Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice

I thought a video would help some people who are visual learners better than a recipe, so I put together this video to demonstrate how to prepare Chicken Fried Rice-Paleo Style (meaning without actually containing any rice). You will also see how to make cauliflower rice. Feel free to substitute the meat or omit it altogether.

My apologizes for the poor video quality, but I believe can still help guide others in making this yummy dish! This is my first video, so hopefully the next one will be better. This has definitely been a learning experience (as are most things in life it seems).

I hope you enjoy! Check out my website for the full written recipe.

Please feel free to leave me feedback on this post or the video itself. I appreciate feedback and use it to serve you better.

The Potential of a Healthy Diet

When it comes to cleaning up your diet, it is not about perfection, but instead about potential. Potential to minimize or eliminate the symptoms of many chronic illnesses, potential for increased energy, potential to lose unwanted weight and keep it off without starving yourself, potential to add years to your life.

This potential is what motivated me to make a career change and start my business. It is why I run this blog and my webpage. It is why I maintain a Facebook and Instagram account. And it is why I answer dozens of food related questions via e-mail, text, phone, on my sites, and in person every single day.

Bacon Avocado Chicken...I bet this isn't allowed on most "diets". Good thing Paleo is a lifestyle!

Bacon Avocado Chicken…I bet this isn’t allowed on most “diets”. Good thing Paleo is a lifestyle!

It is my hope to help everyone. Not because I am a know it all who wants to take away your pizza; but, because I look around and see diet related health problems everywhere. However, I also understand that many people are in a comfort zone when it comes to food. The thought of stepping out of that comfortable place, even if it means their joints will no longer ache or their diabetes will no longer be an issue or whatever problem could benefit from a diet change, is just too much for them to get started. As I said, I used to be that person, so I completely understand. Food can often times be an addiction, and I believe many more people suffer from this addiction than we are willing to admit.

Take the first step, to getting control back. Don’t be a slave to food any longer. Try a Whole30 or 21 Sugar Detox Diet. Even just 30 days of Paleo eating will help.

Stop drinking diet soda, or soda all together. Stop eating fast food multiple times a week. Stop counting boxed cereal towards your daily fiber intake.

Get educated. Take Control. Start somewhere. It is up to YOU!

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What do you do to keep healthy eating less complicated and more fun?

5 (More) Helpful Things To Have Around During a Whole30 Challenge

I previously wrote a post about 5 things that were helpful to have around during a Whole30 challenge. Since I am in the middle of hosting a Whole30 challenge through my business Back 2 Basics Cooking, I thought I would write another post about helpful things to have around during a challenge. So,here are they are:

1)Lard

LARD

I have been without Lard for a few weeks, because the farmers that I like to purchase Lard from sell them in tub that are around $20 each. While it is large and worth every penny, it can still be hard to afford when on a limited budget. Roast some vegetables in Lard and you will get a small taste of heaven. It is also a cheaper cooking fat than coconut or oil olive.

2)Red Boat Fish Sauce

red boat

Seriously, this stuff is amazing! It is pricey but a little goes along way. I can not even remember what life was like without it. I will be doing some free video demonstrations soon with ways to use this fantastic stuff. Add a little usami to your food today!

3)Cauliflower

Chicken Fried Paleo Rice

Cauliflower rice anyone? Need I say more?

4)Larabars

Beware of certain Larabar flavors, as some of them do not have approved ingredients. Always check your labels!

Beware of certain Larabar flavors, as some of them do not have approved ingredients. Always check your labels!

These bars of fruit and nutty goodness are great emergency foods to keep you from making bad choices when you are hungry and without a plan. However you must be sure not to use them to satisfy a sugar craving, as sugar=sugar=sugar. Even when it is natural sugar.

