I'm so beyond thrilled to share this week's (So)(Co) Sit Down with you! I met Amie Valpone through her amazing sister, Aly, who is also a dear friend of mine. Amie and I bonded over living with a chronic illness and leveraging that in order to heal ourselves and empower others to take care of themselves. Amie is one of those people that whether we're in person, on the phone, on Skype or chatting via email/text, I am constantly laughing. Although we may not know exactly what the other one is going through, there's a sense of understanding. I'm so proud of all of the work she's doing, can't wait to get my hands on her cookbook and hope that you enjoy reading more about Amie and her journey.
JOIN ME ON THIS JOURNEY OF SHARING STORIES AND INSPIRING ONE ANOTHER TO BE THE BEST VERSION OF OURSELVES IN OUR EVERYDAY LIVES.
READ ON TO LEARN MORE ABOUT AMIE VALPONE.
How do you spend you days?
Cooking, writing, visiting farmers markets, researching and reading medical books as well as resting, taking Epsom salt baths and meditating. I've created a life I really don't need a vacation from, which is beyond my wildest dreams because I spent way too many years in corporate America working crazy hours!
What are three things you are grateful for?
My health, my family, my ability to turn personal pain into professional triumph.
Explain your lifestyle in 5 words or less.
Simple, peaceful, vibrationally aligned, inspiring, and balanced. It's about me setting the tone and every day I love finding this place of happiness and watching the results (from these 5 lifestyle words) that I have put out into the world.
If you were to attend a potluck dinner, what would you bring?
Lots of fresh, organic veggies from the farmers market..fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, basil and organic chicken!
If you could gift everyone you meet with one book, what would it be and why?
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay because it opened my eyes to life and healing. I learned that I can heal myself through my thoughts, behaviors and feelings and that illness is not just about supplements, drugs and doctor visits.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
If you could change one thing in your daily routine, what would it be? What would it take to make that change?
I honestly don't think I'd change anything! My days are pretty great and I've learned how to balance my schedule with work, reading, spirituality, getting outside for sunshine, friends, family, and down time.
What does being healthy mean to you?
Healthy means being happy with myself and not worrying about what others think about me. Healthy means not being perfect, not looking perfect or acting perfect. It's about being myself and putting my best self forward to help others and myself grow. I am happy about where I stand and excited to see what's coming for me in the future. I like the ease that I'm able to accomplish by being alone and sitting still.
Have you ever been faced with health concerns that pushed you to change you lifestyle?
Oh yes. 'Pushed' is an understatement. At 25 years old, I was a successful business woman working at Ralph Lauren corporate and VOGUE magazine; I spent my days trying to climb the corporate ladder until one day, everything changed. My body started to shut down and my organs started to fail. The last 10 years I have spent every day trying to keep myself alive and I've turned personal pain into professional triumph. My secret is bravery to be vulnerable. I swapped out processed foods for whole, organic foods and started developing healthy, flavorful recipes on a blog I call The Healthy Apple, since I was living in the 'big' apple of NYC and trying to get healthy. When I was in my 20's, my stomach couldn't digest anything, and my belly was always swollen ; I looked like I was pregnant. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, hypothyroidism, chronic hormone imbalances, colitis, polycystic ovarian syndrome and so much more. I was sent out to Mayo Clinic for a week of testing and had countless bone marrow biopsies, muscle biopsies and so much more throughout the last decade. I landed on disability from my corporate job, steroids, water pills, pain killers and morphine, being told I had to live the rest of my life like this. I told myself that I knew I could find an answer and get myself back to the vibrant Amie I once was.
And I did. My lifestyle completely changed and I am now a celebrity chef, expert on wellness, clean eating and I'm writing a cookbook. I want my blog and book to reach as many people as possible, who are needlessly suffering with health issues. My hope is that people read my blog, TheHealthyApple.com, (and soon my cookbook) and decide not to give up. When you remove the sugary processed foods that hold your weight and health hostage and replace them with real, whole foods, you have a chance to stage a revolution and reclaim your kitchen. A few simple upgrades can transform your diet without radically altering your life. My business gives people hope and a chance to reboot their life. Ten years ago, I had no idea what 'healthy' meant; I was too busy working and didn't put any attention on my health or overall wellness. Now, I teach my readers how to shift their perspective and provide the pathway to optimal health.
What song can immediately change your mood in the best way possible?
Anything by Snatam Kaur. Trust me; you'll see!
What is one piece of advice someone has given you that shifted your way of thinking?
"Your Happiness Should Not Be Conditional Based on the Outcome." I've learned how to not let things happen TO me, upset me and I started to tell myself that these things were happening FOR me. I learned to see the positive in every situation and it's allowed me to slow down my lifestyle, breathe and get present.
What article of clothing/outfit do you feel most empowered wearing?
Heels, lipstick and a really fun pair of earrings.
Complete this sentence: "In order to be happy, I need to..."
Have balance, alone time, quiet time and really good music! I'm an introverted extrovert; as much as I love people - I need my alone time to also be happy.
What do you have going on in your life that you'd like to share with the (So)(Co) Community?
My book/cookbook will be out March 2016. It's filled with my health story, how to detox your food and your life as well as over 200 fabulous anti-inflammatory plant-based recipes (gluten, diary, soy, eggs, corn, white flour, and refine super - free). Plus, I'll be launching a bunch of new online programs/e-books in a few weeks on topics such as Sugar Cleanse /Candida Program, Heal Your Gut Program, Kid's Digestive Health, Dysbiosis, IBS, Arthritis and more. Check out TheHealthyApple.com for updates!
Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is the Editor-in-Chief of www.TheHealthyApple.com; she is a Manhattan Celebrity Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, Professional Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Writer and Motivational Speaker specializing in simple gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free ‘Clean Eating’ recipes. Amie recently healed herself from a decade of chronic pain including Lyme Disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Hypothyroidism, Adrenal Fatigue, Leaky Gut, Heavy Metals and much more exhausting thousands of doctors in the country and Mayo Clinic; she shares her story of how Clean Eating and Detox saved her life and inspires you to Clean up your food, too. Amie lives in Manhattan, NYC where she cooks for a variety of clients including celebrities and people with busy lifestyles who enjoy healthy, organic, whole foods. Amie's work appears on Martha Stewart, Fox News Health, WebMD, The Huffington Post, The Food Network, Glamour Magazine, Clean Eating Magazine, SHAPE Magazine, Prevention Magazine, PBS and many others. Amie's first cookbook on 'Clean Eating and Detox' will come out in early 2016.