How to finally get the motivation you want – for real

“I wish I wanted to go to the gym every day.”
“I WANT to want to have sex with my husband more.”
I’ve heard these two secret wishes a lot from my friends and clients lately.
We all have dreams, goals, desires, and life cravings.
93% of people, polled by the American Psychological Association, have some aspect of their behavior that they want to change.
And most of our goals involve improving our health, body, confidence, sleep, relationships, finances…
If so many of us want to change, in such basic, important ways, why do less than half of us maintain the changes we attempt?
Why is change so hard?
wwywtw
 
Most of us blame lack of willpower when we fall short of our goals.
Many of us blame a lack of time, or not enough money when we don’t go for it.
I believe it really comes down to the clarity of your wants, the strength of your desire, the reasons for your craving.
AKA: Motivation.
There are two kinds of motivation, and one is more powerful than the other.
External motivation is when we try something to earn a reward or avoid a punishment: dropping a size so we can fit into the skinny jeans, getting a raise so you can buy the new car, going to the gym every day so we don’t get heart disease…some day.
External motivation might be enough to get you started, but it’s not enough to keep you going.
Internal motivation is the secret sauce.
Internal motivation is when you fall in love with an activity because it is rewarding to your body, life, and soul. It lights you up and makes you come alive:
It’s when you go to yoga every week because it makes you glow and feel alive.
It’s when you play a game because it really excites you.
It’s when you love your work so much you would do it for free.
It’s when you put down your phone before dinner and don’t use it all night so you can be with your honey, which brings you the intimacy and juicy fun you crave.
Here’s an exercise you can use right now to get motivated from within, and have real, lasting change:
It’s called WANTING WHAT YOU WANT TO WANT (AKA: WWYWTW).
Getting specific about your desires, setting clear goals, stating your intentions –
these are all important strategies to follow. You need a map to know where you’re going, right?
But defining a goal or desire is really clarifying “what you want.”
What do you want to be MORE motivated to do?
Or: what do you want to want?
It might sound like this: (a few examples from my own and my clients lives)
I want to want to exercise so much that it’s naturally a part of every day.
I want to want to eat green vegetables!
I want to want to go to sleep at 10 every night so I’m well rested.
This can extend to dating, relating, career, and more: 
I want to want to share my paintings online…
I want to want to date so that I get out there and finally meet some cool people…
I want to want to have sex with my partner more so that we feel more connected…
I want to want to start my own coaching practice so strongly that I finally sign up for that program that would really get me started…
Right now, pick one thing you WANT to want more.
Once you’ve got one good thing that you WANT to WANT, do this:
come up with a few things that would make you want that more.
If you want to want to go to yoga twice a week, you might say:
…if I went with a friend and we had a tea date after.
…if I knew the teacher was great and played good music.
…if I had a new yoga outfit that made me feel comfortable and cute.
If you want to want to have more juicy, sexy time with your partner, you might think:
if we both put our phones and gadgets away before dinner and keep them off…
if we sat together and shared our fantasies in a safe, loving way with no agenda…
if we spent an hour apart, focusing on our own self-pleasure first, to get ready…
if I got my favorite erotica book, and he watched something that turns him on first…
That would put you into the zone of actually wanting.
Your intrinsic motivation will blossom.
You will come act, make headway, and come alive.
This positive psychology technique can help you identify strategies that boost your intrinsic, personal, soul-driven motivation.
Once you have really good reasons for WHY you want to want a new activity, food, or habit, you’ll follow through for yourself.
Confidence blooms, action is sustained, mountains move.
So now I want to hear from you: 
In the comments below, share the thing you want to want.
Get clear about your desires and life cravings and WHY you might want to want them as a lovely way to grow you motivation.
I’d love to read your thoughts and desires!
xo,
Alex
P.S. I’m now accepting applications for the Vitality Mentorship program. This 4-month experience combines private sessions with me and weekly support and coaching with a group of 20 women.

How to be YOU when it’s scary but your life depends on it

how to be you

I wanted men, and I wanted meatballs.
This wasn’t an easy realization when I had published three vegan cookbooks, become famous as the “vegan girlfriend” and co-creator of Super Size Me, and was also known for being married to a famous filmmaker.
Getting clear about what I really needed in my life, and on my dinner plate, was a messy, scary, and profoundly important task. It required me to listen to my soul and my body, and be authentically me, in public, even when it felt like I was stepping in front of a firing squad to do so.

