sweet potatoes for sweet cravings

Autumn Soup: Kale Shiitake Sweet Potato Soup

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.

sweet pot

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

Directions:

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

Grateful for Grains – 7 quick recipes you’ll crave

This weekend was super busy for me – you too?!

Yeah, thought so.

 

School started (for both my son and me) and I’m busy putting together a big launch plan for my book, Women, Food & Desire, which comes out 1/6/15.

 

And healthy food can (even in my house) feel like a chore when we have so much going on.

And yes – I still crave sugar when things get hectic, but I don’t feel good when I eat it – headaches, brain fog, bacterial overgrowth.

So my sweets need to come from real food that doesn’t drain me.

Quick Rice Pudding

I know when I have simple, healthy foods on hand, I can juggle the kid, work, and friend time much better.

 

So, I’m getting back to my food roots as we move into fall –

simple, humble, whole grain, brown rice.

 

I like to make a pot of brown rice and use it as an easy side dish or quick lunch.

 

Plus, whole grains help me keep sugar cravings at bay.

How?

Well, when you get enough complex carbohydrates, and chew them well, your body and brain get the energy they need, in a slow drip over the day.

 

So make up a pot of brown rice (or quinoa for the grain-averse) and use it 7 ways this week!

 

Simple pot of brown rice:

 

3 cups short grain brown rice

 

Rinse rice in 2 changes of water.

Put into a pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches.

Bring to a boil over high heat.

Lower head to low, and cover.

Simmer for 40 minutes.

Turn heat off and let sit for 20 minutes.

This allows the steam to keep cooking the rice.

 

 

7 quick recipes that re-use brown rice:

 

  • sushi roll up

wrap a ¼ cup of rice in a sheet of nori paper with a few shredded carrots and enjoy the hand held treat

Quick Rice Sushi Roll rice 2 rice 3

  • brown rice pudding with cinnamon

warm rice in a small pot with coconut milk, a few organic raisins and some cinnamon

 

  • stir fry with greens

heat rice in a pan with coconut oil and chopped bok choy, sprinkle with soy-free soy sauce, ‘coconut aminos’ or tamari

 

  • miso stew

heat 2 cups of water with 1 cup of rice, and whisk in 1 tablespoon chickpea miso for a quick soy-free soup

 

  • rice salad

toss leftover rice with your favorite salad dressing for a side dish

 

  • rice pasta

heat 2 cups rice with a little olive oil and 1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce and add favorite pasta veggies

 

  • rice balls with sesame seeds

roll ¼ cup rice on a plate with ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds and 1/2 teaspoons sea salt – yummy little rice balls!

 

 

As with every meal, give a little gratitude for your simple, whole-grain meal.

 

Research shows that gratitude practices, even a tiny “thanks for the grub!” over your miso stew, helps you feel more optimistic, lowers stress, and increases your happiness.

 

I know I’m grateful for my grains,

And I’m grateful for you, my online “clan of the crave bears” –

 

Have a beautiful week,

and enjoy your rice!

 

Xo,

Alex

 

P.S. chewing your grains is super important, especially if you suspect leaky gut or have any bloating or tummy issues. Chewing until your grains are almost liquid helps your body digest them better – and we want happy bellies!

 

 

We CHEERED her last night – now it’s your turn

Is it your turn to share your big win?

I love the live calls in my Cravings Cleanse program.
We get to hear each other, talk, share, and come together.

And last night’s call was the BEST. Ever.

See, I’m about to start a certification program in Positive Psychology (life-long learner, anyone?) and I went to a talk given by my soon-to-be-teacher this weekend.

She told us that most of us have someone we can turn to when things are tough, when things go wrong…

But few of us have people we can go to when things are GOOD.

friends

And when we have a tribe of cheerleaders who will happily support us when things are AWESOME, we are much more likely to be happy and healthy.

