Seeking Center: The Podcast

ANXIETY GAME CHANGERS: Simple Healthy Habits to Manage Real Life - Episode 21

June 28, 2022 Jessica Cording Season 2 Episode 21
ANXIETY GAME CHANGERS: Simple Healthy Habits to Manage Real Life - Episode 21
Seeking Center: The Podcast
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Seeking Center: The Podcast
ANXIETY GAME CHANGERS: Simple Healthy Habits to Manage Real Life - Episode 21
Jun 28, 2022 Season 2 Episode 21
Jessica Cording

Have you ever felt like you’re drinking all the green juice, trying all the latest diets, and doing all of the workouts that are supposed to make you feel better than ever —and somehow you feel even more burnt out? Or does stress derail your self-care routine?
In this episode we’re talking with Jessica Cording. She is a true innovator in mind, body and spirit wellness and has dedicated most of her life to sharing and teaching others about how to create a practical and personalized healthy lifestyle.
As a registered dietitian, health coach and author, Jess has followed her passion for incorporating healthy living and wellness into “real life” routines. 
Jess used to let stress run the show in her own life. 
Fast forward to the Jess that is with us today, who has applied what she calls “mind, body, spirit hacks” for managing stress and wellness. She’s developed tools and resources that provide science-based education and actionable tips for managing anxiety, reducing disease risk, and feeling better NOW.

Her book  The Little Book of Game Changers: 50 Healthy Habits for Managing Stress and Anxiety is a treasure trove of simple, no-nonsense wellness goodness that offer nuggets of wellness wisdom to help us “chill the heck out and feel better.”

She is also the author of the upcoming The Farewell Tour: A Caregiver’s Guide to Stress Management, Sane Nutrition, and Better Sleep (release date: October 11, 2022). 

Healthy living doesn’t have to be complicated, and Jess is out there spreading the message! 

In this episode we're covering hacks for:

  • Anxiety 
  • Hydration
  • Blood sugar
  • Fiber
  • Mind/Gut connection
  • Addiction to food
  • Cravings 
  • Probiotics/Prebiotics

And if you're a caregiver for an ill loved one, you'll want to hear about Jess's upcoming book.

For more on Jessica and to order her fantastic book, The Little Book of Game Changers or preorder The Farewell Tour visit


“Drama Free Healthy Living”Podcast:

When you sign up for her email list you get a free guide to decoding food cravings.
Grab yours here:

Visit for more from Robyn + Karen, plus mega inspo -- and the best wellness + spiritual practitioners, products and experiences on the planet!

You can also follow Seeking Center on Instagram @theseekingcenter

Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever felt like you’re drinking all the green juice, trying all the latest diets, and doing all of the workouts that are supposed to make you feel better than ever —and somehow you feel even more burnt out? Or does stress derail your self-care routine?
In this episode we’re talking with Jessica Cording. She is a true innovator in mind, body and spirit wellness and has dedicated most of her life to sharing and teaching others about how to create a practical and personalized healthy lifestyle.
As a registered dietitian, health coach and author, Jess has followed her passion for incorporating healthy living and wellness into “real life” routines. 
Jess used to let stress run the show in her own life. 
Fast forward to the Jess that is with us today, who has applied what she calls “mind, body, spirit hacks” for managing stress and wellness. She’s developed tools and resources that provide science-based education and actionable tips for managing anxiety, reducing disease risk, and feeling better NOW.

Her book  The Little Book of Game Changers: 50 Healthy Habits for Managing Stress and Anxiety is a treasure trove of simple, no-nonsense wellness goodness that offer nuggets of wellness wisdom to help us “chill the heck out and feel better.”

She is also the author of the upcoming The Farewell Tour: A Caregiver’s Guide to Stress Management, Sane Nutrition, and Better Sleep (release date: October 11, 2022). 

Healthy living doesn’t have to be complicated, and Jess is out there spreading the message! 

In this episode we're covering hacks for:

  • Anxiety 
  • Hydration
  • Blood sugar
  • Fiber
  • Mind/Gut connection
  • Addiction to food
  • Cravings 
  • Probiotics/Prebiotics

And if you're a caregiver for an ill loved one, you'll want to hear about Jess's upcoming book.

For more on Jessica and to order her fantastic book, The Little Book of Game Changers or preorder The Farewell Tour visit


“Drama Free Healthy Living”Podcast:

When you sign up for her email list you get a free guide to decoding food cravings.
Grab yours here:

Visit for more from Robyn + Karen, plus mega inspo -- and the best wellness + spiritual practitioners, products and experiences on the planet!

You can also follow Seeking Center on Instagram @theseekingcenter


Robyn: [00:00:00] have you ever felt like you're drinking all the green juice, trying all the latest diets and doing all of the workouts that are supposed to make you feel better than ever, and somehow you feel even more burnt out or distress derail your self care routine? Well, today we're talking with Jess Cording

she's a true innovator in mind, body and spirit wellness, and has dedicated most of her life to sharing and teaching others about how to create a practical and personalized, healthy lifestyle. As a registered dietician health coach and author, Jess has followed her passion for incorporating healthy living and wellness into real life routines.

Jess used to let her stress run the show in her own. Fast forward to the jest that is with us today, who has applied what she calls mind, body spirit hacks for managing stress and wellness. She's developed tools and resources that provide science based education and actionable tips for managing anxiety, reducing disease risk and feeling better.

Now her book, the little book of game changers, 50 healthy habits for [00:01:00] managing stress and anxiety is a treasure trove of simple, No nonsense wellness, goodness that offer nuggets of wellness wisdom to help us chill the heck out and feel better. She's also the author of the upcoming, the farewell tour, a caregiver's guide to stress management, sane nutrition, and better sleep, which is coming out October 11th, 2022 healthy living.

Doesn't have to be complicated. And Jess is out there spreading the message. We have so much to discuss. Let's get talking. Hi, Jess. 

Karen: So good to see you. Good to see you. I'm just gonna add on the fact that wasn't an intro that I met when I was working at discovery and she was a treasurer in her own, right.

Just to be there and answer any question I had on nutrition. I had issues with my hair at the time and she was so helpful and just really guiding me. And I think that that's what we're all looking for a guide. As we're trying to navigate all things, health nutritionwise not always at the top of our list, right?

Jess . Oh my 

Jessica: gosh. And yeah, it was so nice to connect. I had such a great experience there. I cannot say enough good [00:02:00] things of the opportunity to just be working in that space and, connecting with patients and clients in that realm, it was just a really special experience for me.

Karen: Well, I felt like it was a real added value as an employee to have you there. Let's start from the beginning. 

Tell us a little bit how nutrition and healthy living played a 

Jessica: role in your. Yeah. So I grew up in New Jersey, you know, in the eighties and nineties and it was a very weird time in the wellness world. Right. It was like fat free everything and snack Wells, this and I grew up around a lot of really sick people, my family, you name a body part or organ system.

