Jessica Smith is a former Paralympic swimmer who represented Australia in the sport of swimming from age 13 to 21. After a successful international swimming career, she was unfortunately forced into early retirement at age 21 after a long battle with eating disorders. Although hitting rock bottom was devastating, it allowed Jessica to redefine her passion and she has since used her experiences to become a prominent body image activist.
Jessica created the award winning social media campaign (“Join The Revolution”) a campaign which used social media as a platform to promote positive body image. The global success of the campaign catapulted Jessica into the realm of activism; educating people about the complexity of body image as something that is not merely an issue of vanity, but rather one that encompasses race, religion, gender, sexuality, disability and diversity at all levels. Her in depth analysis of these issues has seen her take the stage at major UN events where she is seen as an expert in the industry.
She has been notably recognised for her incredible work within the community, recently awarded ‘Emerging Leader' by the Australian Government at the Positive Body Image Awards, she was also awarded a ‘Pride of Australia Medal‘ in Western Australia, and In 2015, she was a state finalist for ‘Young Australian of the Year‘ and more recently in 2017 Jessica was named as the Cosmopolitan Magazine Woman of The Year.
Jessica is also an Ambassador for Layne Beachley’s foundation ‘Aim For The Stars Foundation’ as well as being an Ambassador for the Australia Day Council.
All of these accolades aside, her greatest achievement is becoming a mum to two young children.
For the past few years I have been transitioning to a plant based lifestyle. I'll be honest, it hasn't been easy at times and there are many reasons as to why it has taken so long, but I feel that I'm now ready. To me it just feels right, but I am learning every day, as there are so many foods that contain animal products that I was unaware of. Although I eat a vegan diet, my husband doesn't. He respects my decision, but it's not the lifestyle for him. Having said that, most of our meals are plant based and he is also enjoying the journey of learning about new flavours and food combinations.
My mornings start waking up next to my baby boy, Reza is 5 months old and is such a gentle soul. We usually lay in bed snuggling until I hear my daughter calling out to me from her bedroom. Once we are all up, it’s breakfast and then out for a morning walk.
Long black, Avocado and tomato on toast with olive oil OR granola with COYO and fresh fruit.
Fruit & almonds OR homemade Green Juice.
Today was roast pumpkin with spiced cauliflower rice and salad.
Ideally at some point during the day I aim to get both kids asleep at the same time! It rarely happens, but when it does, I try to get in at least ten minutes of yoga!
I try really hard to be a good role model for my daughter when it comes to the foods we have in the house. I want her to grow up cooking and learning about the wonderful qualities of food. So we are always creating meals together.
Popcorn, dates or raw treat.
Persian Rice, Lentil curry and roast veggies.
My husband is Iranian, and since meeting him I have been obsessed with Persian cuisine. I love the flavours that are commonly used in Persian meals and I try to incorporate these in most of our dinners.
I think I have almost perfected Persian rice (which is not an easy dish to prepare by the way).
So a typical dinner for us in Persian rice, with a lentil and vegetable curry.