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Featured Presenter: Jessica Porter

Posted Thursday, December 11th, 2014

We’re honored by the many experts, teachers, and speakers that will be joining us for the March 2015 cruise. To celebrate those voices, we’ll be running a short series of presenter interviews. A returning presenter on the 2015 cruise, Jessica Porter is the author of The MILF Diet and The Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics. She also collaborated with Alicia Silverstone on the New York Times number one bestseller, The Kind Diet. Jessica has been practicing macrobiotics since 1991, managed the Way to Health Program at the Kushi Institute in the mid-nineties, and has worked as a traveling macrobiotic cook. She is also a hypnotherapist and has created two hypnosis CDs for people practicing macrobiotics and one called HypnoParenting for the HypnoBirthing Institute.


Find out more about Jessica’s presentations on the 2015 Holistic Holiday at Sea Cruise.

1) When did you first realize that it’s important to prioritize your health?

I didn’t come to healthy food through illness—well, at least not physical illness. I struggled with an eating disorder, and just a disordered life, in general. I was searching for meaning and a deeper connection to myself. A combination of macrobiotic food, macrobiotic philosophy, and some spiritual practices really opened me up. I was 23 when I began, and it was like a Big Bang that continues to expand me.


2) What one change would you suggest for someone just getting started on their journey to having a healthier life?

Well, I come from a macrobiotic perspective, so the simplest thing I would recommend is: Eat whole grains. Just begin. Add them to your diet on a daily basis. Brown rice, barley, millet, quinoa, spelt, rye, kamut, whatever floats your boat. Whole grains contain a particular type of energy that can literally push the individual to make the next, right decision. They are quite fantastic in that way, and I don’t know any other food that is as powerful.


3) Have any of your views evolved over the course of your career in regards to healthy living?

Yes. I have learned more and more as I’ve grown, so I’ve gotten more perspective. But the truth is, the power of food remains. In that respect, there’s been no change. Of course, we must work on ourselves in other ways—especially emotionally and spiritually—but good food remains absolutely fundamental to that process. It’s like saying “you’ve discovered that you must breathe oxygen all the time…has that changed?” And of course, it has not. All my other learning has come on top of the foundation of that truth.


4) What are you most proud of, in relation to your work?

My heart expands when I get a letter from someone who says that my writing has helped them to make changes that are improving their life. That means I’ve let good energy flow through me to another person. I love that.


5) Summarize your personal health philosophy.

Eat good food. Listen deeply to your heart/spirit (meditate). Do what it tells you to do.


6) You’re presenting a class on measuring actual health (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) beyond weight, BMI, and other traditional methods. Can you explain a little more how that works? Why is it important to go beyond those traditional measures?

I think we can get hypnotized by medical jargon and forget that wellness is something that can be recognized—and appreciated—in non-medical ways. The lecture is based on The Seven Levels of Health, and each one is a lens we can look through to measure our own wellness.

For instance, you might have low cholesterol levels, but you don’t enjoy being with people or never laugh. That’s a problem. You may have perfect blood pressure but think you’re better than other people. To a doctor, you’re “well”, but those other issues are very real and impact one’s quality of life. Conversely, you may have high triglycerides but appreciate every minute of your life. Which one is more important? My lecture will get us to look at our own lives through a common sense, old-school lens, and assess our health not as it shows up on a computer screen, but in basic, real-world ways. And the tools you’ll pick up in class can be used for the rest of your life.


7) You also do a lot of work with hypnosis for optimizing health. Can you explain a little bit about how that works? What are some of the issues that hypnosis can address?

Hypnosis is an amazing tool for accessing the deeper parts of the mind. We tend to function from a relatively superficial reality—juggling facts, logic, and analysis. But the subconscious mind is where we experience emotions, memories, and our deepest beliefs systems, all of which propel us in the world. Without some access to the subconscious mind, we really don’t have much power over ourselves.

Of course, we contact the subconscious mind all the time; we are not cut off from it entirely. But in hypnosis, we can stay in the subconscious experience for a sustained period of time, and change our relationship to that inner material. For instance, if a memory provokes sadness or fear, we can work through that. If we’re having a hard time letting go of a difficult relationship, hypnotherapy can move us forward. If we are mired down in bad habits, hypnotherapy can help us break them. But perhaps most important, hypnosis can help us heal ourselves on deep emotional levels, so that physical healing follows naturally. It’s an amazing tool that I would recommend to anyone who wants to improve his or her life.

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