Jaimie: My guest today is Jessica spend love who is one of Australia's most respected and experienced dietitians. Over the last decade, Jess has worked with multiple professional sports teams, Olympic athletes, business leaders, large corporate organisations, and many high schools for clients have included hundreds of professional athletes at 45 headquarters, the Australian Defence Force School of Special Operations PwC Australia QEII Pixar, Zurich News Corp, the iconic, the list goes on as well as many of Sydney's top private schools. Jess is known for her personable approach, high quality work and results, ability to connect with all types of people outside the box thinking and ability to get the job done with exceptional results. Just teaches high performance how to strategically harness the power of performance nutrition to have more consistent energy to achieve their goals whilst maximising their physical and mental health. And JS gives high performers total clarity and confidence on how to use and enjoy food to optimise wellbeing and performance in all areas of life. And she helps people go from good to great. Jess, welcome to Pitch Perfect.
Jess: Jaimie, thank you so much for having me. It is great to have you here and you of course came into my world through my paid to speak course. And I remember when you joined, I went to your LinkedIn profile and I thought oh my goodness, this woman is huge. He had like 21,000 LinkedIn followers at the time, which I know is totally gone up since then. You had all this media coverage. It's so cool to have you into my world and of course you are in PR club as well. How did you get into this sort of work? Were you kind of focusing on those specialist athletes and top performers in sport?
Jess: Yeah, great question. You know, for me, it really was a result of how I grew up and also getting it all wrong. So I was you know, a high performing adolescent athlete. So the typical will not that it's typical, but for someone that you know, relates to that it's training before school training after school driving all over Sydney and you know, that comes with a lot of commitment and requirements and also requires a lot of food which I had no idea I was so under fueled. I was so tired. I was getting injured, and it was all a byproduct of me not getting that nutrition piece, right. So I was getting it wrong before I learned to get it right. And because of that experience from going from exhausted to energised and that performance and that growth and everything that came with that. Also being a foodie and liking people it was really clear like okay, sports dietitian or performance dietitian, you know, that's what I want to be so it was pretty laser focused pretty early on. It took a lot of study, you know, two degrees, five years, working in a hospital for three years. A lot of volunteer experience, mentoring all the rest of it before that kind of first opportunity came and then it all really snowballed from there.
Jaimie: Wow, that's so cool. And that’s a lot of dedication I guess, did you ever think Oh, am I doing the right thing? I know a lot of doctors who embark on that huge study journey think Wow, is this really worth it? And they do ask themselves that question many times.
Jess: Definitely. And probably the even more fronting piece of that whole story is like you've gone to university for five years. 10s of 1000s of dollars, you know, for three, four or five days a week plus all of the study and in the last week when they you know prepare you to go into the real world, that thru line and essentially what that week was was preparing you not to get a job. It was basically going okay, well, you've done all this but you probably won't get a job and that's okay or it's going to take you 12 months or so. So that's what pretty confronting but yeah, it's I think everybody has no matter what their journey how like quickly they got a job or how long they had to wait. I think you do question Was this the right thing? I certainly have had that and being a business owner now I still have that or it's more like, Am I doing the right thing despite, you know, the resume, the client, all of that it's just challenging. I think you really need to be a certain, you know, sort of way inclined to commit to certain degrees in certain careers. But fortunately for me, I guess that's who I am and how I've always been. So, yeah, it's, it's kind of nearly managing. It's really managing that drive and motivation and pacing myself, that's actually the phase that I'm in now. It's kind of like containing that. And it's also about me as a person, not just me as a professional, which is kind of where I'm at at the moment with my life, not just my career.
Jaimie: Yeah, that's so cool. I love that. And so working with teams of famous athletes, you know, you've worked with Olympians and professional sports teams. Are they high maintenance, or do they ever do love working with them? Because they know how important nutrition is and, and gut health and all the things that you talk about. So it's quite a breeze to be able to deal with those types of people?
