The Uplifters
The Uplifters
Julie Hartigan’s Recipe for a Big, Juicy Life

Julie Hartigan’s Recipe for a Big, Juicy Life

How an engineer turned chef leaned into her gifts and dreams

Listen to our latest episode in the player here, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Julie Hartigan didn’t grow up with much money, but she was smart, worked hard, and was good at math. As she neared high school graduation, she filled out a bubble form that told her she should pursue engineering, accounting, or architecture as a career. She knew she wanted to get out and see the world, and since her high school guidance counselor told her girls couldn’t be architects, she decided to become an engineer. 

She was on track to make lots of money and get lots of fancy promotions to her job title, but she walked away from it all.

It turns out, Julie wasn’t just good at math. She was also really good at cooking, hosting, and understanding what other people want and need. In this episode, you’ll hear what happened when Julie leaned fully into all of her gifts and talents. Spoiler alert: It all worked out really well

And that makes it extra important to listen closely to this episode because while we will hear stories over and over about what happens when it doesn’t work, maybe what we really need is more stories about what happens when it does. (And honestly, if it doesn’t work out as you hoped, you’ll probably be fine, and learn exactly what you need to learn for the next bold choice you make!)

Here’s a taste of Julie’s recipe for a big, juicy life:

💓Give yourself permission. It’s pretty unlikely that you’ll get what you want without asking for it. 

💓Don’t wait until you’re ready. Start saying yes before you are 1000% sure that you're ready, because otherwise, you'll never be ready

💓Say yes to adventure. Maybe that thing you want to do is scary. Maybe you aren’t sure you’ll be good at it. The adventure is finding out what’s possible if you try.

💓Tune out discouraging voices. It doesn't matter what you do. People are always going to have an opinion of you. You might as well do what's true for you because even if you do what they say you should do, then someone else will have something to say to you.

💓Stay clear-eyed. Your old familiar life or career or relationship will always want to pull you back, so remember what you didn’t want as you create what you do want.

💓Do what truly lights you up. Even though everyone else is doing something, and it’s possible for you to do it, if you are not truly energized by it, it’s going to be infinitely tougher to be successful.

If Julie’s story makes you hunger for more joy, more connection, and more delicious wisdom, join her on one of her fabulous upcoming trips to Tuscany! You can learn more about them at Follow @juliehartigan on IG & @cookingwjulie on FB and Youtube for more delicious wisdom!

Watch the video of our full conversation

Note: as we transition to paid subscriptions, the videos and transcripts will be for paid subscribers only

Messy Transcript

Aransas Savas (00:03.650)

Welcome to the Uplifters podcast. I'm your host, Aransas Savas, and I've had the great joy of working in coaching and behavior change for 20 years now. And along the way, I've met all sorts of women with extraordinary stories. Today, I'm gonna introduce you to one of them. Our guest today is Julie Hartigan. And Julie is an Uplifter in...

every sense of the word, every room she walks into is just a little bit brighter. And not just because of her effervescent and contagious joy and smile, but because her life story reminds us all that when we are true to ourselves, we are able to have more impact on the world with our lives.

Aransas Savas (01:01.874)

deeper and more meaningful connection with other people and we just feel better in every way. So today we're going to hear Julie's incredible journey from a career in engineering to her life as a celebrity chef and recipe developer who appears frequently on morning shows and you've probably seen her on television somewhere over the years. She's published thousands of recipes

Julie Hartigan (01:24.860)

Thank you.

Aransas Savas (01:31.768)

best, truest lives through her work coaching and leading transformational food, wine, and culture trips through Italy. Julie, thank you so much for being here.

Julie Hartigan (01:43.867)

goodness. Thank you for having me so much and thank you for that intro too. You've already lifted my day just from hearing you speak that way. Thank you.

Aransas Savas (01:51.730)

My favorite thing to say is that uplifting is contagious. And it is. I will leave this conversation, and all of our listeners will leave this conversation feeling a little elevated, I believe, based on your story. So let's start with this transition from engineering to being a chef. So how did you even get into engineering? So outside of my brain.

Julie Hartigan (01:55.214)


Julie Hartigan (02:03.427)

Mm-hmm. I am here for that.

