Ready to #FixFood With Me?

It’s been 10 years since the Super Size Me documentary shook the public into awareness that your diet can have FAST and drastic effects on your health.

It jumpstarted conversations and genuinely helped to change people’s lives for the better.

But even though it’s been 10 years, I’m still on the crusade to fix food.

  • We still have trouble finding the time to cook healthy, clean foods at home.
  • We have emotional eating issues and use food as life rafts to help us through the day.
  • And our overall culture is still full of unhealthy messages, poor access to good foods, and little to no education on what “good food” actually is.

Which is why, in celebration of the 10-year anniversary of Super Size Me, I’m bringing together the hottest experts in health and nutrition – and I’m getting them to share what they know with YOU.

It all happens at the Super Size Me 10 Year Anniversary virtual conference,

March 10-14th, 2014!

(Get your free ticket here!)

On the Super Size Me telesummit, the experts and I will share ways in which you can. . .

  • Fix more of your own simple meals that will get you the energy and body you crave.
  • Fix your relationship with food and emotional eating.
  • Fix the food culture we all live in.

Not only can you tune in live to the interviews, but you can also help spread the awareness, the knowledge, and the #FixFood fever!

Tweet it:

It’s time to #FixFood. Find out how: http://tinyurl.com/supersizefixfood

And come say hi on Facebook. I’d love for you to join the conversation!

Xo,

Alex

Chocolate IS Love… Vegan Valentine Recipes with Raw Cacao

Chocolate is Love.

At least that’s what our brains think.

See, when we eat chocolate, a whole cascade of happy chemicals and hormones get triggered, making us feel a bit high, happy, relaxed and excited all at the same time.

 

Kinda like love.

Raw Cacao Truffle Recipe

Phenylethylamine is often called the “love drug,” a unique caffeine with stimulating physiological effects, fatty acids called cannabinoids (yes, relatives of those found in pot), which make you feel relaxed and intoxicated, and all of this leads to a release of the pleasure-producing hormones dopamine and serotonin.

 

Top it all off with a dose of sugar normally found in our cocoa treats, and you’ve got a world-class super drug.

 

With all of these happy high chemicals coming in legal, cheap, bite-sized nuggets, it’s amazing we aren’t all on the streets collecting pop bottles and turning tricks to get another fix! (Too much? Ok, maybe just collecting pop bottles…)

 

Luckily, the amounts of these mind-altering chemicals found in chocolate are relatively small compared with other drugs like marijuana, ecstasy, and morphine. Our modern brains are used to the amounts and effects of the pleasure-inducing chemicals released by our coffee, tea, cocoa, and energy drinks, and we can only produce so much dopamine. When we eat a ton of chocolate and release a bunch of dopamine, our bodies immediately seek balance by shutting down the hormone production. This leads to desensitization to both dopamine and chocolate’s effects over time.

 

Which makes me think we should all be living slightly cleaner lives with less caffeine, sugar and other “happy drugs” so that we can really enjoy the effects of chocolate more!

Cacao pod, Costa Rica, Alex Jamieson, raw cacao recipes

Cacao pod

HISTORY OF CACAO

Cacao flowers, Costa Rica, Alex Jamieson, raw cacao recipes

Cacao flowers, Costa Rica

Humans weren’t the first culinary smarties to figure out that cacao seeds were edible. They learned it from watching monkeys. Found in pods growing in South American rain forests, cacao seeds are covered with a slimy, slightly-sweet gel, sort of like leechee fruit.

 

Monkeys and people first cracked open the pods, sucked on the fruit and spat out the seeds. The raw seeds inside were bitter and pretty gross, so few animals or humans ate them, even though they were high in fat.

 

Carrying these seeds along their migrations caused the cacao trees to spread throughout South America and Central America.

 

But what happened next in chocolate’s history took a stroke of luck: someone realized that when you fermented and then roasted those seeds before eating them, the bitter flavor diminished and the ambrosia-like aroma of chocolate began to tickle their noses.

