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Name: Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT
Year of Birth: 1975
Height: 5'3"
Weight: 118
Birthplace: Los Angeles
Current Residence: Los Angeles
Sports: Weight training, running, spinning, stretching, cardio, circuit training

Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have:
I am also known as The Plant-Based Dietitian, and I am a passionate advocate of the miracles associated with following a whole food, plant-based diet-the established effects of which provide positive healthful benefits. I'm the author of the best-selling book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, and the nutrition columnist for VegNews Magazine. I am also co-author of the brand new book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, which I wrote with Chef Beverly Lynn Bennett. I counsel a variety of clients throughout the world from my Los Angeles, California-based private practice including elite athletes, adults, and children with various nutritional and/or medical concerns. I was recently featured on The Dr. Oz Show and Reluctantly Healthy, in numerous radio shows, and have lectured extensively internationally. I am published in prominent journals, magazines, blogs, and newsletters. As co-producer and star of the “infotainment” documentary To Your Health, I interviewed a host of the plant-based world’s most respected doctors and researchers to bring this important information to film and television audiences. My work as the Executive Director of EarthSave, International, has also provided an opportunity for me to bring whole food, plant-based nutrition to the forefront of efforts to improve the current global health crisis.

Why did you become vegan?
Initially, I became vegan for the animals….when I found out how an animal or its secretions ended up on my plate, I didn't want anything to do with it. But I was concerned because I didn't know how to eat vegan healthfully (I was a teenager without resources like the internet). Then, after finishing my masters degree in nutrition and became a Regsitered Dietitian, and when I learned that it was actually ideal for optimal health, I was 100% committed and have dedicated my career to sharing this information with as many people as possible. Since then, my clients actually reverse disease, get off their medications, and my athlete clients get stronger, faster, better, and healthier.

When and why did you become interested in fitness?
I was always passionate about fitness. I taught aerobics to my friends when I was 5 years old, then in college at UCLA, and finally became a personal trainer while in college. I worked full-time doing in-home and in-club training for 12 years and put myself through graduate school. I love sharing fitness, nutrition, and health with others,

How would you describe your nutrition program?
I eat an entirely whole food, plant-based diet. When I stray, once in a while, it is because I am craving French fries or vegan pizza…

How would you describe your training program?
I train for my sanity and maintenance of strength and cardiovascular endurance now that I am a busy working Mom. I try to do something every day…usually either an hour of cardio with some strength and stretching afterwards or else a full circuit strength/endurance workout.

What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
I sometimes take a B12 supplement.

How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
I have had all sorts of reactions. Typically, people are shocked and can't believe that a egan can look healthy! And I have been pleasantly surprised to see how contagious veganism is becoming…people become aware and then slowly start making changes without me even saying anything. Role modeling is the most effective tool available, which is one of the reasons I love this website!

What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
So much! But mostly that we will be deficient and weak and wither away without animal products!

Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
YES! Role modeling, counseling, answering questions. My book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, has been the best tool ever because I can hand over all of the science and tools in one handy book and get anyone motivated and excited to get started because they see how easy it really is…no matter your age group, health status, fitness level, or lifestyle.

What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
To include all components of fitness: strength, muscular and cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, balance, and agility.

What do you like best about being vegan?
Everything! I feel so connected to other people, animals, and the Earth simply by the choices I make with my fork.

What do you like best about being fit?
Having boundless energy and being able to do things without pain or effort.

What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
To be persistent. Consistency is the key to success. Just do something every day and watch your body, health, and energy change in amazing ways.

What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
Think positive…focus on all the new foods you can try…not one what you are taking away. Travel your own path by making new choices and not judging yourself. Every bite counts!

What motivates you in life?
Helping others find health…I wake up every morning and am fueled by the desire to make a difference.

What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
It was one of the first sites I found when I began changing my diet and it inspired me immensely to see that you can not only still be fit, but that you can surpass your personal bests as a vegan. Love the site!