What You Need to Know Right Now About Loving Your Body

She was struggling…

with food,

with nutrition,

with body image issues,

with what steps to take next in her life…

After 7 years as an elementary school teacher, a breakup, and a major move across the country, Lyndsi felt lost.

  She's just getting started...

 A good friend told her about my work, and we had a Skype chat…

“It was really powerful…and I’d never worked with a coach before.”

She hadn’t tried this.

She’s tried almost everything else…

books, retreats, weight watchers, extreme diets, and more.

Then we started meeting on Skype for 4 months…

I coached her through the emotions of worthiness, confidence, confrontation, and career dreams.

WATCH LYNDSI’S STORY UNFOLD HERE:

NOW:

She’s not eating when she’s not hungry anymore.

She’s present, more peaceful in her thoughts, and more confident in her body.

She’s LOVING her body more!

And the super cool, exciting thing?

She’s taking major steps to create the future and career that she has dreamed of.

A center for women to heal their bodies and relationship with food.

Lyndsi is truly being the change she wishes to see in the world.

She’s taking major steps to create the future and career that she has dreamed of.

A center for women to heal their bodies and relationship with food. Lyndsi is truly being the change she wants to see in he world.

“I’ve had wonderful coaching and community to help me take those steps forward.”

For the first time, the vision of her life and career feel possible, exciting, and joyful. Lyndsi found the support, direction, and inspiration she needed to take her next step…

xo,

Alex

P.S. Applications for the Vitality Mentorship, a 4-month group and private coaching program with me, are open: have you looked at the program yet? Have you filled out your application? Why not? I am curious – just email me at alex@alexandrajamieson.com with any questions…or fill out your application here by June 6th so we can see if this is the right next step for you! 

9 ways to get out of your comfort food zone

9 ways to

We all have ideas of what we wish to become.

9 ways to

I was with my son, on our way to the park so he could try out his new skateboard. “Are you ready to go down the ramp?” I asked.
Wonder Boy looked up at me and said, “I don’t want to…I’m scared.”

I didn’t miss a beat, looked into his eyes, and replied,
“It’s ok to be scared, but it’s important to try it anyway.”

It’s a powerful message.
“Trying it anyway” is at the heart of a fully lived life.

It’s what I tell my clients when they know they need to ditch sugar and gluten.

It’s what I tell my clients when they need to have a big talk with their partner or boss…
or finally start dating.

It’s what I tell myself before taking on a new big idea for my work.
(podcast? a book about cravings? interviewing experts on masturbation??)

Without anyone else encouraging us to try new things,
we tend to dig ourselves deeper into our comfort zones.

Busy schedules, long-held habits, and old mindsets can lead us to shut off our hearts and minds and just coast on autopilot.

We keep using the same old comfort foods to help us handle stress, which keeps the extra weight on, and keeps our energy depressed.

A part of us knows that those old comfort foods will keep us in the stuck spot where we are, so that we won’t have to step into that uncertain next step.

We let the fear keep us from moving forward and just let life take us where it wants.

Our comfort food zone, hiding in the foods that exhaust us and make us feel heavy, keeps us from even trying to make the changes we dream about: dating, asking for the raise, changing careers, and more. Much more.

Is it too late to change?
That’s the great news; It’s never, ever too late to “try it anyway.”

But we get stuck in “fixed mindset.”

Positive Psychology shows us that we can have choose one of two mindsets: Fixed or Growth.

“Fixed” mindset is when you think you can’t change, you can’t learn anything new, you avoid challenges, when you see other people succeed it brings up jealousy, and you want to be told you’re smart.

I believe you can develop a growth mindset, and all it takes is knowing there is a new way to think, and to start watching your thoughts more closely!

Growth mindset says you can learn new things and change:

Growth mindset is open to asking for help, says “I don’t know how to do this…YET,” believes that you can learn something new, enjoys watching other people succeed, and wants to be acknowledged for working hard.

I try to show my kid when I’m trying something new, share any doubts, and share when I don’t reach the goal. I show him the process of what it means to try.
The wins and the losses.

Our culture is too danged focused on WINNING – that being 100% perfect, #1, and the BEST, is the only acceptable option.

B.S!

Moving out of your comfort zone requires us to break free from the past and old ways of perfection thinking, and push ourselves to do something we wouldn’t normally try.

But here’s the secret magic lurking just behind the fear:
often, the simple act of just trying something new can help you move out of your comfort zone.

