The Healthy Post Natal Body Podcast

Let's talk plant-based diet with Julieanna Hever MS RD CPT. aka the plant based dietitian

December 05, 2021 Julieanna Hever
The Healthy Post Natal Body Podcast
Let's talk plant-based diet with Julieanna Hever MS RD CPT. aka the plant based dietitian
Show Notes Transcript

This week I have the pleasure of talking to  Julieanna Hever, MS RD CPT.  aka the plant based dietitian

She's the author of no fewer than 6 (!!) books with number 7 on the way!
She's also the host of the "Choose you now" podcast and it's very safe to say that she really knows what she's talking about.

We talk all things plant-based, starting with what we mean by a "plant-based diet" (because it's not the same as vegan)
What a healthy plate of food actually looks like.
Then we talk the benefits of a plant-based diet and how to transition to a more plant-based diet if you're not currently getting your fruits and veggies.
How easy it actually is to just eat a bit less meat and add more veg to your life whilst keeping it very tasty.
Why the "all or nothing" approach just doesn't work when dealing with a change in diet.
Why cooking your own meals is key when your goal is to be healthy.

And much much more.

You can find Julieanna on social media


No "In the News This week" segment because the news is all wrapped up in Omicron but I did quickly want to talk about one of the most important things a post-partum/diastasis recti personal trainer should ask their clients and which they often don't. "What, exactly, don't you like about your stomach?"

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Playing us out this week; "Imaginary friend" by Dresden, the Flamingo (my favourite classical style composers)

Hey, welcome to the Healthy Post Natal Body with your post-natal expert Peter Lap. That, as always, would be me! This is the podcast for the 5th of December. Remember, remember the 5 December. It’s Sinterklaas day. I think it is in Holland. It might have been the fourth, I think it's the fifth. Anyway, that's enough rambling. You know, the date before music means I have a guest on.

Today I'm talking plant based Diets with Julieanna Hever, MS RD CPT, aka the Plant Based Dietician, which is a cool alias to have right? She's the author of no fewer than six books. Number seven is on the way. She's the host of the “choose you now” podcast, and she really knows what she's talking about. We're talking all things plant based. We're talking so much plant-based stuff, you wouldn't believe it. What a healthy plate food looks like plant based isn't the same as vegan. When she talks about the plant-based diet, she doesn't mean you should go vegan necessarily talk about benefits of plant-based diets and all that sort of stuff. Why cooking your own meals is key when your goal is to be healthy. 

It's a great episode. I'm very grateful that she gave up an hour of her time. It's great fun to listen to. She really knows what she's talking about. So without further ado, here we go.

Peter; So like I said, we'll start with the big question, the most important one; What do you mean by a plant-based diet? 

Jullieanna; Well, yes, that's a good question. And what I mean by it is a diet based on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, mushrooms, nut seeds, herbs and spices in infinite tasty combinations. 

Peter; So is meat or anything a part of that because.. I'm Dutch and the way I was raised was slightly different from the way people in the UK and America seem to have been raised, as in the vast majority of stuff on my plate will always be plant based. As in at least half of it is vegetables, because that's how it should be, and then you have a little bit of potatoes or some sort of carb thing. And then there's a little bit of protein on the side. You're probably talking about a more overall plant-based stuff, right. 

Jullieanna; Well, I think what you said is exactly right. And I think if you look at cultures around the world, traditional diets were mostly or exclusively almost plant-based. And it's only recently that we started incorporating meats as persistently as we do now. And it started here in the United States. We're just like the Masters of just making the diet as bad as possible. And meat became the center of the plate. And obviously this has transcended the US and there's now a global issue

. And now we have global obesity and chronic disease like never before. And it's likely mostly. Well, it's definitely due to diet. Diet is the number one cause of early death and disability. It's the number one thing that we can control in terms of our health. 

And yes, so I don't recommend animal products. I recommend eating plants, but a lot of people aren't ready for that message. So that's why I stay away from the word vegan. In fact, my first book was supposed to be The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Nutrition. That's what I was hired to write, but I petitioned to change the title because a lot of people don't want to hear the word vegan, and I'm not an ethicist. I'm not here to tell you what to do morally or ethically. I'm here to talk about it from a health perspective as a dietitian. And so I just want people to eat more plants. So that's why I think a vegan diet, that name.. that term is an exclusive definition. It means I do not eat animals, but a plant-based diet. Or really, I even love to say it more. A whole-food., plant based diet is an inclusive definition. It means I eat a diet based on these whole plant foods. 

Peter; Yeah, that is pretty much where I always come in as well where I tell people, listen, the whole going meat free for a day is not actually that big a thing if you have a normal diet, right? Everybody likes vegetable chili as much as they like normal chili. That is how simple it is. It is just making sure that indeed, like you said, meat or fish is not the be all and end all on the plate. It's not the first thing that goes on the plate, and the only thing that matters on the plate.


 Well, it has become that. But it shouldn't be that we should go backwards a little bit and be more traditional because there's a lot of health implications directly just to the animal products. But it is literally been the center of the plate. But you're right. Like we've grown up. We've eaten things that are plant based. We just didn't think about it like oatmeal is plantbased or spaghetti, pasta primavera or veggie sushi or bean and rice burrito. There's so many things that chili, like you said, a vegetable soup. We've eaten that stuff. We just never really thought about it as being animal free. Like we've never thought about it. It was just a dish that we included in our repertoire. And so just thinking about centering the plate a little differently back to traditional ways of eating.

 I love looking at all the different cuisines around the world, these curries and all sorts of no matter where you are in the world, the staple diet is primarily predominantly plants. Asia's rice in Peru it’s potatoes. And they're just all these wonderful staple wholesome dishes. And when you go back to those foods and you center your diet back on those foods, then you get all this wonderful health promoting benefits. And like you said, you're right, half your plate should come from fruits and vegetables that's really well established in the database.

Peter;  Yes, we all kind of knew this and accepted this when I was growing up. So admittedly the best part of 40 years ago. But it is only now. I don't remember anyone... You can correct me if I'm wrong, but maybe your experience is different. I don't remember anyone when I was growing up who didn't like vegetables. Because you didn't have a choice, who didn't eat vegetables. It just wasn’t a thing.

