#FixFood: It’s Time to Fix the Toxic Food Culture We Live In

Here’s the deal –

If we can’t all access healthy, clean food, then all of this talk about fixing food isn’t going to help as many people as it could.

As part 3 of our #FixFood mission, we have to increase the awareness and access that people have.

 

For starters, people who need good nutrition the most (like the working poor) don’t currently have access to it.

We can quickly help people learn how to grow a little bit of their own food – which connects them to themselves, and helps them feel empowered.

When people have access to really high quality food, it helps them feel better, do more, earn more, lift their family out of poverty, get off of diabetes meds, and stop using the Emergency Room as their form of primary care.

 

We can make food labels better.

There’s a huge growing movement in the U.S. that the rest of the world is begging us to lead the charge on: to label genetically modified foods.

So many people want laws in this area, but they don’t know what to DO about it.

 

Now, let’s talk about our kids.

Our kids are getting sicker and sicker, younger and younger, with diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. And it has a lot to do with how kids are fed in this country.

We live in a hyper advertising and food marketing culture. Kids are bombarded with messages about unhealthy food all day long.

It’s up to us – the adults and parents – to become aware of it and talk to our kids about it, so the messaging they get is balanced (or maybe even has more good messaging than junk food messaging).

Another aspect is the lunch programs in our schools. We can talk to our kids about healthy foods all we like, but if they’re fed junk at school, what happens to the kids whose parents aren’t talking to them about healthy foods? What about the families who rely on the lunch programs to keep their children fed?

We can help fix that. But we have get the education into the schools. And we have to empower the kids.

This is the part of the Super Size Me 10 Year Anniversary series that has me the most excited.

I’m bringing in people who are on the ground, fixing the food culture we live in, so they can talk about how YOU can help make a difference.

And, as a very special guest, we’re highlighting Dr. Oz’s Healthcorps – an amazing program that goes into schools and teaches kids about cooking and nutrition (something that’s sorely lacking schools nowadays).

We are designating Dr. Oz’s Healthcorps as our charity of choice for the entire telesummit. 75% of the profits will be donated to them in order to help this growing movement to help our KIDS fix food.

To learn more about the Super Size Me 10 Year Anniversary telesummit, click here.

And if you’re fired up about fixing the food culture we live in, help spread the word! Feel free to copy/paste this note into facebook and Twitter:

Help fix the food culture in your schools and community. Get in on the #FixFood mission: http://tinyurl.com/supersizefixfood

xo,

Alex

#FixFood: Turn that Unhealthy Relationship Around

We’re all intelligent, functioning human beings here.

We all know things we could be doing differently to eat better.

But we still have these sabotaging food habits and emotional eating issues where food is like our substitution for intimacy. Food helps us feel calm. It’s one of our favorite soothers.

It’s just that most of us have a relationship with our food that gives the phrase “unhealthy relationship” a totally new meaning.

But when you FIX your relationship with food, it becomes an easy, delicious way to nourish yourself, rather than being a life raft that you cling you to every day just to get through.

You feel lighter.

You like yourself better.

You feel stronger, more confident, more at ease.

You’re more peaceful in your life.

And happier. So much happier.

… Basically, all the good stuff!

Which is why fixing your relationship with food is one of the main topics in my #FixFood mission.

At the Super Size Me 10 Year Anniversary series (March 10 – 14), I’m going to interview 30+ of the hottest experts in health and nutrition.

And we’re going to get into your relationship with food!

I have so many knowledgeable and caring experts lined up: bestselling authors, neuroscientists, food psychologists, and more.

Here’s just a glimpse of what we have lined up for you. . .

Pedram Shojai will tell you how to fix your relationship with food, one bite at a time.

Neuroscientist and author Darya Rose will share new discoveries in neuroscience about how cravings are created – and she’ll give you 3 basic rules to eat for sane weight loss. (Sounds good to me!)

Trudy Scott will talk about how balancing your brain chemistry with real foods can heal emotional eating, and Robb Wolf will help you break free from dietary dogma so you can discover your perfect food style.

They are all ready to help you understand and unwire your emotional relationships with food – so I hope you’ll join us for this virtual event. (Grab your free ticket here.)

And don’t be shy! Follow me on Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest to get all of the #FixFood updates – and jump into the conversation!

xo,

Alex

6-pack Abs? Who Cares – 7 Tips to Get Rid Of A Bloated Stomach

Do you ever have those days where you open the closet, and nothing feels good on you? Maybe you spend 45 minutes just searching through your clothes, just trying to find an outfit that will hide your bloated belly!

