Summer Soup + Salvation

avocado zucchini soup

avocado zucchini soup

Here’s what I love about nature and life:

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

Case in point: summer cooling foods.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Avocado Zucchini Soup:

1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium) roughly chopped

1 avocado, peeled and pitted

1 cup peeled and chopped cucumber

1/2 small yellow onion

1 cup unsweetened almond milk or organic buttermilk

1/2 cup packed basil leaves

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine all in a blender and blend until smooth!

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

Cauliflower Rice Recipe: Inspiration In The Kitchen

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

And I’ve felt a bit guilty about it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cauliflower Rice Recipe:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

xo,

Alex

 

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

41 Sneaky Names For Sugar

41 Sneaky Names For Sugar

If you’ve ever been on a cleanse or detox diet, you were probably told to stop eating sugar as part of the plan. If you’re trying to clear up yeast or acne, you may have been warned to avoid sugar and alcohol. Fine, you thought. I can have my coffee without sugar, and I don’t drink soda anymore. I’ll have soda water with lime at the party this weekend.

But watch out:

Added sugars lurk everywhere, even in places we’ve come to know and love. Health food stores are stocked with treats that look healthy and come in cute wrappers, which lead us to think the food inside must be good for us — or at least better for us than the bag of Oreos we used to buy. Just because something is called a nectar doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

A sugar is any chemically-related, sweet-tasting carbohydrate, most of which are consumed as food. Most are derived from plants, but sugars can exist in many tissues, and just because something is derived from a plant doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

True, many of the sweeteners listed below offer more nutrition than the refined white crystal sugar you find in a sugar packet. For instance, blackstrap molasses contains a good amount of iron, and raw honey offers enzymes and antioxidants. Still, these “natural sweeteners” are sugar to your body.

Whether you’re doing a cleanse to cleare up your skin, growing your energy, or reducing your pain, eliminating added sugars and natural sweeteners is a great experiment. It can be hard to avoid all the natural sweeteners that are really sugar unless you put on your food detective hat at the store.

Here are 41 names for sugar to look out for:

  1. Agave nectar
  2. Barley malt
  3. Beet sugar
  4. Black strap molasses
  5. Brown rice syrup
  6. Brown sugar
  7. Cane sugar
  8. Caramel
  9. Carob syrup
  10. Coconut palm sugar
  11. Corn sweetener
  12. Corn syrup
  13. Corn-syrup solids
  14. Crystalline fructose
  15. Date sugar
  16. Dehydrated cane juice
  17. Dextrin
  18. Dextrose
  19. Dried oat syrup
  20. Evaporated can juice crystals
  21. Evaportated cane juice
  22. Fruit juice concentrate
  23. Glucose
  24. Golden syrup
  25. Gum syrup
  26. High-fructose corn syrup
  27. Honey
  28. Inverted sugar
  29. Malt syrup
  30. Maltodextrin
  31. Maltose
  32. Maple syrup
  33. Muscavado
  34. Palm sugar
  35. Refiner’s syrup
  36. Simple syrup
  37. Sorghum syrup
  38. Sucanat
  39. Sucrose
  40. Treacle
  41. Turbinado

This article was originally published on MindBodyGreen.com, written by Alexandra Jamieson.

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

Feeding my craving for sisters + how I ended the mean girl shame

Cravings Cleanse with Alex Jamieson

I’m afraid of women.

Not my individual friends – I have dozens of amazing, trustworthy, inspiring girlfriends who I honestly feel are my spiritual sisters.

One-on-one, I love being with them.

But groups? Nope. Scary.

gossip

 

When I was in middle school, I was “mean girled.” I was the new kid at my junior high, having moved to Los Angeles with my mom so she could finish her degree after my folks divorced. I made friends pretty quickly, and was soon eating lunch with a clique of popular, smart girls, with whom I took honors english, typing, and history. Then one day, the fun turned sour:

I was a hungry, growing girl who ran around a lot, skate boarding, riding my bike, and walking to school every day. So I ate a big lunch. Two hot dogs. Every day.

