Summer Soup + Salvation

avocado zucchini soup

avocado zucchini soup

Here’s what I love about nature and life:

We really do have access to what we need when we need it. And Life really is out to help us.

Case in point: summer cooling foods.

In the hot summer months, nature grows foods like cucumber, zucchini, and watermelon which are naturally cooling.

In the cold of winter, seasonal veggies include warming pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and other root vegetables.

Usually, what we’re looking for is right in front of us, and Life (AKA God/Universe) has our back.

I’m a big believer in pronoia. Pronoia is the antidote for paranoia. It’s the belief that the Universe is out to help you, and that life is fundamentally loving and friendly.

So rather than worry, rail and complain against the summer heat, limiting beliefs, economic fears, political upheavals, and an endless stream of Kardashian-inspired pop culture crap, I choose to look at what is going well and what resources are immediately available to me.

So healthy foods that help you feel the way you want to feel are a lot like life choices – the small choices have the big, long-term impact:

  • I’d rather watch inspiring movies like Advanced Style and Happy than shame-inducing reality TV…
  • I’d rather eat a sweet, cooling snack like sliced jicama than get an iced Frapa-crappa-cccino.
  • I spend my time with friends who lift me up rather than drag me down or degrade me.
  • I can give myself the pleasure and play my body craves, rather than try to shop/buy my way to joy.
  • And this summer, I’ll eat the cooling, seasonal foods that are easy to prepare, taste good, and help me feel great.

It’s a good recipe for life, and a good recipe for soup.

Avocado Zucchini Soup:

1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium) roughly chopped

1 avocado, peeled and pitted

1 cup peeled and chopped cucumber

1/2 small yellow onion

1 cup unsweetened almond milk or organic buttermilk

1/2 cup packed basil leaves

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine all in a blender and blend until smooth!

Top with optional drizzle of olive oil, basil leaves, or edible flowers like nasturtiums.

Cauliflower Rice Recipe: Inspiration In The Kitchen

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I haven’t posted a new recipe in a while…

And I’ve felt a bit guilty about it.

I have been sharing a lot of new mindset tools from positive psychology that have made a big difference in my own healing journey, as well as my clients.

But at home, for myself and my family, I’ve been making simple foods, using high-quality ingredients, and keeping things pretty easy.

I just haven’t been focused on new recipes for a while…

It wasn’t that I’d lost my love for cooking, I just didn’t feel like a new greens recipe was as important as sharing these new tools I found so inspirational.

And it felt strange for a while, and I was plagued with doubts:

  • I’m a professionally trained healthy cook – why am I not excited about new recipes?
  • I know people want new recipes to inspire healthier eating – why can’t I just keep creating them?
  • Aren’t there already thousands of recipes online to choose from? Can I really add anything new?
  • Am I going to confuse my readers if I post mindset tools and then put up a recipe every once in a while?

So I didn’t create anything new for months. Until now, as I got really excited by this delicious new way of making cauliflower, quickly, with a few ingredients.

My programs and clients all still get recipe and menu planning help, when that’s what they need.

But I see more and more that having new recipes isn’t enough to help you make the lasting changes you want in your body and life.

I want to help you think about food and your body in a new way, using proven strategies that help you feel peaceful, strong, joyful, and whole. That’s the power of positive psychology and my mindset makeover tools, like those I teach in the Vitality Mentorship.

But I also love to eat, and I know you do too. I still cook every day, even if it’s whipping up a green + protein smoothie, tea, and a salad.

Well, I’ll be sharing new recipes when the inspiration strikes, rather than forcing myself to be a recipe hub.

Because as you probably know, forcing yourself to do things that you don’t feel totally juicy and excited about is a recipe for self-sabotage, frustration, and a loss of passion.

And I’ll continue to share nutrition + food tips because I know that our cravings and food habits stem from 4 roots causes: bacterial, nutritional, emotional, and physical.

So today, I’ve got a brand new way to whip up a family-pleasing cauliflower dish, filled with nutrition, that cooks up quicker than quinoa:

Cauliflower Rice Recipe:

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This recipe provides a delicate sweetness of cooked cauliflower, onion, and red bell pepper, which is my strategy to help with nighttime sugar cravings. Adding sweet foods at dinner satisfies my sweet tooth. I also like the high fiber content, which your body uses to get rid of excess estrogen.

1. Start with 1 head of organic cauliflower, washed and patted dry. Cut out the core and chop into large chunks.

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2. Place the chunks into a food processor fitted with an S-blade, and pulse 20-25 times, until cut into tiny pieces, but not mushy. You can also shred on a box grater.

