Last year I was lucky enough to be introduced to the lovely Jess Sepel, creator of the JSHealth Program and author of The Healthy Life. I attended her first book launch in Cape Town at The Forum, Embassy Hill and was blown away by her attitude to food and life in general. A few weeks ago, the Australian nutritionist was back in SA for the launch of her second book Living The Healthy Life and I couldn’t wait to see what was in store this time.
Jess Sepel believes that good health begins in the kitchen, and that the key to a happy relationship with food is about balance. What I love about her though, is that she squashes those unrealistic expectations of what ‘healthy’ should be and let’s you find your own interpretation of what that means to you.
‘When I say “live a healthy life” I don’t mean live a perfect life. It’s about giving up that restriction and deprivation around food and giving yourself permission to eat foods that you love. That leads to a better life and you will find that you crave those foods less when you remove that restriction. Having a peaceful relationship with food is equally as important as what you actually put into your body.’
Pretty solid advice if you ask me and I find her take on health, nutrition, wellness and life in general so refreshing. She’s really come full circle in her own life from someone obsessed with dieting and exercise, and controlling every aspect of her life through diet and restriction, to a person who seems to have found such peace with food, balance with life in general and the most visible happiness with herself. You cannot help but feel inspired, enlightened and ready to make big or small changes in your own life after meeting her and hearing her story.
Her book launch was hosted at The Forum, Embassy Hill in Constantia, and provided the perfect setting to inspire one to lead a healthier more balanced Life. I am utterly obsessed with the fabric of the chairs and cushions.
The morning began with a light pilates class, held on the lush green lawns. It was the first time I had done pilates and, although I quite enjoyed the experience, I think yoga is more my thing.
After getting the blood pumping, we enjoyed some yummy shots of Salted Caramel and Green Smoothies. The perfect way to stimulate the appetite in anticipation of what was sure to be a delicious breakfast.
On the menu was a mini souffle omlette of Chinese cabbage and asparagus with chickpea puree, smoked trout and gluten-free bread. It was all so delicious I honestly think if someone made things like this for me every morning I could become a breakfast person quite easily.
To round things off, Jess’s signature Breakfast Protein bars were served while she gave us a little demonstration as to how to make these ourselves at home. How utterly glorious do they look? And they tasted like heaven.
Aside from being totally scrumptious, the launch of her second book was really inspiring. Through an open discussion with Food and Home Entertaining, she revealed so many insights into our relationships with food, why we do what we do, eat how we eat and how without taking cognisance of what you are putting into your body when and why, you cannot hope to achieve balance.
‘It’s not about counting everything you eat, it’s about moderating it. You don’t want to be counting calories for the rest of your life. Your best weight will naturally be the result of healthy living. It’s a long journey; you need a good 4 to 6 weeks to see and feel a difference, and the first few weeks will always be the most challenging, especially if you have never lived a healthy life before. But the body responds to quickly to small changes. The JSHealth Program is just a start to show you what a healthy life could and should be.’
So what’s inside?
Living The Health Life contains Jessica’s holistic 8-week plan to healing your life and relationship with food, as well as helpful meal plans and amazing tips on:
♥ balancing hormones ♥ optimising sleep ♥ healing your liver
♥ eating out the right way ♥ dealing with anxiety ♥ exercising and more
Not to mention over 200 glorious, healthy and delicious (yes, really!) recipes for everything from healthy snacks, breakfast treats and soups to mouth-watering mains, robust salads and sweet treats without the cheat. I’ve already added these to my list of cooks for the near future:
♥ Skin-glow Smoothie ♥ Gluten-free Green Bread (my boyfriend’s mum made this recently and OMG!)
♥ Cauliflower, Labneh and Harissa Salad ♥ Tomato and Red Pepper Soup ♥ Mango Chia Ice Cream
♥ Ponzu Sesame Salmon with Asian Greens ♥ Crispy Halloumi with Asparagus and Hummus ♥ Tuna Bake
Jess has so much advice to give but one of the things she said that really stuck with me (being someone with a boundless appetite and zero portion control) and is probably the most important advice you can take to heart when starting to live a healthier life is: ‘The best thing to do is to eat all things in small amounts. Remember that even healthy foods can hamper progress if eaten excessively.’