Leading a healthy lifestyle is important to me. I think if you’re eating well and staying active you’ll generally have much more energy to get you through a very busy day. However juggling being a mum along with work and any other commitments means – and I’m sure a lot of women will agree with me – that I don’t always have as much time to focus on my health regime. I know some days are definitely better than others, but ultimately I’ll always try and approach each day with a healthy mindset. Here’s a peek at what I try and do each day.
I go for long walks…
Before I became a mum, I used to run a lot, go to the gym twice a week and do Pilates twice a week. I was really, really into it. However being a busy mum I’ve had to get creative with how I stay active as it’s not always easy finding the time to head to the gym or go to a class. I’m always running around after Sophia and Grace whether it’s at home, in the park or at the beach so that’s my cardio! I also do a lot of walking with the girls. Every morning we’ll do a pram walk and sometimes we’ll go in the afternoon as well. They love going for long walks so it’s a win-win for all of us.
I keep my meals simple…
I eat out a lot for work so when I’m at home I try and keep things as basic as possible. Typically we’ll have something like chicken and salad or steak and vegies. I also eat a lot of fruit and vegetables throughout the day and drink loads of water. I don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen but still want to eat well so I will always try and find the quickest and easiest way to whip up a healthy meal.
I love juices…
I think freshly squeezed juices are great, especially when I’m on the go. They’re quick… and they’re portable! I always try and incorporate some vegies into my juices so I can squeeze in an extra dose of vegetables each day. When I’m running around I always get an orange, carrot and ginger juice. If I’m pressed for time, a juice is an easy and healthy option for me.
Tell me – what are some things you like to do to stay healthy?
We’re all so health conscious these days that it’s often hard to differentiate what’s fact and what’s fad. Nutritionist Jessica Sepel is one person who is aiming to make being healthy easier, more sustainable and most of all, enjoyable. Jessica, through her popular blog, books and new app is trying to ensure that looking after our health becomes a lifestyle rather than a chore. We caught up recently to chat about the one question she gets asked the most, why she’s packing up and moving to LA and why she wants me to cook kalettes for dinner…
Hi lovely. Good to see you. Thank you so much for joining me today.
Thank you for having me what a gorgeous morning.
What have you been up to lately?
So I have just launched my app and vitamins so it’s been a really busy 2018 for me. A lot going on but also moving to LA next week. Very exciting.
What’s a day in the life of you?
Day in the life of me is wake up probably seven, 7.30 and I practice yoga normally, either yoga or a walk in nature and I have a JS Health [Jessica’s health program] breakfast. I actually don’t check social media or my emails or any of that until after a really beautiful morning routine, then I hit the office just like everyone else about 9 o’clock and full of meetings, recipe creation, technical meetings now because of the app and then finish work six, seven o’clock, make dinner for my husband and I, and I go into bed early.
You’ve had such an incredible journey did you always want to be a nutritionist?
I always wanted to be a nutritionist, but I absolutely didn’t have a dream bigger than that. I’ve studied health and nutrition for five years. After school, I went up to study nutrition, and then in my fourth year of study I started a blog just very casually, but I’ve always just wanted to be in private practice, that was my end goal. But then the blog took off and that’s how it kind of turn into a brand which is JS Health and JS Health turned into the books. And the books turned into a program and the program turned into an app and vitamins.
Did you have any idea that you’d be doing books, vitamins… apps?
No, no way. I always say if I can do it anyone can because I have zero business skills, zero business training…but I guess I’m really passionate about the healthy life and that as you know, when you’re passionate about something you can make it work. The best part of JS Health is that it’s this community, this really strong loyal community who have supported me and I’m supporting them on this journey to live a healthier life.
What would be some of your top tips for living a healthy lifestyle?
I actually think removing the pressure to do it all right. JS Health really is all about balance, of course making the best choices that you can most of the time, but then also allowing for flexibility, balance, moderation.
My tip is making one to two small changes a week that creates profound physical change in the body. Also, developing or fostering a wholesome relationship with your body is probably the first step when it comes to living a healthy life. Because when you love yourself and you want to take care of yourself, you automatically make healthy choices. We have to start to change our mentality around a healthy life and see it as this long term journey and make small changes week by week.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you see people make?
Definitely the attachment to extreme and fat diets that is the biggest mistake, because unfortunately the minute we restrict and deprive our foods it always leads to overeating, binging, emotional eating and having this really complicated relationship with food. We’re not meant to be so complicated with food. Food is here to nourish us, to energise us.