Jullieanna; Okay, well, it is here now. But when I was a kid, too, I remember the problem is that if you say “I don't like this” and then your parent goes, “oh, well, I'm worried that you're not going to eat enough, so I'll make you whatever you want”. That's where all the problems begin. And that's become very pervasive. 

And a big problem, because now I have adults that I work with. I work with clients around the world. But these adults that are coming to me saying,” Well, I don't like this vegetable. I don't like this because it's too mushy”. Like adults. They never get out of that. 

Peter; Yeah. I once saw a post on one of the forums that was sent to me that said, how to hide vegetables in your meals. Yes, but this was aimed at adults. This was not aimed at children. We are not five years old anymore. All my listeners know that I feel this way. You're an adult. Grow up a little bit and takes responsibility for your own health. When it comes to this other stuff, grow up a little. 

Jullieanna; , grow up a little, eat your vegetables. 

Peter; Yes, exactly. It's a stupid thing you have to tell people. 

So you say, obviously, there are a lot of health implications. I think in the west, predominantly, the big problem that I find is meat is cheap. Relative to our level of income. I can buy a three pound chicken, as in a chicken for £3, which is about $4 or something like that. So I'm pretty sure that chicken hasn't been that well taken care of throughout its entire life because everybody's still making a profit off that at the end of the day. And therefore, I always think “that chicken cannot make me healthy”. That can't be a healthy chicken. And if we don't treat our food nicely, you are what you eat. As the saying goes.

Jullieanna; you are literally what you eat. But if you take the healthiest chicken, the chicken that was raised in the perfect way and the perfect farm with the perfect feed and a happy life and die quickly and no stress, even that chicken itself. The contents of that chicken itself are not health promoting and have some health damaging implications. And then add in what you're saying, all the antibiotics and the stress and the bad feed and all that other stuff. It just adds to the health detrimental effects of the chicken. But even the healthiest of animals still have things like saturated fat and cholesterol and heme-iron and new five GC and all these compounds that we know absolutely cause inflammation and disease, the disease process from occurring. We've got so much data on all the different mechanisms by which that happens. 

Peter; Yes. Exactly. Okay. So we're cutting right down on meat. 

So that then means that we have to change our eating habits a little bit. And the one thing I come across the most with people, I can change people's exercise habits. I can change people's work habits. I can change people's sleep habits. Changing their dietary habits, to such an extent, is the most difficult thing. So how do you go about what would you recommend to someone who says, “Listen, I hear what you're saying. How can I change it in a way that is manageable for me.”

Jullieanna; It's the question, Peter, that is the question. And that is what my TEDx talk was about. It's about how deeply embedded food is into our world. It represents our culture and our history and our relationships and our pleasure and everything about food. There's so much, deeply, deeply embedded things. It's social, cultural, personal. But it's so embedded in us that it's very hard to separate that from just nourishment. And to look at it as nourishment and as in health. I've been in the health and fitness field for about 25 or plus years, but as a dietitian for 17 years. And it took me many years to finally say, to take a deep breath and say, I cannot change anyone. And I stopped trying to convince anyone of what to do. And it's because the way I say it is, “you could lead a human to healthy, but you can't make them eat”. They have to want it. And I will not try to convince you because I was trying to convince you, no, you have to eat plants and don't eat that! And I was like, Why am I not getting all these great results with my clients? I realized it's because they didn't want it. And the perfect example is like, when you love someone, it's even worse. So, like, my father had a stroke in February, and he almost died. And when he finally came to, and he got stuck in Mexico, he was in Mexico. I got stuck here because I didn’t have my passport, so I couldn't get to him. So when I saw him on FaceTime and he finally came, too. And I said, dad, what's going on? And he's like, Well, I just was eating a little worse when I got down here( because they normally live here). And he goes, I said, Well, I help with people with that. That's what I do for a living. I know, Joel, but you have to want it. And he was like, literally sitting there with his second chance at life, and he's back to eating his other horrible diet. And it's like, no matter what you do, they have to want it. 


Peter; Absolutely. So say, people do want it, and people come to you and say, okay, “I'm ready to make a change. I just don't know how to do it”. Because like you said, it's difficult and all of a sudden it's very easy to be a bad plant based eater. As in an unhealthy plant-based eater, I can basically cut meat out of the pasta right now, even if you're learning to cook or whatever and just make pasta pesto. Right? And that is all you need. And I've seen people do it. I've come across a lot of very unhealthy vegans or vegetarians with remarkably unhealthy diets. They just shop at the “free from” section and they go gluten free to go meat free and dairy free and all that sort of stuff. But they still eat predominantly sugar based stuff and crappy food. So where do you start with someone who comes to you and says,” I want to do it? I'm just not sure how to do it”. What's the first thing you tell them?

Jullieanna;  So there's a lot to unpack with what you just said. First of all, when someone wants to, this is where the fun begins. This is fun. This is an adventure. It's a journey. And I'll tell you how I start that. But I also want to note what you said when I went plant-based 17 years ago, 16, whatever it was, it was like I had to eat healthy. I had to cook. If I wanted a dessert, I had to bake it from scratch and it didn't have all the ingredients. So it had to be more healthy. Whatever I wanted to eat, it was like I'd have to use rice and beans and vegetables and curries. I have to cook now in the last ten years, especially anything you could eat I could eat vegan, and it's become a shockingly different landscape. So now for the first time, I have vegans coming to me with very similar health issues as the meat eaters and the omnivores, because burgers, cheeses, ice cream, candies, cookies, everything is “veganizable”. It's not necessarily good. And then people see it as having this health halo. And then they are basing their diets on that stuff, and it's not healthy. There's very much so similar compounds in there, like the saturated fat, like the sugars like you said, that you would get on an omnivore’s diet. So everyone, no matter what you're excluding or including in your diet, needs to make an effort to make their diet more wholesome. But like everyone agrees; half your plate should be fruits and veggies. And everyone agrees; You don't want to add a lot of refined or added sugars or sweeteners oils, all that stuff, like processed foods. Everyone agrees, no matter what your diet is, from vegan to everything in between to meat eaters. But everyone could eat a healthier diet, and there is no such thing as perfect. So I like people to just say, okay, here's what you do first, remember that we are all creatures of habit. We all circulate between maybe one or two different breakfast, three to four different lunches, maybe five or six different dinners in a week. Really that means all we need is to find a repertoire of about ten recipes that you love. That's it! It's really that simple. So start a fun, delicious adventure of finding your favourite recipes and then find the most wholesome of them all that are made from vegetable fruit, wholegrains, legumes, mushrooms, nuts and spices in infinite tasty combinations. There's no limit to how you can prepare these ingredients and make them delicious. So you have to find foods you love, and then that's it. 

