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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Almond Crackers

In general, I pay attention to eating healthy.  My daily meals are balanced and I try not to eat too much junk.  There is no food group I omit - I have no allergies nor ethical quandaries - I love it all - vegetable, animal, and mineral.  Unfortunately, I also love to eat out and have a snack at night.  I may pass up the ice cream social at work, but that's only so I can have a glass of red wine with dinner and a cookie with my tea.  I probably love pasta a bit too much.  Who doesn't love a good piece of fried chicken?  Or ribs? Also, I tend to go off the rails at parties.  I admit I may need some help.

So when a nutritionist at my CrossFit gym put a 21 day sugar detox on the table between Halloween and Thanksgiving, I thought "what a great way to stop myself from eating all that leftover candy for three weeks!"  I signed on the dotted line and was handed my list of "yes" and "no" foods and proceeded to panic.  I thought I was giving up candy and ice cream, not fruit and potatoes!  We are actually talking about a pretty low carb diet.  I tried to do Atkins once about 15 years ago and I ended up breaking down in tears on Day 6 after seeing a Domino's commercial.

Well it's Day 6, and I must say it's waaaaaay easier than I thought it would be.  There has been no crying or mood swings.  I haven't gotten mad at my husband when he munches on that leftover candy as we watched tv on the couch.  I haven't even had so much as a headache.  This way of eating is preventing me from eating all the sugary food (including all the carbs) that I tend to overindulge in.  I get to eat all the other foods I love in plenty.  Am I the girl who brought a bagged lunch of turkey, avocado, and lettuce leaves to a catered conference?  Yes.  Did I make a peanut butter pie for my husband's birthday dinner and not eat any? Yes.  Did I watch my friend drink wine and not partake in a glass?  Yes.  And all those moments felt surprisingly wonderful.  Who knew I had willpower?!

I think the reason that I have been emotionally okay is that I have been finding fantastic ways to keep myself satisfied.  For example...these almond crackers.  I couldn't make it three weeks on this plan without having cheese and crackers.  It's one of my favorite things.  So here is a sugar-free recipe for crackers - made from three ingredients - almonds, salt, and an egg.  I was wary, but they are delicious.  I have already made these twice, and will continue to make these to have with my cheese plate forever, long after the 21 day sugar detox is done.

Wish me luck on the rest of the journey...I am pretty sure I will have more recipes to share, but it's been really difficult to find the time to do it right, lately.  In fact, even as I am writing this entry, I sit at the table as two six year olds eat mac n' cheese, argue over who knows how to count higher, and ask me if I know how to spell a variety of different words.  Do you know how to spell detox, kids?

Almond Crackers
recipe from Wholesome Yum
makes about 24 1 in x 2 in crackers

2 cups fine almond meal/flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  While the oven is preheating, in a medium bowl, combine the almond meal an sea salt.  Then add the egg and mix until everything starts coming together.  Lay out a large piece of wax paper (or parchment paper) and reserve another piece that is a similar in size.  Dump the mixture onto the paper and continue to knead with your hands until it is one piece of dough.  Then place the other piece of wax paper on top and roll out until it is very thin - about 1/16 to 1/8 an inch - whatever you prefer.  It will not be a perfect rectangle.  You can easily tear pieces away and replace elsewhere to make the shape more rectangular as you go.  Then, using a knife, cut the dough into equal size and shape crackers.  Lay these crackers on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake from 10 to 12 minutes until a nice light golden brown.

I stored mine in a plastic bag in the fridge for a week and they kept perfectly.  Enjoy!