Eat Real Food by Julie Montagu

“She needed a hero, so that’s what she became.” – Julie Montagu, the Flexi Foodie, Eat Real Food

Good morning guys and gals! It’s great to be back. I had every intention of writing last Sunday, but decided to take the day to observe the Easter Sunday holiday with family and enjoy the day in its entirety. This week I want to do something different and mix it up. #varietyisthespiceoflife

Eat Real Food by Julie Montagu

Confession time: Hi my name is Ashley and I watch Bravo TV. #guiltypleasure Back in June 2014, I was intrigued by Bravo’s newest show, Ladies of London. Being a fan of the Real Housewives series when I was in college, I was curious about this brand new show. It looked very similar to the housewives, except with a somewhat different concept: American ladies living in London learning the ins and outs of London society with their ladies of London counterparts. Stay with me here people, I am getting to my point soon!

I started watching the first season and was intrigued by one of the ladies that made her debut towards the middle/end of the season, Julie Montagu.  While watching the show, I found out Julie was a Midwest girl, much like myself, and was born and raised in Sugar Grove, Illinois. I instantly thought we could be besties. I mean hello, why not? I have blonde hair, she has blonde hair. I am from Naperville. She is from Sugar Grove. Boom! It’s a match made in bestie heaven. (You know, because two commonalities qualify as besties for life). This London lady was a Midwest girl who married her Prince Charming and seemed to live a fairytale life across the pond. #goals Needless to say, I was super stoked when she became one of the main characters in the second season of Ladies of London, premiering last spring in 2015. After watching season two, I saw another side of Julie Montagu and began to learn more about this Midwest girl. I even began to think, “Oh my gosh, we really could be besties!” Here’s why:

In season two, I discovered that Julie was a total yogi and health nut at heart. (Just add this to my list of why we should be friends). She cycles all across London teaching yoga classes on the daily, while also pursuing her passion for health and wellness through various endeavors (i.e. JUB, the Flexi Foodie Academy, various books and more). Oh and did I mention she is a wife and mother of four? #superwoman When I started following her on social media (Twitter and Instagram), I realized she had a new book coming out at the beginning of 2016 and I was hoping to snag a copy upon it’s release. (Thank you Mom!) I figured since we had so much in common already (blondes from the Midwest who love yoga and healthy eating-yep, like I said, huge list of commonalities) I figured I would love a book she wrote about one of my favorite topics-healthy eating!

Eat Real Food: A Book Review

Eat Real Food: Simple Rules for Health, Happiness and Unstoppable Energy is all about rules for living a healthy lifestyle both inside and outside of the kitchen. In her book, Eat Real Food, Julie breaks down nutrition into easy to understand concepts so anyone (nutrition background or not) can fully comprehend and embrace her simple rules for healthy living. Eat Real Food is divided into two sections. The first part takes readers through specific food groups one at time, while the second part of the book focuses on Julie’s rules for happiness and unstoppable energy.

Part one covers the following food groups:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Natural sweeteners
  • Unrefined oils
  • Good fats
  • Super foods
  • Suggestions for dining out

Each chapter starts off explaining the benefits of each specific food group, while also discussing some of their not so healthy counterparts (some of which you may currently be eating). Julie describes the benefits of eating healthy foods (and the repercussions for eating not so healthy foods) as well as why you should be eating these real, whole foods on a daily basis. For example, did you know a single serving of kale has more absorbable calcium than a small carton of milk. #mindblown (Guess who now adds one cup of shredded kale to her eggs every morning for breakfast, #thisgirl) Or that goji berries are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet as they contain all the necessary amino acids our bodies need. Yeah, I know, amazing! #superfood

You may be saying to yourself right now, “Great, but I am not a fan of veggies or I have no idea how to incorporate super foods into my daily diet.” No worries people, Julie has already thought of that! #onestepaheadofyou At the end of each chapter she provides seven, (that’s right, seven) recipes on how you can incorporate each food group into your daily meals. Here are some of my favs that I cannot wait to test out in my own kitchen:

  • Kale and Winter Vegetable Soup (Chapter: 1 green leafy vegetables)
  • Spicy Kale Chips (Chapter:1 green leafy vegetables)
  • Honey Nut Oatmeal (Chapter:2 whole grains)
  • Buckwheat Flatbread with Hummus (Chapter:2 whole grains)
  • Honey Granola (Chapter:3 natural sweeteners)
  • Apple and Raspberry Crumble (Chapter:3 natural sweeteners)
  • Kale and Spinach Pesto (Chapter: 4 unrefined oils)
  • Flax Seed Pancakes (Chapter: 4 unrefined oils)
  • Apple and Avocado Smoothie (Chapter: 5 good fats)
  • Hemp Seed Smoothie Bowl (Chapter: 5 good fats)
  • Green Glow Salad Dressing (Chapter: 6 super foods)
  • Goji Berry Ice Cream (Chapter: 6 super foods)

Don’t those all sound delicious? Plus, those are not even half of the healthy recipes Julie provides readers in her book, Eat Real Food. There’s more! Clearly I have some future blog posts on my hands with all of these must try recipes. Stay tuned!

One of my favorite things about Eat Real Food, was a that it served as a reminder to me of why I eat healthy foods on a daily basis. It is not because it’s the latest craze or fad diet, it is because real, whole foods are good for me and make me feel great! #superashley I think many times when we know why we should be doing  something (instead of thinking oh just because oh I know I should) it makes it easier for us to actually do it because ultimately we better understand the method behind the madness.

Now go get yourself a copy of Eat Real Food and let me know what you think! I will be shipping my copy of Eat Real Food up North to Wisco tomorrow so my Aunt can read it and soak up all of the nuggets of knowledge provided in this book. I cannot wait to discuss it with her and hope you will all share your own thoughts with me if you choose to pick up your very own copy!

P.S. I am not writing this book review for any compensation, only for the mere fact that I think it is a worth while read. I mean don’t get me wrong, I would still totally love to be besties with Julie Montagu! Tea/coffee when you’re back in the states and visiting sweet home Chicago? #midwestblondes #futurebesties

Live Healthy, Happy & Fabulously,
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