Nutritionist Jessica Sepel has answered the most common questions she is asked by clients – including whether she drinks alcohol, if she believes in fasting and how you can really heal your gut.
The Sydney expert has been helping people with their health for the past decade, and is a huge believer in what you put into your body, you see reflected on the outside.
While getting your nutrition right is hard in 2020, Jessica acknowledged that there is no need to be bamboozled by the likes of juice cleanses, collagen, supplements and fasting – and with a little information, you can know what is best for you.
So what are the questions she is commonly asked?
Nutritionist Jessica Sepel (pictured) has answered the most common questions she is asked by clients – including whether she drinks alcohol
Jessica explained that it is possible to heal your gut, but you need to prioritise a diet that is rich in wholefoods (pictured), and low in processed foods, chewing gum, soda and sugar
1. How can you heal your gut?
The nutritionist said she sees a lot of people who are worried about their gut microbiome, which is so easily damaged through eating the wrong foods (fried or processed foods are a common culprit) or drinking too much alcohol.
‘Healing your gut takes time and patience,’ Jessica posted on her website.
The first step is focusing on a diet that is rich in wholefoods such as leafy greens, vegetables and complex carbohydrates, and limiting or cutting processed foods, sugar and artificial sweeteners altogether.
Jessica said you could also look at ditching gluten for a period, if you find bread and pasta to be a trigger.
There are two things that you should give up without fail, however, and that is chewing gum and soda.
Many chewing gums are made with artificial sweeteners like sorbitol and xylitol, which have been shown to cause diarrhea.
In addition, chewing gum leads to more air being swallowed, which can result in excess gas.
‘Taking a daily probiotic and reducing your stress can also make a huge difference to your gut, as can adding some gut-loving vitamins to your daily routine,’ Jessica said.
B and C vitamins, as well as zinc and magnesium are the best ingredients to look out for when you’re in the supplements aisle.
The nutritionist (pictured) is not a fan of fasting, because she said any dietary approach like this is unsustainable in the long term
2. What are your thoughts on fasting?
While Jessica said she is aware that there is some ‘great research’ behind the likes of the 5:2 diet and fasting in general, from her own experience, fasting is never sustainable in the long term.
‘Deprivation and restriction around food in any form always seems to backfire, leading to overeating or promoting an unhealthy relationship with food,’ she said.
Instead, you should try and aim for balance, and give yourself 80 per cent of what is good for you, and 20 per cent of what you love.
For Jessica, while this might mean a day of fruit, leafy green vegetable salads and miso-coated salmon, it also means she can enjoy a glass of red wine or a square of dark chocolate in the evening.
Jessica said that she does allow herself to drink alcohol including gin (stock image) and wine, but she only drinks natural, preservative-free wine without added sulfates
3. Do you drink alcohol?
Many assume that nutritionists and health experts don’t allow themselves any alcohol, but Jessica said this isn’t the truth.
Instead, she explained it’s all about moderation.
‘I love wine! I drink natural, preservative-free wine without added sulfates,’ Jessica said.
She also sticks to 2-3 drinks at a time, so she knows she’ll never wake up with a foggy head and be forced to eat unhealthy foods to squash a craving.
4. Do you prefer juicing or smoothies?
The nutritionist explained that even though she doesn’t do either juicing or smoothies instead of food, she is a fan of both – and sometimes both on a daily basis.
Jessica said she often starts her mornings with a smoothie, as she finds it to be a great way to get all of her macronutrients in first thing.
She often also has a vegetable juice later on in the day, jam packed with foods like celery, lemon, cucumber, apple and spinach.
Jessica (pictured) said she generally believes the hype around supplemented collagen, particularly the marine variety
5. What are your thoughts on collagen?
Collagen has been getting a lot of press in recent times, with thousands of devotees claiming it makes them look and feel younger.
Jessica said she generally believes the hype around supplemented collagen, particularly the marine variety.
‘Marine sources of collagen are far better absorbed that other forms of collagen, in particular hydrolysed marine collagen, which provides the cleanest, most easily absorbed source of collagen we can enjoy,’ she said.
The reason why hydrolysed collagen works so well is because it has undergone a process called hydrolysis, which means it’s easier for your body to absorb.
Jessica said she always chooses marine collagen supplements over bovine collagen (extracted from beef processing).
This is because it’s more ethical and sustainable.
To follow Jessica Sepel on Instagram, you can visit her profile here.