Changemaker Interview with Julie Beyer of For the Love of Food

Julie Beyer helps people to discover how easy, affordable and delicious creating food with healthy ingredients can be.

Her GLOW collection of treats are truly memorable and very in keeping with the Positively Purposeful work of feeding our mind, body and spirits with goodness in order to bring out our inner beauty.

We asked Julie to share some of the secrets to her entrepreneurial passion and success with us. Her story is amazing and positively defines inspiration.

Julie is an amazing and very inspiring entrepreneur. She’s also a good friend, yet I learned so much about her in reading her story below. I hope she writes a book soon!

We asked Julie:

What inspired you to start this business?

I’m an accidental entrepreneur. I never intended to start a business, let alone have a career in the food industry. I used to be made fun of for my lack of cooking skills; up until my early 20s, my specialty was macaroni & cheese and instant noodles. When I started university I was interested in business, economics, and politics —being in the kitchen was the last thing on my mind.

I have had many experiences that have led me to where I am today as an entrepreneur, holistic chef and educator. They have also given me an in-depth understanding of the food system, holistic nutrition and food preparation. I would really need to write a book to fully explain my journey that led me to create For the Love of Food, but here is part of my story.

I went to university and chose to study International Relations and Economics, because I dreamed of an international career working for the UN in policy and economics. I wanted to make a positive difference in the world and I felt that was the best way to do it. At university, I took courses in agricultural economics and was fascinated with how agriculture had such a wide reaching impact on all facets of the economy, the environment and the social fabric of communities. Food economics became my favourite subject and I decided that I wanted to make positive change in the world through changing the food system.

My love of food began soon after, when I studied abroad for a year in France and fell in love with the food culture. I loved the care that was taken to prepare and enjoy every meal. I began to develop an appreciation of flavours and the art of eating. I became inspired to bring the French love of food into my life in Canada.

That summer, I decided to travel to Turkey and volunteer on an organic farm so I could get first-hand experience growing food to develop another perspective of the food system. The experience changed my life and my relationship with food for many reasons. One of the eye-opening experiences I had was when I went to a shop with the farmer and saw all the pesticides (with skulls on the bottle) that went onto non-organic foods. That was the first time it really hit home for me how my own diet, that at that time consisted of mostly processed foods, was impacting the environment and our health. I decided from then on that I wanted to do my best to eat more organic foods when I returned to Canada.

When I returned to Canada, I went back to school and began studying full time so I could do my masters and have the international career I wanted. My dreams were quickly thwarted when I had to face several personal challenges and a sudden mysterious debilitating illness. Western doctors were unable to help me and I almost lost my life. During that time I lost everything I had – my health, my sanity, my friends, my personality, and my freedom. I also suffered from a painful back injury and I could no longer continue going school. Food especially became a big challenge for me and every time I would eat, it felt like razor blades cutting through my body. I began to fear eating; I hated food and wanted nothing to do with it. I hit lower than rock bottom.

I was suffering deeply and became desperate to find a solution that I ended up working with several naturopathic doctors. One of the first things I did was change my diet, and that alone made a huge difference. I found out I had become hypersensitive to food, pesticides and other toxic additives. Unfortunately I had to adopt a very strict diet that was very hard on me psychologically, yet it was the only thing at that time that would alleviate my pain and food related challenges. One of the things I learned from this experience was how much of an impact toxins in our food affect our minds and bodies. For most people the results of the damage shows up later in life – for me I was feeling the harm in real time. In that sense, it was a blessing in disguise.

After changing my diet and lifestyle, and working with several holistic therapeutic modalities that addressed emotional healing, I found the energy to continue my studies part-time. I was unable to work during the summer so I spent another summer volunteering on the university farm. I continued with inner healing work through yoga and various other modalities and found the strength to graduate and start a career. I was still not well enough to travel at that point so I applied for a local internship in Vancouver.

As life would have it, I was chosen amongst a hundred candidates for an internship in a department of the federal government responsible for economic development. I got the “dream job” that all my classmates wanted. I was shocked to learn that my first assignment as an intern was to organize a procurement (purchasing) tour from one of the largest US multinational corporations in the world who supplied arms and transport material to the US military.

