72 Secrets of Pleasurable Weight Loss with Jena la Flamme

Alexandra-Jamieson-Jena-laFlamme-Featured-Art-The-Crave-Cast

The Cravings Whisperer Podcast

Welcome back my Clan of the Crave Bears! Today’s show is all about pleasure and pleasure impact on our body, on our energy and on our metabolism. We are raised in this culture to think that pleasure is bad or suspect. Or anything that is pleasurable must be wrong for us or that you only deserve pleasure when we reach a goal. Pleasure is something that we allow ourselves when we are good enough in some way. But usually that “good enough” is based on somebody else’s metrics. Somebody else’s idea of what we should be like. It’s rarely based on just pure pleasure. The pleasure of being alive. Well I have some science and a great interview to shed a different light on pleasure and that pleasure maybe for its own sake may be good and honorable and it maybe the path to health, the path to a new relationship with your body and with food.

Today, Wednesday the 27th of January, we are starting the next round of the group program my cravings cleanse and if this show really lights a fire in you and you want to create a new relationship with your body and feel good in your body come and join us! We start tonight and you can go to cravingscleanse.com to join. We would love to have you!

The University of Hertfordshire in London England put out an interesting little study from their department of psychology recently called “Bodily pleasure matters: velocity of touch modulates body ownership during the rubber hand illusion”. Whatever that means. But the first three words are really important. Bodily pleasure matters. Here is the one sentence of the study that I think is the most interesting take away: “The sense of body ownership represents a fundamental aspect of our self-consciousness.” So let’s break that down a little bit. The sense of body ownership. This experiment it was about touch. Just touching somebody’s hand in a pleasurable way. The sense of body ownership through this pleasurable touch represented a fundamental aspect of our self-consciousness. So our awareness, our ownership, our love, our boundaries with our body has a lot to do with pleasure. The new science that has come out is so interesting and I think it really speaks to the interview with my dear friend Jena la Flamme on her book “Secrets of Pleasurable Weight Loss.”

Alexandra-Jamieson-Jena-laFlamme-Featured-Art-The-Crave-Cast

 

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“Pleasure is a biological requirement” – Jena la Flamme (Click to Tweet)

Show Notes:

    • How Jena got to her approach for pleasurable weight loss
    • When it comes to pleasure, where does all the shame and judgement come from?
    • Learn the history of an idea
    • Why she is so passionate about helping women lose weight
    • What was the turning point with her own personal struggle with pleasure
    • Pleasure is a biological requirement!

“Until sexy is safe you’ll never lose weight” – Jena la Flamme (Click to Tweet)

    • How pleasure helps our body get where we want it to go
    • Most effective shifts for trouble with body image
    • Remember who loves you!
    • How to make sexy safe
    • How to feel safe with attention
    • Have boundaries!

“The way you worship life is to engage with it; is to enjoy it!” – Jena la Flamme (Click to Tweet)

    • A personal pleasure struggle she recently shared on her podcast
    • Have an attitude of being open
    • Be the initiator
    • Goodies on her website

“You can either stress or you can digest but you can’t do both at the same time!” – Alexandra Jamieson (Click to Tweet)

Links Mentioned:

Get your free goodies from Jena on her Website: www.pleasurableweightloss.com

Get Jena’s Book Pleasurable Weight Loss for free when you sign up for Audible.com.

You can connect with Jena on Facebook.

 

This episode is sponsored by Audible.com. Get a free book when you sign up!

 

Take Care of YOU First: Real Talk From Hollywood Mom, Jada

As a mother, entrepreneur, (new) wife, and woman-with-her-own-dreams, I often struggle with keeping all the plates spinning…and the thing that normally drops in the day-to-day is my own self-care.

I struggle with being happy when things (and myself) aren’t perfect.

Here’s a recent stream of thought that drove me crazy:

“I should get on that school fundraiser email…I didn’t follow up with that client!…I haven’t been to my trainer in 2 weeks…Those presents need to be wrapped…I haven’t saved enough in my IRA this year…I had some dairy yesterday!…I should take my friend out for her birthday this week…I’m a terrible friend!…I’m the worst at sales…I need to redo my website…”

It’s insane, isn’t it??

Today’s modern woman, and not a few cool dudes, are held back from giving ourselves what we really need by guilt. We love the idea of nourishing our lives and bodies with daily baths and pleasure playdates with our friends, but something keeps us from following through on a regular basis.

It isn’t just that we feel guilty taking care of ourselves:

we feel, deep down, that setting aside time to meet our own needs – even having needs – is a sign of weakness or failure. We see it as a sign of imperfection in a world that demands nothing less than perfection.

Admitting that you need to work on something is acknowledging a failure and that is really, really hard to do.

Today, I want you to watch Jada Pinkett Smith, the actress, singer, and mother, on how she views this mess we are in. Her thoughts really inspired me, and I hope they inspire you, too:

Join my 7-day Playful Pleasure Challenge: you’ll get daily emails to help you devote time and energy to your own pleasure…for the good of everyone!

