Write it, Don’t Eat it: Gratitude Adjustment

Day 4 of the Mindset Makeover!

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

IMG_5180

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Relationships.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What makes a relationship really healthy?

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

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

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

curious about real connection…

looking for fun, true, authentic friends…

empathic, thrill-seeking, life-loving pals.

I want to hear from you in the comments below:

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

Get more AWE some: 3 ways to add more AWE

AWE is a powerful state

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xo, Alex

Does how you think matter as much as what you eat?

Short answer: Yes.

Our thoughts, experiences, and emotions make as much of an impact on our health and weight as what we eat.

I know a lot of you have made New Year’s resolutions,
and they might be getting away from you right now, the 3rd week into 2015.

So I wanted to share some of the best tools I’ve learned through my studies in
Positive Psychology to help you shift your mindset about food, health, weight, and your body

from frustration to ease…

from stuck to moving…

from unmotivated to joyful belief…

from floundering to flourishing.

So every day for the next 7 days, I’d like to share one tool a day with you to help you master your mindset…

A mindset makeover, if you will.

See, positive psychology “is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive” - 
and that’s what I love sharing. Recipes and inspiration for a body and life you love. 

You don’t have to do anything special, just read along, and take the action I describe, if you’re inspired.

If you want to join in the fun in a more meaningful way, you can come follow me on Instagram or Facebook and share, post, or like the pictures I’ll be posting every day to share these ideas.

I’ll also be sharing simple food tips every day to help you make your resolutions for a lighter, stronger 2015 come true!

Now, here’s your Day 1 of the #MindsetMakeover:

Share Your Strengths, AKA “What’s RIGHT with you?”

According to Positive Psychology research, when you focus on your strengths it helps you focus on what’s right, rather than getting stuck in a negative self-image.

In my experience, most sugar cravings, when not caused by bacterial overgrowth, are related to feeling emotionally depleted, frustrated, or lonely.

When we can tap into our own strengths and acknowledge what’s right with us, sabotaging food cravings will get weaker.

When we acknowledge how strong we really are, sugar’s hold on us gets weaker! Click To Tweet This :) 

Humor
Gratitude
Love
Love of Learning
Leadership
Bravery
Creativity
Curiosity
Vitality
Kindness
Forgiveness
Appreciation of Beauty
Hope
Spirituality

alex learn

One of my strengths is “love of learning.” I used to think I was “easily distracted” but now I see my curiosity and desire for knowledge as a way that I stay engaged, hopeful, and contribute to my family and community’s well-being.

According to Positive Psychology research, sharing + acknowledging our strengths helps us to focus on what’s right with us, rather than getting stuck in a negative self-image.

When we feel more positive + better about ourselves, we tend to make healthier food choices, and our health is better all around.

In the comments below, share your strengths with us!
I’d love to hear what’s RIGHT with you, and how you use those strengths to live a healthier, happier life.

xo, Alex

Women’s magazines + the Diet Industrial Complex

Women’s magazines are a big part of what I’m calling the “diet industrial complex,” the overlap of media, food, and health experts that have set us up to be totally body and food obsessed, while disconnecting us from the connection to our bodies. 

When you are raised in this culture, you have little chance of listening to your body and trusting “her.”

womans worldThe covers feature extreme diets to lose weight quickly, right next to food porn images of unhealthy meals. 


What we see with our eyes effects our health as much as what we eat. Be wary of what media you consume. CLICK TO TWEET! 


#WomenFoodAndDesire
www.womenfoodanddesire.com

The HOT and FUN interview on cravings, Women Food And Desire, and the connection between food cravings and sexual desire

My Interview with @SexWithEmily on “Men & Meatballs” (AKA Women, Food, And Desire)

The HOT and FUN interview on cravings, Women Food And Desire, and the connection between food cravings and sexual desire

The HOT and FUN interview on cravings, Women Food And Desire, and the connection between food cravings and sexual desire

 

My favorite interview yet! Click here to listen in: 

“Are your issues with self-esteem and body-image weighing down your sex drive?”

In this show, Emily addresses some of these key sex-killing issues, and shares tips to help you get your sex life right back where you want it. Special guest Alex Jamieson, author of the book Women, Food and Desire, stops by the studio to weigh in on the curious relationship between body image, diet and desire, for both men and women.

Following a tough divorce, and a dramatic break up with the vegan lifestyle, Alex recounts her own struggles with self-confidence, and shares how a mix of diet change and dating helped her get her mojo back. 18 months and 100 first dates later, she shares her tip for rediscovering your desire: Try on different men (and different foods) to see what feels best!

