The 5th annual Veg Expo is fast approaching on Sunday May 27 and I’m expecting it to be another insane year – but hopefully with more walking room at the newer Vancouver Convention Centre West. The folks at the expo gave me the opportunity to interview former Olympian Julia Murray in exchange for a pass to attend. I’m personally looking forward to finding products that satisfy the gluten-free, almond & cashew-free, and sugar-free restrictions of the cleanse I’m on right now. I’m happy to report that so far I’ve been pain-free and I have just under 3 months to go!

Interview with Julia Murray, Hooked On Plants

Julia Murray is totally hooked on plants. She competed on the World Cup circuit and the Olympic Games for Ski Cross prior to becoming a certified plant-based + raw food chef, registered holistic nutritionist, and starting up her own superfood breakfast cereal biz, Jules Fuel. Her blog, hookedonplants.ca and Instagram account @hookedonplants are packed with inspiration and recipes, and her personalized weekly emails are filled with amazing info and motivation. She’s all about making vegan easy, delish, and within reach for those skeptics out there. Julia took some time to answer some questions prior to her talk at Veg Expo.

Can you tell us about your journey to becoming vegan?

During my nutrition course, I was learning all about how plant-based eating was the best for longevity, weight maintenance, and energy. So I started minimizing animal products one step at a time. I never told myself or anyone around me that I was going vegan. I’m not an extreme person, so I just dabbled. Then I did more research… I watched documentaries (Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, Earthlings), YouTubers (Bonny Rebecca, Mic. the Vegan, James Aspey), listened to podcasts (Rich Roll Podcast, No Meat Athlete Radio, Food Heals Nation), read books (Main Street Vegan, Eat To Live, China Study, Vegan For Life), and I just couldn’t keep all of this new realization to myself anymore!

So, instead of preaching to my friends, I decided to create hookedonplants.ca as an outlet. I dumped a TON of info out onto my ‘Why Vegan’ page. Since then, my Mom, Stepdad, and fiancé are plant-based! They’re as fit as ever and loving it and so am I! I now am a registered holistic nutritionist, a certified plant-based and raw food chef, and love sharing recipes on my blog (every week) and on Instagram (every day).

 

So the nutritionist knowledge came first, then eating vegan, then becoming a chef. Is that right? 

 

First, I started my breakfast cereal Jules Fuel. I figured I should have something beside my name in addition to “Olympian” to show that I knew what I was talking about. 🙂 So I took 2 years to complete my holistic nutrition course. At the end of the course I was vegan. Because of turning vegan, I started Hooked On Plants, and thought I needed a bit more knowledge in plant based cooking, if I was planning to share it all with the world! So, I took the Rouxbe Plant Based cooking certification, as well as The Healing Cuisine Raw Food Certification! 

 

Has your role as an Olympian and TV host influenced your passion for being a vegan advocate to the public?

 

There are so many life skills I learned as an athlete that transfer over to starting a business and sharing knowledge with the world. Focusing on the positive over the negative, is a big one. If we focused on the negative parts of being an athlete before a race happened (like a small injury, or bad weather), that’s where my energy would go. Instead, if it wasn’t a perfect day, I would focus on the fun part of racing and travelling. That would keep my focus clear and keep it fun (the most important part). As a TV host, I have learned that being my authentic self is the most relatable, beneficial and fun way to be when I’m talking to people through the net or face to face. Being my positive self and showing how much fun this plant-based lifestyle can be, rather than focusing on the negative (sad) reasons of veganism, is the only way those around me will be attracted to the lifestyle.

(Click the links above to get two of Julia’s recipes.)

What can attendees expect to learn about during your Veg Expo talk? 

 

I’m all about helping people see that veganism isn’t as overwhelming or extreme as most people think. So I’ll be talking about 6 Ways to Get Hooked On Plants, as well as sharing some Jules Fuel matcha and blueberry raw vegan balls (perfect for fuelling your adventuring and camping this summer!).

 

What are you looking forward to finding (or tasting) at Veg Expo this year?

 

ALLLL OF THE VEGAN FOODS. Seriously. It blows my mind how many new products are coming out every single year to make veganism as attainable and easy as the typical SAD (standard american diet). Any kind of vegan cheeses… MMM. Amai’s Vegan Mousse is amazing, so I’ll be stopping by there for sure! I’m really excited to listen to and hopefully meet Kip Anderson of Cowspiracy and What the Health films. He and Keegan Kuhn have done such an amazing job and have taken amazing risks to get the truth out about the environmental and health impacts of animal agriculture.
Finally, tell us more about your cereal! 🙂

 

YES! Jules Fuel 🙂 I just came out with two new Overnight Buckwheat Oats: Matcha Date or Blueberry Cacao. My original is a Quinoa Superfood Breakfast Blend oatmeal (with goji, chia, flax, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds). You can order it online internationally from VeganSupply.ca! And you can find it at SPUD.CA, Be Fresh, and Green Moustache, in Vancouver. 

 

Be sure to check out Julia on the stage — she’ll also be selling her cereal and new tees (‘Hooked On Plants’, ‘Gettin’ Figgy With It’, and ‘I Yam What I Yam’) at her booth! You can also find her on Instagram @juliamurrayski.

The Veg Expo will be held from 10am-5pm on Sunday, May 27 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West (1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC V6C 0C3) Hall A. Tickets are available in advance online or at the door. Headliners include Kip Andersen, producer of Cowspiracy and What the Health and Vegan Activist & Tri-Athlete Dominick Thompson. Veg Expo is presented by Choices Markets and brought to you by Vegan Supply and YamChops.

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