Guest of the Month: Nutritionist Jessica Cox
By Amy Crawford
Many of you would know this pretty lady's face, if not her face then her AMAZING instagram feed and website. Both are full of glorious recipes and her (incredibly talented) food photography. This pretty lady, Jessica Cox, also happens to be my Nutritionist, helping me work through the upshot of my recent food intolerance tests, repairing my gut and restoring me to awesome health (she seems to be on the right track too I must add because I'm now bouncing again, hooray to that).
I've been following Jess via social media for a long time now and for good reason. Jess's food is real and honest (with a twist). It's also intolerance friendly and plays to all sorts of food allergies. Very much an advocate for creating a balance of macronutrients on your plate (complex carbs, quality fats and protein), Jess inspires every day as I compile my meals across the day. It's with absolute pleasure that we feature Jess today (and get excited...because tomorrow we share her intolerance friendly nachos on the blog, just in time for a Friday feast!).
Welcome to THI Jess! We follow you avidly and love the notion of balance you put out into the world. Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to be where you are today?
Honored to be featured on THI!
My background is heavily influenced by a country upbringing on an (almost) self-sustainable farm, which had a big impact on my love of fresh produce and whole foods. My mother was (and still is) a fantastic cook and baker, so this influenced me greatly growing up and continues to do so.
My career first followed in the footsteps of the arts, with a degree in Visual Arts (photography). After years spent in the design industry I began to feel a pull back to my roots after struggling with a few health issues. After seeing the benefits of applying a more nutritional approach to my own needs, I decided to take a leap and study Nutrition. From that moment I never looked back! It was like finding my calling.
Today I run my nutritional clinic and the website, which provides a creative space where I can marry my two passions together, my love of food and nutrition along with photography and design.
Recently Amy worked with you to understand her specific food intolerances, can you tell us a little more about this test and why you believe in it.
I use IgG food intolerance testing within my practice to identify food reactants causing clients digestive distress. The method of testing I use through Healthscope Pathology Lab is the ELISA method, which has research to back up its utilization. First and foremost I ‘believe’ in this test because of the results I see in my clinic year after year. I have had copious amounts of clients achieve outstanding results when utilizing this testing method, in unison with digestive treatment.
I cannot stress enough however how important it is to accompany these test results with the correct digestive treatment to heal the gut to gain the best results. I’d suggest for those wanting more information on this testing method along with research articles affirming its clinical use in clinical practice, that you visit the food intolerances section on my website.
Can you sum up your philosophy for maintaining a healthy life?
My philosophy encompasses two things. Number one, find what suits you as an individual. We are all different make-ups, different genetic prints if you will. What suits one person may not suit another. It is important to find what foods work well with your body and your digestion, and not follow fads or trends.
Secondly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is about balance. Balance of your food intake, within the greater spectrum of a balanced lifestyle. With food, it is really integral to have a balance of macronutrients with your meals (complex carbs, quality fats and protein) to maintain sustainable energy levels and provide adequate cellular fuel.
Additionally, we need to find balance within our life. Being too strict with eating and also spending too much time on work without enough down time or play, is not conducive to a healthy and happy life.
What is your take on the latest food “trends”?
Ok, I better tread carefully here! For me food trends are just that. Trends. They come and they go until the next one becomes more fashionable. Whether it be a way of eating or a particular ingredient, there is always a new trend ready to poke its head around the corner. From my perspective Paleo and ‘sugar free’ are essentially still a diet. They are eliminating food groups based on a philosophy or belief. The problem with this is that again there is no ‘one shoe fits all’ when it comes to food. Some people may feel great on a paleo diet, while others, and from a clinic perspective more commonly, may end up fatigued from low carb intake and with digestive problems from over consumption of certain food groups. Sugar free again can be problematic, in that if followed strictly it eliminates food groups and can end up causing issues with energy levels and cravings.
Jess we’d love to hear your take on dairy – are we right in saying your recipes are entirely dairy free?
Yes, I’d say about 95% of the recipes on my website are entirely dairy free. The ones containing dairy tend to be goat or sheep milk based.
It’s important to remember that as nutritionist who works with food intolerances my website is designed to cater for those with food intolerances, whilst providing mouth watering alternatives. I see a biased selection of the community who come to me with digestive complaints, and often dairy is a front-runner in such issues. This by no means automatically deems dairy as ‘bad’. If you can tolerate dairy and digest both the lactose and casein component, then you are lucky enough to have a selection of dairy products at your disposal to use within your dietary intake.
The problem with dairy (specifically cows milk) from an intolerance perspective is that the casein (the protein) within the milk is quite large and hard for many to absorb through our intestinal wall. Goat and sheep milk however have a protein structure that is a lot smaller making these proteins generally easier to assimilate. However, if a person is lactose intolerant (the carbohydrate portion of the milk) they will react to cows, goat and sheep milk products that are high in lactose. Again, its about finding where you fit.
We’d love an insight into your day, what does a typical nutritionist’s plate look like?
Breakfast: Either something sweet like buckwheat pancakes with fresh or stewed fruit, tahini, organic non gmo soy yoghurt, mixed seeds, or millet sourdough with tahini, sliced fruit, cinnamon and a dollop of dairy free yoghurt. Otherwise savoury such as a besan/buckwheat pancakes or toast with smoked salmon or organic nitrate free ham, tahini, lettuce, sprouts, sauerkraut. Probably a matcha latte or dandelion tea on rice milk with this.
(After gym I’ll have a pea or brown rice protein shake blended with frozen banana and rice milk and perhaps some raw cacao or some greens).
Morning Tea: Wholegrain crackers with hummus and sauerkraut or tahini and tomato or something I have baked like a muffin or slice.
Lunch: Usually left overs from dinner, which is usually a grain such as buckwheat/quinoa/root veg with vegetables and a form of protein. Otherwise it’s a buckwheat wrap with mixed salads, hummus, chutney, tempeh or nitrate free ham or smoked salmon.
Afternoon Tea: Something homemade if not had in the morning such as a muffin or cookie, or often a banana smothered in tahini (shamelessly) and a dandelion tea. Otherwise a chia pudding.
Dinner: Varies a lot – usually an organic, free range meat from our local butcher such as lamb, pork, chicken. Otherwise salmon, or dory or squid. These are usually served with some favourite recipes on the website like buckwheat or quinoa salad mixed with roast vegetables, seeds, lemon juice, sumac, preserved lemon and lots or fresh herbs and/or a lemony tahini dressing. Or green pea mash and sweet potato wedges. Potato salad with parsley, capers, lemon zest, mixed lettuce greens and anchovies is also a favourite. We also have my wraps once a week – lamb kofta balls, grilled eggplant and cauliflower, herbs, hummus and tahini.
Supper: dandelion tea or hot cacao. Sometimes dark chocolate with this.
If I wanted to book an appointment or check you out further, where can I find you?
I am available for consultations within my clinic based in Brisbane, Australia along with Skype and phone consultations for interstate and international clients. For more information on what is involved within a consultation check here or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also connect with me through my social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Don't go anywhere! Jess shares will us her drool worthy and intolerance friendly nachos on the blog tomorrow.