My friend, Amie Valpone just released a new ebook called “The Healthy Apple’s Holiday Cookbook: 80 Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free and Peanut-Free Recipes Including Grain-Free/Paleo Desserts” Wow! That’s a mouthful….and a tasty one! Click through for an exclusive sneak peak.

Taken from Amie Valpone’s new ebook “The Healthy Apple’s Holiday Cookbook: 80 Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free and Peanut-Free Recipes Including Grain-Free/Paleo Desserts”

My Story 

You would never put diesel fuel in a luxury car like a gorgeous BMW or Jag, would you? That would completely ruin the engine. So why put low quality fuel into YOUR living, breathing luxury car- your body? I believe that you are what you eat. Many years ago, eating processed foods filled with chemicals and preservatives made me very, very sick. I was sluggish, bloated and in so much pain – and I nor any doctors I visited understood why. After I found myself in the emergency room a couple of times, I finally came across an integrative medicine doctor who revealed to me that my body was filled up with a lifetime’s worth of toxic metals from the processed and canned foods I ate. Turns out I was also allergic to a myriad of foods, on top of already being diagnosed with gluten intolerance.

From then on, I healed myself by following a “clean” lifestyle and diet: I eat only whole, natural foods straight from Mother Nature. Even personal products, like my makeup, cleaning items I use at home and my cookware are “clean,” meaning that they are free of chemicals, preservatives and any harmful additives such as BPA. I practice yoga, meditation and other “clean” or mentally cleansing activities (because thinking clean is important, too). Even though I am through the worst of my body’s issues, I am still working on healing many years’ worth of junky build-up in my body. Eating clean isn’t just a temporary thing for me, like some fad or yo-yo diet: it’s my way of life– a way of life that has saved my life.

You may be thinking, “Ugh, eating ‘clean’ sounds pretty boring, just fruits and vegetables right?” Just the opposite! By eating clean, I’ve discovered so many foods that I would normally not have eaten when following the standard American diet (SAD), which is basically lots of baked products made from white flour, potatoes, red meat and dairy. Instead of just eating breads, pasta or products made from bleached white flour, I discovered buckwheat flour, quinoa, millet, coconut and other nut flours. In lieu of having dairy, I was introduced to nut, flax seed, hemp and coconut milk alternatives. No meat? No problem. I eat lots of quinoa and teff. I swapped butter for healthy fats like extra-virgin olive and coconut oils and excessive salt for flavorful spices like turmeric, cayenne, paprika, herbs de Provence, rosemary, thyme– you name it! I even have room for dessert: I just mash up some avocado with agave and unprocessed cocoa powder for a mousse or even make sorbets using blended ice and fruit. Eating clean has really opened a whole new world to me and my taste buds, in addition to its inherent physical benefits.

Some may call this rabbit food, but don’t listen– you are eating REAL food, while they are eating something concocted in a lab. Kind of funny right? Like I said, I am what I eat– and I’m REAL. What about you?

Going gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and/or organic can seem like a daunting endeavor, but armed with a positive attitude and a little creativity you will soon find yourself as satisfied as before changing your diet– except you’ll be feeling better, too. Here are a few holiday recipes to help get you started or, for you food-allergy pros, check out these tricks to shake up that old eating routine.

A Note About Ingredients

I always cook with organic products. It is my suggestion that you use organic ingredients wherever and whenever you can. Is it more expensive? Of course—but so are the health issues that can arise from some conventional products and so too is the irreversible harm done to the earth through conventional farming practices. This is why I’ve made the switch, and why I recommend you do, too.

Many of the recipes I’ve chosen for this EBook are gluten and dairy-free. You are welcome to make substitutions wherever you wish– such as organic whole wheat flour instead of gluten-free, or organic almond milk in place of cow’s milk. You can use vegan cream cheese instead of the dairy variety or egg white substitutes for egg whites—whatever best fits the needs of you and your loved one’s dietary requirements is the right choice. These recipes are meant to be versatile so that you can meet the needs of any one you may be cooking for without sacrificing flavor.

Get Amie Valpone’s new ebook “The Healthy Apple’s Holiday Cookbook: 80 Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free and Peanut-Free Recipes Including Grain-Free/Paleo Desserts” here