Podcast Episode 54

How to Build Healthy Eating Habits – Holistic Health Coach Julie Peláez

Julie Peláez | 45 Minutes | August 9, 2022

In today’s episode, we speak with Julie Peláez, a Board-Certified Holistic Health Coach, a certified yoga instructor, and co-founder of the Conscious Cleanse.

Julie believes that transformation is found in the mind, body, spirit, and food connection. With her expertise in helping people use diet and nutrition to create radical change, she has coached thousands of people to improve their mental and physical health.

Listen as Julie talks about re-aligning our beliefs towards food, chaotic eating, and how to build habits to improve your overall health and well-being.

Watch the podcast episode:

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Notes & Transcript


Kirk Bachmann: Hi everyone, my name is Kirk Bachmann, and welcome back to The Ultimate Dish. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Julie Pelaez, a board-certified holistic health coach and certified yoga instructor, who’s an expert in helping people use diet and nutrition to create radical change. She is also the co-founder of The Conscious Cleanse, and very passionate about the mind, body, spirit, and food connection. Jules studied at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition with nutrition experts Mark Hyman and David Wolf. Jules is board-certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and has coached thousands of people to find their most vibrant health.

Join us today as we chat with Jules about food as a gateway to living our greatest potential, Conscious Cleansing, and balancing physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.

And there she is. Good morning, Jules. How are you?

Julie Pelaez: Hi, Kirk. It is so wonderful to be with you. Thank you so much for having me.

Feeling Well in Body and Environment

Kirk Bachmann: You bet. I’m a little out of breath after that intro. There’s a lot there. Let me back into that a little bit. “Helping people find their most vibrant health. Balancing physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.” Don’t we all need this? Oh my goodness. This is so appropriate from a timing perspective. Is that a message you hear every single day?

Julie Pelaez: Without a doubt. We are busier than we ever have been. We’re living in unprecedented times. It’s a chaotic world. If we’re not careful, we can internalize that chaos. I think a lot of people do. Without a doubt, oftentimes our eating is chaotic. When our eating is chaotic, then we don’t feel well in our body. Then, there’s just this ripple effect. It’s really about knocking those pillars down so we can feel good.

Kirk Bachmann: I love that. Put so simply, but it’s not that simple. It takes work.

Before we dive in, I have to comment because I’m getting relaxed just looking at the beautiful artwork behind you. I’m positive there’s a story there.

Julie Pelaez: I got this at a local shop. I’ve been working online in my business for more than ten years. We were really poised for the pandemic. But I was never happy with my background. What I started to realize is that our environment really dictates how we feel. Oftentimes, if you just move some things around in your house, you can have this infusion of different energies. This used to be over my fireplace. When I said, “Enough of this awful Zoom background,” I took it. I took it for my office and made my office my sanctuary. To me, this is where the work gets done. This is where I’m helping to transform lives and to serve. I’ve got to be feeling good in order for that to happen. That’s my jam.

Kirk Bachmann: I love that. That’s your jam!

Julie Pelaez: I’m going to launch a new website, and I’m going to use that, because so many people comment on it. It makes me feel good.

Kirk Bachmann: It’s easy to be drawn to. I really like that. So much knowledge right off the bat. We need to catch our listening audience up here really quick. Clearly, I’m unbelievably excited to see you and chat with you today. Folks will realize very quickly that we’ve met.

It’s one of the things I love so much about our Boulder community, here in Colorado. I’ve thought about this a lot. It’s friendly. It’s inviting. Because Boulder is impactful, it’s powerful, but it isn’t that big of a community. We tend to get to know each other pretty quickly. Of course, being in the business of cooking, I knew who you were long before you knew who I was. I’m so thankful that our mutual friend, Skip, introduced us last season at our son’s mutual baseball game. I have to say, I meet many amazing people, like you, at my children’s events. I think that my children’s events should be called networking events. But that’s a whole other podcast, a whole other story.

