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My Day On A Plate: Nutritionist Jessica Cox During Her Travels In Italy

Jessica is a passionate foodie and qualified, practicing Nutritionist with a Bachelor Health Science (Nutrition) and over thirteen years of clinical experience.

Jessica is the founder and owner of JCN Clinic based in Brisbane, Australia. The clinic treats all facets of health conditions, specialising with ongoing digestive issues and food intolerances.This edition of My Day On A Plate features Jessica's plate whilst travelling in Italy. 

GoodnessMe Box Jessica Cox

Here's what a day on Jessica's plate looks like... 

Pre-Breakfast

No matter where I am in the world, I always start the day with my Pimped Up Matcha. In Italy, this has meant travelling with my milk frother and the powdered ingredients to make it. A no brainer sacrifice in luggage weight for me.

Breakfast

At home in Australia, I commonly have my Gut-Friendly Bread toasted and topped with either sweet toppings like peanut butter or almond butter and sliced seasonal fruit, hemp seeds and a fresh squeeze of lime, or I make one of my One Pan Pancakes (recipe coming soon in my new cookbook!). Here in Italy, I am still making my One Pan Pancakes and topping them with either peanut butter or homemade jam and a really good quality soy yogurt I’ve found, plus some seasonal fruit and hemp seeds. I’m also into making breakfast cakes like this Apricot, Campari & Honey Cake, as cake is common for breakfast in Italy.


GoodnessMe Box Jessica Cox

Lunch

In Australia, lunch is generally batch cooked leftovers, that being a mix of roasted root vegetables inclusive of starchy root veg like potato and sweet potato plus other veg like eggplant, zucchini, fennel etc. These are usually roasted with lemon wedges, extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs. I’ll then have this with some batch cooked protein like roast chicken or fried tempeh, or some boiled eggs. For freshness, I’ll often add some chopped parsley or some rocket or massaged kale. Generally, it’s an easy mix of these ingredients to create an Easy Macro Bowl.

In Italy, lunch tends to be either an antipasto spread of marinated eggplant, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh rocket, prosciutto di parma, rockmelon and rice or buckwheat cakes. Otherwise, we eat out, which could be a tuna salad with corn, olives, tomatoes and anchovies. 

GoodnessMe Box Jessica Cox

Dinner

In Australia, dinner is super diverse, but generally its always a protein, whether meat, fish, egg or legume-based. This means a variety of meals like salmon with sweet potato wedges, homemade mayo and salad, or tempeh wraps or buckwheat risotto. We always aim to eat as seasonally as we can and try to buy from the local markets to keep our produce super fresh. 

In Italy, dinner can be eaten out leaning towards gnocchi or gluten-free pasta with a ragu braise or wild boar with sides like sautéed greens and potato. If we cook for ourselves and others, we also cook pasta (often brown rice or legume-based) with seasonal veg and local salami, or calamari with salad or sorghum salads. Thanks to locating a good health food store I have also been able to find some tempeh to use at dinner time too.

GoodnessMe Box Jessica Cox

Dessert

Every evening at home, I’ll have a dandelion and chicory tea with rice milk and some 100% chocolate. Here in Italy, I’ve been having either plain chicory tea with rice milk or a decaf espresso with a variety of chocolates that I am slowly trying! It’s also a lot more common to make dessert here so that may be baked summer fruits or sorbet/granita or buckwheat sweet biscuits.

Snacks

Back at home when the days are longer and more demanding, I tend to make my Cookie Dough Protein Balls or Carob Jaffa Hemp Protein Balls a lot as snacks. Otherwise, I might have a Banana Muffin. 

Here is Italy, I’m not snacking as much as our days are not as demanding and we have time to eat long leisurely meals. If I am looking for a snack it will usually be fresh seasonal fruit, which is so good here! Stone fruit like peaches, nectarines and apricots are the go-to along with watermelon.

GoodnessMe Box Jessica Cox

How Jessica Stays Fit...

At home in Aus, I have more of a routine of exercising before my day starts, as I find it sets me up for a busy day and I never want to do it when my workday is over.  I use the Sweat app (and have done so for over 5 years!), which gives me consistent workouts that change to suit my requirements. This means I rotate high-intensity plyometric training with weights, then lighter days of long walks or sprints. I always have 1 – 2 rest days a week and aim to do yoga once a week too.

In Italy, I use my Sweat app but it’s a bit more random. I have flexibility with my days but still, like to do my exercise in the morning. We are walking a lot more natural and I am also doing more yoga here using the Down Dog app, which I am loving!

Carob Jaffa Hemp Protein Balls 

Serves makes 12 - 13 balls

Preparation time 20 - 30 minutes including rolling time

Ingredients

    • 1 cup brazil nuts 
    • 1/2 cup almond meal 
    • 1/2 cup hemp protein powder (or plain protein powder of choice)
    • 1/4 cup hemp seeds 
    • 1/2 cup carob powder
    • 1/4 cup almond butter
    • zest of 1 & 1/2 medium sized oranges 
    • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

    Method

    1. Place the brazil nuts in a blender or food processor and blend to a rough meal. Now add in the almond meal, hemp protein powder, carob powder and hemp seeds and blend till just combined. The idea is to not break the hemp seeds down too much.

    2. Now add the almond butter, orange juice and orange zest. Blend till well combined and the dough forms a rough ball or at least clumps together in the machine really well. If your dough seems too crumbly just add a touch of water and blend again.

    3. Once your dough has come together nicely, roll into balls around the size of a twenty-cent piece in diameter. Roll in more carob powder if desired. 

    4. Store in the fridge and eat within 4 days, otherwise best to freeze them and pull them out as you are ready to eat. 

    GoodnessMe Box Jessica Cox

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