Moving from Surviving to Thriving – A conversation with Julie Wren

Published by Access 2 Perspectives on

Wellness consultant Julie Wren talks with Jo about maintaining physical and mental wellbeing despite the impact a high-octane life can have on health and longevity. She is an expert in nutrition, mental wellness, self-care, and draws conclusions from the gut-brain axis to building wellness into your daily routine. We discuss the term ‘infobesity’ aka information overload and what effects that can have on our wellbeing. Julie also shares tips around building healthy routines through moving, nourishing and resourcing with the 20 minutes rule.

Explore all our podcast episodes at /conversations/.

Personal profiles

Linkedin: Julie Sara Wren | LinkedIn
Facebook: Julie Sara Wren | Facebook

I work with busy women and men who want to move away from being wired and tired all the time towards regaining their passion and excitement for life, having loads more energy to enjoy it and getting back their inner and outer glow.

I am at my happiest when I see people enjoying great health, brimming with energy and getting the most out of their lives.

This really fuels my passion in coaching people to achieve this using the power of food and lifestyle.

I’ve worked for more than 30 years in high powered environments and witnessed first-hand the health struggles women and men have when living a high-octane life; plummeting energy levels, lots of stress, burnouts, hormone storms, weight creeping in around the middle, and accelerated skin aging!

I am a registered nutritional therapist with a diploma from one of the UK’s top international naturopathy schools.  I am also a qualified holistic therapist specializing in massage and reiki.

I am a lifelong learner and make it a point to continually keep up with the new science and thinking surrounding diet and lifestyle.  I love to read and my biggest delight are those real-life stories of people struggling and overcoming their health challenges and crises; this is the reason why I do what I do and what I want for my clients.  My company Olea Absolute Nutrition and Wellness is therefore the result of my passion for the power that a personalized food and lifestyle strategy can have on influencing our health and wellbeing and I want to share this with your audience.

Julie Wren

Which researcher – dead or alive – do you find inspiring? Too many to choose from! Ben Brown, Dr Tom O’Bryan, Dr Claudia Aguirre, Filipo Ongaro, Dr Andrew Weil, Dr Dale Bredesen

What is your favorite animal and why? Elephants, they are smart, slow, powerful, and soulful

Name your (current) favorite song and interpret/group/musician/artist. George Ezra’s, “I can be anyone”, so uplifting and you can really sing along – singing is a great way to lift your mood

What is your favorite dish/meal? Curry, there are so many ways to enjoy it.

Related resources

World Wellness Weekend: 16-17-18 September 2022


Jo: Welcome back to Access 2 Perspectives Conversation. My name is Jo Havemann, and with me here today is Julie Wren. Welcome, Julie. 

Julie: Thank you, Jo. Lucky to be here. 

Jo: It’s great having you.

So, Julie, you work as a consultant, nutritional therapist, and world wellness weekend ambassador. All of the three, we will go into a little bit more detail while you’re here. I’m happy to know you through a networking business network. And I think that your services and your expertise can be of very much of high value, also for academics and PhD students in particular, but also more senior level researchers, as there’s often quite a high pressure point or several pressure points that researchers experience. And your professional expertise lies in mental well being or overall, also including physical well being. And the question is, how can high achievers or people who dedicate their life to work, like many researchers, also do, maintain wellbeing and wellness and take care of themselves to be able to perform to their highest possible potential, which oftentimes also lies within their purpose and without exhausting ourselves, really. So that’s basically what our discussion today rotates around. 

Julie: Thank you, Jo. 

Jo: Would you probably start by sharing a little bit about your professional route so far? What made you look into nutritional therapy and how do you combine that now with wellbeing and wellness overall in a professional context? Like, what has been your journey so far? 