Then you just switch through them and eat whatever you're the mood for. Like, it sounds so silly, but so many nowadays there are hundreds of thousands, if not more, recipes available that are whole food plant based, and you just find the ones that resonate for you and that you love, and then you don't have to make it up. It's already done for you. That's really easier than ever.

Peter; Yeah, absolutely. I've always said this about anyone wanting to change their diet to eat healthier. Lunch and breakfast are easy, because everybody eats the same thing for breakfast most days. Right. So breakfast swapping over breakfast for something else is straightforward because you don't need 20 different recipes to start with. But it's exactly like you said. My wife is vegetarian who's also lactose intolerance. So she's borderline vegan.

And not through any sort of like any sort of ethical issue that has just been vegan for the best part of she's been eating like that for the best part of 40 years or something like that. Now, since she was ten or something like that. But indeed, we always when we used to go out, we've been married like 14-15 years now. So when we used to go out, it was always like, “we can't eat anything here. Oh, they have a nut burger on the menu. I guess we'll eat here” because that was the vegan's life. There was nothing else. It was a mushroom burger or a shitty nut burger

Jullieanna; Or a horrible salad. 

Peter; Yes, exactly. That's all you ended up stuck with. Whereas now she can shop by herself, essentially. And like you said, just buy loads of prepared foods. She can go into any restaurant, any fast-food place. Mcdonald's does vegan stuff as far as I know. So it's very easy to have a lot of processed foods that are vegan. It's like you said..She likes these…, it's a brand in the UK called Wicked, and they do.

Jullieanna; Oh, yes.

Peter; And they do like Jalapeno burgers. And when you look at the labelling of them, it's something that no one should ever eat. I mean, they are just horrible. They also taste horrific, by the way, but she likes them, so I can't really Yuck her Yum, if you know what I mean. But it really is, they are atrociously bad. What I'm surprised by is also how expensive they are, considering what's in them. There's maybe 20 pence or $0.20 worth of ingredients in these things, but they sell for significantly more than real meat does. Because vegan is kind of the new fashionable, so to speak, fancy egan, fancy plant based food, convenience food is the new expensive. So what you're saying is to get back to your point because that's a good start with cooking your own food, right? It has to be.

Jullieanna; It’s always healthier to Cook, always healthier to Cook. You cannot go to restaurants. When I was in Dietetic school, we did rotations in restaurants. And like I was at the Four Seasons and all these really nice restaurants. And nothing is made without decadent amounts of salt and butter and cream and sugar. And because they want to make it taste better, because they're selling food and understandably so. That stuff makes it taste better. It's hyper palatable. It lights up the dopamine receptors in your brain and it tastes delicious. And so you can't even when you go and I go to a restaurant, I'm like, okay, I just want steamed broccoli and a baked potatoe with nothing on it. He will always put butter oil, like, I have to say it like eight different times and they’ll still be like, “No, you won't like it like this. I'll have to add a little bit of oil”. So it's almost impossible. It's almost impossible to get healthy food out. So it's always better to make your staples cooking, like learning how to cook just a few things. I work with bachelors that don't know how to cook alone or people that don't really want to cook. But there's still so now even the convenience foods that you can get to the market. It makes it so easy, like you could buy frozen rice packets that you can microwave and a can of beans, and you could buy bagged salads so you don't have to chop the vegetables and make a meal. And salsa is a dressing like you have a burrito bowl right there. It's so easy to make five minute meals. I love that even though I've now publishing my 7th book and I never was taught how to cook. In fact, that first book I wrote, I had six weeks to write an entire book. I had two little babies and six-week deadline, oh and 50 recipes, and I'm like recipes. I'm a dietitian. I know medicine and health, but recipe development. I didn't even barely know how to cook, let alone recipe. So now I had to embrace it just for my work. And now I love it. It's become like my happy place, I’m relaxed in the kitchen. But I'm all about simplicity. It doesn't have to be fancy or difficult, doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, the healthy foods that I want people to eat are cheaper. We buy tons of rice for a change and dried legumes and potatoes, and the staple foods. Those are very inexpensive. And so vegan as expensive is a myth because of what you're saying. All those “convenience fancy gourmet eating out” types of foods. And it's a trend. And you're better off health wise going back to the staple foods anyway. 

Peter; Yeah, because then we kind of come back to the vegetable chili example, right? It is so incredibly cheap to make a vegetable chili. It is borderline insane. If you're looking to say.. for me, going vegan, I'm not vegan. I basically eat meat regularly, not every day, but regularly enough. But if you're looking to save money, going vegan is one of the easy ways to do it. Because fresh fruit and vegetables are remarkably cheap. I have never come across anyone who seriously means it when they say “eating healthy is more expensive”.

Jullieanna;  Everyone says that everyone says $5 on a cup of coffee at the coffee shop every day and you can eat for less than $5 a day on a plant based side easily. But it is a big myth that people think it's expensive. Or maybe it's an excuse. I don't know, but everyone seems to be concerned that it's going to be more expensive to eliminate animal products. And yes, animal products are subsidized in the United States. I don't know about there, but like you said, you can get it for super cheap. And look at fast food fast food. You can't compete with the dollar menu. You just can't. But look at what you're doing to your body in the long run. That's a real expensive investment that you're making. 

Peter; Absolutely. I always tell people this. Listen, I'm a personal trainer. I charge X amount an hour. Yeah, you can eat like an animal, but I'm not cheap. So at some stage you're going to call me in again and you're going to have to pay me £1000 or $1,500 or whatever. Or you could save yourself all that hassle now and eat a bit better. So by the way, just because you mentioned six weeks to write a recipe book, was that the health span solution? 

