Julie is a force to be reckoned with. She is the Executive Chef at Navitas Naturals, a superfood expert, and the bestselling author of 3 books: Superfood Smoothies, Superfood Juices and Superfood Kitchen. She has worked in the natural food industry for a decade as a recipe developer, writer, and speaker. Julie is an active advocate for whole, plant-based foods and superfoods for optimal health. We love having her at Murad events where she whips up super smoothie magic in her trusty blender.
How did you get into the nutrition industry?
I went to college initially to study design and advertising, but began to develop many of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome at the age of 20 due to a stress-filled lifestyle. Superfoods turned things around for me, helping me feel balanced and energized once again. But it was shocking to me that they were not used more in our everyday recipes. I decided to switch gears and jump into the natural food industry to learn more about superfoods and nutrition, and help promote what I believe to be a fundamental element of everyday health. My first job was as a store clerk at a very small vitamin store, and I worked my way up from there to eventually become a natural food chef.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
There’s two: one is recipe development. I love figuring out new recipes –each one is like a flavor puzzle! The other is teaching, which I sometimes do as classes and other times via videos. Few things are more rewarding than being able to share something with another person that you know will make a healthy, positive life impact.
What is your main source of inspiration?
Honestly my inspiration comes from absolutely everywhere – from a special ingredient I find at the farmer’s market, to a beautiful photo in a magazine, to an exceptional dish at a restaurant, to a conversation with a friend. Usually all I need is a starting point – such as, muffins with fresh herbs – to get the creative juices flowing.
If you could pick one superfoods recipe to make for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That is so hard! But it would probably be my recipe for superfood chocolate, only because I simply adore chocolate, and making it from raw cacao and smart sweeteners is rewarding in every way.
We hear you have recently published a book? Do tell!
Yes! My third book, Superfood Juices, has just been released. I’m really pleased with how it turned out! It’s all about how to make truly the best-ever juices at home that are balanced in both flavor and benefits, through the use of superfoods. With over 100 unique recipes and a full guide to juicing, I know this book can help many people reap the delicious, energizing, glow-inducing rewards of homemade fresh juice. And of course, for those who are looking for further ways to enhance their lifestyle via the use of superfoods, my previous books Superfood Smoothies, as well as Superfood Kitchen, are also wonderful additions.
How do you embrace the Murad Inclusive Health Vision of Looking, Living and Feeling #BetterEveryDay?
How do you LOOK BETTER?
I always try and treat the cause before treating the symptom. Healthy diet and exercise are absolutely paramount to looking vibrant – a happy body usually means happy skin! Externally, I do like to use a toner and moisturizer morning and night, and since I go running at the beach everyday, sun protection is a must.
How do you LIVE BETTER?
From fitness to food to really anything at all, I really try to seek out and practice only things that I really love doing. For example, I’m not a natural athlete in the least, and hated most sports growing up, but I found that I loved distance running when I was 17 and have been a dedicated runner ever since. Ironically, most people would describe me as “athletic” – but it’s only because I’ve found, through trial and error, activities that I enjoy doing so much that they never seem like a chore. I actually look forward to exercising. Same goes with food… which is one of the reasons why I stress the culinary aspect of healthy living so much, because it’s just so important to ENJOY. If we enjoy something, we’ll fold it into our daily schedule, and with time it will simply become a positive habit that we don’t even think twice about doing.
How do you FEEL BETTER?
When life gets too hectic, being in nature is one of the most effective ways for me to mellow out and slow down. It has a way of putting everything in perspective.
What is your favorite Dr. Murad insight?
“Give yourself an opportunity to have a transformation.” I think we’re all a work-in-progress in one way or another, and I enjoy the continual path upwards. But the first step is recognizing that we really can change.
Do you use Murad products?
I do. My favorite is the Hydrating Toner; it’s great for calming my skin down after exercise/outdoor activity.
Julie’s smoothies and juices are really beyond delicious, and oh so good for you! Be sure to check out her Superfood books for some incredible recipes. Fortunately for us she has featured a few right here on our blog; Cheesy Kale Crisps, Mango Chili Smoothie, No Bake Brownies and 5 Tips to Grocery Shop like a Pro.