Julie: Okay. Well, I think my journey with nutrition first started back when my mother became diagnosed with a cancer that took her very quickly. And I became very frustrated that there was no nutritional advice given to her. And she was sort of slipping away from us because she could hardly eat. And even though we knew that it wasn’t going to extend her life, I always thought that she could have had a better quality end of life. And that really got me thinking about health and wellness. And then not long after that, actually due to her passing, I really threw myself 100% into my work. I was working at that time on projects funded by the European Commission. And I think I was just running away from having to face up to the loss of my mom. And I literally drove myself into the ground. I mean, to one point where I was in a meeting with some ministers and I passed out onto the table and I really hadn’t realized how hard I had been pushing myself and driving myself to work. I think it was across three different countries, across the Baltic States. We had loads of projects going on at the time. And it was kind of like a wake up call that said, you know what? You get to choose what kind of life you have. And it was at that point that I made the mental decision to start to turn my life around, but it didn’t happen immediately. There was no actual, let’s say, oh, tomorrow I’m going to quit my job. It took a long time because obviously these are habits. The way we live and the way that we approach our work and we see our life’s purpose, as it were, is something that drives us. And when you start to make changes, it’s not an easy change process. So I think but with that taking my own personal journey, it took me a number of years to really arrive at the point where I stepped into that new career as a nutritional therapist. So I started before that sort of engineering changes by first going into more wellness techniques and massage and then little by little, again understanding more and more how nutrition affects us. So I think in answer to your question about how busy professionals make changes, I think the first thing that we have to do is realize that there is something that’s not right that we’re doing for us. And that’s probably the biggest challenge because it implies change and everybody has a slight aversion to change. So being honest with yourself and saying the way I am living is not helpful, or there is one thing that I’m doing that is driving my feelings of ill health, and it’s acknowledging that for yourself and identifying it. And then I think after that it’s about saying, what am I ready to change? What kind of help do I need to make that change? Because as I said, it’s never a straight line and it can seem incredibly overwhelming to turn your life around or upside down. As some people think about it, is when we have to make changes that affect our are going to be affecting our house more positively.

Jo:  I also realized that I was not eating healthy and then changing habits is always like a big thing to overcome a lot of work.

Julie: It’s about recognizing as well what we are putting into our bodies. Is it helpful? Because at the end of the day we sometimes are on autopilot and we grab the first thing to hand and sometimes it’s not always the most helpful thing. And then we get into that habit and then we start to get a little bit, let’s say, like the sugar addiction or the addiction to fat and to salt. These do have an effect on the way that our bodies function. And there is that kind of hit that sweet spot, as we call it, where it’s about satisfaction and reward. So I think we also need to look at our relationship. I would advise people to always look at their relationship, first of all, to food and nutrition and to see whether that in itself is helpful.

Jo: As you learned about nutritional therapy, is time also one of the major reasons for unhealthy food? Because I experienced in my PhD program there was never enough time. People are often expected or put pressure on themselves to work extra hours everyday, like hardly ever taking holidays. And that leads to a state where you forget about food or you don’t think you have enough time to eat healthy, to think about what to prepare, and to get all the important ingredients into your system. What are the major components or factors that lead to unhappy eating in a high performing work environment?

Julie: I think you hit the nail on the head. It’s that perception of time, because again, don’t forget, time is a construct. So we know for ourselves that some days we feel like I said to you before we got on here, my goodness, it feels like May is here and April just evaporated, whereas sometimes time can seem very long and drawn out. So it is a mind construct. But again, we get to choose how we organize our time. And I’m always looking with my clients to find how we build, let’s say small gains, small wins in their daily agenda? What is the one big thing that we could change? And then we focus on that in terms of time. So, for example, we all know that starting the day right with a good breakfast or having food at the right time is important to keep the brain functioning because the brain is a very hungry, hungry organ. I mean, it’s 3% of our body weight, but needs a quarter of the energy. So if you think about the kind of jobs and mental agility that perhaps some of your researchers are using and demanding it, they’re going to be needing a lot of energy for that brain. And it’s about choosing the right kind of energy so that you maintain your energy level. So I would be looking with somebody and say, what can we leverage the most? What are you not doing? And for example, recently I worked with a lady and it was all about breakfast. It was about her not eating breakfast. She wasn’t hungry when she woke up. So we started to explore what that looked like. If she could eat breakfast, what would we have to do in terms of gaining some time, whether that’s preparing something the night before. So it’s literally in the fridge ready to be eaten when you wake up and what kind of things to eat to get the best kind of energy that she would need to get through her day. So I think it’s a very much a personalized approach, but there is always a moment in the day when we can make a little bit of time that will actually save us time going forward. 