 

Once fermented and roasted, those bitter cacao beans begin to smell like melting chocolate. Grind the seeds, add some sugar, cinnamon, and chili pepper, and you’ve got a Water of the Gods, or cacao agua.

 

I recently visited a rainforest cacao plantation in Costa Rica and watched the traditional methods for making cacao agua, as well as tasting the fruits, and learning about the lifecycle of this magical food.

Raw Cacao Fruit, Costa Rica, Alex Jamieson, raw cacao recipes

Raw Cacao Fruit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until you can get yourself down to Central America to experience this for yourself, I’ve created a few healthy, delicious cacao (raw cocoa bean) recipes to enjoy with your Valentine, or any time!

 

Hot Chocolate of the Gods

Hot Chocolate of the Gods: Vegan Valentine's Hot Cocoa | Raw Cacao Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate of the Gods: Vegan Valentine’s Hot Cocoa | Raw Cacao Hot Chocolate

I know, that’s a bold statement – really, Alex? Chocolate of the Gods? That’s quite a boast for a cup of hot cocoa. I’m telling you! I first drank something like this recipe in Costa Rica on a chocolate plantation in the jungle, and had my first out-of-body experience. In short, I think I saw God. At least I saw chocolate, and for me, that’s pretty good.

2 pitted Medjool dates

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 cup water

1/8 tsp cinnamon

½ teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons raw cacao powder

pinch sea salt

*1/8 tsp cayenne powder (optional – this is how the ancients did it)

* ¼ tsp peppermint extract (optional – don’t combine if using cayenne)

 

Directions:

 

Combine all in a blender and blend until super smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and warm over medium heat until heated through.  Pour into mugs, cozy up under a blanket, turn on Cousins, Diva, or Downton Abbey (or any other romantic movie) and enjoy!

 

 

Date Night: Cacao Nibs in Dates

Date Night: Raw Cacao and Medjool Dates, Raw Cacao Recipe, Alex Jamieson

Date Night: Raw Cacao, Almond Butter and Medjool Dates

Medjool Dates, Date Night, Raw Cacao Recipe, Alex Jamieson

Medjool Dates, Date Night, Raw Cacao Recipe

 

4 Medjool dates, pitted and halved

1 tablespoon cacao nibs

1 tablespoon almond butter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

 

Scoop ½ teaspoon into each half of the pitted dates. Sprinkle with cacao nibs and gently press in with your finger so the nibs stick. Serve to your loved one on Date Night!

Goddess Truffles

Goddess Truffles: Raw Cacao Recipe, Alex Jamieson

Goddess Truffles: Raw Cacao Recipe

Whether you’re serving them to a Goddess, or you ARE a goddess, these raw cacao truffles are super easy, delicious, and won’t tax your culinary skills. In short, you can show off in the kitchen without trying too hard.

 

2 cups raw nuts (I used 1 cup each almonds and cashews)

½ cup pitted Medjool dates

pinch sea salt

4 tablespoons raw cacao powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey

optional: coconut flour, cacao powder, cinnamon for rolling truffles

 

 

Directions:

Combine all (except optional coconut flour, etc) in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are well ground and mixed with the dates.

Using a tablespoon or a small ice cream scooper, scoop the mixture into your hand and form into truffle balls.

You can now roll in coconut flour or other decorations, or eat raw.

Goddess Truffles: Raw Cacao Recipe, Alex Jamieson, Valentine's Day Recipe, Vegan Valentine

Goddess Truffles: Raw Cacao Recipe

 

 

Serve as is, on top of ice cream, or crumbled on banana slices.

 

 

WHY I USE RAW CACAO

As you may have noticed, these recipes call for raw cacao, which is different from baking chocolate, chocolate chips, and all products made with dutched or processed chocolate. The health benefits of raw cacao are pretty awesome, and you can make a lot of easy treats with it.

 

And for me, healthy + delicious = perfect.

