Jess is an ardent food devotee and fills our Instagram feed up regularly with the most delicious, gooey and beautifully styled looking breakfast feasts. It’s not just because she has an ability to make pancakes delicious and healthy, or has an extensive knowledge in food therapy and 8 years of clinical practice but we (along with her other 27k followers on Instagram) can agree that this nutritionist brings a certain realness of food to the Active Living scene.
Thanks for having me!
Well, working from present to past…. I’m a practicing nutritionist based in Brisbane who works with all walks of life and conditions, yet predominately treat digestive issues and food intolerance’s. I have a Bachelor Health Science (Nutrition) and have been in practice for 8 years.
Previous to this my career was focused in the event and design industry. Fresh out of high school I completed a Bachelor in Visual Arts majoring in Photography in Canberra, which lead me initially down the event/design path.
I grew up in country Victoria in a place called Kergunyah on a farm where we chiefly ran goats with some cattle and sheep. My up bringing was heavily influenced by this lifestyle and the self sufficiently and community aspect of this way of life. It wasn’t fashionable, it was just how it was.
MNB: Where are you & what are you doing right now?
I am in Brisbane Queensland and I am running my own Nutritional Clinic in the CBD in a multi-modality clinic. Along side this I am running the Jessica Cox website which is an expression of everything I love rolled into one.
MNB: Have you always been passionate about Active Living? What was the ‘uh ha’ moment for you…
Yes, definitely. Growing up on the farm we were always active whether it be on purpose or incidental. My sister and I were always out and about in the paddocks and waterfalls or down the local rivers. I also loved running growing up and competed in cross-country runs. In my teens I developed an absolute love for soccer and played this quite intensively through to my early uni years.
Again, our up bringing meant that healthy eating was what we did. It was natural for us to eat seasonally from the garden and to eat meats from local farmers. We were also lucky enough to have our own cow that we milked daily in our younger years for fresh milk every day.
I think if there was an ‘uh ha’ moment it would be when I moved out of home to uni. I started eating what ever I wanted and wondered why I felt so sick! This included devouring boxes of ‘chicken in a biscuit’ in one sitting!! Making the choice to actively change this made me realise how much better I felt not eating so much junk.
Later on I had an ‘uh ha’ moment when I cut back on dairy and stopped getting itchy eczema spots on my face. Definitely an ‘oh..now I get it’ moment in realisation to the correlation between what we eat and how it effects our personal health.
MNB: What does a typical day of MNB’ing look like in your world?
It does vary, but a little like this:
Breakfast: Buckwheat pancakes with fruit, tahini, organic non gm soy yoghurt. Otherwise oat sourdough with tahini & fruit and yoghurt or smoked salmon, greens and sauerkraut. Probably a matcha latte on rice milk as I am currently addicted!!
Move: Gym for weights or to the foreshore for a run (around 3 times per week).
Post Gym & off to clinic for consultations with a pea protein shake made with banana and rice milk, raw cacao or some greens.
Morning Tea: Crackers with hummus and sauerkraut or something I have baked like my orange, rosemary and raison scones.
Lunch: Usually left overs from dinner, which is usually a grain/carb such as buckwheat/quinoa/potato/sweet potato, vegetables and a form of protein.
Afternoon Tea: Homemade muffin or cookies or a banana, tahini and a dandelion tea.
Once a week I’ll get a yoga class in after work. This is my new years resolution with myself.
Dinner: Varies a lot – usually an organic, free range meat, otherwise salmon or squid. These are usually served with: Buckwheat or quinoa salad, Green pea mash and sweet potato wedges. Wraps – grilled eggplant, herbs, hummus, tahini.
Black tahini, hulled tahini and unhulled tahini. Haha only kidding…kind of.
To be honest this questions always stresses me out because I find it so hard to choose favourite foods…how does one choose from so many!
Tahini (obviously), bananas (adore them alone or in pancakes and all sorts of baking. They are also natures perfectly balanced workout fuel) and lemons, especially preserved lemons. They add some much flavour to dishes and can be used sweet or savoury.
MNB: What are some healthy snacks we could find stashed in your handbag?
I often have home cooked cookies or a muffin in my bag wrapped up in some cling wrap. My girlfriends used to think it was hysterical when we would be out at a cocktail bar in nutrition uni days (tut tut) and I would pull out a muffin to munch on at 11pm at night.