We start 12/26! http://bit.ly/T7daysofplay

Top 10 Mind + Body Books of 2015

I love books and read a lot…a LOT.
Books inspire, teach, transport, motivate, and heal me.
This year has been especially inspiring, and I wanted to share the top ten books that moved me, made me laugh, educated me, inspired my thinking or behavior…or, in the case of Come As Your Are, all of the above!

Get one, or get them all. Give them as gifts to people you love who are seeking health, inspiration, and fun…give them as gifts to yourself.

Read them and put their wisdom into action…

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Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Meeting Brene Brown, and handing her a copy of my book, was a HUGE highlight of my year. Her book Daring Greatly was my bible when I was struggling with my divorce and “coming out as no longer vegan.”

Rising Strong is the next step after you dare greatly to be yourself…
…it’s about how to rise after you fail. Because you will fail.

This quote from the book says it all:

“The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness–even our wholeheartedness–actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls.”

This book shows the psychology and practice of what it takes to be authentic, and to overcome the inevitable shame and self-criticism that comes with rising above your old habits.

Recommended for: those on the verge of more leadership, for women on the journey of self-acceptance, those who desire new relationship dynamics, those who seek bravery to be more authentic. Order your copy here: 

Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski

I believe being happy in your body requires that you feel comfortable with your sexuality. Sexual health, expression, and desire are very taboo subjects and rarely talked about when it comes to body confidence and health…

…until now.

Emily Nagoski’s book, Come As You Are is one of the best books I’ve read on sexual health. From the psychology of what “puts the breaks on desire and libido” to the physical anatomy of how our bodies work, and how we can love them more, this book makes the science easy to understand.

Recommended for: women and men who desire more comfort with their own sexuality, want to improve their sexual relationship with themselves or a partner, or those who want to boost their libido without pills. Order your copy here:

Woman On Fire by Amy Jo Goddard

If you’ve read Come As You Are or you’re just ready for a deeper, more vibrant, and more sexually empowered life, this book is for you.

Amy Jo Goddard shares a more personal and spiritual approach to sexuality, how to get back in touch with desire, and how to heal past shame and trauma that may be in the way of enjoying your body.

This book walks you through how to find your erotic truth, and how to feel confident and empowered about your truth as a sexual person.

Recommended for: women looking for permission to explore their sexuality anew, for those looking for a guide in exploring new ways to enjoy sex, those who desire to build and activate their desire. Order Woman On Fire here:

 

Untame Yourself: Reconnect to the Lost Art, Power and Freedom of Being a Woman by Elizabeth Dialtountame

Shame, self-judgment, non-existent boundaries, low self-esteem…this is the torture of the modern woman.

Elizabeth Dialto, personal trainer turned women’s self-empowerment and Wild Soul Movement coach, explores and untangle the ties that bind us to a life we don’t love.

This book offers: spiritual evidence for self-care and “selfishness,” short and efficient exercises for feeling aligned and in love with your body, the low down on becoming discerning rather than judgmental.

Recommended for: Women who want to feel strong and fall in love with their bodies, women who want to learn to trust their instincts and create foundational rituals for juicy self-care. Order Untame Yourself here:

 

Simple Green Smoothies: 100+ Recipes to Lose Weight, Gain Energy And Feel Great In Your Body by Jen Hansard and Jadah Sellner51tlsfZ1G-L

I’ve been drinking “green and protein smoothies” for years…and never felt the need to buy a book of recipes because – come on – who needs more than a banana and some spinach? Oh, how limited was my thinking!

My dear friends Jen and Jadah invite you into a sane and tasty approach to health that will inspire and energize you to get in the kitchen and blend up some magic. The Simple Green Smoothies’ lifestyle doesn’t involve counting calories or eliminating an entire food group. Instead, it encourages you to make one simple change: drink one green smoothie a day.

Simple Green Smoothies includes a 10-day green smoothie kick-start to welcome you into the plant-powered lifestyle, with shopping lists included. Follow it up with 100+ delicious recipes that address everything from weight loss to glowing skin to kid-friendly options.

Recommended for: anyone ready to eat 15% cleaner, who doesn’t love cooking, or just wants to use their new blender a lot… Order Simple Green Smoothies here:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo51H8x07Fd7L

Despite years of trying to “downsize,” organize and de-clutter, I’ve always had piles of papers and masses of t-shirts that end up like a tangled mess of gluten-free spaghetti.

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, and I’ve found a new way to choose what stays in my life from people to books, to kitchen ware, to underwear…

does it bring me joy.

Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to picking away at piles forever…Marie’s KonMari Method, with its easier-to-implement-than-I-imagined category system, leads to lasting results…

…and way more stuff being donated or thrown out than ever.

My closet is now a sweet place of calm. My book shelves make me happy. My bathroom cabinets are easy to navigate.

