It’s amazing how eating clean can make you feel so fresh.

So pure.

So summer.

Like the sunshine.

And the ocean.

And fresh flowers.

Clean eating is energizing. Invigorating. Reviving. Restorative.

I was inspired to write even more about my clean eating and share more about my life, my stomach problems, my ongoing health issues, my struggles and love for naturally, pure n’ simple gluten-free food such as fresh vegetables and lean proteins. No packages. No boxes. No additives. No ingredients you can’t pronounce. Just a veggie. And some lean proteins. We all know what they look like, don’t we? They surely aren’t hard to miss and they’re soaring through your local farmer’s markets every day. Go ahead; take a look. You may just find a new veggie you’ve never had before. Say a ramp or rutabaga.

Clean eating is refreshing like a tall glass of chilled seltzer on a hot day. Or a slice of a fresh grapefruit. Or a cool compress on your face when you wake up in the morning. An evening bubble bath with your favorite book. A pretty pink manicure and pedicure. A bouquet of fresh, wild flowers on your kitchen counter. The sound of birds chirping when you get out of bed with the sunshine. It’s the simple things in life that make me smile.

Like getting a package from your sister in Singapore of your favorite fresh perfume. A complete surprise. Lot of smiles. And tears. And an overall pretty feeling.

It’s amazing what the simple things in life can do for us, isn’t it?

I’ve been through it all these past six months. Been diagnosed with numerous conditions and spun around into a frenzy by an insane number of doctors who all contradict one another. Been in pain since December. And no one can seem to figure out why. It simply started with some fresh kale from the farmer’s market… then led to 4 cases of bacteria overgrowth, numerous parasites and pathogens, colitis… you name it, I’ve been through it these past six months.

It’s been a complete roller coaster and I’m still in pain. But staying positive and keeping my head up. Staying strong and doing everything I can to keep the smile on my face everyday until the doctors figure out what’s ailing me. What’s the cause of my stomach pain and inflammation?

As for right now, it’s unknown. Which is scary and painful. But, I’m looking to the bright side and keeping my hopes high. Waking up each morning hoping there won’t be pain today. But, sadly there is.

I know the day will come, however, when I jump out of bed without stomach pain, without inflammation and I’ll be able to be the Amie Jo I was six months ago.

But until then, I’m healing myself naturally with food and taking good care of my body. Eating clean. Eating pure. Eating gluten-free, dairy-free, simple and fresh. And I feel good. Even though the pain is excruciating, I feel good about what I am eating and that makes me happy.

And right now, making me happy is what life is all about. Getting through each and every day pain free is my goal and I know… I just know that I will get there.

Hopefully sooner than later as I’d love to have a sunny, pain-free summer. But, everything happens for a reason and there surely is a reason this is happening to me.

Maybe I need to slow down. Maybe I need to relax more. Maybe I need to realize that life is too short to live in a rat race and try to do everything. Maybe I need to heal myself through food and meditation and yoga. And cooking and baking. And listening to the birds chirp and the sun shine and the waves break on the beach.

Maybe it’s time I take a step back. And focus on me.

Because I only get one shot at life, right?

And this is the only one I’ve got.

And I’m pretty darn special.

So I ain’t giving up.

I’m a fighter and a winner.

And I know.

I just know.

That soon enough, I’ll be writing another blog post telling all of you how I’m healed.

Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.

But, whenever it is… rest assured, I’ll be having a bit ol’ gluten-free party to celebrate.

Don’t worry. I’ll let you know when.

Obviously you’ll be invited. Hehehe.

So, now for some cheese.

Well, for some gluten-free, vegan cheese. It’s delish. It’s pure. It’s easy. It’s tasty. And it’s fun to make (and eat). Pair it as a dip with crackers, crudite, fruit kabobs or atop salads, veggies and pilafs. Not too shabby, huh? It’s a versatile dish that’s good for about 5 days in the fridge. So, go ahead and whip up this puppy this weekend for your Memorial Day BBQ. Spread it atop your tofu burgers, use it as a dip with your sweet potato fries and use a dollop or two atop your fresh arugula, spinach and basil salads. Yum.

Raw Cashew Cheese
Serves: 4
Gluten-Free and Vegan
Author: Amie Valpone
Recipe type: Entree


  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup brewed white tea
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp. Himalayan pink sea salt


  1. In a large bowl, soak cashews in cold water; set aside to soak for 3-4 hours. Drain.

  2. In a food processor, combine cashews, brewed white tea, garlic, lemon juice, orange juice, and sea salt. Process until smooth; approximately 5-6 minutes.

  3. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 24 hours or until mixture thickens.

  4. Serve with whole grain gluten-free tortilla chips, crudites and fresh fruit skewers. Can also be used atop grilled tofu, salads and pilafs. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Raw Cashew Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 361 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Sodium 128mg6%
Potassium 446mg13%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 28mg3%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. Thanks so much for the recipe. I’ll be making it soon. I know what you are going through. What ended up working for me was aloe vera juice. First thing every morning -about 4 oz. on an empty stomach. You have to drink it down quickly ’cause it tastes awful. :o/ Also two or three cups of chamomile tea throughout the day. Both are anti-inflamatories. After two days I noticed a difference and after two weeks I didn’t even think about it any more – pain free. (The tea tastes ok). good luck-feel better

    1. Thank you, Katherine; great to hear from you! I hope you enjoy making this recipe. I love aloe vera juice and drink it every day. I just found a new brand that I love that tastes like water and has no flavor so I’ve been drinking lots of it! Thank you; I love lemon zinger tea but I’m going to try drinking more chamomile because of your suggestion. Thank you again; have a wonderful night! xo

  2. Good luck with the tummy issues, I still have ‘bad’ days when I don’t know what has set me off, but the good ones make up for it.
    I haven’t made this before and look forward to trying it.

    1. Thank you so much; you are so thoughtful! I greatly appreciate your support and I truly thank you. I’m hoping to feel better soon and staying positive! It’s comments like yours that keep me happy and strong…hope you enjoy these waffles. Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you, Mary! You just made my day. Honestly, a huge smile just came across my face because of you. Thank you for your support; I greatly appreciate it and I’m staying strong and positive. Have an enjoyable holiday weekend! xo

  3. Eating clean is a big task for me! With all the yummy bad foods out there…I have no self control 🙁 I know eating healthy can cure a lot of everyday ailments like the lack of energy I experience from day to day. I love reading posts like this because it makes me aware of my decisions.

    I’m sorry about your stomach issues with what happened. I can’t believe it’s lasted so long! Scary! I’m praying that your body completely heals soon!

    1. Thank you so much, Joanna; such a pleasure to hear from you! You just made my day and I cannot thank you enough for your prayers and support as I am staying positive and hoping for the best. Thank you for your kind words. Have a wonderful day! xo

  4. I can’t imagine that amount of pain that you’ve been in. That’s awful. I am looking forward to trying this cashew cheese recipe. Is there any substitute you can recommend for the white tea?

    1. Thank you; I greatly appreciate your support. Yes, you can also use green tea in this recipe. I used a mild green tea for this recipe last week and it came out delicious. Any type of mild tea will work well. Hope you enjoy this recipe. Have a great day and thank you so much for your comment!

  5. Ughhh stomach and digestive issues are such a pain! (no pun!) Good luck and it seems like you are doing a great job really trying to figure it out and eat clean!

    1. Awww; thanks so much, Cara. I appreciate your support! Have a great day and thank you for your comment. Hoping to feel better soon but staying very positive!