In this episode, Jessica Donovan (naturopath and holistic women’s health expert over at Energetic Mama) talks about taking the leap and travelling with her family all around Australia. She discusses trying to maintain a healthy, nourishing diet on the road, and how the challenges and experiences along the way helped to strengthen their bond and appreciation for each other.
You can connect with Jessica at http://www.energeticmama.com
And you can sign up for her FREE healthy kids challenge here – http://bit.ly/2kU9DSB
Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Lisa: Hey everyone. Really excited to have you on the podcast today, and it’s because I’m talking to someone who I’ve long admired. I’ve long seen her stuff, and I’ve used a few of her recipes. Small Steppers will know Jess Donovan now, because she was our guest expert in the membership this month. But there’s a topic that I really wanted to ask her about, and I thought the podcast was the perfect place. So, hey Jess.
Jessica: Hi Lisa. Lovely to be chatting again.
Lisa: Yes, it really is. Jess is a naturopath, but she’s one of those naturopaths, she has young kids. I feel like she understands my dilemmas. Nothing is too, kind of-, well, you don’t tell me what to do. It’s like you just invite a conversation around this stuff, and put really accessible information out there, which I really appreciate, and that’s why invited you in to be a Small Steps expert this month. We talked about fussy eating, because it’s something that people really struggle with, and I think it’s something that we can really, as mums, find so difficult, and give ourselves another reason to be down on ourselves. So, I know that all of the members were just loving all of your tips and tricks, and just also, understanding the reasons for fussy eating. So, thank you very much for that. But, before we launch into the topic that I really want to talk to you about today, can you just give everyone your little spiel about who you are, and what it is that you do?
Jessica: Sure. Thank you for that, because that’s really what I strive to do is, you know, give people advice that applies in the real world. I think a lot of naturopaths, or naturopaths in general, have a bit of a stigma that they’re going to tell everyone that they need to go gluten free, and dairy free, and cut out sugar, and cut out alcohol, and cut out coffee. You know, so a lot of people are put off by that, which I understand. So, yes, I’ve been a naturopath for over fifteen years now. So, way back, before I had kids, I became a naturopath. And I guess I’ve just gravitated towards kids’ health more since I had kids of my own, and yes, that’s really the area that I’m focusing on now. I live in South Australia, down on the Fleurieu Peninsula, which is a really beautiful part of the world. We’ve just got back from a big adventure around Australia, which we’re going to talk about today.
Lisa: Yes. Because you know what, there are people that appear in our newsfeeds, and we can think, ‘Yeah, cool, this is awesome. Thanks for that recipe,’ or whatever. But then suddenly, when you’re like, ‘Guys, we’re heading off around Australia.’ Pull the kids out of school, you know, just decided to go. I’m like, ‘What?’ People actually really do this! And I think so many of us have, in the back of our mind, ‘One day, we’re going to do a year around Australia,’ or, a year backpacking, or whatever it is that people want to do. I think for so many of us, it feels like one of those ‘someday’ ideas, and dreams, but you made it happen. I am so intrigued, especially as a naturopath, and sometimes, even just doing a basic trip, there’s not that much healthy food on the road. So, from the perspective of doing the best you can with your family, I’m interested in that, but start by telling us what made you jump. What was the thing where you’re like, ‘Let’s do this now’?
Jessica: Yes, so I think the tipping point, for us, was me and my husband were sitting in the spa one night, that we have out in our back yard, and we were talking about it. We’ve always wanted to travel Australia with our kids. We travelled a lot before we had kids. We were travelling, and working, and partying our way around the world, for nearly five years actually, before we had kids.
Jessica: Yes. Travel was a love of both of ours, from way back then, and we always said, you know, ‘We’ll save Australia for when we have kids,’ because it’s easier to travel in your own country, once you’ve got kids. So we’ve always wanted to do it. The tipping point was working out, in the spa that night, that we could possibly do it financially. That was the deciding factor for us. We were both, kind of, brave enough to take the step, but it was working it out financially, like, ‘How are we going to afford this?’ And I’d built my online business up to a point where I was earning some money from it. My husband said, you know, he would be willing to pick up work along the way, when we needed him to. And then we thought, ‘Well, we can use the extra money we’ve paid off our mortgage as a bit of an emergency fund.’ Because you definitely need one of those, when you’re doing a big trip like that. So, that was really the tipping point. We definitely hadn’t worked it all out, and my friends were, you know, ‘But how’s this going to work? And how’s that going to work?’ But it was just making that decision, and then taking steps, small steps, which I know is what you’re all about, to make it happen.
