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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

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January 21, 2021

Getting Back on Track

Baby size at 29 weeks is a butternut squash. And, like last week’s eggplant, butternut squash is technically a fruit. Since I wouldn’t care to eat

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

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

 

When You Hate Your Bathroom Scale

Quick quiz today.

True or False: What the bathroom scale tells you is a very good indicator as to whether or not your nutrition plan is working.

You’ll be happy to know that the above statement is FALSE. Your body composition, health status, and whether or not you’re eating habits are improving are NOT totally scale dependent.

The scale may offer a bit of guidance over time as to whether or not you’re making progress. However, it is definitely not the only measure of what’s truly happening with your body.   

Other ways to know if you’re on the right track with your nutritional habits.

  • You aren’t hungry all the time. When you eat nutritionally packed foods with the right balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates for YOUR body, you feel satisfied after meals and for several hours after.
  • You have more energy. Your old ways of eating left your energy levels bouncing around like a roller coaster. Now you feel your energy staying fairly consistent throughout the day.
  • You’re sleeping better and feel more rested in the morning. When your blood sugar remains consistent due to eating fresh whole foods, your hormones are also more stable, and you get better rest.
  • Your mood is improved. Now that you’re eating more regular meals and snacks and letting go of the junk food binges, you feel happier. No more “hangry” moments! You may even attract some new friends.
  • You feel stronger and can manage challenging workouts. As your body gets the fuel it needs to perform, you’re able to increase your endurance and enjoy an easier recovery.
  • Your clothes fit looser or tighter. You can zip those jeans from last year without having to lay on your bed and hold your breath. Or, the shirt that hung on you like a tent is now filled out with toned muscle in just the right places. You even look amazing in that big sweater. (True: Muscle weighs more than fat.)
  • It has become your lifestyle and feels right for you. Unlike diets—which feel hard and restrictive—you’ve discovered how good you feel eating an abundance of delicious, nutritional foods.

Because our brains are wired for immediate satisfaction, it can be tough to stay the course over the long haul without some positive feedback. We’d much rather enjoy the chips NOW than think about the morning weigh-in, let alone extending our longevity.  

Having a variety of ways to “check in” will give you the motivation and gratification you need to keep you on your nutritional path. Even when you’d like to toss the scale out the back door.

Looking for someone to celebrate your success or encourage you through a challenge? I’m your girl! Email me and we’ll schedule a call to do just that.

Your biggest cheerleader,
Carol

“The bathroom scale knows nothing of extenuating circumstances.”—Mason Cooley

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 seasons change, I notice a slight increase in my potato, pasta, and bread consumption. (Gluten free and equally as satisfying.)

I feel like a bear storing up for a long winter’s nap. Some mornings I feel as though the hibernation process is already in progress.

And it’s only October.

A week or so ago, I took a self-care morning. It was very refreshing.   

I decided to indulge my intuitive voice—the one that is often overridden by the dutiful voice.

“What is it I need TODAY to promote good health and happiness?”

In response to this question, I stayed in bed longer than usual and skipped my morning workout. I then proceeded to make waffles from scratch for Mr. Non-Compliant and myself.

It was wonderful.

Sometimes it’s good to listen to that voice that tells you to step back, break a self-imposed rule, and take some time to get off the hamster wheel of life.

Sometimes you just have to eat waffles. (Not the frozen variety either.)

Your method of self-care may look much different than mine, however the result is that you experience great joy in the moment.

Stepping back for an hour, a morning, or a day, has the potential to change your attitude and offer you a fresh outlook on current situations. You will probably find that when you get back into your routine, you are more focused and more productive.

My waffle morning was a mini-retreat and I didn’t even have to leave my home.

As for the carb cravings, the situation is not out of control. It is my “normal” for now. This too shall pass.

One really chilly day, I baked some potatoes so that I could use the oven. It was a win-win, since I wasn’t quite ready to turn on the furnace.

Meal prep is in transition mode. I’m pulling out the crock and instant pots, turning on the oven more, and picking the last of my garden tomatoes. So long tomato pie… 🙁

New adventures in eating are possible with fall produce in abundance. It’s time to roast winter squash, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Make extra so you have leftovers for snacks or another meal.  

