In celebration of International Women’s Day, we had a chat with Julie Montagu, founder of The Flexi Foodie, about all things health, fitness and balancing busy working lives.
How do you relax? And how often do you take time for yourself?
YOGA! And no, I don’t always take a Vinyasa flow class, especially when I need to relax. I take one Kundalini Yoga class a week, and one restorative Yoga class a week, both of which really ground me. And, you can find me taking an Epsom salt bath with coconut oil at least once a day, sometimes two, and a Jo Malone candle is an essential. I always find pockets of time throughout my day to either grab a juice and then sit in silence, and detox from technology. At home I always stick myself in a forward fold for anywhere between 2-10 minutes, Oh and I love reflexology. I fit that in as often as possible.
You’re a busy mum of four. How do you balance work and home?
Honestly, I just really get on with it. I guess I just don’t think too much about it. I’ve never read a book about parenting ever-not a single one. I just ALWAYS listen to my gut, whether it be parenting or work. So, I know if my life is out of balance because my gut tells me-whether I need to spend more time with my kids, or catch up on work. I completely believe we should listen to our initial gut instinct-it’s always right. And that’s really how I balance the two.
What are your top three tips for busy mums who want to keep motivated to stay healthy?
- Find at least 5 minutes a day and just sit in silence and breathe. It’s so healing and healthy. I’ve listed several SIMPLE breathing and meditating exercises in my new pocket lifestyle book, ‘Eat Real Food’.
- Find a form of exercise that you love, and even when you can’t make a class one day, make sure you get 10 minutes of some sort of exercise in each day-whether it be a yoga sequence or a long walk around your neighbourhood. It is important that you try to do this without external noise too. This time belongs to you and only you.
- Make sure your are feeding your children food that you would put in your mouth to nourish your own body. I’ve met so many people who tell me that they feed their kids the naughty stuff and then end up eating it themselves. I get it-I’ve been there. But it’s actually quite simple and fun to educate your kids about the food that’s good for them. It might take a little time and patience but before you know it, it becomes a way of life. OH and when you do eat bits of their supper…it’s healthy!
Tell us about how you got into teaching yoga and the style you promote to busy Londoners?
After my fourth child was born, I was exhausted both mentally and physically, and I knew I needed to do something, fast. So, I went to my first Bikram yoga class, and in one day became obsessed with it. From Bikram, I started to then explore other types of yoga and fell madly in love with Vinyasa flow yoga. And really, once I started on the yoga path, I became obsessed with how much it could give me energy, boost my mood and just overall make me feel better. I’m so passionate about it and all that it can do for you physically, mentally and spiritually.
Your new book, ‘Eat Real Food: Simple Rules For Health, Happiness and Unstoppable Energy’ encourages simplicity. Did you feel that ‘wellness’ was confusing, and what principles do you encourage when it comes to food?
In my pocket lifestyle book, I give you the information and tips that I use in my everyday life in the hope that people will see how easy it is to start making simple but effective changes in your life, that will in turn give you an abundance of health, energy and happiness. I wrote this book because I felt the ‘wellness world’ was getting a little bit over complicated, when really it’s just all very simple. Starting with what foods to eat every single day to simple yet totally effective yoga poses, breathing exercises, meditation and affirmations which really only need to take a few minutes out of your day. It really is that simple.
What’s your go-to dinner dish?
Any veggie curry! Whether it’s Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash or bean curry. I love a good and spicy curry and they can be made in many different ways, and are SO simple to make.
Your favourite London food hot spot?
Mildred’s Vegetarian restaurant in Soho.
What’s your life motto?
‘She needed a hero, so that’s what she became’.
What’s next for The Flexie Foodie?
Book three is coming out, ‘Superfoods Superfast’ on the 14th July 2016. I have two new online courses launching on The Flexie Foodie Academy later this month. One course is all about joyful living and combines letting go, self love and happiness-and the other course is my complete guide to yoga. Oh, and I might have some filming for a TV show coming up too…..but shhhh!