Annapurna Woman: Alexandra Jamieson
How do you start your day?
Rituals are my spiritual alarm clocks! I get up, drink a big glass of water, start some hot water for tea. When my son is with me, I do yoga until he wakes up, usually shooing the cat away who is desperate for petting and winding his way between my limbs in downward dog.
I get in a quick cuddle with my boy, to connect with him, as touch is a huge part of our shared love language. We eat breakfast together at the table, joke, laugh, talk about the day, then get dressed. I love our walks to school, as he is very playful and often wants to play zombie killer or make up stories.
On days when my son is with his father I do yoga, meditation, and try to get in some ukulele practice in the morning. Now that spring is here, I’ll take my tea up to the roof garden and see what’s growing, fill the bird feeders, and take in the Brooklyn skyline.
What do you do when you are overwhelmed or stressed?
Nourishment and movement are two main stress reducers. When I’m stressed I check in with myself – when was the last time I ate? Am I hungry? And I thirsty? Have I moved today? Do I need to go for a walk, do some yoga, or jump on the trampoline?
If I’ve been working alone all day, I try to connect with a friend – being stuck in my head never helps a situation. Talking with someone I love and trust helps me to talk out the current situation.
When I’m overwhelmed I try to take a step back and look at what I’m doing—what’s the big WHY here? Why am I doing this? Is there an immediate goal that needs my attention? Am I getting caught up in mind-chatter? How does my body feel? How do I WANT to feel? Am I in comparison mode? Am I coming from a place of lack and scarcity? Once I can get clear on what my big intention is, the unimportant stuff falls away.
When I can shake loose the “static” of anxiety, and get focused on what is truly important now, things line up easily and more fluidly.
What gives you the feeling of true bliss within?
I just completed my certification in applied positive psychology, and have been fascinated by the subject of “strengths.” When we identify our innate abilities and talents, and begin to use them daily, we feel capable, hopeful, and strong. My top strengths are gratitude, love, and love of learning. I also know that nature and physical movement are two of my best paths to ‘awe’ and vitality.
When I’m engaged with my strengths and marching merrily in alignment with my mission, I feel true bliss. That covers a wide variety of experiences! From reading comic books and cuddling on the couch with my son to digging in my garden, to learning new ideas, to being out in nature, true bliss is pretty easy once you know your strengths.
When I watch dance performances, or just bust some moves in the kitchen to a favorite song, my body and connection to source really come alive. That’s why I tend to gravitate to yoga teachers who are more like choreographers and include some kind of dance vibe in their classes.
And I LOVE roller skating! I bought myself some hot pink suede skates, and in the warmer months you’ll find me in the parks of New York City, grooving on eight wheels.
What are you currently reading?
Too many books at once! That’s my ‘love of learning’ strength popping up—give me a library card and I’ll never be bored!
I recently finished:
- Transformational Speaking by Gail Larsen, my speaking coach
- Turning Pro by Steven Pressfied, a great motivational book for creatives
- The Gifts of Dyslexia by Ronald Davis, to help me understand how to better help my son
- The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, the amazing musician and crowd building experts
What are you listening to right now?
I listen to a lot of podcasts!
I love RadioLab, Savage Love with Dan Savage the sex expert, WTF with comedian Marc Maron, who is an excellent interviewer, as well as Death, Sex, and Mondy with Anna Sale who talks about the things we have a hard time talking about.
I’m also a HUGE music fan, and get obsessed with one artist for a while. Now I’m listening to all of Linda Ronstadt’s albums, and can’t stop listening to You’re No Good, and When Will I Be Loved.
My favorite radio station is KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic—it’s so rare to find a radio music program that has such a wide variety of styles and artists, and I’ve been introduced to some of my favorite musicians there, including Regina Spektor and Lhasa.
What is your go-to simple recipe?
I LOVE my green and clean protein smoothies. I have one almost every day for breakfast, except when it’s really cold and my body wants something warmer. I put protein and fat in my smoothies otherwise my body runs through them too fast, and I’m hungry and hour later!
I have a whole bunch of recipes, but my favorite is my Choco-Cherry Greenie:
- 2 cups fresh spinach, bok choy or de-stemmed kale
- 2 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk
- 1 cup frozen cherries
- 1⁄2-1 banana
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 TB raw cacao powder
- 1 TB coconut oil or 1⁄2 avocado
- 20+ grams protein powder (soy, dairy, corn, sugar-free)
What are some simple things you do for self-care?
