0:00:00 - Emilee Saldaya
All right, welcome to the show, Jess. So, like we just said before, we were recording; we're just going to flow today and get into who you are, what your life looks like, what your work has become, and what you're up to. As I was sharing with you, the way you came into my sphere was women in my circle kept bringing you up as someone that they wanted to connect with and see at the festival, which is so fun, and hopefully, we can make it happen someday.
0:00:29 - Jessica Ash
Thank you so much for having me. Yeah, I feel like my metamorphosis, or the evolution of my work, has led me to be able to hold a space for women. That really is founded in nourishment, and I think what goes deeper than nourishment is self-nurturance. So, to me, nourishing ourselves goes down to being able to nurture ourselves and then, therefore, nurture everything and everyone around us. And it didn't start that way.
I had at a very young age, I was put on birth control and, of course, yeah, 14, 15. So, yeah, I was having the typical period problems they like to call it right out of the gate, right when I went through puberty, and from then on, it just morphed into me being put on birth control and then, around 17 or 18, I thought I don't want to be taking this anymore. That's when I really started to get into health and understanding my body. And once I went off, that was when just kind of shit hit the fan. I had all types of metabolic issues, and I ended up getting diagnosed with PCOS. And then I had a lot of autoimmune symptoms that ended up getting classified as celiac disease, Hashimoto's, lupus, exploring like Raynaud's, just kind of the random bundle of autoimmunity that so many women are dealing with today, and that set me on my path of really diving into.
No one will give me any answers, no one's really helping me. I'm jumping from doctor to doctor and then natural path to natural path. I realized at some point this is in my own hands, and that led me on the journey, like most women do, where we kind of jump from diet to diet and try cutting out meat, and then we try paleo and then keto and carnivore and get caught up in this desperation to heal PCOS or autoimmune symptoms, and so you're so focused on the food that you forget, like, what's actually going on? What does my body actually need? What is causing the PCOS or other symptoms? When we're so focused on restriction, we forget what we actually need to be getting regularly.
0:02:37 - Emilee Saldaya
And so we also want to be told what to do. Exactly like the framework of keto, the framework of filling the blank. It gives us something to follow, but I love you pointing that out because you can do it in a way that actually is still fairly like. The lights can still be off; you can still not be checking in.
0:02:59 - Jessica Ash
Absolutely, absolutely. And so many of us are there. We are tired; we are burned out. We have PCOS or other autoimmune symptoms. So we do want to contract that out. In a way, we want someone just to tell us what's right for our body, but at the end of the day, no one can because it's your body, and you're the only one in it. So, I really started my work talking to women who had hormonal issues like PCOS, and I delivered this framework. This was a couple of years ago, maybe 2017 or 2018.
It was very popular to cut out dairy, sugar, and gluten because it was inflammatory. Everything's inflammatory. You've got to avoid all the inflammatory things, like nightshades, or this and that, and it was radical at the time to be talking about, like, "Hey, dairy could be a really nutritious food for you." If it works well for you, it's a part of your traditional diet. Well-prepared bread can also be a great part of your diet. So, just simple things like that really changed and started this revolution. But that has led me to realize that women are still using those things, and they're stuck in a very rule-based structure. They're still looking outward for somebody to tell them what to do and what to eat, and that has led to this, especially in the social media climate. We seek solutions to things like PCOS or other things. We scroll, we scroll, we scroll, we scroll. We're searching for the answer, and it has led us to this place where we feel like we don't know which way to go. We're so burned out, and we're so disconnected from our intuition when it comes to food.
0:04:35 - Emilee Saldaya
So how did you? What did it look like for you to shift out of the fad diets or frameworks into learning what true nourishment for you looks like?
0:04:49 - Jessica Ash
Yeah, so for me, I was for a long time, as most of us are. I was really caught up on the PCOS and autoimmune symptoms I was experiencing because every day, I was bombarded with symptoms. I had period issues, I wasn't ovulating, I wasn't making progesterone, so I was having severe estrogen dominance issues, but I also had really bad gut issues. So it's like every day was a symptom that I was experiencing, and I did feel like I was reacting to every single food. So, I'm very compassionate to people that feel that way. To women who have PCOS or difficulty with their hormones. So, I think when I was first on my journey, I was chasing whatever would get rid of my PCOS symptoms. But pretty quickly, I learned that symptom suppression and chasing symptom resolution don't actually get us well.
We are always running from something. We're trying to dodge land mines with our diet, which is exhausting and stressful. And so I saw this kind of what I call this game of whack-a-mole, where people would be like, I've got PCOS and then they'd whack them all. And then it'd be like, oh, now I have adrenal fatigue whack them all. And then it's like, oh, I've thyroid issues whack them all. And it is just like you keep going.