I guess we made the decision in about February, and we left that December. So, leaving was the hardest part. Once we were on the road, it was all good, but, you know, getting ourselves kitted up. We like to go off-road, and go to secluded places, get off the beaten track. So, you know, there was a lot of research, mainly on my husband’s part, into off-road campers, and four wheel drive gear, and all that sort of stuff. I took care of more the, you know, ‘What are we going to do about home schooling?’ and, ‘How are we going to source good food while we’re away?’ And, you know, getting our house ready to rent out, because that’s one of the things we had to do, to make it work. So, there were a lot of moving parts, but once we’d made that decision, we just, you know, took the steps to help us get there.
Lisa: I’m not a logistics person, so the hugeness of that just intimidates me, and it would be the schooling stuff that would stop me in my tracks, too. Like, would they sit down and do the stuff, and would I stay committed to that? How old are your kids?
Jessica: So, they are seven and nine now. So, they were six and eight, while we were travelling. You know, I’m not really a big details person, so I’m like, ‘Yeah, we’ll figure it out.’ And so I had this idealistic view when it came to school, you know, that I’d sit on my laptop, writing blog posts, or writing emails out to my list, and that sort of thing, while they happily got on with their school work, whilst sitting next to me. Of course, that didn’t happen, that was not the reality of how it happened. So, you know, in the first couple of weeks that we did home schooling, I had my head in my hands, thinking, ‘What have we done?’ Like, I’m not going to be able to get through a year of this. But, we really took the pressure off.
In South Australia, you can get an exemption for twelve months, from school, so you just get the Principal to sign it. So, we theoretically didn’t have to do any schooling, but they then go into the next year, and so we kept it really light. We just got books that followed the curriculum, in grammar, maths, spelling, and made sure they kept up on their reading. And we literally did an hour, or two, most, sort of, week mornings, but we had lots of days off as well. They just learned so much on the road, and, you know, obviously the reading and maths stuff is important. But we definitely let our hair down when it came to the schooling side of things.
Lisa: Oh, that is so nice to hear. That is really good to hear. And this is the thing. Sometimes I look at what my son is learning in school, and think, you know, ‘How valuable, for the real world?’ Of course, there are those basic things, like you said, but I would imagine that a trip around Australia, and their mind has been blown. They’re making new friends all the time, they’re seeing new sights, they’re having things explained. They’re understanding distance, and time, in a totally new way. They have an appreciation for the country. So, things aren’t just places on a map, they’re actually places that they’ve been. Like, that is phenomenal, and a huge growth experience. But spending that much time with your kids, did you learn new things about them? Do you have a different appreciation for the routine you’ve got at home? How did you go with being with your kids 24/7?
Jessica: Well, they drove me crazy, I’ll tell you that much! No, they definitely did, you know, it was tough being together, all of us. You know, me and my husband, and the kids, the dynamics between us. It was tough a lot of days, because, you know, four personalities. It’s inevitable that someone’s going to be in a bad mood, you know, every day. And meeting the needs – like, my kids are really different. My eldest is a boy, and he’s really active, and he needs activity to be normal. And my daughter’s the opposite. She was happy to sit in the caravan, and, you know, do craft, and play with her dolls, or whatever. So, balancing their needs was quite tough, but yes, we definitely connected so much, by spending so much time together. My son is such an easy-going kid, and that’s what I was reminded of on that trip. Like, he just goes with the flow. Not that he’s an angel, you know, he definitely has challenges, but he makes friends really easily, he’s social, he’s outdoorsy. He can, sort of, find his own fun.
My daughter, who’s about to turn seven. I guess what I learnt about her is really how much she needs connection, you know. She’s a fairly young seven, so she needs lots of time with us, and she definitely needs a gentle push to get out of her comfort zone. She really struggled with a lot of the trip, but there were some things that she just had to do. We were going on some big hikes, and she would complain for the first hour, and then she would learn that there’s no point complaining because she just has to keep walking, we’re not turning around. And, you know, we may have pushed her down a waterslide at Wet ‘n’ Wild, when she didn’t want to go down, because she just doesn’t like trying new things, you know. But she got to the bottom of that waterslide, and wanted to do it again. We knew that she would enjoy it once she’d done one. It was an amazing, like, year of connection for all of us.