So I want to share with you what my amazing Cravings Cleanse women shared on our call last night –

It was so cool, with happy tears in our eyes, to CHEER each other:

“Something is working – I’m down to a size 14 and I haven’t stepped on a scale yet. I’m feeling teary…”
~ A, New York

“This cleanse and eating this way that really helps me to rid myself of bloating. This has been such a help in making me feel healthier…”
~ Dana, New York

“Thank you – I get so much from these calls and hearing everyone talk about the same things I am feeling. I feel very lucky to be with this group.”
~ Kathy, Rhode Island

“I really do feel like eating healthier now!
This cleanse is really showing me how to be super kind mama to myself!”
~ Eileen, California

“I just feel SO much better in this cleanse!
No more gas, the bloating is gone – the cravings are gone!
I didn’t even want the junk food in front of me because it didn’t feel good.
I’m feeling really satisfied with the shakes! They taste so you can actually add a lot of greens and it still tastes really good.
I’m learning and FEELING which foods make my body feel and WORK well!
All the little tricks you’re teaching are really helping – I’m feeling really good about this program. I’m so grateful for the group – the great energy of the posts and the support.”
~ Sara, New Mexico

“My ankles and wrists are getting smaller – it’s really amazing.
I’m having an easier time feeling well, even in the midst of all my moving, unpacking, the crazy life, I’m sticking with the program.
I feel good, I’m comfortable, and I’m not craving, I’m listening to my body, I’m trusting it, I’m even exercising!
~ A, New York

This is what I want for you.
To feel well in your body…
To be free of the annoying cravings and negative thoughts…
To want to treat yourself really well – and do it…
To be cheered, seen, and appreciated for all you are.

The final Cravings Cleanse live program of 2014 starts next Tuesday, 9/23 at 12pm Eastern.

The calls are all recorded, and you do the steps at your own pace, while we come together for live coaching and support.

Click here to join us now if you’re ready for massive love, powerful shifts in your body, and a new relationship with pleasure, and food.

Xo,
Alex

P.S. The Bring-A-Friend offer is good until Saturday! Click here to join now and you can bring a friend for only $10.

Sugar-Free Baked Bananas Foster Recipe

Crave sweet, but avoiding sugar? Sugar Free Baked Bananas Foster!

We all love sweet – it’s normal, natural, and very human. I like sugar so much growing up that I had 12 cavities by the age of 12 – yikes! (You’re welcome, Dr. Dentist!) In fact, liking sweet flavors is the only taste preference human babies are born with. Every other taste we develop is learned, so you’re super-natural, sweet tooth baby! BUT (there’s always a BUT, right?) you may be off sugar while detoxing or cleansing…

(like in my 8-week Cravings Cleanse, starting 9/23!)

So what do you do, especially in those first few days, when sugar cravings strike?

Healthy Bananas Foster? Yes!

Healthy Bananas Foster? Yes!

Answer with a naturally sweet dessert of course! This baked banana recipe is just like the Bananas Foster my New Orleans-loving Dad likes to make -without the extra sugar and ice cream! I adapted this recipe to work for all 3 cravings types, so wether you’re Firebrand, FeatherWeight or Earth Mama (or Earth Papa), you can enjoy the simple flavors and spices to help answer your sweet tooth calling:

Sugar-Free Baked Bananas Foster!

Serves 2

  • 2 bananas*, peeled and split in half long
  • Juice of 1 orange* about 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardomom
  • 2 tablespoons organic raisins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Arrange split bananas in a baking dish, side by side. In a mixing bowl, combine milk, orange juice and spices. Whisk well and pour over bananas.
  3. Scatter raisins on top.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, until beginning to brown.
  5. Carefully scoop bananas onto plates or bowls and spoon the sauce from the baking dish over each portion.

*Firebrand Fix: Use 2 pitted apricots instead of bananas. *Earth Mama Swap: Use 2 pitted peaches instead of bananas, and use apple juice instead of orange juice.

Evolution of Medicine: Join me & Deepak Chopra 9/8-9/12

Getting healthy feels like finding a needle in a haystack these days…

Evolving medicine means that we are trying new things all the time. I’m cool with always learning (I’m a “life long learner” and could go to school for the rest of my life! AKA “nutrition nerd!”), but…

If you aren’t constantly educating yourself about the evolution of medicine, how can find the answers for your own desires and cravings for good health?

And there are so many who come to this site looking for simple answers that move the needle – for your own health and that of your family.

