3 Confidence Boosters That Will Make You Blush

3 confidence boosters

I still feel like that 12-year old girl in the back brace.

3 confidence boosters

Diagnosed with pretty major scoliosis, a curved spine,
I was given a hard plastic brace that added 1-inch to my girth, and
went around my body from below my hips up to my armpits.

For 23 hours a day, for 2 years, I wore the uncomfortable,
sweaty, bulky brace. It bit into my ribs, and rubbed red marks
into my hips.

Worse than the physical pain, I couldn’t wear any form-fitting clothes,
and had to wear bulky t-shirts and pants with elastic waist bands that
would fit over the brace.

That brace helped straighten my spine, but it made me extremely self-conscious
and chipped away at my self-confidence between the ages of 12 and 14.

It has taken years to recognize the impact of those years on my confidence,
and years of inner work to heal my relationship with my body.

From deformity to healed, from wrong and embarrassing to lovable.

Confidence. No matter what your story, we women have an especially shaky relationship with it,
and that has a huge impact on our lives and health…

our ability to ask for what we need…
our ability to speak our minds…
our power to change as we grow…
our mastery of life and skills…
our ability to reclaim our bodies as perfect, strong, and worthy of love.

How can we grow our confidence in ways that are truly empowering?
How can we have fun with something that feels so serious?

Why do I care about women’s confidence?

I started to read the applications for my Vitality Mentorship program,
and almost every woman wrote about her painful relationship with her body, food, and confidence.

And I saw that it effects everything we do, everything about our lives, what we are willing to sacrifice for…

…how we take care of ourselves,
…how we show up and share our gifts with the world,
…how long we are willing to put up with people and circumstances
that hurt us or keep us returning to comfort foods to try to manage the stress.

Confidence is like a secret nutrient of our well-being.

I’ve been consciously healing my own confidence since my early 20’s,
when I began to sense the impact of that back brace on my ability to reclaim my body as my own.

In my own way, I’ve discovered 3 easy, fun ways to begin to grow my own confidence, and I want to share them with you.

And they might make you blush!

Because in order to boost our confidence from within, have to admit our greatness, be willing to try and fail in full view of others, and claim our right to pleasure and fun!

These 3 methods have helped me see my impact on the world,
my ability to feel good no matter what weight or state my body is in,
and to have fun in my body again, which is my foundation of emotional confidence:

3 Confidence

1. PLAY:

Hula hoop, roller skates, kite flying, biking, anything that involves moving my body
in a non-competitive, skillful way, brings me confidence.

When you playfully move in your body, your state changes, your hormones reach a peak of metabolic perfection, and the benefits of moving with joy bring your body into alignment so that you can drop weight (and inflammation) with less effort…

and begin to love moving in your body more.

From dancing along with Beyonce’s backup dancers in a concert video (badly) to
strapping on my hot pink roller skates and trying to finally learn how to turn right, over and over again…
when you play to learn some new physical skill, you build a new pathway of communication and love
with your body.

This weekend I finally figured out how to roller skate and turn right – and it was glorious!

Now, it took 3 or 4 trips to the local basketball courts, countless stumbles, and hearing my
own kid giggle when I flailed wildly while trying to learn…

But finally learning something new in my body, mastering a new physical skill, reminded
me of all the things that I’ve already learned in this life.

My invitation to you:

Pick your play! What sounds fun to you?
Finally learning to throw a frisbee with bullseye accuracy?
Hula hooping in your back yard?
Trying that new dance move you saw on YouTube?
1 minute a day to practice handstands against a wall? Summer salts?

Get out and play and have fun in your body – and dance like nobody’s watching.

2. PLEASURE TIME:

If you’ve been listening to my Crave Cast podcast this month, you’ve heard my interviews
with the groundbreaking sexual health experts to bring attention to the healing powers
of “self-pleasure” or masturbation.

“Solo play,” another name for masturbation, is a highly effective way for women to balance our hormones,
release pent up stress, increase fertility, and as important…
a way for us to find out how much good we are capable of.