I have a standing desk that easily moves up or down so I can get more movement in my day. I also keep a mini-trampoline outside my office so I can jump around in the afternoon and wake my body up. I love going outside to check on my roof garden – I have 10 kinds of herbs, lettuces, mini pumpkins, tomatoes, and sunflowers growing up there!
Biking, yoga, walking, napping—they’re all important.
Sex and/or masturbation are two of the self-care tools most of us are missing form our calendar. I find women blossom when they have the hormonal balancing from self-pleasure, orgasm, and intimate touch on a regular basis.
The trick is to overcome the stigma and body shame around our sensual desires. We need touch and physical pleasure as much as we need greens in our diet!
What does nourishment look like to you?
Anything that helps my body come alive. Nourishment is a glass of water upon waking, a cup of tea before bed, cheese and wine with my man in a sidewalk café, an hour-long massage, pedicures or roller skating with a girlfriend, reading for hours on a flight, greens at every meal, or just taking a break from everyone and everything.
I’m also nourished by my work, when I see I’m making an impact and helping women love their bodies. I’m nourished by my son’s smile and laughter. Touch, play, rest, food, it’s all deliciously, deeply nourishing.
The trick is to feel what’s appropriate for you in the moment, and continuously give yourself what you need, so that you can nourish others.
How do you make space for play?
Play is an attitude. I can’t help but look for ways to play in my day! I’ve also learned in my positive psychology studies that both children and adults learn best while moving, so we move in fun ways a lot.
I walk my son to school most days, and we take sticks, make up stories and shoot imaginary zombies on the way.
I ride my bike to the park not for a “workout” but to have fun!
My partner Bob and I have intentionally set up our home so that our “toys” are in full-view, and we use them. We have guitars and my ukulele hanging on the living room wall, so we play them often.
I have colored pencils and coloring books near the dining room table so my son and I color together or I take a coloring break to get off the computer.
We have music on in the house, and we are constantly breaking out in dance when something really good comes on.
What are some favorite mantras you cling to?
I believe in life before death. Do it NOW.
“Life is a feast and most poor suckers are starving to death!” is my favorite quote from Auntie Mame, a movie I became obsessed with when I was a kid.
Pretty much sums me up!
Please share some words of wisdom you’ve learned as a direct result of soulful and embodied living.
I was lucky to get diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 11.
I had to wear a terribly uncomfortable back brace for 2 years that didn’t allow me to wear anything cute, and hurt like the dickens, but my mom introduced me to yoga, chiropractic, and massage. I was getting weekly massages at the age of 13!
I began to learn the language of my body at a young age. My mother and therapists showed me that the healing power of movement, touch, and later, diet, could help me feel alive, strong, and happy, or crippled, pained, and stuck.
I’ve had the benefit of almost 30 years of alternative and self-healing practices, and I know what it means to be really, truly sick and stuck in your body.
I also know that I can help other women learn the secret language of their bodies by hearing their cravings and dis-ease as a call for something new. A call for balance.
Your cravings are your soul’s to-do list, and your body’s language is divine. When we can listen to her, and when we trust each other, we can have the beautiful, vibrant life we deserve.
Alexandra Jamieson CHHC, CAPP, is a best-selling author, functional nutrition and life coach, positive psychology practitioner, chef, podcast host, and “cravings whisperer.”
She has been seen on Oprah, The Today Show, Dr. Oz, Martha Stewart Living, CNN, Fox News, USA Today and People . Alex delivers inspirational keynote speeches and workshops around the globe, and was declared Elle Magazines Coach for January 2015.
Alex was the co-star and co-creator of the Oscar-nominated documentary Super Size Me and the The Great American Detox Diet and offers remarkably sane—and tasty—advice on how to detox, live healthfully and feel fantastic.
Alex’s Podcast, The Crave Cast, debuted at #1 on iTunes in Alternative Health and continues to draw listeners from around with world with new perspectives on health, cravings, and sexuality with top expert interviews.
Her new book Women, Food & Desire hit #1 on Amazon on several lists including Popular Psychology—Sexuality, and was the #1 New Release in Spirituality + Self-Help on Amazon. Her book and blog guide the reader to embrace their cravings as their allies, make peace with food, and heal and reclaim their body. Visit her on www.alexandrajamieson.com and connect ...