Get the interview here on iTunes: http://ow.ly/HsrPO

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below on what you think of the show!

xo,

Alex

Walking to Heal. My emotional + physical cravings story.

This weekend I went for a “hike” the Santa Monica mountains.

You could call it a soul stroll.

Walking to Heal.

I’ve lived in New York City for 15 years and love my city. But nature is my spiritual practice.

It’s where I feel connected, supported, and most alive.

Walking along the rainy path, no other humans around, smelling the intoxicating dampness of Eucalyptus leaves, feeling the gravity of the earth, hearing the birds talk to each other, watching the mist rise and melt away from the hills, tears began streaming down my cheeks.

Walking, quietly, no distractions, and just being.

How often do we get to do that?

 

We humans are physical and emotional creatures. We are built this way.

Sadly, most of us grow up to think our bodies, our physical desires, and our emotions are “wrong,” or out of whack, or just, “too much.”

 

We all need time to move, and feel. When we allow emotions to move through us, especially as we move our bodies, a healing release can rise up and allow us to love ourselves.

 

On this walk, I got a bone-deep feeling that I’m enough. Just enough. That nature is perfect, and allows for the ebb and flow of our energy and emotions.

 

I got that we all need time to heal, that we all deserve whatever cravings are coming up for us.

 

Cravings for time, quiet, food, physical enjoyment, contemplation, rest. It’s all inherently good. And so are we.

I came upon this path marker:

Resting To Heal.

 

The trails were mostly closed to allow for nature to do her work of healing the ground, and I marveled at the wisdom of Mother Nature and the parks employees.

She needs quiet rest to heal. It’s winter here in the USA, after all. This time of year has us all turning inward, feeling into our roots, and nature mirrors that need in us.

Sometimes we all need quiet rest, closing down, and stillness to allow the miracle of nature to do her work.

 Your human body is so wise, so capable. You deserve quiet rest, and if you crave it, I encourage you to take the time for yourself. Healing is sometimes dynamic and fast, but often it’s quiet and slow. Click to Tweet This: 

You deserve it, that quiet, contemplative time alone, if you want it. Either in a church or on a nature trail.

There is healing there for you, and it’s valid to want it.

I want to hear from you in the comments below – are you a “spiritual mover” like me? Do you consider yourself divinely connected and directed? How do you honor that?

***

I’ve been hearing from so many new readers who just read Women, Food, And Desire, and wanted to share what they’re saying and seeing:

“If there is a women and food book out there, I’ve read it. I totally appreciate Alexandra’s approach to food. She just gets it on so many levels. The book is upbeat and positive. It is the first time I’ve read one of these books and actually FELT GOOD ABOUT MYSELF. Seriously. I am having fun shopping and cooking without all of the stress and pressure. I feel good, and I am making better choices because of it. I love love love all the supplemental materials that come with the book. I bought the eBook so I’ve been clicking away. It is one of those books you’ll read and want to give to all of your friends. Thank you Alexandra for writing this book. What a great way to start the off the new year.” ~ A, on Amazon

 

“I thought I wanted a hot fudge, caramel sundae on way home from a meeting….got in drive through line only to realize I didn’t have my wallet. Drove straight home and drank some warm tea instead! Guess what, I didn’t REALLY need a sundae and thank goodness did not eat one!” ~ S.A., Women, Food, And Desire Facebook Group

 

“This book has me seeing myself and habits with new eyes and I sense a real transformation on the horizon that has moved me to tears. Alexandra does what few people can: she actually shows you how to get to the root of your self-care challenges and transform them. Not through some weird, complicated diet, but through simple, wise and practical steps that speak to your soul’s deepest yearning. For real! Get this book. It’s about so much more than food. It’s for your entire life.” ~ Karin Witzig Rozell, Amazon.com review

To order your copy, go here: http://alexandrajamieson.com/wfdorderbonus/

Email us your receipt and we’ll send you access to 8 incredible bonus resources.

xo,

Alex

 

Are you listening? They’re talking to you…

We all have cravings.

Every single one of us longs to connect with the people and things that will make us feel whole, alive, loved, and satisfied.

I’d say, in fact, that this whole human experience of ours is essentially built on a bedrock of craving. It’s human nature, after all, to yearn, to long, to want, to desire.

So I ask you, with genuine curiosity, genuine interest:

What do you most crave?

Your cravings are the most powerful way your body speaks to you. What have you heard lately? Listen in… (Click to Tweet this)

I’m certain that it’s not really that peanut butter cup you’ve got tucked away in the glove compartment of your car, or the triple venti latte with a shot of syrup that you rely on every afternoon to get you through another stressful day on the job.

I bet it’s not that glass of wine you automatically reach for to help you relax at the end of a long, hard day. Nor is it the cookies, cakes, and other goodies you spend a lot of time daydreaming (and beating yourself up) about.

