Don’t Let Fear Stop You

I wanted to try the Paleo diet for many months before I actually went “all in” and gave it a shot. Looking back I realize that it was my fear of failure, not my fear of giving up bread, that kept me from really trying for all those months. Now I understand that, that same fear is probably keeping many of my readers from giving Paleo eating a “real” shot. (And possibly a little bit of fear that it might actually make you feel amazing!) It was the same reason I waited so many years to quit smoking. It took me four or five tries, but I did quit (it has been several years, I have actually lost count)–and you can too!

Fear of failing has kept me from doing a lot of things in my life, but in my recent years I have been learning to let go of that fear. It has been amazing, despite the fact that I have actually failed at times. But you know what? I was ok. Actually, I am quickly learning that failure is something that we should embrace, not fear.

Take parenting and owning a business as two examples. I have not been doing either for much time, but I have already “failed” at both many, many times. These “failures” though, have actually proved to be very important lessons. Had I never experienced the failures, then the lessons would have been lost.

Some of the things I was successful at, because I faced my fear of failure:

I negotiated the price of my last used car.

I gave birth without any pain medicine.

I started a business. (I wouldn’t call this a “success just yet, but it isn’t a failure yet either.)

All three of these experiences were more empowering than I could ever fit into this computer screen. I most certainly would not be the person that I am today if I had not swallow my fear and took that first step towards facing my fear.

So if fear of failure is keeping you from really giving Paleo (or something else) a shot, please stand up and look your fear in the face!  And if you can’t do it 100% hard core right away that is ok. The point is to do something though.

If I would have counted, I probably failed at Paleo at least 50 times since I have started. That does not keep me from trying to eat my next meal Paleo though. If you are brave enough, give the Whole30 challenge a try with us (check out my post about it here). I promise it will change your life. Even if you go back to eating some unhealthy foods I am confident that you will have a much larger awareness of what you are eating, which will help you to make better choices.

 

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The W’s of the Upcoming Whole30 Challenge in Columbia, MO

 

 The Whole30 Challenge-Columbia, MO 

Hosted By:

Back2BasicsCooking-Final_3

 

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If you have heard about the upcoming Whole30 challenge that Back 2 Basics Cooking is hosting then you might have a few questions. So in case you missed the meetings or are out-of-town and will be participating only online (forfeiting all gift bags and prizes), here are some answers to the w’s of the upcoming challenge. If you haven’t already, check out my webpage about the challenge.

Who is this challenge for? Anyone who wishes to follow the Whole30 Program for 30 days with the rest of the group.

What will people be doing? Short version-Eliminating inflammatory food groups such as dairy, grains, legumes, sugar, and alcohol. So they will be eating meat, lots of vegetables and healthy fats and some nuts, seeds, and fruits. There will be support groups, as well as online support, and a party at the end where everyone who participated for the full 30 days and follows the rules will receive a gift bag. There will also be drawings for grand prizes. Best of all, thanks to all the wonderful sponsors, this event is FREE!

Where will the support groups and the party be located? Ingredient in Columbia, Missouri. It is located downtown so parking isn’t the greatest, but you can park in the parking garage to the east of the building. Dates and times to be announced.

When will this event take place? October 1,2014-October, 30, 2014-Support groups and party dates TBA

Why on earth would people want to give up their pizza? Well I don’t think very many people actually want to give up their pizza, but many find that when they do, they feel better. For some people, whatever medical condition or symptom they are suffering from is enough to motive them to ditch their favorite slice. For me it was migraines (horrible, horrible migraines) and my entire body was constantly itchy. A dairy allergy was to blame. We took our son off of grains when he tested low on iron despite the fact that he got plenty of iron in his diet. A month later (and with no other changes) his levels were normal again.

Still have questions? Of coarse you do. Read all 8 steps here. Please note on step four that we will be each others support network. I would suggest to find a “buddy” for the challenge. One person to help support you. Preferably someone in your household, but if not possible, then that’s ok too. If you can not find a buddy, send me an email and I can help with that.