 

If you’re like 91% of women, dealing with bloat and other digestive issues is something that you struggle with daily. My friend Nadya Andreeva, certified wellness coach and author, struggled with feeling bloated for years — even looking 5 months pregnant at times. After years of research and testing, Nadya has created a manual for defeating bloating and healing your belly for good — her new book, Happy Belly: A woman’s guide to feeling vibrant, light, and balanced. http://www.spinachandyoga.com/happybelly/

 

What most women don’t know is that the real cause of bloating is too much fermentation in the digestive tract. Some common triggers include: stress, a food sensitivity, a lack of enzymes, uncoordinated peristalsis, or eating too much fiber (yeah – who thought that could be the problem?).

By just adding a few small shifts to your meal habits, you can keep your belly happy! Here are some tips from Nadya’s book to help you beat the bloat:

 

  1. Allow your previous meal to digest before eating the next meal. Wait at least three hours between meals.
  2. Chew well and don’t talk while chewing. If you’re eating with others, put down your fork between bites and let the flavor and the experience of food be your only focus. Don’t eat and speak at the same time. Better yet, meet friends for walks or for a tea and keep social eating to minimum until your gut is healthy and strong.
  3. Be careful with your fiber. Coarse or poorly chewed fiber will delay passage through the digestive system and slow the rate at which the food is digested and absorbed. So if you don’t chew a slice of bread or a piece of potato properly, you’re leaving a lot more work for your stomach and it will take longer.
  4. Eat fruit at least 30 minutes before meals. Don’t eat fruits after a meal. This habit is gas-forming and leads to bloating.
  5. Don’t drink anything cold while eating. Ideally, limit cold foods as well. Fruits should be room temperature (not straight from the fridge). If you can’t live without your ice cream, have some ginger tea afterward.
  6. Chew on fennel seeds or sip a hot fennel and ginger tea. Prepare fennel tea by crushing one teaspoon of fennel seeds and adding it to one cup of water in a pot. Bring the water to a boil, cover and steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool and strain. A traditional dose of fennel tea is about two to three cups daily. If you’re at a restaurant or don’t have fennel seeds, opt for a mint tea. It’s also soothing to the digestive tract. Another tip: carry tea bags in your purse so you’ll always have the kind you like handy.
  7. Go for a brisk walk. Aim for 30 minutes of walking. I also like to add a few jumping jacks or twists. This helps to increase blood circulation and to release gas.

 

Nadya is hosting a special 2-day online event!

When you order Happy Belly between today and March 21, you’ll get amazing bonuses and prizes, like Nadya’s favorite recipes, shopping lists, MP3 meditations, special online courses from guest experts, tools for self-care, and more!

 

These special gifts are available only for 2 days! Get Happy Belly today to receive all these bonuses and start having optimal digestive health, glowing skin, and freedom from food fear! Get your copy of Happy Belly here. http://www.spinachandyoga.com/happybelly/

Let me know here in the comments below which tip you can use to heal your tummy today! OR what tummy trouble you’re having that you wish you had more support in healing! 

Here’s to a happy belly! 

Alex

#FixFood: How to Fix Food at Home More Easily

You’re busy. I know you are.

So am I. And so is just about everyone else you’ll run into today.

It’s no wonder that one of the first (and most frequent) bumps in the road to transforming your health is trying to cook healthy food at home.

Know what I mean? Sometimes it’s just too easy to grab a pre-packaged meal. It feels much more convenient to eat out for lunch. . . and dinner. . . and lunch again.

But if you’ve been hanging out with me for any amount of time, then you know that I’m a total supporter of fixing your own food at home – from scratch. It’s honestly the best way to make sure that you consistently feed yourself nourishing foods that help your body to thrive.

So – how can we fix foods at home more easily?

We get help from the experts.

I’m bringing together over 30 of the biggest stars and leaders in health and nutrition – and I’m getting them to spill all their best tips, strategies, and secrets.

It all goes down at the Super Size Me 10 Year Anniversary series (March 10-14).

We’ll have some of the hottest, most inspiring chefs and food educators coming on as experts. And I mean experts at meal planning, detoxing with food, fixing incredible plant-based meals for families, and more.

They will teach you in a SIMPLE way how to #FixFood at home so that you. . .

Save money

Save time

Spend MORE time with your family

Feel like food at home is easy – not a burden

Your cooking process can become a well-oiled machine.

And you’re not only saving money and time in the short term, but in the long term, your health improves so much faster when you fix food at home. (And you’ll spend less money on your own healthcare in the next few years and throughout your life.)