It's like now I have small intestinal bacteria, overgrowth, whack them all, and it just, it never, ever ends, and you get caught up in this vicious cycle of toxic healing, almost where now you always have this new thing to heal, and you really can't say you're better off for it. Maybe you don't have the symptoms or PCOS that you originally had, but now you're in this cycle, and so that's where I found myself. At some point, I think I was becoming more restrictive with my diet. I went from vegan and realized very quickly that that was not going to work for me, so paleo was the answer. Then it was more keto and then carnivore, and I thought I'm still kind of new symptoms are popping up, the old ones are going away, but I'm getting so restricted that I can't get any more restrictive.
0:06:50 - Emilee Saldaya
God, but also this becomes, I'm not saying it is for you, but as it can so easily tilt into a neurosis-like, it becomes such an identity to have a sickness to self-diagnose. You know you can really if you're that if you're drawn to that, you can really spin in this arena, as I'm sure you've seen.
0:07:14 - Jessica Ash
Absolutely, and I think it's. I think so many women are there because they're not getting the help that they need or the guidance that they need as they navigate all these issues like PCOS, and so, of course, they're going to turn to whatever they can turn to, and right now, that is kind of what we elevate or put on a pedestal is like who can be more strict and who can be more disciplined. I think we see it as discipline, and women are a lot of women are really stuck in perfectionism. They're stuck that's one of the main things I've seen is that they really have high expectations for themselves, especially in the wellness community. There's this kind of they're afraid of everything, they're afraid of toxins, they're afraid of making one misstep with their diet, and they've gotten to this point where they don't know which way to go.
And that's where I found myself quite a few years ago now, and I said this cannot be the answer. And so when I started to flip flop my idea to what am I afraid of, to what does my body need, oh man, did my life radically change when I started focusing on what nutrients I needed and how often I needed to eat to feel good and looked outside of what the rules are. You know everyone's intermittent fasting and eating two meals a day or one meal a day. What do I need to feel good all the time instead of what will heal my PCOS or all the other issues I was experiencing?
I need to eat pretty regularly to feel good. I need to eat plenty of protein, I need to get a variety of foods in. I can't really drink caffeine on an empty stomach, and it really does lead to a freedom that you can hopefully override the BS and stop focusing on it so much. But so many women are still stuck there, and that's kind of what I'm on a mission to change.
0:08:55 - Emilee Saldaya
And it's so tied into a lot of the work I do. You know I work with a set of tools that help you identify the many, many, many ways in which we outsource, in which we are trying to get approval, security, and control from outside ourselves, and asking this question: what do I need? Even to begin the possibility of that? Self-discovery begins the journey of cultivating our own resources. I had a realization about, gosh, I guess it was about a year ago now with nourishment, and I had never really been one of those people that was doing all that stuff, like all the restrictive stuff. I have, thankfully, for whatever reason, had easy cycles and never experienced PCOS, but I've watched the women I love go through exactly what you just identified.
And anyway, last year, I was in a women's circle, and for the first time, we were all sitting outside in the sun drinking raw milk and eating chocolate chip cookies that our friend had made. And I said out loud I feel so nourished for the first time in my life. It felt really different. Like I'm not, my body doesn't look how I've been groomed to think it should. I've had two children. I don't exercise the way I did in my twenties. I have all the same scripts that everyone else has, you know. But I feel nourished, and that felt so edgy and radical to say.
0:10:31 - Jessica Ash
Yeah, yeah, it is. It is especially true in the society that we're in. I mean to feel at home in your body and completely connected to your body and really give it what it needs when it asks for it. That is pretty radical. Why is it radical?
0:10:53 - Emilee Saldaya
Well, we're supposed to hate ourselves and self-harm until the day we die, and not doing that and owning, especially in a public arena, to really own that we are not hating ourselves and not self-harming is pretty, it's pretty crazy. Okay, so take me to more about your work. So you have this whole huge shift of consciousness, really, and it sounds like you chose to learn how to resource from within, essentially, and so you're starting to learn. This feels good. This feels good. Tell me about, like, what happens in your life and how you start to go on this actual health path in the public arena.
0:11:37 - Jessica Ash
Yeah, and I do so in the public arena. I came out with a course called Fully Nourished in 2019, and it really teaches a set of principles to look at your body through a metabolic perspective, and pretty much what that means is going down to the cell level. Your cells produce electricity and energy, and they take the fuel the raw resources, and then turn it into the energy that you need, and when you don't have those raw materials, you cannot create energy properly. There's going to be blockages in energy flow, and that impacts our organs, right? It impacts us down to the cellular level, and so really what cellular metabolism is is it's making sure that we have the tools and resources, whether that be carbs, proteins, and fats, or the nutrients needed to process those carbs, proteins, and fats as a fundamental.