And , someone's got it covered, but I remember, especially as I was around, 8, 9, 10 years old, there was a lot of cancer in the family. And so I grew up hearing the adults. Talking about it all. And, I also was watching my relatives go through, the cancer, heart disease, diabetes.

But at the same time, also, there was a lot of body image stuff. my family, that side family tree, long history of eating disorders. And a lot of that stuff rubbed off on me at a young age. And I just was terrified I was afraid that everything [00:03:00] was gonna gimme cancer. and body image, not a good environment to be in as a young girl.

So stuff definitely trickled down to me. And I developed all these food phobias. I was just terrified to eat. I had so much anxiety. I had stomach pain all the time. And so I ended up falling off the growth curve. Which for, I don't know if they still talk about that terms.

I haven't done pediatrics in a long time. But meaning I just didn't gain enough weighted and grow tall enough one year. And my pediatrician was like, Hey, like what's going on here? And so I actually had the opportunity to work with a therapist and a dietician to help me get back on track and.

It was so helpful, I watched a lot of my peers go through the angst of trying to figure out food and diet and nutrition and body image stuff in high school. And I'd been lucky enough to work with a professional.

So I was able to know my body, know what I needed and it served me so well. And it was on my mind to do that potentially as a career path, but I hated chemistry class. I didn't even finish it in high school. I loved writing. So the first time around, I followed a scholarship to Emerson college and I studied writing literature and publishing, and I just had [00:04:00] the best time I was very happy to be there. I graduated, , with a writing degree at the beginning of a recession. And I landed in New York city and I was just trying to figure out what I was gonna do.

was working in music PR and just kind of writing on the side, but I was not fulfilled at all. I had a great experience. I learned a lot in that realm. but it wasn't my calling, it wasn't my purpose, but I remember thinking to myself okay, well, what kind of environment do I wanna show up in every day?

And I visualized. a calm, softly lit office environment. Maybe there was a fountain or a soft music playing. my mother's a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist. So I kind of grew up around that stuff. And probably was thinking office and places that she would work. so I went on Craigslist cuz that's what you did in 2008.

And I found myself a job as an office manager for an acupuncturist and she did a lot of women's health. And I took that job managing her office, but I was also ghost writing all of , her blog and marketing materials. This was pre-social media.

I had all these Chinese medicine textbooks and I was like, this is amazing. this mind body stuff, I wanna learn more, but I a [00:05:00] new Chinese medicine. Wasn't my path as much as I love it. I think it's incredible.

I kind of was like, ah, maybe I should pick up the nutrition stuff again. So I, researched some programs and I decided to go back to school to become a dietician. And my boyfriend at the time was furious. He was like, how dare you not ask my permission and I was like, well, I'm doing it anyway.

23 year old me, just knew I needed to follow that path. And it was hard. In my dietetic internship with New York Presbyterian hospital, after I finished my, master's, it was like baptism by fire. it was during hurricane Sandy, by the time I was there.

So it was just like crazy experience, but it was amazing. I loved it. It was so intense and it really was a good background. So, somehow that was 10 years ago, it's been a ride. 

Karen: Wow. That's a great story. And I just love how you utilize Something that happened to you, difficulty that you had a face in your own life led to your passion and your career.

 It's one 

Jessica: You know, this stuff gets overwhelming and complicated and especially today we're inundated with information it's even worse than it was when I was a little girl dealing with my grandma and my aunts, talking about their bodies around the kitchen [00:06:00] table, and like looking at cat scans, we have social media now.

And if I can add some lightness and help demystify for people, that's a good day for me. 

Robyn: Most people don't even realize, in terms of how much your diet can actually change your life and transform your life I think people are learning that now more and more, and that's why we're talking about it today.

 Growing up, I didn't understand the impact of what I was putting in my body. And so much of when we were all growing up, I think was about how quickly could I get it made rather than taking the time to actually make my food or really pay attention to what I'm putting in my body.

And so, I'm bringing all that up because how cool that at 23 those puzzle pieces came into play. And so how did you then once you graduated, how did you. Make the jump to both tying it with anxiety, and stress, but also this idea of the small change. Was that something that you learned about while you were in school or was that something you [00:07:00] figured out later in terms of how to really help incorporate better nutrition in someone's life?

Jessica: That's a wonderful question I feel like school for me, and I think this is changing. I think we're seeing programs. They are a little more holistic and comprehensive, but I did my education at NYU and and hunter and I did my clinical training at New York Presbyterian. So it was the most clinical of the clinical, which I wanted.

I loved that. I'm equally right brain and left brain. So it suited me well, but I will say grad school for me was survival mode. It was really like the shark tank. It was insane. Inwardly. I can be competitive, but not. I mean, I had someone sabotage one of my lab experiments once I'm not even kidding. It was unbelievable. I just was floored. I was like, this is a thing we do as adults, but I think the stress piece came. I did not have a nine to five job until I was 35 years old cause the dietetics world was very interesting and especially in the New York area it's very saturated and the job market was very competitive and as a new grad I just need to pay my bills.

So I took the first job I could get. I was [00:08:00] working, part-time in a long-term care facility.

 It didn't cover all the bills I had to supplement. I started doing corporate wellness on the side. I was doing private counseling. I was doing media work writing. And so I kind of got on the entrepreneur hustle, I was living that lifestyle, in my late twenties into early thirties.

 I guess right around when I turned 30, my body stopped being able to drink eight cups of coffee a day. I went to the doctor. I was having hard palpitations. I was also going through a really tough time in my personal life. I was like that age where everyone was settling down and I was so single.

And the guy, I thought I was kind of married, moved across the country and it was a whole, trying to be a human. But also run a business it was a very loaded time. And by the way, I 

Robyn: hope it wasn't the guy that was mad that you didn't ask for his, his permission to no 

Jessica: oh, no.

Well, interesting that guy, as soon as I got my dietetic internship assignment, which was like one of the best in the country, the better I did the worse we did and we just got a nice clean break. You know, my husband is still is friends with a bunch of his exes. I'm not friends with any of my exes, [00:09:00] very few exceptions to that.

But I found myself in my doctor's office with heart palpitations. I was like, I'm stressed at work. I'm not really sleeping. LA dah. She's like how much coffee are you drinking? And I was like, mm. Okay. so that was kind of the beginning of really confronting how I was not managing my own stress.

 I wasn't working long term care anymore, but I was working at the hospital for special surgery doing floor coverage as a per diem, but I was also the dietician for the ALS clinic, which was such an incredible opportunity, cuz it really taught me a lot about the value of food as a connector and really beyond just the functionality of eating.

It really highlighted for me the emotional, social, spiritual aspect of eating and also put quality of life into perspective, really made that more of a priority. And that I think was really for me. In my own life, seeing the effect of stress and overreliant on coffee. And just that mind, body, spirit, it related back to things that I grew up learning about, as a teenager.

