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When Things Fall Apart

when things fall apart

Photo by www.jeanniejeannie.com

Earlier this year my website traffic reached almost 1 million unique visitors per month, which meant that 50,000 people were coming onto the site each day for healthy gluten-free recipes, lifestyle tips and my musings on the Paleo Diet.

When I started elanaspantry.com, I had not envisioned, or prepared for such large amounts of traffic. In the technology industry, building a website for heavy use is referred to as “scaling for growth.”

The site began to fail repeatedly in early February as traffic continued to climb. I spoke with technology people in Boulder and was told the site did not have enough server power. Two local website design firms advised me to migrate the site to Amazon Web Services (AWS) –that turned out to be a big mistake. By Easter weekend elanaspantry.com was down for 50 hours straight. That was when things started to fall apart. I did not handle the stress well, taking it all into my body –we’ll get to that part later.

After the Easter weekend outage, I repointed my site’s hosting from AWS back to Media Temple and still, the outages continued. I was on an 8 GB server using only 4GB of power. At this point I figured out that server power had nothing to do with my website outages.

Due to my failure from its inception to scale my website for large volumes of traffic, I had a poorly built database that could not “talk” to the servers my host provided. How did I figure this out? I spent hours online researching web development, learning the right questions to ask of the technology people that were helping me.

Funny enough, this process was similar to my health journey, which began in the early 1990’s. In order to heal myself, I had to take charge, stop abdicating my power to “authority” (i.e., doctors), and know how to interact with such health professionals so that they could be my allies. And once again, it was my job to make this power my ally, rather than listen to it blindly or alienate myself from it.

I learned a lot more than I wanted to about technology, web hosting, and scaling a site to make it operational. I also learned that taking much-needed breaks from the virtual world is a very healthy thing for me.

At first when my site failed I was so stressed I began to have a physical reaction –I seem to somaticize just about everything. However, eventually I came around to seeing the prolonged website outage as an enforced sabbatical. I grew accustomed to the long breaks and became bored. For me being bored is a fantastic thing. It means I have spaciousness, and that is where the healing happens. I used this time to reconnect with my body in a kinder and more thoughtful way. The persistent website outages allowed me to create new habits for healing that I wouldn’t have otherwise had the space to investigate.

During my “sabbatical” I also spent a lot less time working on cookie recipes. Lately, I’ve been cooking more vegetables and making desserts with even less sweetener. I’m really looking forward to sharing these ultra-healthy real foods Paleo recipes with all of you.

In the end, through the fantastic folks at WordPress VIP (a high end hosting service) I found a web development company that rewrote the database of my website and restored it to health.

So my When Things Fall Apart post is also an I’m Back post. I didn’t want to hop on the site and post some healthy sugar-free lemonade recipe and pretend that nothing happened –you know that’s not my style. As I have in the past, I want to connect with all of you, my dear readers.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Was it frustrating having my website go down several hundred times last spring? What will you make now that it’s back up and running smoothly? What are you looking for from elanaspantry.com next? And of course, what is your best healing strategy when times get a little tough? How do you create healthy new habits?

Finally, thanks for your patience and continued support, I really appreciate it, and all of you as well!

 


posted on July 15, 2014, 140 comments

  1. Tanya

    Elana, you are always worth waiting for! Your website has been a god send to me. Thank you for being such a fantastic resource. Tanya

  2. Lau

    Yay! So glad you’re back. And breaks are definitely necessary and healthy. <3

  3. Christina Darabi

    Ditto. I’ll wait around for you too. Keep doing what you do best…and no worries :)

  4. We’ll always be here waiting for you! I love this honest post about what’s been going on. Also, it’s a great sign of personal growth when you can take a bad experience and turn it into something positive – which you’ve already proven that you’re very good at doing!!!! I’m glad you’re back and ready to share more of your amazingness with us! :)

    P.S. My best healing strategy for when times get a little tough is using the mantra, “this too shall pass”. It really works wonders for me, even though it’s such a simple thing. I also try to think to myself – will this still be an issue 3 years from now? Usually, the answer is no, so I just move on and not let anything take my happy away! :)

  5. Jessica

    Thank you for sharing this. It is really good to take a break and take care of yourself. I’m glad to see your back. Things always find a way of working themselves out! Thank you for creating this site and sharing as much as do. My best healing strategy is… feel to heal! angry or sad allowing, accepting, releasing, being! feeling.
    Rock on paleo sistas!

  6. Mandy

    Thrilled you are back! Appreciate you and your work!!!!

  7. I never noticed your website going down when I visited. Welcome back, I absolutely love your website and the work you have done. A good break is needed, even for bloggers who don’t get “vacation time” :)

  8. Robyn

    Think of it as a spring break, and now your back. Yay! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future.

  9. Pam Pappas MD @ drpampappas.com

    Elana, I missed you and am glad you’re back! Your presence in the world is a gift. Thank you for all you do. Pam Pappas MD

  10. What fantastic news. I had started to wonder/ worry. The Queen is back! I’m immediately hot footing to your new lemonade recipe. Lots of love x

  11. Ginny Saunders

    Elana, I am so happy you are back. I have missed you, but am also glad you got a much needed break.

