Chia Seed Pudding with Coconut & Vanilla (Paula Deen – Are You There?)

Weight loss & energy food tip here – and this food is ch-ch-ch-Cheap!

If you saw my natural energy drink “Chia Fresca” recipe video, you’ll know I’ve been lovin’ my Chia Seeds for a while now.

Used for centuries by native Central Americans, Chia seeds were considered a powerful energy food and provide excellent nutrition.

Chia Seeds

Filled with detox-supportive fiber, chia seeds, which look like little grey, tan or black poppy seeds, provide the best plant source of those fabulous Omega-3s that protect your heart,brain, skin and joint health.

Plus, all that fiber is GREAT for diabetics who need to stabilize their blood sugar and lose weight. Do you think Paula Deen knows about chia seeds? If you know her, send her this recipe – I’d love to be on her show!

(*The extra cinnamon in this recipe helps balance blood sugar levels even more – one of those super ingredients diabetics and border-line diabetics should be using!)

Soak these seeds in liquid for 15+ minutes, and they begin to gel and soften, providing an excellent slow-moving fiber and protein, which helps you feel full and reduces appetite.

Chia also contains protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, antioxidants, niacin, and zinc.

Now you can enjoy these ancient seeds as a delicious dessert any time - and this recipe only takes about 20 minutes to make!

Chia Seed Recipe - chia seed pudding

 

 

 

Chia Seed Pudding with Coconut & Vanilla

2 cups coconut, rice, or hemp milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons brown rice syrup or maple syrup

pinch sea salt

¼ cup chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

 

Directions:

-       Heat the milk over medium in a small saucepan.

-       Whisk in the vanilla, brown rice syrup and sea salt.

-       Once the milk is almost to a simmer, whisk in the chia seeds and cinnamon. Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes, or until the mixture gels up to a tapioca consistency.

-       Serve warm, at room temperature, or cool in the refrigerator. Serves 2-3.

 

 

May = National Masturbation Month & Our Bodies, Ourselves Turns 40!

May is Rockin’!

Masturbation has been marked a taboo act by most religions and our Puritanical culture, but it’s still the second most common sexual act amongst humans. Heck, other animals enjoy self-pleasuring too! I’ve seen my cat and my friends’ dogs get down with no shame whatsoever, so maybe we can take a hint from Fluffy and Fido and celebrate that May is National Masturbation Month.

Masturbation is so perfectly natural, yet so maligned. I’m happy to report that masturbation can actually be considered part of your health care regime:

Women report a decrease in menstrual cramps and bloating when masturbating, can increase their resistance to yeast infection, and build their pelvic floor muscles which can improve orgasms. For men, masturbation has been documented to improve their immune system and makes for a healthier prostate. Masturbation is also a great form of stress relief, releases endorphins, and burns calories (see my FitBit video here).

How did this fantastic holiday get started?

Back in 1994, the U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders caused a public furor when endorsed masturbation as a safe way to discourage early sexual activity. In response to an audience member’s question about masturbation at the United Nations’ World AIDS Day, Elders said “I think it is something that is part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught.”

For that simple statement, the torches were lit and Elders was forced to resign. So much for the first black woman Surgeon General…

The good folks at Good Vibrations, a sex-positive and female oriented sex store in San Francisco, (and, by the way, the place where I bought my first vibrator) decided to get a public debate going about the positive aspects of masturbation for men and women. Hence, National Masturbation Month was born.

(If you’re looking for a good hands-on experience to find your own sex toys in a non-creepy environment and don’t live in San Francisco, you can also visit Toys in Babeland in New York City and Seattle, or go to their website here.)

This May is also the 40th anniversary of the publication of Our Bodies, Ourselves, the seminal reference book on healthy sexuality for women.

Our Bodies Ourselves - National Masturbation Month

This book was devoured by young women (and probably a lot of young men, too!) the world over who were hungry for straight talk and information about their bodies, hormones, emotions, and sexuality. If you haven’t read the book, or you know a woman who is exploring her own sexuality, pick up a copy here!

I’ll be attending a special party next week hosted by Belisa Vranich, nationally recognized “sexpert” and psychologist, to celebrate the authors and publication of Our Bodies, Ourselves here in New York City. I’ll be sure to post some photos!

Finally, if you’re curious about discovering true physical intimacy with others or yourself, you simply MUST listen to this week’s podcast from Ariel & Shya Kane titled “Let’s Get Physical!”

being here with ariel & shya kane: let's get physical

The Kane’s wonderful internet radio show Being Here will “support you in dissolving those old limiting ideas and inhibitions so that you can be free and natural with yourself and/or your partner.”

Growing Up In The Garden

Some of my first memories are from my mother’s garden. When I close my eyes I feel cool pebbles and dewy grass under my bare feet, hear buzzing bees and chirping birds, and smell a cacophony of scents from roses, lilac, herbs, freshly turned earth, and compost.