This one girl started staring at me and my 2 hot dogs. She stared at me while I ate. I could feel her judgment and gaze, and I got more and more uncomfortable.

Then she started gossiping about me to the other girls. How I was a pig for eating so much. How gross it was. How they shouldn’t let me sit there. Not all the girls paid attention to her, but after a few days I didn’t sit with them anymore. I sat with other kids or by myself.

And I felt so nervous walking into our classes together. Because they stopped talking to me. They wouldn’t sit with me on the bus, or stand in line with me on our class trip to Disney Land.

It was horrible.

But I didn’t realize until recently how this incident led me to put up a wall between me and groups of females.

My 40th birthday is this week, and I decided that it’s time to put this old story to rest. So I invited 15 women to my house for a sister circle.

It was the first time I’d had a group of lady friends over to our new home, since we finally had the boxes unpacked and pictures hung.

And it was my first time hosting a sister circle. What’s a sister circle, you may well ask?

The idea started with my friend Nisha, who created SisterHoodDay.com – when I first saw her email about it, I flinched.

I wanted to spend more time with women, to create in-person communities and supportive live groups, as I’ve been doing for years in my online cleanses and programs. In those online coaching programs I lead women through 8-week transformational frameworks to help them feel + look well, and end the war with their bodies. I love my online groups, and the supportive community they create is astounding.

Yet, getting together in person with a group of women felt dangerous. But I craved the deeper connection that comes with in-person gatherings and support.

So I sent a few emails, vacuumed, made some scones, and took a deep breath. I couldn’t believe how nervous I was! I even got my nails done, in an effort to impress these women.

In fact, I put more effort into getting ready for this group than I did for my first date with my partner Bob. And the stakes were higher:

  • would they all like each other?
  • would they still like me?
  • would I screw up the circle?
  • how would I “run” a circle?!
  • would they think I was a total dork for putting on this woo-woo women’s thing?

As each woman arrived, I greeted her with a hug, thanked her for getting up early and trudging to Brooklyn on a Saturday morning, and handed her a cup of tea or water.

As I watched all these beautiful, loving women meet each other, I realized I had been hiding from them, but I’d also kept them from each other – my own fear had gotten in the way of their possible friendships.

We gathered in my living room, circled up on the couch and floor pillows, and I shared why I had asked them to join me.

Cravings Cleanse with Alex Jamieson

When I was through with my story, two other women immediately shared their own middle-school “mean girl” tales, and that THEY had also been afraid of women, made easier relationships with men, and felt disconnected from their bodies as a result of that early girlhood experience.

The tears flowed, more stories about body-shame, food trouble, and laughter about similarities bubbled up throughout the morning.

Finally, relaxed and bonded by the oxytocin which you could almost cut with a knife, I asked my friends to share their desires for the coming spring.

I believe that if we truly want our lives to match our inner fantasies, we have to speak our desires out loud, and ask the people in our lives to support us as we create them.

And they shared such beautiful desires and cravings:

  • to get in the best shape of my life
  • to find a partner
  • to have great sex with my partner
  • to be a YouTube star
  • to recommit to my own healing path + end the fight with food

By the end of just two hours, we were sisters. Women who had never met before were hugging, sharing phone numbers and hooking up for later dates.

Everyone glowed as they left. Everyone thanked me for putting the circle together. And I felt incredibly humbled, safe, and supported.

Now I have another craving – to continue getting women together in circles, where we can support, honor, and love each other on our evolving journeys.

xo,

Alex

Join my 8-week Cravings Cleanse which starts 4/16.

Our online sisterhood is a safe, fun place of healing and support, I guarantee it!

Top Reviews for Women, Food, And Desire! Goop, FitBottomedGirls.com, Bustle.com!

5 books to love yourself

FitBottomedGirls.com named Women, Food, And Desire 1 of 5 books to Love Yourself Healthy – see the full list here:

http://fitbottomedgirls.com/2015/02/5-books-to-love-yourself-healthy/
GOOP

Goop.com, otherwise known as Gwenyth Paltrow’s health and lifestyle website, named Women, Food, And Desire their top non-fiction winter read for 2015!