Why Raw Cacao is the best Chocolate

Why Raw Cacao is the best Chocolate

 

BUT, you have to buy the right kind of cacao to get the most benefits and avoid the toxins found in conventional cacao production. Certified Organic Raw Cacao is an excellent source of antioxidants. It it’s NOT Certified Organic Raw Cacao, then you are also eating a lot of chemicals from irradiation and spraying of chemicals which are standard practice in growing cacao beans.

All of my recipes use organic raw cacao powder and raw cacao nibs.

In case you’re wondering, here are some of the health benefits of using raw cacao:

 

Magnesium: Cacao beans are a great source of this mineral (270 milligrams per 100 grams), which is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies, including muscle and nerve function, and is a muscle relaxant associated with feelings of calmness.

Sulphur: Cacao is also high in sulfur, which helps grow strong nails and hair.

 

Fiber: A chocolate bar doesn’t offer any fiber, but if you eat raw cacao, you’ll get 9 grams per ounce!

 

Iron: An ounce of the raw cacao beans or nibs (crushed beans) contains six per cent of your recommended daily iron intake.

 

Antioxidants: Raw cocoa powder tops the antioxidant list with almost four times the amount of antioxidants as Goji Berries. But be careful! You may be sensitive to the caffeine effects on your nervous system, so take it easy on this stimulant.

 

Now there are 2 compounds in cacao that you might want to be careful of:

 

Theobromine, which makes up 1-2% of the cacao bean and, like caffeine, is a nervous system stimulant that dilates the blood vessels — much like caffeine. This is what makes chocolate unsafe for dogs, and causes uncomfortable sensations for sensitive humans.

 

Phenylethylamine (PEA): While our bodies also produce PEA (an adrenal-related chemical) when we’re excited, it causes our pulse to quicken. While this makes some of us feel alert and excited, it can have an uncomfortable effect on people who are sensitive and wanting to lower their heart rate.

 

With all this in mind, choose the healthiest chocolate for you and your loved ones, and enjoy the natural high of the food of the gods.

 

I want to hear from you! Share your pictures of favorite chocolate recipes, or your version of these recipes here!

Post your pictures to my Facebook or Pinterest page, and leave a comment below about your chocolate discoveries!

Xo,

Alex

Winter Salads: Waste Not Want Not, Cauliflower Leaves

Don’t throw out those cauliflower leaves!

You know those leaves that frame the white, pillowy florets we love eating?

They’re edible, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just peel them off the florets, wash them, dry them, and thinly slice them.

“You mean I’ve been throwing away good greens all these years?!” you ask…

YES! The vitamins are just as high in the leaf as in the head,

and 1/2 cup of cauliflower (leaves or white florets) contains half of your daily Vitamin C and are super high in fiber.

AND cauliflower is part of the cancer-fighting cruciferous family, so hit your antioxidant quota with this simple trick.

Here’s what I did this week while I was steaming the florets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slice the leaves up thinly and toss with freshly shredded carrot.

Drizzle with olive oil, a little lemon juice or umeboshi vinegar, and sprinkle with good sea salt.

Toss. Eat. Done.

shredded cauliflower salad Alex Jamieson

 

 

What I NEVER do & what I ALWAYS do

The snow is melting here in Brooklyn, but I made sure to fill up the birdfeeder today. Those little birdies need some human support in the winter, and they even eat some of the same stuff I do! You know, millet, seeds, etc.

 

I eat a lot more variety than that, of course, and I’m not into eating bugs.

 

I focus my meals around those same whole, natural foods that a lot of other animals enjoy, and I’ve learned a lot from watching them eat over the years, like…

 

Animals don’t count calories.

You know what I’m saying?

 

We humans are the only creatures who are confused about what to eat. Animals don’t look to experts, and they don’t measure anything. They just eat when they’re hungry, stop when they’re full, and eat what’s in season and appropriate for their bodies.

 

The birds make it all seem so easy.

 

But I believe it can be easy.

