Jessica Cox | The JCN Clinic

What are macronutrients?

Macronutrients are nutrients needed in large amounts by the body for cellular energy and growth (whereas micronutrients are needed in lesser amounts). There are three major macronutrients. Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats.


Carbohydrates are made up of starches, cellulose and sugars. Essentially starches (a group of sugar molecules stuck together) are broken down into sugars in our bodies after ingestion and used for energy production. Cellulose is not digestible and passes through our digestive tract. Biochemically we call carbohydrates saccharides, and they can be divided into four groups: monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. From a nutritionists perspective, we often label carbs as simple or complex carbohydrates. Generally, the more complex a carbohydrate is, the more sugar molecules are involved in its structure (such as a polysaccharide or oligosaccharides). Or, we may say a complex carbohydrate food contains digestible saccharide (sugars) from a wholefood source, alongside fiber and nutrients, as opposed to processed carbohydrates, which provide energy but few other nutrients and negligible fiber.

Generally simple carbohydrate foods are broken down and absorbed quickly, as in the majority they do not contain much fibre to slow down the absorption process. They most often fall into the categories of monosaccharides and disaccharides. An excess intake of these carbs means your body can only use so much for fuel before it needs to ‘store’ the extra sugar molecules (generally as fat).

Complex carbs on the other hand take longer to break down due to their high fibre content, meaning they are used for more long lasting energy, and therefore generally not stored so easily (unless eaten in excess). They are also a rich and wonderful source of B vitamins and minerals.

Please note however that the above can vary, especially from a biochemical perspective. Fundamentally the more of a wholefood source of carbs we have, the more nutritional variety and balance we will intake. Lastly, the speed of digestion and utilisation of carbs will always be influenced by what other macronutrients are enjoyed along side it as part of a meal, along with our different metabolic requirements.

Some lovely and nutritious sources of carbohydrates are:

  • all fruits and vegetables (in the majority low in starch and best combined with some of the below)
  • cereals & grains such as whole wheat, rye, rolled oats, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, spelt, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, wild rice, barley, kumut, sweet potato, potato, legumes.


Protein foods are broken down into amino acids in the body. They are large complex molecules made up of a sizeable array of amino acids. They are essential building blocks for metabolism, muscle strength, hormone function, enzyme function and immune health to name but a few.

Some lovely and nutritious wholefood sources of protein are:

  • seafood, meats, eggs
  • nuts and seeds, legumes & pulses, tofu, tempeh
  • dairy – (cow/goat/sheep) bocconcini, feta, ricotta, cottage cheese, cheddar and other cheeses not heavily processed.
  • nuts and seeds


Fats are broken down into fatty acids (triglycerides) in our bodies and are vital for brain function, cell membrane health, skin health and immune function.

Types of fats include saturated, poly unsaturated and mono unsaturated fats. We do need to be mindful of not going too crazy when it comes to fat intake, however eating quality fats daily as part of a balanced dietary intake is very advantageous. Essential fats (omega3 and omega 6) cannot be made in the body from simply constituents. They must be consumed from specific food sources and then digested to make them readily available.

Trans fats are the fats we need to avoid, which are created through overheating volatile oils. Generally if you eat a wholefood diet trans fats will not be a major concern. Do be mindful however of the quality of oils you purchase along with the freshness of your nuts and seeds too.

Some lovely and nutritious sources of wholefood fats are:

  • seafood, especially salmon, tuna, sardines, calamari and other oily fish.
  • olive Oil, flaxseed oil, macadamia nut oil, coconut oil, cold pressed avocado oil and other nut and seed oils that have not been heat treated or refined.
  • raw nuts and seeds and their butters
  • avocado and coconut

What is the difference between dairy free and lactose free?

Dairy free is a term often used pertaining to avoiding the protein in milk, usually casein. These proteins are quite large, especially in cow’s milk, and as a result can be problematic to absorb (remember, this does not mean everyone!). The casein in goat and sheep’s milk is smaller in size and therefore often gentler on the digestive system.

Lactose is the carbohydrate portion of mammal milk. Lactose intolerance means that the body lacks enough of the enzyme (lactase) to breakdown lactose. Lactose is highest in raw forms of milk and lower in more processed forms. Therefore, cows milk, goats milk, sheep’s milk are quite problematic, where as small amounts of cheeses and butter from all families may be tolerable.

What is the difference between gluten and wheat?

Gluten is protein (2 proteins actually) found in a variety of grains, of which one of these grains happens to be wheat.