Here’s a quick teaser of some of the experts and topics:

  • Joe Cross (from the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and founder of Reboot Your Life) will share with us what time of day to fix food, and how to create a life that makes healthy eating easy.
  • John Robbins (international bestselling author) will give you tips on how to buy organic food cheaply, and fermentationist Summer Bock will tell you how to make probiotics at home.
  • Phil Lempert (The Supermarket Guru®) talks about what you really need to know about food packaging (and problems with gluten-free labeling you may not know about).
  • Anna Lappe teaches you how to shop so your kids enjoy healthy food – and not badger you for junk food (hallelujah!).
  • And the “mother” of meal planning, Leanne Ely, will be sharing some her best tips with you!

If you want in on these interviews, grab your free ticket for the Super Size Me 10 Year Anniversary series here.

And help us spread the word! Feel free to copy/paste this note into Facebook and Twitter:

Fixing food at home? Make it easy on yourself! http://tinyurl.com/supersizefixfood #FixFood

xo,

Alex

This is Near and Dear to My Heart

I’m a mother.

I know that I don’t just set an example for my son.

I set the first example.

I set the example that will influence his life in ways neither of us can predict.

What I say and do now will color what he says and does, even when he’s too old to remember the conversations we have, or can’t quite recall the details of how I react to life’s ups and downs.

As his mother, I choose what I teach him about his relationship with food, with his own body. I can have a chat with him about the commercials that make sugary cereals look like the ultimate life experience. I can show him the fun in choosing delicious foods, the joy in preparing them from scratch, and the pleasure in taking the time to savor what he creates.

But I also know that there’s a world out there that isn’t on the same page. That doesn’t have the same values. That hasn’t learned what I’d like for him to learn.

I don’t say that in an “us against the world” tone. I say that with the understanding that the things I teach my son are the very things that the rest of the world is hungry for, as well.

10 years ago, with the Oscar-nominated documentary Super Size Me, I saw just how much people wanted to know more about food and health. Once they were aware, they wanted more.

But the knowledge alone isn’t enough.

I realized that, although Super Size Me shone a light on a very important issue, we still hadn’t given people the tools to be able to make real changes.

I’ve dedicated the last decade to helping people make changes in their own lives. Now I want to make that mission even bigger.

I’m on a mission to #FixFood.

In celebration of Super Size Me‘s 10-year anniversary, I’m bringing together 30+ of the hottest leaders in health and nutrition (including some of the old voices that helped to shape our documentary in the first place).


Join us for the Super Size Me 10-Year #FixFood Series (your ticket is free)

On this telesummit, we’ll be covering 3 main aspects of the #FixFood movement:

 

  • Fixing more of our own food at home (and how to make it fast, simple & fun).

 

  • Fixing your relationship with food and emotional eating (so you can experience true wellness).

 

  • Fixing the food culture we all live in (because this movement needs to go into our schools and communities).

 

I’d like to make one thing clear–

This is NOT your typical telesummit.

This event is about real change – and how you can make it happen in your own life and the world around you.

I’m bringing on experts who are on the ground, already working in our communities and in the school systems (like Michelle Bouchard of Dr. Oz’s HealthCorps). With other experts like JJ Virgin, John Robbins, Kris Carr, Joel Harper, Dr. Mark Hyman, Leanne Ely, Cynthia Pasquella, and so many more, we’ll cover a huge range of topics.

You’ll walk away with the tools you need in order to need to lose those extra pounds, or discover the joy in cooking and savoring a healthy meal, or know precisely how to educate your own children about nutrition – despite the messages that surround them.

With the #FixFood movement, we can set an example for ourselves, our families, and our communities.

I truly hope you’ll join us.

>> Check out the details + save your free spot here.

xo,

Alex

P.S. The Super Size Me 10-Year Fix Food Series goes live (online), March 10 – 14, but you can get your free ticket now. Take a look at the experts, and learn more about the #FixFood movement here.

 

How To Eat Meat Again After Being Vegan: Reader Question

Since “coming out” as no longer vegan last year, I’ve received many emails from other long-time vegans and vegetarians, mostly women, seeking guidance on how to healthfully introduce meat back to their diet.

 How to add meat back to your diet after being vegan

Some have been vegan for a few years. Others were vegetarian or vegan for decades, like me. Most of these people express shame and hope in their emails:

They’re ashamed that they’re “turning their backs” on their ideals or the animals.

 

They’re hopeful that the craved-for animal products, usually after decades of eating a 100% plant-based diet, will heal their health concerns.

 

Recently another woman, who told me she was vegan for many years, wrote:

 

“ I’d like to share with you.  My boyfriend & I have been raw vegan and  then vegan for years. It’s been along time since I’ve had meat.

