Interview: Jess Ainscough, The Wellness Warrior – self love + healing naturally from cancer
Jessica Ainscough passionately believes that wellness isn’t a destination, but an ongoing relationship with your body and mind: lots of love, loads of fresh veggies, and a giant dose of head space.
Actually, she’s living proof: for the past two years Jessica dedicated her life exclusively to healing naturally, after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis four years ago. As conventional medicine ultimately offered no options, Jessica took her health into her own hands and has never looked back. Not even once.
Along the way Jess shared her healing journey, inspiring hundreds of thousands of people on her website, The Wellness Warrior: she quickly became the go-to guru for all things health, wellness and inspiration.
I’m more than happy to admit that Jessica is my personal wellness guru too, inspiring me to take responsibility for my health, and heal naturally when I was diagnosed with cancer. She’s a cracker!
Over a virtual green juice, Jess and I yarned about:
- Saying goodbye to conventional medicine
- What her natural cancer therapy involved [it's intense!]
- Why mind + body healing is key
- Cancer’s lessons
- Plus a sneak peek into The Wellness Warrior’s life
After your initial diagnosis in 2008, you tried a high dose of chemo but had a recurrence. Amputating your arm was considered the only way to prolong your survival, but with the surgery date looming you starting looking for an alternative :: What kicked in to make you seek an alternative, and did you think there was something that could actually heal you despite doctors saying your case was terminal?
[Jess] I always had a strong feeling that I was going to be okay, so when my doctors were painting such a grim picture of my future, I just knew there had to be another answer.
When you look in the right places, and talk to the right people, the right information seems to come along. I had no knowledge of natural therapies, but once I started researching I couldn’t stop and I just knew I had found the right path for me.
Take us back to when you started the Gerson Therapy, the 2-year natural healing protocol you chose :: What was it like to take charge of your wellness and to say goodbye to conventional medicine?
[Jess] It was incredibly daunting, but so liberating at the same time. I went from a system that was telling me there was no way I was going to live, to one that was telling me there was no reason why I couldn’t live. It was the best decision I’ve ever made, and the benefits have been flowing in ever since. It hasn’t always been easy, but I have always felt like I’m doing the right thing.
Give us a quick peek into your typical day on the Gerson Therapy, please!
[Jess] Ooh that could take a while. In a nutshell, it is 13 fresh veggie juices each day, up to 5 coffee enemas each day, 3 big organic vegan meals, and a regime of supplements. For a more detailed peek into my day, you can go here.
What else is in your healing toolbox, and how important is it to look after both your body and mind?
[Jess] Taking care of the mind is just as important, if not more, that looking after the body. The mind is the captain of the ship. It doesn’t matter how much juice you drink, if you have a toxic mind, you won’t get well.
So, to keep the drunken monkeys in my mind in line, I meditate for at least 30 minutes each day. I also get out side among nature, either just sitting or taking my dog for a walk on the beach. Plus, I aim to do yoga a couple of times each week.
| Tallon, Jess + Edie |
For two years you were chained to your juicer on the Gerson Therapy… Yikes! :: What did you learn in your second year that you wish you knew in the first?
[Jess] That is gets so much easier. The first year was definitely the toughest. I was still mourning parts of my old life, and resenting being chained to my juicer while the rest of the world went on without me.
The second year has flown though, and I’ve been so much more content to do what I’m doing. I guess that is partially because I can see light at the end of the tunnel, but also because I have come to understand that this lifestyle isn’t so bad.
Where did your staying power for this strict and time-intensive healing regime come from?
[Jess] I want to be well. There is nothing I want more than to be vibrant and energetic and to lead by example. A big mental shift came for me when I no longer looked at the consequences involved with doing Gerson Therapy (like not being able to drink, having next to no social life, having to stay home and juice all day).
Instead, I began to look at the consequences or risks involved in not doing it (like losing my life, or losing my arm). Gerson Therapy seemed like a breeze when I considered the alternative.
| Charlotte Gerson + Jess |
A year into your Gerson Therapy your Mum found out she had breast cancer. Armed with your success healing naturally, she said that she “wasn’t scared” and got right on the Gerson Therapy :: What did that mindset mean for your Mum, as opposed to the panic you felt when you were diagnosed?
[Jess] Her diagnosis was completely different to mine. Having done all of the research, and being so educated about cancer and cancer treatments, she just didn’t have the same level of fear and uncertainty.
How did you keep it together as a family with two cancer diagnoses, and the incredible amount of work + expenses for the Gerson Therapy?
[Jess] It’s tough, but I am lucky to have an amazing family. We really like and respect each other, so things just work. We all work together.
You’ve introduced us to your lovely boyfriend on your blog. Between your cancer diagnosis, living under your parent’s roof in your twenties, and the intensive Gerson Therapy routine, what do you guys do to keep your love strong and your relationship healthy?
[Jess] Again I am really lucky to have an amazing boyfriend. It’s definitely not easy though – especially on him. But we make sure we talk out whatever we are feeling, and get out of the house together as much as possible. We understand that this is just temporary, so that makes it easier.
You cured yourself of cancer, naturally. It’s a “stop the press” kind of moment, yet, because we find it so amazing, what does it say about our relationship with our bodies?
[Jess] We definitely don’t trust ourselves enough, or give our bodies the credit they deserve when it comes to healing. We are designed to self heal – as long as we provide the right environment to do so.
What have you learned about your body and mind that you didn’t know before cancer?
[Jess] Just how intelligent they are! My body is far smarter than any doctor, or any scientists. However, I have also learnt that it can only take so much abuse. Our bodies talk to us, quietly at first before they start to yell. It will give me a lot of warnings, but if I don’t listen to it I will ultimately be in trouble.
| Tallon, Jess and Ian Gawler |
Congratulations on wrapping up two years on the Gerson Therapy! :: How is life going to change – can you hit the champers?
[Jess] Ha ha no! I wish! Not much will change, but I’m okay with that. After cleaning out my body, and experiencing all of the amazing benefits that come from that, I don’t want to tarnish it again. I will just have a bit more freedom. I will be able to travel, eat different foods, and maybe down the track I will be able to have some organic wine every now and then. Maybe.
Sneak peek – tell us:
What you were wearing at 8 am yesterday: A really daggy pair of shorts and a juice stained singlet.
What you ate for lunch: Hippocrates soup, a big salad, baked potato, baked pumpkin, cooked cabbage.
And what you were doing at 8 pm: Finishing dinner and watching The Big Bang Theory.
What do you love most about your life today?
[Jess] That everything just flows. Life is now easy while it used to be a constant struggle. I love that I wake up each morning excited about whatever is going to come up for me during the day, knowing that the universe always has my back.
Tell us 3 exciting things you’ll be doing in the next 5 years.
Ooh that’s hard to say. Nothing is definite, and this is likely to change, but if I had to project at the moment I would say …
- Writing books that hopefully people will like to read.
- Travelling far and wide with my juicer.
- Moving out of home (hopefully )
Yes, yes, YES to an ongoing, loving relationship with your own body, built on kindness & respect.
Tell us what you think of Jessica’s healing journey in the comments below. Are you inspired, awed [or propelled into action!]?
Connect with Jess at www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au