Jessica Salamati (nee Smith)

Jessica Smith

Jessica Salamati (nee Smith) is on a mission to empower young women & men to REVOLUTIONISE their body image and self esteem. She is a speaker, mentor, writer and the founder of ‘JOIN THE REVOLUTION’ a social media campaign created to promote POSITIVE body image. Born missing her left forearm and then suffering third degree burns to 15% of her body as a toddler, the former Paralympian understands negative body image better than most and is using her personal experience to educate and empower young people around the world. Meet Jess…

Tell us about your journey, what sparked your passion for the health and wellness industry?

I am so determined to bring about more awareness when it comes to the seriousness of Body Image and Eating Disorders, in an attempt to reduce the number of people who experience body dissatisfaction. I have a vested interest in this as I have struggled with negative body image my entire life, born missing my left arm then as a toddler suffering third degree burns to 15% of my body. I grew up looking different, and in a society where it seems appearance is valued above everything else, I really struggled to accept myself and my body. I developed an eating disorder at the age of 14 which I battled with for over a decade. I’m now in recovery and I feel that I have a responsibility to be a voice for others who are struggling with negative body image and eating disorders. There is still such a negative stigma associated with these issues, which only amplifies the feelings of guilt and shame that people can experience. So I want to do whatever I can to help bring more awareness to the issue and encourage people to communicate more by simply starting the conversation.

What’s your number one wellness tip?

First and foremost – Relax. Then simply listen to your body. We seem to be constantly inundated with wellness tips and ideas and suggestions on the best ways to become fit and healthy, so much so that it can be quite overwhelming for us all. There is a lot of contradictory information out there and I think it’s easy to get caught up in following the latest trend or fad when it comes to health and wellbeing. If we all just took a little more time to relax, take a deep breath and listen to our own bodies, we would be able to identify what we as individuals actually need or order to obtain wellness. Obviously this is easier said than done, especially given that we all lead such busy lives. So it’s important to take even just a few minutes  each day to relax and just be still.

What’s your one non-negotiable when it comes to your health?

Dieting. I will never diet or deny myself any type of food. But having said that, it doesn’t mean I eat whatever I want whenever I want. Having recovered from a decade long battle with eating disorders my relationship with food is now one of respect and appreciation. I eat foods that make me feel good and foods that honour my body. But if I want chocolate, I’ll eat chocolate.

What motto do you live by?

Don’t sweat the small stuff! I spent years worrying about what people thought of me and wasting time trying to please everyone else. I realised long ago that there is no point stressing over the little things, you will never be able to please everyone. One of my favourite quotes “you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there will still be someone who hates peaches.” As long as you go about your day to day life with dignity and honesty, then that is all that matters.

What is your proudest achievement?

Representing Australia in Swimming at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens.

What are your goals for the future?

I’m currently writing a series of children’s books about positive body image and acceptance. The first book is due to be released in June of this year which is super exciting. The goal is to write at least 6 books to complete the series.

Tell us something not many people know about you?

I have three younger brothers.

Can you share with us one of your favourite recipes?

One of my closets friends Nikki Heyder is the brains behind NOOD and she is always creating the best recipes. Her raw chocolate mint slice is incredible!

raw-chocolate-mint-slice

Base Ingredients:

4 Medjool dates pitted
1 tablespoon raw cacao
1 tablespoon chia seeds
½ cup whole almonds
1 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons coconut oil
¼ cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
½ teaspoon sea salt

Filling Ingredients:

¼ large avocado
½ cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup almond meal
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon raw unprocessed honey
½ teaspoon ‘Ultimate Greens’
1½ teaspoons organic peppermint extract

Chocolate Ingredients:

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon raw unprocessed honey
½ teaspoon organic peppermint extract

Method:

Line a standard sized loaf tin with baking paper. Firstly, make the base by adding all ‘base’ ingredients into a food processor and blending on high speed until it resembles a breadcrumb like consistency. Pour this mixture into the loaf tin, spread evenly and press down firmly using your hands. Wash the food processor before you start the next step. To make the filling, combine all ‘filling’ ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy (you might need to stop to scrape down the sides a few times until everything has been incorporated and no big mint leaves remain). Pour this mixture into the loaf tin over the base. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes while you clean your bench and make the chocolate layer. In a small bowl combine all ‘chocolate’ ingredients and mix well with a spoon or fork. Take loaf tin out of freezer and pour chocolate over mint layer, tilt the pan back and forth until the chocolate has evenly covered the entire surface. Place in the freezer again for another 45 minutes until set. Cut using a sharp knife and serve immediately. Store in air tight container in the freezer for up to 1 week.

Where can we find you?

Website

Facebook

Instagram

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