The Evolution of Medicine Summit will show you the future of healthcare.

Plus, it’s online and free from September 8-15, 2014.

Click here and listen to some of the top experts and find that new nugget of nutrition news to move you forward:  https://ji177.isrefer.com/go/emreg/deliciousalex/

alex dana

Here are a few of the other awesome presenters:

  • Deepak Chopra, MD, Best Selling Author; Ayurvedic and Mind/Body Medicine, The Evolution of Consciousness
  • Mark Hyman, MD, Multiple Best Selling Author, Chairman of IFM, Evolution of Medical Paradigm
  • Food Babe aka Vani Hari, Activist Blogger; Digital Innovator, Activism: Empowered Medical Evolution
  • Joe Cross aka Joe The JuicerThe Great Health Outsourcing Experiment

This Evolution of Medicine Summit will give  you with the insights you need to:
Understand what causes disease and how to disease-proof yourself
Elevate you and your family towards better health
Make the most out of the next generation of health technology

I love this series, and know that there are at least a few interviews that will help you find your way through the world’s overwhelming amount of health information.

So here’s what I suggest – pick 2 interviews. 

Sign up for free today, then look at the list of experts. 

And just choose TWO interviews to listen in on – choose the two that pull you and interest you the most.

You’ll pick the right ones, you’ll get 1 or 2 golden nuggets of info, and can put them into action.

Another cool thing about this series is that it includes some great free gifts as soon as you register:

 

  • “Are we Deluded by Disease?” a presentation by Jeffrey Bland, PhD
  • “Delivering Evolved Medicine,” a presentation by Tom Blue, CSO of AAPP
  • “The Four Causes of Chronic Disease,” 4 audio recordings brought to you by Revive Primary Care

I hope you’ll take the time for yourself to listen in and discover your next healthy step.

I’ll see you at the Summit!

xo,

Alex

 

Recover from burn out: East Meets West series (listen in)

If you’re here, you want to feel good. Not just good – GREAT.

And all the time, not just once in a while. Yet, how to get that great feeling?

You’re juggling a lot: your career, family, friends, and the dog. Who has time to be healthy?

Amidst it all you’re feeling tired, burnt out, and unhappy with your body. As each day passes, there is a long list of excuses of why there “isn’t enough time”.

Rather than wait for the perfect time to open up in your hectic schedule, it’s time for you to find out how to live healthy today! You’ve already put your needs aside and it’s finally time to take care of YOU.

Sometimes you just need that ONE thing – one new piece of information, or one new person, to help you break out of your old habits and start anew.

You deserve a new energy to get the self-care, time and rejuvenation you desire.

Imagine…

- Feeling vibrant
- Feeling excited to start you day
- Working efficiently and getting stuff done because you are eating healthy and have energy to get through your day
- Having time to exercise and still spend time with your family and kids
- Not having to take another miserable sick day from work

I want to introduce you to my friend, Susan Shah.

east-meets-west-summit-300x300

Susan is a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach. Previously a Wall Street professional, she was burnt out and understands first hand the difficulty of building a career while desiring self care and balance. Today Susan helps her clients achieve work-life balance and optimal health.

Join her FREE online series, EAST MEETS WEST FOR OPTIMAL HEALTH: Traditional Health Solutions For Your Busy Life where you will learn how to live your healthiest life. Learn traditional health secrets that will give you the lasting health results you’ve been want to integrate into your life without wasting another moment learning about the latest health fads.

Click HERE to get the series for free & listen in:

 

Here’s what you’ll find in the series:

- Hear from top experts in the field of nutrition, fitness, digestion, natural healing, and personal growth who will teach you to achieve your best health no matter how busy you are
- Actionable tips you can implement today so you feel in control and happy
- Easy steps to break through the fear that is holding you back
- Learn how to balance your career and life and still be happy juggling it all

I’m honored to be a part of this series – and hope that you find the inspiration and information you want (AKA crave) to make the rest of 2014 ROCK.

Sign up here for free: 

xo,

Alex

This raw soup is my best trick for quitting sugar…

Yes, I do an “extreme” raw vegetable cleanse sometimes…

In fact, I do it once a month lately.