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3. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil. Dice 1/2 a yellow onion and red bell pepper, and saute with 1 teaspoon of salt until the onions begin to brown.

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4. Scoop the shredded cauliflower into the pan, and stir well. Cook for 5 minutes, adding another 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir well, and cover, turning heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes more.

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5. Turn off the heat and allow to steam for 2 minutes before serving hot.

Share with your loved ones, and save the rest for leftovers – reheating is a snap! Just add to a pan with 2-3 tablespoons of water, stir, cover, and heat over medium for 5 minutes or until heated through.

Enjoy!

xo,

Alex

 

P.S. Want a few cooking ideas like this, and help plotting your life’s transformation? Applications for the Vitality Mentorship program are open until June 10th:  

Get Clean With Winter Smoothies + Stay Warm + Happy!

Winter Green Smoothie Recipes

I’ve used green smoothies with added protein to help me and thousands of clients heal  – on many levels.

I love them! Smoothies are an easy, yummy way to nourish your body, feel satisfied, and start new food habits without feeling deprived.

Winter Green Smoothie Recipes

Winter Green Smoothie Recipes

Since calorie restriction is NOT part of my program for getting clean, happy, and in touch with my body, I’m a fan of adding good quality fat to my smoothies, especially in winter.

See, a lot of green smoothie recipes don’t help us feel warm and cozy, because they use frozen, out-of-season fruit, and don’t include protein and fat.

In order to feel good, enjoy and feel satisfied with your smoothies in winter, you must add warming fats, protein, and even some spices.

The danger of not adding fats and protein to your winter smoothies is that you’ll feel hungry, cold, and uncomfortable sensations in your tummy.

Here are 2 simple Winter Smoothie recipes, which are part of my Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover program – we start 2/12 and you can join here!

Winter Green + Clean Protein Smoothie

2 leaves curly kale, washed
1 apple or pear, seeded
1⁄2 banana
1⁄4 cup full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
1 – 1 1⁄2 cups unsweetened almond or hemp milk

15+ grams clean protein powder (free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar, caffeine)

1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon (warming spice that balanced blood sugar) 

Place all ingredients in your blender and blend away! 

Glow Green Smoothie

2 cups water
1 apple or pear, seeded
1⁄4 of a bunch of flat leaf parsley, washed

 

15+ grams clean protein powder (free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar, caffeine)

 

1⁄4 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

1 large Medjool date, pitted 

Place all ingredients in your blender and blend away! 

 

Did you know you’ll get over 50+ recipes like this when you join the Cravings Cleanse?

We start 2/12 and you can get over $300 in bonus resources when you join now!

xo,

Alex

Eggless Nog Smoothie: Sweet Potato Smoothie | Eggless EggNog Recipe

Eggnog is one of my favorite holiday treats – but now that I know I’m egg-sensitive, I had to put on my thinking-chef’s hat

and get creative in the kitchen –

which I love doing!

eggless nog smoothie

I used some leftover, naturally sweet garnet yams as the base. This thickened the smoothie, and added great fiber.

I’ve been feeling very “featherweight” lately, which is one of my cravings types (I’m a dual type, also Fire Brand, or Pitta)

and wanted to add some spices that would help me feel warm and comfy.

Earth Mama/Papa types can add some ginger to this recipe to help them feel more energized and uplifted!

Don’t know your cravings type? Take the free quiz here and get your type and report! 

Eggless Nog Smoothie Recipe:

12 ounces unsweetened almond or coconut milk
½ cup water
1 cup cooked sweet potato (peeled)
2-3 pitted Medjool dates (the big juicy ones) cut in half
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in the blender.

Blend, pour, sip and smile!

Pretty Holiday Hummus: Beet It Up with Beet Hummus

Holiday food should be pretty. So this dish rocks.

Especially if you’ve discovered that you have to cut out a ton of foods to get or stay healthy.

We just discovered that our family has to avoid gluten + eggs + soy (me and the boy), whey from milk (me), and corn (the kid).

So, yeah. That’s a lot of ingredients we’ll be avoiding!

BUT, I always loved a good challenge, especially in the kitchen.

AND, one way to ensure optimism + resilience is to look at the cupboard as half full, and expect the best, rather than getting depressed + overwhelmed by saying goodbye to certain ingredients.

I’m putting on my big girl panties, looking on the bright side, and putting all my energy into making delicious, nourishing foods that everyone can enjoy at the table.

