We need food to fuel our bodies, simple right? Theoretically yes… So, why do so many of us have such a complicated relationship with food?
I am sure that I am not the only one who (on occasion) can go through a whole range of emotions when faced with making a meal choice.
Whether it be bouncing between fad diets, being bombarded by information on what we ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ be eating or letting our mood drive our food choices, there are so many other factors at play when we think about our relationship with food.
There is much more to nourishing ourself then just what we eat. It is how we feel about what we are eating, why we choose to eat it and how we feel afterwards, both physically and emotionally.
We caught up with Nutritionist and Author Jessica Sepel, to learn more about how she repaired her relationship with food and what simple things you can do to build a happier connection with your body through food.
When did you start taking an interest in nutrition?
I was brought up in a wholesome home and my mum cooked nutritious food all my life so I’m lucky to have always been interested in food and the body.
Did you come from a family who was conscious about what they ate?
Yes, I did. I was so fortunate to have a Mum who really taught me how to cook really healthy and delicious food, while also teaching balance.
How did you learn ‘what was good for you’?
After school I went on to study health and nutrition for 5 years. I would literally go home each day and bury my head in textbooks to learn more. I was fascinated about the human body and how it works.
It was this learning that inspired me to give up fad diets and embrace being a wholefood eater instead.
How did what you ate have an impact on your mental and emotional wellbeing?
I always say that healthy eating is the best way to reconnect with your body and feel good about yourself. When I started eating wholefoods, and ditched fad diets, I started to feel amazing – more energy, better sleep, improved mental clarity and just genuinely happier.
I really do believe that having a healthy relationship with food is the foundation of a healthy life.
Due to this diet culture, we’re so confused and overwhelmed by the amount of information on what to eat. I’m on a mission to help people find balance with food again.
What kind of lifestyle changes did you make and how quickly?
During my uni days I would go home and make small lifestyle changes. It took me a year or two.
I became a fad dieter in my teenage years and developed quite a toxic relationship with food. When I studied health and nutrition I started to heal this relationship. I embraced a kinder relationship with myself and my body and really focused on reducing stress.
When did you decide to start your own business and why?
It happened very organically. I released my blog while studying nutrition – it acted like a personal food diary more than anything else. Soon enough, without realising, I’d gained a huge amount of traffic on the blog. My community started to develop and they wanted to know more – what changes I was making, what food I was cooking. So I created my first ever eBook which was so successful, it was published into my first book, The Healthy Life. This made me realise that there’s real potential here.
What does ‘wellness’ mean to you?
Wellness to me means having a healthy, wholesome relationship with your body.
Waking up with energy and feeling a sense of peace within yourself.
It means doing everything with balance and avoiding extremes.
What are the top three changes that you recommend?
- Reduce stress – it’s the cause of so many of our issues these days e.g. gut health, thyroid, weight balance and sleep disorders
- Set boundaries – on social media and social life. This has transformed my energy levels and mental health.
- Commit to simple and easy cooking – the JSHealth Way of course! I teach you how in my online 8-week Program.
How do you Move?
Yoga, nature walks and weight training here and there.
How do you Nourish?
Using wholefood recipes which you can find on my blog and here on MNB!
How do you Believe?
I believe in the power of your mind and thoughts. Your body listens to your thoughts.
How do you maintain a positive relationship with food?
Share with us in the comments!
Jessica Sepel is a clinical nutritionist, author and health blogger who is passionate about helping people live a balanced lifestyle through a healthy relationship with food.
Struggling with her own body image through her teens and early 20’s, Jessica viewed food as the enemy and battled through various fads and diets. Jessica has turned this around and is now a clinical nutritionist and advocate for living a well-balanced life through her blog, recipes and programs at JS Health.