Name: Jessica Cox
What sparked your passion for the health and wellness industry?
I've had a passion for food since I was super young. My mum is a wonderful cook and outstanding baker, so this was a major influence for me growing up. It instilled in me a real appreciation for making food from scratch and using fresh produce fresh from the garden. My nutrition passion kicked in an extra gear after some health issues of my own that lead me down the curious path of food as medicine. After some encouraging results I never looked back.
Where did you study nutrition?
Endeavour College - or in my day Australian College of Natural Medicine (ACNM)
Tell me about the JCN Clinic and what inspired you to start it?
The JCN Clinic (Jessica Cox Nutrition Clinic) is purely a Nutritionist based practice. We are located in the heart of Brisbane, but our client base reaches nationally and internationally. At the JCN Clinic our number one focus is seeing our clients gain the support, empowerment and knowledge they need to improve their health through a whole-food nutritional approach. At the core of the JCN ethos is teaching our clients and community how to eat in a balanced and individualised way to suit their body and lifestyle needs. We also specialise in (and have built a name on) treating all facets of gut health utilising current and researched functional testing. Our treatment scope therefore encompasses a vast array of gut-based conditions and associated health issues relating to metabolism, hormones, chronic illness, fatigue and much more.
I was originally inspired to start the JCN Clinic due to a passion for treating gut health through nutrition. I witnessed the power of individualised nutrition and treatment on a daily basis in my earlier years of practice and wanted to create a business that really pushed this message and helped people find the answers to their gut health issues.
How has the health industry changes over the many years you have been a nutritionist?
So much! When I first started practicing (over a decade ago now) Nutrition was not as on trend as it is now. Naturopaths were way more exciting to the public. Over the years with the explosion of social media and the trend of fitness and wellness, nutrition has really boomed. There are so many young people now interested in following a career in nutrition, which is evident with a scroll through any social media feed.
Additionally, for myself as a nutritionist that specialises in gut health I have seen a shift in mainstream understanding of gut health and the microbes that inhabit it. When I first started practicing, talking about working with gut bacteria and their relationship to health ailments within the body was quite foreign to the wider community.
What are your pet peeves when it comes to nutrition?
Just the fads. I’ve seen so many over the years. Good nutrition is about individualised eating to suit your needs. Fads come and go, though each one creates distorted habits around eating and also at times, negative press for the nutrition industry.
What are your thoughts on the keto diet?
It should be utilised under the supervision of a qualified practitioner and only for certain types of health conditions and aliments. I would not recommend someone following a ketogenic diet just to ‘be healthy’, especially long term.
Are you 100% healthy all the time?
Ha! No! Look, I eat well probably 95% time because that’s what my body craves. I have been eating well for a long time and processed food/sugary food just tastes like crap to me. I couldn’t even tell you what the 5% is that I go for at other times because there is no pattern of foods that I feel I need as a ‘bad food’ or ‘reward’. I mean I love dark chocolate coated honeycomb from Noosa Chocolate Factory, but that’s a dietary necessity right? ;-)
What does being healthy mean to you?
Being healthy to me is about not only eating well for my constitution and needs, but feeling well. I want to wake up with energy, thrive off my work outs, have a happy gut, feel energised throughout the day. It also means having great relationships with the people I spend most of my time with at work and in my social/personal life. Health is so much more than what we put in our mouth.
What do you love most about your job?
The list is long! In a nut shell, seeing people feel better after struggling with such frustrating and often debilitating health issues, especially related to gut health. I love hearing from clients how much the enjoy the food/recipes that we provide and that is ‘yummy’ and ‘so easy’. For me my job is super rewarding all the time. I also love working with such an amazing team at the JCN Clinic.
I understand you are passionate about gut health. Why is this so important for our bodies?
Yikes, how long do you have! Our gut health is the epicenter of our overall wellness. Our gut is where we absorb the nutrients that we consume through food. It is also the screening system for pathogens and exotoxins/endotoxins that we deal with daily from the environment we live in and the internal by-products of our own organ/enzyme production. Our gut microbiota is a wondrous world of bacteria, yeasts and even protozoa that provide an integral environment that supports our immunity and realistically our overall wellbeing.
What are your top tips for digestive health?
Find out what works for you! If you have gut issues then don’t just ‘live with them’. See someone who speicalises in gut health and will really listen to you. There are amazing function tests now available if needed to identify underlying causes and working with these and a practitioner can be life changing.
