Nutrition and the Mind-Body Connection with Guest Expert Jessika Brown

Ep: 240

Do you wonder whether your relationship with food is healthy?

With busy lives in a fast-paced world, it can feel impossible to make empowered choices when it comes to the food we eat. With eating disorders and a general lack of emphasis on nutrition in our society, it’s more important than ever that we take the lead in making better choices and cultivating healthier connections with our bodies.

Today on The Bridge to Fulfillment®, Blake welcomes Jessika Brown, a registered dietitian (RD) with a master’s degree in Nutrition. She’s also a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics and a Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian-Supervisor. Her superpower is helping people live deeper in their values through health. She’s the host of the Fuel Her Awesome Podcast and owns a dietetic private practice.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to understand the biofeedback your body is providing when it comes to what you eat. You’ll hear the important role of the microbiome in your overall health, the impact of your emotions on how you eat, and how you can begin to reshape your values when it comes to your relationship with food.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How healing her relationship with food led Jessica to her professional path (5:00)
  • Connecting our emotions to when and what we choose to eat (10:56)
  • The origin of our distrust for our bodies that leads to disordered relationships with food (15:41)
  • Defining health on your own terms and determining your values (21:24)
  • Advice for parents who want to help their kids choose healthier foods (31:42)

Favorite Quotes:

  1. “So many of the conventional methodologies that we’re taught are broken. As a society, we are seeking all these things that are ultimately band-aids and don’t give us the results or the solutions we need. So, we often then think that there’s something wrong with us.” – Blake
  2. “Until we learn, and understand that every emotion we feel is for us and that we create our own suffering around it, we can’t create any change.” – Blake
  3. “We have to define health on our own terms, not the doctor’s terms, cultures, terms, how we were raised, we have to get very clear on what healthy looks like for us.” – Jessika Brown
  4. “There’s this illusion that we’re supposed to never feel sad or upset and, if we do, we need to get rid of the feeling. That’s one of the biggest things I’ve taken away from working with this population and in my own healing is that that is part of the human experience. We have to get rid of this lie that it’s going to be wonderful and beautiful all the time. Half if not more of the human experience is sorrow and sadness and it’s about developing resiliency through those pieces.” – Jessika Brown

Additional Resources: 

For more information on the Empowered Eating Method check out Jessika Brown’s FREE workshop: How to Eat Intuitively and Hit Your Goals or learn more about working with her 1:1 at

For programs and opportunities to work with Blake, go to


Jessika Brown 0:04
There’s a major message in our culture that says, “Your body’s not trustworthy”. Because it’s the wrong size, because it doesn’t know how to handle food. Because our food systems corrupt. You know, there’s all these things that are thrown at us where all of a sudden you combine a little bit of insecurity with your body’s not trustworthy. Now we have a disordered relationship with food, because now we don’t know how to handle food, and we either cling to it by either overeating it, or we avoid it, where we don’t want to learn anything about it’s, too stressful, or we try to control it.

Blake Schofield 0:44
Hi, I’m Blake Schofield, founder and CEO of The Bridge to Fulfillment®. Mom to three, USA Today Top 10 professional coach, and former corporate executive who got tired of sacrificing my life for a comfortable paycheck. My mission is to expand perspectives to achieve greater impact at home and work without sacrifice. This is The Bridge to Fulfillment®.

Blake Schofield 1:20
On today’s episode of The Bridge to Fulfillment®, I’m welcoming guest expert Jessica Brown. She’s a registered dietitian with her master’s degree in nutrition, and a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, and a Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian and Supervisor. Her superpower is helping people live deeper in their values through health. Jess teaches nutrition using the Empowered Eating method, which consists of biofeedback and science support a nutrition that is fueled by your values. Permission is to uncomplicate food by building Body Trust. She loves to teach women how to become strong and confident in their own bodies with a balance of grid race and glucose. Jess knows you have an inner awesome and it’s time you’re helping up stop eclipsing that awesome from blessing the world. I can tell you this was such a fun conversation. No matter where you are in your nutrition or health journey, we all have an opportunity to better understand the values and belief systems, how our emotions are tied to food, and how we can continue to improve our health for ourselves and for those that we love. And I’m really excited to dive in and really allow you the opportunity to hear some universal truths that Jess and I share together that have fundamentally improved our lives and our clients lives. And I hope that they will improve yours as well. Welcome to The Bridge to Fulfillment®, Jess, it’s so great to have you.

Jessika Brown 2:48
Thank you so much for having me on. Blake, I’m excited to be here.

