Warming Foods For Winter Weight Loss

 

Support your body this chilly season!

Instead of cooling your metabolism with summer fruits and berries, focus on naturally warming, seasonal foods, and your weight goals will be easier to reach.

 

Anise
Basil
Bay leaf
Bitter orange
Black beas
Blackberry
Brussels sprouts
Butter, salted
Caraway
Cadamom
Carob
Cashew
Chestnut
Chile pepper
Cinnamon
Citrus peel
Clove
Coconut
Collards
Date
Dill
Fat and oil
Fennel
Fenugreek
Garlic
Garlic chive
Ginger
Kale
Mace
Miso
Molasses
Mustard greens
Nutmeg
Oats
Onion
Parsley
Parsnip
Pcan
Pine nut
Quinoa
Raspberry
Rosemary
Scallion
Squash, winter
Star anise
Tarragon
Thyme
Turmeric
Vinegar, unpasteurized
Walnut

How To Eat Lunch To Stop Afternoon Sugar Cravings

It’s happening again – I’m off sugar for at least a week.
Now, I don’t eat nearly as much sugars as I used to, but I enjoyed my grandma’s pecan pie and my aunt’s pumpkin pie this last week – they were delicious!

And now I’m going to give my body a break from the sweet stuff to make sure my energy stays solid (I’ve got my first TedX talk on Thursday in New Jersey!) and my immune system stays strong for cold and flu season.

One of my readers wrote about lunches – can you make lunch choices that stop afternoon sugar cravings?

I made a video to share my tips this week:

Do you act how you want to feel?

I hope your autumn is cozy and bright. The last two months have been incredible. I’ve been writing my next book, preparing for my first TedX talk, and have partnered with three amazing organizations for my big spring program (more on that later).

 

While this is all going on, I’ve been working with my fabulous team to get ready for the 28-Day Enlighten Challenge, which starts Friday, November 29th – if you haven’t joined yet, you can sign up here for free:

 

I’ve been working hard to get my message about using our cravings to create the body and life we want, so I’m not telling you all this to brag…

 

I just want you to ask yourself: are you acting the way you want to feel?

 

See, I want to feel light, energized, connected, and like my work matters – every day. And my work, play and relationships are all geared toward helping me stay in that zone.

 

You may be close to how you want to feel, or you may be a mile off. Wherever you are now, I want you to have the basic recipe for creating a live, and body, that feels amazing and true for you:

 

1.   Ask your body what you really want: In every cleanse or detox program I teach, the question of cravings comes up. People want to know why they always reach for sugar or fatty snacks, when they’re trying so hard to “eat right.” So I always ask this: how does your body feel now, and how do you want to feel? After a minute, they always say “I’m tired,” or “I’m thirsty,” or “I’m so stressed out at work right now.” See, we’ve gotten into the habit of using food to solve our problems, but it doesn’t really give our body what she’s asking for. So I want you to write down how you want to feel from the moment you wake up, through your day, to the moment you close your eyes at night. This might take some time, but it really helps you see what you need.

 

2.   Get your girls in on it: I used to try to do everything myself. I had a “I can do it!” or even more accurate, “I should do this on my own” kind of attitude. But then I had a kid…and a divorce… and a business to run. I realized my DIY habits didn’t have to mean “Do It Alone” and I started asking for help.

 And the more I asked my friends to help out, join in,  or just come along, the more fun I had and the more my life opened up. And the more I felt supported, the more strong and energized I felt.

 So look at where you’re turning down help. I’m sure there is some place in your life where someone has offered their energy or time, and you’ve said no. Can you invite that person back in? And make it fun to do it together? I’ll bet you can think of at least one…

 

3.   Keep it simple: You can’t think your way into feeling good, you have to feel your way into it. Start with what you’re doing right now. Sit up straight. Stretch your neck and back for 1 minute. Take 10 deep breaths.

Most of the women I work with are so stressed and multi-tasking, they can’t feel calm even when it’s time to go to bed. By keeping it simple through the day, your life will feel more manageable and less overwhelming. This will help you eat exactly what and how much is right for you to feel lighter.  

 

4.   See the small gifts & give them to yourself daily: Keeping it simple is making life feel lighter already, and you’ll have space to look around and see how your life is set up to support you…or not.

 

When you manage one thing at a time, you have energy to make your life an art project that feels like a dream to live inside of. So do something small every day that feels like a gift to yourself. I like to take a walk around the block and get a cup of tea at my favorite café, sit and enjoy a beautiful piece of fruit, listen to a favorite song, snag a nap when I need one.