So that was sort of what got me first interested in this. And [00:10:00] at that time, I was also doing a lot of continuing education and going to holistic conferences and learning about the gut brain connection. That was a big piece for me. once I started to understand that the brain in our gut, the entire nervous system, you know, that it talks to the brain in our head that really set up a whole new approach for me.

And just really thinking about that communication that happens in the body and all the things that impact it. Around that time. I decided to pursue additional training as a integrative nutrition, health coach to compliment my RD training. That was a really great part of the journey too.

Cause I learned about how to. Counsel people on things beyond just medical nutrition therapy, I've gained more skills and confidence in working with people to talk about lifestyle, behavior, change really looking at how to guide somebody as opposed to just dropping education on them and walking out the door, which was a lot of my clinical training.

 The stress piece, I think when I was working at discovery, that was when I really started to implement a lot more of that, cause I had the opportunity to work [00:11:00] with the same people over time and really get a sense of, each individual and what they needed and also just see that effect of workplace stress, for example, every workplace has their different stressors.

But really looking at small changes. it was just sort of an approach I just started trying cause I, found that a lot of people were overwhelmed and I think I get this from my mother who is a Capricorn and always just wants everybody to be peaceful. my sister is a Libra.

My dad was a Libra. My, my family doesn't do conflict. I'm a Sagitarius so I'm on fire all the time. So I'm always trying to learn how to bring calm to my surroundings just to keep everything okay. But it was really just wanting to help people feel better in small ways and to help decrease the overwhelm.

Robyn: I know in your book you have so many good ideas, but is there, let's say one small change that you think applies to most people that they could be making in, in order to decrease.

The stress in their lives. 

Jessica: So when we're talking about stress, I think it's really starts with acknowledging that [00:12:00] the goal is not to necessarily reduce stress. I'm always annoyed when I hear practitioner say, reduce your stress. It's almost as maddening as when someone says get seven hours of uninterrupted sleep.

That's so true. You're right. 

Robyn: That's so true. 

Karen: But I 

Jessica: think with stress it's really about, so being aware, of, okay, what specifically causes you stress? you can get super granular about this. It can be something big, something little, but I think identify the stressor. And then I identify what you can and can't control about it.

And I understand with the stuff that you can't control, I understand how maddening that can be and just how frustrating and just to hold space for that, acknowledge it. But then with the things that you can do, something about come up with a plan, even if it's like one teeny tiny little action step, but if addressing the stressor in that way is still gonna bring you some peace of mind or add a little bit more ease to your day.

That's well worth it. So it's not about reducing the stress, but it's making sure you have the coping skills that will help you feel resilient in the face of that stress. 

Karen: That's a great answer. Is there something specific in terms of the [00:13:00] eating side of stress, a lot of people overeat when they're stressed out and then there's others that go the opposite way and don't eat at all.

What do you suggest for people when they're in that kind of stressful situation? What kind of foods or things should they turn to that can help alleviate that, that are 

Robyn: good for 

Jessica: them. So I pretty much always bring it back to blood sugar. that is where everything attaches underneath. if I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice it would be to make sure I was eating enough, healthy, fat, and protein to keep my blood sugar stable.

Cause again, I'm an eighties baby. I grew up. Being told for so many years that fat was bad, And I remember times where I would have these mood swings, these energy crashes, and wondering, why do I feel like this? And once I got old enough to realize oh, right, if you just put some peanut butter or in my case, sunflower butter on that banana, or if you eat, low fat or full fat yogurt instead of fat free, or have eggs instead of oatmeal for breakfast, you're gonna feel so much better.

But I think especially when you're stressed out, our nervous system when it's on the [00:14:00] Fritz that's increasing levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, for example, and cortisol is very tied into our blood sugar. So as we're going on this stress roller coaster, our blood glucose is also going on this roller coaster.

So having an appropriate balance of protein, fat and carbohydrate can really help stabilize cuz when we eat any kind of carbohydrate. whether it's from a grain or a fruit or starchy vegetable or from sugar. as, as we digest that food, the starches break down to smaller molecules and then enter our bloodstream, and our, and our glucose goes up that's what's supposed to happen.

That's why we need some carbohydrate in our diet. It gives our body some fuel. But what can happen is if either we're eating that carbohydrate on an empty stomach, or we don't have. Protein and or fat or fiber to slow down that digestive process. our blood sugar is gonna go up quickly and then it's gonna come down quickly and we're gonna be on this rollercoaster all day.

And with that, cause blood sugar regulates our energy, our mood, our focus and it's tied into our stress response. You know, that's gonna make our quality of life for that day, a lot more challenging. But protein, [00:15:00] fat fiber, they all buffer the breakdown of those carbohydrates. So we experience a much more slow and steady increase and decrease in blood sugar, which helps us feel more stable.

an example, I get. All the time from patients is well, I eat oatmeal for breakfast. That's healthy. Right. I have oatmeal and banana and yes, oatmeal is a healthy food. Bananas are a healthy food, but they both are primarily carbohydrate. So if you wanna make that meal a little more balanced and help that set you up for a better day, how about you put some chia or some ground FLAS in that oatmeal.

And then what if you maybe add a spoon full of your favorite nut seed butter, or add some protein powder in there, and then, maybe do half a banana or do some berries, cuz berries have way more fiber, lots of options, but a more balanced meal. That's not necessarily that different from what you're already doing.

Just little tweaks that can help set you up for more more balanced day. We'll say. 

Karen: I wish I had you in my kitchen cause literally what you're saying to me are I have no concept of I was not brought up. To think.

About the balance of food, or even to think about how they have different nutritional value and how they work in my body. 

Jessica: In school, as kids, [00:16:00] they tell you like about, okay, so here's some birth control, but just don't do it anyway.

And here's kinda what happens but we don't get nutrition education. we don't get talk. We don't, I dunno if they teach kids about track and menstrual cycle, but food can help with that too. if I could go back in time and know that potassium eases menstrual cramps, teenage hood, would've been so much so different.

Robyn: we don't learn this and unless you seek it out, Unless you have tried so many other ways and you aren't just actually. Turning to a pill or something to try to, ease symptoms basically of what's going on with you. And, you don't really take a look at what you're actually putting in your body throughout the day.

I think you can be so lost and just having the knowledge, and as you just said, making those small tweaks, it really can change your whole demeanor. I think so many people they're always saying they're so tired.

Yes. and listen. And sometimes that is warranted for so many, reasons that need to get checked out. But there's a lot of times I believe that we're tired. Cause we're not, as you just said, it has to [00:17:00] do with your blood sugar and you're crashing and you don't know how to come out of it. So then you drink coffee and then you crash again.

And so I just think is so important. 

Jessica: It's a cycle. I find it often if someone is dealing with fatigue, I mean sometimes yes, it's related to something specific. Like if you've been on chemotherapy, you're doing radiation. that's, it's own special kind of fatigue.

But if you're working a desk job, you're not moving around much, you're drinking a lot of coffee, but maybe not much water. Your diet quality is not supporting stable blood sugar. Of course you're gonna feel tired then maybe if you're jacked up on coffee and you can't sleep at night, it's gonna just perpetuate the cycle.

