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7 Steps to Become Plant-Based by Julia Murray, RHN!

Updated: Nov 13

If you've not had the delight to meet the incredible Julia Murray of gorgeous Whistler, BC, you're in for a plantastic, inspirational treat! We highly suggest that you follow her, too!

Julia Murray and vegan Zak ready for mountain biking after a meal of virchew plantbased dogfood made in vancouver bc by laura simonson

First, you may be wondering, "What does this have to do with plant-based food for dogs"? Fetch our explanation and plant-powered perspective from last week's Monday Motivation blog here.

I had the awesome pleasure of meeting Julia Murray at one of my Vegan Vancouver events a few years ago. To say her energy and passion are contagious is an understatement. Soon after, she and her pooch, Zak, joined our Virchew mailing list prior to our commercial launch. Zak was dealing with some awful skin issues (hot spots - even though he was eating vegan kibble) and she really wanted to try Virchew to see if it could make a difference for him. We are thrilled to report it did! Check out his skin success story here.

Now, almost two years later, Julia has become an awesome supporter of Virchew! We could not be more grateful for her and Virchew Dog, Zak!

Aside from being an all-around beautiful and uplifting human, Julia is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Plant-Based Chef, Social Media Manager, Olympian (Wiki), and of course Mawm to Zak.

Julia Murray skiing after feeding her vegan dog Zak virchew plantbased dogfood made in vancouver bc by laura simonson

We asked Julia to share some of her healthy and adventurous inspiration for our Monday Motivation series. She offered to share her top 7 Steps to Become More Plant-Based which is a perfect, timely topic because coincidentally, November is World Vegan Month!

Plus, take a scroll to the end of this blog to download her e-book she has offered as a gift to our followers!

Now, heeeerrrre's Julia!

7 Steps: How To Become More Plant-Based by Julia Murray

1. Go At Your Own Pace

You know yourself best: Are you a 30-day challenge type, a one-meal-a-day type or a one-day per week type?

Think of this as an exciting life-long change, so it’s ok if it takes years to get there. Small changes throughout your days will make big differences.

It’s all about progress over perfection. Start with breakfast!

Julia Murray and vegan dog Zak ready for a meal of virchew plantbased dogfood made in vancouver bc by laura simonson

2. Get Inspired, and Connect with Your WHY!

Being connected to your personal why is what will keep you inspired when the going gets tough (it’s not that tough, don’t worry).

Are you doing it for your health? Longevity? Disease prevention?

Are you doing it for the environment and your kids’ futures?

Are you doing it for the animals (you don’t see them as food anymore)?

Are you doing it for performance a quicker recovery as an athlete?

Are you doing it to help prevent the next pandemic by minimizing the demand for animal agriculture?

Need some inspiring resources?


  • Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives, What the Health, Earthlings, Plant Pure Nation, Game Changers, Seaspiracy


  • Eat To Live, The Plant Based Athlete, The China Study, Fiber Fueled


  • Rich Roll Podcast, Physicians Committee Podcast, No Meat Athlete Podcast, Food Heals Nation Podcast

Image credit: Andrea Helleman Photo

3. Focus on Nutrients, Not Calories

  • Nutrient density is what makes whole, plant foods so dang healthy!

  • Think - How many nutrients per calorie are you getting from your foods? Focus on nutrients over calories.

  • Focus on a diverse mix of nutrient-dense foods (high nutrient, low calorie) to fuel your microbiome: veggies, fruit, legumes, seeds, whole grains, tubers, sprouts…

  • To feel your best, eat a diversity of plants, focus on whole foods, and complement that healthy whole food plant-based diet with just a few nutrients of importance (I take Complement). If you’re into protein powder, they have the cleanest one around! I also love their new Gut Nurture prebiotic + post-biotic blend in the morning to replace plain ol’ lemon water. Feel free to use ‘hookedonplants10’ for a discount here.

4. Focus on What You’re Gaining

  • When you switch to a whole food, plant-based diet, you can eat in abundance

  • Eat the rainbow – eating a variety of plant foods will get you all the vitamins, phytonutrients, minerals, and nutrients you need (and more)!

  • Explore new vegan products and foods (there’s SO much out there), but keep them to 20% or less of your overall diet to feel your best.

Image credit: Andrea Helleman Photo

5. Pantry/Kitchen Makeover

  • Say bye-bye to your non-vegan products - give them away, or simply stop replacing them once they’re finished.

  • Swap them! Replace the non-vegan items with vegan ones.

  • Stock up on the cheapest + most nutrient-dense foods around from the bulk section: explore new whole grains and legumes.

6. Don’t Stress about Protein

  • If you’re eating enough calories, you are easily getting enough protein

  • Instead ask, "Am I getting enough fibre and nutrients?"

  • Switching out animal protein for plant protein = mega benefits and prebiotic plant fibre to nurture your gut microbiome!

  • Eating a whole food, plant-based diet packed with fibre and phytonutrients gives you more than enough protein for living optimally, bodybuilding, ultra-marathoning, you name it!

7. Have Fun!

  • Veganize old favourites

  • Try new recipes

  • Find new brands

  • Eat at new vegan restaurants

  • Go easy on yourself: if you have some meat, dairy, or eggs by accident or every now and then, that’s ok. You’re still making a difference to yourself, the animals, and the planet

Want to dish up more? Check out my Hooked on Plants: Plants for a Week E Book + explore the simple recipes + a week of meals that are all planned out for you!

About Julia Murray RHN:

Born and raised in Whistler, Julia Murray is an Olympian, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and is currently the Social Media Manager for Complement & No Meat Athlete. Over her entrepreneurial years since retiring from Ski Cross National Team, she’s hosted panels at Planted Expo, founded a breakfast cereal company, co-founded an app to help people go plant-based, she’s been a Ski TV host, and a host for multiple years on The Shopping Channel, she’s co-created the Virtual Whistler Vegan Fest and podcast to go with it (with Andrea), plus she’s been named one of Canada’s top vegan athletes by Impact Magazine and is certified as a Main Street Vegan lifestyle coach. Vegan since 2015, and always making the most of her adventurous backyard playground, Julia’s mission is to help the world move towards plants.

Connect with Julia on Instagram: @hookedonplants (Recipes + tips on how to eat more plants + life updates) @Complement (Nutrition, Fitness, Mindset, Recipes, Nutrients to Optimize your Plant-Based lifestyle) @nomeatathlete_official (Veg headlines, Plant Based Morning Show, athlete inspiration and tips)

@zaktherescuedog - Her vegan pup and Virchew Dog!

Julia Murray waiting for her vegan dog Zak to finish his meal of virchew plantbased dogfood made in vancouver bc by laura simonson
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