writer, advocate, holistic health coach

Vegan Sage Series: Julieanna Hever, The Plant-Based Dietitian

Vegan Sage Series: Julieanna Hever, The Plant-Based Dietitian

In the Vegan Sage Series, seasoned vegans share what being vegan means to them and offer advice for nascent vegans. Our guest today is Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., C.P.T. She is a Registered Dietitian who has been in private practice in Los Angeles since 2005, specializing in weight management, disease prevention and management, and sports nutrition. Julieanna authored The Permanente Journal’s Summer 2016 article, A Physician’s Guide to Plant-Based Diets. She is the host of the wellness talk show series What Would Julieanna Do? on Z Living Network, has given a TEDx talk, author of The Vegiterranean Diet and the best-selling book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, and the nutrition columnist for VegNews Magazine. She is the co-author of the cookbook, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, and a recipe contributor to both New York Time Best-Selling Forks Over Knives books. Julieanna counsels a variety of clients throughout the world from her Los Angeles, California-based private practice including elite athletes, adults, and children with various nutritional and/or medical concerns. Julieanna was recently featured on The Dr. Oz Show, The Steve Harvey Show, Reluctantly Healthy, The Marie Osmond Show, The Jane Velez-Mitchell Show, and E! News, co-stars on The Chef and The Dietitian, on numerous radio shows, and lectures extensively throughout the United States. To learn more, visit Julieanna at her website: www.PlantBasedDietitian.com.

What does being vegan mean to you?

Veganism is the ultimate symbiotic trifecta…a daily choice that we have to directly benefit animals, the planet, and our health. Being vegan represents the deep sympathy I have for animals that suffer horrifically for mere hedonistic desires and the empathy I have for humans that suffer (in perhaps worse ways) for consuming them. Being vegan is the most perfect way of eating that we know of for optimal human health, reduction of chronic disease, and promotion of longevity. Eating a whole food, plant-based diet offers the easiest adequacy of nutrition, ideal spectrum of  health advantages, and vast culinary diversity. After personally transitioning to this way of eating over a decade ago and helping hundreds of people do so ever since then, I have witnessed dramatic improvements in health conditions, from the alleviation of minor persistent symptoms (such as chronic pain, acne, and gastrointestinal issues) all the way to significant reduction of medication use and improvement in more severe health conditions (such as heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes). It is quite literally the most powerful tool in the healthcare armamentarium that we have. 

What advice would you give a new vegan?

Delving into veganism is exciting, passionate, and commendable. It may feel lonely at times, so the most important element to focus on is finding your peeps, those likeminded individuals with whom you can share recipes, tips, and support. Whether you have local opportunities for socialization with people or you need to hone in on social media and seek out groups, prioritizing socializing is crucial. 
Additionally, have fun and make it a positive, exciting journey. Explore new ingredients, recipes, and restaurants with curiosity and delight. Changing your perspective of meat-in-the-center-of-the-plate opens up an entirely new, delicious world of opportunity. Thankfully, there are now thousands of creative vegan cookbooks and bloggers around now, so there is no limit to the options available and accessible. 
Finally, embrace the information. Continue feeding your inquisitive mind with books, documentaries, and conferences. Learn about the health benefits of veganism, the nutrition behind optimizing your diet, as well as the other global and compassionate advantages of omitting animals. This flood of facts will validate your decision and continue inspiring you as you continue on your voyage.
Thank you, Julieanna, for your time, expertise, and passion! For more information on Julieanna and her amazing work, visit Julieanna at her website: www.PlantBasedDietitian.com