Here are 9 simple ways to move out of your comfort zone:

9 ways
• take a cooking class
• take an art class
• volunteer for a local organization for 1 day
• take a new route to work
• say ‘Hi’ to someone new in your neighborhood or at work
• plan a trip to a new part of your city, or a place where people speak a difference language
• visit a new place of worship
• take a hike to a new park
• take the first step towards making one of your dreams a reality

Does it still feel too overwhelming? Here are some additional pointers:
• do some research on the first 2 steps needed to make one new thing happen – then act
• ask someone who has done the new thing you’re interested in about why they like it
• take a friend with you when you try a new activity or go some place new
• stop thinking of yourself as “fragile” – you are beautiful, but not a delicate flower
• call to mind a time when you did something new that was fun
• depend on yourself for your happiness, instead of others

And even if your attempt doesn’t work out the way you thought it might, it can still lead to growth and positive results. The most successful people on earth went through major failures before they became successful.

The more new things you try, the more you step out of your comfort zone, the less you’ll need  food to make you happy. The less depressed you’ll feel. The more energy you’ll have.
The more LIFE you’ll have!

What I am asking you to do is simple: do just one thing differently this week.

Your life is waiting for you, just outside your comfort food zone.

Ready to work with an experienced coach to help you

get out of your comfort zone and utterly transform your body + life?

CLICK HERE TO APPLY by June 6th for the Vitality Mentorship with Alex: 

3 Confidence Boosters That Will Make You Blush

3 confidence boosters

I still feel like that 12-year old girl in the back brace.

3 confidence boosters

Diagnosed with pretty major scoliosis, a curved spine,
I was given a hard plastic brace that added 1-inch to my girth, and
went around my body from below my hips up to my armpits.

For 23 hours a day, for 2 years, I wore the uncomfortable,
sweaty, bulky brace. It bit into my ribs, and rubbed red marks
into my hips.

Worse than the physical pain, I couldn’t wear any form-fitting clothes,
and had to wear bulky t-shirts and pants with elastic waist bands that
would fit over the brace.

That brace helped straighten my spine, but it made me extremely self-conscious
and chipped away at my self-confidence between the ages of 12 and 14.

It has taken years to recognize the impact of those years on my confidence,
and years of inner work to heal my relationship with my body.

From deformity to healed, from wrong and embarrassing to lovable.

Confidence. No matter what your story, we women have an especially shaky relationship with it,
and that has a huge impact on our lives and health…

our ability to ask for what we need…
our ability to speak our minds…
our power to change as we grow…
our mastery of life and skills…
our ability to reclaim our bodies as perfect, strong, and worthy of love.

How can we grow our confidence in ways that are truly empowering?
How can we have fun with something that feels so serious?

Why do I care about women’s confidence?

I started to read the applications for my Vitality Mentorship program,
and almost every woman wrote about her painful relationship with her body, food, and confidence.

And I saw that it effects everything we do, everything about our lives, what we are willing to sacrifice for…

…how we take care of ourselves,
…how we show up and share our gifts with the world,
…how long we are willing to put up with people and circumstances
that hurt us or keep us returning to comfort foods to try to manage the stress.

Confidence is like a secret nutrient of our well-being.

I’ve been consciously healing my own confidence since my early 20’s,
when I began to sense the impact of that back brace on my ability to reclaim my body as my own.

In my own way, I’ve discovered 3 easy, fun ways to begin to grow my own confidence, and I want to share them with you.

And they might make you blush!

Because in order to boost our confidence from within, have to admit our greatness, be willing to try and fail in full view of others, and claim our right to pleasure and fun!

These 3 methods have helped me see my impact on the world,
my ability to feel good no matter what weight or state my body is in,
and to have fun in my body again, which is my foundation of emotional confidence:

3 Confidence

1. PLAY:

Hula hoop, roller skates, kite flying, biking, anything that involves moving my body
in a non-competitive, skillful way, brings me confidence.

When you playfully move in your body, your state changes, your hormones reach a peak of metabolic perfection, and the benefits of moving with joy bring your body into alignment so that you can drop weight (and inflammation) with less effort…

and begin to love moving in your body more.

From dancing along with Beyonce’s backup dancers in a concert video (badly) to
strapping on my hot pink roller skates and trying to finally learn how to turn right, over and over again…
when you play to learn some new physical skill, you build a new pathway of communication and love
with your body.

This weekend I finally figured out how to roller skate and turn right – and it was glorious!

Now, it took 3 or 4 trips to the local basketball courts, countless stumbles, and hearing my
own kid giggle when I flailed wildly while trying to learn…

But finally learning something new in my body, mastering a new physical skill, reminded
me of all the things that I’ve already learned in this life.

My invitation to you:

Pick your play! What sounds fun to you?
Finally learning to throw a frisbee with bullseye accuracy?
Hula hooping in your back yard?
Trying that new dance move you saw on YouTube?
1 minute a day to practice handstands against a wall? Summer salts?

Get out and play and have fun in your body – and dance like nobody’s watching.