Authenticity: An honest action, made faithfully, resembling the facts, reliable, emotionally appropriate and true.
We all want it, but it’s hard to be you – the authentic you.

how to be you
Few parents teach us how to be ourselves, few teachers share how to follow our gut, and the feminine quality of “intuitive and sensitive” doesn’t hold much sway in our culture.
After 10 years of happy vegan-hood, birthing a baby boy into the world, writing three books and running my own health coaching practice, my life took a dramatic turn for the fucked.
My marriage was in shambles and my hormones were shot, and my business was on hold as my husband traveled the world and I took care of our son. My body and soul began to break down.
I had been known as a vegan expert, but I started craving meat as my hormones swung wildly out of control. I did my best to ignore it, which started a tortuous, abusive relationship with my body.
My husband hadn’t made love to me in over a year, and my coaching business was flailing as I couldn’t authentically promote my services when my own body and soul felt so depleted.
Nothing felt good, except my love for my son, the support of a few amazing friends, and a dim hope and resilience that refused to die.
As I moved myself and my boy into a smaller apartment, and trudged through the long divorce process, I finally got out for dinner with some friends.
I remember seeing their steak and salmon appear on our table, and my mouth secretly salivated as I grimly bit into my tofu salad. I wanted their food, but I couldn’t listen to my body’s cravings because my thoughts were too twisted up in a pretzel about what I “should” eat.
Yet, my body knew. She told me, over and over again, that I needed to change how I was eating in order to save myself. So I secretly bought some eggs, moved to fish, and then finally took the plunge to grass fed beef.
My body sang a Hallelujah! And my mind reeled with fear.
I suffered in silence for over a year about what was happening with my body and my meat cravings. I was afraid I would be ostracized and lose my entire business if I came out and admitted the vegan diet wasn’t working for me.
Then a funny thing happened on the way to the butcher. As I ate the meat my body wanted, my hormones came back to balance, and my libido and physical confidence, long lost, came back like a freight train.
I wanted feel alive again, and began dating like it was my job. Through over 100 first dates in eighteen months, I began to make friends with my body and trust her again. We talked a lot, and I listened to her as she gave me insights about who I should not date again, who I should enjoy a fulfilling one-night-stand with, and who I should ask out again and get to know better.
As I gave my body what helped her thrive, both meat and men, my grit and confidence grew. And the trust I had in myself was being built, meal by meal, date by date.
Building trusted relationships with an intimate group of real people, who don’t just retweet your ideas, was an essential step in staying strong on this path of discovery and clarity.
There will always be people who don’t agree with you, or think you’re weird, or call you downright nasty things. Shaming is the new public theater of the internet age. Build your community of actual, in-real-life friends who support you as you are, and who you are becoming. Joining a community of heart-centered entrepreneurs and best-self seekers was one way I committed to my truth – the women I met there have continued to be a great source of strength in my life.
In positive psychology, the idea that “you are the five people you spend the most time with” has been tested and proven. Cultivate friends and family who are fierce and loyal supporters of your evolution. They may not always agree with your strategy, but they will always agree with your possibility.

When I finally “came out” to my online tribe and Facebook, I was so glad that I had the physical resilience and trusted community around me. The internet blew up, and my story went viral.
I lost friends. Actual friends, not just people “unfriending” me.
But I stuck with my truth, trusted my body, and kept listening to her, throughout the thousands of hate mails, death threats, and angry phone calls from people who now hated me because I changed how I ate, and what I believed.
My journey resulted in my new best selling book, Women, Food, And Desire and a juicy, joyful 3-year romance with my partner Bob. And my passion for helping women find what makes their bodies and lives come alive has doubled my business and my impact on the world.

We need to stay strong and true to the vision for our life and our work, even in the face of negative feedback.
To be our true selves, it’s necessary to act on our body’s instructions and do the things, and eat the foods, and spend time with the people, who help us come alive.
Building a life and a business that feels authentic and honors your truth requires self-knowledge, trust, faith, and a deep, powerful connection to your body. Listen to her, and trust her.

Want to join me and a growing group of women who want the same thing?

Their lives and their bodies back. Their aliveness.

The 4-month Vitality Mentorship is open for applications – go here to apply!  

