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!

My To-Don’t List – Mindset Makeover Technique

A cleanse is about more than just taking a few foods out of your diet - it's about a mindset makeover

I’ll be 40 in 4 days…

And what I hear from so many women, both older + younger, is that they want to feel like they’re living their own lives.

And that too often we wake up one day, or look in the mirror, and say:

what am I doing? Is THIS what I want?

I felt that way when I realized I couldn’t trust my marriage and asked for a divorce.

I felt that way when my body was breaking down, and I knew I needed to eat meat again.

And that feeling shows up in daily choices around how I spend my time, how I run my business, and what I do with my energy.

Our deep fears keep us from sharing our quirks, truths, and following our cravings. Cravings for experiences, creation, well-being, and adventure.

Fears of being publicly shamed, Fears of being selfish, being too much, being too loud, Just being ourselves. And then made wrong for our truth.

“What you say no to is as important as what you say yes to.”

I’ve gotten pretty clear about what I want, and sometimes that requires getting clear on what I DON’T want.

In positive psychology there are studies showing big birthdays (anything with a 0 at the end of it…30, 40, 50, you get it) instigate big changes, big goals, and an awareness of time passing.

What I WON’T do…AKA My To-Don’t List:

eat foods that drain my energy, and put me in a food coma

spend more than 30 minutes on social media a day

let my phone distract me from my family get lost in gossip magazines + reality TV (AKA the “comparison trap”)

let fear get in the way of sharing my ideas with the world

waste energy judging other women

read my book reviews online

apologize for taking time + resources for my self care

apologize for taking up space

spend time on projects that don’t serve me, my readers and listeners

get lost in negative mind chatter that my body and life aren’t good enough

respond to negative online attacks – haters gonna hate, and I don’t need to throw them any more fuel

To-DON’Ts from my readers + Cleanse members:

Joanne: I will no longer undervalue what I do for a living (graphic designer) or accept less than I deserve…

Allison: 1) apologize for needing a lazy day, AKA staying in bed and watching TV till 2pm while snuggling with my cat 2 ) feel guilty for satisfying a food craving 3) work for corporate America

Jan: stop using the word “just”…just a 5K., as in “just” walking rather than running

Carolyn: my story that there is not enough love in the world, my story that things have to be hard, my squicky relationship with money

What I WILL do…(AKA big motivating desires, or things I want to fill my life up with)

Move + stretch my body daily in ways that feel good, grounding + strengthening

Ask myself how I want to feel when I choose my meals

Take random, surprise days off with my son + go make memories together

Write as if my soul will wilt if I don’t express it, because it does

Cook + eat foods that boost my energy (recipes)

Get 7-9 hours of sleep a night

Meet up with at least 2 friends a week Read a new book for fun every month

Get the tattoo I’ve been dreaming of, now

A cleanse is about more than just taking a few foods out of your diet - it's about a mindset makeover

My To Don’t List

Take a trapeze class Roller skating birthday party (done!)

Frequently initiate juicy dates with my man

Read and play daily with my son

Take time for myself to read, walk, be in nature

Ask for time off, time away, time alone, and not feel guilty for it

Take my bike for a tune up so I can ride the first nice day of spring

Call my Dad, brother, and Grandma regularly

Write thank you letters to all the people who helped me spread the word about Women, Food, And Desire

Take hot baths and read inspiring books

Tell everyone I love them any time I feel like it

Draw, paint, color, and play my ukulele – and share them all with people

Give away $100 as a family every month to awesome charities…

Live as if 40 were my LAST birthday, because really, who knows?

This could be it. This could be my last year – or I could have 40 more years, as glorious as the first batch. What will I do with this time? How do I want to feel? What do I want to remember on my death bed? How much love can I share?

I want to hear from you: What will you NOT do anymore? What’s NOT serving you? And what DO YOU WANT?

Make a list. Declare it. Do it. xo, AJ

P.S. The spring Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover starts 4/16 – go here to learn more + join:

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

5 books to love yourself

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

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

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

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

bustle header divorce

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

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

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

Amazon
Powells
IndieBound
Barnes & Noble

Alex on Today Show with Kathie Lee + Hoda talking Women, Food, And Desire – oh, and cravings

Alexandra Jamieson on Today Show Kathie Lee and Hoda - Women, Food, And Desire and Cravings Cleanse

Alexandra Jamieson on Today Show Kathie Lee and Hoda – Women, Food, And Desire and Cravings Cleanse

Talking with Kathie Lee + Hoda on the Today Show about Women, Food, And Desire and the Cravings Cleanse was a blast!