Jules, just to tee this up: Everyone has a story. When it comes to nutrition, we all have a special story, a personal story at times. As some stories are filled with passion, some are emotional, yours is both. You’ve told the story. We’ve talked about it, how you went from a cigarette and Mountain Dew addiction to transforming your life and your health.

Again, for a little bit more background, I think it’s important to share that you’re a certified holistic health coach. You’re a yoga teacher, which makes you a visionary. I know that you’re passionate about this concept of mind, body, spirit, food connection, which I love, by the way. You’re the co-founder of Conscious Cleanse, we’ll get to that in just a moment. There’s a beautiful plug, right there. You appreciate sharing your passion for personal transformation. This is a lot.

You focus on helping others achieve their greatest potential. Absolutely no pressure. As we dive into that, would you mind sharing a little bit about your personal story and even your journey, your healing journey? Where were you in life, Jules, when you looked down at that last cigarette or that last Mountain Dew – whatever the vice was – and said, “That’s it! I need to change. I need to do something about this”?

Being Out of Alignment

Julie Pelaez: It’s a good question. I wish change were so instantaneous. I wish that for myself and everyone else. The truth of the matter is I think real change happens slowly over time. That’s certainly the way it was for me. What I started to notice was that I was out of alignment. These behaviors were out of alignment with what I was speaking and what I was desiring on the inside.

We all go through phases in life. We all have these phases. I just happened to be in a really long phase of cigarettes and Mountain Dew. Every opportunity I had I was diving into topics like natural health and vegetarianism. When I was 17, I gave up eating meat and I never went back. I eat fish occasionally. But I was becoming. I was dabbling in yoga classes. I was hanging out at the natural food store, and I was talking about all these topics.

I was talking about the food and mood connection. I was speaking about it from the mountaintop. At one point, my brother-in-law who happens to be in the restaurant industry said, “Jules, it’s such a disconnect. I don’t get how you’re talking about these things, but then you smoke cigarettes.”

That was a light bulb moment for me, because I was like, “Oh my gosh! You’re not kidding. I am totally out of alignment.” For me, that was one of those really big aha moments. I was very identified in so many ways with the lifestyle connected to partying and cigarette smoking, and someone who drinks Mountain Dew and doesn’t feed themselves well. And on the hand, I had this vision of myself being a very different person. I had to bridge that gap.

Bridging that gap was a whole other story in and of itself. The process took a little bit of time, but I think that when we have a vision and we’re really clear on where we’re going and who we want to be, then letting go of the old behavior and the old habits becomes easier.

Kirk Bachmann: Your brother tapped you on the shoulder, which is what brothers should do. This isn’t on the script. This is organic. You mentioned something really, really important. I see this with students at times. You said that you were out of alignment. Can you dig a little deeper? According to what standard? What you thought you should be? What your role model suggested alignment should be? What you saw in social media or television, or in your friends group? What was the alignment you were supposed to be in? Why was the lifestyle not appropriate in your mind? Did you see something that you wanted to reach for but couldn’t get there for some reason?

Julie Pelaez: It’s like I said: I started to follow my passions, and my passions really were in holistic health. It really was in meditation and yoga. I was coming up in the age pre-social media. I didn’t have all of that. We had Vegetarian Times.

Kirk Bachmann: Yeah! Yeah, I remember that.
Julie Pelaez: I aspired to live the healthy lifestyle. I was really sort of a hippie at heart, and sort of always have been. More of a natural. Telling my mom I didn’t want to take the medication and that sort of stuff. Her and her well-meaning. “No, take the medication. You’ll feel better.”

I think that in some ways, it was me tapping into what was already there and being able to follow that internal guidance by following the thing that lit me up. By following my passion.

Her Process of Change

Kirk Bachmann: Which takes courage, too. I love that vulnerability if you well. Unapologetic.

For some people making a change. Period. Let’s say health change. It’s tough. There’s pressure. There’s habit. It’s a winding road. They get on a health wagon. I’ve done it. They fall off that wagon. It feels like it’s a never-ending battle. “Well, next week I’m going vegetarian. Next week, I’m going to change my life.”