Why? I love how it feels. 

I avoid any foods that may have crept back into my diet that can clog up my works (better known as the Toxic 6: gluten, dairy, corn, soy, sugar and caffeine) and enjoy a 3-day fest of non-starchy vegetables.

It resets my metabolism, calms my cravings for sugar, and flattens my belly…

So I offered the plan to the people in my Cravings Cleanse group, and they dove in.

Here’s my favorite, rich, satisfying avocado soup:

Raw Pro 3-Day Kick Start: Avocado Soup (image by  Sarah Hammond)

Raw Pro 3-Day Kick Start: Avocado Soup (image by Sarah Hammond)

 

Here’s how you can make this delicious, filling Avocado Soup:

This soup is filled with alkaline ingredients, and the fat from the avocado is very satisfying and helps your body burn fat rather than sugars from carbs, the best way to lose weight while balancing your mood. 

1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1 lemon, rind and seeds removed
3-4 romaine lettuce leaves, washed

1 cup cucumber (peeled if very thick skin)

1 stalk celery

1⁄4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

2-3 cups water

  1. Put all in blender and blend until smooth
  2. Extra stores well in an airtight container for later in the day. 
IMG_2197

Jen’s survival kit

I saw one of my oldest friends last week, and she totally inspired me, as only a good friend can.

 

I was on my way to Palm Springs for a health conference, and Jen was driving there from her home in L.A. to bury her grandfather.

 

She was tired and feeling the stress of how her family was grieving.  See, Jen had been going out to visit her grandfather, who lived a couple hours from her home, for months.

 

She knew he was fading, but she also knew that his mind was mostly gone, he rarely recognized her, and that she had spent a lot of quality time with him recently to say goodbye.

 

But now she was on vacation, worn out from her high-pressure job producing commercials for television, and she felt she was supposed to end her break early to rush to her grandfather’s side.

 

Yet, she didn’t.

She knew he wasn’t really there anymore, and that there were tons of cousins, children, and other care givers around him.

 

Jen was tired and didn’t see the point in upending her break with her daughter and husband to go see a man who wouldn’t know she was there.

 

“Yes,” she told me, “I love my grandfather! But I’ve said my goodbyes and need to take care of my kid and myself. My mom is there with her dad, and she told me not to wear myself out – she understood. But I feel this pressure to drop my life, show up and grieve in a certain way, when really I just need to take care of me.”

 

Sweetheart, I told her, the living can really mess up a decent death.

Sometimes people think they need to look like the people in movies do – all rushing home for a dramatic end-of-life moment.

 

Not that she needed it, but since my mom died eight months ago, I gave her my older-friend-whose-mom-just-died-permission to do exactly what felt right for her:

 

“If you feel complete with Grandpa, don’t let the rest of the family guilt you into doing something that may make you feel even worse”, I said.

I hadn’t been there when  my mom died. My brother and I had been on the phone, him at Mom’s bedside, and we talked about what we thought would happen. She went so fast, after slipping into a morphine aided sleep, that we were all surprised when the cancer took her life.

Yet, how it all happened was perfect. The final conversation we all had, my brother and I were joking on speaker phone, laughing at silly memories, and Mom piped in, with her clearest voice I’d heard in days, “you two are so silly!”

That was the perfect goodbye. She knew we had each other, and that she had given us everything she could in this life.

 

I mentioned that I was coming to Palm Springs this weekend and would love to see her.

 

It had been a tough week for her, and Jen just wanted to say goodbye to her grandfather without having to upend her life. Her mom had arranged for a small, private service at the funeral home before his body was sent to Oregon, where he would be buried.

 

So Jen drove to Palm Springs and picked me up at the airport when I flew in from New York.

IMG_2197

We went out for Mexican food, reminisced and made each other laugh so hard I almost peed my pants. Sharing a hotel room, we told stories, asked each other advice, and went for a dip in the hot tub late that night.

 

The next morning, as we shared a plate of almost-ripe hotel fruit on the soon-to-be-blistering desert patio, Jen told me more about why life had been so exhausting and challenging lately.