I believe food is one of the best parts about being human,

and that when we listen to our bodies, I mean really listen,

food and health make sense.

 

So I NEVER count calories.

First of all, it makes me crazy. Secondly, it doesn’t work.

I tell my clients to stop counting calories, and instead coach them in how to feel what kind and how much food they need.

 

That really works!

And it’s such a revelation for the people who get it, that it fixes their

relationship with food.

 

I recently met up with Jonathan Bailor, a total science and food geek, and author of the Calorie Myth. Jonathan and I talked about cravings, calories, and how we can all eat easier and better.

 

I hope you’ll listen in – these free classes are amazing resources for transforming your health and life.

What you need to know:
Dates: Febraury 3 – 6, 2014
Price: FREE
Where: Sign up online for free at http://www.entheos.com/The-Calorie-Myth/Alex-Jamieson

 

What I ALWAYS DO – No GMOs

I haven’t counted a calorie in decades, but I do look at ingredient labels.

Why?

Not for grams and carbs, but for genetically modified organisms.

Yup, I don’t eat GMOs.

 

It’s alarming how GMO’s are in EVERYTHING!  Even health food stores and “natural foods.”

 

In getting my clients well, I often help them remove inflammatory foods from their diets to reduce pain, digestive disorders, allergies, and move the needle on weight loss resistance.

 

Most people are not aware of the severe impact GMO can have on the brain and digestive system, especially for children.

 

 And one of the strongest voices speaking out against GMO foods, and FOR GMO labeling, is my dear friend Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology. IRT has created a profound video that I’d like you to watch, all about what you can do to help this growing movement:

Help Get GMO Labeling:

Watch the video here:

 

Want to avoid buying GMOs?

Click here for IRT’s free GMO Free Shopping Guide

 

So, now you know.

What I never do? Count calories.

What I always do? Eat GMO-free food.

 

Simple, easy, healthy, sane.

 

Xo,

Alex

Cold & Flu Season Busters: Cinnamon Tea Recipe (good for sugar cravings too!)

Cold & Flu Season? Stock up and protect yourself and your family!

Cinnamon Tea Recipe

Cinnamon Tea fights colds, flu and & cravings

Don’t wait until the shiver, shakes and fever stick you in bed for a week.

Be sure to stock your kitchen ‘medicine cabinet’ with these natural wonders:

Ginger root and ginger tea to help eliminate toxins
Raw garlic is anti-viral and has antibacterial properties
Dried shiitake mushrooms in broth, tea or food soothe inflammation
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of immune boosting zinc
Cinnamon to help relieve congestion
Lemon (freshly squeezed) in water or on salads or veggies, or in soup can help fight infection

 

 

Although many people like to simply sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal drinking cinnamon in tea is another  great option, especially in winter. Warming, used for treating diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, flu, arthritis, menstrual cramps, and candidiasis, the smell relieves tension and helps steady the nerves. Cinnamon also balances blood sugar levels! Make your own easy Cinnamon Tea at home to help reduce sugar cravings, warm up, and keep colds and flu at bay.

Cinnamon Tea

Total time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cinnamon stick (1-3 inches)
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 decaf green, black or herbal tea (rooibos or honeybush are favorites)
  • 1-2 drops of Stevia for sweetening (optional)

Preparation:

1. Place the cinnamon stick in a cup.

2. Add the boiling water and steep covered for 10 minutes.

3. Add the teabag. Steep for one to three minutes.

4. Sweeten to taste, if desired.

Baking as Healing: Sweet Potato Bread

Baking is one of those healing practices I love.

From start to finish, the process feels like a ritual dance:

walking to the book shelf and choosing a cookbook…

sitting on the couch with tea, and leafing through the pages…

choosing a recipe…

placing the ingredients on the counter…

mindfully following the recipe…

smelling the transformation happening in the oven…

remembering baking projects from times before…

My wonderful mom, Annabeth, passed away this last Sunday. She was 65. She taught me to garden, cook, sew, make friends anywhere, and how to turn every aspect of life into a living art project. 