And I've seen that so many times and I'll be about like, when I was drinking my eight cups of coffee a day, I've been there. I get that. 

Robyn: Well, I think too, that even some of what you're talking about in terms of chia seeds or other types of whether it's seeds or fruits and nuts, those were not maybe as readily available when we were all growing up.

But I think in the world that we're living in now, You can find them a lot more readily in your grocery store so now once you [00:18:00] hear these things, you can actually go pick them up 

Jessica: yeah. Which is so great. More tools and more availability 

Karen: I think the trick is making it simple and easy, 

and I think a lot of people are on the run too. might think it's too expensive to eat nutritionally. 

Jessica: I recorded a podcast episode earlier today with Dr. Will Cole. And we were talking about that exact topic, affordable foods that support your wellness goals you go on supermarket, like yes, you need frozen produce. And oftentimes the antioxidant activity is, even better in some frozen produce than like stuff that's been on the shelf.

 Or can beans eggs. Most grocery stores. And again, there are exceptions, but if you look, you can find some organic poultry I'll recommend sometimes if it's on sale, buy an extra, stick it in your freezer.

Wild fish, frozen fish is a great resource. I mean, I always have, I know it's not popular. I love sardines. I have to have sardines in my country at all times, but simple foods, oat it's we are talking about mm-hmm does not have to be complicated. And I think it's getting familiar with the accessible, healthy, convenient [00:19:00] foods.

Cause we live in a culture where so much about the wellness world right now is it's about what's gonna look good on Instagram, Or like what's gonna be pretty. And I've seen a lot of people get into the mindset of thinking that wellness has to look like lots of supplements, lots of expensive pills and powders and different tinctures and things.

And it does not have to be that complicated. it can be very basic. are you eating enough vegetables? Are you hydrating? is your blood sugar stable? that basic stuff. 

Robyn: speaking of that and talking about hydration and. Water? what would you say? an average adult how much water should they be drinking a day?

Jessica: Yeah, that's a great question. And, we don't have any official recommendations for how much water specifically somebody needs. What I will say, just based on general nutrition recommendations that eight, eight ounce glasses days, a pretty good ballpark for most healthy adults.

But just know that, different times in their life cycle, we might need a little bit more like pregnancy lactation, for example, especially during lactation or if someone's very active if you're sweating a [00:20:00] lot or sometimes. If you have a medical condition or you're on a medication that impacts your hydration status or certain health conditions, this is less common, but certain health conditions like chronic kidney disease might actually require someone to consume a little less fluid.

that's less common, but, I always say if you're not sure just touch base with your doctor, trusted healthcare provider and they can give you some guidance on that. But generally speaking, a good ballpark say it something off point, is that eight, eight ounces glasses a . Day.

So 64 

Robyn: ounces. Yeah. I think that's helpful because I'm always surprised to know that most people don't realize how much water they need to be drinking and therefore they end up suffering from dehydration and not knowing it, especially in these warmer months 

from my own experience when I was, I was in my twenties. I didn't know. I'm hoping people are more educated now, but I completely suffered from dehydration I had to go to the hospital and from that day forward, I always leave the house with water because it was so frightening my point in saying all that is, no one [00:21:00] told me, no one ever said they never taught that in school. 

Karen: have you seen Jess? the health trends have shifted over time a lot.

to your point earlier, when you said everything was quick, easy on the run, I 

Jessica: yes. And with the, a lot changed too people being home, 

Karen: well, I, that's where I was going actually. how have you seen just in your career, those trends really shift and, and how have they shifted as a result of COVID especially.

Jessica: what's been really interesting to me. So say years ago. Vegetarian and vegan and raw was still a big thing. And maybe it is in some circles. I mean, today we have plant based quote unquote, but whereas 15 years ago it was beans and lentils and nuts.

And today it's these food products that are plant-based, but meant to seem like meat products. it's evolved a lot. And I think it's interesting, I'm curious to see where it goes, but it's getting further away from food and it's natural state. And I, I'm not sure how feel about that.

But we had for example, I remember again, same timeframe, 15 years this ago where there [00:22:00] was more awareness around celiac disease and gluten free. And, today we have so many more and that's not a trend so much as it is we started learning.

About the prevalence of celiac and gluten sensitivity. And we've seen some companies try to monetize on that . But, we've seen a lot more acceptance of gluten intolerance and having acceptable products for people who need to limit gluten more awareness around food allergies and better options for people who have those allergies.

But trends, first we had like the vegetarian stuff, meatless, Mondays, which is good stuff. But then we would also see like whole 30 paleo people gearing more towards, those styles of eating, which yeah. Quote, unquote fad has its pros and cons. The good stuff about whole 30 and paleo is that it got people cooking more and thinking more about processed foods and looking at what am I putting in my body?

And then keto, that's a whole other what I will say about keto, I appreciate that it made fat socially acceptable again cause I'm Italian and Greek, so it's all olive oil all the time. And so I'm [00:23:00] happy that people are on board with that. And we're learning so much about the health benefits of olive oil and so many ways beyond just hard health.

But I think that the low carb thing though, Atkins was around in the early. Two thousands, then we kind of got away from it for a while. Now we're in a media cycle again, where it's low carb, everything.

And I'm curious to see where it goes next. It always goes in the cycle but with COVID I think we started seeing more about immune system function, which is kind of cool. Cause I think that opened up more opportunities to talk about gastrointestinal health as a big part of overall wellbeing.

So that's a positive, but then we also saw people being at home more after being on the go all the time. And it's a different life and what I've been finding with my patients cause I've worked outside of the home throughout most of this. So I've had a different experience, but my patients who are working from home, they're just as busy.

in some cases more cuz they're doing childcare, they're educating, they're also working remotely and it's not the same, it's a very certain kind of fatigue that screen fatigue, and there's been studies looking at this, and people having to [00:24:00] adjust to changes in physical activity, we've seen a growth of the at home fitness industry, which is really cool.

I'm very, for that, I love the idea of making fitness very approachable for anyone anywhere they are. But I think we also had a lot of people who are gyms close and so they weren't able to come up with a new routine, they were so overwhelmed. So they're dealing with the consequences of being active, what that does to the mind and the body and trying to get back on track.

So I think where we're at now, when COVID started, I saw a lot of. Immune systems up, people were obsessed about we're gonna take all the course to 10 and all the zinc. And I still have to sometimes tell someone Hey look, maybe hundred milligrams of zinc is not a good idea just as like a standing day to day supplementation.

Maybe we should talk about that. But I think if it's gone on, and people kind of settled into okay, this is not gonna go away in two weeks. It's been a lot more about dealing with weight management, but balancing a lot at home, the boundaries blurred between work life and home life.