I’ve realized it’s very hard to get what I need naturally from a vegan diet. I still need meat to be healthy, but how do I start eating it again? All I want is too be healthy. 

I’m glad you came out. Because there are plenty a vegans that need help. 
I’m scared and need the advice. 
Thanks, T”

 

I wrote back:

 

“Hi T,

 

I’m glad you’re finding what you need.

 

And I know how hard this decision must have been for you. But you’re listening to your body, and that’s a great thing. You’re not a bad person for needing meat. You’re just one of the humans who does. As much as compassion for animals played a part in your decision to stop eating meat all those years ago, try to have compassion for yourself. We are human-animals, and some of us need to eat other animals to regain or maintain our health. 

 

Here are my top recommendations to help you introduce meat back into your diet.

 

First, start slow:

 

Try bone broths, like an organic chicken stock, or eggs first, as these tend to be the easiest to digest.

If it has been a long time since eating animal protein, you’ll want to try one thing at a time to test your digestion. Start in small amounts, and without anything starchy. Your digestion will work better if you use the principles of “food combining” where you avoid pairing protein rich foods with starches, breads, even whole grains. 

If you have a craving for a specific food, like meat or fish, try that first. 

 

Next, be sure to get the highest quality - grass fed, wild caught, organic. 

 

Conventionally raised animals are fed antibiotics, GMO corn or soy, and growth hormones. The last thing you want is harmful residue showing up in your food!

When buying eggs, that means organic, vegetarian fed, with outside access. Chickens like to eat bugs, and the farmer’s market may have the best quality in your area.  

Like Michael Pollen said, “You are what you eat ate.”

 

Keep tuning into your body as you re-introduce animal products.

 

How is your energy?

How is your elimination?

How is your skin?

What’s happening with your cravings? 

How is your menstrual cycle?

 

Tracking all of these things will tell you how your food is nourishing your body.

 

If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough of certain minerals or nutrients, get a blood test. 

Check your iron levels and B12, especially. If you’ve been vegan for years you may be deficient in something. Even if you’ve been eating the Standard American Diet (read: unhealthy and highly processed) you may be deficient and need supplements.)

 

Finally, bring some gratitude to your meal.

When I first started eating animal protein again, I was still emotional and unsure. 

But I knew that if I brought that stress to the meal, the food would never feel good.

 

So I thought about the circle of life, felt true, deep gratitude to the animals and farmers that raised them, and kept tuning in to the voice inside me that said “you need this.” 

 

When I sat down to eat, I prepared a beautiful table, lit a candle of gratitude, and set the intention to enjoy my meal.

 

The energy that you bring to your meal matters. 

Know that you’re eating what’s right for you, and that you are a part of this organic, ever-changing world.

 

Some day you will be gone, and your body will nourish the earth.”

 

Have you had the same experience of adding meat back to your diet?  What did you learn? Is there anything I missed in this description above? What would help you more? 

Share your comments and suggestions below!

Ready to #FixFood With Me?

It’s been 10 years since the Super Size Me documentary shook the public into awareness that your diet can have FAST and drastic effects on your health.

It jumpstarted conversations and genuinely helped to change people’s lives for the better.

But even though it’s been 10 years, I’m still on the crusade to fix food.

  • We still have trouble finding the time to cook healthy, clean foods at home.
  • We have emotional eating issues and use food as life rafts to help us through the day.
  • And our overall culture is still full of unhealthy messages, poor access to good foods, and little to no education on what “good food” actually is.

Which is why, in celebration of the 10-year anniversary of Super Size Me, I’m bringing together the hottest experts in health and nutrition – and I’m getting them to share what they know with YOU.

It all happens at the Super Size Me 10 Year Anniversary virtual conference,

March 10-14th, 2014!

(Get your free ticket here!)

On the Super Size Me telesummit, the experts and I will share ways in which you can. . .

  • Fix more of your own simple meals that will get you the energy and body you crave.
  • Fix your relationship with food and emotional eating.
  • Fix the food culture we all live in.

Not only can you tune in live to the interviews, but you can also help spread the awareness, the knowledge, and the #FixFood fever!

Tweet it:

It’s time to #FixFood. Find out how: http://tinyurl.com/supersizefixfood

And come say hi on Facebook. I’d love for you to join the conversation!

Xo,

Alex

Winter Salads: Waste Not Want Not, Cauliflower Leaves

Don’t throw out those cauliflower leaves!

You know those leaves that frame the white, pillowy florets we love eating?

They’re edible, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just peel them off the florets, wash them, dry them, and thinly slice them.

