Alex Jamieson is one of my absolute favorites. She’s currently doing big things in the Positive Psychology space and I’ve had the opportunity to interview her a couple of times. Although today’s blog post is inspired by the interview I did with her back in 2013, it is still relevant in so many ways to hear how, like many of us, her food journey gradually changed over the course of time.
Her journey begins as a sugar addict from her teens and into her 20’s when she moved to New York City for a high-power corporate job. It’s here the weight gain, depression, aches, back pain, and migraines really started to wear on her. After a doctor visit for these ailments left her with a pain medication and Prozac, she decided to take things into her own hands as she didn’t feel that taking these prescriptions was the right thing to do for her body.
She studied at The Natural Gourmet and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (an alma mater you know I speak highly of) and found that a vegan diet really worked for her. As the co-creator of Supersize Me, Alex had a natural platform to share her vegan lifestyle and went on to write several books, and become well known in the vegan community.
Then, as the natural course of female aging took place, she found herself craving meat. She explains how she felt like she had to ‘come out’ to her devoted audience of fellow vegans.
Alex began to listen to her cravings for animal products and her aging symptoms subsided. Although the backlash from the vegan community was incredibly harsh in many ways, Alex stuck to her truth, which was that the vegan diet worked for her and supported her at a time in her life when she needed to heal her body. Then, it simply didn’t anymore, and she had to be open to eating what was going to support her. I think it’s so brave to honor your truth!
I got to ask Alex about cravings which was awesome because her book Women, Food and Desire didn’t come out until this year, so I feel like this conversation took place when she was in the thick of her writing process… it’s fun to think about!
She describes the 3 root causes of cravings as: nutritional, physical, and emotional. On a basic level, that’s nutritional meaning some mineral or vitamin deficiency, physical meaning actual physical touch and sleep, and emotional meaning dealing with different emotions such as stress and anxiety and loneliness.
I think we can all relate to Alex’s story. We all have our own way of eating. We try something that works for us, and then over time as we change and evolve in different stages of our lives, our eating patterns can change too.
Alex’s message is simple, yet strong: listen to your body. I love the parting words she shares with us. It’s too good not to share all of it here:
“We are all evolving. We are all changing. Everyday, I hope! You are growing as a person. It doesn’t matter whether you are 25 or 55. Wherever you are, on this planet of ours, you’re in a daily experiment of your life. And, what I hope to help people do is learn to listen to their bodies, and learn to love their bodies. No matter what they hear. No matter what their bodies tell them they need. Their body may say, ‘Hey, you need more sleep. Hey, you need to stop drinking so much caffeine. Hey, you need to exercise more. Hey, you need more sex. Hey, you need to have more fun.’ Your body is trying to tell you something. If we could just slow down, and learn to listen, and accept that what our body needs is good, without the judgments, we would all be in a much healthier, happier world.”
It might be a throwback, but give it a listen by clicking on the image below, and let me know what you think! If you like what she discusses here, don’t forget about her book: Women, Food, & Desire. Also, subscribe to Elevate Your Energy on iTunes for more inspiration and information to live your best life!