The 5 Biggest Myths About Health & Fitness | STOP THE NONSENSE PEOPLE!

There are a lot of things in the health and fitness industry that make my eyes roll back into my head.

As a kid, my mom always told me that if I rolled my eyes, they'd get stuck there. GOOD THING THAT AIN'T THE CASE because I've probably rolled my eyes about 59,239,321 times since becoming a fitness professional. 

From the myth that women shouldn't lift weights because it makes them 'bulky,' to the concept of eating less and moving more = results.... laaaaawd. If I had a dollar for every B.S. claim I heard, I'd be lying on beach on my private island in Bimini right now with a butler handing me kombucha on tap.

biggest myths health and fitness

Realistically though, as an average Jane, it's hard to decipher what's actually true and what's lie.

I've mentioned this a bunch before, but the fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that is built off of marketing. That means that industry professionals will dig deep to find out what you're insecure about, use that against you by making you think you're not good enough, and try to sell you their products.

Just to shed light on an example: If you've ever been told, "BUY THIS CELLULITE CREAM AND GET RID OF IT IN 5 DAYS!!!" This literally translates to: you have cellulite. therefore, there is something wrong with you. therefore, you are unworthy or unlovable. therefore, buy my cellulite cream so that you can get rid of that 'problem' and become 'hotter' because hot=worth, cellulite=not hot=not worthy. Obviously it sounds ridiculous when you spell it out like that, but this is essentially what they're getting at with their marketing. IT MAKES ME WANT TO PUKE. 

And while I could rant and rave about the problems in the fitness and health industries, and the lies that we've ALL been sold on (that I fell victim to as well for YEARS before I knew better)... I'm not down to be part of the problem.

I'm here to be part of the solution, which is why I want to share these fitness and health myths with you today!

The 5 Biggest Myths About Health & Fitness You Should STOP Believing ASAP

1. Lifting weights will make you bulky.

Lawd Jesus someone get me a soapbox for this one. 

For the first 3 years that I started working out, I would ONLY do cardio. This meant that for an hour every day, I'd spend my time be-boppin around on the elliptical. 

At the time, my main goal was weight loss (I had just gained the freshman 15 - which I explain in my fitness journey podcast), so I figured more cardio = weigh less. And while yes, I did lose weight going on the elliptical, I pretty much looked the same. Just 10 pounds lighter. 

And while that's all fine and dandy, I still didn't 'look' how I intended to look when I set out to reach my fitness goals: lean and toned. Because I was ONLY doing cardio, I had no muscle definition. And frankly, I got really bored, really fast (you can only spend so many hours on the same elliptical machine, am I right?)

So I knew I needed to do something different. Enter: strength training.

Not only did lifting weights give me that 'toned' and defined look I was looking for, I actually felt myself getting STRONGER. I talk in this video about how strength training saved my life, and gave me confidence in ways I didn't even know existed. It helped me heal from sexual abuse, my parent's divorce, and so much more — things I didn't even know I was holding resentment towards.

It gave me a tangible goal to work towards that wasn't related to my weight. I was super excited to go to the gym every day to try to improve upon what I did the day before. It gave me confidence in the way I looked. But most importantly: it allowed me to carry that confidence and strength I found by lifting weights into every area of my life — my relationships, my career, my self worth. 

I felt confident standing up for myself and what I wanted. I no longer settled for 'average' when it came to dating guys. I asked for a raise at work because I finally understood my worth.

ALL of this because I started lifting weights. (and it also led me down this career path so #winwin)

So no, you will not get bulky if you lift weights. What you WILL gain is confidence, courage, strength and acceptance of your body for what it does for you rather than how it looks.

 Left: only doing cardio every day; right: doing a mix of lifting weights + high intensity cardio a few times per week

Left: only doing cardio every day; right: doing a mix of lifting weights + high intensity cardio a few times per week

And, scientifically speaking, the more muscle mass you have on your body, the more calories you burn at rest. This means your metabolism speeds up when you have more muscle (more food, woo!) AND, if you do a high intensity weightlifting session like the ones laid out in my EMPOWER Challenge starting June 4, you'll keep burning calories for 24-48 hours, versus just doing cardio, where you STOP burning calories the minute you step off the treadmill or elliptical.

