Living the Healthy Life - The Jessica Sepel Interview

Clinical Nutritionist and JSHealth Vitamins Founder Jessica Sepel shares how she lives life well in our exclusive interview.

We thoroughly enjoyed your books - The Healthy Life; Living the Healthy Life; and The 12 Step Mind, Body & Food Reset. We also fondly recall your launch event for Living The Healthy Life at our Cavendish store some years back. Could you please share a bit about your evolution from nutritionist, through author, to vitamin and natural beauty entrepreneur?  

Looking back, it all happened very naturally and authentically. Before any products existed, JSHealth began as a community, which remains at our very heart today, and this then grew into the global brand known as JSHealth Vitamins. 

My fascination with supplements started in childhood, watching my grandparents and parents take their daily vitamins. I was captivated by the idea of using them to support wellness. As a teenager, I worked in health food stores and pharmacies, immersing myself in the ingredients and benefits of different formulas.  

Despite my passion for wellness, I wasn’t without my own struggles. In 2012, I began blogging candidly about my personal journey as I navigated escaping from a world of fad dieting, a restrictive mindset and feeling completely disconnected from my body. I believe it was my authenticity that quickly attracted a large following of people on a similar path, and I found my voice supporting this community to find balance with food and embrace body love alongside me.  

Then it began to snowball. I became a qualified Clinical Nutritionist, authored three best-selling wellness books detailing The Healthy Life philosophy and released our innovative JSHealth App, before creating JSHealth Vitamins’ very first formula that is loved by millions all over the world to this day - our Hair + Energy capsules.  

Every product we make really ties back into supporting the JSHealth community to live their very best healthy and balanced lives. Since JSHealth was born, I have been continually propelled by my mission to support the global community in achieving the happiness and confidence they deserve - this is what has seen the business evolve to include so many different streams of health goals and concerns that our solution-focused products address.  

My time working in private practice gave me further insights into what was missing in the supplement industry, and put me even more in touch with what people, especially women, were going through health-wise. Whatever I hear the community needs, I set out to create, and having this range of targeted formulas is in a sense a wonderful accident… It has really been a natural extension of my purpose to make a difference in people’s lives all along. Today, as I reflect on this journey, I am constantly fuelled by my mission to empower our community, helping them discover the happiness and confidence they truly deserve. 

Our readers may not all know that you are a proudly Johannesburg girl! How do you think your South African roots have helped shape you into who you are today? How would you say the natural health industries in South Africa and Australia compare?  

Growing up in Johannesburg was mostly a really idyllic childhood. I was surrounded by a culture that celebrates the beauty of fresh, whole foods and a deep connection to the land. I’ve also been lucky enough to be very close with my family, and remember my grandparents taking their vitamins each day while embracing an active and nourishing lifestyle. These were the first seeds that later shaped my own passion and career. 

When it comes to comparing the natural health industries in South Africa and Australia, both countries have their unique strengths. In South Africa, there is a strong tradition of using indigenous plants and herbs for medicinal purposes, passed down through generations. This deep-rooted knowledge adds a distinct respect for the natural health industry. On the other hand, Australia has a thriving wellness scene with a focus on holistic approaches and integrative medicine. The Australian market is known for its innovative products and cutting-edge research. 

My South African roots have gifted me a deep appreciation for the healing power of nature and a holistic approach to wellbeing. It's a perspective I've woven into my journey here in Australia, and it continues to inspire me every day as we expand the business worldwide. Blending these two cultural influences has truly shaped my path to creating a holistic, science-backed and balanced approach to health that resonates with all who seek the healthiest lives for themselves. 

We are thrilled to now stock JSHealth Vitamins in our stores! We know that you are very conscientious about the quality of your ingredients and formulations. Could you share a bit about your journey of expert collaboration and development in this regard?  

I am truly so excited to have our vitamins in your stores in South Africa! Quality and authenticity have always been at the heart of our brand, and the journey of expert collaboration and formulation development has been both enlightening and deeply rewarding. 

Our formulations deliver results and truly have a positive impact on our customers’ lives - this is why people come back to them time and time again. 

