4 Genius Ways To Perfect Portions with Positive Psychology

Welcome to my big breakfast table…

Sit down and place your clean cloth napkin on your lap.

Smell the fresh food cooking, hear the bright classic rock drifting through the house…

 

My son will light a candle for us…

Yes, even at breakfast.

See the farmer’s market flowers from our walk Saturday…

 

Here’s your tea or water. Take a deep breath.

Smell the food, prepared with love.

Smile.

Savor the moment.

 

Hidden in this simple morning ritual are powerful positive psychology tools to eating perfect portions:

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Many of our food choices aren’t really conscious choices.

Hidden and unconscious factors that effect your brain have a big impact on what, and how much, we eat:

  • Stress.
  • Bad planning.
  • Optical illusions…

What? Optical illusions? I’ll get to that in a moment…

Most of us make about 200 food choices a day, and it’s not just what to have for breakfast:

Should I reward myself with a cookie for going to the gym?

Do I want an apple or blueberries?

Should I put mayo on that, or olive oil?

All those 200+ choices drain your brain of willpower, which is a finite resource.

 

Once you run out of your daily allowance of willpower, likely in the afternoon or evening, you’re more likely to eat more of the things that don’t help you with your energy and well-being.

You could use willpower to fight your old ways of eating, but that doesn’t really work. (Right? We’ve all tried it 1,000 times)

 

Luckily the worlds of Positive Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience are helping us to trick our brains and bodies into eating better foods, and better portions.

Use these 4 science based strategies to make healthy eating easy:

  1. Use Optical Illusions to Help You Eat Less: Sitting at a larger table (as opposed to your desk or a small table) performs some optical illusion magic to help you naturally eat smaller portions. [Cornell University Food & Brand Lab]
  2. Relax Before You Eat: STOP Working Through Lunch: Stressed out people make worse food choices. Do a round of deep breathing to help calm your body and brain (my favorite is below) [Harvard Study]
  3. Get Happy: People who practice gratitude before meals make better choices and tend to eat less. [University of Texas Study]
  4. Pre-Game Your Lunch: Making a lunch the night before helps you make better choices as you won’t be rushed. [SheKnows.com]

 

Here are 5 ways to integrate these science-based eating strategies into your life so that you make better choices and naturally eat the right amount for your body:

  • Eat at a table, not your desk.
  • Eat at a table, not a TV tray binge watching Orange Is The New Black.
  • Do a round of deep breathing (4-7-8 breathing is my favorite – here’s a quick video I use with my son to teach him) before you eat, or even before you choose what to eat.
  • Write down, think about, or tell your lunch friend 3 things that you’re grateful for this week before you eat. Then have them share! (For super gold star bonus effect: make sure you include how you had a part in that thing happening)
  • Make your lunch the night before, packed and ready to go in the morning.

It’s not just what we eat, it’s how we eat.

I hope you’ll enjoy these simple, science-based tricks to easily make healthy eating more joyful.

xo,

Alex

Try just one of these strategies for the next week and share how it work for you!
Get monthly LIVE coaching and email support from Alex to master your food mindset! Join the new Mindset Mastery Membership here: http://alexandrajamieson.com/mindset-mastery-membership/

 
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94 Miki Agrawal: Menstruation Shame Slayer & World Changer

The Cravings Whisperer Podcast with Alexandra Jamieson

Welcome back my Clan of the Crave Bears! This is the place where we have a non-judgmental space to find out what our cravings really mean. So last week, I mentioned that I was taking a Summer hiatus. Well, a dear friend of mine talked me out of my hiatus! We have too much momentum going to take the Summer off! So I’m looking forward to spending my Summer right here with you!

Now today I am the Shame Slayer and we are talking about menstruation, and I encourage you to continue to play this episode even if your children or husband are in the room. It’s a very natural part of life and it played a part in all of us being here. So, let’s get rid of the shame surrounding menstruation and just talk about it openly and honestly.

Today’s guest is Miki Agarwal. Miki Agrawal is a force of nature. She was named 2015 Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the World Technology Awards and her Company THINX was named Time Magazine’s “25 Best New Inventions of 2015″. Miki was also the recipient of the TriBeCa Film Festival’s “Disruptive Innovation Award” and was named one of the “Top 20 Millenials on a Mission” by Forbes.

She is the CEO and Co-Founder of THINX, a high-tech, beautiful underwear solution for women to wear during their periods. She teamed up with AFRIpads in Uganda to fund a pack of reusable cloth pads for every underwear sold to get millions of girls back in school. To date, Miki and THINX have helped over 30,000 girls go back to school.