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

 

3 easy ways to stay true to YOU while you take care of others

Why am I so danged sensitive to other people’s emotions?
Why do we ladies seem to put everyone else’s needs before our own?
And how can we be caring contributors and still make our own needs a priority?
3  Easy ways to stay true to
We women are afraid of hurting other people by taking care for ourselves first.
We think other people’s happiness depends on us.
And if we don’t take care of them perfectly, we will feel terrible, so it’s better to just keep focusing on them…
And this way of thinking totally backfires on us.
…we don’t want to rock the boat at the family dinner by asking for different food or bringing our own, and end up eating the gluten/corn/soy/sugar/dairy that makes us bloated, cranky, and foggy for the next three days.
…we sense a bit of disapproval so we don’t ask for time off or stay too late to finish a project that really won’t cure cancer.
…we don’t ask for help, like ever. And we end up stressed, exhausted, and eating our way through a bag of potato chips and a pint of ice cream at least once a week.
There’s some pretty good science to back up a very controversial idea: women’s brains are different. Our anterior cingulate cortex, the worrywart/emotional sensitivity/observer part of the brain, is actually larger, which helps us in some ways:
– we are more intuitive with our nonverbal babies to know what they need
– we sense what our friends and partners are feeling, sometimes before they do
– we can see a magical, rich quality to life with unique ways of looking at the world
So how can we balance our cravings for self-care + self-fulfillment with our innate sensitivity + desire to help others?
Here are 3 ways to start:

1. Ask yourself: Can someone else do this for me, even better than I can?

I was helping my son with his math this morning. In between washing up from breakfast and making his lunch, I’d dash back to the kitchen table to help him stay focused on the complicated word problems.
My partner Bob walked in, noticed I was stressed, and asked “Can I help with something?”
I almost said “Nope! I got this!”
And I realized, YES – he could TOTALLY help out!
I was stuck in a mindset that I had to do it all to be a good mom.
I asked him to help my son with his math, and got back to the cutting board. As I finished putting blueberries in the container, I heard the gentle, skilled voice of my partner lead our frustrated 8-year old through his task.
It was beautiful! They worked so well together, by the end they were both smiling.
Bob got up, told me that he had prayed to see his strengths during his morning meditation, and said he’d be happy to take over math help from now on.
When we allow others to help out and use their strengths, it helps them feel good and capable, while taking the pressure of us to do it all.

2. Tend + Befriend = A Secret Stress Squasher

If work and family stress are too high, and driving you to the drive-thru too often, take time out for someone else: a complete stranger.
A series of studies from Stanford Medical School show that we can relieve our own biological stress when we volunteer in a way that really lights up our passions: think animal shelter, nature conservancy, serving meals at a food pantry, etc.
Adults who contribute to charity are more resilient in the face of major life traumas, and people who feel time-starved (too much to do! so little time!) can actually relax that stress response by spending time on others.
Helping others, especially as a volunteer, creates the oxytocin and biochemistry of hope and courage, as well as physical resilience, that quiets our fears and despair.
This time “off” from normal duties can be a kind of mini-vacation: spending time doing something you love (I love weeding and gardening, so volunteering at the local park was a favorite volunteer gig for me), always reconnects you to your true passions.

3. Keep A Rock Star Diary

I have a rock star diary. I have to remind myself of my accomplishments so that when the “bitch brain” gremlins come out I have proof that I’m not a loser-imposter-fraud.
Positive Psychology shows that when we have pride in our accomplishments we feel more anchored to our self-worth.
A few ways to keep a Rock Star Diary:
– take pictures of your creations or positive reviews with your phone
– one night a week, write down 5 great things that happened this week and your part in helping those things happen. You know, take some credit! It’s more empowering.
– send an email to 5 favorite friends and ask them to write their 3 favorite things about you (take a picture of all of these with your phone, print them out and post them to your office wall, tattoo them to your arm, whatever it takes)
– keep a note in your phone of inspiring quotes or set a daily alarm at 3pm that flashes a quote as your appointment. Try these on for size:
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.
You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball
 
“Never bend your head. Always hold it high.
Look the world straight in the face.”
– Helen Keller
 
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked.
Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
– Louise L. Hay
You want to feel like you can rely on yourself, make good choices, like you’re going to stick with your healthy intentions, and that you’re going to be supported and loved for your desires, not judged.
It’s ALL possible. Use just one of these easy ways to stay true to you and you’ll feel more aligned with your true self, while more capable of helping others, which is what we really love.
Now I want to hear from you – how do you stay true to your desires, cravings, and needs while still helping other people and being a rock star in the world?
Please share your comments and ideas below and let us know.
xo,
Alex
P.S. Next week I’ll be opening my exclusive Vitality Program for 20 women. This highly supportive, deep dive into your desires, challenges, and next steps will be open for applications on Monday. I’m SO excited to share it with you – keep an eye out! xo

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.

