1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

1020 Woodhollow Drive, Schererville, IN

Top
August 21, 2019

Back to School, Back to Basics

When we break it down, practicing healthy habits is rather elementary. It can also seem rather complicated. Since school is back in session, I figured

August 15, 2019

The All or None Syndrome

Ever experience Pause Button Mentality? Perhaps during the holidays, your birthday, after vacation, when work gets crazy, or kids go back to school? H

August 8, 2019

Lessons from Nature, and Grounding

We must be moving into fall, as school supplies are in the sale ads. Didn’t summer vacation just get rolling? As I look around, I see many of my lil

August 1, 2019

Creative, Easy, Grilling Ideas

Summer is for taking it easy, and that includes mealtime. Lately, Mr. Non-Compliant and I have been playing with food. Our latest game: How much can w

July 18, 2019

Happy National Ice Cream Month

The year was 1984. President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. This ye

July 11, 2019

How to Bok Choy

Summer is adventure time. With the abundance of various fruits and vegetables available at grocery stores and farmers markets, there is no reason to b

July 4, 2019

Relax and Enjoy

Welcome to the dog days of summer and simple eating. Unlike winter, when those crock pot soups and stews hit the spot, we are now in the season of lig

June 27, 2019

Atomic Habits

My current summer (now that it’s official!) read is “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. I’m working on improving a few of mine—slowly—one at a

June 13, 2019

Ten of My Best Tips

Q. What to blog about when I have too many ideas flying around my brain and I simply am not able to choose? A. Tips that cover a variety of topics, wi

June 6, 2019

The Joys of June…and Strawberries

Along with June come some fun celebrations. Besides the new season of life celebrated by many graduates (and parents, now free of tuition payments), a

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.