Jullieanna; No. This was my very first book, The Complete Idiot Guide to Plant Based Plant Based Nutrition. 

Peter; Oh, yes, because just for anybody listening, it takes me about three days to write a shitty blog post. So six weeks is seriously, seriously impressive. 

Jullieanna; Thank you. Thank you. It was insane. And I had the baby. So I was a full time mum. So I was like, 04:00 a.m. On the computer. And then when the kids were up, I was mom and then back, it was like, so crazy. I'll never forget that ever. I feel like after I did that, I could do anything. So thank you for saying that.

Peter; That is really seriously impressive. So what mistake do you see most people making when they go plan? I'm not sure what stage people tend to come to you, but say, I'm guessing you get a lot of people who have decided to go plant based at one stage and then found it didn't work for them. And for whatever reason. And then they come back to you and they say, “Actually, I need a bit of help”. Here what mistakes do people most often make when they go plant based. 

Jullieanna;  That was my client I just had right now, right before this, I have clients at every stage that are well seasoned, plant based. Just starting “plant-curious”. I like to call it, but I see the pitfalls not only in my clients, but in my audiences I've talked to over the years, and it's very similar to what we've already said. First of all, go gravitating towards these new products. That's the vegans that are coming to me with the same diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure as their Omnivore counterparts. That's the number one thing. So staying away from processed food is my number one piece of advice is just eat as whole as possible as often as possible and make those decadent things save them for a day of deliciousness like that should be a treat. We call things treats and desserts and all that, but they are so frequent that there's no such thing. Because they're not a treat anymore. And that's number one, I would say the other thing is trying to be perfect. I think perfection is always the enemy of good and progress. And so not worrying about perfection and just enjoying. I want you to find food that you love because otherwise. And that's the other thing. It has to be. I eat only carrots and lettuce and brown rice, and I'm bored. Well, yeah, of course you're bored. Let's, come on, broaden the spectrum. It doesn't have to be exotic, but give yourself some variety. The other thing is, I really worry about people that are completely plant based, not taking their B-12. That's an important notable nutrient. Every diet need some nutrition consideration. There's no perfect diet, but particularly to a plant based diet. We can't get B-12 from plants very well if we can get it at all, it's from a processed food, which again, I'm telling people to eliminate. So we do need to be mindful of a few mindful notable nutrients. Those are the biggest pitfalls. I think I see people over complicating things. I think in general, a healthy diet is over complicated and they worry about their macros and stuff like this. They have no business worrying about this. Ridiculous. 

Peter; Yeah, that's again, something I always say macros is such a first world problem that really doesn't matter. There isn't the same person in the world that cares about whether they are 40 30 30 with their carbs protein fat or whether that is 35%, 35, 30 or whatever it is. Only body builders care about that sort of stuff, or only bodybuilders should potentially care about that stuff. Let me put it that way. It is insane for normal non-athletes to care that much about their food, that they start looking at macronutrients. 

Jullieanna; I love that you said that, and I'm going to totally use your line. Two of them now. So far, I love them. The “yuck your yum” and “macros are a first world problem”. My counterpoint to that, which is what makes me worried is that the researchers themselves that are studying diet are so caught up in macro-nutrition, like trying to find the ideal macronutrient. This is what I talk about. Macro confusion. It's caused a worldwide epidemic of mass confusion about food. And that's because I always love to refer to a Journal article in The Lancet in 2018. And the conclusion was that both a low carb diet and a high carb diet increased mortality. What does that mean? And I think the fact that researchers are using macros to determine the efficacy, the safety, the health of a certain way of eating is why everyone else is so confused. And ultimately there is no perfect macro. It's inconclusive because it's so meaningless. And we're chasing this thing that, this ideal that's never going to be found. We need to let go of that and start talking about food. We need to bring the conversation back to food itself. 

Jullieanna; Yes, exactly. When I say macros don’t matter, I would say micronutrients matter. So your vitamins are your minerals. That's what you should be caring about. You should be getting like you said, people who are full vegans need to supplement with a bit of B twelve. I need to make sure they get that from somewhere. I mean, I'm not a big fan of vitamin supplementation, right? If you're an omnivore, as in if you're eating everything or flexitarian or whatever you want to call it pescetarian, whatever your diet is like, if it's not overly restricted, then you should almost be able to get almost everything in good quality from the products you are eating. On the one hand, like you said, the vegan, the only thing you need to supplement is B12. And that's cool. That's fine. People on the other end, on the other end, it's not two sides of the same coin at all, but; the carnivore diet, which you'll have come across and cried into your coffee of course. Because everybody who is saying does that. Unfortunately, Joe Rogan has a bigger podcast than I do, and he talks about it. And therefore I get emails about it, because people go, “should I try the carnivore diet? Because Joe said it felt wonderful after he shat himself in two weeks”. That's genuinely what he said, by the way, because I looked at the clip and basically, I was on the toilet for two weeks, but I feel great now and I supplement with everything. So I'm not saying the Carnivore is the other side of the coin of veganism. Not at all because I think being vegan is significantly healthier than just eating elk. But most people need to worry about whether they're getting all the micronutrients, all the vitamins and the minerals in. So when you're talking about a vegan diet. A lot of people that I come across like a bland diet, as in that is what they used to, because I mainly work with people in the UK, and the dice over here are absolutely horrific. So we're talking about the only seasoning they know is salt. Those are the people I'm talking about. So how do you get people to eat a wider variety of stuff? Because when you're talking curries, they can make a nice dahl. You can make cauliflower curry and all that sort of stuff. It's much easier to get Indian people. To be fair, I've never come across an Indian who I need to teach how to cook or to talk about food. But how do you get people to widen their variety when it comes to food in a way that you can make sure they get all their vitamins and minerals? 

