What you told me… the survey results are in!

The survey results are in!
Thank you to the 1200+ people who shared your questions and comments with me about the Super Size Me series.

I’ve put together a short video sharing the results so you can see what you and my growing online tribe
want MORE of, need inspiration about, and crave more education around…

Click below to watch!

Have a BURNING question about food, your body, nutrition or dieting?
Write me by April 1st at office@alexandrajamieson.com with your questions!

I’ll be holding a LIVE Q&A call on Sunday, April 6th at 4pm ET, 1pm PT
so we can get your Q’s A’d!

xo,
Alex

What I NEVER do & what I ALWAYS do

The snow is melting here in Brooklyn, but I made sure to fill up the birdfeeder today. Those little birdies need some human support in the winter, and they even eat some of the same stuff I do! You know, millet, seeds, etc.

 

I eat a lot more variety than that, of course, and I’m not into eating bugs.

 

I focus my meals around those same whole, natural foods that a lot of other animals enjoy, and I’ve learned a lot from watching them eat over the years, like…

 

Animals don’t count calories.

You know what I’m saying?

 

We humans are the only creatures who are confused about what to eat. Animals don’t look to experts, and they don’t measure anything. They just eat when they’re hungry, stop when they’re full, and eat what’s in season and appropriate for their bodies.

 

The birds make it all seem so easy.

 

But I believe it can be easy.

I believe food is one of the best parts about being human,

and that when we listen to our bodies, I mean really listen,

food and health make sense.

 

So I NEVER count calories.

First of all, it makes me crazy. Secondly, it doesn’t work.

I tell my clients to stop counting calories, and instead coach them in how to feel what kind and how much food they need.

 

That really works!

And it’s such a revelation for the people who get it, that it fixes their

relationship with food.

 

I recently met up with Jonathan Bailor, a total science and food geek, and author of the Calorie Myth. Jonathan and I talked about cravings, calories, and how we can all eat easier and better.

 

I hope you’ll listen in – these free classes are amazing resources for transforming your health and life.

What you need to know:
Dates: Febraury 3 – 6, 2014
Price: FREE
Where: Sign up online for free at http://www.entheos.com/The-Calorie-Myth/Alex-Jamieson

 

What I ALWAYS DO – No GMOs

I haven’t counted a calorie in decades, but I do look at ingredient labels.

Why?

Not for grams and carbs, but for genetically modified organisms.

Yup, I don’t eat GMOs.

 

It’s alarming how GMO’s are in EVERYTHING!  Even health food stores and “natural foods.”

 

In getting my clients well, I often help them remove inflammatory foods from their diets to reduce pain, digestive disorders, allergies, and move the needle on weight loss resistance.

 

Most people are not aware of the severe impact GMO can have on the brain and digestive system, especially for children.

 

 And one of the strongest voices speaking out against GMO foods, and FOR GMO labeling, is my dear friend Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology. IRT has created a profound video that I’d like you to watch, all about what you can do to help this growing movement:

Help Get GMO Labeling:

Watch the video here:

 

Want to avoid buying GMOs?

Click here for IRT’s free GMO Free Shopping Guide

 

So, now you know.

What I never do? Count calories.

What I always do? Eat GMO-free food.

 

Simple, easy, healthy, sane.

 

Xo,

Alex

Baking as Healing: Sweet Potato Bread

Baking is one of those healing practices I love.

From start to finish, the process feels like a ritual dance:

walking to the book shelf and choosing a cookbook…

sitting on the couch with tea, and leafing through the pages…

choosing a recipe…

placing the ingredients on the counter…

mindfully following the recipe…

smelling the transformation happening in the oven…

remembering baking projects from times before…

My wonderful mom, Annabeth, passed away this last Sunday. She was 65. She taught me to garden, cook, sew, make friends anywhere, and how to turn every aspect of life into a living art project. 

Diagnosed with inoperable liver and gallbladder cancer, Mom moved back to my home town of Portland, Oregon in June where she could get the best alternative treatments and be surrounded by old friends and family.

I was lucky enough to spend most of the summer in Oregon with her, and we cooked a bit together.  

Her naturopath had recommended a sugar-free diet, high in protein, and plant-based. Not 100% plant based, but based mainly on plants. Mom and I talked a lot about what foods she could enjoy, and how to make green smoothies in her Vitamix my brother had purchased for her.