Julie Hartigan (02:15.295)

Yeah. So funny. It's so funny. You know, don't you want to go back to your little 17 year old self and just hug them and be like, Oh, gosh, it's so confusing right now. So I was just really good at math. And I grew up in a very blue collar environment where my family didn't always have enough and I kind of had we had enough love but we didn't you know, have all the things and

For me, I had a really lovely childhood, but I always wanted to see the world and just do more and get out there. And the best path, it truly had nothing to do with, I wanna be an engineer. It was a path to go get a very stable career. And I mean, I graduated high school in 87. So, you know, engineering in the late 80s, early 90s was like one of the better careers to get into and I could do it.

Julie Hartigan (03:09.223)

I filled out a bubble form that was sort of like, what are your skills and interests, you know? And I didn't know, I'd been waitressing and working in a supermarket. And it was math, engineering, accounting, or architecture. You know, the math, I was like, well, I don't really wanna like teach, just teach. I wanna have a corporate career. I wanna get out there and travel and do things.

Julie Hartigan (03:36.095)

the accounting, I was like, no, you know, some people love accounting to me. Even then I knew architecture sounded fascinating, but believe it or not, I had a high school guidance counselor tell me I could not as a woman be an architect,the things that were said to me as a young woman. And I just had to really plow through. Um, but ironically, and interestingly, the type of engineering I decided I really wanted to be was an industrial engineer, which.

Aransas Savas (03:48.613)


Aransas Savas (03:54.176)


Julie Hartigan (04:05.347)

combines people and process because I knew I was a people person. I just wanted to be an engineer to go do the thing. So yeah, I got a master's in engineering. I did process engineering and a manufacturing plant. And then I went and did tech management consulting all through my twenties and early thirties.

Aransas Savas (04:07.355)

Mmm... Mm-hmm...

Aransas Savas (04:22.582)

Wow. And so for you, it sounds like this stable professional life was really also about freedom to be able to go see, do what you wanted to do.

Julie Hartigan (04:31.375)

Yes, absolutely. Oh yeah, and really give myself a different life and give my daughters a different life. I have two daughters that are in college and I actually grew up with their dad, which is interesting too. And I'm now happily, amicably divorced. That was another major change in my life later in life. For us both, he and I, both to get to be happy and true and live the way we wanna live. But...

Yeah, it was, it was about stability. But I have to tell you the whole way through, I remember being an undergrad in this intense engineering program. It was seven guys to every girl, 12 to one in grad school. I'd be the only woman in the room all the time with lots of things being said to me. But interestingly enough, like the guys were more like your brothers. It wasn't like that. It was more that you had, there was definitely a lot of sexism about women in tech. Even through the nineties, it was that way. But even as an undergrad, I would say.

Aransas Savas (05:21.495)


Julie Hartigan (05:26.491)

I'm just going to do this engineering thing to set myself up, make some money, buy a house, and then I'm going to open a B and B with a cute little gourmet shop in it. Or then I'm going, I always had my mind's eye on something in the food. It was just always about food for me. I, I was the little kid who would eat the weird thing. I would order the thing no one ever had. I would stand behind my grandma, anyone's grandma, especially I grew where I grew up. It was pretty diverse. And

If someone's grandma was making something I'd never seen or had before, I was like, I need in on this. I'm gonna stand behind you on a little stool and write it down. And I wrote my first recipe, it's on my website at for rhubarb crunch because my grandma's rhubarb crunch. And I wrote that when I was eight years old by standing behind her. Like it was always there. It was just finding her, giving her permission to come out and letting her out, you know?

Aransas Savas (06:19.710)

Yeah, yeah. So talk about that. So you've got this stable career. It sounds like you were doing it. You were successful.

