Who's a Natural Awakenings Reader?: Meet Julie Vaden
Life’s mission: To live every day as best as I can, continued happiness, and hopefully influence others to do the same.
Work: After being at home with my kids for 16 years, I recently went back to work at Vitalize Natural Market and Juice Bar in Ocala, where I have been a long-time customer. Talking health and meeting wonderful people makes it feel like it’s not work at all!
Proudest achievements: As a mother, my kids. My husband travels for his job and yet our kids know much love and are very well rounded. It is one of the toughest jobs but I have managed it with lots of humor and tough love. As a woman, I am proud to be married for 20 years this year. In general I am just proud of the woman I have become. I feel strong, grounded and very happy at this point in my life.
Expectations for the future: Raising my kids to be productive citizens of this country. And lots of travel! I look forward to the next chapters with open arms!
Favorite app: Audible and Kindle are my top two!
Favorite website: WestinAPrice.org for research purposes and ElanasPantry.com for recipes.
Local causes supported: Pace Center for Girls and The Domestic Violence Center are both dear to my heart. And of course, teachers and the school system! I always try to support my children’s schools.
Favorite thing about Natural Awakenings: Natural Awakenings is not just one-dimensional. It offers so much about every day life in such a simple way. Natural Awakenings offers wonderful information and such variety!
Most frequented healthy food restaurant: For juices and smoothies, hands down the best is Vitalize Natural Market and Juice bar! For food, I enjoy Stella’s Modern Pantry and Good 4 You café, both in Ocala.
How you invest in your community: I wish I could help every organization in the county raise money. I would have to say I’m valuable at connecting the right people to the right causes. I have volunteered considerably in the school system and have mentored for the Take Stock in Children program. Investing in the community goes beyond money. Sometimes donating time can be more valuable.
Favorite quote: “Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment” –Lao Tzu
What you are doing to be the change you want to see in the world: My mom always told me to treat people the way I want to be treated. I am honest, but not hurtful. I am trustworthy and do not have time for gossip in my life. I respect others opinions and I believe there are two sides to every story. I have learned throughout the years that I don’t always have to be heard or seen all the time. Always being right is overrated. So much can be learned when you truly learn the art of listening. I am far from perfect and I screw up a lot. It’s what makes us human. I will apologize when necessary and I realize people can sometimes perceive things in a different light. I try to exude positive energy even when I don’t feel at my best. It just goes back to being happy and living each day to its fullest.