2. You can outwork a bad diet, as long as you train hard enough.

This one breaks my heart a little bit, but it's true: you can't outwork a bad diet.

And not even necessarily a 'bad' diet, but if you're consuming more calories than your body needs, you will gain weight — even if those calories are coming from avocados and oatmeal. 

Now, this doesn't mean you need to be glued to your phone and tracking every morsel of food in order to reach your goals. In fact, I've done that before and my results were NO better than when I was intuitive eating with light structure (my #GPF formula).

Unless you're an olympic level athlete who trains for 8+ hours per day, you probably WILL need to be mindful of the types of food you eat and your portion sizes. Most of us sit at a desk for work all day, and don't need nearly as many calories as we think we do. We eat for ALL types of reasons other than hunger throughout the day: boredom, tiredness, anxiety, depression. And even if you're in the gym 1-2 hours per day, you won't be able to 'burn off' all the extra calories or poor food choices. 

It's true that in order to get down to certain levels of leanness or if you're an athlete, you may need to start tracking your intake to get results (I talk about this in this blog post), but for the average person, you can focus on the following:

Most of your calories should come from whole food sources. When you do indulge, watch your portion sizes and be discerning about what you choose to indulge in (i.e. opting for Grandma's pie that you only eat once per year vs. mindlessly picking at stale chocolate chip cookies in the break room that show up every other day). Eat when you're genuinely hungry, stop when you're about 80% full. Drink a lot of water.

Most people tend to overcomplicate things when it comes to nutrition, but if you truly follow those principles, you could easily reach your goals with little to no stress or drama surrounding food.

3. You NEED supplements to get results. 

As I mentioned in the intro, the fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. A lot of that money comes from supplements — meaning companies will try to make you believe that you need their products in order to get results. 

If you're eating as I explained in point #2, you will not need supplements to get results.

Supplements are just that — they SUPPLEMENT an already good diet and training routine. 

If you're eating cheetos and french fries at every meal and expect to take a fat burner to lose weight... ain't happenin sista. For the record: I don't recommend fat burners in any situation, actually.

So, what WILL get you results if it's not supplements? Proper nutrition. Hard work in the gym. Plenty of sleep. 

Now: I will say, there is nothing wrong with some supplements if you're truly deficient in something and it's recommended by a doctor. For example, I take a multi-vitamin in order to cover what my diet doesn't, I take probiotics for my gut health, and I take magnesium to aid in muscle repair and better sleep quality. I also use protein powder for my delish #GPF smoothie, but not because I NEED it, just because I like the way it tastes + it adds protein to my smoothies!

If you have any questions about specific supplements, feel free to ask me. 

4. You HAVE to do a certain type of workout to get the best results.

The best type of workout is the one you're going to stick with: period. end of story.

Sure, there are more efficient ways to work out based on your desired result. For example, you won't look like a Crossfitter if all you do is run. And you won't necessarily get more flexible if all you're doing is weightlifting and avoiding any type of stretching/yoga.

Everyone has their opinion on what the 'best workout' is... but truly: it's the one you're going to stick with, day in and day out, over a long period of time.

That doesn't mean you won't ebb and flow into different styles of training during different seasons of your life. But overall, the more consistent you are with one style of training, the better your results will be.

In order to figure out what the best type of workout for you is, I encourage you to try new things! Some people love Crossfit, some love yoga, some love Orange Theory, some love weightlifting. I personally love a combo of lifting weights, mobility/stretching/yoga, and cardio (running, HIIT, etc.) 

If you're interested in more of my fave workouts, check out our EMPOWER Challenge starting June 4!

5. Eat less, move more.

When I first started getting into fitness, I lived by the philosophy "eat less, move more."

I thought that the less I ate and the more I worked out, that would guarantee my results and I'd look fabulous.

But what REALLY ended up happening was I felt weak, I passed out at work once from low blood sugar, I lost my period for a year, and I was deficient in so many vitamins and nutrients that my hair started falling out. Fun, huh? 

Now I live by the philosophy: LESS IS MORE. Less time in the gym, with higher quality work, is key to getting the results you want without burning yourself out. 

