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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

1020 Woodhollow Drive, Schererville, IN

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October 17, 2019

A Story with Heart

When considering our health, so many times we think about starting better habits on Monday, or after a big celebration, or at the beginning of a new y

October 10, 2019

Ever Get Mad at…You?

I recently saw a post from a wonderful lady we’ll call Ann. (This is not her real name, so you can insert any name you prefer to use here. Maybe you

October 2, 2019

Managing Inherited Behaviors

Ice cream is still my favorite food. It has been my favorite food my entire life, as far back as I can recall. I firmly believe that my fondness for i

September 29, 2019

Fresh fruits and veggies, fish, good fats make healthy eating delicious

(The following article first appeared in the February 14, 2018 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times. Online version) T

September 26, 2019

Applause for Your Consistency

Today, I acknowledge and applaud you for your commitment to consistency. Whether you consistently make a conscious effort to consume more vegetables f

September 19, 2019

No Time? Quick Meal Ideas

No time. Can you relate? I’ve been feeling the crunch of more scheduled evening events—and I no longer have kids going back to school! As I sat lo

September 12, 2019

The Biggest Nutritional Challenge

When it comes to losing weight and improving nutrition, what is the #1 challenge? Go ahead, take a guess. If your answer is, “I don’t know what I

September 5, 2019

Mr. Non-Compliant Ate Gross Greens

Miracles do happen and life is full of surprises. If your loved one is not keen on eating as healthy as you’d like, keep the faith. I offer you a st

August 28, 2019

The Other 84% of Health

In last week’s blog, I mentioned water intake, slower eating, and increased movement. Did you pick up on the fact that I never suggested WHAT to eat

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

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 we get on the grill so I don’t have to use the stove? Now, mind you, we have been using a small, portable grill, so this is quite a challenge.

You’ve already been given my recipe on making ANY kind of vegetable, potatoes, or combination: drizzle olive or avocado oil on a piece of foil large enough to wrap your veggies; sprinkle with the seasoning of your choice (love that Tajin!) and a pat of butter if you wish; close the foil, grill, and eat.  

Turns out, you can reheat rice, pasta, and pretty much anything, by oiling the foil, wrapping up the food, and tossing it on the grill. Make double batches initially to save time and dishes.

Our most adventurous experiment: grilled meatloaf. I wrapped it in foil and Mr. NC used a meat thermometer to determine when it was done. The bottom got a bit burned because of the very direct heat…it was still very good. We scraped off the REALLY burned parts, which was no big deal. Leftover meatloaf makes for tasty (cold) meatloaf sandwiches.

Fresh trout (no bones or skin) was cooked in a “pan” made of foil so the juices would not run onto the grates. As soon as the fish lost its pink color, it came off the heat. Overdone fish is not good.

We were very pleased with our grilled crispy chicken. I tossed boneless, skinless, breasts in seasoned brown rice flour and placed on the oiled foil pan, like the fish. The “crispy” was lightly brown and the chicken was tender. Again, the thermometer is your best friend, and will promote your grilling level to that of excellence. Leftovers were perfect in a romaine lettuce salad with a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil and Lawry’s Seasoned Salt.

In the past month, we’ve also cooked Tomahawk pork chops, hamburgers, pork burgers, bratwurst, and steak. Add a vegetable or salad, perhaps some kind of potato, and you’re set. My vegetarian friends have more room on the grill for vegetables.  

Have fun trying something new and see what happens. You may find that this food thing is much easier than you’ve been imagining.

Cheers to summertime fun!
Carol

“Food cooked on the grill is amazing and easily compliant, even though that’s not my first concern.”— Mr. Non-Compliant

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 year, that special day happens to be July 21st.

In case you are a newcomer to my blog, I LOVE ice cream. It is my favorite food group.

I was raised on ice cream. Childhood memories of my mother making a rich and delicious cream concoction that my father would freeze into an amazing treat are vivid.  

The variety of flavors they made: vanilla, peach, banana, and strawberry. Much to my dismay, chocolate was never even in the running, since I was the only one who voted for it. Gratefully, we had chocolate syrup, which I generously poured over everything.

We often invited friends over on summer Sunday afternoons to share in our treat. As an only child, this was awesome!

I like to tell this story because many of you have a food, or habit around food, that you equate with a happy time in your life.

When that particular food causes you harm (allergy, sensitivity, etc.), it’s wise to find a substitute that your body tolerates –and still allows you to have that great food/memory connection.

If your favorite food is not conducive to achieving your health goals, perhaps some modifications are in order.

There was a time in my life when I ate ice cream almost daily—sometimes right out of the carton. It was my “habit” to eat it in the evening before bedtime.

Sometimes, I still do. I’ve modified my ice cream intake and no longer eat it everyday. There are numerous reasons why consuming my favorite treat before bed is not the best. AND, what kind of example would I be setting?

This is a stunt I’d expect from Mr. Non-Compliant. Yep, he likes ice cream too. (and donuts, M&M’s, cookies and milk…)

My favorite take-home brand is Breyers, since the basic flavors contain only real ingredients like milk, cream, vanilla, sugar, chocolate, strawberries. I can pronounce all the words and I know what they are.

My favorite flavors: combo chocolate and vanilla, Neapolitan, and chocolate. I typically don’t use syrup. There are other ice creams that are lower in fat, sugar, calories…not interested.  

