A Real Energy Challenge Chat With Amie Valpone

During our Real Energy Challenge this month, we’re bringing you healthy tips from friends of Peeled Snacks to inspire and encourage you to live your healthiest life!

Amie Valpone  is a culinary nutritionist, chef, and author. Here, she shares her tips for ways to find real energy each day, including why she only eats organic and a mouth-watering recipe for a simple, healthy dinner.

What are some of your favorite healthy foods?  I eat veggies at every meal and incorporate them into snacks, too, for a boost of fiber, nutrients and vitamins! I love daikon radish, broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini.

Why do you think it’s important to eat organic? I went 100% organic about four years ago, and I haven’t looked back.  When I wasn’t eating organic, I would end up getting a headache or feeling awful from all the toxins in non-organic produce and animal products.

Now I only eat organic because I don’t want pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones and antibiotics entering my body from conventional (non-organic) foods. I feel amazing eating organic and it’s healthiest for me!

Why is it so hard to make healthy changes in our lives? Everyone is stressed out and too busy to eat healthy. They feel lost and exhausted and they don’t know where to start. My best advice is to start saying NO to things. Make time for yourself and find quiet time to recharge and focus on your health.

I also suggest cooking at home more and making simple meals; no need to make anything elaborate. Just buy a few whole foods such as organic veggies, organic chicken, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper, fresh basil, tomatoes and some crushed red pepper flakes or a drizzle of fresh lemon juice and you’ve got yourself dinner….plus leftovers! Pile your leftovers atop quinoa or wild rice the next day for lunch. It’s easier than you think.

How do you stay motivated to keep a healthy lifestyle?  I do healthy, small things every day to stay consistent and feel great. I go to the farmers markets and buy fresh fruits and veggies weekly and walk in downtown Manhattan daily to get fresh air. I do yoga and stretching in my home as well as daily meditation in the morning and evening.

Are there any health mantras or philosophies you subscribe to? Eat clean. Hence the title of my new cookbook Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation and Reset Your Body. Eating clean means eating whole, organic foods and steering clear of chemicals and highly processed foods that cause inflammation and unwanted symptoms in our bodies. Many people don’t realize there is a huge correlation between what we eat and our health!

What did you snack on today? Avocado, zucchini, hummus, extra-virgin olive oil drizzled on almond flour crackers, and cocoa powder with full-fat coconut milk. So yummy!

Thanks, Amie! Find more tips from Amie and other friends of Peeled Snacks on our Facebook page all month long.