  12. Laura

    I love this website and everything in it. I’ll always come back regardless of downtime. I look forward to your savory recipes. I’m always looking for new ideas for veggies. Thanks for all you do. I really appreciate all the effort you put into making sure your recipes are just right.

  13. Nonna Ina

    Very relieved that you didn’t “go away” or quit :) Have found your books wonderful! Gave a copy of your Paleo Cooking to my niece who has come to consult it very often (one of her faves) as she wends her way to better health! Thank you for your hard work. Keep it up.

  14. Becky

    I went to your post to know how to pray for you, and I leave encouraged to keep going on my own health health journey. Thank you!

  15. Christy

    I was wondering where you went! I was starting to get really worried about your health. So glad to have you back :)

    A really good search feature on your site is what is like to see the most. Often, I will remember a recipe and want to reference it quickly, but then it won’t come up in the searches. I’m hoping that will improve with your new web host :)

    Here’s to breaks and better health!

  16. Jenny

    Very happy you are back. Love your site and your recipes. Take care.
    Jenny

  17. Jen

    Yes, I missed you and thought there was a problem with my email. I love your recipes and love to hear about your journey to health as I work put y own.

  18. Cherri

    Love your site even more now! Thanks for being real!

  19. As a Web Designer by trade, I can *really* sympathize with your struggles! Technology can be incredibly aggravating and things change so quickly it’s impossible to keep up. Good for you for figuring it out!

    I am a relatively new fan, still figuring out what is going to heal my mysterious health issues, but I have to say I was about to give up on ever eating pizza or bread again until I found your almond flour cookbook…. thank you immensely!

    I mean this in ALL seriousness: If you ever need help with your website in the future, or just advice, feel free to email me! I will do the best I can to point you in the right direction. :-)

  20. Ali F

    Glad you’re back :o)

  21. deliciousalternatives @ gravatar.com/deliciousalternatives

    Wow, that is one of those great thing/bad things to have happen. Congrats and good for you for taking a step back. I love your recipes and it looks like everyone else does to and is there to support you as we all do in this wonderful place we call Earth. Take good care of you, we will be here waiting for you- glad you have lowered your sugar intake.

  22. Lynne

    I’m glad to hear your experimenting with less sweetners; their usage can also creep up unnoticed. Love your site and your stories too. Our health has improved 100% since we started paleo and that’s pretty much down to your recipes. Perhaps you don’t realise what a beacon you are (or perhaps you do with 1 million visitors -wow!) congratulations on your success, your self realisations and your return. Very, very grateful to and for you.

  23. To be honest Elana, we’ve been so preoccupied with getting our house ready to sell (renos, staging, etc.), then came the viewings and finally the sale of this place and the purchase of a new one. That’s why I didn’t notice all the problems with your site. However, I’m far more concerned that you are feeling better and I’m so sorry you went through all that. I must say, I’ve gotten most of my best recipes from your site and I look forward to seeing more of your ideas when we’re settled into the new place in August. Please take care of yourself above all else and we’ll all appreciate whatever you put out there because it’s always good. All the best!

  24. jafb

    I am one who told everyone about your site. I am so glad you and your site are feeling better.

  25. Karen

    thanks for your honesty about the outages. you inspire us all and I am so happy to have your website back and cooking again. Speaking of which (cooking) I’m thrilled to hear you have some (even-less) sweetened recipes for us. Can’t wait to see what’s in store.

  26. Cindi

    Thank you for your transparency Elana. Life is full of little/big surprises and it’s how we view these “surprises” when they come that either makes us or breaks us. Everything you shared I can relate to, as far as being perplexed and to become our own advocate. My circumstance relates to the physical, primarily my health. Two surgeries (of which I nearly bled out) to improve my life and health took a downward spiral where I’m now day by day dealing with small decisions that can make a great impact on my physical, mental and emotional well being. I too am beginning to see this “down” time as a sabbatical. I will come out better as I learn to trust what fight God has given me to survive and to pass along this new found wisdom to encourage others to find their “fight” too. :)

  27. Sue Harmon

    Quite honestly I thought you were taking a break! I still have enjoyed your recipes and my family and coworkers are liking them also! I’m glad your back and can’t wait to see more recipes!!!

  28. Rose

    Hi! Élana, please remember how important you are to all of us. I am so sorry we have stressed you out so much and thank you for making us so special. I love your site and when it is down, I just think it is my server,not your fault. I will pray for you and your family and can not wait to see the magic you create. God Bless You, Rose

  29. Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts @ glutenfreeeasily.com

    Welcome back, dear! You (and your boys) were keeping us so busy with your posts on Facebook that I honestly didn’t realize immediately that you weren’t posting here. ;-) Here’s hoping for continued good health for your site and you!

    xoxo,
    Shirley

  30. Anne

    Elana, if you never posted another recipe again, it would be ok. Your existing website and the books you have written have changed so many lives. Sharing your journey with us has been an incredible blessing, since many of us have gone through, or will go through, “similar but different” health and spiritual journeys. Pema’s book got me through a tough time and enabled me to keep going and searching for my own health, both inner and outer. Life is no longer a struggle for me – each new “setback” is now just another opportunity to fine tune the way I live, the way I think, the way I allow others to treat me, etc. Each day is new and I cherish people like you and others I have “met” online. You don’t owe us anything. We owe you.