Rest assured that Health Coach Carol, along with Mr. Non-Compliant, will be enjoying ice cream this Sunday. I may try a new flavor, and/or even have two scoops.

We have to be real. We have to find a point of moderation that works. Permission granted to celebrate with me—and only if it’s AMAZING!

Cheers to July,
Carol

P.S. If your favorite food habits seem to be in conflict with your health goals, I’ve got a simple system that works. A complimentary coaching session is yours for the asking! Email me today and we’ll set up a call.

“Keep Calm and Eat Ice Cream”

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 be bored with your food.
Today, I’m giving you the scoop, and a simple recipe, for bok choy. Bok choy, also called Chinese cabbage or pak choi, is a member of the Brassica cabbage family. It is high in folate, calcium, vitamin B6, and fiber. For those of you who are keeping carbohydrate intake low, this vegetable is a winner.
The flavor is very mild, and it may be added to soups, stews, or stir-frys. I sautéed it for a side dish. 
When shopping for bok choy, look for vibrant green at the ends (similar to spinach), and firm stems. Wash it just before cooking. Trim away the bottom, similar to the way you would clean a bunch of celery. Separate the individual stalks, and wash away any mud that is hiding.
Cut the bok choy (or baby bok choy), into similar size pieces. If you have the baby version, you may simply want to cut it in halves or quarters.
Sautéed Bok Choy
Heat oil (I like avocado oil for higher heat sautéing) and add a couple cloves of fresh garlic, minced or pressed. Cook briefly, until fragrant, being careful not to burn it. (I often burn it…)
Mix in the bok choy and stir. Cook until the leaves are bright green and the stalks are     
slightly translucent, about 4-5 minutes, or to your desired tenderness. (This vegetable cooks down, like spinach.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, or your favorite seasonings. I love Tajin  Clasico Seasoning. It has a slight kick to it, thanks to the chili peppers and lime. I’ve been using this on all my vegetables lately, and they are a big hit—even with Mr. Non-Compliant.
Have fun trying something new this week! If you end up with a vegetable you aren’t sure how to prepare, let me know and I’ll help.
Bon appetit!
Health Coach Carol
P.S. If you’d like to simply look and feel AMAZING, I’ve got a simple system that works. A complimentary coaching session is yours for the asking! Email me today and we’ll set up a call.
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”–Ruth Reichl 

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 light…

…Light from more hours of sunshine; light in the weight of our clothing; light in which to sit and be still; light eating to nourish and not overburden.  

Here a few ideas to help you enjoy meals that get you out of the kitchen fast AND keep you feeling your best!

  • Hard boil a carton of eggs to keep on hand. These are great as a grab-&-go breakfast or snack, egg salad, or added to greens. If you have an Instant Pot, use it to cook your eggs. 5 minutes to hard cook them, 5 minutes of natural release, and 5 minutes immersed in ice water. Peel all of the eggs immediately and refrigerate in an airtight container. EASY! No Instant Pot? Well, use older eggs and once hard cooked, immerse in an ice water bath for about 30 minutes and peel. I wish you luck with the peeling part…
  • When you grill, make extra. Leftover steak is wonderful sliced thin and gently reheated to make fajitas, tacos or added to greens. Same goes for chicken. This is a great idea for any picnic leftovers as well, as long as they weren’t out in the heat.
  • Sauté instead of roast so you don’t heat up the kitchen. This method of cooking is also much faster. Green beans, peppers, summer squash, broccoli, asparagus, etc. sautéed in extra virgin olive oil (lower heat) or avocado oil if you like to crank up the temperature.
  • Grill vegetables. Grab a piece of foil large enough to wrap your vegetable(s) of choice. Oil the foil and add your cut vegetables, onions, whatever. Season with salt and pepper or Tajin (seasoning with a hint of lime and a kick). Drizzle with more olive oil and add a pat of butter, if desired. Wrap in another layer of foil and toss on the grill. Vegetables are fantastic this way, so make lots!
  • Any type of “burger” is fast, easy and tastes great with those veggies: ground beef, chicken, turkey or pork. Season with your favorites–Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, onion and garlic powder work for me. The Beyond Meat plant-based burger is another tasty and quick alternative. (I’m practicing the art of consuming less animal protein on some days.)
  • Cold salads: mix canned tuna packed in olive oil with a bit of chopped celery, salt, pepper and lemon juice over avocado and greens; pasta (or quinoa) of your choosing tossed with chopped sweet peppers and raw broccoli or even (ick) cauliflower, any of those leftover meats you grilled, and toss with olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings of your choosing. These can be made ahead in the morning, chilled, and no dinnertime cooking is necessary.

Now is the time to find fresh anything at the local farmer’s market and make up a concoction with what you have on hand. Keep in mind that if you don’t know what to do with some food, serve it on a bed of fresh greens, splash with some olive oil and lemon juice, and you’ll probably be just fine.

Relax, enjoy, and remember to drink your water.  

Happy 4th to you,
Carol

P.S. If you’re feeling heavy and burdened and are struggling with creating a happy and healthy you, I’m here to help. A complimentary coaching session is yours for the asking! Email me today and we’ll set up a call.

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”—Charles Bowden