The Whole View, Season 3 Ep 36: Healthy During the Holidays and Beyond

Welcome Danielle Walker to the Whole View! This week, Stacy and Danielle discuss staying healthy during the holidays when managing health restrictions. Danielle shares aspects of her journey after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and tips for getting her family onboard, especially during the holiday season.

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Key Takeaways


  • Danielle Walker is a New York Times bestselling author (Against All Grain, Meals Made Simple, Celebrations, Eat What You Love, Food Saved Me), health advocate, and self-trained chef.
  • After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at 22 and suffering for years, Danielle found health through dietary and lifestyle changes. Inspired by her own health journey, Danielle shares her gluten-free recipes on her blog as a beacon of hope for others.  
  • Her accolades include a spot on the coveted Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2015.
  • She regularly shares her health journey, recipes and expert tips on the TODAY Show, The Doctors, E! News, Access Hollywood, Home & Family, and many other nationally syndicated shows. Her work has been featured in People, O Magazine, USA Today, Shape, Women’s Health, Parents, Well + Good, and more.

Chronic Illness, Health Restrictions, & Family

  • Everything in Danielle’s work is trying to give people back the foods and traditions they feel like they have lost when they were not only diagnosed with an incurable chronic illness, but also after finding out that there were certain food groups that they may not be able to eat anymore to live a fuller, happier life.
  • For Danielle, it was a constant stress while she was approaching food as healing and, at the same time, a constant stress about if what she was eating could harm her or if it could help her. Eating the wrong food could (and has) hospitalized her, which puts strain on not only herself and her own life, but also her family as well.
  • For the most part, her family stays away from gluten, refined sugar, and food dyes in their house. Danielle has learned so much about how inflammatory gluten can be, and because autoimmune disease can be hereditary, staying away from gluten is more of a preventative measure.
  • She tries to find balance between her kids and husband feeling like they have to eat a certain way just because of her vs. trying to educate them and have them understand.
  • Most partners are skeptical because they think gluten-free, dairy-free, etc. is going to taste bad. Danielle’s advice is to make what you already know is good first. That way, you show that those choices taste bad and open the conversation around it.
  • Many people use this idea of – I don’t need to do it for myself, and I don’t want to not enjoy it the rest of my life – as a way to avoid change when there’s really no need because they can still enjoy it.

Healthy During the Holidays

  • Thanksgiving leftovers are Danielle’s favorite. She grew up making turkey sandwiches the day after, and the idea of having to give that tradition up in order to stay healthy during the holidays was incredibly hard. Now she has a grain-free bread recipe that she always makes in advance so she can still enjoy the leftover tradition. She uses it for her stuffing, too, and will always double or triple it so she has an extra loaf.
  • Her family makes hot cocoa whenever it rains in California during the holidays, so she loves to have homemade marshmallows on-hand.
  • She also has a recipe for grain-free gingerbread houses in her Celebrations book where you make the dough, roll it out, and measure it yourself. She doesn’t make her own every holiday season, but, but if she does make the dough, she makes it into cookies that they can actually enjoy. Additionally, she makes dairy-free fudge to give out as gifts.
  • A lot of fun treats and lots of baking happens in Danielle’s house around the holiday seasons. It’s possible to live with restrictions and stay healthy during the holidays without sacrificing traditions and joy.

Other Topics Discussed 

  • Danielle’s family holiday traditions, her merchandise, and her many books (Against All Grain, Meals Made Simple, Celebrations, Eat What You Love, Food Saved Me).
  • Stacy’s favorite recipe that her family makes all the time is Leftover Roast Chicken Soup with Roasted Vegetables.
  • Danielle makes excellent cookies, and Stacy has never had one she didn’t like. In fact, they connected years ago over this cookie recipe.
  • Stacy loves biscotti and saw Danielle has a maple frosted pumpkin spice biscotti that just went on her Thanksgiving list.
  • People can even find Stacy’s guest post on her site for Peppermint Hot Chocolate, but Danielle has her own in her Celebrations book that looks awesome, too!

Want More? Have Questions?

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References & Products


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Note: Stacy and her guests are not medical professionals. This podcast is for general educational purposes and NOT intended to diagnose, advise, or treat any physical or mental illness. We always recommend you consult a licensed service provider.

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