Jessica Sepel wants you to be kind—to strangers, to loved ones, to yourself.
Growing up, the now-clinical nutritionist and bestselling author struggled with classic yo-yo dieting, putting a strain on her body in pursuit of an unattainable goal. When she finally realized that being skinny wasn’t the route to happiness—quite the contrary—everything changed: She studied Nutritional Medicine and started exploring the world of whole foods.
Today, via her app, books and appearances, the Australia-based founder of JSHealth is helping to spread the word and empower people to “throw out their scales and find balance with food for life.” Most recently, she launched her own powerful vitamin line, which has quickly developed a loyal following.
Here, Sepel talks about why simple experiences—over material objects—bring her true happiness:
LIVE THE PROCESS: Growing up, did you have an awareness of nutrition and/or wellness?
JESSICA SEPEL: I was fortunate enough to be brought up in a healthy home in South Africa, where we were taught balance with food. My mother is my health icon and always cooked the most nourishing meals at home. I had a very happy, healthy childhood. At home, we always had the most nutritious, delicious meals. From an early age, we were taught how to nourish our bodies and indulge some of the time. As an adult, I can see that so many of my current health philosophies were instilled during this time. To this day, I thank my mum for teaching us all that she has. And I still steal her healthy recipes!
LTP: How did you come to launch JSHealth?
JS: I’ve wanted to be a nutritionist since I was a little girl. So, when I finished high school, I completed a Bachelor of Health and an advanced diploma in Nutritional Medicine. Shortly after, I was practicing in a nutrition clinic and created my blog, where I wrote articles and posted health recipes that I’d created. I actually had my blog on private for months, but my now-husband, Dean, convinced me to make it public. Within a few months, I started growing an audience, organically. After a few years of blogging, I launched an e-book and my signature 8-week Program. From there, the JSHealth brand really took off. In the last few years, I’ve written two best-selling health books, launched the JSHealth App and created the JSHealth Vitamins range. Now, we have a full-time team and recently moved into our very own office space in Double Bay. Looking back, I truly can’t believe how far the brand has come, from the early days as a little health blog. That said, it’s taken years of hard work. As they say, nothing comes easily. It’s all about determination and never giving up on your dreams.
LTP: Give us the inside scoop on your new vitamins!
JS: Unlike many other vitamin brands out there, our range is nutritionally formulated and made with high-purity ingredients. As a clinical nutritionist, I understand the importance of using the best quality ingredients that I can find. This vitamin brand took two years to create and has undergone rigorous testing by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which is part of the Australian Government’s Department of Health. The TGA is very stringent on which claims you can and cannot make when it comes to vitamins, so our customers can rest assured that our products and claims are backed by science. As a nutritionist and the creator of the brand, I knew that our vitamins were incredibly powerful, but I have been blown away by the transformations that we’ve seen. To date, we’ve received more than 2,500 verified customer reviews, which you can read here.
LTP: What do you think is the greatest obstacle to physical and emotional health?
JS: I believe the greatest obstacle is the pressure we put on ourselves. For me, it was a pressure to be “perfect.” This mentality dominated my teenage years and was a daily battle. I was constantly trying to be the perfect weight and follow the perfect diet. This led to years of disordered eating and obsessive calorie counting. I was a classic yo-yo dieter, which was putting immense stress on my body. It wasn’t until I realized that there’s no such thing as being perfect that I began to find balance. In fact, our imperfections are what makes us beautiful and unique.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
JS: It’s the simple things: Family dinner over nourishing meals. Walking in nature with my husband, Dean. Laughing with my girlfriends. From the outside, my life may seem glamorous, but I’m a very private person. Materialistic things really do not bring me happiness.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
JS: For me, it means being present, feeling strong in my body and being grateful for the blessings in my life. It’s also important to remember to be kind. This could be as simple as complimenting a stranger, texting a friend and telling them how much you appreciate them or baking something yummy for your family.