Otherwise, if you feel generally well, listen to your body and eat what feels right, energizes you and essentially sees you thrive.
Tell us about your podcasts - what topics do you discuss and how can we access them?
The JCN Podcast Show is a podcast made essentially for the public to provide a no bs approach to health and wellbeing. It is hosted by myself and Carissa Mason, the other Nutritionist at the JCN Clinic. Together we discuss popular health topics such as probiotics, fad diets, hormonal conditions, gluten intolerance and functional testing just to name a few. Our most a popular and contentious one to date is our review of the What The health Film. We ensure that we breakdown any topic we discuss into a relatable easy to follow manner and present it in a light hearted fashion. You can find The JCN Clinic Podcast Show in itunes and on SoundCloud. Don’t forget to subscribe!
What/who helped you make your dreams come true?
Oh what a wonderful question! Firstly, believing in myself and striving to follow my passion has essentially been my number one driving force. Without self-belief you are really fighting a hard battle. Next to this would be the support and belief of my husband who has been a driving force behind JCN from the start. He calls himself my ‘number one fan’ for a reason.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
It does fluctuate a bit these days as I do a lot more contracting work, which means I am away from the clinic on certain days. A clinic day generally starts with an early rise, then either a bay walk or a gym session. I then head into The JCN Clinic for a day of clients, which may be face-to-face or Skype. Client days are pretty full on and require you to be 100% in the moment with that person. We have a lot of administration, collaboration work and so forth that is heavily email based so I usually get this done in the evening (although I have the help of our receptionist a few days a week and of course Carissa) I commonly work later into the evening and then head home for dinner and some well earned Netflix.
How do you know that things are a little our of balance?
Haha! Ask my husband. Put it this way, I have a short fuse. When I am out of balance I may get a little angry…quickly. Funnily Carissa and I are the same so it’s quite entertaining when we are both out of whack at the same time. Obviously that is all behind the scenes. ;-)
How do you take care of yourself when this happens?
I’ve learnt over many years of working in a career and of course owning my own business that when you give so much of yourself emotionally and mentally that you have to make time for yourself. My non negotiables are my morning work outs. It means I am not in the office at 8am but it fundamentally keeps me balanced and generally happy. However, if I’m out of balance then I pull back and reassess. I will sit down with my husband and strategise changes to help. With a business that is growing all the time you have to do this regularly. You can have a game plan that works for 6 months, but then the game changes and you need a new one.
When you’re not working, people will find you…
Either in the kitchen cooking, at the gym, walking on the bay listening to podcasts or at my local café drinking hot chocolate. Oh, and on the couch watching Outlander.
What’s your favourite recipe?
Without question, my Gut Friendly Bread.
Top 5 instagram accounts that you follow and why…
@miafreedman – because the woman speaks my language.
@rachael_finch – I am the nutritionist that works with Rach on BOD and collaborated on Healthy, Happy, Strong. Obviously I love what Rach does as her love of health and wellbeing is similar to my own.
@carissa_anne_nutrition – so I can keep an eye on her. And because of Neil the bull. And because she is awesome. Go follow her.
@bevcooks – I’ve followed Bev since I started on Instagram, way before it got all gross with its algorithms. Bev is hilarious and now I am more in love with her InstaStories.
@kayla_itsines – This lady and her brand are genius. I find her and her team inspiring for all that they are continuing to achieve. Plus, I’ve been doing her workouts for years!
Original images and recipes by Jess.
Qualified nutritionist, naturopath, wife, and mum to a gorgeous toddler, Casey-Lee Lyons inspires us with her refreshing approach to wellness and love for real food via Live Love Nourish. We catch up with the busy mum to learn more about her wellness philosophy, her tips for nourishing little ones, life behind the scenes, and how she juggles it all.
On Sunday I got to channel my inner Victoria’s Secret Model and be a swimsuit runway model to support an amazing charity event to raise awareness and funds for Melanoma Research. I wish every woman could experience what we experienced that day, and learn to love her body for the wonder that it is. Here are 10 reasons why you should love being a woman today!
SUBSCRIBE & SAVE 10% OFF
YOUR FIRST ORDER
We know you're too busy for junk mail, so you will only be notified of important things like new arrivals, special offers and exciting news.