One Day At A Time With Julia Hanlon - Raw Food Magazine One Day At A Time With Julia Hanlon - Raw Food Magazine

One Day At A Time With Julia Hanlon


Julia Hanlon – Photo by Ian MacLellan

Runner, yoga teacher and host of the popular mind-body podcast Running On Om, Julia Hanlon discusses her forays into raw food, yoga, endurance running and learning what it means to live a whole, healthy, happy life.

Julia Hanlon is a bright light bringing real conversations on holistic health to the world through her weekly podcast, yoga classes and a sold-out running and writing retreat she is co-leading this fall.

Both earthy and uplifting, Julia shares her lessons learned with us.

Listen in below and enjoy some golden nuggets including:

  • Growing up with Celiac Disease and what food helped
  • What Julia’s very first big run felt like and why she did it
  • The daily non-negotiables to keep healthy, fit and happy
  • The realization about food Julia had while living in Ethiopia
  • How becoming a teacher has affected Julia’s relationship with yoga
  • Julia’s take on “balance” and what a fulfilling life looks like


Audio Play Time: 39 Minutes

Resources Mentioned In This Interview

Running On OM Podcast
NuttZo 7 seed nut butter
GU Energy Summit Tea


To read, please enjoy the complete interview transcript below.

Hello, my name is Sara Grove with Raw Food Magazine, and I am here today with the beautiful and wonderful and talented Julia Hanlon, runner, yogi and host of the super popular podcast, Running on Om. So I’m excited to get to chat with her today. Welcome, Julia.

Julia Hanlon: Thank you so much, Sara for all your kind words. Happy to be here!

Sara Grove: Welcome! I’m excited to get to chat with you. And so, first of all, I want to say congratulations. Your podcast, Running on Om, has recently done your 200th episode, and now you’re over that, so congratulations!

Julia: Thank you so much. It’s pretty cool!

Sara: Yeah, before we jump into everything else, can you tell us a little bit about your podcast and how it got started?

Julia: For sure! So, my podcast is called Running on Om. I started it 2 ½ years ago because I believe that by telling our stories with one another, we can inspire each other, heal each other, transform each other and podcast and that medium really touched my life 2 ½ years ago.

I was living on Oahu, Hawaii. I was a student there in college for a semester, living alone in this cabin at the back of the valley. I had a lot of time alone. That’s when I started to listen to podcasts. And I found that the podcasting medium was such an intimate way to get to learn because you’re just hearing it from someone’s mouth unfiltered, unedited, just totally honest and real.

So, I felt really called to start my own podcast, and the podcast, Running on Om, is really just conversations with people whose work has a mind-to-body connection.

I’ve interviewed a lot of yogis, a lot of runners, endurance athletes, but I’ve also interviewed chefs and foodies and actors and musicians. So, there’s really no one type of person that listens to my podcast or one type of person that’s on my podcast. It’s been a huge array.

And at this point, I only do actually in-person interviews to maintain a really high audio quality and connection between interviewer and interviewee. So, that’s definitely something that sets my podcast apart from some on iTunes. All of them, I’m with the person there in their life.

Sara: That is so neat and wonderful! I didn’t realize that, that you’ve been able to have some pretty interesting conversations and met a whole colorful spectrum of people.

Julia: Yeah, it’s been amazing. Definitely, doing in-person interviews is sometimes a challenge with traveling and locating people and letting them agree to meet you in-person. But it’s been also such a cool adventure.

Sara: Yeah, I really love that. And I second everything that you say. There’s something different about hearing the story in someone’s words with their own voice behind it. That is just pretty special.

So, I’m glad that you’re here to talk to us today. And so the Running on Om, the premise and the title of it even, that’s combining two passions, two pillars in your life which would be running and yoga.

Can you talk to me a little bit about what these give to you? And have running and yoga always been a part of your life?

Photo Credit - Ian MacLellan

Photo Credit – Ian MacLellan

Julia: Yes! So, I’ll start with your second question first. Yoga has been a part of my life for the past 10 years. I started practicing yoga as a freshman in high school. I was battling depression and anxiety at the time. My mom was the one who suggested I go to yoga class.

So, from there, I started practicing on and off at the beginning of high school, not super regular. And by the end of high school, yoga was like a 6- or 7-day part of my life every day.  I show up to my mat, and then, eventually, in college, I went through with getting in a 500-hour certification.

