204: How to Follow Your Gut with Julie Smolyansky of Lifeway Foods


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By Victoria Myers. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Grounded in mindfulness, today’s podcast guest Julie Smolyansky, is passionate about empowering the mind-gut connection through making healthy food choices, community and business innovation. In this episode Julie inspires you to follow your gut not only with food and health, but in all areas of your life.

Julie Smolyansky became the youngest female CEO of a publicly held firm when she took over Lifeway Foods at the age of 27 in 2002. Since then, Julie has continued the company’s growth trajectory with creative product development and marketing, bringing an Eastern European product into the U.S. mainstream and boosting annual company revenues to over $120 million in 2017 from $12 million when she took over. Under her leadership, the Company has expanded distribution throughout the United States, Mexico, the UK, and Ireland as well as portions of Central and South America and the Caribbean. She has been named to Fortune Business ‘40 under 40,’ Fortune’s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter and Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business 1000.

She is a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Julie serves as a member of the United Nations Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council and was part of the 2015 class of Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum. She has produced several documentaries, including “The Homestretch,” “Honor Diaries" and “The Hunting Ground.” In 2013 Julie co‐founded a non‐profit, Test400k, an organization dedicated to advocating ending the backlog of 400,000 untested rape kits in the United States. She released her first book, The Kefir Cookbook: An Ancient Healing Superfood for Modern Life, Recipes from My Family Table and Around the World in March of 2018. She lives in Chicago and is the mother of two girls.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Julie shares her journey in life as a mother, author, activist, humanitarian, and the youngest female CEO of a publicly traded company in 2002, Lifeway Foods.
  • The origin story of Lifeway Foods and Julie’s parents’ incredibly inspiring story to making this traditional fermented food a staple in the American grocery store
  • What is kefir and the benefits of drinking a fermented beverage like kefir
  • How Julie lives a life that is aligned with her your own mind-gut connection
  • How Julie ensures Lifeway Foods continues to be a value based company
  • Tips for women who want to be CEO’s in their field and the most important character traits to be a successful, value based CEO
  • How Julie practices wellness without obsession

Thank you to Ned for sponsoring today’s episode! I am thrilled to have Ned as a new podcast sponsor. I have been waiting to share about my love for CBD oil until I could find the right brand that aligned with my beliefs. Ned produces the highest quality full spectrum CBD oil, extracted from organically grown hemp plants in Colorado.

One of the things I love most about Ned is they do not cut corners in their production. Their CBD oil is made from gentle, slow extraction with no high temperatures or high pressure, and zero isolates and synthetic ingredients.

If you want to check out Ned and try them out for yourself, Ned is offering 15% off AND free shipping to my listeners by using the link included here in the shownotes or you can use the code NOURISHINGWOMEN to receive the discount.

Click here to download my free e-book, How to Eat for Hormones.

My online course on intuitive eating, Permission Stage Playbook, is currently closed for enrollment but you can join the waitlist by clicking here. Enrollment re-opens later in fall!

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