If you’re craving a few more carbs these days, take comfort in knowing you are not alone. This girl is right there with you.

FUN OFFER: What are you craving these days? Send me an email and share your out-of-control cravings and I’ll gift you with a 50-minute coaching call to help you come up with a way to manage them.

Peace, potatoes, and pumpkins,
Carol

“People who love to eat are always the best people.”—Julia Child

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’ve ever had a disturbing experience involving food and gastric upset, then you are no stranger to food trauma. This can show up in a variety of ways and have different causes. Food trauma, in my case, involved Cream of Wheat when I was about 5 years old.

Cream of Wheat was a breakfast staple in our house, especially in winter. My mother would brown butter and pour it over the top so it fell around the sides of the bowl, enveloping the steamy farina. The idea was to swirl a bite of cereal around in the butter before eating, and have a delightful breakfast experience. I was usually fine with it, unless I came across a lump of uncooked cereal that hid beneath the surface. The taste of that made me gag. On this particular day I wasn’t feeling well and told my mother that if she made me eat the cereal I would throw up. She must have thought I was faking it, since she made me eat it anyway. Being an honest child, I kept my word. To this day, I will not eat Cream of Wheat. Interestingly, I still really like butter.  

What was not a favorite food to begin with, got the boot when it pushed me over the edge. I was already sick and that did me in. It’s not really the cereal’s fault, however, the association is one that I don’t care to try and overcome.

My husband feels the same way about chipped beef. As a youngster, he ate so much of it on an occasion of extreme hunger that it came back up. In all our years together, he has never requested chipped beef for dinner. My father felt the same way because he was served way too much of it in the Army.

In my sampling of those I surveyed about food trauma, most of the people that had this experience as a youngster had no desire to try to overcome their adversity to the food. Ever.

Some of the food trauma stories from my group: food poisoning from seafood salad; Red Hawaiian Punch thrown up in front of entire kindergarten class; too much cheesecake at a party with resulting tummy trouble and pain; chicken, after chomping on a tendon or something in a chicken breast that caused violent gagging to the point of sore abdominal muscles; those perfect little ham cubes thrown up all over the desk in fifth grade.

Other foods of trauma, with no particular story: guacamole, tomato sauce, pasta salad, spaghetti, peanut butter, coconut, kale, hard boiled eggs, fruitcake, and green peas. Oh, and tequila was mentioned numerous times, even though it’s not technically a food.  

There are also the stories resulting from pregnancy and the foods that came up, so to speak. Pregnancy presents a different category of “trauma” altogether. A few of the foods that are on the permanent unwanted list include: lamb, ice cream (bummer), and oregano.

There are some instances when after getting sick on a favorite food, the person was able to overcome adversity and return to a happy relationship. One individual had the flu and chocolate was the innocent victim. It took time, and I’m happy to report that they now get along great again.

Extinction is a process that can help those individuals who have had a negative experience with food, remove the stress it causes. By repeatedly trying the food over time, the stress associated with it will eventually diminish or become extinct. In other words, after trying the food and not getting sick, the fear of it causing gastric upset goes away. This is probably how the chocolate relationship was repaired.

It seems as though the really intense, negative reactions with food happened when these people were children. The memories associated with food involve all our senses and are the strongest of associative memories. Basic survival tactics also come into play, which is why when you get food poisoning, your body says “No,” to eating that particular food, ingredient, or visiting that particular restaurant again. This is what is known as conditioned taste aversion.   

On the flip side, these same powerful associations help us remember the good times we had at grandma’s house, enjoying her apple pie. The power of food memories, along with where we were, the people we were with, and the occasion, create nostalgia. This explains why we tend to make the same traditional foods for holidays.

If there is a food you’ve had trauma with, odds are good that you’re fine never eating it again. If there’s a food you once loved that you are struggling with, give the extinction process a try. You may fall in love all over again. As for tequila, it managed to make a successful comeback for all the folks in my survey group. Cheers.