Gluten containing grains are: rye, wheat, barley, oats (problematic often for coeliacs due to cross contamination), spelt, kumut, semolina, couscous, bulgur and triticum.

Wheat is a grain that just happens to also contain gluten. Wheat sensitivity can occur on its own. This means that wheat as an individual grain is problematic, NOT gluten. If you are wheat intolerant you can still have some of the grains listed above (besides spelt, bulgur, semolina, couscous and triticum which are still versions of wheat). Some people can handle spelt with no issues, however many still have upsets from this grain.

The following flours/grains are gluten free AND wheat free:

  • buckwheat, quinoa (technically seeds) amaranth, rice, corn meal/polenta, millet, besan flour, soy flour, sorghum, sago, lentils, tapioca, lupin.

Do you have calorie or kj measurements for your recipes?

No, I do not provide calorie or kj measurements. This is simply because calories and kj are only a small part of the story when it comes to wholefoods and quality nutritional intake. Getting hung up on calorie/kj intake is often problematic and creates unhealthy relationships with foods.

do you recommend a local Personal Trainer within Brisbane CBD?

Encircle PT is a boutique studio based on Queens St in Brisbane’s CBD that specialises in one on one and small group corporate training AND they get great results! They are super flexible with times, which is great for anyone based workwise in the CBD.  Encircle PT are offering you an 8 week package which will include 2 x 30minute PT sessions per week (total of 16 sessions) as well as 2 complementary comp sessions to do fitness testing, measurements and personalised goal setting. Cost $640 (normally $900) – call Katie on 0405 590 914 to make your booking.

How do I become a Nutritionist and what should I study?

I completed a four year Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine) at Australian College of Natural Medicine, now known as Endeavor. I do recommend completing a Nutrition degree that will leave you with the appropriate training and qualifications. It is important to have a level of training that is recognised by Associations to ensure rebates are available for your clients, along with being eligible for insurance within your practice.

If you are passionate about following a career in nutrition and interested in private practice do be prepared, as it takes a lot of hard work and determination. However, the results are worth it!  Day to day business varies between client consultations, marketing and general business upkeep.  Its important to keep in mind this will vary dependent on what field of nutrition and/or dietetics you end up in in regards to your chosen career path.

What is the difference between a Nutritionist and a Dietician?

This is a very grey area, as it depends of the level of study attained and even what country you have studied in. Here in Australia you can obtain a Bachelor Degree in Nutrition or Dietetics from University or College. When looking for a Nutritionist or a Dietician it is always best to ensure they have completed a bachelor degree and that they hold accreditation with associations. There are some Nutritional courses that are not reputable and only contain a small period of study time.

A nutritionist generally works more one on one with clients in a clinical setting. From a holist perspective nutritionist work more systemically taking into consideration the workings of digestion and metabolism and all other body systems. However, depending on the type of study completed a Nutritionist may still have a very ‘dietetics’ approach. It’s important to assess each practitioner in regards to the results that you are after.

Dieticians in Australia play more of a role in hospital settings and government based roles. They work heavily with disease processes such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. Dieticians also practice privately, but will generally focus on food intake alone, without delving into the whole body treatment, especially from a holistic perspective.

Please remember these are generalisations and based on Australian only. There are some dieticians practicing in other Countries with very solid holist approaches.

Do you take your own photographs?

Yes, I take all of my own photographs. I have a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Photography, which I studied when I first left high school at the ANU in Canberra, Australia. Photography and the arts run strongly through my bloods and it is a true love for me to be able to intertwine the passion that I have for both photography and nutrition.

What camera do you use?

I use a Canon DSL KissOX with a 50mm 1.2 lens. I shoot most of my images under natural daylight using white/dark boards for bouncing light and different surfaces and props for getting the desired mood/styling that I am after for a photography shot.

I would like to collaborate with Jessica Cox in regards to sponsorship, brand ambassador and product reviews. How do I do this?

You can get in touch with Jessica  here  to discuss collaborations in regards to your brand, product reviews, ambassadorship and sponsorship. Please ask us for a copy of Jessica’s Media Kit, which we are more than happy to email you. This may also give you an idea of how we may work together.

Please note that Jessica will work with brands that she feels fit the Jessica Cox ethos. If we feel that your brand may not be the right fit we will let you know. Of course there are so many wonderful products and companies out there doing exciting things, so if we are a great fit we look forward to hearing from you and working together!