Welcome to the first entry of the #MotherMate series. During these uncertain times we are spending more time at home (and most likely on our phones) and we thought what better time to showcase all the inspirational and multifaceted women we admire in our community. These women are passionate about their families, health, work and life.
We hope this series brings some lightness and positivity into the day of our #MotherMates (you)!
It is with great pleasure, to feature our first #MotherMate, Jessica Sepel of @jshealth. Jess is a Clinical Nutritionist, bestselling health author and owner of JSHealth Vitamins. She’s all about balance (so is MOTHER Mon-Fri, weekends are a ‘free for all’ TBH), fostering a healthy body image (AMEN!) and mindfulness eating (BRB - MOTHER still needs to work on this one). We chat to Jess about the link between inner and outer health, her day on a plate and why she chooses natural when it comes to food and skin care.
What is your approach to beauty?
I’m all about keeping things REALLY simple and minimal. I only have a few products on my bathroom shelf, and I focus on natural, quality ingredients whenever I’m choosing my skincare and beauty products.
Do you choose natural beauty? If so, why?
Yes, as a health advocate and nutritionist, I really believe that what we put into our body in all aspects, matters! Our liver has to work extra hard to process some of the nasty chemicals placed into some skin products available today, so I always opt for natural products to nurture my body in every way possible, without the nasties!
When do you reach for your SPF?
Every day I am now conscious about putting it [SPF] on FIRST thing in the morning - especially when I turned 30.
What do you look for in an SPF product?
I really ensure to keep away from:
- Fragrance (if listed as fragrance it means it is usually a cocktail of unlisted ingredients)
And so I use MOTHER SPF ☺
What does your morning beauty routine look like?
In the morning, I wash my face with soap and water. I then apply 1-2 drops of an antioxidant-rich oil, my hydrating moisturiser, and top it off with the Mother SPF! After that, I’ll put on a little bit of makeup on some days – not all! I’m all about natural makeup and beauty, so less is best I believe!
What about PM?
In the evening, I do a light soap cleanse. I then apply a night oil and a natural moisturiser which is a richer and more protective than my morning product.
Describe a typical day on a plate for you?
7am: I wake up to a warm lemon water to fire up digestion and detoxify my body after a good night’s sleep. Sometimes I’ll also take a shot of apple cider vinegar before my morning meditation.
8am: Breakfast is usually a power protein smoothie topped with mixed nuts and seeds, homemade granola with organic Five: Am Greek yoghurt, gluten-free oats topped with organic yoghurt, or 2 eggs – boiled or scrambled with steamed greens and avocado.
10:30am: Mid-morning is green juice time, typically kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, lemon and ginger. I often add a handful of raw walnuts or raw veggies with nut butter or hummus between clients and meetings.
1pm: I usually have a dark, leafy green salad (packed with broccoli, kale and spinach) with a portion of protein (fish, chicken, lean grass-fed meat or beans) with a complex gluten-free carbohydrate (quinoa, brown rice or sweet potato). I also include a good fat like avocado, hummus, or a sprinkle of mixed seeds. My favourite salad dressing is a combination of olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and Dijon mustard.
4pm: It’s important for me to have a snack mid-afternoon to keep my blood sugar stable until dinner. I love a cup of herbal tea with a quarter cup of raw nuts, or veggie sticks with a healthy dip or my homemade froyo: organic Five:Am Greek yoghurt mixed together with a scoop of clean protein powder, cinnamon and a little stevia to sweeten – add to freezer for 30 minutes. This is also an ideal time to take a 30-minute switch off – or, as I call it, go into The Stress Free Zone. I make this a priority every single day. Sometimes I’ll simply shut the door, put my legs up the wall and rest. I also love to read, meditate, practice yoga, go for a walk – whatever it is, it’s done with my phone turned off!
7pm: I try to have dinner as early as possible, so I typically eat at 7:00. One of my favourite dinners is herb and almond crusted snapper or salmon with cauliflower mash and steamed broccoli and green beans.