So, yoga definitely feels like something that I’ve grown with and grown up with really into adulthood.

As far as running, it’s definitely something that’s newer to me. I’ve been running for the past three years pretty consistently. And I found it around the same time I found podcasts actually, through a podcast. Listening to endurance athletes and their stories just inspired me so much to want to try moving my body in a different way and try to interact with the landscape in a different way. And so that was when I started running.

And then, Running on Om to me, om, the sound, is from Sanskrit. And it’s this sound that’s considered the sound behind all sounds, so this universal vibration that’s in you, that’s in me, that’s in raw food, that’s in everywhere. And so “running on om” to me means living with the spirit of oneness, the spirit of connectedness in whatever you do.

Whether you’re an artist, you can be running on om. Whether you’re actually running, you can actually run on om. In our conversation, just being totally plugged in and present to each other.

Sara: Beautiful! It’s like listening to poetry. I really love that. Yeah, thank you.

So, I love that you mentioned that you’ve only been running for three years and how important movement is. Things like that can be intimidating to pick up. When you hear there are so many phenomenal stories and inspiring endurance athletes, and when you’re a beginner, it can seem a little daunting.

Do you remember what your first big run was like?

Julia: Yeah! Well, my first run, it was in junior year of college. And I just remember, I usually would go on a walk a couple of days a week after school just before I do my studies and the afternoon before I teach yoga class. And one day, I had finally got up the guts to just decide that I was going to run the walking route.

Then, I always walked. It was through this cemetery, and so no one was around. It was by this beautiful river in Maine where my college is.

I just ran it, and I remember it being really hard. And I think it was a 3-mile run. I got back totally out of breath, but I just started crying. I called my mom who’s like one of my best friends. I just called her and I was like, “Wow! Why haven’t I done that sooner?”

It’s like your body and our bodies are capable of so much, and moving them at different paces can shake the energy inside of you in a way that it hadn’t been really.

And so, as far as going on runs, if someone is totally new to running, I think embarking on a 3-mile run is actually a—I didn’t even realize, that’s a long run if you’re not running and you’re not in cardiovascular shape. And that’s what can totally be intimidating about the idea of running. To run continuously, whether that’s for 20, 30, 40 minutes to get three miles in is a lot if you don’t have that base.

And so, I encourage people who are beginner runners to actually do more of a walk-run approach. Maybe run a minute, walk a minute, run a minute, walk a minute. Just start out with something that’s attainable and achievable for you so you could actually feel successful at it, and so that you don’t get discouraged, you can enjoy it and you can build momentum so that you want to try it again.

Sara: Yeah, exactly. When you enjoy it enough, you set yourself up for success. If you enjoy it, you create that positive reinforcement and you want to go for it again.

Julia: Totally!


Photo Credit – Ian MacLellan

Sara: So, while we’re on the topic of body, I know a lot of the guests that you invite to your podcast, or that you go hunt down and get their in-person with you, you say you focus on exploring this mind-body connection. And movement is a huge part of that.

The body, being our house, is such an important part of our lives. And food is a big part of that.

I remember you saying the last time we chatted that you experimented with raw food and found raw food during college, which sounds like it was the time that you looked into running for the first time too. Can you tell us just a little bit about what interested you in raw food and why you decided to give it a try in college?

Julia: Yeah, for sure. So, I, growing up, was Celiac. I didn’t know that for most of my life, but I had a lot of digestive issues. I felt oftentimes really weak and low energy as a kid. I think that’s a big reason why I wasn’t an athlete growing up and why I wasn’t attracted to sports. It’s because I just wasn’t fortified.

And so, finally, in high school, I found out I’m a Celiac. I was able to remove gluten from my diet—which was life-changing. I just felt so much stronger and so much more energized from that experience. And in addition, I was lactose intolerant. I wasn’t having dairy already. And I never grew up liking meat or fish. I never liked their textures, and I also just had a really strong connection to animals.

So, it almost unfolded my path where I started to identify as a vegan because I wasn’t having meat, I wasn’t having dairy. I was primarily eating a diet based on fruits, veggies, whole grains, real food.

And in college—this was actually before I started running. Especially, I was deep in the yoga sphere and deep in the yoga community. I met a couple of different yogis in Boston, where I’m from, who were raw foodists. There was this raw food restaurant, that no longer is open, that I would go to, and I just loved it!