Obviously, that's not the whole; that's not the only important thing, but I think many women forget that. They're like, I feel so rundown, I feel so awful, I'm having thyroid issues or PCOS. I'm having this, and I'm like, did you eat breakfast? Like, did you? Are you just chugging coffee all day? Oh, you ate enough to fuel a small toddler. That is probably why you don't feel well, and we're so disconnected. I mean, there are women right now that don't have appetites. We've completely gotten so disconnected from our bodies, signals, and signs that we forget that if we ignore our hunger enough times, our bodies will start to speak up in other ways.
0:13:11 - Emilee Saldaya
Our hair will start falling out.
0:13:13 - Jessica Ash
We're going to start aging very quickly. That layer of fat between our skin that provides safety and protection starts to dissipate. Our body does not run on thin air, and so I really came up with this set of principles that was like eating breakfast within about an hour of waking. Don't drink coffee on an empty stomach. Don't treat coffee like a drug. Just drink your coffee after your breakfast. If you do well with coffee, you might need to eat every couple of hours, especially if you're in a burnout state or you're in a place like pregnancy or breastfeeding, like you might need to eat every three to four hours to keep your blood sugar stable, because your body's not going to be able to do that for you if your liver is really not functioning well.
The basics of everything in the wellness space are so complicated right now. It's like, I can't detoxify well, and I can't do this, and I can't do that, and it's like, well, are you fueled? Are you getting enough protein, and are you getting it from sources that are super processed or just whole real foods Like eggs and steak and just basics? And I know it sounds so simple, but so many women find it challenging to feed themselves the basic three meals a day. I think there are so many things to buying for our attention right now that we forget the basics and we're so focused on what supplements to take and what detox tools to have and these fancy wellness tools that we forget that our body's basic needs are just to be fed and just to be nurtured with the basics like sleep and getting outside and getting our feet on some grass and getting some sunshine and those are basic biological needs that our body will not feel safe if it's not getting those things Also, even beyond the supplements and stuff.
0:14:57 - Emilee Saldaya
Just like mom life or entrepreneur life, the word that came to me was, just like others, Just tending to others, and that's just a part of mom life for everybody. And so, yeah, it's a trip. It really is a trip. So give me some of your tried and true tips and tricks that you've seen work really well. If someone, I'm sure many women are listening to this like, okay, great, yes, I need that. And where do I even start? What does that look like?
0:15:29 - Jessica Ash
Exactly, exactly. So yeah, I always say that the typical undernourished woman. You're going to feel like you're in your Karen archetype like you're going to feel just kind of constantly, I think you're lying, that kind of like underlying rage or irritation, or like you just don't really. You always feel burned out and overwhelmed, and you're not. You don't feel like you're present; you don't feel like you can accept or soften your life. I guess that would be the best way, and I'm sure many women listening feel that way, and it can always feel really stressful to be like, okay, I have to do one more thing. So, for me, the first thing I always say is, what are you spending your time on? Or prioritizing? That's actually not working for you. Get rid of that. Get rid of that and focus on what your body actually needs. First thing, spheresis protein. Women really need protein, and they are hurting for protein. Now, bioavailable sources of protein. This one's tricky, but animal sources of protein are way more bioavailable than plant sources of protein. That's just a fact. It's harder for your body.
0:16:39 - Emilee Saldaya
Exactly, there are places on the West Coast. You're not allowed to say that.
0:16:44 - Jessica Ash
Exactly. I know it can be really hard to hear, but they are so nourishing, and they come with a lot of cofactors that allow our liver to detoxify properly. I probably have brought up the liver a couple of times because the liver is not only there to detoxify for us, but it actually manages our blood sugar control. So, it can store about eight hours of stored glucose, and every time our blood sugar drops low, it can feed out glucose or energy into the bloodstream for us. It also converts our thyroid hormones. So our thyroid produces a hormone called T4, and we need to convert it into an active form called T3. Primarily, that happens in the liver, and so when we are not fueled well, especially with protein, the liver requires a lot of protein we can start to feel that the thermostat of the body starts to lower that and as we get older our ability to synthesize protein goes down.
So many women will say I feel like my metabolism is not the same in my 40s as it was in my 30s or my 30s as it was in my 20s, and this is partially the reason A lot of us are just not eating enough protein, and then on top of it, we're creating an environment where our body actually needs more protein.
The more stress we're under, the more protein we need, and so, and then we're not synthesizing it well, and so we get to this point where our body is in desperate need of protein as kind of a foundational thing, and we're not getting enough. So things like eggs and seafood and meats and dairy are all great sources of bioavailable protein, and if you're somebody who's trying to get a bunch from plant foods and it's not working for you, that is usually what your body is crying out for. This is what wreaks havoc on our hormones, causing things like PCOS. They give you a vitality that just cannot be mimicked, no matter where you get your protein from or try to Egg replacer yeah, exactly, like flaxseeds and chia seeds and nuts are not the same thing. They don't provide the same vitality or the same cofactors.
