As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about empowering women who are encouraging and doing incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Julie Booher.
New Author Julie Booher of Healthy & Happy: Find Food Freedom and Create the Body you Love is a mindset and nutrition coach, lifestyle designer for women, and the host behind the podcast Healthy and Happy: Create a Body and Life You Love. Originally from the sunshine state, she has planted roots in Ontario and thrives on helping others live a kicka** life. Her passion stems from teaching women to live healthy without obsession. Growing up with food and body image issues, she was inspired to create a movement to help women transform their relationship with food and their bodies. She has helped women from around the world develop a healthier mindset, better routines, find their confidence, and feel healthy from the inside out.
Such a pleasure having you; please let our users know about yourself and your journey as a nutritionist?
Thank you for having me! I’m happy to be here. My name is Julie, and I’m originally from Florida, but now I live in Ontario with my husband, 10-month-old son, and our poodle, Jake.
I became interested in my own nutrition journey when I was in college. I was a dancer in high school and missed the feeling of moving my body, so I decided to research ways to eat healthier and also hired a personal trainer. I fell in love with my newfound healthy lifestyle and became a group exercise instructor and personal trainer, which I did before and after my full-time job at the time.
Because my work was focused on my body and I felt pressure to “look the part,” I started to notice my relationship with food was becoming problematic and restrictive. I would obsess over calories, only eat “clean” foods, and barely went out to eat with my friends because I was scared that I wouldn’t find anything on the menu that fit my lifestyle. That also resulted in me overeating on the weekends, and the cycle of restriction and binge really took a toll on my mental health.
I knew I needed to get a handle on my relationship with food, which started with learning more about the why behind what I was eating. I decided to get a nutrition certification through a company whose philosophy on nutrition I love, Precision Nutrition. Since then, I’ve spent years doing tons of research, combing through PubMed articles, and doing a deep dive into my own relationship with food so that I can teach and set a powerful example for my clients and the people around me.
Now, I coach women on how to have a healthy relationship with food and their body. This means that it’s not just about the food we’re consuming but also about clearing the mental space that’s currently taken up by food and body obsession so that you can find more room for joy and pleasure in your life!
How are your techniques to building good health bring positivity and bring a change in women’s lives?
The habits and systems I teach are quite simple, and I do that for a reason. When a habit is easy enough, it’s more likely that someone can stick with it long-term. Many people try to overhaul their lifestyle all at once and wonder why they can’t stick with it for the long haul.
When it comes to nutrition, I teach a basic framework to make every meal simple, filling, and nutritious – it’s called GPF, and it stands for Greens, Protein, Fat, and Fiber. When those four simple components make up your plate, you can feel confident knowing you’re getting the right balance of macronutrients to stay satiated, which decreases the likelihood that you’ll be thinking about food all day long.
I have a ton of simple habits and lifestyle changes like that one idea in my book, Healthy & Happy: Find Food Freedom and Create the Body You Love.
What do you do every day to keep yourself fit and inspired?
Fitness looks a bit different for me than it used to.
Before having my baby (and before the lockdowns), I would frequent the gym 5-6 days per week and do a combination of strength training, running, CrossFit, spin classes, yoga, etc. I truly LOVE to move my body – it makes me feel so good!
Now, I try to take 30 minutes of movement per day, my non-negotiable. I have a standard poodle which means I walk a LOT. I also have to chase after a crazy 10-month-old boy who never stops moving from the moment he wakes up until he goes to sleep.
The way I stay inspired is by having a list of non-negotiable habits that I do every day, no matter what. My non-negotiables include 30 minutes of movement, drinking 3L of water, and eating 3 GPF meals. I don’t have to sit there and ask myself, “Should I move my body today?” or “Should I eat a GPF meal?” … I’ve already decided, and that commitment makes it much easier to stick to. It’s become part of my identity – I identify as someone who does those things and keeps the promises she makes to herself, which is what inspires me to keep up these habits on a daily basis.
What is your no-fail go-to when you need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut?
Ditch my phone and go outside. I find that when I’m consuming too much information through social media, podcasts, etc., it’s hard to come up with my own ideas. The best way I know to regain my creativity is to, quite simply, BE creative. Live a life that’s inspiring. To me, that looks like going for a day trip with friends, driving in my car with the windows down and music blasting and singing at the top of my lungs, having a soul-enriching conversation with someone I love, dancing around the house with my son and husband, going on a coffee date. I almost always come back inspired and ready to get back to work when I allow myself some time and space to just have fun and be.
What does the world need more of right now?
The world needs more connection. In this digital age, we’re more and more reliant on getting our social fix on our phones than we are connecting in real life. We can get a false sense of connection by commenting on someone’s photo versus calling them and asking them to get lunch. And, after a year like 2020, we’re even more disconnected than we ever have been.
I believe the only way we can connect more is to recognize that technology is a tool we can use but that we shouldn’t let it use us. Face-to-face connection is so important for our health and happiness, and it’s not something we should take for granted.
According to you, what five skill-set should a woman have to give them strength?
I can’t speak for all women, but I know what my top five would be:
Determination. Resiliency. Confidence. Pleasure/joy. Stillness.
When I keep these five core values at the forefront of my life, I feel unstoppable.
Please share some advice for those who are struggling every day to stay fit and energetic?
Take a look at what you’re consuming: Are you eating foods that nourish your body and give you energy, or do they deplete you and make you feel like you need to take a nap? Are you eating because you’re hungry, or just bored/tired/anxious/stressed? Do your daily habits bring you joy, or do you feel like you’re forcing yourself to do them?
When it comes to nutrition, you can keep a food journal for a week as a great self-reflection tool to gain insight into your habits. Write down:
- What you’re eating
- What you’re doing while you’re eating (driving, texting, watching TV, out to dinner, etc.)
- How you feel during/after you eat (this can be emotional or physiological)
Once you’ve done that, you can reflect and see where you can shift your habits and make better choices.
And a more big-picture way to stay energetic is to remember you only get ONE body and one life. Do you want to waste it feeling anxious, lethargic, depressed, always worried about food, and/or how you look? Or would you rather feel inspired, energized, confident and peaceful? It takes work, but the latter can definitely become a reality for you!
What is your favorite mantra or affirmation that you say to yourself to keep you going?
“Things are always working out for me.”
As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression, this reminds me that with the bad also comes the good. And, most of the things I worry about never end up happening, so why not expect that good things can happen and that things are actually just as likely to work out in my favor?
At last, what does success mean to you?
Success means going to sleep at night and knowing I’ve made a difference in someone’s life. I am lucky enough to do that daily through my work as a nutrition and lifestyle coach, but it can also be as simple as giving a compliment to a stranger.
I believe we’re all put on this earth with unique gifts and talents, and it’s our job to use those to create a life we love and make a difference in this world. That feels like success to me, and now that I’ve had a taste of what it feels like to impact someone’s life, I won’t settle for anything less!
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.