Social media, especially in your world, must have such great benefits but also such negatives as well.
Yeah, definitely and I feel like I’m in the middle of both of those worlds because I’m trying to encourage people to live a healthier life, but I don’t want them to feel like that is the perfect life. I always say the healthy life does not mean the perfect life, but obviously it’s my role to inspire my community with healthy food all the time. I also always encourage people to only follow people who inspire you and unfollow the people that you are comparing yourself to. You know when you’re following an account do you feel good when you look at it? Does is it inspire you, does it excite you, does it motivate you or you’re like, “oh gosh, I wish I had that, I should be looking like that.” If you’re feeling pressure and anxiety in any small way, it’s a good idea to unfollow.
Tell me about your app. Congratulations, it’s very exciting.
Thank you, so with the app I feel like it’s been like 10 years in the making to get to this point because I had a very complicated relationship with food as a young teenage girl as a chronic fad dieter. I was like 13 when I just got into dieting, which is very weird at that time because there was no social media. So I think I was actually reading those trashy celebrity magazines and following what they were doing.
It’s amazing how young that all starts.
Really young. And then I have had this complicated relationship with food until after school and then that’s when I went to study health and nutrition and then that’s when I started documenting my transition from being this fad dieter to becoming more of a balanced eater. And then I started documenting it into a blog and then I start writing about the recipes that I was creating and developing into the blog and so the app is really just a manifestation of my philosophy, of my principles, the recipes that people have loved all these years, and really it teaches you how to give up dieting for life. It is giving you access to a nutritionist 24/7. I have a whole team someone can just ask at any time.
It’s kind of a game changer, there’re 53 health guides, so kind of a virtual online nutrition clinic. So if you suffer with your sleep you’ll go into the sleep room and you’ll capture the JS Health sleep guide, nutrition guide, lifestyle guide for sleep, and then if you need further support there’s a nutritionist there guiding you through that whole journey or whatever you might be struggling with. I guess everyone wants a nutritionist in their pocket. We’re all on our phones all the time, so the app is really just this way for people to have access to my philosophy and my recipe with absolute ease.
You gave me these amazing kalettes for my dinner tonight, what am I cooking tonight with these?
I’m inspiring you to cook tonight, well firstly because you have kids and kids love chips, and kalettes are basically a very nutritious chip. You can bake them in the oven with some olive oil and sea salt, pop them into the oven for like 20 to 30 minutes and they turn into crispy chips and then you can use Hummus or Tahini to dip them or I chop them up and I sauté them with leeks and mushrooms and then I add goat’s cheese. So it’s like a kale stir fry topped with goat’s cheese and leeks and it’s just so delicious. I bought you some mushrooms and leeks to go with the kalettes, which you can get from Coles!
So you must be a good cook?
I wouldn’t say like I’m an amazing cook, but I’m really good at discovering healthy alternatives to our favourite foods and cooking simply but tasty, like I think you can still be a foodie even if you’re health conscious. We have this perception that healthy food is bland and boring and tasteless, I’m really trying to break that conception and show people that healthy food can be really delicious and satisfying and rich and decadent.
What’s your go-to recipe?
Probably the JS Health Japanese salmon, which is basically like a healthy teriyaki sauce over salmon with probably cauliflower mash.
What’s the number one question that people ask you?
Definitely energy, how do I get more energy? I think energy is such a big issue, right now for women especially so that’s one of them. Sugar cravings, how do I combat sugar cravings and gut health? I think those three are the most commonly asked questions in the JS Health community.
What do you say when it comes to energy?
So when it comes to energy, you really want to make sure that your gut is in good shape. So with gut health I will really give them a gut treatment protocol to get their gut back in shape. Really starting with food and not being too worried about it but cutting out those foods that will probably make you feel tired, and the two most common triggers are gluten and wheat and refined sugar. So if you just take a four week break from those two and see if your energy improves, which 90 percent of the time it does, then those are the two culprits to kind of reduce. When I say give up gluten, I mean you can still go out on the weekends and have your piece of salad and have your toast it’s just I have found from clinical experience, gluten does make people feel tired. A lot more sleep and also going to bed by 10.30, 11 anything after that can, people wake up feeling really tired.
Australians drink a lot of coffee. I love coffee I’m never giving up my one a day, but I normally say one a day before 10:00 AM because having caffeine from midday onwards can really interfere with your cortisol and adrenal glands, which can really affect your sleep and can make you feel really tired the next day. So I say try and stop at 10 or maybe the latest midday and you should notice the energy started to pick up.