This girl has it going on! Thinx are “period proof panties”. You won’t believe how many girls miss school each year due to menstruation. This is an important product and can truly make a difference in the lives of girls. It’s time to end our body shaming around our periods.

Don’t forget about our Swag Bag Giveaway! Here is how you can enter in to win this $1000 swag bag:

  1. Go to iTunes put up a meaningful review about your thoughts about The Crave Cast, what you’ve learned, what you’ve loved, why people should tune in. or you can go to bit.ly/cravecast and leave a review.
  2. Once a month I will be picking one meaningful review, I’ll get in touch with you, will announce it here on the podcast and I will be sending you all of these incredible goodies. So be sure to enter the $1000 swag bag giveaway at bit.ly/cravecast!

Alexandra-Jamieson-Featured-Art-The-Crave-Cast-MikiAgrawal-Ep94

You can Subscribe to the podcast on iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or TuneIn
100 million girls miss a week of school when they have their periods. Click To Tweet

Show Notes:

  • What Thinx are and how they work
  • The technology behind Thinx
  • How Thinx are sexy and beautiful, feel like normal underwear, but still functional
  • The give-back component of Thinx and how women in 3rd world countries benefit
A productive woman in a developing community gives 90% of her income to her community and family. Click To Tweet
  • How women in 3rd world countries are dealing with periods without proper supplies
  • Where to find the 13 minute introduction video about Thinx
  • Why men have no idea what a period is and how it works
  • Why Nepalese men blamed menstruating women for a devastating earthquake
The shame and taboo surrounding menstruation is completely misplaced. Click To Tweet
  • How Miki came to be able to freely discuss menstruation, when she was raised with shame around it
  • Why schools should teach both boys and girls about menstruation together
  • The need for the curriculum for educating on menstruation that Miki is creating
50% of hospital beds in Africa can be eliminated by proper hygiene. Click To Tweet
  • Why the hygiene market is ripe for disruption and the medical problem it can solve
  • Why HelloTushy can solve many of the hygiene issues we experience today

Resources:

www.shethinx.com

www.hellotushy.com

 

 
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Ginger Carrot Soup: All Day Energy Diet Cookbook Offer

I want you to get this new cookbook! (It’s only available FREE until midnight Friday, June 17th, 2016 – you just cover shipping of about $10)

It’s filled with 67 recipes that are especially created for those of us who desperately need more energy – and easy, yummy food choices.

energy

Here’s my featured Ginger Carrot Soup recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup diced yellow onion

1 clove garlic, minced

4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

1 1/2 pounds carrots, chopped

2 tsp freshly grated ginger root

1 tbsp fresh cilantro leave, optional garnish

Directions:

  1. Saute the onion and garlic in 1/4 cup of the stock over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots and ginger. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the rest of the stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Pour the mixture into a blender and puree, being careful to cover tightly with a lid and a clean kitchen towel to prevent hot liquid from leaking out. Return to pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Garnish with optional cilantro and enjoy!
I know life is busy…
Your inbox is probably inundated with emails…
And you were probably buried with to-do’s.
Yet, if you want to make sure you’ve got the newest and tastiest gourmet-like
meals that help you look and feel awesome – without needing to be a professional
chef to make them…
Then check this out now to get the All Day Energy Diet Cookbook – it’s no cost to you until Midnight ET tonight, June 17th!
 
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93 Healing Depression + Anxiety with Dr. Kelly Brogan

 

I grew up pretty happy-go-lucky.

 

I love my family, and felt strong and healthy, surrounded by those smart, funny, caring people. We played outside a lot, had enough of the basics, and every few year our cats had kittens…this was the 80’s so fixing your pets wasn’t so popular in rural Oregon.

On the back porch with my big brother Brendan

On the back porch with my big brother Brendan

 

Every vacation and holiday was spent bundled in the car driving to celebrate with aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Games, laughter, and witty verbal acrobatics were served alongside massive meals.

 

Yet my family, like most, had a dark side.

Depression, anxiety, addiction, and self-medication litter the family tree like plastic bags stuck in its branches.

 

My mother’s sister and father both committed suicide, using prescription medications, within a few years of each other when I was very young. It devastated the family, especially my mom.

 

Other family members have struggled with drug addiction, depression, and anxiety over the years, but I thought I’d dodged the bullet.

 

Along with my dad’s blonde hair, I thought I’d inherited his family’s calm, steady strength. Then I hit my first health crisis at the age of 25.

 

Along with near-constant migraine headaches, digestive troubles, painful periods, and a 20 pound weight gain, I felt depressed, foggy, and disconnected from the vitality of my youth.

 

Coke, vanilla lattes, Peanut M&Ms, and Ben & Jerry’s Super Fudge Chunk were my cravings of choice, the sugar and caffeine pulling me through long days at an office job I hated.

