1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

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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

Vegetables for Lazy Days

There are days, many of them lately, when I’m happy to prepare a meal, yet I am not in the mood to peel and chop a batch of vegetables to sauté, roast or grill. It feels like WAY too much work.

And yet, I know that eating lots of them is a really good idea. Vegetables are very plentiful and extra delicious right now.

So, I’m working on a repertoire of vegetables that I can have on hand for times like these. We have fall and winter months to spend more time chopping for soups, stews and roasting. These days, I’d rather be enjoying the outdoors.

Here are a few of my summertime veggie favorites, designed to keep you healthy and enjoying whatever it is you’d rather be doing.   

Spinach

I love the versatility of spinach and have discovered that I must never be without it. Toss with other varieties of greens in a salad; spinach salad with strawberries, goat cheese (or your favorite), pecans, and balsamic; sauté in avocado oil and generous amounts of garlic. Ready in 5 minutes or less; toss in your smoothies, omelets and scrambles.

Tomatoes

These will be showing up in massive quantities soon. I’m ready! Simply slice them to accompany any meal; make caprese salad; lightly sauté halved cherry tomatoes in a bit of butter and your favorite seasonings; tomato sandwich; tomato toast with chives and sesame seeds; cucumber Greek salad.

Sweet Bell Peppers

My favorites are red, orange, and yellow, as they are ripe and sweeter than the green ones. Slice and add to salads; add to stir fries and eggs; stuff them and bake or put in the crock pot; great raw on their own.

Salad Greens

I keep a big box of mixed spring greens on hand most of the time. Salads are quick, delicious, and lots of other vegetables can be added without much effort. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It’s easy to get 2 to 3 servings of vegetables into your day with one swift swoop. When I use prepared dressing, I like Primal Kitchen brand for the simple ingredients.

As I mentioned last week, it’s time to bake a cake—from scratch! There’s still space for you to join me this afternoon. Let me know and I’ll send you the special Zoom link. Remember, you can make any kind of cake you like!   

Here’s your invitation:

WHAT: The Amazing Cake Bake with Health Coach Carol

WHERE: ZOOM, so you’re in your own kitchen, and we’re together

WHEN: Thursday, July 23, 2020 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm

HOW: You gather the ingredients you need to make whatever cake you desire, and we all make cake

WHY: Creating a cake from scratch is an act of love, and the world could use more love

COST: FREE

While the cakes are baking, I’ll be coaching you on a variety of health tips. We learn from one another and share lots of laughs. BONUS: Because it’s a small group, you’ll get some personal coaching!

Much love,
Carol

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”—Jim Davis

Creating Art in Your Kitchen

Years ago, I did not believe that I had a single creative bone in my body. This was due to the fact that I got poor marks on my drawings in art class. Stick figures were a challenge for me.

Art = Drawing, and that was that.

Interesting how our belief system develops when we’re children and has immense staying power.

Today, I challenge you to discover your creative self in the kitchen. Designing meals, playing with recipes, creating delicious dishes with ingredients that you have on hand, all equal priceless artwork.

Cooking and baking can be a form of meditation—when you’re not rushed to get food on the table in 10 minutes.  

Now, I know that if you have young children or children that require chauffeuring or you’re working 60 hours a week, you may have to carve out some time on the weekend to enjoy your creative binging.  

Perhaps you could bake a cake. When did you last take the time to measure out flour, sugar, butter, salt, baking powder, eggs, milk, and vanilla, to make an amazing “scratch” cake?

I’ve been thinking about making a coconut cake (gluten and dairy free) for a long time. The standard birthday cake in our family is yellow cake with chocolate frosting, so that’s what happens.

Next week, I’m going for the coconut cake. It will be fun to try something new.

Care to join me? Here’s your invitation:

WHAT: The Amazing Cake Bake with Health Coach Carol

WHERE: ZOOM, so you’re in your own kitchen, and we’re together

WHEN: Thursday, July 23, 2020 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm

HOW: You gather the ingredients you need to make whatever cake you desire, and we all make cake

WHY: Creating a cake from scratch is an act of love, and the world could use more love

COST: FREE

Once you taste your homemade cake from scratch, you’ll have an entirely new perspective of a cake that tastes AMAZING! And you know my rule, only eat it if it’s AMAZING! As a result, what may on first glance appear counterintuitive, is not.  

