You may remember those anti drug campaign bumper stickers that used to simply say, “Just say no.” This was in an attempt to encourage the youth not to be tempted into trying drugs, but after chatting to nutritionist and ‘The Healthy Life’ author, Jessica Sepel, this simple philosophy has come to be more applicable to life in general than its initial intended purpose.
According to her, it can quite literally be the healthiest habit you can adopt if applied in other facets of your life. I was lucky enough to finally meet her in person on her recent book tour to South Africa. We featured her on the blog earlier this year, so I was keen to delve deeper into some of her ‘Healthy Life’ philosophies.
She believes that while it took her some time to master the art of knowing when to bow out, put yourself first and just say ‘no’ – it is a key ingredient to living a healthier, stress free life. She explains, “It’s hard cause you feel like you are letting people down, if you’re a people pleaser like me, you really just fear that you are going to be judged, or people won’t like you anymore if you say no, but if they are good friends, they will understand, I think saying no is a big part of being healthy. I think if you want to bring balance to your life, you want to live a beautiful balanced life, you actually have to be able to say no to people, because saying yes to everyone creates stress, creates chaos, you’re constantly busy and you never giving time to yourself. It’s an act of self-love, women need to prioritise themselves more, and give themselves more self-love, and if you have good friends they will understand. ”
Coupled with this, while Jessica realises social media is a big part of her business, she recognises the importance of knowing when to plug out of the matrix and just reconnect with herself.
“We’re living in a social media world, everything’s on social media, and I think what’s having to happen is we need to set boundaries, for me, I set big boundaries. I don’t look at my phone, till after my morning routine, so half an hour to 45 minutes after I have brushed my teeth, had my lemon water, had some meditation, started my day out on a slow note – that nourishes my nervous system and I am so much more productive the rest of the day. And when I am having my coffee, that’s when I’ll check my phone, my social media, my emails, obviously if there’s an emergency or you’re waiting to hear from a child then check your phone. I switch my phone off at about 6/7pm every single night, unless I have some sort of work thing, it’s rare, I almost don’t even go near my phone from about 5-6pm, I just don’t even go near it, and it’s a rule that allows me to be the healthiest and most balanced person,” says Jessica.
It was quite apt that we had the chance to enjoy a yoga practise together at Yoga Lova with Nadine Hurwitz as our instructor, because this is where I usually go for yoga and it’s a form of exercise and meditation that Jessica also enjoys doing at least twice a week along with other exercise.
“To exercise your body and mind, you can’t go past yoga. I disliked it at first, but now I truly believe it’s one of the best ways to move. The benefits are incredible,” explains Jessica.
Jessica shared her wisdom and expertise with the group of 50 or so ladies at the informal breakfast post yoga class and had these parting words, “We all aspire to look fit and healthy, so let’s go from aspiring to be skinny to rather being healthy and fit and a balanced weight and a weight that you can maintain for life. Let’s start promoting mindfulness and happiness and being satisfied in your life and being spiritually connected to yourself and connected to you and let’s connect all the dots.”
I look forward to reading her next book, which is in the process of being finalised. Till then, there is still her amazing “The Healthy Life” book, filled with more of her refreshing philosophies to living a healthier, happier more balanced life as well as healthy recipes to enjoy.
The book is available at Exclusive Books.
Happy Healthy Fabulous
Photography: Hemisha Bhana