplement is by determining your blood level. Most people need to supplement with anywhere from 600-4,000 IU’s per day.

Vitamin D helps protect against respiratory infections. Check with your healthcare provider for the supplement and dose that is right for you.

NOTE: When the body is experiencing significant inflammation, such as can occur in some people who become severely sick from COVID-19 infection, vitamin D should be temporarily discontinued. It may be resumed upon return to health. (per the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine)

Zinc
Whole food sources like whole grains, oysters, and scallops are best. Zinc lozenges may help those who are already sick.

Zinc supports T-cells which fight off infection.

Omega-3 fatty acids
Eat plant sources such as chia seeds, walnuts, and ground flax seeds daily. (You won’t reap as many benefits from whole flax seeds, as your intestines cannot break down the tough outer shell of the seeds.) Consume oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna, 2-3 times per week. Consider a supplement if you don’t eat fish.

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and help white blood cells fight off infection and disease.

Is there more we can do? There’s always more. This is a great start.

Focus on what you CAN control. Most of us can control what we eat.

To your health,
Carol

“The ability to keep doing what you love doing is so fragile.”—Dr. John Berardi

Carol’s Healthier Hasselback Potatoes

Ingredients
4 large Russet, Idaho, or Yukon Gold potatoes
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or melted butter or equal parts of each)  
Coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
Paprika

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Leave potato skins on, or peel, your choice. Place the potato in a large wooden or metal spoon, and using a sharp knife, make slices across the potato the short way, about an 1/8th inch apart. Gently cut down to the lip of the spoon, not all the way through the potato. The slices should stay connected at the bottom, and the spoon helps keep the depth even.

Slice all the potatoes in this manner and place them cut side up in a lightly oiled shallow baking dish or stone. Brush potatoes with half the oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika, or your favorite seasonings.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and brush the remaining oil on the potatoes and season with a little more salt, pepper, and paprika. Return to the oven and bake another 20 minutes, or until they are nicely browned.

Note: Hasselback potatoes may be topped with grated cheese and dried bread crumbs, as well as other variations.

For the Love of Potatoes

As of late, I’ve had quite a thing for potatoes. I’ve baked them, roasted them, Hasselbacked them, mashed them. And, I’ve eaten them. Lots of them.

There may be some of you who are of the opinion that potatoes are “bad.” They are not bad. (Technically speaking, there are no “bad” foods, which is an entire topic for another blog post on another Thursday.) Potatoes and sweet potatoes are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and starch.  

The starch and fiber in potatoes does not digest, but instead ferments in the gut to become short-chain fatty acids. Enough technical stuff for one day. Why is this important?

Here’s why. Short-chain fatty acids may:

  • Keep you fuller longer
  • Act as fuel for healthy gut bacteria (this is good for your immune system)
  • Inhibit growth of harmful bacteria
  • Stimulate blood flow to the colon
  • Increase mineral absorption and nutrient circulation
  • Prevent absorption of toxins
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Decrease risk of colon cancer

That’s a lot of good stuff. Potatoes do not deserve to be looked down upon. What we need to look at is what we are putting ON the potato—and how much we are actually eating.

Seasoning them with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper, are great choices. Loading them with butter, sour cream, bacon, and cheese, on a regular basis, is not the best option when you have health and fitness goals to keep.

The amount? Eat one to two cupped handfuls of carbohydrate-rich foods at each meal. This can be potatoes, sweet potatoes, whole grains, lentils, or fruit. Scale this amount up or down depending on body size, activity level, fitness goals (fat loss, mass gain, or athletic performance).

Potatoes and sweet potatoes, when incorporated into a balanced diet, are satisfying and provide energy. I’ve recently been enjoying them made this way. Here’s the recipe. Hope you like it!

 

Carol’s Healthier Hasselback Potatoes

Ingredients
4 large Russet, Idaho, or Yukon Gold potatoes
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or melted butter or equal parts of each)
Coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
Paprika

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Leave potato skins on, or peel, your choice. Place the potato in a large wooden or metal spoon, and using a sharp knife, make slices across the potato the short way, about an 1/8th inch apart. Gently cut down to the lip of the spoon, not all the way through the potato. The slices should stay connected at the bottom, and the spoon helps keep the depth even.

Slice all the potatoes in this manner and place them cut side up in a lightly oiled shallow baking dish or stone. Brush potatoes with half the oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika, or your favorite seasonings.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and brush the remaining oil on the potatoes and season with a little more salt, pepper, and paprika. Return to the oven and bake another 20 minutes, or until they are nicely browned.

Be well,
Carol

“What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.”
― A.A. Milne