Registered Dietitian, Jessica Bippen, believes in sharing a science-based approach to nutrition and wellness with her clients. Having struggled with food, lifestyle balance and loving herself, she believes she can relate to her clients with the same struggles, hoping to encourage them to overcome issues by valuing the journey of life and uncovering individual wellness for themselves.

1. Current Obsession?

Sliced carrots dipped in tahini. This might sound like a odd combo but it’s seriously so good. The sweetness of the carrots balances out the slight edge from the tahini. And because I can’t help sneaking in a nutrition fact, you need fat in order to absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D E, K. The healthy fat from the tahini helps you absorb the vitamin A in the carrots.

2. Favorite Places To Shop For Healthy Food?

I do all of my shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and online at Thrive Market. Whole Foods is my go-to for the freshest produce, Japanese sweet potatoes, Kite Hill dairy-free products, and my go-to hummus brand, Oasis.

I love Trader Joe’s nut butters, almond flour and almond meal, nuts and seeds, Ezekiel bread and some of their unique products. These are things like their olive tapenade, dehydrated beets and carrots, and their lemon ginger sparkling water.

Thrive Market is the best place to buy some of the trendier products and pantry staples. They’re like a Whole Foods and meets Costco pricing. I typically place an order monthly with rolled oats, 4-5 jars of peanut butter (yes, we got through it that quickly!), matcha, sprouted quinoa, and other pantry staples. That being said, if I lived in L.A. I’d blow my entire paycheck at Erewhon Market. 

3. Why Is It important To Start A Healthy Eating Plan Before Becoming Pregnant?

I recommend all women of child-bearing age take a prenatal. Think of it as a daily insurance policy. Taking a prenatal before pregnancy helps you build up your nutrient stores before you conceive. You want to build up stores of your nutrients, especially iron and folate, before becoming pregnant.

Folate is an important B vitamin that a baby needs for healthy spinal cord development and prevention of neural-tube defects. This is essential during the first 4 weeks of pregnancy, so I recommend supplementing with 500-800 mcg of folate per day, depending on your dietary intake.

Taking a prenatal before pregnancy ensures your baby is getting all the necessary nutrients from the first moments of his or her life and ensures your body has the nutrients to support every stage of his or her development no matter how balanced or nutrient-dense your diet is or isn’t, especially with nausea and food-aversions that come with pregnancy. If you’d like to read more on this topic, you’ll love this post.

4. Take Us Through Your Process With Clients. What Is A Typical Consultation Like? 

1:1 coaching is my absolute favorite thing! I love being apart of someone’s journey to feeling their best and elevating their wellness. Most of my clients choose to work with me over a 3-month period which includes:

  • 6 virtual coaching sessions
  • Individualized nutrition plan
  • Individualized lifestyle plan
  • Professional recommendations on brands, supplements, etc
  • Wellness vision and weekly goal setting
  • Weekly reflections on progress
  • Grocery shopping guides as needed
  • Resources that will be beneficial for your progress
  • Unlimited support on a need basis in between sessions via email

It’s very important to me that the client and I are a good fit. I’ll hop on a brief clarity call to make sure we’re on the same page and that I’m the best fit for them. If not, I’ll refer them to one of my trusted colleagues. 

If we decide we’re a fit, I send over new client paperwork. This helps me get a better understanding of their overall health, eating habits, nutrition and wellness goals. The new client paperwork gives me some foundation details for our initial session. During our first session, we go over the new client paperwork together to get more clarity. We talk about their wellness vision and wellness “why”. This is so important for creating lasting change! We then talk big picture- wellness goals and what they feel they’re doing that aligns with that. Then we focus on what they’d like to change. We’ll prioritize main goals and then set a smaller goal to get them there. Depending on what the goals are based on our discussion this will help me determine what is the best approach to meet the set goals, how often we’ll meet and then I’ll give them resources to support this plan.

Nutrition coaching is a very individualized approach. It’s all about helping the client step into the best version of themselves. We touch a lot on mindset around self-love and food. While nutrition education is a large part of coaching, you can’t implement the change without the right mindset.
If you’re interested in 1:1 coaching, I’d love to work with you.

5. Why Is Gut Health Such A Vital Part Of A Healthy Lifestyle?

I’m a firm believer that an unhealthy gut is the root cause of many health conditions. Your gut is home to over 100 trillion different bacteria. More and more research is showing just how important these bacteria are in contributing to your optimal health. Gut bacteria is a key player in digesting food, regulating metabolism, helping to reduce inflammation and supporting the immune system, just to name a few. 70% of our immune system is found in the gut. This means it’s essential to keep your gut bacteria healthy.

 In order to help keep your gut bacteria balanced, I recommend to all my clients to take a probiotic. The benefits of probiotics go far beyond improving digestion and boosting immunity. Gut health has also been proven to affect your mood, and symptoms like anxiety, depression, cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation which can contribute to allergies, eczema, and weight gain.

In addition, we are exposed to environmental toxins, constant stress, pasteurization of our food, antibiotic use and high-sugar foods, which all destroy the beneficial bacteria in our guts. When we have an imbalance of good bacteria or an overgrowth of non-beneficial bacteria we are more susceptible to illness and certain diseases.

6. What Are Your top 3 Superfoods And Why?

My top 3 superfoods are greens, maca and hemp seeds. 
Greens are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Plus, they’re full of fiber which encourage growth of good bacteria in our digestive tract. This is essential for reducing inflammation, improving digestion, reducing bloat, boosting your energy, and aiding in weight loss. If you want glowing skin and vibrant energy, eat your greens!

Maca is an adaptogen that helps with hormone balance and sustained energy. It’s considered an adaptogen which works by strengthening and stabilizing our adrenal glands. Our adrenal glands pump out adrenaline and cortisol when we’re under stress. These hormones naturally raise our blood sugar and increase our heart rate. This is great if the stress is short-lived, but in reality, we tend to be faced with constant stress. This constant stress leads to a consistent output of stress hormones which can lead to weight gain, inflammation, and chronic disease.

Hemp seeds or what I like to call “nature’s sprinkles” are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are the one food that has the perfect 3:1 balance of omega-6s to omega-3s. This is very important for keeping inflammation in check. Hemp seeds are also one of my favorite plant-based proteins. They are one of the few plant-based sources of all essential amino acids, making them a complete protein.

7. How Important Is Emotional Health To Achieving Your Client’s Health Goals?

When it comes to creating a sustainable, healthy lifestyle consistency is key, however, you can’t do this without the right mindset. Your mindset is a part of emotional health and plays a huge role in reaching your health goals. I help all of my clients determine their “wellness why”. This is the deep-rooted, emotional reason behind being motivated to make changes. It’s the key to creating your forever wellness, aka a lasting lifestyle that makes you feel your best. Reaching your health and wellness goals is not willpower or lack of discipline. It’s on a much deeper emotional level. It is your WHY. I’m a huge advocate for creating a positive mindset and choosing to be positive when times get tough, or you are short on time or lacking motivation. If you need more guidance on finding your “wellness why”, you’ll love this post.

8. What Type Of Exercise Do You Recommend For Relieving Anxiety?

It’s so important to find the type of exercise to help with YOUR anxiety. Some individuals find a sense of calm through slow movement like yoga or walking. Others need to get their heart rate up to take the edge off. This might be exercises like weight lifting or going on a run. For me, getting out in the fresh air for a run or walking helps me with anxiety. Movement in general can help calm your nerves, take your mind off the thing that’s making your anxious and release endorphins that make you feel good. Any form movement can with anxiety but it’s important to figure out what type of exercise works best for you.

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