Writer Jess Ainscough swapped her glamorous magazine job for green juice and meditation after being diagnosed with cancer at 22. Fast forward six years and Jess (aka The Wellness Warrior) is now a health coach, speaker and Australia’s most successful wellness blogger. Her wellness website www.jessainscough.com has literally been viewed by millions of people. Jess also recently released her first book, Make Peace With Your Plate: Change Your Life One Meal At A Time (Hay House; $17.95).
How do you start your day?
Very gently, these days. I used to have a hard-core morning routine that began at 5.30am to be able to fit in everything from oil pulling, mountain climbing, meditating, juicing and coffee enemas. These days, I’m listening to my body more and responding by easing into my day. I’ve finally admitted to myself that I don’t like exercising first thing, so that’s now moved to the afternoon. I wake up at 7am and dry body brush before jumping in the shower. Then I have a morning ritual of massaging my body with a mixture of cold-pressed massage oil and an essential oil. Then I say good morning to my puppy dogs before heading into my meditation room to meditate for 20-30 minutes.
What does being healthy mean to you?
It means freedom. Having a healthy body, mind, and soul means I’m able to live my life on my terms. After being diagnosed with cancer and going through a treatment program that restricted my lifestyle so much, I’m now relishing in having the freedom to do whatever makes my soul happy. I’ve come to the realisation that joy is such an integral part of wellness.
How do you nourish your body?
First and foremost, with a lot of loving self-talk. Then, I make sure that the food I’m putting in my body is of the highest quality. Eating organic wholefoods is a priority for me. I eat mostly plants, with some eggs from my own backyard chickens and a little wild-caught fish every now and then.
Do you cook? If so what’s your signature healthy dish?
I can cook, but my boyfriend does most of it in our home. He’s incredible in the kitchen! When I have to cook though, my specialty is usually something like a kelp noodle pad thai or a spicy stir fry with quinoa. I love spicy foods, so I cook with a lot of fresh chilli, garlic, ginger and turmeric.
Any health secrets you swear by?
Drinking lemon juice in warm water is the best start to the day ever. It gently wakes up your system and helps to cleanse the liver.
How do you move your body?
I’m going through a phase at the moment where hard-core exercise just doesn’t light me up. My daily movement involves jumping on my mini-trampoline and walking on the beach.
What’s your fave healthy indulgence?
Ooh I love raw desserts in all their forms: raw chocolate, raw cheesecake, raw carrot cake. They’re all amazing! I eat dessert every single day. The best part is that because it’s always healthy, I never feel guilty.
Any natural beauty secrets?
- Dry body brush before jumping in the shower to exfoliate and boost circulation.
- Use coconut oil as a make-up remover.
- I also love natural products from Twenty8 and Mukti.
Any tips for bringing more balance into your life?
Meditation is the best thing I do for myself on a daily basis. I meditate for 20 minutes twice a day, but even dropping into stillness for five or 10 minutes daily will produce radical shifts in your mindset and overall outlook on life. It’s incredibly simple, yet incredibly powerful.
How do you motivate yourself if you’re ever feeling flat and uninspired?
I hang out in nature or play with my dogs. Some of my best ideas come to me when I’m out walking on the beach or lying in the sun. Nature brings us into the present moment and out of our heads.
What are your fave stylish active wear essentials? Any brands you love or key pieces?
I love Lorna Jane everything! Her crop tops and her tights are amazing!
Do you have a personal mantra or quote that resonates with you?
“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.” – Wilfred Peterson
Name three things you can’t live without.
My family (blood, fur and chosen), alone time and green juice!