THANK GOD, because this means you don't have to spend hours and hours in the gym to get results — you just have to use your time in the gym efficiently. (Read: How to Get a Better Workout in LESS Time at the Gym)

6. BONUS! You have to either be ON the wagon or off, there is no in between. 

I know I said I was going to talk about the 5 biggest myths about health and fitness, but I JUST KEEP THINKING OF MORE BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY! But really, this is the last one and it's super important. 

I learned long ago that the all-or-nothing approach to fitness and nutrition doesn't work. 

When I was first starting out, I was either eating chicken and broccoli all day, or eating pizza + donuts + ice cream all day for fear of going back on my 'diet' the following day. There was no in between.

There was also a time where I was glued to my phone, counting every calorie I put into my mouth. I even remember a time where an ex-boyfriend gave me an Oreo, I told him I'd take it 'to go' and threw it out the window of my car on the way home because I was too scared to go 'over my calories.' (Even though I knew I'd end up bingeing on 203585x more that night because I was legitimately starving myself... but that one Oreo mattered, right?)

Now I understand that I CAN have that one Oreo and get right back on track. I don't have to wait until tomorrow, or Monday. I don't have to have a free for all, eating all the things for fear that I won't ever be able to eat them again.

I now live in an abundance mindset around food: there's always more where that came from. I'll have the opportunity to eat ice cream again tomorrow if I want, so I don't need to eat it all right now. Most times, I can have a scoop, move on with my day, and eat healthy using my autocorrect tools at the very next meal.

So, please don't feel like you need to be ON or OFF. There is a middle ground, and it's a beautiful place to live. Moderation isn't sexy, but it sure as hell is effective. 

I hope you found this article helpful! These are a few things I WISH I would've known when I started working out and eating healthy. I would've saved myself years of trouble... but hey, that's why I'm here to help you avoid making the mistakes I did!

Let me know: what's the biggest myth YOU'VE busted in your health & fitness journey? Or what's something you've heard a billion times, but you're not sure if it's a myth or the real deal? Comment below!

And if you want to learn about ALL of these topics + more while transforming your body and mindset, join my 6-week EMPOWER Challenge. We start Monday, June 4! Prices go up every Sunday until the Challenge starts so if you love a good deal, get in there sista!!


health-nut-julie-signature+(1)+(1)+(1)+2+2+(1)+2 (1).png


Hey lovely!

Last week on Instagram, I posted a story about trying out a new gym.

*Side note: I upload IG stories about mindset and also write mini daily blog-type posts on my feed, so make sure to follow along if you're not already! You can also listen to this story in my free private Facebook group I did a live video about it. Request to join here :)


Since I moved to Canada at the end of last year, I've been trying my best to put myself out there and try new things. 

I've tried dance classes/workshops, joined a regular gym, hired a personal trainer, and most recently tried classes at a local Crossfit gym. 

But here's a little secret: all of these things have scared the poo out of me.

You know the feeling you get in your stomach when you're about to try something new for the first time? Maybe it's a job interview, a new workout class, going on a date, and you feel like there's a 70% chance you may actually poo your pants.... 

That's exactly how I felt. 

Because although I have experience as a trainer and I pretty much know what I'm doing, it still scares the bejesus out of me to try new things. 

I STILL get butterflies when I walk into a new gym to try a class for the first time. Or when I try a fitness workshop. Or when I go to a dance class. 

But here's what I've learned over the years:

You have to run after that feeling of fear, anxiety and nervousness like your life depends on it. 

You have to CHASE what makes you feel afraid, because that's how you grow. 

As humans, we naturally make up the worst possible outcome of any situation in our minds ahead of time. "What if I fall on my face during the workout?" "What if the guy I'm going on a date with doesn't like me?" "What if I don't get the job?" with the overarching theme of all of these being, "What if I make a fool of or embarrass myself?"

But when you actually envision living out those outcomes... it's really NOT that bad. If you fall on your face, people will forget about it probably 10 minutes after it happens. If the guy doesn't like you, good — someone better will. If you don't get the job, good — there's a better one meant for you. 

Of course trying new things is ALWAYS going to feel uncomfortable, even if you play the worst-case-scenario-ain't-that-bad game... so here's what I like to do to combat my nerves and ease my anxiety:

1. SCHEDULE THE THING. Put yourself on the hook. Commit to showing up to the class, applying for a job/scheduling the interview, going on the date. And no matter how many times your brain wants to back out of it or makes up any possible excuse for you not to go, GO ANYWAY.