  31. Autumn

    Elana, thank you for always sharing your heart with us. Your journey has been so very encouraging to many. Completely worth the wait. Take care.

  32. Charlotte Travis

    Elana, Thanks for sharing what’s been happening in your life. I look forward to your new recipes using less sweeteners. I love your website and your books.
    thank you so much.

  33. I’ve been a longtime fan and reader. I just started my own blog to keep myself accountable as I take my healing back into my own hands. Your honesty is inspiring and I can understand the technology frustrations, though on a MUCH smaller level! Thank you and look forward to future posts.

  34. Diana

    Although I have missed your posts, I too have been forced to slow down and re-evaluate. I have really been working on eating my way back to health. You are a wonderful example of that and look froward to your new recipes.

  35. Sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing! Glad you had a break to do nothing! And very happy to have you back. I would like to see more recipes for veggies as side dishes since starches are out, we need ideas for non-starchy vegetables. Thanks and stay well.

  36. elana

    Elana-
    I am learning right now what it means to step back. While doing so I am fraught with every physical concern and emotion possible and have recently begun to seek care from an md who practices using Chinese herbs. My physical well being has never been worse, yet I keep moving forward.
    Your blog today reminds me that there is light beyond the trees and that I can walk through this. Glad you are so honest.

    Elana D

  37. Love your cookbooks and site and so sorry to hear about your technology rollercoaster ride. I’m a local nutritionist going through a smaller but similar challenge. Would love to know who finally helped you get back online if you can share that.

    I try to heal from life’s challenges by knowing that all things happen for a reason and that somewhere in the future those painful lessons I learned will help me. Hope next year is even bigger and much better for you!

  38. Carol Nathan

    Blessings to you and your family Elana! I appreciate all the hard work you do for us. Take care of yourself (and it sounds like you are) :-)

  39. K.Keller

    It is a ‘privilege’ for me to be able to come to your website and find recipes and information that it not only good for me but good for my family as well. My best wishes to you and your family. Thank You for trying so hard.

  40. William

    Elana, this old man is so very glad to see you back, and with your own mental health greatly improved. One lady said “This too shall pass” as her Mantra. Mine is “Will it matter in another 100 years”, works for me. I like that many of your recipes are easy for my own cooking, but yet still have the specials when I cook for visitors.
    bill, 77
    Alb.

    I do have an observation, Please get rid of the horrible green background in the comment writing area, makes it so hard to read with so little contrast.
    Also I hope that the new site finally allows me to enter your giveaways, never been able to get past the word loading.

  41. Molly

    This may be your best post yet! Just kidding….your recipes are great and worth the wait! Honesty is wonderful and very appreciated.

  42. <3 I think you handled it well, because I didn't really have a clue. I still saw posts now and then, questions, reposts of recipes you like on Facebook, so I didn't really realize (though I did see you mention it, too). I already have my favorite recipes of yours available in my files rather than always relying on going to your blog, so I was good. ;) Glad you're back though!

  43. debra

    Love your site and yummy recipes! So glad your back!! :)

  44. Julie

    I have most of your books and somehow I didn’t notice the outages! Glad you are back and better than ever!!

  45. You are AWESOME and so is your website. I love your recipes, but your health is more important. Maybe you could set up a schedule of regular breaks and tell your followers in advance. I really don’t think you would lose readers. You are worthy of the wait, I’m sure everyone would agree.

  46. Jan Johnson

    I am glad you are back and glad you took a break! You have so many recipes here that it is no problem waiting for new ones! I use your books and come here to look for new recipes as I wasn’t here from the beginning. I wish the photos in your older recipes were pinnable, though, as I cannot pin the older ones as it says “image not valid” or something like that. But that’s okay! It is worth finding a way to keep up with them. Glad everything finally worked out with your website!

  47. Becky

    Happy you are back and looking forward to less dessert recipes and more good for you items. Personally I like interesting appetizer recipes to bring to parties that are healthy and interesting. Of course I love your desserts but my 58 year old body doesn’t need them.

  48. Me (@musicgirl77) @ twitter.com/musicgirl77

    Glad you’re back. I started coming back more regularly for recipes and thought it was my computer ….I’ve been having computer problems too. But hubby and I have been forced to change eating habits even further due to insurance “lifestyle coaches”. It’s challenging to think about cooking completely differently again, after finally grasping the glutenfree need for myself 7 yrs ago. Between the two, we are trying to eat and cook COMPLETELY differently than we grew up with and being in our 50’s, that’s challenging. VERY challenging. Our 24 yr old is finishing college and still living at home and even though I tried to keep things as “normal” for him as possible, as he isn’t the least bit overweight, etc., he was paying attention and watching. He began reading up on the Paleo diet and told me he’d like to give that a try. I told him it should fit in pretty well with what we’re trying to do, although we don’t do many of the desserts and such….just whole foods mostly, and that I know just the website to get recipes and help from! Then comes my computer trouble, your website problems. And NOW we can try to bring it all together!! I’m excited for our next steps.

