Juli Bauer: The Powerhouse Behind PaleOMG
The internet’s prophet of Paleo on fitness, food, skin care, and winning at life.
Juli Bauer is a CrossFit trainer, paleo diet evangelist, New York Times best-selling author of three cookbooks, and the founder and writer of the popular PaleOMG blog. Her frank, funny, fearless style has helped her grow her lifestyle into a thriving business, which she manages from her home in Denver, Colorado.
“Do something challenging. If it scares you, even better.”
You have an incredibly busy life between creating recipes, managing and writing the blog, working out and teaching CrossFit, books, podcasts, travel. How do you manage it all?
To-do lists. I just write a lot of to-do lists and break down hour-by-hour—what I need to get done, what is coming up on the schedule, what needs to be purchased and photographed. I write down everything because I’m pretty much a one-woman show. I have my assistant who helps out with emails, but everything else is by myself, so to-do lists are where it’s at. It’s lots of work, but when you love what you do, it’s easy.
How do you come up with your recipes?
All different kinds of ways, from things I had in childhood, to something I had in a restaurant, or something I saw online. Some recipes are inspired from home cooked foods, like taking a Thanksgiving food and putting a new spin on it. I’m always writing down ideas, or flavor profiles that I saw mixed together while I was watching TV. It kind of comes from all over the place and I tie things together over time.
Did CrossFit lead you to the paleo diet?
I found CrossFit when I was in college. I wanted to compete and knew that I needed to change my diet. Back then Zone and paleo were talked about in the CrossFit community and taught at the seminars. I started reading books and doing research. I cut gluten out of my diet, and it completely changed how I felt physically, and then my body began to change.
Is it true that when you started doing CrossFit, that’s when your skin problems began?
Yes. I was working out sometimes 3 to 4 times a day, and I’m lifting extremely heavy, so you know that’s increasing testosterone in my body and completely messing up my hormones, so my skin was really bad during my competition days of CrossFit.
I had cystic acne. You couldn’t even rupture these cystic zits. You couldn’t pop them. They were so incredibly painful, and any topicals I was using weren’t really working. I finally went on Accutane. I did it for six months and it finally completely cleared my skin up. Then after Accutane was out of my system, I started seeing a new esthetician. We have done all kinds of things from chemical peels to BBL [broadband light]. I’ve done ProFractional twice, which I highly recommend to people. It is seriously so amazing. And I started using Vivant because my esthetician recommended it and said it was so life-changing for her, and I love it. I’ve been using it ever since. I use all kinds of different skin care, but Vivant is my number one that I always go to for my serums and the mandelic acid. I love the products so much.
How often do you see your esthetician?
Every four weeks. She’s one of the main people I see on a regular basis. I love her. She changed my skin so drastically. I see it as an investment. A lot of people spend money on different things, but this is the only face you’re ever going to get, and it’s continually aging, and we’re continuously putting it in the sun and damaging it. It takes hard work to take care of it, and she has made such a difference in my skin so I see her as often as I can.
What’s your feeling about natural vs. synthetic products?
When I was having all these skin issues, the cystic acne that was just getting worse, I was doing oil pulling and using all these organic products—fish oil and all these things everyone was telling me to use—my acne continued to get worse. Then I went on Accutane, which is obviously not an organic product, and it was life-changing. I’ve never been the person that says all one-hundred-percent clean organic. That’s just not my style. I’m going to use the products that are going to give me the best benefit, and I see the difference instead of going in circles and not seeing a difference.
What’s the worst skin care mistake you’ve ever made?
Probably oil pulling. I did coconut oil. You’re eating coconut oil, and you’re smearing it all over your face. It’s supposed to pull the toxins out. That was a huge mistake. It made my skin so dry. That was a big trend a few years ago. Some people still talk about it, but I would never do it again and would never recommend it to anyone.
What advice do you have for someone dealing with acne?
Get to a dermatologist; I thought I could do things on my own for a long time. I could have taken a couple of years off that situation if I had seen a dermatologist earlier. If you can get into a dermatologist and find the root cause and how to deal with those skin issues, you’re not only going to lessen scars in the future, but you’re going to feel a lot more confident earlier on. Then find an amazing esthetician. I asked a friend who had beautiful skin if she had an esthetician because she obviously knew how to take care of her skin. That’s how I found mine. A dermatologist and aesthetician are where it’s at.
You use the phrase “shine from within.” What does that mean to you?
I think that comes from the idea that what we put into our body shows on the outside as well. If you are taking care of your body and putting in what it needs—whole foods, clean foods, high-quality foods—and you are exercising and keeping your mind centered, then it’s going to show on the outside. It's going to show in your personality, in the way you walk, in the way you take care of your family, and your friends.
Biggest obsession other than food and fitness?
My dog for sure. I’m petting him as we’re talking right now. He’s by far my other obsession. Beauty has become a huge obsession—how can I mend my skin from all the damage that's been done? Food and fitness are ninety-nine percent of my life. My husband, my dog, and my skin are right there too.
What are your three rules for winning at life?
You are who you surround yourself with, so make sure you surround yourself with good people who are trying to make this world a better place and better themselves as people. Eat well. Know where your food is coming from. Exercise every day whether that’s just a walk in the park or just going to the mall or you’re getting into to the gym. Lift weights. Do something challenging. If it scares you, even better because building stronger muscles is going to build stronger bones is going to build a stronger and healthier life long-term.