Jo: Yeah, basically, at the moment, it’s also about time management and planning ahead. I also experienced when I had low levels of iron in my blood or other nutritional factors missing or at the brink of low level. Due to unbalanced consumption or because I was working or exercising too much and not looking up to my nutrition, I could feel almost anxiety or I was uneasy. So maybe some of the listeners can also relate to the fact that it’s important to have a healthy system and to feed our body in a way that we get all the nutrients to stay active and functional as physical beings and also for the brain work that we do as researchers. 

Julie: Absolutely. And I think this as well. It’s about self respect and realizing that self care is really important because if you’re working on something really major and you’re about to have a major breakthrough, you having a breakdown at that particular point is not going to be great for the project. So you realize that it’s a benefit. This is not a time investment or time loss or just something else. I have to tick off my to-do list by eating a healthy breakfast. I think it’s about looking at the relationship and saying, I give that as an example, how this is an integral part of your success story in terms of getting your research to where you want it to get it to. And I think this applies across the board. Everybody will be able to understand this no matter what industry you’re in, is that you are a key component of that success story, and therefore you need to be really firing on all four cylinders to make that happen. And if you’re not, then that’s taking responsibility for that. If things are not happening the way you want them to, it’s about taking a step back, actually, and saying, what could I be doing differently? That’s going to get me a different result, because if we keep on getting the same results, there must be something in this particular scenario that’s not working. If we’re still waking up and we’re having zero energy, we’re not managing to get through the day without ten cups of coffee or that glass or whatever. At the end of the day, something needs to shift. And if we just make one, if we can identify that one shift that could make the difference, then the second one becomes easier and so on and so on like that. So I think that’s the most important thing. I think in our hearts we know what we need to do. Just implementing it becomes such a difficulty. And that’s where obviously working together with somebody from the wellness industry really helps you get perspective on that and guides you. It’s not about forcing you. It’s not about how you’re going to make me give up this or do that. This is about I would say it’s like being a Detective, a Sherlock Holmes. It’s about working out. What is that one thing again, like in an experiment? I guess you’re looking for that one thing that is going to make the difference, and you’re tweaking around and you’re playing around with different elements or chemical formulas, and suddenly you find that you have that Eureka moment and you find what you’re looking for. I always say that it’s personalized. Nutrition is personalized. It’s not a one size fits all. 

Jo: It’s also a level of accountability. So you don’t have to struggle through the change yourself, but you have somebody to guide you through and to also try and experiment different options. But well informed to make decisions.

Julie: Not everybody gets a kick out of kale. We need to find the right vegetable, the one that’s going to make you sing and dance, or the right combination. Like with children. How do you hide the vegetables? We need to find a way to make people fall in love with things that are going to get them that sharp brain function, strengthen their body and keep their blood sugar nicely balanced. So they are very even and not so getting, as we say, hungry and angry.

Jo: Yes. Like the way we just said earlier, it’s a level of self respect to eat well and to make time for eating and good eating and getting rid of bad eating habits, like too much alcohol, to get rid of the stress that accumulates over the day and week. Or frustrations that we find from repetitive experiments that never get the results or bring about the results we were hoping for. Being a researcher can be painfully frustrating, which then often leads to bad eating habits or consumption habits. But there’s also a level of accountability to the research team and the project at large. And first and foremost, intervention self respect. We shouldn’t punish ourselves and our body for stresses incurred unto us, or that we also put on our own shoulders instead. So, yeah, this is also what I try to achieve with access 2 perspective as a community, to create an environment where researchers can look after themselves, find a balance between work and life. And for me, that’s one thing, because we’re still the same person in both chapters. But of course, there’s a level of separation between the two. Maybe we can also talk a little bit about that and then all of that in order to perform well. And as researchers, there are two major groups that seem to exist, like those who enjoy research for curiosity’s sake, like to explore, to learn more, to understand and be in all nature or whatever they’re studying. And then there are those who are purpose driven, who want to make a positive impact from whatever subject and discipline into the world and the purpose driven ones might experience. I don’t know if they experience even more pressure. I think the pressure is actually in the system. There’s a lot of debate about academia desperately needing some revolutionary overhaul in terms of how success is being measured for research and how then the research findings are being further disseminated. Let’s talk a little bit about work-life balance. So in your view, can these two be separated? Like, for example, we have a mother who’s a researcher. The child is going through some things. Of course, it would affect her work. And how is it impossible to maintain well being mentally and physically, to be a good mother and to perform at work? Is there something like tips that you would give to anyone with responsibilities at home? For me, oftentimes when my dog is sick, I would still worry and have a hard time focusing on work. Is there a way that children can help us to balance and also to ease our brains to perform both? 