Blake Schofield 2:52
I’m so happy to have you. You know, one of the reasons I was excited to bring you on the show is for me, what I’ve really realized in my own personal journey is that so many of the conventional wisdom or methodologies that we’re taught are really broken. And as a society, we are seeking all these things that are ultimately band-aids that don’t give us the results or the solutions we need. And we often then think that there’s something wrong with us. And so I really love to bring guests on who have discovered and found their own approaches to their journey that have been impactful and are helping impact other people. And nutrition is an area for me several years ago that I invested in, it really made such a huge difference on my energy levels, how I felt, solve so many problems I didn’t even really know I had or possible, helped me understand how broken what we’re teaching is about our food systems, our processed food, and how so much of that is actually killing us or creating all of the disease that we’re struggling with.

Blake Schofield 3:56
And so I love hearing more in that realm. But I was also fascinated because of your experience in biofeedback. And I also went through biofeedback when I was young. And so we haven’t talked about it yet. But I’m hoping we’ll have an opportunity to speak about how that came together. Because it intrigued me and I think far too many people don’t even know what that is, even though at this point, it’s been around for decades. And so I was like, oh, fascinating. Let’s talk about it. So with that said, I’m excited for what will come in this conversation. But why don’t we start with just having you introduce yourself, share with us a little bit about you, and how did you end up in the journey that you’re on today?

Jessika Brown 4:32
Totally. Well, thank you for that. Yeah. I love how you highlight biofeedback. Because it’s funny. It’s like a buzzword now where it’s, it’s really not a new word. But we’ll get into that here in a bit. Yeah. So like, thank you for that introduction. My name is Jess. I’m a registered dietitian. Professionally, I have been working as a dietician for, what am I on, 13 or 14 years. I start to like, once I hit a decade, I stopped counting, you know. And so, I started my career, I actually started my career, went back to school with the intention of working with people with eating disorders. And like most people who go into that field, I was struggling with an eating disorder prior to going back to school. So, I really battled with like body image, the emotional side of food, and went back to school to become a dietitian with the intention to better understand myself and therefore then serve others. So I spent the bulk of my career learning and understanding, you know, the things we don’t say, out loud, and how we can manifest that out through our food actions are how we take care of our body, or don’t take care of our body. And back up, you know, before I went to school, before I learned about nutrition, before any of that, just found myself in this space where, but the our culture tells us, you know, a lot about how to treat our bodies, what our bodies should look like, there’s a lot of conflicting information on how we should care for and feed our bodies. And I just, I was really lost and all of that really, really lost in it. And I think that’s where I found myself so, so confused by it, and really in a space of just like lack of knowledge, combined with our cultural pressure to look a certain way and developed a disorder.

Jessika Brown 6:19
So long story short, I went to school did a lot of spiritual healing, and came back to my faith, which was a huge part of my story. And just genuinely fell in love with how intricately designed our bodies are. And how our bodies connect with fuel, so in such amazing ways, and I just, I couldn’t like take my, I couldn’t unlearn all the things I learned in school. And so I did end up going into the career field of supporting individuals with eating disorders. I’ve worked in on inpatient treatment centers, and an outpatient treatment center, and really lived in there. And you know, the really cool part about working in that world, Blake, is you see just how emotional food is for all of us. And I think, you know, whether you’ve had an eating disorder or not, I mean, a very small percentage of the population is actually diagnosed with an eating disorder. But I think at some level, so many people can relate to like the stuff behind food, whether it’s using food as a coping tool to soothe stress, or avoiding it, because we don’t know how to deal with it. And we really label it as good or bad. And it becomes a moral compass. Like we put so much emotion into it, that we lose, you know, the actual physical powers food can give to us. So I spent the bulk of my career there, and then actually, in the last, like, five to eight years, started transitioning more to sports nutrition, and became a certified sports specialist. And what was cool about this is like sports nutrition is, it’s very scientific, and like linear, it’s very, like, you need this much protein before you do this much work and this much carbohydrate. And I thought it was really cool to, like live in both of those worlds, to look at the emotional side of food, and then start to see how like the science side could be so powerful.

Jessika Brown 8:09
So now what I do is I work to combine those two worlds. And I teach something called Empowered Eating, which is balancing both of those, but how do we balance, like the emotional side of us? And what we value? And what’s important to us? And how does that actually play into our health journey? And how do we bring in like the cool stuff about nutrition? How do we actually learn how to fuel our body in a way that is productive and supports the lifestyle and the kind of energy we want to bring. And then the third piece of my, my model that I teach is the biofeedback, which is just that connection point with your actual body. And I think that’s really the piece that brings it all together. Because yeah, we can know what we want to do and how we want to take care of our bodies. And we can know what the books say we should do. But at the end of the day, it’s truly that connection with our physical body. And what does our body say about food? What was your energy after you ate? So I feel really blessed to be where I’m at. Because really my whole journey through the actual eating disorder and healing my own relationship with food, and sitting with other people that have struggled, now like getting to do some more like macro and micronutrient calculations. It’s just kind of all come together and something I feel I’m really passionate about because it’s fun. It’s fun to help people figure this stuff out. So that’s the short story of where I got and how I’m, how I’m here.