So why can’t you just give up things slowly instead? Great Question! You can do that, but don’t you think if you were going to do that you would be doing it already? (If you are doing it already then good for you! Keep it up, you probably don’t need to do this challenge. If you want free and discounted stuff then feel free to join in, I mean it is only 30 days.) I completely understand and support that this is not the way for everyone. There is a reason I recommend that everyone at least consider the idea though.

I believe the Whole30 is a great way to kick start a healthier eating campaign, because it will allow people to do what has taken me 2 years to do, in just 30 days. To be honest, even taking it slowly, I still need to do a Whole30. I eat mostly a Paleo diet; I have eliminated grains and diary (except grass-fed butter), I don’t eat most legumes or processed foods. But I am far from perfect still. I have a horrible addiction to dark chocolate almond milk and larabars. I do not think larabars are a problem in moderation; however, four of them in one hour is a different story.

So I believe you could compare it to getting into a swimming pool.

You can:

A)Ease your way in slowly and draw out the torture of the cold water feeling.

Or

B)You can jump right in, experiencing an intense but much quicker burst of the cold water feeling.

Consider the Whole30 as option B.

Whether you choose option A or option B, I hope you choose one of them. Your body will thank you!

So for those of you who are still with me and wanting to participate in the upcoming Whole30 challenge, here are the rules:

1)Follow all of the Whole30 rules, which again can be read here. Yes, even the no weighing yourself rule!

2)Request to join the “Whole30 Challenge-Columbia, MO October 2014” group on Facebook. Once accepted, make a post in this group saying why you are doing the challenge. *

3)There will be one support group each week. You must attend at least one, but are welcome at all. Dates and times are to be announced soon.

4)You must sign up no later than midnight on September 30, 2014.

5) You must attend the party. If you know you can not at least 2 weeks ahead of time and you e-mail me, it is possible we could work around this. No last-minute cancellation will be allowed. The date and time will be announced soon.

6)You must take at least one picture of a meal you are eating and post it to the Back 2 Basics Cooking Facebook page during the challenge. Feel free to say how you are feeling, what you are missing, what you are loving, etc…*

*If you do not have a facebook account, please send me an e-mail.  ashley@back2basicscooking.net

What can you do between now and then to prepare?
1)Clean out your kitchen, car, desk, etc…. If there are members of your household who are not participating try to designate cabinets so you don’t have to look at all of their off limit foods each time you open the cabinet. The fridge/freezer area is a little harder, but you can designate an area “yours”, where “off-limit” foods are off-limits.

2)Adjust your mindset. If you say you can’t do this then you can’t. Check out my blog about this here. It is about losing weight, but you can apply it to diet changes also.

3)Start “practicing” eating Paleo meals. For example, Eat some pork chops, eggs and veggies for breakfast. Have a big salad with homemade dressing for lunch. Have some homemade soup for dinner.

4)Find one or two good take out dishes and 5-10 go to meals for the Challenge. Seriously. Knowing what you can eat before you are starving can mean the difference between success and failure. Those of you who are super organized could actually plan out the entire month of meals and snacks. Personally I am nowhere near that organized, but kiddos to those who are!

5)Getting a chiropractic adjustment is highly recommended. I got one the day I gave up soda and never got a caffeine headache! (My head was a little sore, but nothing like the normal headache that I usually get from stopping Dr. Pepper cold turkey.)

6)If you are on regular medication, see your doctor and let him know about you upcoming diet change. If you are on blood pressure medicine for example and your blood pressure gets too low you will get very dizzy and this can be dangerous. Check out this post about talking to your doctor about a Whole30.

7)Get others to join! I started this challenge to help people so the more the merrier!!

8)Consider subscribing to the Whole30 Daily, just remember to set your start day as October 1. It is $14.95 and not required; however I feel it will be invaluable for those of you making major diet adjustments. (Please note: I do not recieve any money if you do sign-up, I just really think it is a good resource.) Read more here.

Still have questions?