Mom and Me, aka "Sasha" (Eve's Organic Garden - mid 70s Lake Grove, OR)

My mom learned gardening from her grandparents in Texas and moist, chilly Port Angeles, Washington. To me, she seemed like Snow White incarnate – mom could bring any dying house plant to life, sprout any seed, and knew where to find the birds, butterflies and interesting spiders. Her decade-long run as the radio host of Eve’s Organic Garden on KBOO in Portland, Oregon proved that her ideas for planting and knowledge of gardening were admired by many.  The local Italian family that ran Ricardo’s restaurant often stopped by looking for fresh herbs and flowers.

As a kid, I enjoyed the rambling gardens around our old farmhouse. Private tunnels of blackberries provided space to daydream, and the Rainier cherry tree offered sweetly blushed gems every spring. I found a lot of pleasure in picking seeds to grow every spring, learning the look of healthy soil, and digging around for bugs and worms. It seemed like magic to discover the nasturtium seeds growing out of the stems where edible flowers of red and orange once bloomed so brilliantly.

While my brother and I grumbled about the inevitable hours of weeding, pruning, hauling, and raking, today we look back on that time as peaceful, formative, and a badge of honor. Now we find that gardening relieves our stress and keeps us healthy. It’s not just the organic, fresh food we can grow. We harvest something more – peace and connection.

Growing up on the west coast, we didn’t know that fireflies were real. My first sighting of these electric “lightning bugs” was actually in Central Park, when I was about 21 years old. I was visiting my brother a few years before I moved to New York City. I excitedly told my brother, then almost 30, “I saw a firefly! They’re real!” He beamed back at me with joy, and it felt like we were kids again, sharing this wonderful discovery.

Now I long for spring planting and have happily settled in a ground floor, Brooklyn apartment with a back yard and space to plant a few pots. Last summer’s freak tornados had the silver-lining effect of creating more sun in my previously shade-choked yard when three neighboring trees lost half of their limbs.

I’m passing on my love for digging, planting, watering, weeding and waiting to my son, Laken. When I discovered kid-sized tools at a stoop sale (we call them stoop sales here in Brooklyn, because who has yards? We have stoops!) a couple of summers ago, I scooped them up and handed them to Laken, who happily took them outside and started digging. Gardening seems to be in our DNA. (You can order a set just like it here!)

Teaching him how to dig a hole, bury a seed, water it carefully and often, and look for slugs feels right. What could be more important than teaching my kid how to grow his own food? We won’t be living off of our harvest any time soon, but being able to grow our own lettuce, a few strawberries, snow peas, and pretty flowers makes me feel capable, and I hope to pass that on to him.

Laken and Roisin plant organic strawberries

This weekend we’ll be putting some seeds in potting soil, placing them in a sunny window, and beginning the late winter vigil over spring’s hopeful shoots of green.

Laken harvests the organic strawberries

My favorite seeds have come from:

LocalHarvest.org: http://www.localharvest.org/corn-jade-blue-heirloom-organic-non-gmo-C18363 – The Baby Blue Jade Corn is the only sweet corn that works in containers – just be sure to put bird/squirrel netting over the ears.

Seeds of Change: http://www.seedsofchange.com/

This company sells heirloom, organic seeds of all kinds – flowers, fruits, veggies, and herbs abound.

For my favorite books on gardening in containers and small city spaces, look here:


The Great American Detox Chosen As January's Top Read For Sachem Library

I’m honored that the Sachem Library has chosen my 1st book, The Great American Detox Diet, as a top read for January. Filled with over 100 heart-healthy, cholesterol-free recipes, this book details how I helped heal Morgan Spurlock’s body after his Super Size Me fast food diet binge:

Order your copy of the Great American Detox Diet Here:

Great American Detox Diet

Great American Detox Diet

Red Hot Hearts: A Recipe For Success, Heart Health & Detox All In One!

Red Hot Hearts – What You’ll Get In This Women’s Cardiovascular Health & Detox Tele-Series

“Love doesn’t sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all of the time, made new.”

~Ursula K. LeGuin

Red Hot Hearts: Enjoy delicious vitality with my heart healthy recipe (see video below!), detox your life & protect yourself from heart disease

Beginning 2/15/11 I’ll be leading a select group of women via telephone through a transformational, fun, and delicious program for 8 weeks.

Not only will I be offering this tele-course to 20 women (so we all have time to share & learn from each other), but I’ve decided to reduce my normal price in half so that I can work with women who really want to feel better and heal, but haven’t been able to afford my, or other holistic, services before.

I’m passionate about helping women to transform their health so they can take back their natural power and go on to create great change in the world. When you get a group of women together to focus their energy on a specific topic, issue, or concern, watch out! Magic can happen and mountains will be moved.

