Jessica Sepel – The Healthy Life – Podcast

After many years of struggle in her relationship with food and body image,  nutritionist Jessica Sepel inspires many people with her passion to heal your body.

Jessica explores a more gentle approach in taking care of your beautifully unique body. Jessica is a trained nutritionist with a burgeoning private practice and a hugely popular health blog. Her philosophy is simple: good health starts in the kitchen. Her focus is on fresh produce, prepared simply and with love. Her work with girls and young women has taught her that the common practice of counting calories and restricting food groups is counterproductive to a healthy relationship with food. Her message is ‘get healthy’ rather than ‘lose weight’. The Healthy Life is fully photographed, and has 100 recipes, meal plans, and a kind approach to creating better health and stress-free living. Jessica Sepel is a qualified nutritionist with a Bachelor of Science, health blogger and wellness coach. She has a large social media following

http://www.coop.com.au/books/the-healthy-life/sepel-jess/9781743536889


Rob:
You’re listening to the Co op book podcast. I’d like to welcome Jessica Siple to the pop chat. Hello Jessica.

 

Jessica:
Hi, I’m so excited to be here today.

 

Rob:
Jessica first and foremost congratulations on the book The Healthy life.

 

Jessica:
Thank you.

 

Rob:
Tell me about the writing process, and putting it all together.

 

Jessica:
I studied a bachelor of health at Macquarie University, then I went on to do nutritional meds for 2 years, and in my 4th year of study I started writing a blog about my own personal health journey, and my relationship with food, and the recipes that was discovering while was healing. I started blogging about this, and my blog to cut a long story short kind of went a bit viral. People were latching on to my story. People were resonating with it, people felt very connected to me, and wanted to heal with me. I was sharing my recipe on creations with them, and I decided to put together a E book, and the E book was a huge success, and that’s when publishers started approaching me. Saying you know this would be an incredible book. We would love to publish, because all my community kept saying “this E book is great, but we need a hard copy book. Especially when you have such beautiful recipes”. They wanted to have it in their kitchens, so it’s a real dream come true, because this book is my story. It’s a very personal manifestation. It’s an honour to have it on the shelf’s of all these bookstores.

 

Rob:
As you describe it’s not a recipe book, although there are thousands of recipes you know…

 

Jessica:
Hundreds.

 

Rob:
It’s a holistic sort of look at health and lifestyle. What I find interesting it, it’s interactive. Do you want to explain what I mean by that?

 

Jessica:
Yes, what you mean by that is that there are worksheets, because what I have is 10 very powerful principles in there. They’re actually the 10 principles that when I sat down to write the book I thought “what were the 10 most powerful things that changed my body” that helped heal me, and so at the end of each principle is a worksheet. Where you can really just reflect on how you’ve gone with sticking to the tips, and the protocols that I give. Then you can look back, and it’s very powerful, because when you see it. When you write your answers down in the worksheet pages you can see what a big change you’ve made, and how incredible it is how your body responds to small changes.

 

Rob:
And what mean worksheets, you’ve also got a contract that you write with yourself.

 

Jessica:
Oh yeah.

 

Rob:
That helps you.

 

Jessica:
The contract, well that’s just you know … I wanted everyone who reads this book to make a contract with themselves, that they will try their best, and not put too much pressure on themselves.

 

Rob:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

 

Jessica:
And make an effort to put themselves first, because when it comes to healthy living you really need to remember that you are number 1.

 

Rob:
When you start your day how do you start your day? From a [inaudible 00:03:27] point of view?

 

Jessica:
I of course have a very healthy morning routine. I wake up and I have a little meditation that I do. Obviously I have my lemon water, I’m a typical nutritionist. I then definitely try and get out in nature, very calming for me. Actually I always [inaudible 00:03:45] a morning routine. I think it’s a very big part of a healthy life, and then I try and do a workout if I can, and then I start blogging, and attending to my work at around normal hours 9 o’clock, and I have my coffee, 1 a day. My community know that I love my 1 coffee a day.

 

Rob:
That’s got to be good quality coffee.

 

Jessica:
Great quality coffee, yeah. Good quality milk, and a big part of what I talk about is enjoying all the indulgences of life. Just in moderation, so I don’t restrict anything from my diet.

 

Rob:
Now your whole approach is very holistic. There is a big relationship between the body and mind.

 

Jessica:
Yeah.

 

Rob:
How would you characterize that?

 

Jessica:
For myself?

 

Rob:
Yeah.

 

Jessica:

Well I only began to make that connection very recently, because I’m studying health, and I was very disconnected from my body, and I was doing all the right things. I was eating really healthy food, and I’m studying health, but I was disconnected from my hose foods. It’s a strain on our digestive system, and good quality produce.

Rob:
So organic, and …

 

Jessica:
Listen I’m not a 100% strict on being organic, because sometimes it’s very unrealistic, and very expensive so it’s about doing the best you can do. You know local produce. Go to your local farmers markets, sourcing the best produce that you can possibly, but I’d rather … However you can get those vegetables in get them in. I don’t care if they’re organic or not. Just get the veggies in, and make the changes you can, because I can start preaching to my community eat organic, but they’ll most likely to not want to follow me anymore, because it’s a big request.

 

Rob:
Now [inaudible 00:07:47] there’s always I suppose fads and approaches, and some are valid and some are not. What’s your take on say Paleo?