Julie: Yes, nutrition and brain health is something that I’m very passionate about. If you’re not getting the right nutrition, then obviously we can be putting ourselves perhaps in a position where we might be more anxious. I did some research when I was studying the link between depression and how we could address that with food. So I think from a perspective of how do you manage your home life? Well, let’s start off with some of the basic tasks. Obviously, you want your children to be, to be fit and healthy and to be happy. And what does that look like in terms of, are you putting food on the table that is for them also? Nourishing. And it’s going to keep them in a non hyper state. So making food choices, I understand that sometimes it’s easier just to go for the stuff that’s already pre packaged and prepared. But it’s perhaps saying, well, maybe within that I could make some choices of more healthier options where there’s less sugar, less fat, less salt or something you can do as a fun as a family is say, okay, well, let’s just pick one day a week and together we batch cook. It’s a great time to be social together. It does require a little bit of planning upfront, but once you get into the habit of it, again, it’s one of those things that ultimately saves you time so you can actually plan your meals ahead of time. I would also say looking at some of the tasks around the home, is this the time when you could be looking at getting somebody in? Because again, that person coming in, you could be offering them a job, somebody who may love to do the cleaning or love to do a bit of cooking for you or love to pick up the kids. These are jobs that some people actually want to do. So by being able to offer somebody employment, that is also a great social contribution as well. It’s not to be seen as something that is, oh, look at her. She can afford to have somebody come in. It’s more about I need to be working at a certain level, therefore, I need help. And that help comes in the form of somebody to do my laundry or somebody to farm my ironing out because it means I’ve got more quality time with my kids. So it’s about where I can leverage the time I have the funds, I have to get the best possible, the best possible combination that suits my family life. But I think, again, it comes to the fact that everybody in the family has to be part of that story as well. So it shouldn’t necessarily fall to that one person, that one parent or two parents, even the children themselves, have a certain responsibility within that family unit, as far as I’m concerned, doing their chores, like in the old fashioned way we used to do chores, but hopefully that answers some questions there. But for me, it’s about carving out important moments.

Jo: I think so, too, in the sense that work and life balance with each other and are also integrated. 

Julie: So, Joe, it’s the same way. Again, it’s about where my boundaries are. It’s about setting personal boundaries. And I think it’s about your research teams, it’s also about setting respectful boundaries for everybody in that team. So if I was going to put together a team. Setting up the team, you obviously have some operating practices and there’s a working methodology, but why not include in that methodology or that way that you set up some ethics, some ethics about personal boundaries, about respecting each other’s time and do that as a group so that you all have like a manifesto, if you like a well being manifesto built into your research program so that we’re looking out for signs and signals of colleagues who are struggling. And what would we do in that case? How would we be able to respond to that as a team? How does that sound?

Jo: Like music to my ears. Because there is an uptake of ethics or values driven research when it comes to why do we do the work that we do? And then also it’s important, like you said, for everybody in a team or in the family to understand what is each of our motivation to this project? Why are we here? What can we get out of it for each of us? What does everybody bring to the project? What is everyone’s responsibility? And yeah, what gets us out of that? And it’s going to be different things for each team member. 

Julie: One of your team members has less time than another one. Maybe they’re not perhaps family people, but they’re singles again, buddying up, buddying up to help each other out. Maybe one of the team members loves to Cook and you could get together and say, well, who’s going to bring in and share the responsibility, maybe of making sure that there’s always a healthy lunch option available to the team. Is that by somebody researching a local company who can deliver, or is the campus, got a restaurant nearby that is serving much more healthier options. And that’s where you’ll go. That’s what you favor as your place to go. And I think another thing is respecting the lunch break. You have a right to step away from your desk or your experiments or whatever. And I’d say this is the one thing that I am not negotiating on. Even if it is just ten minutes, I prefer 20 minutes. Excuse me, but step away, give yourself a brain break. This is the kindest thing you can do and take that time to mindfully eat. 

