Jodie Cooper lives One Nourished Life
Jodie Cooper lives One Nourished Life
Jodie shares with us, her journey to nourished living, and how she's planning on having a warming and detoxifying superfood filled winter. Jodie will be sharing her knowledge in an upcoming event, One Nourished Winter.
Jodie Cooper started her career in the health and fitness industry as a personal trainer, and is now a gym owner and published healthy cookbook author. At the time of completing her exercise and sports science degree at the age of 24, she was headed down the path of a career in rehabilitation. She was already helping to heal broken bodies as a rehab assistant in hospital wards. But after three years in that environment, she was motivated by a realisation that an industry focused on creating health was a far more practical solution for preventing the rising risk and prevalence of chronic disease and illness in today’s society. She decided to leave rehabilitation to focus on her existing personal training path in the health and fitness industry. After a lot of hard work Jodie is now the owner and manager of her own gym, where she is able to spread her passion for health and wellness every day. She simply loves to see others living life to their fullest potential!
When it comes to exercise and nutrition, Jodie practises what she preaches. She hits the gym five to six days a week whilst always ensuring she has at least one day off for slow, active recovery – to walk with a friend, do yoga or get a sports massage. And she lifts heavy weights two to three times a week to ensure muscular strength, structural integrity and joint stability. Weights sessions never exceed 45 minutes in duration and typically consist of full-body compound exercises that she performs at high intensity. Jodie’s cardio workouts are also high intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions that she does two to three times a week. Jodie’s love is running, however, she does try mixing it up with a bike or rowing session to reduce stress on her joints.
Jodie’s food philosophy is simple: “I do not diet, count calories or weigh myself regularly. Quite the opposite, in fact. I love food (who doesn’t?) and discovered that by chowing down real wholefoods I was actually able to eat more and maintain a healthier weight – that’s a win-win!”
A day on Jodie’s plate is a constant rotation of the freshest and most in season fresh food she can find. Most meals will without fail contain some kind of vegetable, if not a rainbow of colour, plus a good lean portion of sustainably sourced protein. Vegies for breakfast, lunch and dinner! She keeps a well-stocked pantry of nuts, seeds, herbal teas, healthy oils such as olive and coconut, natural sweeteners like raw honey and maple syrup and last, but not least, a very generous selection of herbs and spices to ‘spice up’ predominantly veg-focused meals. Cumin, Jodie says, is undoubtedly her favourite spice and finds its way into most savoury dishes. Jodie enjoys the freedom of playing and experimenting in the kitchen, seeing what she can come up with, often with some unlikely ingredient combos. The most important thing, she says, is to remember variety in the diet and, as such, she endeavours to make sure no day on a plate is ever the same.
A balance, however, really is the key. A diet or lifestyle focused on complete deprivation is not a sustainable one. Everyone needs that little indulgence every now and then, whether it’s that extra piece of dark chocolate or that snooze button in place of an early morning workout! Jodie’s balance is 80/20. Eat well and maintain a fitness routine 80 per cent of the time and allow the flexibility to relax things every now and then 20 per cent of the time. “Complete rigidity is not a realistic expectation of anyone; we’re all human and giving yourself the freedom to have that little indulgence once in a while will make that other 80 per cent more achievable.”
Given Jodie’s fit and healthy persona, it has been difficult for her to admit “in more recent months my health has been somewhat failing me due to extreme levels of work and personal-related life stresses, with poor adrenal and hormonal function the result. My working week is usually non-stop from start to finish, so I have had to start adjusting my lifestyle to make a more conscious effort to eliminate any unnecessary stress on my body. I ensure that I take any small opportunity I can to simply sit down, take a few deep breaths and just let the day go. It can be difficult to switch the mind off at the end of a hectic day, but I find popping some music on, grabbing a cosy spot on the couch with a cup of herbal tea, a book and a nice candle burning helps me to really wind down. It is also essential for me to take time off work every now and then so I can enjoy time in nature… The beach is my ultimate relax destination.
“Food is undoubtedly pivotal in aiding my body’s recovery from chronic stress, which also took its toll on my digestive system. Despite continuing on my merry way with a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free diet, the extreme stress left me with symptoms of stomach pain and bloating, as well as poor circulation, cold hands and feet, lack of energy and sore and aching joints. I sought the help of a Chinese herbalist who prescribed a diet of warm, moist foods and she explained that in Chinese medicine, warming foods help raise the ‘yang energy’ (qi), which has a warming effect on the internal organs, improves circulation and digestion. Luckily winter was upon us and the idea of a diet full of belly warming soups and hearty slow-cooked stews over the coming months had me excited. Better still, ‘warming foods’ are seasonal during the winter months, so to cook with these foods at this time of year makes perfect sense. At the core of my focus now is to sleep early, rest well, boost immunity and warm and nourish the body’s core.”
“My own recent experiences and lessons learned from the teachings of my Chinese herbalist have inspired me to help others stay healthy and warm this winter. So with the wind, rain, colds, flu, aches, pains and gloomy grey days upon us, I am excited to share with you some of my favourite seasonal foods that have been keeping my insides warm as we enter the chilly season: ginger, pumpkin and root vegetables, leafy greens, chicken and lamb, miso and seaweed to name a few kitchen staples.”
At Jodie’s Nourish Melbourne Event on 5 July you will learn more about the healing properties of these foods (and more!) and how you can use them to create simple, delicious and nutritious meals. Click here to read more and get your tickets.