0:18:52 - Emilee Saldaya
Yeah, I was a vegetarian for, I mean, 20 years. Wow, yeah, when I dropped out of high school and moved out to LA, I did mushrooms for the first time, realized everything was alive, and was like, I'm not supposed to eat animals, and I didn't revisit that belief for a really long time. And then, just a couple of years ago, I had a knee injury that wasn't healing. And I'm looking around at the women in my life who are all into the Westinay price, the nutrient density that's coming into the consciousness, the raw milk, the raw eggs, all the stuff. And I'm looking around, and I'm hearing the women of my life talk about how much better they feel, right, and so that's what guided me. I was like, all right because I had created such a story about it and really, really thought, and still do, but really thought meat was just so disgusting.
Just like so, so gross, and I like to push my boundaries. I like to check my stories and play with stuff. And so for about a year, I mean, I was disgusted by me, like watching someone eat meat was like, and so for about a year, I would, every time I ate meat, I would just be like this is medicine, this is good for my body. I'm learning how to nourish myself. You know, this is medicine. This is medicine; this is good for me. These long-standing made-up things that I had going, you know. Anyway, I'm pretty sure, it's been a couple of years now, and my baby was, you know, eating raw milk and meat.
0:20:41 - Jessica Ash
A nutrient-dense baby, nutrient-dense baby. Oh my God.
0:20:44 - Emilee Saldaya
Yeah, you had a patent on that. And anyway, he was like two pounds heavier than my first kiddo. Wow, yeah, like shy of two pounds, and you know he eats everything, and my daughter's, like super picky, won't touch meat because I like to pass that shit to her, you know, right? Anyway, it's just a trip. It's a real trip to address just the stories we carry and how, of course, that is literally creating our relationship with the world.
0:21:14 - Jessica Ash
Yes, yes, and I think this definitely comes down to because we outsource death. We as a society are really not connected to death and connected to sacrifice in the way that we should be. And so if we were involved in the death of the animal from the very beginning and actually raising it and loving it, it is such a different experience than just kind of like getting this hunk of disgusting meat on our plate. It really is. It's a completely different experience, and we do live in this weird society where meat is gross because of just this pile of mush that comes in a package, and that's what it is.
0:21:57 - Emilee Saldaya
Yeah, totally yeah. We have more of a homesteading life now, and I remember Yolande years ago first being like, why'd we rather give? Instead of just being a vegetarian, I'd way rather give my money to the, you know, high-quality regenerative farms out there, and that really got me thinking like, oh, yeah, right, yes, that makes sense, so, okay. So, it sounds like you were a little ahead of the curve with the nutrient-dense discovery.
0:22:27 - Jessica Ash
You know, I don't say I want to say I was ahead of the curve. I think the lower name prices have already been. You know, I feel like that community. They're very into the high fat, neat height, and high dairy, but on the flip side, they're super anti-carb. So there's another aspect we tend to find, like snippets of truth. But then there's always this thing that we must fear, this thing, this like devil in the corner.
That's like going to get us, and we love that, right? We need something to blame to give us a little bit of structure to our lives because if we're free to choose, then we have to trust ourselves and trust our intuition. And that's a really scary place for a lot of us to be with food, and of course, there's layers and layers to that for most of us that we have to unpack, like why am I so ahead of this? But carbohydrates are important. Now, I always say adequate carbohydrates. I like to use that word because everyone's different.
Some women can do pretty well on a lower-carb diet. There usually are a lot more sedentary, and then women that are really active or, you know, they have a lot of mental energy like moms, entrepreneurs, they usually don't do well on a super, super low-carb diet, and so carbohydrates are important there's a big demonization of carbohydrates right now, and that one is we need it for our brain and central nervous system. So, if we don't get enough carbs, we will constantly feel burned out because our adrenals have to pump out adrenaline and cortisol. Our pancreas has to pump out glucagon to manufacture glucose. Our body, if we're not getting enough, we make it, and we make it using stress hormones, hormones of survival. So if women are constantly feeling like they're stuck in a state of fight or flight or anxious all the time or stressed or you know, almost that like very reactive, like high reactive feeling, that is usually a sign that maybe you do.
If you're already doing really well, I'm getting enough protein. Well, maybe you actually do need a little bit more carbs in your life. Or you need a little bit more structure to your eating throughout the day. Like, instead of going six hours without eating, maybe you need a little snack in there and not the extra cup of coffee.
0:24:41 - Emilee Saldaya
So I'm pretty ignorant about this stuff. So carbohydrates mean grains.
0:24:47 - Jessica Ash
So I always say roots and fruits and grains and beans would be that, too. Obviously, the more grains we have, the more beans we have. They are a little bit harder to digest. They need to be prepared properly to be able to break down the nutrients in them, and so when we are stressed, our digestive capacity is for, like what you said, when you know getting meat down was really hard the first year or so because if we don't use it, we lose it and our stomach acid is really required to be able to break down food.