Jess: Look, it's a mixed bag. It's it's the full spectrum of the easiest, most motivated and dedicated athletes getting a pretty right but you would be surprised there's actually quite a majority really coming to coming into this professional world pretty, pretty raw, maybe haven't been exposed haven't gone through a pathway and so never assume like yep, high level people are still work with high level people one on one now I just don't contract to teams like that was great for me. It was clearly like my vision and drive and after doing it for like nearly a decade. Two things happened. COVID being one of them, and it really changed the landscape, but it also made me go I'm on a hamster wheel here. And I'm nearly hanging on for dear life because I've got everything that I was 10 year old or 15 year old Jess ever dream of but just as a you know, 33,34 year old hat that's how old I was at the time. isn't actually very happy. Like she burns itself out. And you know, I've done that, what's next? So, interestingly, it came at, you know, COVID and then the shift and what I'm doing now, it's all kind of come at interesting timing. But um, yeah, back to the question. They're not all getting it right. They don't all value it. It definitely is a little bit kind of representative of how they grew up, grew up maybe the sport or the code that they're in, like the AFL is so far forward, same as the Netball compared to maybe look, I don't want to speak I don't want to generalise but thinking about you know, some of the other team sports I've worked with, there was a lot of really convincing them and why they needed to value it which in the end, I was like, this is your career like it's either going to result in you getting bigger contracts a longer contract. So you want that because doesn't impact me. But yeah, you'd be surprised. This is my maintenance, but there's some really easy nice, lovely, you know, great operators as well.
Jaimie: Yeah, I'm sure that's great to hear. When we caught up, so Jessica, we caught up in Newcastle a couple of weeks ago now Newcastle, New South Wales, of course, Jess is based in Sydney. You were saying to me how you actually will have always often work with CEOs or business leaders but busy corporate types. And just how much of an impact can you make for someone who say a CEO or you know, an executive type leader in making just some small adjustments that will improve not only I guess, their physical health but also then their mental health and helping them to perform and function better every day?
Jess: It really is profound and the way that I talk to people is you only know how good you can feel based on what you've always done and what I want to teach a new level. It's really opening up this untapped extra level of like, whether it's energy, whether it's productivity, whether it's just enjoyment. I've never met anybody, no matter see your professional athlete, whoever, with all of the things that I teach people who are taking all of those boxes, so for me, that means there's room to improve. And, you know, it's interesting like thinking about the Special Forces guys that I work with, like, you know, they are a really interesting group is so mentally resilient, which I think you can extrapolate to a lot of professional athletes and CEOs like you have. You're motivated and you're driven and you're pretty resilient, but that's there. But what I'm offering is something which is going to elevate that or make it more ease which like I say, easy with hesitation because it's not about being easy, but it's about being easier, or probably even more it's like getting you to the top but keeping you that so it's that longevity piece. It's not just like smashing yourself burning yourself out which as I mentioned before, like I got it wrong, despite kind of knowing this. It's really having having your cake and eating it too, or getting into the top and keeping you there for as long as possible because, you know, it's not helpful. Well, if both, they're both equally important for a lot of people, and we often compromise one to get the other until and then what I'm essentially wanting to do is put that more into people's kind of radars earlier on. So they're not thinking about it when it's too late or they're trying to fix something that's already popped up. They've got both right now.
Jaimie: Yeah, it's it's funny like I've so many things to say to that. So firstly, you know, I work with a lot of CEOs as well and so many of them will always be going out for a run or they've gone for a run that morning. Same as a lot of politicians. I remember Julie Bishop, I sort of came into contact with her too much political life and she would always get in go for a run no matter where she was and, and a lot of CEOs do that. Where they take a lunchtime run and, and all that sort of thing and they maintain that's great for their mental health. But there's more to it than that. Right? It's not just going for a run and then smashing themselves all the time. The nutrition part obviously has a huge part to play and is that where a lot of people go wrong?