Lisa: That’s so lovely. What did you learn about yourself? Did you have ideas about how this was all going to roll, or how you were going to feel, and then you felt different? Or, did you get any insights into you?
Jessica: It took me quite a while to really wind down. I guess the big thing I learnt is just how busy my life had gotten at home. You know, being a mum, running a naturopathic clinic, having an online business, and all the other stuff that goes with having a family. I enjoy being busy, I’m quite driven, but just being away from it all, it made me realise how depleted I had become, and how little-, I’m fairly good at self-care, but it’s active self-care. You know, I go for a walk, or I’ll go to yoga, that sort of thing. But to be bored was really new to me, and, you know, when you’re travelling you don’t have housework. I had no housework to do, for a whole year!
Lisa: Oh, best!
Jessica: I mean, I didn’t clean any bathrooms, sweep any floors, vacuum any floors. You know, the floor in the camper took literally, you know, five minutes, and I didn’t do it all that often, because it would just get sandy, and dirty half an hour later. So, it made me realise just how many things I had to do, and just, for all of us. You know, being bored together, and just being able to sit around for an afternoon, with nothing to do. Like, play a board game, or go down the beach. It was just bliss.
Lisa: It’s such a foreign concept, to just have nothing to do. Like, just before we kicked off this interview, I was telling you about being on a plane, by myself, overseas, and how just that twelve hours by myself, and not having to think, ‘What’s the next thing that has to get done? Who needs to be taken where? What needs to be cooked, or made, or which presents to buy for birthday parties?’ Whatever it is, our minds are just constantly on the go for the next thing. And then when that’s taken away, it’s so amazing, the things that you think when you give yourself that space. I remember going to see my chiropractor, who’s also a kinesiologist, he’s the best. I was saying how, ‘Yes, I’m incorporating self-care, and I go for walks, and I listen to podcasts.’ And he’s like, ‘Maybe, just sometimes, don’t listen to the podcast.’ And I said, ‘Well, sometimes the podcasts are about self-care.’ He’s like, ‘You’ve missed the point, Lisa. It’s actually just the quiet, sometimes, that you need.’ So now I do a morning on, and a morning off, with sometimes I’m listening to something, and sometimes I’m just being. Like, I’m just walking, I’m just listening, to myself. We just don’t give ourselves, or our kids, that chance for that nothingness, very often.
Jessica: No, we don’t. I mean, our kids have got full schedules. I’m realising that coming back, and trying to organise a playdate. My kids haven’t got any activities, you know, I’m giving them some time to settle into school, but to try and organise a playdate with another kid, it’s like, ‘No, I’m sorry, they’re busy every night after school, and we’ve got this on Saturday, and that on Sunday.’ It’s like, ‘Whoa.’ There’s just no time for kids to be bored either, and then when they are at home bored, they’re sitting in front of the TV, or they’re on iPad. I think that really affects their creativity, and their imagination.
Lisa: So much. We don’t do screens during the week.
Jessica: We don’t either.
Lisa: Yes, so on weekends, they often want to go in for a binge, but we’ve usually got stuff planned. So, at night now, I always used to feel so responsible for playing with them, and now I just say, ‘Mummy’s cooking the dinner,’ or, ‘Mummy’s doing this. You play.’ And they just go off, and inevitably, make a huge mess. So, now we’re working on the tidying up, ‘Well, if you take every cushion off the couch and make a fort, you have to put all of that back, plus all of the blankets that you’ve just pulled out.’ Like, go the creativity, but go the freaking mess. It’s so much better, they come up with such cool ideas, better than I ever could have. And it’s training them to just think, ‘Okay, there’s nothing to do. What to do?’ And they think about it.
Jessica: They almost have to go through that boredom, to get to that creativity. You know, when my kids say, ‘I’m bored,’ I say, ‘Good. It’s good to be bored.’ My son hates it, ‘It’s not good to be bored.’
Lisa: Well, the event I did in Perth recently, with Jude Blereau. Because she’s like the wise old auntie. Not old, wise auntie. We were talking about this. We were talking about perfection, we were talking about the ideas that mums have, for themselves, and what makes a good life. What makes, you know, the best children. All of the things that we put pressure on ourselves to do. And she talked a lot about how, when they were kids, there wasn’t gymnastics, and cricket, and this, and that, and the other, and the other, and the other, and extended school programs. You just went to school, and then you went home, and you either got on your bikes, or you played something, and that was it.