You said 17. You made that big decision to walk away from animal protein for the most part. Was there a success point? Where, “That’s it!” Lifestyle change. There will never be another Mountain Dew in my refrigerator or a cigarette in my pocket.” Do you remember that moment?

Julie Pelaez: Well, I’ll tell you the process. Because there probably is a moment, and it might take me a moment to get there. I have to say you reflecting on how amazing this community is – when I moved to Boulder, it was August ‘99. I drove over the hill. I kid you not: There were two rainbows. Double rainbows! And then, days after that, there continued to be rainbows.

I moved to Boulder to practice yoga. I got on my mat every single day, even though it was hard. I sometimes didn’t want to go. But what I did in that process was I changed my physiology. I moved my body and I moved my energy, and I healed certain parts of me at that cellular level.

The other thing that I did was I started to look at the limiting beliefs, the subconscious program that was really running the show. I did that with a process. Have you ever heard of Morning Pages, by Julia Cameron, “The Artist’s Way.”

Kirk Bachmann: I’m about to.

Julie Pelaez: You’re about to. I love this. This is, again, old school. Julia Cameron wrote a book for artists called “The Artist’s Way.” One of the processes in there that she talks about is morning pages. What you do is you wake up in the morning, and you put your pen to paper. Without censoring yourself, you start writing. You just write and write and write, and you move your pen for at least three pages. Typically, it’s about 15 minutes. You don’t do any more or any less than that. That’s the commitment.

And I did that for about three months, until I finally got tired of writing, “I want to quit smoking.” “I should quit smoking.” “I really need to quit smoking.” Finally, I was so sick of myself. I was so sick of the thought. I literally was physically tired of writing it that I got to see it very up close as to the fact that it was just done. I was just done with it. But I literally had to exhaust myself by writing it.

That’s the tricky thing about subconscious programs. They’re deep. We have to be willing to look at them in order to make that sustainable change.

Kirk Bachmann: Was this change super-evident to your brother, for example? Was there this, “Hey, Jules! No cigarette? No Dew?”

Julie Pelaez: This is actually my brother-in-law. After I got into yoga, it was very quickly I quit smoking. A year later, I went to yoga teacher training. From that point, I was on a different path. I had caught up to that vision I had of myself. I was living what I was speaking. I was living my word.

It took some time, but eventually I changed my friend group. I changed my environment. I changed who I was living with. Really started to align all these different aspects of my life and my career. That also was a big career shift for me, as well.

Kirk Bachmann: We’ll get to this piece. As you’re changing, was there ever a thought that early on that, “I’m going to be an evangelist? I’m going to share my word. I’m going to should it from the mountaintops because I feel great about myself, and I want others to feel this way, too.”

Julie Pelaez: For sure. Yeah. I think I’m a little more low-key than an evangelist. I can go into extreme experimentation, but I feel like it’s really grounded in who I am to really meet people where they’re at, and not treat food or diet like religion. To me, everything is welcome. We don’t need labels. We don’t need dogma. What we need is just to be human and to be compassionate with ourselves and with others.

I would say, with my friends and my family and my husband, I’ve been more quiet about those changes because I’m a peacekeeper at heart. On the Enneagram, if you’re familiar with it, a peacekeeper. In my quiet way of doing this for myself, everyone – not everyone – a lot of people have lined up, especially in my nearest and dearest circle. Husband used to be rootin’ for gluten. Now he’s 100 percent gluten and dairy free. He literally was the guy that was going to make the shirt, “Rootin’ for Gluten.”

Food is the On-Ramp

Kirk Bachmann: I love that. I love that. I’m totally stealing that.

Two things. I can’t let it go away, because this is TikTok material. Sometimes it’s cliché, but meet people where they are or where you are. We can’t forget about that. It’s so important. Even in my environment where I have students who are aspiring to learn more every single day. We have to meet them where they are. You said something that was brilliant just a second ago. You said you caught up with the vision you had of yourself. How brilliant is that? I’m totally stealing that, by the way, as well.