Jullieanna; Well, I think those are two separate things, actually, because it doesn't matter if it's bland. It's not like the seasonings themselves are giving more vitamins. I mean, they have phytonutrients and herbs and spices, but it's not that that's what you need for your basic mechanic. So if someone prefers a bland diet, I would say keep eating a bland diet, but just brought in with what the bland is like. Make sure you're getting; I prioritize foods based on their nutrition, because even though I see my list of things, I want people to eat the whole plant foods. I want people to prioritize these six things.

 I have something called the six daily three that's a mnemonic I use to help people prioritize foods for the nutrition categories. So I want people to eat at least three servings of these six things a day. On average, nothing has to be perfect or exact. And of course, if you're 300 pound athlete versus 80-90 pound little Thai lady, like my friend I saw yesterday. It's a big difference on how much you need to eat,. But within those parameters, focus on these six food groups; leafy green and cruciferous vegetables, because they are so unique nutritionally. They have these phyto-nutrients that are off the charts extraordinary for anti-inflammation, for everything, antimicrobial, immune enhancing everything. 

The other category is the other coloured vegetables. You want to get the reds and oranges and yellows because those have other properties like carotenoids and other things like that. The blues and purples. You want to get all the different. Eat the rainbow every day. 

That's another general guideline that everyone agrees on and the science and everyone agrees with the third one are fruits. The fourth category is legumes so beans, lentils, peas, hummus should be a food group and soy foods. Those are all in that category. You want to have those every day because nutritionally unique as well. Nuts and seeds. One to 2oz of nuts and seeds a day is abundantly shown in the literature to be very health promoting and for cardio, metabolic health and everything. So that's the fifth one. And I recently swapped in movement and exercise with my six daily three. But I swapped it in for mushrooms because I finally was like, okay, yes, fungi are not vegetables. I can't lump them into vegetables, and they're so uniquely nutritious. So trying to get different varieties of mushrooms in your diet is a really healthy thing to do. 

So if you like, think about starting from focusing, like, making those a priority in your diet, and the rest is fluff or whatever else you want to add in to substantiate it, to add more calorie, to add more things for satiety, then it's a great place to start. 

Peter; Yeah, that sounds easy enough to do. So it's interesting because obviously you are a fully qualified person. So I always ask, this, does organic make a difference or not? 

Jullieanna; Great question. And again, I think this comes back to the perfection being the enemy of the good. And yes, organic is better. It's definitely better for the planet, just so much better. Environmentally speaking, which, of course, we all need to be considering as much as we can now, because diet really is the most impactful thing on our environment as well. And so that and you're less pesticides. That's the one we don't need to have more chemicals in our body. We're exposed to so much so many chemicals all the time, everywhere in our water, food supply, our air, everything. But that's another reason. However, and the organic farmers, I always want to support the organic farmers, the local farmers, because it's expensive and they are doing these things in a sustainable way. The problem is that A; organic is more expensive, almost always B; it's not always available, it's not always accessible. And C, what you really look at, is there was a great toxicology study that I used as a reference for the answer to this question that there's so much more benefits to including extra food and serving your fruit and vegetable a day than when compared to organic versus conventionally grown, it doesn't matter because the dosing of however many pesticides you might get in those conventionally grown produce, it doesn't compare. So there's a great study. It was like “20,000 cases of cancer could be avoided by just increasing one serving of fruit and vegetable a day versus potentially ten cases of cancer that you would avoid by having all the pesticide exposure”

Peter; Oh, wow. That's huge. Yeah. 

Jullieanna; Organic is great if you can when you can, but it's not required. It's more important to eat more fruits and vegetables. 

Peter; Right. And that also brings me to the next one I've noticed again from when I were alive when I was younger, that the tomato doesn't taste like tomato anymore, right. Because it doesn't because they're grown differently. So I find if I buy the more expensive tomatoes, they still can't sometimes taste like tomatoes. I'm not sure you're based on the Pacific Coast, right? LA. 

Jullieanna; Yeah. I'm in Los Angeles. 

Peter; So you have loads of access to Sunshine, whereas we don't. Therefore, we have to fly in our tomatoes, or that means they're picked early and they're not as ripe as it should be. So you have access to nice tomatoes is what I'm saying. Whereas over here, if I go to Italy on holiday, I can have nice tomatoes every day. Right. Because that's what they sell. Not just tomatoes, but all fruits and veg simply tastes better when you're in a sunny country. So is there a difference now, as far as you're aware of? Because I hear this a lot, that the food quality, as in the level of nutrients in the food, is just not where it used to be and therefore we need to eat significantly more fruit and veg to get the same benefits from it. 

Jullieanna; I just published this in my podcast this week, and it's a really good question. Yes, I just answered the same question because people ask me this all the time. And yes, it's better to have just to say something about the grown produce. We also have options now, even where you are, there's this great hydroponic systems that you can do at your home if you don't even have access to sunshine throughout the year like we do here. But there's great ways to grow your own, and sometimes that's even better because you can get it freshly picked and you could get the varieties you like and you could have minimal pesticides and all that. So that's one option for people to explore. I think there's a lot of new options now with the hydroponic systems that are out there. But I know it's not better. Our soil is definitely depleted, and we do have a lot of environmental issues. I mean, look at all the toxins in our oceans and our soil, just from our factory farming and all of that, which is another reason to eat more plants. But what are we going to do about it? Like, right. Are we going to export ourselves to Mars? Maybe Elon Musk will figure this out for us, but for now we're stuck here and so we do our best, and so “do we need to eat more?” Well, more food and chronic over consumption is the reason for all the obesity and chronic disease in the world. So don't keep chasing nutrition. This is why I do advocate for taking a multivitamin just to cover your bases. I don't think that's going to extend your lifespan or anything, but it'll cover your bases instead of.. I don't want people to keep chasing food like, more protein, more protein. We can't eat that much. We're just overeating. Most of us are overeating. Three quarters of the US and one third of the world are overweight or obese at this point. And that's just a major problem, much more so than being micronutrient deficient. 

