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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

Julia’s #OKREALTALK Tips

  • You don't need to be a food nazi to be healthy. Eat well most of the time and you'll be fine.
  • Relax your attitude towards food. Too much pressure and you'll probably crack.
  • Your health will only become a priority if you make it one.
ok

b. 1986

juliaandlibby.com 

t. @juliaandlibby

i. @juliaandlibby


As told to Amy Woodside, April 2014
Photography by Yasmine Ganley