 

Being in show business may seem glamorous from the outside, but Jen knows first hand what a grind it can be to organize, budget, and shoot a multi-million dollar commercial.

 

She has produced a few Super Bowl ads, and has worked one-on-one with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Handling major egos, huge budgets, endless details, and constant changes is a big job, but Jen has a secret weapon:

 

Her sense of humor.

 

One of the things I’ve always loved about Jen is how freakin’ hilarious she is – I mean, she cracks me up! Together we can be raunchy, non-politically correct, and downright lewd in the best possible way.

 

And you know what I like about funny people? How smart they are.

 

So Jen is smart, funny, generous and a hard worker.

 

She works in a job that demands tons of energy, detail oriented mental focus, the skills of a trained diplomat, hours of commuting in L.A. traffic, and she has a family that wants her time and attention too.

 

Oh, and did I mention she’s a total knock-out?

 

Ok, this might feel a bit like a love letter right now, but when you have a friend that make you feel super cool because they’re amazing and they like YOU, it’s pretty fun to share that.

 

And I learned something new from Jen this weekend.

 

I asked how she managed to handle the crazy hours, big jobs, traffic and normal marriage stuff with such grace.

 

And she turned right around and gave me some of the credit.

 

“Alex,” she said. “I’ve been in your cleanse programs and when we talk you always ask how I’m doing. Working with you helped me figure out I was celiac and that the gluten I was eating was destroying my mood and energy.”

 

Looking up from our almost-tasty fruit, Jen said “I used to have pretty bad habits at work, and now I know exactly how to set up my shoots so that the catering truck and editing rooms have what I need to eat to stay healthy! I keep the right foods around because you taught me that I had to prepare to succeed.”

 

Wow… that felt pretty awesome.

 

She went on to tell me how the confidence she feels in knowing her body so well allows her to speak out and ask for what she needs – she doesn’t let her energy, willpower and patience get depleted like she used to.

 

Instead, she made sure she had hard-boiled eggs, veggies, waters, and other snacks on hand for a busy afternoon.

 

She called it her survival kit.

 

Jen knows her body so well, she takes better care of herself, even when it might not be what other people think she should do…

 

Even when she gets nasty comments from her extended family because they think she should act differently, Jen stands her ground and preserves her energy…

 

Even when people at work make fun of her for ordering sautéed spinach when everyone else is eating hot dogs, Jen does what’s right for her…

 

When she orders green protein smoothies (atta girl!) for the entire office for breakfast so that she doesn’t stick out as the weirdo who won’t eat the pastries, Jen is preserving her willpower for the rest of the day.

 

When I think about all the little ways that Jen preserves her energy, strength, spirit, and beautiful soul through her tiny habits, I realize that Jen isn’t just in survival mode…

 

Jen is thriving.

CRAVE WORTHY LIFE CHALLENGE

 

  1. What are the two biggest pain points in your day? When do you get triggered to crave something you know isn’t good for you? Write that down…
  2. What would you like to feel instead of that pain? I call this your Big MODE (big motivating desire –the way you WANT to feel)
  3. What else can you do in that moment to achieve your Big MODE?
  4. Write down at least 2 other things you can do to prepare so that when those pain points arise, you have your survival kit of ideas and healthy food ready (or should we call it a thrive kit?)

  

Creating a life worth craving begins with this kind of awareness.

And it takes guts.

It’s time to be brave and strong and do what’s true for you, sweetheart.

 

It’s time to thrive, not just survive.

 

Xo,

Alex

8 Ways to be the BEST Partner When Your Love is on a Cleanse…(or Diet, or Detox)

This guest post was written by Bob Gower, my amazing partner in life.

But MAN, I wish I’d known all this back when I helped create Super Size Me!!

I’m always amazed at how good he is at anticipating my needs and moods when I’m doing a cleanse or detox, which I realize comes from his many years of self-experiment! 

Having a support person you can call on to help you through any food change, including the Cravings Cleanse, is one of the best ways to succeed – and I hope you’ll share this with anyone close to you as your begin your next cleanse. 

Bob has mastered the art of supporting me through dietary changes, and has some words of wisdom to share with anyone who is partnered up with someone who wants to begin their own cleanse journey.