So people still want convenient, but they're cooking more. And I see a lot of people being , but I'm [00:25:00] home. So theoretically I should be able to do it more. But they're just stretched I see, also too, a lot of people struggling with snacking, compulsive snacking, cuz they're at home, they're near a kitchen. That's been challenging for people. So I think. Healthy snacking behaviors has become a thing, but on a deeper level and this, one area I would love to explore more that I've been interested in for personal reasons 

I wish we had more research on is nutrition to really help support people dealing with trauma. I think we're in a time right now where the whole world, it's been cracked open and everyone's trying to figure out how do you put the pieces back together cuz I think sometimes when we go through an experience, whether that's on individual level or a global level, it's like the rock and the hard place. And the rock splits open. Yes, you could look at it like, okay, the rock split open, this is terrible.

But then sometimes, you look inside and maybe there's some beautiful crystals or something, glimering in there. That's worth looking at. And we kind of see certain facets of ourselves, our lives, our societies, that we didn't see before. And [00:26:00] one thing I'm seeing a lot is people being very in touch with traumas, whether that's new trauma related to what we've been going through, or people dealing with old trauma that's been reactivated and how that affects the mind and the body, cause on the surface it might be, are you stress eating cuz you're stress eating cuz you're stressed or is something deeper going on?

And I think having the right tools to support mental wellbeing, counseling or mental health services or, outlets that are healthy, like exercise meditation, mindfulness. What have you. But I think nutrition has the potential to be supportive as someone's going through that process too.

And I think, where we're at at this point in the timeframe, however long it might be. I think we're getting to a place where people are starting to acknowledge that they've been through some tough stuff and are wanting to start to process it and figure out how to take care of themselves and move forward.

And I don't necessarily mean go back to normal. Cause I don't think that's an option, but really just to figure out how to feel well and thrive, within this new [00:27:00] framework, I guess we might say that was 

Karen: really, that was really helpful because I think a lot of people relate to that and don't even they, they compartmentalize mind, body spirit so often.

And don't even think that people think about food and trauma in the same sentence. 

Jessica: And I think there's a lot to learn, I think as we start to learn more about the gastrointestinal portion I think that will shed some light, I think again, the blood sugar, but also I'm curious to see if we learn more about different nutrients that might play a role as well, cause we're learning about brain function and different nutrients that are really supportive or things that are not supportive.

And again, with the stress response, if someone's going through a traumatic experience or processing trauma that there are physiological changes happening in the body and, , being able to support somebody through that, that's an area that I really hope as a society we continue to lean into and explore more, to really help people.

Cause I feel like everyone's got some kinda trauma they're dealing with 

Robyn: and I think your point I was actually just having this conversation yesterday with somebody. About everyone collectively, we've all been [00:28:00] through a trauma. I mean, having our world change practically, overnight, and it will not go back to in quotes normal.

It just won't. And we've all been through this collectively together and it's almost like PTSD, and trying to, in many ways, trying to really come to terms with that, because we all just had to figure out how to survive during it. and now get used to a new normal.

So is there anything that you would say does impact our actual brain in activity, which is tied to our gut. Is there one thing every day that you think. Most people should have as part of their diet. 

Jessica: Yeah, I think it's important. So some things that nurture the gut, we know we need the adequate fiber, and the official recommendation is 25 to 35 grams per day for healthy adults.

Again, some people may need more or less than that, like if someone has IBS, for example, they might need to, if they're going through a flare up, they might need to be a little more careful about the amount of fiber or the sources, or , certain [00:29:00] gastrointestinal conditions maybe where someone has to modify.

But lots of plants on the plate. That's a big one. Having, lots of vegetables, diversity of vegetables , fruit has its place legumes, so beans, peas, lentils, nuts, and seeds. These are all good sources of fiber.

And I think is good too. there's so many different gut bacteria, we hear about probiotics, And I always recommend eating fermented. whether it's yogurt, kefir sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, that kind of stuff. But the thing is these foods only have a few types of bacteria.

And I think we need a variety of them. And for a lot of people it's more accessible to consider a probiotic supplement and to make sure that's some prebi. Also present. So the probiotics are the good bacteria that fight the good fight in the gastrointestinal system. Help fight off invading pathogens.

They play a role in digestive regularity. we're learning more and more all the time about the ways in which having a thriving gut microbiome full of a wide variety of probiotic. Bacteria helps with the gut, which therefore helps with the immune system, which helps with brain function.

It helps with emotional, mental [00:30:00] wellbeing, we're still learning more and more about that prebiotics, so to speak they're indigestible fibers that act as fuel, let's say for the probiotic. So one thing that I think is good, we're seeing more probiotic supplements now with prebiotics added to them.

But you can also get them in lots of foods, like oats apples unripe bananas, juice artichokes, wheat, germ onions, garlic leaks, , a number of foods have them. So there's a lot of opportunities to incorporate them into our diet. But when you get the best benefit when you're consuming them together, so if you're making overnight oats maybe use kefir in there, or some Greek yogurt or if you're making I don't know a dish with different veggies and caramelized onions and some leaks and garlic and some sauerkraut with it, just incorporating a variety of these foods.

But I'm, I'm definitely not. Supplements for probiotics. I think they can be really helpful cuz they can help you cover more bases more consistently. But beyond fiber and probiotics, I think hydration is really important. Cuz if someone's doing constipation, cause you can be eating all the fiber in the world, but if you're not [00:31:00] hydrated enough, it's not gonna go anywhere.

So hydration keeps things moving through the GI system. But beyond food, it's what else are we feeding ourselves with? What kind of media are we consuming? What kinds of conversations and energies are we around? cause that stuff also impacts the gut.

It impacts the brain, it impacts so many aspects of our wellbeing. So I think building some awareness around what else you're consuming can be very, very helpful in this. 

Karen: One of the things, my mom, my mom's very much in nutrition. She had six children with all varying levels of health, she taught us at a young age when we didn't know what to have, like we go and stand there in front of the refrigerator.

10 minutes trying to figure out what to have. She trained us to use our intuition. Is that 

Jessica: something that you 

Karen: can relate to at all she would say to us that she believed that 

the body knows what it wants or needs. And that we just need to take that moment and really listen to that. Do you think that there. Oh, my God realness in that, if somebody here is listening, cause I'm listening to so many things that you're talking about and I think on the most [00:32:00] simplistic of levels it could be a tool,

that you could utilize, really just tap in for a minute. And before you go and you reach for something that's easier or quick. Taking a minute and thinking about, okay, what 

Jessica: do I need? I love that so much. I love that your mom trained you guys to think of it that way. Cuz talk about ahead of your time.

Wow. , yes, this is the big part of why I don't believe in conquering cravings. I hate that. I think cravings are a way of the body trying to tell us that it needs something, whether it's an emotional something, a physical something, but to your point, people, we're distracted, we're busy.

Everyone's tired, everyone's busy, ? And when we have so much distraction or things getting in the way of that gut brain communication it can be really hard to know what to nourish yourself with. especially if you don't have a master's degree in nutrition, you know, I'm at a place in my life, where, because of my training, I still, when I'm thinking about meals and snacks, I'm thinking of okay, I need a protein, I need a fat, I need fiber.