I found it to be, at that time, just the way my body and my spirit felt best, when I was eating a high raw diet, mostly uncooked foods. It was just a really fun experiment of, constantly, you have these ingredients, so what can you make that’s just beyond an apple and a banana and an orange. They’re just fruits, yes, but you can juice them, or you can use their pulp different ways, and you can dehydrate them. It was like this whole world to explore that was really exciting to me, and also, how this nourishes me in a really sustainable way.

Sara: It can be such a fun thing, to play in the kitchen with these different foods in ways that you’ve never seen before or done before.

And for you, are there any kind of body discoveries that you had through that process? What did you learn about your body and how it reacted to food?

Julia: Yeah! I mean, in yoga, we have ayurveda. And ayurveda is kind of the science to yoga. There’s pitta, vata, kapha, which are three types of body types, energy types. And I found, for me, eating mostly raw foods was the most grounding for me actually.

Instead of eating really warm or cooked food, I felt that when I eat, whether I start my day with a smoothie bowl and lunch is a really delicious salad and dinner is another raw food creation, I just felt that my body almost—if you consider your body an instrument, it hummed at the right frequency.

Sara: That is really neat! And did you find that eating a lot of raw foods—I mean, I guess, yes, you were immersed in the yogi community too. But was it accepted by your friends and family or the people around you or did people wonder what you were doing?

Julia: Yeah! So, I was really experimenting with this senior year and freshman year of college. Senior of high school and freshman and sophomore years of college is when I was really experimenting. And I definitely felt there was a lot of resistance to it to be honest. And that was pretty challenging.

Like my school, everyone eats all your meals in the dining hall. My school actually removed all of the kitchens out of the dormitories because they wanted everyone eating at the dining hall. And so I brought my juicer and blender to college with me, and I would blend and juice at night instead of the morning because I woke up really early to practice yoga every morning for an hour to two hours. And everyone in my dorm was still asleep at this point. It would be too loud to blend or juice in the morning.  So, I always had to prepare my food the night before which I find just so funny. I’m up late at night juicing vegetables, totally!

And everyone’s up, doing their homework, they’re hanging out at the lounges.

And I think a lot of people, honestly—when I see resistance, it was more just a lot of people are like, “Wow! That’s really weird. Why is she always bringing an avocado to the dining hall?”

I brought an avocado every single day, a full one, that I would eat every day in the dining hall. I always had my little container with nuts and seeds that I’d bring to sprinkle on whatever meal I was eating.

And I loved lemon. I love lemon on everything. I’d always cut up lemon. I’m always just bringing extra.

There definitely has to be a level—whether you’re taking an alternative food path and that’s not the community you live in, you have to have a level of confidence and humility with hit: confidence in that this is right for your body, and that people are going to doubt it or think it’s weird because it’s not the norm, especially in a college environment, but also humility.

I wasn’t trying to preach raw food to everyone. And so if someone asked me about it, I’d talk to them about it. But I wasn’t trying to convince other folks to come and board the raw food train. I don’t believe in that. It’s their actions that we inspire.

Side Crow

Photo Credit – Ian MacLellan

Sara: Yes! Let’s emphasize that for a second. I love that you mention that. There’s a couple of things that I want to pick out of what you just said, one being that, yeah, people, any time you’re doing something different, whether that’s with your career, your food, your exercise regime, your parenting, anything that you do that’s different than the norm of the people around you, you’re going to get funny looks. It’s just the way it is. We notice things that are different from us.

But also, having that humility is so important. There’s nothing worse than being preached to about how you should act. And I find that especially, after founding this business and running Raw Food Magazine for so many years now, I hesitate sometimes to tell people what I do because they assume I’m going to judge what they’re eating.

So, if I’m at dinner with someone and they ask what I do, and I say, “Oh, yeah. I’m co-founder of Raw Food Magazine,” it’s like, “Oh, no! And there’s immediately excuses of like ‘No, I don’t normally eat this way.’” I’m like, “No, you do what feels good to your body, and I will support it and love it 100%. And if you’re not feeling great, and you want to talk to me about it, I’m open to that too.”

It’s such a more loving way to move through the world, to make room for everybody’s choices and where everyone’s at and their learning curve. We’re all different.

Julia: Totally! And I think that’s what the beautiful thing is. If we’re really in tune with ourselves, our body, at different times, is going to need different things and different foods.