Sex is a part of life, but for many of us, it’s an emotional, tense, uncomfortable part of life.
I believe as we get in touch with our body’s ability to feel pleasure through solo-play, we:

– are more confident in asking for what we want, in the bedroom and out in the world
– feel more capable of getting back into the dating scene or reconnecting with our partner
– draw better boundaries for our bodies and our energy

My invitation to you:

Schedule space in your life for solo play at least once a week.
Choose a new toy or simply use your hand and some organic coconut oil.
Light a candle, take a bath, and enjoy your own playground, your body.

If you’re looking for expert advice on how to embark on a solo play ritual, check out the last four episodes of my Crave Cast:

3. THE  NEW GRATITUDE RITUAL:

Gratitude journals are nothing new – you’ve probably written down 3 things you’re grateful for
and felt pretty good about it.

But new science from the world of Positive Psychology shows us that there is a more powerful,
more beneficial way to honor what you’re grateful for.

In fact, this new way is much more empowering, and will build your confidence in short order:

My invitation to you:

Today, as a new, more powerful ritual, write down 5 things in your life that you’re grateful for –
and the role you had in making those things happen.

It’s not just about receiving good things, and having a positive periscope on the world…
…it’s about taking ownership of your impact on the world.

You need to remind yourself that you HAVE taken action that yielded positive results – and when you do it again, again and again, you will naturally grow your confidence.

Now I want to hear from you in the comments below –

How does your confidence effect your body and health?

Which of these 3 ideas will you play with this week?

Sometimes we need to borrow confidence. Getting into a community of curious change-seekers, who can offer you support in those moments when your own confidence is low, is the best way I know how to make lasting improvements to your body and life.

Applications are now available for my 4-month Vitality Mentorship program:
go here to apply by June 6th!

xo,
Alex

How to finally get the motivation you want – for real

“I wish I wanted to go to the gym every day.”
“I WANT to want to have sex with my husband more.”

I’ve heard these two secret wishes a lot from my friends and clients lately.

We all have dreams, goals, desires, and life cravings.
93% of people, polled by the American Psychological Association, have some aspect of their behavior that they want to change.

And most of our goals involve improving our health, body, confidence, sleep, relationships, finances…

If so many of us want to change, in such basic, important ways, why do less than half of us maintain the changes we attempt?

Why is change so hard?

 

wwywtw
 

Most of us blame lack of willpower when we fall short of our goals.
Many of us blame a lack of time, or not enough money when we don’t go for it.

I believe it really comes down to the clarity of your wants, the strength of your desire, the reasons for your craving.

AKA: Motivation.

There are two kinds of motivation, and one is more powerful than the other.

External motivation is when we try something to earn a reward or avoid a punishment: dropping a size so we can fit into the skinny jeans, getting a raise so you can buy the new car, going to the gym every day so we don’t get heart disease…some day.

External motivation might be enough to get you started, but it’s not enough to keep you going.

Internal motivation is the secret sauce.

Internal motivation is when you fall in love with an activity because it is rewarding to your body, life, and soul. It lights you up and makes you come alive:

It’s when you go to yoga every week because it makes you glow and feel alive.
It’s when you play a game because it really excites you.
It’s when you love your work so much you would do it for free.
It’s when you put down your phone before dinner and don’t use it all night so you can be with your honey, which brings you the intimacy and juicy fun you crave.

Here’s an exercise you can use right now to get motivated from within, and have real, lasting change:

It’s called WANTING WHAT YOU WANT TO WANT (AKA: WWYWTW).

Getting specific about your desires, setting clear goals, stating your intentions –
these are all important strategies to follow. You need a map to know where you’re going, right?

But defining a goal or desire is really clarifying “what you want.”

What do you want to be MORE motivated to do?
Or: what do you want to want?

It might sound like this: (a few examples from my own and my clients lives)

I want to want to exercise so much that it’s naturally a part of every day.
I want to want to eat green vegetables!
I want to want to go to sleep at 10 every night so I’m well rested.