But when we're in a stress state or survival state, or we're stuck in this kind of survival-based eating pattern, our body is in firefly mode, like we are trying to survive, and blood flow is going away from the digestive organ. Their body doesn't really want to spend energy on digestion, which is often why we lose our appetite or we kind of have this imbalance appetite where we go days without being hungry and then all of a sudden we're just like starving, and we pile food on. These patterns are really typical in women. We see that because there is this kind of constant low-grade survival state that we're stuck in, and finding the right carbohydrates are good is good for us.
Some women don't do well on fruit, or it's not very local to them. It really makes sense to do that. Vegetables can be carbohydrates to you as long as they're really well paired and they're not super hard to digest. Root vegetables are obviously a great source of carbohydrates, but some women do really well on grains and really well on beans, especially if they're well prepared. Some genetics have such a genetic potential for digesting grains and beans there is no reason to demonize them if you do really well on them, and you feel grounded and satiated on them. So finding your carbohydrate is good, and even small amounts of things like coconut sugar and maple syrup and honey. Food is supposed to bring pleasure as much as it is supposed to bring nourishment, and there's no reason to cut those things out unless you absolutely don't tolerate them.
0:26:47 - Emilee Saldaya
Yeah, right, because it's about what works for you. How do you feel when you eat it?
0:26:53 - Jessica Ash
Honestly, if it feels really complicated, the first place to start is just what you are craving. What are your patterns? Are you somebody who goes weeks without sugar, and then all of a sudden, you cannot help but binge on sugar for two days straight? That's telling you something. Your body needs a little bit of that every day, and it's much better to give your body what it needs regularly than try to restrict and then have your body override your brain.
0:27:21 - Emilee Saldaya
Are you living outside of yourself, trying to put some structure onto yourself, or do you know how to navigate a full body? Yes, really, in relationship to your symptoms, how you feel afterward. So simple, so complicated. So, what are some basic things that you have discovered that you wish more women understood?
0:27:47 - Jessica Ash
Yeah, I think the biggest thing is it's not all about the food. I think we want something to blame, or it's actually much simpler to just focus on food and supplements, and it gives us a sense of control that we forget that there are so many layers to why we're not healing. If we continue to try to find healing in a more restrictive eating pattern or really obsess about the food, then there's something there that we are missing. I feel like a lot of women. As important as it is to nourish your body well and get the high quality as much as you can, you can't constantly be worried about if that's not something within your accessibility or you can't financially afford it. It causes financial stress. There needs to be a happy medium and there needs to be an acceptance there, and I think for a lot of us we don't feel that way. We're constantly chasing this level of perfect with our diet, and so I like to just remind women it's not just about the food, the food. Sometimes we put way too much importance in the food. It is important, but it's not the most important thing, and how we look at it makes a big difference.
I think another thing that women really I wish that they understood is living when you're nourished is a completely different experience than when you are living in an undernourished state constantly. It is a completely different experience. You're going to show up differently for your partner. You're going to show up differently for your children. You're going to show up differently in your life. You're going to make different decisions because your hormones are going to be functioning differently. Everything that is in your essence that makes you you functions completely differently because your body shifts based on its environment. So if your body continuously feels unsafe, has a level of instability, it's going to operate from that place. You're going to make decisions based on fear, based on scarcity, exactly, or you're going to make decisions based on getting the most abundance from your life.
When you're nourished, your body is in an abundant state and it feels very differently and it sees the world very differently. Your brain perceives everything differently. It's like glass half empty versus glass half full. It really shifts your perspective and you have a lot of power also over you know. I know there are a lot of moms listening and I'm not a mother myself, but this is something that I care so much about because I plan to be a mother and I am passionate about it.
It's your children watch you in how they nourish themselves or how you're nourishing yourself, and they learn how to not only nourish themselves but nurture themselves through how you nurture them but also you nurture yourself. And for a lot of us we're running, we're pouring from an empty cup and we feel just like if there's never enough time in a day and there's never enough this and there's never enough that, and that is a reflection of that kind of scarcity mindset so many of us don't realize. We're living in that state of just constant fight or flight and it's impacting who we are and how we behave. And it's not of our fault necessarily. We just are not understanding that there is a power over that and how we operate.
0:30:56 - Emilee Saldaya
I love that. Yeah, it's a totally different state of being. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And yeah, I'm thinking of I can't remember who says this, maybe it's Tommy John, I can't think of who says this. But they say a happy doughnut is better than a sad salad.
Yes, I guess, you know, which I love so much, and it just kind of encapsulates so much of this idea of like what you're going to do, like if you're eating the perfect balance bloody blah but you're stressed the fuck out and you're like totally not present and you're texting and you're, you know, like gut is all like in fear and and you're eating the most perfect meal in the world, it's like, yeah, that's not going to go down, right, you know, but if you eat that pasta, just in such joy and presence is going to be great.