Is going out to restaurants ever tricky?
I mean restaurants are also catering to the health conscious so you can always find a healthy option wherever you are. I think it really is just about making sure you have the macro nutrients to keep you full and satisfied at meals. So making sure you have your protein, your veggies and making sure you have your fibre from your veggies, making sure you have a bit of a complex or releasing carb, lots of good fats.
Do you ever indulge?
What is your biggest indulgence?
I love gelato. I love going out on a Saturday night and having wine and definitely trying the dessert. I’m a foodie so I want to go to these beautiful restaurants and experience the food. So actually because my life is so healthy and every day is based around the healthy life, I actually got out of my way to break that and be flexible with food and travel and go to new restaurants and try the food because I think that is the healthy life.
What do you do for fun when you’re not working, what do you do with your husband?
That’s a good question. I definitely need to improve on getting the fun back into my life because my husband is the CEO of JS Health so we work together, it’s really challenging. For me, honestly like fun is taking Saturday off going for a massage, practicing yoga, really not checking my emails and my phone and having a really beautiful dinner somewhere. And travel is what brings me so much joy and fun. Seeing the world, seeing different cultures, seeing more different food, experiencing different food I guess that to me is what I really look forward to in life.
What is it like working with your husband?
Interesting. We work really well together because we have so much respect for each other. And when you respect someone, it’s very rare that we break each other’s boundaries or speak to each other in a negative way. But it’s challenging in the fact that our life is work now, but there’s this amazing holly bow underneath, this is like my dream. We work together, we spend every waking moment together.
Tell me about moving to LA are you excited/ nervous?
Yeah, there’s a lot of fear. It’s a big move. I guess I have such a beautiful loyal community here and I will never leave that and I’ll always continue to nourish an Australian community, but this app, the app and the vitamins really does need to be in the American market and I think, I hope to build a JS Health community over there. The JS Health message is really unique because it’s really helping women around the world give up the diets, give up the fads, give up on the extremes around food and finally find balance and peace with food and their bodies, and so I really think America needs that. Hollywood needs that.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Well, my mum always has said hard work never goes unnoticed, and so every time you know, we all have those days and those moments where you’re like, is all of this work actually worth it? But then I remember she says, you’ll see, you’ll see the hard work will get acknowledged and noticed. I think people don’t have a really true perception of what it takes to build something. It’s really not easy, it’s really not glamorous, it’s gruelling and you actually have to be relentless. My dad has always said, keep going, keep going, keep pushing it’s the only way I guess to do what you want to do and create what you want to create.
Amazing. I wish you the best of luck over in LA!
Thanks Kate, thank you so much.
Try Jessica’s recipe for this one pan dukkah crusted salmon dish below.
This easy one-pan dinner shows how to make a meal that’s nutritious, quick and easy.
2 x salmon fillets
1 x packet kalettes, stem removed
½ cauliflower head, cut into florets
2 tbsp olive oil or olive oil spray
Himalayan salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
2 tbsp dukkah spice
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C if fan-forced). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place two salmon fillets in the middle of the baking tray, surrounded by the kalettes and cauliflower florets.
Spray olive oil over the veggies and salmon. Season with the salt and pepper, to taste.
Top each salmon fillet with 1 tbsp of the dukkah spice. Pat it down.
Place the prepared baking tray in the oven for 12–15 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and the vegetables are lovely and roasted. Serve warm and enjoy. Pro tip: make extra veggies for lunch!
I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who are in the same boat—juggling work, family, and friends can become a neverending spiral of busyness. From school drop-offs to meetings and trying to get my inbox clear (one day I’ll get to Inbox Zero!) it doesn’t stop. I’ve realised along the way that if I just keep going without looking after myself no one benefits. My energy levels drop and I can become rundown and end up not functioning at my best and this affects both my family and career. This is why I’ve tried to incorporate some little rituals into my week to ensure that I give myself the best chance to stay fit and healthy. Whether it’s five minutes to have a cup of tea or a daily run, I know everyone has their own little ways of nourishing themselves. Here are mine…
Go for a daily walk and coffee run
It’s become a daily event for the kids and I to take a leisurely stroll down to my local cafe to grab a coffee. It’s a nice way for the three of us to start the day and it’s especially nice during summer as we can enjoy the sunshine. I’m able to get my daily caffeine hit and find it’s a great way to ease ourselves into what’s sure to be a busy day.