Blake Schofield 9:33
I love it. And there’s so much to dig into. I guess I’ll start with this and then maybe a couple of questions. You know, when I was seven years old, I felt this very heavy calling on my life. I knew that the way I saw the world was different. And I’ve spent almost 40 years really trying to piece together and understand why are we here? What’s our purpose? And what are all of the places of which we are lost or seeking band-aids. And consistently, what I really have come to see is that instead old quote, all problems are psychological, all solutions are spiritual, that at the core root of who we are as human beings, and the biggest challenges that we all have our lack of connection to God, lack of, and therefore lack of connection to ourselves and others. And when I hear you talk about your experience as a, as a young child, right, as a teen growing up, where you developed an eating disorder, it is the same thing I consistently see, which is, when we lack that connection, and we lack that inherent worth and value and trust, we will either and we don’t know how to process our emotions, which society doesn’t really teach us, we will either cling to avoid or attempt to control. And I think what so many people don’t understand about food is at that emotional component is we’re using that emotional component in food. Are you avoiding, you know what you’re dealing with? And so you’re going out and eating? Are you controlling, and it might be an eating disorder, it might be, on the other hand, like the extreme, I have to measure absolutely everything. And I’m so measured about it, that I don’t allow any flexibility.

Blake Schofield 11:24
I have a real passion and a heart for this because I think, you know, I spent, when I was in corporate America, I spent 16 years as a merchant, and I ended up becoming really known for being a merchant and plus sizes, which people were often shocked, because I’m like size four, and what am I doing buying plus size clothing, but I came to understand the challenges of what it’s like for somebody to be plus sized in our world, and the amount of judgment, lack of resources, assumptions. And I think that we have the same on the flip side, people that suffer from anorexia, bulimia, and then we have the rest of the world sort of sitting in the middle. But if we can begin to have compassion and understand the root cause of all of these things, we can understand that none of us are different or separated. This is the human condition. And until we learn, and understand that every emotion we feel is for us, and that we create our own suffering around it, we can’t create any change. And so I’m excited to sort of dive in this with you. Because, you know, not only do I have many friends that have struggled with their weight in their health for, you know, their whole life, and have suffered tremendously from that, because there’s a lot of judgment in that realm.

Blake Schofield 12:39
My daughter when she was 12, or 13, was on a dance team. And there was a girl on her team who became anorexic. And I never thought that my young daughter would have to deal with or understand the mental health struggle that surrounded that. Unfortunately, that girl, Julie, ended up committing suicide. It was absolutely devastating for my daughter, devastating for me. And so I hope today as we kind of open up these conversations about health and how we look at food, that we can also open up compassion for the human condition around it. Because like I said, whether you’re on an extreme on either ends, we all, we all suffer from it in one way or another. Some of us might choose to be workaholics. Some of us might choose to control our food, some of us might turn to other things. But the reality is it all goes back to that root and not really feeling whole and not knowing how to process what we’re experiencing. So I just share that. And thank you for coming on today. The conversation, where we’re talking about health, we’re talking about food, but there’s a link with that, with mental health. And I think when we can open up the conversation in a more holistic way, it can help give people grace and compassion for themselves and others.

Jessika Brown 13:56
So good. So good. Yeah. First of all, I’m so sorry to hear that about that the girl on the dance team. That is I mean, that’s why we’re here having these conversations and hopes that that cycle doesn’t continue and, you know, in the realm I’ve chosen to pursue helping people has been in the realm where people do decide to take it out on their bodies or get sucked into taking it out on their bodies. But I think you’re so right. It’s this inability to understand what we’re feeling and in a lack of tolerance for distress, right, where it’s almost like there’s this illusion that we’re supposed to never feel sad or upset and, you know, if we do we need to get rid of the feeling and that’s one of the biggest things I’ve taken away from working with this population in my own healing is that that is part of the human experience. We have to get rid of this lie that it’s going to be wonderful and beautiful all the time. No half if not more of the human experience is sorrow and sadness and developing resiliency through those pieces you had mentioned, we cling to, and they can’t remember the second part.

Blake Schofield 15:08
Avoid or control.

