I have a distinct vision of Julia Matthews sitting next to me during lunchtime, cross-legged in her school uniform, dipping a sausage roll into ketchup. I was probably trying to scab a bite. Julia and I spent the better part of our adolescence subsisting on the vending machine variety of nutrients, so it’s only fair I get to call her Kale Face in light of her successful nutrition blog, Julia & Libby.
“I used to drink so much alcohol and eat McDonalds all the time! I would nail double cheeseburger combos with mayo and get pissed every weekend. What shifted my view on eating was animal welfare. I stopped eating meat for ethical reasons, but it made me feel better, physically. I started researching food at the same time Libby began studying nutrition, so both of us had a shift in perspective. Mum & dad became pesceterians around the same time and had seen positive health results, so it really started as a family effort to feel better. Friends would constantly ask us for recipes, so we started a joint Tumblr for people to reference and the blog grew from there.
People are slowly understanding nutrition, but then really off comments on Julia & Libby make me realise how uneducated a lot of people still are. We’re not taught this in school.
In home economics, we made brownies.
I was the same, I didn’t have any idea about food. We grew up thinking Cornflakes were good for breakfast. Are you kidding me? I wouldn’t feed that to my dog—that’s wallpaper paste right there. It’s not that I think of myself as a role model in the slightest, or that I eat quinoa all day long. It’s about eating well the majority of the time, so that when you do eat something unhealthy on occasion, it’s not a big deal.
People put so much pressure on themselves—it’s a recipe for failure.
We have people asking about calorie content in food that we post. I’ve never counted a calorie in my life. It’s really important to us that Julia & Libby provides a realistic approach to eating. Organic food is expensive, and you can only do so much. With skincare for example, I’m trying to use more natural products, but if I have no money I’ll buy cleanser from the supermarket. It’s about priorities.
I’d rather see Lynette, my naturopath, than buy a pair of shoes.
She does Hemaview—where she pricks your blood and puts it under a microscope. It’s the coolest shit ever. You can see your red blood cells and your little white ones like fireworks flashing around, eating all the bad stuff.”
As told to Amy Woodside, April 2014
Photography by Yasmine Ganley