Kavisha Jega is a [beautiful] Perth wellness coach who, upon hearing her answers to my Fit Chat questions, I felt I really identified with! She's all about seasonal, whole produce and helping people find their way in the maze of healthy eating.
What do you do for a living?
I’m a food and wellness coach! I help busy young professionals transition into a healthier way of eating and living by guiding them through specific dietary and lifestyle changes. Basically, I help clients to figure out what is right for them!
Most people haven’t always followed a healthy fitness and nutrition regime. How did you get into living a healthier lifestyle, or was it part of your upbringing?
Believe it or not I was not always a kale-loving wellness chick. In fact, I was the complete opposite. From childhood up until my early 20’s my diet consisted of fast food (nearly every day), soft drink, plenty of sugary treats, and then a lot of coffee and alcohol (in my first years of uni!).
It wasn’t until my early twenties, when I wasn’t happy with my body, that I really began to take control of my health. Studying my Masters in Wellness through RMIT allowed me to completely change the state of my mind and my body. Today I feel like a totally different person, and am the healthiest I have ever been. Nowadays I don’t really drink or stay out late. Occasionally it’s fun, but I’m a morning person so staying out all night doesn’t work for me! I guess you could say that my focus is not quite the same as when I was eighteen years old. My passion is living a healthy lifestyle :)
What are your guiding nutrition principles when it comes to day-to-day eating for you?
I follow the eat SLOW principle (Seasonal, Local, Organic, Wholefoods). In keeping with this eating style, I consume about 70% plant based foods (vegetables, fruits, herbs, activated nuts, and seeds) and about 30% of my diet is organic, grass-fed or pasture raised meat and eggs, and wild caught fish (salmon and sardines are my favourite).
Eating unprocessed foods, as close to their natural state as possible, will without a doubt help you achieve good health. You gotta learn to love your dark leafy greens and healthy fats!!!
What sort of exercise do you do and how often?
I try and exercise about 5 times a week. I get bored quite quickly so I change it up pretty often! At the moment I’m loving reformer pilates and interval training. I always try and squeeze in a yoga session once a week as well.
What do you do to relax and unwind?
Bake! I love getting in the kitchen and trying out new recipes. It gets the creative juices flowing and really helps me to clear my mind and relax. Plus I get to taste test afterwards, which is always a fun task ;)
A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone that has helped you re-focus your mind?
Rest. Make sure your getting enough sleep and downtime. Spend time alone with yourself once in a while and do what you love. Also surround yourself with people who lift you higher, instead of bring you down (I know that’s two pieces of advice…sorry :P).
Name three things that make you happy.
A big plate of colourful fresh organic food, random acts of kindness and travel!
Name three health/food/fitness/wellness products you’ve been diggin’ lately.
Fermented foods such as Kombucha and sauerkraut (I’ve recently started making my own!), The Wellness Couch podcasts and anything Lulu Lemon.
What is your guilty food pleasure?
Nut butter eaten straight out of the jar. Once the spoon is in there is no turning back! [Ed's note: Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes. Forget Nutella, get me some cashew butter and a teaspoon STAT.]
Are there any popular fitness, nutrition or health “trends” you’d like to see disappear?
Dieting and calorie counting. I strongly believe we should exercise and eat out of love (the way exercise makes us feel and love of eating amazing tasting fresh food) rather than out of fear (fear of being fat). Everybody is built differently, so there is no right or wrong diet. Everything should be eaten in balance, and no crazy obsessions. Just relax and listen to your body. If you obsess too much about what you can and cannot eat, you become mentally drained and unwell. So what if you unexpectedly over-indulge on the weekend. The next day just get straight back on the health trail! The truth is your diet should be constantly evolving; you should be learning and trying new things all the time.
Kavisha Jega is a food and wellness coach who works with busy young professionals by coaching them on how to shop, cook and eat healthily, empowering them to feed themselves in a way that optimally fuels their body and makes them feel and look good. Check out her website, Facebook and Instagram (@kavisha_jega) for more from this lovely soul.