2. STAY BUSY. Of course you're going to feel more nervous if you sit around and think about it for 5 days! Try to schedule whatever you're trying out as soon as possible, so you're able to get it over with and ease your anxiety about it. However, if it takes a few days, then keep yourself busy by doing things you enjoy, rather than focusing on/stressing about it all day long.

3. BREATHE. You're going to feel nervous driving there. That's totally normal. Remember to take slowwww, deeeeep breaths (5 second inhales, 5 second exhales). Play music if that helps you calm down. Remember, YOU WILL LIVE TO TELL THE STORY. It is OK :)

4. REAP THE REWARDS OF DOING WHAT YOU SET OUT TO DO! Go grab a coffee, meet up with a friend, do something to celebrate the fact that YOU ARE A BADASS because you actually DID THE THING!!!! So many people SAY they want to do things, but never actually get around to them because fear gets in the way. So whether you liked the gym class/date/whatever or not, you at least tried it, which is something to celebrate.

Remember, everything worth living for is on the other side of our comfort zone.

It may feel more comfortable to stay in your little bubble at this exact moment, but you don't want to be looking back at your life a year from now (or when you're 85 reflecting in your rocking chair), and say, "MAN. What would my life be like right now had I tried [that thing]?"

Because who knows what will come from trying a new gym, interviewing for a new job, going on a date... you could meet your best friend, get in the best shape of your life, land the job of your dreams, and live an awesome freakin' life.

Or I guess you could just stay home and hope for those things because it feels more comfortable. ;)

Moral of the story: CHASE that uncomfortable feeling. The one where your stomach is twisting and turning, you feel nervous (like you may poo your pants), you want to make up 103858 excuses not to go... because when you're able to push outside your comfort zone, you're one step closer to living a happier, more exciting, joyful, amazing freakin' life.




Tell me: what's something you've always wanted to try but haven't found the courage to yet? DM me on Instagram or comment below and let's chat about it!

5 Ways to Not Stress About Food During the Holidays

The holidays don't have to be stressful, especially when it comes to food, fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. Here are 5 tips to keep you sane & well during the holiday season.

5 Ways to NOT Stress About Food During the Holidays


Does the thought of being around so much food during the holidays stress you out?

I remember back in the day when I would literally fake sick so I didn't have to go to Christmas parties because I was SO anxious around food.

"But what about my goals? I want to stay on track. I can't trust myself around food. I will eat everything in sight if I go."

... these are only a few of the stories I used to tell myself during the holiday party season.

The holidays are a time of great joy, but for many of us who have experienced the "diet culture" at some point, it can also be a time of great stress.

I love the idea of "HEY ITS THE HOLIDAYS! Don't woooorry bout it and enjoy yourself."

But we all know that it's not as easy as just pretending everything is fine - especially when you're heading to a holiday party and get an overwhelming sense of anxiety of "should I or shouldn't I eat X, Y, Z?"

Here are some practical tips for a stress-free, mindful holiday:

1. Never go to a party/dinner/aunt Susan's house hungry. Drink a protein shake (almond milk + choc @gardenoflife protein = BOMB) or have at least protein and veggies. That way, you're not ravenous and tempted to eat everything in sight.

2. Be discerning. This means don't choose the stale chocolate chip cookies your uncle Jim bought from the store just because they're there. Be discerning about what you indulge in (like having a slice of your grandmas pie she only makes once a year).

3. Practice mindfulness. Before you fill up your plate, take a deep breath and ask yourself, "what can I eat to truly nourish and energize myself right now?" And if you still choose a piece of pie, totally fine because you are the one with the power, making the decision. #adultlife

4. Remember the basics: these are *my tips* that work for me - I avoid appetizers (because I just had my protein shake, remember?); I fill the majority of my plate with protein and veggies for my main meal; I choose ONE dessert that I really want (refer to the above point about discernment).

5. Aaaand most of all: focus on connection! The holidays are one of the only times during the year that most of the family gets together (which can be good and bad hehe), so try to relax, focus on conversation, and have fun.

