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Behind Closed Doors: Amie Valpone

       

After years of struggling with mysterious and debilitating health issues, Amie Valpone sought out the causes and learned how to detoxify and supercharge her life. A culinary nutritionist, recipe developer and chef, she healed herself through a set of life changing diagnoses by adopting a clean and organic lifestyle. Read on for her food philosophy and tips for living the high life.

 

 

My Food Philosophy: Early on in my healing journey, I found myself faced with tons of conflicting information on what to eat and how to eat it. I felt lost and soon realized I was spending all my time listening to what everyone else was telling me to eat. One day, I woke up and realized it was time to take back my power and I started to learn how to trust myself and trust that my body knew what was best for me. This was a huge shift in my life because I started listening more to myself rather than anything outside of me.

Now, I eat clean, organic “one-ingredient” whole foods as I call them in my book, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body, because that’s what makes me feel my best and what has helped me release the chronic inflammation that was lurking in my body. After struggling for over 10 years with numerous chronic illnesses, I had to learn how to create flavor in my meals and snacks without gluten, dairy, soy, sugar and other inflammatory ingredients that caused awful reactions in my body. I taught myself little tips such as using freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice (and zest) for salad dressings with avocado oil, pureeing steamed cauliflower to make my soups super creamy and adding unsweetened coconut flakes to my breakfast for a little sweet kick.

Food, in many ways, helped heal my body and brought me back to life along with other wellness modalities/energy work, so I’m incredibly grateful that I have fresh, organic food and farmer’s markets near my home. I food shop a few times a week to keep these fresh ingredients on hand.

Here’s a sneak peak of my Manhattan fridge (gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, corn and yeast free):

Top Shelf I make a ridiculous amount of salads and roasted veggies every week so what you see in my fridge is pretty much what I have in here every day. People often think I feed a family of 4 but it’s just me. My body reacts negatively (swelling up, chronic muscle pain and inflammation that lasts 48 hours) if I eat anything processed the last 10 years so I’ve had to learn how to create flavor and feel satisfied with whole foods. I use the organic baby kale and arugula for salads and toss them with freshly squeezed lemon juice and either the chickpea miso (soy-free), an ingredient I use a lot of in my cookbook, Eating Clean, tahini or sunflower seed butter. I also just started to be able to eat a small amount of fruit after decades of Candida so I have raspberries and blueberries on hand to toss into my mouth for a snack or into a salad. I enjoy dairy-free plain yogurt from Kitehill for breakfast with the berries and a few Brazil nuts, which are high in selenium to support my thyroid after I had Hypothyroidism years ago.

Middle Shelf I just started to be able to eat eggs again, which has changed my life! So, there’s always a dozen organic eggs in my fridge. I like making poached eggs for breakfast or I’ll place a poached egg on top of a salad as a ‘dressing’. Cauliflower and cabbage are staples in my fridge because they’re amazing for supporting the liver and detoxing excess hormones. I love roasting cauliflower or making cauliflower ‘rice’ in the food processor. I usually roast the cabbage in large chunks or steam the leaves to use them as wraps for lunch. Since I’ve had numerous hormonal imbalances, I’m always looking to support my liver and hormones on a daily basis with cruciferous veggies. Avocado and fresh parsley/ basil/ cilantro are toss-in’s for my salads and pureed soups. Zucchini is one of my favorite veggies to add to soups and I Iove roasting zucchini and then tossing it into a food processor for a dip or soup. Baby spinach is in there, as well, to sauté with avocado oil for a side dish with dinner.

Bottom Shelf Fresh mint is my go-to fresh tea. I started reacting to herbal teas when I was going through my hormonal issues, so hot water and fresh mint is my tea of choice these days. I then have some hummus and beets that I picked up from the market last night when I didn’t have enough time to make my own. Onions are quite possibly my newest obsession because I roast them at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes with avocado oil, sea salt and pepper and they’re so naturally sweet and tender! Serving these to my clients often gets rid of their sugar cravings because they’re so naturally sweet. Lastly, there’s dinosaur kale, which I love to sauté with garlic, sea salt and pepper for a simple side dish or to add on top of roasted veggies.

Lower Bins Leftover baby carrots and grapes from when my parents were in town. I don’t buy these for myself but I don’t throw away food that’s still good, so I’ll probably use both for a soup or dip. I love roasting those little carrots and roasting grapes; when pureed, they make excellent soups, dips and dressings. Lots of flavor in there! I like to get creative with scraps and create something unique to toss on top of my salads or roasted veggies.

Bottom Drawer This is where I keep organic poultry or grass-fed meat. My body goes through phases of wanting animal protein and not wanting it, so I’ll store any organic animal protein in here along with a bunch of sealed containers filled with new recipes I’m testing for my next cookbook! A few nut cheeses, some hummus and also some desserts.

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