Do I Indulge In Unhealthy Food?

Nutrition Advice

Many people ask me, ” Jess, do you ever indulge. Do you ever just eat an ice-cream? ” I want you all to know… Yes!! Of course I do! I just don’t post the pictures that much because at the end of the day…I am preaching to enjoy healthy foods.

In fact I believe indulging in your favorite foods can actually be helpful to your health.

I believe in the 80/20 approach.  80% of my diet is very clean and the other 20% I indulge in moderation. I believe being truly “healthy” and building a good relationship with your body comes with allowing yourself to indulge in foods- without the guilt and without the counting of carbs/calories. Deprivation only leads to drastic diet habits and will cause you to have a complicated relationship with your body.

BUT my rule is… to indulge in something I love and to only feel GOOD thoughts about it.  I could never have done this in my past. I used to eat something ‘naughty’ and think about it for days. The guilt would eat me up. This is not a way of living. I often go on about how ‘stressing about food’ can actually be worse for your health, than the ‘bad food’ itself.

This weekend I enjoyed 2 glasses of red wine and some real Italian Gelato. I am confident my weight wont creep up and I know I will not suddenly endure a nutrient deficiency.  My body actually enjoys the break from my clean health routine.  I enjoy being able to watch myself eat these foods mindfully and gratefully. I love to be able to eat 3-4 pieces of chocolate and feel it is enough because I know my body does not need more. I now have enough love for my body to LISTEN to when it is enough.  Now, I no longer ‘crave’ foods and I absolutely never feel deprived. I believe this is the key to a good relationship with our bodies.

So does this mean I’m saying we can go crazy and eat all the junk foods we crave. Hell no. Healthy indulgence means being able to eat these foods in limited amounts. If you have enough respect for your body- you won’t want to fill it with too much junk. So it comes down to working on the love for your body.

I often advise to eat 1-2 indulgent MEALS a week.

If you are on a clean life journey- you will start to notice that so many healthy foods and alternatives actually taste better than the traditional unhealthy versions. I am passionate about creating healthier versions of the unhealthy foods so many of us crave.  Such as my carrot cake pancakes J- I believe they taste better than any carrot cake!! But I am also aware than taste buds have to adapt slowly to be able to enjoy and appreciate healthy foods.

So be kind to yourselves. Choose a favorite indulgent meal. Sit and eat it mindfully and give thanks. State positive affirmations like, “This food will be good for me”, “My body knows how to break this food down.” This often really helps because our thoughts manifest physically. Remember stress will cause the blood to divert away from the digestive system and therefore when you stress about the food- it is likely you wont break it down well.




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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.