Welcome to the latest installment of Integrative Nutrition Reviews, where we consider books, movies, and other media related to health and wellness.
Cravings: for many people, they are the bane of our existence. Whether it’s a late-night urge for chocolate, a yen for something salty at lunchtime, or a longing for coffee during the post-lunch slump, cravings are usually the culprit behind of our unhealthy food choices.
No one understands cravings – and the tremendous impact they can have on our lives – better than Integrative Nutrition visiting teacher (and 2003 graduate) Alexandra Jamieson. Alex was once best known as the co-creator of the award-winning documentary Super Size Me, helping Morgan Spurlock to recover from his McDonald’s-induced health crisis by eating a plant-based diet.
Spurred by the movie’s success, Alex became a “professional vegan,” building her career as a vegan chef and author of Vegan Cooking for Dummies, Living Vegan for Dummies, and The Great American Detox Diet.
Yet after more than 10 years of veganism, Alex began to crave animal products, and in 2013, she “came out of the vegan closet.” Her honest admission went viral, with legions of people offering both their support and their condemnation. Many members of the vegan community felt betrayed that Alex would “give in” to her cravings.
Having the courage to face your desires head-on is the core of Alex’s new book, Women, Food, and Desire: Embrace Your Cravings, Make Peace with Food, Reclaim Your Body (now a number-one Amazon best-seller!).
This wonderful new book strives to end the cycle of shame and self-loathing that so many people experience with cravings, and instead encourages women to listen to the wisdom of their bodies and embrace food as a way to live a meaningful and joyful life.
Each of us is driven by a deep desire, and simply being able to answer the question “What do I want?” with total honesty is enormously empowering. Alex encourages readers to become vulnerable and get clear on what will bring them lasting pleasure. As she writes in the first chapter:
“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?”
With love and compassion, Alex encourages us to embrace our shameful cravings as in fact the gatekeepers of deepest longings. Full of helpful nutrition advice, Women, Food, and Desire is above all a tribute to self-love. With simple and practical steps to making long-lasting change, this book is excellent for anyone looking to feel happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.
Do you experience cravings? If so, what have you learned from them? Let us know in the comments below!