3 Steps To Create An Effective Exercise Routine

3 Steps For Exercise Success In order for any exercise you do to truly work, to give you the results you want, it has to be consistent and lasting.

 

You can buy as many magic programs, try all the latest lose fat fast fads (say that 4 times fast!) in exercise you want….if you can’t stick with it, it won’t work. Period.

 

So the absolute most important part to starting your new fitness routine is to make sure you keep going.

 

When we are just starting out and trying to create a new habit, to build a new exercise routine that sticks, these 3 things are essential.

 

 1. Keep It Simple! Don’t Over Think It.

 

This rule is important for multiple reasons. For one if you hurt yourself you definitely won’t be able to create a consistent routine.

 

Simple exercises can be just as effective as the more complicated ones.  It's all about how you perform them, and how hard you push yourself.  As you build strength you can add more complexity. Don’t underestimate the power of push-ups, lunges and squats.

 

By keeping it simple you can build a solid foundation and focus on form. Doing an exercise correctly will keep you safer, be more effective, and you’ll see results more quickly.

 

Second when you are just getting going, like I said before, you just need to make it stick. It needs to become part of your life, part of your routine.

 

It’s easy to get caught up in what is the BEST way to work out, what’s going to get me there fastest. "This expert suggests this, but this person recommends that…which is better? My friend got results doing this other thing."

 

There are so many strategies of exercise it can get overwhelming. Again, the goal is to just start moving on a regular basis so don’t bother yourself with the details yet. Once you build that foundation in your form and technique, routine and habit THEN you can start tweaking things if you want.  It's then you can figure out what is most effective for your body, what exactly you are wanting to work and build.

 

First things first. Move. Whatever that means for you.

 2. Make Small Goals and Work Up.

 

One of the most common mistakes in making this shift is creating goals that are way to big. For instance, “I’m going to work out every day for an hour!,” or “I’m going to lose 20lbs in the next month.”

 

You may very well be able to do those things, but if you don’t chances are you will give up on it all together.  Creating habits is hard, especially in the wake of everything else going on in life.

 

By making smaller attainable goals it keeps you going, moving forward. We would all rather do something that we succeed at. Setting huge goals and then not being able to achieve them will only cause that feeling of failure and then we just throw the whole idea out the window until we get inspired again (who knows when that will be!).

 

All of that yo-yoing isn’t going to ensure you get a lasting result to your goal. So just avoid it. Make the goal smaller and something you KNOW you can do like, “I will work out 2 times a week for at least 20 minutes.”

 

If you do more than 20 minutes, great!  But if you only get those 20 minutes in, celebrate it because you did it! Success.

 

Once you do that for a while and it starts to feel super easy you know you can set an incrementally higher goal. Remember not to get too lofty! The goal here is success and longevity.

 

As humans we like feeling successful, so set yourself up for it.

 

(guess what?! I have a video on goal setting success!  Check it out here)

 

3. Keep Your Mindset Positive.

 

Easier said than done.  Yes, I know.

 

It’s easy to get caught up in the negative self-talk. Instead focus on what you have done, or can do.

 

Avoid getting down on yourself because maybe you lifted less than you want, or you ONLY worked out for 20 minutes.

 

Allow yourself be joyful for you accomplishments.

 

When we get caught up in negative thoughts and talk around an activity we will begin to see it negatively. It will become something we dread.

 

If your thoughts around working out and exercise are constantly negative you won’t want to do it. It will bring up a yucky feeling and so you will make every excuse not to go.

 

Positivity will keep you progressing. Negativity will only hinder your results and progress.

 

Buddha said, “What we think we become.” If you think you suck, if you think you are weak, if you think you aren’t making any improvement. Guess what? YOU PROBABLY WON’T.

 

Change your mind, change your life.

 

There’s so much more to developing an effective workout routine than WHICH one you pick.

 

Developing new habits is a mind game. So get your head in the game and start moving.

 

With [icon icon=icon-heart size=14px color=#800080 ]

--Tera--

 

P.S. Which one of these 3 things do you struggle with most?  Do you have any other good advice for everyone else? Share it in the comments below!