The program will include a special members-only online classroom, an e-group for member’s questions and comments, as well as recipes, menu planning, and materials.

If you’re wondering what you’ll get in the program, I’m going to give you a quick sneak peak into the first topic:

How adding certain whole foods for can prevent heart disease, while simultaneously improving digestion and improving your energy – sounds amazing, right?

-       How to shop for them (saving money!)

-       How to cook them ahead of time (saving time!)

-       How they heal you  (protecting your health!)

Here’s One Of My Favorite Whole Grain, Heart Protecting Recipes on Earth!

Watch as I Make Mochi Waffles in this video~

Ready to sign up? There are only 20 spaces available…

Not sure if this group is for you? Let’s talk for a few minutes and we’ll find a way to help you…

Healthy New Year's!

New Year’s resolutions for weight loss are mostly doomed to fail, but it’s not because “you did it wrong,” or “you’re just not strong enough, good enough, smart enough, worthy enough” to be skinnier. It’s not because you don’t have the will power – you’ve probably put in a lot of effort and money over the years to making January 1st a “new beginning.”

Here’s the real scoop: trying to lose weight in winter is the hardest, and most unnatural, time of year to reduce your calorie intake. This whole New Year’s Resolution for weight loss is arbitrary, media-hyped, and a losing-bet. The human body naturally tries to keep weight on in the winter as a survival technique. Confused? Keep reading and I’ll tell you more.

Your body goes through seasonal changes just like trees, plants, and hibernating animals. The human body uses calories to keep us warm and naturally holds onto fat to help us weather the freezing weather. Since calories = heat = winter survival, eating gives your body the fuel it needs to protect itself from cold winds, frigid temperatures, and walking your kid to and from school 20 minutes in sub-freezing temperatures twice a day.

Limiting your calorie intake in the winter flips an invisible switch that triggers your body’s natural survival mechanisms to store fuel like a squirrel hiding nuts.  The crazy part is, restricting your food intake starting January 1st can actually cause your body to create more fat storage.

So wait until springtime for a real cleansing and calorie restriction program. Honor your human nature and give your body the calories it needs to get through winter successfully – but this doesn’t mean you can throw all caution to the wind!

January is a great time to create a Resolution about food and health: Decide to transform your menus into natural, real meals filled with whole foods and seasonal ingredients. Get acquainted with whole grains, beans, seasonal veggies from your area, nuts, seeds, and sea vegetables. Create a new habit of including whole grains, beans, and steamed leafy greens at least twice a day. Use the seasonal produce available in your area to bring balance and energy to your body while you remove the junky, processed, and packaged foods this winter.

By changing the quality of your meals, rather than focusing on the quantity of calories and restricting yourself during this season, you can create a total body transformation that will give you the energy you need to make big changes to your weight in the spring when cleansing and reducing is more appropriate. The cool thing is this: when you start shifting your foods to be natural and high-quality, your weight will slowly start reducing on its own! But not in a forced, deprivation style. You’ll get balanced. Your energy will be better. You’ll sleep better and have an easier time kicking caffeine and sugar cravings.

If you want to make this shift with expert guidance, camaraderie, and support, you can sign up for 1 of 20 spots available in my upcoming Red Hot Hearts Tele-Series, which begins 2/15/11. The program provides recipes, meal planning, support, emotional guidance and fun!

I’d be glad to have you!

I hope you have a blessed year full of fun, adventure, healthy vibes, and laughs!

Be well,

Alex

I'm Bringing Back My Women's Winter Wellness & Weight Loss Program!

Women’s Winter Weight Loss & Wellness – 1 Spot Remaining!

Register by Friday, November 12th

I’m bringing back this program due to popular demand!

We’re entering the eating-overload season that always comes before cold and flu season…they’re the same season for a reason!

-        We let ourselves ‘be bad’ starting with the Halloween candy…

-        Then we beat ourselves up for indulging…

-        Which leads to more treats and goodies, cocktails and late-night treats…

-        Then we experience an entire season of weight-gain, illness, and harsh feelings

It’s tempting to wait for New Year’s to “eat better” and make resolutions that don’t become true habits.

Wouldn’t you rather lose weight and stay healthy this season without deprivation? If you’re ready to improve your mood, increase your energy, reduce your cravings and avoid the winter weight gain without deprivation and denial, I have great solutions for you in my Women’s Winter Wellness & Weight Loss Program!

Rather than throwing in the towel now, berating yourself all winter, and feeling lousy once January arrives, you can begin to feel good and stay healthy NOW.

Read what past clients have experienced in these programs with me…

* Julia, a Canadian journalist said “Losing weight had not been my primary goal but four months later, I’m down to the right weight for my height. I feel fitter and healthier than ever. The great thing is, I see food in a whole new way now. I think before I eat. I plan ahead. I read food labels, and I ask myself, ‘What’s this going to do for me?’ I have Alex to thank for that.”

