Last Tuesday I was lucky enough to have snagged a much-coveted ticket to see Jess Ainscough aka The Wellness Warrior speak live in Perth. The tour was originally scheduled for October but due to a deeply personal situation for Jess she had to postpone. Now it’s February & Jess is bouncing back into the spot light.
If you’ve never heard of Jess take a look at her awesome & inspiring blog right here. I started following her about eighteen months ago. A quick 101; Jess was diagnosed with a rare & incurable type of cancer, epithelioid sarcoma, in her left arm at just 22 years old. The hard-core party girl thought her life was over. After an unsuccessful bought of chemo the cancer returned. Jess’s only option for survival doctors told her was to amputate her arm. Even then this would only buy her a few more years until it spread further.
Jess knew there had to be another way & decided to tackle her cancer with the holistic method of Gerson Therapy. Six years on Jess is thriving & is definitely one of Australia’s number one healthy lifestyle ambassadors.
The tour was to celebrate the launch of Jess’s book ‘Make Peace with your Plate.’ I first purchased this when it was released as an ebook a few years ago. That didn’t stop me purchasing a hard copy now Hay House has published it. I find it handier especially for recipes & tips to be able to flick rather than click.
The Perth event sold out within a day the first time round. A bigger venue was found that sold out again. With the rescheduled date & an even bigger venue selling out it was a full house. Go Perth’s wellness tribe!
When I first arrived (super early as usual) I thought I’d got the wrong place. The foyer was filled with young, glamorous & glossy folk. I thought I’d walked into Perth fashion week. That l left me feeling a wee bit self conscious in my baggy yoga pants, flip-flops & Bali bag. Ha at least I’d slicked on some (organic) makeup. Not to worry at all. I was actually really pleased that Jess was reaching out to these hot young things & educating them early on healthful lifestyle choices. Wellness is awesome. To quote Jess, “You can love green juice & nice shoes.”
My early arrival enabled me to secure a front row centre seat. I no longer care about going to events alone. It’s nice to meet new people. The lady next to me struck up a conversation & we happily chatted about our common interest in wellness.
In person Jess was super glam. Sporting an angelic white cotton dress & sky-high heels. She was open, funny, cursed a little & above all was down to earth normal. The damage to her left arm was visible. Her left wrist was strapped up; I could see a few scars & she had minimal mobility in her left fingers. Still, she had her arm. Jess to me is a ‘glowing & radiant’ picture of health. “A cancer thriver” Jess calls herself.
Jess’s number one message was strongly based around the individual. Gerson therapy suited Jess. It isn’t for everyone & she fully backs that. You must find your own way to heal by listening & observing what your own body is telling you. I agree. The body is amazing & has it’s own way to self-heal; you just need to help it along with good nutrition. Jess’s message was ‘ditch the diet dogma’ do what is right for you. Eat what your body tells you too. Forget rules & labels. Don’t beat yourself if you eat an egg despite regarding yourself a vegan. If your body wants an egg, eat it. If you bloat up like a balloon after a steak then don’t eat it.
Obviously being a wellness advocate Jess couldn’t stress more how a plant based & organic diet does work best for optimum health. Jess is a living example how she tackled her cancer through a very clean vegan diet & oodles of coffee enemas. (I still haven’t tried one!) There really isn’t a place for processed food in our diets. Eat straight from the ground as nature intended.
An example Jess gave regarding processed food vs real food was an experiment she set up at home. Jess put three different types of food out on her kitchen bench to see how long each lasted till they perished.
- A homemade salad sandwich using all fresh organic produce.
- A shop bought packaged salad sandwich.
- A McDonalds cheeseburger.
The organic sandwich didn’t last more than a day before the creatures moved in to chow down on it & the vegetables perished. The shop sandwich lasted a little longer but not much. The Macca’s cheeseburger sat there for SIX MONTHS! Nothing would touch it & it didn’t even go moldy. Hmm something very wrong there. Bugs & insects are not stupid. They know what good food is; they are part of nature too & want to eat well. They did not recognize the cheeseburger as food. Who wants a cheeseburger now?
The biggest take home message I got from the evening is wellness can be fun. Change is uncomfortable; it’s hard & challenging. Find a way that works for you. A juice combo that makes you want to leap out of bed & crank up the juicer. As David Wolfe says ‘don’t wait for a crisis to happen before you change your diet.’ Also don’t let the fear of getting sick or dying to be the reason to get healthful. Do it because you love your body & wish to care & nourish it the best you can. Your body will respond.
The other guest speakers were awesome too. The amazing & stunning Melissa Ambrosini, musician Wes Carr & local Perthling Paul Reid owner of Solomon’s café in Highgate. All shared their own stories of finding their path to health. Beating anxiety, drink & drugs despite being in the high pressure entertainment industry. Paul is a muso too & Mel used to dance at the Moulin Rouge as well as TV present. Wes show cased his talents by playing a few rocking tunes & we had a mini dance party to round off the evening.
Just sitting in the theatre that night I could see wellness was cool. It wasn’t weird or hippy or grungy. Wellness can be glamorous too. It’s up to you what you make it. Just because you are looking after your health you don’t have to change who you are. If you like wearing nice clothes & curling your hair there is no reason why you still can’t do that. Just don’t judge your life on the material, what you have or have not or how big your pay cheque is. Fixating on the material won’t make you happy. Be content with what you have right now by staying present. “Pretty things are just the icing on the cake” is how Jess put it.
Meditation was big on the ‘must do’ list. I back this 100%. Sitting in stillness with yourself every day is the only way you’ll discover who you are & what makes you tick. The more you know the real you ‘inside’ by leading from your heart rather than you head will make life flow. All the speakers advocated Transcendental Meditation (TM) as a practice of choice (The Beatles were also keen practitioners who worked directly with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi). I’ve never tried it personally but I’m currently looking into it. I can say though any type of meditation is beneficial & doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
To wrap up…be yourself, love yourself & cherish the present moment for the gift it is. The more you love yourself the more that love will return back to you. Go easy though, be kind to you & take a few small steps at a time.
Love K xx
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©Seren Holistic Lifestyles Blog 2014
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