I accidentally came across this book at a Christmas party with some of my best girlfriends. It was part of the secret santa pile that was opened and I was immediately envious of the one who opened it and got to take it home! Firstly because it had a pretty cover, but secondly as I looked through the pages over the shoulder of my lucky friend I decided it was a book I wanted to read for myself!
So, I put it on my Christmas list and opened it the next week!
I have read this book cover to cover multiple times, and like a few of my other favourite books it comes on holiday with me (much to the distress of my poor husband who has to lug it around in our bags). But it is so worth reading and refreshing myself on the principles of healthy, balanced living that we all agree and get on with carrying the bags.
Jessica Sepel is a Sydney based clinical nutritionist and has a huge following on her blog and social media accounts for good reason. Her balanced and holistic approach to health and wellbeing is incredible and I actually have never experienced advice in these areas in the way she provides it! Jessica teaches that everything is about moderation, and finding what works for you while making it very easy and practical to live a healthy life nutritionally, emotionally and physically.
This is her first book and it is far more than a recipe book! In fact I would say that the recipes are simply practical ways to put in place her lifestyle and health advice that makes up the majority of the book. The Healthy Life covers topics such as;
Sometimes when I recommend the book to people I tell them to fully read the first part of the book so they don't focus on the recipes and think they know all the 'stuff' at the beginning. I think it is so important to be teachable in many areas of life and this is not an exception, the guidance at the beginning of this book is life changing if you allow yourself to be refreshed on some things and taught many new things through a new and gentle approach!
Not only is the advice incredibly balanced and achievable, this is the first healthy cookbook where the recipes continuously work and taste delicious! We make many of the recipes in this book regularly in our house hold and my husband jokes that it's the only healthy book he trusts (I have others and he told his sister once that when I left one of them out on the bench he had hoped I wasn't cooking dinner from it haha!)
I have learnt so many things from Jessica and I highly recommend her website, books, and social media accounts to anyone I get chatting to about health and nutrition. Her blog and instagram pages are some of the only ones I go back to (sometimes multiple times a day) to check if there is new content! I'm a bit of a fan.
What I also love about The Healthy Life is that is so empowering-it really teaches you how to think, shop, plan and cook healthily for yourself and your lifestyle. It includes guides to make smoothies, over night oats, salads, and other things so you can learn how to combine all of the basic and important nutritional requirements for a balanced lifestyle into meals and drinks that you like according to your tastes.
A few of my favourite things about The Healthy Life:
- It taught me to slow down and the benefits of living a healthy and balanced life.
- It taught me to appreciate my body and what it is capable of (something I've never really understood or accepted).
- It taught me practical ways to eat healthily in an interesting but very very simple way.
- It taught me about moderation-that you might 'not eat' something like sugar but it's ok to decide on a day to eat something special and know that your body can cope with it.
- It taught me to stop feeling guilty about food and other related areas of my life.
- It taught me basic nutritional information and how to incorporate what my body needs into my diet.
- It taught me the importance of a holistic approach to health and nutrition, nothing is in isolation and everything works together.
- It taught me the importance of gut health (I have seen major improvements since learning and practicing more to do with this!)
- It taught me just how connected every part of our Spirit, body and mind is and to appreciate and work with this.
A few of my favourite recipes from The Healthy Life:
Tried & tested I have made all of these so many times I nearly know the recipes by heart (not quite but honestly they are that good!)
- Blueberry, Orange and Ricotta Hotcakes
- Breakfast Protein Balls
- Japanese Inspired Salmon
- Prawn & Zuccini Noodles
- Spiced Cauliflower, Pumpkin Seed and Carrot Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing
- Homemade Walnut Pesto
- Tahini Lemon Dressing
- Chocolate Paleo Souffle
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Nice Cream
- Berry Fig & Almond Crumble
- Chocolate Almond Mousse
- Raspberry & Coconut Sweet Loaf
These recipes are also easy to substitute so if I don't have all of the ingredients in the pantry I use her guides as to what else I can use instead. Plus the ingredients lists are manageable and usually once you've set up a 'healthy' pantry you'll have everything you need anyway!
There is so much more that I have learnt from this book (and from Jessica!) but I would keep writing forever so I simply recommend you have a look for yourself!
You can find Jessica at www.jessicasepel.com or on Instagram at @jshealth.