I’m honoured to showcase the beautiful Julie Daniluk this week for the Sexy Scoop. She is a personal friend, colleague and author of #1 best-selling book and the 2012 Gourmand World Cookbook award-winning book, Meals that Heal Inflammation. She has been a co-host of Oprah Winfrey Network’s Health Gourmet and has appeared on Marilyn Denis and Dr. Oz. Her sequel book due out next April is the next step in her quest to help those relieve their pain with real whole healthy foods. I’m excited to share my love for Julie that I’m sure will be infectious to all of you.
You have such a strong passion for healthy living that’s infused in everything you do! What made you specifically choose to focus your crusade on the topic of inflammation?
I had a near death experience with inflammation and was passionate to share my healing journey when I regained my full vitality. The inflammation in my bowels was caused by food poisoning. It created such damage to the lining of my gut that I could no longer digest grains and my food allergies went through the roof. I spent most days with pain in my stomach and intestines and the chronic inflammation started to inflame my joints and muscles. I got better when I eliminated everything that irritated me. I had to start with a soft warming diet and gradually add complex choices as I started to heal.
What is your ‘non-negotiables’ when it comes to your diet?
1) Gluten- It really is like glue for my intestines!
2) Cow Dairy- I have allergic shiners under my eyes if I cheat and that is just not sexy! About twice a year I will try on sheep or goat cheese and I always realize that my body is still not ready to embrace it.
3) Cane sugar of any kind- white, brown, even cane juice- This is my personal kryptonite. If I accidentally end up with it in a sauce at a restaurant I loose 24 hours of productivity and joy.
I want people to check out if they have a sugar sensitivity because it really affects your quality of life. My mom figured it out when I was 7 years old that sugar caused me to loose sleep, become anxious and accelerate symptoms of ADHD.
How I see it now is I want to feel good 24-7-365. I have so much fun with alternative ingredients i.e. coconut, fresh peaches, berries, flax based raw crackers, cashew based cheese cakes that I don’t need to give up my vitality to celebrate!
What is your favourite sweetener to use and why and which do you avoid?
The one that feels the best in my body is raw honey. Because it half fructose, it enters my blood stream more slowly and gently. I avoid using more than 1 tsp of any sweetener as spiking your blood sugar can cause inflammation directly. For baking, I really like coconut sugar. It is packed full of minerals and I don’t feel any negative effects after eating it.
What is the biggest nutrition misconception you always have to clear up for people?
That if you are sensitive to gluten, you can be a weekday angel and a weekend pizza lover. Many people practice the 80/20 rule when it comes to gluten. Sadly, if you have developed anti-bodies to gluten then every time you consume bread, pasta, cereal or cookies, you are damaging the lining of your gut and that will lead to a cascade of inflammation through the whole body.
If you were trying to convert someone into a healthy lifestyle what would you cook for them and why?
I think you have to meet someone where they are so I love to get related to what they grew up with. I would ask what their favourite dish is and try to make the healthiest version. For example, when I was helping Marg Stahlbaum loose 115 lbs, I had to give her direct substitutions for her favourites. We started with small steps like eating Greek yogurt with real fruit instead of fruit bottom sugar yogurt. Next we tried the almond yogurt. I loved creating comfort food so Shepherd’s Pie fits the bill: https://www.juliedaniluk.com/item/vegetarian-shepherd-s-pie.html
If you could cook for anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
I would cook for Sting. I love that he has gotten sexier and sexier as he aged. I love his mind, his music and his mission to be a conscious and generous person. He loves yoga and my favourite quote of his is “Every hour I give Yoga, it gives me 2 back in productivity”. It would be an honour to cook him a healing meal- I picture environmentally sustainable black cod with a cashew bok choy stirfry from my upcoming book with an anti-inflammatory key lime pie for dessert that help him keep singing.
Here is the recipe to try at home:
Key Lime Pie:
We all need a treat once in a while but white sugar and white flour can cause tremendous inflammation. It is important to stay clear of unhealthy fats and sugars by using whole foods. That is why I created this nutrient dense pie that is healthy enough to eat for breakfast.
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup walnuts
1/4 gray sea salt or pink rock salt
1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates
3 firm avocados
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
1/2 cup raw honey
Pinch of gray sea salt or pink rock salt
Kiwi or lime slices as desired
1. Process the coconut, walnuts, and salt in a food processor until coarsely ground.
2. Add the dates and process until the mixture resembles break crumbs and begins to clump together.
3. Press into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate using the back of a spoon or your fingers.
4. Place the crust in a freezer for 15 minutes.
5. Process all the filling ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
6. Pour the filling into the piecrust. Set in fridge for 20 minutes.
7. Garnish with fresh slices or kiwi fruit or thin slices of lime. Makes 8 servings.
What is your favourite on-the-go snack and why?
I always have a small bag of seeds in my bag at all times. This ensures I have perfect blood sugar while in transit. I rotate pine nuts, hemp sees, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts and pumpkin seeds so I don’t develop an allergy. I used to eat almonds by the truckload and I developed a serious airway allergy so I learned my lesson.
What five ingredients do you suggest everyone should have in their cupboards or fridge?
High quality REAL olive oil that prevents cancer and reduces inflammation. Most olive oil is cut with canola and junk vegetable oil. Read more here: https://www.juliedaniluk.com/food-facts/the-truth-about-olive-oil-from-the-worlds-oldest-olive-tree.html
Lemons and apple cider vinegar are a must to make dressing sing and aid in digestion.
Ginger is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories and warms a cold constitution.
Cinnamon assists in healing the digestive lining and balances blood sugar
Basil is powerfully anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic. I love to make pesto every year and freeze it.
How do you stay healthy while travelling? Do you find it hard to find anti-inflammatory foods?
I really focused on healing soups packed in a thermos when driving on the road. When flying, I pack 1/3 of my luggage as food. Hemp seeds, Fish Oil and superfoods like spirulina are key supplements. I never leave home without my bitters that you made me J, anti-inflammatory enzymes and very strong pro-biotics (good bacteria that knocked out the invaders). I hit the health food store when I land from any plane ride to avoid being over my luggage allowance.
I loved your book, Meals that Heal Inflammation and I’m excited about your next book, which will hit bookstands on April 15, 2014. Can you give us a little insight about the book that we can expect?
You can expect even easier and tastier recipes. I have learned a lot from my time as TV Host of Healthy Gourmet. This next book is going to satisfy every craving while healing you from head to toe! I have an amazing extensive chart on the hormones of inflammation and go deeper to explain the allergic response. The next book has 400 full colour pages that are sure to support your vitality mission. Check out more amazing recipes, nutrition tips and my Anti-Inflammatory Quick Start Program at www.juliedaniluk.com. I would enjoy making new friends on Facebook at Julie Daniluk Nutrition and on Twitter @juliedaniluk.