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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

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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

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

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.

I recently learned this because I have a friend who is pregnant. Each week I get the report of the fruit or vegetable that the baby resembles in size.

This is fascinating to me, and much easier to imagine than a measurement in centimeters.

I’ve decided that each week, I’ll include that piece of produce in my diet. Even if I’m not familiar with what it is or how to cook it. I figured that by doing this, I’ll pretty much work my way through the produce section by the time the baby is born.

Last week was avocado week. Turns out that week 17 is a turnip.

Today I picked up a few turnips at Whole Foods. I can’t tell you the last time I ate turnips, however I remember that my father liked them.   

I’ve decided to roast the turnips with carrots. They have a sharp taste, so roasting them will mellow the flavor, and the sweetness from the carrots will be a nice complement.

Roasted Turnips and Carrots

Take about 2 pounds of turnips and carrots. Peel them and remove the root tips and the rough end where the greens were attached. Dice in uniform pieces. Toss with 2 tablespoons or so of avocado or olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet or stoneware. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 30 minutes, turning once or twice. The vegetables should be somewhat browned and tender when you insert a fork. At the end of roasting, combine a mixture of thyme, oregano, and garlic powder, and sprinkle over the vegetables. Toss and bake another 5 minutes.

 

If any of you are in a bit of a rut with eating, try working your way through the produce section with me. We’ll have a good time, and my friend’s pregnancy will be quite an adventure for many of us.

Sending you love,
Carol

“I love root vegetables: carrots, parsnips, and turnips.” — Julia Child