Living The Healthy Life with Jessica Sepel

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Best selling author, nutritionist and health coach; Jessica Sepel has just released her second book: Living The Healthy Life and new 8 week program, both already making waves in the health and wellness world. She is a passionate advocate for creating a balanced lifestyle through whole foods and a healthy relationship with food and this book continues to guide with a carefully constructed 8 week plan. We sat down with the beautiful Jess to discuss her new book and all things wellbeing, nutrition and living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Stay tuned over the coming fortnight as we feature some delicious and nutritious recipes from Jess too!
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What does health and wellness mean to you and how has your philosophy evolved over the years?
As a clinical nutritionist, health and wellness means making healthy choices, but also having a wholesome relationship with food and your body. I don’t believe in extremes or restriction, I believe in balance. I used to be a fad dieter which really broke my relationship with food and my body. After years of study and self development, I transformed my relationship with food to one of acceptance and kindness. That’s what inspired me to create the JSHealth community – a space for women to find comfort in the fact that healthy living doesn’t need to be complicated.

What is your #1 health / wellness tip?
Living the healthy life means committing to eating well most of the time, but also allowing there to be imperfection and indulgence.

Your best piece of advice when it comes to traveling and staying healthy?
Preparation is key! Especially when it comes to making healthy food choices when travelling. I always bring travel-friendly snacks with me abroad, like my sugar-free protein balls, raw veggie sticks with hummus or some homemade granola. A good book, a stainless steel water bottle (for hydration!) and some space to meditate are also essential.

Tell us a little more about your new book, Living The Healthy Life?
Book 2 has my heart and soul in the pages. It’s my step-by-step guide to living the healthy life by quitting diets, giving yourself the freedom to stop feeling guilty around food, nourish your cleansing functions, balance your hormones, increase energy levels as well as including helpful tips for eating out, snacks on-the-go, mindfulness and positivity. PLUS over 200 recipes that show how healthy eating can be fun, simple and delicious!

What is the key message of the book?
How to heal your relationship with food. It’s about connecting the dots for women who feel like they’re doing all the right things but still aren’t getting results.

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Is it hard coming up with new recipes?
Not at all! Cooking and creating delicious food are my creative outlets.

Your favourite recipe from book 2?

The Cauliflower Parmigiana or Cacao and Coconut Nice-Cream.

What would your ‘ideal’ day on a plate look like?
I wake up and have a hot water with lemon – perfect for detoxifying and stimulating the digestive system first thing in the morning! Breakfast is definitely my Power Protein Smoothie or my Salted Caramel oats if I feel like something warming. I love having a simple salad (like my Chop Chop Salad from Living the Healthy Life) so a bunch of leafy greens, some leftover roast vegetables (sweet potato and cauliflower!) from the night before, a simply grilled protein and my fave salad dressing which is a combination of olive oil, tahini and dijon mustard. I swear by a 4pm or 5pm snack to keep my blood sugar levels stabilised and stave off sugar cravings before dinner. I love mixing Greek yoghurt with a little cinnamon and some nuts or raw veggie sticks with hummus and tahini. For dinner, I’m all about my One Pan dinners – the Japanese-Inspired Salmon One Pan is always a hit! And I love finishing the day with something sweet – a slice of dark chocolate or one of my nut butter and sea salt brownies.

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What are 3 things we would always find in your fridge?

  • Dijon Mustard
  • Avocado
  • Organic Greek yoghurt

What was the breakthrough for you to finding a new way of healthy living?
When I was studying heath and nutrition, learning about the body and realising that actually I wasn’t treating my body very well – having been fad dieter where I was weight conscious not health conscious.

You focus a lot on healing your relationship with food, body image and emotional eating – why is that?
Because as I always say, you can make all the right healthy choices, but if you don’t have an emotionally healthy relationship with food and your body, you will never look and feel your best. Your thoughts are as important as any healthy food choice.

Why do you advocate quitting fad diets forever?
Because they don’t work – they cause people to have an unhealthy relationship with food.

You also talk about Orthorexia – what is that and why is it something you talk about?
Orthorexia is an obsessive way of eating that involves only eating foods that one considers healthy. It’s a medical condition in which the sufferer avoids specific foods with the belief they are harmful. Thanks to social media and the amount of information available to us, many young people I meet suffer from orthorexia. It’s a relatively new term that I think is the next big concern in the health world – especially amongst teenagers.
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And what is the 8 week online program you are launching?

The JSHealth Program is an 8-week online program designed to walk people through the healthy life, taking things step-by-step. The 8 weeks cover all the nutrition and lifestyle principles that will heal your body and life, long term.

Each week focuses on a different aspect of your health. Can you talk us these aspects?

The 8 week focuses are:
Week 1 – The Art of Stressing Less

Week 2 – Rest & Respect Your Body – Sleep & Blood Sugar Control

Week 3 – Hormones, Healthy Habits & Rituals

Week 4 – Heal your Gut & Ditch the Guilt

Week 5 – Boost your Energy & Banish Emotional Eating

Week 6 – Cleanse your Mind, Body & Life

Week 7 – Finding Balance – with Food, Weight & Your Lifestyle

Week 8 – How to Live the Healthy Life For Life – Putting it all together

Each week you learn a different aspect of living the healthy life. These topics include how to heal your relationship with food and support for emotional/stress eating, making simple lifestyle adjustments to reduce stress and anxiety, steps to achieve hormonal balance and a thyroid protocol, gut and digestive health, and overall tips on how to achieve glowing skin, thick hair and ultimately reach your balanced, natural weight.

What do you hope people will achieve by following your program?
A total life transformation – they will be on the path to reaching optimal health – I’ve seen it happen already! It has already helped so many women heal an unhealthy relationship with food and their bodies, feel at ease in yourself, have a restorative and energising sleep each night, find a balanced weight and be able to eat foods with moderation!

How do you wind down?

My nightly routine is so important to help me wind down. I switch off all social media by 7pm to have a delicious wholesome meal with my husband. After, I might have an epsom salt bath, read my book or watch an episode of our favourite show.

What are some good first steps for people to take when trying to change how they think / behave when it comes to their health journey?
  • Change your mindset and understand healthy living is a long term lifestyle not a short term fad!
  • Make simple swaps e.g. white rice to broccoli rice, regular potato mash for cauliflower mash, fries for sweet potato chips!
  • Start my program –it’s the easiest way to kickstart a healthy life!

What’s next for JS Health?
We’re hoping to create product and expand into other countries – ready for the USA!
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After overcoming years of struggle in my relationship with food and body image, it is now my passion is to help you heal, too. I understand the dangers of chronic dieting and over-exercising, because I’ve been there. I want to teach you how to eat with a deep sense of peace and enjoyment by choosing nourishing foods that suit your individual needs. Together, we’ll explore a more gentle approach in taking care of your beautifully unique body.
Instagram: @jshealth
Twitter: @JessicaSepel
Facebook: JSHealth