That's kind of where my brain goes, but I understand that that's not typical. Being in touch with foods that make you feel well is really powerful. And when [00:33:00] you realize you need a snack or you want a snack, that's a really good opportunity to ask yourself, what do I need and how do I wanna feel?

And really being in touch with foods that make you feel that way. Or if someone is standing in front of the fridge and they're not actually hungry, they realize they just need to feel something else, being okay, so if I'm not actually hungry, what's gonna help me feel the way I wanna feel.

And then, doing that thing provide as long as it's not the heroin or something, 

Karen: And I 

Robyn: think to that point, just even one step back from that, I feel there are so many people who don't realize they may be addicted to let's say sugar or.

Carbohydrates, not the good carbohydrates. How do you assess that for yourself so that you can then know when you are standing in front of that fridge? Not to reach ne and sometimes by the way, every once in a while those things. Maybe. Okay. But, it's the knowing of your body feeling like it needs it, but then never feeling fulfilled, from that 

Jessica: So it's very interesting in my field. There [00:34:00] are people that say that food addiction is not real and I just don't buy that.

 I feel like anything can be addictive, whether that's physiologically behaviorally. I don't really care if someone is telling me they feel addicted to sugar, I'm gonna listen to them and I'm gonna help them understand a little bit where that's coming from. Or if I'm outta my scope with that, I'm gonna refer them to a mental healthcare provider who can help them dig deeper into that.

But I think that with sugar specifically we're conditioned from an early age to use sugar as a consolation prize or a reward. Yes. I'm sure this is still a practice. The kids go to the doctor, get a lollipop.

 My dentist in the city, he would give out candies, in the waiting room, I was like, wait a minute, you're a dentist, but, thanks have lollipops everywhere has lollipops . And we're also fed this idea of oh, well, when you are sad, you should eat ice cream or cake.

Or this is what we see in media and shows like people placating themselves with sugar and alcohol but if we wanna go to a physiological place, so, our body utilizes carbohydrate to help [00:35:00] make serotonin a mood, regulating brain chemical and there's different things that can influence serotonin levels and cause them to go down.

So for example if we're in a depressed state and our serotonin levels take a dip for one reason or another. Whether that's related to, just environmental stuff, brain chemistry stuff, that's maybe underlying changes in sunlight. This comes up a lot with seasonal effective disorder, but a lot of people experience cravings for carbohydrate, especially simple carbs when they're serotonin levels take a hit.

and then they blame themselves, they're like, oh, I'm craving potatoes, but I said, I wasn't gonna eat potatoes. And they make it a story about willpower, but really it's that, And I think bring some awareness to the fact that maybe if you're craving carbs, maybe your body is needing carbs.

So maybe sticking with a serotonin example, your body wants help, making more serotonins. So it manifests that in a craving for potatoes or bread or pasta. Because it recognizes that that's an easy source of easily digestible carbohydrate. Or if you've been working out a lot, knowing you are not [00:36:00] replenishing your carbohydrates enough, or maybe you're choosing carbohydrate sources that aren't slow burning enough, maybe you're choosing some carbs, white flowers, refined flowers, or pretzels instead maybe be better served having oatmeal or berries and pairing it with protein, and you end up creating more carbs later cuz you just didn't get what you really needed to help support recovery after your workout.

And these are just a few examples, but there's really helpful, 

Robyn: honestly. Yeah. 

Karen: And it just reminds me that your body is such a machine in a way and it really needs. Care and little feeding in a way that most of us just don't know about and you're right. It's so easy to blame yourself for picking the wrong thing to eat 

And , it's really about understanding and listening to your body as opposed to just condemning yourself when making a bad decision. And I think there's just so many tips in here. And I wanna just talk about the book for a second, because it's really, so great because what you do is make it real.

You make it simple. And these are just easy, quick little tips and tricks, not [00:37:00] just in the food and nutritional area, but really the holistic mind, body, spirit space. 

Jessica: In fact, 

Karen: you even. Categorized, your book in these different categories of mind, body, spirit, which I love.

So I know we've covered a lot on time food Jess but could you maybe give us a tip or a trick, one of your favorite in, in each of those sections, just to give people listening a sense of, some of these other great 

Jessica: ideas that are in the book. Yeah. Well, so one of my favorites from the little book of game changers is the chapter about putting your own name on your calendar?

This is something that I do. This is something I tell my patients to do all the time, cuz I don't know, especially as women. it's so easy to give our time to others, And it's so easy to take care of everyone else's needs. Whether that's in a personal setting, professional setting, if there is something that you want to have happen in that time where you just know you need some downtime not only will helping, putting putting the time aside on your calendar, help ensure that that time gets used for your needs, whether it's a doctor's appointment or meal prep or meditation, whatever you need.

it not only helps it get done, but it also in a subtle way, reinforces that [00:38:00] your health and wellbeing matters just as much as all the other priorities on your to-do list. especially if you have an electronic calendar where people can book time with you blocking out that time for yourself is extra important.

Cause again, if someone sees an open spot, we live in a culture now where we are. Demand all the time, unless we put the parameters in place for it to be otherwise. I love the do not disturb function on the phone. It's the best. And I think with the spirit section and I dig way more into this in the farewell tour, but energy management wow.

that is something I wish I could go back in time and talk to make yourself about, and I still have to keep myself in check with this. I feel like for a lot of us, especially I remember learning the word for an empath and I was, maybe 30, 31. I was like, oh, that's what my problem is.

what I was saying, it's not a problem. It's just being an energy. Sponge is just a thing that some people. have to work with and just really understanding, if you are sensitive to energy around you using different rituals and tools that, or just even if it's just saying no in setting boundaries, there's also a chapter in [00:39:00] the farewell tour about how to ask for help. That's a big one. I think that that's something we don't do enough of, and I'm always reminding sometimes my patients one of their assignments will be to ask for help, but I think setting boundaries with your time and your energy.

Practicing saying no, until you feel confident. And I know this is really hard for people pleasers and recovering people pleasers but being aware of what is sucking your energy and really similarly having a stress management plan. I think coming up with a plan to manage those energy sucks.

and then, the little book of game changers. There's also a chapter that resonated with a lot of people. When it first came out and especially during the pandemic, I got a lot of people reaching out to me about this as a chapter about making a loneliness game plan. . And that was something that I really started doing when I was 20 years old.

I was living in Boston. It was the summer. I found a job. I found an apartment, got an internship, took some classes. I was one of those overachiever scholarship kids. I was just like, I'm not going home. I'm just gonna be independent. But of course I'm there in [00:40:00] the city.

I'm figuring out how to be a functional human and, it was lonely, and I remember sitting down one day and literally making a list of things to do when I felt lonely. And I don't remember all of them anymore, but I remember one of them was going to the Boston public library but it was not just about gonna to the library and getting a book.

