Best-selling author, health blogger, nutritionist and all-round wellness guru Jessica Sepel has amassed a legion of loyal followers, and it’s easy to see why. Her passion for holistic living is totally contagious, her nutrition advice is realistic and all of her recipes are clean, delicious, and easy to make.
To celebrate the launch of her second book, Living the Healthy Life, and new online program, The JSHealth Program, the wellness guru sat down with us and shared some insight into her healthy lifestyle. Sepel gave us the scoop on her recent achievements, revealed her goals for 2017, and told us her favourite wellness hotspot in Sydney.
What can we expect to find in your new book?
It really feels like we are being inundated with health information which has left us confused and overwhelmed. I wrote my second book, Living the Healthy Life, to show you how to reconnect with your body and find practical ways to living a healthy life, which is easy and sustainable. It includes a holistic 8-week plan to heal your body (thyroid, gut, sleep patterns, liver and more!), as well as meal plans tailored to balance hormones, increase energy levels and find weight balance. It also has over 200 new recipes, which will teach you how to cook healthy, delicious food with absolute ease and very little effort.
Book two has my heart and soul in the pages. I have never been more real, raw and candid. It’s a step-by-step guide to LIVING the Healthy Life.
What’s your favourite recipe in the book?
Definitely the cauliflower parmigiana or the broccoli pizza!
Can you tell us a little bit more about your new online program?
The JSHealth Program is an 8-week online, interactive program designed to walk people through the healthy life, taking things step-by-step. The program will hold your hand and guide you to living the healthy life. The 8 weeks cover all the nutrition and lifestyle principles that will heal your body and life, long term.
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
There are four pillars and each week hones in on a different topic in relation to each of the four pillars. 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’s been the most rewarding part of starting JSHealth?
Seeing how people’s lives change when they start to take care of their bodies in a holistic and balanced way—I call it the JSHealth way. Also, watching how excited people get when they see how it good it feels and how delicious healthy food can taste!
What are your goals for 2017?
2017 is all about the hustle for me. I want to give this year my all. I feel incredibly lucky to have been given this platform to share my journey and knowledge to live a healthier life and I want to take it as far as I can!
You’re known for encouraging people to heal their relationship with food and their body, and it’s safe to say that resonates with lots of your followers. Why is this so important for you?
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 or feel your best. You can’t imagine the amounts of stress these negative thoughts are placing on your body. Your thoughts are just as important as any healthy food choice.
What advice do you have for someone trying to get into a healthy mindset?
Be kind to yourself. Don’t try and do everything at once. The healthy life takes years. Just make 1-2 small changes a week. You wouldn’t believe how amazingly the body responds to small changes. Relieve the pressure. Don’t strive for perfection, strive for balance.
What would a day on your plate look like?
I wake up with a warm lemon water or a shot of apple cider vinegar to fire up digestion and detoxify my body first thing in the morning! Around 9 am (when I start to feel hungry), I’ll enjoy my power protein smoothie or one of the delicious oat recipes from my book (the salted caramel oats are life-changing!)
I usually have a dark, leafy green salad with a portion of protein (sustainably sourced tuna, organic chicken or lentils) with a complex gluten-free carbohydrate (quinoa, brown rice or sweet potato) and I always make sure to include a good fat (avocado, hummus or a sprinkle of mixed seeds).
If I’m hungry between meals I love a handful of raw walnuts or raw veggies with tahini or hummus. You know how important a 4 pm snack is for me – essential for regulating blood sugar and keeping energy high.
I try to have an early dinner whenever possible to allow my digestion to settle before bed. My absolute fave at the moment is my Japanese Inspired Salmon One Pan – so easy and so good for you!
If I feel like something sweet after dinner I’ll have dessert at around 8 pm when I’ve switched off all social media for the night. Enjoying a couple of squares of dark chocolate or the almond butter cinnamon banana halves from book two is the perfect way to end the day!
If you could only do one exercise for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
Yoga. It has reconnected me to my body and calms down anxious thoughts.
What is your favourite local healthy restaurant and what do you usually order?
Lox, Stock & Barrel in Bondi, Sydney. Wholesome, good quality and tasty food. I love their barramundi, brussels sprouts and miso greens!
Do you take any supplements or herbs?
Yes. I take a daily probiotic, magnesium powder at night and a multi-mineral.
What’s your strategy for dealing with stress?
Going into the JSHealth Stress-Free Zone for 10-20 minutes every day. Also, switching my phone off by 6-7pm every night—that means social media, too!
You’ve got amazing skin and hair. Do you have any natural skin care products that you love to use?
I use Trilogy products, but I focus more on what’s happening on the inside. I take good care of my gut and stress levels which I believe show up in the skin and hair.
Describe your perfect day off…
Not being on email. Spend less time on my phone. Lots of ocean swims. Lunch with my mum or sisters. And maybe 2-3 episodes of a favourite TV show.
Born: South Africa
Personal motto/daily mantra: A rested body is a healthy body
Best advice I’ve been given is: Hard work always gets rewarded (from my mum)
Most people probably don’t know this about me: I hate shopping for clothes, genuinely. I could think of nothing worse. I don’t get fashion haha!
I never make a smoothie without adding: Cinnamon
Morning ritual: Yoga, coffee, no phone (until after the ritual)
My most used emoji is: Laughing face
Guilty pleasure: Gelato!
Favourite app: Spotify for my daily walks
Instagram stalk: I love travel accounts, but lately I haven’t had much time to stalk hehe
Binge watch: Grey’s Anatomy