Recommended for: the pack rat, the daughter of the hoarder, the new couple that just moved in together or are about to move, the downsizer, the peace seeker. Order The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up here:

Pleasurable Weight Loss by Jena LaFlamme

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This book can be boiled down to one main, beautiful, revolutionary idea:
taking the “guilty” out of pleasure.

Bringing “intuitive eating” to a new level, Jena, a dear friend of mine, has highlighted the purpose and value of pleasure as it relates to our whole lives, proper metabolism, digestion, and more…

As with many of my favorite books this year, Jena connects the psychological issues of body image and sexuality with food choices and behaviors. Filled with no-stress practices for savoring life and food, her examples will help you access your body’s wisdom.

Recommended for: the woman who has tried every diet under the sun and is ready to finally enjoy her body and life NOW. Order Pleasurable Weight Loss here:

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

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In this techno-democratic world where everyone with a smartphone can be judge and jury, public shaming has reached a fever pitch.

When I came out as “no longer vegan” I felt the virtual mob jeering at and demonizing me through Facebook and Twitter. More and more people who make mistakes in full view of the cyber-tribe go through the public shaming ringer.

This book examines some high-profile cases of public shaming and asks: what are we doing with our voices? Why are we mercilessly searching for and dancing around people’s faults? Are we using shame as a form of social control in a new way?

Hilarious and deeply considered, this book is a powerful trip into the public cyber-psyche, and makes you think about what part you want to play on this public stage.

Recommended for: anyone who has been publicly shamed (read: everyone), anyone with a social media account or platform. Order So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed here:

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

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I LOVE Amy Poehler. I cried when her show Parks & Recreation ended, and I jumped for joy when her first book Yes Please hit the shelves. Well in my case, hit my ears – I listened to her read the book on audio [get her book FREE here on Audible.com!!], which I highly recommend!

With her warm humor, Amy shows us the show behind the show business curtain – how female comediennes are taking their place in the spotlight, and how she rose to fame with a “rising tides lift all boats” kind of attitude.

With chapters like “Treat Your Career LIke a Bad Boyfriend” and her Plastic Surgery Haiku, Amy will make you laugh as much as she will make you think about how women’s bodies are viewed as part of their talent.

Recommended for: anyone who loves to laugh while being inspired to take a big risk creatively or in their career. Get Yes Please on Audible.com (for free!) or here:

Women, Food, And Desire by Alexandra Jamieson

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What can I say…this book is my heart and soul, and comprises the hours of work, coaching, and teaching I’ve loved serving over the last 15 years. The reviews from readers are amazing, and Goop.com listed it as a top Winter Non-Fiction read.

If you’re ready to change your relationship with food, and your relationship with your body, this book is for you.

BTW, if you like my voice, you can get the book for free HERE on Audible.com! 

Recommended for: the woman who seeks to love and reclaim her body and desires, and the man who loves her.

Write your self-compassion manifesto

How to Write Your Self-compassion Manifesto

There’s a big problem we need to address before you take your next trip down the self-help aisle…

even though we want to like ourselves more…
even when we believe ‘self-compassion’ is the best way to finally enjoy our bodies for good…
even though we have a feeling that beating ourselves up isn’t helping us like food and sex any more…

…we have been trained to be self-critical on such a base level, that we are brainwashed.

We believe, underneath all the positive affirmations and mantras, if we stop beating ourselves up, we will get lazy, complacent, and that we’ll never advance, improve, drop the pounds, or “get better.”

We hang on to our self-criticism. It’s like we are in an abusive relationship with ourselves.

Our sub-conscious thought is that we still have to restrict and deprive ourselves, muscle through, strain, and toil to find happiness and achievement.

I had the honor to coach a woman I truly respect and admire recently…

I’ll call her Janice.

We got on the phone, her in LA, me in Brooklyn, and talked about her desires to create a work-life balance that really honored her mission to run a great company, while at the same time preserving precious time with her daughter and creative time for her own passion projects.

Janice was also struggling with mind chatter that went like this:
I’m in this high-powered role, making good money, but I feel like people are looking at my body because I have a good 15 pounds to lose, and I’m not as young as I used to be, and all these young female execs are hungry and hotter than me, and my sex-life is on the rocks even though I WANT my sex life to be what it used to be, and WHY do they order cookies for every meeting, when am I going to get the trainer with all these meetings on my schedule, and can I get home in time to make a healthy dinner for my daughter and not get distracted by work email so I can actually BE THERE for her childhood?!!! I need to stop eating so much…I wish I had a cocktail right now…

She had come to me to try to end the destructive cycle of if I work harder and put more restrictions on myself then I’ll finally be happy and good enough to deserve pleasure…

My insights for Janice were totally counter to what she thought she needed:

Beating yourself up, restricting your pleasure in life, is like throwing yourself into a cage match with wild animals: your mind and biochemical responses are so stressed that your body is essentially trying to escape the stress by escaping YOURSELF, which is impossible, or to fix the stressed body through suppressing it, which is self-destructive, or you end up avoiding the feelings with food, or other counter-productive actions.