Jo: Yeah. And I remember my PhD supervisor,he also had a credit culture for us. We’re quite a small research team. And he said let’s all go to lunch together. It wasn’t obligatory, but we were invited to join them for lunch and then not talk about work during lunch. Like deliberately. We could have team meetings for that, obviously, but then also to be able to bond, get to know each other a little better, like to have together time of the work topics and of the stress that comes with it, and then maybe sometimes also have dedicated work lunches. But that’s only upon mutual agreement. If someone is scared or if there is pressure.

Julie:  I think it has to be a cultural thing. I think it comes as well, perhaps within the research space. Somebody said it needs to be the first. It’s always like pioneering, isn’t it? Somebody needs to be the first one to go out there and say, you know what, we are going to do it differently. It’s going to be probably a little bit painful to start with because we are going to be going against a way of working that we’ve always done for so many years. But it takes that one, let’s say research group, to be the ones to pioneer a new way of thinking and a new way of working that puts the human back at the center. You were doing something for the greater good in terms of your research, but it still requires a humanistic approach. Everybody in that team is a human being and has rights and needs.

Jo: When I was in Sweden, I did my undergraduate studies in Sweden, and the Swedish people as a population have this afternoon break or coffee break. It’s Holy for them, like non negotiable. 03:00 p.m till like 05:00pm.

Similar to what other people normally have for lunch. Just to summarize, could you summarize for us, what does holistic well being in a professional context look like in real life? I think we talked for much of that. So taking into consideration physical exercise, eating well, balancing work life in a way that both can be organized and planned in a way that also enable for social engagement, getting knowledge other not only as beliefs but as human beings and with our strengths and without going into too much personal detail, but knowing enough of each other to be respectful understanding of time constraints when the child is ill or those children have other obligations. And this is also sometimes what single people in our professional contact experience, they don’t have kids that they’re always expected to chip in where many of them look after their parents or other hobbies that are highly demanding and all of that can be worries to each other to understand what each of us is dealing with besides work and then finding out an approach. 

Julie: Some people don’t connect with the word holistic. Then there’s another great word that I like to use which is called integrated, integrated well being. So when you’re looking at it from a whole body perspective or a whole person perspective, let’s put it more like that, a whole person’s perspective. You have your pillars of wellbeing. And my three pillars that I work according to are move, nourish and resource. And when we think about ‘nourish’, ‘nourish’ is not necessarily just the food we eat, but it’s also do we take nourishment from our surroundings? Are we being nourished by our activities, like you say, our social activities, because social well being is such an important part as well of a balanced life. So where are we taking our nourishment from and what does that look like and is it healthy nourishment?. And I will talk about infobesity after this. But again, what are we consuming in terms of not just food but also other activities? And is that giving us the best possible nourishment? And when I talk about ‘resource’, again, I’m looking at from a different perspective not just necessarily what resources do we have at our disposal but also what ‘resources’ us, what gives us that moment of uplifting or oh, I feel so great, I feel like I’m reborn almost. What kind of activities could we be doing? It’s not just necessarily mindfulness or meditation or yoga. It could be something else like looking at a beautiful artwork or a walk in nature. But what is giving us that sensation of being resourced and then ‘move’ and ‘move’ for me is not just about physical movement, it’s also about am I so fixed in my thinking that I can’t shift the way that I’m thinking? How can I make a change? Because if we move our ideas, we start to unblock things, great things could be happening. And the same way with moving in terms of furniture, I mean, am I sitting in the best location or where do I do my thinking? Where do I get my greatest ideas? Is there a place can I move myself to a place which is going to give me greater inspiration? So those are my three pillars that are part of the Olea structure: move, nourish and resource. And I work with people within that to find a way to build that into their lives. And that then brings me to my 20:20:20. You have three things there. So if you could say how do I allocate 20 minutes to ‘resource’, 20 minutes to nourish and 20 minutes to move. We all are entitled to a 60 minutes break at lunchtime. You could get your 20 minutes, your 20:20:20 in that space or otherwise break it up over the day and say, right, I’m going to take a ten minute resource break, and I’m going to go and sit outside and look at the trees and allow myself just to be in the moment. So if we can kind of adapt that 2020, whether it’s 20 minutes or it’s just even 20 seconds sometimes just to take some breathing, but try to break it up over those three pillars of wellbeing.