Jess: Yeah, I think everyone thinks we all eat so it's fine. And we're also in this kind of world where we're taught like, while we need to restrict or it needs to be difficult or Yeah, it's it's quite interesting and I like to come at it from a way of it being like, well, first of all, three things are important when it comes to your nutrition like, yes, it needs to be nutritious, but equally as important. It needs to be delicious and easy, because the magic, or the compounding effects is seen when it's repeatable and when you're consistent, and that only comes when you've got the knowledge, the skills and the application that you can do no matter what's happening and like I actually think within all of that. My specialty is working with busy people because it's the only taking a look at their life. Seeing the overarching, you know, everything that's going on and seeing what those big levers are and presenting them with the biggest lever to start with, which then has that profound knock on effect. But you know, nutrition other than sleep and breathing is one of the only things you do every single day. So when we start to get it right, the ripple effects so many aspects of our life our energy, our cognition, our memory I focus as sleep in more has this like compounding positive effect, but it's about knowing what is the first lever to pull to have that knock on effect or that first domino to push as I like to say, we all eat so I think we all get it. But there's really some key principles which everyone would benefit from knowing and doing. And then just feeling that difference pretty instantaneously.
Jaimie: Yeah, I mean, speaking of busy people, like yeah, as you know, I've been involved in deadlifting and weights and always barbell work at the moment and I'm loving it. I'm loving it for so many reasons. But every time I go to the gym, I have to kind of justify it because if you are going to the gym no matter what if you're doing classes or doing what I'm doing and doing weights and all that sort of thing. It's essentially a two hour chunk in your day. You know the time you get to the gym and do a workout you shall you drive them back, it's two hours and three times a week. That's six hours into my work week where I where I know if I sat down for those six hours, I could be making more money, I could be pitching myself to clients, all that sort of thing. So you know, how do you kind of justify that time expense when you're thinking about your daily routine and you're trying to schedule that workout two hours into that day?
Jess: Yeah, I think it's about thinking about what it used to be like for yourself and going How did that feel? You know, I really believe in like creating self awareness with people and I believe the first step is knowing the second step is like doing and then really feeling and seeing the difference. And it doesn't mean every single week like if you can if you've implemented three weight sessions a week and you're like sticking to that every week. Amazing. You know, I know you have more cheese and cheese recently. So I don't know if anything like disrupted that. And then it's really something does do something old habits creeping, that we're nearly being able to acknowledge our current self and our old self and we can feel and see that difference which then isn't really supportive kind of habit formation but yeah, you're exactly right, you know, can creep in I could be working more, but it's not always quantity, its quality. And you know, sometimes having shorter periods of time to time block or work on a task or get things done. Give yourself that break your brain that break. Then when you come back, you're getting the same amount done in that shorter period of time.
But yeah, look, our brain likes to tell us lots of different things sometimes for the good, but most of the time, not so good. I think it'd be I had a lot of neuro like scientists at the PwC the outside event and it's basically like 71% of the time, we're wired to look for the needle. So we just really need to catch ourselves out there. But yeah, that self awareness piece and kind of comparing the differences in what you're getting done, whether you're tracking it or even just seeing how you feel. How you feel is the most important thing that's quality of life.
Jaimie: Yeah, just brain is so powerful. I mean, I did still workout in my launch, but I ate terribly like a head donut fries, with dinner through Uber Eats and one night at the launch. That is funny how mindset comes into it's so much jazz because in the my launch, it was day two of my launch actually deadly to the 140 kilos. I've done 150 kilos since but it was 140. I then went through launch. I think I might have done one bench press workout after that. But then it was the day after my launch. So I do an eight day launch. And I had just deadlift at 140 the week prior so I went in the day after my launch finished and I got to the gym and I could not lift more than 120 kilos and it was a week between my deadlift exercises there was no reason why I couldn't but it was all in my mind. I think I'm mentally push myself so much in that launch, got to the gym and my brain said no, you can't and I could not lift more than 120. Even though I know I proven the week before I could. But the mind was telling me it was just burnt out and I actually went into a bit of a burnout for 10 days after that. And so you know, a couple of years ago mindset, brain power, all that sort of thing. I thought was distributed blue, but it's so powerful, isn't it? So you find that just some simple mindset shifts can really change people's performance.
