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.

Amy Schumer: How Women Take Compliments

I love Amy Schumer:
she is bold, hilarious, smart, and points out the messed up ways culture keeps women crazy
with double standards on sexual politics and body image.

One of my favorite sketches from her show, Inside Amy Schumer, puts a spotlight on how
women keep themselves down by not knowing how to take a compliment.

Please to enjoy:

Did you get your 3 free guided meditations to help you through any stressful time?
Download them here:

http://alexandrajamieson.com/3-guided-meditations-for-women-on-the-verge/

xo,

alexsign

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.

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….

2 Body Myths That Keep You From Feeling Free In Your Body

“I want to feel free.”

You’ve told me this again and again, in podcast questions, comments, conversations…

This desire, this craving, for freedom is very real, very powerful, and very human.

To be free means:

  • not under the control or power of another
  • able to act as one wishes
  • no longer confined or imprisoned
  • released and relaxed

We crave Freedom-

When we women finally feel free in our bodies,

our power, confidence, and abilities grow.

We can move mountains, write manifestos, and create movements.

In short, we can change the world.

But there are 2 old myths that are keeping us from that state of freedom we crave.

And once we see them, question them, they dissolve and we are free from them:

Myth #1: When you “get your body back” you’ll be able to be happy

Myth #2: You lost something valuable when you lost your virginity

These two myths have kept us afraid in and of our bodies, and chained to old ways of thinking, rather than free.

Myth #1:  

There’s no need to “get your body back.” You have a body and never lost it.

You may have had kids, survived physical trauma, grown older and wiser, and so your body has changed, but you never lost your body. She’s still with you.

When you’re in a constant state of body-hate and body-shame, your current body feels your hatred, and feels the stress.  This results in disrupted hormones, lower libido, high cortisol, and lower metabolism.

In short, this myth of a “lost body” is keeping us stuck in our current state, and makes it very hard to heal our biology in order to get back to a place of good energy, balanced hormones, and, well, freedom.

There are ways of living, what I call “heart habits” in my book Women, Food, And Desire, that help you feel into your body, appreciate “her,” and trust her messages (AKA intuition/cravings)…

Nature walks, dancing, yoga, roller skating, or any kind of joyful movement can help you appreciate your body as you move into your next phase of well-being.

Joyful movement is any way of moving that feels fun, loosens up your joints, uses your muscles, raises your heart rate…and fills your soul and heart with appreciation for your body.

This “lost body” myth overlaps with another older, more insidious myth that effects us women in deep ways.

Myth #2: 

The fear of “losing our virginity.”

You may not have thought about this idea for a long time, but remember back to what it was like as a young woman?

I remember in high school when my girlfriends and I were as worried about weight gain as we were about “losing our virginity.”

Who would be first? Who would be last?

Who were the other girls we knew who had already “lost it?”

“Losing your virginity” is an old, yet powerful idea that is keeping us women afraid of our bodies. Again, you didn’t “lose it” – you had sex or made love for the first time.

But we were/are still afraid of the stigma attached to sex, and our desires for it.

Losing your virginity means as little about your value as a person as the number on the scale…

Yet these two things are used by society, friends, family, and our own brains to brand us as “good” or “bad.”

Since sex was so loaded with danger, food became “safe sex.” Food become the safest way to indulge in our need for pleasure, when what we really desire is good clean physical intimacy.

In order for us women to feel ownership, agency, love, and true self-worth,

we must become aware of these myths, notice when they pop up in our relationship with ourselves and other women, and notice how they effect our self-esteem.

It’s not some thing that has to define who you are, it’s just sex.

Or weight.

Or food.

Or pleasure.

When we women finally see sex and food for what they really are, we can appreciate them both for what they are, and not define ourselves by them.

When we stop judging and defining ourselves by our food and our pleasures,

we can truly be free.

3 ways to grow your intuition, heal your gut + listen to your body better

In this final of three parts on how to listen to your body and grow your intuition,

Today’s exercise is a guided meditation I’ve recorded that you can listen to in order to feel what your body is saying on an even deeper level:

Body Love Meditation

I recommend that you set aside 15 minutes to close your eyes in a quiet place, listen to this without interruption, and experience what a loving connection with your body can be like.

For part 2 of this series, the YES/NO exercise, go here:
Yes/No Exercise

Click here to order your special gluten-free certified probiotics
to help you repopulate and heal your gut with the right microflora necessary for intestinal health.

certified gluten-free!

3 steps to trust your body + grow your intuition. Step 2: Yes/No Exercise

When I talk about “listening to your cravings” or “following your desires” you might think I’m a little out there…

…but I truly believe, and have experienced first hand, that when you listen to your body, and follow what you “hear” or feel, you treat yourself better, feel more empowered, aligned, and trust yourself more.Honoring your cravings is akin to listening to your intuition.

These are all messages from your body, your soul, your higher power, whatever you believe in, that are pulling you towards a stronger place in life.So I’ve created this 3 part series to help you focus on how to grow your intuition, as the benefits are the same as listening to your cravings…You will have a stronger connection with, and love for, your body.And your gut is the place to start, as I detailed in part one of this series.

Order your gluten-free probiotics here for gut healing:

Intuition gets stronger with practice, once your gut is healed.
Because the health of your gut plays such a strong part in your ability to hear your body’s intuition,
healing the gut, as I shared yesterday, is the first step in strengthening your intuition.

Gut-level mastery is born from consistent awareness and action taken upon that awareness.
The more you listen to your gut, act based on what you’ve heard, and practice, the stronger your sense of self becomes.

You will free and doubt your body less because you are listening to, and trusting her.

