Nutritionist’s ridiculous day on a plate
LET US introduce you to Jessica Sepel.
She is an Australian nutritionist - with a Bachelor of Health specialising in Nutritional Medicine - who has a range of cookbooks, an eight-week healthy diet plan and 182,000 Instagram followers.
Ms Sepel regularly shares healthy recipes and wellness tips with her followers and says she wants to help women "quit dieting and find freedom with food, weight and body".
It's a message she is passionate about, given her own history with disordered eating.
Ms Sepel has previously battled with a "serious eating disorder" and says she was a "chronic fad dieter" who used to binge, purge and feel lots of guilt when it came to food.
But now she says she has fully recovered and is back to being happy and healthy.
Ms Sepel is currently promoting her new range of Hair & Energy Formula vitamins, which cost $40 for a bottle of 60 capsules.
As part of her publicity plan, she has shared her "Day On A Plate" with Harper's Bazaar Australia in the current June/July issue.
Most of it is regular healthy food that you could expect a nutritionist to consume. Here's how the first half of her day pans out:
7.30-9am:Two glasses of filtered water, followed by a sip of hot water with freshly squeezed lemon juice. This helps the gastrointestinal tract, which absorbs and assimilates nutrients. This is followed by breakfast, my signature protein smoothie: almond milk, banana, berries, protein powder and chia seeds.
10am: My one-a-day coffee
11am: Carrot and cucumber sticks with hommus or a handful of almonds
So far pretty normal right? But next, during lunch time, Ms Sepel reveals her unusually strict rules when it comes to drinking water.
12.30-1pm: A nourishing bowl of brown rice as a base, topped with organise pesto-marinated chicken, avocado, pumpkin seeds and a big handful of rocket. I also ensure that I drink filtered water throughout the day as well as 20 minutes before each meal - not during!
We asked the Dietitian's Association of Australia (DAA) about drinking water during meals and here's what they had to say:
"Drinking water at any time of the day is fine. The most important consideration is to get enough to meet your daily fluid needs. So you can drink water before meals, during meals and any time of the day. It all counts towards keeping you hydrated," a DAA spokeswoman said.
"Drinking water before a meal can help fill you up going into a meal - which, for some people, may mean they're less likely to overeat. Drinking water with meals is a strategy some people use as a cue to get in a glass of water, if they struggle to get in enough fluid throughout the day," she said.
Here's how Ms Sepel's afternoon and evening pans out.
3-4pm: A cup of Greek yoghurt with a little cinnamon or a sugar-free protein ball.
6-7pm: An easy one-pan dinner, such as my Asian snapper with sesame, sweet potato and kale.
7-8pm: Twice a week, I'll treat myself to a sweet treat after dinner. I'll whip up a healthy, clean alternative from the JSHealth blog.
8.30pm: I switch off my phone to help my mind and body settle before bedtime. I put my legs up against the wall for 10 minutes to calm the parasympathetic nervous system and put the body in a rest-and-digest state. A cup of herbal tea later and then I'm ready for bed.
So, should you go home after work tonight and spend 10 minutes with your legs up against the wall?
The DAA says you can if you want, but you don't need to if you want to be healthy.
"If you feel you need to relax before bed time, taking some time out for yourself may help. Whether you choose to do this is entirely a personal decision - as is the way you might do this (lying down with legs elevated is an option - as is meditation, reading a book, and other strategies). It all comes down to what works for you as an individual," the spokeswoman said.
"The term 'rest and digest' is one that is used to describe when the parasympathetic nervous system is active e.g. working during times of rest, or during digestion. Conversely, the opposite, the sympathetic nervous system is often described as the 'fight or flight' system, meaning that it is active during times of action and stress). Your body activates these for a range of reasons, one of which is due to external cues from your environment."