Having just entered into a brand new decade (Happy New Year 2020!) many people have thought about making changes and improving their diets. Now Juliette Bryant is a woman with a passion rooted in health and nutrition. She’s built an impressive career which allows her to define herself as an author, nutritional consultant, presenter and superfood chef. Although there are many reasons why Juliette began her plant-based journey – it all blends perfectly together with her love for her family. She possesses an abundant enthusiasm for guiding people to a more sustainable lifestyle in a holistic way – and it’s not all about only what you eat, but also, how you live.
Juliette runs a worldwide practice – giving talks, running workshops and retreats. We had the recent pleasure of interviewing her to find out more about her work and knowledge as well as what a committed plant-based lifestyle ‘looks’ like. Read on as we get to the ‘roots of the fruits’ of her wisdom on nutrition, life balance and much more in our exclusive, Plant Power: Interview with Juliette Bryant!
Hello Juliette, it’s great to connect with you and we hope you’re keeping well? Welcome to Keep Fit Kingdom and thanks so much for taking some time out to share with us.
I’m well thanks, and you’re welcome!
Have you taken a look at our site – what do you think of the name Keep Fit Kingdom (KFK) for short?
It all looks really good and Keep Fit Kingdom is a great name.
Our mission is to help a billion people reach 100 years of age happily and healthily, your impressions?
I love your mission it’s brilliant!
Thank you! Well, let’s start off with some basics.
So, Juliette, please tell us a bit about your background and journey into plant-based nutrition. What motivated you to change your lifestyle, how did it all start for you?
My journey in health and wellbeing began when I was 8 years-old and my mother got MS. She transformed our diets overnight to cut out refined processed foods and to eat a mainly vegetarian diet, although we did have oily fish sometimes as the essential fats were meant to be very protective of the myelin sheath (the primary thing that gets affected by MS).
Through my mother’s illness I learnt a lot of the benefits of a good diet. As a teenager I felt the need to rebel against it all and ate a lot of rubbish when I was out, but the key was that my mother had educated me on why we were eating the way we were and this later served me well.
When I became pregnant with my first child, I knew that I wanted to bring him up as a vegetarian and at the time people were telling me that he would be brain damaged. I knew this wasn’t the case but didn’t have the science to explain why and this is when I started my journey into nutrition. So my main motivation on my journey has been to support my children to optimum health and wellbeing through the food we eat and our lifestyle choices.
Insightful. So for how long have you been eating a plant-based diet?
I have been plant-based for 4 years now and previously to that I was a veggie for a few years and a pescatarian for many years before that.
I see. What would you list as the top 3 changes you’ve experienced since going exclusively plant-based?
1. A deep connection to the planet we live on and the creatures on it.
2. More energy and better health and wellbeing
3. A clearer mind (and skin!)
You’re an author, nutritional consultant, Superfood chef and presenter on a mission to help people thrive by showing them how to make delicious and healthy food: how did Juliette’s Kitchen get started?
My career as Juliette’s Kitchen began when I was 9 months pregnant with my second child and I filmed a video on how to make elderberry syrup, an amazing immune boosting tonic.
I had been living and working in the field of nutrition but realised that people didn’t know how to make simple things that would really empower their health. So my mission became to empower people with simple tools to make delicious food their medicine.
Agreeable mission! What’s the most challenging and the most rewarding part of your work?
The most challenging part of my work is when you can see how to help someone out of their current situation but they aren’t ready to go there. Also, just the time to help all the people I want to and still have a balanced home and personal life.
The most rewarding thing has been seeing the amazing shifts people can make when they implement changes.
Based on the number of people you’ve met and talked to at your workshops and retreats around the world and others over the years, what would be your top 3 tips to live happily and healthily to a 100-year goal?
1. Drink plenty of clean living water with raw grey sea salt to enliven it.
2. Find your joy and focus on it as much as you can as this will help you live a life aligned to your inner wisdom. The more joy we realise, the less stress takes hold and stress has so many negative impacts on the body.
3. Look after your gut by eating a rainbow colour range of plant-based food and fermented foods every day.
It’s equally as important to be mindful of what you eat as it is to be mindful while eating: what are your best tips to find this mindful space when eating, as well as in body and mind?
This is such an important subject. One of the simplest things is before we are eating to sit and take a moment to focus on gratitude for the food that you have. Through gratitude we can shift out of a negative space, through gratitude we can reconnect into the present moment which is the most powerful tool of transformation.
Gratitude – it’s otherwise so easy to take things for granted. What’s the main focus of your particular work right now, what are you aiming to accomplish?
My main focus of my work at the moment is my mentorship program where I am guiding people over three months on a journey to connect them into their inner wisdom. What I teach is so much more than just about food, it’s about the energetics of life and how food fits into that to support it. In my mentorship group I have seen some deep healing and shifts in people’s perceptions.
I love giving talks and running workshops where I see the lightbulb moments of people realising that health and wellbeing doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes it’s just the small shifts that make all the difference and that when walking a journey of 100 steps it starts with just one…not all 100 at the same time. So I aim to show people how they can make that first step no matter where they are on the journey.