No problem, just post them below. Or feel free to shoot me an email: ashley@back2basicscooking.net

Chicken Fried Paleo Rice

What Will I Eat If I Don’t Use “Regular” Flour?-A Short Guide to Grain Free Flours

Grain free flours can be confusing, especially when you are used to “regular” all-purpose flours or even whole wheat flours. Have no fear though, because this post will go over the basics with you. After a little experimenting (but not too much because grain free flours are expensive!) you will know your way around grain free flours in no time…

The first thing to remember, is that grain free and gluten free are not the same thing. So anything made from oats, corn and rice, for example, are out. You can use beans flours or quinoa flour; however, if you eat Paleo like I do these are not good options. (Some in the Paleo/Primal communities believe buckwheat flour is ok to use, others avoid it.) Let’s look at what some good options are.

Grain-Free, Gluten-Free Flours

Almond Flour

Almond Flour/Meal- Thanks to more people giving up grains for various reasons, you can purchase almond flour from the health food section in many grocery stores. At around $10-$15 per 16 oz bag, it can get very pricey. You can purchase almond meal (which is slightly less ground than almond flour) from the bulk bins at some stores; however, those who have celiac or high sensitivity to gluten should not use this option due to cross-contamination.

It is much cheaper to make it yourself. Check out this video about how to make your own almond meal.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

I would offer a word of caution about almond flour/meal though, I believe it should be used in moderation only. I personally do not feel my best if I eat too many nuts, so I looked into this and found this post about why to avoid almond flour. While I do think it is ok from time to time, I do think it is easy to go overboard. So as I said moderation (as with many things) is key.

 

Coconut Flour

Coconut Flour

Coconut Flour-Coconuts are amazing! Not only  is there milk, water, and oil, but you can also use the meat to make flour. Again you can buy it from the health food section of many grocery stores already ground up or make it yourself. Check out this video for a step by step how to guide:

Coconut flour is a lot different than regular flour and it may take you a few times working with it to get the hang of it. This post  from Nourished Kitchen tells you what you need to know.  It does not substitute the same as grain based flours, so check out her post before attempting to cook with it.

It also has a different taste. Personally, it took my taste buds a few times eating it before I got used to it. Now I love it!

Arrowroot Starch

Arrowroot Starch

Arrowroot Starch/Powder/Flour-Referred to as starch, powder and flour, this is my go-to thickener. It will replace cornstarch 1:1. Read more here.

Sunflower Seed Flour

Sunflower Seed Flour

Seed Flours-Seed Flours can be made the same way as the nut flours. Sunflowers are probably the most commonly used; however, pumpkin and flax seeds are another option. This can be a great option for some people with tree nut and peanut allergies (some people with peanut allergies can not tolerate sunflower seed either). Here is a great recipe for Gluten Free Healthy No Bake Brownie Bites that you can try out using sunflower seed flour.

Sweet Potato Starch

Sweet Potato Starch

Other Alternative Flours-There are tons of other alternative flours out there-plantain flour, hazelnut flour, sweet potato starch, tapioca start, other ground nuts and seeds, and plenty more. I personally never used any of these options though, so I do not feel comfortable advising the internet world on them. I just wanted to let you know there are other options if you are the adventurous type.

Peanut Free Flour– Those who follow a Paleo/Primal Diet like me probably already know that peanuts are not actually a nut, but rather a legume; therefore, they do not eat any peanuts. I know there people who read this blog that do not eat a Paleo diet and I also know there are plenty of people out there who simply CAN NOT have peanuts. If they do their airway will close up and they will stop breathing. If that happens, how will they come back to read my blog? (In all seriousness though, my boyfriend gets anaphylaxis to certain types of fish and it is nothing to mess around with. So if this is you, play it safe please!)

Some of these people also can not have seeds. While this recipe does contain buckwheat flour, it is the best option I am aware of for anyone with a peanut/seed allergy trying to eat as close to grain free as they can. (Please note that it also has coconut, which can be an allergen for some people with peanut allergies.)