MNB: My everyday workout wear essentials are…
Oh dear! These are badly in need of a make over and an embarrassment to the Lorna Jane name!
My very old now Lorna Jane Amy tights, water bottle, post work out smoothie/shake, a towel and sneakers covered in paint splatters from renovations (told you it wasn’t pretty).
MNB: I’m my happiest…
When I am surrounded by the people I love sharing beautiful food. An amazing wine will not hurt too.
MNB: The one thing I’m really trying hard to do right now is…
As any person running his or her own business would say is to work on balance. I think I am pretty good at this after 8 years in private practice, but it’s always a work in progress. At the moment I am focusing on breathing through the day, those long deep breaths that calm your nervous system. I am also committing myself to doing yoga at least once a week to unwind and stretch out my limbs.
MNB: Best advice you have ever been given?
Follow your heart and your own dreams. If you need to change the environment that you are in and start fresh then it’s okay to do so. My Dad taught me this when he understood and supported my need for change to a new high school. I’ve never forgotten that conversation.
MNB: To unwind after a hard day’s work I like to…
Cook! I love to get into the kitchen and make a delicious dinner, then sit on the floor with my husband to enjoy it with a cold soda water and watch episodes of our favourite shows. Simple, but always relaxing.
MNB: My biggest beauty indulgence in life is…
Once every 6-8 weeks I drive up to Maleny (in the sunshine coast hinterlands) and visit ‘Dot and Birdie’ to have my hair done and be pampered by the amazing Mel. The team at Dot and Birdie are phenomenal and worth the drive. They go above and beyond with their service and are so genuine. Totally recommend them to anyone!
MNB: I stay true to myself by…
Following my dreams and believing in myself. By doing what is right for my body and nobody else’s.
MNB: My heart beats fast when…
Jared Leto is on TV. Oh, and when my husband looks at me in this way that still makes me blush.
MNB: Any tips or advice you could give to our readers just starting on their healthy, active journey?
Find what works for you and your own individual needs. I must sound like a broken record but it’s just so important! Steer clear of fad diets and exclusion diets unless you have seen a professional who is qualified to give you the advice and nutritional direction you need. Lastly, get in tune with your body. Listen to what makes it feel good and what makes you feel sluggish and tired. Your digestion is a map to your overall health, so if its not working as well as you feel it should then see a practitioner who can help you get it on track.
MNB: Any Move, Nourish or Believe tips before we part?
My biggest tip is to aim for a balance of macronutrients on your plate, whether you’re a meat eater, vegetarian or vegan. This means getting a mix of complex carbohydrates, protein (high amino acid based foods) and essential fats. When you have these three components well balanced within your meals your energy will be more stable, you will experience less cravings and you will be less inclined to go for sugary pick me up snacks. Time and time again I see proof of this in clinic…and it’s such an easy change to make!
Here is a recipe for my ‘peanut butter & banana pancake’ that is a favourite of mine and keeps me nourished and fuelled through the day!
Sporty Sister of the Week: Jessica Cox
Total Time: 5-7 minutes
Servings: Serves 1
- 3 heaped dessertspoons buckwheat flour
- 1 tablespoon fruit puree (custard apple/pear/apple/banana)
- 1 heaped dessertspoon 100% peanut butter
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- soda water or water to bring to batter
- 1/2 banana sliced thinly lengthways
- Toppings: natural yoghurt or silken tofu yoghurt
- Raw honey or honeycomb (optional)
- Combine flour, baking powder and mix in a bowl.
- Add fruit purée, peanut butter and vanilla extract and mash through. Slowly add soda water or water to bring to a thick pancake batter consistency.
- Spoon batter into a medium heat frying pan. While the pancake is cooking on the underside, top the exposed side with sliced banana and press into batter.
- Flip the pancake and cook on the banana embedded side till cooked through and the banana has caramelised.
- Place on a plate and serve with yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.
As an accredited Nutritional practitioner with just under 10 years of clinical experience, Jessica has an immense passion for food therapy and therapeutic nutrition. Over her years of practice she has developed an extensive knowledge in meal planning, nutritional supplementation and the utilisation of food as a medicinal tool. Jessica believes that diet and lifestyle is the foundation of our health and that it is the key to maximising our energy levels, wellness and peak performance.