Jessie Maher offers incredibly insightful advice and tips on staying healthy and living your best life, inside and out. Her expert advice has not only helped change the lives of woman shes coached, but has also inspired thousands to live more confidently, freely and joyfully.
1) For those of us who don’t know you, please introduce yourself. What are you passionate about and committed to?
My name is Jessie and I’m a holistic health coach with a Charleston, SC based company called Best Kept Self. I work with an amazing team, all experts in their own fields, that help women feel, look and live like their own best-kept selves. I cover the health and nutrition part of that equation. Not only am I passionate about the ability of food and lifestyle changes to completely alter a person’s outlook on their body and health, but also do it in a way that helps to heal and sustain the planet. So many of our personal woes, as well as cries for help from the earth, all stem from the same place: what we’re eating and how we’re producing food.
2) I think your story about how you picked up O Magazine and how it changed your life forever is fascinating. Please tell us about that and how it led you to become the person you are today.
I love the saying that when the student is ready the teacher will come. And I add to that keep your eyes peeled because you never know what form it may take! I was living in Boulder, CO at the time and just the experience of living in such a health-centric mecca completely changed how I looked at food and what I ate. At the time I was also involved with various healing modalities to try and heal my skin (more on that in a moment) and I was pretty immersed in herbal remedies, acupuncture and Ayurvedic treatments. Then I happened to be on a flight and had an O Magazine with what turned out to be a life-changing article for me. It was about a man who traveled to the farthest corners of the world to collect the world’s healthiest foods. This was my first introduction to “superfoods” and it turns out, for whatever reason, it was the missing link in what I was searching for. I turned the pages of that magazine and drank in the awe-inspiring abilities of food as medicine. It was at that point my life’s purpose, and also the answer to my own problems, was solved.
3) What are the biggest benefits you have seen to date from eating raw foods and going after the natural ways of healing?
I began this journey for one very specific reason: to heal my skin. I had suffered from acne for the better part of 20 years and there wasn’t a cream, pill or potion that I hadn’t tried. I began to study nutrition and started to make the connection between the symptoms of the body as a way to understand its imbalances. Nothing is in vain; it’s a constant communication if we’re only listening. As I began to clean up my diet, my skin changed dramatically. After a few years of a clean diet and an open dialogue with my skin I know exactly how to nourish it, I know exactly what it needs (and doesn’t) and I finally don’t have to hide behind layers of makeup. A by-product of making those same changes is my weight stabilized, I have more energy, my thinking is clearer and I have no longer live in fear of PMS.
4) Considering your expertise in working with women, what would you say are the 3 MUST DO’s for every woman on a daily basis to maintain thriving great health?
1) Listen to what your food tells you. After every meal make sure you’re checking in and paying attention to how you feel. You’ll become your own expert in what you’re body needs in no time.
2) Know that the food system is broken. This is an inconvenient truth but it’s so important to know. You can’t trust what is marketed to you. You can’t trust what “they” say is healthy. It’s all been sold to the highest bidder. You need to use your instincts and your own common sense to make the best choices for yourself.
3) You have to do it. There is no magic pill, shortcut, doctor or government policy that does not make your responsible for your own health. But it’s worth it. Nothing feels better than vibrant health.
5) What is something most women don’t know about eating and the way it affects their body?
Food is a great communicator. Every spoonful is saying something. It speaks to your body. It tells you to burn fat or store fat. It says energize or make tired. It says heal or create imbalance. It is always saying something so you must become a part of the dialogue. Food isn’t neutral. It’s either working for you or against you, but the amazing thing is: you get to choose!
6) Tells us about how you help women “detoxify their beauty routine.”
My favorite way, because I’m a minimalist, is to simplify the routine. For example, I wash my face with charcoal soap; use a vitamin C serum and then Rose Hip oil as a moisturizer. All products with very few ingredients. During the day I use a sunscreen, which is a little more complex. For those types of products I always check them out with the Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep Database (www.ewg/skindeep). This amazing group has done all the dirty work and all we have to do is plug in our product and it gives us a rating of how “clean” it is. It’s pretty great!
7) What are your top recommended superfoods or raw foods and what are their benefits?
I love to stress the benefits of everyday fruits and vegetables! I start my mornings with a green smoothie that typically involves romaine lettuce, mint and basil from the garden, a lemon and an apple or pear. All these foods are incredibly accessible and also inexpensive. Blended together I’ve got a green drink that is rich in fiber, calcium, vitamins A, C and E, folate, antioxidants and more!
When I first started getting healthy I made the mistake of thinking I needed all the exotic super foods. What happened is I spent a ton of money at the grocery store and then had them sit in my cupboards for years because I had no idea how to use them and I didn’t totally understand their power. That’s why I stress the importance of regular ol’ lettuce.
That said I’ve now fallen head over heals with superfoods and I absolutely recommend them to my clients who are willing to invest in them. My top 2 are raw cacao and spirulina. Cacao is unprocessed chocolate in its original form. I use the powder because it’s so versatile. You can use this superfood to make an incredibly healthy hot cocoa, add it to smoothies or use it to make desserts. Raw chocolate is high in the essential mineral magnesium and also contains calcium, sulfur, zinc, copper and manganese as well as a range of B vitamins, antioxidants and some protein and fiber.
Spirulina I fully believe keeps my hair, skin and nails in tip top shape. It’s the most nutritionally complete food on the planet. This dark blue-green algae is high in omega fats, contains the full range of amino acids (it’s actually over 60% protein), is high in bio-available iron, the range of B vitamins, vitamin E, K and also the minerals potassium, copper, chromium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorous and selenium. Its high nutrient content makes it incredibly alkalizing and anti-inflammatory which is extremely protective of most chronic conditions. Because it’s high in chlorophyll it’s incredibly detoxifying. Because of all these benefits, and more, I put aside that it’s not the best tasting food on the planet and wash it down daily anyways!
8) How can someone get in contact with you or contact you for coaching? You can find my work and my blogs at www.bestkeptself.com but the best way to reach me personally is my email: [email protected]