This can extend to dating, relating, career, and more:

I want to want to share my paintings online…

I want to want to date so that I get out there and finally meet some cool people…

I want to want to have sex with my partner more so that we feel more connected…

I want to want to start my own coaching practice so strongly that I finally sign up for that program that would really get me started…

Right now, pick one thing you WANT to want more.

Once you’ve got one good thing that you WANT to WANT, do this:
come up with a few things that would make you want that more.

If you want to want to go to yoga twice a week, you might say:

…if I went with a friend and we had a tea date after.
…if I knew the teacher was great and played good music.
…if I had a new yoga outfit that made me feel comfortable and cute.

If you want to want to have more juicy, sexy time with your partner, you might think:

if we both put our phones and gadgets away before dinner and keep them off…
if we sat together and shared our fantasies in a safe, loving way with no agenda…
if we spent an hour apart, focusing on our own self-pleasure first, to get ready…
if I got my favorite erotica book, and he watched something that turns him on first…

That would put you into the zone of actually wanting.
Your intrinsic motivation will blossom.
You will come act, make headway, and come alive.

This positive psychology technique can help you identify strategies that boost your intrinsic, personal, soul-driven motivation.

Once you have really good reasons for WHY you want to want a new activity, food, or habit, you’ll follow through for yourself.

Confidence blooms, action is sustained, mountains move.

So now I want to hear from you:

In the comments below, share the thing you want to want.

Get clear about your desires and life cravings and WHY you might want to want them as a lovely way to grow you motivation.

I’d love to read your thoughts and desires!

xo,
Alex

P.S. I’m now accepting applications for the Vitality Mentorship program. This 4-month experience combines private sessions with me and weekly support and coaching with a group of 20 women.

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

how to be you

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

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

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

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

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

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

Their lives and their bodies back. Their aliveness.

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

xo,
Alex

3 myths about how to change your body that must die

3 myths

3 myths

I was one of those people who struggled and failed to change my life

and eating habits for many years.

 

Even thought I had written three books on vegan cooking, was helping

people heal their own bodies and change their lives, I was in a yo-yo

cycle with sugar. And totally. stressed. out. 

 

Even though I was expected to know a lot about it, I still felt addicted to

sugar and couldn’t break free of the daily cravings. It was ruining my

health (repeated candida attacks) and my life (no focus, no energy)…

sound familiar?

 

When I finally discovered the answer to transforming my life-long addiction,

I was so surprised to see that I had been following three rules that were actually keeping

me stuck.

 

And these three rules are e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. They are so ingrained in our collective

culture that we don’t see them. Like fish who swim in water, we just live in it, not

questioning the reality of what is all around us.

 

What if we could see the false ideas around us and use new tools to help us create lasting change in our habits, eating, and thoughts?

 

That’s what I want to share with you today.

 

Because once you get that these three myths are really harming you, keeping

you stuck in your body and life goals, and totally not necessary, you can finally break free of your food and thought habits for good.

 

And get the body, energy, and life that you really desire.

 

After I share these three myths, and what you can do to dissolve them,

you’re going to have the chance to apply these new rules for change in

a powerful way, with my personal guidance.

 

 

The 3 Myths About How To Change Your Body That Must Die:

 

  1. Once you know what you should do, you’ll do it. AKA: Facts Don’t = Change.

 

It’s not enough to know you should change, or even what the next few steps are that you could take. If knowing was enough, we would all be eating, living, and creating in much different ways, right?

 

I’ll bet you know at least 3 things you “should” be doing differently right now that would have a big impact on your health and life. You’re not alone:

 

90% of people who have coronary-artery bypass surgery have not changed their eating habits or lifestyle 2 years after, even though they know their life depends on it. These folks are told by doctors that they must change their diet and lifestyle if they want to live a healthy, happy life. But they don’t do it. And they know the facts.

 

What does work, if knowing the facts don’t? Community.