People come to us all the time with a vision, and then it gets hard. Transportation falls through. Jobs fall through. Relationships. Family. All of that. It’s hard for them to catch up with the vision that they have for themselves. Thank you for that. Super profound. I’ll probably come back to that in a minute.

I want to tie it into this whole notion of mind/body/spirit and a connection to food. As we’ve chatted, you know about this, Jules, that Escoffier recently launched a holistic nutrition and wellness program. I’m super-excited to share that it’s been popular. We have a number of students who have started the program over the last few months. I’m really excited about where the program can go.

A big part of this program and others like it is the importance of treating the whole human, not just the body. I didn’t invent that. I think, too, that we’re trying to help students understand how to leverage culinary foundations and techniques. We talked about this yesterday. Along with nutritional science, wellness concepts, coaching as a means to support individuals who are aiming for a positive relationship with food, with diet, overall health, well being.

With that as a backdrop, from your perspective, what is mind/body/spirit and food connection? Related to that, how does someone listen to their body, to get to that place?

Julie Pelaez: Food is the on-ramp. Food is the gateway. Clients come to see me because they want to lose weight, or because they’re fatigued, or they’re dealing with some chronic illness, or their hormones are out of balance. Then we end up having this deep philosophical, spiritual conversation. Body, mind, and spirit.

Food is the entry point, we come and we talk about the food that you put in your body. Food is energy. Food is information. It’s not just calorie in/calorie out. We know that now. I was raised in the era where fat is bad. It was this calorie in/calorie out. If you want to lose weight, you’ve got to exercise it off. Right? It’s not that way anymore. We know that nutrient density is most important. When you’re putting better quality food in your body, your body starts to change.

Then you want to start moving. I talked about movement. I talked about yoga. The body needs all these nutrients. It needs all these essential things, and movement is one of them. We have to move the body. We move the body to change your energy. You help your digestive system. You help your focus. You improve so much just by moving your body. We can’t talk about food without talking about that. We can’t talk about food without talking about sleep. It’s all connected! The food that you put in is going to have a direct output.

What I realized more recently is just how important the mindset is. Like you’ve said, I’ve had clients come to me. They’ve been on every diet. Sometimes, I feel like they know more about nutrition and different programs than I do, because they’ve done all of the things. On the wagon. Off the wagon. On this diet roller coaster. They’ve lost weight. They’ve gained weight. They’ve lost weight. They’ve gained weight. And they’ve had it.

It goes back to mindset. It goes back to really addressing those subconscious limiting beliefs. Those subconscious beliefs, for most of us, we’re programmed before we were seven. I had a client who had a memory of being home alone every single day, because her mom was working. The TV was in the kitchen. So what did she do? She turned the TV on and she ate. That was her comfort. When Mom wasn’t around, that was her comfort. When we illuminate things like that, and when you see that for what it is, you see, “Oh, I’m using food to comfort myself,” you can then rewrite that story. You can decide how you want to be around food. Are there other ways for you to comfort yourself.

Spirit. Spirit is everything. Spirit is that alignment. Spirit is the Creator. Spirit is your higher power. Nature. Whatever you want to call it. Life force. To me, that’s everything. When we align with spirit, all this other stuff becomes a lot easier.

You’re right, it can be difficult getting there. We have to chop down all the weeds. We have to pull the weeds out of the garden in order to plant those better beliefs, those better thoughts. That’s where the better habits start to stick.

Movement to Quiet the Mind

Kirk Bachmann: I love that. I think you could teach in a culinary school. I had a pastry chef years ago who talked a little bit about alignment and things coming into focus when the item that they were working on was as close to perfection as it could possibly be. He used to call that harmony. It was such a beautiful, simple word. What does harmony mean? It means we’re in alignment.