8pm: I always have a cup of chai tea, but if I feel like something sweet I’ll have dessert at about 8:00 once I’ve switched off for the night. Enjoying a couple squares of quality dark chocolate, 2 dates with almond butter, or some Greek yoghurt with berries and cinnamon.
What do you do when your body needs to recover? When you’re tired or rundown: what is your beauty hack?
When my body needs to recover, whether I’m tired, rundown or just not at my best, I always ensure I get into bed by 930pm, to maximise my sleep. A good night’s sleep makes me feel SO much better! I also make sure to drink lots of water, and enforce my social media boundaries, switching off my phone and emails by 8.30pm.
Every single day I take my JSHealth vitamins, particularly my Anxiety + Stress and AM + PM multivitamin, for a great energy boost which picks me up and leaves me feeling energised throughout the day – even on the occasions I’m not feeling my best!
What is your favourite retox?
Resting, walking in nature and eating JSHealth meals! :) Nothing gets me feeling better than these simple things!
How do you feel about diet culture?
I believe that diet culture creates a whole lot of noise, offering false and misleading information and placing pressure on everyone to look and act a certain way. I had my own struggles with dieting, so I completely understand the pressure it puts on people, and that’s why I love sharing my knowledge and health expertise to help free people from this restriction and pressure and heal their relationship with their body!
It’s so much more effective to restore your relationship with your body and with food and adopt a balanced approach to food and eating – which is the entire philosophy of JSHealth! I always say there is definitely a place for indulging, to prevent feeling restricted or deprived, and I am a huge advocate of ditching the dieting, for life!
What does Holistic nutrition mean to you?
It means understanding that we are all unique individuals. What works for me, may not work for you! As a holistic nutritionist, I believe in the importance of a person’s physical, emotional and spiritual health, all of which are equally as important as the next. Lifestyle, emotional wellbeing and diet all matter! There is not one diet that fits all, and I think focussing on the individual’s needs in all these areas equally is the essence of holistic nutrition.
What is your go-to meal when you only have 10 minutes?
The JSHealth One Pan Salmon hehe…obsessed, always!
How can you explain the link between inner health and outer health?
What you put into your body matters and will show up on the outside! For example, our digestive health is SO important as this is where we absorb all our nutrients for better skin, energy and overall wellbeing. So keeping this in mind, I always advocate eating foods that nourish your gut health, as this will allow your inner health to shine through to the outside! A healthy inside is seen on the outside, absolutely!
What’s your dream wellness vacay?
Honestly, isolation has made me realise how much I just love being at home with my hubby and family! I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to some beautiful spots in the world - but home is just the best for my wellness! My husband Dean and I do travel to the same isolated beach in Thailand every year for a reboot, which leaves me feeling so refreshed and happy. I always take the time to switch off from social media, work, and the demands of everyday life while I’m there, which is an essential part of why I feel so calm, relaxed and much less anxious after this yearly trip!
Do you have an evening wind-down ritual?
Yes, I cook a JSHealth dinner, switch off all social media by 8.30pm and then Dean and I enjoy a 30 minute night walk. I come home, bath, take my JSHealth PM multivitamin and Anxiety + Stress formula (which ensure I have a divine sleep every day!), then I hop into bed and read, before sleep time!
Best health advice you’ve ever received?
Small changes make a HUGE difference to our heath. You don’t need to do everything at once, or be perfect! Just make small changes, every day!
What does ageing gracefully mean to you?
Becoming kinder and more understanding of myself, and not expecting my body to stay the same forever.
What beauty advice would you give you your younger self?
Keep it simple. Focus on what you put into your body, not so much what happens on the outside.
Who are your beauty icons?
My beauty icons would have to be both of my grandmothers! One of my grandmothers is 96 - she is vibrant, energised and seems to get younger lately haha! That’s what inspires me!
TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR… OUR #MOTHERMUSE WHO NOT ONLY SPARKLES ON THE INSIDE, BUT ALSO ON THE OUTSIDE.