 

Too often, like my client Susan, we try to make big diet and lifestyle changes alone. But we don’t live in a bubble – we are all part of a family, community,  or tribe that can either support us or sabotage us. Most of us try to make changes alone, or are surrounded by people who don’t know how to show up for us in a meaningful way.

 

What does work is getting into a community that supports and inspires you to keep making powerful changes, every day.

 

This means forming a strong, emotional relationship with a person and a group of peers that inspires a sense of hope and belief that things can be different.

 

If you wanted to learn to paint, or take up archery, or learn to speak Spanish, you would want a teacher, a mentor, a coach, and a team to help you through it. When you have a coach or mentor and an accountability group who believes in you, you start taking consistent action that gets you where you want to go.

 

  1. Fear + Comparison Are Killers: Ritual Is Key

 

I see too much ‘fear based marketing’ out there, especially when it comes to the health and weight loss world. Some diet coaches, programs and books just try to really SCARE people in the hope that it will motivate us to change.

 

Fear has the opposite effect, especially for most women who are already over-stressed: we turn to food to calm us down, leading to a bigger problem than before.

 

Fear can also show up as comparison, which is rampant in our culture.

We are “creatures of comparison” and naturally weigh ourselves on the scales of “am I as good as her?”

 

This is our fear-based ego showing up, trying to save us from making a mistake. But it really has the effect of keeping us stuck from playing full out, going for what we want, and stepping into any stage where we might be recognized for our true value.

 

The cure for fear and comparison? The consistent action of daily rituals.

 

Change in our lives happens as a result of dozens and dozens of small things that we need to actually learn by doing and doing it again and again. Ritualizing self-care, self-love, bold action, loving thoughts, and eating for your aliveness – these are how we overcome fear.

 

I’d rather focus on “what’s RIGHT with you” and your strengths, than digging deep into your past traumas and hurts. Consistent, loving commitment to strengths, and rituals that make you come alive, are the powerful instigators that help my clients like Ellie create lasting, transformative change.

 

Ritual is infused throughout spiritual traditions as a way to help us manage hard times, connect in a healing way, and remember our true desires in life.

 

Profound change can happen even in the toughest situations. But it requires consistency in building new skills and rituals of the heart.

 

  1. “Just Work Harder!” Willpower Ain’t Enough, Time To Think Different

 

Working harder on the wrong things is crazy-making! We’ve all tried the low-calorie, low-fat, low-flavor foods that didn’t satisfy us long enough to finally heal our bodies.

 

You can’t just use up your limited amount of willpower every day to try and get through the stresses of life.

 

It’s time to think differently about food, get clear on what your big motivating desires truly are, and share your stories about how you got where you are.

 

All this helps to vision and create a new reality that can only come from new thinking.

 

My most successful clients like Ivana are willing to share their deepest true selves so that I can help them see the impact those old beliefs have on their life now.

 

Trying to muscle through calorie counting and a week-long juice cleanse does not heal the fact that your mother obsessed about your weight or that you have a serious food intolerance.

 

You can change your own life, and using new neuroscience, positive psychology, and functional nutrition, you can grow your resilience and skills for change in a truly powerful way. 

 

The 3 keys to true and lasting change are: community, consistency, and thinking different. New hope, new skills, and new thinking.

 

These tools are available to you now, and I invite you to dive deeper into this work today.

 

Today I am opening registration for my brand new Vitality Program, which offers personal coaching from me for four months, group support from women just like you, Susan, Ellie, and Ivana, and much, much more.

 

Click here to discover more about this opportunity and to apply: 

xo,

Alex

 

P.S. If you have any trouble with the application, please connect with my Community Manager Jan – we’d rather you reach out to us than fight technology alone! jan@alexandrajamieson.com

 

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

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

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

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

2. Tend + Befriend = A Secret Stress Squasher

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

3. Keep A Rock Star Diary

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

Is self-love the missing ingredient in your weight loss plan? 5 Reasons To Masturbate

If you’ve tried every diet, cleanse, detox, and fast, and you’re still having trouble feeling good in your body, it’s time to really get serious:

It’s time to add self-pleasure (AKA masturbation) to your gym + juicing schedule.

