Nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill spills the beans on what is actually in her pantry



Jacqueline Alwill is a qualified, practising nutritionist, wholefoods cook and most importantly a mother to Jet...

As founder and director of The Brown Paper Bag, Alwill has established herself as a leading nutritionist, health writer and presenter, with an in demand nutrition practice and wholefoods catering company ‘The Brown Paper Bag’. Here we delve into her healthy life.

Photographs: Julie Adams | Words: Sarah Brooks-Wilson | Go to www.thebrownpaperbag.com.au


What is your approach to wellbeing?

To be creative in the way you approach health, not have too many rules, be kind to yourself and let things flow. I believe with that philosophy to wellbeing I really love the life and the body I live in too.


How has your health and fitness changed since being a mum?

I’ve learnt to tune into my body more as a mum. In the past I may have pushed through when I felt tired or not 100%, but something most definitely changed with motherhood. I have such different appreciation for my body now.


What would we find in your kitchen cupboard/fridge/freezer?

Pantry staples: buckwheat, quinoa, oats, rice (red, brown, basmati), seed snaps, coconut, homemade muesli, chia seeds, dried fruits (dates, apricots, apples – we’re made on dehydration our own fruit at the moment), nuts and seeds a plenty, nut butters and tahini, natural sweeteners such as rice malt, honey, coconut syrup and maple, vanilla, legumes (chickpeas, lentils) super food powders (maca, camu, cacao, spirulina), protein powder, cacao, coconut/olive/macadamia oil, apple cider and balsamic vinegar and herbs and spices to boot!

Freezer staples: peas, spinach, frozen bananas and berries, frozen raw treats (bliss balls or slice), sliced and frozen sourdough, buckwheat seed bread or banana coconut bread (recipe here from Seasons to Share) and frozen homemade ice blocks from yoghurt, berries, bananas, vanilla and sometimes date caramel (blended dates and nut butter – heaven!)

Fridge staples: broccoli, cauliflower, avocado, tomatoes, herbs (so many – I can’t live without them!), sauerkraut, kombucha, organic yoghurt, hummus, goat/cheddar/ricotta cheese, berries and seasonal fruit, carrots, clean quality proteins from fish, chicken and red meat, organic full cream dairy and almond milk, and then pre-cooked vegetables (roasted or steamed) ready to grab and throw into lunches throughout the week without having to think too much!


What do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Tricky because it’s never the same thing two days running! I love to mix things up and make sure I draw good nutrition from a variety of sources. Breakfast at the moment is a smoothie of some sort – the current favourite which sounds awful but is actually extremely delicious is with carob, banana, pea protein, water, magnesium powder, maca, vanilla, fossil shell flour, white clay and psyllium. Gut loving coming Matcha! Lunch often a nourish bowl with eggs, roasted vegetables (or those cooked from fridge), plenty of greens and a dollop of hummus, pesto, drizzled spice yoghurt or if there aren’t any eggs some shredded chicken or whichever leftovers might be floating. Dinner varies so much, we’re loving the warmer Sydney weather and eating lighter salads with a piece of protein by night – for me it’s usually salmon, trout or chicken.


What snacks do you keep in your handbag?

Pot of nuts and seeds, we dehydrate our own fruit and vegetables so I grab that for Jet whenever we head out too as it always seems more exciting than normal fruit for him. And to be honest if I know I have a big day running between meetings then I stash a couple of carrots to munch on in between. We have bliss balls in the freezer most of the time so they’re generally on hand too.


What do you always make sure you include in your diet everyday?

Lemon and bitter greens. Both support the detoxification pathways of the liver and healthy digestion and I feel fresher, balanced and more energised when I have lots of bitter and sours in my diet.


What do you eat for energy?

Protein, as it stabilises my energy levels. A piece of chicken breast, a smoothie with pea or rice protein, a couple of eggs. They work wonders for me.


How do you treat yourself?

My massage therapist is does a lot of energy work, so I head to her when I need a treat. It’s probably not as often as I should but something is better than nothing.


What would you say are your top 5 healthy tips for mums out there?

Speak to yourself as you would to your children… always with love. Sometimes as mothers we give ourselves so much grief about things that we really don’t need to, body image, not doing or being enough – I am sure many women relate to just those few alone. We speak unkindly to ourselves and our bodies respond accordingly. If we speak kindly to ourselves things are much easier because we move through life with flow instead of force. Make time for you. It might be ten minutes or one hour each day, honestly whatever you can fit in. A ten-minute walk around the block after dropping kids off or putting them to bed, or doing some stretching will refresh your headspace and give you a lift.


How do you relax?

Yoga, a walk along the coast, a book and plenty of snuggles with Jet. Getting out of Sydney has been a good one for me recently as it means I will 100% switch off.


What about exercise?

Exercise is a must for me, not everyday and not the same thing over. I’ll do a mix of running, conditioning, walking, yoga, Pilates, stretching and at the moment as the sun warms up soft sand training and stairs too.


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