We have a mutual friend, the lovely Lauren Lewis whom I talk a lot to about yoga. She teaches some of our folks on a monthly basis. Just because it’s so fascinating for me, this cross-section between yoga and healing the body. It’s probably not for everyone, but it’s for a lot of people. I know that you are big proponent, as is Lauren. Could you speak a little bit more of why you believe yoga is in perfect alignment with your philosophy here?

Julie Pelaez: You could put yoga. You could insert instead of yoga, you could insert running. I was a runner for a long time. I was a swimmer. I was a dancer. You could insert all of those things. The key is movement. I would even add getting outside. Being in nature, going for a walk. Any type of movement that really helps you quiet your mind. For some people, when I was a runner, it didn’t necessarily quiet my mind, but I churned. I just processed all of the thoughts in my head.

In a lot of ways, we do that in yoga. For me, yoga taught me breath, which is everything. Really, when you can master your breath, you can master your physiology. When you master your physiology, this is what the great yogis were doing. Learning to calm the central nervous system is crucial for everything. If you’re working on a new recipe, or a new culinary masterpiece. You’re working on a book, or you’re getting ready to go onstage. Or you’re dealing with your children. Learning how to calm the nervous system is really, really key.

What’s happened in this busy, modern life is that our cortisol is through the roof. We’re in chronic stress all the time. Yoga. Breath. Discipline. Learning to focus the mind. Being able to sit for 90 minutes in what is extremely uncomfortable is training. I think of it as training for life. What happens in the yoga room, you commit to being in that process.

It made me a totally different person. I think I healed a lot of my old stuff just through that discipline.

Learning to focus and to pause and to take those breaks. To take that time out and know that when you learn to take those breaks, again, whether it’s yoga or meditation or whatever it is, I feel like you are gaining time.

On my busiest days, I always make it a point to either take a walk or do yoga or meditate for 20 minutes because I know that it actually makes me feel like I have more time in my day. The creative energy comes easier.

Having that relate to food, I think that’s where we make our choices. If we can be calm and centered, we can make better food choices.

Gentleness, Kindness, and Gratitude

Kirk Bachmann: Really, really good advice. Really good advice.

If someone, Jules, is struggling with making a life change for whatever the reason – maybe there’s some depression, maybe they don’t know that they’re depressed, maybe they are overwhelmed, work, school, caring for family members, the pandemic, it’s all taken a toll. Is there any gentle advice? You’ve had a lot of advice, but it’s hard – it’s so hard to make that initial jump or step. Is there any advice for the smallest change? Just something tiny to do every day. You mentioned the writing. You got to the point when you were done with the writing so you had to make that change. Any tiny little bit of advice for so many of us that just need to make that change, that need that nudge to get going?

Julie Pelaez: You mentioned being gentle. I think that’s the advice. If you have to write that on your bathroom mirror, “Be gentle with myself.” I often tell clients to put an impactful message like that on their scale, if they are used to standing on the scale and beating themselves up about the five pounds they seem to gain overnight. Tell yourself that you’re gorgeous.

I think being kind and compassionate and patient, and understanding the process, and continuing to show. Continuing to show up for yourself in whatever small way that could be. Maybe that’s 20 minutes of meditation, or 20 minutes of morning pages, or making a gratitude list. Gratitude is the no-brainer way in to feeling better.

Wherever you’re at, you want to somehow reach for one small better-feeling thought. It’s that simple. Catching yourself in the moment. If you tell yourself, “It’s so hard.” Ask yourself, “What can I do right now that’s just a little bit easy? Or that feels just a little bit better.” Reach for that better-feeling thought in that moment. Gratitude is a great way to do that.

Kirk Bachmann: Tony Robbins used to say like a hundred years ago, “We’re almost better off having something we’re worrying about occur, because then we’ll stop worrying about it and we can move on.”

Julie Pelaez: Worrying is a prayer for your future, is what I try to tell my mother.

Kirk Bachmann: Gosh, more TikTok material. I love it.