Juliette Bryant on Healing Plants
Baby steps can turn into leaps. Please tell us what Juliette Bryant’s favourite, top 5 healing plants are, and why?
1. Nettle – a powerhouse of nutrients and energy. This plant is such an amazing medicine that is so resilient.
2. Reishi Mushroom – this adaptogen supports the body’s ability to deal with stress, it is an immune modulator and is high in beta-glucans which have been shown to fight cancer cells.
3. Cannabis – this plant contains over 120 cannabinoids which work to support the health and wellbeing of so many aspects of the body. The cannabinoid receptors in the body work with pain, inflammation and anxiety.
4. Elder – this tree is incredible – the leaves help with muscle pain, the flowers have a natural antihistamine quality and the berries are highly antiviral.
5. Mugwort – is a wonderful woman’s plant that used to be called the ‘witches plant’ as it was believed it could help you to fly in your dreams. I find it very soothing and supportive of women’s health and wellbeing.
Fascinating. Which are the 3 most powerful healing plants that you know of that can really make a tremendous difference to a person’s health – perhaps even heal certain diseases, symptoms or conditions?
It has to be Reishi and Chaga mushrooms as these seem to be of benefit to so many different conditions. Cannabis – we are slowly learning more and more about this incredible plant and its healing properties.
I see. Are there special healing plants grown in specific regions of the world that we need to be aware of and to try?
There are so many like the ones mentioned above; medicinal mushrooms like chaga (this only grows in colder areas) or maca which is a hormonal support and grows in extreme conditions like the Andes and helps us adapt to extremes. Where and how a plant grows is a great indicator of how it can help us.
Indeed. What are your thoughts on Ayurveda and Chinese herbs and plants as medicine?
I love them both. I don’t think there is one right or wrong way to do things and as we are all individuals we all need slightly different things to help us get to the same point. So the key is finding out what resonates with you and helps you connect into that deeper part of yourself that can help you to come back into balance.
We’ll be delving into these areas as well. So, how about thought as the new lifestyle medicine, your views?
I totally agree with this and this is at the core of the work I do with people, although I would probably say connection to oneself.
Diet & Lifestyle
Thanks for sharing that. What is your favourite well-balanced go-to home-made dish and recipe?
Oh, there are a few. I love a good vegan Shepherd’s pie using Puy lentils and mixed mash, and I love a good vegan curry.
Sounds homely. What are your preferred go-to foods today (perhaps smoothies or juices) that help keep you at your energetic best?
Smoothies are my go-to energising foods. There are so many amazing superfoods that you can add into them to give you a boost and they offer a great burst of nutrients. A raw cacao smoothie is my favourite followed by my delicious tropical smoothie. On the juicing front, I love most of them but my fave is kale, apple, nettle, lemon and ginger. Also my ‘longevity hot drink mix’ is a great go-to boost as it’s designed to support the adrenals and give you a lift without any caffeine.
Wonderfuel! What would you say are your Top 3 “Yes foods” and Top 3 “No foods”?
“Yes foods” are raw cacao, Reishi mushroom, and CBD, for me.
“No foods” are refined sugar, artificial sweetener and gluten.
Tips & advice
What’s your best energy management tip?
Drink plenty of water with raw grey sea salt and know when to stop and look after yourself, we can’t be on the go all the time. It has to be the in breath and the out breath.
Getting in sync with one’s natural rhythm. What are your views on human potential briefly?
It is unlimited…
Fun/Leisure / Reflections
A few quick-fire questions now if we may. What’s one geeky thing about you that people don’t really know?
I have a very loud laugh!
(Laughs) What are some of your hobbies?
I love dancing, singing and drawing.
Oh so many bands – I love my husband’s music, The Perpetual Choirs, I love Afro Celt Sound System, really anything with a good beat to it.
“Brigadoon” a great old film, “The Hobbit”, and “Star Wars” (I have three boys and 4 brothers, so my taste of films is influenced by them).
Top 3 favourite books that have inspired you the most so far whether in the areas of medical, health, self-development or spirituality?
“Anatomy of the Spirit” by Caroline Myss, “The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho”, and “Superfoods” by David Wolfe
What’s your proudest accomplishment so far and what dreams do you still wish to achieve?
My proudest accomplishments are probably my three children and the fact that I am able to help people for a living. I would love to do more travelling with my family and my work. To study more with medicine people of ancient tribes and connect more to the incredible plant medicine that is all around us.
What are you most grateful for?
My breath, my family and my connection to the earth.
What’s one life quote or motivational saying that inspires and motivates you to be and do your best?
“The past has brought us to this point in time. Trust in life, trust that the way will be clear.” -Steven Ash
Finally, what special message would Juliette Bryant like to share with Keep Fit Kingdom readers and those that know and follow your work right now?
It all starts with a small step. Never feel overwhelmed but keep putting one foot forward. Breathe and trust in yourself and your inner wisdom for you are a divine being.
Thank you, Juliette, for your kind participation in this interview, we so much appreciate you taking time out to share your valuable experience. We wish you all the very best of success, health and growth in 2020!