Go to bed early
I used to go to bed quite late but that all changed when I became a mum. My girls are early risers so I’ve got into the habit of heading to bed between 9.30-10.30 every day. By sticking to this religiously I’ve found I’m able to get enough sleep and have enough energy to deal with a full day constantly being on the go with Sophia and Grace.
Incorporate exercise into my week
I’ve recently joined a local mum club that trains at the beach near my house and have found it to make such a difference to my overall health and state of mind. I do it twice a week, and I’ve found that being able to do a workout helps boost my energy levels and gives me the stamina to get through my hectic schedule. We do lots of circuit training so it’s definitely helped my fitness.
Try and incorporate ‘me time’ into my routine
It’s hard not to get caught up in the craziness of work and family life but I’ve tried to make a point of taking a little time out for myself every so often. Even if it’s just an hour or so to do something on my own. I’ve found it works wonders for my mental health and wellbeing. I’m also lucky in that a lot of the time my work commitments and ‘me time’ intersect. If I’m going to a few racing events for example, getting my nails done and my hair tended to is all part of the process, so I can combine the two and enjoy a little break.
Samuel Leetham and Saasha Burns are the husband and wife team behind achingly cool vitamin brand BEAR. The brand’s minimalist aesthetic from its packaging to its Instagram account would not look out of place on a beauty campaign however its their commitment to producing quality products which makes BEAR stand out in an overcrowded vitamin and supplement market. Their bespoke line of essential vitamins (there are four in the range) focuses on using quality ingredients of the highest quality and proven efficacy.
According to the couple, “We’re working with some amazing suppliers all over the world, from a globally certified organic farm on a Tibetan plateau to a family owned organic farm in the Byron Bay hinterland. BEAR uses activated ingredients which are more readily absorbed by the body and can therefore provide more immediate benefits.”
Here Samuel and Saasha chat to me about all things wellbeing including their tips for a healthy lifestyle and number one go-to meal…
What is a day in the life of you?
Every day is so different, which we love. We could be focusing on BEAR product development, working on our marketing strategy, catching up with our team, creating content, or organising our next trip away. We love being close to the beach and getting away to Byron Bay whenever we can, but spend most of our time between Sydney and our hometown Melbourne.
We are currently based in London and are planning our BEAR US launch in Palm Springs next month, which is pretty exciting. We love starting the morning with a glass of water with lemon and our EXPLORE Essential Daily Vitamins. We find walking is the best way to clear our mind and discover a city, and at the moment we love the routine of getting a coffee from Modern Society and wandering down Redchurch Street to The Ace Hotel. It’s a great spot full of creatives working away in the heart of Shoreditch. It’s going to be hard to leave!
What does healthy and fit mean to you?
For us, health is all about balance. We love enjoying simple, high quality food and seeking out unprocessed, unrefined ingredients to support and strengthen our body and mind. We love spending time outdoors and enjoy running, walking, yoga and swimming in the ocean to stay physically fit, and most importantly motivated and inspired.
What inspired the BEAR range?
We both love thoughtful design and quality products. We love discovering bespoke international brands on our travels and have always been drawn to objects with a clean, minimalist aesthetic with a clear point of difference. Throughout the BEAR journey, we have been inspired by strong Australian brands such as Aesop and New York based Le Labo. We wanted to create a gender neutral product that fit seamlessly into your morning beauty and grooming routine, and contained the highest quality, simplified ingredients proven in efficacy, safety and stability.
What is your favourite product in the BEAR range?
We love EXPLORE which was specifically designed for travellers. It’s a great ‘all rounder’ with a strong B Vitamin foundation for energy support, together with Vitamin C to help promote improved immune function and antioxidant Vitamin E to protect against cellular damage. Rhodiola is another great ingredient to help fight fatigue, improve stress adaptation and enhance physical performance.
BEAR’s minimalist approach to holistic health sets it apart in an overcrowded market
What’s your go-to healthy meal?
We naturally eat meals that contain fresh, wholesome ingredients that are unrefined and unprocessed wherever possible. We love starting the day with a good brekkie, and can’t go past poached eggs on sourdough with avocado.
What are your tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
Get a good night’s sleep, walk wherever possible, drink lots of water, take a BEAR Essential Daily Vitamin everyday, and spend time in nature.
What do you do to wind-down?
Spend time with family and friends, ideally by the beach, drinking wine in the sunshine.
Tim Robards and I at Sticky Fingers Cafe in Surry Hills
Tim Robards rose to fame as the Bachelor in the first season of The Bachelor Australia in 2013. Recently the chiropractor and fitness trainer has been on magazine covers in Australia and the US. Robards, 34, tells me about the key to getting fit, his advice to the next Bachelor, and when he thinks he will pop the question to his girlfriend, Anna Heinrich.
