Elana Amsterdam is {Living It}

Women living in their joy and guided by their passions are the inspiration behind this series of interviews.

Let their joy inspire you towards yours.

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This woman was a game changer for me. Fortunate enough to find Elana through my girlfriend and fellow Health Coach, we each began making her recipes one by one. I got stuck on the chocolate cream pie and ate 3 entire pies after Lucas was born (um, nursing). Elana is as beautiful of a person as she appears to be. I don’t know if she remembers, but I used to e-mail her with difficulty in some recipes and she would always respond and give me advise on what to do. Gluten-free cooking requires a little getting-to-know-you time. And that you use the size loaf pan she says, and not any size you feel like!!!!

I have watched Elana’s Pantry evolve over the years and have come to feel as though I am right there with her as she talks about her chicken, indulges us in a month of cupcakes or shares her passion for healthy food. Elana show us that it is not just ok, but deliciously satisfying to enjoy a homemade treat. She has been my gluten-free/paleo teacher and forever I will hold a special place in my heart for her. I am honored and grateful to have her share some space here with us.


HM: What does joy look like, feel like, taste like?

Elana: Warm cookies just out of the oven. Snuggling under a down comforter with my husband.

Was there a defining moment for you when you knew you would pursue your passion?

Probably when I was around 9 years old, I knew I would pursue whatever it was I was
passionate about in life. Maybe even before that.

What sort of space opened up in your life when you started living in your joy?

For me life is a constant ebb and flow of spaciousness as well as lack thereof.

How do you make living in joy a daily practice for yourself and your family?

Through cooking wholesome food for them and breaking bread with my family.

In the kitchen, what food are you preparing to bring you power and energy?

Protein shakes.

Challenges arise from the large to the small everyday moments, how do you work through them?

Breathing and talking to my best friend (my husband).

How do you start each day? End each day?

With 5 breaths of gratitude.

Does ritual play a part in your joy?

Cooking is the ritual in which my joy takes part.

What made you smile today? Full belly laugh?

My children make me smile each and every day!

How does being a role model/inspiration for others help you move through your life?

It doesn’t. I try to be my best self every day. Sometimes I make it and sometimes I don’t. When I don’t, I review areas that call for improvement.

The outfit that you put on that makes you feel so YOU is?

Jeans and a t-shirt.

What color when you see it or wear it, do you feel connected to at this point in your life?

Sea foam ocean green.

What song when you hear it do you sing out loud?

Unfortunately, it’s some silly pop song that my children are listening to these days – something about throwing an X-box in the air?!

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Both for sure.

What book is on your nightstand or in your travel bag?

Half the Sky


Elana’s Pantry is the creation of gluten-free guru and wellness expert
Elana Amsterdam. Elana shares weekly recipes, ingredient selection, food
purchasing, and preparation tips with the readers of her book, articles and
visitors to her website, www.elanaspantry.com (1 million page views per

She has written for publications including Shape Magazine, Parents
Magazine, Delicious Living and Natural Solutions, and has been featured in
a variety of publications including Crain’s New York Business, Fortune Magazine
and The Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on CNN and MSNBC.

Her book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, was published by
Random House in July 2009. The book is now in its 5th printing just over a
year after its release, and was named one of the “Best Cookbooks of the
year” by The Denver Post. Her forthcoming book, Gluten Free Cupcakes
(Random House), will be published in summer 2011.

Elana lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, 2 boys (chefs in
training), 2 bunnies and 6 chickens.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

elisabeth December 11, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Love Elana! Thanks for introducing me to her website, Hannah :)


lynne ghenov December 14, 2010 at 7:46 am

I have heard of her but haven’t tried any recipes. I would love to start incorporating gluten free things into my household. Seems like we overload on wheat by default. When I have cooked with alternatives, it feels “lighter” on my body after eating.


Cait December 16, 2010 at 7:52 am

This is so inspiring. I am so glad that you did an interview with Elena. She is such an inspiration to me as a fellow blogger. I have been following her since I started and she is the reason on days I feel like giving up writing, I don’t. Thank you Elena and thank you Hannah.


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