If It Feels Impossible, It's Worth It

Comfort zone quote Re-starting this blog has been months in the making. I know I want to, but there has always been something stopping me. Getting in my way, and telling me I can’t.

 

Who wants to read what I have to say? How am I legitimate when I am struggling with my own issues? Do I know enough? What will people think of me? I don’t know anything about web creation, or management! Technology is not my forte.

 

When I look at all of these concerns I see a pattern. They all come down to confidence, and self-esteem. Somehow I have convinced myself to not start because I’m not good enough. Yet I teach people to believe in themselves, trust themselves and focus on their strengths, and when I teach it I truly mean it.  I believe so much in others, I see their strengths and the possibilities for success.  Unfortunately I haven't mastered seeing myself the way I see those I care about.

 

So I’m faced with this hypocrisy. I am being a hypocrite. When I think of things that way, I know that I have to jump in. I have to pour out my soul, to share my knowledge, my struggles and triumphs.

 

My own insecurities are holding me back from helping and that is just plain selfish.

 

The things that are the most scary, that challenge us to our core, push us way outside our comfort zone, are the things we most need to do. How will we grow if we are constantly in this state of comfort? Just like the muscles in our bodies, we only grow when challenged.

 

Starting this blog, becoming an entrepreneur, opening up and sharing, finding my path and place, are all things that have felt nearly impossible these past few months. They are all things I know in my heart and soul I need to do though.  I cannot let fear hold me back.

 

Where are you holding back? What is something that feels so scary and unmanageable that you have convinced yourself you can’t do it?

 

Be honest.

 

Part of starting is simply recognizing that we are standing in our own way. Accept that the road may not always be clear and easy, but that thing that is unimaginably scary is the most important thing for you to do.

 

Career, a relationship, health, competition, school...each of us faces our own challenges and has our own fears.  Your challenge is not the same as mine, but I know how it feels...Blocked, overwhelmed, scared, stressed. Push forward, because holding back and giving into your fears will not bring joy or energy to your life.

 

Let’s commit. To challenging ourselves. To do the scary thing. To make sh*t happen!

 

Tell me what challenge you are committing yourself to.

 

--Tera--

Coming Out Of The Closet: My Personal Health Struggle

Brene Quote As I struggle, I turn inward. I put up protective barriers and hide away in my home. I do this because of shame. I am ashamed of my struggle.

 

We are always told to share the burden, and to look for others to help, but who the heck wants to hear about MY issues? We live in a world of stress, overwhelm, and hurry. So who am I to add to that? Each of you has your own things going on, and don't need to be bothered with mine.

 

This is how my brain works. I have friends who love to share, and I am ready and willing to listen.  I love to help people through their own hard times, to see them through to the end, to encourage forward movement. I would never treat anyone else the way I treat myself, or let others get away with what I am doing.

 

I’m not usually a sharer.

 

So if I don't like to share, why the heck am I posting this on a BLOG?  Because I am going to try it. I am going to open up, share, and hope for the best.

 

My hope is that what I am going through now is in some way a lesson. That these few months of hell will enable me to help others on a deeper level, and maybe to gain more insight.

 

I'm coming out. Full disclosure. Honesty hour.  I'm scared though, scared you all may think less of me. But I'm going to risk it.

 

Life is not all rainbows and sunshine. Even mine.

 

I began a journey last year. A journey to a new joyful life, full of health and happiness.  I felt and looked better than I ever have in my whole life. But still things can happen.

 

Lately life has been difficult.  I have felt like I'm drowning.  Flailing helplessly in a whirlpool.  Which is why, for those of you who know me, you haven’t seen much of me. Life has been full of stress, anxiety, depression, weight gain, sleeplessness, fatigue and a feeling of being completely out of control.

 

As a nutritional therapist I am always looking for reasons, for the why. What is the root cause to an issue? Every person is a new puzzle to solve, and that puzzle is what makes me light up! But when I am the puzzle, it becomes a bit complicated.  Even therapists need therapists right?

