Comfort in Cookies (and Fast Food, Too!)

As you probably noticed in my last post, I got kind of depressed when my egg yolk reintroduction wasn’t successful. One of the major reasons I was depressed is that eggs are so standard in baking. This meant that I’d always have to be careful with baked goods and at the minimum observe extra moderation with them.

So what do you do when you’re feeling blue? Whether it’s election blues or egg yolk blues? You bake, of course!

Early in my AIP adventures, I was missing chocolate. One of the easiest chocolate substitutions is cacao, although it doesn’t agree with everyone. In my enthusiasm at learning it’s on the protocol, I bought cacao powder and chips. Unfortunately I later learned there are a few ingredients that make the chips non-compliant, so I should have made my own, but since I had them on hand, I decided to indulge a little in this case. As I worked on healing and mourning the loss of eggs, I got to work tracking down ingredients for this recipe.

Flame to Fork is where I found this recipe for AIP, Chewy “Chocolate” Chip Cookies. I substituted arrowroot powder for tapioca powder, since it’s what I had on hand, and I think it made them a little extra dense and more akin to a chocolate peanut butter cookie if that sounds good to you.


First you mix a bunch of stuff. I found it a tad crumbly so increasing the liquids slightly might have helped. And I tripled the recipe since we’re staying with friends and I wanted lots of cookies!


Next you roll them into balls. This took way more time than regular cookie dough. But they will do the job, particularly if you follow the instructions and let them set a bit before you remove or eat them.


These took a while to cook. It can be hard to tell they’re done because they don’t burn as obviously as traditional cookies. So err on the side of less time if you’re unsure. After all, there aren’t any eggs, so you can even eat this as cookie dough without fear!

I’m crazy about these cookies. So is my husband. If I had controlled myself and not eaten 6-8 in a day, I think I would have been fine with the store-bought chips, but next time my digestion will thank me when I make them myself. And if my husband has his way, I will be making them a lot!

If you have trouble finding the ingredients, check Amazon. Depending on the area I’m in, I’ve found most of these ingredients at Walmart or local grocery stores and just about everything at a local food cooperative.

One final note: a quick fast-food story. We just spent a couple of days in Minneapolis and of course visited the Mall of America while we were there. I was prepared with meat and fruit bars, but I was hoping for some fast food I could eat without paying for a sit down meal. A quick search hadn’t turned up anything, but finally I thought to ask Piada Italian Street Food what oil they use on their grill. When they showed me the bottle of olive oil I got so excited!

I had a fantastic salmon salad – they let me substitute things I could eat (olives, cucumbers, artichokes) for things I couldn’t and talked me through every ingredient. Amazing service, amazing meal and I can’t recommend them more highly for a healthy and delicious fast casual experience! Look for them in a city near you in Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota or Kentucky.

Thanks for reading, and stay strong! We are so much more than the food we eat but it sure does influence how we feel.

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Adventures in Dining on the AIP

I love to go out to eat. I enjoy indulging in foods I didn’t have to cook myself or perhaps wouldn’t know how or want to bother cooking. I enjoy conversation over a good meal. And I enjoy the opportunity to try new things.

Since I began following the auto-immune protocol, going out to eat has basically been off the table for me. For one reason, it’s really inconvenient. Although there is fast food out there that I can eat, it involves so much research and is so restrictive that it generally seems like even if I CAN eat there, it’s not worth the hassle. For another, eating out is expensive. I don’t mind paying well for a good meal, but if you can only eat half of what you’re paying for and are limited to one or two dishes, is it really worth the expense? And finally, after two months of Whole30 AIP, I am working on reintroductions. Because restaurants bring an extra element of risk to the table, combining reintroductions with dining out isn’t recommended. 

Nevertheless, I have wanted to eat out, at least occasionally. There’s a sense of normalcy to being able to go to a restaurant and order off a menu. And socially, it’s just fun! 

