What a Year

Wow. This has been an incredible year or so. In just 15 months time I threw two Bar Mitzvahs (one for each of my darling boys), built a new house, and wrote another book Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry. I do not recommend grouping these projects together into just over one year’s time to anyone. It was amazing fun, and also incredibly exhausting.

First, the Bar Mitzvahs. Of course (as any Jewish mother would attest!) the boys were amazing at each of their Bar Mitzvahs, chanting Hebrew for more than 3 hours in front of over 100 people. What a feat. What mazel! For each of their Bar Mitzvahs we held multiple gluten-free events and get togethers over a fun-filled weekend for friends and family (no I did not  cook for the 100+ people that came to each one) and had an amazing time with our tribe of loved ones. I’m glad that those huge gatherings are behind us, as they were wonderful, yet at the same time somewhat stressful.

This amazing year, 2013 was also consumed by the building of a new home. We stripped a historic house, built in 1912, down to the studs, basically building a new green home inside an old one. Installing non-toxic recycled blue denim (sound-proof insulation) as well as geothermal energy, and many, many more green features, I was up to my ears in every detail of the project. I seemed to hold it all together until we moved in and I had a complete melt down (now I’m fine). Perhaps that was because my younger son’s Bar Mitzvah, the move to the new house, and the release of my latest book were all within 6 weeks of one another. Not by my planning of course –construction schedules can be very “flexible,” and we had intended to spread things out more, but in the end it was not to be, and I was up to my ears in stress.

It was good stress of course. But I view stress the way I view food. Too much of anything is generally not a good thing. Even if one is eating healthy food, it’s important to stop when one reaches one’s limit. But the wheels were already in motion and there was no stopping the train that was 2013.

Next on my plate was the release of my latest book, Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry. Sometimes I wonder, why did I do this book in the middle of two Bar Mitzvahs and a house renovation? Well, being a housewife is a mixed thing for me. I’m so happy that I get to be there everyday when the boys get home from school –this is very important to me. At the same time, if I’m not doing my own projects I can end up feeling like a kept woman or a Stepford wife, neither of which makes me happy. I need to work! I’ve been doing so since I started my first business at age eight, but that’s a story for another time. I just had to fit a little bit of me into this crazy year.

So you must be wondering if I’m ok. Yes, after some deep exhaustion, I’m fine. I’ve taken extra rest this fall and am bouncing back quite nicely. Along those lines, I’m planning on a quiet, health-focused 2014, with lots of reading, research and rest –three of my favorite things.

In this new year I’ll be sharing a bunch of healthy dinner recipes, healthy lifestyle ideas and healthy exercise tips with you, my dearest online family. Happy New Year to you my lovely readers. I hope you had a wonderful 2013 and wish you the best in 2014! Here’s to an abundance of rest and relaxation.

What was your 2013 like? Please leave a comment and let me know, I’m all ears!


63 responses to “What a Year”

  1. It sounds like such a wonderful year! I love the picture above- it’s filled with such joy and happiness.

    2013 was a year of intentions, reflections, and journeys- I’m looking forward to see what 2014 will bring!

  2. As for me, I am glad to see 2013 go. It was extremely stressful. But here’s to a blessed and peace-filled 2014!

    Highlight of 2013 had to be being able to make and eat delicious gluten-free bagels!!! THANK YOU, ELANA!!! <3

  3. Good for you. Your year has been stressful, but good. This year kick back and follow thru on the three items mentioned. My year was a bit stressful, a wedding for my granddaughter. I plan on following your recommendation also. Sometimes you just have to take time for yourself.

  4. That sounds like a stressful time. As a teacher, mom of 4 boys, and a student in a master’s program, I understand. I have just been introduced to this lifestyle as I was put on a very strict diet by my doctor just before the new year. All of the recipes are extremely helpful and I am adjusting well. My only question is… is there is a substitute for the coconut items in the recipe? I am allergic to coconut and so many delicious looking recipes seem to call for a form of coconut.


  5. Happy New Year, Elana! You’ve had quite the busy 2013!

    My 2013 was an exciting year because I finally broke free of my eating habits and began eating Paleo on 1/2/13. One year ago today!! It has forever changed my life! And I found your website this year. You are an amazing resource and have helped me through my very first paleo Holiday Season! I wasn’t perfect but I’m looking forward to being even healthier in 2014. Thank you!

    My husband had a major surgery that took months to recover from, and even though that derailed our financial goals for the year, we decided “Why not?” and booked a BIG trip to Israel and Jordan with both our families. It was a trip of a lifetime! 2013 was an eventful year! : )

  6. Wow! What a full year you have had. Congratulations on the completion of your eco-friendly home and your new book!

    I had the intention for 2013 to be a year of supporting my well-being. And it turned out to be a year of deep healing and transformation.

    This year I am committed to continue my healing process. And to support my parents with all of their end-of-life requests.

    Thank you for all the energy you put into your blog. I look forward to reading all of your posts and appreciate all the new recipes you share.

  7. Looks like your having a great time. Our best to your papa.
    We always enjoy your website and your books.

    Mazal Tov,
    Irit and Doug Potter

  8. I like to Thank You for sharing all your new recipes especially your Paleo recipes. I know a lot of people who could not afford your books but by sharing them online makes life better for them/us.
    I was diagnosed with RA(rhumetoid arthrits) in 2012 exactly 1 month after I turned 50 years old it began. By April of 2012 i was bedridde and thought my life was over. I had nothing but time to read and found out that food was a big part of what makes you function. I have changed everything I eat from sugar to additives and persevitives. I have have lost over 75lbs since April of 2012. With your recipes it has given me a light at the end of the tunnel, meaning I still can enjoy certain foods. I have even learned how to make my own Mexican dishes so I can eat them which lets me still enjoy my favorite foods.
    2014 has to be a better year for me. I have a great Rhumatologist who works with me and hopefully one day I can get off my medicines with the help of foods.
    Once again, THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  9. Happy New Year, and may it bring peace, joy, and happiness! Thanks so much for guiding me toward terrific recipes that are grain-free. Removing grains has helped my diabetes so much! I’m the only insulin-dependent diabetic I know who has been able to decrease her insulin over time.

  10. Thank YOU, Elana, for your tireless efforts to help make our lives better! I visit your website faithfully a couple of times a week and have your marvelous cookbooks. I love the simplicity and tastiness of your recipes. And I love your website so much that I am mentioning it in my new book “Welcome to the World of Food Allergies and Intolerances: A Parent’s Handbook” as one of my go to websites. Happy new year to you and yours! Hope it is a great one!

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