She’s raised plenty of eyebrows, but Jessica is not backing down
She’s the outrageously opinionated My Kitchen Rules contestant who has been making headlines for her instant restaurant bust-ups with other teams, as well as her picky eating habits. But 30-year-old Jessica who’s raised eyebrows with her refusal to eat fried food, icing sugar and chocolate on the show says she won’t apologise for her healthy diet, insisting that even as a small child she would beg her parents for salad and knock back chocolate. Here, the Victorian contestant talks to New Idea about her super-strict diet, and hits back at claims that she shouldn’t be on a cooking show with her picky food demands.
How do you feel about chocolate and fried food?
I do not eat either. In my everyday life, I 100 per cent do not eat fried food or chocolate. But on the show, I was open to eating anything, trying anything. Whatever was put in front of me, I’d try it… within reason. I mean, if it was a chocolate cake, I’d probably give it a miss. If it was fried food, I’d also miss that.
Are there any other foods you do not eat?
I rarely eat carbs, I do not eat sugar. I love all types of things, I love pizza and pasta I just do not eat them. I like to be fit and healthy I have my nutritional values and I do not push them on anyone else. I just do it for me, so I’m happy and healthy.
And yet you want to study a pastry course, the opposite of healthy eating…
I cook desserts more than anything else. I cook it, I try it, I alter the recipe if need be. But after I try it, I give it all away to my friends and neighbours. I love making all types of foods pasta, bread but I never keep it. Everyone loves me because I give away so much food. I’m really popular.
You must have great self-control with food
I’ve lived like this for so long. When I was a little kid, my favourite food was a salad. Not many parents are getting hassled by their kids to make them salad, but every day I was like: Please, Dad, make me a salad!I was so young I couldn’t use the knife myself, so they’d have to chop me salad all the time. My mum would send me to school with chocolate in my lunchbox and I’d bring it straight back, I never touched it.
When was the last time you had McDonald’s?
I do not know, I couldn’t tell you.
What about KFC?
Oh no! No! I do not even know. At least 10 years. I hate the smell of KFC, it makes me feel sick. I do not eat any of it. There are so many nutritious foods at reasonable prices, why would you eat smelly fried chicken?
Did you gain any weight during the show?
Putting on weight on the show wasn’t a problem for me, I stayed the same. I was more strict with my diet than I usually am. If a really big meal was put in front of me, I’d just have my portion size. I will have the salad, about 80 to 100g of meat and leave the rest. Everyone has a choice and I made the right choice.
Jordan says you told him you couldn’t believe how much weight he’d gained from the show. Did anyone else put on a few kilos?
Food is great, it makes people happy. If people’s waistlines expand on the show, that’s fine. It’s good to have fun.
Tell us about your daily diet…
For breakfast, I make my own coconut, almond and orange granola. I have it with half a cup of low-fat yoghurt and half a cup of berries. And an espresso always an espresso. For lunch, I have poached chicken and vegies, or tuna sushi. For dinner, I love my salads sometimes I will have a small piece of steak.
Do you ever splurge and eat something different?
For a treat, I will have some sashimi with a tiny amount of brown rice. Very, very occasionally, I will have pasta, which really shocks people.
Do you drink alcohol?
Sometimes I will have a wine or a cheeky cocktail but only once a month or two months. I just drink water and black coffee espresso.
Were you worried about eating different foods on the show?
Prior to being on MKR, for 15 years I didn’t eat any red meat but leading up to the show, I tried to reintroduce foods.
Did MKR affect your health?
I had a lot of allergic reactions. I was on antihistamines the whole time, because my hands and feet would puff up, and I would get pins and needles in my legs. I was highly medicated on antihistamines.
Do you exercise much?
I’ve been so strict with my diet because I have had a lot of injuries, so I have not been at the gym. I used to be a gymnast and I have ribs that move off my shoulder blade and I have a disc out of line in my back. I have fractured my left foot twice in the same place.
You’ve eaten a handful of chips while doing this interview…
This is a treat, I have been really good the past few weeks. I do not normally eat things like this.MKR’s Luciano Ippoliti labels fellow competitor Jessica as … Ltf
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