Self-compassion, honey. That’s what you need in this transformation process.

“I hear ’self-compassion,’ but I really believe that if I relax into acting that way, I’ll lose control, gain even more weight, lose my drive, and become a total slug.” Janice was on the edge of a breakthrough…

But here’s the truth:
beating yourself up will never get you a loving, happy relationship with your body…

Beating yourself up blinds you from seeing the truth behind your cravings, and keeps you in a war with what your body is telling you.

Janice confused self-indulgence with self-compassion.

Self-indulgence is what we do to numb our emotional pain and stress, rather than see, feel, and complete the cycle of stress through self-care. (This is where emotional eating, emotional shopping, and other habits come into play)

Self-compassion is taking a deep breath, stepping back, taking the judgment out of your situation, and being patient with yourself through the process of healing and taking a break to align your desires with your life. It gives you the peace you need to choose a new way to manage and honor your cravings.

I gave her an assignment, and I want you to do this too:

Write Your Self-Compassion Manifesto

How to Write Your Self-compassion Manifesto

1. Get comfy with a cup of tea, and preferably a kitten and a cup of tea. (kitten optional)

2. Write an honest description of the situation you’re beating yourself up about. You could be lecturing yourself about work and career path, ranting in your mind about your weight and eating habits, or condemning yourself for your sexual desires and body image. Or all of the above! Include the mental chatter and “bitch brain” criticism word for word…

3. Now write the name of a dear loved-one at the top of the page.

4. Get another fresh page, and imagine this person, who you love so much, and that they are describing this same problem to you. S/he has come to you for help, and you are listening with a full, empathic heart. You give her your best, loving advice. Write what you would tell her as if you were in your best, calm, strongest place. Tell her what she needs to hear.

5. Reread what you wrote to her. This is for you.

Self-compassion is a habit.

It’s a series of actions and awareness practices that helps you to relax (thereby calming your mind and biochemistry), get clear (which helps you define your vision, desires, and mission), and most importantly…
…self-compassion is a tool that helps you enjoy more moments in your body, ever day of your life.

Once you write your self-compassion manifesto, I want to hear from you below in the comments!

Where can you have more compassion for yourself?
What did you feel shift as you wrote and re-read what you said to your “best friend?”
How do you view self-compassion differently now?

 

Inspiration from: Come As You Are, Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind, Kristin Neff

 

Have a friend who would LOVE a way to honor her body and her cravings? Share the “What to do when you have a craving” chart! Just copy this link and email it to her… http://bit.ly/cravechart

Building A Better Female Leader: Alex’s Talk from Inbound, Boston 9/15

STEPPING INTO STRONGER FEMALE LEADERSHIP

BY ALEXANDRA JAMIESON

Thanks. I was just telling everyone that I totally scrapped my talk, and this is the only slide that I’m going to be using. Yes! I like that I … I think of myself as the nice, juicy filling in between Brené Brown and Amy Schumer. While I’m going to be energetically speaking to the women in the audience, I am also speaking to and for the men in the audience. I love men. I have my man in the audience. Bob, my fiancé is here.

I want to talk about why women in leadership as an idea is important. What the problems are for more of us getting into leadership. How we can honor the feminine. I’m going to take you through some exercises, so you might want to put your stuff down. It’ll only take a minute for us to get to that point, but you’re going to be standing up, I warn you.

I was a professional vegan for quite a long time. Towards the beginning of my professional vegan-ism, which by the way, was the right choice. My body needed it. It healed me. It was fantastic. Then at the beginning of this adventure into food and healing, I met this guy … I picked him up in a bar, I’ll be honest. We fell in love, and we ended up making a movie together called Super Size Me. Did anybody see Super Size Me? Okay.

I was the vegan chef girlfriend in the background rolling her eyes as my then boyfriend ate nothing but McDonald’s for a month, and got very very sick. That movie allowed us … It was like lightening in a bottle. We went on Oprah. We went to the Oscars. It was fantastic. I became professionally vegan, and wrote 3 vegan cook books, and had this brand as a vegan expert. Work great for me in my mid 20s. Then I got to my mid 30s.

I don’t know if anybody told you this, but your body changes as you get older. I was also going through a divorce from said co-creator of Super Size Me. Had a little boy. A lot of stress. My body started to fall apart again. So this diet that had helped me in my mid 20s was now not working so well. My hormones were a disaster. I was exhausted, I was anemic, and I started craving meat. Yay! (laughs) Yes. We’ll have bacon later.

In marketing, I believe they call what happened next a “Shit Show.” Where I had to thank God for Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly. t was literally my bible as I was going through this struggle, trying to come to terms with the fact that I was now secretly eating meat, and hocking my 3 vegan cook books. What I began to realize was that what I was hiding was a lot of food shame and body shame, that what I needed as a human being had changed, and that didn’t make me a bad person. I had to learn to listen to my body. This is where this whole next 8 minutes is going.