See the whole thing here: http://goop.com/late-winter-reading/

bustle header divorce

Bustle.com names Women, Food, And Desire 1 of 12 books to help you get through your divorce easier:

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

 Get your copy of Women, Food, And Desire here! xo, Alex

Amazon
Powells
IndieBound
Barnes & Noble

How to cut root vegetables without cutting off a finger. Roasted Root Vegetable Recipe!

How to cut up and cook turnips + how to cut up and cook root vegetables

How to cut up and cook turnips + how to cut up and cook root vegetables

How to cut up and cook turnips + how to cut up and cook root vegetables

How to cut up and cook turnips + how to cut up and cook root vegetables. Having fun with root vegetables! Kids enjoy playing with food – so do I!

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How to cut up and cook turnips + how to cut up and cook root vegetables. How to cut a parsnip. Cut into even sized chunks for even baking.

How to cut up and cook turnips + how to cut up and cook root vegetables

How to cut up and cook turnips + how to cut up and cook root vegetables. Cut up a turnip without cutting off a finger. Cut off the top and root end for two flat ends, then cut in half.

How to cut up and cook turnips + how to cut up and cook root vegetables without losing a finger. Always cut a flat edge so the round vegetables have a flat side to rest on so they don’t wobble around.

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How to cut up and cook turnips + how to cut up and cook root vegetables without losing a finger. Always cut a flat edge so the round vegetables have a flat side to rest on so they don’t wobble around.

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How to cut up and cook turnips + how to cut up and cook root vegetables without losing a finger. Always cut a flat edge so the round vegetables have a flat side to rest on so they don’t wobble around.

 

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How to cut up and cook turnips + how to cut up and cook root vegetables without losing a finger. Always cut a flat edge so the round vegetables have a flat side to rest on so they don’t wobble around.

How to cut up and cook turnips + how to cut up and cook root vegetables without losing a finger. Always cut a flat edge so the round vegetables have a flat side to rest on so they don't wobble around. Toss with 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil or bacon drippings, and a pinch of salt. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.

How to cut up and cook turnips + how to cut up and cook root vegetables without losing a finger. Always cut a flat edge so the round vegetables have a flat side to rest on so they don’t wobble around. Toss with 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil or bacon drippings, and a pinch of salt. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.

How to snack for a body you love

The big problem I have with extreme diets and detoxes is the purposeful calorie restriction.

Here’s my stake in the sand, my rage against what I call the Diet Industrial Complex:

Calories. Don’t. Matter.

 

tomato

When you’re trying to cleanse your body of built up toxins and inflammation, and to really heal your digestion, hormones, and mood, counting calories is a false promise.

It’s all about the types of food you put in your body, avoiding foods like gluten, dairy, sugar, corn, soy, and caffeine for a while, and adding foods and supplements to heal your body.

spread love

Counting calories makes you crazy and fills your head with useless numbers.

Counting calories (or points for the “weight watchers rejects” who have finally escaped) focuses on the wrong thing:

Counting calories makes you stop listening to your body, and that keeps the horrible cycle of dieting and body-shame in place. CLICK TO TWEET THIS

paleo wraps

What you see here is a sample of the snacks that I enjoy, and that are Cravings Cleanse approved. My rules for snacks while on the cleanse are:

  • Toxic 6 free (gluten, dairy, corn, soy, sugar, and caffeine)
  • I eat when I’m truly hungry
  • I eat slowly, with love, appreciation, and away from my computer
  • Snacks have to be yummy!

egg and avo

Whether hard boiled eggs, avocados filled with extra virgin olive oil, fruit, chopped veggies, or coconut wraps filled with apple slices and almond butter, my snacks are healthy, yummy, and cleanse approved.

banana almond butter

avocado

I will not choose a snack based on how many calories are on the label.

And that’s how I’ve been coaching my clients to eat for over 13 years.