Well, not JUST masturbation, but anything that brings you sincere physical pleasure that also balances your hormones. And arousal and orgasm are most easily achieved through masturbation, especially if you’re single, or in a sexless relationship.
5 reasons masturbation is a MUST for balancing hormones (and dropping a few pounds):

1. According to the 2009 University of Michigan study[i], orgasm help the body release oxytocin, the “love + bonding” hormone, which in turn lowers cortisol,
the main stress hormone chronically elevated in many women (like me!) and lead to stress eating, and weight loss resistance.

2. Higher levels of oxytocin makes us happy, which keeps those emotionally-triggered food cravings for sugars, cheese, and other “happy foods” at bay. This surge also raises levels of a substance called CCK, which helps control your appetite. Just start! Even if you’re not an expert, your own digits are ready to help you begin at home. Oxytocin levels are usually increased simply through the physical stimulation of the clitoris, vagina, cervix, and breasts. So even if you don’t reach climax, you’ll still be releasing these powerful neurotransmitters. Women who enjoy more sexual stimulation have more balanced estrogen and testosterone. These hormones add fire to sexual desire,  improve mood and memory and can even help prevent abdominal fat.

3. In my book, Women, Food, And Desire, I tell the story of a client who wasn’t dating, and wasn’t masturbating. She had also been suffering tummy trouble for years, and worked a very stressful job. Bloating, gas, and the dreaded “muffin top” that wouldn’t budge. I took her to Babeland, a clean, well-lit place for sex toys, and we talked with a knowledgeable staff member who helped her pick out her first non-toxic vibrator. After a couple of weeks of self-exploration, she noticed a major difference in her digestion! And she certainly had a nice spring in her step!

4. Daydream, girl! Another study[ii] reveals that sexy daydreams release testosterone in women – which means, when you read erotic fiction, or watch any kind of porn that excites you, your body will begin anticipating encounter, which naturally raises your libido. Babeland.com has some great options for the desire seeker.

5. Orgasms help us sleep, which may be the best reason of all to masturbate. Oxytocin, that wonderful love drug, creates an overall feeling of relaxation and even sleepiness. Vasopressin and melatonin, two other neurotransmitters associated with sleep, are also released during orgasm.

Masturbation happens in most relationships, so if you’re not talking about it with your partner, bring it up. Share this information with them!

If you’re single, and not masturbating regularly, start including self-pleasure in  your life, consistently.

The psychological and emotional benefits are so helpful for what ails us:

Wouldn’t it be nice to feel relaxed, satisfied, and good without needing a cupcake?

For more great insights on the benefits, myths, and latest science around masturbation, check out the latest Crave Cast podcast episodes!

I’ll be interviewing some of the top experts on female desire, sexual health and more!

Go here to subscribe to the Crave Cast: 

Happy May!

xo,

Alex

 

[i] J Sex Med. 2009 Mar;6(3):739-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.01123.x. Epub 2008 Dec 5.

[ii] Horm Behav. 2011 May;59(5):754-64. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2010.12.005. Epub 2010 Dec 24.

 

41 Sneaky Names For Sugar

41 Sneaky Names For Sugar

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

But watch out:

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

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

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

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

Here are 41 names for sugar to look out for:

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

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

3 Ways Dessert Destroys Your Desire: [sugar + hormones]

3 ways sugar kills libido

Did you know what you eat has a huge effect on your libido? That red velvet cupcake is more dangerous than the Red Room of Pain…

3 ways sugar kills libido

According to the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-5, 2013), the American Psychiatric Association’s classification and diagnostic tool, lack of desire (classified as HSDD or hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or female sexual interest/arousal disorder) and the related anxiety it causes, is the most common of women’s sexual complaints.

