Oprah turned to me and asked, “Alex, why were you crying?”
I had co-starred in an episode of FX’s 30 Days, a socially conscious reality show, created by my then-fiance Morgan Spurlock. We had gone to Columbus, Ohio to live on minimum wage, and recorded the experience of life on the poverty line.
And the people we met had been so inspiring, helpful, and resourceful, I broke down in tears. Working two jobs, raising families in tough conditions, and trying everything in their power to do the right thing, we met people who gave everything they had to their families, communities, and to life…
And they were exhausted, even as they were hopeful. They were committed to a life lived as well as possible, no matter what their circumstances.
Their daily struggles kept them focused on the really important things: family, health, contribution.
I had walked on the red carpet at the Oscars, hung out and worked with major Hollywood celebrities, yet these folks who were working hard every day to make life work, trying their best to be healthy, were the most inspiring people on earth.
So I cried on Oprah’s couch, retelling the story of these inspiring people and their desires.
This pull to share inspiring stories, help people get the resources they need, and inspire them to action came from my family.
Raised by a master organic gardener and artist-mom, a high school principal, and an extended family of artists, teachers, book lovers and do-gooders, I absorbed the socially conscious and DIY energy of my hometown of Portland, Oregon.
Even though I was raised on an old organic farm by health-conscious parents in Portland, Oregon, I was addicted to sugar and did everything I could to feed my craving.
As a young adult, after years of addiction, my decades of unhealthy habits brought me to a crossroads: either take the handful of prescriptions recommended by my doctor, or heal my body.
I chose to heal.
With support and education, I found a diet that worked for me and my body. I adopted a vegan diet and lifestyle, and stepped into a life of cooking, teaching, and writing. I detoxed, got clear about my purpose in life, quit the soul-crushing job, said goodbye to the unfulfilling relationship, and rebuilt a life and way of living that inspired me to act, and eat, with intention, every day.
Those early lessons inspired the creation of Super Size Me, and my first book, The Great American Detox Diet.
Now, thousands of clients and four books later, the mission is the same, though the methods have changed a bit:
After 10+ years as a “professional vegan,” my body started asking for meat. Hormonal changes, exhaustion and a stressful divorce welled up as cravings for foods I thought were bad, but I had to honor and listen to what my body was telling me:
This idea of following your cravings went viral, and has led me to a deeper, richer definition of health and service:
Your body is smart, looking for balance, wants to be healthy, and is telling you what you need in every moment of every day. Sometimes that’s a vegan diet, sometimes that means eating donuts with three generations of family while reconnecting your tribe.
And every time I think about that month in Ohio, I remember why I love what I do:
I get to help people take control of their health – with real food, fun, and inspired action.
No matter what diets you’ve tried, you can have a body you love.
No matter how exhausted you are right now, you can create more energy.
No matter how lost and defeated you tell yourself you are, you can feel more positive.
You can wake up in the morning loving your body and your life.
You can find your own natural skilled resilience, natural healing abilities, and the life you dream about.
A life filled with health, vitality, and joy.
The short official bio:
Alexandra Jamieson is a mom, writer, and health coach who helps women listen to their true cravings for pleasure in order to achieve the body and life they desire. Her TedX talk on Cravings can be seen here:
A Certified Holistic Health Counselor accredited through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Columbia University Teacher’s College and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.
The co-creator and co-star of the Oscar-nominated documentary Super Size Me, Alex has appeared on Oprah, CNN, Fox News, numerous documentaries and other news outlets. Her recipes and interviews have been featured in Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times, People, Gourmet Magazine, Naturally Danny Seo, and numerous magazines, blogs, and podcasts.
She is a healthy gourmet chef, having trained at The Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, and is the author of The Great American Detox Diet, Vegan Cooking for Dummies, and Living Vegan for Dummies.
In online programs and private practice Alex helps clients achieve lasting health and weight loss with a sane, natural approach based on bio-individuality, functional medicine, and each person’s personal goals and cravings type.
Her fourth book, Women, Food & Desire will be published January 6th, 2015 by Gallery Books.