In this installment of How She Glows, we talked to Jessica Sepel to learn about her beauty routine, the importance of self-love and what skin-loving foods keep her glowing daily. As a clinical nutritionist and founder of JSHealth, Jessica is passionate about helping her clients build a healthy relationship with food so that they feel empowered to overcome fad dieting and notions of the “perfect body.” She’s discovered that true beauty starts from within, and listening to your body and giving it exactly what it needs is key!
What’s your morning routine?
I’m a big believer in setting yourself with a consistent morning routine. Every morning, I wake up around 6:30 – 7 am. As soon as I wake up, I make a conscious effort to avoid checking my phone. Instead, I spend a few minutes practising deep belly breathing. I also practise gratitude and positive affirmations. I’ll say something like, ‘I practise gratitude for the abundance in my life’ and, ‘I’m thankful for my healthy body.’ This puts me in a good headspace for the day. If I have time, I’ll meditate for five to ten minutes. Next, I drink some hot water with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and pop my morning probiotic. I then move my body and alternate between yoga, walking and HIIT. After I’ve worked out, I make myself a nourishing breakfast (such as my power protein smoothie, go-to bircher or seeded toast with avocado and free-range eggs) and drink my one-a-day coffee. Then I change and get ready for a big day in the JSHealth office!
What’s your nighttime routine?
I believe that what we do in the lead-up to bedtime directly influences our quality of sleep, which is why I’ve established a nighttime routine. After work, I make a nourishing dinner, strictly switch off all devices by 8 pm and try to do something to relax my body. I’ll have a cup of herbal tea, enjoy a bath with Epsom salts, or watch a feel-good TV show. Before bed, I put my legs up against the wall for 10 minutes, switch off the lights and prepare for a restful night’s sleep.
What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care means nurturing your mind, body, and soul. I’m a nutritionist and while diet is a big part of the health puzzle, it’s not everything. You can drink all of the green juices in the world, but if you aren’t taking care of your mental and emotional health, then you’re not going to flourish to your potential. The JSHealth lifestyle encompasses all of this: nutrition, intuitive eating, mindful movement, self-love, body love, and more. It’s a holistic lifestyle that’s sustainable in the long-term.
In what ways has food influenced your approach to beauty?
I truly believe that beauty is an inside job. In other words, what you put in your body will be reflected on the outside. I’ve seen this work first-hand with thousands of JSHealth clients. It’s all about digestion and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. This is why I advocate for a diet of unprocessed whole foods, with plenty of greens, seasonal veggies, lean protein, oily fish, berries, legumes, nuts, seeds, and spices. These foods help to populate the gut with prebiotics and probiotics, which improve our gut flora and have flow-on effects such as clearer skin, brighter eyes, stronger hair, more energy, improved mood, and balanced hormones.
Do you have any go-to foods or meals for when you want glowing skin?
Yes, of course! Your fridge and pantry are your most powerful beauty assets. Here are a few of my favourite foods for glowing skin:
- Sustainably caught salmon
- Dark leafy greens
- Nuts (Brazil nuts, almond, walnuts)
- Flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds
- Goji berries
- Water – and lots of it!
In addition to these skin-loving foods, it’s important to consider other foods or lifestyle issues that might be causing skin irritation or flare-ups. In my experience, common triggers include dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol and excess caffeine. Try an elimination diet for one to four weeks and observe the changes in your skin.
Here are my other tips to healthy, glowing skin:
- Limit stress
- Stick to one coffee a day before 10 am
- Limit alcohol and enjoy one to two glasses on the weekend
- Get more rest
- Up your zinc intake
- Stay hydrated
- Detox your body and environment
- Drink water with lemon
- Avoid processed foods
Here are some of my favourite recipes for glowing skin:
What’s one piece of beauty-related advice that you share with your clients?
Eat a balanced, whole food diet! It’s one of the most important things you can do for your skin in the long-term. I have in-depth health, skin and beauty guides available in the JSHealth App.
What products or routine do you turn to when your skin isn’t at its best?
- Dab ACV: If I feel a pimple coming up, I dab a little apple cider vinegar on a cotton bud and wipe it over the area. It works like magic and helps to diminish blemishes overnight!
- Drink ACV: I add one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a two-litre water bottle and sip it throughout the day. It’s great for the gut and helps to promote clear skin.
- Let your skin breathe: I try not to wear much makeup and let my skin breathe.
- Make a natural facemask: I love to experiment and create a natural face mask using my pantry ingredients. Some options include Greek yoghurt, brown sugar, and avocado.
- Take vitamins: I’m passionate about holistic beauty, which is why I recently created JSHealth Vitamins. We’ve received thousands of verified reviews from customers saying that they’ve experienced a boost in energy, increase in hair growth, clearer skin and more!
- Stay hydrated: I simply can’t explain how important it is to stay hydrated. Water helps to replenish us on a cellular level, which aids in promoting healthy, blemish-free skin.
Want to keep up with Jessica? Follow her on Instagram @jshealth.