Because counting calories will not tell you how a food makes you feel, and that’s the most important thing you can learn now.

Counting calories will not help you heal your body, or fix your relationship with your body.

Choosing wholesome foods, and listening to how your body feels when you eat them, while removing the ingredients that cause us to feel sluggish, bloated, foggy, and in pain, is the only way to really create a new way of eating and living.

And helping you feel well in your body is my main mission.

Join the Cravings Cleanse – we begin 2/12. 

xo,

Alex

Chocolate IS love…Raw Cacao Valentines Recipes

Chocolate is Love.

At least that’s what our brains think.

See, when we eat chocolate, a whole cascade of happy chemicals and hormones get triggered, making us feel a bit high, happy, relaxed and excited all at the same time.

Kinda like love.

Raw Cacao Truffle Recipe

Cacao contains a delicious mix of natural chemicals that make us feel darned close to giddy in love:

Phenylethylamine is often called the “love drug,” that has heightening physiological effects… fatty acids called cannabinoids (yes, relatives of those found in pot), make you feel relaxed and intoxicated, and all of this leads to a release of the pleasure-producing hormones dopamine and serotonin.

Top it all off with a dose of sugar normally found in our cocoa treats, and you’ve got a world-class super drug.

With all of these happy high chemicals coming in legal, cheap, bite-sized nuggets, it’s amazing we aren’t all on the streets collecting pop bottles and turning tricks to get another fix! (Too much? Ok, maybe just collecting pop bottles…)

Luckily, the amounts of these mind-altering chemicals found in chocolate are relatively small compared with other drugs like marijuana, ecstasy, and morphine.

Our modern brains are used to the amounts and effects of the pleasure-inducing chemicals released by our coffee, tea, cocoa, and energy drinks, and we can only produce so much dopamine.

When we eat a ton of chocolate and release a bunch of dopamine, our bodies immediately seek balance by shutting down the hormone production. This leads to desensitization to both dopamine and chocolate’s effects over time.

Which makes me think we should all be living slightly cleaner lives with less caffeine, sugar and other “happy drugs” so that we can really enjoy the effects of chocolate more!

Cacao pod, Costa Rica, Alex Jamieson, raw cacao recipes

Cacao pod

A BRIEF HISTORY OF CACAO

Cacao flowers, Costa Rica, Alex Jamieson, raw cacao recipes

Cacao flowers, Costa Rica

Humans weren’t the first culinary smarties to figure out that cacao seeds were edible.

We learned it from watching monkeys.

Found in pods growing in South American rain forests, cacao seeds are covered with a slimy, slightly-sweet gel, sort of like leechee fruit.

Monkeys and people cracked open the pods, sucked on the fruit and spat out the seeds.

 

The raw seeds inside were bitter and pretty gross, so few animals or humans ate them, even though they were high in fat.

Carrying these seeds along their migrations caused the cacao trees to spread throughout South America and Central America.

But what happened next in chocolate’s history took a stroke of luck: someone realized that when you fermented and then roasted those seeds before eating them, the bitter flavor diminished and the ambrosia-like aroma of chocolate began to tickle their noses.

Once fermented and roasted, those bitter cacao beans begin to smell like melting chocolate. Grind the seeds, add some sugar, cinnamon, and chili pepper, and you’ve got a Water of the Gods, or cacao agua.

I’ve visited a rainforest cacao plantation in Costa Rica and watched the traditional methods for making cacao agua, as well as tasting the fruits, and learning about the lifecycle of this magical food.

Raw Cacao Fruit, Costa Rica, Alex Jamieson, raw cacao recipes

Raw Cacao Fruit

 

Until you can get yourself down to Central America to experience this for yourself, I’ve created a few healthy, delicious cacao (raw cocoa bean) recipes to enjoy with your Valentine, or any time!