2. PLEASURE TIME:

If you’ve been listening to my Crave Cast podcast this month, you’ve heard my interviews
with the groundbreaking sexual health experts to bring attention to the healing powers
of “self-pleasure” or masturbation.

“Solo play,” another name for masturbation, is a highly effective way for women to balance our hormones,
release pent up stress, increase fertility, and as important…
a way for us to find out how much good we are capable of.

Sex is a part of life, but for many of us, it’s an emotional, tense, uncomfortable part of life.
I believe as we get in touch with our body’s ability to feel pleasure through solo-play, we:

– are more confident in asking for what we want, in the bedroom and out in the world
– feel more capable of getting back into the dating scene or reconnecting with our partner
– draw better boundaries for our bodies and our energy

My invitation to you:

Schedule space in your life for solo play at least once a week.
Choose a new toy or simply use your hand and some organic coconut oil.
Light a candle, take a bath, and enjoy your own playground, your body.

If you’re looking for expert advice on how to embark on a solo play ritual, check out the last four episodes of my Crave Cast:

3. THE  NEW GRATITUDE RITUAL:

Gratitude journals are nothing new – you’ve probably written down 3 things you’re grateful for
and felt pretty good about it.

But new science from the world of Positive Psychology shows us that there is a more powerful,
more beneficial way to honor what you’re grateful for.

In fact, this new way is much more empowering, and will build your confidence in short order:

My invitation to you:

Today, as a new, more powerful ritual, write down 5 things in your life that you’re grateful for –
and the role you had in making those things happen.

It’s not just about receiving good things, and having a positive periscope on the world…
…it’s about taking ownership of your impact on the world.

You need to remind yourself that you HAVE taken action that yielded positive results – and when you do it again, again and again, you will naturally grow your confidence.

Now I want to hear from you in the comments below –

How does your confidence effect your body and health?

Which of these 3 ideas will you play with this week?

Sometimes we need to borrow confidence. Getting into a community of curious change-seekers, who can offer you support in those moments when your own confidence is low, is the best way I know how to make lasting improvements to your body and life.

Applications are now available for my 4-month Vitality Mentorship program:
go here to apply by June 6th!

xo,
Alex

3 myths about how to change your body that must die

3 myths

3 myths

I was one of those people who struggled and failed to change my life

and eating habits for many years.

 

Even thought I had written three books on vegan cooking, was helping

people heal their own bodies and change their lives, I was in a yo-yo

cycle with sugar. And totally. stressed. out. 

 

Even though I was expected to know a lot about it, I still felt addicted to

sugar and couldn’t break free of the daily cravings. It was ruining my

health (repeated candida attacks) and my life (no focus, no energy)…

sound familiar?

 

When I finally discovered the answer to transforming my life-long addiction,

I was so surprised to see that I had been following three rules that were actually keeping

me stuck.

 

And these three rules are e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. They are so ingrained in our collective

culture that we don’t see them. Like fish who swim in water, we just live in it, not

questioning the reality of what is all around us.

 

What if we could see the false ideas around us and use new tools to help us create lasting change in our habits, eating, and thoughts?

 

That’s what I want to share with you today.

 

Because once you get that these three myths are really harming you, keeping

you stuck in your body and life goals, and totally not necessary, you can finally break free of your food and thought habits for good.

 

And get the body, energy, and life that you really desire.

 

After I share these three myths, and what you can do to dissolve them,

you’re going to have the chance to apply these new rules for change in

a powerful way, with my personal guidance.

 

 

The 3 Myths About How To Change Your Body That Must Die:

 

  1. Once you know what you should do, you’ll do it. AKA: Facts Don’t = Change.

 

It’s not enough to know you should change, or even what the next few steps are that you could take. If knowing was enough, we would all be eating, living, and creating in much different ways, right?

 

I’ll bet you know at least 3 things you “should” be doing differently right now that would have a big impact on your health and life. You’re not alone:

 

90% of people who have coronary-artery bypass surgery have not changed their eating habits or lifestyle 2 years after, even though they know their life depends on it. These folks are told by doctors that they must change their diet and lifestyle if they want to live a healthy, happy life. But they don’t do it. And they know the facts.

 

What does work, if knowing the facts don’t? Community.

 

Too often, like my client Susan, we try to make big diet and lifestyle changes alone. But we don’t live in a bubble – we are all part of a family, community,  or tribe that can either support us or sabotage us. Most of us try to make changes alone, or are surrounded by people who don’t know how to show up for us in a meaningful way.

 

What does work is getting into a community that supports and inspires you to keep making powerful changes, every day.

 

This means forming a strong, emotional relationship with a person and a group of peers that inspires a sense of hope and belief that things can be different.

 

If you wanted to learn to paint, or take up archery, or learn to speak Spanish, you would want a teacher, a mentor, a coach, and a team to help you through it. When you have a coach or mentor and an accountability group who believes in you, you start taking consistent action that gets you where you want to go.

