Holiday food should be pretty. So this dish rocks.
Especially if you’ve discovered that you have to cut out a ton of foods to get or stay healthy.
We just discovered that our family has to avoid gluten + eggs + soy (me and the boy), whey from milk (me), and corn (the kid).
So, yeah. That’s a lot of ingredients we’ll be avoiding!
BUT, I always loved a good challenge, especially in the kitchen.
AND, one way to ensure optimism + resilience is to look at the cupboard as half full, and expect the best, rather than getting depressed + overwhelmed by saying goodbye to certain ingredients.
I’m putting on my big girl panties, looking on the bright side, and putting all my energy into making delicious, nourishing foods that everyone can enjoy at the table.
One of the first places to start is with super easy, super tasty, no-fail recipes:
Ok, so most hummus is already gluten-dairy-soy-corn-free, but when I saw a picture of this gorgeous dip, I couldn’t resist making it in hopes of livening up the impending Christmas table.
Ruby Red Beet Hummus
- 1 medium beet (1 cooked a whole bunch at once to have for later)
- 15-ounce BPA-FREE can (1 3/4 cup) of garbanzao beans, drained
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tiny pinch cayenne
- 1 dash paprika
- 2tablespoons lemon juice
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
How to make the best hummus ever:
First, roast the beets: Preheat oven to 400F. Clean, scrub, and cut off the stems and root end. Loosely wrap individually in foil, place on a roasting pan. Roast for 50-60 min. They’re ready when a knife can be easily inserted.
(might as well wrap a head of garlic and roast that, too – I mean, who can ever get enough roasted garlic?)
While you’re waiting, take a nap or watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
When the beets are done, slip the outer peel off. Your hands will get red, but you’ll look pretty bad a$$.
Combine all ingredients into a food processor. Add water or additional olive oil until desired consistency. You want this to be creamy + smooth.
Add salt and pepper, about 1/2 teaspoon at a time.
Serve with gluten-free crackers, yo! Or just eat it with a spoon, like I did.
This is a great cooling recipe for Firebrand cravings types if you add a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, a traditional hummus ingredient (AKA Pitta in Ayurveda). The cooked beet is good for Featherweight cravings types, and this recipe is great for Earth Mamas, but go light on the added drizzle of olive oil.
Don’t know your Cravings Type? Take my quiz and get your free Cravings Type Report here:
Happy Holidays, all! Eat to be happy + healthy…xo, Alex
not just about yourself, but about the world and people around you and how you feel in your body - isn’t that the big goal?
That’s why I love to cook, especially for other people, and that’s why I’ve been studying positive psychology.
It’s all about what helps us flourish – not just feel “fine.”
What I’ve learned so far may not seem totally earth shaking to you, but it has made me think hard about what I do with my time, and why.
And it’s all coming down to one thing:
Other People Matter.
Happiness and contentment aren’t about how much money you make. In fact, after our basic needs are covered (in the USofA, that’s about $50-60K a year), we don’t feel a lot happier when we make more money. We just think more money, more stuff, or having the right stuff will make us feel better about ourselves.
The one thing that makes us happy, if you’re rich or poor?
Having strong, connected relationships. Having people you can share your wins and your troubles with.
In short: we crave connection. We crave being with other people who love us. It’s a basic human need.
Well, one of my favorite things to do with other people is share good, delicious, healthy food. Making it together, talking while we cook, planning the meal, and savoring the delicious aromas and flavors – that is jus what life is all about.
So I want to share my new favorite recipe with you – a pumpkin soup, baked right in the pumpkin.
Pumpkins are wonderfully round, sweet, and immediately make me feel cozy.
They’re also super healthy! The health benefits of pumpkins or winter squash are long:
Considered an energetic tonic and a warming food, pumpkins and winter squash are medicinal for the spleen, stomach, large intestines and lungs. It improves energy and blood circulation, and is high in beta-carotene, which is good for eye health. Rich in vitamins A, C and potassium + magnesium, pumpkins are high in carotenoids and have anti-carcinogenic properties.
So this recipe is healthy, easy, fun to make, and really fun to eat with someone you love. Go be happy, love.
