Conversations with Jacqueline Alwill - The Brown Paper Bag


At the beginning of lockdown in Australia in April 2020, the Papinelle team spoke to Jacqueline Alwill from The Brown Paper BagSydney-based nutritionist, whole foods chef, recipe writer and mother, to check in and see how she was adapting to her "new normal"


Can you take us through your morning routine? Has it changed?

My mornings are honestly a bit of a mixed bag at the moment depending on the night I’ve had with little Elke (7 weeks) and what I need to achieve with work and home schooling Jet (my 10 year old boy) too. However, I am super consistent with rising with 2 glasses of filtered water, supplements (including my probiotic, multi, algae oil for DHA, and choline which are more pregnancy and post partum repletion focused at the moment) and a delicious cup or two of tea. I can’t drink coffee because it makes me so anxious however, I absolutely cannot live without my morning tea. Once that’s all happened I’m ready for the day!


Can you take us through your wellness routine?

In the mornings I always have a nourishing breakfast such as my banana omelette or buckwheat seed bread with avo or peanut butter, good healthy snacks (my go to right now is a piece of my whole food Rosy Vanilla Slice or my seed snaps/carrot sticks with hummus, exercise, delicious dinners (current faves are the simple red lentil dhal or quinoa pilaf with roast eggplant and harissa yoghurt - so good!), a glass or two of wine on the weekend, sleep (and naps where possible!) and looking after my skin.

What have you been listening to?

Lots of old faves and tracks I can sing to (... and help me stay sane) - Paul McCartney, Jack Johnson, Hozier, Elton John...


What are you currently reading?

I usually have a few books on the go depending on my mood... on my bedside and coffee table right now are “The Post Natal Depletion Cure” (Dr Oscar Sarallach), “Homo Deus” (Yuval Noah Harari), “The XX Brain” (Dr Lisa Mosconi) and I’ve just received “This Is Me” (Julie Adams and Georgie Abay) which is a beautiful book of #unretouched portraits of women, their stories and journeys to self love and acceptance - I’m in the book also. Little Elke, who is just 7 weeks, quite loves my reading “Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls” too.


Anything you have been watching that you would recommend? 

In the very little time I have to watch anything at the moment (I make it about 17 minutes into it and am asleep on the lounge) I’ve been loving "Unorthodox" on Netflix and previous to that was fascinated by the unfolding in "The Pharmacist", the documentary "2040" by Damon Gameau and "The Biggest Little Farm" which we saw at the movies pre Covid19 but I think you’ll be able to watch it soon at home and it really is a must!


Are you working out, and do you have any tips or recommendations? 

I’m 7 weeks post partum so I have to be cautious with my workouts still, but I am doing low impact workouts, lots of walking, no running and plenty of strengthening exercises for my glutes, pelvic floor and core again. Loving the online training that’s available - there are so many wonderful options right now! Once I’m stronger and I have the go ahead from the physio I am hoping (fingers crossed!) to get back into some running again - it’s such a good escape!

Do you have any suggestions on keeping a calm mind, juggling all of our lives' roles in the one place - our own home?

Definitely exercise (both intense, when I can, and restorative yoga) and being in the ocean. I’ve always lived near the beach and can’t fathom not having that beautiful deep blue to gaze or diving into it, holding my breathing and switching off.

It's important to carve out some time alone. For me this is exercise and simply getting out of the house for a moment to catch a glimpse of the ocean. When the time comes I’ll be plunging into that ocean no matter the temperature either!  Also restorative yogatime in my garden, being out hiking in nature, (attempting to go) surfing with my son and meditation (even just a few minutes which is about all I can fit in right now with a newborn).


I’m living by this quote right now: “You can do ANYTHING, that doesn’t mean you have to do EVERYTHING”. A goodie for me as I try to juggle a lot with family and work life, and a reminder that I need to create my own time and white space to do not much but just be as well.



Jacqueline's Papinelle picks