These ladies were really interested in the book – even if they kept talking about shrimp scampi!

Watch the full interview here: 

http://www.today.com/klgandhoda/4-reasons-why-women-crave-food-touch-more-2D80474246

Come join me as I coach women (and a few awesome dudes) who want to put the message of Women, Food, And Desire into action, with the new 8-week Cravings Cleanse.

The new course starts 2/12 – learn more and register here: 

Alexandra Jamieson Today Show Women, Food, And Desire

Alexandra Jamieson Today Show Women, Food, And Desire

xo,

Alex

 

 

happy belly foods + how to trust your body again (they’re related)

happy belly foods + how to trust your body again (they’re related)

happy belly foods + how to trust your body again (they’re related) Cravings Cleanse

 

I couldn’t budge my muffin top…
My belly would bloat up all the time…
I was addicted to sugar and caffeine…
I was too tired to fight for what I wanted in life…

…and what I wanted was hidden by clouds, kind of indistinct and hard to define.

(new career – but what? new relationship – but who with, and was I worthy? creative time for me – what medium?)

When I heal my body, (again + again)
I still find that my belly’s health is a big part of the process.

I talk a lot about the four root causes of cravings, and that the first place to look at any craving,
at any health issue, is in our guts.

Your gut is the seat of your health + your intuition:

* it’s where your immune system is either built healthfully, or falling apart

* how well you digest your food impacts your energy, mood, nutritional cravings, and “elimination” (aka pooping)
* 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is in your gut – that’s one of your feel good, relaxed hormone

* neurons in the gut generate as much dopamine as those in the head (for help with sleep, mood, pleasure + attention)

* we store emotional trauma, sexual fears + hurts, and injuries to our childhood safety in our gut

Your gut is your second brain.
It’s also your intuitive, feeling brain.

It’s where we make a lot of our life decisions from,
because we need to feel good + strong in this part of our body to go after the things we desire.

(ever make a gut decision, feel nervous knots or have butterflies in your stomach before a big event?)

But when it’s bloated, covered in layers of extra stress-induced fat,
in pain, or just uncomfortable all the time…

you just can’t connect to your intuition, or feel strong about your decisions.
You will be tired, want to hide, or cover the pain with emotionally craved foods.

That’s why one of the first areas we heal in the Cravings Cleanse is the gut.

To feel and see a real shift in your body, energy, and mindset (and life!)
we need to heal our guts and take out the foods (I call them the Toxic 6)
that hurt our digestion and cause a real disconnect between the brain in your head
and the brain in your belly.

Foods that help the belly heal are:

1. easy to digest – Toxic 6-free, fiber rich, but not hard on an impaired digestive system
2. nutrient + enzyme rich – contain healing ingredients like L-glutamine, Omega-3s, probiotics, and enzymes
3. tasty – if they don’t taste good, we won’t eat them, will we?
4. and non-inflammatory – foods that won’t cause damage, leaky holes in your gut, or poor digestion

happy belly foods - raw fermented pickles, kimchee, and sauerkraut

happy belly foods – raw fermented pickles, kimchee, and sauerkraut

They are also free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar, and caffeine…AKA the Toxic 6,
which cause leaky gut, bloating, fatigue, bacterial overgrowth, and brain fog.

And as I have seen over the years in person experience and working with thousands of clients,
when your gut is sick, your brain, intuition, confidence, and energy all take a hit.

That’s why I include so much information on gut health in
my programs like the Cravings Cleanse & Mindset Makeover.

Past members have totally changed their gut health with the Cravings Cleanse:

“This is the easiest Cleanse I’ve ever done! I’ve tried to get off sugar, caffeine and alcohol before, but this time I’ve been successful! I’m feeling energized, less joint pain, and my gut is happy and thinner – finally. The weight is dropping off, and I’m feeling a lot better. My husband isn’t officially doing the cleanse, and he’s feeling really good! He wants to do this every 6 months.”  Aliza from NYC

“I have more energy! My digestion is way better, and I’m not constipated anymore. I’m noticing smoother skin. I have my family eating with me! that is huge…” Serena, Grapevine, CA

Watch Jacquie’s video testimonial about her gut healing + energy makeover from last year’s Cravings Cleanse: 

Jacquie's personal story + review of the Cravings Cleanse

Jacquie’s personal story + review of the Cravings Cleanse

Your experience of yourself and the world will be strained and
based on old fears when your gut is in knots, constipated, impaired, or uncomfortable all the time.

