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The Health Science Podcast | Episode 047. | September 28, 2023
047: Greens, Grit, and Growth: Julieanna Hever’s Plant-Powered Odyssey
047: Greens, Grit, and Growth: Julieanna Hever’s Plant-Powered Odyssey

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Known as the “Plant-Based Dietitian,” Julieanna Hever is not only an accomplished registered dietitian but also an author with an impressive body of work. Her journey towards embracing and promoting plant-based nutrition is a fascinating tale of personal conviction, resilience, and a deep commitment to helping others live healthier lives.

A Teenager’s Awakening

Julieanna’s journey into the world of plant-based nutrition began during her teenage years, sparked by her profound love for animals and the influence of John Robbins, a renowned advocate for plant-based living. Her introduction to this lifestyle was via Robbins’ groundbreaking book, “Diet for a New America.”

The book not only highlighted the critical connection between diet, health, and animal welfare but also unveiled the environmental impacts of dietary choices. It was a revelation that left an indelible mark on young Julieanna.

A Challenging Start

Despite her newfound commitment to a plant-based lifestyle, Julieanna faced considerable challenges in the early stages of her journey. Her decision to forgo animal products was met with resistance from family and friends who couldn’t fathom this unconventional choice.

In a memorable intervention, her family took her to a steakhouse and enlisted a nurse to express their concerns about potential nutrient deficiencies. At an early age Julieanna faced uncertainty but decided to persevere on her chosen path.

Educational Pursuits

Julieanna’s passion for nutrition and plant-based living continued to flourish as she pursued higher education. She dedicated herself to learning, earning her master’s in nutrition, and gaining expertise in statistics, physiology, and medical nutrition therapy. During her academic journey, she gathered valuable insights into the industry’s influences, including the powerful dairy and sugary cereal lobbies, which were pervasive even within healthcare institutions.

Personal Transformation

The turning point in Julieanna’s journey came when she became a mother. Fueled by her desire to provide the best possible nutrition for her child, she delved back into research and decided it was time to fully embrace a plant-based diet herself.

The results were remarkable—she experienced a dramatic improvement in her health, with lifelong sinus infections and persistent acne disappearing. Her personal transformation became a driving force in her mission to spread the benefits of plant-based nutrition.

Becoming an Advocate

Julieanna’s journey eventually led her to become an executive director at the nonprofit organization Save International, closely aligned with John Robbins’ work. This alignment was a dream come true for her, as Robbins had profoundly influenced her life. Her association with Save International allowed her to work closely with Robbins and contribute to the plant-based movement.

Plant-Based Lifestyle  

Julieanna highlights that embracing a plant-based lifestyle goes beyond diet; it encompasses choices in clothing and other aspects. She draws attention to the environmental impact of animal-based clothing and encourages people to consider these aspects as part of the plant-based discussion.

Processed Foods  

While acknowledging that processed plant-based foods can serve as a transitional step for some individuals, Julieanna raises concerns about the proliferation of such products in the market. She warns against the negative influence of corporate entities seeking profits by offering processed vegan options and encourages people to focus on whole, unprocessed plant foods.

Fitness and Plant-Based Nutrition  

Julieanna’s background in fitness supports her approach to plant-based nutrition. She integrates nutrition and fitness recommendations for her clients, recognizing the synergy between both aspects in achieving optimal health.

Time-Restricted Eating (Intermittent Fasting)  

Julieanna supports time-restricted eating as a behavioral strategy that can help some individuals manage their eating patterns more effectively. While its impact on weight loss is debated, she appreciates its potential benefits, both in terms of weight management and potential longevity.

Julieanna Hever’s journey and insights into plant-based nutrition offer a compelling narrative of personal growth and professional commitment. Her passion for empowering individuals to make healthier dietary choices shines through, providing valuable guidance and encouragement for those embarking on their own journeys toward a plant-based lifestyle.

Episode Highlights

[02:00]             “Diet for a New America” was a catalyst for change.           

[04:00]             Uncovering the truth about industry reports.

[07:30]             Trends in healthcare with younger professionals.

[11:30]             Plant-Based Nutrition (Idiots Guide) comes of age.

[15:00]             Avoid being a short-order cook by being a role model.

[17:00]             Long term vegans can have the same health issues as carnivores.

[22:00]             Taking the movement down the wrong path.

[26:00]             The marriage of mindfulness, fitness and nutrition creates optimal results.

[26:00]             Keeping the transition to plant based as simple as possible results in success.

[33:00]             Understanding the addiction of salt, sugar and fat.

[36:00]             The power of time restricted eating for cognitive behavior benefits.

[38:15]             The modern-day trifecta of overabundance has normalized unhealthy weight.

About Julieanna Hever

Known as The Plant-Based Dietitian®, Julieanna has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from UCLA and a Master of Science degree in Nutrition from Cal State Northridge, bridging her three biggest passions for food, performing, and helping people.

As a Registered Dietitian, Julieanna has authored nine books, including Choose You Now Diet, The Healthspan Solution, Plant-Based Nutrition (Idiots Guide), Vegiterranean Diet, and two peer-reviewed journal articles on plant-based nutrition for healthcare professionals (in Journal of Geriatric Cardiology and Permanente Journal).

Julieanna is the host of the Choose You Now Podcast.

Past projects have included being the host of What Would Julieanna Do?; giving a TEDx talk; writing as the nutrition columnist for VegNews Magazine; and teaching the eCornell Plant-Based Nutrition Certification Program. She recently co-hosted Science and Saucery and Facebook Watch’s Home Sweet Home, and has appeared on Harry, The Dr. Oz Show, The Steve Harvey Show, Reluctantly Healthy, The Marie Osmond Show, and E! News.

New adventures include speaking, presenting, traveling, helping a wide variety of clients achieve their goals, and sharing her passion for healing and happiness eating a whole food, plant-based diet.

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About Dr. Frank Sabatino

As a recognized authority on the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, Dr. Frank Sabatino has cared for and inspired thousands of people for over 40 years. Dr. Sabatino has a PhD in cell biology and neuroendocrinology and has done extensive landmark research on calorie restriction, stress, and aging. He currently is on staff at the TrueNorth Health Foundation in Santa Rosa, CA, and serves as the Director of Health Education at the NHA.

Dr. Sabatino’s passion and life’s work include raising awareness about the benefits of whole-food, plant-exclusive nutrition (without added salt, oil, or sugar), health rejuvenation, stress management.

About NHA

The National Health Association (NHA), founded in 1948, is a nonprofit organization that promotes the benefits of a plant-based diet. The Association provides educational materials, educational events, and services to thousands of people around the world.

The mission of the National Health Association is to educate and empower individuals to understand that health results from healthful living. The NHA recognizes the integration of all aspects of health  personal, environmental, and social.

The NHA also provides travel experiences around the globe through the NHA Plant-Based Travel and cruise division.

More information  https //


A unique benefit of the NHA Conference is the selection of two medical students who receive a full scholarship to the conference.

Contact Wanda Huberman for more information on how to apply for the scholarship.  [email protected]

NHA membership

For a very nominal investment, you can enjoy incredible benefits of the NHA membership.

Members of the NHA enjoy a subscription to the award-winning quarterly health journal, Health Science, access to the “Members Only” section of the NHA Website (which contains all 43 years of back issues of the magazine),  the ability to download for free many classic out of print eBooks on the history of the Natural Hygiene Movement, including Fasting Can Save Your Life and The Greatest Health Discovery, discounts on books, and early notice of the NHA events.

Only $35 a year for basic membership within the United States.  https //

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