For decades, I feared carbs. Oh and fats, and indulging and basically all the food groups at once stage.
If you know my story – you know I developed a pretty toxic relationship with food and my body.
I feared foods. I felt huge amounts of fear and anxiety around foods, especially carbohydrates.
After studying health and nutrition for 5 years, my respect and love for good quality carbs grew back. I started slowing adding them back into my diet (the good kinds of carbs) and starting to feel good.
See carbs are around for a reason – they are a macro nutrient for a reason – our bodies need them, thrive off them and they give our bodies/brains energy! However most carbs contain gluten – which can be a problemo! Think pasta, cereal, bread, crackers, pizza etc.
When I was in my nutrition practice though, I did find that reducing gluten from people’s diets really did help them repair their guts and increase overall energy!
So I believe in having good quality grains in our diet. However, I do often encourage gluten free grains and starches such as quinoa, rice, beans, legumes, sweet potato, pumpkin, beetroot, buckwheat etc. I have found people do better on these foods – as they are easier to digest.
But I do believe in eating everything moderately. I don’t like telling people to drastically cut anything out because this does not help people to have a healthy relationship with food. Just because I say to reduce gluten where possible, does not mean I mean to forbid it from your diet 100% and forever (unless you just feel that much better without it).
I love having a piece of rye or sourdough toast on the weekends. But it is so important to tune into your body and figure out which foods make you feel good and which foods don’t make you feel good.
I am very in tune with my body and I know that gluten containing foods can make me feel tired, so I do enjoy a low gluten diet. Those days I do eat gluten, I am definitely more tired.
The most important aspect of grains is the fibre content and the fact that they contain B vitamins and other essential nutrients. I have found that people on these low carb diets don’t realise that are missing out on a key macro nutrient called fibre. Fibre is essential for a healthy life – helps to keep us regular as we know. But it is also assists with hormonal balance by binding to excess hormones in the gut. It is also amazing for general cleansing as it binds to excess toxins in the intestines and sweeps them out via our faeces. Fibre also helps to keep us full and satiated as it slows down the release of sugar in the blood – which reduces sugar drops/energy drops.
Carbs are also essential for thyroid health. People on a lower carb diet seem to strain the thyroid gland!
If you do not eat many whole grains, it may be best to invest in a B complex vitamin under the guidance of a health practitioner. B vitamins are essential for energy, mood, sleep, stress support, thyroid health and overall health.
Otherwise enjoy your gluten free grains and starchy veggies as alternatives to cereal, pasta, pizza, bread and crackers.
Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time. My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.
With kindest regards Samantha
I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.
When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.
I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.
Hey Jessica! I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again
I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!
Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.
Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!
I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).
I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud
My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.
I want to empower you to make good choices, every day. I want you to enhance your understanding of health and nutrition. I'm committed to making sure you live the best life. Because you deserve it. Are you ready to start feeling great?
Let me know your email address so I can send you an eBook '7 Days on my plate' - a little gift from me to you!