 

  1. Fear + Comparison Are Killers: Ritual Is Key

 

I see too much ‘fear based marketing’ out there, especially when it comes to the health and weight loss world. Some diet coaches, programs and books just try to really SCARE people in the hope that it will motivate us to change.

 

Fear has the opposite effect, especially for most women who are already over-stressed: we turn to food to calm us down, leading to a bigger problem than before.

 

Fear can also show up as comparison, which is rampant in our culture.

We are “creatures of comparison” and naturally weigh ourselves on the scales of “am I as good as her?”

 

This is our fear-based ego showing up, trying to save us from making a mistake. But it really has the effect of keeping us stuck from playing full out, going for what we want, and stepping into any stage where we might be recognized for our true value.

 

The cure for fear and comparison? The consistent action of daily rituals.

 

Change in our lives happens as a result of dozens and dozens of small things that we need to actually learn by doing and doing it again and again. Ritualizing self-care, self-love, bold action, loving thoughts, and eating for your aliveness – these are how we overcome fear.

 

I’d rather focus on “what’s RIGHT with you” and your strengths, than digging deep into your past traumas and hurts. Consistent, loving commitment to strengths, and rituals that make you come alive, are the powerful instigators that help my clients like Ellie create lasting, transformative change.

 

Ritual is infused throughout spiritual traditions as a way to help us manage hard times, connect in a healing way, and remember our true desires in life.

 

Profound change can happen even in the toughest situations. But it requires consistency in building new skills and rituals of the heart.

 

  1. “Just Work Harder!” Willpower Ain’t Enough, Time To Think Different

 

Working harder on the wrong things is crazy-making! We’ve all tried the low-calorie, low-fat, low-flavor foods that didn’t satisfy us long enough to finally heal our bodies.

 

You can’t just use up your limited amount of willpower every day to try and get through the stresses of life.

 

It’s time to think differently about food, get clear on what your big motivating desires truly are, and share your stories about how you got where you are.

 

All this helps to vision and create a new reality that can only come from new thinking.

 

My most successful clients like Ivana are willing to share their deepest true selves so that I can help them see the impact those old beliefs have on their life now.

 

Trying to muscle through calorie counting and a week-long juice cleanse does not heal the fact that your mother obsessed about your weight or that you have a serious food intolerance.

 

You can change your own life, and using new neuroscience, positive psychology, and functional nutrition, you can grow your resilience and skills for change in a truly powerful way. 

 

The 3 keys to true and lasting change are: community, consistency, and thinking different. New hope, new skills, and new thinking.

 

These tools are available to you now, and I invite you to dive deeper into this work today.

 

Today I am opening registration for my brand new Vitality Program, which offers personal coaching from me for four months, group support from women just like you, Susan, Ellie, and Ivana, and much, much more.

 

Click here to discover more about this opportunity and to apply: 

xo,

Alex

 

P.S. If you have any trouble with the application, please connect with my Community Manager Jan – we’d rather you reach out to us than fight technology alone! jan@alexandrajamieson.com

 

Is self-love the missing ingredient in your weight loss plan? 5 Reasons To Masturbate

If you’ve tried every diet, cleanse, detox, and fast, and you’re still having trouble feeling good in your body, it’s time to really get serious:

It’s time to add self-pleasure (AKA masturbation) to your gym + juicing schedule.

Well, not JUST masturbation, but anything that brings you sincere physical pleasure that also balances your hormones. And arousal and orgasm are most easily achieved through masturbation, especially if you’re single, or in a sexless relationship.
5 reasons masturbation is a MUST for balancing hormones (and dropping a few pounds):

1. According to the 2009 University of Michigan study[i], orgasm help the body release oxytocin, the “love + bonding” hormone, which in turn lowers cortisol,
the main stress hormone chronically elevated in many women (like me!) and lead to stress eating, and weight loss resistance.

2. Higher levels of oxytocin makes us happy, which keeps those emotionally-triggered food cravings for sugars, cheese, and other “happy foods” at bay. This surge also raises levels of a substance called CCK, which helps control your appetite. Just start! Even if you’re not an expert, your own digits are ready to help you begin at home. Oxytocin levels are usually increased simply through the physical stimulation of the clitoris, vagina, cervix, and breasts. So even if you don’t reach climax, you’ll still be releasing these powerful neurotransmitters. Women who enjoy more sexual stimulation have more balanced estrogen and testosterone. These hormones add fire to sexual desire,  improve mood and memory and can even help prevent abdominal fat.