 

Recently I got some blood tests because I needed more to work with, more information. After months of feeling completely lost, desperate and out of control I have a better idea of what is going on. Here it is. My secret. My coming out moment. You all thought it was that other stuff, but that was just the lead up.  I have hypothyroidism.

 

So I'm on a mission. To regain my body's balance.  To learn as much as I can about hypothyroidism, to get to the bottom of what is going on inside me.

 

There it is.  None of us are perfect.  Things happen that are out of our control, and I am choosing to face them with courage and strength.   To not give in to defeat.  There is always a cause, a reason, and a solution.

 

--Tera--

 

 

What If That Thing You're Feeling...Isn't Normal?

Sometimes we experience something so often it becomes our norm.  It's as if it's just part of who we are as a human being.  The fact that we deal with it daily, and we've begun to view it as normal does not mean that it is normal though.  One thing that has surprised me are the things I have discovered that weren't actually part of who I am.  It was simply my body trying to communicate to me that something was out of whack.  It was asking for my help and really I wasn't listening.  Do you experience anything like that? Constant pain in your right knee, acid reflux, energy dips in the afternoon, low blood sugar, sleeplessness, days of sadness or lack of motivation...the list can go on forever.

One thing my friends and family always knew was: don't let her get hungry because she'll get mean.  I could not function unless I was eating every few hours.  I would transform into this irrational raging beotch.  I was unable to think straight, and I got the shakes.  Sometimes I would get past the point of feeling hunger any longer so when someone would tell me to eat I would adamantly refuse.  Knowing that this was the only cure for the crazy they insisted and I relented.  Couple of minutes later...back to normal.   Jekyll and Hyde situation.  Have you ever felt that?  Guess what, that was not me or my personality.  That was dysfunctional blood sugar regulation.  Hypoglycemia.

Believe it or not now I can go five or more hours without eating and have continuous steady energy.  No more shakes, no more extreme mood swings.  I experience hunger, but it's not in the same desperate way.  It's so much more rational.  A sensation that I know I need to fulfill, but not that is ruining my whole day and everyone else's.

The other big thing for me was belching.  I was always a belcher, loud, obnoxious, deep, and long.  Sometimes I was proud of my ability, other times it was plain embarrassing and at times it was seriously uncomfortable.  It bothered my boyfriend so much!  He didn't understand why I couldn't make it less intense and would try to teach me how to 'open my throat' while burping so it wasn't so loud.  Yeah, pretty sure it wasn't a throat constriction that was causing the issue.  Being able to burp was such a relief though from the intense discomfort I was feeling.  Pressure, bloating, fullness, it wasn't pretty.  This was my norm though, not something I thought I needed to, or could, fix.

Really I had extreme digestive distress.  Food was not being properly broken down and therefore was left to quite literally rot in my body.  Think about rotting food left in tupperware.  The top poofs up because of the gases it creates.  Well, that was in me and it needed to come out.  I had a lot of latent stomach issues that I have been working hard to heal, and I'm happy to say I'm not a burp machine any longer.  Obviously some amount of burping is normal, and still happens but nowhere near in the same way.

Reflect on some things in your life that you think are normal, or maybe you think are part of 'getting older'.  Could they be due to an imbalance in your body?  Do you want to try to change them?  What would life be like if you didn't have to deal with it?  Would you experience more energy, be more comfortable, productive, happy?

Graduation celebration!  My favorite treat...good ol' bubbly.

I am so excited to say that these mysteries of your body are going to be my new work.  As a newly certified Nutritional Therapist I am working on building my business so I can help you to find your optimal health and the fullest expression of who you are.  Each person is a new puzzle to figure out, and watching the change happen is amazing.  If you want to put in the effort I will be here to guide and support you along the way.

