Welcome to our Insider series, bringing you interviews and insights from experts + creatives from around the globe sharing insights and inspiration to live a more simple and beautiful life.
This week we meet with mother of three and clinical nutritionist & herbalist Jessica Hoskins (@nourishedbyjessica). We chat about how and why she became a nutritionist, her shift to focussing on the health of women after childbirth and their children and what inspires her. Jessica also shares her top tips for approaching a healthier lifestyle and how she keeps her family nourished everyday (and how you can too).
My journey to becoming a nutritionist and herbalist.
My journey into to my profession and eventually my clinical focus was a very natural and organic process.
In my early twenties, I was living in London and working in the film and television industry, which meant a lifestyle of long hours in the office and then hitting the town most night - which eventually led to a decline in my health. I became curious about nutrition and embarked on a journey of self-recovery and consciousness, learning everything I could from the books I bought at my local health food store. When I eventually returned to Australia, it was the start of the global financial crisis and finding a job in my industry was really tough, but I knew deep down that returning to that lifestyle was not what I wanted, so I decided to shift focus. Within a week, everything aligned and the next thing I knew, I was at university full-time, embarking a health science degree.
Over the course of a decade, my clinical focus shifted towards working with families. Then, after my own experience with postpartum depletion, I felt called to support Mamas. In 2019 I created a guided eight week program called the Nourished Mother, aimed to help women nourish and replenish in the years after giving birth. This is where my true heart of clinical practice lies, I just love supporting these women and seeing them thrive.
What I’ve learnt about keeping myself and my family nourished.
Being well prepared and keeping things simple are the keys to keeping nourished. In my experience, meal planning is essential. People often tell me that they don't have time to make healthy food, to which I reply ‘neither do I!’. I can assure you that although I love to cook, I am not spending hours in the kitchen every day. Planning ahead always makes for a more relaxed and nourishing week.
In accordance with my plan, I shop weekly with plenty of healthy snacks to grab, and fresh produce in abundance. Dinners may look like anything from a slow cooked stew that I’ve thrown into the pot in the morning, gluten free pasta and veggies that I’ve made in 5 minutes, or a meal I’ve pulled out of the freezer (I usually make triple batches when I make a freezable meal).
Images from @nourishedbyjessica
The best place to start when approaching a healthier lifestyle...
There are three things that are ever-so simple that can have a huge impact on your wellbeing, and these are often the places I start with my clients.
1. Improve your quality of sleep. Poor sleep may compromise your cognitive ability as well as your immune system. Making steps towards enhancing your sleep quality may involve maintaining a regular bedtime, and creating a good pre-sleep routine such as dimming lights and switching off electronic devices an hour before you plan to retire. For those who have trouble sleeping or are not waking refreshed, I will often recommend supplements and herbs including magnesium, Zizyphus, and Passiflora incarnata.
2. Consume more water. Many women I see are not drinking nearly enough water, yet it is critical for mood and brain function. I recommend starting by filling a 2L bottle and consuming throughout the day. Non caffeinated herbal teas, and adding fresh fruits to your water are ways to make it even more enticing.
3. Consume seasonal produce, AKA the foods are in abundance and readily available at different times of the year. By purchasing produce that is in season you are more likely to be eating fresher foods with a higher nutrient value and richer flavours. Produce that is in season is usually more cost effective and may make it easier for you to budget for organic produce. Eating seasonally can also help us to connect with the earth and become in sync with the patterns of weather. It seems more intuitive to eat what is in abundance during certain seasons, the earth produces what our bodies need for survival. For example, all of the lovely vitamin C in fruits such as kiwi fruit and mandarins during the winter season may support the immune system. The temperature changes may also alter our food desires from raw salads in summer and more hearty stews and soups in winter.
I’m inspired by…
I am inspired daily by the healing power of nature. The body has a wonderful innate ability to repair and heal itself, and as a practitioner I see this endlessly. There are many forms of nature itself that support and encourage healing, whether we are consuming, ingesting, or immersing in it. This after all, is the basis of everything I do in my practice.
My favourite Imprint House products.
I love the beautiful Imprint ceramic serving bowls to hold the overflow of fruits and vegetables that live on our kitchen benches!
Contact Jessica at jessicahoskins.com
Photographer — Gayle Martin @cape_to_byron