Jessica: Yes. It’s just really changed, hasn’t it?
Lisa: So, when you were away, did it give you a different perspective on home, and wanting to do things differently when you got back?
Jessica: Yes, definitely. Like, really trying to integrate more of that downtime into our normal life, is a big priority for me now. It reminded me, as well, how much nature fills me up. When you’re camping, and you walk outside in the morning, and you’re in nature. You know, you’re outside all the time. Everyone’s commenting on how tanned I am, but it’s because we spent a whole year in the summer, and we were outside all the time. You know, not necessarily laying on the beach sunbathing, but we were just outside all the time. And that, I think, for all of us in the family, it really filled our cup. It’s just so nice to be outdoors. It’s hard when you’re at home, because you automatically sit inside. I mean, even when I was working on our trip, I would sit outside on my laptop. Just so much fresh air, so much more sun, and nature. Trees, and beach, and that sort of thing. So, that’s something that I’m really working at integrating more into our everyday life, now that we’re home.
Lisa: That’s awesome, and, I think, such a good thing for us to learn. Even what we were just talking about before, with the kids. I often say, ‘Go and play outside,’ you know, just be outside. I think it’s really important. I love that. I love the image of you, just sitting under some tree, just working away, and living the dream. But tell me-, I wanted to ask about you and your husband. I think that sometimes, we live away from all our family, so Nick and I, to each other, are everything. Like, we bear the brunt of each other, and we are the ones who need to support each other. Like, you are everything. You’re friends, you’re lovers, you’re parents, you’re all of those things. When you’re on the road, and it’s literally just the four of you guys, I can imagine the intensity of that, kind of, went up. How did you guys cope as a couple?
Jessica: Yes, so, we definitely had ups and downs. Some times were amazing. And we’re got a really good support network at home. You know, if we want to go out for dinner, we’ve always got babysitters we can rely on, so we’re used to that.
Lisa: Oh, so lucky.
Jessica: I know, so lucky. And we didn’t have that at all, while we were travelling. So, that was really tricky for us, although when you’re camping, you put the kids to bed, and then you’ve got some hours left to hang out together, I guess. But it’s not the same as going out for a night, and being able to wake up without the kids there. You know, we definitely had plenty of ‘direction’ arguments in the car, as you do. What is that? Like, I don’t know, we always laugh at it afterwards. Because we spent so much time over on the West coast, and in the North, where, you know, from A to B, there’s only one way to go, it’s all really easy. But then, when we got on the East coast, I remember driving down into the Sunshine Coast, and I was like, ‘Whoa,’ it was like a culture shock. All the cars, and so many different ways you can go, and, ‘Oh, better get the Google Maps out.’ You know, he starts, ‘Which way am I going?’ And I’m like, ‘Don’t talk to me like that, otherwise I’m not going to tell you unless you talk nicely to me.’
Lisa: So it was mature? You reached a new level of maturity!
Jessica: Mature. Yes, I don’t know what it is about the directions in the car. But we remembered how much travelling life suits us, because like I said, we’ve done it pre-kids. We hadn’t done a big trip like this since we’ve had kids, so just seeing each other in that relaxed state, and being able to spend quality time together as a family, was really great for our relationship. And, you know, he’s just always willing to do whatever needs to be done, to keep everyone happy and safe. So we did stop, and he picked up some work at a few different places, and, you know, it was hospitality. It was stocking drinks into busy bar fridges at festivals, you know, that sort of short-term work. You can’t be too fussy when you’re looking for work for a few weeks. And he’s really honest, like, he would tell people when he was looking for work, ‘I’m only here for six weeks,’ or whatever. So it had to be that, sort of, transient work. He was often working with European backpackers.
Lisa: That’s so awesome.
Jessica: Yes, but, you know, he had fun, and that’s what I mean. He was willing to do whatever it took for us to be able to realise that dream. So that just, I guess, deepened my feelings for him, seeing the way that he could do that. He’s just such a hard worker, and the buck always, sort of, stopped at him. If something was broken, you know, I’ve got no idea when it comes to mechanical things, or getting us out of being bogged, or anything likes-,
Lisa: Yes. ‘Does anybody want some water?’
