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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

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.

 

Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Strawberry Mousse Parfait1 can full-fat coconut milk (Thai Kitchen is my favorite)
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
Stevia or honey to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or some other flavor, peppermint perhaps?)
Optional:  shredded coconut, almond butter, cinnamon

Chill the unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Scoop out the solidified cream into a mixing bowl and beat vigorously with a whisk or electric mixer until softened (it shouldn’t liquefy). Add the cocoa powder, stevia or honey, and vanilla. Continue to beat until light and fluffy. You may top the mousse with coconut, almond butter or cinnamon.

Leftovers keep well in the fridge and the concoction becomes a bit thicker and fluffier. This is great a dip for strawberries, bananas, apples.

 

April’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

I think you’ll like this month’s habit because it is REALLY EASY! In fact many of you may be doing this already, but if you aren’t, time to give it a whirl.

When you cook, make extra so you have leftovers for another meal. This is especially handy when you grill because there are no dirty dishes! Ideas: grill extra chicken to make chicken salad or add to greens; extra abstract-1239143_640steak may be sliced thin and made into a stir fry with lots of vegetables or used in fajitas; bratwurst or any type of sausage may be sliced and added to pasta with sauce or vegetables.

Soups, chili, roasts, and just about everything, will be delicious the next day for lunch or dinner. The one exception that comes to mind is fish, which is not my favorite when the next day. Salmon, the exception, is good when added to greens, but only warm it slightly so it doesn’t dry out.

Ok, I hear some of you whining that you don’t like leftovers. I understand this can be a problem when there is SO much left that you are eating it for days. There is rebellion in my home when we are still eating the same soup for 3 days. If you don’t like to eat something two days in a row, skip a day, then have it for lunch. This is a much better option than fast food or no food.
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If you get carried away and have too many leftovers, freeze them. You could also give them away to a friend or neighbor.

This is such a super habit because the biggest obstacle standing in the way between families and a good meal is planning ahead. When you decide to cook a meal, capitalize on the time it took to plan, shop and prepare it. Make this process work for you!

We grilled chicken thighs and bratwurst and ate about half. (It is hardly worth heating up the charcoal grill for four pieces of chicken or bratwurst.) Whether lunch or dinner, we are set for another meal or two, and that makes me very happy.

Oh, and if you have a “leftover” whiner, I’m sure that person would be delighted to take a turn and make dinner.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin

P.S. If you’re looking to lighten up for spring, shape up for summer, and have more energy to play outdoors, contact me today.  We can do this together!

March’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

Welcome spring and the month of gusty kite-flying days, a green Chicago River (well, brighter green than usual), and celebrating the Irish. The flower bulbs that were planted before winter are peeking through the dirt, and there are more of us taking longer walks with our dogs in early evening. It is also a month, like most months, when family gatherings tempt us to overeat.

March’s healthy lifestyle habit will help you decide when you should indulge in something decadent. The philosophy is very simple. Only eat it if it’s amazing.IMG_0287

For example, let’s say you are visiting Aunt Irene, who makes the most delicious coconut cake you have ever eaten. You know, without a doubt, that if her cake is on the dessert table, you will have to eat it. That is a perfect plan. Have a piece, really enjoy it, and savor the flavors.

My theory is that when we continually deny ourselves from having those “special treats,” we hit the wall and fall prey to an eating binge. We may find ourselves eating a dozen store bought cookies or an entire bag of chips that we don’t really enjoy, are not really even that good, and fill us with “eater’s remorse” for at least a day. Not the best plan.

The moral of the story, to reiterate: if it’s not amazing, why are you eating it? Great question. Think about it. There is no need to feel guilty about completely enjoying Aunt Irene’s coconut cake (or whoever’s whatever) when it is part of your plan. Besides, you don’t want to hurt her feelings. If she offers you more, be gracious and take a piece home for another day. Living a healthy lifestyle must be sustainable, or you won’t stick with it. This is all about the balance.

On the other side of that, if you find yourself eyeing an entire array of potluck items or a giant buffet table covered with desserts, CHOOSE WISELY. If you make a poor selection and it is not amazing, don’t IMG_0055eat it! Keep in mind that many times, food looks better than it tastes. If you are questioned about your way of eating, confidently state that you are practicing the art of not overeating for your good health. You may start a movement within your circle of friends.

To recap our 2016 healthy habits to date (from previous BLOGS if you want more info): 1) Drink your water 2) Eat slowly and stop at 80% full 3) Only eat it if it’s AMAZING!

If you are still getting another habit down, that is OK. Creating healthy habits on your timeline means they will be sustainable.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Virginia Woolf

P.S.  If you are looking for a system to help you stay healthier, lose weight and have more energycontact me today!  We will practice our habits together!