 

Tera

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My First Bikini Competition

Well that was a crazy week!  First competition down, and done with my yoga training for now!  I can focus solely on my nutrition final, figuring out where I am going to live next month, and how I am going to pay bills.  Oh and then figure out how I am going to create some sort of business out of all my new found knowledge.  Never ending to do's :)  Such is life. Perhaps you are curious on how this bikini competition went.  First off I couldn't sleep the night before so I was running on 4 hours of sleep, thank goodness for adrenaline because that's the only thing that got me through the day.  I got to the venue around 830am and we had a competitors meeting where they quickly ran through how you would be walking out on stage.  Way too quickly for me who had no idea what I was doing.  Then it was time to put my face on.  I entered a room of a dozens of other women all prepping and primping.  They all seemed to have teammates, friends, coaches and cliques.  I felt like the new girl in school.  I spotted one other girl standing awkwardly by herself and so I introduced myself.  It was also her first competition and she was on her own.  I was happy to find at least one other person in a similar situation, and it was nice to have someone to talk to about the whole experience with.  Backstage all the girls are constantly vying for mirror space and practicing their various poses.  It's quite the mad house.

By a little after noon it was time for B class (the class I was in) to step out on stage.  As we lined up and I looked around at the girls surrounding me I was feeling far from confident.  We all have our moments of self doubt.  I know I shouldn't be comparing myself to others but in this situation it is very hard not to.  I stepped into the bright lights and struck whatever pose came into my body.  At first when I tried to smile I was so nervous my whole mouth was quivering.  The hardest part came when I had to turn around and do a back pose.  I immediately felt myself teetering off balance.  When you have about 2 seconds to impress the judges, that isn't so great.  I could not for the life of me arch my back enough to get butt creases to disappear.  They were staring me right in the face on the big screen.  Haha. I got moved from the center of the line all the way to the end :( At this point I knew I was not anywhere near placing.  We had to turn about 3 times and I was starting to feel a little more steady towards the end, but by that time it was far too late.  I guess that just goes to show me I probably should have practiced the posing a little more.  On stage you can barely hear the judges, let alone the crowd.  But my girls were there cheering me on, and when they all shouted in unison I finally spotted them.

Can you spot me?

The only other shot of me on stage

After I got off stage I immediately went out to see my wonderful friends and family.  We took many photos and they gave me numerous words of encouragement.  They all lovingly said I looked the best, but they are a little biased.  I was so touched that they came all the way to Bothell and paid to get into a crazy bodybuilding show just to see me get up on stage for a couple minutes.  Once they left I had 5 hours to kill before final presentations.

They even made a sign!

It ended up being an absolutely beautiful sunny fall day so I headed to a grocery store and sat outside to enjoy my much needed meal.  I had packed a tasty healthy lunch and bought some delicious kombucha and soup.   Staying on track with your nutrition does take a little forethought and preparation, but it's so worth it.  So many competitors were chowing on candy, and talking about the cheesecake or other junk they wanted to have after the competition.  I can't even imagine eating that stuff anymore, which is crazy.  For anyone who has known me awhile, you know I used to live off of junk food and sugar.  Just proof that anyone can change.  I did want a glass of wine though. Haha.

It may look simple or boring to some but I loved every bite! When you eat whole natural foods they don't need to look fancy to trick you into eating it because they have so much flavor!

My dad then came straight from a business trip to see me in finals.  So we got to catch up for a few hours before heading back to the venue.  I didn't realize the second half was going to be so long and he would have to sit through over 3 hours before I even got on stage!

My wonderful dad and I

When I got back to the venue I had to get stage ready once more.  How they expect our hair and makeup to stay perfect for 12 hours is beyond me.  Then came the waiting game.  The second half was much longer than the first and I was not prepared.  I didn't bring enough food for dinner because I thought I would be done by then.  Thankfully I had brought some coconut oil with me and had a little leftover chicken.  I chowed down on straight oil and chicken, and it was pretty dang tasty too.  By 8pm I had hit my wall and I was starting to feel the lack of sleep.

Backstage I did my utmost to strike up conversation with various ladies, just trying to be friendly, as well as ask questions about what the heck I was supposed to be doing to prep before stage time and what to do once I got up there.  When I feel alone and out of my comfort zone  I tend to clam up so putting myself out there is not my strong suit.  It was just another way of challenging myself that day, and I ended up meeting quite a few nice ladies.