I come from a family that eats a lot of meat, and that eats a lot of dairy, so I’m definitely pretty atypical for my family. But I’ve now transitioned out of eating a fully raw diet because I recognize when I was training for endurance events, I felt like I needed more cooked carbohydrates and cooked grains in a way that I couldn’t get when I was raw.

So, it’s like if we’re constantly evolving and transforming, we’re going to listen that our body will need different things as we change and grow.

Sara: Right, exactly!

Julia: And that everything builds on each other. It’s not like all-or-nothing. I learned so much during my period when I was higher raw, higher raw vegan, and I still make smoothie bowls every morning for breakfast.

So, it’s not like it all just goes away. The information builds and grows on one another.

Sara: Right! I love that. I wish I could just put that on a postcard. I think you’ve just summed up our mission of what we try to do. It’s like, “If you could just experience your body eating raw foods, then it’ll be so much easier to tell what those cravings and what your body is really asking for.”

So many of the times, our natural communication with our body is just blocked by the caffeine and the sugar and the processed food, and so we confuse our addictive cravings with our natural body’s way of telling us what it wants to eat.

I’m the same way. When it’s cold in the winter, I need more warming food (when you talk about the ayurvedic path, heating and cooling foods). I do primarily better with more cooling foods just almost always. But especially when it’s cold, I want some cooked veggies and grains and things to heat my core up.

Julia: Totally, totally. I love that! I love everything you said. I’m going to put it in a postcard.

Sara: We’ll just start a line of healthy postcards. That’ll be great.

Julia: I’m down with this.

Sara: And so moving on, just out of total curiosity, when you’re doing an endurance race, how do you normally prepare from a food-body standpoint, and also, mentally-emotionally? How do you go into an event?

Julia: Yes! So, at this point in my training, I’m actually not training for racing. I have had some health complications in the past year, and I’ve just really decided that running for me is just about maintaining health and joy and being outside and connecting to God. So I’m actually not training for any races, but I still run most days.

As far as how I nourish myself with running, it’s a constant listening. On days when I run more miles, if my hunger is increased, you eat more. On days that you don’t, you may not eat as much. I definitely am a huge believer in the recovery window. Twenty to thirty minutes after you exercise, that time is the golden time to replenish.

So, little tricks like that to make sure that you’re always replenishing, restoring, so that you have energy for later, for the next day, for the next week.

Sara: Right! Do you have any go-to favorites that you drink after a run? Or is that always changing?

Julia: I’m always experimenting with different things. Right now, GU, which is a company that makes a lot of energy and electrolyte products, they have this incredible tea that’s this black tea that has electrolytes, natural electrolytes, called Summit Tea. And that’s actually not on the market yet.

But the woman who was the lead researcher and developer of this product, she came on one of our podcasts. She’s a famous ultra-runner, as well as an Olympian, Magdalena Boulet—who’s just an incredible human being. She was the one who gave me this.

So I’ve been really enjoying drinking that about 30 minutes before I ran, about 150 to 200 calories in a drink. And I find that it really doesn’t upset my stomach and it sits well.

And I don’t usually use caffeine. I don’t drink coffee. But it gives you a little bit of a buzz, especially when you’re doing early morning training.

Sara: Summit Tea…

Julia: Yeah!

Sara: Any idea when it’s going to hit the market?

Julia: I think it’s probably going to hit the market in the next couple of months—I’d say in the next three months for sure.

Sara: How fun!

Julia: Yeah!

Sara: And then, what are your favorites? Do you have any favorite after post-run things?

Julia: I have been in love with making Banana Nice Cream. And my favorite combination lately is two frozen bananas—I use NuttZo, which is a seven nut and seed butter. I’m not sure if your listeners or your community knows about it, but it’s incredible. It’s all-organic nuts and seeds.

And the woman who founded it, Daniel, she’s been on my podcast as well. She actually created the nut butter because her sons were adopted from Ukraine. They were really malnourished when they were adopted, and they weren’t responding to eating meat or fish. And so, she was trying to get creative of, “How can I give them a lot of protein and fat and healthy oils?”

So, she just took all these different nuts and seeds she had in her house, and she blended them in the food processor, and that was the beginning of it.

Sara: Wow! What a neat story. And did her sons improve?

Julia: Yeah, totally, it did!

Sara: God! That’s so wonderful.