I want to come back. You said something a few minutes ago about making time for yourself. You look at your schedule. It’s crazy busy. How are you going to do it? But what you’re saying is, Make time for yourself, whether it’s 20 minutes. Do you believe people put too much emphasis on the time?

If I just make time for myself, gentle time – two minutes, five minutes – just do something for yourself. For you, anyway, that invigorates you and gets you in the position to go on with your day and have a great day. Could it be that simple? Just one minute.

Julie Pelaez: It could be that simple. It could, really and truly. I just downloaded Insight Timer, which is a meditation app, and literally did a three-minute meditation. Completely shifted. Kirk, I’m really glad that you said that because I think that time is one of those things that we get really caught up in. That’s one of those conditioned behaviors where we think our lives are run by our clock. Learning to take three minutes and then work it up to five. And then maybe seven. It is that simple.

Healing with Food

Kirk Bachmann: I love that.

Let’s have a little bit of fun. Here’s my autographed copy, the second edition, I believe. You autographed it twice, by the way. I’ve got your signature and then “A Happy Cleansing, from Jules.” I’m so appreciative. “The Conscious Cleanse.” Congratulations, by the way.

I know that you and Jo have worked really, really hard to build a very recognizable brand, and then to grow a community around it. I’d love to dive a little bit deeper into the food aspect of healing our bodies, specifically. Tough question. It might be obvious, but it’s probably a little bit difficult. What is a conscious cleanse?

Julie Pelaez: When we created The Conscious Cleanse 12 years ago now, I was really passionate about detox and cellular cleansing and parasite cleansing, and The Master Cleanse. I really had some big experiences in that realm. But what I noticed was that people were oftentimes doing cleanses, and they were taking products. Maybe they were cleaning up their diet a little bit while they were taking these products, but the didn’t really make any really permanent change. It was just sort of a temporary thing.

Our vision with The Conscious Cleanse, and really I think, the theme of my life’s work to day is really this idea of sustainable change. Long-term sustainable change. The Conscious Cleanse is really born from this place of wanting to teach people how to live and eat a clean diet, and to be able to tune into their body to know how food makes them feel. Because if you can learn to do that, you are ahead of the game. So many people have no idea that the lunch they’re eating, and then the inevitable crash and need for an afternoon cup of coffee or pick-me-up are related. To me, that is crucial. If you just learn that and start to tap into how food makes you feel, you would really start to be on the right path in terms of tweaking your diet for one that is really going to lead you down a path of health, versus manifesting all the chronic conditions, or maybe turning on the genes and expressing the genes that you’re predisposed to.

A lot of our health can be affected by our fork, by the food that we put in our mouth. We don’t necessarily have to fall victim or prey to those diseases that our parents have.

Kirk Bachmann: At the risk of being somewhat personal, and this might be more of a medical response. 40 years ago, for whatever reason, I needed to have a kidney transplant. My father was the donor of that. It was one of those momentary pauses in life. I was very young. My father was very healthy, and he still is, 85 years old. I’m still rocking his kidney. I feel blessed every single day.

There’s a few parts to this loaded question, and I’ll try to control my emotion. Every day, not a day goes by where 1) I’m not grateful for another day, type of thing. But I think about what food could possibly do, even though my doctors don’t worry about that. “That’s the least of your worries. Your kidney’s great.” Do you believe – or do people want to believe – that food can heal them, or prevent them from getting sicker? Or is that too much pressure? Are we putting too much pressure on diet to save someone?

Being a chef, I watch my salt and I know that I can’t have grapefruit with medication. That’s 40 years of practice. But how do I get across to the student on a break who runs over to the grocery store and gets a big bag of chips, how do I get across to them that that’s not good for them? I can’t promise them anything. I’m not a doctor. How do you get across to people like that? Do you use examples? Do you use data? Do you cry with them? How do you impact people to listen?

Julie Pelaez: I only try when it has to do with my children and artificial colors. It works every time.

Kirk Bachmann: Oh, I bet. I bet. I’m right there with you.