Within the first year of knowing, and loving, Alex she supported me in changing my diet, writing a book, and recovering from major surgery. And I supported her in a few things as well like launching a website, being a mom, and redefining her business.

bob alex

What I’ve learned from being with her is that while relationships may start with passion and friendship, they grow, and are sustained by, mutual support. We love each other by helping each other be the best we can be.

I should add here that this does not mean we point out where people fall short, or define what “best” means for our partner. Rather we let them define their own vision and then do what we can to help them get it.

And, if you’re like me, you fall short over and over again. You get caught up in the day to day of your life, your needs, your stresses and forget to take your partners stresses and ambitions seriously enough. This is natural and human—and it’s something to work on.

What I’ve learned from my own dietary experiments and those of my partner is that while they can have a hugely transformative effect on your life these changes can take a toll on our lives. In fact I’m sure that one of the most challenging things anyone can do is make a change to what they eat and how they eat.

Eating is primal and deeply related to our survival. And changes or limitations can show up unconsciously or consciously as a profound threat. So it’s during these times of change that support from a partner can go a very long way to helping us reach our goals.

If you have a partner who is doing a cleanse, trying to lose weight, break an addiction—or perhaps all three at once—you can be their biggest cheerleader, support, and ultimately, their hero.

1. Get Empathetic

The first step to helping is to understand what they are doing and why. Get curious about her goals for the cleanse and also what the program entails. What foods will she be avoiding and for how long.

Understanding her plan is a good first step, but to really help you’ll want to go even deeper. Ask her about her intentions for the cleanse and what she hopes to get out of it. Ask her about her concerns and what scares her.

And also ask about her desires. If this were to be the amazing experience she hopes it will be what will change and what she’ll experience.

2. Ask “what do you need from me?”

Look at your calendars and the events you have planned. Dinner with friends, parties, family visits and ask how you can support her. Also ask what foods you can keep out of the house to help avoid temptation.

While you might consider joining her on some of the cleanse this isn’t really necessary. But it can be incredibly helpful for you to consume forbidden foods when she’s not around and to keep them out of the house altogether.

3. Outsource to save her/his/your energy & moods

digital diet aids

Cleanses and diets usually mean less energy. Her brain will likely have less glucose to work with and it’s glucose that helps us make decisions, do housework, and yes even regulate our emotions.

Help her conserve energy by offloading some tedious tasks like cleaning house, shopping, and some child care. Take over for her when you can and even get some outside, temporary help if you can afford it. Services like Taskrabbit, Handybook, Fancyhands, and Instacart* are great for times like these.

(*note from Alex: I’ve used all of these services myself to help me stick with my healthy eating goals by saving time, getting what I need to keep a wide variety of healthy food on hand, and save precious energy and willpower)

Also consider taking over some decisions—only with her blessing of course—since choice is not always a plus when you’re feeling depleted. “Hey honey tonight I’m going to handle dinner, we’ll watch a movie, then I’ll put the kids to bed.” These words can sound like heaven when you’re tired and worn out.

4. Know her self-worth is wrapped up in succeeding.

We don’t do cleanses unless we want to change something about ourselves. This often means something about how we look—weight, skin etc—and how we feel—energy, mood and more.

A big part of these changes is often how attractive we feel to our partner. But here’s the cruel irony: in order to feel and look better over the long term we have to go through times when we feel less energetic and less attractive. Things often get worse before they get better.

So keep in mind that 1) she wants to look and feel good for you and 2) while she’s on the cleanse she may actually feel like she’s looking and feeling worse than usual. And this means her self-worth may feel challenged.

A few words from you can go a long way at times like these. Express your love and attraction more than you usually do. And don’t forget the physical expressions of love and desire like flowers, back rubs, and kisses.

5. Know that mindset is half the battle

Change is hard but remember that this program she’s on is temporary and trust that things are going to get to a better place. And remind her of this, too.

But also know that her changes will lead to deeper and more permanent changes for her, you and your family if you have one. Be willing to step into that new life with her and also willing to look at and deal with your own fears of change.