Jessika Brown 15:09
Cling to, avoid, or control. And in the work I do, I see that to be so true. And so just in the context of, you know, food and how we interact with food, when we feel we go through a hard time, or we feel distress, or maybe we feel a little insecure, and in my case, it was being a teenage girl, just a typical teenage girl a little insecure, you had a rough boyfriend, that wasn’t super encouraging. It wasn’t anything catastrophic that happened to me, but it was like this perfect storm. And then I believe there’s a major message in our culture that says, “Your body’s not trustworthy”. Because it’s the wrong size, because it doesn’t know how to handle food. Because our food systems corrupt. You know, there’s all these things that are thrown at us, we’re all of a sudden you combine a little bit of insecurity, with your body’s not trustworthy. Now we have a disordered relationship with food, because now we don’t know how to handle food. And we either cling to it by either overeating it, or we avoid it, where we don’t want to learn anything about it’s, too stressful, or we try to control it. And that’s probably the more extreme case that we see an eating disorder world. But I think you’re right, like at some point, we can all relate to those one of those three coping tools.

Blake Schofield 16:28
Well what you’re saying I also see to be so true, which is we I’ve really come to understand the body is the shortcuts. When you learn how to listen to your body, you can develop that self trust, it’s how you develop your inner compass. And absolutely, not only we’re not taught how to listen to our bodies, we often as children are told that we are too emotional, or that the way that we do things isn’t right, or we should be a certain way. And so very early on in society, we start taking and stripping away the uniqueness of who we are. And our own inner compass and we start replacing it with “the teacher knows better, the parent knows better, there must be something wrong with me”. And again, I see this so much as a human condition issue. And the reason I’m kind of going into this initially is because I think this impacts all of us in ways that until you get to a point where you really spend the time to be self aware, you don’t know, right? Because I would venture to bet there was also something going on in your home, in addition to being a teenager, in addition to not listening to your voice that created a perception that maybe food was the place to solve that problem. No?

Jessika Brown 17:39
No, no, because I actually came from a beautiful home. And I think what it actually was my disorder really started to develop in, into college. And when there was a disruption in what was predictable, so it was less about like, what, like, I was very fortunate, I did not experience any trauma. You know, I came from a very solid foundation, good family unit. It was truly just like the lack of predictability in my life. All of a sudden, I went to school totally by myself and didn’t know anyone, right? Like I didn’t, I didn’t know what was next. And life has really big questions. When you go to college. It’s like, what are you going to? What are you going to major in? What are you going to do with your life? What’s next? And I just, honestly wasn’t prepared to answer those. And so I thought it would, it would be easier to focus on fixing my body than it would be to focus on, you know, what I was going to do with my life? Because at least my body I could control, right, there’s that control again.

Blake Schofield 18:37
Yeah. And what that tells me is, and again, this is a place where there’s never any judgment, you can grow up in the best home and still have little T trauma.

Jessika Brown 18:47

Blake Schofield 18:48
So what that tells me is you grew up in an environment that was very safe, structured, and reliable, which means you never learned the skills to challenge yourself, deal with uncertainty, or, and or, didn’t learn what’s the ultimate source of safety? And I think most of us don’t, right. And sometimes as parents, we try to create such a safe environment for our kids that we actually do things that hurt them in ways that we can’t even maybe no, you know, for me, a huge part of my security and identity was around helping and saving people. My parents divorced when I was young, and I became the person that made sure everybody was okay. And then a huge part of my identity became around that I was successful in my job. And those were the places I attempted to control everything.

Jessika Brown 19:34

Blake Schofield 19:35
And then when those things started to crumble, my life crumbled. And the reality is that we all do that. We all build an identity based around something and if we don’t have or haven’t been taught, and most of us haven’t, because these are skills and tools that our parents and our grandparents did not have. It’s not a slight to them, they just didn’t have them. Right? And when that moment comes when we don’t know how to deal with uncertainty, or the way of which we built the foundation of our life crumbles, we don’t know what to do. And so I share that as an overarching piece, because I see it consistently, and it is the human condition. And also, I think it’s a great segue for us to talk about that in terms of nutrition in terms of food, because, like I said, whether you have an extreme version of this or not, we all have some sort of opportunity to understand nutrition at a more INTERCO level. Like I said, several years ago, when I ended up going into a friend’s program, I was blown away by what I learned. Often I look back and think, hey, they were actually teaching me good stuff in school, but I had no interest in and didn’t pay any attention to. And now I wish that I did. And I think at least for my generation, there used to be this perspective, go to school, get a job, and then you’re done. But the reality is, the speed of the world is moving so fast, we must become lifelong learners. And that’s really what it’s about. And so for today, I think it’s a great opportunity, no matter where you are on the spectrum, about food. And even if you think you have a healthy perspective about food, I would encourage you to listen in because there’s probably something you can learn to improve your health, the way that you feel, and or improve it for somebody else that you love. So just let me ask you, if you had only two or three things, you could tell somebody that you think are the most important things for them to understand about their health and nutrition. What would they be?