It’s a very emotional question, and I don’t want to put you on the spot. I want to be able to leverage knowledge to help people make better decisions. I’m wondering, if you were in front of a group of students, what would you say about that? So much pressure, I’m sorry, Jules. What would you say if they raised their hand and said, “I want to take this holistic program. What can I do to make a difference out there? What’s next for me? Will I be a coach? Will I just be a great chef that brings nutritional knowledge into my cooking?” I’ll shut up and let you take it.

Julie Pelaez: What’s the question? There was so much there.

Kirk Bachmann: A lot of questions there. A lot of questions there.

Julie Pelaez: The founder of modern medicine, Hippocrates, said, “Let food be thy medicine.” You’ve probably seen that quote on Instagram or TikTok. It’s all over. Actually, I grew up working in restaurants. I had this experience when I was between a freshman and sophomore. I was working at an Irish pub. One of my fellow servers shared the book by Ann Wigmore called, “The Hippocrates Diet.” She was using this program, which consisted of wheatgrass and colonics and getting all toxins out of her body, among other things. It was basically cleansing and colonics. She healed herself of colon disease, colon cancer. That was one of those moments, for me, that had really lined up. It was another aha moment. “There is something here that cannot be forgotten.”

Because when I think about someone running out to get a bag of potato chips, I think about our modern industrialized food system, which has really done a number on our health. Processed food – the center of the grocery store if you’re a Michael Pollan fan – is really where we get into trouble. All the packaged food. Go back to eating whole food that you can imagine picking from a tree. Grab an apple. It is that simple.

When I talk about food and making food choices for your students who want to make a change, it is just that one thing. Look at your snack. Instead of grabbing a bar, can you grab some carrots and hummus? It’s that simple. Start adding in more fruits and vegetables.

Let Yourself Be A Work in Progress

Kirk Bachmann: I love that. Thanks for validating the question I had somewhere in there. Are there some myths, Jules, about holistic wellness that you’d love to clarify?

Julie Pelaez: I think the big one really comes down to this idea that we have to be perfect. If you follow any health influencer on Instagram, it’s all perfect. Ugh. Makes me so irritated sometimes! I recorded a video on Sunday afternoon of me making a salad dressing. Oh my God! It was such a mess! I’m probably going to post it because that’s real life.

It’s just this idea that your students are creative. Are they not? They’re creative?

Kirk Bachmann: They want to be immediately.

Julie Pelaez: So we never give ourselves time anymore to just suck. I went back to teaching yoga after having a five-year hiatus. One of the teachers said, “Just show up to suck.” Sometimes that’s just what you have to do. You just have to show up to suck, and then the more you do, the better you get. Nobody’s really paying that much attention to what you’re doing. Of course you are, when you’re in school and you’re getting graded on it. But in social media, they’re not really giving you much more than 15 seconds of their time. Just do it. Let yourself be a work in progress.

Kirk Bachmann: Mistakes are okay. Mistakes are okay.

Julie Pelaez: I always tell my clients that failure is inevitable; suffering is optional. I’m sure I didn’t make that up. Failure is inevitable; suffering is optional. We fail forward. That’s what it means to have a growth mindset. Growth mindset is really what it’s all about. Showing up, messing up, learning from your mistakes, and moving on. Not letting it stop you. If you start at the beginning of the podcast: Change is hard. Going to school and changing your career can be scary. It can be hard. We can be faced with challenges that feel somewhat insurmountable.

I think what you’re doing is actually effecting the change. You are making that difference, Kirk. You are educating people. That’s what my nutrition school, my program, did for me. There were little, what I called, “gluten-free bread crumbs” and I got to pick and choose where I wanted to go deeper. And that’s what you’re doing for people.

Kirk Bachmann: You went to school a little bit ago. Has the message changed a lot in that decade or two decades, whatever it was? Social media, to your point. “Everything’s perfect. Go to Instagram. It’s just perfect.” After 35 takes. It’s perfect. Even our children these days, our boys when they’re playing baseball, they know when they’ve got the phone out. They know exactly when to give us the big smile.

