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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

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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

November 12, 2020

What to Make for Dinner When the Power Goes Out

As I was writing this, my power went out. It wasn’t just a flicker. It was a full OUTAGE in our local area. Concerned that this could linger into th

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.

Southwestern Chopped Salad

 

  • Large head of Romaine 15 oz.
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large orange bell pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen, thawed)
  • 5 green onions

Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Toss with desired dressing.

Dressing

  • 1 bunch of cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 avocado (or 1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt or Greek yogurt)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.