While the cakes are baking, I’ll be coaching you on a variety of health tips. We learn from one another and share lots of laughs.

To join in the fun, be sure to email me prior to Thursday, July 23 to save your spot. I’ll then email you the special Zoom link, along with any special instructions.

Much love,
Carol

“I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.”—Julia Child

Cheers for Rainiers

What is this Saturday, July 11, you ask? Why, it’s National Rainier Cherry Day!

In 1952, Harry Fogle of Washington State University developed the Rainier cherry by cross-breeding the Bing and Van cherry varieties.

Rainier cherries are large in size, so it’s quite appropriate that they were named after Washington’s largest mountain, Mt. Rainier.

The season for Rainiers is short. They grow in Washington from June thru August.

I love these cherries. They have a low acidity level, are higher in sugar than Dark Sweet cherries, and are yellow, with a tinge of red.   

Why are Rainiers pricier than the Dark Sweet cherries? Growers must take extra pains to ensure the fruit does not go to the birds. They cover the trees in nets and plant them between red cherry trees to encourage the bees to pollinate the blossoms. Besides hand-picking the fruit, the harvesters place the cherries into small bags to avoid bruising. Every necessary precaution is taken, so the cherries arrive in the market in perfect and delicious condition.

If you enjoy cherries, these are so worth it!

There are a number of health benefits that accompany their deliciousness.

  • They are an excellent source of potassium, which can reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke
  • Rainier cherries contain bioactive anthocyanins, which have been found to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-obese properties
  • Good source of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, folate, and fiber
  • They promote healthy sleeping patterns through their melatonin content

In honor of this holiday, a top-notch chef from an iconic restaurant in each of the 50 states will be presenting their guests with a menu item centered on Northwest cherries. In Indiana, the winner is Recess on College Avenue in Indianapolis. If you’re nearby, you may want to check it out.

I plan to celebrate by simply eating them.

Cheers to cherries,
Carol

P.S. While many are enjoying the lazy days of summer, perhaps life for you is not a bowl of cherries. If you’re feeling stressed, out of shape, or facing health challenges, I’m here to help you sort it out. Email me and we’ll set up a call. It’s my summer gift to you in our wabi-sabi life.

“The notion is called wabi-sabi life, like the cherry blossom, it is beautiful because of its impermanence, not in spite of it, more exquisite for the inevitability of loss.”— Peggy Orenstein 

It’s Summer, so Bring on the Ribs

In our family, summer means grilling. One of our favorites: baby back ribs cooked to perfection. There’s a rib joint in Porter by the name of Wagner’s. Their ribs are outstanding.

Our humble opinion: the ribs we make rival their ribs. Yes, really. They are THAT good. In fact, they are AMAZING!

I’m wondering if you had a thought in your head that went something like this, “How can she eat ribs? Aren’t those BAD—especially with all that barbecue sauce?”   

Raise your hand if you did. I’m watching.

It’s important not to vilify food. Depending on your preferred style of eating, you may be applauding my rib enjoyment or you’re ready to throw tomatoes at me.

To clarify, I eat ribs maybe 2 or 3 times a year. When I do, they are the best. Sure, there’s some “not so good for me” barbecue sauce on them. Oh, and I love the really crispy parts that are blackened. GASP!

They are a treat.

On the other end of the spectrum, I eat a huge green salad with added vegetables almost daily.

We must look at the big picture when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle—which is why I often write about sleep, stress, relationships, having fun, etc.

AND, you do not have to be perfect to see marked results. Give yourself some grace.

 There are foods that are best consumed rarely or in moderate amounts, since they don’t lead us in the direction of our best health.

Then there are those that may be eaten daily—like vegetables. Lots of them.

The trouble arises with additives like chemicals and artificial flavors and colors, that are not real food. Have you read some ingredient labels lately? Another GASP!  

As you enjoy your unique July 4th activities, eat and appreciate those foods you love that are AMAZING. Consume moderate amounts and add some veggies into your day. Drink plenty of water so you don’t dehydrate. Feel grateful and have fun celebrating.

Blessings and love,
Carol

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”—Erma Bombeck