Peter; Absolutely. I always say that again, for people who are looking at protein consumption, I work with some athletes and I get a lot of emails from people who say, “but how do I hit my protein macro” again is usually a word that comes up in that discussion. I say everybody in the west hits their protein macro unless you're genuinely poor. Chances are, most people in the west massively over consume protein compared to what they need to consume to live, or maintain muscle mass or to grow muscle mass. Most people in the west from what I see, consume protein on a bodybuilder level. As in what a body builder needs to get ridiculously big, which is about 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. That's what a body builder needs top of my head. So I'm going to get emails about this from bodybuilders say they are two and a half and three. That's all good. I believe you, but that's roughly what it is. Most people for maintaining muscle mass needs about one or 0.8 grams/kg of body weight of protein, and you can get that…You can have that by breakfast unless you're ridiculously big. I mean, it is really if you have overnight oats with almond milk or something like that, you can easily get your protein in on a plant-based diet. It's kind of what I'm saying. Most people like you said are overweight or obese and predominantly. Well, it's difficult to get obese from eating too many vegetables. Let me put it that way. Right. It's much easier on being protein heavy. So when you're talking about obviously, the podcast you mentioned is the “choose you now” podcast, right. I'll link to that because people need to have that information because you're answering interesting questions or at least questions I find interesting.

Jullieanna;  Yeah me too, Peter.

Peter; It's the sort of thing that I get asked a lot of these questions, but I'm not an expert in the field, and therefore I don't answer them. 

Jullieanna; Can I add on to your protein? Yeah. I think that's great. I would love to add on to what you said about protein. 

Peter; Yeah, of course. 

Jullieanna; To substantiate that even further, you would have to eat like a diet that's just sugar, oil and flour and even flour has protein and really refined and really processed or not eat enough calorie to sustain you anyway to not get the minimum protein requirements, it would be a challenge to not get enough protein. So you're right. 100%. 

Peter; Yeah. Exactly. You can get it. It is so remarkably easy. 

Jullieanna; Lettuce has protein. Yes. 

Peter; It's the documentary. I might hate it the most. And I use the term documentary very, very loosely. There is the Game Changers documentary that was on Netflix and you'll have seen it because everybody's seen it. It's a remarkably popular, sloppy piece of work.

Jullieanna; Haha, how do you really feel about it?

Peter; Everybody listening to me already knows it, but he did raise some valid points. He made ridiculous comparisons between people saying “I have a big T bone steak before the match. Therefore, I feel tired all the time” versus “I eat normal food before a match of plant based with cauliflower. And I now have a lot more energy”. It's not just because you're plant based because you're eating like a Jackass. Everybody who eats steak three times a day is going to be tired all the time because that's what steak does. Everybody has ever been out for a steak dinner knows this.

Jullieanna; So practical.

Peter; Yes, exactly. He did raise a fair point. He said that if you have a peanut butter sandwich, just a whole meal peanut butter sandwich, there is a tremendous amount of protein in there. And that is how easy protein is to hit, it is not rocket science. So just quickly because I know you're on a relatively tight schedule. You said you have six books that you authored already. You're working on number seven. So what's number seven about?

Jullieanna; Seven is coming out December 21. I'm not working on anymore. I'm done I'm just talking about it because I'm so excited. This is the “Choose You Now” diet. It's the book I've wanted to write my whole life, literally. It is so personal for me. And I tell my personal story in it and how I ended up in this field and why I love it so much. It started with just a quick summary of it is when I was eleven years old, I was a ballerina, my mum says I danced before I walked. And I was in ballet school. And I grew up in front of the mirrors during ballet. And when I started going through the changes, that eleven-year-old girl goes through watching in the mirror. And one day my teachers called out in front of all the other students. Julieanna, you need to cut out your snacks. And therein started my domino effect of my entire life trying to figure out how do you stay lean and healthy and what diet is healthiest and best. And also to get over me having body image concerns. I grew up in Los Angeles. I grew up. I was also an actress. And so I was always being told about my body. 

And so this message in this book is that you get to choose you now you get to choose; your weight, your health, your food, your diet. It's all the one thing in this world that we really have full control over. We don't have control over pretty much anything else but our food, what we take into our bodies. And we are quite literally what we eat. So this is a very passionate project of mine. I've always wanted to write this.

I've worked with hundreds of clients, one on one over the 17 years, and I've talked to thousands of thousands of people. I've been on and have had my own TV shows, and I've been guests on TV. So all of the audiences and everyone I've talked to. It evolves into these conversations of how to choose you now and how to make those decisions and be empowered. And this is something that means the world to me. And I'm very, very excited to share it. 

And it's mostly a cookbook. It's got 75 recipes in there, too. 

Peter; But that's awesome because obviously New Year's coming up. I don't know about what it's like in the States, but over here they plug Veganuary. They didn't go vegan for a month. Now, I always say to people, “Listen, you're much better off just having meatless Monday because that's 52 days of the year versus 31 days. You're doing the planet more of a favour than you are trying the difficult thing”. But it's as good a time as any to buy a good vegan recipe book that is produced by someone other than a fitness coach. I have rather strong opinions on that. I have rather strong opinions on many things (Jullieanna; Yes, you do it’s great!) because I'm a middle aged white guy. We have strong opinions on loads of stuff we know nothing about. This is kind of what we do. This puts us at the top, and we hold on for as long as we still can. But there are a lot of, let's say, middle age white guys writing books. Fitness coaches, writing cookbooks every year. I always say you probably shouldn't buy because I always say you buy the books that an expert writes. You don't buy the I mean, why am I giving? If people want postnatal health advice, they come to me. Simple as that. I did a wonderful interview with someone last week who is an expert running coach. So if you want running advice, you don't come to me, you go to her. And if you want to buy a quality vegan recipe book, cookbook or whatever you want to call it, you're much better off spending your money on yours than you are on anything random “body coach guy” puts out simply because he's just writing another book without really knowing what he's talking about. So I take it when you put the 75 recipes together, did you spend time saying “if you eat roughly like this, you'll be fine. You'll be healthier than you would be if you didn't follow these recipes?”

Jullieanna; Yes, definitely. My message is never “you have to do it just like this”. In fact, I refuse to do that. People try to pay me to write the meal plans. No, it's like the whole like either I can give you a fish or I could teach you how to fish. And in this book, I teach them how to fish. But this is kind of oriented around weight-loss because I've done so that's where I've kind of ended up doing a lot of weightloss journeys because my work with my clients is about transforming the relationship with food and transforming the relationship with their bodies because of what I said, my story. And I've walked so many people through it, and I get really vested in my clients going through this process. So you don't have to have the perfect diet. If you eat more plants and here's some delicious ways to eat some plants, you will be healthier for it. It doesn't have to be perfect. I'm all about just do what works for you that's going to be sustainable so that you can optimize your health in a way that is long term.