From the very beginning, my passion has been to create products that truly make a difference in people's lives. I understood that in order to achieve this, I needed to collaborate with experts who shared the same vision and dedication to excellence. That is why I surrounded myself with a team of highly qualified professionals who specialise in various fields, including nutrition, herbal medicine and formulation science. 

Our journey of expert collaboration and development starts with extensive research and sourcing the highest-quality ingredients. We work closely with trusted suppliers who share our commitment to sustainability, purity and potency. Each ingredient is meticulously selected based on its nutritional profile and therapeutic benefits, ensuring that our formulations deliver targeted support for specific health concerns. 

To ensure the efficacy and safety of our products, we invest in rigorous testing and quality control measures. We follow strict guidelines and adhere to industry standards to guarantee that every product bearing the JSHealth name meets the highest quality benchmarks. 

Through ongoing collaboration with experts, we continuously refine our formulations to stay at the forefront of scientific advancements and nutritional research. This is what allows us to keep innovating and creating products that address the evolving needs of our community. 

As well as this, we are committed to transparency as a cornerstone of our brand. We believe our community deserves to know exactly what they are putting into their bodies. That's why we provide detailed information about each ingredient, its purpose and the scientific rationale behind it. 

Were any of the products inspired by your own wellness journey, and are there any in particular that you find the most helpful in your daily regime today?  

Absolutely! The development of our solution-focused range has been deeply intertwined with my own wellness journey. As someone who has experienced their fair share of health challenges, I understand the importance of finding solutions that truly work and support overall wellbeing.  

I personally will not live without our Probiotic, Detox + Debloat and Magnesium. 

Our Advanced Magnesium formula is a product very close to my heart. Having experienced my own struggles with anxiety and sleep disturbances in the past, I knew how crucial magnesium was in calming the mind and supporting restful sleep. I then set out to create a magnesium supplement that would provide maximum benefits and truly make a difference in people's lives. Our formula combines three different forms of magnesium for optimal absorption and effectiveness. Today, I continue to take it religiously before bed, and it truly helps me achieve the deep, restorative sleep that is so essential to overall wellbeing.  

I’m a firm believer in nourishing the body from within, which is why our inner beauty powder, Vitality X + Collagen, also holds a special place in my routine! Collagen is a vital component of healthy skin, hair, nails, and joints, and I have personally witnessed its transformative effects. This unique formula combines premium Marine Collagen peptides with 10 unique ingredients including astaxanthin to support vitality and overall wellbeing. I find it incredibly beneficial for maintaining the health and radiance of my skin, strengthening my hair and for boosting my energy levels too!  

While these are just a few examples, each JSHealth Vitamins product has been carefully crafted to address specific health concerns and provide targeted support. Both of these products are not only inspired by my wellness journey, but are also integral to my daily routine. They’re a testament to our commitment to creating solutions that are not just effective, but truly life-enhancing. 

We know from your books that you are passionate about eating well. While we understand that nutrition is a highly personalised pursuit, could you please share a bit about what you have found to work well for you?  

Over the years, I've come to realise that what works well for me centres around a few fundamental principles. Firstly, I prioritise whole, unprocessed foods. These form the foundation of my diet, with an emphasis on a colourful array of vegetables, quality sources of protein and healthy fats. These foods provide a wealth of essential nutrients that support overall vitality. 

Balancing my meals is key. I aim for a combination of macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins, and fats – in each meal to provide sustained energy and keep me feeling satisfied. I also embrace the power of mindful eating, savouring every bite and tuning into my body's hunger and fullness cues. 

Hydration is non-negotiable. I start my day with a glass of water and ensure I stay well hydrated throughout. It's a simple yet profoundly impactful habit. 

I'm a firm believer in the importance of listening to our bodies. I pay close attention to how different foods make me feel, not just immediately after eating, but in the hours and days that follow. This awareness guides my choices and helps me maintain balance. 

Finally, I practise flexibility and kindness towards myself. While I aim to nourish my body with wholesome foods, I also indulge in the occasional glass of wine (my favourites being organic and red wine!) or sweet treat that brings me joy. This balance is crucial for both my physical and emotional wellbeing.  

