Meet Jessica, Raw Generation's Co-Founder and Certified Holistic Health Coach. Until relatively recently she'd been seriously struggling to figure out the best way to eat for her body and super hectic/active lifestyle. Debilitating low energy and the inability to lose weight (without massive effort) have plagued her for years. But after testing dietary theory after dietary theory on herself, she finally found one that works for her.
We sat down to discuss how she turned it all around...
How Jessica Took Back Control of Her Health & Weight
Nicole: What was the epiphany that turned everything around for you?
Jessica: I finally realized that I need a lot of protein!
N: How did you come to that conclusion?
J: It was after reading the book “Eat Right for Your Type” (and doing a test to find out what my blood type was) that I realized if I eat high protein, lots of fruit and vegetables, and almost no grains, I feel my best. And coupled with high-intensity interval training and cardio, it is so much easier for me to lose weight and feel energetic.
N: So how would you categorize your diet?
J: My diet is “paleo” which basically means no grains or processed and sugary foods. What you can eat on a paleo diet is this: meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and spices. I’ve found that, for me, this is the easiest diet to stick to and still have a social life and be running around and feel good.
N: What does your typical work day look like food-wise?
J: I’m 100% gluten and dairy free during the week. I wake up and want to get to the office as quickly as possible so I usually drink a juice or protein smoothie first thing before I have my black coffee. Depending on what time it is I either stop at my local health food store to pick up some roasted chicken or turkey and steamed vegetables for lunch, or I’ll drink juice and/or protein smoothies all day. Sometimes I order pre-cooked meals from a meal delivery service so I have my lunches on hand and ready to go. Sometimes l do some food prepping. It all depends on how busy my schedule is that week.
N: And for dinner?
J: For dinner, I usually eat some sort of meat or fish and vegetables. Occasionally I’ll snack on an apple with almond butter or a nut based protein bar later in the afternoon to hold me over.
N: So you're gluten and dairy free during the work-week, but what about the weekends?
J: The weekends are a whole other story. When I first started changing my diet around I thought it necessary to be strict 100% of the time, but that ended up backfiring. I’d feel so guilty when I couldn’t keep up my unrealistic expectations 7 days a week. So now my diet on the weekends depends on my social life. When I go out to dinner I’ll have a glass of wine (or 3) and if I’m at a party I eat whatever is available that won’t make me feel bad (like gluten and dairy do). Occasionally I'll eat cheese and crackers or pizza (one of my generally forbidden foods), but I try to stay away from these as much as possible.
N: I've seen firsthand that you drink A LOT of juice. Can you explain why you're such a raw juice fiend?
J: Because I don’t always have the time to sit down and eat a ton of vegetables, and it’s a fast way to get high doses of nutrition that I would have to eat a HUGE salad to get otherwise. Juicing has been a huge part of my diet since 2010 when I started to learn about nutrition... and I just don’t feel as good without it as I do when I drink it daily. I’ve gone periods of time where, for one reason or another, I haven’t had my daily juice. After a week or so I can feel the difference in my energy levels. It plummets.
N: What advice do you have for raw juice virgins, skeptics, and naysayers?
J: There are lots of juice haters out there. I always tell people to try it for themselves before they listen to anyone else’s nutrition advice. The results speak for themselves!
… And if your head is so filled with anti-juicing sentiments, that it’s stopping you from pulling the trigger, Jess debunks the most common juicing myths here...
Written by Nicole Neuhaus