“I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world's greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance” ~ Nora Ephron, Heartburn
Toward the tail end of October .. I tried my hand at a fairly strict elimination diet.
If I had to describe it .. a Whole30 would probably be the closest. Meat, seafood, eggs, lots of veggies, some fruit, plenty of good fats, herbs, spices, and seasonings. These were in the good column. Things like sugar, dairy, alcohol, grains .. in the bad
I hadn't been feeling the best, tummy wise .. for longer than I cared to admit .. and finally asked my doctor for a referral to a specialist. Yes, she could make room in her schedule. How about the week before Thanksgiving? In the meantime .. please, start getting used to this kind of a diet.
“It's going to be your friend for quite some time”
I made it a little over ten days. The cravings that did me in? Ketchup for my hamburger patty .. and a bowl of cottage cheese at midnight
Admittedly .. the first few days were hard. Even though my diet is pretty clean .. there were times when I really struggled with cravings. On my long afternoon walks .. I'd find my mind wandering to all the things I wanted
Not just any kind of tomato soup .. but creamy Campbell's from a can. The kind my mom made for me 40(!) years ago when I wasn't feeling well. A triangle of grilled cheese on the side for dipping
Not just any ice cream .. but the kind my dad used to make back in the day. The old-fashioned kind he spent hours churning by hand on the porch of our family's cottage by the lake
The kind of ice cream that topped my root beer floats at the A&W on hot summer evenings. Orders placed from the back seat of my grandparent's Model T .. into the crackly speaker at the drive-up
Not just any kind of homemade bread .. but a thick toasted slice, buttered and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar (all the way to the edges). It was best eaten in front of the television watching Fat Albert and Scooby Doo on Saturday mornings
Not just any cookie .. but some of my grandma's big bowl of dough. Eaten by the spoonful from the batches she made during the holidays. She'd humble you with her hand-knitted afghans .. crocheted pillows on the sofa .. and always a gingerbread house. Not to mention .. all of the cookies she baked as gifts for friends, neighbors,
and church potlucks
Every year was the same. She started with roll-out cookies in shapes to suit any holiday occasion .. and moved on from there. Oatmeal, chocolate chip, and even popcorn balls of every color. How many times were her kitchen counters were filled with cookies .. frosting .. and glittery sprinkles as far as the eye could see?
After a while .. I realized my lists were following a similar pattern. Every entry infused with a childhood memory or meaning. Writing down the cravings didn't diminish them .. although it shone a spotlight on the truth that they often stem from a powerful emotion
One the day I caved .. I also walked .. went to a yoga class .. and made some winter squash pancakes as something special for dinner. I felt much better than I had in weeks. The previous ten days proving to be the good start of a reset. I had a lot more energy and was less worried (and embarrassed) about getting a tummy ache during my days
I've returned (mostly) to the diet .. knowing I'll need to be strict with myself again very soon
But its made me wonder .. if sometimes a bit of discipline isn't just what the doctor ordered to shake ourselves out of complacency. At the same time .. knowing that a break from the rules for some of life's special moments needs to be ordered up as well (ie: your brother's coconut cream pie at Thanksgiving)
There are so many reasons to make edible cookie dough
The weather is hot, the oven is broken .. or you're having a fierce craving for cookie dough. Perhaps all of the above.
Enter edible cookie dough. This version is not only Paleo but gluten-free. Without leaveners or raw eggs .. it can be enjoyed straight from the bowl with a spoon.
Classic chocolate chip is always great, but the variations are endless. I've added a few suggestions to get you started.
~ Adapted from The Roasted Root
- Cookie Dough
- ½ cup almond flour, packed
- ¼ cup tapioca flour (cornstarch or arrowroot flour are great alternatives)
- 5 Tbsp grass-fed butter, unsalted and cold
- 1 Tbsp honey, to taste (or maple syrup)
- 1½ tsp vanilla
- pinch of sea salt
- Optional Add-ins
- For Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- your favorite chocolate - in chip form, or chopped from a chocolate bar
- Oatmeal Raisin
- walnuts (or pecans)
- ** Note, it's best if you can pulse the oats, raisins, and nuts a few times in your food processor because, with smaller pieces, the flavors will be more evenly distributed throughout your dough
- Nut Butter and Chocolate
- a spoonful of nut butter (almond or cashew)
- chocolate - chips, or chopped chocolate from a bar
- To the bowl of your food processor, add all of the cookie dough ingredients
- Process 2-3 minutes, until a dough forms. (You'll want to stop the food processor a couple of times to scrape the sides)
- At first, the dough will seem crumbly but never fear. Keep on processing until it all comes together in a lump of dough.
- Stir in the mix-ins and serve.