Pro Talk with Julie Foucher

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Photographer: Sweat RX
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Pursuing Health with Julie Foucher

By Mary McCashin
Photo courtesy of CrossFit, Inc. All rights reserved

Julie Foucher is a 28-year-old 4x CrossFit Games Athlete, Medical Student, CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff member, blogger and host of the Pursuing Health Podcast. She looks to empower individuals to live lifestyles that support optimal health.

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Why did you choose medical school over being a chiropractor, nutritionist, physical therapist, etc.?
Oh, that’s a very good question! It’s funny because I think my eyes were opened to this whole other world of practitioners that can help people become healthier later in the game, probably while I was applying to medical school or even already in medical school. I wanted to go to medical school because I love math and science, I love problem solving, and I love interacting with people so the the physician/patient relationship was compelling. It wasn’t until later on that I even had much exposure to osteopathic programs, which are probably more aligned with the way I ultimately like to practice.

It’s probably good I went down the MD path, though. I think in this world of medicine there is so much change that needs to happen and that is starting to happen. I hope that I can be one of the people to help bring change and shed some light on the prevention aspect of medicine.

What is your hope for the future of the medical world as far as incorporating natural and nutritional health into modern day medicine?
I think through CrossFit and my own experiences as an athlete, I learned about so many other tools we can use to create health. I look at most of what we learn in our traditional medical training as acute care. There are amazing things we can do with medicine. There are amazing drugs and amazing surgeries out there that need to be done in certain instances, but these are not what we need to use on a regular basis to control and prevent chronic disease or to create health.

I want to empower my patients to live a healthy lifestyle and avoid chronic disease, and only to use medications when necessary or as a bridge to a future where they might not need them. I think one of the most important foundational pieces for preventing chronic disease is nutrition. There’s a reason why it’s the base of our CrossFit pyramid. Eating real foods is going to do wonders for keeping chronic disease at bay.

How do you balance work and fitness? Many people say they don’t have time or access to do both things, what is your advice for them?
I always quote Oprah on this one – “You can do it all, just not all at once.” For me, I just focus on one thing that has to take precedence at a time. Medical school causes me to shift my priorities and focus back and forth depending on what my schedule is like. You just have to make sure that you can take those times to relax. I always make sure I get enough sleep and now I use exercise as one of my outlets, my stress reliever, to relax and reset. I just had to set reasonable expectations from the beginning to find a balance.

What was the inspiration behind your Pursuing Health Podcast?
I started the podcast right about the time my competition career was coming to a close (Summer 2015). I knew I wasn’t going to be able to compete anymore (Julie turned her focus to medical school full-time in the fall of 2015), but I felt through CrossFit I’d met so many amazing people and I loved hearing their stories and I wanted to share their stories with a wider audience. It also has allowed me to stay in touch with the CrossFit community and contribute in a positive way. It’s been so much fun to connect with people through the podcast. I post one episode every two weeks, and I try to vary the content from common everyday health stories to professional CrossFit athletes.

 

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