0:31:50 - Jessica Ash
Yes, yes, exactly. And what a gift to be able to pass down, right? I feel like, right now, our generation, a lot of us, had mothers that did not eat in that way. It was like here, gorge yourself on food but like, oh, I can't eat that, that's too fattening, you know. So we have a lot of women who are so confused, like conflicted, about food, and we don't recognize that we might be passing that down as well. And what a gift to be able to just see the kitchen as a place for connection, but also as a way to nourish ourselves and see that in a deeper light. You know, that is something. Nutritional wealth is something that we pass on for generations. It doesn't just impact us, but it impacts our children and our children's children as well.
0:32:39 - Emilee Saldaya
Yeah, that's a beautiful concept nutritional wealth. So let's go back to your work a little bit. So like what happens next? You come out with this course and sounds like you're making some really big consciousness shifts in your life.
0:32:56 - Jessica Ash
Yeah, yeah, so I, you know, I have learned that nourishment is the gateway. When you start to nourish your body physically, on a cellular level, and you start to communicate through food and other habits that your body is safe, you know, your body really becomes this vehicle to pull your soul in a certain direction, kind of. There's something that you're you know. I believe that your body is here actually to guide you and teach you. Your body is often aware of things before you're ever consciously aware of something, and as you nourish yourself on a cellular level, that begins to permeate outward. So you begin to become more connected with yourself, and that's actually a really challenging journey.
Us at first, you know, I've helped thousands of women go through fully nourished, and what we see is that there is this initial like I'm feeling so much better. But a lot of times, we've been in such an undernourished place that one of the main things that begins to happen sometimes is just weight gain. We start to gain some weight because our body was in such a famine pretty much a famine for so long. It's now like, yes, I'm getting fed, I'm going to hold on to everything. So this brings up a lot of our body struggles. What like are the, the scripts that we have running, the programs we have running surrounding our body? Our mom's voice comes in, our grandma's voice comes in, our auntie's voice comes in, and we start to really, you know, are faced with what we believe, the false beliefs we have about ourselves, and so that's a big part of the journey. Another thing is, once we are no longer numb, once we are no longer disconnected or stuck in a constant state of adrenaline, we actually have a lot more awareness and we start to pay attention and we start to be connected to our body. And that can feel really scary at first, because it's like wow, you start to recognize how much emotional work we have to do, you start to recognize how much deeper work really nourishment at the cellular level, physically really opens up the gateway or opens up the doors, so that you now have the energy to work through a lot more. And so that's what I have experienced.
It really took me, my body, took me through a just roller coaster of healing and forced me to deal with so much generational junk I had been carrying for so long. I had to break, spell after spell after spell after spell, and you know, after I almost look at it as healing waves. You know, just when you think, you're like, finally, I take a breath. It's like the next wave just comes crashing down on you and it's you're dredging up cellular trauma, you're dredging up cellular junk that has been there for so long, sometimes generations, and it's kind of it's it's kind of difficult to deal with. But in between the way kind of the biggest deal ever, yeah, in between the waves you're like, wow, I am turning into a completely new person and over time the waves become less and less frequent and less and less extreme and you start to you realize you peeled away everything that you weren't to discover who you are that's a beautiful visual, but your body didn't force you, you chose.
0:36:14 - Emilee Saldaya
No, you know, you really chose to do this work and to meet yourself, which is everything you know. That's why women are inspired, you know, because, like you said at the beginning, no one can do this stuff for you.
0:36:30 - Jessica Ash
Yeah, I could have totally been like a keto influencer and, just like you know, been like don't eat carbs in the morning and like don't ever eat carbs, and like, oh, I'm so hot, look at my bod, you know, and just like constantly showing you pictures on my stomach Like it's easy to do that.
0:36:44 - Emilee Saldaya
You can do that.
0:36:46 - Jessica Ash
There are many paths available on Instagram. There are many paths. I feel like I did choose the most difficult way, but it's the way that I needed to go and I've learned so much along the way and I continue to kind of evolve and change and shift, just based on the collective shifts too. I think as women, we're kind of shifting as a collective. We're moving in a direction. It feels like we are very much more aware we're wanting something different. Some of us are really still stuck, but there's a to the body. Like I said, the body usually knows before the mind and many of us, our bodies are screaming yeah, eat me, love you Listen to me, go grab yourself some food while you finish listening to this, exactly.
0:37:31 - Emilee Saldaya
So what is your? Your symptoms and health with the stuff you mentioned earlier, like now?
0:37:39 - Jessica Ash
Yeah, you know, on a day to day basis, I'm really great now I don't struggle with what I used to struggle with. I huge, yeah, yeah, definitely I. I now know hindsight. You know most of my issues were stress related, were definitely had a lot to do with emotional stress, holding trauma, holding just old patterns of behavior and that was a big part of it but also just not really understanding what my body was needing and I am a big believer.
