Day on a Plate: Emica Penklis, Loco Love

Healthy Q&A's

At JSHealth we can’t get enough of the incredible raw chocolates from Loco Love. From Hazelnut Praline to Wild Orange with chaga & reishi – her creations are thoughtful, nourishing and insanely delicious. We’re so excited to feature Emica on the blog today, sharing her plant-based Day on a Plate and words of advice for anyone starting their health journey… 


  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself – who you are and what you do.


This question often has me stuck, as there’s many ways I can answer it.


I don’t want to get too deep though I also don’t want to put myself in a box. I am human, just like everyone else, doing my best to live a life that fulfils me.


At the moment I make chocolate, something that I have realised is a fine art. The more I learn about chocolate making the less I feel I am any good at it! It’s enjoyable, though chocolate is extremely sensitive and the get the right temper and thickness etc. can be frustrating. I guess if it was too easy though I would be bored and probably be doing something else challenging.



  1. What was the ‘uh ha’ moment that inspired you to get in to health and wellbeing?


I grew up in Byron Bay, so have always been exposed to a healthy lifestyle.


In saying this though before the age of 19 I was not a healthy eater at all. I was naturally very thin and wanted to gain weight, so ate a lot of unhealthy food. Which then lead me to being unwell and after that, learning to look after myself.


I then I started modelling full time, which wasn’t the healthiest of lifestyles either. I was so strict with myself, then ended up bingeing on the foods I was not allowing myself to eat.


It was a very tumultuous time for me, I am sure a lot of the JSHealth readers can relate. After many years of abusing my body, I reached some pretty low points and I decided from there that I wanted to help others and contribute to something helpful in the world.


So I decided to study naturopathy, which is a mix of nutrition, herbal medicine and homoeopathy. I fell in love with herbs and alternative ways of healing, learnt to love myself and look after my body in a balanced way. It wasn’t an easy road, though it’s been so wonderful to learn about healing and to heal myself at the same time.



  1. Talk us through a typical day in your life…


When I wake up I like to drink water (not tap water), occasionally I will put lemon or apple cider vinegar or hemp charcoal. After this I always have tea, generally Japanese Matcha with coconut milk or chai with almond milk.


Breakfast changes! Often it’s a mix between smoothies laced with herbal powders or eggs, avocado, spinach etc. Or sometimes porridge.




My snacks are always Loco Love chocolate, even after 4 years! I also love macadamia nuts, gluten-free seeded crackers and sheeps milk yogurt with honey.




For lunch I generally have a salad, pretty standard greens, cucumber tomato, avocado, parsley, coriander, seeds of some sort and feta cheese or an organic egg.



Dinner is a curry or organic protein with roast vegetables and quinoa.


And dessert tonight is grain free carrot cake that I made yesterday!


  1. Coffee or tea?


Japanese Matcha tea with coconut milk and vanilla stevia, I do enjoy coffee though it’s not an every day thing.


  1. What is your indulgence of choice?


Mexican food, I love soft shell tacos with organic sour cream and nachos. Chocolate has become an everyday food for me so it’s not so much an indulgence any more.



  1. Three foods you can’t live without?


Avocados, green leafy plants and vegetables and raw chocolate.


  1. What’s your go-to snack for those days on the run?


Smoothies with berries, avocado, medicinal mushrooms, coconut milk, protein powder and brain octane oil.


  1. And any last words of advice or tips for those starting out on their health journey?


Relax and have fun, life isn’t about restrictive diets and rules. Drink good quality water, choose green vegetables over starchy ones, always organic meat and dairy if that what you choose and rest when you need too.


Meditation and creativity are great ways improve health and reduce stress.


Ultimately it depends on where you are starting health wise, for instance if you are really unwell, I would advise seeing a health professional, such as a naturopath and doing a more personalised program.




To find out more about Emica and her beautiful products, click here!





Swisse Skincare




Gaia Retreat & Spa


The Healthy Life


JSHealth Vegan Meal Plan


JSHealth Travel Plan




14 Day Slim Down Plan - 2 weeks to a leaner you!


The JSHealth Shopping List - Stock up on these foods for a healthier household


Nutrition 101 - A step by step nutrition guide to optimal health


Emotional Eating Guide - Learn how to rebuild your relationship with food and your body


The Clean Life - An Expert Guide To Health From The Inside Out


Restart Plan - Cleanse your system in 2 - 4 weeks & reveal a slimmer, healthier you


JSHealth Partners


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

- Jacinta

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.

– Sophie

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).

– Helene

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

Michelle Curtis

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.