Breaking Grain-Free Bread with the Masses
For the millions living with food allergies and intolerances, Elana’s Pantry (http://www.elanaspantry.com/), offers reason to celebrate. Founded in 2006 by health and wellness expert, Elana Amsterdam, the renowned food blogger shares her quick, simple, and flavorful recipes with tips for adopting a healthy, healing lifestyle. For the past 6 years, Elana, a diagnosed Celiac and follower of the Paleolithic Diet, has shared hundreds of gluten-free, grain-free recipes on her website and in two cookbooks, all of which have passed the palette test of her own family.
No Gluten, No Grain, No Problem
Diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1998, Elana, an Ivy League graduate, began her culinary journey just five years earlier when she enrolled in an Ayurvedic training program. Relying on a strict gluten-free diet post-diagnosis, Elana’s digestive distress did not improve, so she researched dietary solutions and discovered the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), founded by Elaine Gottschall. Elana began to follow the SCD in 2001, and has been eating a grain-free diet ever since.
Feeding the Masses
With the simple goal of bringing people together through food, Elana, mother to two sons with gluten allergies, the eldest of whom was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at just two years old, uses ingredients that are high in protein and fiber, such as almond and coconut flours, to ensure a rich, delicious taste, not usually found in gluten-free cooking. Simple steps and few ingredients make her recipes easy to follow and effortless to prepare. Elana infuses a realistic understanding with scientific knowledge to create recipes that are safe for those with food allergies, but tasty enough for everyone to enjoy.
While her first two books – Gluten Free Cupcakes and The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, named one of the “Best Cookbooks of 2009” by The Denver Post – emphasized gluten-free recipes, it’s Elana’s paleo recipes that are most popular on her site, embraced by readers looking to not only eliminate gluten – but also dairy and grains – whether because of allergies or to generally improve their health. Elana’s forthcoming book, Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry (June 2013) offers nearly 100 recipes featuring lean proteins and simple vegetable dishes, plus classic desserts – all free from grain, gluten, and dairy, and made with natural sweeteners.
Eat Like a Caveman, or Woman
The Paleolithic Diet (aka Caveman Diet) has played a large role in Elana’s recovery from Celiac Disease, and has seen a recent upswing in popularity. Paleos, like Elana, eat a similar diet to what humans consumed during the Paleolithic Era, a period of about 2.5 million years, which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets. Paleo eating excludes grain, dairy, legumes, and refined sugars and salts, and consists mainly of fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, roots and nuts.
Before Cavewoman, there was Garbage Girl
In the early nineties, during the days when waste management was controlled by the mafia, Elana formed her first business, Ecosav, an environmental consulting firm that specialized in recycling. Dubbed the “Garbage Girl” by Fortune magazine, Elana now finds herself focusing more on input than output, lunching with hungry kids rather than greedy mobsters.