I eat cake. I also eat cheeseburgers, drink wine, and have never really enjoyed Yoga.
It’s not your standard opening line for a nutritionists website, but let’s be real; we’re all human. Life is all about balance, so while you’ll definitely find my pantry full of delicious, seasonal vegetables (disclaimer; I really do love vegetables too), you’ll also never see me shy away from a friends birthday cake. Carrot cake anyone?
Your health isn’t a fad, a 30 day challenge, or defined by a series of Insta hashtags. It’s an ongoing balancing act – a continual process of listening to your body, understanding the signals it’s sending you (yes, a craving can be a signal), and providing it with the nutrients it needs.
I’m a lifelong science nerd
The way food affects the body and the chemical reactions that occur without us even thinking about them has always fascinated me. I’m also a realist, I don’t pretend to be perfect all of the time, and I don’t expect anyone to have to feel like they need to either. I simply believe that understanding your body and the signals it’s sending you is key to achieving good health and overall wellness. When you recognise and understand these signals, then you are able to change the way you feel through food, lifestyle modifications, movement, and self-care practices. True wellness is finding a balance of solutions that work for you, each person will have their own balance point. It’s a process of figuring out which foods make you feel best, which health habits are sustainable alongside your lifestyle, and finding a method of movement that you enjoy. I simply want to educate you with the skills and knowledge you need to make lasting changes to your health.
Wellness? What even is that?
Over the years it’s become a buzz word for anyone wanting to sell the latest health/diet/miracle trend to the masses, but wellness is so much more than a number on the scales or a new ‘superfood’. Wellness is feeling completely at peace with your mind and body. It’s a state of being that is as unique to each person as their fingerprint, and the path you take to achieving this state of being will never be the same as anyone else’s. It means having the energy to do the things you want to do, having a healthy mind and thoughts, enjoying food guilt-free, and having a body that allows you to take part in a full and happy life.
Plants have an undeniable power to heal and nourish you – Incorporating more plant power into your diet is the first step towards wellness.
Animal products in moderation
I love cheese and meats as much as the next girl, and they can definitely be a part of a healthy diet, but for both you and the planet it’s best to consume animal products in moderation.
Avoid processed and packaged foods
Processed foods might be tasty, but they’re often filled with ingredients that take away from your health and have had the nutrients found in whole foods literally ‘processed’ out of them.
Buy local, organic, sustainable, and ethically produced food
Do you know where your food comes from? The origin of your food has a surprising impact on your health, the environment, the local economy, and animal welfare.For the good of the entire food chain, it’s time to start thinking about how you source your food.
Ditch the trends
Health trends and fads come and go, and even though they may tout many benefits they’re most likely unsustainable and won’t suit your body’s needs. There is no miracle answer that works for everyone so we’ll figure out which foods and style of eating suit you and your lifestyle best. Hint, It’s probably not going to be the latest Instagram hashtag.
Use supplements only when needed
Lots of people rely on supplements instead of a proper diet, but supplements and herbal medicine should really only be used to treat issues and correct deficiencies – the bulk of your nutrients should come from the food you eat.
I’m a huge believer in balance. In nutritional terms this means eating a wide and varied diet that changes with the seasons, and that no food is restricted or limited. By understanding the signals our body is sending us, and knowing how to use food influence the way body feels and functions, we can start to naturally change the way we consume food. You’ll find yourself instinctively leaning towards nourishing, whole foods, and you’ll find it easier to balance your intake of less nutrient dense (but sometimes delicious) foods.
Jessica Giljam-Brown BSc Nut, PgDip Herb Med
BSc Human Nutrition – Massey University
Post Graduate Diploma in Herbal Medicine – International College of Herbal Medicine
Where in the world?
Based in Takapuna + Newmarket, Auckland – but accepting online clients worldwide.
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