It’s not the impulse to run away from your partner, or to yell at your kids, or to impetuously quit the job that is wrong for you—though we’ve all certainly had these moments, too.

Women, Food, And Desire by Alexandra Jamieson

What I want to know is what lies underneath all of these itchy, uncomfortable feelings?

What incredibly important and vital needs of yours are going unmet, unacknowledged, unfed?

What are you not getting from your food, your environment, your life, that makes you think you have no option but to overeat, overwork, act out, isolate, or overspend?

In other words, what do you most desire?

What will make you feel most passionately alive? These are, I believe, the most important questions we can ask ourselves, and the answers are to be found in our cravings.

Whatever you need, it’s rarely something that money can buy, but it is—and will continue to be—profoundly influenced by what you put into your mouth, what you do with your days, and what you either say or leave unsaid.

If you’ve come to the point where what you’re feeding yourself or telling yourself is filling, but not fulfilling, well, that means that the message buried beneath that craving just hasn’t gotten through to you yet.

What most of my clients want is to feel radiantly alive and well.

They want to wake up each day and step into their lives from a deeply authentic and honest place and know that the actions they take, the decisions they make, will truly reflect their most heartfelt values.

They want to really believe, way down in their deepest soul, that they are valuable and worthwhile and that their choices matter. That they are loved and seen.

The key to achieving this profound level of comfort with the self is simple: learn to listen to your cravings.

Listen to them, and learn to honor them.

This is as true for stay-at-home-moms, the retired accountant with grandkids, the start-up entrepreneur, and the high level executive. (and I’ve worked with all of you)

This is easy, but it is the hardest thing you will ever learn to do, because it takes putting yourself first in ways that are radically new, even frightening, for most of us.

But it’s time.

It is time to stop mindlessly trying to get our cravings to stop bugging us. The irony here is that they will only loosen their grip on us when we commit to stop, listen, and learn from them.

Only when you do this, when you learn to stop reacting and get quiet and really listen, will your cravings become what they truly are: your greatest guide.

In my book, Women, Food, And Desire, I share how to listen to your cravings. Through stories from my own life, and stories from my clients, you can make peace with your body and your heart so you can truly, finally be at ease in the world.

Because, in the end, that’s what we really crave: to belong, to be loved, to be well, especially within ourselves. We all want to know, really feel, that we are perfect human beings, with no limitations on how we get to look, whom we get to love, what kind of contributions we’ll decide to make in our lives.

We’ve lost enough time battling our bodies, giving in to the societal pressure that says we have to look or be or eat “just so,” and we’ve done this by hiding our truth from ourselves and everyone else
around us.

We’ve been cowering in shame long enough.

It’s time. It’s time for us all to lay down our weapons of self-destruction.

It’s time for us to become the exquisite caretakers of our own deepest desires.

In order to do this, we need to understand the four root causes of cravings, respect, and embrace our cravings.

What are your cravings trying to tell you? What can you learn from them?

How will you honor them?

I want to hear from you:

In the comments below – share your cravings, and what they mean to you.

Women, Food, And Desire - available in the UK, from Little Brown

Women, Food, And Desire – UK Edition!

Women, Food, And Desire - available in the UK, from Little Brown

Women, Food, And Desire – available in the UK, from Little Brown

For UK readers (including Australia!) Women, Food, And Desire is ready for pre-order now!

Get your copy here: 

 

 

Warming Foods For Winter Weight Loss

Support your body this chilly season!

Instead of cooling your metabolism with summer fruits and berries, focus on naturally warming, seasonal foods, and your wellness and energy goals will be easier to reach.

Be sure you know your Cravings Type before you start adding these foods – Featherweight (AKA Vata) types will do better with some of these foods than Firebrands or Earth Mamas. Take the quiz and get your type here: www.cravingsquiz.com 


Anise
Basil
Bay leaf
Bitter orange
Black beas
Blackberry
Brussels sprouts
Butter, salted
Caraway
Cadamom
Carob
Cashew
Chestnut
Chile pepper
Cinnamon
Citrus peel
Clove
Coconut
Collards
Date
Dill
Fat and oil
Fennel
Fenugreek
Garlic
Garlic chive
Ginger
Kale
Mace
Miso
Molasses
Mustard greens
Nutmeg
Oats
Onion
Parsley
Parsnip
Pcan
Pine nut
Quinoa
Raspberry
Rosemary
Scallion
Squash, winter
Star anise
Tarragon
Thyme
Turmeric
Vinegar, unpasteurized
Walnut

This list of warming winter foods for cravings is awesome! Click to tweet!