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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

1020 Woodhollow Drive, Schererville, IN

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April 19, 2019

Frittata in a Mug

Serves 1 ½ cup packed fresh baby spinach leaves 2 Tablespoons water 2 large eggs 2 Tablespoons cottage cheese ¼ cup grated cheese 4 grape or cherry

April 18, 2019

Celebrate New Life

About two decades or so ago, a construction worker appeared at my pharmacy consultation window looking for advice. He needed help falling asleep, and

April 11, 2019

Good Snacks

As I mentioned last week, I had to put together some serious snacks to get me through a busy weekend. I was highly successful! Here’s what I packed

April 4, 2019

Cauliflower, Commitment, and Courage

As many of you know, I am not a cauliflower fan, even though I’m fond of most other vegetables. I’ve been challenged by lots of you on various wa

March 28, 2019

What Lights You Up?

In the course of your day, what makes you happy, brings up your energy, and makes you feel truly alive? What lights you up? Did a number of things com

March 21, 2019

To Instant Pot…or Not

I recently took the plunge and bought The Instant Pot. I’m not what I would consider a gadget junkie, however when I learned the ease with which I c

March 7, 2019

The Power of Food

Is there a particular food(s) that has power over you? For some people, if there is a bag of chips, cookies, chocolate—you get the idea—in the hou

February 28, 2019

What Are You Grateful For?

I walked past a couple people recently and overheard a comment that went something like this: “There’s got to be more to life than getting old and

February 21, 2019

What Are You Committed To?

Commitment: the trait of sincere and steadfast fixity of purpose. Today, I’d like you to consider what you are committed to that is all about you.

Quick and Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour*                                                        Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ cup virgin coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine almond flour, salt and baking soda in a large bowl, using a pastry blender to break up any clumps of flour. Stir in melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla with a large spoon until dough forms. Stir in the chocolate chips. If the dough seems dry and crumbly, add more honey, a little at a time, until it is moist enough to stick together. (You may need an additional 1-2 Tbsp. depending on the humidity.)

Drop by teaspoonful or small cookie scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently press the dough flat if you like. (I left them round and they were delicious!)

Bake at 350 degrees F for 6 to 8 minutes, until slightly brown. Be careful not to overbake. Leave them alone to set and cool for about 15 minutes so they don’t crumble and break. Makes about 24 cookie bites.

These are gluten-free, dairy free (if you use non-dairy chocolate chips) and vegan. I store them in the freezer to keep them fresh, and the texture resembles raw cookie dough! (They may even last a bit longer since they are “hiding” in the cold.) 🙂

*Benefits of using almond flour: lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein, fiber and healthy fat than some other flour options. With the combination of almond, coconut oil and chocolate, it reminds me of an Almond Joy– only healthier!

Another version of this recipe appeared in the February 2018 issue of Get Healthy

May’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

Let’s Talk About Breakfast

People say it’s the most important meal of the day. In my humble opinion, they are ALL important! I do believe that breakfast is the most abused meal. By this I mean that we Americans make the poorest choices at that time of day. (Could it be because we don’t get enough sleep? Hmmmm?)

We probably eat more foods that give us the least amount of nutritional value for breakfast than any other time of day. Consider: bagels, donuts, coffee cake, toast with jelly, pancakes with syrup, orange juice (it’s loaded with sugar), Pop Tarts, cold cereal.donuts-844023_640Wow! No wonder so many folks “crash” and need a coffee fix around ten!

These aren’t necessarily “bad” foods. They simply result in not-so-healthy outcomes.

As we replace those typical options with:

  • Protein rich foods such as eggs, leftover meats from dinner, protein shakes
  • Whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, millet
  • REAL food that is unprocessed and low in sugar
  • Vegetables, fruit (instead of juice) and nuts 

We may gradually experience:

  • Increased energy
  • Balanced blood sugar
  • Less depression and better moods
  • Lower cholesterolfoodiesfeed.com_paleo-breakfast3
  • Less body fat
  • Improved muscle retention and strength
  • Healthier eating the remainder of the day

As I was saying, those typical options are not “bad,” if you don’t mind feeling rather grumpy and lethargic for half the day! 🙂  There are other reasons too—reverse the potential positives that occur with better eating, (i.e. poor energy, spiking blood sugar, depression, etc.), and meditate on those answers awhile. It’s not pretty.