Date Night: Cacao Nibs in Dates

Date Night: Raw Cacao and Medjool Dates, Raw Cacao Recipe, Alex Jamieson

Date Night: Raw Cacao, Almond Butter and Medjool Dates

4 Medjool dates, pitted and halved

1 tablespoon cacao nibs

1 tablespoon almond butter

Directions:

Scoop ½ teaspoon into each half of the pitted dates. Sprinkle with cacao nibs and gently press in with your finger so the nibs stick. Serve to your loved one on Date Night!

Goddess Truffles

Goddess Truffles: Raw Cacao Recipe, Alex Jamieson

Goddess Truffles: Raw Cacao Recipe

 

Whether you’re serving them to a Goddess, or you ARE a goddess, these raw cacao truffles are super easy, delicious, and won’t tax your culinary skills. In short, you can show off in the kitchen without trying too hard.

 Raw Cacao Goddess Truffles: Raw Cacao Truffles Recipes

2 cups raw nuts (I used 1 cup each almonds and cashews)

½ cup pitted Medjool dates

pinch sea salt

4 tablespoons raw cacao powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey

optional: coconut flour, cacao powder, cinnamon for rolling truffles

Directions:

Combine all (except optional coconut flour, etc) in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are well ground and mixed with the dates.

Using a tablespoon or a small ice cream scooper, scoop the mixture into your hand and form into truffle balls.

You can now roll in coconut flour or other decorations, or eat raw.

Goddess Truffles: Raw Cacao Recipe, Alex Jamieson, Valentine's Day Recipe, Vegan Valentine

Goddess Truffles: Raw Cacao Recipe

Serve as is, or crumbled on banana slices.

WHY I USE RAW CACAO

As you may have noticed, these recipes call for raw cacao, which is different from baking chocolate, chocolate chips, and all products made with dutched or processed chocolate. The health benefits of raw cacao are pretty awesome, and you can make a lot of easy treats with it.

And for me, healthy + delicious = perfect.

Why Raw Cacao is the best Chocolate

Why Raw Cacao is the best Chocolate

 

BUT, you have to buy the right kind of cacao to get the most benefits and avoid the toxins found in conventional cacao production. Certified Organic Raw Cacao is an excellent source of antioxidants. It it’s NOT Certified Organic Raw Cacao, then you are also eating a lot of chemicals from irradiation and spraying of chemicals which are standard practice in growing cacao beans.

All of my recipes use organic raw cacao powder and raw cacao nibs.

If you’re wondering, here are some health benefits of raw cacao:

Magnesium: Cacao beans are a great source of this mineral (270 milligrams per 100 grams), which is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies, including muscle and nerve function, and is a muscle relaxant associated with feelings of calmness.

Sulphur: Cacao is also high in sulfur, which helps grow strong nails and hair.

Fiber: A chocolate bar doesn’t offer any fiber, but if you eat raw cacao, you’ll get 9 grams per ounce!

Iron: An ounce of the raw cacao beans or nibs (crushed beans) contains six per cent of your recommended daily iron intake.

Antioxidants: Raw cocoa powder tops the antioxidant list with almost four times the amount of antioxidants as Goji Berries. But be careful! You may be sensitive to the caffeine effects on your nervous system, so take it easy on this stimulant.

 

Here are 2 compounds in cacao that you might want to be careful of:

Theobromine: which makes up 1-2% of the cacao bean and, like caffeine, is a nervous system stimulant that dilates the blood vessels — much like caffeine. This is what makes chocolate unsafe for dogs, and causes uncomfortable sensations for sensitive humans.

Phenylethylamine (PEA): While our bodies also produce PEA (an adrenal-related chemical) when we’re excited, it causes our pulse to quicken. While this makes some of us feel alert and excited, it can have an uncomfortable effect on people who are sensitive and wanting to lower their heart rate.

With all this in mind, choose the healthiest chocolate for you and your loved ones, and enjoy the natural high of the food of the gods.

These and other Toxic 6-Free chocolate delights are all Cravings Cleanse approved!

Join me for an 8-week exploration & healing journey to get your cravings, taste-buds, hormones, and waistline back in alignment.

Click here to register – we start 2/12: 

Xo,

Alex

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.

 

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