  49. Pauline Musher

    Elana, I had bought your book so I didn’t relay on your web site. Never knew anything was wrong. I will always be a faithful follower of yours. What I would like to see, less sugar or sweeteners. I’m trying to be sugar free as well. Thank you for all your wonderful help!

  50. Ginger

    Glad you got your website under control and also glad you got the break you deserve. You are such an inspiration. My husband was diagnosed with ulcerative colitits back in the fall and was hospitalized. It may have actually turned out to be a blessing because it seems he had been misdiagnosed with auto-immune hepatitis before that and took several medications for years and years that were extremely hard on his body. Now, those medications have been reassessed (new doctor) and he is slowly regaining his health.

    You have no idea what a blessing your recipes and information have been to us as we work to eat healthier and try to avoid inflammatory foods. We have tried to make changes gradually, replacing one food with another and then seeing what works and what doesn’t.

    Look forward to trying your new recipes and thank you for all you do.

  51. Christy Smith

    Elana: I did not experience any frustration with the website. I am so very appreciative of you and what you are willing to share with all of us. Please know that you have loyal fans that would never be mad at you for a glitch when you so freely give of yourself, your journey and your incredible recipes. Please don’t go away! I would like to see lower sugar recipes that you already mentioned. I have been trying to use yacon syrup for everything including baking and would love some more recipes with yacon, though I know you already have some here. When things fall apart I usually snuggle in bed until I feel better. I also write a lot in a journal. Reading also helps me too. Peace and love to you.

  52. Paula Wakefield

    I admire your honesty and your resiliance. I am glad to see you are back.

  53. Desiree

    I’m glad your website is back up. I like the variety you offer in recipes/topics.

  54. I come to you first when I need a recipe. However, I have been diagnosed with an egg allergy and so many of your recipes use eggs. Still working on my own health journey. I am grateful to have you here, but needing to find alternate sources.

  55. Christine

    When a website is unavailable, I assume that either there are ‘improvements being made or there is increased traffic on the website – both good things

  56. Becky Winkler @ acalculatedwhisk.com

    I was just thumbing through your cookbook earlier today and wondering about how long it had been since you had posted here–so glad you are fine, and sorry for the trouble you went through with your site! I did not experience any problems with it, despite visiting often to make versions of your almond flour blondies. It’s great that you found a silver lining to the whole situation!

  57. marci

    i was wondering what was going on. i have been following you for years. When i became sick with chronic fatigue and decided to give up gluten i found you. you taught me how to bake without gluten so i didn’t have to give up desserts. Then i went dairy free and you were there. MY request is for more vegie dishes and desserts without sugar or aagave. But sounds like that is what you have been working on. THANK YOU so much. you are the best.

  58. Irene

    I am so glad you are OK. I would check you website as always and was beginning to worry that something seriously bad had happened to you or someone you loved. I’m relived to know that it was only some technology problem. Thanks for sharing all you do and I’m excited that you are BACK!

  59. Evalee

    Elana. It I totally understand the Somaticising thing! How does one stop that!!

  60. Melie

    I actually googled ‘what happened to Elana Amsterdam’ yesterday. I regularly use your site and cookbooks. (As I type this, my belly is full of primal slaw. Love that stuff!) I was actually growing concerned. Glad to hear all is well and very excited about your new recipes. Thanks for all you do!

  61. Marlana

    I love looking at your recipes and trying some of them. I have been making desserts without any added sugar this year. I have been using more vanilla extract in place of sugar in some recipes. In others I use soaked and pureed dates. I am glad that you are fine and that your website is all better. I look forward to reading and trying your new recipes.

  62. Thanks for sharing this Elana. So glad you’re back, and I wish you the best for your site, and especially for your health.

    Can’t wait to try your new stuff! I don’t use sweeteners myself, so I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with. I use your cookbooks and give them as gifts all the time. In fact, all four of my nieces, from Niwot (near Boulder for those who don’t know), got one for Christmas last year!

    Pat

  63. Missy

    Thank you so much for the explanation. I found your site about a month ago when I began researching paleo eating. I wondered why the last post was so old. I look forward to trying the vanilla cupcakes with peanut butter frosting.
    I haven’t had an opportunity to look around too much on the site but I am interested in recommendations on other legitimate paleo cooks and bakers as I am just getting started with this change in lifestyle….and I have a husband, a 6 year old and a 3 year old that I’d like to bring along with me on this journey. Any direction and tips/tricks are appreciated.

  64. Connie

    I absolutely love your honesty, sincerity, and your recipes. You have really helped me through learning how to work on my healing and step away from traditional healing. I missed you but so glad you’re back. I agree with you that boredom can bring redirection, revelation and healing.

