Julie Montagu is a yoga teacher and food writer. Raised in rural Illinois, Julie eschewed the Standard American Diet after she moved to London in her late twenties. Replacing refined sugar and saturated fats with nutrient-dense plant-based foods transformed her health and it was a revelation she felt compelled to share. Julie's website The Flexible Foodie was an instant success and her yoga classes at uber-trendy triyoga in Chelsea are now so highly coveted that it's almost impossible to get in.
I caught up with Julie ahead of the release of her third book, Superfoods Superfast, to talk mindful eating, inspiration, yoga practices and more...
WHAT IS YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY?
Cook and eat healthy when you can but do not stress out about the times you can't or you just want to have fun. Because that stress wreaks more havoc on your body than eating 'badly' does.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR RECIPES?
My four children. I need to make sure they like what I'm cooking because they eat my food most of the time.
TEN MUST-HAVE LARDER/FRIDGE ITEMS:
Mushrooms, brown rice, kale, nutritional yeast, coconut milk, turmeric, fresh coriander, walnuts, fresh ginger, red pepper. You can make a meal out of these ten things.
YOUR FAIL-SAFE GO-TO JUICE OR SMOOTHIE RECIPE:
Pineapple, lemon, cayenne pepper and ginger.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE LOOKING TO INCORPORATE MORE NUTRIENT-DENSE FOODS INTO THEIR DIET?
Take the time to learn about each food ingredients. There's no need to rush into things ... spend time slowly educating yourself.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU FIRST START PRACTICING YOGA?
I really started when I was pregnant with my first child eighteen years ago. But I started practicing more consistently after my fourth was born nine years ago.
WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE THE PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL BENEFITS OF A REGULAR YOGA PRACTICE?
I'm physically more fit and definitely more limber and open. I'm mentally more prepared to deal with those big and small blips in life as yoga has helped me to become less anxious and more mindful. I'm emotionally more stable and less prone to mood swings.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU PRACTICE AND HOW DO YOU FIT IT INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE?
I'm very lucky because I teach most days of the week which allows me to then stay on after teaching and take the next yoga class after mind. I take about three or four yoga classes each week whether that's vinyasa flow, restorative, kundalini or jivamukti.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING?
Cycling plays a huge part in my life. I almost never drive in London and cycle between twelve and fifteen miles each day.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
That's easy – my family. When it's all said and done, my family makes me smile even when the skies are grey.