It’s time to heal your gut, and feel the energy, strength, and intuitive knowing that your body is capable of:

* remove the Toxic 6, one of the cornerstones of my upcoming Cravings Cleanse 8-week program
* add the foods and supplements that will begin to heal the matrix of your intestines + improve your digestion
* get clear on how past events + traumas have been stuck in your body and how processing them, seeing them, and loving yourself are an important part of your healing journey

We can’t just look at food or emotion as we create the body and life we crave.
Foods and emotions can be either toxic or healing.

Are you ready to find out which foods and emotions have been keeping your belly stuck?

xo,
Alex

Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover — What if you could spend 8 weeks supported by a beautiful circle of health seekers who are creating their best health + best lives with Alex? What would your life, body, and days feel like if you had the health, confidence, and energy you truly crave? Enrollment is now open, spots are limited. Learn more here.

 

1 of 12 books that’ll make your divorce easier…

I’m on the verge of tears…

Women, Food, And Desire was just named 1 of 12 books to read that’ll help your divorce be a little easier.

bustle header divorce

Women, Food, And Desire named 1 of 12 books that'll help you get through your divorce a little easier - Bustle.com

Women, Food, And Desire named 1 of 12 books that’ll help you get through your divorce a little easier – Bustle.com

I had to write this book.

When I was divorcing my ex, I became totally disconnected from my body. I allowed the shame and hurt of the infidelity to separate me from my own self-worth, even though I hadn’t done anything wrong.

I had to write this book – because this culture, our shame, and the Diet Industrial Complex, are keeping us from having the love, worth, and health that we deserve.

If you have a friend going through a divorce or break up right now, and you think Women, Food, And Desire would help, please send them a copy.

And give them hugs. Lots of hugs:

Here’s a link to the original article:

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

P.S. It is an incredible honor to be featured alongside one of my favorite books of all time, Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. Jaw. Dropped.

The Power Of Touch: Mindset Makeover Day 7

It’s the final day of the #MindsetMakeover + I’m sharing my favorite tool from Positive Psychology.

The power of touch.

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Touch is our 1st sense, and a HUGE ally in creating a healthy, flourishing life + strong relationships.

In our modern culture we are TOUCH STARVED and often get very little physical interaction or affection. But we need it to feel well, whole, and connected.

Baby animals that are removed from their mama or siblings don’t thrive + develop emotional trouble later. It’s the same for people. “Kangaroo care” is now used for preemie babies – skin to skin contact on an adult chest for hours a day helps tiny babies thrive + put on weight.

We give lots of love and hugs, pats, and hand holding affection to our kids, because we know they need it to feel loved. But for adults it’s harder to ask for touch, massage, hugs, or physical intimacy.

But we think as adults we don’t need as much love + touch. WE DO!

When we get enough touch, hugs + physical intimacy in our day, we are healthier, happy, and less likely to emotionally binge. Hug someone today! CLICK TO TWEET THIS!

Today I’m going to challenge you to get 8 hugs of at least 5 seconds each. A hug has the power to calm your nervous system, reduce blood pressure, and reduce emotional food cravings!

Thank you for taking part in this peek into 7-days of #positivepsychology with me. I’ll be using MORE tools from this science based approach in my next 8-Week Cravings Cleanse, which opens for registration Friday!

#healthyeah #mindset #positivepsychology #fun #friends #hugs #health #inspiration #instagram #instagood #healing #touch #love #cravings #cravecast #crave #desire

Write it, Don’t Eat it: Gratitude Adjustment

Day 4 of the Mindset Makeover!

I’m sharing some of the best Positive Psychology tools for 7-days to help you experience your greatness, and to feel that  you are worthy of the self-care, life, and vitality that you dream about – because, honey, you are!

IMG_5180

Write a gratitude letter, and enjoy a cozy moment for yourself to thank a great person in your life. I like to write with tea, green juice, lots of pens, and of course my cat, The Boy Named Sue, AKA Kitty Sue.

Write a “gratitude letter,” a kind of belated thank-you note to someone who has had a big impact on your life.

Detail the kindnesses, lessons, or support that person offered you and what it enabled in your life.