3. In my book, Women, Food, And Desire, I tell the story of a client who wasn’t dating, and wasn’t masturbating. She had also been suffering tummy trouble for years, and worked a very stressful job. Bloating, gas, and the dreaded “muffin top” that wouldn’t budge. I took her to Babeland, a clean, well-lit place for sex toys, and we talked with a knowledgeable staff member who helped her pick out her first non-toxic vibrator. After a couple of weeks of self-exploration, she noticed a major difference in her digestion! And she certainly had a nice spring in her step!

4. Daydream, girl! Another study[ii] reveals that sexy daydreams release testosterone in women – which means, when you read erotic fiction, or watch any kind of porn that excites you, your body will begin anticipating encounter, which naturally raises your libido. Babeland.com has some great options for the desire seeker.

5. Orgasms help us sleep, which may be the best reason of all to masturbate. Oxytocin, that wonderful love drug, creates an overall feeling of relaxation and even sleepiness. Vasopressin and melatonin, two other neurotransmitters associated with sleep, are also released during orgasm.

Masturbation happens in most relationships, so if you’re not talking about it with your partner, bring it up. Share this information with them!

If you’re single, and not masturbating regularly, start including self-pleasure in  your life, consistently.

The psychological and emotional benefits are so helpful for what ails us:

Wouldn’t it be nice to feel relaxed, satisfied, and good without needing a cupcake?

For more great insights on the benefits, myths, and latest science around masturbation, check out the latest Crave Cast podcast episodes!

I’ll be interviewing some of the top experts on female desire, sexual health and more!

Go here to subscribe to the Crave Cast: 

Happy May!

xo,

Alex

 

[i] J Sex Med. 2009 Mar;6(3):739-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.01123.x. Epub 2008 Dec 5.

[ii] Horm Behav. 2011 May;59(5):754-64. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2010.12.005. Epub 2010 Dec 24.

 

3 Ways Dessert Destroys Your Desire: [sugar + hormones]

3 ways sugar kills libido

Did you know what you eat has a huge effect on your libido? That red velvet cupcake is more dangerous than the Red Room of Pain…

3 ways sugar kills libido

According to the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-5, 2013), the American Psychiatric Association’s classification and diagnostic tool, lack of desire (classified as HSDD or hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or female sexual interest/arousal disorder) and the related anxiety it causes, is the most common of women’s sexual complaints.

This can include a lack of sexual desire that causes distress, disinterest, and inability to achieve orgasm when orgasm was once easy. And orgasm, when accessible, is one of the best healing tools a woman, and a couple, can use to boost her vitality and health.

We want our desire back, and contrary to popular belief, a female viagra is not the answer.

In my book Women, Food, And Desire, I detail how the wrong diet can obliterate a woman’s libido. And how a trip to the health food store and Babeland.com can reignite and heal your hormones, vitality, and mood.

You may think this epidemic is effecting older women, on the verge of middle age, but the evidence shows young women are just as susceptible to this crippling lack of desire. A broad study of 31,000 U.S. females 18 and older published in 2008 in Obstetrics and Gynecology magazine, found that about 43 percent of women reported sexual problems. This lack of desire causes distress, and anxiety, as well as being linked with depression.

If you’re like me, you’ve noticed that as you grow through the years, your body changes – and so does your desire for the physical pleasures in life! (I know – duh! But really, our hormones really shift as we age, and what we eat is a major part of that.)

Sugar is one of the top foods that effects our libido, both emotionally and physically.

Funny thing is (and by funny, I mean cruel), the more out of whack our hormones get, the more we rely on sugar as our main source of physical pleasure…

…when what our mammal bodies really need (and crave) is sensual pleasure.

Here’s how sugar wrecks our hormones, and below you’ll find my top resources to help you quit your groove-killing candy habit:

3 Ways Dessert Destroys Your Desire (AKA messing up your hormones)

1. Sugar kills testosterone: 
Insulin resistance, caused by a diet high in refined carbohydrates, including white flour, sugar, and alcohol, drives down testosterone in both men and women. Both sex drive and function (think erectile disfunction, which also effects the clitoris, not just the penis) take a hit when blood sugar levels are high.

2. Sugar saps your energy:
High-glycemic carbohydrates spike your blood sugar, leading to insulin over-production to pull your blood sugar back down. The roller coaster of low then high then low blood sugar results in fatigue, which is one reason why a big pasta dinner with wine knocks you out of the mood. High sugar consumption also leads to decreased orexin, a neurotransmitter that regulates arousal and wakefulness, which leads to fatigue, which leads to snoring, rather than snogging.

3. Sugar = stress:
Sugar is the most inflammatory food around, which leads to physical stress in every aspect of your body and mind. High insulin levels will elevate cortisol, a main stress hormone. Chronic high cortisol leads to muscle break down, fat storage, and squashed libido. Not a sweet picture, right?
If one of your big desires in life is to feel juicy, sexy, and alive, then it’s time to cut the sugar, sweet one.