Jess: Huge. Mindset is you know that aside from nutrition and sleep gut health like mindset would be that other you know, being pillar that just gets woven throughout and you know to your point, part of it is creating the habit and doing it but then when you overshot because that's just the season or the phase or the launch that you're in, then we really do need to fall back in and you know well done for sticking with your routine and still going to the gym and then when you're getting there. Well, it sounds like you probably weren't able to lift above that. But sometimes you need to honour that as well. Like when your body and your brain are just at war with each other. Sometimes the best thing to do is rest so it's just when we're snoozing our alarm every morning and every day becomes a rest day. But when you're in a routine and if your brain or your body are just not in alignment, that is a really key sign that Okay, well we actually just need to pause and rest. I actually worked with a couple of power lifters that high level power lifters at the moment which isn't my usual like normally I'm swimmers and athletics and team sports and everything really enjoying it really interesting but yeah, we weren't they should.
She went through this recently and it's a bit of your nervous system as well. Like she was just shot and fried like it was more from the training stimulus but your nervous system was also a part of not only that, but the week that you've just been and all the energy that you've given out.
Jaimie: Yeah, yeah. It's so bizarre and I'm back on track now more than ever, I think I had a forced break. I got sick or you know people get sick after their launches to over the course creators listening you just put so much adrenaline you're on adrenaline running on adrenaline and and no sleep. I just think I needed a forced rest after that. Speaking of gut health, I was fortunate to have a little sneak peek of your presentation that you recently were involved in you know on behalf of PwC and it was all about colour. I remember having different colour, colours involved in each time you select a meal can you tell me a little bit about that and and what people can what advice you have for people to have all the colours of the rainbow when they are selecting their their food choices?
Jess: Yeah, that whole workshop or the 12 workshops, which was the same one that was presented at the outside was all about improving your gut health so you perform better in life and the key take homes they're the biggest indicator for good gut health is a diverse microbiome. And the number one I guess the biggest lever that I like to come back to when we want to improve our microbiome is eating more plants. So that's fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, lentils and legumes. There's a little bit of a magical number which is 30 plants a week, which has been shown to give people a greater diverse microbiome than people who have 10 or less. But yeah, I often like to talk about colours and eating different colours and making sure a meal and snack has some color that's more of your fruits and vegetables. But it does take that one step further and is about vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids, basically fancy words for plant chemicals. And when a fruit or vegetable is a different colour, it is a reflection of a different like nutrient profile. So that's where that whole you know eat the rainbow, like your bookshelf, which I love, which is all the different colours. But those different colours or different nutrients or different food for our good gut bugs. So whether we're looking at Yeah, the nuts and the seeds or the plants or the different colours. Some other key components to that is also looking at the gut brain connections. So the gut and the brain are constantly talking to each other. And if we're stressed, or were overstimulated or in that fight or flight response that is going to impact our gut health. Whether that's we have increased symptoms, whether we are not tolerating foods, whether we have more like bloating or urgency to go to the bathroom. So sometimes what's going on in our gut is a matter of what's going on in our minds. So stress management and having daily practices that work for you is a really important piece of that puzzle as well.
Jaimie: Yeah, I got a lot out of just that session with you where we went through your presentation even now when I go and pick beans if I'm making Mexican I make sure I pick the mixed coloured beans rather than just a straight black beans, for example. That was one of the little diagrams you had. So it's so simple and so easy, but really effective. So that really has stayed with me. So thank you for sharing that. I want to ask you so many more questions. I literally talk to you all day, but you have a fairly high profile. And you probably don't think that but I think that when I go to your bank, I was just doing some research before we jumped on today and there's a lot of media you've got a huge following even when you gave me a testimonial for pay to speak. It had the most amount of views of any testimonial. Yeah, it was it was it was 2000 or something whereas you're gonna launch when you're putting out 10 reels a day your viewers go down. I was getting a couple of 100 for everything else. And so what's your secret to boosting your brand and being so obviously you're very good at what you do. But you know, from a PR perspective, what has been the secret have you done all the things has there been a couple of little things you'd like to share for other business owners out there who are hoping to elevate their own profile?
