Jessica Donovan is a woman’s holistic health expert who helps mums get their sparkle back and become a more energetic, calm and joyful version of themselves. She is a one stop shop for all things nutrition, stress and hormone related.
Jessica combines her deep naturopathic knowledge with a realistic, empathetic, inspiring and down to earth approach to empower women to look after themselves and take charge of their own wellbeing. You can see why we are excited to have Jess as this Months Featured Friend!
Jess, what does creating ‘a healthy mix for life’ mean to you?
I think it is important to realise you don’t need to be perfect to be healthy!
Many people are suprised to learn that I am not your ‘typical naturopath’. I don’t believe in perfection! I am a foodie, I enjoy a glass of good wine and I love dark chocolate.
The quest for health can become overwhelming. There is so much conflicting information ‘out there’ that people do one of two things.
They put ‘being healthy’ in the too hard basket and soldier on suffering with fatigue, stress symptoms, digestive discomfort, hormonal imbalances, weight issues, headaches or bad skin, which are all symptoms that tell us our bodies are out of balance
They take on board all they hear and read and allow health to take over their lives. They follow restrictive diets, take bucket loads of supplements and become socially isolated while doing so.
Well I believe there is another option. I believe having GREAT health is achievable for everyone. I believe you can enjoy life AND be healthy.
What does your day on a plate look like and why do you eat the way you do?
My food philosophy is simple – Eat Real Food, straight from nature and sourced locally as much as possible.
I have a good appetite in the morning so usually start the day with a homemade bircher style muesli or granola made with buckwheat, coconut, chia and pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts and almonds, topped with natural yoghurt and seasonal fresh fruit.
Lunch is often egg based, an omlette or poached eggs with sautéed veggies and a slice of sourdough. I also have lots of salads at lunch time, full of colourful salad veggies and herbs with some left over protein, poached chicken or oily fish finished off with a delicious homemade dressing.
I like to pep myself up in the afternoon with a green smoothie, made in my vitamix of course! I always have frozen fruit in my freezer – berries, bananas, pineapple, peaches and so on which makes my smoothies nice and cold. I add spinach, cucumber, celery or any other greens I have. I use water, coconut water, raw milk or coconut milk as the liquid and add superfood extras such as chia seeds, maca powder, probiotic powders or goji berries.
Dinner is mostly some kind of protein, fish or pasture raised meats with loads of vegetables or salads. We sometimes have spelt pasta (which my kids love) quinoa or brown basmati rice dishes too.
Once my kids are in bed I treat myself to a cup of herbal tea and a piece of dark chocolate or a homemade raw treat such as a bliss ball.
Living a healthy life doesn’t just mean eating well … how do you keep your mind and body healthy?
I completely agree – health is more than just eating well.
I LOVE yoga and walks along the beautiful beaches in my area. I find moving my body, especially outside does wonders for my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. I love just being out in nature, camping, hiking, swimming and playing with my kiddies. I love adventure and trying new things.
Connection is really important to me too, so spending quality time with my family and friends is high on my priority list. I love to connect and spend time with inspiring, positive people.
Who is your health, wellness or fitness guru and why?
Ooooh there are so many.
I am inspired by
Emily Bartlett from Holistic Squid, who blogs about kids health and real food.
Theresa Cutter from the healthy chef and Bianca Slade from Wholefood simply, whose recipes are always delicious.
Natalie Kringoudis, who is doing an amazing job of educating women about their hormones.
Amy Taylor- Kabbaz from Happy Mama always inspires me to look after my emotional wellbeing and I was lucky enough to interview here for my Delicious Wellbeing eCourse.
What is your ONE Super Hero Food that you cannot live without?
I would have to say eggs. They are natures perfect super food and are very versatile. They have to be good quality, real free range from my local market or even better from my parents who have chickens!
Eggs are full of protein, healthy fats and nutrients. We go through at least 2 dozen eggs a week at our house!
If you could share with the Raw Blend Family one piece of your wisdom what would it be?
As a mum it is so easy to put your wellbeing on hold while you are busy looking after everyone else. Many mums I work with say they are too busy in the morning to eat breakfast or they don’t have time for exercise. These mums have inspired me to simplify healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle, which is exactly what I do in my brand new Delicious Wellbeing eCourse.
I would encourage all mums to start putting themselves first and watch the positive ripple effect that has; not only on their own wellbeing but the wellbeing of the rest of their family.
Healthy mums are happier, calmer and have more energy to have fun with their family.
We are lucky enough to have you share one of your favourite recipes with us, why do you love this recipe?
My pumpkin, date and almond loaf is the perfect combination of sweetness teamed with plenty of protein and good fats to give you sustained energy and keep you full. It makes a delicious and quick breakfast and is a fantastic post workout snack. It packs well into school lunch boxes for morning tea time too.
- 2 cups raw greated pumpkin (I chop/grate in my vitamix)
- 1 cup dates, chopped (I blitz mine in the vitamix)
- 2 cups almond meal (I blitz my own in my vitamix and leave them chunky)
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- Pumpkin seeds to garnish
- Preheat your oven to 150 C fan forced or 170 C no fan.
- Combine pumpkin, eggs, coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger and dates
- Add almond meal and mix through
- Pour into a loaf tin lined with baking paper and sprinkle pumpkin seeds on the top
- Bake for 1 hour or until cooked through
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack.
- Spread with organic butter to serve
Make sure you follow this energetic mama on social media! Jessica has also created a Free video series for mums, Secrets to feeling and looking great with real food. Click here to check it out!