 

Jessica:
Yeah, so if you read this book you’ll know that the whole core of it is I’m against every fad, and I think what’s happened for women especially is, because of all these fad diets and all. This overwhelming amount of information that’s been thrown our way we’ve lost touch with what works for us, ourselves, and what’s good for our bodies, because we are so bi-chemically unique. So what works for me might not work for you, and I think it’s quite dangerous when we put ourselves under these umbrellas of Paleo, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian. Unless you’re doing it for a really good reason which I 100% respect. If you’re just doing it because your friends say “oh by the way I’m Paleo, you should be Paleo. It’s really good for you”, without really knowing what works for you, and what suits your body, and not connecting to how those foods make you feel. I’m really, really against every fad diet, and think teenagers especially. I’m very worried about them, because there’s becoming this obsessive and extreme [natchile 00:08:51] relationship that’s been developed, that’s being developed around food, because of these fad diets, and extremes like maybe Paleo.

 

Rob:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

 

Jessica:
And that’s a concern to me, and I think why cannot we be Paleo inspired? Or gluten-free inspired, or vegan inspired, because I am. Some days I wake up and I think listen my body needs a break from animal protein, but other days I wake up and I’m tired, and I think I really need some animal proteins. We need to reconnect with what works for us, as very unique, bi-chemically unique individuals.

 

Rob:
I’m a big fan of protein.

 

Jessica:
Me too.

 

Rob:

Which protein do you recommend I’m like?

Jessica:
In the book I … In the nutrcian 101 guide I state all the proteins that I think are great, and that’s of course … I do believe in animal protein, so chicken meat. As long as they’re good quality, and yes when it comes to meat I do absolutely recommend going organic. Fish is great although you’ve got to be careful now with the Mercury, and other heavy metals that are in fish. I’ve had actually Mercury poisoning from Tuna.

 

Rob:
Wow.

 

Jessica:
So I’m very cautious about that. I have Tuna maybe once or twice a week now, and just getting your fish from good quality places. Eggs are a great source of protein, vegetarian proteins like lentils, chickpeas all very good beans. I do actually think good quality dairy is a great way to add protein to a diet, and if you’re a vegetarian, and a vegan adding things like rice or pea protein is another great way to get the protein in.

 

Rob:
Now a lot of our listeners are either starting at university, thinking about starting at university or just completed that, and university is a [tremotioul 00:15:32] time in life where you moved away from home, or looking after yourself, or have long hours. What’s your recommendation for a uni student that wants it all? Work, study and play.

 

Jessica:
Yeah, so you cannot have it all. Probably, but my advice is just to take … Healthy is like a lifestyle, you don’t have to … And it’s also it’s a journey, so you don’t have to do everything now, and everything perfectly now. It’s taken me 10 years to learn how to eat well for myself. Build myself up a healthy lifestyle. I often say to my patients “just pick 1 thing a week, 1 change a week is a really powerful way to change your health”, and when it comes to uni students I totally remember being there with so much work on my plate. I needed to keep up with my social life, and it’s a lot to balance, but you’ve got to just make the best choices you can available to you, and that’s healthy living. For uni students, my biggest message to all of them is keeping your stress levels under control, because in my opinion as a nutritionist it’s stress that is the number 1 health killer, and if you are a stressed out person your digestive system is probably not working very well. Your hormones will be out of whack. Your skin will be breaking out, and you won’t make healthy choices, because you’ll be so stressed about it. Healthy living shouldn’t be something so stressful. It should be something that you just make apart of your lifestyle. Prioritize it the best you can.

 

Rob:
Speaking of flawless skin Jessica, what food are good for the skin? I know you focus on that in the book.

 

Jessica:

Yeah, I mean there are lots of food that are good for the skin. I definitely will tell you again digestive health is a big, big part of skin health. If you’re breaking out around, especially the chin area. They say somethings going on with digestion. Everyone starts to worry about if they have something on their chin when I answer that, but sometimes taking a break from dairy can really help with skin, and when it comes to what foods to eat for your skin. Really good quality fats, like avocado, coconut oil, nuts and seeds. Oily fish like Salmon, lots of greens, dark leafy greens. Really great to have citrus fruits like lemon and grapefruit because of the vitamin C that builds collagen in your skin. Protein, so a lot of people are not eating enough protein, and protein of course … Amino-acids build our skin cells, so animal protein, fish, eggs. All those things is very important when it comes to healthy and strong collagen.

Rob:
You’ve got a massive social followings, social media following. How does that feel? Is it very odd that you’ve got …

 

Jessica:
Yeah it is odd. Like it totally is. I don’t wake up and I’m like wow look at my social media following, because my social media following is a result of my absolute crazy passion for health, and healthy food and so it’s only just exciting to me t hat when I see my … When I look at my Instagram for example. I just think wow it’s all these peop le that want to make changes in their life. They’re excited about making healthy recipes. It’s almost just like a treat for me that these people are willing to … Are excited about making healthy changes, or adopting healthy practices in their life, and they’re using me as just you know role model or mentor to guide them through it. It’s more of an honour than any thing. It definitely hasn’t gone to my head yet. That’s very hard for me to grasp even what that means. That I have 80 something thousand people following me. I don’t really know what that means.

 

Rob:
Football stadium. Have you ever had anyone sort of recognize you like in person?

 

Jessica:
I’m starting to get recognized, because of the book, and then it’s all right because people come up to me and just share their excitement. They’re like ” oh my God I made this recipe, and I make it every morning now, or I started adding apple cider vinegar into my diet and my skin cleared up. I stopped having dairy, and this has happened”. It’s just again seeing the excitement that is a result of small changes. I think everyone is starting to realize how great they feel when they embrace health. That as a nutritionist, and someone who is now public healthy that is just so exciting.

 

Rob:
All right and just to finish with this what’s for lunch?

 

Jessica:
We’ve actually have a work lunch today, and we’re going to Lock Stock and Barrel and we’re having the … It’s a [fatouch 00:14:49] salad with lots of rocket, fennel, tomato, nuts and seeds, ocean trout and techie lemon dressing.

 

Rob:
Sounds lovely. I may have to crash it. Thank you Jessica for being on the pop chat.
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