You know our rhythms, our cycles. We are dynamic and changing every single day, and so we, as women, were constantly told that you know, estrogen is the woman's hormone and we forget about the importance of progesterone. Progesterone is actually the woman's hormone. When you look at how much progesterone we have related to estrogen and it's very easy for our body to create estrogen, it's more difficult for our body to create progesterone and the medical system has kind of convinced us that progesterone is just the progestation hormone. I can't tell you how many times I had people tell me like, oh, when you get pregnant, you're going to want to, like get your progesterone levels up. Never saying like, hey, your progesterone is really low, like we should probably do something about it. And once I really realized how much getting enough energy impacted my creation of progesterone.
As women, we only create progesterone when we ovulate and the emptied egg sac becomes the corpus luteum, and then that is what manufactures us progesterone until we either menstruate or will continue to make us progesterone until the placenta can take over if pregnancy occurs. And so progesterone is very important, not just for fertility but for metabolic function, for us to feel in our bodies, and when we don't have enough, we don't feel connected, we don't feel present, we feel like we're in this constant state of moving forward and we can't stop. It is estrogen causes building and growth, which is great, but it will, it doesn't in an unchecked manner. Progesterone provides the consciousness to estrogen and directs it in the direction it needs to go, and without progesterone, estrogen for women makes us feel imbalanced and can be even dangerous. So progesterone is a fruit of abundance, and we, a lot of women in the modern world, are not producing the fruit of abundance because we're not in that state of abundance.
0:40:04 - Emilee Saldaya
And what are some simple ways to start supporting your progesterone?
0:40:10 - Jessica Ash
Yeah, so that would be eating enough protein. It would be if you're someone that goes long, long periods without eating or regularly skipped breakfast, just having regular meal times, even just if it's breakfast, lunch and dinner, not waiting three to four hours Like after you've done a million things to just get your breakfast in being fueled. Well, I'm getting enough sleep. Nutrients like vitamin E and vitamin C are really important. Zinc Animal foods are great for progesterone production, but so are fruits, because they are really they are a powerhouse of potassium and Vitamin C.
So going back to that balance of protein and carbohydrates can be essential and everyone's a little different in what they mean, but that is usually where is a good place to start. And then becoming aware of your stress patterns, like, are you stuck in fight or flight all day? Are you constantly in the state of, like, scarcity and fear? That is going to really rob us of progesterone absolutely because it depletes nutrients needed to create progesterone. So we kind of are choosing. What do we want our body to expend its resources on? We don't have unlimited resources.
0:41:18 - Emilee Saldaya
So what is your relationship to food? Look like these days.
0:41:25 - Jessica Ash
Yeah, you know, I think people would be surprised at how much I don't care about food as nutritionists. Mcdonald's, no, not that far. But I feel like I really tune into what I crave. I kind of know what protein I am, I know what carb is, I know what fats are and I really pay attention to what's kind of local, what looks good, what looks juicy, what's sweet, what's ripe, what's attractive to me, and then kind of base meals around that. My meals are extremely simple. Like for breakfast day, I had some nice sourdough, a little bit of cream cheese, some nice juicy tomatoes, I got a farmer's market slice, a turkey and an egg on top. You know, like very simplicity is really key here. I think for a lot of women you need to be able to slap something together in five minutes or less and so just keeping things really simple and delicious and enjoyable but also balanced, you know, having a carb in there, having a fat in there, having a protein in there, just paying attention to how food makes us feel.
0:42:30 - Emilee Saldaya
Do you make your sourdough? I don't.
0:42:34 - Jessica Ash
I like to occasionally, but honestly, in this season I just I am not into making bread.
0:42:41 - Emilee Saldaya
It's too much of a responsibility. Yeah right, you gotta keep that thing alive. I don't understand it. Some of my best friends just like drop loaves off at our house and I don't like understand the magic that it takes to get to it.
0:42:53 - Jessica Ash
It's tricky. I feel like it is an art for sure, but yes, I don't make my own bread.
0:42:57 - Emilee Saldaya
It was fun to hear you talk about the nourishment being the gateway and peeling off the layers, because it's well a. It's inspiring me to talk about food and nourishment more in the school that I teach and in the coaching that I do, because so much of the space I'm holding is like next to you in what you're talking about with learning how to un-numb yourself. You know up-leveling your system so that you can handle more. You know of your, of your self-discovery and all of this school stuff. But nourishment, particularly food-wise, isn't like on my mind really in this context. But now it is and it makes so much sense. That's really really cool, you know?
0:43:45 - Jessica Ash
I see I've seen it a lot too. I feel like nervous system healing and trauma healing is really like that's kind of the fad thing right now.
0:43:52 - Emilee Saldaya
You're in the back row.
0:43:55 - Jessica Ash
And they're talking about how it's so hard when they're processing this stuff. It's so difficult to process this stuff and I'm like because your body is utilizing nutrients to process your junk and no wonder you feel so, just like it's too hard. It's too difficult because if you're dredging stuff up and you don't have the fuel to handle it, you are going to feel like your life is falling apart, because that's kind of what's happening Like your body is falling apart in a way, like it is too much for your body to handle without the energy to handle it.