The Canadian government had just purchased a large amount of military and transport craft from this company, and as part of the deal, the company had to spend or invest equal amounts of money in Canada. At that time I was still a bit naïve and asked my co-workers how this could be – that our government was using the war industry to grow our economy. I couldn’t understand that people did this as part of their regular job without questioning what they were doing. A colleague responded to my observations with, “War is the only way for our economy to grow. We must do this to sustain our current lifestyle. Just look at history, every boom comes from war.” Another co-worker literally whispered to me, “Julie, now your hands are dipped in blood. You have now played a part in killing innocent children all over the world. Run as fast as you can. If you stay here, yes you will get a decent salary and benefits, but you will rot inside and you will never grow.” He said it in a half-joking way but he was right. I hated my “dream” job. I did not feel I was able to quit at that point as I had student loans I needed to pay, so I organized the tour and saw the task to completion. However, I felt guilty and went into a deep depression.

Around the same time, I picked up Michael Pollen’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and one of the things that struck me the most, was the exorbitant amount of fossil fuel that was needed to produce food in our modern-day industrial food system – from producing pesticides, to fertilizers to transportation. From my studies in politics and international relations, I knew that most wars were started as a result of fighting over resources – not to mention the environmental degradation fossil fuels cause. As food is what we consume most, I immediately saw the connection between our food choices and conflict. At that time, I was so impacted by war that I vowed to myself that I would always prioritize eating organic wholefoods as a way to make peace with my actions. I later changed areas in the department and worked in the agricultural economic development. I loved the experience. I got to see first-hand how consumer spending on local organic food was having a positive impact on policy and government spending.

When I first changed my diet, I felt that I was wasting my time preparing all my own food in the kitchen and that I was missing out on the opportunity to go out and change the world and travel. Then I realized that I was doing more change for the world by spending time in my kitchen cooking my own food everyday then trying to go out and change the world around me. From my background in economics and experience in government I could see how much of an impact the way we spend our dollars impacts everything: the environment, policies, government spending, local and international communities, economies, and health – especially when it comes to how we spend our money on food.

Something started to happen that I never expected. People all around me started to become very inspired by the way I lived my life. They started to change their own diets – simply by witnessing the choices I was making. And every time someone did change, they were supporting a new economy and society that supported environment preservation. Every time they purchased whole organic foods, it gave a message to the farmers who work with our food that said: “I see you and respect you and want you to work in a toxin-free environment.” They were also taking a stand for their own physical and mental well being and preventing expensive health care for preventable diseases; I then realized the power of Ghandi’s quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

I left my position after my internship in government ended. While I loved working in agricultural economic development, something inside of me told me my purpose was elsewhere. The stress of working also took a big toll on my health that was had still been fragile when I began. I then entered another very challenging period of my life. Even though I had graduated with a prestigious degree and had impressive work experience on my resume – I was still sick, and in too much physical and emotional pain to do much of anything let alone work. I was also completely disillusioned by my experience in the government, and was uninspired to pursue the career I had wanted.

All my dreams, self-confidence and self-esteem were shattered. I had no idea when I would get better, or if I even would. All I felt like doing was retreating from the world and crying. I had to let go of everything. I was devastated. On top of that, I still had to follow a very restricted diet; I hated eating, was underweight and was malnourished.

With the support of my father, I took time off and literally spent hours each day practicing yoga, meditating, exploring every holistic healing method I could find, delving into self-exploration through journaling, reading self-help and nutritional books. It was through this, that I became very interested in holistic nutrition and researched as much as I could about healing with food. I gradually developed a deep felt sense of understanding nutrition from experiencing first-hand what it was like to be malnourished, trying various holistic approaches, being sensitive to food and experiencing many types of negative emotional relationships to nourishment. I prayed and prayed to find a love for food again that I had discovered in France. I remember sitting in my shower singing mantras to myself, “I love food, I love food, I love food…please God help me find a love for food” – over and over and over again.

In an effort to re-cultivate my love for food, I began to practice loving food by preparing the healthiest food I could find in the most delicious ways possible. I still had so much fear around eating and had multiple allergies that often times I would literally sit and watch people eat the food I had prepared, because I often couldn’t eat it. I began to develop a gift for preparing food intuitively. People started to compliment me on how good my food tasted – yet I had no idea what they were talking about. People started to suggest that I follow a career in food and I thought it was the craziest idea ever. Who was I to teach people how to prepare food healthfully when I had no training and could barely eat myself. A part of me actually feared being gifted with food because that meant I would have to be around food all the time and I would have to do a lot of deep healing work. That scared me.

