It’s time for another super-inspirational This time we speak to the Flexi Foodie herself, Julie Montagu.
Julie is a yoga and nutrition teacher at London’s top studios, star of recent ITVBe show ‘Ladies of London’, brains behind The Flexi Foodie Academy, and creator of her own superfood energy snacks JUB. Married with four children, Julie recently started her Superfood Supper Clubs and Yoga Brunches which have been sell out successes, and to top it all off she has recently published her debut cookbook, Superfoods. Don’t worry, we’ll be getting down to the secret of how she manages to pack this all in. But first, welcome to the Health Bloggers Community, Julie!
When and why did you start your career in health?
After I trained as a yoga instructor in 2009, I started to get more interested in healthy eating. It’s hard not to go to a yoga class and end up discussing healthy foods and a healthy lifestyle. Someone suggested I read The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and after that read… well, I wanted to know more so I enrolled in a course at Cornell University on plant-based nutrition and then still wanting to know more became an online student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Yikes! It’s kind of off the charts but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Wake up between 6 and 6:30am every morning and make sure all kids are fed and packed up ready for school. Once that’s over, clear up breakfast! The mornings begin with me either cycling to teach my yoga class or take a yoga class. And then it’s a range of things – meetings about my superfood balls JUB, or a meeting with my publisher, or a Skype call about collaborations with brands, or filming for my YouTube channel, or making healthy food in the kitchen for my blog, and then it’s picking up the kids from school, making supper and on some nights heading back out to teach one of my evening yoga classes! It’s quite full on but I love packed out days especially when you’re able to do what you love.
You seem to balance being a mother, reality TV star, health coach, yoga teacher and author so effortlessly! Can you share any of your time management tips with us?
A lot of people assume that I have a nanny or au pair, but I actually don’t. I utilize my time while the kids are at school and make sure that during those eight hours, I get as much done as I can so I pack it in! There’s really never a lull in my day and I purposely schedule it so when the kids come home, I’m all theirs. I think it’s about time management, keeping the length of meetings shorter rather than longer. I cycle everywhere which does really help in getting to places much quicker for me. And I pop in to juice bars across London to get that re-charge when I need it!
Who or what inspires you the most?
Hands down, Debbie Ford. Sadly, she passed away recently but for me, she’s one of the most inspirational speakers I’ve ever heard. I still listen to a lot of her podcasts as her messages are inspiring and she’s just infectious.
What can we expect from your new book, Superfoods?
I think for me when I was writing this book, it was about being flexible. Not beating yourself up about should you follow the latest ‘diet’ craze, or should you cut out all sugar including fruit, or should you stay away from grains. You know, 100+ years ago, we were just eating what was grown! There wasn’t all this processed and packaged foods filled with refined sugar, saturated fat, chemicals, preservatives, additives… and so it’s about trying to get the WHOLE back in your diet. When I refer to Superfoods in the book, it’s not just about the cacao, spirulina and bee pollen. It’s about the cauliflower, the radishes, the quinoa, the avocado, the blood oranges and of course the kale! And why these wonderful WHOLE foods are actually Super in their own right!
What’s the number one recipe from the book that you’d recommend we’d try?
Mung Bean, Sweet Potato Casserole with Pomegranate. I served it at my last Superfoods Supper Club at Bumpkin and it was a HUGE hit!
What advice would you give to any yoga and nutrition lovers wanting to turn their passions into a career?
If you want to turn your passions into a career, don’t be afraid to start small! That’s how you learn and you gain a lot of self-confidence as well. When I first became a yoga instructor, it’s very rare for a studio to just let you start teaching right away. So, I went to a church hall in Wandsworth, took a real risk, and rented it out twice a week for a morning yoga session. I then whipped up some very inexpensive fliers and literally starting handing them out at the school gates. I would strap Nestor (my youngest at the time) into his pushchair and we would walk from house to house dropping a flier through the letterbox. I did this for nearly a year! And lo and behold, I started out with just one person turning up, then another and another and they really started to build. From that, some of the students were interested in nutrition and I started taking them on as individual clients. And well, the rest as they say is history. But I started small with a huge fire in my belly because I knew this was what I wanted to do. Follow your heart!
What other exciting new projects do you have in store this year?
JUB, my superfood energy balls, has just received investment so we are re-packaging and tweaking the logo as I type! We will also be launching some limited edition flavours! Ladies of London airs in the USA sometime towards the end of the summer, so I will have a lot of press to do around that and then I’m writing my next book to be published by Hay House in March 2016! Can’t wait… better get writing!