Jessica: So he really stepped up when it came to things like that. We got into, I can’t even remember. Oh, Carnarvon, and went to wind up our camper, because it was one of those wind-up ones, and it just completely collapsed. You know, the roof just completely collapsed, because we’d been on some dirt roads. There was no-one else around. He had to use all of his strength. Luckily, he’s a personal trainer, so he’s quite strong, thank God. And it nearly killed him, but to get this roof up, and put a stick in there, so we could sleep in it for the night. So, you know, without him, I wouldn’t have been able to do the trip, that’s for sure.
Lisa: That’s lovely. That’s really nice. I love when you can have the cranky moments, but there’s a deep appreciation for the other person, and what they bring to the table. I’m sure if I had the conversation with him, he would say, ‘Well, I couldn’t have done this trip, because I wouldn’t have been thinking about stocking up on food, or whatever, because we weren’t going to see another shop for three days.’ But in saying that, was it easy to eat well, when you were on the road?
Jessica: Yes. So, sometimes it was. You know, eating well is obviously a priority for me, and one of my favourite things to do was exploring the local farmers’ markets, and trying the local produce, and the tropical fruits, and whatever was available. We just loved that, we all loved that sort of aspect of it. But I definitely had to rely on good old Woolies and Coles, much more than I do at home. I try and stay away from them at home, but, you know, they’re consistent, and I know that I can get organic shredded coconut at Woolies, and I know that they’ve got a good range of nuts and seeds. So I did rely on the supermarkets more than I would have liked, and, you know, that’s the only option in some places. It was definitely harder when we were getting off the beaten track.
So we did a big adventure up in Kimberley, up in North of Western Australia, on a road. It’s an iconic four wheel drive road called the Gibb River Road, and it takes you right through to Kimberley. It was my favourite part of the whole trip, it was just incredible, the scenery and everything. But we had to stock up in Broome for three weeks. And the Gibb River Road, it’s bumpy. Like, it’s corrugated, it’s really hard travelling. But the rewards you get, the scenery, the waterholes, the waterfalls, the hikes, the boab trees. Oh, it’s just magical. So yes, I had to stock up for three weeks, and we’ve got limited room. You know, we’ve got a small camper, with a little bar fridge, and then we’ve got a camping fridge as well. So, obviously I couldn’t take a heap of fresh produce, so by week two of that trip we were eating very little fresh food, we were relying on jars, and tins, and packet food, which is not what I like to do. But I got creative, and we had some hardy vegetables that kept into week two, and by week three we were eating all packets, and jars. So, you know, there were just times when we had to do that, because there was just no other option. If we wanted to have this adventure, you know, that’s what we had to do.
Lisa: So you wouldn’t have not done that just because you couldn’t get to a local market.
Lisa: But, were you surprised when you would land in a spot, a little town, or something, and maybe there weren’t even supermarkets, or whatever? What the state of the norm is, I guess, in terms of what people are eating? Did you learn a little bit about that while you were away, did you get a fresh perspective?
Jessica: Definitely. Like, what really hit me was the little Aboriginal communities, up North, and they have just no access to fresh food at all. So they have, you know, packet food. And along this Gibb River Road, there was one little town, sort of, halfway through, that had a little convenience store. And it was in an Aboriginal community. These people lived here, and, oh, I mean, they just had no access to fresh food, and they had these Arnott’s biscuit packets that were A$12. Just so expensive. Crazy! So, that was a really big lesson, for me, that there are still communities out there that just do not have access. And that’s in Australia. Like, I just wasn’t aware that that was even the case.
Lisa: Yes. Maybe they’ve all got amazing veggie gardens.
Jessica: Yes, I’m not sure.
Lisa: Or maybe not. So, okay, I mean I’m sure that there were challenges, and we also spoke when we did the Small Steps interview, about your kids having access to cereals, sometimes, that they wouldn’t at home. And how tough it is, to turn that around once they have had those foods. And I think that perspective, in itself, just in terms of how you help other mums improve the quality of their foods that kids are getting. But once kids get a tastes of something, or once something is part of their routine, it is actually really hard to break that.
Jessica: It really is. It was kind of good for me to see that first-hand, because my kids have always had, you know, right from when they were babies, they’ve always had really good food. So, I’ve done that right from the start, but a lot of the families that I work with haven’t, and their kids are already hooked on, or just used to eating, breakfast cereals, and Vegemite sandwiches, and all that normal, sort of, food that a lot of kids eat. So, yes, when we weren’t able to get lots of fresh food, you know, I did buy breakfast cereals, and bread that we would never have normally eaten. And once they get a taste for it, to get them back to the good wholefoods that I like them to eat was definitely a challenge. So, it was nice for me to be able to experience that, so then I can develop more strategies in helping people to help their kids get off those sorts of foods.