May’s habit is to practice eating more nutrient rich foods for breakfast—especially protein.

Men need protein equivalent to about two palm-sized portions (30-40grams) each meal. Women need one palm-sized portion (20-30grams) each meal.

Many of you know that I enjoy pancakes. On those occasions when I eat them, I make sure I have eggs too. The eggs help fill me up so I eat fewer pancakes. I am less apt to “crash” later in the morning. Syrup is not necessary because I add blueberries or strawberries to them while they cook. This adds natural sweetness. By adding the eggs (protein), consuming fewer pancakes without syrup (lower carbs and sugars), I experience less of a sugar rush. See how this works? I have my pancakes and still keep my cheery, high-energy disposition!

Remember, this isn’t something that will happen naturally, if toast and coffee have been foodiesfeed.com_healthy-homemade-baguette2your “go to” for the last twenty years. Be patient. Start small. Set an achievable goal like adding an egg to your morning. Baby steps lead to lasting results!

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”
A.A. Milne

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

(Resource: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-breakfast)

Gourmet Made Simple

How could you not love a meal that is simple and AMAZING? Many people overlook the light and delicious flavor of fish…perfect for the warm and lazy days of summer. There are some great benefits to including wild caught varieties in our diet. The thought of making it in the comfort of your own home can be intimidating for a variety of reasons:

  • It smells bad or ‘too fishy.’                 market-897990_640
  • How should I cook it?
  • When is it done?
  • How do I know if it’s fresh?
  • I don’t know what kind to buy.

We recently had a fish dinner that was outstanding! I picked up about a pound of fresh Alaskan Halibut steaks at Whole Foods when they were on sale. I can’t recall if I have ever bought this type of fish before, but I decided to be adventurous. Since I only needed two pieces of halibut, it wasn’t a huge investment, even if things went really, really bad.

I marinated the fish for about 45 minutes in equal parts (about ¼ cup) olive oil and white wine, juice of one lemon, rosemary, salt and pepper. There are a variety of marinade recipes floating around for halibut. Since it is a mild fish, I chose a marinade that has subtle flavors, so it wouldn’t be overpowering.lemon-972941_640

While the halibut was marinating, some Golden Yukons were baking over the charcoal. Next we added a bunch of fresh asparagus that had I tossed with olive oil, directly onto the grate. (Careful not to lose them in between!) When the spears were tender and a little crispy, some coarse sea salt was sprinkled over them.

The fish was also cooked directly over the coals. (We brushed a bit of olive oil on the grate first so it wouldn’t stick.) Since halibut is a thicker type of fish, it was not necessary to put it in a foil pan. Each side was on the grill about 4 minutes and it was perfect! It is always better to undercook than overcook fish. Overcooked fish is BAD. It should easily flake, but not to the point of dryness.

The dinner was 5-star restaurant caliber for about $10 per person.stars-720213_640

Here is my challenge to those of you who feel a bit nervous about cooking fish: Give it a try. If you aren’t sure what or how much to buy, ask the person working in the fish department. Those people are trained to help you figure this out. They can help you select the freshest (Fish that is fresh is not stinky!) and tell you how to season and cook it too.

If you are at a loss and need a bit more encouragement, send me an email and I will be glad to help you! contact me

Chicken Salad & Creamy Avocado Dressing

Chicken Salad

  • Chicken breast meat from a rotisserie chicken (skin removed) cut into small pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 apple, gala or other sweet variety, chopped
  • 2 handfuls of seedless (red) grapes, halved
  • Chopped raw pecans

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Add dressing and stir to coat well. Serve on a bed of greens or in a lettuce wrap.Chicken Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Other ideas:

  • Use canned chicken or chicken leftovers from another meal
  • Canned tuna may be substituted for chicken
  • Omit the apples and grapes and add onions
  • Add whatever you would like and see what happens-dried cranberries, cherries, almonds, walnuts

Creamy Avocado Dressing

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Combine ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add to chicken or tuna salad. If dressing is not creamy enough, add a bit more olive oil to make it the right consistency.

This dressing is versatile and could be used on greens or as a vegetable dip.