What is gluten and do you feel deprived living gluten-free and 100% organic?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye as well as oats (because of cross contamination with gluten in the factories where they are produced). I have never felt deprived living gluten-free but I can remember what it was like when I first starting cutting out gluten and then I made the move to be 100% organic and yes, of course it’s not as easy as walking down the street to a coffee shop and eating a bagel with cream cheese but that’s what makes my life so interesting and fun. I also feel AMAZING since cutting out gluten, dairy, soy, sugar and going 100% organic so I will never go back to the way I once ate before I was sick. I don’t think everyone needs to be gluten-free but I do recommend that if you are experiencing stomach issues or any of the other symptoms associated with gluten-intolerance or celiac disease that you look into living a gluten-free lifestyle for medical reasons to lower your internal inflammation. For more information on gluten-free and autoimmune disease as well as detox, hypothyroidism and how to stock your gluten-free pantry, check out my Getting Started Page.

I’m new to your website, where should I start?

Welcome! So happy to have you here. You can start by entering my Getting Started Page as well as taking a look at my Healthy Living Resources to find what interests you the most. I have everything from How to live Gluten-free, Sugar-free and Dairy-free to How to live with Hypothyroidism. Enjoy!

What do you eat since you are gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and processed food-free?

I eat 100% organic vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats such as avocado, nuts and seeds. I make sure to get a balance of fiber, healthy fats, protein and complex carbohydrates in every meal. I don’t eat anything out of a box or package because my body is still sensitive to processed foods and when I eat them, by body swells up for 48 hours, therefore I stick with a clean diet made of one ingredient foods!

Are you a Nutritionist?

I am a certified nutritionist and nutrition counselor.  I am not an R.D. I received my education from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition here in New York City with a continuing education degree in Nutrition from Columbia University.  I currently work with clients all over the country on their nutritional needs, as well as work as a Private Chef, teach Cooking Classes, Workshops, Public Speaking events, Food Store Tours, Cooking Parties, etc.  I love my job and I love working with and meeting new people each and every day.  Contact me at thehealthyapple@gmail.com for a consultation.

What magazines do you read?

Years ago I worked at VOGUE Magazine at Conde Nast Publications here in New York City, therefore I have a passion for the magazine and publishing world.  I currently read Martha Stewart Living, Cooking Light, Everyday with Rachael Ray, The Food Network Magazine and Eating Well Magazine.

What products do you love?

I have created a page especially for this question.  Check out my Favorites page and let me know what you think of my favorite products after trying them.

What kind of tea do you drink and recommend?

I love tea; that is an understatement.  I probably have about 20 boxes of tea in my kitchen. A great brand is Traditional Medicinals; I love their Roasted Dandelion Root. I also love the Yogi Green tea product line as well for my morning pick me up.

What do you purchase on a weekly basis from the food store/health food store?

I spend a ton of money on food shopping at the farmers markets, food stores and health food stores in NYC.  Each week I buy a ton of frozen and fresh vegetables and lean proteins.

Where do you do your food shopping in NYC?

I shop online for many of my vitamins and for beans, salsa, mustard and my favorite aloe vera juice.  I also shop at the Union Square Farmers Market and many health food stores here in NYC however, I buy most of my food from Whole Foods Market. Check out my Foodspotting Page for gluten-free and healthy restaurants and food stores in NYC.

Do you have any ideas for vegetarian dinners?

Yes, many! I am not a vegetarian, however, I definitely focus on vegetarian meals and they are quite delicious.  I love Earthbound Farms organic vegetables and salad greens, TruRoots gluten-free grains and pasta, Simply Organic and Frontier Organic spices, all of which are gluten-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan. Check out my Recipes page; I am constantly adding new recipes.

“My job is non-stop all day and I barely have time for a break to eat.  Do you have any tips for snacks and meals for my hectic working days?”

Yes, I have numerous snack ideas.  Please see my category of posts titled, “On-the-go-Snacks” where I share various ways to incorporate great snacks into your everyday needs whether it’s a sweet, savory, or salty craving you are looking to satisfy. You can check out my column in Glamour Magazine where I create 8 snacks every month just for you!

Do you have a favorite vegetable?

I love green beans, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, Swiss chard and spinach the most…although I eat every vegetable and love them all…it’s quite hard to pick my favorites.

What is the easiest way to cook chicken?

First, make sure you are using organic chicken at all times. I would have to say, the best and easiest way to cook chicken is to put it into a pot with a few tea bags, root vegetables and a bit of olive oil.  Cook on the stove top with a covered lid on medium to low heat and check every 10 minutes until chicken is completely cooked.

Any ideas for a healthy dessert?

Oh yes! There are so many delicious dessert ideas.  You could choose fruits or rice ice creams, organic sorbets, dark chocolate, candied ginger, a toasted English muffin with almond butter or other nut butter, dark chocolate chips and honey drizzled on top, apple or banana with nut butter and sprinkled with chopped nuts and coconut.  I have many clients who enjoy bars such as Larabars for their dessert.  Moreover, numerous clients find that dates stuffed with almond butter does the trick.  You could even make your own trail mix with your oatmeal, dried fruit, nuts and dark chocolate.

What kind of grains can you recommend?

All grains are wonderful in their own special way; check out my numerous posts on grains where I show how you can easily use grains in your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth are great gluten-free grains that are fun to use. I love the TruRoots brand of organic gluten-free grains.

“I know you believe in eating clean,unprocessed and natural foods, however, sometimes it is difficult to access these foods.  Can you recommend any good snacks that I can purchase in the store that will not go bad in my desk drawer or gym bag?”

Although I do like to stay away from packaged goods, there is always a time and place when you need nourishment and your body needs it fast! When traveling or eating on the run, stash home-made trail mix, Larabars, dried fruits, nuts, gluten-free whole grain crackers, fruit, etc.  Take a look at my post titled, “On-the-Go Snacks” for more ideas on what to pack when you are on the run.

How do you feel about fake sugars?

I do not consume “fake sugars” because of the added chemicals and negative press they have received from studies showing how harmful these substances are to our health.  I use stevia when I need a little ‘sweetness’ in my life.

Have a question? Email me at AmieValpone@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you.

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