This Is Super Personal To Me + Lentil and Red Bean Chili (Instant Pot) and Stovetop

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When I finally decided to quit drinking and smoking for good, I knew I needed to do something apart from just abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes.

There was no way I could continue life exactly as I’d been living it up until that point, minus the booze and cigs and expect this much needed change to stick. I needed a different routine altogether.

So I got to work and I started plotting and planning my sobriety and my path to glowing, radiant health that I KNEW I had in me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the plan that I plotted out for myself would be the groundwork and the blueprint for the Plant Based Reset.

Looking back, it all makes perfect sense. I had to get my shit together before I could help anyone else. And by creating and following this plan myself, I was able to test it first hand. It wasn’t until a few weeks into it that the light bulb came on and I knew that eventually I would help people end their bad habits and get ridiculously healthy by leading them step by step through my plan.

I had tried to quit drinking and smoking approximately 1,000 times before it finally stuck. And that’s okay – you can fail at something 1,000 times, but you only have to succeed once.

The first month without my best friends, red wine and American Spirits were hard and it sucked and yes, I complained a LOT. But it got me to the second month which was easier than the first. And that got me to my third month which was easier yet.

By my fourth month sober, smoke-free and eating super healthy (and feeling better than I had in my entire life), I knew I was out of the woods and that this was now my life. So I went to work researching, tweaking and putting mad love into creating the Plant Based Reset.

Here are seven major things I’ve learned by going through this process myself, creating this program and guiding hundreds of people successfully through it so far.

ONE: All of our struggles are similar.

Whether it’s food, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes or sugar that people over do, the struggle is similar – regardless of the substance.

And this is because junk food and sugar affect the brain in the same way that drugs, alcohol and cigarettes do. They all trigger a significant release of dopamine, a neurochemical responsible for feelings of pleasure. This is one of our built in survival mechanisms. When we eat and when we have sex, a bit of dopamine is released from the pleasure center of the brain because this is the body’s way of telling us that these functions are important for survival (individually and as a species) and should be repeated.

A small release of dopamine is an awesome thing. This is our natural high and without it the world would be dull and melancholy. The problem occurs when the pleasure center of the brain gets hijacked by over stimulating substances like junk food, cheese, sugar, alcohol and cigarettes and in turn, large quantities of dopamine are released over and over again.

Large surges of dopamine make us feel really fucking happy at first, but it doesn’t last. And what really sucks is that repetitive large amounts of dopamine being released makes it impossible for us to find pleasure in things that release normal amounts of dopamine.

So whether it’s crappy food, alcohol, sugar or drugs, in order to break the habit, you must go at least 21 days without the substance before you adjust and find pleasure in normal dopamine levels. After 21 days the cycle is broken and you can start mending your life. This is why in-patient drug and alcohol rehab centers have patients stay for at least 30 days. And this is why the Plant Based Reset lasts an entire month.

TWO: The emotional connection you have with your substance of choice must be examined.

Quitting a bad habit has just as much to do with your mindset, your emotional state and your connection with that habit as it has with avoiding whatever substance you’re trying to quit. Putting your emotional connection with that substance under the microscope might not be pretty or fun, but what you’ll learn about yourself is a crucial and necessary step in your healing process.

I thought I drank because I enjoyed it.

But when I looked closer and got honest with myself, I realized that drinking had stemmed from a lack of confidence and a way to quiet my oftentimes heavy thoughts. Quitting a bad habit is more about connecting with your true self than anything else. During the Reset, you’ll bring your baggage and I’ll bring the microscope.

THREE: Doing this with other people makes it a shit ton easier

During my first month of sobriety, I desperately wanted to connect with people who were going through similar experiences as I was. With each day that went by, I was slowly waking up and experiencing new sensations, thoughts and emotions that had been buried deep within the crevices of my existence.

