Julie Montagu is an international yoga teacher, author of 3 best-selling books, and cast member of Bravo TV’s “Ladies of London.” We caught up with Julie to learn more about the benefits of embracing a plant-based diet (and yoga).
How did you become so passionate about healthy foods and a healthier lifestyle, and why did you start a blog around it?
Growing up, I’ve never had a real taste for meat, so it was an easy transition for me to go plant-based. But the catalyst to that happening was reading Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s book The China Study. That did it in a heartbeat!
When I first began a plant-based diet almost 8 years ago, the biggest challenge was finding tasty recipes! And that’s why I started my blog, The Flexi Foodie, almost 5 years ago to document the recipes I created for my 4 kids and husband. Those recipes must have tasted pretty decent, as that blog got me my first cookbook deal!
On your site, you describe your transformation after embracing yoga and a plant-based diet. How would you describe the difference in how you felt after the change to someone who has never had that experience?
Moving, breathing, meditating and eating a whole foods diet has ramped up my energy levels, my moods, and my happiness! I’ve never looked back.
On your site, you say, “Yoga and a plant-based diet: they’re like Harry and Sally, or Batman and Robin, or Wallace and Gromit.” Are there any direct relationships between food and yoga?
I truly believe that there is a direct correlation between eating healthy and yoga. By eating well, you decrease any inflammation in the body, which will help you to move and open up more and better in yoga. Also, eating well gives you more energy, which can certainly only improve your yoga practice. Yoga gives you a clear mind and a sense of well-being, which in return helps to create that sense of wanting to eat well for your body.
If someone said to you, “Yoga? A plant-food diet? I’m not into all of that hippie stuff,” how might you respond?
I’d say, try it before you judge. And then once you do, let me know how you got on.
Talk a little bit about “superfoods.” What’s so “super” about them?
My view is this: get one dark green leafy vegetable in a day (kale, spinach, cabbage etc.) to help clean the blood, eat one whole grain (brown rice, quinoa, millet, etc.) to help with energy levels, get one natural sweetener in (honey, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar) to help with that sugar craving, one healthy fat (avocado, nuts, seeds), and one superfood (goji berries, bee pollen, cacao). If you pick one food from each of these 5 food groups a day, well, your body will love you.
Can you REALLY adopt a plant-based diet and still be a foodie?
Absolutely! Of course you can be a foodie on a plant-based diet. I’m living proof with 3 cookbooks – all plant-based! And it makes you more creative in the kitchen, which makes cooking more fun, too!
What is one of your favorite foodie recipes that not only tastes good, but helps you feel good as well?
Definitely my Kale Macaroni and Cheese that is ALL plant-based and tastes unbelievably good!
Do you have any tips on staying healthy that people can use in their day-to-day lives?
I’m going to give you five!
- Stop buying and eating processed and packaged foods
- Follow my ‘Flexi Five a Day’ (it’s easy!)
- Meditate 2 minutes a day (it actually can help with weight loss and reduce stress)
- Breathe consciously for 5 minutes a day (this will help calm the body but increase the mind)
- Try to get in 10 minutes of movement a day (this will kick start the endorphins and put you in a good mood!)
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