Pumpkin Soup Baked In A Pumpkin
For this pumpkin soup recipe, you’ll need:
1 pumpkin (edible and sweet)
2-3 tablespoons grass-fed butter, olive oil or coconut oil
1 yellow onion
2-3 cups stock or broth (vegan, chicken, etc)
The pumpkin I was growing in my back yard was carried off by what I can only assume was a whole gang of New York City squirrels – so I had to buy one from the local farmers’ market.
I chose a 3 lb. “Sugar Pie,” which is sweeter than the standard carving pumpkin you see around Halloween. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Carve the top of the pumpkin just like you would for a jack-o-lantern. Scoop out the seeds and stringy guts, and save the seeds to salt and bake later.
Do not leave the pumpkin seeds baking for too long while you talk on the phone to a friend like I did. Please set a timer.
Use 1-2 Tablespoons real butter, ghee, or coconut oil to coat the inside and outside of the pumpkin. Scatter a couple pinches of salt around the inside, and don’t forget the bottom of the pumpkin lid!
Chop a yellow onion into large dice.
You could do this step first, and carve the pumpkin while the onions are cooking to save time.
Brown the onions over medium heat for 8-10 minutes with 1 Tablespoon butter, ghee or coconut oil.
Fill the pumpkin with cooked onions.
Pour home made vegetable or chicken broth (or stock) over the onions, filling up the pumpkin to about 1-inch from the top.
If the broth is unsalted, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir well.
Place the pumpkin lid back on, and place the entire pumpkin into the oven.
Bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, checking to test for doneness. You’ll want the inside of the pumpkin to be spoon-ably soft.
Remove from the oven and gently remove the top.
Use a towel to grasp the stem, as the pumpkin will emit hot steam when you open it. Have your spoons at the ready…
Eat that soup straight from the pumpkin!
I like placing it on the table amongst the family and allowing everyone to take a spoonful from the pumpkin before scooping servings out to individual bowls.
There’s just something really fun about eating soup directly from a pumpkin.
Make sure that everyone gets a bowl-full of stock, onions and cooked chunks of sweet pumpkin.
This is the conversation too few of us are having -
What do you want? What do you crave?
I am on a mission – to help us all understand our cravings, where they come from, what they’re truly asking us to do, and to turn them (and our bodies) into our best allies…
To get the body, energy, and life we really desire.
I’ve overcome my own food addictions and the weight and health problems these habits caused, and learned something life-altering: when we listen to our cravings, they will lead us onto the path of deep healing.
I’ve dedicated my life to helping other women learn to listen to the wisdom of their cravings and make food their greatest ally as they step into their lives with authentic passion.
Next week, I’m bringing together 25 of my friends, most admired experts, and favorite coaches in the Women, Food, and Desire Tele-Summit.
I’ll interview over 20 cutting edge experts in eating psychology, cravings, embodiment, weight, health, and nutrition.
Women, Food, & Desire is a revolutionary FREE online event from November 3-7 , 2014!
Sign up to join us and get access to these juicy conversations – I know I can’t wait to listen to the other experts!
Willing to take the risks…
And being kind to ourselves when we’re less than perfect.
That’s what “growth mindset” is all about.
Telling yourself (and really believing) that “I’m working hard, learning and I’ll get this…”
…instead of telling yourself “I’m just not smart about this and never have been.”
Knowing that learning from challenges is an amazing way to rewire your brain…
…rather than beating yourself up for “not being good at something…” yet.
Looking at what you did well…
…instead of always focusing on what you did wrong.
Appreciating yourself for the effort and hard work that’s moving you forward…
…not just aiming for perfection, which is totally exhausting.
Rather than focusing on judging and labeling yourself as “good at” or “bad at” something, we all feel more confident when we look at what we learned and how we showed up to try.
This is as true in life as it is in the kitchen.
Feeling confident in the kitchen comes from allowing yourself to grow, evolve, try, and even “fail.”
I’ve been experimenting with healthy animal-protein meals, and started with the basics: roast chicken.
I was worried when I started eating meat again…
Worried that I wouldn’t be good at it (I was a vegan chef for over 10 years)…
Worried that I’d feel guilty about eating it…
Worried what other people would think about me and label me as…
But then I started cooking, just to cook.
I started with eggs, then advanced to chicken.