This can include a lack of sexual desire that causes distress, disinterest, and inability to achieve orgasm when orgasm was once easy. And orgasm, when accessible, is one of the best healing tools a woman, and a couple, can use to boost her vitality and health.

We want our desire back, and contrary to popular belief, a female viagra is not the answer.

In my book Women, Food, And Desire, I detail how the wrong diet can obliterate a woman’s libido. And how a trip to the health food store and Babeland.com can reignite and heal your hormones, vitality, and mood.

You may think this epidemic is effecting older women, on the verge of middle age, but the evidence shows young women are just as susceptible to this crippling lack of desire. A broad study of 31,000 U.S. females 18 and older published in 2008 in Obstetrics and Gynecology magazine, found that about 43 percent of women reported sexual problems. This lack of desire causes distress, and anxiety, as well as being linked with depression.

If you’re like me, you’ve noticed that as you grow through the years, your body changes – and so does your desire for the physical pleasures in life! (I know – duh! But really, our hormones really shift as we age, and what we eat is a major part of that.)

Sugar is one of the top foods that effects our libido, both emotionally and physically.

Funny thing is (and by funny, I mean cruel), the more out of whack our hormones get, the more we rely on sugar as our main source of physical pleasure…

…when what our mammal bodies really need (and crave) is sensual pleasure.

Here’s how sugar wrecks our hormones, and below you’ll find my top resources to help you quit your groove-killing candy habit:

3 Ways Dessert Destroys Your Desire (AKA messing up your hormones)

1. Sugar kills testosterone: 
Insulin resistance, caused by a diet high in refined carbohydrates, including white flour, sugar, and alcohol, drives down testosterone in both men and women. Both sex drive and function (think erectile disfunction, which also effects the clitoris, not just the penis) take a hit when blood sugar levels are high.

2. Sugar saps your energy:
High-glycemic carbohydrates spike your blood sugar, leading to insulin over-production to pull your blood sugar back down. The roller coaster of low then high then low blood sugar results in fatigue, which is one reason why a big pasta dinner with wine knocks you out of the mood. High sugar consumption also leads to decreased orexin, a neurotransmitter that regulates arousal and wakefulness, which leads to fatigue, which leads to snoring, rather than snogging.

3. Sugar = stress:
Sugar is the most inflammatory food around, which leads to physical stress in every aspect of your body and mind. High insulin levels will elevate cortisol, a main stress hormone. Chronic high cortisol leads to muscle break down, fat storage, and squashed libido. Not a sweet picture, right?
If one of your big desires in life is to feel juicy, sexy, and alive, then it’s time to cut the sugar, sweet one.

Use some of my sugar-free recipes (and more recipes here!) to help you on a two-week sugar-free experiment!

Here’s my post on the top 41 secret sugar names to help you avoid sweeteners in your food.

Balance your hormones, honey. Get your groove back!

May is the 20th Anniversary of National Masturbation Month!

Join me as I interview the top experts on women’s sexual health, on the Crave Cast, every Friday.

Go here to hear the shows!

xo,

Alex

Sober, With The Lights On [Love Yourself]

May is National Masturbation Month: It's time to get clear + sober about our physical cravings! http://bit.ly/lovesoberpleasure

It’s time to turn on the lights + get clear, sweet ones.
It’s time to love yourself well.

May is National Masturbation Month: It's time to get clear + sober about our physical cravings! http://bit.ly/lovesoberpleasure

May is National Masturbation Month: It’s time to get clear + sober about our physical cravings! http://bit.ly/lovesoberpleasure

I’m going to talk about some stuff that’s even more taboo
than your weight, and is as crucial to your health, life satisfaction + happiness:

Our sensuality…or how we give ourselves the healing power of physical pleasure.
And masturbation.

Even typing that made my stomach drop.

I admit it: I still feel a bit nervous writing about sexual health + sexuality.

Then why for heaven’s sake am I doing it?

Because I know how important it is that we women
finally feel good in our bodies.

