Gap Year tricks to stay on track

Healthy Travel, Travel Tips

Gap year: one of the most exciting adventures you may ever have. And while it’s a time to learn, explore, and absorb everything the world around you has to offer, it’s also a good time to get in tune with your body. Keep your health and wellness a priority with my tips, and get the most out of your gap year!

  • Drink 2-3 liters of water a day.
  • Purchase a multi-vitamin if you can.
  • Always opt for the healthiest option possible.
  • Let go of the mentality that you are allowed to eat as much junk as you like because “it’s my gap year!” Your body is far more important than that. It should never be negotiable. Health comes first always!
  • Have a treat 1 time each week. Whatever country you are in, try to eat something indulgent and unique to that country, otherwise you may find yourself craving and bingeing on it. Sit down with it, eat it slowly and ENJOY.
  • Do not worry so much! If you do not eat a good meal, don’t think about it too much. Stress = weight gain.
  • Keep your body moving. Don’t worry too much about “exercising,” just aim to keep your body moving for 30 mins a day. Try a walk, yoga or stretching.
  • Make sure your breakfast is protein rich e.g.: egg based, cottage cheese, natural yoghurt, nuts/seeds.
  • Do your best to have a protein and fat (good fat like avocado) component with each meal for blood sugar control.
  • Each meal must contain a protein, good fat and complex carb (dinner can be without the carb if you are drinking). You won’t always be able to find a healthy meal, but choose the best possible option. Most cafes will have plain chicken breast/feta/egg – add that to a salad plus olive oil.
  • The largest portion of the plate should be salad/veggies at each meal.
  • Avoid starch at night (after 4pm) if you are trying to lose weight.
  • Carry snacks on you at all time to ensure you keep blood sugars stable. Eat every 2-3 hours – enjoy protein rich snacks like nuts and seeds/yoghurt/cottage cheese/egg/veggies with hummus/protein bars/berries/popcorn/apples/rice cakes/dates.
  • Avoid creamy salad dressings (packed with sugar and trans fat) and try an olive oil and lemon based blend. Or, sprinkle a minimal amount with your fork.
  • CHEW YOUR FOOD. Stop inhaling it.
  • Practice mindful eating. I am committed to sitting down and eating my meals in a calm state for optimal digestion and absorption. It helps you listen to when you are full.
  • When drinking, choose gin/vodka. Have it with soda water and fresh lime.
  • Avoid excessive caffeine, soy and artificial sweeteners.
  • Switch of all technology by 9pm and put your phone on airplane mode- away from your head. Please!
  • Practice deep breathing every night before bed to balance your nervous system. When you are stressed/anxious you will put on more weight. Aim for 20 diaphragms breaths morning and night.
  • Spend 30 minutes a day alone. Write down your health goals and 10 things you are proud of from that week. Not only will it help you focus, it will be wonderful to reflect back on!




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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.