Use some of my sugar-free recipes (and more recipes here!) to help you on a two-week sugar-free experiment!

Here’s my post on the top 41 secret sugar names to help you avoid sweeteners in your food.

Balance your hormones, honey. Get your groove back!

May is the 20th Anniversary of National Masturbation Month!

Join me as I interview the top experts on women’s sexual health, on the Crave Cast, every Friday.

Go here to hear the shows!

xo,

Alex

7 STEPS TO GROW YOUR HOPE

Hope.

It’s a powerful ingredient in a healthy life, but what if you’re all out of it?

What if you think you used up your last bit of hope for that boiling pot of traumathat’s been bubbling on your back burner for years?

I’ve felt pretty hopeless at times in my life:

– when my mom got so depressed when I was a kid because her sister and dad had both committed suicide within a couple years of each other, and I couldn’t do anything to make her happy…

– when I discovered my ex-husband’s infidelities and looked at our tiny son, not knowing what to do next…

– when I realized my vegan diet wasn’t healthy for me anymore, and I simply had to eat meat again, (which felt great) and then tell the world about it (which felt awful)

Feeling hopeless is, well, just horrible.

Like “nothing I do will ever be enough”, like “my efforts don’t make any difference”, and that (this is where my hopeless mind spirals always take me) “I’ll end up alone, dying, living under a bridge.”

Uninspired, alienated, forsaken, powerless, limited, oppressed, helpless. Yuck.

I’ve been there, and I know you have, too – because it’s normal, human, and super common. AND, most of us get out of the hellish hole of hopelessness at some point.

But there are times when you feel stuck + hopeless about one thing and struggle with it for years. It could be:

your weight
your relationship status
your career trajectory
or your purpose in this life…

Whatever your situation is, positive psychology and years of coaching people through health and life challenges have shown me that there are measurable steps to growing hope.

Why am I telling you about hope?

People who are “highly hopeful” are healthier + do better in life:
  • hope + optimism is correlated with less anxiety + less depression (read: less sugar + alcohol cravings)
  • high hope is linked with physical well-being (read: more movement + joy)
  • higher self esteem (read: better boundaries + higher confidence)
  • hope is one of the best predictors of overcoming challenges (read: more likely to stick with health goals)
3 Powers you need to grow hope, even if you think it’s hopeless:

What Power = define the hope (the desire, goal, change, thing or state of being that you crave)
Willpower = action or personal agency (your belief in your ability and tenacity, your drive)
Way Power = pathways to hope (possible routes to achieving/creating that thing, desire, goal)

But how can you increase the what, will, and way to feel more hopeful?


7 STEPS TO GROW YOUR HOPE

DO frame your hope in positive language
(get clear on what you DO want, which is a stronger pull than the wimpy push of what you DON’T want)

DO tell yourself you have chosen a good desire + it’s your job to follow through,
don’t allow yourself to be thrown off by roadblocks and challenges
(working with a coach like me is best for this – don’t do it alone + be left alone with your b*tch brain!)

DO learn to talk to yourself in a positive voice
(This is really the purpose of the Mindset Makeover skills in my Cravings Cleanse)

DO look back at previous successes in life goals
(remember that you’ve been through rough times in the past + list 3 ways you got out of them)

DO be able to laugh at yourself
(even when your mind says you’re “failing” or get worried things will never change

DO enjoy the process of getting to your goals
(not just focusing on final attainment of them vs. constantly thinking about how you’re doing ie. weighing yourself ever day to evaluate if you’re “good enough”)

DO recognize that you already have hope in you NOW!
(you’re here reading this, which tells me you’re actively looking for help + inspiration)


Sometimes kicking hopelessness to the curb requires self-love, grit, humor, and a bit of seething anger.

Well, in my experience, it always does.

Every time I’ve reached the point where my lack of hope was just too freakin’ annoying and insufferable to bear, I’ve made a declaration, a decision, and took action.

It wasn’t always the most graceful action, but in my experience, any action is better than sitting in that murky puddle of pity party tears I’d squeezed out.

And so at last, sweet one, I want you to share what your hopes are –

What are your hopes for the future?
What excites you about this desire?
Xo,
Interesting Image

P.S. And if this bit of writing inspired you, lit a fire inside you, or got you to smile just a little bit, maybe you’re ready to join my Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover.

We start 4/16 – and there is a phenomenal group of ladies just like you ready to get started…xo

My To-Don’t List – Mindset Makeover Technique

A cleanse is about more than just taking a few foods out of your diet - it's about a mindset makeover

I’ll be 40 in 4 days…

And what I hear from so many women, both older + younger, is that they want to feel like they’re living their own lives.