It was about the walk to get there and just the experience. And I walked a lot. That's always been one of my ways of coping, but I think with the loneliness game plan Just really thinking of a few things that will shift your energy and help you just feel better, And I think the only role with that is that it should be something that genuinely helps you feel better. Not something you think you should do. if you're like, oh, I hear that other people clean when they're stressed or upset. So I should do that too. Even though I hate cleaning, no, if cleaning a drawer out will serve you great do it.

But if you're gonna be better served by going to get a manicure or watching a show that makes you laugh, do that. 

Robyn: everybody at , any age really should have that because. We all get lonely at some point, 

Karen: We always shove it down and then we eat all the wrong food [00:41:00] 

Jessica: buy stuff. We don't need online. That was my that's true. God, I probably kept Amazon in business during the 

Karen: we all, did. I also wanted to ask too. It seems like your mom was really spiritual in her own way too.

Jessica: my mom got me really interested in goddesses when I was like, I don't know, it's 13.

We went to Lillith fair when it was around like all that stuff. so I grew up Catholic. My mom's family is Catholic. My dad was Greek Orthodox until like the last six months of his life, when he decided. To become Catholic. I don't know. That was interesting. But for my confirmation when I was 14 and , I wasn't super invested in the Catholic church.

My family, we were very spiritual. I grew up believing in the interconnectedness of all things and really about just treating people well, and just there being something beyond what we can see. But what I learned it's CCD classes, Sunday school that didn't resonate with me, in the Catholic church iteration of it.

And I'm not knocking that. I think spirituality is very individual. And religion is very individual. But my gift as a confirmation was a deck of Tarot cards. A [00:42:00] deck of God is TA cards and it resonated with me so much. I still read. To this day, almost every day I draw a card and I don't do a lot of readings for others anymore.

 I don't really use Oracle cards or specifically as a way of like predicting the future. I use it more as a way to just get some extra insight, I think that the supposed, randomness of the card, you're asking it a question, cuz there's something that you want to understand.

Even if it's something simple, like what should I keep in mind today? I think that your reaction to the card tells you everything that you need to know. And I think sometimes it gets you to think about things in a different way. I'm also really into dream analysis. That's like, I remember getting really into that as a teenager and that still is a tool that I find so useful.

Cuz when you notice that something's coming up and how you're reacting to it. I think it gives you a lot of insight onto, , how might be a good way for you to respond to that thing. Or if you've been feeling stuck about something, it's a good way to start brainstorming a little bit and start to dig a little deeper and bring [00:43:00] some awareness to that particular issue for 

Karen: yourself.

Robyn: Those are such great ideas for people who may feel daunted. A lot of times on our podcast, we talk about trying whether you're meditating or taking a quiet moment asking question, and then from that. But that may seem overwhelming for someone and using the tool of whether it's a taro card, Oracle card or dream, or we've talked about this too.

Sometimes you have to have the intention to remember your dream. Yeah. But if you do do that and then you can start to see those patterns, that's again, another I love your point. And how does it make you feel? Because that will tell you. A lot about what's going on at that moment or that timeframe for you.


Yeah. I mean, we talk so much about spirit, , on this podcast, but I think what you reminded me is that, the body is the vessel that our spirit lives in, right. While it's here. And it is just so important to listen to it and take care of it and really take some time to understand what it needs to be in its Best's healthy form.

[00:44:00] And I think so many of us are just so not either conditioned to think that way. We're so busy as you were saying before, living our lives and thinking about a million other things that we don't take the time just to learn simple things that we can do to feel better. So I love this book for that reason, cuz it kind of ties it all together.

It does remind you that you are mind, body and spirit. 

Robyn: Well, and let's also talk about your upcoming book, inspired by some events that happen in your own life can you talk a little bit about the farewell tour that's coming out in October? 

Jessica: Yeah, well, , it's funny if I go way back, I think it really started when I was working in the ALS clinic and, it was a really unique experience because, that's a disease that we don't have a cure for.

We don't know really what causes it. We have a little bit of information on that, but it's something, that the prognosis is not good and it, and It's funny throughout my career, I've found myself over and over again, working in populations where people are up against something really tough like that.

And I was like, what is it [00:45:00] about me that this stuff keeps finding me, And I always felt comfortable working in those settings. And I recognize that it, it takes a certain certain stamina will say to do that. And I had to learn how to take care of myself to go and do that kind of work.

And I still have to be mindful of that, but I think I remember what was interesting, about meeting someone for the first time and knowing that you're gonna get to know them as they die of slow, painful death, it really shifted the focus of what was important, whereas I was doing inpatient counseling about post-op healing, I was like eat protein and, blah, blah, blah.

But this was very different, and it was frustrating for me as a dietician. Yes, I could help. I worked very closely in that world with a speech language pathologist and we would talk she would help with speech and swallowing issues. And then I would help with helping someone meet the nutritional needs when their functional ability to eat was compromised.

And eventually, you know, I would write the tube feet orders when someone could not eat by mouth anymore. And I just always remember seeing the wear and tear on the families cuz as your patients went through. This difficult experience, their families and friends were right there with [00:46:00] them. And I just remember always wishing I could offer more support.

And my profession really didn't , that wasn't part of it, and that was really tough for me, cuz I would sometimes go home at night and think about the families too. And when I was 31, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Which by the time they found it like many GI cancers it had spread.

Everywhere and surgery was not an option. And so chemotherapy was what the plan was and, , it was so advanced that, it was the kind of thing , my sister had just gotten engaged and I remember she had a plan to be getting married in about a year from then. And we asked his doctors so should she move up the wedding? And they said, yeah, as soon as possible. And everything changed.

 I had been working seven days a week at seven different jobs basically. I just was so focused on my career and I realized I just had to be there. and this title comes from how my father referred to his last month. He ended up living for 15 months with pancreatic cancer.

It was fricking miracle. We've really got to make the best of that time, I had had all this experience as a [00:47:00] clinician. I just assumed that meant that I would know what to do and that I would be okay if my own loved one ever dealt with a serious illness. But I learned very quickly that I could not have been more wrong.

I had a lot to learn. And I couldn't find any resources, so my dad worked in the music industry, as I shared, he worked in promotions. He was for most of his career, he did a while, when MTV was brand new, he worked there a program director type work, and then he went back to Columbia.

And then he had a management company for a while before he retired. But his artists, I remember seeing how exhausted they would be on tour, cuz you'd go to the show and you'd go backstage and you'd see they love what they did. It was this experience, lots of wonderful memories, but man, it was a job and I would see the crew, and see the road manager would be exhausted and the people who were doing the lights and the sound everybody was just wiped out, but there for it.

And I remember thinking it was very similar when we were, taking care of my dad. we were on this farewell tour and the farewell tour itself was something he came up with. I remember one day I was at my parents' house and he was on the phone with someone he hangs up and [00:48:00] he just chuckles he's. Man, once someone finds out you're dying, everyone wants a piece of you it's like the farewell tour. So if we started calling it that, and for him, it was really about like living his life on his terms.