I went home again over Thanksgiving, and while Mom’s energy was low, she requested favorite foods: including sweet potatoes. A friend had created something using raw sweet potatoes blended with eggs and little else, and I recreated the recipe in my grandmother’s kitchen for the holiday feast.

Mom loved it, and ate a second helping, which made my heart glow. I mean, feeding the people I love when they’re sick and need nourishment is one of my most basic joys in life. 

Last night my son and I baked the favorite that his “Nanabeth” loved: Sweet Potato Bread.

A good source of magnesium, Vitamin D and C, iron and potassium, sweet potatoes, especially the darker Garnet or Jewel “yams” (we tend to call yams sweet potatoes in the US), sweet potatoes are are high in carotenoids like beta carotene and other carotenoids, which is the precursor to vitamin A in your body.  Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer.

I also baked several muffins from the same batch, and tucked them into my son’s backpack for naturally sweet, high-protein snacks after school.

So this is a great kid recipe, too! 

The “bread” comes out as more of a bread pudding texture, but if you let it cool long enough, you can slice it, move it to a plate, and eat it with a fork. 

  • 4 cups raw, chopped sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  1. Combine all in a heavy duty blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add any additional water as needed to get a pourable mix, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Bake in coconut oiled bread pans or muffin tins at 400 F for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Serve to someone you love – include yourself in that. 
Please share this recipe with friends – just click the buttons at the top of the page!
xo, Alex

Client Review: Winter Cleanse with Alex

Don’t start another one-size-fits-all diet plan this January 1st…
Join up for my Winter Cleanse and find out what works for your unique body!

Watch my past group program member, Galit, share what she gained…and lost…in my program:

25 pounds! That’s so awesome.
AND her friends are asking her what she’s doing differently because her skin looks so great.
Galit’s energy is up, and she’s cooking more, and more easily, for and with her family.

I’d call that a win-win-win!
If you want the same results, support, and accountability to make 2014 the year you get food right,
Go here to join the Winter Cleanse, starting January 1st.

xo,
Alex

 

Review Alex Jamieson group weight loss program

Getting clear on your desires for 2014

It’s getting close again…

The end of the year.

And it’s time to look back, take stock, and celebrate!

2013 was filled to the brim with awesome-sauce for me…and some really tough stuff, too. You probably feel the same. And while I love to plan, plot, and vision, I feel the need to do things differently as 2014 gets closer…

Instead of committing to a long list of “to-dos” for 2014, I’m getting cozy with the idea of how I want to feel. What physical and emotional experiences do I want to feel in my life, my body, my business, my relationships?

 

Doesn’t that sound more fun, more real, and more authentic than a bunch of goals?

 

I’ve been tuning in to how my body talks to me about what I should feed it, how I should move it, when she needs rest, and more…you know, listening to my cravings and asking what they really mean.

 

Sometimes she asks for sleep, sometimes, water, greens, bread, and sometimes meat. Sometimes she asks for some juicy one-one time with my man.

 

And the more I listen to my cravings, the more I give my body what she truly wants, the better I feel, the bigger my capacity for living gets, and the more fun I have.

 

I didn’t get here on my own. I’ve been reading and listening to other experts who study desire, cravings, neuroscience, visioning, and more to learn more about my experience of my body and my truth.

 

One of those experts is Danielle LaPorte. Her book The Desire Map has been revolutionary for me, as it takes a new approach to identifying, connecting with and launching your desires.

 

The Desire Map is a two-part book: the first part teaches Danielle’s message of desire’s true divine nature, and convinces the reader that giving your desires their due is a grand idea. The second part is a juicy workbook that asks you the questions you didn’t know you needed to ask, but are so glad to answer.

 

After reading and writing about my core desired feelings, as Danielle has defined these basic desires, I feel deeply tapped into my self. My truth. I feel present and clear.

 

And I think that’s what a coach and guide really needs to feel – clear, present, focused and authentic.

 

Not only that, a coach and writer needs to understand their desires in order to help others learn to listen to their bodies.

 

What do you need? What do you want? What really lights you up?

 

Can you imagine what the world would be like if every person you knew was in touch with their feelings and desires? And held their desires as good and their bodies wise?