Diagnosed with inoperable liver and gallbladder cancer, Mom moved back to my home town of Portland, Oregon in June where she could get the best alternative treatments and be surrounded by old friends and family.

I was lucky enough to spend most of the summer in Oregon with her, and we cooked a bit together.  

Her naturopath had recommended a sugar-free diet, high in protein, and plant-based. Not 100% plant based, but based mainly on plants. Mom and I talked a lot about what foods she could enjoy, and how to make green smoothies in her Vitamix my brother had purchased for her.

I went home again over Thanksgiving, and while Mom’s energy was low, she requested favorite foods: including sweet potatoes. A friend had created something using raw sweet potatoes blended with eggs and little else, and I recreated the recipe in my grandmother’s kitchen for the holiday feast.

Mom loved it, and ate a second helping, which made my heart glow. I mean, feeding the people I love when they’re sick and need nourishment is one of my most basic joys in life. 

Last night my son and I baked the favorite that his “Nanabeth” loved: Sweet Potato Bread.

A good source of magnesium, Vitamin D and C, iron and potassium, sweet potatoes, especially the darker Garnet or Jewel “yams” (we tend to call yams sweet potatoes in the US), sweet potatoes are are high in carotenoids like beta carotene and other carotenoids, which is the precursor to vitamin A in your body.  Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer.

I also baked several muffins from the same batch, and tucked them into my son’s backpack for naturally sweet, high-protein snacks after school.

So this is a great kid recipe, too! 

The “bread” comes out as more of a bread pudding texture, but if you let it cool long enough, you can slice it, move it to a plate, and eat it with a fork. 

  • 4 cups raw, chopped sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  1. Combine all in a heavy duty blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add any additional water as needed to get a pourable mix, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Bake in coconut oiled bread pans or muffin tins at 400 F for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Serve to someone you love – include yourself in that. 
Please share this recipe with friends – just click the buttons at the top of the page!
xo, Alex

USA Today got this wrong

I helped Morgan Spurlock create Super Size Me and was his co-star and nutritional “voice of reason.”

USA Today recently profiled John Cisna, a high school teacher in Iowa, who tested out an experiment with his students to eat nothing but a McDonalds diet they had created in order to lose weight. John also added daily exercise, and kept to a strict calorie intake.

While John did lose 37 pounds over the course of his 90 day experiment, and he had it partly right, in reducing his daily calorie intake and finally getting an exercise plan in place, John is still missing the MUCH bigger picture. 

I agree with him and his results – YES, you can lose weight eating food from anywhere. But is John really healthier? How is his cholesterol? Did his gut “microbiome” degrade over that time, as he ate refined carbohydrates, trans fats and genetically modified ingredients? 

I do not believe that “thinner” means “healthier.” Over the course of Super Size Me, Morgan gained 24.5 pounds, his cholesterol went up 60 points, and his liver was filling with fat, giving him non-alcoholic hepatitis. This was largely due to the high amount of high-fructose corn syrup found in most of his meals, as well as most fast food, from the drinks to the ketchup.

I believe most people cannot eat the way John did and experience any health improvements, because most of us are suffering from undiagnosed food sensitivities. Dairy, gluten, sugar, GMO corn and soy sensitivities are rampant, and you would be hard pressed to find any meals in McDonald’s that don’t contain these ingredients. 

While John embarked on an interesting experiment in service to his science students, there is still a lot more to do to #FixFood and our health in this country.

McDonald’s and the rest of the fast food giants are still marketing heavily to children through commercials, toys, and HappyMeal.com, a website I find particularly insidious. John’s experiment doesn’t address the problem with marketing this type of food to children, who don’t know the difference between and advertisement and an educational program. 

So what can McDonald’s and John do to really be a part of the solution?

