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Late last year as the crazy season (well August onward with our wholefood catering business) started cranking up an old injury in my hips decided to do the same kinda cranking and as a result I twisted my sacro iliac joint and put my back out. It wasn’t ‘convenient’ moving at half the pace I normally would, but ‘no shit Jacq’ whoever said injury is convenient.

It was however my body’s timely reminder (despite my need/want to move swift) to slow the f*$% down.

And I did.

By this point in the year, I had managed to build up my team in the business so that even though I wasn’t physically present I had 100% confidence that everything was going to run smoothly, allowing me the space to rest and repair. That felt incredible and I am forever grateful to my gorgeous team.

During the following months of recovery, I began fine tuning other elements in my lifestyle which I had probably needed to for a while. Things I had noticed weren’t really serving me well, but for whatever reason I wasn’t quite ready to let go of them.

Then the injury arrived and my body decided to speak very loud and clear to me. I listened and then replied with action.

That’s what looking after our health is – it’s LISTENING to our body and tweaking and tuning based on where we are at in our lives and doing what feels best, not what is best based on someone else’s INDIVIDUAL experience. We are all SO DIFFERENT – and beautifully unique, don’t ever forget that.

So at that time, aside from the injury rehab, there were a few things that had come up for me:

  1. Coffee – 1 a day sometimes not even that, was making me seriously anxious. My body was evidently feeling some element of stress otherwise my back wouldn’t have responded as so. And as a result the increase of stress that happens when I (personally) consume coffee was exacerbated. Despite my love for the taste of coffee, the anxiety, jitters and breathlessness really wasn’t worth it, so I gave it up and moved on. My body thanked me in lots of ways and I am frankly more energised for it too.
  2. Sleep – we all have very full lives as is but when it’s the festive season we manage to squeeze more don’t we? And what often goes with that is quality sleep and enough of it. I sleep ok, usually 6-7.5 hours but in the past year or so it’s been slightly interrupted and so it hasn’t been quality and when my back went I started to pick up on more aspects that were affecting my sleep and gave them the space to change. One of those was going with it and having a kip in the middle of the day (mostly weekends) when I could, or just lying there and RESTING if my body didn’t actually want sleep but simply wanted to time out for a minute. What better way to recover and rehabilitate from injury than some rest eh?!?! (Take a mouthful of your own medicine Jacq…) The second was topping up my evening rest with a wind down hour of not being overly stimulated by tv or otherwise, reading books, (playing lego or board games with Jet) instead and getting a solid 7-8 hours. That extra hour is a freaking dream and whilst there may not always be ‘time’ to do it, take it when you can and most certainly when you should. Don’t resist. I resisted it too long, thinking I could get more done, actually I’m more productive because I rest more. This is not rocket science I am the first to admit that, but sometimes the simple things are out the window when we are caught up in well – life.
  3. Meat – Coffee, Sleep, Meat, random combo right? So here’s how meat factors in. I had felt for a while that my body wasn’t loving digesting meat (primarily red meat) and I was a bit off chicken anyway. We don’t eat that much of it at home or at work only about 2-3 times a week, but on those infrequent occasions I really noticed how poorly I was digesting it. My gut felt uncomfortable and I wasn’t energised, I was sunk. It had been likely present for a while but I thought perhaps stress was playing a role in it rather than it being the physical ingredient. However, when I began to reduce those ingredients (red meat and chicken) my discomfort subsided and I felt a happier human for it. Maybe there were some subconscious enviro-social elements that also influenced my experience, and yes there was a sprinkle of stress, but at the end of the day taking it out has been a refreshing change in many ways – including to that of my creativity in the kitchen – win! Most of all however, my body seems to be seriously thanking me and I’m going with that. As a result you’ll likely see more vegetarian / plant based dishes coming from the blog because that’s how I (and my little family) are living right now.

Which leads me to the intro on my GOLDEN BOWL rich in plant based nutrition just how I love it and a few questions for you to think about for YOUR own health too…

Are you energised or lacking and how can you change that in your lifestyle?

Are you listening to your gut – it knows best – and delivering what it needs?

Are you tuning in or are you pushing aside to keep on pushing on?

How can you make small changes? Not everything overnight, just small changes for now…

Food for thought… J x



Serves 1


1 frozen mango cheek

1/4 teaspoon or a pinch of ground turmeric

drop of vanilla

1 tablespoon coconut yoghurt

handful ice cubes

touch of honey if desired

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and blitz until creamy and golden. Pour into bowl and top with granola if desired, fresh fruit and a dollop of extra coconut yoghurt if you wish.

Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline Alwill, is an accredited nutritionist, author, founder of Brown Paper Nutrition and recently launched vegetarian meal delivery service Brown Paper Eats She is passionately committed to improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and families. Jacqueline is mum to her 8 year old boy - Jet.

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