Jessika Brown 21:22
Oh, that’s a good one. I think I mean, the first one, I have to think kind of holistically. And the first one is, we have to define health on our own terms, not off the doctor’s terms, off cultures terms, off how we were raised, like, we have to get very clear on what healthy looks like for us specifically. So how I like to do that with the folks I work with and support is I like I work in the values work, I like to identify what our top three to five values are, and how that support you or how your health plays into those values. So for example, one of my values is impact. And I like to have an impact, whether that’s in my home on a Friday night, you know, or in the workplace and what I’m doing with my career, but the reality is, in order for me to have the energy to show up and be the kind of person that can make the impact I want to make, I have to have a good night’s sleep. For the most part, I’ve that’s changed a little bit since becoming a mom, I have to be well rested, I have to be well fed, like I have to take care of my body physically. And I have more energy when I move my body. And so learning how to like identify, this is what I value. This is what’s most important to me, this is like me at my healthiest self thinking and bigger picture than just my weight or my lab work. Like we want to think holistically there. And then how does my health actually support that. So that’s number one. Because I would say we have to figure out your values and how your health plays into that.

Jessika Brown 22:56
More tactically speaking on the nutrition side. The second piece I would look at is in the realm of biofeedback. And that’s our gut health. Our gut health is so powerful, for many reasons. One, it’s one of our first lines of defense against any foreign, foreign anything within our body. Like if you think of food entering into your mouth and you swallow it goes into your body, it doesn’t actually transition into your body until it passes through your GI system, until it gets into your intestines, moves through your microbiome, which is the layer that lines your intestines, and then into your body through your bloodstream. So our microbiome is that bacterial layer, that bacterial lining in our gut, and it has a huge influence on our mental health, on our immune system, and how we digest food and how we process everything we eat. So I think looking at gut health, would be the second thing. I would encourage people to learn more about and get connected to and understand what’s happening within your body.

Blake Schofield 24:00
So good. I’ve heard so much about gut health the last decade. And there’s a lot of products and a lot of perspectives about that. And I always am skeptical when I see people say take this drink, and it’s going to solve your problem. And you can eat all this crap that’s horrible for you. So I’m interested to know your perspective on that. What do you think is the common conventional wisdom around it? And what’s the real truth?

Jessika Brown 24:24
When we think of our microbiome, so again, for those that haven’t heard of this, or this is your microbiome is just a fancy word for your bacterial lining within your gut. Everybody has it. And it’s like a fingerprint. Everybody’s is different. One of the cool things that it does is it communicates to your brain through the vagus nerve, and you’re going to communicate different messages depending on what kind of condition your microbiome is. So if you’ve got a dense and diverse microbiome, meaning we have lots of variety, in bacteria in your gut, and it’s really dense, there’s going to be like this beautiful tune that is sent through your vagus nerve up to your brain. And I think of it like, you know, pick your favorite genre of music constantly being played in the background of your brain that puts your microbiome can do. Now when it’s off, we have the opposite. Like, think of the genre you don’t like being constantly played, to your brain. And when that happens, that’s when we can see things show up, like amplified anxiety, so they don’t believe gut dysbiosis causes anxiety, but it can amplify anxiety, we see it show up in, I call it the poop report. So if your bowels are really lose, or you’re constipated, like that’s an indicator that something is off, we also see it in like hair loss, skin conditions, it can be connected to certain autoimmune diseases. So this is how it’s going to actually physically show up within your body. So if you have some of those alarms going off, one of the best ways to work through that and kill it is check some of the basics. And I think so many people are like, jumped to the probiotics or jumped to the supplement before checking some of the basics. And those basics are making sure we’re getting enough fluid. But we have to be hydrated, ourselves need water to process the foods we eat. Getting adequate fiber. This is so funny, because it’s like not new news. It’s not sparkly. We have to eat fruits and vegetables. But the research shows when the USDA surveyed Americans 60% are not eating adequate fruits and veggies. So we have to up that. The goal is five to nine servings, are five to nine cups of fruits and veggies a day, which, do you eat five to nine servings of fruits and veggies, Blake?

Blake Schofield 26:37
Ah, I’d say probably four. Four or five.