(guess that answers the age-old question, doesn’t it!?)
And I’ve learned a lot in the process:
- how to roast a whole chicken (please remove the gibblits)
- how to make chicken broth (have to add enough water when simmering overnight)
- the best of vegan cooking can make cooking meat recipes even healthier (sea veggies!)
So if you’ve told yourself that you’re no good…
not creative in the kitchen…
can’t do it like your grandma did…
I encourage you to take a risk and switch your mindset.
Try these 3 chicken recipes, all from 1 chicken, over the next week.
Not only is the chicken broth incredibly delicious, even heated up in a mug for a quick lunch, but it’s filled with nutrients and minerals that build your bones and heal your gut.
Roast Chicken with Garlic, Lemon & Rosemary
1 organic, free-range chicken (5-6 pounds)
fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 lemon, halved
1 large bunch fresh rosemary
8-10 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, cut into 6 wedges
4 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb fennel, cut into 6 wedges
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Remove the giblets from inside the chicken. Rinse the chicken inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Sprinkle the outside with salt, pepper and paprika.
- Stuff the cavity with rosemary, lemon, and 3 garlic cloves.
- Brush the outside with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.
- Place the onion, carrots, fennel and remaining garlic cloves in a roasting pan. Toss with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and more pepper.
- Spread around the roasting pan, and place the chicken on top.
- Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, on the middle rack of the oven, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and a thigh. Remove the chicken and veggies to a platter and cover with foil for 15 minutes.
- Slice and enjoy the chicken, saving all bones and carcass, plus any bits of chicken still clinging to the bones for the bone broth recipe below.
Throwing chicken bones and veggies in a pot with some water is like magic – you end up with a healing, flavorful, CHEAP home remedy for healing your gut and building your bones. The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion – bone broth “heals and seals” your gut.
Adding a bit of vinegar to the cooking stew helps draw out the calcium and magnesium and other minerals from the bones, making this super nutritious!
Bone broth also helps with reducing join pain and inflammation due to the chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage
Place leftover chicken bones and carcass with clinging bits of meat in a large pot. Add a variety of vegetables for flavor. I like:
1 yellow onion, quartered
1 head garlic, sliced in half (no need to peel)
1-2 chunked carrots
2-3 celery stalked, chopped
handful of shiitake mushrooms and stems
1 chopped leak
1-2 pieces Kombu sea vegetable
1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Add enough filtered water to cover all of the chicken.
Place over high heat to bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Add more water and bring back to a low, low simmer. Cook for 12- 24 hours, adding water to keep the chicken covered.
Strain the broth and press the vegetables and chicken to extract all possible liquid.
Store in glass jars for future use, drink hot for a quick snack or lunch, or use to make Chicken Soup recipe below!
Chicken Soup with Bone Broth
6 cups bone broth
1-2 cups cooked leftover chicken, cubed or shredded
1/4 cup yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 carrot, thinly sliced into rounds
1/4 cup minced celery
6 shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
Combine all ingredients into a soup pot, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.
Lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes. Taste and add 1/4 teaspoon salt if you like.
Learning how to roast a chicken, and use it 3 different ways, while creating a deeply nourishing meal for my family kinda makes me feel like a bad ass.
What’s cooler than knowing how to heal your body with food? Not much.
I’ll tell you the same thing I would tell Renee Zellwegger if I were ever to meet her:
Don’t waste one ounce of your precious time or mojo by giving a crap about what anyone thinks of you.
When you step out of the shadows and into the spotlight, shining your truth and showing your desires and cravings,
you’ll probably find yourself in front of a horde of haters…
a firing squad of saboteurs…
a panel of professional shamers ready to pounce.
What’s happening online to Renee Zellwegger today is why so many people hide from going for the life they so desperately want to live.
Just stepping out and being yourself is such a huge risk.
Look at how people are talking about Renee today…
Look at how we treat stars and celebrities…
We pick apart every move they make, every outfit they wear, and everything they say…
No wonder so many of them end up in rehab.
And no wonder so many of us hide our own truths.
We see what happens to famous people, and hear our own judgments about them, and we freak out that it will happen to us too.
You are the only person responsible for your actions and words.
You are NOT responsible for what anyone else may think about what you do and say.