Jess: Yeah, that's so interesting and very, like humbling to hear because yeah, I don't think that at all. But look, consistency is the name of the game like I spread this from a well being and a performance point of view. But I have been chipping away at this. I've been doing the Instagram thing for a long time. And I've invested a lot of time and money into it. So I've had people that helped me create a lot of the assets, my ideas, I direct them so I've invested like my time and team's time and money to do that. So I think consistency is really important. Just being like a good person and always like delivering, like what you've said you're going to deliver when you said you're going to deliver it and even exceeding expectations. So, you know, I've had a few experiences recently with contracts and things which have just reminded me like you always want to exceed expectations. So you know, part of it as well was probably reaching out like you can't just sit back and wait for opportunities and I probably need to take that advice in some different areas and things I'm trying to target at the moment. But yeah, like some of the awesome things that we're doing in the PR club around like strategy on even reaching out to corporates or reaching out to media and that type of thing. I did have a manager at one point or an agent so there was some help with some kind of media articles and things like that. But yeah, I think it's just whenever you get an opportunity, whether it's to you or you seek it out, exceed the expectation that person will come back to you word with spreads. So, word of mouth, you know, your network is your net worth and for me because I think I've worked in so many different areas like it was a bit crazy, like realistically looking back. I wouldn't recommend doing all of that. But even if you do part of it, it's just always relationship first deliver good results. And yeah, but consistency is probably my number one takeaway there.
Jaimie: Yeah. And even though that sounds so simplicity, it's something which a lot of people don't do. Even just showing up on Instagram and doing a story. I'm so passionate about that. You know, I go and do an Instagram story at least five times a week. I would ideally say seven days a week but I put young children weekend's can be a bit hectic, but just documenting in the moment what you're doing. And so you're keeping yourself front of mind is just such a small but powerful strategy and it sounds like it certainly has worked for you.
Jess: Definitely. And you know, the great thing about social media is whoever you want to get to know you really got a direct line to get to know that person. So whether that's just commenting or sharing their posts or you know, contributing, don't annoy them. But just, you know, be kind and generous and like you can really establish any kind of connection that you want and I guess the only thing I'll say on that is sometimes it's not a good time for that person. Don't take that personally but you know if you really do feel called to an area or like you feel like there's someone emulating what you want to do. Most people are very giving you just need to time you know what you're kind of trying to do. So, consistency and persistency are my two primary things there.
Jaimie: Yeah, absolutely love that. Thank you. If people want to work with you, how can they do it? How can they get in touch with you Jess?
Jess: Yeah, best way is my website. So jessicaspendlove.com but Instagram and LinkedIn, I live out on both of them daily. So but yeah, see what I'm about whether it's coaching, whether it's speaking, whether it's just weekly tips and exclusive content, which I send my email list, there's no shortage. So yeah, if any of this speaks to you come and find me say hello. I'd love to love to connect.
Jaimie: I love your website. It's so pretty and I am on your mailing list and I love your tips. They are super helpful for anyone, anyone who eats really, that's the great thing. I know you have your specialties but I get something out of them every single time I hit my inbox. So thank you and thank you for coming on to Pitch Perfect.
Jess: Thanks for having me. And honestly, thanks for all of your amazing work like obviously, I mean paid to speak in the PR club so people, get in there get involved Jaimie, whatever she gives out on the podcast and on social is it's like 10 fold in, in her paid content. 10, 100 fold. So yeah, come and join us in there.
Jaimie: Thank you. I'm embarrassed now. Thank you so much, Jess.