We absolutely love Jacq – from cooking nourishing wholefoods to catering amazing events, hosting health and cooking workshops to writing for a number of publications including blog, The Brown Paper Bag – she creates thoughtfully, always considering the health, wellbeing and happiness of those she creates for. We’re thrilled to feature Jacqueline on the blog today – enjoy!
I’m a mum to my gorgeous boy, Jet, nutritionist and director of The Brown Paper Bag, health writer and presenter, whole foods cook and this year I very excitedly became an author, publishing my first book, Seasons to Share. The beauty in what I do is that it all seems to just come together like a jigsaw and slot in, move when it needs to and grows when it’s ready, in all aspects, family, work, life, love. That hasn’t come overnight though, I’ve worked hard at creating it and not ever letting go of my dreams.
When I was a teenager I took a really keen interest in nutrition, but at that time it manifested fairly negatively and after years of battling anorexia nervosa I found myself hospitalised. It was at that point, when a doctor said to me that I was damaging my health for the long term, that I took a good hard look at what I was doing to myself and began my journey in health. When this happened I started to really understand the human body, the way our physical, emotional, mental are all connected and how their interactions affect the way we breathe, speak, think, function and live. To be honest there have been so many ups and down and curvy bends along the way, but I’m pretty grateful for those lessons, even the toughest, because they’ve brought me to where I am now.
I’m usually up between 530-6am and use this time before my little boy, Jet, wakes up to meditate and then get a few house chores done. I’ll have either 2 glasses of filtered water or juice of half a lemon with some boiled water to flush my body and refresh to start my day.
If Jet’s at his dad’s I’ll head out and do some exercise – walking, stairs, yoga, cross training, or at this yummy time of year go down for a run on the soft sand and jump in the ocean and then come back for brekky. Whenever I can I try to catch the sunrise on my beautiful local – Bondi Beach.
If Jet’s with me I wait until he’s up and then we brekky together and I’ll do exercise at another point in the day wherever I can squeeze it in. Running a business and being a parent can be so tricky at times, so I do the best I can and not put too much pressure on myself (anymore) to get through it all if there’s no time to. The time I know will come.
Brekky at the moment is either a frozen berry avo bowl , eggs, peas, herbs and spinach or my yummy carob banana smoothie with all the extra bonus goodies I can get into it to support my energy and digestion.
Mid morning I have either warm turmeric almond milk or ho-cho with almond or coconut milk and a dash of slippery elm. If I’m hungry mid morning and need a protein pick me up, I’ll go for the egg I may not have had at brekky or some seed snaps.
Lunch is usually a nourish bowl I’ll pop together with whatever we have roaming in the Brown Paper Kitchen. Fortunately with our catering work we often have leftover bits and pieces to put into these, which always makes them taste every part of awesome.
Afternoons I don’t always feel super hungry, if I do it’s simple stuff like carrots and hummus, kombucha, an apple, a date with a spoon of nut butter or should there be something super tasty we’ve been testing in the kitchen (read raw treats) then I’ll enjoy one of those.
Gah!!! Tough call. I love coffee but it doesn’t love me, so I have become such a tea drinker. Leaf tea mostly though because I have a mini obsession with beautiful tea pots too. I have a pot of tea each day. It’s a really nice ritual.
Cheese board hands down, with a glass of really good red wine. We make big ones as part of our wholefoods catering and I always wish I could be at the event with the guests when we do!
Can I add one more… sea salt. Sea salt is life. (we agree!)
Ha – carrots – see above!!! If I’ve not time to make a smoothie or don’t want all that much but know I need a snack when out and about then I pop a carrot in my bag and head on out.
Be kind to yourself and remember it’s a journey. There will be ups, downs and curves in the road, some tougher than others, but there are always good things around the corner.
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!