Today I’d like to introduce you to my friend Julie Pullman, a Health and Wellness Coach, a Certified Personal Trainer, and a Founder of Rise Wellness Coaching.
How did you get into health and wellness coaching?
After having kids my body started to change which when I say that is probably not surprising to anyone but what was changing isn’t what you would think, it was my health. I started getting sick all the time and couldn’t figure out why. I was doing what I thought was all the right things: eating well, working out, and sleeping as much as I could with two little kids. Yet for a solid year, I could pick up a cold getting my mail, and then it would turn into the full-blown flu.
So after about a year of feeling like crap and doctors prescribing me countless antibiotics to fight off whatever they thought I had that week, I finally decided to take my health into my own hands. I quit my corporate job, started seeing a naturopath, eliminated soy and gluten from my diet based on his recommendations, and really started listening to my body. At that same time, I started teaching indoor spin classes a few times a week to get me out of the house and change things up a bit.
Over time my health started getting better but I still didn’t feel entirely right. Quitting my corporate job was an easy decision, my heart wasn’t in it anymore and I felt pulled in too many directions. So I dove in headfirst and made my husband and my kids my number 1 priority. I rushed around all day making sure my house was immaculate, that my kids were thriving in all areas of their life, that I had a healthy home-cooked meal on the table every night when my husband arrived home, etc., etc.
From the outside, my life seemed perfect but on the inside, I still wasn’t happy. After a while, the answer finally became clear to me, I wasn’t happy because I was taking care of everyone else but not myself. Once I finally learned to slow down, take time for myself, pursue things I loved outside of the home I noticed a huge shift in my attitude and my health and I can finally say I’m healthy inside and out.
Through this journey with my own health, my passion for fitness and nutrition grew at which point I decided to become a certified health coach and personal trainer.
What do you think are the most common health challenges for kids and teens today?
Kids aren’t born worrying about their weight; this is a learned behavior that has been brought on through media; visual platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat; parental example; peers; and more. Let’s face it, we live in an appearance-oriented world, and all teens, regardless of their gender, are affected by these unrealistic demands society places on them.
What is your number-one tip for kids and teens who want to get into healthy habits and wellness?
Take small steps every day to work towards your end goal and give yourself some grace when you mess up.
What is your favorite healthy food/recipe?
My favorite recipe is my healthy cookie recipe. It’s so easy, so good, and a great grab-and-go snack that has tons of protein, fiber, and healthy fat. And it’s all ingredients that most people have on hand regularly.
- 2 large ripe bananas
- ½ C Almond or Nut Butter
- 2 T flax Seeds (ground)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup Rolled Oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Oats)
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Spray baking sheet with oil
- Grind oatmeal and flax seeds for a few pulses in a food processor or mixer. Avoid turning the oatmeal into a fine flour so your cookies have a nice texture
- Pour all of your wet ingredients (bananas, almond butter, vanilla) into a large bowl and mix thoroughly
- Add your dry ingredients and chocolate chips into your wet mixture and blend together
- Drop a tablespoon size scoop onto your baking sheet
- Transfer to oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes
How do you stay healthy and balanced?
One of the biggest things that made an impact on my happiness is the realization that it’s okay to have joy outside of my kids. When we are happy, they are happy. I can still be a good mom and a good wife even when I put myself first. In fact, I’m actually a better mom and wife when I do that. What that looks like for me is doing the things I love: mtn biking with my friends, taking walks, spending time with my friends, and pursuing my own career.