Q&A: Elana Amsterdam

When Elana Amsterdam was diagnosed with Celiac Disease two decades ago, “gluten-free” wasn’t really on anyone’s radar. In 2006, she started a blog to document her adventures in food, a…

When Elana Amsterdam was diagnosed with Celiac Disease two decades ago, “gluten-free” wasn’t really on anyone’s radar. In 2006, she started a blog to document her adventures in food, a blog which has now turned into a series of popular cookbooks. We chatted with the woman behind about how simple a health philosophy can be, how to reduce inflammation, and her favourite dessert.

Tell us a bit about your journey.

In 2006, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis which was devastating. I started my blog to keep my mind off that and to help others. It’s been so uplifting for me. I love writing recipes, sharing health tips, and more than anything, answering comments from readers!

I’ve also written three books since that MS diagnosis in 2006. My first book, ‘[The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook](’ was the first grain-free, paleo cookbook from a major publisher. My third book, ‘Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry‘ is a New York Times best seller that has been printed in several languages.

What does a healthy diet mean to you?

Using the recipes I create to eat close to the earth and consume whole foods. I’m especially focused on eating a lot of healthy green vegetables, which help the detoxification process in the body, and reduce inflammation. I drink my Cilantro Detox Juice everyday for this exact reason!

How does your diet help you feel better, mentally and physically?

I’ve been focused on clean eating since the early 1990’s and this, along with sleep and moderate exercise, are the three pillars of my health plan. I love eating well because I feel more focused mentally. Physically I have stamina and strength and my body feels great.

Can you briefly summarise your health philosophy?

Sleep, move, and eat real food! In that order 🙂

Healthy nutrition tips for busy people?

Slow down when you can and savour every bite of what you eat. If you’re eating something that you don’t think is necessarily all that healthy, it’s still important to eat it with love, not guilt, so that you can digest it!

Biggest misconception about healthy eating?

That it takes more time. My recipes are so simple that fans say they can be made more quickly than conventional recipes with unhealthy ingredients. I’m so happy to help people eat better food with my easy recipes!

Where do you find inspiration for your recipes?

When my husband and I go out for dinner he usually orders something that I can’t eat. As soon as we get home I start to work on creating a real food, healthy, gluten-free, grain-free version for myself and all of the people who read my blog looking for easy, healthy recipes that taste as good, or better than, the real thing.

If you could cook any meal for anyone, alive or dead, who would it be, and what would you cook?

I’m fascinated by European history around the time of the Renaissance so I would cook for Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII. I’d serve her my Salmon Wasabi Burgers over Sesame Kelp Noodles and finish the meal with Paleo Caramel Brownies topped with a scoop of my homemade Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream. I’d love to sit and chat with her late into the night over a cup of my liver cleansing, caffeine-free Dandelion Coffee after that!

Current favourite recipe?

Vegan Pumpkin Pie!

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Published: 22/01/18

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