This time I had to walk up on stage all alone, strike a pose, walk a little more, strike another pose and then get into the line.  All I could think was "ALL BY MYSELF?!"  I have no idea how I ended up looking while on that stage or how my walk was but I survived.  I didn't trip and fall, my homemade suit didn't fall apart and I had done it.  I challenged myself and followed through, despite the hectic timing.

My dad and I were done at this point and did not stay to watch the rest of the show.  I put my clothes on, grabbed a score sheet and headed out of there.  By this time you may be asking yourself, but how did she do?  Well as you can probably tell by now, if you have read this whole post I didn't place in the top 5.  In fact I got 8th out of 9 girls.  Second to last, not dead last though.  I realize it was my first competition and I wasn't going into it thinking I was going to win but it never feels so great to do poorly.  I am trying to keep looking at it positively by thinking I can only go up from here.  One of the judges even put me in 4th place and 2 in 6th.  So some of them must have seen some potential in me.

Back in Queen Anne we celebrated with some wine and late night appetizers.  I don't usually eat late, and hadn't drank in over 2 weeks so it was quite the night for me.  Despite being exhausted I was so happy to be spending post competition hanging out with my dad.  He was so supportive through my whole process, even though bodybuilding show's aren't necessarily his 'thing.'

The next day I was beyond tired, but made it through my community class and auditions at Corepower.  Now I am giving myself a break physically while I turn my brain on high gear for finals studying.

There you have my competition recap.  Hope you all are having a great week!  Stay healthy.

It's Almost Here!

Time flies.  Saturday is the big day!  The day I face many fears and walk out on a stage in 5 inch clear heals and a bikini.  The closer it gets the more unready I feel.  Between various yoga trainings, school, and job transition I know I was not training as hard or well as I should have.  But hey, I'm gonna strut my stuff in confidence anyway! Last night was a night of panic trying to get my suit to fit.  I bought a cheap "One Size" suit from Amazon and my fantastic lady friend helped me alter it a bit.  When I tried it on again though saggy crotch was staring me in the face.  One size does NOT fit all.  Too much fabric everywhere.  After a period of despair and giving up, I was brought to my senses.  The fit does in fact matter and will impact how the judges see me.  So with fabric glue, some rhinestones, a needle and thread I set to work.  Hours later I had MacGyver'd a suit that looks fairly decent from a distance, but don't look too close!  Then this morning I started to practice my walk and pose.  Woah, it may look easy but it isn't.   I recorded myself and watched it...I can walk pretty darn funky sometimes.  I've really got to find my inner diva between now and Saturday.

Image

This week I am supposed to be 'carb cutting.'  Which is weird for me because I already am not much of a carb eater.  But I thought I would try to go with it, so no plantain, sweet potatoes or fruit for the next couple days.  I know, you are probably thinking I though you weren't doing things the traditional way.  Don't you worry, while I may be 'carb cutting,' for me that has meant 'fat adding.'  MMMMM. I don't want to cut calories so I've been filling up on things like delicious avocados, coconut milk, coconut oil, homemade beef broth, roasted chicken (crispy skin included), and eggs.  I haven't cut out veggies completely but instead of filling up on a ton of veg I'm relying on fat and protein with veg more as an accessory food.  It's been surprisingly very easy and tasty.  I've chosen to look at it like a dietary experiment.  Still staying healthful, but just switching up my macro ratio's a bit.

After a yummy soup I made I was still hungry and so I enjoyed avocado, coconut pudding.  Who said you can't have dessert before a competition?!

ImageHere's what I used for my dessert.  This pudding was super creamy and the perfect end to lunch!

1 small avocado

handful ice cubes

1 drop vanilla stevia

1/2 t vanilla extract

Cinnamon to taste (I like a lot)

1 teaspoon gelatin (optional)

splash coconut milk (I'm bad at remembering to measure)

Blend away!!

You can always alter it for whatever flavor you want.  Maybe add some cocoa powder, or play with the ice/milk ratio.  Have you every used avocado in a dessert recipe?