* Kathleen, a 54 year old entrepreneur from Florida commented “Within a week, she identified the root-cause issue, made small changes to my diet, and I began feeling dramatically better. My intestinal distress stopped immediately, and over the first month, I lost 15 lbs, my energy level increased and the nausea and dizziness went away.”

Sign up for the 1 remaining spot in my Winter Wellness program here by 11/12…

The Women’s Winter Weight Loss & Wellness Program is my personalized coaching program that encompasses holistic food planning, lifestyle enrichment, fun food experiments, tools, tips, and teachings on how to avoid winter weight gain and get healthier through the cold and flu season.

Here’s how it works and what you’ll receive:

  • 12 weekly one-hour phone sessions over the next 3 months
  • Unlimited Email support  (guaranteed maximum 48 hour turnaround)
  • Personalized diet and meal plans specific to your needs
  • Motivational and emotional support
  • Recipes and food systems to alleviate conditions
  • Lifestyle skills and therapies for a lifetime of wellness
  • Includes copies of my books plus natural food products, tools, and goodies sent to your door!

My past clients have experienced great accomplishment and achieved high levels of health and wellness working with me in this program.

Come with me on this journey – let’s have some fun and feel better!

Caffeine Addict Breaks Free: My Detox Member Tells All…

“Hi Everyone!

Alex inspired me to write a testimonial on my experiences recently
giving up caffeine. It’s now 5-6 weeks that I have been caffeine
free!
I used to drink at least 2-3 large black cups of coffee every day. It
was my first destination in the morning (no breakfast, just coffee),
for an energy kick just to get moving for the day.  I thought there
was NO way I would ever be able to get moving without it.

What I found after giving up coffee completely in the first 2-3 weeks
were some unexpected benefits.  Every morning I drank a tall glass of
water and ate an energy-stabilizing food like brown rice porridge.  I
felt so much more energized without the coffee! Best of all, it was
very mood enhancing.  Instead of feeling dread about going to work and
stress, I felt a lot more positive about being able to tackle the
day.

The first 3-4 days are challenging. This was always the period for me
before when I would give in, and fall back into old routines.  I did
get headaches.

I can offer a few tips that I personally found really helpful in
quitting for those first few days/week.
First,  I got rid of the coffee machine on my counter. When it’s
really inconvenient to dig it out of the cupboard in the morning, it’s
a lot harder to cheat.
Second, I switched up the route that I took to work. I often stopped
at the Dunkin Donuts en route to my job to pick up a coffee fix, so
instead of being tempted, I bypassed it altogether.
Third, decafinated tea!   I never liked tea before, but now I love
it!  It helps when you are used to a warm beverage.

I hope this is helpful for any of you trying to quit caffeine!  It is
well worth the few days of discomfort and seems like it was so quick
in retrospect!

Best wishes to all!

J.”

**My favorite product for ending the caffeine addiction cycle? Teeccino! It’s delicious and coffee-like, but totally caffeine-free.

Increase Your Energy At Work While Burning Calories

I used to work in an office, and I used to need caffeine or sugar to get me through the afternoon. Then I made up my own “bathroom aerobics” and my energy drastically improved – so did my muscle tone!

Move It or Lose It! Dangers of Sitting & Work Place Aerobics

If there was ever an argument for getting off your tuckus (pronounced TOOK-us: that’s good old New York-Yiddish slang for your rear end) it’s this latest study from The American Cancer Society.

The 14 year long study  showed that people who sit less during leisure hours have longer lives. It gets even better if you don’t sit all day for work as well. Sitting more throughout the day leads to higher rates of cancer and heart disease. Read the full article on WebMD here…

I didn’t know this information until today, but it makes sense. I’m reminded of my first corporate job working in media planning at a big advertising agency. I had always been active growing up, and rode my bicycle throughout college to class and work. I started to feel sluggish and was gaining a few pounds after my first few months of this new desk job, and came up with a way to get exercise throughout the day, at work, for free.

I called it bathroom aerobics. Sounds funny, but it kept me sane and increased my energy. Here’s how it works:

- Do 20 pushups against the bathroom sink (make sure to dry it off first – don’t want to slip and chip a tooth)

- Do the wall sit against the door inside the bathroom with your knees at a right angle, for 2-5 minutes at a stretch (make sure it’s securely locked – don’t want to tumble out backwards!)

-  Bend over and touch your toes, allowing your head and arms to hang for 30 seconds

If you’re brave or certain no one will walk into the bathroom while you’re doing these “toilet trainings” you can do sets of jumping jacks, lunges, and more stretches.

Get moving! You’ll feel so much better, and you probably won’t need that afternoon coffee break because your energy will be up and moving the more you are.

Be well, Alex