Posted on 12 March, 2014 on Hong Kong Asia Tatler by Charmaine Mok.

With soft, wild brown locks and a wide smile, Jennifer Thompson is the very vision of health and good spirits. We meet at the Mandarin Spa, where she has a rare moment between workshops and consultations to speak to us about her life’s work; a multi-faceted career that has made her a name to follow among those interested in the virtues of a raw food diet, detoxing, and general well being. Thompson’s current occupation couldn’t be more different to her previous stint as a systems engineer; what has remained, however, is her penchant for using technical metaphors to explain more abstract concepts. At one point, she refers to food as fuel for the body as a car, and detoxing as a process of changing the oil in the tank, and is a strong advocate for the adage, “you are what you eat”. Below, we talked to Thompson about her personal journey, how to tackle stress in Hong Kong, and why raw food is king.

Interview: Jennifer Thompson – The iridologist and detox specialist explains the virtues of raw food, relaxation, and laughter as medicine

Hong Kong Tatler: Tell us about the key milestones in your life that have led you to who you are today & the work you do?
Jennifer Thompson: Do you have space for a book? [laughs] Seriously, I’ve done a lot. I was a systems engineer and I left the corporate world in my twenties to hike across continents, climb Kilimanjaro, hike to Everest Base Camp and cycle across South-East Asia. I did my “bucket list” 20 years ago before the word even existed! During that time, I felt invincible. But, I didn’t think about my health, and I wound up getting sick for two years after cycling more than 3,000km in Australia. After that, I realized that my health was the most important thing I had. Once I healed myself, I became 100 per cent committed to helping others and that basically led to me where I am today.

HKT: How would you explain the heart of what you do in a very few short sentences?
JT: I’m an advocate for your body to help promote health and prevent “dis-ease”. [Thompson uses this term to connect mental and physical uneasiness with disease]. I’ve done the work and I made mistakes with my health, and I don’t want you to take the long road like I did. So, I offer fast-track solutions that are practical and work, even in a busy fast-paced world.

HKT: In your short time in Hong Kong so far, what have been the most common ailments you identified here?
JT: Definitely stress! Of course, for each individual, stress can manifest into different types of “dis-ease”, depending on where they may have strength or weakness and if there are any deficiencies present.

A lot of my clients in Hong Kong are traveling for most of the month or working very long hours every day and, for them, trying to implement realistic changes to their diet becomes a factor of time. For those clients, I make recommendations that are simple, fast and easy to implement. You might not be able to do everything, but you have to do something and with your health, sooner is better.

For more information about Thompson’s work and lifestyle tips, visit

HKT: What are some steps that people should take to get to the healthy state of being you are at today?
JT: Sleep more, exercise, drink water – not soda or sugary drinks or food colorings – take time to rest and have fun. Laughter is very alkaline to the body!

Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Practice variety in the diet and look for different colors in your foods, like purple cabbage, red and yellow veggies and leafy greens. Eat the whole food. Increase your fiber intake.

If you can, do one day a week as a mini-detox to reboot or reset for the week. For one day, eat only fresh fruits or drink juices or smoothies and plenty of water too. Give your organs a chance to catch up.

Don’t put your health off to a later date. Making small changes now can really impact your quality of health and life when you do get out of the rat race later.

HKT: Tell us the reasons you are an advocate of raw food?
JT: The high fiber, enzymes and water content in raw uncooked foods make them easy for the body to digest. With all the chemical additives, damaged molecules in fried foods, pesticides and high animal fats clogging the body, an occasional meal of 100 per cent fruit or salad is a welcomed relief to an overworked, sluggish and toxic digestive system! Raw food works for me but I do admit it’s not for everyone and I don’t push a raw food diet on my clients or students. However, even having one raw food meal per day can balance out the other “debauchery” in your diet later. Ultimately, balance is the key to success with diet and lifestyle.

HKT: What are the challenges you face in being a raw food and detox advocate?
JT: Many people think that the raw food diet is too extreme. The way I see it, eating more fruits and vegetables seems pretty tame compared to having a major organ cut out or being on insulin the rest of your life. Some people say that the body is designed to detox itself and we shouldn’t have to “mess” with it. That would actually be true to a certain extent if there were not more than 3,000 chemical additives in food today not to mention pesticides as well as chemicals in the air and water, a high-stress lifestyle and lack of nutrients in the diet and a history of antibiotics that kill all the good bacteria in our gut disrupting the natural delicate balance of our digestive terrain.

No one will argue with me when I say that it’s a good idea to get your car serviced every year to keep the engine running well and prevent breakdowns. When you change the oil in your car, you always drain the old oil out first and then put the new oil in. Why not give the same attention to your body and your health? Once a year, do some type of detox and give your body a rest. Recalibrate your engines. Then, moving forward put some better food (fuel) in. You’ve just increased your chances of living a longer, healthier and happier life.

HKT: What lasting words of wisdom would you impart on your clients?
JT: The thing about health is this – once you lose it, there is no amount of money in the world that can buy it back for you. So really, your health is your biggest asset. You should handle it like a billion dollar account or a treasured temple. Eat more minerals, vitamins, alkaline foods, high fiber and whole foods from the earth. Drink more water. Live in the present moment with happy, joyous and loving thoughts. Take care of your temple. It’s the only one you’ll ever have in this life.

For more information about Thompson’s work and lifestyle tips, visit

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