Julia: Yeah, and they donate a part of their profit to children’s orphanages around the world. I’m an ambassador for NuttZo. And obviously, I love them because I’m an ambassador. But really, I’ve not met a single person who I’ve given NuttZo to that they don’t like it. It’s so delicious. And if you can’t have peanut butter, they also have some peanut-free variations.

So, I usually put two frozen bananas, a scoop of NuttZo. I love Vega’s Protein Vanilla Performance Powder. I add a scoop of that and blend it in my Vitamix.

I’m sure a lot of the raw foodists out there love their Vitamixes a lot. It’s hard to live without it.

I was just out of the country for two weeks. You get spoiled with your Vitamix. I definitely missed it. And so I’ve been loving nice cream. It just feels like a decadent, delicious dessert/breakfast.

Sara: It really does. And I’m pretty sure that nice-cream was my introduction to raw vegan eating. I didn’t know raw vegan was a thing, and someone gave me nice-cream. No turning back!

Julia: Oh, it’s so delicious.

Sara: It’s really good.

Julia: You could make a nice-cream for legitimately anyone, and they would dig it.

Sara: Yeah, and you can have it for literally any  meal, which is so great.

Julia: You’re making me want a nice cream.

Sara: I know! I’ll probably make some after this. It makes me want it. Yeah, that is so fun.

Okay! So, we’ve gone a little bit into food and a little bit into running. I’m curious because it seems like yoga has been kind of your longest passion, I would say, or it’s been something, in using your words, you’ve “grown up with” and that you’ve “grown with.”

Julia: Yes.

Sara: And yoga’s a huge thing. I feel like—anyway, we don’t need it. That’s a tangent. We’ll save it for another day.

How has yoga played a role in your life? And is the way that you interact with yoga now different than when you started?


Photo Credit – Ian MacLellan

Julia: Totally, totally. It’s very different than the one I started. When I began practicing yoga, it was really just for me. It was just for my nourishment, my own healing, my own centering. And back then, I really just didn’t have awareness of my body. I couldn’t even tell my right and left sides. Apparently, I have a form of dyslexia, and I just did not have body integration and connection.

And so it was really just trying to survive when I began practicing. It was really hard, I found, and really confusing. And I would’ve never anticipated that as a teacher.

And I’d say today, yoga definitely still does have a healing and integrative quality to it. But also, for me, it’s so much more of a craft. I love the pedagogical side of teaching and how it could be an experience for people that takes them deep into their body.

So, when I’m practicing yoga and I’m going to other classes, I of course try to drop in to my own self. But I’m always holding my students in my heart—students of past, of present, of future—and thinking of, as a teacher, “Oh, wow! I really like how that teacher explained this. This makes a lot of sense.”

So, it’s kind of like you geek out on it once you’ve studied it for so long.

Sara: Right! Right, yeah. And there are always new ways of learning and seeing how different people can guide you on that when you’re experience yourself in that way.

Julia: Totally, totally!

But I think it’s also a challenge in me trying to also learn how to sometimes turn off that teaching mind and be able to return to that beginner’s mind that I had. There’s something so beautiful about being a beginner in something and not having expectations and not even knowing what’s good or what’s bad.

And so, I definitely still do try to challenge myself to come back to that purer place. I think that’s also a part of the reason I sought out running. It’s because I thought I needed a new outlet, a place to be a total beginner that had no attachment.

Sara: I really like that. I’ve taught for a long time. And at this point, maybe because I love beginner’s mind so much, I have way too many hobbies. But if you are consistently putting yourself in a situation where you’re new and you don’t know where you’re doing, you gain a comfort–I mean, it’s never going to be fully comfortable–but you gain an acceptance with just sucking at stuff.

Julia: Totally!

Sara: Whether it comes to how to feed your body—I’m not going to lie. I grew up eating cheese and tortillas pretty much constantly. I did not know how to feed myself until well into my twenties.

And so, in every area of our lives, we start somewhere on the spectrum and we have to learn. So yeah, when we’re so afraid of looking silly or not knowing what we’re doing. Yoga is so great at that. It makes you feel completely silly.

Julia: Oh, totally! It takes you completely out of your comfort zone. It’s so humble. That still is so humbling to me on a daily basis, whether it’s I fall out of a pose that in my mind, I’m like, “Oh, I got this pose.” I fall out, and the whole class is like, “What?”

Sara: It’s good. It is so good.

So, starting to wrap it up, I’d love to hear from you, it seems you have these different elements—your healthy eating, your mind-body practices, your running, your yoga, and even your podcast and the kind of people you choose to interview, you’re always seeking this holistic picture of health and balance in your life.