And that too often we wake up one day, or look in the mirror, and say:

what am I doing? Is THIS what I want?

I felt that way when I realized I couldn’t trust my marriage and asked for a divorce.

I felt that way when my body was breaking down, and I knew I needed to eat meat again.

And that feeling shows up in daily choices around how I spend my time, how I run my business, and what I do with my energy.

Our deep fears keep us from sharing our quirks, truths, and following our cravings. Cravings for experiences, creation, well-being, and adventure.

Fears of being publicly shamed, Fears of being selfish, being too much, being too loud, Just being ourselves. And then made wrong for our truth.

“What you say no to is as important as what you say yes to.”

I’ve gotten pretty clear about what I want, and sometimes that requires getting clear on what I DON’T want.

In positive psychology there are studies showing big birthdays (anything with a 0 at the end of it…30, 40, 50, you get it) instigate big changes, big goals, and an awareness of time passing.

What I WON’T do…AKA My To-Don’t List:

eat foods that drain my energy, and put me in a food coma

spend more than 30 minutes on social media a day

let my phone distract me from my family get lost in gossip magazines + reality TV (AKA the “comparison trap”)

let fear get in the way of sharing my ideas with the world

waste energy judging other women

read my book reviews online

apologize for taking time + resources for my self care

apologize for taking up space

spend time on projects that don’t serve me, my readers and listeners

get lost in negative mind chatter that my body and life aren’t good enough

respond to negative online attacks – haters gonna hate, and I don’t need to throw them any more fuel

To-DON’Ts from my readers + Cleanse members:

Joanne: I will no longer undervalue what I do for a living (graphic designer) or accept less than I deserve…

Allison: 1) apologize for needing a lazy day, AKA staying in bed and watching TV till 2pm while snuggling with my cat 2 ) feel guilty for satisfying a food craving 3) work for corporate America

Jan: stop using the word “just”…just a 5K., as in “just” walking rather than running

Carolyn: my story that there is not enough love in the world, my story that things have to be hard, my squicky relationship with money

What I WILL do…(AKA big motivating desires, or things I want to fill my life up with)

Move + stretch my body daily in ways that feel good, grounding + strengthening

Ask myself how I want to feel when I choose my meals

Take random, surprise days off with my son + go make memories together

Write as if my soul will wilt if I don’t express it, because it does

Cook + eat foods that boost my energy (recipes)

Get 7-9 hours of sleep a night

Meet up with at least 2 friends a week Read a new book for fun every month

Get the tattoo I’ve been dreaming of, now

A cleanse is about more than just taking a few foods out of your diet - it's about a mindset makeover

My To Don’t List

Take a trapeze class Roller skating birthday party (done!)

Frequently initiate juicy dates with my man

Read and play daily with my son

Take time for myself to read, walk, be in nature

Ask for time off, time away, time alone, and not feel guilty for it

Take my bike for a tune up so I can ride the first nice day of spring

Call my Dad, brother, and Grandma regularly

Write thank you letters to all the people who helped me spread the word about Women, Food, And Desire

Take hot baths and read inspiring books

Tell everyone I love them any time I feel like it

Draw, paint, color, and play my ukulele – and share them all with people

Give away $100 as a family every month to awesome charities…

Live as if 40 were my LAST birthday, because really, who knows?

This could be it. This could be my last year – or I could have 40 more years, as glorious as the first batch. What will I do with this time? How do I want to feel? What do I want to remember on my death bed? How much love can I share?

I want to hear from you: What will you NOT do anymore? What’s NOT serving you? And what DO YOU WANT?

Make a list. Declare it. Do it. xo, AJ

P.S. The spring Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover starts 4/16 – go here to learn more + join:

happy belly foods + how to trust your body again (they’re related)

happy belly foods + how to trust your body again (they’re related)

happy belly foods + how to trust your body again (they’re related) Cravings Cleanse

 

I couldn’t budge my muffin top…
My belly would bloat up all the time…
I was addicted to sugar and caffeine…
I was too tired to fight for what I wanted in life…

…and what I wanted was hidden by clouds, kind of indistinct and hard to define.

(new career – but what? new relationship – but who with, and was I worthy? creative time for me – what medium?)

When I heal my body, (again + again)
I still find that my belly’s health is a big part of the process.

I talk a lot about the four root causes of cravings, and that the first place to look at any craving,
at any health issue, is in our guts.

Your gut is the seat of your health + your intuition:

* it’s where your immune system is either built healthfully, or falling apart

* how well you digest your food impacts your energy, mood, nutritional cravings, and “elimination” (aka pooping)
* 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is in your gut – that’s one of your feel good, relaxed hormone

* neurons in the gut generate as much dopamine as those in the head (for help with sleep, mood, pleasure + attention)

* we store emotional trauma, sexual fears + hurts, and injuries to our childhood safety in our gut

Your gut is your second brain.
It’s also your intuitive, feeling brain.