After this competition I have my final class for my Extensions Yoga training, my audition for the studio, and then my nutrition final to study for.  Oh, and I need to find a new place to live because I have to move in a month.  Whew! Why does everything have to happen at once!  It will get done, and I will make it through!  Got to keep the positive thoughts going. :)

I want to leave you all with another delicious idea to try.  Collard wraps!  One thing I think a lot of people miss when they take things like wheat out of their diet are wraps/burritos.  Often I hear the lament of "I'm so tired of salad," so this is a fresh and healthy alternative to the processed tortilla.  Take 2 collard leaves and blanch them in boiling water for about 2 minutes.  This will make them more flexible and diminish the strong 'green' taste of the raw collard.  Dry them off, stack them on top of one another and fill them with whatever you choose.  Then roll it up like a burrito.  Voila!  Mine is filled with organic minced pork from a local farm, sauteed onions and mushrooms, and fresh spinach.  It was messy but so good!

Image

 

Next time I get to share with you all will be post comp!  Can't wait to fill you in on the experience!  Have a fantastic and healthy day!

Letting You In On A Little Secret...

Some of my friends and family know this, but I've been pretty quiet about it for the most part.  There is a part of me that is still in denial about the whole thing.  Earlier this summer I decided to move forward with a goal that I have had for quite awhile now. The day of this goal's completion is fast approaching and so I think it is time to announce it to the internet world, and all of you who are kind enough to take time out to read my blog.  I started this to inspire and to share, so it would not be right to hold back now.  So, I will get to the point.  On October 5th I will be taking part in the Washington Ironman Bikini Competition.  I will be strutting my stuff on stage with a hoard of other amazingly fit overly tan women. Unfortunately I didn't really track my progress with pictures.  Here is the only before pic I can find, which was this spring and then today.

My idea behind this was to do it my way.  Often with this sort of competition comes extreme dieting or compulsive workouts, and those that don't compete believe you must do that in order to get in that kind of shape.  That's not what I'm about.  I wanted to prove to myself and others that by simply applying what I have learned in my nutrition studies and leading a healthy active life I could get in competition shape.  No need for the unhealthy extremes.  My goal is not to win, and being my first competition I most likely will not even place.  I'm okay with that, it's about accomplishing goals and the journey to get there.

I don't usually wear clothes with slogans, but I love this one.

Today all the other parts of the competition just hit me though.  There are all these details that I didn't really think about when I decided to do this.  If I had known the expense it was going to be to compete I probably would have postponed it a bit because with this whole career change my current financial situation is not ideal.  I have to get a suit (not cheap), clear plastic heels, some blingy jewelry, a crazy fake tan, some sort of posing lessons, and pay the registration fee.  If I wanted I could get my hair, makeup and nails done too but there is no way I can budget that in.  All in all to do this on the cheap cheap it's going to probably be about $400!!!! That's $400 I don't really have to be spending on heels and shiny bikinis.  Buying stuff for competing is like buying things for weddings, it's immediately marked up.  I'm too far in now to back out though.  So I just have to trust that it will all work out.  If I keep heading in the direction of my goals things will fall into place as they are supposed to.  Although let's be real here, I am totally stressing out.

A big part of this whole competing business is your walk and how you present yourself to the judges.  Most people get posing lessons with experienced competitors or trainers.  These I've found run $50-150 a session.  Um, nope.  As much as I DO NOT want to look like a fool up on stage I cannot do that at the moment.  I am not the type of person to 'half ass' things, I like to do things right!  But unfortunately I am not going to be able to go into this quite as prepared as the majority of other ladies.  I just hope not to make a complete idiot of myself. I sit here writing this in a state of complete confusion and stress as to how I am going to prepare for October 5th.  If anyone knows ladies that have competed, or has any advice for me I would be so grateful.

On a lighter note, I discovered a new delicious post workout snack today.  After yoga I was heading out on a quick run to soak in the last glorious rays of Seattle sunshine, but hadn't brought anything to fuel up on.  You would think I would know by now to always have food with me!  But I guess then I wouldn't be forced to make these new discoveries.  So I headed to the nearest grocery store which happened to be an international type store (my favorite!).  Searching for a snack that doesn't have to be prepared, is easy to digest and is a whole food can be a challenge.  After some desperate searching I came across these...

mmmm tasty chestnuts!