So, here are the four places I have eaten out recently and how I approached them. I’m happy to say they were all really successful. (I also tried a decaf coffee one night at McDonald’s and quickly realized that made my body miserable. Oops. It’s a question mark for AIP.) I suggest you always call first to talk to the kitchen about your allergies and needs, and I suggest erring on the side of caution with any unknown ingredients. As always, tip well! 

Greek Dining at Amphora, Derry, NH

I ate at Amphora early in my Whole30 (really a Whole60). I adore this restaurant and their chef, and he insisted on calling me to talk about my options for eating there. Ultimately I went with one of their delicious salads and added grilled shrimp. He told me anything on the grill that wasn’t marinated would work. I had to leave off the stuffed grape leaves, tomatoes, feta, pita and banana peppers of course and replace the dressing with olive oil. This left me with green lettuce, artichokes, kalamata olives, onions and shrimp. Not the most exciting meal ever (and I was hungry a little before the 4 hour mark) but it was nice to have a tasty meal with my family at one of my favorite places. Next time I might be brave and try the lamb. 

Breakfast at Polly’s Pancake Parlor, Sugar Hill, NH


This would have been the hardest one for me if I didn’t psych myself up for amazing company and come prepared to just munch on fruit and eat when I left. In reality, it took a lot of discussion with the server (and the kitchen had to redo my burger when they accidentally put cheese on it) but I had a tasty, if very expensive, breakfast with plenty of leftover fruit. 

Normally my order at Polly’s involves three types of pancakes with mixins and lots of syrup and maple cream. Occasionally an egg on the side. This time, I began by ordering herbal tea. I also got a burger on lettuce with onions and mushrooms cooked in olive oil. They threw in a couple of carrots too. They offered pickles but I was afraid they might have sugar or spices I couldn’t eat. My fruit was expensive at $5.95 before tax but it came out in a goblet and I ended up getting three servings out of it! Fresh strawberries, blueberries and bananas, so delicious. Now that I’ve reintroduced maple I could have more fun here, but it was very doable even without it.

Gordi’s Fish & Steakhouse, Lincoln, NH


I went here with my family and knew we’d be paying a lot, but I was eager to try some seafood and the kitchen had lots of options that would work for me. I ended up going with a 1 lb. lobster! They offered steamed broccoli as a substitute for the veggie of the day and I was amazed to see a baked sweet potato on the menu. They also made me an olive oil and lemon mix for the lobster but I really didn’t need it. 

This meal was absolutely perfection. It was such a treat and the first time I’ve been able to get everything I was paying for! Nothing excluded. So incredible and worth it. The sweet potato might have been the best I have had. After, we went out to ice cream and I had brought my own dried banana and date rolls so I got an indulgence while they ate. 🙂 

Great Lost Bear, Portland, ME 


Last weekend, my husband and I were in the Portland, ME area getting our culture fix. Since my brother lives in the area, we made plans to meet him and his girlfriend for dinner. She recommended Great Lost Bear, a tavern known for accommodating all types of diets. 

After reading the menu and talking to them, I knew I could get a burger, so it worked for me. The burger comes with a side salad. They have lots of fun burger toppings, and I could get grilled onions and mushrooms on mine, which I loved. Unfortunately their guacamole has sour cream and Tabasco sauce (thank goodness I asked for the ingredients!) and they couldn’t do just avocado, but their side salad was also decent and I was able to get carrot, onion and broccoli on mine with oil and vinegar on the side. 

The burger was presented well on lettuce too. I was super-jealous of the pulled pork nachos at our table, but I had a very filling meal. As usual, I brought date rolls and dried banana to eat as a treat afterwards. 

Eating out is challenging right now, but it’s so satisfying to feel great after I leave and to enjoy the company of family and friends over a meal. I’m aware there is always a little extra risk dining out instead of cooking myself, but I’ve had great luck so far by calling and planning ahead. 

Thanks for reading, and good luck in your own dining adventures!