Julieanna Hever: Plant-based Dietitian and Author

Awesome Vegans Influencer Series

Julieanna Hever, Author (The Healthspan Solution: How and What To Eat To Add Life To Your Years, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plantbased Nutrition) and Plant-based Dietitian shares how we reverse disease, gain energy and get started on a plant-based diet… plus her top five foods everyone should eat.

0:00 Dr. Julieanna Hever is a plant-based dietician and the author of six books. She works with people all around the world who are trying to transition to a plant-based diet for multiple reasons. “Mostly it’s about eating healthier and finding optimal nutrition.” Julieanna says the most common misconception about the plant-based diet is that you do it for specific reasons, such as simply losing weight, when in reality switching to a plant-based diet can help people in so many different ways.

Julieanna argues that no diet is perfect and that every diet has certain things to be aware of so taking vitamin supplements is not a bad thing. She writes a lot about notable nutrients that everyone needs which are B-12, vitamin D, vitamin K2, iodine, zinc and the long chain 3 omega fatty acids. An easy way to make sure you get all of the notable nutrients is to take a multivitamin every day.

8:20 Dr, Julieanna Hever has worked with so many people struggling with their health. She has helped people with kidney disease, liver disease and the two most common are type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These are reversible on a plant-based diet and Julieanna is helping people realize that.

There was no such thing as a plant-based dietician when Julieanna was studying to become a dietician. She became aware of the plant-based diet when she was a teenager and as time went on she learned more about it. After graduate school she switched her diet to plant-based and it transformed her health. She was so excited about it that she began to tell her clients about it and soon became a dietician specializing in a plant-based diet. Julieanna has been a dietician for sixteen years and over time she has seen it become more popular especially since the pandemic.

16:05 Dr. Julieanna Hever has spent a lot of time traveling the world and throughout her travels she noticed so many different countries and communities having plant-based options and becoming more interested in the diet. Julieanna would take clients on culinary tours around the world where they would learn more about food and nutrition. In Thailand ,people were learning how to cook plant-based in a culinary school.

28:00 One of Dr. Julieanna Hever’s books called The Vegiterranian Diet is about the misconceptions surrounding the Mediterranean diet. Take away the fish and oils and at the core of the Mediterranean diet is a whole foods plant-based diet. Julieanna teaches her clients about the six daily threes. These are at least three servings a day of leafy greens, other colored vegetables, lentils, nuts, seeds, and fruits. Those foods are the most important foods people should have in their diet. Julieanna believes it’s better to focus on whole foods rather than processed meat and dairy alternatives.

Below is a highlight clip from the interview highlighting Julieanna’s tips for trying a plant-based diet.  And if you are thinking of starting a plant-based diet, visit visit https://ElysabethAlfano.com/Recipes for recipes and a FREE 5-day starter kit.

Elysabeth: Obviously, you have so many individual clients but for those who maybe are still considering a plant-based diet and still aren’t sure if it’s for them, I wonder if you could give us your top five tips for starting a plant-based diet.

Julieanna Hever: Sure. Well, first of all, I think people have to want it.  I try to not convince anyone anymore [even though] it is the best way to eat in terms of what I’ve seen and the literature.

But if you are interested, it is a fabulous, fun, and positive journey and that’s my first tip, to keep it really positive and exciting instead of thinking, “Oh, I can’t eat these seven animal product groups.”  You can eat thousands of delicious versions and variations of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices in infinite tasty combinations.”

And to explore and think positive about what you’re going to add to your diet. What are all the different things you’ve never tried before? Have you ever tried Ruby Quinoa? Have you ever tried Jackfruit? There are so many different things that people have never even explored. It’s like this whole new world opens up. So that’s tip number one: have fun with it and explore.

The second thing I would say is to explore a wide variety. Anything you could eat, [you can] eat vegan. So, figure out something that you love and then veganize it. ‘Plant-based-ize’ it!

Now we have the Google machine, so you can go in there and type in whatever you love to eat. If it’s a Bolognese or whatever you love to eat, you can make it plant-based. So, it’s never been an easier time because there’s so much information and infinite recipes at your fingertips.  So find stuff you love and enjoy it. Make it really positive.

The third thing I would say is to find like-minded people that are on the same page or that have been doing it for years or decades because they will have lots of tips for you and there’s great social media groups out there. There are people everywhere now that they are wanting to talk about it and like you said, shout from the rooftops. So, connect with like-minded people just to have some of that support.

The fourth tip for going plant-based would be to make sure you are mindful of your notable nutrients. So if you go to my website plantbaseddietician.com and all over my social media, I’m @plantdietician or @plantbaseddietician or Julieanna Hever on social media, and I have videos on notable nutrients and six daily threes. And I have, like I said, six books out there that are just filled with all this information. Just to educate yourself, empower yourself, and find out what you need to be mindful of so that you can do this in a real strategic way. No diet is perfect, and every diet requires being attentive to it.

My fifth tip would be to find foods that you love. It has to be foods that you love to eat.

Elysabeth: I’ll hop in there and say what I find is really helpful for people particularly in the beginning when they’re thinking, “How’s this going to go? How’s this going to shake out?” Go ahead and plan your week ahead of time. So, if you have some time on a Sunday and you can cook for the rest of the week, make that quinoa and sauteed vegetables with beans and avocados. The avocados you would put on at the last minute but everything else you can have ready so that you don’t have to stand in front of the refrigerator door saying “I’m not sure I can do it. I’m not sure what to do.”

I have a free 5-Day Starter Series and loads of easy recipes at ElysabethAlfano.com/Recipes.  So, you’ll know what to do because it’s already planned out. You’ve already made it. So, I would just spend some time at least in the beginning when you’re still figuring out with go-to recipes. You know you are starting a new habit so give yourself a little bit of prep time in advance.

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