5)Support

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This is one thing that is not just helpful to have around, I believe it is, in almost every case, essential to have. For the majority of people, they need some kind of support to sustain something like the Whole30 for the entire 30 days, especially if this is their first time cleaning up their diet. I myself do not feel as if I would have made it through this Whole30 (I am not done yet, but I can see the light) if I would not have had the support of the group who came together to participate in the program with me. Because while a Whole30 is not hard, it IS hard. The support groups (both on-line and in person) have provided encouragement, meal ideas, some fun and time/money saving tips. It really has been an invaluable resource!

There are so many awesome foods that was difficult to only pick 5. This “diet’ has so many options once you stop focusing on what you can’t have!

What is your favorite thing to have around during a Whole30?

Sweet & Salty Tuna Salad

As some of my readers already know, I have been hosting a Whole30 challenge this month through my business Back 2 Basics Cooking . Many of the participants have stated how much the support has helped them to change their eating habits, but it has also taught me a lot in return! As I said in another post, I have learned tons of awesome whole food recipes. This recipe was inspired by something one of the participants posted. (I am not sure if she wants me to give her name, so if now I am going to leave it out.)

I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand for her recipe, so I had to improvise. As is almost always, my improvising was a success!  I discovered another cheap meal that requires no heat for cooking, so it is super quick to throw together. It is also great to take for a lunch since it doesn’t need to be warmed up. I thought I would share my new go to meal with all of my awesome readers.

It is the perfect balance of sweet and salty that has the crunch that you crave, while leaving you satisfied for several hours!

Make sure your tuna doesn't have soy listed as an ingredient.

Make sure your tuna doesn’t have soy listed as an ingredient.

Sweet and Salty Tuna Salad

Serves 1

1 Can of Wild-Caught Tuna in Olive Oil or Water (Check Label for Soy!)

1 Sweet Apple Cut into Chunks, Fuji or Honeycrisp Work Great

1 Cucumber, Cut into Chunks

1 Ripe Avocado, Mashed

1/4 Yellow Onion Diced Small

A Large Pinch of Sea Salt

Mix together and enjoy!

Yum Yum Yum!

Yum Yum Yum!

What I Have Learned After The 1st Week Of Hosting a Whole30 Challenge

On October 1, 2014, me and 25 other people started out on a Whole30 challenge, which my business Back 2 Basics Cooking is hosting. Even though I have been eating (95%) Paleo since April of this year, this will be the first Whole30 program that I personally have completed, as well as the first time I have hosted a challenge. I put a lot of effort and time into organizing this event, and was worried that no one would sign up or that no one would complete the challenge.

Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, and rasiasns.

Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, and raisins.

While it has given my business some positive exposure, I did not organize this challenge to raise profits. Therefore, it would have been quite the bummer if no one signed up, or if everyone only participated half heartedly. Not only have many of the participants continued to participate, many of them are taking extra time out of their day to help support each other!

Chicken sautéed with some spinach and coconut oil and tomatoes with roasted brussel sprouts-all covered with fresh lemon juice~Submitted by Jessica

Chicken sautéed with some spinach and coconut oil and tomatoes with roasted brussel sprouts-all covered with fresh lemon juice~Submitted by Jessica

On top of that, I have been learning a lot myself from hosting the challenge. I am already figuring out ways to make the next challenge more helpful. Considering that about a week before the challenge I was very down and ready to throw in the towel, this is very exciting to me! A few people have dropped out of the challenge, but I am still very happy that they even attempted it. I hope that the time they participated helped open their eyes to how food affects them, which will help them to make more whole food choices in the future. There are even people who have asked to follow the group, so that they can learn more!