When we listen to our bodies, whether you’re male or female, or somewhere in between, or outside of, it doesn’t matter. Your body is what makes you you. When I talk about women in leadership, we have to address the weird gorilla elephant in the room. We’re talking about physical and chemical differences. Yes, the female body is what makes female leadership different, and sometimes complicated. We have to learn how to honor that, and listen to it.

I’m going to ask you all to stand up. As I talk with you, I want you all to do what I call the “Wonder Woman Pose.” The reason why we’re doing this … It works for men and for women. You just want your chest a little bit out, and your head a little bit raised. We’re going to do this for about 2 minutes. Why we’re doing this is because this is actually raising your testosterone. For women, that’s especially powerful. There’s a whole Ted Talk on this. I did not invent this, but I use it and I share it, with women especially.

When we’re in a leadership role, or trying to step into leadership, we have trouble with the balance between competence and confidence. We’re very competent. We know what we’re talking about. We’re smart, we’re skilled, we have tools, we have experience, but we don’t feel confident enough to interrupt. To say our opinion. To lead the charge. I recommend doing this “Wonder Woman” “Super Hero” pose, for a couple of minute before every meeting, before every tough conversation.

Skip directly to chapter 8 in my book, Women, Food, and Desire to talk more about this. It also helps with the female libido. Which I also believe is a very powerful aspect of being a female leader. It’s really acknowledging and honoring all aspects of who you are. All right, we’ve just hit 2 minutes. Perfect. Sit down. I wish I could do a spit test and show you all, and test your testosterone levels, and show you how powerful that was. Do that before you have your next meeting, before you have your next big conversation. You’re going to stand up again in a minute, so don’t get your notes out.

What was challenging for me changing my brand in full view of the world, saying, “Hey guys, I’m no longer vegan.” and watching half of my newsletter list unsubscribe, and having thousands of people flame me online. Lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of negative comments. Death threats, because I was now eating meat to help heal my physical imbalances.

It’s very challenging for us to be authentic when, as women, our number 1 secret shame, as Brené Brown pointed out yesterday, is body and appearance shame. This helps up ameliorate that a little bit. But how do we begin to actually listen to our bodies, and feel that authenticity, as Bruno was so beautifully pointing out. How do we listen? How do we be authentic? How do you hear this inside what’s going on, when we women, one of our strengths is also our Achilles heel?

We’re so good at figuring out what everybody else needs. We are psychic … Well, we think we’re psychic. Sometimes we are, and sometimes we’re just mind reading and going crazy places, but we read the energy of a room so well. We know what other people need before they know it themselves, but all of that gets in the way of us hearing our own truth. I want to take you through another exercise. Go ahead and stand up again.

We’re going a little bit more saucy. I want you to put your hands on your hips. We’re just going to do a little figure 8 with your hips. This is just loosening up this part of your body. I know, you guys are having to turn sideways. I appreciate you playing al- It’s okay. You’re doing great. Looks good. We tend to hold a lot of tension right here. We suck it in, we don’t want anything flapping over the side of anywhere. But there’s so much happening in here, especially in the female body. It’s your digestive system. It’s your emotional brain. Your gut brain has as many neurotransmitters as the brain in your head does.

When we are tight there, when we have this scourge of digestive issues … IBS, gluten intolerance, leaky gut … We have so much stress here, we need to start loosening this part of our body up, and stop hating and holding in our physical self so much. Helping to loosen up that physical shame that Brené Brown was talking about, it really takes getting into your body. All right, go ahead and sit down again. Thank you for playing along.

How can we consistently check in with ourselves, check in with our bodies? Listening to our cravings might actually be one avenue into it. That’s what I go into further into this … Again, Women, Food, and Desire, it’s the book, it’s in the book store, go get it, it’s awesome. There you go. Listening to our bodies is actually done by listening to your cravings. What does your body want?

Brené talks about this again in her new book, Rising Strong. I feel like I’m hocking her book more than I am mine. That’s okay. She talks about learning to sit with your emotions. Sit with your physical self. As a way of being authentic. How do you do that? How do you sit with and listen to … I’ve tried meditation. Believe me, I’m not that good at it. Sitting in silence just makes me crazy, but I can listen to what my body is asking for. That’s why I take people through a lot of physical exercises, and I talk about play and pleasure a lot.

We humans learn when we play. When we take the judgement out of it, it’s about having fun and being engaged, and seeing what happens next. It’s like one big improv class. When you can be physically in your body, and listen to yourself, loosen up your gut a bit, and really hear what your physical self is saying. A gut feeling about someone, nervous knots about something, butterflies in your stomach. That’s all information. That’s all ways that your body is talking to you. Again, the feminine in leadership has been downplayed. Emotion in leadership, listening to yourself, which is your body, has been downplayed and set aside.