While I was going through all of this I started reading Pema Chodron’s book, When Things Fall Apart, which talked about suffering in silence and in vain. She recommended a practice called tonglen, in which one would practice by focusing on what they were feeling and for everyone else who is feeling like them. One would accomplish this by breathing into it for themselves and others. While doing this exercise, with the intention of healing my relationship with food, I came to a strong intuitive understanding that what I was suffering was a reflection of what the earth, animals, and people involved in food production were suffering because of the modern agriculture system. I also saw that our relationship to food and the earth is a reflection of our relationship to the feminine which has been repressed and violated. All of this, for whatever reason, was being reflected in me.

When I realized this, I came to a profound acceptance of my condition and began to develop deep compassion, forgiveness and love for myself. I found total peace in my suffering and became grateful for the wisdom and the experience I had for all that it had shown me. I could feel the earth was calling out to me for assistance, and that I needed to step into my power as a woman and dive deeper into my inner healing work. It was around this time that my life began to shift and I found the resources I needed to help me heal my allergies, fear and pain around food. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do; it felt like finding needles in a haystack.

Friend and strangers alike continued to comment about how great my food tasted and asked me questions about nutrition. They would remark that I had a GLOW and they wanted to know my GLOW nutritional secrets and how I managed to eat healthfully every day. Finally, one afternoon I very reluctantly agreed to help a friend with grocery shopping and taught her how to prepare a few healthy meals. Afterwards she broke down in tears and told me how much I had changed her life, and how important it was that I teach others how to live a healthy lifestyle. I finally surrendered to my calling – even though I was still fearful. Before I knew it, I had a life coach, and created a business to answer the very questions people kept on asking me: “How to make healthy eating practical and delicious?” and “How to Get the GLOW?” (My product line is now called the GLOW Collection).

I started my business still in recovery from my illness and had very little confidence in myself. I was still working through my food challenges and was still trying to figure out for myself how to cultivate a love of food. Some people told me I should go back to school to actually learn how to cook. I never did. Something inside of me told me I already knew everything and just needed to follow my intuition, and I did! I have since returned to school to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist.

My gift for food forced me to re-kindle a love of food and heal from my allergies, traumas and much more. While my journey was extremely challenging, and at times it felt torturous, it has made me into the person I am today. The challenges I faced forced me to develop a strong intuition, resiliency, radical forgiveness and acceptance of myself and others. It showed me what love is and beyond. The qualities that I developed as a result of having to fight for my life with the suffering I endured day after day – have helped me grow For the Love of Food to where it is today, and for that, I am grateful.

People often ask me how I created the GLOW Collection, and how I came up with all the names of my products. The truth is I didn’t create it, I simply listened to my intuition – the ideas came through me. I believe I cultivated my gift for food preparation through prayer and the mantras I use to repeat to myself – “I love food, I love food”. That is why my business is called For the Love of Food – because it was born out of an intention for just that. To this day, I still create most of my recipes through intuitive guidance. The best recipes I have created, including my GLOW Collection product line, have all been intuitive creations.

The mission behind For the Love of Food encompasses my varied experience. While I mostly focus on nutrition and flavours, the purpose of For the Love of Food goes much deeper. For the Love of Food is my healing journey of coming to peace with the deep suffering I experienced by an offering a way of healing so others do not have to experience the pain I felt. My business is about supporting sustainable economic development, environmental preservation, preventing conflict, women’s empowerment, and respect of animals and one another as human beings. The funny thing is, this is very similar to what I wanted to do when I was in university. My path just looks different, much different than what I had imagined it to. Now I am being the change that I want to see in the world, while making it delicious.



What’s the most rewarding part of your business for you?

Hmmmm….being able to spend my time doing what I love and being able to share with people what I love. It feels so good when people thank me for the work, or should I say play ;-), that I bring to the world.


What have you found your biggest challenges as an entrepreneur to be?