In fact, what they think is none of your business.
Comparison is the thief of joy. When we think ourselves better off or worse than someone else,
we feel judged and bad about ourselves, even if we thought we “won” the match.
So all of this social media shaming and comparing?
It’s keeping you stuck and hating your own body, and fearful of aging, gaining weight, or ever being seen.
Gossiping about Renee Zellwegger and what kind of plastic surgery she had is keeping you stuck in and hating your own body.
Want to be happy with food, your body, and and how you relate to them?
Stop the comparison.
Or if you can’t stop it, (because, honestly, we are built to compare – it’s a human survival tactic) just NOTICE the comparisons, and say “thanks, I’m not in comparison mode right now.”
Want to love how you look in your body?
Stop comparing yourself to and gossiping about Hollywood stars.
And your friends.
Be the gorgeous leaf that you are.
Love yourself, stop shaming others, and do your best to recognize your own judgments and comparisons.
You only win when you don’t compare.
PMS make you crave chocolate and sugar?
What if you could ease your PMS with something you probably throw away every day?
I love discovering new ways to use what I already have, especially when it means finding a use for something I would normally throw out.
Like any good hippie I’ve been composting my eggshells for years, knowing that returning the minerals from the shells to my potted plants nourishes the soil.
But wait – why don’t I use the rich calcium from those same shells for my bones and health?
Several studies show that “chicken eggshell calcium is a useful way to enrich human bone strength.”
But the more I looked into the benefits of calcium on our health, the more excited I got. It seems that calcium mal-absorption and osteoporosis are at epidemic levels, as is our addiction to sugar.
And since sugar’s high acidity actually causes our body to leach calcium from our bones to balance our blood pH levels, it’s even more important that we get enough calcium, and stop draining it with poor diet choices, to protect our bones.
How can we protect our bones and naturally reduce our sugar cravings?
1,000-1,500 mg of calcium a day can help reduce and even eliminate many symptoms of PMS, including “hypocalcemia,” a hormone-induced state that makes it harder for our female bodies to absorb calcium.
Estrogen, the chief female sex hormone, can lower the absorption of calcium from the intestines by inhibiting the activities of the parathyroid hormone. Which means we need even more calcium, and balanced hormones during our cycle to help our body get the calcium we need.
And I’ve just discovered that eggshell calcium, that is calcium made from powdered egg shells, are a wonderful source of the mineral to answer this problem.
Since eggs are so cheap (get it “cheep”) using your otherwise discarded eggshells as a calcium supplement seems like a great way to help keep your bones strong and your PMS symptoms (including cravings) low.
In addition to making strong bones and teeth, calcium is critical in the release of neurotransmitters, chemicals that serve as messengers between cells within the nervous system, which means when you have enough calcium in your body, your brain and moods are healthier!
1/2 teaspoon of chicken eggshell calcium contains roughly 90% of your daily recommended calcium intake, or 1,000-1,500 mg.
And since most dairy products have an acidic effect on the body, and just can’t be digested by most adult humans, getting enough calcium from cheese isn’t possible.
Yes, greens like kale and bok choy are good sources of calcium too, but many of us are walking around without sufficient calcium stores in our bones, and it’s high time we did something about it.
Here’s a safe, easy way to make your own eggshell calcium at home:
Wash your eggs before cracking them for normal use, and save the shells until you have 1 dozen empty shells.
Place the shells in a pot with enough water to cover and place over high heat.
Boil the eggshells for 10 minutes to kill any bacteria. This is very important to eliminate any salmonella.
Drain the eggshells in a fine meshed strainer or colander.
Place strained eggshells on a cookie sheet and bake at 200F for at least 30 minutes to dry completely.
Place the dried shells in a clean coffee or spice grinder and pulverize to a powder.
Keep your new eggshell calcium in an airtight jar and take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day for 1,000-1,500 mg of easily absorbable and cheap calcium.
I tried adding the powdered calcium to my Green & Clean Protein smoothies at breakfast, but it made it more a CRUNCHY than a SMOOTHIE.
So I recommend just adding the 1/2 – 1 teaspoon to 1/2 cup of water and slurping it down. Easy!
