One of Australia’s top nutritionists has shared her top 10 golden health rules for 2022 – and why setting a ‘diet resolution’ is a bad idea.
Jessica Sepel, the founder of multimillion-dollar Australian health empire JSHealth, says diets are ‘not designed to be sustainable’ and the pressure to follow the ‘perfect’ program often leads to it backfiring.
‘You do not need a resolution to diet to live the healthy life, you just need to create positive habits, rituals and routines – and make a few small changes each week,’ she wrote.
‘Putting yourself on a crazy diet will only last short-term. There is a much simpler way to achieve your best health and mental peace. We have to start to think of the healthy life as a long-term, forever situation. A lifestyle, not a diet.’
Jessica Sepel, the founder of multimillion-dollar Australian health empire JSHealth , says diets are ‘not designed to be sustainable’ and the pressure to follow the ‘perfect’ program often leads to it backfiring
1. ONE STEP AT A TIME
Jessica says it’s important to remember everything doesn’t need to be done at once.
‘Remember that the journey to better health is not something achieved overnight,’ she said.
‘Even if you begin your journey in winter you’ll already feel revitalised by the time summer comes around.’
2. TRY ONE NEW EXERCISE
Trying one new exercise and committing to doing it once a week is a great way to stay motivated and get in shape without the pressure of a strict challenge.
‘Gradually increase your exercise to two or three times a week, and build up the habit slowly,’ Jessica said.
‘Remember that the exercises do not have to be strenuous and can be as simple as walking around the park.’
Trying one new exercise and committing to doing it once a week is a great way to stay motivated and get in shape without the pressure of a strict challenge
3. BE KIND TO YOURSELF AS YOU TRY NEW THINGS
Going into any goal with an overly competitive mindset may be your downfall.
‘You may not be the best in your first pilates class (or your second), but it’s important to remember that every small step you make is helping you lead a happier and healthier life,’ Jessica said.
‘You can do this by experimenting with different produce and trying to eat in season – it’s cheaper and nature gives us what we need at different times of the year,’ she said.
Summer seasonal veggies include asparagus, cucumber, celery, zucchini and peas.
Recipe: How to make Jessica Sepel’s Nachos Nourish Bowls
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 400g tin black beans, rinsed & drained
1 head cos lettuce, shredded
2 handfuls corn chips
½ cup corn kernels, we used frozen
½ avocado, smashed
3 tbsp Greek yoghurt, optional, or coconut yoghurt for dairy-free
40g (1.4oz) cheddar cheese, grated, omit for dairy-free
6 jalapeno slices
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ cucumber, diced
1/8 red onion, diced
½ lime, juiced
1/8 bunch coriander, leaves shredded
1. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick pan over a medium high heat. Add the red onion, garlic, cumin and sweet paprika and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the onion has softened.
2. Add the black beans to the pan with a splash of water. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Sauté for a further 3-4 minutes.
3. To make the salsa, combine all of the ingredients in small bowl and stir to combine. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
4. To assemble your nacho bowl, arrange the shredded cos lettuce and corn chips across the base of 2 serving bowls. Add the bean mix, corn kernels and salsa. Top with smashed avocado, Greek yoghurt, cheddar cheese and jalapeno slices.
5. BE HEALTHY ON A BUDGET
‘Be efficient with the cost of looking after your health where you can,’ Jessica said.
‘Look around for different gyms, and see what extra value your health insurance could offer you.
‘The GymBetter app, for example, gives Medibank members access a wide network of gyms with cheap casual rates, so it can fit in with your lifestyle and budget.’
6. AVOID ALCOHOL AND STIMULANTS
Jessica follows a balanced approach and moderates her intake of alcohol and caffeine.
‘They can cause you to make unhealthy choices without even realising. Even though it is tempting to hibernate with a bottle of red wine at night, try switching it for herbal tea instead,’ she said.
‘Your body will thank you for this one! As with everything, cut down slowly – health is a journey and a lifestyle, not a fad.’
Jessica follows a balanced approach and moderates her intake of alcohol and caffeine
7. GET YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ON BOARD
Jessica recommends sharing the new recipes or exercises you’re trying with the people you love.
‘This will make the journey to better health more fun and keep you all accountable to stick to your plans’ she said.
The health guru often shares her favourite recipes across her social pages and website.
8. EXPERIMENT IN THE KITCHEN
If you’re making an effort to eat more veggies, try roasting or steaming them as opposed to frying.
Investing in an air fryer is a great way to find inspiration in the kitchen and try out new and innovative recipes.
9. BELIEVE YOU CAN DO IT
‘You are powerful and can live the life you have always wanted – no doubts,’ Jessica concluded.
‘Only put out positive thoughts. Thinking that way takes practice, but what have you got to lose?’