I think that it’s time that we start listening more to that, and honoring our cravings, and following our desires. Even if it’s for chocolate. Even if it’s for the mocha frappa-latta-chino at 3:00 every day. Whatever it is that you want, get curious. Ask, “What is my body wanting right now? Am I having an emotion? Am I nervous?” There seems to be no place for that in business, in marketing. But marketing is about story, right? It’s about authenticity. We have to be able to do that for ourselves first, if we’re going to be able to do that for the company, or the product that we represent.

I think as marketers, as sales people, it’s our responsibility to be solid in ourselves, and honor what it is that we need, so that we can honestly come to someone and say, “This is what I believe. This is what I want. Do you want to engage with me about this?” And they believe you when you’ve done that work … When you’ve done that inquiry. You’re way more attractive and interesting to be with and talk with, and develop a relationship with when you have that confidence … When you have that play and sass in your energy. People respond to it. I’m so glad to have had a chance to talk with you all. Thank you so much.

We think about food all the time, but don’t really take the time to eat

Taking the time to really eat: Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover

Last week I was talking with a client I’ll call Jen.

Jen wants to get rid of her bloating, which bothers her daily, and has a bigger life’s craving to feel confident and comfortable in her body.

I asked her to describe how she eats, and when she eats.
Here’s what her meal plan looks like, which is just like so many women I work with:

Wake up as late as possible, then eat in 5 minutes or on the way to work.
Eat lunch at her desk, then snack throughout the afternoon.
Get home starving, then quickly eat in order to get on with other things…

“So,” I asked, “would I be right in saying that you only spend about 30 minutes actually eating every day?”

“Yes,” that sounds about right,” said Jen.

See, we spend so much time worrying and obsessing about food, and our bodies, but we don’t really take time to enjoy eating.

When we eat too quickly, on the run, at our desks, in the car, or secretly, with the lights off, we are in a state of panic, stress, and unease.

Here’s what I know to be true: you can either be stressed, or you can digest.

When you eat slowly, with ease, enjoying your food, taking breaths, chewing completely, savoring, your body can digest. Your body has time to tell you when it’s full. Your stomach can handle the food coming its way.

We are in such a state or rush and panic, with almost every single meal,
that we neither notice how our body feels, nor do we have a chance to digest.

This leads to stomach pain, bloating, poor digestion, leaky gut, and overeating.

I gave Jen an assignment: spend 15-20 minutes eating each meal, and don’t do it alone.

Food should be one of the best things about being alive, and enjoyed with other people. Set the table. Light a candle. Invite a friend to lunch, go to a park or cafe for breakfast, eat outside as often as possible. Take a real lunch break. (It is the law, after all!)

Taking the time to really eat: Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover

This is the first step in changing your digestion and the impact your digestive health has on your cravings, even before you change what you eat.

She’s on it, and looking forward to feeling different with food, and enjoying it with others.

Eating real meals, like a person who cares enough about her body and her life to take the time, is the first step in transforming your relationship with food, your energy, and digestion.

I told Jen about the positive psychology technique, savoring. It’s the first lesson I teach in the Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover. Savoring is a way of fully feeling, noticing, and loving, food, your body, each moment, and your live.

It’s a powerful tool, that allows you to actually be in the moment, appreciate your body, slow down, and enjoy your life…and only one of the mindset tools I’ll share with you in the Cravings Cleanse, which starts 10/7.

Click here to join us: http://alexandrajamieson.com/cravings-cleanse/

Jen is on her way to a new way of eating, and I want that for you.
See, it doesn’t matter what you eat, if you’re always eating in a state of stress, your body and relationship with her, and food, won’t change.

Registration is now open for the next Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover. We start 10/7, but you’ll get access to the bonus videos, recordings, meditations, and more this week.

 

Better than popcorn: simple roasted Brussels Sprouts [cravings cleanse approved!]

Best Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

 

-POP (1)

At night I often crave crunchy and fatty foods…

What gives?!

I already ate dinner, and I’m not starving…unless I’m really up way too late, and should have been in bed by now.

There are 3 possible reasons we crave salty, crunchy fatty foods, and I can help you figure it out, and eat to avoid them with this simple roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe.

WHY YOU CRAVE CRUNCHY, SALTY, FATTY FOODS:

  1. You might not be eating enough mineral-rich foods. Salty cravings often indicate a lack of trace elements and minerals in your diet, which the body tries to get through eating more salt.
  2. You might not be eating enough healthy fats, which your body actually needs to feed your brain, and build enough hormones for mood balancing
  3. We often crave crunchy foods as a way to release pent up aggression, anger, and frustration. When we are suffering from “good girl syndrome,” or trying to be nice and pleasant all the time, we don’t have a way to let our true emotions out. Crunching and destroying something like potato chips and roasted nuts is an easy, tasty way to get that static out of your system…

 

But all those salty, crunchy, fatty foods aren’t necessarily your friend at 11 o’clock at night. They cause nighttime digestive upset, and stop us from feeling our best.