A small, organic, whole food snack for under $2!  Chestnuts are very different than most nuts because they are primarily a starch, so I wouldn't advise chowing down regularly on them.  Starch should only comprise about 15% of our daily food intake.  They are a great post workout snack though, to help replenish depleted glycogen stores.  That being said an advantageous aspect of the chestnut in comparison to other nuts is their low phytic acid content.  Phytic acid inhibits the body's uptake of minerals and enzymes.  With chestnuts you don't have to worry about that, no soaking or sprouting required!  They are also high in Vitamin C, copper and manganese.

It may not always be as simple as grabbing the nearest processed snack, but there is always a solution and way to stay true to eating clean whole foods.  It's so exciting to discover a new tasty foods anyway!  Keep an open mind and try new things, sometimes you'll be surprised!

Do you like chestnuts?  Have you cooked with them before?  I read that you can bake with chestnut flour, which I want to try now!

Chowing On Fries and 'Chips'

The sun is out again in Seattle which means I'm taking full advantage of doing my homework out on my glorious deck and using the community grill. This is the view I get to enjoy for another 2 months

Grilled veggies are my favorite!  I swear almost anything tastes good grilled.  This mentality of grilled=better has me trying to grill just about anything I have in the fridge.  My latest discovery: grilled cabbage.  Amazing!! When it's grilled it has light crispy delicious edges, and it retains it's crunch so it is a great alternative to chips.  I love kale chips, but because they are so frail they don't hold up to a big scoop of salsa.  Grilled cabbage though is the perfect vehicle for dips and salsa's.  It has a mild flavor, other than the toasty bits which taste like camping, and a fantastic crunchy texture.

Grilled zucchini, carrot and cabbage.  So simple and yet so delicious

All I did was rub the leaves with ghee, sprinkle with salt and grill until they started to get charred and bubbly.  So easy.  Afterwards you can cut them or rip them into smaller pieces and then just dip away.  The ends can get a little floppier but if you just fold it over itself it is good to go!  If you don't have anything you want to dip in it's also great plain, or could serve as a wrap.  I love this alternative, but just know it is obviously not going to be exactly the same as a tortilla or pita chip.  It is tons healthier and just as delicious though!

Crispy, grilled, yummy cabbage.

I also recently got crazy and made fries!  Yep, I eat fries.  IMG_2005Okay, I will admit they aren't your traditional potato frites.  But they are made of a root vegetable.  Can you guess what they are made of?

Jicama!

I had used jicama raw before in salads and slaws, and had heard of jicama chips or fries but it wasn't until this week that I got around to trying it.  Sliced that round tuber up into fry pieces, greased up the caste iron skillet with some chicken fat and fried away.  Yes, with chicken fat.  I have recently been buying pasture raised stewing chickens from the farmers market and those birds leave me with a healthy portion of fat after I cook them.  I use it like I would butter, to saute veggies and spread on my "breads."  The one thing I would do different is probably watch them a bit closer so they didn't get quite so dark.  I was running out to tend the grill while cooking them so they got a little bit neglected.  Oops!  I have read that you can also roast them to make fries, which I will have to try.   I wanted that real fried flavor though so I went all in.

Making transitions in your diet is always difficult at first, but I've found that finding alternatives to previously loved foods is so fun!  It makes you get creative, and think outside of the box.  When you find something that works it's also so rewarding!  You eat your new food with feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction.  So if you are trying to transition away from some of the more unhealthy food choices, or foods that you are sensitive to, try to focus on all the new possibilities and flavors out there.  Don't dwell on what you are choosing to move away from, that will just leave you feeling deprived.  Have fun with food and enjoy the plethora of options we have available.

Have you grilled cabbage?  Do you like jicama?  Tell me some of your substitutions for fries and chips!  I'd love to get some more ideas to try out.

Tera