  65. Brenda Gaines

    Dear Elana- I have 3 of your cookbooks, and they never get put back in the book shelf and forgotten like all my others. I am very thankful that you share your recipes, and I didn’t have to do all the work to perfect them. I’m sorry that the web site problems stressed you out, but glad you overcame them. Proof once again that you’re a very smart lady.

  66. Kathleen

    Thank you for battling through the issues and preserving your website for us! We are grateful for your perseverance.
    My best strategy to cope with stress: Exercise, and stretching. Both work wonders, and I hope they will help you.

  67. Cheryl

    Welcome back! Glad you are taking care of yourself, and excited about new recipes!

  68. I wondered where you were! So glad you are back and doing well.

  69. Jessica

    Tears in eyes reading all the love and support for you. Mine included.

  70. Peggy L. Willy

    So very happy to see you back. I’m glad you are well. I have to let you know that your magically moist cherry apricot cake has been my saving grace all these months. I use it as a base for all my cakes minus the cherries and apricots although they’re fantastic too. Elana, you have changed the way I bake and have helped my family and I become healthier as well. Thank you. Many blessings to you and yours.

  71. Glad to hear that you’ve found a solution to a wonderful problem to have – so many visitors! Although that was a techno frightening experience I think it bodes well that so many people are interested in better health options. Thanks for finding a solution so I can continue to enjoy your recipes.

  72. Tina

    I have all of your cookbooks and I didn’t notice the site was having issues, I suppose. Breaks are good for the soul! Nice to see things are back and running smoothly. Love your books and this site so much. Thanks for all you do for all of us. Welcome back and happy cooking.

  73. I didn’t experience your website failure, ever, not once. Glad that you had a forced sabbatical though!

  74. Cheryl

    I would love to meet you! Your honesty and life coping strategies are inspirational and encouraging. I’ve only been on a gluten free regimen for eight or nine months but am so grateful for the friend who pointed me to your site. I haven’t actually needed your website for the last couple of months, but I was wondering about your email. Things get screwed up in cyberspace though! Very glad to have you back, healthier and wiser:-)

  75. Susan

    Hi Elana, so relieved to hear that you are fine. I have followed your site for 2 years now, and also have your paleo cookbook. So glad you had a little break while your website was being redone. We are using a combo of Paleo and SCD to heal serious digestive health issues in our family. We really value the time and effort you put into your website – you are a blessing to so many!

  76. Ruth Ann

    I’ve had to take health breaks too from things. I am excited to see your new vegetable recipes! Your site seems a lot faster than when I first logged in a year or two ago. It’s lovely! Thanks for the wonderful recipes. They have blessed us a lot!

  77. Janie Lynn @ My Over-all Apron @ myover-allapron.blogspot.com

    Yes! I am happy you’re back, but even more happy that you’re back healed. May God bless you and your “healthy food ministry”. I’m in it, too, sister! ;)

    From your whole foody!
    Janie Lynn

    http://www.myover-allapron.blogspot.com – recent post: DAIRY-FREE VANILLA PUDDING
    http://myover-allapron.blogspot.com/2014/07/dairy-free-vanilla-pudding.html

  78. Welcome back!!! That must have been so frustrating!

  79. Virginia McHugh @ facebook

    Hi:-) :-) :-) So good to see you are back. Thank you for sharing your learning experience. You give hope to so many who are struggling with health issues. I have purchased all of your books for myself and family and some that I gave as gifts. I am looking forward to your next book. Continue to grow in good health and wisdom. Ever onward my dear. V.

  80. SusanJ

    Like most here, we’re just glad you’re doing okay. Wrestling technology is no picnic (did it for 30 years as a job!), so I admire your willingness to wade in to get the job done. You continue to be an inspiration for those of us on similar healing paths.

  81. Lynn J

    So glad you’re back and you’re taking care of you! During the down times I found my way back to actual cookbooks, yes our favorite is your Cupcake one :-) it was a good time to bond with my daughter.

  82. Mia

    Welcome back!!! Good to have you back.

    Thank you for sharing your journey back to health!

    It’s interesting. I had my own “when things fall apart” story that emerged this Spring. For me I learned a lot about electrosmog/dirty electricity and “radio wave sickness” and how to mitigate having high levels of RF radiation from cell antennas beaming into my office.

    I now have shielding in my office, am healing from the radio wave sickness symptoms and have a lot more knowledge about this subject than I ever thought I would.

  83. Thomas Baldwin

    Well I am sorry I missed all the excitement
    I am a new member,and I think I am going to enjoy this site. Believe it or not a Pastor of a church showed me your site.
    I have gained so much weight that my Dr, is not happy,I am at the point of becoming a Diabetic,and dont even want to go there.
    So since I am new to this site I do hope YOU can help me,looking forward to losing weight with your site.
    Thank You so much for this site

  84. Eve

    You are a true inspiration! Welcome back!

  85. Sandy Sullivan

    Thank you Elan, for your insight. I love that you refer to “your time away” as a sabbatical. It’s a good lesson for me in my life at the moment. I seem to internalize life’s challenges – my own and those around me and it is taking a toll on my health – physically, mentally and spiritually. Your words have inspired me to stop and take care of myself first. I’m happy that you found an answer to the database problem. And I take joy and comfort in reading your readers’ comments.