Try this for 1 week:

Include healthy, crunchy, fatty, lightly salted foods with your dinner every night.

This roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe is easy, tasty, and gives you the satisfaction you’re looking for:

ROASTED BABY BRUSSELS SPROUTS:

2-3 cups baby sprouts, or large sprouts trimmed of tough outer leaves

2-3 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 400F.

Toss the sprouts, oil, and salt, and spread evenly on a lined cookie sheet.

Roast in oven for 10 minutes, turn the cookie sheet so the sprouts cook evenly, and cook for another 2-5 minutes until sprouts begin to brown slightly.

Enjoy!

This natural crunch, with mineral rich sea salt and sprouts, will give your body and taste the sensation you desire.

Get lots more recipes, support, and coaching to transform your cravings in my 8-week Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover. We start 10/7/15!

xo, Alex

Want to eat less sugar? Science says: make life sweeter [Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Biscuit Recipe]

Gluten-free sweet potato biscuits

Gluten-free sweet potato biscuits

This weekend was so sweet…

…I met a new ginger kitten our family will (finger’s crossed) adopt next weekend…

(pictures to come!!)

…we hosted 3 other families for brunch, our favorite meal to prepare and share…

(brand new Sweet Potato Biscuit Recipe below)

make life sweeter - healthy brunch recipes

…my son and I went roller skating in the park…

…and I discovered this awesome science story on NPR, which proves that the happier you are, the sweeter foods taste.

Here’s the basic science:

When you’re happy because something good happens, food with a slightly sour or bitter flavor taste better.

When you’re unhappy, “healthier” foods (maybe slightly bitter greens, other healthy vegetables, milder tasting foods) are more unappealing, as sweeter, fattier foods remain pleasurable.

Your taste buds and tongue contain a high number of serotonin receptors. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, “is linked with happiness and mood.”

So when we feel stressed or disappointed and crave ice cream, don’t blame your willpower, your neurotransmitters and taste buds are partially to blame as well.

This is why brunch is a happy tradition in our home.

Every month we invite as many people as can fit in our Brooklyn apartment, cook up a storm, and enjoy a 3+ hour meal with good friends, conversation, and good food.

The sweetness of the meal is in the people, not just in the food.

Making every meal, not just big brunches or holiday dinners, sweet is a high priority for me.

I would rather get up early so that breakfast can be relaxed, sitting at the table with my family,

than rushed and eaten on the run.

It just doesn’t feel good.

Life can be stressful enough – make each meal sweeter:

  • fresh flowers
  • real cloth napkins
  • candles lit, even at breakfast
  • nice music
  • cleaned off table
  • no computer or cell phone present

When you take the time to make each meal an experience, a joyful occasion, it tastes better.

Some of my clients or Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover (Next CCMM starts 10/7/15!!) members struggle with taking the time to eat their meals in a calm, pretty way. But it’s worth it. Your digestion, metabolism, and yes, your taste buds change when you are in a relaxed, joyful state of being.

Gluten-free Sweet Potato Biscuits

Makes 12-14

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (for a gorgeous golden color!)
  • 2 tablespoons natural cane sugar (original recipe called for 4!! So not necessary with sweet potatoes…)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter or frozen coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cooked, peeled, mashed sweet potato, cooled

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Biscuits

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine milk, apple cider, and apple cider vinegar; set aside.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cayenne, turmeric, sugar, and salt. Whisk until blended and set aside.
  5. Cut in butter or coconut oil until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  6. In a separate mixing bowl combine egg, milk mixture, and sweet potato, stirring well until mixed. Add this to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not over mix, or you’ll lose the nice fluffy texture.
  7. Scoop 1/4 cups of dough onto the prepared pan, about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.
  9. Serve warm with honey. MMMMMmmmm….

11 Ways To Stop Obsessing

11 ways to stop obsessing
It’s 2am and you’re up thinking…
ruminating and thinking and obsessing like a record that’s stuck and keeps repeating the same lyrics over and over again…”I’m a loser. What if it doesn’t work out? I f’d up. I f’d up.”
Obsessing, also called “ruminating,” is over-thinking, repeating unanswerable questions, retracing past mistakes, and it’s dangerous…
11 ways to stop obsessing
I was on the phone with my client Amy, and she shared with me that she had been up all night obsessively worrying about a financial issue. Other times, she admitted, she got stuck in thought loops about weight loss and how her body “should just be different.”
In the past, Amy had used food and “midnight snacking” to help calm these obsessive thoughts. But this time, she did her best to get back to bed, and felt really good about herself for not engaging in the binge eating she used to.
Binge eating is often just a tool some of us use to drown out the obsessive thoughts, an action we can take that distracts us.