It’s where we make a lot of our life decisions from,
because we need to feel good + strong in this part of our body to go after the things we desire.

(ever make a gut decision, feel nervous knots or have butterflies in your stomach before a big event?)

But when it’s bloated, covered in layers of extra stress-induced fat,
in pain, or just uncomfortable all the time…

you just can’t connect to your intuition, or feel strong about your decisions.
You will be tired, want to hide, or cover the pain with emotionally craved foods.

That’s why one of the first areas we heal in the Cravings Cleanse is the gut.

To feel and see a real shift in your body, energy, and mindset (and life!)
we need to heal our guts and take out the foods (I call them the Toxic 6)
that hurt our digestion and cause a real disconnect between the brain in your head
and the brain in your belly.

Foods that help the belly heal are:

1. easy to digest – Toxic 6-free, fiber rich, but not hard on an impaired digestive system
2. nutrient + enzyme rich – contain healing ingredients like L-glutamine, Omega-3s, probiotics, and enzymes
3. tasty – if they don’t taste good, we won’t eat them, will we?
4. and non-inflammatory – foods that won’t cause damage, leaky holes in your gut, or poor digestion

happy belly foods - raw fermented pickles, kimchee, and sauerkraut

happy belly foods – raw fermented pickles, kimchee, and sauerkraut

They are also free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar, and caffeine…AKA the Toxic 6,
which cause leaky gut, bloating, fatigue, bacterial overgrowth, and brain fog.

And as I have seen over the years in person experience and working with thousands of clients,
when your gut is sick, your brain, intuition, confidence, and energy all take a hit.

That’s why I include so much information on gut health in
my programs like the Cravings Cleanse & Mindset Makeover.

Past members have totally changed their gut health with the Cravings Cleanse:

“This is the easiest Cleanse I’ve ever done! I’ve tried to get off sugar, caffeine and alcohol before, but this time I’ve been successful! I’m feeling energized, less joint pain, and my gut is happy and thinner – finally. The weight is dropping off, and I’m feeling a lot better. My husband isn’t officially doing the cleanse, and he’s feeling really good! He wants to do this every 6 months.”  Aliza from NYC

“I have more energy! My digestion is way better, and I’m not constipated anymore. I’m noticing smoother skin. I have my family eating with me! that is huge…” Serena, Grapevine, CA

Watch Jacquie’s video testimonial about her gut healing + energy makeover from last year’s Cravings Cleanse: 

Jacquie's personal story + review of the Cravings Cleanse

Jacquie’s personal story + review of the Cravings Cleanse

Your experience of yourself and the world will be strained and
based on old fears when your gut is in knots, constipated, impaired, or uncomfortable all the time.

It’s time to heal your gut, and feel the energy, strength, and intuitive knowing that your body is capable of:

* remove the Toxic 6, one of the cornerstones of my upcoming Cravings Cleanse 8-week program
* add the foods and supplements that will begin to heal the matrix of your intestines + improve your digestion
* get clear on how past events + traumas have been stuck in your body and how processing them, seeing them, and loving yourself are an important part of your healing journey

We can’t just look at food or emotion as we create the body and life we crave.
Foods and emotions can be either toxic or healing.

Are you ready to find out which foods and emotions have been keeping your belly stuck?

xo,
Alex

Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover — What if you could spend 8 weeks supported by a beautiful circle of health seekers who are creating their best health + best lives with Alex? What would your life, body, and days feel like if you had the health, confidence, and energy you truly crave? Enrollment is now open, spots are limited. Learn more here.

 

1 of 12 books that’ll make your divorce easier…

I’m on the verge of tears…

Women, Food, And Desire was just named 1 of 12 books to read that’ll help your divorce be a little easier.

bustle header divorce

Women, Food, And Desire named 1 of 12 books that'll help you get through your divorce a little easier - Bustle.com

Women, Food, And Desire named 1 of 12 books that’ll help you get through your divorce a little easier – Bustle.com

I had to write this book.

When I was divorcing my ex, I became totally disconnected from my body. I allowed the shame and hurt of the infidelity to separate me from my own self-worth, even though I hadn’t done anything wrong.

I had to write this book – because this culture, our shame, and the Diet Industrial Complex, are keeping us from having the love, worth, and health that we deserve.

If you have a friend going through a divorce or break up right now, and you think Women, Food, And Desire would help, please send them a copy.

And give them hugs. Lots of hugs:

Here’s a link to the original article:

http://www.bustle.com/articles/61076-12-books-to-read-thatll-make-your-divorce-a-little-bit-easier

P.S. It is an incredible honor to be featured alongside one of my favorite books of all time, Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. Jaw. Dropped.

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