One of the first places to start is with super easy, super tasty, no-fail recipes:

…like hummus.

Ok, so most hummus is already gluten-dairy-soy-corn-free, but when I saw a picture of this gorgeous dip, I couldn’t resist making it in hopes of livening up the impending Christmas table.

Ruby Red Beet Hummus

  • medium beet (1 cooked a whole bunch at once to have for later)
  • 15-ounce BPA-FREE can (1 3/4 cup) of garbanzao beans, drained
  • clove garlic
  • 1 tiny pinch cayenne
  • dash paprika
  • 2tablespoons lemon juice
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

How to make the best hummus ever:

First, roast the beets: Preheat oven to 400F. Clean, scrub, and cut off the stems and root end. Loosely wrap individually in foil, place on a roasting pan. Roast for 50-60 min. They’re ready when a knife can be easily inserted.

(might as well wrap a head of garlic and roast that, too – I mean, who can ever get enough roasted garlic?)

roasted beets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While you’re waiting, take a nap or watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix.

beets now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the beets are done, slip the outer peel off. Your hands will get red, but you’ll look pretty bad a$$.

Combine all ingredients into a food processor. Add water or additional olive oil until desired consistency. You want this to be creamy + smooth.

beet hummus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add salt and pepper, about 1/2 teaspoon at a time.
Serve with gluten-free crackers, yo! Or just eat it with a spoon, like I did.

This is a great cooling recipe for Firebrand cravings types if you add a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, a traditional hummus ingredient (AKA Pitta in Ayurveda). The cooked beet is good for Featherweight cravings types, and this recipe is great for Earth Mamas, but go light on the added drizzle of olive oil.

Don’t know your Cravings Type? Take my quiz and get your free Cravings Type Report here:

Happy Holidays, all! Eat to be happy + healthy…xo, Alex

Positivity + Pumpkin Soup – a recipe for happiness

Feeling good…

not just about yourself, but about the world and people around you and how you feel in your body – isn’t that the big goal?

That’s why I love to cook, especially for other people, and that’s why I’ve been studying positive psychology.

It’s all about what helps us flourish – not just feel “fine.”

What I’ve learned so far may not seem totally earth shaking to you, but it has made me think hard about what I do with my time, and why.

And it’s all coming down to one thing:

Other People Matter.

Happiness and contentment aren’t about how much money you make. In fact, after our basic needs are covered (in the USofA, that’s about $50-60K a year), we don’t feel a lot happier when we make more money. We just think more money, more stuff, or having the right stuff will make us feel better about ourselves.

The one thing that makes us happy, if you’re rich or poor?

Having strong, connected relationships. Having people you can share your wins and your troubles with.

In short: we crave connection. We crave being with other people who love us. It’s a basic human need.

Well, one of my favorite things to do with other people is share good, delicious, healthy food. Making it together, talking while we cook, planning the meal, and savoring the delicious aromas and flavors – that is jus what life is all about.

So I want to share my new favorite recipe with you – a pumpkin soup, baked right in the pumpkin.

Pumpkins are wonderfully round, sweet, and immediately make me feel cozy.

They’re also super healthy! The health benefits of pumpkins or winter squash are long:

Considered an energetic tonic and a warming food, pumpkins and winter squash are medicinal for the spleen, stomach, large intestines and lungs. It improves energy and blood circulation, and is high in beta-carotene, which is good for eye health. Rich in vitamins A, C and potassium + magnesium, pumpkins are high in carotenoids and have anti-carcinogenic properties.

So this recipe is healthy, easy, fun to make, and really fun to eat with someone you love. Go be happy, love.

Pumpkin Soup Baked In A Pumpkin

For this pumpkin soup recipe, you’ll need:

1 pumpkin (edible and sweet)

2-3 tablespoons grass-fed butter, olive oil or coconut oil

1 yellow onion

2-3 cups stock or broth (vegan, chicken, etc)

salt and pepper
pumpkin

The pumpkin I was growing in my back yard was carried off by what I can only assume was a whole gang of New York City squirrels – so I had to buy one from the local farmers’ market.

I chose a 3 lb. “Sugar Pie,” which is sweeter than the standard carving pumpkin you see around Halloween. Preheat the oven to 350F.

cut pumpkin

Carve the top of the pumpkin just like you would for a jack-o-lantern. Scoop out the seeds and stringy guts, and save the seeds to salt and bake later.