  86. Sandy Sullivan

    My apologies Elana, for the typing error – leaving the “a” off of your name…hmm it’s early.

  87. Joanna

    You have no idea how much you’ve been missed (actually, I’m sure you do :) ). I was getting worried about you though. So glad you’re fine and everything is now up and working as it should

    And looking forward to your new “ultra-healthy real foods Paleo recipes”.

    Welcome back!!!

  88. Norma McBride

    So happy that things are going better for you now. I can totally relate to taking back your power when it comes to doctors and to some extent technology as well.
    I just had the pleasure of spending an afternoon I baking with my parents using many of your recipes, including bread 2.0 and salt & pepper crackers (which are amazingly simple and delicious!). Thank you for doing what you do and taking time to share it with the rest of us.

  89. Dusty

    Love all you do. Am very glad things are ok. You are blessed.

  90. Jami

    Yay! So glad the website is up and running again! But more important, you got some much needed self care! I’ve been looking at your website and recipes for over two years and finally got my hubby on board! Now I can put money toward making these wonderful looking recipes! Thank you!

  91. Suzanne

    I did miss your posts, Elana, and was concerned that something had happened to you, healthwise. I’m happy to hear you were able to turn a frustrating time into a healing time. I’m also needing more vegetables and fewer cookies, so keep sharing what your’re doing, please!

  92. Julie Gardner

    Your honesty and passion bring me to tears. I am proud of you and feel so blessed to have you as a resource for my family. I hope for continued space for you and thank you so much for all of your kindness and wisdom!

  93. Carolyn

    It was apparent that you weren’t posting, but things happen in life. Danielle Walker’s (Against All Grain) life certainly took an unexpected turn. Glad to learn that you are well.

  94. Kerri

    Welcome back! You were greatly missed….

  95. Nancy

    I love hearing about your healing journey. Having a Sabbath rest is so important for our health. I love everything you put out there for us but more importantly I love your dedication to your healing journey. That is the most inspiring thing!! Thank you for sharing your lessons with us. It is a true encouragement.

  96. Valerie

    Hi! I noticed the decrease in activity, and was then concerned about your health. I hope you are doing well. My healing strategies outside of diet include walking/hiking, looking at art (I highly recommend a visit to the Clyfford Still museum in Denver if you haven’t yet had a chance), and immersing myself in music (Bach is my favorite for this).

  97. I’m glad you are back! I was a little concerned and am happy everything is OK!

  98. CJ

    Honestly, I didn’t even notice. I only to to the site when I need a recipe, and I have my favorites on my hard drive. I often refer clients to your site however. The one large thing I would like to see is an alternate sweetening option for stevia in all recipes. I understand this is a challenge, as all stevias are not created equal. My vision would look something like:
    1/4 cup agave OR 1-1/2 tsp. Nu Naturals Stevia Powder (or whatever brand) plus 1/4 cup additional liquid

  99. V. Christina

    So sorry dear Elana. It was all my fault as I’ve recommended your website to at least one million people!
    You are a pioneer in creating great recipes featuring alternative and gluten free ingredients. I’ve learned much from you. In researching recipes throughout the internet, I’ve discovered so many that I just know were inspired by you. You have created an incredible resource; not surprising that you didn’t prepare for that. How could you have known that your goal to provide food for your and your family’s health would touch upon such a need to so many? It’s good that you have used this unforeseen respite to reassess not only your website but your personal health. Very wise of you!
    Thank you for informing us regarding your challenges and ultimate resolution in true honest, elegant Elana style!

  100. Lisette

    My dear, we are all grateful for your love and dedication, but, remember that your first responsibility is taking care of yourself in a loving way, so, maybe this small break has shown you different ways to do this, and now you can share your FREE time with us again, without stressing yourself. If you loose your peace of mind , all else follows. Please stay well, and you’ve been sent all the blessings and love , Enjoy ! I specially have to thank you
    For all the gluten free recipes ! They are great , and I shared you on face , maybe you got more people this way too !

  101. Carolina

    I never had any issues with the website myself, but these things happen in life, and breaks are so important. So glad to see your posts / recipes in my inbox again!

  102. DamselflyDiary

    I had missed your regular postings but never noticed your site being down.

    One thing I have been realizing for myself lately is that I like crispy, crunchy things. For instance, I do not appreciate a soft cookie. I would rather have a crispy one or at least one that is crispy on the outside, or a scone that is crisp on the outside but soft in the middle.

    In thinking about this, I realized that the almond flour recipes that I make are all soft. And so while I enjoy the flavor and healthiness of almond flour recipes, I am missing that snap, crackle and pop of something crispy.

    Do you know if it is possible to make almond flour recipes more crispy? Or is almond flour inherently soft?

    By the way, I too am looking to reduce sugar and would appreciate more desserts and treats with less sugar.

  103. You’ll be happy to note that I did not notice if your site was down. I figured lack of posts was just .. recipe development, a break/rest period etc.