It’s really a harmonious blend of nourishing foods, mindful eating, hydration, self-awareness, and self-compassion. It's a journey of constant learning and adaptation, but one that truly enriches my life, and I'm grateful to share these principles with others through what I do.  

Your Hair + Energy formula has a global cult-following. Could you share a bit about the origin story / ingredients of this product? 

Our Hair + Energy formula is a very special supplement – it was the first formula I created and is our best-seller to this day –  we have sold millions of bottles! 

The idea to create a formula to support hair health, growth and thickness was inspired by listening to the needs of the JSHealth community. I was constantly receiving questions about what foods or supplements I recommended for this. I also received a lot of requests about supporting energy levels and realised that both these needs could be met in one formula. 

As a nutritionist, I used to prescribe minerals such as iodine, zinc and selenium and noticed that my clients’ hair would get healthier and thicker. I was taking iodine myself,  too. I then looked into the research, and to my surprise, I noticed that iodine has been proven to help support hair growth and thickness.  

The industry was mainly using biotin and silica for hair growth, but I personally never saw extraordinary results with these supplements. 

I later discovered a very special kind of kelp which yielded bioavailable iodine. I also saw that zinc has been shown to maintain normal healthy hair. So, like all of the JSHealth Vitamins formulas, we added ingredients based on what the research says. I set out to create a truly life-changing yet simple hair and energy support formula using this as a hero ingredient – which is now exclusive to us and named JSHealth Miracle Kelp™, along with zinc. 

JSHealth Miracle Kelp™ is composed of two high-purity kelp materials containing fucoidan, found in the cell wall of seaweed, which is rich in the mineral iodine. Nutritionally, kelp supports healthy thyroid function, which plays an important role in energy levels, as well as hair follicle functions. It extends the hair growth phase, as well as stimulating the hair growth cycle and promoting a healthy scalp.  

I am so proud to say that our Hair + Energy formula really works and has helped so many people regain their energy, hair health and confidence. There is nothing else like it on the market. 

Another firm fan favourite is your Detox + Debloat formula. Do you perhaps have any tips you could share for gut health that could complement supplementing with this product?  

Gut health is a topic that I'm deeply passionate about. It's important to clarify that our Detox + Debloat formula is not in any way related to a weight loss fad or trend. At JSHealth, our philosophy celebrates body love and kindness. We believe in nourishing our bodies to support confidence and provide comfort from the inside out. 

With that in mind, I'd love to share some tips for promoting gut health that beautifully complement supplementing with our gut-love formula. Firstly, prioritise a diverse range of whole foods in your diet. Think colourful vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. This variety ensures a rich array of nutrients that support a healthy gut. 

Probiotics are wonderful allies in nurturing gut health. Incorporate foods like yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi into your diet. These foods introduce beneficial bacteria into your digestive system. Also consider foods rich in prebiotics, which nourish your gut bacteria. Garlic, onions, leeks, and asparagus are excellent choices. 

Hydration is key. Drinking enough water helps maintain the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and keeps things running smoothly. Mindful eating aligns perfectly with our philosophy of body love. Slow down during meals, savour each bite and cultivate a positive relationship with food. 

Lastly, stress management is vital for gut health. Stress can disrupt the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, so practices like meditation, yoga, and deep belly breathing exercises can make a world of difference. 

We are so inspired by all the before and after photos from fans of your Skin + Digestion tablets. Could you share your own skin type / journey, plus any skincare tips you would recommend, in addition to taking this supplement (we hope that your amazing vitamin skincare collection reaches South African soil sooner rather than later!)? 

I personally have combination skin, which means I have both oily and dry areas. My skin journey has been a learning process, filled with its ups and downs. I've truly come to realise that true skin health starts from within. That's why I developed our Skin + Digestion tablets in light of the gut-skin connection, to address the root causes of skin issues.

Here are a few skincare tips I would recommend: 

1. Cleanse gently: Avoid harsh cleansers that strip the skin of its natural oils. Opt for a gentle, sulphate-free cleanser such as our Balancing Vitamin Cleanser that effectively removes dirt and impurities without causing dryness or irritation.  