 

Here’s a look at my own desires:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do they resonate with you? Do you want to explore your own cravings? What are you doing to create more of those feelings in your life today?

If this resonated with you, and you’re looking for a new way to get in touch with your desires and love them as your best guides, go order your copy of Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map. 

xo,

Alex

 

Do you act how you want to feel?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

I’ve made this easy for ya…

 

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

 

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

 

Go here to sign up for the free Enlighten Challenge:

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

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

Xo, 

Alex

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Witch

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Being a woman became a disease.

 

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

 

As much as things change, they stay the same.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

The Accidental Muffin

Gluten-Free, Vegan Ginger-Date-Cherry Muffins

 

OMGFM.

(That’s Oh My, Gluten-Free Muffins for everyone who’s not in my head)

Gluten-Free, vegan, ginger-date-cherry muffins

We hosted a brunch last week in our little Brooklyn apartment last weekend. In case you didn’t know, brunch is my favorite meal. If you look back through my recipes I’ll bet you’ll find that 90% are brunch related.

Why do I love brunch so much? Because you can have anything you want and it’s all perfectly acceptable brunch fare. Sweet, savory, raw, paleo, and vegan dishes all happily co-habitate the table and everyone gets the taste combinations they desire. 

Plus, it’s the only meal where drinking alcohol before noon is totally acceptable.

So last weekend I declared that I would bake. Then I forgot to look up a new recipe to test out. I got to the cupboard at 10am on Sunday morning and decided to wing it. I discovered some bits and pieces of dried fruits that were too small for a fruit cake, but once combined became the perfect amount for a dozen muffins. 

Sometimes forgetfulness is the mother of tasty invention, and this is a great example of a lemon situation turning into delicious lemonade.

Except it was muffins. 

Ginger-Date-Cherry Muffins (Gluten-free & vegan) 

 Yield: 10-12 muffins

½ cup dried fruit (mind was a combo of candied ginger, Medjool dates and dried cherries)

2 tablespoons hot water

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour

1 cup almond meal

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

¼ cup Sucanat sugar

1/3 cup melted coconut oil + 2 extra teaspoons for oiling muffin tins

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 Gluten-Free, vegan, ginger-date-cherry muffinsGluten-Free, vegan, ginger-date-cherry muffins

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Drip 1-2 drops of coconut oil into each hole in a muffin tin. Use your fingers to lightly oil all around each hole. Set aside.
  3. Chop the dried fruit into 1/4-inch pieces and combine in a small bowl. Drizzle hot water over top and set the bowl aside.
  4. Combine the flour, almond meal, salt , baking powder, and sugar to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine
  5. Measure the coconut oil and vanilla extra and combine with the water and fruit. Pour into the dry mix and stir until just combined.
  6. Using a medium ice cream scooper, scoop even amounts into each muffin hole.
  7. Bake for 14 minutes, rotating after 7 minutes.
  8. Serve hot or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Not that ours lasted through the afternoon…

 

Xox,

Alex

 

 

How to end stomach bloating…forever

I had a beautiful autumn weekend in Pennsylvania Dutch country – Amish buggies, classic car shows and we even tried some homemade cider donuts! I loved that they were small, not very sweet, and freshly made.

Cider & Donut

 

Now, I don’t eat these foods a lot – they’re a sometimes food, as my son calls them. If I eat too much sugar or gluten, my body starts to rebel. I’ll get bloated and tired. But I know what to do to avoid getting bloated, and how to stop it if it happens.

I get this question a lot – in fact it’s one of the top concerns for my clients and readers:

“I’m bloated and I’ve tried everything – what can I do?”

That’s what my friend Rebekah wanted to know, so I made a special video with my top tips on how to end stomach bloat. Watch it HERE:

 

In my short & sweet video you’ll discover:

  • Which toxic 7 foods cause MOST stomach bloat that you can cut out
  • Which condiment you can add to your meals to stop the bloat before it starts
  • HOW you’re eating may cause the bloat, and how to do it better
  • My favorite tool for ending stomach pain at home or work
    Use a hot water bottle after meals
  • AND my top supplement trick – and how you may have been doing it wrong all these years

If you like the video, please share the link with your friends!

XO,

Alex