McDonald’s and other fast food chains could eliminate high fructose corn syrup, and one of our top sources of calories and causes of “diabesity.” McDonald’s could pledge to switch to non-GMO ingredients, as Cheerios just announced it would do for their original cereal. McDonald’s could start shifting towards grass-fed beef, which protects the health of the cows, the environment, and the people that eat the meat.

Yes, Science Teacher John lost a bit of weight eating McDonald’s. But John and McDonald’s have a long way to go before they’re truly healthy.

Want to help me #FixFood? Join the Super Size Me 10 Year Anniversary series, March 10-14:

Click here to sign up for for the week-long, free series:
http://www.entheos.com/Super-Size-Me-10-Year-Anniversary/entheos

Client Review: Winter Cleanse with Alex

Don’t start another one-size-fits-all diet plan this January 1st…
Join up for my Winter Cleanse and find out what works for your unique body!

Watch my past group program member, Galit, share what she gained…and lost…in my program:

25 pounds! That’s so awesome.
AND her friends are asking her what she’s doing differently because her skin looks so great.
Galit’s energy is up, and she’s cooking more, and more easily, for and with her family.

I’d call that a win-win-win!
If you want the same results, support, and accountability to make 2014 the year you get food right,
Go here to join the Winter Cleanse, starting January 1st.

xo,
Alex

 

Review Alex Jamieson group weight loss program

My TED Talk on cravings and learning to trust your body

It was an honor and a dream come true to deliver my first TED talk at TEDx Hoboken last week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this short 8 minute talk, I reveal the truth about my family history, my struggle with cravings, and my discovery that learning to love and listen to my body’s messages have been one of the most powerful gifts in my life:

Getting clear on your desires for 2014

It’s getting close again…

The end of the year.

And it’s time to look back, take stock, and celebrate!

2013 was filled to the brim with awesome-sauce for me…and some really tough stuff, too. You probably feel the same. And while I love to plan, plot, and vision, I feel the need to do things differently as 2014 gets closer…

Instead of committing to a long list of “to-dos” for 2014, I’m getting cozy with the idea of how I want to feel. What physical and emotional experiences do I want to feel in my life, my body, my business, my relationships?

 

Doesn’t that sound more fun, more real, and more authentic than a bunch of goals?

 

I’ve been tuning in to how my body talks to me about what I should feed it, how I should move it, when she needs rest, and more…you know, listening to my cravings and asking what they really mean.

 

Sometimes she asks for sleep, sometimes, water, greens, bread, and sometimes meat. Sometimes she asks for some juicy one-one time with my man.

 

And the more I listen to my cravings, the more I give my body what she truly wants, the better I feel, the bigger my capacity for living gets, and the more fun I have.

 

I didn’t get here on my own. I’ve been reading and listening to other experts who study desire, cravings, neuroscience, visioning, and more to learn more about my experience of my body and my truth.

 

One of those experts is Danielle LaPorte. Her book The Desire Map has been revolutionary for me, as it takes a new approach to identifying, connecting with and launching your desires.

 

The Desire Map is a two-part book: the first part teaches Danielle’s message of desire’s true divine nature, and convinces the reader that giving your desires their due is a grand idea. The second part is a juicy workbook that asks you the questions you didn’t know you needed to ask, but are so glad to answer.

 

After reading and writing about my core desired feelings, as Danielle has defined these basic desires, I feel deeply tapped into my self. My truth. I feel present and clear.

 

And I think that’s what a coach and guide really needs to feel – clear, present, focused and authentic.

 

Not only that, a coach and writer needs to understand their desires in order to help others learn to listen to their bodies.

 

What do you need? What do you want? What really lights you up?

 

Can you imagine what the world would be like if every person you knew was in touch with their feelings and desires? And held their desires as good and their bodies wise?

 

Here’s a look at my own desires:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do they resonate with you? Do you want to explore your own cravings? What are you doing to create more of those feelings in your life today?

If this resonated with you, and you’re looking for a new way to get in touch with your desires and love them as your best guides, go order your copy of Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map. 

xo,

Alex