Lisa: Yes. And before we talk about how you actually do that, because I think a lot of people might like to know. I just would love to finish up on what things, maybe, you missed about home, perhaps, that you didn’t expect to miss. Or the things that you knew you were going to miss. And then, things that you really didn’t miss.
Jessica: Yes, okay. So, things that I did miss. My kitchen was a big one. You know, I had this tiny little space in the camper, no bench space. Every time I went food shopping I had to play Tetris to fit everything in. And then trying to get something out that I needed, out of the back of the tiny little pantry that I had. It was just a real challenge, so I really missed my kitchen. I really missed my bathroom, you know. We didn’t even have a shower in our camper, so we relied on camping, you know, shower blocks or swimming holes. Natural swimming holes.
Lisa: Wow, that’s intense.
Jessica: Yes. You have to remember, you’ve got to have all your stuff, and go have a shower, so you’ve got everything. There were definitely a couple of times when I’d get out the shower and realise I’d forgotten my towel, and things like that. So, yes, my kitchen and bathroom were the big ones. And then of course, I’m really close with my sister, and she’s got a little girl who’s really close to my daughter, so I really missed them, and my mum, and my girlfriends. You know, being with my family 24/7 and then just not having girlfriends to vent with, or have fun with, or have a coffee with, or a glass of wine. That was really challenging. And my local community. We’ve got a beautiful community where I live, and we’ve got a great farmers’ market. You know, it’s Saturday mornings, it’s like, social time at the farmers’ market. So I really missed that community, but in a way, it was kind of nice to not know anyone, as well. Because I’m a naturopath in the local area, so it was nice not to always bump into people. Sometimes, at the market, on certain days, I just feel like putting my sunnies on, and my hat on, and marching through.
Lisa: Yes, right.
Jessica: You’re just not in the mood to stop and chat, but most of the time I am. So, it was kind of nice to be a stranger in new towns, in a way, as well. What I didn’t miss is being busy all the time. Housework, like I mentioned, I just do not enjoy housework, so I definitely didn’t miss that. And I guess, you know, even though I love to catch up with people, and social engagements, it was really nice not to have full weekends, every weekend. You know, birthday parties, dinners, and catching up with them. It was really nice just to be us, and not have any of those social engagements. So, yes, that was good.
Lisa: That does sound nice, and I think every time I go away, even for a little bit, I always come home and think, ‘I never want to forget that feeling.’ Or, I want to keep tapping into this. Nick and I have this thing, that there’s something that happens to you in the middle of the sky. So, we’ll be flying back, even just from visiting all our family in Melbourne, and he will just, sort of, have these downloads, these epiphanies, that kind of come to you because you’re not here, and you’re not there. And we always seem to have very good conversations after we’ve had a trip, and I could imagine that what you’ve just done is almost spend a whole year not here, not there. And for your kids, too, because I know you’re crazily getting back into your house, and all that sort of thing. Kids starting school. It’ll probably only be in the next few months, or even over the course of this year, that some of the biggest realisations, maybe, will come to you. Because we don’t even know how we’ve transformed until we’re in a new situation, and suddenly the old habits, or the old thoughts, or the old reactions, just don’t come in the same way.
Jessica: Yes, that’s really a good point. And I think just being away, and having all that reflection time, like I had. You know, those new thoughts, and things, and new ideas. And I got real clarity about which direction I want my business to go, and real clarity into what I want my life to look like when I get home, and all that sort of thing. But yes, you’re right, like, I’m sure a lot of that is still to come, which is exciting.
Lisa: It is! Well, before we finish up, tell people-, because you run an awesome program, that has been around for a little while now, hasn’t it?
Lisa: So, tell us about that. And then, I think you’re running a challenge? So, just fill everyone in, in case they want to jump on board.