I’d love to hear you just talk for a minute about that and about if there’s any piece of the puzzle that you feel like is more important than the other or how they all integrate. How do you find balance in your day-to-day life?

Julia: That’s like the golden secret. The word “balance” is pretty elusive. I recently, on my podcast, had on a yoga teacher, a professional rock climber, Olivia Hsu, on the podcast. I asked her this similar question. She said something that I’ve really been meditating on and trying to embody.

She said balance is not always like a 50/50/50 thing in that it’s not always so clear cut. And at times, for her, climbing—she was practicing rock climbing more and practicing yoga less. So it was like a 70/30.

So, I think in my life, I try to give myself permission and grace that in different seasons and different weeks, different things are going to be more important to me at that time and honoring that, but still holding some of the non-negotiables.

So, eating well for me and healthy food is a non-negotiable in my life. Whether I’m traveling, whether I’m on a plane like I was last week, I will always make sure that that’s a pillar of my life. Good sleep, connection with friends, therapy, those things are non-negotiables for me.

And as far as yoga and running goals and my podcast goals, it’s always those are in flux of “What do I have the capacity to give to them? What is it actually giving back to me?”

Sara:    And when it comes to your non-negotiables, at this point, is it just kind of innate and you’ve practiced for so long that you’ve automated your healthy choices and some of these habits? How do you uphold your non-negotiables?


Photo Credit – Ian MacLellan

Julia: Yeah! As far as upholding them, I think they’re integrated into my being, so they don’t necessarily feel like things you have to try at, which, on one hand, I imagine would sound frustrating to someone who’s maybe trying to eat let’s say a cleaner diet, but it’s also that I’m not perfect.

Some days, I may not eat the perfect day of food. I’m like, “Wow! I’m going to start anew. I’m going to see if I can add a little bit more greens, a little bit less chocolate.”

So, every day is its own—I try to just take it one day at a time. But the things that are non-negotiables, for many years, they’ve been building on each other like building blocks to the point that they’re the foundation on which I stand.

Sara: Right! So, it’s been a long process of self-inquiry and building these rhythms in your life.

Julia: Yes, yes. Totally!

Sara: And a quick tactical question since you said you just traveled, that is a big point of detention for a lot of healthy eaters. How do you approach a trip and to be able to fully enjoy and be present in your trip and not be worried about what you’re going to eat or are you going to starve on the plane.

And I’ve heard so many things from like packing snacks for the planes or just using that time as a time to fast or rest or whatever. What do you do on a long flight like the one that you just had?

Julia: Yeah. So, my journey back to United States from Croatia where I was visiting my family was 26 hours in total. I prepared by packing healthy snacks, and then also remembering that in most airports, you can find fruit and you can find nuts.

And so, being okay with, “I’m someone who does better with eating a couple of structured meals,”—I usually have four structured meals in my diet. But knowing that when I’m going to be traveling, it’ll probably be a little bit more like grazing. You’re going to have a bar here, you’re going to have some nuts here. I found that in the Frankfurt Airport—I was passing through Germany for two hours—they had these great smoothies. I got these three little small smoothie containers for the airplane.

So, I find that packing and also recognizing that wherever you go, there’s going to be some type of option.

I mean, I lived in Ethiopia, Africa last year. I actually found Ethiopia to be the easiest place to be vegan out of any place I’ve ever traveled.

Sara: Really? Wow!

Julia: Yeah, because there, there’s a huge religious component to eating. And so people abstain from eating meat two days of the week. It’s Orthodox. And the Ethiopian woman I lived with didn’t have a lot of money. I was working for a non-profit. So, they were only able to eat meat one day a week. And that was like a special night. And so the rest of the time, we’re pretty much eating vegan.

Sara: That is so interesting. And cultural insights are so interesting, how then that would be the norm. And for most Americans, giving up meat all but one day a week would sound like a huge sacrifice.

Julia: Totally! And Ethiopia, it revolutionized my food experience of the ability to share food with people in a way I’ve never done before.

We eat most of our meals, there were eight of us sitting around on a table—it was not even a table, it was like a stool where the platter of food was on. You eat with one of your hands. We shared our meals. There was no, “This is my smoothie bowl. This is your smoothie bowl.” It’s like, “This is our food together.”

