Community

By Jenn Bruer

“Every person is defined by the communities she belongs to.” Orson Scott Card

There was a point in my journey to Living Grainlessly when I realised that social events were a challenge, so I would avoid them, and that often left me feeling depressed, deprived, and isolated. Social events in my life always involved foods filled with sugar, grains, and gluten, all of which left me feeCommunityling pretty horrible, not to mention that it induced binging. It would often take me weeks to recover as I dealt with outrageous sugar cravings, acne, mood swings etc.

So what was I supposed to do? Never go to a social event again?

That’s when I knew something had to give! So I joined a local “meet-up” group called “Tor-Paleo” and I met a whole bunch of other people that eat just like me. I no longer feel so isolated.

Yesterday my wife and I hosted a paleo pot-luck at our home with the Toronto Paleo group; this social event was different from the other ones in my life, and for that I am so grateful. None of the foods were filled with sugar, grains OR gluten! It was wonderful to partake in a guilt-free feast surrounded by like-minded, kind, interesting and accepting people.

The other social events, though – filled with sugary treats – will always be there. Here are some tips I’ve created for myself that have  prevented me from falling (too far) off the wagon and staying ONTRACK:

  • O: Order a glass of water; this will make you feel full and keep away your sugar cravings.
  • N: Get back on track again the Next Meal. NOT on Monday or on the 1st of the next month! Those excuses are just enabling you to binge until you “restart”… and you know it!
  • T: Take a grainless dish to the event, like a fruit or veggie tray.
  • R: Raise your hand and say “no thank you”. And if that doesn’t work, tell the food-pushers that you are allergic – it stops them in their tracks every-time!
  • A: Always eat before you go! Fill up on salad and a source of protein that you know will stretch over the course of the event.
  • C: If all else fails… Cheat. Just don’t self deprecate; remember that you usually do well with your food choices, and that this is just a day “out of routine”. Always remember the 80/20 rule. If you’re good 80% of the time, you’re doing awesome.
  • K: Keep a couple squares of 80% dark chocolate in your “back pocket”; they are filled with saturated fat and very satiating. Go ahead, TRY to have too much…it’s pretty hard to eat too much 80% dark chocolate – it’s that rich!

The need to feel a part of “community” is something I know very well. I am happy to say that I now have two new communities; a community of other grainless folk with the Tor-Paleo, and a growing community of people out here in cyber space who have shown me support in my need to shout out loud that FOOD can change your health 🙂


Grainless Herb Crackers

Herb cracker

By Jenn Bruer

Ingredients
2 cups almond flour
1 tsp dried onion flakes
1 tbsp of finely chopped fresh chives (or rosemary or basil)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large egg
1 tsp water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (minus the salt)
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients
  4. All together now! Mix until well combined; use your hands to knead the dough into a ball
  5. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out to 1/8 inch thickness
  6. Remove top piece of parchment paper
  7. Using a pizza cutter, cut the flattened dough into 2×2-inch squares, and place the sheet of parchment with squares onto baking sheet
  8. Lightly coat the raw crackers with salt
  9. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until crackers along the outer edge of the baking sheet are lightly golden
  10. Remove crackers from oven and allow them to cool completely on baking sheet

These have a nice crisp with the oven method, but if you dehydrate them they will be even crispier.


Grainless Asian Stir Fry “Noodles”

By Jenn Bruer

IngredientsAsian stir fry
1 chopped onion
1/2 cup bean sprouts
2 carrots spiral sliced
2 zucchinis spiral sliced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
10 snow peas with ends trimmed
2 salmon fillets (or chicken) chopped into small bite-size pieces
2-3 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of coconut sugar
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1-2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat your wok to medium high
  2. Add oil, onion, veggies (not the snow peas) and salmon
  3. Stir fry until the salmon is cooked through
  4. Add all the additional ingredients and toss well so everything is coated in the sauce
  5. Cook for an additional 4 minutes until vegetables are soft but still have a slight crunch

Note

Zoodles (spiralled zucchini) would be great in this recipe too instead of bean sprouts.


Coconut Crusted Salmon

Salmon

By Jenn Bruer

Ingredients
1 cup shredded (medium or fine) unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Salmon fillets (the crust is good for about 4 fillets so adjust accordingly)
1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee

Optional: cranberry sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Grease a parchment lined baking pan with coconut oil or ghee
  3. Place the first 4 ingredients in a shallow dish and stir it up evenly
  4. Dip salmon fillets in the mixture to coat evenly all sides
  5. Place on the pan and cook in hot oven for 15 minutes or until salmon is fully cooked
  6. Serve over a bed of vegetables and topped with fresh cranberry sauce

Grainless Zucchini Bites

By Jenn Bruer

Ingredients
2 cups finely grated zucchini (about one zucchini)
2 whisked eggs
1 onion
¼ cup almond flour
1 tsp garlic powder
optional: 1 tsp of chilli powder (if you want a kick)
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil

Directions

  1. Place the grated zucchini on a baking tray. Pat dry and then dry out in oven for an hour at 175degrees.
  2. Grate the onion and add to the bowl
  3. Add the whisked eggs, garlic powder, almond flour and stir it up
  4. Heat your griddle or pan to medium high and make sure it’s well coated with coconut oil
  5. Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture to your hot pan, and gently flatten with a fork
  6. Cook for about 4 minutes on either side or until golden brown
  7. Salt & pepper to taste