Oh and you can always recommend a family activity like a walk after dinner or football game (don't pick me, please).

️ LOVE YA! Happy holidays babe!


What to Do If You're in a Fitness Rut

My relationship with fitness has changed a lot over the years.

In fact, I realized when writing this post that fitness and relationships are VERY similar: there's the honeymoon phase when you're super obsessed and in love. Then, sometimes it feels like you lose that initial 'lust' and it takes grit, dedication and true love to keep pushing through when things get tough.

In today's post, we're taking a look at my fitness journey and hopefully you'll be inspired to know that even as a *fitness coach,* we ALL have our ups & downs in our relationship to fitness.

Whether you're going through a rough patch with fitness right now or you're completely in love with it, I hope this article inspires you to keep coming back to fitness - even if you fall completely off track (as we all have at some point).

The Ups & Downs of Any Fitness Relationship

Back in 2013, I started to become increasingly obsessed with fitness and nutrition.

I was in college at the time and had gained the 'dreaded Freshman 15.' I quickly realized that without the help of multiple-hour high school dance practices, I was actually going to have to work out and not eat foot long Subway sandwiches every day if I wanted to stay in shape. *Sigh*

So I hired a personal trainer.

This is when I fell in love with lifting weights.

I started my first blog in 2013, called Health Nut Julie (shout out to all you OG peeps who remember that one!) to share my personal experiences with getting fit, sharing recipes, all the typical health blogger things.

From 2013-2015 my obsession with fitness continued to grow:

- I became a group exercise instructor.
- I started creating meal plans and workouts for people to follow online.
- I became a certified personal trainer.
- I kept blogging (kind of) and started an Instagram account for my fitness business.

In 2015, I got so busy with my fitness business that I decided it was time to take a leap of faith and leave my full-time, salaried job in Advertising.

Since September 11, 2015 when I left my full-time job, there have been SO MANY CHANGES:

- I got the opportunity to intern at Strength Camp which turned in to a full-time position for all of 2016, putting my own business / blog / content on the back burner.
- I became a certified nutritionist.
- Mark and I got engaged in January 2017 and decided we wanted to start our life in Canada.
- We traveled to Texas from March - June so he could pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter.
- We moved to Canada, where I'm in the process of becoming a permanent resident.

Allll during this time, I've been trying to stay on top of my fitness and trying to keep my business going.

And I'm not going to lie: things change when you turn your hobby/passion into a full-time career.

What was once my 'outlet' and something I genuinely adored, suddenly became a self-imposed 'obligation.'

I felt like I HAD to work out, eat healthy, be this walking image of health in order to keep growing my business and be in alignment with who I was being online.

Duh, right? All of those things make sense. And when you love something, it should come naturally to you to want to do.

But if you've been following me on social media for the past year or so - throughout all these changes, the LAST thing I've wanted to do is post my workouts or my meals, create the same YouTube vlogs that everyone else is doing.

Honestly, at times, I didn't even feel like working out or eating healthy whatsoever.

All I felt like doing was eating tacos and watching Netflix.

So, just like any relationship, you go through rough patches.

There are ups and downs. Times when you feel super in love and like everything is just falling into place (the honeymoon stage). Followed by some times when you may wonder, "Is this what I really want for my life?" Followed shortly by, "OMG I LOVE THIS! I'm so grateful to have it in my life. It makes me feel amazing, strong, sexy, confident and on top of the world!!!" Followed by, "I'm so over this. I need a break for a bit."

Who knew fitness and relationships were so similar? ;)

So while my relationship with fitness has ebbed & flowed, I'm definitely back in that honeymoon "I love this so much" stage.

I'm back in the gym consistently.

I'm back on track with my healthy eating.

I'm loving my workouts again and don't feel like I'm going to the gym out of 'obligation' to fit a certain mold or standard of what a fitness coach 'should' be.

I'm feeling stronger, sexier, more vibrant and alive than I have in almost a year.

If you're in a 'rough patch' with your relationship to fitness, keep pushing through.

And if you really want this to stick for the long haul...

Don't put pressure or expectations on yourself to be perfect or love your workouts or feel super inspired and motivated all the time.

Let yourself go through the ebbs and flows.

