After suffering for a decade from a range of ailments like lyme disease, hypothyroidism, and leaky gut syndrome, our friend Amie Valpone, creator of TheHealthyApple.com, healed herself through clean eating and detoxing. Now, in her new book Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body, she provides guidance on how to eliminate toxins and fend off a whole host of health issues.
Here, she shares some secrets to detoxing—and still enjoying—your life:
How does someone get started with detoxing their life? It seems so overwhelming!
It can be but that’s why I break it down step by step in my book so it’s not overwhelming. You can start slow with your kitchen by removing canned foods and processed foods and refined sugars. Then head to your bathroom for your deodorant that has aluminum in it as well as shampoo/conditioner with parabens and other products such as sunscreen and chap-stick that need to be replaced with non-toxic alternatives. Laundry detergent is another big toxin that can be swapped for a cleaner greener product. Slowly you can detox your life step by step without feeling overwhelmed. I want people to see how amazing life feels when you life clean- not because they should but because once they see life this way, they’ll never go back!
Are there certain foods that aren’t good for anyone? For example, there are lots of studies about the benefits of eliminating dairy from your diet. Or does it need to be looked at case-by-case?
In my book I removed gluten, dairy, soy, corn, refined sugar, eggs and other inflammatory ingredients but that doesn’t mean everyone needs to avoid them. It just means that removing these foods for my 21-day detox can pinpoint unwanted symptom relief in your body and then you can slowly start to see what foods are triggering headaches, bloating, weight gain, etc. I lay this out step by step in my book!
Can I detox without giving up going out to eat?
Yes of course. Detox is not a cleanse. That’s what I discuss in my book. It’s about removing the inflammatory foods in our lifestyles so that we can add in the anti-inflammatory foods to heal our bodies and keep us healthy. You can find lots of healthy foods when you eat out but be mindful of the table salt (bring your own sea salt) and the refined oils (bring your own olive oil) so that you can make your meal healthier while dining out!
It’s late, everyone is tired and hungry. What is a great weekday go-to dinner that doesn’t require a lot of prep?
I have a ton of dinners like this in my book. I love using gluten-free whole grains like quinoa or wild rice along with a handful of fresh herbs like parsley, dill or cilantro, some beans for protein, a healthy fat like pureed avocado or warmed almond butter to drizzle on top for the dressing with freshly squeezed lemon juice, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. So easy and simple. Prep your whole grains on Sunday night for easy prep!
Are smoothies ever a good meal replacement? If so, what would you recommend including to ensure you’re smoothie has all of nutrients you need.
I don’t use smoothies as meal replacements because I need to chew to feel like I’ve eaten a meal but you could use a smoothie for an in-between snack before or after lunch if you need an extra boost. It’s so important to keep your blood sugar stable and to eat every few hours so that you’re not negatively affecting your adrenals and hormones- which can lead to weight gain. If you want to use a smoothie for a meal, I’d choose breakfast but make sure you have enough healthy fat and protein in there from nuts, seeds, avocado or nut/seed butters!
What are the best snacks to keep in your desk or bag to keep you feeling full all day?
I love organic almond or cashew butter drizzled over fruits and I also use raw veggies like carrots, celery and zucchini to dip into hummus, guacamole and salsa. Those are my staples!
You talk about the importance of detoxing not only with food but also as it relates to personal care products, what are the ingredients we should avoid when purchasing personal care products?
There are so many ingredients to avoid! I laid this all out in my book in beautiful charts so they are easy to read for people to identify the ingredients to avoid as well as the ingredients that are safe. It’s important to read the labels of everything you purchase.