How was it different getting into your passion when you did versus someone – one of our current students today? Is there more pressure? Less pressure? Do they have to leverage technology more?

Julie Pelaez: In some ways, I know I was ahead of the times 12 years ago because I had a vision. I had a vision statement which was something along the lines of, “To inspire a global community of health-seekers.”

When we created The Conscious Cleanse, we did it at the yoga studio. I was learning online for free from YouTube how to take a business online and how to market it. I didn’t really get that training from my nutrition program per se. YouTube is amazing. You can learn anything you want on YouTube. That’s really the way we took our business online and were able to reach a global audience.

I think in a lot of ways, the program, the teachings, are really the same for your students who want to become a coach. Showing up. Knowing that you have a passion for this. You have a desire to serve, a desire to help. In doing so, you really are creating a container.

I always sit down with my clients, Kirk, and I hold the belief that they are the ones that have all the wisdom. They have the internal guidance. I’m just here to support, to hold that container, to ask good questions, and let them remove the block they have to really accessing their own greatness. That’s what coaching is.

Julie Pelaez’s Ultimate Dish(es)

Kirk Bachmann: Beautiful. Brilliant. We’re going to document that and get your permission to use that over and over and over again. I love it. I love it. And it’s a good lesson for us in the classroom as well.

We’ve got to come back to cooking a little bit. I don’t know where our time went so quickly. The name of the podcast is The Ultimate Dish. Now the pressure’s really on, Jules. What is, in your mind, the ultimate dish?

Julie Pelaez: I think I can give you two answers. Can I?

Kirk Bachmann: You may.

Julie Pelaez: There’s the everyday ultimate dish that is reality, for me.

Kirk Bachmann: I love it.

Julie Pelaez: In the cookbook, we have something called Jules’s Salad of Abundance. I make a version of that every single day. I make a huge, what is called a meal-sized salad that you would think you were serving that to your family. I make my family their little side salads, and I sit down with the bowl. That’s my meal. That has four or five different grains that are massaged with a really good high-quality olive oil and Himalayan sea salt, maybe some nutritional yeast. I load it on with as many colors of the rainbow as I can. That’s my daily ultimate dish.

But I have to give some props for something I just had this weekend. You maybe have had it. I know you’ve been to Oak. Of course. I went out with a girlfriend, and we ordered their halibut ceviche. We were literally groaning and moaning over this dish.

Kirk Bachmann: I’ll have what she’s having!

Julie Pelaez: Oh. My. Word. We talked to the servers. Every server that came by, we were chatting them up. “What’s in this?” It had gooseberries in it. Never had gooseberries before. Yuzu. You can tell me what that is, but it was very limey. The halibut. Again, I eat fish once in a while. I feel like that type of food – and food in general – if your food makes you giddy and it makes you feel high in some way, you’re on the right track. That’s my ultimate dish.

Kirk Bachmann: I just love it. It’s kind of a memory, too, because you were there with a friend. She can vouch for you.

Julie Pelaez: She sure can, and she will.

Kirk Bachmann: Hey, Jules, thank you so much. We started chatting a couple of months ago about getting together and chatting. As advertised, absolutely spectacular. Your passion and your love for life and beauty is just absolutely intoxicating. Thank you. Good luck on the diamond. All-star practice has begun. I’ll be thinking about you guys. We’ll see you when we next compete.

Julie Pelaez: Thank you so much, Kirk. It is such a privilege to be with you. Our synergy right off the bat was there, and all the bump-ins, the synergistic run-ins. I so appreciate you. Good luck with launching this program. I know it’s going to be super successful.

Kirk Bachmann: We’re going to look for help from you as well. Thank you so much.

And thank you for listening to the Ultimate Dish podcast, brought to you by Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. Visit escoffier.edu/podcast, where you’ll find any materials mentioned during the podcast, including notes, links and other resources. You can also browse other episodes and subscribe.

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