 

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

The Clean Slate Club, Retox/Detox, and starting over

Time to join the Clean Slate Club?

I celebrated the HECK out of my 40th birthday up until Friday!

Thanks to all of you who emailed or posted birthday wishes.
It really felt good (and honestly, a little vulnerable) to be so loved + celebrated.

I had a roller skating birthday party with girlfriends, just like when I was 12…
had champagne, pizza, fresh fries, three kinds of cake (all gluten-free, of course)…
long days, late nights, and lots of laughter with friends.

And no birthday is complete without a gluten-free Minecraft cake topped with action figures!

birthday

But today…
I’m ready for a clean slate.

A clean slate with food.

In my Positive Psychology certification, I’ve studied the “fresh start effect.”
These are timely landmarks we use to make a change in our lives or behavior.

Turning 30, 40, or 50, or better (yes, I just got 2 emails from 80-year-young women who loved Women, Food, And Desire)…
the change of seasons (yes, it’s actually spring)…
New Year’s Day…

It’s a symbolic, energetic new beginning.
A break with the past, a declaration that the old way is over.

I’ve mastered the art of giving myself a clean slate, a fresh start:

I live my life by a diet of my own creation – I call it “detox/retox.”

I eat good, fresh food that helps me stay healthy, feel the energy I crave, and stay well…
80% of the time.

20% of the time I party down shamelessly with great chocolate, popcorn, artisinal cheese, and the occasional Bloody Mary.

I don’t feel guilty when I indulge for a night, a weekend, or even a few weeks.
Because I know that I will hear my body’s message to get back to a clean slate…

That shameless part?
HUGE.

When you make yourself bad for “eating wrong” or “falling off the food wagon,”
you can’t really grow, because you always think of yourself as damaged.

Eating well + loving life is the goal.
That means feeling really good, and enjoying foods that help you live a life
and savor the flavors life has to offer.

Your body is wise, designed to feel + seek pleasure, and you deserve to feel great.

But that’s not how we feel, is it?

Most of us were members of the “clean plate club” as kids –
we were forced to eat our whole meal even if we felt full.

That led most of us to mistrust our bodies, not recognize hunger, and put our
body’s needs and desires second, after someone else’s expectations of us.

Time to join the

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the time, feeling great means eating foods that rebuild your digestive system, which in turn create happy neurotransmitters, which in turn build a positive mood, confidence, and resilience to create, do, and stand for your desires in life.

Sometimes great means clinking a wine glass (or three) with your dearest friends,
celebrating each other and marking a great milestone.

Most of the time, we need to eat from a clean slate, while holding the frame
that “perfect” isn’t the goal, that we each have permission to be human.

I think it’s time to give yourself a clean slate.
To start fresh and begin anew with your body and food.

Imagine your life is a white board, covered with the mean thoughts, words,
and past “mistakes” you’ve made with food, dieting, and your body.

You can start fresh + wipe that slate clean, and start over.

But I can only hand you the eraser…
YOU have to do the work of getting clean.
I can even stand next to you, encouraging you as you wipe your body, slate, and habitual thoughts clean –
I can even hand you a nice fresh pen to rewrite your story.
But you still need to show up and do the work.

Are you ready for a clean slate?
If you are, join me and a growing community of women just like you in my “clean slate club” –

The Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover.

This 8-week live coaching and online cleanse is the best program I’ve ever created to help you clean up your eating habits,
while transforming how you talk to yourself in your head, and how you think about food, pleasure, and more.

Filled with simple to follow food-based cleanse, you will finally feel in your own body what foods are right or wrong for you.
And you’ll get positive psychology tools to help you feel hopeful, strong, and oriented to grow.

And you’ll get your clean slate.
And feel like you truly deserve it.
‘Cause you do.

xo,
Alex

p.s. you can have a clean slate, a fresh start, any time you want. But doing it with a group of people, and a coach,
are the best ways I know to really make it happen for you. Come with us: http://alexandrajamieson.com/cravings-cleanse/

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!

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.

IMG_0392

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.

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