Apples, almond butter, and kombucha~Submitted by Jen

Apples, almond butter, and kombucha~Submitted by Jen

Since we have officially made it through the one week mark, I thought I would take a moment to write a quick post about some of the things participating and hosting this challenge has taught me:

Hamburger mixed with carrots, zucchini, and onions ~Submitted by Ambra

Hamburger mixed with carrots, zucchini, and onions ~Submitted by Ambra

1. Support is CRUCIAL for some when it comes to change. I am one of those someones. If I had not put together this challenge I know I would have given up on this already, even though I am 100% aware of how much it will help my health. But it would be kind of messed up of me to give up now though, since I am encouraging everyone else to continue. haha

Batch cooking some roast, potatoes, carrots, and onions~Submitted by Jessica

Batch cooking some roast, potatoes, carrots, and onions~Submitted by Jessica

2.I thought that since  I have been grain, soy, dairy (with the exception of grass-fed butter), and food-dye free since April, that I would not have much to learn from participating in the program….silly me! Sugar is a hard habit to kick, and just because you are eating honey instead of table sugar it still doesn’t mean you aren’t still addicted to sugar.

Tuna, celery, and raisins over spinach ~Submitted by Jen

Tuna, celery, and raisins over spinach ~Submitted by Jen

3. I need to have my own kitchen by the time I have the next challenge, so that I can have the support meetings there. Then I could give small demonstrations also. I also want to have a meeting either the day before or the first day of the next challenge. My sister was in from Canada and I had to take her to the airport in KC on Oct 1, so that just wasn’t an option this time.

Baked sweet potato chips with cinnamon and ginger~Submitted by Jerale

Baked sweet potato chips with cinnamon and ginger~Submitted by Jerale

4.Having a support group on Facebook, has really helped some of us out. For example, I was not aware that we couldn’t have any extracts on this program (even though I am the “leader”), but because of the facebook group I was able to find out before we were too far in. Others have thought they needed to be low carb, but I was able to explain that isn’t necessary. You CAN be low carb, but you do not have to be. Simply eat the RIGHT carbs. It has also helped out with people asking me the same questions. This way I can just refer them to the post instead of saying the same thing over and over.

Baked pears, coconut milk, and walnuts ~Submitted by Cassandra

Baked pears, coconut milk, and walnuts ~Submitted by Cassandra

5.Being able to share recipes and meal ideas is also great! I would have never thought to put apples, tuna, and cucumbers together on my own. Someone else shared the idea so I gave it a shot and wow!  I was already aware of what a wide range of meals and snacks would be available, I talked about it in this post. But I believe sharing ideas with each other has helped to speed up everyone’s learning curve. As you can see by all of the food pictures that I took from our Facebook group, we haven’t had a shortage of meal ideas. 🙂

Tuna mixed with cucumbers, onions, apples, olive oil, and avocado.

Tuna mixed with cucumbers, onions, apples, olive oil, and avocado.

6.Food can be very addictive and we should not downplay that. In my opinion, it is like a drug for many of us and should be treated as such. (Only drugs don’t line the shelves of every gas station and grocery store around!)

Chicken topped with mango and tomato with a side of roasted potatoes ~Submitted by Jessa

Chicken topped with mango and tomato with a side of roasted potatoes ~Submitted by Jessa

7.People are noticing how much better they are feeling, how they are staying full longer, and how amazing whole foods taste when you clean up your body much faster than I had anticipated. This is awesome to me!

Hamburger with greeen beans, onions, and green peppers with roasted broccoli and sweet potato fries~Submitted by Kara

Hamburger with green beans, onions, and green peppers with roasted broccoli and sweet potato fries~Submitted by Kara

For all of my Whole 30ers who are reading this: Please take a moment and comment below. Give a short explanation of how the first week has went for you. what you have learned and why you are continuing with the challenge. It is ok to add the good and the bad. I am hoping to help motivate others to start eating more whole foods and your feedback will help tons!

Ground turkey, marinara sauce & spaghetti squash ~Submitted by Jessica

Ground turkey, marinara sauce & spaghetti squash ~Submitted by Jessica

(If you are not part of our challenge, but have completed a Whole30 Program before, please feel free to comment as well.)

Frozen Grapes

Frozen Grapes

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.

 

Blog Pics

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

 

 The Whole30 Challenge-Columbia, MO 

Hosted By:

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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