A Few Final Thoughts

I find that using a combination of coconut flour, almond flour, and/or arrowroot starch works the best for most things for me. Play around and try different combinations to see what tastes and cooks the best for you. Remember to use more liquid than normal if you are using coconut flour.

I believe making things such as pancakes, bread, cookies, and even donuts with Paleo/Primal approved ingredients is ok in moderation. Of course, this does not mean that I believe this to be “health” food. I am one of the people who can not have “cheat” days while eating Paleo, because I am so sensitive to many non-Paleo foods that I end up fairly sick. So to have the option to make some pancakes that won’t leave me feeling miserable for hours afterwards is awesome!

Paleo Waffles

Paleo Waffles

If you eat these types of things everyday, please do not think you are eating healthy. While it is still loads better than eating a Standard American Diet, it is a far cry from having half your plate filled with vegetables. Please save them for now and agains if you want to feel your best! And don’t forget you can use it for things like coating chicken also….

What is your favorite grain free flour to cook with? What do you like to use your grain free flours for?

The Number One Thing I Recommend To Change If You Are Trying To Eat Healthier

I did a post about a month ago about 20 easy small changes you could make to your diet if you are wanting to eat healthier. (Read it here.) So what do I think the number one thing is to change if you are trying to eat healthier?

Is it adding items like extra virgin coconut oil, avocado, and more vegetables to your diet?

Hmmmm???

Hmmmm… What could it be?

Or could it be cutting out things like sugar, industrial seed oils, or highly processed “foods” from your diet?

Wrong!

These are all definitely amazing positive changes you could make towards eating (and living) healthier. However, the number one thing I recommend to change if you are trying to eat healthier, actually has nothing to do with your diet at all. Yes, healthy fats are important to good nutrition and yes, cutting out sugar can have a profound impact on your overall health. However, it is not always about what you put into your mouth. If left unaddressed this can break down even the strongest of wills.

Your mindset.

That’s right, your mindset. You have probably heard it before and just brushed off this idea as foolish. I know I did.

mindset-massage

When someone first told me that my thoughts created my reality, I could not believe it. I mean, if this is true then why are so many people stuck in an unpleasant reality? I wondered if you can change your reality just with your thoughts, then why was everyone not doing so? So, as I said, I wrote this advice off as crazy talk and moved on with my life. I heard it a few more times, but I still was not willing to open my mind to this idea.

Then, someone I loved made it possible for me to open up my mind.

She had gained some weight and couldn’t seem to lose it. The problem though, was that this beautiful women I know, continued day after day, moment after moment to refer to herself in very negative ways. It broke my heart everytime I would hear her say how fat she was. I wanted her to see herself for the beautiful person that I saw. One day during a phone conversation with her, I decided I had something to say. So I said it.

“I want you to make me a promise. Promise me that you will not refer to yourself in a negative way anymore, especially when it comes to your weight. Even if you are joking. Don’t do it. Not even in your head. If you believe you are fat then you will be. But if you think that you are a beautiful person who has a few pounds she could lose, then you will be.”

Positive-Thinking

This made her cry, which of course made me sad, but she agreed to try. The changes I saw in her were incredible! She started Paleo a few weeks after this and has since lost 33 pounds, lowered her blood pressure, and her (bad) cholesterol. The best part is that I can tell by the change in her attitude and comments, that she has a much better attitude about herself and her body. Even before she started losing tons of weight. I could not be more proud of or happy for her! She is truly an inspiration to me.   

So, are you struggling with trying to eating healthier? Change your thoughts and try again.

I mean, think about it, thoughts are free. I am sure there are people trying to think of a way to charge for them too, but so far, no one has cornered that market. This doesn’t just apply to weight loss. Sugar addictions are another example of something that can be very hard to overcome (even when weight is not an issue), but with the right mindset it is possible.

Here is a great blog you can check out titled Mindset 101:Why the Biggest Change is Also the Easiest.

http://app4mind.com/mindset-why-the-biggest-change-is-also-the-easiest/

How have your thoughts impacted your life? Have you been able to change a part of your life by changing your mindset?  I love to hear other people’s success stories, so please share below!