Keep these things in mind and remember a positive mindset goes a lot further than you might imagine...
1. TEXTURE + TASTE
Have you ever tried "gluten free bread"? Yeah, the products are getting better more often these days, but especially when it first started coming out, GF bread blows. It's hard and nasty and makes you want to give up all hope on ever finding a good bread substitute. This, my friend, is part of the journey into a Real Foods diet. Things ain't gonna taste the way you're used to. That is in part because our modern day food is designed to be more pleasurable than nature can actually provide. This gets us addicted and keeps us coming back for more. That is the sad truth behind food being produced in labs these days. It's not a joke. There are books and movies produced on this stuff. The point being: give yourself grace and...
2. THE LONGER YOU STICK WITH IT, THE BETTER IT GETS
There is nothing more glorious than experiencing sweets from nature the way they were designed to be enjoyed. At first, it'll be easy to think "you'll never get there." You just wait. This one is hard to put into words, for it's not easily convincing. You must experience this for yourself. Have faith. It's coming.
3. FOOD ADDICTION IS REAL
Hello, sugar! It is true that you can become literally, physically addicted to things like gluten and dairy, but let me tell you the biggest killer of them all is sugar. Become aware of what it is that you LOVE and feel like you just can't give up. You really and truly, might be addicted and it's time to face the dragons head on. You can do it. It's so worth it.
4. YOU ARE GOING TO FEEL DEPRIVED
You're going to feel deprived, but I promise you my friend, you are not. Back that mean-mind talk up with a hefty load of empowering self-talk. You are doing this because you want to. You are doing this to get in touch with your body better. You are doing this to understand body and your mind on a deeper level. It seems silly, foolish, exhausting - especially when all you want is chocolate and popcorn. From here on out, you are on a food freedom journey and you must approach every interaction with conscious decisions. Become aware what is and isn't worth it, for your health and happiness - your body and your mind.
5. YOU MUST ALWAYS PLAN
This sounds draining, but again, with a little practice, in no time it will be second nature and you will always have your go-to back-ups on hand. My best advice is get a system down. You're going to fall off the wagon here and there, but if you have a system in place, it makes it that much easier to get back up. My favorite meal planning service is Real Plans. I love them so much, I dedicated a whole page on my website so you can learn about them!
Feeling frustrated, feeling like you "failed" is all part of the process. I would be worried if those things didn't happen to you! So embrace them when they come along and just keep getting back up. Give yourself grace and a positive pep talk. I've been on my journey for six years at the time of this writing and I've come a long ways, but I'm still figuring out a lot of things. You just have to commit to the process, dear friend.
You know I love a recipe that can be rearranged and put back together in many different fashions. Stir fry is one you just can't go wrong. It's essentially one of those "kitchen sink" recipes, where you use all the left overs in the fridge. For this recipe I recommend slicing all your vegetables thin (Julienne) when possible. If you like your vegetables chunky, then by all means, cut them chunky. Use as many or as little vegetables as you like. As I said, this is a pretty free-range recipe. I thought this one turned out very well so I thought I'm sharing it with you and just what I did this time around, including helpful ideas that you can change into something that works best for you as desired. Really, twerk it however ya feel vibes best with you, your body, and the food you choose to nourish with. Enjoy!
Ingredients: *=Organic (in the ingredients I used) -1 package Udon Noodles or Vermicelli Bean Noodles -Red onion* -Red cabbage -Bell Pepper -Carrot -Broccoli -Green beans -Green Onion -Celery -Smoked Meat/Fish/Fermented Tofu
-Winter Squash (must be roasted separately ahead of time) -Curry powder -Sea Salt + Pepper -Mushrooms -Roasted garlic (or regular chopped garlic)
Sauce: -Nut butter (Sunflower, peanut, almond) -Boiling water -Worcestershire sauce or powder -Teriyaki sauce -Coconut aminos -Schezchuan spicy stir fry sauce (read your labels!) -Dash o' Brown sugar (optional)
-First boil a large amount of water or use an instant water tea boiler. -When water is boiled you will pour some over your Noodles and set aside to let them soften. -Pore rest of water over your broccoli, carrots, celery, and green beans (vegetables that are usually very hard when raw) and cover to keep too much steam from escaping. -Boil more water because you need it to make your Sauce. -In a large pan add a little bit of oil and garlic, (chop green onion & add here if you like) sauté. -Add onion, cabbage, mushrooms, and tofu, saute for a few minutes until somewhat tender. -Drain the vegetables covered in hot water, (they should have set for at least 5 minutes by now, longer they sit the softer they should be) add to pan and saute. -Separate Noodles with fork or fingers (but don't burn yo'self!) so they are not stuck together in one solid square, drain and add to large pan, sauté to mix noodles in with everything else. -Add pre-roasted winter squash, sauté. -Add salt, pepper, and curry powder here. Amount will depend on how many vegetables you are cooking with. If you are cooking for 1-2 people start with teaspoons, if cooking for more try up to 1 tablespoon. Use your best judgement, it's hard to go wrong with spices. Sauté for a few minutes.
Sauce: If good at multi-tasking you can make the sauce in between saute sessions at the pan.
-Start with about 1/2 c. nut butter -Add hot water until it becomes the consistency of a thick soup (still runny--like a thick sauce, but not too runny) -Add the rest of ingredients according to your personal flavor (again, use your judgement). If you like things more spicy add more of the spicy sauce, or even try adding other hot sauces or chili powder. -Be careful with the teriyaki and coconut aminos - they have sharp tastes - add a little at a time and constantly taste test. -If your sauce tastes too salty add brown sugar, (this is really only when I add it into my sauce, but you can add it in for extra sweetness as you desire) sweetness balances saltiness--think sweet and salty.
-Once you have your sauce made, pour as much of it as you like over your vegetables+noodles, mix together well, and enjoy!
Extra Notes: >You can also pour the sauce over individual plate portions. >Egg would be a wonderful addition. If adding egg to your dish scramble in it's own separate pan and then add to the large pan. >You can use ANY variety of vegetables when making a stir fry. >Simply coconut aminos or teriyaki makes for an individual delicious sauce too. >If you have fresh or powdered ginger it would be delicious in either the sauce, vegetable mix, or both.