 

If you’ve ever suffered through chronic depression, or even a short window of the blues, you know the pain, frustration, hopelessness, and fear that walks with it, hand in hand. Dreams seem impossible, or are just forgotten. Love and joy feel too far away, like distant, grey memories.

 

And because the body feels so bad, it often craves quick-fix bandaids like sugar, sex, coffee, smoking, gambling, or shopping.

 

Food, especially sugar and caffeine, became my main source of energy and pleasure. But what I didn’t see then was that those cravings were a red flag that something was wrong.

 

The first doctor I visited for the near-daily migraines handed me two prescriptions after a few minutes in his office: Prozac and painkillers.

 

The fear and pain of my family’s history with addiction and suicide came rushing back as I left his office, popping another handful of Advil. I knew I didn’t want to start taking those drugs, even if they meant temporary relief.

 

I had seen, first hand, the possible future that comes with becoming dependant on these drugs.

 

I knew there had to be another way.

And I found it…

IMG_1594

 

What I discovered was a growing world of authentic healing, alternative doctors, and functional nutrition that not only healed my depression, brain fog, headaches, and weight gain, it became my passion.

Acting out in a hateful way leads to more hate and more violence. Click To Tweet

 

I studied at the world-famous Natural Gourmet Institute, to learn how to cook healing foods. I dove into deeper emotional education at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. And I’ve gone further into the brain science with a 6-month Certification in Applied Positive Psychology (Emiliya Zhivotovskaya, the founder of the CAPP program was a past Crave Cast guest – listen to our interview here:)…

 

In order to get out from under the cloud of exhaustion, brain fog, depression, and physical pain of the migraines, I had to learn what my body and brain really needed, what my cravings were really asking for, and heal my sugar and caffeine addictions.

 

I’m NOT anti-sugar, nor do I believe any food is evil… (except high-fructose corn syrup – we should all avoid that 100%)

 

Now I have a very different relationship with sugar and caffeine. I sometimes enjoy them, but mostly avoid them. I feel when it’s ok to have those foods when I’m craving them – especially if I want to enjoy a celebration with my family or friends or have a seasonal treat.

 

And, most importantly, I feel when my body is really craving some deeper kind of healing. I feel like I want sugar, when what “she” really needs is a friend to connect with. You may crave caffeine when what your body really needs is a new sleep hygiene strategy and more soothing, joyful movement. I know when my bacterial balance is off, because I’m also having bloating, a zit or two, and brain fog.

 

The beauty is, science confirms everything it took me years to put together on my own: what you eat can cause or heal your depression. I detailed a lot of the journey in my latest book, Women, Food, And Desire, but there’s more science just coming out.

 

Today on the podcast, I interview Kelly Brogan, MD, author of A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives. Kelly studied cognitive neuroscience at MIT before receiving her MD from Weill Cornell Medical College. Board certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and integrative holistic medicine, she is one of the only doctors in the nation with these qualifications.

82 percent of what we are calling medication effect is entirely placebo. Click To TweetThis book and her recommendations (which line up perfectly with my Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover program) have truly changed people’s lives: her readers are healing their depression, anxiety, and the vague family of mood symptoms that so many of us suffer from.

 

Calling depression a disease is really no different than calling a fever a disease. Click To Tweet

Links and Resources Mentioned:

A Mind of your Own – Kelly Brogan

Anatomy of an Epidemic – Robert Whitaker

www.Ewg.org

www.ewg.org/skindeep

 
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Shining Love in the Face of Hate

I don’t usually post about mass shootings. Words and reports are already everywhere, what could I have to say that isn’t being said a million ways?

But our human community is hurting so very much. 50 people dead in Orlando this week because of hate. Hundreds more lives destroyed in the face of death and loss. My heart is breaking for the family of those killed because of hate.

shine

It’s so easy to meet hate with hate. I feel it in me now. Hate, anger, and a desire for vengeance.

This mass shooting in Orlando comes on the heals of a young man receiving only 6 months after raping a young woman…. More anger. More hate.

While a young Dutch woman sits in jail in Qatar because she was raped… More anger. More hate.

But I know, because history tells us so clearly, that acting out in a hateful way in the face of hate leads to more damage, more violence.

So today we try to dig deep and shine LOVE in the face of hate. Try and reach across the aisle and meet our enemy with love and fierce compassion even when the hate burns so bright.

How can we transform the world into a safer, more loving place with more hate? It won’t work.

Love. Love for self. Love for others. Fierce, burning, unrelenting love.

It’s the only way forward. Today I will shine my love in the face of hate.

Sending my love out to you and yours,

Alex

 
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