And because May is the 20th Anniversary of National Masturbation Month.

And I know how hard it is for ALL of us to talk about it…
and that it’s a secret piece of our health that has a huge impact
on how we feel IN + ABOUT our bodies.

How we feel about sex, food, and our physical need for pleasure is all tied together…
and there is too much shame around all of these.

I want all of us here in my tribe, my “clan of the crave bears,”
to love + feel confident in her (or his) own skin.

But most of us feel embarrassed by our bodies,
what we eat, and our sensual desires + needs.

They’re “touchy” subjects. (ok, enough joking – maybe)

We know that both can be wonderful (or so we’ve heard),
but we feel so awkward with them, that we try to get
through them quickly + without awareness.

See, I believe we keep ourselves in the dark + hide from
our food habits + sexual desires.

We’ve been fooled into thinking that if we don’t look at
our cravings + desires for both food + sex,
our problems with them will just go away.

But it’s a lie.
The less we pay attention,
the more we judge ourselves,
and the more we do both (food + physical pleasure) unconsciously.

Of this I’m certain: our unaware, rushed, judgmental way of
eating + treating our bodies is killing us.

We eat standing up, face in the fridge, quickly devouring dessert
as if we could erase the fact of what we’re eating…

And many of our sexual experiences are done with the lights off
(literally + figuratively), after a few drinks, as if the veil of alcohol +
darkness could make our embarrassment go away:

embarrassment of our bodies
embarrassment of our desires
hatred of our bodies
hatred of our cravings

It’s time to get clear + turn the lights on.
It’s time to talk about our desires + cravings.
It’s time to ask the questions + find the answers we need…

So that we can finally love our bodies, our lives + fully come alive.

Now is the perfect time to do this:

May is the 20th anniversary of National Masturbation Month, and I’ll be interviewing several top experts in women’s health + sexuality on my Crave Cast podcast about:

– the physical + psychological benefits of masturbation
– why so many of us (women especially) have a negative association with it
– how we can begin to practice specific techniques to help us:
– like + get to know our bodies better
– balance our hormones
– reduce our food cravings
– reduce + eliminate annoying urinary incontenence

4 things I’ve discovered in my research + heard from my clients about the benefits of masturbation + self-pleasure:

1. the more familiar we are with what makes our own bodies feel good, the better we are at asking our partner for what we want, or the better boundaries we have with creating and maintaining relationships;

2. the better we are at asking our partners for what we want, the more we get clear on what we want in life;
3. the more clear we can be about what we want in life, and the more confidence we have about being able to create it ourselves, the more help we ask for + receive;
4. The more help we ask for in life, the more productive we are, the more supportive we feel, the happier we are, the less stressed out we feel, and the more creative we can be.

Too many of the “health + happiness” experts avoid the topic of sex,
as if it had nothing to do with our vitality, emotional food cravings, and hormone balancing.

They’re missing a huge key aspect of health + aliveness.

Why? Because it’s hard to talk about. It scares people.
But this silence is hurting all of us.

In my book, Women, Food, And Desire, I wrote about food, sex, health, and cravings.

Many readers told me it was the first time they had connected these ideas before,
and that it changed how they eat and live their lives.

I’ll be writing about these delicate, yet important, topics all month,
and will post expert interviews every Friday on my Crave Cast podcast.

I hope you’ll listen, read, and share this with a friend as a way to move women’s health,
and this important conversation further.

xo,

Alex

Get Over Your “Shoulds” + Enjoy Getting What You Want

terri event

Ever think any of these?

I should really lose some weight.

I should look for a new job. This one makes me unhappy.

I should really start eating better.

I should cut back the hours I am working.

I should really figure out what makes me happy, and do it more.

Should is just a dis-empowering word, so if you are using it, you most likely don’t really want to do what you are “shoulding” yourself to do.

 

Should Definition
dictionary.search.yahoo.com

Used to express obligation or duty. You should send her a note.

Used to express probability or expectation. They should arrive at noon.