He did not want my dietician advice. I talk about that in the book, what that was like to just let go and just be there instead of trying to , control the situation. That book , it's a lot about mind, body, spirit. it's broken down to sections related to stress management, nutrition, sleep movement.

But there's also sections on end of life. There's also a sectional relationships. I also bring in experts from different areas outside my expertise, like, I have Dr. Will Cole, . Dr. Uma and I do Dr. Vincent Padre. I have. A dating expert, Lily Womble. I have an end of life doula, we have a lot of different voices in there. We have movement specialists. But then I also interviewed some musicians that my dad worked with about life on the road and what they learned in terms of physical wellbeing while tour emotional wellbeing.

I also talk about having a bag of essential. This is a theme that comes up a bit in the book, we talk [00:49:00] about the toolbox, but the toolbox is really heavy and if you're on the road, you're on that caregiver journey where things are changing all the time and you're wiped out but you have to keep going for the person that you're caring for.

maybe you're better served with a backpack that has just some of the essentials you need for that leg of the journey. So I also interviewed them about what bag of essentials do they travel with? So I stuck primarily with artists that my father worked with himself. So we have Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp, Willie Nile some other younger artists like Billy keen, who I have a really funny, weird connection with my husband with.

And I also tell that story a really awesome guy. DJ Lee, who is a musician producer is. One of my big brothers. we have Sarah Lee Guthrie who I met through Billy keen. So we also have music industry veteran, Paul, Rapaport talking about what it's like to be on the road with a band.

he talks about being on the tour with like the stones and Leonard Cohen and all different artists, the craziness, and just trying to hang on and figure it out and how to be a human while juggling all these different [00:50:00] things. So the farewell tour is really the kind of book I.

Could have used, when I was up in the middle of the night, , after chemo day, trying to settle down and, figure out how to respond to that online dating message that kinda stuff. So it's both, it's part how to it's part personal story, but like everything I write it's really meant to be approachable, engaging not preachy.

I can't stand that. I have no patience for that. So I hope people will find it useful and in a weird way, enjoyable, 

Karen: your dad love the book. Yeah. So 

Jessica: when I sat down to write the acknowledgements, actually, and this was such a daunting task, , I remember sitting down to write them and I was like, oh my gosh, how am I gonna do this? I have all these people I wanna thank and what I wanna say. And I had this dream.

My dad, once in a while will come to me and a dream. And that night I had a dream that was on vacation, I'm doing yoga. And all of a sudden, my father is standing there right in front of me. And he's just smiling and he's wearing this ridiculous shirt, you know, the shirt says do what you love, love what you live and , and it had like Hawaiian [00:51:00] flowers.

I was like, Dad nice shirt, but he was just smiling. He was so happy. And he was like , I had to wait to come until you were calm and you could hear me and you could see me. And, we just kind of stood there, smiling at each other. And I woke up with just this feeling of calm and I knew everything I had to write then for the acknowledgements, and it just flowed really easily.

And the whole experience of writing the book was a lot like that. A lot of it came to me in dreams. I was getting guidance.

I believe in stuff like that, like you were saying, Karen, in a sense that the body is a vessel. And I think sometimes our whole being is a vessel in a sense.

Robyn: Well, you clearly, you had a visitation.

With your dad. 

Jessica: Yeah. They always feel you never know when it's coming, 

Robyn: You don't. And then, you know, because you can, even, when you're talking about it, now you can actually remember the feeling of what you felt when you saw him and everything that kind of transpired that's that's so special.

Karen: It is. And I think I've forgotten until you started telling that story, how much you have put yourself in that position of being a healer in the lives of people who are dying, who are facing[00:52:00] who are faced big diagnosis and all that stress and anxiety that they're feeling, and you're such a calm person, your whole demeanor is just so calming, just being in your presence.

I'm sure that that helps them as well, but it's been a challenging road, to, walk those shoes not only in your professional life, but in your personal life as well, and how wonderful that you've had so much rich experience in terms of understanding, , the body experience, but then how kind of brought you out of that to really personally face it in your.

Life it's your dad. It just is almost a full circle experience. I'm sure. Do you feel like it helps you even more now with the patients that you have

Jessica: while I was writing this book, I actually had a cancer scare. I had to have two breast biopsies and then a biopsy on my chest, right in the middle of writing this book.

And I didn't talk about it publicly at the time cuz I care for a lot of breast cancer patients and I I felt like they didn't need that from me. They needed to know that I was focused on them. But from my experience with my dad and my experience, , in other iterations of my career, where I was caring for [00:53:00] people with very difficult illnesses different diseases have different permanent, like breast cancer has a really high survival rate.

It's a really different thing than say pancreatic cancer, but a lot of the emotions are the same. Especially early on when there's so much, you don't know. And even when you've been in survivorship for decades and you still get nervous, every time you go for an mammogram, that's very real.

But also, people's partners are on that journey with them and children to your point, have to be very thoughtful about having little rituals in place to manage my own energy. That experience it was six months maybe to me working with a lot of breast cancer patients and all of a sudden there's there shit on my mammogram, like, okay, we gotta think, I grew up with my mom talking about Louise hay and mind body medicine.

And so I was like, okay, I know what to do. I know I need to be little more careful here. Am I protecting my energy enough? And yeah, so I make sure , I meditate every morning before I see patients. I meditate at the end of the day before I go home. I use, you knowaromatherapy

I do a little, work cleansing ritual every day that if my coworkers saw me, they'd like, I feel [00:54:00] energies. I see things like I need to always, be. Filtering not filtering in a bad way of like shutting things down, but more kind of acknowledged and okay, this is the time and the place for this.

And if this is not of the light, you can go away, , leave me alone and just thinking about my own advice, stuff we're talking about, hydration, blood sugar sleep has been my personal self care struggle. My entire. and really finally going to a sleep specialist and finally I had sleep apnea was very interesting.

I think sometimes you can't tell everything by looking at someone, right? We can meet people that might have things going on. We have no idea. And I think it's just the best we can really do is take care of ourselves the best we can and just really be thoughtful in how we approach people.


And you can't always fix everything, but whatever, small steps you can take, take those and just know that it's not always gonna be perfect, just show up and do your best. 

Karen: Love that 

Robyn: so wise, so much wisdom. Oh my goodness. You take everything and put it together in such a beautiful way.

 mind, body and spirit the way that you've articulated all of this and [00:55:00] translated it is a gift. So thank you so much. 

Jessica: Thank you guys for having these conversations. I feel like they're so important and we don't always get the space to talk about it. 

Thank for supporting 


Jessica: I feel really lucky to get to do the work.

Karen: Well, you're, you're healer and you're also a teacher. 

Robyn: Thank you so much. 

Jessica: Thank you guys. It's so nice to connect with you again and have this conversation. It's really a privilege. 

Robyn: For more on Jessica, and to order her fantastic book, the little book of game changers, or pre-order the farewell tour visit Jessica cording, And you spell that? J E S S I C a C O R D I N G And we'll have more in our show notes