Do not leave the pumpkin seeds baking for too long while you talk on the phone to a friend like I did. Please set a timer.

buttered pumpkin

Use 1-2 Tablespoons real butter, ghee, or coconut oil to coat the inside and outside of the pumpkin. Scatter a couple pinches of salt around the inside, and don’t forget the bottom of the pumpkin lid!

onions

 

Chop a yellow onion into large dice.

You could do this step first, and carve the pumpkin while the onions are cooking to save time.

cook onions

Brown the onions over medium heat for 8-10 minutes with 1 Tablespoon butter, ghee or coconut oil.

fill pumpkin onions

Fill the pumpkin with cooked onions.

 

fill pumpkin stock

Pour home made vegetable or chicken broth (or stock) over the onions, filling up the pumpkin to about 1-inch from the top.

If the broth is unsalted, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir well.

top pumpkin

Place the pumpkin lid back on, and place the entire pumpkin into the oven.

Bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, checking to test for doneness. You’ll want the inside of the pumpkin to be spoon-ably soft.


baked pumpkin

 

Remove from the oven and gently remove the top.

Use a towel to grasp the stem, as the pumpkin will emit hot steam when you open it. Have your spoons at the ready…

spoonable pumpkin

 

Eat that soup straight from the pumpkin!

I like placing it on the table amongst the family and allowing everyone to take a spoonful from the pumpkin before scooping servings out to individual bowls.

There’s just something really fun about eating soup directly from a pumpkin.

Make sure that everyone gets a bowl-full of stock, onions and cooked chunks of sweet pumpkin.

Enjoy!

Autumn Soup: Kale Shiitake Sweet Potato Soup

sweet potatoes for sweet cravings

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

Cucamelon Salad – What’s a Cucamelon!?

They’re tiny, they’re adorable, and they’re downright delicious.

Cucamelon recipe

These itty bitty cucumbers are a little bit lemony tasting, and pair perfectly with ripe cherry tomatoes and grapes.

Also known as Sanditas or Mexican Sour Gerkins, these little babies are being grown around the US now, and I’ve seen them in well-stocked grocery stores and farmer’s markets on both coasts. Check your local store now, or order seeds for next year here and grow your own!

Cucamelon Salad

 

Cucamelon Salad Recipe Alexandra Jamieson

Serves 6-8 as a side

2 cups cucamelons (aka sanditas), washed, dried & halved (or chopped Persian cucumbers)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, washed, dried & halved
2 cups red grapes, washed, dried & halved
8 leaves fresh basil, washed, dried & torn
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch sea salt

Combine the cucamelons, tomatoes and grapes in a bowl.
Tear the basil and add to the bowl.
Combine the lemon juice, olive oil and salt in a small bowl. Whisk well.
Pour olive oil mixture over the cucamelons and toss gently. Serve immediately and enjoy the happy sounds of delighted guests.

 

Inspired by Elise Kornack’s Tomato & Sandita Salad in New York Magazine October, 2013

My 1-Minute Lunch!

I’m busy, so I eat simple food most of the time.

This week, between phone calls, I cut open an avocado, filled it with leftover gigante beans (aren’t they gigantic!?), and  a light olive oil vinaigrette.

Boom. Done.

Delicious.

(And YES, I ate both halves of the avocado filled with beans – I was HUNGRY!)

This is the kind of simple, delicious food I share with my Cravings Cure members – want to check it out?

Click here to learn about the Cravings Cure Group Detox Program!

 

Oats, redux: 2 new ways to enjoy hearty grains at breakfast

I’m usually a protein girl in the morning. Long gone are the donut days where I could swill a cup of OJ and chomp a croissant and still make it to lunch. If I tried that now, I’d be in a sugar coma by 10am!

Now I like to mix up my morning meal with protein rich almond butter on sprouted grain toast, or a green smoothie with added nuts.

But the weather is cooling, the mornings are darker, and I want something warm and rib-stickin’.

Here’s how we do “oatmeal” in the morning:

Quinoa Porridge

Recipe:

1. Combine 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk with 1 cup washed and drained quinoa.

Bring to a  boil over high heat.

2. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 12 minutes. Uncover and stir in 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon,

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 cup raisins, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup.

3. Top with chopped pears.

HEMP OATMEAL

Recipe:

1. Bring 2 cups unsweetened almond coconut milk to a simmer, whisk in 1 cup oat bran. 

2. Add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and any fruit you like.

3. After 2 minutes, turn off the heat and add in 1/4 cup hemp seeds.

4. Stir well and serve with maple syrup and extra milk.

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