Used to express conditionality or contingency. If she should fall, then so would I.

 

You may want the result of losing weight or finding a job you love, but inherent in the “should’ statement above is the connotation that it is an obligation, not something you want to do.

terri event

There is a lack of desire and a sense of guilt present in these statements.

There is also a sense of expectation.

AND, this is all GREAT information. Whenever you “should” yourself about doing ANYTHING, there is some aspect of doing this thing you feel you “should” do that seems unpleasant or uncomfortable, that you really don’t wish to do.

So, do you really want to shame yourself into doing it???

That never works does it? When anyone else tries to guilt you into doing something, does that ever feel good? You generally resent doing something you are guilt-ed into doing, right?

And, this entire conversation is energetically draining.

So, whenever you hear yourself say the word “should” can you please stop and think about what you are expecting in this scenario?

What about this seems difficult to you?

It’s easier to make time in our lives for things we want to do or for things we feel will have some kind of positive pay off, like advancing our careers in some way.

Who has found time to:

Go to a networking event?

Have dinner or lunch with a friend you enjoy?

Watch your favorite TV show, the one to which you are addicted?


You do these things because they pay off in some way.

Going to that networking event may help you make an important business connection.

Having dinner or lunch with your friend will be fun and supportive.

Watching your Favorite TV show will give you something to talk about at work and be a fun distraction.

So, if you can figure out something you can do that will support weight loss that also provides you with some other more immediate, emotional pay off, you are more likely to do it!

Walking in the park with a friend gives you a calorie burn plus some friendship- fun and support.

Riding a stationary bike while reading a great novel or watching a great TV series will make you want to get on that bike to see what happens next.

Taking a workout class or dance class that inspires and exhilarates you will make you want to go back for more!

You are most likely NOT going to do something that you think you “should” do, so watch for that word dancing around in your head or your conversations.

The word “Should” is just an alert that:

You have an expectation that the only way you can get the result you want is via hardship.

The ways you see this thing you want happening don’t have any positive emotional pay offs.

You think what you want is impossible for you.

 

If you don’t believe something is possible, it will be really tough to make it happen.

 

There are so many fun and engaging ways to exercise and feel great in your body!

There are lots of really delicious ways to eat healthy!

It’s way easier to take steps to get a new job when you believe it is possible to work in a situation you love!

 

If you would like to discover just how you “should” yourself and how you can get the results you want by taking actions you really LOVE and ENJOY doing, join me and my Buddies, Lara Riggio and amazing psychotherapist to the stars, Terri Cole for an amazing day in which we will be helping you experience how you can get Get it All Done with more ease, grace and joy.

In our Success Simplified Workshop on May 2nd in NYC, you will discover:

  • How to distinguish between a “Should” and a “Want” so you minimize unnecessary pressure in your life.
  • The art of mastering how to set effective boundaries with ease and kindness, so you don’t get roped into doing anything you don’t want to do.
  • How to identify what is stealing your energy, and get it back!
  • Discover how easy self-care activates The Law of Attraction, so you can benefit from this real phenomenon.
  • Sample the magic of quick & easy mindfulness practices like mini meditations and 60 second Present Moment
  • Awareness exercises you can do anywhere to harness the power of your intention.
  • And Uncover the downloaded limiting beliefs that are stopping you from having what you deserve, release them with energy work and feel the freedom and power you have as a result.
  • Release your resistance to receiving, so you can accept the help, love and appreciation available to you.
  • Learn how to listen to your body’s cravings, discover what your body needs from them and how to satisfy yourself with food.

 

Meet + bond with women like you: join this empowered posse of like-minded sisters, and know you are never alone.

Come get your health + inspiration on, and still have time in your Saturday schedule for your errands and a mani/pedi.

So, in addition to all the priceless strategies, tools and support you are going to receive during the day, you will be receiving over $160 of free stuff to help you practice what you discover throughout the day!

Sign up before April 20 + get the Early Bird Special, save $50!

Click Here to Register 

 

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