    Monica.

  104. Stephaniedem

    Elana ,you have always expressed the “peaceful ways ” you like to run your life. Your postings were perfectly timed!! No one noticed —Thank you for being concerned, but you did not have to worry about everyone.

  105. As a photographer and website designer who tries to stay away from the programming end, too, I know how frustrating this can be, and how I also feel responsible for for clients’ sites to the point of my anxiety affecting my health as well. I’ve even seen your name on wordpress plugin sites as we figure out how to make the plugins work.

    Kudos for figuring it out! You may laugh to know that when I get anxious with the computer work, I go to the kitchen. I still love cooking; it returns me to myself.

    Thank you so much for the COMMUNICATION! That’s the key.

    And this also gives me the opportunity to let you know that your website and paleo book is my first go-to for recipes. I think it may have been you who taught me what the word “paleo” in food-lingo means!

    And interesting that you’re cutting some of the sugar, the only things that I adjust on your recipes are cutting back on the sweeteners. I’ve been dairy-free, (cane) sugar-free an low-gluten for 9 years, making my own way adjusting recipes from books.

    You feel like a fellow pea in my pod. Now I go to you first, and adjust according to my own tastes and needs.

    I recently arranged meals for a family raft trip for 10, and between my dietary needs and vegetarians and g-f folks along, made fabulous meals to suit everyone. Your vegan nut-free gluten-free brownies, peach crisp (did twice, once with pineapple!) and cranberry walnut cookies were huge hits! Some cooked in the dutch oven!

    You ROCK, Elana! Thank you so much for what you’re doing for your and the health of many of us!

    P.S. Have fun with the food photography, too!

  106. Deborah Gullett

    Thankful you are back. Looking forward to those new recipes.

  107. Irene Piper

    As of this writing I am a new subscriber and didn’t realize you were having internet issues. Having just finished up with radiation for breast cancer, my radiation oncologist suggested I try the Paleo way of eating as a way to regaining my health. Your sight is the only one that I have found that is user friendly and has the recipes I need to not feeling deprived while changing my way of eating.

    Thank you for just being out there and for all the wonderful recipes you share.

  108. Katie

    Very pleased you are feeling better, give yourself lots hugs and I hope you can feel all the love and affection that is being sent your way from arround the planet. You are such a help to so many of us, sometimes we forget about me time amd just keep plowing on. Get better with love Katie, Australia

  109. Jessica G

    I hear wisdom! Also, I’m inclined to let you know what I’d like more of from your FANTASTIC website, that I tell so many people about: more healthy, yet inexpensive, recipes! Many of the folks I help are on food stamps and need more inexpensive options. Many thanks, Elana!

  110. Anita

    Elana, thank you for your encouraging words and I love your website. Thank you for all you do for me/us!! Hugs to you.

  111. foragingfoodbalance @ gravatar.com/foragingfoodbalance

    I am glad it all worked out. All of my stress manifests in my body as well. I can relate. I look forward to the recipes. I have Hashimoto’s with a hypothyroid and even when treating myself occasionally to some sweets I pay the price. I am very sugar sensitive. I can’t wait to see what you have come up with. I also appreciate the extensive amount of recipes you offer on your website. Most people want to give you a few and hope you buy the book. I feel like you really want to help people. Thank you!

  112. Happy you are back and rested. Looking forward to the healthier treats. You are my favorite gluten free creator of recipes. I have all your books and will continue to recommend you to friends. Cheers!

  113. Judy

    So glad that things are working for you now. Keep up the good work and making us all healthier with your fabulous recipes.

  114. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine @ vitamin-sunshine.com

    So glad you’re back! I’ve missed your recipes. Luckily for me, I have your carrot cake recipe memorized I’ve made it so many times. Excited to see what you post next.

  115. Marie @ Elanaspantry

    You have been such a help to me. My husband had heart issues in ’11 and I was diagnosed as gluten sensitive a couple years ago. Be well. God bless you. Marie

  116. Kristen McDonald

    Thank you so much for being so honest!! I love knowing there are more honest people in the world. I’m glad you went through all the time and trouble/healing to keep up this site. It’s so worth it for the healing you went through and for all your readers! I myself depend on this site heavily for my many allergies. The most exciting thing is that you are planning on taking out more sugar!!! Thank you thank you! I do not do well with sugar at all. A lot of the dessert recipes on your site I will take out more than half the honey and they still taste great! My husband even likes the peanut butter cookies that way which is amazing. Good luck!! Thanks again for making life easier!

  117. Natalya

    Dear Elana,
    no, it was not frustrating having your website go down. But it was sort of an uneasy feeling to not see you posting. I was thinking if you were fine and was hoping you to be. I am very much looking forward to less sweet treats and vegetables, esp. vegetables! :)
    When times get tough health-wise, I go out of town to a tiny flat in the mountains. No computer, no mobile phone. Does me so well and my son loves this quiet time too. And the recent discovery – a wonderful honey and/or sea salt massage from a woman with magic hands, who is becoming a good friend. And yes, most important: I try to never forget that this flair up will pass, will go away just like the previous ones did. And it does.
    Great to have you back again :)

  118. J. Howard

    I can’t find another place to ask this. I’ve made both your Paleo bread and Bread 2.0, and enjoyed them. The Paleo bread recipe calls for using a food processor. I have one and used it (with a struggle) for the first half of the recipe; then mixed the rest in a bowl. What is the purpose of using the food processor for this particular recipe. I did notice that some of your other bread recipes use it too.

