INTERVIEW: JESSICA SUCHAN
Jessica Suchan of Body Bliss by Jess is a holistic health coach based in LA
When did you first become interested in holistic health? Did you grow up in a health focused household or something/someone that drove you to this field?
My interest in holistic health stemmed from my upbringing with a health educator mother who taught my sister and I healthy habits from an early age and was feeding us almond milk, rubbing in essential oils and giving us homeopathic medicine before it was “cool.” My parents also came up with the genius idea of the Friday “sweet day” so we looked forward to having our treat day every week and truly appreciated it rather than expected it-- just one of the ways my mom was teaching me balance at an early age!
What made you want to start your blog and coaching program?
At the end of high school (having quit all my sports teams while still eating the way I wanted), I put on almost 40lbs rapidly and began yo-yo dieting. This yo-yo went on for 10 + years and I began living for pizza and cocktail “cheat weekends” set up with restriction again on Monday. After I got married to my husband, we moved to LA and I worked in PR and marketing but ended up developing debilitating migraines that were made worse by prescription pills and an abundance of stress. After no relief from medications, I ended up taking matters into my own hands and cured myself holistically via diet and lifestyle changes! I also decided to quit my stressful job to get my health coaching certificate via the Institute for Integrative Nutrition because I wanted to help others make changes the way I was finally able to! It’s been over two years and I’ve never been happier coaching clients one-one-one and working in close partnership with my mom Candace Burch who is a hormone health educator with over 30 years in the field! We work together to help women get their hormones tested via saliva and get back to feeling the way they deserve with a tailored re-balancing action plan that uses natural herbs and supplements, real food (without deprivation!), and achievable lifestyle changes. I have many goals for the future but one of them is to regularly host group coaching courses, and to put on events and retreats as well. That being said, my mom and I have just kicked off our very first course: 4 Weeks to Balance & Bliss! We have spots in both our August and September courses and each month will have a different theme with live coaching with both myself and my mom, rotating guest speakers, a private FB support group, worksheets and surprise giveaways. Right now, we have launched our early bird sign-ups which you can find HERE and HERE. We plan to cap the group at a number that feels intimate so that each participant can ask questions and get the support they deserve!
LA is full of resources for anyone wanting to live a holistic lifestyle but what recommendations do you have for those who live in smaller, more rural towns? What are some easy ways to start to incorporate lifestyle changes into their daily lives?
Sometimes here in LA, we don’t realize the health bubble we live in and that the rest of the country doesn’t necessarily have the same access to the resources that we do! Some of my top tips for people who just want easy ways to make changes without having to find a specialty health food store:
1. Find easy swaps for the foods you crave! If you want pasta, try making zucchini noodles with a pesto cream sauce. If you love dessert, make a coconut yogurt parfait layered with frozen berries and my favorite Beauty Bar Chocolate. If you like tacos, prep them in lettuce cups with lots of guacamole and fajita veggies! If you can find swaps you love, you still get to enjoy the foods you crave without the guilt, upset stomach and bloating that so often comes afterwards. But also remember to LIVE your life. If you go out to eat and really want the pasta, order it but enjoy every bite with gratitude and love on yourself for your choices!
3. Swap packaged, processed foods for whole food alternatives. The less a food has been touched, altered and added to, the more nutrient dense and healthy it is for your body!
4. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be in a gym! Focus on getting in some form of movement every day that you love— this could be a walk in nature with a good podcast, a YouTube workout video, turning up the music and dancing in your room or a hike in nature! Results come from consistency and we are FAR more likely to be consistent doing the things we enjoy!
What are some of your favorite natural beauty products? Where do you like to shop online?
I really LOVE Beauty Counter for natural makeup options. I also really like Alaffia for affordable fair trade non-toxic body washes, lotions and shampoos! If you’re looking for a great deodorant combo— my favorite is the crystal rollerball and exotic deodorant spray as a combo from Saje wellness. We have to start paying attention to what we put on our skin too because as our largest organ, it has great impact on our micro-biome and overall health and wellness!
What does a typical day look like for you and what do you eat?
A typical day for me starts with a protein, fat and fiber packed smoothie—usually with a vegan protein powder, coconut milk, frozen spinach, nut butter, hemp seeds, cacao powder and lots of toppings like frozen blueberries and cacao nibs! For lunch I LOVE doing a HUGE salad packed with fats like avocado, a homemade olive oil based dressing (most salad dressings have tons of added sugar), lots of veggies and a healthy protein source like canned salmon with Primal Kitchen mayo and some flax crackers on the side! For a snack I make a “bulletproof” style matcha latte with non-dairy milk, collagen protein creamer and stevia. Then for dinner I’m rotating between cauliflower pizza with pesto zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice dishes with shrimp or faux poke bowls with fresh fish, avocado and macadamia nuts! When I eat out I really like to order something I wouldn’t normally make at home while still being mindful of how I’ll feel afterwards. Last weekend I had an amazing crab dip wth rice cake poppers and a vegan coconut curry with a speciality cocktail— It was all so flavorful and delicious and I didn’t feel guilty for one second which is the most important part!
Do you have recommendations for staying on track?
Start every morning with a super healthy and filling breakfast like a protein shake or big egg scramble! Schedule in some form of movement whether it be a short bike ride, a long swim or a jog around the neighborhood and make time for self-care even if it’s just journaling for 5 minutes in the morning. If we set ourselves up for the day with positive, fulfilling choices we are much more likely to make choices that feel empowering for the rest of the day. But also remember if you have something that’s not “perfect,” it’s ok because perfection is NOT real and if you can just move on and recognize that every minute is a chance to make a new choice, you will be absolutely fine! Life is meant to be lived all of the time, not just some of it!
You can get Jess's Sexy Sugar Cleanse for 50% off by using code SELFHOUSE
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