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Keeping the skin well hydrated is crucial for a healthy complexion. Use a moisturiser that suits your skin type (our Probiotic Vitamin Moisturiser is gentle and effective for all skin types!) and consider adding a hydrating serum or facial oil such as our Luminous Vitamin Oil to really feed your skin the natural goodness it deserves.  

3. Protect from the sun: Sun protection is essential for maintaining youthful, healthy skin. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day, even on cloudy days or during winter. A gentle skincare routine that includes a good cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen is essential. Less is often more with skincare – simplicity can be incredibly effective. 

4. Eat a skin-friendly diet: Remember, what you put into your body reflects on your skin! Incorporate antioxidant-rich foods like berries, leafy greens and omega-3 fatty acids from sources like salmon and walnuts for a healthy glow. 

5. Address digestive health first


There are so many new collagen products popping up everywhere. What sets Vitality X + Collagen apart?  

Our formula was born from a deep understanding of the importance of inner vitality and outer radiance. It’s about feeling your best from the inside out. Here, we turned to the research and included high-quality hydrolysed marine collagen peptides, scientifically proven to support healthy skin, hair, nails and joints. 

We carefully chose 10 ingredients including Siberian ginseng, astaxanthin, turmeric, aloe vera and more to relieve occasional digestive discomfort, support energy production and vitality, and further support healthy skin collagen and skin health.  

You can be confident that in every sip of our beloved inner beauty blend, you’re truly giving your body the nutrients it needs from within. It’s a staple for many in our community, a daily act of self-love and self-care, nourishing both physical wellbeing and inner radiance. 


We are particularly fond of your Mild Anxiety + Stress formula. We also enjoyed the lifestyle practices and interventions outlined in your books. Could you please share the top daily / weekly / monthly ‘must-dos’ that help you stay on top of your game, both personally and professionally? 

I truly believe that taking care of ourselves from all angles is essential for maintaining a balanced life, both personally and professionally. 

On a daily basis, I start with mindfulness and gratitude. This sets a positive tone for the day, helping me manage stress more effectively. I also make time for movement that I love, whether it's a brisk walk, yoga or a quick workout. Physical activity is game-changing for stress relief! 

Every week I make sure to carve out moments for self-care, whether it's a relaxing bath with Epsom salts, reading a good book or spending quality time with my loved ones. I also dedicate time to meal planning and preparation on Sundays to ensure that I'm nourishing my body with wholesome foods throughout the week. 

Monthly, I like to review my goals and intentions. This helps me stay aligned with my vision and to make any necessary adjustments. 

I always make sure to prioritise rest and quality sleep. Truly a non-negotiable for my overall wellbeing!  

You have a particularly strong presence on social media. How do you set boundaries around your time spent online? 

While social media is an incredible platform to connect with others, setting boundaries around my time spent online is crucial for maintaining a healthy balance in my life. This is so important, whether it’s online or offline!  

To help me, I follow a few practices:  

1. Setting specific time limits: I allocate specific time slots for social media engagement and stick to them to remain mindful of my screen time. This prevents the constant distraction that can come from being online all the time and allows me to be intentional and focused. I switch my phone off by 20:30 / 21:00 strictly.  

2. Creating digital-free zones (the JSHealth Stress-Free Zone!): I commit 10 - 30 minutes in my day to disconnecting from technology completely. Doing this allows for uninterrupted quality time with loved ones and promotes present-moment awareness. I also prioritise disconnecting completely during family meals and before bedtime for quality, restful sleep.  

3. Filtering content: I actively curate my feed to include positive and uplifting content while minimising exposure to negative or triggering material. This helps to create a nourishing online environment. 

4. Practising self-awareness: I regularly check in with myself to assess how social media is impacting my mental and emotional wellbeing. If needed, I take breaks or step back to recalibrate. 

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“Wellness Warehouse strives to help you live life well but because we are retailers and not medical practitioners we cannot offer medical advice. Please always consult your medical practitioner before taking any supplements, complementary medicines or have any health concerns and ensure that you always read labels, warnings and directions carefully, prior to consumption.”