They can be alive or dead, and you can send it to them, read it to them in person or over the phone after it’s done, or just write it and experience the good vibes of gratitude as they flow.

Studies show that writing these letters give long-lasting mood boosts to the writer.

Traumatic experiences and negative memories tend to fade into the background for people who try these positive psychology techniques.

And when we feel better about our lives, strengths, and our relationships, emotionally charged binge eating tends to diminish, and we treat ourselves better with self-care and food choices. CLICK TO TWEET!

ONE THOUGHT: don’t do it if you don’t really feel it.

Forcing yourself to feel gratitude, when it’s not there, doesn’t make you feel any better. In fact, it can make you feel worse. If the gratitude juice isn’t flowing in you today, try writing about an experience that meant a lot to you, or about a time when you used your strengths and felt really strong in yourself. This will reconnect you with your innate gifts and feel just as good.

#healthyeah #WomenFoodAndDesire #gratitude #love #instagood #inspiration #writing #inspirational #fun #friends #PositivePsychology

I want to know how this was for you! Share your experience in the comments below. xo, Alex

Do your friends help your health + body goals? 8 traits to look for

My marriage didn’t support me in being healthy or feeling safe. The people in my “dietary community” weren’t thrilled when my diet changed – and I lost a few good friends when I was honest with them that I was no longer vegan. 

When you’re trying to transform your lifestyle or diet, or doing your best to avoid certain foods that you have a complicated relationship with, there is one thing that can help you get through to your goal of health and well-being.

Relationships.

Me & Mom. Mom taught me everything I know about organic food. How are your relationships helping you in your health and body goals?

Me & Mom. Mom taught me everything I know about organic food. How are your relationships helping you in your health and body goals?

Not just any old acquaintance will do:
we need FLOURISHING relationships where we can share our wins + celebrations as well as our troubles.

There’s a popular theory that we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with.

If we’re the average of the 5 people we hang with most, how are your relationships supporting your health goals? CLICK TO TWEET!

Positive Psychology backs this up by explaining our “mirror neurons,” or neurons that fire when we witness behavior in other animals, as though the observer itself was acting.

We are programed to act like the people around us, which helps us stay connected to them.

This idea is a bit scary when you think about the family you grew up with who you may not feel good around…

Or the partner who has sabotaged your health and wellness goals in the past, either knowingly, or subconsciously…

Or the co-workers who are obsessed with birthday cake, after-work drinks, and gossip parties.

What makes a relationship really healthy?

FLOURISHING RELATIONSHIPS HAVE/ARE:
* EMPATHY – you feel each other
* BELONGING – you feel like family
* ATTUNEMENT – to be on the same wavelength
* VULNERABILITY – you can be yourself
* TRUST – you’re each reliable + honest
* APPRECIATION – you enjoy good qualities of each other
* AUTHENTICITY – faithful + genuine
* LOVE – a deep love is shared

In the past I had people in my life who didn’t help me flourish, weren’t honest with me, or I didn’t feel like I could really be myself around them. Today, my close circle of friends feels much different. And I’m more honest with my family about what I need and who I am.

So even if you feel like you don’t have these flourishing traits in the 5 people closest to you, don’t give up – there are loads of awesome folks around who are looking for someone like you:

curious about real connection…

looking for fun, true, authentic friends…

empathic, thrill-seeking, life-loving pals.

I want to hear from you in the comments below:

What relationships in your life are “flourishing” or help you with your goals? What else do you see about your relationships in this context?

Get more AWE some: 3 ways to add more AWE

AWE is a powerful state

I used to use food as an escape from boredom, stress + life.

Who hasn’t? Instead of falling into those thinking traps, I now look for ways to step into “AWE” more often.

From Positive Psychology, I’ve learned that we crave meaning, connection, and purpose as much as food. AWE brings us into those powerful, inspirational moments.

AWE is a feeling of reverential respect + wonder, and is similar to transcendence.
Here are 3 ways to bring more AWE into your life, which bring up your energy, mood + make food not so important - #MindsetMakeover:

1. Take the scenic route: nature, new cities, let the scenery take your breath away
2. Immerse yourself in a crowd: concerts, political rally, running a marathon, outdoor movies
3. Go outside: being in nature helps us stop trying to control things, we are more accepting in that moment.

Share this with a friend who could use some more AWE-someness in their life!

3 ways to bring more AWE into your life – bring up your energy, mood + make food cravings loosen their hold on you! Click To Tweet!

xo, Alex