Resilience is your ability to adapt to and handle stress and adversity. When you feel resilient, you own your confidence.
It’s the bones of your life and character that keep you upright and alive.
It’s the skills and mindset that keep you moving positively forward, with hope and a sense of humor, gosh darnit.
There are 4 factors which develop and sustain your resilience:
- You know how to make realistic plans and are capable of taking the steps to follow through on them
- A positive self-concept and confidence in your abilities
- Communication and problem-solving skills
- The ability to manage strong impulses and feelings
These are the mental steps you can take to feel your strength and abilities every day.
But what about your body?
How strong do you feel in your physical self?
How are your bones doing, holding up your frame and moving you boldly through life?
We don’t just need confidence, we need calcium.
Chicken Eggshell Calcium Study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23607686
Hey sweet friends,
This week my brand new Crave Cast: Women, Food & Desire podcast debuted on iTunes.
I asked if you would tune in to listen, subscribe and share the show -
and it’s message – and you DID!
Not only was the Crave Cast #2 in all Health shows, we hit #1 as the top Alternative Health podcast!
This is awesome – and not because it’s an ego boost for me – because it means we are HUNGRY for this:
Real talk about cravings, desires, a 360 perspective on health that’s not just about calories and losing
10 pounds of belly fat…
A show that is dedicated to helping you find what you really crave in life, what your cravings mean,
and a non-judgmental place to discover, declare, and DO your desires.
These steps are the foundation for helping you love your body, love your life, and feel as good as you
want and NEED to go after your big life desires.
So, thank you.
For listening, for asking great questions – and for sharing your passion for discovering your true cravings.
If you haven’t hear the show yet, or want to share it with someone cool -
click here: http://bit.ly/cravecast
I’m SO psyched. iTunes released my new podcast show today!
It’s called the Crave Cast: Cravings Whisperer and Women, Food & Desire
I’ll be sharing my best stuff on cravings, health, nutrition, gut health, body confidence, the beauty of our desires, where they come from, and what they really mean. I’ve got a killer line up of expert interviews to share as well.
I’ve heard from lots of you that you want to know about sleep, sugar, and gut health, so I’m covering all those in the next couple of weeks!
Please click the link below here to subscribe for free and help me get this great show out into the ears of more people who need this support!
First, click here: http://alexandrajamieson.com/itunes
Then, click “View in iTunes”
Once iTunes opens, click the next blue button that says SUBSCRIBE and you’re all set!
Crave sweet, but know sugar is keeping you stuck? Try this soup for Fall!
I love sweet – in fact, I always have.
I had 12 cavities before the age of 12, but haven’t had high fructose corn syrup in over 10 years. And my body thanks me for it!
Still, I love sweet, so I add sweet flavor through my day with nutrient dense foods that taste sweet.
Sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips and more.
And there is some old school medicine in those humble sweet root veggies!
Traditional Chinese Medicine has a long history of connecting different organs with different seasons, elements, foods, and even emotions.
According to the Five Element system, autumn is the season of the Metal element, governed by the lungs and large intestine. This sets up the conditions for flu or head cold, which comes from your body trying to expel excess mucus, toxins, and inferior fats.
Foods with a sour taste help with this detoxification process, and can be included daily as we enter into autumn. These foods include unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, lemons, limes, grapes, raw sauerkraut and pickles, and whole grain sourdough breads.
Pungent foods such as spices, ginger, and black pepper support the Metal element. These stimulate the digestion and help with the assimilation of food. Include pungent taste with seasonal fall foods such as apples, grapes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, grapes, kale, pears, persimmons, pumpkins, winter squash, and yams.
This soup has a lot of great autumn ingredients and will help keep your body strong and centered throughout the season:
Kale Shiitake Sweet Potato Soup
4 cups water or low-sodium vegetable stock
1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
1 small sweet potato, peeled, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 bunch fresh kale, washed and stems removed
1 teaspoon Mellow white miso, per cup
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1. In a saucepan combine the water/broth, shitake mushrooms and sweet potato and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, chop the kale into bite size pieces and add to the soup.
4. Cook until tender, another 8 minutes.
5. Dissolve a teaspoon of light miso in a bowl with a small amount of broth.
6. Ladle in the soup and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Yield: 6 servings