“You mean I’ve been throwing away good greens all these years?!” you ask…

YES! The vitamins are just as high in the leaf as in the head,

and 1/2 cup of cauliflower (leaves or white florets) contains half of your daily Vitamin C and are super high in fiber.

AND cauliflower is part of the cancer-fighting cruciferous family, so hit your antioxidant quota with this simple trick.

Here’s what I did this week while I was steaming the florets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slice the leaves up thinly and toss with freshly shredded carrot.

Drizzle with olive oil, a little lemon juice or umeboshi vinegar, and sprinkle with good sea salt.

Toss. Eat. Done.

shredded cauliflower salad Alex Jamieson

 

 

Cold & Flu Season Busters: Cinnamon Tea Recipe (good for sugar cravings too!)

Cold & Flu Season? Stock up and protect yourself and your family!

Cinnamon Tea Recipe

Cinnamon Tea fights colds, flu and & cravings

Don’t wait until the shiver, shakes and fever stick you in bed for a week.

Be sure to stock your kitchen ‘medicine cabinet’ with these natural wonders:

Ginger root and ginger tea to help eliminate toxins
Raw garlic is anti-viral and has antibacterial properties
Dried shiitake mushrooms in broth, tea or food soothe inflammation
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of immune boosting zinc
Cinnamon to help relieve congestion
Lemon (freshly squeezed) in water or on salads or veggies, or in soup can help fight infection

 

 

Although many people like to simply sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal drinking cinnamon in tea is another  great option, especially in winter. Warming, used for treating diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, flu, arthritis, menstrual cramps, and candidiasis, the smell relieves tension and helps steady the nerves. Cinnamon also balances blood sugar levels! Make your own easy Cinnamon Tea at home to help reduce sugar cravings, warm up, and keep colds and flu at bay.

Cinnamon Tea

Total time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cinnamon stick (1-3 inches)
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 decaf green, black or herbal tea (rooibos or honeybush are favorites)
  • 1-2 drops of Stevia for sweetening (optional)

Preparation:

1. Place the cinnamon stick in a cup.

2. Add the boiling water and steep covered for 10 minutes.

3. Add the teabag. Steep for one to three minutes.

4. Sweeten to taste, if desired.

Baking as Healing: Sweet Potato Bread

Baking is one of those healing practices I love.

From start to finish, the process feels like a ritual dance:

walking to the book shelf and choosing a cookbook…

sitting on the couch with tea, and leafing through the pages…

choosing a recipe…

placing the ingredients on the counter…

mindfully following the recipe…

smelling the transformation happening in the oven…

remembering baking projects from times before…

My wonderful mom, Annabeth, passed away this last Sunday. She was 65. She taught me to garden, cook, sew, make friends anywhere, and how to turn every aspect of life into a living art project. 

Diagnosed with inoperable liver and gallbladder cancer, Mom moved back to my home town of Portland, Oregon in June where she could get the best alternative treatments and be surrounded by old friends and family.

I was lucky enough to spend most of the summer in Oregon with her, and we cooked a bit together.  

Her naturopath had recommended a sugar-free diet, high in protein, and plant-based. Not 100% plant based, but based mainly on plants. Mom and I talked a lot about what foods she could enjoy, and how to make green smoothies in her Vitamix my brother had purchased for her.

I went home again over Thanksgiving, and while Mom’s energy was low, she requested favorite foods: including sweet potatoes. A friend had created something using raw sweet potatoes blended with eggs and little else, and I recreated the recipe in my grandmother’s kitchen for the holiday feast.

Mom loved it, and ate a second helping, which made my heart glow. I mean, feeding the people I love when they’re sick and need nourishment is one of my most basic joys in life. 

Last night my son and I baked the favorite that his “Nanabeth” loved: Sweet Potato Bread.

A good source of magnesium, Vitamin D and C, iron and potassium, sweet potatoes, especially the darker Garnet or Jewel “yams” (we tend to call yams sweet potatoes in the US), sweet potatoes are are high in carotenoids like beta carotene and other carotenoids, which is the precursor to vitamin A in your body.  Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer.

I also baked several muffins from the same batch, and tucked them into my son’s backpack for naturally sweet, high-protein snacks after school.

So this is a great kid recipe, too! 

The “bread” comes out as more of a bread pudding texture, but if you let it cool long enough, you can slice it, move it to a plate, and eat it with a fork. 

  • 4 cups raw, chopped sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  1. Combine all in a heavy duty blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add any additional water as needed to get a pourable mix, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Bake in coconut oiled bread pans or muffin tins at 400 F for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Serve to someone you love – include yourself in that. 
Please share this recipe with friends – just click the buttons at the top of the page!
xo, Alex