Jo: Yeah, that’s a very easy formula to keep in mind and live by. Thanks for sharing that with us. And maybe everyone listening to us now trying to do the same can map that out for the day and the week and figure out what we can do. This can also change, right? Throughout the week.

Julie: Sorry, Jo. Sorry. Could you say that again?

Jo: I’m just thinking for myself, it would be walking the dogs and then having one day in a week where I do a little bit of a longer walk to make it a conscious and conscious activity and then drawing that consciously also as we’re undergoing. 

Julie: Yeah. And again, if people are really stuck to time, maybe you start off with for me, what’s going to bring me the biggest return on my time investment. Maybe it’s that resource that’s stepping away and so stepping away, doing something, listening to some music, meditation, whatever, maybe that’s the one thing that you get focused on. And you make that your change habit for the month. And yes, it will take longer than a month to actually make a lasting habit, but you start to get into a routine and then before you know it, it becomes a nonnegotiable. That’s what we’re looking for, that the activities become a non negotiable. Sorry, I have to go and do that now because you see the benefits of it. The key thing is when we start to recognize what we changed and what it brought us in terms of benefits, then you’re less likely to want to let anybody take that away from you. 

Jo: Yeah. It’s probably also like I think all of us can relate to the feeling of I have to work harder in order to finally accomplish whatever I’m trying to do here. And then I don’t know if that ever played out, but all of us keep pushing that thought. Also like the impression I learned recently, I thought we’re blue in the face. Like literally. 

Julie: Yeah. I prefer the, ‘let’s not work harder, let’s work smarter’. 

Jo: Yeah, exactly. To turn around to realize and to know and then also to practice that we need recreational time. We are biological systems, we need to recharge and we do that through eating, through resting. We allow our muscles to grow. They need time to grow after exercise. And the same with the brain, like, for us to comprehend, for us to understand, to be able to grow new accents and neuronal connections. Like we need rest, not only during the night. And then there’s also the Pomodoro technique that you also sometimes talk about in your consultations that we have a work sprint for like 20 to 30 minutes and then give ourselves a break when it comes. 

Julie: There are lots of different methods that we could be adopting and Pomodoro is one of them. There’s the agile working technique as well, where you create these sprints and then that sprint is maybe going to last a couple of weeks. Then you put together your team for that and how you’re going to be working together, but certainly on a daily basis, I think that we have a maximum amount of time and we know that personally that we can focus on something before we get distracted. And it’s leveraging that time to get the most out of it. So for some people it might be that I need an hour, but then I need to walk away for 20 minutes. Other people, I need the 20 minutes and then I need to get up after five and stretch my legs and come back again. Very personal, but they do work. I do believe that slugging it out. Sitting and pushing yourself beyond that limit is one unhelpful and two doesn’t yield the results of the work that you want. 

Jo: No, absolutely. 

Julie: Because we have this thing called info obesity, which is actually a term that’s been around since the 1970s. But it’s about the fact that in our world today we are consuming enormous amounts of information from different sources. And that’s why it’s called obesity, because we kind of might become a bit addicted to it as well. But we have this fear of missing out. So we want to take this, we want to look at that. And from morning tonight, we are suddenly getting ourselves so into the information that there comes a point where we’re not actually absorbing it, we’re consuming it, but we’re not actually being able to, let’s say, consolidate it and do anything with it to the point where the brain starts to actually say, oh my, okay, not going to cope with that. That’s not even going to hit my radar. And then we start to suffer with memory problems. We have fatigue and it can lead to more serious problems because we are constantly switching ourselves on and being stimulated. And sometimes the information we’re consuming is not stressful. We’re putting our body into a stress response. 

Jo:I feel it also makes it more difficult to come up with our own opinions because we’re only consuming and there’s no time to actually process the information, put an opinion upon it or out of it. And then when we have conversations with other people, it’s either heavily opinionated, not leaving for any way to negotiate or finding compromises or you can still continue talking without getting too upset or angry with each other or we struggle to even have an opinion on certain facts. And of course, that should also come in amongst researchers. I think we often feel that we cannot have a clear opinion because we know of all the question marks still remaining in the picture. So it’s difficult to say, like with Corona, oh, we do this and then everything will be fine. Like, no, we don’t know just yet and maybe we’ll never know because the virus is already ahead of us. But still, when it comes to information, I think as humans or any species on this planet really need some level of information and not too much, not too little, in order to build opinions and make decisions, to be able to survive and to be able to be healthier. 