Jessica: Yes, okay. So, the program that I run is called Natural Super Kids. It’s a six-week course for parents to teach them, and inspire them, and motivate them to nourish their kids, and boost their kids’ health. So, we cover lots of different things. There’s a big focus on nutrition, there’s a big focus on meal ideas, that kids will actually eat. So, breakfasts and lunchboxes, and dinners, and snacks. We talk a lot about strategies for fussy eating, because a lot of the mums that join up to my program have fussy eaters. And then we delve deeper into some of the really important things, or the really important systems, when it comes to kids’ health. So, we talk a lot about gut health, and how to improve your child’s gut health. We talk about the immune system, so both boosting and balancing the immune system. We talk about toxins and chemicals, and how to reduce your child’s exposure to those, when you can.
It’s all done in a very, you know, realistic way. Like you said at the start, I think it’s really important that we find little things that we can do, to implement into our family’s habits, that make big changes over the long term. So yes, that’s my Natural Super Kids program, and there’s a Facebook community that goes with that, as well. So, you know, everyone’s in it together. And then, I’m really excited about my brand new free challenge, which is called the Healthy Kids Challenge, and that’s open now. We get started on Monday 20th February. It’s a seven-day challenge, so it’s just a few little things that you can do, to start to boost your kids’ health. There’s a big focus on fussy eaters, and how to implement more nutrition into your kids’ diet, in a way that they’re going to accept.
Lisa: Yes. That is just the biggest challenge, isn’t it?
Jessica: It is.
Lisa: It’s that we can know all these things, or we can want to do certain things, but the, ‘Yuck, I’m not eating this!’ Oh, devastating.
Jessica: It’s so frustrating, isn’t it.
Lisa: It is so frustrating! I will definitely be posting the link for everyone to jump onto that challenge, and I am sure that there will be people wanting to deep-dive into all those kids’ issues. So, we’ll pop the link for that too, when it’s open and live. And, I mean, I’m just so thrilled that you’re out there doing what you do, but not only that, you’re just such a great example of someone just out there, living life, making it happen. And the fact your husband is just, ‘Well, whatever we need to do, I’ll do it, and we’ll just keep going.’ And you just have a really pragmatic and down to earth approach to, ‘If this is the goal, or this is the dream, then we can’t be too dogmatic about the way it happens. Let’s just do it.’ And I just think it’s so refreshing, and I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to have this conversation. It’s given me such a good insight into-, I don’t know, especially when you do have that label of being a naturopath. It’s like, ‘You’ve got all the answers to living a healthy life.’ And we’re all just people, doing our thing, and trying to do the right things for our families, and trying to live the best lives that we can. So, thank you for sharing your story about the trip around Australia.
Jessica: Thank you, Lisa. Thanks for having me. And yes, I think it just comes down to making a decision, and then making the steps to make it happen. Because so many people say to me, ‘Oh, we would love to do that, but, you know, we just can’t.’ And I think if it’s something that you really want to do, you’ve just got to find a way to make it work.
Lisa: Yes. A friend of mine-, I don’t know if I’ve shared this on the podcast before, she said to me one day that her auntie gave her this piece of advice. Because she was paralysed, she didn’t know which way to go, and her auntie just said, ‘Just make a decision. And then, make another one. And from there, you can make another one, and another one. But just make a decision.’ And I think that’s what I have most gotten out of our chat today, is that you guys just decided. You know, that’s the whole manifesting, direct your energy towards the things that you want, instead of the things that you don’t want. Because wherever your energy is focused, well, that’s what we’re going to keep recreating. So, for some of those big, life, crazy decisions that some people might think are way beyond their reach, you guys just decided, and then your energy went towards making it happen. It’s such a simple equation.
Jessica: Yes, it really is, and I think fear stops us. Because we’re scared we’ll make the wrong decision, or, ‘What if this happens?’ or, ‘What if that happens?’ But while we were travelling, we met lots of, like, retired couples that were doing it. You know, because that tends to be more when people do it. There are lots of families doing it as well, but the thing that all of them said to us is, ‘We wish we could have done it when our kids were young. You know, it’s so amazing.’ No-one ever said, ‘Oh, you know, we did that when we had young kids, but we wish we never did.’ You know, no-one ever said that.
Lisa: Yes. Okay, I’m feeling pretty inspired, and so if I end up taking off, and pulling my kid out of school, then you’ll know why, that you are totally responsible for that. And now, there are all these people Googling four wheel drives.
Jessica: Come and visit me down in South Australia when you’re doing your lap.
Lisa: Oh, you know, I’m totally there. You’ve just sold me on your town, I also want to move there, to just live.
Jessica: Yes, it’s an awesome place.
Lisa: Thank you for your time today, Jess.
Jessica: Thanks Lisa.