And I also felt, as far as intuitive eating, you’re not seeing your portions of food. And so you’re actually eating based on your hunger signals. And when you’re full, you’ll stop eating because you haven’t seen necessarily how much food you’ve eaten. Whereas in the States, I feel like we all have our own separate dishes, and we’re really protective of it.

Sara: Right! That is so true. I lived in Morocco for actually quite a few months. It’s very similar. It’s very communal. There are huge bowls, Couscous, and everyone eats with their right hands. And you do, you just stop when you stop.

And there’s sometimes this feeling—like I know I had it a lot. Especially if you’re going out to eat here, you get served a plate of food, either this feeling of, “Oh, I need to finish everything that’s on my plate” or because it’s on my plate. It’s like the possessive “my plate,” and then I should eat it or this is the allotted amount.

I love that, just any way to be back in touch with what your body is actually telling you instead of just going through your routines, your automated response to your bowl food in front of you.

Julia: Totally! Well said.

Sara: And so you, being the well-calibrated interviewer that you are, after doing 200 interviews, is there any question that you like to ask your guests or that you feel like I should’ve asked you?

Julia: That’s beautiful. Actually, I don’t have—part of my interviewing style is I don’t prepare questions. I just research the person as thoroughly as possible. And then, I try to allow Spirit to come into play and let the conversation flow and unfold.

So, I don’t have a juicy question that I always ask people as a closing thing. If it feels like we’ve come to a point of closure, good!

Sara: Then that is the time.

Well then, let me rephrase. Is there anything else? And besides, I do want to ask really quickly at the end about your upcoming retreat this summer in Bend because it looks so neat. But is there anything else, any insights or any piece of advice that you’ve been given along the way when it comes to your health that you would like to share with our audience?

Julia: I already mentioned this, but I would just encourage people to take it one day at a time. It can get maybe overwhelming when you’re maybe making the transition to eating more raw food or eating a healthier more plant-based diet. It can seem pretty overwhelming. I’d encourage people to just really enjoy it. Take it one day at a time, and to soak up the incredible resources like you’ve created to experiment and to bring joy into the process.

When things feel heavy or like we’re depriving ourselves of something, we’re never going to make a change that’s long-lasting and sustainable. So, if we can find a place of joy or gratitude in the changes and transitions we make, I believe that they can actually stay with us for the longer-term.

Sara: I love that. Well said. Thank you, thank you for that.

And then, before we go, you are co-leading a retreat this summer called Wilder if I’m not mistaken. It looks completely fabulous! Would you mind telling us a little bit about that?

Julia: For sure, yes. So, I live in Bend, Oregon. I work and collaborate with a woman here named Lauren Fleshman. And Lauren is a professional runner, a writer, a coach of a woman’s professional running group as well as the co-founder of Picky Bars which is an energy bar.

Lauren and I were just seeing that there was this real, incredible intersection between runners and writers—people who love to run also love to write, people who love to write also love to run. And so, we decided to come together to co-lead a retreat in Bend Labor Day weekend 2016. And we’re already looking on the horizon to dates in 2017 because our retreat is full.

This first one is going to be all women. And it’s really just going to be an immersion into experiencing outdoors and to reflecting on your life through running and writing, through connecting with like-minded individuals.

We have people coming from around the world as far as New Zealand for the weekend retreat, which is pretty incredible.

Sara: Wow!

Julia: Yeah! And then, also, as you know, Sara, being in Bend, Bend is a really magical place that has just an incredible frequency with the mountains around it and the river running through. And so, we’re allowing people to experience the magic in Bend themselves.

Sara: Ah, I love that! Well, congratulations! I’m so excited that it sold out. That sounds like such a fun event.

Julia: Yeah! I’m officially the camp director. I’m directing the camp, but then I also will be teaching some yoga as well. I’m super stoked for that.

Sara: That is so fabulous!

Well, there you have it. This has been Sara Grove from Raw Food Magazine with Julia Hanlon. And if you want to learn more, please, please, please do yourself a favor and go to to check out the Running on Om Podcast.

And where else that listeners can find you? Or is that the best place to direct them?

Julia: Yeah, Running on Om, my website, my Instagram, my Twitter. I always love to hear from people. So if you listen in or tweet at me or Instagram at me, it’s always just a gift to connect with people who are riding the high vibe together.

Sara: Yeah! Love it. Well, thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure.

Julia: Thanks so much, Sara.

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