Julie: And again, it’s like where am I getting my information from? Am I going to the fast food tent to get it or am I going to the healthy shop to get it? Where are we consuming it? What are we consuming and is it qualitative? There’s so much noise out there that I think some of the really good stuff is getting lost. 

Jo: It’s funny. Like there’s so many similarities between food and news for information generally. It’s just that food tends to be over processed when it becomes unhealthy. And for information it is under- processed. 

First, information can also be a good thing. 

Julie: We come back to that time and time scenario again, is that the information that we get given we’re not being given the time to actually digest it. And I come back to another food analogy here. So we could be eating, consuming all this information, but we’re not given the time to read it properly. We’re not given the time to understand it and to process it. So you can really draw a conclusion there that stuffing your face with food and your body really doesn’t have a time to catch up and digest things properly because we’re not chewing things properly and that leads to problems in the stomach. I can see so many similarities here. So I don’t think there’s any wonder that they called it info obesity. 

Jo: Yeah. It’s a pointed term which I haven’t heard before and makes a lot of sense once I know it or now that I know it. So we introduced you as a worldwellness weekend ambassador in the introduction to this podcast episode. What is the worldwellness weekend and what are you doing as an ambassador and what are the activities that are being pulled up? 

Julie: Yeah, but it’s one of the biggest international events that’s going to unite many countries throughout the globe on the weekend of 16, 17 and 18 September. It’s always around the same time every year around the Equinox, which is a very important time for again, showing the life work balance. And what the objective is, is to try to unite people together who are actually in the wellness branch or who have something that they want to share with the world that will help people be well because we are aligned with the United Nations sustainable development goal number three, wellness for all. So it’s about people opening their doors on that weekend and giving a 60 minutes fun free activity to help people discover all the different methods and things we can learn about being well. It can be social well being, it could be physical well being, mental well being. We can touch so many different areas. And in fact, World Wellness Weekend actually has its own five pillars of wellness. And this year we really want to highlight the importance of pillar number five, which is all about purpose and solidarity. So bringing people together, sharing, creating communities of wellness throughout the world. And why not in a workplace environment? Get your team together and devise for your team a well activity that you can promote on that weekend and get everybody to join in. It could be something like going out and doing a walk together and at the same time picking up rubbish or doing a river clean up or a beach cleanup, planting trees. All of these things are very much part of what we promote at world wellness weekend because it’s not just about wellness for human beings. It’s also about wellness for the planet as well.

Jo: And all the critters and species that surround and share this benefit. Now, it sounds like really I was going to say holistic, but integrated for both the work that you do. And I’m personally grateful. And I’m sure many of the listeners can also appreciate what you share with us today. I just want to point out your website, What does Olea stand for? Julie: Well, Olea is actually the Latin name for the olive tree. And I chose that because the olive tree has come with so many different sorts of meanings and symbols as well. From a nutritionist perspective, great antioxidant, great profile for the oil. But also we used the olive branch as a symbol of peace. The trees can live for many hundreds of years. I just think for me, it just sums up very much what I want to promote in terms of resilience. Again, peace, harmony. And I love the Mediterranean. And according to my genetic profiling that I did to find out which diet suits me better, the Mediterranean diet is the one for me. So I don’t think it was any coincidence that I chose Olea.

Jo: It’s always yummy, like I like  everything about olive oil, and chili peppers. Okay. Thank you so much, Julie, for joining us today. I would like to share about the world wellness weekend. I will make sure that we announce appropriately and properly and loudly in the A2P, access 2 perspectives, community for our members and followers. I hope to have you back here at some point. Maybe if any of you listeners are interested in getting in touch with Julie or you can hire her for services. You can find the website and her communication channels like your LinkedIn Julie in the show notes in the blog post to this episode and welcome back and happy mental and physical well being, everyone. Thank you. 

Julie: Thank you Jo for having me. It’s been great to be able to share my passion with your listeners and I really hope that you have some takeaways from this so it would be my pleasure to come back again. 

Jo:. Warmly invited.

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