 

These small things have helped me create a life, and a body, that I love. But you may not know where to start – like, which small thing should you do first? What’s really going to help you feel light?

 

I’ve made this easy for ya…

 

My 28-Day Enlighten Challenge is going to help you make the kind of life, body and energy you want. Small gifts, tiny changes, daily.

 

You’ll be happily surprised with how easy and good you feel when we get started. And the first day is Friday, November 29th, so it’s time to sign up!

 

Go here to sign up for the free Enlighten Challenge:

In the comments below I want to know, how do you want to feel and what can you do now to feel that way?

Can’t wait to hear from you on the blog, and play with you in the challenge starting next Friday! 

Xo, 

Alex

Winter Whites: Celery Root & Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Celery Soup 5Winter Whites:

Creamy Celery Root & Cauliflower Soup

You may have passed by the celery root, also known as celeriac, because it looked scary and you couldn’t image what you’d do with that giant root. 

Fear not! That big bulbous root is just the bottom of celery, and you may be able to find it with some celery stalks growing out of the top, which is great for soup garnish. 

Celery root is high in fiber, potassium and magnesium, and make a deliciously creamy (and easily dairy free) soup that hints of sweet celery – just trust me. Make this! 

To prep the celery root, just cut off all the brown outer “peal” with a sharp knife. I recommend you cut it in half first, so you have a flat surface to steady the round root on. Then cube it and cook it! 
Celery Root

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cups cubed celery root
2 cups chopped cauliflower
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup unsweetened plant-milk 
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper
Extra olive oil for drizzling and a few celery leaves for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil over medium in a big soup pot or Dutch oven, and add the celery root, cauliflower and onion. Stir to coat all the veggies with oil.
  2. Cook for about five minutes. Don’t allow to brown, just to soften up. 
  3. Add the garlic, broth and water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cover.
  4. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the celery root is tender. Stir in the plant milk.
  5. Remove the soup from the heat. If you have an immersion or “stick” blender, use it to puree the soup while it is still in the pot. 
  6. If you are using a regular blender, carefully ladle the soup in batches of 3 cups at a time into your blender, puree until smooth and return to the pot. Season with salt and pepper, starting with 1/2 teaspoon of each. Stir well, taste and add more to taste. 

Do you really want to know what’s wrong? Functional Medicine has the answers

 

When I first got sick at the age of 25, the first doctor I went to gave me pain killers and antidepressants. After being in his office for 5 minutes, I had two powerful prescriptions for drugs that might help the symptoms I was suffering, but wouldn’t solve the root of the problem.

 

So I found another doctor who would help me heal my body. That doctor had a different approach, called functional medicine.

 

What a difference! The second doctor spent an hour with me talking about my diet, family history, lifestyle, and more. By the time I was diagnosed with food-based illnesses, I knew that this doctor had taken the time to understand all of the factors that were causing my illness.

 

Here’s why you should know about functional medicine (FM):

 

  • FM tries to heal the root causes of disease rather than just treating symptoms
  • FM brings the patient and practitioner into partnership, rather than a “top-down” doctor-tells-patient-what-to-do model.
  • FM treats the whole person and body as a system, rather than looking at one organ 
  • FM doctors spend more time with patients listening to stories, and looking at lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors that can play a part in illness

 

 

The old system isn’t working. Most modern medicine is structured in an acute-care model to fix trauma and short-term illnesses. If I break my arm, I’ll go to the emergency room.

 

But we are facing more complex problems than a broken arm. Obesity, heart disease and many cancers need a holistic approach. Most doctors are now specialists with a focus on their particular sliver of medicine. Most of us need doctors with a broader understanding of the complex interactions of genetics, lifestyle and environmental toxicity to help us truly heal.

 

By integrating the best, proven practices from both modern “Western” medicine and “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, Functional Medicine doctors will treat the whole person with nutrition, exercise, drugs, botanical medicines, supplements, detoxification programs, and stress-management techniques.

 

In short, you get more tools to truly heal from a FM doctor, and you get a partner.

 

To help you find a Functional Medicine doctor who can work with you, check out Revive Primary Care. This new service will pair you with a proven practitioner in your area so you can begin truly healing your chronic illness.

 

I’m honored to support Revive Primary Care’s mission to help grow the awareness of FM, as well as help more people get the care that will truly heal their lives.

 

 

To Weigh or Not To Weigh…

Do you weigh yourself?

How often?

Where do you keep your scale?

Does it make you crazy or does it help you stay on track?
scales

How much will you take? Are pleasure and power dangerous for women?

