Hi! I’m Juli, the Founder of Healthibella, a Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and a Certified Mindfulness & Embodiment Coach, Yoga Teacher, and Therapist. I’m a health coach, but I'm also a mother and wife, and professionally, I was a museum curator for many years, but health wasn't always my priority.
I’ve been on a journey for over 15 years to discover what true health is and feels like. Maybe you’re like me and are struggling with some lifestyle choices. I've had to overcome some tough challenges too:
- smoking (like in a French New Wave film)
- moderate-heavy alcohol consumption (NYC style drinking is seriously damaging)
- sugar and fried food cravings every single day (more like every few hours)
- a Diet Coke addiction (harder to quit than smoking!)
- frequent late night dinners and drinking (i.e midnight steak frites or NY sidewalk pizza)
- anxiety, insomnia, and the need for sleeping pills
- coffee 3x a day just to keep going
- a high-gluten, dairy, processed food diet (I considered wine & cheese dinner)
- alopecia areata (before I changed my diet, the hair loss from this autoimmune disease was real)
- crazy chronic adult onset hayfever (which needed steroid and corticosteroid meds)
I also suffered from chronic and debilitating back pain following a car accident in my teens, as well as recurrent intestinal bloating and headaches. I was never overweight, but like most women, I too struggled to regain my figure after two pregnancies!
I started yoga 20 years ago hoping it would help my back pain, and within one year, it did just that, so I was hooked. Changing my food also finally gave me the clear skin I had always wished for. Today, the healthier I eat, the more my skin glows. There is no cream that can do that. I now know my triggers for bloating and headaches. And, I never believed I would live without chronic allergies, but several years ago, my Functional Medicine doctor radically improved my allergy symptoms with probiotics and some key missing nutrients, that I no longer need corticosteroid nose sprays, steroid eye drops, and oral medication.
I might add that I lived my earlier fast-paced NYC lifestyle as a young adult, but thought I was fairly healthy—because I juiced, sometimes drank green tea, shopped at Whole Foods (ok, mostly for organic packaged foods!), and had a steady yoga practice! (But when I first started yoga, I smoked before and after class then crossed the street to get not one Krispy Kreme donut, but a box!). It’s now obvious to me that whatever good choices I made were nullified by my frequent overindulgence in heavy meals, alcohol, cigarettes, sugar, and other toxic choices. I was just a teenager when I arrived in New York on my own to study and I guess I thought this was all part of being grown up.
Thankfully I had grown up exposed to healthy things too, like my mother's fresh Asian cooking that included sea vegetables, fresh vegetables and fruit, shiitakes, miso, mung beans, sprouts, ginger, and fish, and green and barley teas. But, we had our fair share of the standard American food of Pizza Hut, McDonalds, and Coca Cola, which were viewed as 'treats' in my bi-cultural family. Unfortunately, when I began to live on my own in NYC without any cooking skills, I relied heavily on packaged foods and eating out. It took me years to learn how to prepare even simple dishes!
Then came my first pregnancy in 2003. This was a major catalyst for me to really clean up my eating and begin treating my body as the temple it is, but all of the information was so confusing. I began to research everything from mercury in fish to the dangers of aspartame and endocrine disruptors in our body products. I then moved onto experimenting with several elimination diets and 21 day detoxes, and learned so much about toxic foods and my personal triggers. Still curious about the body's physiology, I immersed myself in 2008 in an intensive yoga teacher training at an ashram and began to make 'you are what you eat' a personal mantra.
I took baby steps in my evolution and still continue to study the ever-evolving nutritional science. I feel very fortunate to have spent 2014 studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition for my Holistic Health Coach Certification and to join the growing community of advocates for a healthier society. If I had had a health coach 15 years ago, it would have definitely fast tracked my health journey!
No regrets though. I feel grateful for my abundant life, my health, and the vibrant health of my children and husband. I am so grateful to be part of the health revolution and to connect with you here!
Here's to your radiant health, inner serenity, and to gorgeous food for life!