Jessika Brown 26:41
Yeah, yeah, it’s, I do this for a living. And I have to work really hard to get to five, but it’s a hard thing to do. So I say this with like a lot of grace, because while it’s the goal, it’s not easy. And it sounds simple, but it’s not easy. But this would be one of the first steps to take is eating adequate fiber. If you find you have a really sensitive gut and that actually increases because sometimes the extra fiber can amplify if you have loose stool or diarrhea, one of the things you can do is cook your veggies and work up to that five to nine and having a softer, more easily digested veggies. So working towards the fiber would be another step. I do think there are some benefits and some supplements out there. They do provide some gut healing if people are struggling with a gut dysbiosis. And we don’t get adequate amounts in our diet in general. And that would be zinc and magnesium. Zinc and magnesium are two supplements that are tough to get and they can be quite hilly. So again, it’s gonna depend, I have to say this disclaimer, of course, you want to talk with your health care provider, you know, before adding any supplements. But looking at those two and pulling them into your daily routine can be quite healing. So we got fiber, we got fluid, and we’ve got putting in some gut healing supplements.

Blake Schofield 27:57
And since most people are not drinking enough water, what do you recommend? What’s the recommended amount of water you should be drinking?

Jessika Brown 28:03
So I actually don’t prescribe amounts. I use biofeedback. So I recommend drinking until your urine is lightly colored or not pigmented at all. And it’s so funny like I have my kids trained on this, where they will literally come running out of the bathroom and my boys will say things like “Mama Mama, my pee is not clear. I need some water”. And I love that. So I think and we as adults need to do the same thing. I mean, get your favorite water bottle. I’ve got my Stanley, my very basic girl Stanley Cup sitting next to me, but get a water bottle that you love and drink it until your biofeedback says we have enough, we are adequately hydrated.

Blake Schofield 28:43
I love it. Yeah, I use biofeedback for migraine tension headaches. But it’s amazing, right to your point all of the ways in which it can be used. And really the intent is to be able to understand and control more of what’s happening in your body. And at 12. I had no idea what a huge benefit that was to me to start to develop a greater sense of connection with my body, most of us are really disconnected. And I also think that disconnection often can be tied to food. Like before I learned how to eat healthy to your point, I eat probably five servings of fruits and veggies, but I eat a lot of greens, a lot of greens on a day to day basis. I get a lot of the zinc and magnesium and all of that which fundamentally changed my entire levels of energy, how I feel like all of it. But before I started eating healthy, my stomach would often hurt after I ate and I thought that was because I was full and I had no idea. It was actually my body rejecting the food, the additives or preservatives, all of the stuff that was going on because I just grew up where it was like, well if your stomach hurts after you eat, then you must be full. And I think there’s so much of that where we just don’t even know our own bodies and how they respond and what they’re telling us. There was through my own health journey, when I got rid of all of that, and I was like, “Oh, I’m full, but I don’t feel full”. I have two to three hours more energy a day. And I didn’t even know I could feel this way. And then the occasional time when I would eat something that my body really did not like. And then it was like, “Oh, it does not like this at all. And that’s how I used to feel”. And it wasn’t that I was full, it was that actual thing that I was eating. And so I love the message that you’re giving here, which is stop looking at things as a one size fits all, which I think is really broken. And so much of our society is we think we’re average, or we should be average, and then we get upset that we’re not. And we’re trying to solve problems based on averages that may not actually solve the root cause problems. Those are the ones we have, and learn to trust and listen to yourself that your body’s giving you signals that are telling you it’s okay or not okay. And what do you do with that then incorrect from there?

Jessika Brown 30:53
Oh, good. Yeah. So good.

Blake Schofield 30:55
Let’s see, what else might we talk about? Because this is so good. Kids. I’d love to hear this. How old are your boys?

Jessika Brown 31:02
They are seven and nine.

Blake Schofield 31:04
Okay, good ages, mine are 11, almost 16, and 18. Now, I don’t know about, your kids probably better off. But I’m sure my kids are not unusual in that two of my three are very picky eaters. And not picky in a good way, picky and I don’t really like to eat anything that’s healthy. And so I know that I am not alone in that challenge. I would assume you probably have clients that are not alone in that challenge, too. And we probably have a number of people listening to this podcast, who are parents or grandparents, etc. Aunts, uncles that maybe see the same thing. Do you have any advice or suggestions for how to be able to turn that tide in a society where we feed our children pizza, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, again, no judgment, I do the same. Because sometimes it just is what it is. But what I know is if I had learned these health lessons for earlier in life, I would have been far healthier and had far better energy. And my body wouldn’t have needed as much repair as it needed to be able to overcome those things. So do you have any advice for that? How to do that with the younger generation?