0:44:26 - Emilee Saldaya
There's a woman, the woman who coined the term freebirth. Her name is Janine Pivardi Baker, and the other day, a woman who knew her told me that one of her quotes when she was alive was a woman's place in her body. And I've just been. Isn't that so good? Yes, I love it so much. I've been thinking a lot about it since she said it. Just what a like, just what a perfect statement that is.
It's like end period done. I have nothing else to say here. So good, all right. Well, anything else before we wrap up that should be said on the Free Birth Society podcast. You know so much about moms and nursing and pregnancy. Anything, anything for the moms to blow our minds about how we should feed ourselves.
0:45:19 - Jessica Ash
I think minerals are one thing that women should be aware of. Just getting enough salt, you know high quality salt, looking at salt as a supplement, and calcium is especially one. If you're in that era of building human beings and building bones, whether that be before you birth them or after you birth them through breastfeeding you are rapidly, your child's bones are rapidly developing and so they need a lot of calcium, and our bodies will expend calcium at the expense of itself, including disintegrating our own bones, in order to give babies their bones. So a lot of women post pregnancy, especially after multiples, they will find that their teeth are really struggling, have a lot of cavities, which the teeth are reflection of the bones, and so a lot of us need to be much more aware of our calcium intake, especially for dairy free.
We are not getting enough bioavailable calcium at all, and that one can really wreck our metabolism. It can make us feel really burnt out. Of course magnesium is important and of course, potassium is important, kind of those first four main minerals they're called, which is sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. But sometimes, I feel like we get such a focus on magnesium in the health space that we forget that calcium is a really basic nutrient, especially if you are in the business of building babies.
0:46:40 - Emilee Saldaya
Yeah, Okay, that seems simple enough. So just like raw milk and raw cheese and meat.
0:46:47 - Jessica Ash
Yep, just dairy, and, yes, well cooked veggies can be a good, a good, an okay source, and then even things like pearl powder, egg shell powder that you can easily make yourself can be great, great sources as well.
0:47:04 - Emilee Saldaya
All right, cool. Well, I obviously have to ask you, since you told me before we were recording that you listened to the podcast. Yes, are you going to freebirth? When are you going to get pregnant?
0:47:17 - Jessica Ash
Soon, probably in the next year or so, I'm not sure yet. I there's a really great midwife in the area that is like very hands off and so I like that. I don't know, it's always like my guys a little bit. I don't know if I want to do it alone and I feel like I could, so I'm still on the fence.
0:47:38 - Emilee Saldaya
I'm sure most women kind of know that, but or feel that feeling, but you're imagining calling pregnancy in your life Definitely definitely, and owning it myself, like I feel like completely confident in my body's ability.
0:47:55 - Jessica Ash
Of course I would hope so and hearing all the amazing stories on this podcast I've listened to probably oh my gosh, at least 100. It's just like incredible. It is incredible. Every single one is life changing.
0:48:10 - Emilee Saldaya
You'll have to come back on once you have your baby. I would love that. Do you think you'll birth in your RV?
0:48:19 - Jessica Ash
Yeah, if we're still in there, that's what's going to have to happen.
0:48:22 - Emilee Saldaya
I guess that could wrap up your story. So, like, what does your life look like right now? Your home base is in Southern California and what do you guys do on the road?
0:48:31 - Jessica Ash
Yeah. So we just kind of right now. We had planned to just like, right when we got in here, travel just immediately all the time. It didn't quite work out that way. It was a little bit more of an adjustment than I thought. Surprise, surprise, rv life is not what people portrayed. It's online. So it's one of those things where we have a home base, we have family close and then we can pick up and go whenever we want to. And we are definitely going to travel a lot more next year and see a lot more. But right now we kind of travel a little bit here and there just because we're tied here for work sometimes.
0:49:06 - Emilee Saldaya
Okay, and what does your work look like these days?
0:49:10 - Jessica Ash
I just started my own podcast. I'm only seven episodes in, so it's primarily focused on the podcast. I have my community, my full-enour students, my back-end community. I really put a lot of time and love and effort into them. And then we're working on some new things. You know things are shifting and things are changing, so we're going through big shifts as a business to make sure that we're offering what we need to be offering.
0:50:16 - Emilee Saldaya
So how can women find you and find out about you?
0:50:19 - Jessica Ash
Yeah, I'm primarily active on Instagram at Jessica Ash Wellness or my podcast, the Fully Nourished podcast, and that was like our primary place to come and see what I'm all about.
0:50:33 - Emilee Saldaya
Awesome, love it. I'm sure lots of women will be hitting you up after this to take your cool course. Awesome.
0:50:40 - Jessica Ash
I appreciate your time. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.