Introducing Jessica Cox, a passionate foodie and qualified, practicing Nutritionist with a Bachelor Health Science (Nutrition), with over ten years of clinical experience. If you’re a fellow Brisbanite, you may have heard of Jess before, she is the founder and business owner of the successful JCN Clinic based in Brisbane, Australia. The JCN Clinic treats all facets of health conditions, though specialises with ongoing digestive issues, food intolerances and related systemic conditions.This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Jess and talking all about her experience to becoming a successful Nutritionist with a wholefood approach to her practise, as well as her advice is for plant based diets and how she has pivoted her business during these unprecedented times to continue supporting her community.
VIVO: We love that you offer support, empowerment and knowledge with a wholefood nutritional approach. What inspired you to take this approach to your clinic and practise?
Jessica: A mix of personal experience also driven honestly by meeting new clients who come into the clinic with a background of dissatisfaction from past experiences with working with their health. Firstly, my own personal health journey in my 20’s led me down a path of educating myself and learning quickly that knowledge is power (I talk about this in detail in my book e.a.t). It really inspired me to support others with a wholefood nutritional approach and a fundamental understanding of why they are making these changes.
Secondly, we see a lot of clients at The JCN Clinic who have had past experiences with being given treatment protocols without guidance around food and education as to why the changes are being made. We know at JCN that nutrition is the foundation of our health and that each person needs individualised care and knowledge to understand and learn what is truly best for them. That is how you make long term change!
We have a large plant-based community here at VIVO, what are the most common mistakes you see people making when transitioning into a plant-based lifestyle?
Many do not understand macronutrients and the importance of balancing these within their diet on a daily basis. Most commonly with a shift to plant-based people do not get enough plant-based protein and end up overeating/compensating with more refined carbs and sugars due to cravings. Once again, education is key here and learning what plant-based proteins are and how to include them in your diet on a daily basis. This is something we are passionate about at The JCN Clinic.
What should those on a plant-based diet be aware of and include more of in their food and supplement choices?
As above, be aware of getting enough plant-based protein and balancing your macronutrients with your meals. This means complex carbohydrates, proteins and quality fats with a variety of non-starchy veg. We teach all our clients at The JCN Clinic about macronutrient balance - it is the absolute foundation.
Examples of plant-based protein foods are legumes, nuts and seeds (in particular hemp seeds), high protein grains like millet, teff, buckwheat and quinoa and fermented legumes like tempeh and tofu.
COVID-19 has shaken things up for many small and large business owners across the world, and it almost seems as though no industry is unaffected. How have you responded and pivoted your service during this current climate?
I won’t sugar coat it and say it’s been easy! It’s been a very tough and emotional time as a business owner. For The JCN Clinic it has meant taking more of our services online and offering online workshops. We had to pivot quickly and think about what the public wanted more of in a time where there are concerns and fears about health alongside financial struggles. Our online workshops have meant that we can educate on a more affordable level. We have also been able to really diversify what we offer online – from our short workshops like our Gut Friendly Bread workshops and Herbal Tea Workshops, through to more comprehensive workshops like our 6 Week Gut Health Workshop and 6 Week Holistically Managing Mental Health Workshop.
Also, as a team we have also made a point of staying connected as much as possible. This has been vital for us during this time.
You have an amazing online community, can you tell us a little more about how you fostered that relationship and what changes you've made over the years to provide easier access to nutritional education for your community?
Essentially, it’s just been about being authentic and sharing my passion for food and nutrition. I also have a background in photography, so my love of imagery certainly helps with a visual medium like Instagram. The JCN Clinic shares a lot of free content on Instagram and Facebook which has helped us reach out to the broader community about the importance of foundational nutrition.
And lastly, can you tell us any quirky behind the scenes stories which have happened in your beautiful Brisbane clinic?
Oh, what goes on tour stays on tour! ;-) Honestly, we have so many stories it’s hard to know what to pick. We are a colourful, loud and fiercely loyal bunch of women who care deeply for each other. We also all have wicked senses of humour and some serious potty mouths (some of us more than others). Something PG that comes to mind is that we take birthdays very seriously at JCN. Generally, that means the birthday girls room (or reception desk) gets utterly trashed with birthday paraphernalia. I’m talking uncanny amounts of balloons and steamers hanging from the ceiling, tied up to computers – basically don’t think you can even think about moving in that space and operating as normal. We essentially keep trying to outdo each other so it’s getting next level. There has been talk of enforced costumes, failed glitter bomb attacks (Carissa was to smart and picked me up on that one) and so much more. There is never a dull day at JCN!
Amazing! It has been so great to hear your story and tips for those on a plant based diet. Thank you so much for you time :)
If you guys want to see more of what Jess does check her socials! Or, if you have any queries or questions, Jess and the team at the JCN clinic are happy to hear them, just email firstname.lastname@example.org.