    I would suggest that when you use an unconventional preparation/cooking method, or an unusual ingredient that you include a short explanation as to why you are doing that.

    Thanks.

  119. Elizabeth

    I was worried that you had some tragedy in your life, until I got a clue and checked into your Facebook page (I am not on Facebook). While I missed new recipes from you, I was relieved that you seemed ok. I’ve missed seeing your new recipes, and am glad you are “back”! I am especially excited about treats with less sweetener (I have SIBO, and really must watch my carb intake).

  120. Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free @ elegantlyglutenfree.com

    So glad to hear you’re back! I’ve been having some health and work issues recently so I thought I was missing your new post emails due to my irregular schedule. And, less sweetener is a great subject — I’m looking forward to it!

  121. John

    Welcome back! It’s great to see the site back up and hear about your journey over the last few months.

  122. Christina Ridge

    I wondered what had happend. Today for tthe first time in a very long time ( have been renovating and finally I have an oven not a complete kitchen but an oven) I went looking for a gluten free brownie recipe and then realised I had not been getting elana’s pantry emails and didn’t come up in my search. So I googled Elan’as pantry and read your wonderful story. Like so many of your other followers so glad to be reconnecting looking forward to continuation of the journay.

    And thankyou for persisting.

    Christina

  123. Rhonnie

    What did I do? Made the honey cake recipe you posted a couple of years ago. lol A break is a good thing. Sometimes I think Yah kills things that I want to do so that He can get me to do something else. Good to have you back, though. :)

  124. Kathy King

    I’m so glad you are okay. I realize I don’t really know you but I am very connected to your site and it is an oasis for me! I was worried that something was wrong. Glad everything is okay. The site is absolutely wonderful.
    Kathy

  125. Cynthia

    First of all, I love how candid you are in your posts and and I love that you asked us, the readers, what we want from you. It makes me feel like you care about us as much as we care about you. I kept checking to see when you’d have a recipe up, but didn’t find it frustrating at all, just a bit worried you weren’t doing well. I am really excited about new posts with low/no sugar. I make a lot of desserts with stevia and try to use no added sugar. I go to your blog for dinner inspiring ideas and for the food pictures of everything you make. Glad you are back!

  126. tracy

    glad you’re back! :)

  127. Michelle

    Hi. Glad you are back!
    I would love a savory turnover
    recipe. Either GF or Paleo. Preferably one that freezes amd reheats well.
    Thanks.

  128. Katie

    So glad to have you back, Elana! I’ve really missed your blog and am looking forward to seeing more new recipes. I love the less sweet idea..so many GF recipes and products are way too sweet for my taste. Love your savory recipes too. Welcome back!

  129. so glad you are okay! was worried about you. we love wordpress. so happy they came to your rescue! looking forward to reading your posts and tasting your recipes soon!!

  130. Barbara Horvath

    I am a newcomer but early on I knew you would me my go to person for paleo recipes. I am trying out slow cooking but failing to make tasty dishes. So I hope to find out about slow cooking

  131. Jolanda Hanegraaff (@JHanegraaff) @ twitter.com/JHanegraaff

    OMG missed you and your posts, glad you are back!
    Hugs

  132. Theresa

    I just entertained myself with the yummy things in Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry! Still haven’t cooked my way through it all yet!

  133. Julie McLean

    Hi Elana

    So glad you are back. I thought there was something wrong with my computer when I wasn’t getting your emails! I have all three of your books plus some of the others that you have recommended. I’m afraid I do change your recipes to add cooked beans in exchange for some almond flour to keep the cost of the products down. I realize that it isn’t paleo but does work very well and always tastes delicious. Having a history of Chrohn’s Disease I try to keep as true to Elaine Gottschall’s teachings as I can. She saved me a lot of grief and more surgeries! Keep up the good work, I absolutely love getting your posts. I do use a lot of the recipes that you come up with!

  134. Jenni Lintz

    Welcome back! You were missed but I’m thankful I still had access to the recipes that aren’t in your books. I am glad to hear you are healing. I’m still trying how to best cope with juggling family life and work. This summer I have added more hikes and bike riding to help me manage the stress. Sending hugs from Northern Colorado!

  135. You know, celiac and MS are paths that require gentleness. When I saw the failures, I hopped over to Facebook, saw you were ok–my first concern–and figured it would sort when it could. Today I noticed all was well again. That is the same thing as my journey with celiac. I hit a road block, adapt/learn/grow/pull out some hair, rock along, and then need to go deeper still on this healing journey. Website or body, it doesn’t matter. As long as there is life there is hope.

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top