You’re able to spread such a positive, healthy message through your work and social media, how did your own health journey start?
I've had a passion for food and health since I was super young. We grew up on a farm that was highly self-sufficient and my Mum cooked everything primarily from scratch. We hardly ever had unhealthy lunch boxes and would have snacks like fruit, nut bars and homemade biscuits. I don’t think we ever had a packet of chips for instance in there! My mum is also a wonderful cook and outstanding baker, so this was a major influence for me growing up. It instilled in me a real appreciation for making food from scratch and using fresh produce fresh from the garden. My nutrition passion kicked in an extra gear after some health issues of my own that lead me down the curious path of food as medicine. After some encouraging results I never looked back.
You founded the ‘Jessica Cox Nutritionist Clinic’ in Brisbane, what made you decide to take the leap to start your own business?
I was originally inspired to start the JCN Clinic due to a passion for treating gut health through nutrition. I witnessed the power of individualised nutrition and treatment on a daily basis in my earlier years of practice and wanted to create a business that really pushed this message and helped people find the answers to their gut health issues.
The JCN Clinic is purely a Nutritionist based practice. We are located in the heart of Brisbane, but our client base reaches nationally and internationally. At the JCN Clinic our number one focus is seeing our clients gain the support, empowerment and knowledge they need to improve their health through a whole-food nutritional approach. At the core of the JCN ethos is teaching our clients and community how to eat in a balanced and individualised way to suit their body and lifestyle needs. We also specialise in (and have built a name on) treating all facets of gut health utilising current and researched functional testing. Our treatment scope therefore encompasses a vast array of gut-based conditions and associated health issues relating to metabolism, hormones, chronic illness, fatigue and much more.
When you’re not at work, what will we find you doing?
Usually I would say renovating our house, buts it’s at a bit of a stand still at the moment. That means that generally I am getting creative in the kitchen, food shopping, attending Italian lessons, at the gym, walking on the bay listening to podcasts or at one of my local cafés. My husband and I are also massive tv series fans so I love some couch time to devour shows like Outlander and Downton Abbey.
You’re so passionate about nutrition, what’s the most rewarding thing about your job?
There are a lot off rewarding aspects to my job, which I am pretty stoked about. Overall, seeing people feel better after struggling with such frustrating and often debilitating health issues, especially related to gut health. I love hearing from clients how much they enjoy the food/recipes that we provide and that is ‘yummy’ and ‘so easy’. For me my job is super rewarding all the time. I also love working with such an amazing team at the JCN Clinic.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned throughout your career?
That even though owning and running your own business is a 24/7 job that never ends you must prioritise time for yourself and ensure you have periods to unwind alone and to also spend time with your family and friends. You know the saying, no one every got to their deathbed and wished they had of worked harder.
What’s the number one piece of advice you’d give someone that’s on their own health journey?
Make sure it’s your own health journey and no one else’s protocol. We are all individuals that require different dietary intakes and approached to our health. No one size fits all approach is every going to work. Seek out a health professional that treats you as an individual if needed. The JCN ethos is at its core about individualised treatment interwoven with implementing a sustainable macronutrient balanced diet that is right for you. That means an abundant and diverse intake of protein, complex carbohydrates and fats with each meal. It is certainly not excluding any food groups or demonizing any foods.
Your Instagram and blog are filled with healthy, YUMMY recipes, talk us through what a day of eating looks like for you!
It changes a lot depending on what I feel like and is heavily influenced by what season it is – produce wise and climate wise. Generally:
Pre work out (Mon – Fri) either my Pimped Up Matcha if just walking or if I am going to the gym a slice of my Gut Friendly Bread with peanut butter, seasonal fruit and lime or avocado & sauerkraut. I’d have a regular matcha latte with this too.
Post Work Out: either a buckwheat pancake with nut butter, seasonal fruit and black strap molasses or honey, or Gut Friendly Bread w avocado, parsley, eggs and evoo. Sometimes it’s my Key Lime Pie Smoothie.
Weekends is similar, but I’d go out on Sunday and have vegetable fritters with eggs at Satori Organics and a super dark hot choccy!
Morning Tea: may or may not have, depending on how I feel (after years of balanced eating I am good at listening to what my body needs). If I do have something, usually a boiled egg or a homemade protein ball.
Lunch: Usually a mix of left overs to make up a macro bowl. Generally carbs like batch cooked roast sweet potato/pumpkin or grains like quinoa, buckwheat pasta or brown rice. Then a whole lot of other roast vegetables batch cooked and some fresh greens like rocket or spinach or parsley. Fats will be some avocado or cashew cheese I’ve bought in for the week plus some evoo and protein is usually meat from the night before or salmon/tuna or eggs.
Afternoon Tea: similar to morning tea (if having), usually a Cookie Dough Protein Ball lately. Always a Green Tea w Rose Petals from The Source Bulk Foods.
Dinner: varies heaps. Lots of roast vegetable dishes, variety of proteins from local free-range sausages to salmon to whole baked chicken with spice rubs. I have some staples I love like my Garlicky Kale & Cauliflower w Pecans, Creamy Polenta, Spicy Chicken Drumsticks and Kofta Wraps. If my hubby cooks its Puttanesca or he has mastered my Chicken & Lemon Salad too.
Dessert: Always a dandelion tea with a good dash of rice milk. Occasionally with some 100% choccy from Noosa Chocolate Factory or a date stuffed w almond butter and cacao nibs.
Finally, if you were stuck on a desert island and could only take 5 foods with you, what would you take?
These questions literally stress my out! Food is too glorious to whittle down! Ok, they would be extra virgin olive oil, salt, lemons, almonds, matcha. I reckon with that I could be quite resourceful and make all the food I foraged/caught taste amazing and I could also have a matcha latte. Perfect!