Jessika Brown 32:12
Yes, I love this question. And actually, my oldest, is an extremely picky eater. He has taught me more about food, and how to work through some of the struggles than any of my clients ever have. There is actually an eating disorder called arfid, avoidant, and restrictive feeding intake disorder. And it has nothing to do with body image. It actually has everything to do with textures, and how you perceive the food you eat. And my son’s never been clinically diagnosed, but he checks all the boxes, all the boxes. And I share this because I think a lot of us do have picky eaters. And there’s a spectrum of this arfid diagnosis. And sometimes it’s very clear, and it’s very restrictive. But sometimes it’s just these restrictive tendencies. And one of the things kids are is they’re very intuitive. And if something doesn’t feel good to them, they’re going to not want to do it. And so for example, my son, he, he, we tried to give him pasta, and he told me it was worms in his mouth, you know, like he couldn’t, and the poor kid he was like, truly, like very distressed about. And I’m looking, I’m going like, I’m not going to try to convince him to eat pasta, this is a terrible experience for him. So I share all that because I think, you know, we as parents have a lot of pressure to feed our kids right and to not mess them up.

Jessika Brown 33:37
And one of the things I’ve really found is this balance of guiding them and giving them direction as to how to take care of their body. My sweet boy, you need protein to build muscles, you need carbohydrate to keep energy, and we need fruits and veggies so you can grow tall and smart. And we got to balance sugar, so that your body doesn’t get out like all wonky, is what we call it. And you know, we give that guidance and at the same time we trust that bodies are resilient and we don’t have to be perfect. And so you know, Blake, you are not alone. I, because of what, you know, his conditions and his struggles. He has a mac and cheese-chicken nugget-kind of boy, but you know what we balance it with, I feed him what I call candy juice, which is actually like blended pineapples, spinach, a little bit of flaxseed and some water. We call it candy juice, but it’ll have chicken nuggets or pizza with some candy juice. And we do believe in adding supplements as a safety blanket. But I do trust that his body is resilient. I also trust in the model my husband and I are setting. We believe in family dinners. We believe in connection over food and we are modeling taking care of our bodies. So my job as a parent with him right now is to make sure his base nutrition needs are met which we’re doing, you know we’re feeding him adequately. We are, number two, creating an enjoyable experience around food, where we are connecting over food, we’re tasting food, we’re talking about what it does in our body. And we’re trusting that he’s gonna be okay in the process.

Blake Schofield 35:13
Hmm, I love that you’ve nicknamed it candy juice, that just smile so much. And thank you for giving us the recipe, right? For those of you maybe this is worth trying. What’s funny about older sister, and I remember, she’s just really smart about being able to figure out ways to get kids to do things that they might not. And I remember, I don’t know why this comes up. But it makes me laugh, because it’s a similar type of thing. When my kids were little, and her kids were little, they wouldn’t want to go to the bathroom. And so she would just say, let’s go take a test pee-pee. Let’s go take a test pee-pee and see if there’s anything there. And it’s, it’s the same energy to me as the candy juice, right? It’s like, how can I take this thing that’s important for you to do and just bring some like, joy or fun to it, where it feels light and easy? And how different might things be if we had grown up that way around food, where it’s like, yeah, you can have this thing. And then we’re gonna do this other thing. That’s fun. Because I think often, again, it goes back to the conditioning, right? So many old stories, you have to eat everything on your plate. I remember as a young child, my dad served as liver and onions. And when I mean young, I mean, like in kindergarten, and I did not want to eat it. Yeah, nasty. I did not want to eat it. And I remember and I don’t know how long it was because you know, time to a child is not the same. But I remember him having the stay at the dinner table. And we just have the song you don’t get a treat until you eat your meat.

Jessika Brown 36:39
Oh, wow.

Blake Schofield 36:40
Yeah. And there’s these things right that I think as parents we do, trying to do what’s good for our children, without any understanding of what might the downward consequences of some of those things be. And that’s why when we started this conversation, it’s like, I don’t care who you are, you as by nature of just being human. There are belief systems that you have around food based on how your family grew up, that may or may not be serving you anymore. And the cool part is to what you’re sharing justice, you can choose what you want it to be now. And you can choose what you model. And you can choose to learn new things. And you can also look at intuitively, what is my body telling me? And how do I trust myself versus looking externally at all of these other things people are doing and assuming that’s right for me. And I just love that message in so many ways. Because I often say that life is always teaching you lessons. Are you listening, our bodies are always teaching us lessons. And they’re telling us when things are off, and not okay. And one of the most heartbreaking things I think for me in the last six years doing the work that I do is the number of clients I’ve worked with who’ve ended up with cancer, or all these other problems, and were shocked by it. But I can guarantee you that their body was telling them stuff for a really long time before that. But because they were so disassociated, hadn’t learned to trust our body or didn’t even, didn’t even know or take the time often because we’re overthinking and overscheduled to be able to see what was right in front of them.