But we don’t really need the food. Our bodies may crave food because “she” knows the anxiety from the obsessions will go away if we eat…and overeat…

What we really need, and what I shared with Amy, is ways to stop obsessing.
Rather than thinking of happy, positive events over and over again, which lead us to well-being, self love, and confidence, we humans tend to conjure up more and more negative thoughts in a cycle of self-loathing and anxiety.
Research shows that obsessive thoughts and rumination are associated with binge-eating, binge-drinking, anxiety, depression, and more.
Obsessing and ruminating are the path to feeling helpless and worthless.
It paralyzes your problem solving skills so you only focus on the bad, and never have the confidence, clarity or creativity to think up new solutions.

Here are 11 ways to stop obsessing, and get out of ruminating: 

  1. See it. Just the fact that you’ve realized you’re ruminating (and that it isn’t helping) is the first step. As my G.I. Joe cartoon used to say every Saturday morning, “knowing is half the battle!”
  2. Laugh about it! Find something funny about the situation. Humor can help you see an issue from a new perspective so you can move on. Imagine you’re in a screwball comedy and this situation is happening to Maya Rudolph or Mae
  3. Be your friend. What would you say to a dear friend facing the same situation? This can help you treat yourself more compassionately. If you have done something wrong, or made a mistake, forgive yourself as you would with a friend, with the same heart and love.
  4. Reality check. Focus only on things you have control over. Life is so big and complex, there will always be things we have uncertainty around. Try to take a “pronoia” stance – the idea that the world is on your side and the Universe has your back – the opposite of “paranoia.”
  5. Accept your sadness or fear. We all have sadness, fear, or anger. If you can accept that this is a part of living, and that it won’t last forever (neither life nor the current emotion), and stop trying to make things different, can you just settle into the emotion and feel it fully? Feelings often dissolve if we allow ourselves to fully feel them.
  6. Stop it! Ever just say that out loud to yourself? Parent yourself as if you were a kid about to do something really harmful. Stop it, kid! Sometimes we just need a wake up call to jolt us out of a daze.
  7. Get here now. As the Dali Llama said, “There are only two times you can’t do anything: the past and the future.” Center yourself in the hear and how, and focus on one action you can take for your well-being, rather than trying to answer unanswerable questions like “why did that happen?”
  8. Get distracted. I know, it’s totally different from #7, but getting distracted can get you off a train of thought at this station, right now! When you engage in activities that fill your mind with other thoughts, preferably positive ones, the obsessive thoughts will fade. What’s something fun, relaxing, pleasurable, or useful you could do right now? What’s an awesome funny movie you could watch to start laughing? Do you have a creative outlet? Have you given yourself pleasure via movement, masturbation, or play lately?
  9. See your thoughts for what they are: just thoughts. And you are not your thoughts! Thank goddess – I can’t tell you how many times my brain has conjured up terrible images of what could happen to my kid on the way home from school. Examine your thoughts with curiosity and without judgment – what can you learn from this and what is just an emotion?
  10. One last time, with feeling. Tell yourself “ok, self: I’ll let you think about this one more time but this time we are coming up with a plan about what to do next!” Hear the plan, then take action. None of this is helpful if you don’t act.
  11. Worry time. Make a plan to obsess for 15 minutes at a specific time in the next 24-hours. You’ve set aside some time for it, and you don’t have to be stuck in these thoughts right now if you booked a spot to dive back into the pit.
As you look towards the possibilities this new way of thinking has for you, including all the personal desires and cravings that call to you, I want to extend my hand and offer myself as a part of your circle of support.

 When I’m looking at making a big change, or taking on a new way of being, or when I want something that just feels beyond my ability to create, I will raise my hand, phone a friend, shout out loud “HELP!”

If you are in this space, with visions and hope for a future that glows with self-love, joy, freedom, peace and energy, then I welcome you to go. for. it.

Feel into the image that you see and feel, and seek the support you need to make the transformation real.


If you have been wanting me on hand to support you in a one-on-one, personal way, here’s your opportunity:


As part of my mission to help women (and the men who love us) to live into our desires and natural state of health, I’m doing something different and offering a COMPLIMENTARY 30-minute 1-on-1 personalized Vitality Discovery Session with me.

Yes!
That’s 30 minutes of personalized, uninterrupted time with me without costing you a cent.

I will help you discover what difference you want to see in your life from dropping the extra pounds and feeling free with food.
AND what’s holding you back from getting what you want.

We’ll intentionally approach these topics with love, kindness, and compassion – those good thoughts that helped my garden flourish! Let’s skip the extra shame and frustration, shall we? 🙂

Then, we’ll make a plan to get you what you want, in a new, honorable, unique way. Joy, play, fun, pleasure, and a soulful plan of action.

I know you could spend 30 minutes doing something else – email, laundry, chores, drinking wine and eating chocolate…anything.
Yet, I believe that when you and I spend time in this conversation, we can weave magic and a new way of living in and loving your body.

I have space for 10 Vitality Discovery Sessions, and if you feel called, I hope you’ll take me up on this very special invitation.

Click here to answer a few simple questions. If it feels like a good fit, someone on my team will be in touch in 48 hours after the submission deadline to set up your free session. The deadline is Monday, July 20th.

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.

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