Believe

Believe stoneThere’s a saying I’m sure you’ve all heard – Believe it to achieve it. It’s cliché and trite, but I keep thinking about it because I also find it to be true. I see so often that the people I deeply wish could find their reason, their faith in themselves, and their success are wonderful people who, deep down inside, don’t believe they can reach their goals. This makes me sad. Perhaps even more so because far too often I am one of them too.

I wish that I could say I’d found the definitive solution or some secret mantra that would provide everyone with the self-confidence and knowledge that they have everything they need inside, right now, to achieve whatever they set their mind to. Unfortunately, this area is one that I continue to struggle with all the time. My dear friend over at Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching broached the topic the other day and it got me thinking about my own recent experience with it.

This time last year, I had been consistently eating 95% (or maybe even 98%) Paleo for several months. I was working out more regularly than ever before and was very focused on my health. I’ll admit that there was an element of wanting to look and feel good in my clothes, but once I got truly settled into eating the right food for my body, it became much more than that. I could really feel that my mind and body were working together towards the same goal and it was more than just the size of my jeans. There was a sense of rhythm to my energy – I ate when I needed fuel, I had zero desire to eat things that didn’t make me feel vibrant, I was in tune with what worked and what didn’t. It felt so good that when I look back from where I sit today, I wonder why I ever changed what I was doing.

I feel like I was better able to face life’s challenges when I was in that space, so why stop doing what was working? I guess life isn’t a straight line or a series of successes, though. At least it isn’t for me. It seems that it is more like a wave with ups and downs, over and over again. Sometimes I am riding on top with a clear line of site to wherever it is I’m headed, and then other times I’m at the bottom of the wave, just trying to figure my way out.

There was one other distinct difference, though. I also firmly believed that I could be successful. I didn’t doubt my choices, my reasons, my self. I just acted with clear intention – give my body what it needs to feel great. It seems so simple and easy when I look at it like that. But for me, for so many people that I know, doing what’s right for my body is utterly entangled with my past. My ability to make good choices in any particular moment seems hi-jacked by my emotional state, leaving me feeling helpless. This isn’t true; I am not helpless, of course. I always have a choice.

Lately, like for the past 6 months, I’ve been making a different choice. In some ways, it has definitely been a learning experience. I am still trying to figure out how to balance a love of all foods, the pleasure of enjoying a cocktail, and the slippery slope that indulgence is for me, with the strength and confidence that I derive from following a stricter Paleo lifestyle. It feels like it shouldn’t be difficult, but for me it still is. I thought I was handling it, and I’ve balanced it better than in the past, but here I am at the end of the summer wishing I had done things differently. That’s somewhere that I don’t want to spend much time. I would like to live my life with confidence, proud of my choices, happy with my days and nights. With that, it’s time to take a look at the old habits that have crept back in and do a bit of course correction.

A few friends and I have embarked on 21 days of squeaky-clean whatever. For me it’s Paleo, for others it is what makes them feel their best. We’re a few days in and doing it together so that we can support and motivate each other. Like I said in the beginning, though, believing in myself and what I want to achieve is fundamental to my success. What I want is to feel strong, confident, healthy, beautiful, energetic, and whole.

My friend at Rising Tide also said, “The brain knows the difference between lip service and your deepest feelings.” I guess that means I have some work to do to figure out where the obstacles to my success lie and what I need to do to overcome them. It also means I need to look a little more deeply to figure out what keeps me from believing that I deserve balance and ease and health. On to the next lesson…

Carrot-Jicama Chipotle Slaw

Carrot Jicama Slaw with Chipotle Lime Dressing 2015I can’t believe that summer is nearly over already! It’s been a crazy few months around my house because, although I only have one child, I do have a number of part-time jobs and projects that take over my time and balancing them with wanting to enjoy the summer with a 10 year old can be challenging.

In honor of it still being summer, I will finally post this salad after making it countless times. It’s inspired by a chipotle coleslaw that a friend of mine introduced me to many years ago. I lost that recipe, but I never lost the love for the creamy, spicy, tangy sauce. What I love about using carrots here is the sweetness that they bring to the dish. They act as the perfect counterpoint to the spicy chipotle.

And then there’s the jicama. If you’ve never tried jicama, I highly recommend it. I should have posted a picture with a whole one so you can imagine it if you’ve never seen it. You find it in the produce section and it looks like a fairly large roundish ball wrapped in brown paper. Think of a big, round potato or turnip with thicker skin that you need to peel. It is, in fact, a tuber from South America and can be cooked, although I’ve found that I much prefer it raw. I love it on veggie trays and have even used thin slices as a bread replacement. It’s juicy and refreshing, but not in the way that an orange is. It won’t drip down your chin or make juice or anything, but it will taste delicious on a hot summer day.

So this salad…I love it so much that it is among the most frequently made in my house. Crisp, juicy, sweet, spicy, citrusy – you name it, this salad brings it together. It is perfect next to grilled meat of any kind and when I have left overs, I will sometimes throw in a can of tuna or some cooked chicken and call it lunch. You have to be the judge when it comes to adding the chipotle, though. I like it spicy and will vary the recipe depending on my mood. Start with half of what the recipe calls for and then add more until your taste buds are happy. I’ve been known to add quite a bit more.

Here’s to the final weeks of summer, friends and BBQs, salads any time, and delicious food!

Carrot-Jicama Chipotle Slaw

1 1/2 lb. jicama

6 medium carrots, about 1 lb.

1 large handful of cilantro, about 1/3 c. chopped

1/4 c. Paleo Mayonnaise

Juice from 1 large lime, about 1/4 c.

2 chipotle peppers in adobo with most (but not all) seeds removed

1 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Using a food processor or box grater, shred the jicama and carrots and place in a large bowl.
  2. Add the cilantro.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lime juice, chipotle peppers and salt. You can also put the ingredients into a blender or Magic Bullet and give it a whirl.
  4. Toss the dressing with the slaw, taking time to get everything well integrated, and then taste to adjust seasonings. You can add more of any of the sauce ingredients to satisfy your taste.
  5. Let the flavors meld for about 10 minutes and then taste again, adding a little extra salt if necessary.
  6. Enjoy!