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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

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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

‘Tis the Season for the Crock-Pot (falalalala,lalalala)

So much to do, so little time. As daylight hours diminish and our “To Do” lists expand, the idea of cooking dinner may seem a bit daunting. With a bit of planning, the good old crock-pot can save the day. Some of you may now refer to this appliance as a slow cooker. It works in the same manner, but term usage could possibly indicate your age bracket. Speak carefully…

I recall getting my very first Rival crock-pot as a wedding gift. Since that was back in the early 80’s, the common crock did not come out of the base. Clean up was tough, since it is not a good idea to get the electrical cord in the dishwater. Thank goodness for technology, since I now have a larger model that: 1) holds more food and 2) has a removable crock for easy cleaning. Yes, I am truly spoiled.

This is the time of year when I tend to use this appliance more frequently. What could be more welcoming than coming home on a cold day to some hot soup that smells and tastes great? Ok, maybe a happy greeting from the family dog.

Here are a couple of ideas to try. If possible, make extra so you have dinner for another day and/or some lunches. If you are cooking for one, freeze in individual serving sizes and you will save yourself some work in the days and weeks ahead.     chicken-1001751_640Chicken:
*Take a 3-4 pound roasting chicken, remove any inside parts; rinse and pat dry.
*Sprinkle with salt, pepper and your favorite flavors such as garlic powder, paprika (adds color), poultry seasoning; or rosemary and thyme.
*Place in the crock-pot or slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours (or High for 4 hours).

I have done this without adding any liquid and it comes out fine; or you could add ½ cup of water or chicken broth, especially if you are planning to cook the chicken on High. (so it doesn’t stick to the pot)

For a more complete meal, put the following vegetables on the bottom of the pot and then add the chicken with seasonings:
*3 carrots, sliced
*2 onions, sliced
*2-3 potatoes or sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
Add ½ cup of water or chicken broth. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours (or High for 4 hours).
The vegetables should be tender and the chicken should easily fall off the bone.

Check out my Recipe page for another crock-pot meal!

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” -J.R.R. Tolkien

P.S. Don’t make another New Year’s resolution that will go by the wayside after a month or two.  If you are looking for a system to help you stay healthier, lose weight and have more energy as we move into the new year, contact me today!

Beef Vegetable Soup (Crock-Pot)

You will need:             frog-929341_640
32 oz. organic beef broth/stock
2 small onions, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1-14½ oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt (optional)
2 cups frozen green beans
12 oz. package frozen soup mix vegetables
1/4 cup quinoa
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained

At the end of cooking time:
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup flour (use brown rice flour or gluten-free flour blend if you avoid gluten)  

Directions:
Put all ingredients in the crock-pot, except the butter and flour. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours (High for 4 to 5 hours).

One hour before serving, make a roux by melting the ¼ cup butter in a small saucepan, then stirring in the ¼ cup flour, until smooth. Add this mixture to the soup and stir. Cook the soup on High until it thickens a bit.

For variety you could:
*Substitute ground turkey or ground chicken for the beef (and use chicken broth in place of beef. I have never done this, but why not?) Or, finely diced chuck roast, browned.
*Add different vegetables

Hints:
*I usually double this recipe so I have plenty of leftovers
*Brown your ground beef (or ground turkey or chicken) ahead of time and freeze so you can put this together quickly on another day.
*No time to chop vegetables? No problem. Use a couple bags of frozen soup mix or other vegetables you like. It will be tastier than any soup that comes out of a can or box.

Choose Now

An announcement was made at my gym the other day that as of January 1, 2016 thru the end of March, no one would be allowed to come late to class. The reason for this is that the classes are quite crowded for those three months and it is not safe to have people walking around lots of moving bodies. That makes sense to me. Then I wondered about the other nine months of the year. Where do those people go?

AHA moment! The New Year’s resolutions wear off and people go back to their all-too-familiar habit of being too busy to go to the gym. I will give some folks the benefit of the doubt that the weather gets nicer come April so they are more apt to walk, run or bike outdoors. What are your thoughts? Has this ever been you?

In my pharmacy practice, I was often asked to recommend a diet aid. Naturally, I began asking questions about that person’s lifestyle and usually came to the conclusion that the best diet aid was none at all. Long-lasting results come from changing habits and lifestyle. Practice, practice, practice leads to a healthier you.

I challenge you to begin now to make subtle changes that you can sustain through December into 2016. Now is the time to think differently about your health and wellness. Why spend another month being upset about the way you are taking care (or not) of yourself?

What ONE thing can you do differently to feel better today? Drink more water? Let go of the sweets? Honor your workout schedule?

I will be giving some tips on my “Inkwell Healthy Lifestyles” Facebook page. Please “Like” it so you don’t miss out on an idea that could change the way you feel and look, come January 1. Oh, and don’t be late for class.

“If you truly want to change your life, you must first be willing to change your mind.” Donald Altman

running-shoes-323457_640

P.S. If you’re tired of the holiday weight gain and dread November thru December year after year, let’s hop on the phone and I’ll share some ideas with you so you can thoroughly enjoy the abundance without it showing up on the scale.  Contact me today!  Now is your time!

I can’t wait to speak with you and take you from dreading this festive time of year to truly cherishing and appreciating it again.

Oatmeal Bake

Here is a breakfast dish that can be prepared the night before and baked in the morning, making it a simple weekday treat.  I cut back on the sweetener, so if it’s not quite to your liking, drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the top once it’s baked.  Serving it with berries or another fruit will add sweetness without overpowering the oats.  Alternatives are given to make this dairy and gluten-free.

Oatmeal Bake
1/3 cup melted butter or Soy Free Earth Balance
2 large eggs
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 ½ teaspoons baking powderfile711336976676
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons milk or reconstituted goat milk
3 cups gluten-free oatmeal            

Grease 1 ½ quart baking dish. Drop eggs in and whisk until well beaten.

Add maple syrup, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and whisk until there are no lumps. (This may take a minute or two, but keep whisking.)

Whisk in melted butter and milk. Stir in oatmeal and mix well.

Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until set in the middle.  (If you need to bake it immediately, that will work fine too.)

Serve warm with sliced strawberries or fruit of choice.