I thought about going to AA meetings, but it never felt right to me. So I read lots of books on getting sober, I subscribed to a couple of sobriety newsletters and I made a “Sober Living” Pinterest board. It got me through, but I would have LAPPED UP being part of a community of people who were going through the same steps as I was at the same time.

I knew that one of the most important aspects of the Plant Based Reset would be to run it live and have everyone go through it at the same time. We’ve run this program twice so far and both times, people have expressed how powerful it is to do this as a group. That’s why we don’t offer it as a self-guided program that people can buy anytime throughout the year.

We run it live once a year so that everyone can go through it together.

FOUR: Embrace the Suck.

One of the most important things that kept me on track that first month was to accept the fact that life is not always peachy fucking keen. And that’s not a fluke or a problem. That is by design. We’re so used to doing whatever it takes to feel good ALL THE TIME that we forget that it’s normal and natural and helpful to have a bad day or a really hard couple of hours.

When you stop trying to soothe and make it easy all the time and accept that sometimes life is just fucking hard, it makes it easier to feel ALL the feelings. And only when you feel everything (good and bad) can you process what needs processing and start to feel better.

Understanding that no feeling lasts forever (good or bad) and Embracing the Suck makes it possible to ease into discomfort instead of running away from it by soothing with food or booze or sugar or FILL IN THE BLANK.

The Plant Based Reset will get you out of your comfort zone and yes, it will suck at times, especially the first couple of weeks. I knew that I never wanted to sugar coat this because in order to change, you have to push yourself out of your routine and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Because only then can change happen.

FIVE: Even people who have their shit together benefit from a good cleanout.

Even if you don’t have an addiction or a bad habit that you’re trying to kick to the curb, a month of nothing but whole plant food without alcohol, sugar, processed food or coffee (yes, I said coffee) is wildly eye opening and scrumptious.

Eating 100% Whole Food Plant Based and not eating or drinking anything naughty for one month straight is rare, even for super healthy people. The plant Based Reset gives you the opportunity to experience how your body operates and feels on optimal fuel, with nothing getting in the way.

No matter how healthy you are, you will feel better than you have – maybe ever. Your beautiful body will lap it up and purrrrrrrrr.

SIX: Getting rid of your cravings for crap food is much easier than working around your cravings.

We’ve all white knuckled it through cravings. It’s uncomfortable. It’s distracting. It sucks. And it usually ends in caving in and repeating the cycle. But if you remove your cravings for unhealthy substances altogether, you won’t think about them constantly and there’s nothing to white knuckle through.

Removing your cravings is non-negotiable in successfully changing a bad habit (whether that’s crappy food or alcohol) and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing during the Plant Based Reset. By the end of the month, your cravings for unhealthy shit will be gone and the freedom that comes with that opens up possibilities that you never even knew existed.

SEVEN: Fear isn’t going any damn where.

Fear is built into us. It’s another one of our survival mechanisms.

The goal of life is to survive. When we’re in our comfy routine, fear doesn’t pop up because consistency is safe and it doesn’t trigger warning. As soon as we move out of our routine and our comfort zone, even if it will benefit us, fear wakes up and is like, “Wait – hold the hell up. What’s happening. We’re good here. You don’t need to do that. That’s probably not going to work anyway. You can work on this later. There’s always next year.”

And most times we listen to fear because as soon as we back down and stay in our routine we feel better because fear goes back to sleep.

Here’s the thing.

Fear can’t tell the difference between a possibly life threatening situation and a juice fast.

Anytime we get out of our routine, fear wakes up and says hi. So if fear comes up, know that it’s a normal part of changing something and fear can never be conquered because it’s built into us.

What we can do is have a chat with fear and tell it that we got this one and to go back to sleep until we really need it. This will make fear take the back seat, putting YOU in charge of living a happy and healthy life.

If we run toward and embrace the things that scare us, we find that those are the things that we need most in our life.

The Plant Based Reset isn’t just a program that we run once a year to help you eat better.