Tim showing off his fit physique. Photo: @mrtimrobards
Did you always want to be a sports chiropractor?
Yes, I was always interested in the sports side of things … I like helping people be the best that they can be … Instead of just treating people’s pain, I actually want to just make people function better … A lot of people usually come in with a problem or something in their life they’re not happy with, so you’ve go, “Right, what’s the cause? Let’s address the cause.”
Were you a sporty kid at school?
I was always pretty academic – I was into maths and did physics and all that, the sciencey sort of stuff, the nerdy stuff … I was kind of small, so I started hitting the gym in year 7, when I was 13. I was training every day, growing some size and strength. Most kids at that age, none of them had gone to a gym, so when I went to play footy I was actually pretty good because I just had that strength and, I guess, the determination and discipline.
Tell me about The Robards Method.
It took about nine months to get the app where we wanted to get it, but it is pretty unique in that it uses the minimal amount of equipment to get the maximum amount of result … I wanted something to get more people outside – something that gets fresh air, a good place to de-stress. We incorporated the use of Olympic rings … There is a level for everyone.
How has The Bachelor changed your life?
That experience has proven one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. Every day I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone and it makes you grow as a person … It was great to have an audience … and people that love following your story.
Did you actually think you would meet the love of your life when you first went into the show?
I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think so … I said to them, “If this is just a show about drama and you just want some guy on, I don’t want to be part of it.”
Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich. Photo: @mrtimrobards
What would be your advice to someone going into the show?
I think if you’re going in as the Bachelor or Bachelorette, you’ve got to be really, really clear on what you want. If you really want another relationship, it’s going to show, but if you’re just getting there to get a boost of your profile, it comes through. The camera doesn’t lie.
So the big question is: is there is a proposal on the horizon?
I think the key to us being successful in our relationship is keeping it real, and that is also part of what I would suggest to someone: even though you’re on a show, don’t get swept up on a TV show, like in a fairyland … We haven’t rushed things because obviously everyone wants to see that, they either want to see the relationship continues and flourish or fail. So I want to do things when I’m ready.
Do you ever feel the pressure to pop the question?
No, I wouldn’t want to do it because I feel the pressure. I would do it when I feel just completely excited and ready and everything kind of falls into place. At the moment, we’ve got a wedding every second weekend. So when do you get time around other people’s weddings? We’ve got to wait till the wedding season cools down, so that it can be kind of special. Otherwise, literally, the next day you have to go and be celebrating someone else’s wedding that day.
What’s the funniest headline you’ve ever read about you guys?
Definitely there has been a couple about a baby surprise! And once there was a photograph of me leaving work with my lunch box and they are like, “Yeah, it’s official, Tim and Anna have broken up and he’s moving out”.
What’s your number one fitness tip?
Just start with a simple little habit change; it’s all about habits. So if you can just start with changing one thing in your diet and just add one little bit of exercise – maybe a walk, and maybe once a week but then soon it will probably turn into twice a week or three times a week and then turn into a jog. So, I think, set your goals, but start with small steps.
What do you indulge on?
Probably Jude’s food [Jude is Anna’s mother] … Usually once a week or once a fortnight [we] have a three-course meal, some big sugary desert, and I just go like, “All right, I’ve been pretty good during the week” and I just let loose.
What’s an ideal weekend for you?
I love little adventures, I love to get out of Sydney or at least to new parts of Sydney sometimes. So we might pack up to mum and dad’s up in Newcastle; to Toronto, which is always nice; or just heading up towards Palm Beach. Sometimes it is nice if we’ve got something in Sydney … go to Kings Cross, go to boxing class together, go back, go to the beach on a quiet little spot.
Tim on to cover of Men’s Health. Photo: @mrtimrobards
Congratulations on your US Men’s Health covers. How did that come about?
Basically now I’ve had three covers in Australia, two of them got picked up by the US last year … So right now, I think I’ve got like 30 covers or something around the world.
What about your partnership with ALDI?
It’s kind of in line with my values – fitness should be accessible to everyone … and that is where these guys help make fitness apparel to make it accessible to as many people as possible … So I am working with them for at least a year.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I would probably like to see to kids on the way, I would like to have a family – obviously with Anna. From a work point of view, [with] the Robards Method, I’d love to build that community and make that international community and sort of keep influencing and changing people’s ideas on health and healthcare.