A little while ago I had the privilege to interview a nutritionist and yoga instructor by the name of Julie Newton, who works closely with Joie de Vivre. We spent some of the afternoon discussing nutrition and wellness in everyday life and some information I thought would be extremely insightful for others to hear as well. These snippets can be advice that I believe everyone can use as guidelines to living your best life. These answers are directly from the amazing mind of Julie herself, so the answers will be a bit more personal as to not lose any impact on her words.
What are the best foods to eat on a busy day?
So, I would say to start with a decent breakfast. Look at things that have a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and good healthy fats. A good default is fresh yogurt that is not sweetened, and eat that with a bit of fruit and some chia or granola. You want to be sure to get your daily fiber, which comes from the fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and seeds. As for good protein, for the mornings fresh organic cows milk or non-sweetened yogurt is a good choice. But protein can come from non meat source such as nut milk or soy milk as well. Cheeses are also a good source for protein and calcium. Finally for healthy fats, good sources to get these are in seeds (such as chia, flax, and hemp), nuts, and avocados.
When you are getting through a busy day, its important to limit your caffeine intake as much as possible. As much as we may need it to start the day you should try to limit the coffee intake. This is because it can add a lot of sugar and unhealthy fats to your diet(if you get a frappuchino or really sweet drink for instance or load up your coffee with sugar and milk). All of that sugar combined with caffeine and extra fat can alter your energy levels throughout the day and it can impact your work. If you do have to drink something in the morning, use herbal tea. Herbal tea has natural stimulants inside the flowers and plants that brew it, and these gently wake the body up. They are better at keeping energy levels consistent throughout the day.
Finally snacks are just as important as meals. To pick a good snack, look for anything that travels well such as fresh fruit, hummus, nuts, and hard cheeses (like cheddar, gouda, or asiago) are good sources of protein, calcium, and vitamin D. There are also some decent protein bars out there too, just keep a look out for the amount of processing and sugar that goes into them. In general for a busy day, the most important thing is to bring awareness to your diet. Try to eat as little processed food as possible and if you end up in a situation where you have to eat out, be mindful about what goes into your meal. Look for fruits, vegetables, quality carbohydrates, protein that is not fried or saturated in oil. And finally look for color, a meal where everything is a different color is sure to be something nutritious.
How much does diet play a role in ones life?
This is huge, because I don’t actually like the use the word diet. I prefer to use f lifestyle choice. Because ‘diet’, that word gets a bad rap and is limiting. For humans, food is supposed to be enjoyable, nourishing, and social. Its about having a lifestyle of being aware of what we need. Food is there so we can survive on a physical level, but theres also a sense of thriving in the realms of emotions and mental and social because it helps us deepen connections with those we share around us. Its something thats part of us. Food is a thing that connects us to the planet, on a bigger picture the planet is what sustains us. We are not separate from what we eat, its part of how we thrive on so many different levels. So it’s really important in someones daily life.
If you could lean a new skill what would it be and why?
If I were gonna learn a new skill, it would be the art of writing. I love to read. Even in short passages that may be one or two sentences, I find these are things that stick with you. All throughout my life there have been books and texts and things, but I find those people who have a way to writing really short and concise impactful writing are far more impressive. Thats something I would love to have, I even joke with my husband how one of these days Im going to learn how to use a pottery wheel once we aren’t so busy and the kids are grown.
What light exercises do you think are Most beneficial to sustaining a positive mood?
I teach yoga so this is big for me as well. I’ve also been as student of yoga for a really long time. I’ve been teaching for years now, and what Ive found is best is sun-salutations. It helps to bring your energy up for one, but it also forces you to stop everything and be in the present moment. You aren’t needing to focus on anything else except for keeping yourself balanced and right here. These poses are easy and not very intense, they are mild and anyone can do them. I even do then when I find myself overwhelmed during the workday and just need a few moments to slow down and ground myself. There are also some other poses that are really good for the mind and mood if you need to reconnect with yourself such as forward folds, downward dog, tree pose, and child pose.
What motivated you to pursue the desire to help people lead a better life?
First of all I really love quality food, that could be an answer in itself. But the biggest thing is that; in the past several years I’ve lived in a space where it can be very overwhelming and busy. So its easy to make the food choices that may not be the best for me or my family. Im in this environment where my choices affect myself and the way I impact my family, so I can really connect to the idea that when I make good food choices for myself and my house, it makes such a difference. I know that it’s a struggle and that it can be some work not only to give into convenience and cravings, but with some planning Ive found that in my own life how happy me and my family are when we are eating mindfully.
We are bombarded with unhealthy food choices, and it may fill us temporarily, but it leaves other aspects of our life empty. I’ve wanted to show people that with some planning you can completely overhaul the way that you eat, still feel satisfied, and eat what you love but not have the struggle associated with it. I think it’s empowering too, because people realize they have the tools they need to take control of their life inside of them already. It can be really inspiring once people start using this mindset that they previously didn’t give much time to. Even making one change shows that every little change that you make makes such a big difference. So me being able to show people how you can make these changes one step at a time is super fulfilling.