Knowing how to spend my time. As an entrepreneur there is so much that always needs to get done (or so it seems) and it can be easy to get overwhelmed and get lost in the details. I have had to learn how to use my intuition more to figure out where to spend my time, when to stop working and to let go of perfection. I have found when I do let go of trying to do everything myself help always comes – sometimes from unlikely places. I am still struggling with this lesson though as I am a hard worker by nature. I feel so inspired by what I do that it can be hard to stop working.


What do you do when times get tough?

The first place I go is my yoga mat. My yoga and meditation practice has had such a profound effect on my life and I always can come back to a place of wholeness and peace no matter what else is happening around me. This is only one piece. I also always talk to my dad,  a close friend or my manager Heather about what is happening and just have them listen and offer empathy. This does wonders. Once I am feeling more balance and centered I ask my intuition what the learning is from the situation I am in – and an answer always comes. Once I have the awareness of how I have created a situation or what the learning is in it, I ask how I can heal the external circumstance within myself or integrate the lesson I needed to learn. Again, an answer always comes. After doing the inner work, life sorts itself out and situations change – and often times tough situations turns out to be a miracle in disguise. Now when something terrible happens, I sometimes get excited, as I wonder what juicy surprise lies underneath.


What advice do you have for other folks with big ideas for positive change via small business?

First, be aware of whether you’re making business decisions from a place of love (generosity) or fear. To clarify, when you make a decision from a place of love it is because it feels right in your body and you are doing it for the great good of yourself and the world. For example, this may look like offering a‘competitor’ a tip because she is also making life giving products that are helping others. This decision to share is based on love. Making a decision from a place of love may also look like turning down what looks like a great opportunity from the outside because you know you don’t have the time or energy for it at that time.

You can also make the same decision from both a place of love or fear. Are you taking on that new opportunity even though you lack the resources because you fear if you don’t you will lose profits? That’s fear. You can make the same decision from a place of love and trust because you know that taking on that new opportunity can help lots of people and even though you don’t have the resources to do it. You will then simply trust that the universe will bring them to you.

Depending on where you are coming from on the inside will impact how you feel, and how much money you earn. Coming from a place of love will always bring you more money if your intention is pure and often times it will seem counter-intuitive. It’seasy to make decisions from a place of fear when you’re dealing with money questions, but I’ve had a huge amount of success when I come from a place of love, integrity, and generosity. I think we could see a lot of change in the world if business leaders really thought about where they make decisions from (love/trust or fear/competitiveness).

Second, it’s good to have some practical business skills; you absolutely need to know who your audience is and what your mission is and then tailor your services and marketing to your audience. So many heart-based entrepreneurs want to help everyone because they know their product can help everyone. They don’t want to leave anyone out. The truth is, if you don’t choose a specific audience to speak to, no one will know you are speaking to them and you will struggle lots. For example, my specific audience is professional women in their 30s so I promote my food product and services highlighting how healthy food addresses typical problems women in their 30s are concerned about (e.g. maintaining a healthy weight, having beautiful glowing skin, feeling balanced emotionally). You need to sell the ‘sizzle’ then people will get it and want to benefit from what you have to offer. On that note, the other piece you absolutely need to know is how to effectively market your service to your audience. You need to understand that their problem is, how you solve it and know how you are going to communicate that to them.

Third, we need to move away from traditional views of selling. Again most conscious entrepreneurs are afraid to promote and talk about their products because they don’t want to be salesy. The good news is that you shouldn’t “sell” your products to make sales. There is a saying that says, “People want your products but they don’t want to buy your products”.  And it is true. You are not selling, you are offering your product or service that is a divine gift that can help hundreds if not thousands of people. You are doing a disservice to humanity if you are not sharing with people what you offer. When talking about what you offer, be detached about the outcome. It is really important that you are coming from your heart and sharing what you have to offer because you genuinely care about others well being. There will always be enough people who need your divine offering, so if someone doesn’t need it do not take it personally or get worried. There are plenty of others who can benefit from what you have to offer. So never sell, simply share with your heart and passion what you love. You will be amazed at the results!


Is there anything else you would like to share, Julie?

Trust your heart and intuition. There is always a solution, there is always a way – always stay open to that. If you can’t figure it out, surrender your problem to the universe – and if you are coming from a place of love you will always be taken care of. Always.


To learn more about Julie and her fabulous business please visit