Over the years I’ve come to believe that women’s capacity for joy and pleasure is smaller than our capacity for difficulty and pain. We can handle the daily tribulations of life’s stress, suffering and dragging under the weight of the pressure of work, family, caring for others, and “going without” until our martyr mindset crushes us.

 

But how much pleasure, joy, fun, freedom, power, and self-care can you take? When was the last time you had pure, unadulterated pleasure, at a long stretch, guilt-free, just for you? Something that didn’t involve chocolate cake or a bottle of wine, that is.

 

We try. We give ourselves a semi-annual spa day, splurging on a pedicure and lunch out with a trusted friend. But after those two hours are through, we’re right back into begrudgingly serving, rushing, going, doing, doing, doing.

 

Why is it so challenging for women to own our capacity for pleasure? 

 

It begins with our birth. From young years girls are told to do for others more than they do for themselves. While third-wave feminism and the realities of the global marketplace have brought more and more women into medical, business and law schools, we are still brought up as the caretakers, and perhaps our natural evolution as a species makes women slightly better at the childrearing and home keeping skills.

 

Taught to care for others first, putting our needs last, we feel incredible guilt and no agency around claiming what we desire. Being labeled as smart and powerful is still second place to being considered pretty or popular. 

 

Are we masochistic? No. I believe we are afraid. Afraid of being singled-out, cast out, put in the spotlight of shame. Afraid of being labeled selfish, a bitch, or unfeminine in any way. And I believe that fear is very old, and very deep rooted in our cultural psyche.

 

Somehow, along the way, being known as a powerful woman changed into something else, someone less demanding for herself.

Witch

 

Perhaps it began with the great witch trials in Europe in the 1500-1700s. Tens of thousands of independent women, healers and midwives, were tortured and burned for their power and position.

 

Before the witch trials, women held a special place and power as healers and midwives, dispensers of natural medicine and knowledge. We were respected individuals who provided valuable services to the community.

 

Are we still afraid that we might be burned at the stake for taking a place in the sun? For demanding the freedom to take our pleasures where we may? I believe our culture was branded with fear from those hundreds of years of terror.

 

It’s no wonder women have been afraid to assert their rights to power, knowledge, and pleasure all these years. In her classic history Witches, Midwives & Nurses,  Barbara Erhrenriech shows the early European history of women as healers, and practitioners of all medical knowledge.

 

After the witch-hunts wiped out the female medical experts, known as witches and midwives, the male-dominated medical and religious systems were able to take complete control over the physical and spiritual well-being of Europe and the American colonies.  

 

Women became beholden to “experts” and doctors, and lost touch with their power as healers, medicine makers, and respected members of the culture. Women who knew too much were cast out, and the female body became subject to dangerous, and unnecessary medical practices including ill-conceived hysterectomies, heavily-medicated childbirth, and barely tested contraceptives.

 

Being a woman became a disease.

 

Not only did we lose the power of being the medicine women of our clans and villages, we weren’t trusted to know anything about our bodies, or to participate in our own care. Natural childbirth not only fell out of fashion, but women who wanted to birth at home, or stand or squat rather than be forced to lay down to make delivery easier for the doctor were treated as unreasonable and uncooperative.

 

As much as things change, they stay the same.

 

The medical profession is no longer at the 90/10 ratio of men to women, as it was in the 1970s. In fact, it’s almost evenly 50/50. Still, women remain afraid of their bodies, and sure that there is something inherently wrong with our natural state of being. We will never be perfect – far from it. We can never be good enough. And the roots of these beliefs are ancient and pervasive, encoded in our cultural memories.

 

We women have been active participants in the human history of medicine. There is an old, institutionalized sexism at play here, but it’s barely understood or acknowledged. Knowing the history of the present moment gives us a deeper awareness of possibility. If you knew you came from a line of midwives and healers, would you be more apt to trust your intuition, body, and opinion when it came to matters of your own health?

 

We simply need to see how history has played out in the modern marketing, messaging and entertainment around us that we consume, get clear that the icons of femininity aren’t all that’s true, and that we are perfect. Our bodies are strong, magnificent, and capable of powerful healing. And we women have the right and power to trust our own inner wisdom, heal our bodies and live any way that feels good and pleasurable.

 

What do you think about all this? Leave your comments and questions below…

Spiced Red Lentil Stew: Liver Supportive Recipe

Indian Kitchari for Fall Liver Support
Yield: 6 servings

Support your liver this fall with traditional Indian Kitchari stew – a pleasantly spiced, but not spicey-hot, stew. Easy to make ahead for a busy week, simply reheat portions with a little water and serve with a tossed green salad for a great, warming meal!