Peter; Yeah. And that, I think, is the message really of any sort of the health at every size movement is very popular at the moment. It's a big trend. The fat acceptance and all that sort of stuff. Health at every size, I think, is more interesting simply from a… not the way it's necessarily gone, but more of if an overweight person walks into the doctor into the doctor's office, the first thing should probably not be it's because you're a little bit overweight. The first thing should always be let's run some tests see what’s going on. I think the movement has really gone in the direction of “there is no science behind that being obese is bad for you. 

Jullieanna; And that's so false. And I think it's so dangerous. And I can't tell you how many of my dietitian counterparts are touting that. And shaming anyone like, shaming me for talking about weight loss. And absolutely, the research is clear that excessive weight and obesity is directly linked to pretty much every chronic health condition. So I think it's a dangerous message. And I think it's especially dangerous for physicians and dietitians to be so afraid to bring up a topic that is impacting their patient’s health that I think it's actually harming the world. This whole movement, I think it's absolutely dangerous and false.

Peter; I think so. Like I said, I think being a little bit overweight is fine. When you're obese, there's a health. There's a health risk attached to that is what I always say.

Jullieanna Yeah. And the other part of that is forget the guilt and shame about it if we just think of it as data, objective data, the number on the scale. And I always tell my clients that you are not that number on the scale. I will love you at whatever weight you are. You are so lovable for who you are. It's not about a number on the scale, but there are objective parameters for a reason.

 But again, I would never tell someone what weight they have to be or that they're going to be. But it is an objectionable fact. Like there are facts around this that's scientifically substantiated.

Peter; and this is part of eating healthy, right? You eat healthy for your weight, and that means that if you're obese, you need to eat a bit less, you need to move a bit more. And when you're on the weight, you need to eat a bit more and all that sort of stuff. I think… there was a point I was going to make…I do this sometimes the reason, like you said, some of the healthcare professionals, I'm not sure that they're scared to say it. I know that for some of them and I know one or two personally; health care professionals that went to medical school, so that should know better. That spout this stuff. I know there's more money in it for them when they say that, “don't worry about it. Eat all the cupcakes you want, because your body will tell you when you've had enough” that sort of thing because there's more money in that. Then there isn't just being a run of the mill sort of sort of person.


Sorry. I find that as soon as people start eating healthy, as soon as people start being aware of what they're eating, as soon as people change their habits, so start becoming plant based or eat a bit healthier, the obesity problem that they have, the weight issue that they have almost fixes itself. As in if you start eating healthy, that means you will start losing weight for a lot of people. 

Jullieanna ; True. And just real quick back on the healthcare professionals. My ex husband is a doctor, so we were married, and while we were going through, he was going through medical school I sat in on his nutrition classes. And it's so bleak what they teach doctors about nutrition. It's basically like Goiter= Iodine deficiency, Ricketts= Vitamin D deficiency. Okay, let's get back to anatomy, physiology, medicine, drugs and surgery. And yet I went around with my new we were together 27 years. Everyone would ask. And I've studied seven years nutrition. Right. And I've had TV shows and written seven books and everyone would ask him the nutrition question and he would look at them and go, “Why are you asking me that?” Everyone does. My dad when he had a stroke in Mexico, the doctor said to him, don't worry about the diet, just don't have coffee and alcohol. Your diet doesn't matter. Are you kidding me? So a lot of healthcare professionals don't even know.

Peter; I did a whole episode of my podcast and I got a lot of emails. For some reason. I have some GPs listening to this thing, and quite a few health care professionals listen to this thing. I did a whole episode on why your GP is the last person to ask about post natal health. They just don't know. And it's the same with diet. I mean, I love them. I love training GPs. I think they’re wonderful people they know more about more stuff than I'll know. They're incredibly intelligent people, but they're not specialists in their field. They're Jack of all trades and I go to my GP if I'm not feeling well and I go in and Google tells me I'm having a heart attack and my GP says “no, Pete, you have indigestion”. I trust my GP over Google. 

But that's not the person I go to if I want dietary advice. I listened to a dietitian such as yourself. So we got a little bit sorry, got a little bit side-tracked. And it's something I always like to get people's opinion on because I like to reiterate to my listeners that “set weight theory” and “obesity not having any health implications”. That is nonsense. I think it's important every now and again at the podcast, throw that out a little grenade out and I'll get emails from people who disagree with me. But I've had people on that have described food addiction and all that sort of stuff. Did a wonderful podcast with someone who described food addiction for an hour and a half. And the health at every size movement is not helping with that. And it's important every now and again to say, yeah, being a couple of pounds overweight is not a biggie. We're not telling everybody,” Oi fatty. Fatty, put down the donut.” That is not acceptable either. But that doesn't mean that there are no health implications. Like you said, objective health implications to being obese. So your book is coming out the 28 December, right? 

Jullieanna 21st right before Christmas.

Peter Is it available when some people can pre order it now for Christmas? Yes, it's available for preorder. Is it going to be hard copy? Are you shipping them out? Are you shipping them worldwide? This is coming out on Amazon.

Jullieanna; It's coming out on Amazon. Everywhere you buy books and it's hard copy and Kindle and everywhere that books are sold. 

Peter; Also, people can get the ebook in definitely before Christmas. In the States, you can probably definitely get the hard back in time. As always, you can probably get it to the UK. It will be a tight fit before Christmas. You probably get it by January 1, which is just one order. 

Jullieanna; If you preorder, I think that it should arrive on the date like usually.

Peter; Well, that's cool, isn't it? 

Jullieanna; Yes, it is here. I don't know exactly if it works in the UK like that, but Amazon, if you pre order, it gets there the day of pub, which is kind of cool. Awesome. I pre ordered my own coffee just to test that out. I'm always the first customer of my own books to support myself. 

