DIPS!!!! and Setting Yourself up for Failure for the Whole Life Challenge or ANY Task

Hi everyone!

below are some WLC compliant dips to ALWAYS have in your fridge so we don’t set ourselves up for failure.

When getting ready to change our ways, it is vitally important to do a reality check on ourselves to make sure we don’t set ourselves up for failure, get discouraged, and then give up on the home cooking thing altogether.

We live in such an instant gratification based society that it makes sense that we want it and we want it NOW. If we can’t get it, we may give up and move on to the next thing. For some tasks, we may indeed excel at first and that will give us the motivation to keep going. But what if we don’t ? How will we keep moving toward our goal if we stink at first? The answer is to manage our expectations and give ourselves a break and a pat on the back for trying. To have small goals, or just smaller than what we originally thought we should be able to achieve instantaneously. This goes for cooking as well as many other tasks in life. Please allow me to self disclose for a minute to show you by example:

This year I started a bootcamp class that had as one of its foci an urbanathalon in NYC. One had to do a minimum of a 4.5 mile run as well as relays, climbing fences, hopping through tires and more fun seeming activities.

I set out to do this even though the others in the class had done it in years past and had been training for a month before I even got there. Did I mention I have zero leg strength and never have? I prided myself on the fact that I had done pushups and squats 3 times a week without fail for the last 3 years so I assumed I was in good shape. Uh, wrong. When the instructor asked us all to start running the track, I started with everyone but fell behind literally in seconds. I could not even keep up for seconds!
I was so embarrassed and so shocked that I felt like a loser. I was so crazy far behind everyone that I didn’t know wether to laugh or cry. I was surprised at myself for caring so much but I did.

Even though I kept returning to the bootcamp class and planned on attending the extra days of training for the urbanathalon, I soon found that with my packed schedule with my job, my volunteer work, my four kids, the constant and unexpected beginning of school meetings for my son with special needs and the random illnesses and plumber visits, there was no way I could train effectively to do this urbanathalon four times a week. What the heck was I thinking? I’m not idle and childless! But I had told everyone that I was doing the urbanathalon…..

I had to pull myself out of the urbanathalon and felt bad about myself. I was kind of embarrassed to show my face in the class and felt the need to explain to the others (who barely knew me by the way and probably couldn’t care less) that I just did not have the time to train. I had set myself up for failure.

Instead of throwing in the entire bootcamp towel, however, I continued to attend the bootcamp classes and although I am like a turtle (slow and steady wins the race) and am ALWAYS the last one who finishes running, I can now run around the track without stopping 10 times to walk.

I shifted gears and shifted the expectations of myself and accepted the reality of my life’s situation which is that 2 days of bootcamp a week are manageable for me but not training 4 days a week. I do other exercises at home on the other days when I can find a moment. I often pat myself on the back and ask my husband to pat me on the back that I have committed to 2 days a week. That bootcamp is HARD and I never miss those 2 days.

Back to you: Please look at your own life and your own reality. If you plan on committing to serious cooking every day but have little foundation, time, help, energy or all of the above, how about committing to just a couple of days of cooking a week to start and plan on assembly foods like salads, burritos, dips and healthy take-out for the rest of the week to start? You have the rest of your life to get comfortable with all of this so start small so you don’t get discouraged and give up.

Sometimes we are not experts at a given task, our goals in a certain arena are just too lofty at first. We may not be naturals. That being said, if you want to play me in a game of jax, you know, the tiny ball and metal star looking things, even 35 years after I used to beat all my siblings every game, I will indeed kick your ass. I’m naturally very good at jax.


1 cup Chick peas, cooked

6 TBS olive oil (more if necessary)

1 clove garlic

1/2 tsp salt

pepper to taste

1/4 tsp ground cumin

2 TBS tahini (can get at most supermarkets, Whole Foods)

1-2 TBS lemon juice

2 TBS water (more if necessary)

optional: a little cayenne pepper or 1/2 a roasted pepper or 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes)


Puree all ingredients in a food processor. Add more water or olive oil if too thick and adjust spices. Enjoy!


Sun Dried Tomato Hummus


4 cups chick peas

3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes

1/2 cup tahini

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tsp cumin

1 cup water

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper


Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.



Chili Black Bean Dip:


1 can drained black beans

1/4 cup sourcream

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ancho chili powder

1 small garlic clove

pepper to taste


Eggplant Dip ( Babaganoush)


3 Medium sized eggplants,split in 1/2, laid on parchment paper over a cookie sheet and covered with tin foil. Roasted for about one hour at 475 degrees

2 TBS Joya Brand Tahini (sold at most supermarkets)

2 TBS Olive oil

2 pinches of salt

1 clove of garlic

1 TBS lemon juice


Remove eggplant from skin with your hands or a spoon and puree with all the other ingredients until smooth. Add more salt or other ingredients if you wish.



Puree in a food processor until creamy…That’s it!


Caponata (eggplant dip/sauce):


1 large eggplant or 2 small eggplants, sliced in half horizontally, sprayed with olive oil or canola oil, covered in aluminum foil, and roasted at 400 degrees for 40 minutes to an hour, until tender

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped into small pieces 3-5 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly

1 cup pasta sauce-I used trader joe’s brand but you can make your own

1 TBS capers

1 TBS brown sugar

1 TBS organic cane sugar (or just anither TBS of brown sugar) or dates!

1/4 cup black olives, chopped

2 TBS pomegranite syrup (if you cannot find this, just add a little more sugar and a few shakes of balsamic vinegar)

Salt and Pepper to taste




Scoop out the roasted eggplant and set aside in a bowl. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add 2 TBS olive oil but make sure the flame is not too high because olive oil has a low smoking point and will burn. When hot, add chopped onions, stir for about 5 minutes until wilted. Add the sliced garlic and stir for about 2-3 minutes. Add in eggplant, capers, olives, tomato sauce, pomegranite syrup, sugar and eggplant and stir until combined and heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can serve as a cold dip after refrigerated for a while or as a delicious pasta sauce.



Truffled Bean Dip:


1 TBS plus one tsp truffle oil (Can buy at Trader Joe’s or Whole foods)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 14 oz. can cannelini beans

1/8 tsp salt


Puree until very smooth in a food processor and enjoy with pita chips, carrots, or any other vehicle!


Perfect Guacamole:


2 ripe avocados

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

1/2 tsp lime zest 1/2 lime’s juice

2 pinches salt

10 grinds of fresh pepper


Mix gently to combine!


2 Responses

  1. Alma- it’s like you went through my brain and found all the reasons that I struggle with cooking. Thanks for this post.

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