½ cup brown rice
1 cup red lentils
6 cups water or sodium-free vegetable broth
1 cup carrot, large dice
½ yellow onion, large dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ inch ginger root, freshly grated
1 tablespoon coconut oil or grass-fed butter or ghee (clarified butter)
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon sea salt

handful fresh cilantro leaves

 
lentil soup

1. Rinse and drain the rice and lentils, being careful to remove any stones.
2. Add to the 6 cups of water in a large soup pot and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Add the carrot, onion, garlic, and ginger root. Cook for another 10 minutes.
4. While the vegetables are cooking, place the oil, cumin seeds and mustard seeds in a separate skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until they begin to pop. Add the remaining spices and salt and stir for 30 seconds.
5. Add the cooked spices to the kitchari mixture, stir well, and cook for 5 minutes more. Add another cup or two of water if you need more liquid.
6. Top bowls with a few fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot.

What happens when you indulge in your cravings? Wonderfulness…

I gave myself everything I wanted this morning.

 

I accepted an offer of help…

I ate what my body craved…

I cared for and clothed my body to feel good & ready…

I listened to the sounds my ears yearned for…

And now I feel ready, and strong, creative, and grateful.

 
Woman

I haven’t always treated myself so nicely.

I used to rush through almost every moment of my day, ignoring my desires and even basic needs.

 

I rushed because I thought I needed to get somewhere else, that how I was in the moment wasn’t important.

 

And my body started to get tired, my brain unfocused, and my heart a tad bitter.

 

Working harder and harder wasn’t making me happier, and I got to the point where I realized I wasn’t living my life. I was waiting and working for something else instead of enjoying what I had.

 

So I made some small changes.

Inspired by other people I admire, people I liked a lot and look up to – you know those people who seem to have it all figured out and float through life successfully?

Those men you adore and women you have girl-crushes on?

 

I started looking and listening for clues when in their presence. I looked for how they lived that brought them so much joy, peace, fun, success, and realness.

 

I looked and realized that they took things slow.

They are single-taskers, not multi-taskers.

They wear clothes that make them feel good and good-looking.

They spend their time doing things that light them up.

When they have “chores” or “duties” they look for the fun in every task.

They make their beds as a juicy ritual.

They hire out tasks that are best done by someone else.

They laugh a lot.

They eat well, and healthfully.

They dance.

 

So I started small, and have been building up.

And today, I’ve acted the way I want to feel.

 

…Instead of “doing my duty as a mom” I let my partner take my son to school, freeing up my morning.

 

…Instead of throwing on the comfy yoga pants and sitting right down to work, I showered, put up my hair and chose a pretty outfit.

…Rather than get cranked up on caffeine, I boosted my energy with a few yoga stretches, hot herbal tea, and a green smoothie

…As opposed to leaving the dishes in the sink, I cleaned up the kitchen which helps my energy and life feel managed.

 

It’s the small things that make me feel capable.

It’s the little gifts that create a healthy life.

 

What can you give yourself right now to help you feel in control, talented, and loved?

 

Xo,

Alex

Healthy Donuts? You bet. Apple Cinnamon Mini-Donuts | 21 Day Sugar Detox Recipe Review

Alex Jamieson & Diane Sanfilippo, author of
The 21-Day Sugar Detox

This summer I made a new friend, and she’s a friend with benefits: she’s a cookbook author!

Diane is smart, sassy, and doing great work in the world. Her popular online program, 21 Day Sugar Detox, has finally been made into a beautiful book, and I’ve been trying out recipes.

My son and I worked together and put these mini-donuts together with another recipe, her Vanilla Coconut Cream – can you say YUMM!?

Apple Cinnamon Mini-Donuts: Gluten-Free & Sugar-Free! From Diane Sanfillippo's The 21-Day Sugar Detox

Apple Cinnamon Mini-Donuts

Original recipe from Diane SanFilippo’s The 21-Day Sugar Detox

 

2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil or unsalted butter

3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided

1 green apple, peeled and shredded on the big holes of a cheese grater

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

5 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flour

1/3 cup almond flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Brush a mini-donut pan with the melted coconut oil or butter.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil. Saute the shredded apple until soft, about 5 minutes. Scoop onto a plate and allow to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, coconut milk, and vinegar until combined. Add the coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cooked apples, and salt to the egg mixture and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the batter by spoonful into the oiled donut holes, filling each about 2/3 of the way full. The donuts will puff up while baking.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the donuts are puffed up and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

 

Serve with Coconut Vanilla Cream:

Scrape the beans out of a fresh vanilla bean and smoosh together with a rubber spatula at room temperature  with coconut butter until well blended.