Are you afraid she might want to take away your pie or beer? Talk about how her changes might lead to your own changes and what this means for you.

6. Love her up

I kind of covered this in the section on self-worth but it deserves it’s own section. When she’s struggling with one aspect of her body like diet it’s incredibly helpful for her to feel positive things deeply. If she’s complaining or feeling lousy don’t try to talk her out of it. Love her out of it.

Try things like extra physical contact like hand holding, foot massage, and even more special kinds of touch *wink wink nudge nudge*.

Treat it like valentines day (sans chocolate) and treat her to massages and bath time. She may be experiencing a lot of physical and emotional discomfort – step up and help provide the pleasure she can experience in her body and life.

This may be as simple as taking over the child care for an afternoon and giving her the opportunity to do nice things for herself like a bath, pedicure, or even a nap.

7. Intend support

This last one can be the most challenging. She’s changing and feeling down but let’s face it — your life isn’t easy either and you still have the same demands from job, and family. It’s not always easy to not want to lean on her the way you’re used to and the way you have a right too. Good couples support each other after all.

She may also have mood swings and be a bit harder to be around at times during a cleanse. Do your best not to fight and not to nag. And if she is being especially difficult you might ask gently if she needs to eat something (from Alex’s Cleanse approved list of course) since cleanse foods tend to burn a lot faster than “regular” food and she’ll be depleted faster than she anticipated.

8. Celebrate Success

And lastly when the cleanse finally finishes both of you should do something nice like a meal out together to mark the end and celebrate. Choose a place that has a lot of healthy, cleanse-approved options, and perhaps a great wine list if that’s one of the things she’s looking forward to adding back first.

You are a part of each other’s success — and when Mama’s happy, everyone is happy! As a couple, you deserve to feel good as individuals and together.

If this inspired you to support your partner even more, wonderful! If it even inspired you to do the cleanse together — even better! But do talk before hand about the possible challenges you may face when you’re both feeling your way through the cleanse.

But hear me now: you can do this. Both of you, no matter who is on the cleanse. If she (or he) wants to join the Cravings Cleanse, know that it will be good for both of you.

And no matter what, it will be one of the best things you both do for each other, and yourselves.

Respectfully,

Bob Gower, Author & Consultant

Alex’s main squeeze

 

Creamy Avocado Soup - Cravings Cleanse

Soup For Fatty Dairy Lovers: Creamy dairy-free Avocado Soup Recipe

I was feeling a bit under the weather this weekend.

Last week I went to a memorial service for a dear friend. It was so beautiful to see all of our shared friends, but while at the party I ate a ton of soy and refined flour - foods I haven’t eaten much of in the last six months.

The next day, I woke up feeling puffy and tired. And that lasted for three days!

avo soup cc

On Sunday I remembered this amazing soup I once ate, filled with green vegetables, which was blended, cooling, and alkalinizing.

Yet the lemon and avocado blended together to taste rich and fatty, zingy and tasty, like a dairy-filled soup would. Dairy is an acidic food, and makes inflammation worse for most people.

 

The celery, cucumber, lemon, parsley, and Romaine were all anti-inflammatory and when blended together, the mild flavors soothed my body and energy.

avo soup ingredients

So I got the ingredients together and tried my hand at recreating this soup, to see if I could calm this puffy inflammation I was feeling.

I blended the ingredients together until the veggies were smooth and creamy, added a pinch of salt, and tasted. It was heavenly.

I ate the entire recipe in a few hours – about 6 cups worth.

Ingredients: 

1 lemon, rind removed

1.5 cups cucumber

1 stalk celery

6 leaves Romaine lettuce

1 avocado

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1.5-2 cups water

1/2 tsp sea salt

avo soup

The next day, I woke up feeling refreshed, calm, and my eyes were no longer puffy, and my skin was clear.

This is just the kind of easy recipe I love to share – food that heals and tastes good.

It’s the kind of recipe I’ll be sharing in my Cravings Cleanse, which kicks off next week with a free 3-video series all about cravings, how to change your food habits to grow your energy, and how you can turn willpower into wellpower.

I hope you like the recipe, and I hope you’ll watch the videos when they go live next week!

xo,

Alex