Peter; Sign it for yourself as well. So get that in. Get that in right before Christmas, right before Veganuary starts. As I said on one of my last podcasts, the reason your changes and sticking is because you're not planning it properly. So get the book in. Pick out ten, is what we said, of the 75 recipes and just go; “These are the ones that I'm going to crack over the Christmas holidays” so that by the time January starts, you can really make a proper go of it. Yes. On that happy note, was there anything else you'd like to touch on?

Jullieanna; I feel like I could talk to you all day. This is so much fun.

Peter; I'm happy that you guys are always welcome to come back. I will press stop record here.



Post-interview; Which is exactly what I did. Thanks again to Juliana for coming on. It's much appreciated, as I say, every time I have someone of expert calibre coming on for them to come on and donate an hour of their time is much appreciated, especially to my dinky little show, right? Obviously, I will link to everything you can find Jullieanna on all social media. She's very active as well, which is awesome. Her podcast I will link to as well. It's called the “Choose You Now” podcast, and I will also link to the new book. Because as she said, that's on pre-sale now and that means you'll have it before Christmas, which means you can pick your recipes over the Christmas period and plan your Veganuary, or your slightly more plant based diet in January, out. I think it's an excellent idea. If you're going to buy one cookbook and I know a lot of you buying diet books and all that sort of stuff. Don't buy the diet books anymore. Don't buy the “how to lose weight”-books. Buy a nice cookbook that is full of healthy recipes and as soon as you go plant based, you're likely to also drop calories a bit when you start cooking your own food and always cook your own food and all that sort of stuff. Sure, you can go over the top and add loads of coconut oil and coconut cream to everything. Most people don't. You will automatically lose weight if you're looking to lose weight. If you're looking to diet in the new year, there's nothing wrong with that, right? It's completely your choice. Don't let anybody else tell you different, that it's wrong to diet and all this sort of stuff. If you want to go on a diet, just learn how to cook properly and that is a much healthier way to do it.

Anyways. No in the news this week, but I did quickly want to talk about something that I experienced this week. It's a question most post-partum PTs don't really ask their clients and most of the clients to bring something like this up. I had a couple of meetings with potential new clients this week and they both said something along the line of “I hate the way my stomach looks”, something along those lines. 

“I don't like the way my stomach looks”. Now most PTs kind of ignore the obvious how obvious that question is because almost everybody postpartum mentions this. The tendency is to skate over that, but it's quite an important statement and it's quite important that the PT follows it up with “Well, what exactly do you like about your stomach?”

So I got two different answers. One of them said, “I don't like how round it is. I don't like how my muscles don't work” and all that sort of stuff. She actually said something along the lines of “I don't like how round it is and how flabby it feels”, right? And then we went a bit deeper. “OK by flabby do you mean the fat?” Client; “No, it just all feels mmmeeehhgg” what you're saying. 

The second one, you said, “I don't like how fat it feels, how the weight sits there”. And they don't like the pouch. And they are two completely different things to deal with. The first one is the client that I am working with, the client I decided to work with, because that is caused by muscular problems and diastasis recti. 

The second one is not caused by anything other than she's not happy with the C-section pouch. And like I explained to her that; first of all, the lady was really recently post-partum and we're talking about four weeks. I said,” Listen, it'll come it'll settle down”. 

You can do some scar tissue massage. And then when you stop breastfeeding the baby, the prolactin and all that sort of stuff, the breastfeeding hormone, will be less prevalent in your body and you will start to lose a bit of weight with some..a nice bit of diet and all that sort of stuff. What she didn't need help with was diastasis recti or muscle related stuff, right? And therefore we didn't decide not to work together because I said, “Well, I can do XYZ for you. I can make your muscles feel stronger. I can make your belly a bit flatter and all that sort of stuff.” But that's not what she was looking to come to me for. 

Whereas the first lady was like, “Yeah, that's what I need. I want my stomach to be flatter. I want my diastasis recti to be fixed. I want everything working the way it should. I want to feel strong and confident again and be able to go about my business, go back to the gym and do whatever the hell I want to do again”. So that I can help with! 

The second one; A personal trainer won't be able to help you with. And the reason that this is important is because I always have my clients feel in a goals form. If I can't help you achieve your goal, then there is no point in working with me. And for that, what we need is clarity of your goal. It's very important that your personal trainer understands exactly what you are trying to achieve ..right? Think of it as weight loss wise. I have one weight loss client left. He's a big guy. He came to me when he was like, 380lbs. So we're talking really big guy. His goal was very clear.

 40lbs by Christmas. He wanted to lose 40lbs by Christmas. So that is what we're working towards, right. And of course, he hit the 40lbs a month early. So then we're changing the goal again. But you have to be clear. If he came to me for just to improve cardiovascular fitness and didn't care about weight loss and all this other stuff. It would be a completely different exercise and diet regime.

If I don't know what your goal is, I can't help you get there. That's what I'm saying. And in some cases, a personal trainer might not be the best person to speak to. If you're not happy with your C-section pouch, then there isn't a single PT in the world that can help with that. What you need is a bit of time and some C-section scar tissue massage and all that sort of stuff which you can do yourself. But there's no point paying someone a lot of money to help you with that. 

Anyways, I just thought I'll bring that up. Like I said, there's no in the news this week. It's all Omicron and all that sort of stuff. So there's no point if you like this Jullieanna interview, by the way, obviously, I've done interviews with dietitians before. A couple of weeks ago, Libby (Mills) came on and that was phenomenal interview. And we spoke about many, many things. It was a big postpartum diet Q and A so definitely check that one out. Next week. We're talking microbiome with Doctor Yug Varma, and I have a treat coming up in the next few weeks as well, with Dr. Glenn Livingston coming onto the podcast, and we're talking weight loss, and he has his rather controversial approach that I absolutely think is hilarious. So that'll be good. Herte’s a new bit of music by my friends from Dressden the Flamingo I've used before. I love these guys. Just funky, weird classical stuff, right? That’s me be done. I'm just going to wrap it up because I'm waffling now. If you have any questions, any comments, if you'd like to be a guest, all that sort of stuff, just give me a shout, right? That's what I'm there for. Bye now.