In the times when it doesn't feel natural, remember WHY it's important to move and how amazing it makes you feel.

Even in my 'rough patches,' I never used that as an excuse to stop working out completely. There was a period in Texas where literally all I did was walk and a few 20-minute at-home workouts per week. But THAT WAS ENOUGH for me at the time -- I was doing something to get my body moving, get my endorphins going and make myself feel amazing while still respecting my energy and what my body needed.

Whatever stage in your fitness journey you are right now, accept it for what it is.

Know that if you've fallen off the bandwagon, there's nothing wrong with you. You're not lazy, unmotivated, unfit.

You're just going through a rough patch.

Find your reason WHY you fell in love with fitness in the first place, and let that inspire you to create change in your life because YOU WANT TO do something positive for yourself.

What's your current relationship with fitness like? Leave a comment below and let me know!

5 Tips to Stay Healthy and Happy Over the Holidays

It's holiday season: the best time of the yeaaaaar!

I'm thankful to be a partial-Canadian now because I get TWO Thanksgivings every year - one in October, and one tomorrow. #blessed

Let me be real for a second: As a recovering perfectionist and all-or-nothing dieter, holidays like Thanksgiving used to stress me out.

What will I eat? What if I overdo it? What if I gain 95392 pounds in one day?

Now, I don't stress so much about it - after all, it's ONE day of the year. 

But I wanted to give you some tips in case you are stressing, or you're just trying to feel as great as possible and find balance during the holiday season!

5 Tips to Stay on Track with Your Fitness Goals Over the Holidays 

How you look is the (1).png


Chances are, you’ll be eating a lot more food than usual, it’s time to put that food to good use!

Instead of thinking you need to exercise to 'make up for' what you ate, change your mindset: 

"I am so full of amazing, delicious food right now. My strength will be through the roof! Time to make the most of it and do some heavier squats, deadlifts, etc. and really challenge myself in my workouts." 

Even if you’re traveling, you can still do at-home workouts or go for a walk/run with your family

Also, PLEASE ditch the all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to working out, especially over the holidays. Maybe you can't do an hour long workout, but I'm sure you can fit in 10-20 minutes.

Here's an sample workout:

Directions: Set a timer for 10-20 minutes. Do 12 reps of each, as many rounds as possible, resting as needed. No equipment necessary!

  • Squats 
  • High knees
  • Alternating Reverse Lunges
  • Push ups
  • Burpees


A lot of times, we mistake thirst for hunger – meaning we think we are hungry but we are actually just thirsty. When you wake up, drink at least two full glasses of water. Before your big meal, chug some water. During your meal, drink water. After your meal, drink more water.

See a theme here?

Before you go back for thirds, try drinking a glass of water and waiting a few minutes – that should help you feel fuller!

3. BE DISCERNING (scope out your faves)

I don’t know about you, but I get pretty disappointed when I plan to splurge and don’t end up enjoying what I’m eating.

Before indulging on Thanksgiving – think about what you will really ENJOY eating, and don’t just eat for the sake of eating. (Sorry, stale Publix cookies – Hello, Grandma’s homemade pie you can only eat once per year!)

Be discerning. Save your appetite for the “good” stuff, not the stuff that you can have any other day of the week.


By no means am I saying that holidays are about restriction, and they shouldn’t be!

But in order to not feel overly stuffed, you can save a lot of space in your stomach by filling up
on protein (turkey, ham, etc.) and whatever greens are available.

Then, enjoy a bit of what you REALLY want, as mentioned in Tip #3.

Side note: if you’re not sure there will be any healthy options available at your Thanksgiving feast, bring your own dish. I'm sure your host will appreciate you!


This goes along with #1, but get up and get movin’ AFTER your Turkey Day meal.

The worst thing to do is just sit around when you’re stuffed – so get your family and friends together and see if anyone wants to go for a walk around the block. Or, encourage them to play a game of football together, rather than just sitting around and watching TV all afternoon.


At the end of the day, please enjoy yourself and don’t worry too much about being perfect. Just as it didn’t take ONE day for you to lose 5-10 pounds, it won’t take one day to gain 5-10 pounds.

Use these tips to stay in control and be mindful as you’re eating, and focus your energy on good conversation with family and friends.