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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

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

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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 19th. Hmmm, wonder how we should best celebrate?

I was raised in a family that cherished 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 flavors were vanilla, peach, banana or 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 plenty of chocolate syrup on hand, which I generously poured over everything.IMG_20150612_002352 Today, as your wellness coach and healthy lifestyle advocate, I will celebrate National Ice Cream Day by enjoying a scoop– ok, two–of my beloved childhood treat. Life is about the balance. Permission granted to celebrate with me.

“Keep Calm and Eat Ice Cream”

 

About Those Carbohydrates…aka “Carbs”

How much is too much? Are there “good” carbs and “bad” carbs? What is a carb anyway?

Carbohydrates–foods that contain sugars, starches and fibers–are sometimes not considered to be our friends. Truth of the matter is this: we need some carbohydrates in our diet to help supply energy and provide enough food (glucose) to the brain. The number of grams of carbohydrates we need in a day will vary depending on our size, metabolism, activity level and lots of other parameters. The problem seems to be that most Americans consume way too many refined, low fiber, processed carbohydrates. Too much of anything can cause trouble, especially when it comes to maintaining good health. 01396

 

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has suggested 130 grams per day as the minimum, but again, that number will not work for every body. To measure the amount of  carbohydrates you should eat with most of your meals, cup your hand. Women should eat one cupped-hand size portion and men should eat two.  This is for the carbohydrate-dense foods, such as grains, fruits, starches, and figuring you may eat four times a day.  A good starting point for most people.  Pretty simple!

Calories? They are not created equal. And, they are not fun to count. I know. After my freshman year in college, I spent the summer counting them to lose 25 pounds. One-hundred calories of a spinach, strawberry salad will provide lots more nutrients than one-hundred calories of cookies.

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The best carbs to eat are these: vegetables, fruits, and whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, whole oats (not the oats in little packages with loads of sugar), legumes. Examples of the “bad” or refined carbs and those you should do your best to minimize are: store-bought breads (white or wheat), white rice, white pastas, cereals, cookies, etc. and foods with added sugars. It is the refined carbs that contribute to Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, weight gain, and the list goes on.

Is it possible to lose weight by cutting carbs? Yes, especially when the carbs we eliminate are the breads, cookies, cereals, candy…you get the idea…and you replace them with extra vegetables, fruit and lean protein.  Oh, and check out my prior post on making some very tasty vegetables!

“Eat your vegetables!” Mom

Vegetables with Taste

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We need to eat more vegetables, but it can be a challenge if they are mushy and have no flavor. I remember having a major dislike of green beans as a child. (Interesting that my youngest son claimed green beans to be “my worst enemy” when he was growing up. Could it be an inherited trait?) Thankfully, we both outgrew it!

I now enjoy most vegetables, especially when they are roasted. This is so simple and will work for any single or combination of vegetables you like.

For example, take a bunch of asparagus. Wash and snap off the ends just above the point where the asparagus bends like rubber. Toss the spears in a tablespoonful or two of extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt or your favorite seasonings to taste. Place in a single layer on a stone bar pan or your favorite roasting pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes, tossing half way through. The time may vary depending on how crisp you like your vegetables. I like mine to be a bit on the brown and crispy side.

If you roast a variety of vegetables, do your best to cut them into pieces of similar size, so they cook evenly. Instead of olive oil, another option is to melt some coconut oil in your pan (unless it’s summer and the oil is already a liquid), then add the vegetables and toss to coat.

Have fun trying “new to you” or seasonal vegetables. You might be surprised how tasty they are! I roasted Brussels sprouts (one of my husband’s least favorite things) and they disappeared. He even went back for seconds, claiming that they were “ok.” Moral of this story: make enough so you have some for lunch or snacks the next day

Live well,
Carol

What vegetable did Noah not take on the ark? Leeks

Celebrating the Birth Month

I love birthdays! It matters not which one I happen to be celebrating, as they are all a gift.  As each year passes, I find that I treasure each one more than the last, hence my “birth month” celebrations. That and the fact that many people love to send birthday wishes and feel bad when they miss the day. No worries when you have a month…unless the month is February.

As a quick review, the majority of months have either 30 or 31 days. For whatever reason, February got the short straw, with 28 days–29 on a good year. (And don’t we feel really sad for those folks born on February 29th?) Doesn’t it figure I showed up in the midst of winter and in the shortest calendar month?

When I turned 50, my family and friends surprised me with a party during my birth month but after my birthday. On the wall was a HUGE sign that read “Happy Birth Month, Carol!” What fun! Others had finally accepted my philosophy in writing.

The question was posed as to when I began my month-long celebration, since February is a few days short. Is it 31 days prior to, or following my day? To which I replied, “Yes.”

Next time you have a birthday, give the birth month celebration a try. Let me know what you think and if you would do it again. You always have the option of going back to the one-day deal. As for me, I am now lobbying for the birth year…

“God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”  Voltaire