This is a lifestyle transformation.

This is about changing your fundamental understanding of food and how it interacts with your delicious body.

This is a way out of funktown.

This is about looking at your bad habits and addictions straight on and facing them.

This is about injecting life and energy into every cell of your being.

This is about building a solid base to live the rest of your life.

This is about redefining and revolutionizing how, what and why you eat.

This is about saying yes to yourself so that you can live the life that you KNOW you are capable of living.

This program is personal to me because it transformed my life, long before it helped transform other people’s lives.

There was always this little voice in my head and this nudge, telling me that when and if I ever got my shit together, I could have whatever I want and my life would be abundant, overflowing with joy and incredible.

I ignored that voice and that nudge for a long time, but I knew it was right. Acknowledging that little voice and accepting that nudge was the beginning of changing my life forever.

If you have that little voice, nudging you to do this, don’t overthink it and jump in. I welcome you with open arms.

The 2017 Plant Based Reset runs from January 2nd – January 30th.

Registration is now open until December 22nd at midnight.

Read all about the 2017 Plant Based Reset details and join us here.

Today’s recipe has been said to be the best plant based chili recipe out there. Try it and see for yourself!

Lentil and Red Bean Chili

Instant Pot Directions
1/2 cup dried brown lentils, soaked in water overnight (100g)
1/2 cup dried red beans, soaked in water overnight (90g)
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped (60g)
1 cup carrot, chopped (135g)
1 green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup / 130g)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Coconut Aminos
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz. 411g)
heaping 1/4 cup tomato paste (90g)
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup corn, frozen (150g)

  • Soak the lentils and the red beans in water overnight or 8 hours (you can soak them in the same bowl).
  • When you’re ready to cook your chili, rinse and drain the lentils and red beans in a fine mesh strainer and place the strainer over a bowl and allow them to drain. Set aside for now.
  • Prep all of your veggies and measure out all of your spices and then press the saute button on your Instant Pot (IP) and let it heat up for 2 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the smoked paprika, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, dried oregano, allspice, cayenne, salt, Coconut Aminos, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, lentils and red beans. Stir and cook for about a minute and then add the water and stir once more. Lock the IP lid into place, making sure the nozzle is in the “sealing” position. Use the manual setting and set the timer for 30 minutes.
  • Use the natural release method when the timer goes off. When the pressure is totally out of the IP, take off the lid, add the corn and stir.
  • Allow the chili to cool before you store it in the fridge.

Stovetop Directions
1/2 cup dried brown lentils, soaked in water overnight (100g)
1/2 cup dried red beans, soaked in water overnight (90g)
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped (60g)
1 cup carrot, chopped (135g)
1 green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup / 130g)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Coconut Aminos
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz. / 411g)
heaping 1/4 cup tomato paste (90g)
2 cups cups water (475ml)
1 cup corn, frozen (150g)

  • Soak the lentils and the red beans in water overnight or at least 8 hours (you can soak them in the same bowl).
  • When you’re ready to cook your chili, rinse and drain the lentils and red beans in a fine mesh strainer and place the strainer over a bowl and allow them to drain. Set aside for now.
  • Prep all of your veggies and measure out all of your spices and then heat a large pot over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the smoked paprika, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, dried oregano, allspice, cayenne, salt, Coconut Aminos, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, lentils and red beans. Stir and cook for about a minute and then add the water and stir once more.
  • Place a lid at an angle on the pot and simmer for about 50-55 minutes, until the lentils and red beans are soft, stirring frequently so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  • When the lentils and beans are soft, turn off the heat, add the corn and stir. Allow the chili to cool before you store it in the fridge.

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Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with saying yes to that nudge.

Xo
Molly

molly_round

Are you grooving to my jammy jam? Sign up here for my Saturday morning fuckeries and free Whole Food Plant Based recipe ebook. Pucker up, beautiful!

Food photography by Christine June

 

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