Jessika Brown 38:14

Blake Schofield 38:15
And so for whoever is sitting here, if you’re sitting with health issues, if you don’t have some of the foundational basics that Jess has said, it can be just as simple as starting with that today. Like that’s it. What happens if you give yourself adequate water? What happens if you give yourself adequate food and veggies? How do you feel? And if you could just start with something as simple as that and changing that habit, and then reassessing what I often see as we start to gain momentum, because the energy that we’re lacking starts building, and then it becomes easier and easier to stay consistent and implement new things that can create even better health for ourselves.

Jessika Brown 38:55
So good. Yeah. You know, when you were talking, it just reminded me of the story of my son. I was taking my boys through Chick fil A, and they asked for a milkshake. And I said, “Sure, you know, we can have a milkshake today. It was a special day”. So I got up a milkshake. And normally what I do is I make them split the milkshake. And they were younger. I think they were like, the baby was old enough to fall asleep in the car, like we were still in that phase, you know? So I ordered the food and then I turn around and my baby’s asleep and the older one is awake. And so he’s like “Ma, milkshake.” You know, he’s like, “Can I have it?” So I’m like, “Okay, yes, here you go.” And I hand it to him while I’m doing my thing, driving. And soon, I turned around. That kid had choked the entire milkshake. I was like, “Ooh,” and he looks at me and he goes, “Mama, I do not feel good.” And you know, this, I decided to make this a real teaching moment because I could have said, “See, this is why we don’t drink all the milk shakes. You know, this is why mamas makes you split it.” But instead I said “Hmm, tell me more.” And I let him tell me and it was really interesting to hear his perception, you know, he was able to describe to me “Mama, my stomach feels like it’s pushing in a different direction. And I feel like my head is saying that was a bad idea.” And it was just really sweet to see, you know, he didn’t have shame, he doesn’t have the shame that’s imposed on our culture of making a right or wrong decision with food. He was just genuinely in his body and able to hear his body say, that was too much. And so I said, “Okay, baby boy, what do you think we should do?” He goes, “I think I definitely need some water. And I think I need to not do that again. Next time, will you put it into cup so I don’t drink the whole thing.” And so to this day, when we go to Chick fil A, if he asked for a milkshake? He’s like, “Mama, can you make sure they put it in a second cup?” Because he remembers that experience. And I think if more of us could, you know, like, to your point, stay connected, our body is telling us we just have to slow down enough, we have to step out of shame, not let shade get to us, hear what it’s saying. And then we have a lot of great biofeedback to make decisions going forward.

Blake Schofield 41:03
I love that there’s really honestly nothing else I could add, it’s almost the perfect way to end. Except that, I’m gonna give you the last question, which I always give everyone who has come, which is just is there anything that I haven’t asked you that I should have, or just anything else on your heart that you really want to share as we wrap up?

Jessika Brown 41:21
I guess just one more piece to that story. Because, you know, it was such a great experience for him. And his body was okay too. And I think it’s in other words, like he had the milkshake, his blood sugar was high, he didn’t feel good for a few hours. But because he listened and we adjusted like his blood sugar came back down, his body was resilient. So it’s this beautiful balance of, if we can listen to our body and trust it to handle some of the mistakes that we might make with food, we can come to this very like peaceful, easy, flowing experience with food. We don’t have to get so caught up and doing it perfectly. Or do it exactly right, we can actually just go through life, try it, see how it works out, listen, and then we have more information to go forward. So I would just add that piece of like, you’re not going to get it right every time. You know, there are things, I’m sure we’re all doing, with foods, or anything really that isn’t serving our bodies. But if we do listen, and we stay out of shame, our body can handle it and it can move on. And we can do the next right thing.

Blake Schofield 42:29
So good. Jess, for those of the listeners here that would love to connect with you. How can they do so?

Jessika Brown 42:36
Awesome, thank you. So I actually host a podcast called Fuel Her Awesome, where we do talk about Empowered Eating method and how to build that within your life, so they can find me over there. And then I also have a free Empowered Eating Workshop where I talk about how we uncomplicate foods so that you can eat intuitively and hit some of the goals that you might have in your health journey. And that can be found over at

Blake Schofield 42:59
Thank you so much, Jess. What a fun conversation today. I feel like we covered, I don’t know, 30 different topics. And yet, at the heart of it, what I really see is a focus on learning to trust yourself, what your body is saying, and to be able to let go of or not create shame or guilt around how you’re living your life or the decisions that you make. And I think that’s so powerful in so many ways, obviously from a nutrition standpoint, but just life in general. So thank you for coming on and sharing your wisdom.

Jessika Brown 43:33
Thank you so much for having me, Blake.

Blake Schofield 43:36
And for those of you guys listening. Thanks so much for being here and until next time, have a great week.