Today’s lesson on how to grow your intuition: Yes/No exercise

download your Intuition E-Guide here: 

grow your intuition

1. Close your eyes and feel what a YES feels like.

Think of your FAVORITE person, place, or memory.
Really envision them, or the moment that you love.

Now ask your body: Is this one of the best people or place in my life?
(this should elicit a YES response from your body)

Now write down what you felt in your body when it “said” YES to you:

Perhaps you feel a warm surge in your tummy, a rush of tingles through your chest, heat in your head,
or shivers down your thighs.

This is one way your body tells you that something is good, or to say YES to something.

2. Close your eyes and feel what a NO feels like.

Think of an injustice in the world, something that you would change if you could.
A moment or event that made you angry or incensed.

Now ask your body: Can I stand for this in the world?
(this should elicit a NO response from your body)

Now write down what you felt in your body when it “said” NO to you.

Maybe you felt a sinking feeling in your gut, a wave of prickles through your chest, heat in your throat,
or pain somewhere.

This is one way your body tells you something is wrong, or how it says NO to something.

As you can see, or maybe you felt this too, your gut is often involved with these Yes/No questions.
Your gut is a part of your intuitive system, and when it is healthy, happy and moving properly,
(as opposed to bloated, constipated, or pained) it will more clearly be your intuitive guide.

Today, I invite you to practice asking YES/NO questions and hearing your body’s response:
will the left-hand elevator come before the right-hand elevator?
Am I going to arrive at the restaurant before my friend?
Do I have time to catch my train even though it looks like I might miss it?

Ask these questions through the day, and notice what your body tells you.
As this may be the first time you’ve narrowed your focus onto your intuition, it might feel clunky at first.
But be assured: the more you ask and listen, the sharper your skills at hearing what your body is telling you becomes.

Be sure to order my favorite gluten-free certified probiotics this week,
to help you repopulate and heal your gut with the right microflora necessary for intestinal health and stronger intuition.

In the comments below, share your YES/No experience and what you discover as you begin to test and listen to your “gut brain!”

3 steps to trust your body + grow your intuition. Step 1: Heal your gut.

“At times you have to leave the city of

Wouldn’t it be great to hear and trust your body all the time? To feel like you’re on the same team?

When we love and trust our bodies, listen to our feelings, instincts, pangs, and whispers…
…both physical, and emotional…
…we get strong.

We shine.

We stop saying yes to things we don’t want, and start taking powerful action in ways that serve
ourselves and the world.

This is a 3-part series on how to trust your body and grow your intuition.

WHY?

I have been asking and listening to what you want…
You want to feel free, peaceful, and strong in (and about) your body.

And this is such a beautiful path into a happy and healthy life:

When you trust your body and follow your intuition, you feel stronger about yourself,
and it’s the first step to reclaiming your body.

Today is Step #1:
Heal Your Gut, So You Can Better Hear What It’s Saying

Your gut (digestion, stomach, intestines) literally feeds your gut feelings and intuition.
Butterflies in your stomach, nervous knots, and a “gut feeling” are all signs from your
“second brain” to tune in and pay attention.

Gut feelings are like cravings: they are just messages we can choose to hear and take powerful action on.

But we don’t.

We have been trained, told, and scolded into NOT paying attention to our guts.
And when we are out of touch with our intuition we become paralyzed.
Making decisions becomes horrible and tedious.
We end up doing endless complicated analysis, factoring in every possible aspect,
and it takes us days to make up our minds.

And even when we do make a choice, we second guess ourselves.
It’s exhausting!

It’s hard to listen to your intuition:
WHY?
1. The current medical establishment has told you your concerns are wrong, you worry too much, and we women are woefully undereducated about our bodies
2. Society tells us we are “too emotional” “worry too much” and just too ____. That means we stop listening to our bodies and intuition shuts down.
3. Our health gets compromised with low energy, gut health impairment, hormonal upset, and a poor diet of inflammatory foods which leave us:
– in constant pain + discomfort…and unable to hear our intuition/gut
– bloated, constipated, and carrying the “spare tire” of stress fat that makes us hate our bodies…and unable to hear our body and intuition/gut.

So this week, I’ll focus three emails (and Friday’s podcast) on how to listen to your body, and strengthen and grow your intuition.

Today is Step #1:
Heal your gut.

Your gut-brain is your intuitive brain and emotional brain, and contains almost as many neurotransmitters as your head-brain.
Your gut is responsible for most of the serotonin production in your body, a neurotransmitter important to balanced mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory and learning.

If you have a history of gut troubles like IBS, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, pain, or food sensitivities, healing your gut is important for your health and strengthening your intuition.

  1. Stop eating the Toxic 6 for 1 week: corn, soy, gluten, dairy, sugar, and caffeine

    1. These foods are highly inflammatory and impair digestion, and cause leaky gut syndrome in many people.
    2. When you remove these foods the inflamed tissues can repair and digestion can return to normal.
  2. Start taking twice daily doses of probiotics (make sure your probiotics are gluten-free!! Try my favorite here: http://alexandrajamieson.com/probiotic-cleanse/) to repopulate the gut with healing and calming microflora

    1. A major story on supplements in the NYTimes uncovered hidden gluten contamination in more than 1/2 of all probiotics!
    2. Gluten is one of the top gut killers, so it’s important to remove it completely in order to heal your GI tract as you strengthen your intuitive practices.

certified gluten-free!

Here is a quote on why we should trust our intuition more, from one of my favorite actors of all time:

“At times you have to leave the city of

Healing your gut is the first step to a stronger intuition, not to mention better moods, and a happier tummy.

The next step will help you begin to hear your gut and intuition more, with a special guided meditation.

For today, eat toxic-free foods, and order your probiotics!

xo,
Alex

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