Julie Hartigan (06:29.651)

Oh yeah, I was on partner track. I was rocking it. And you know, but I was the person on every consulting project. I was a road warrior. I was always traveling. I was always the one who would research ahead of time. And this is before the internet. You couldn't, I mean, in the early 90s, you couldn't just go online and find things. I would be the one figuring out, picking up the free newspapers. Who's the chef in this town? What's the like iconic cuisine? I was the one planning all the travel for all of us, you know, like on vacations even. I'd be the one.

picking the location and finding the cool places to eat. And honestly, even with this intense and lucrative career, I would come home weekends and help a friend who was starting. He now has a few successful restaurants in Hoboken near where I live. I would help him cater parties just for fun. I would help him open his restaurant just for fun. So I was always looking for the way to do that while still having the other. And it was really, it was quite the process to

I use the word give yourself permission a lot, because I think that's really all we, as humans, need, is to look inside and give ourselves permission to do what we want to do. And it took a while to get to that.

Aransas Savas (07:38.862)

It's interesting as I listen to you, because it feels very clear based on the way that you're telling this story, that some of your core values are curiosity, which I think we've now, I mean, just in these first few minutes, we've heard you reference your innate curiosity and how much that energizes you probably 10 times already, which speaks volumes for what that means to you and your personal satisfaction. And then this feeling of freedom.

Julie Hartigan (08:01.251)


Aransas Savas (08:08.046)

and the ability to explore and discover and do things on your own terms. And then this problem solving aspect. And so the thing that I think is really interesting is that you were embodying and being true to all those values in your career as an engineer. And then.

Julie Hartigan (08:08.294)


Julie Hartigan (08:29.262)


Aransas Savas (08:31.526)

you decided to shift that attention into a different way of honoring those core values. So talk to me about that big moment of transition. How did you work up the nerve after living with some lack maybe financially and some uncertainty there to go back and try something?

Julie Hartigan (08:45.418)


Julie Hartigan (08:52.475)

For sure.

Julie Hartigan (08:55.315)

Oh, it was, oh my gosh, my ex-husband, I'm so thankful. He was extremely supportive of me wanting to make this shift, which enabled me, right? I was able to stay on his benefits because for a lot of people, when they go to, it's such a sad about the state of healthcare, right? We should all have access to it. But that was something that was limiting me at a point, or a lot of people would limit them. It was not a September 11th driven decision. A lot of people did change their lives with 9-11. It was a huge like… obviously like terrible, horrible, horrible moment. For me, what happened, again, this was always on my mind. I probably had a million different, I actually had my eye on the culinary school that I wound up going to in New York City because they had a work study where you could work there as an assistant in the classroom, learning and exposing yourself in exchange for free tuition. And for me, I was like, that's perfect. No student loans later in my thirties or whatnot. But so I was pregnant with my first daughter when 9-11 happened and I right across the river from Lower Manhattan. I worked on like one building over from the Trade Center. I was home morning sick. I was running tech training programs for Goldman Sachs. I had like 20 men working for me in the city downtown that day. All the students at Goldman, I'd been in Windows on the World the day before testing the students. And again, it wasn't that 9-11, I mean, 9-11 for many of us made us realize like, wow, life is short. We've really, I've always been a big believer in like, Life is short, really, really live it. That was definitely one of those awful events that reminded so many of us of that. But what actually happened for me was it gave me permission to be at home for the rest of my pregnancy because my company went under. I was reporting, I was set up to actually stay trapped Aransas, if you want to know the truth. And it's very interesting how some turns of events, it was, I reported to the president who was a powerhouse woman, who was a working mom.

The head of sales was a working mom. They were ready to support me as a new mom with this pregnancy. They were ready to let me go part-time. They were making it very easy for me to stay in tech. The company went under. And what can be considered, and the economy was terrible after 9-11, and I looked around and I said, am I going to go and put myself into this stressful economy, stressful career, road warrior, not get to see my daughter?

and give a nanny half. And for some women that's a choice, if they love their career, of course, that makes so much sense. But for me, to do that for a career I didn't really, really wanna stay in. So that was my shift. I worked as a hostess while my daughters were babies, while I had my two daughters in a row. I helped organize townwide events in Hoboken. It's a Hoboken for anyone who doesn't know it, is a mile square city.

Aransas Savas (11:22.286)


Julie Hartigan (11:43.619)

right across the river from lower Manhattan. It has about 60,000 residents. It looks like Sesame Street, it's all stoops and everyone knows each other. So I just, I plugged myself into ways to start dabbling in the culinary field, if you will, and in events while being a stay-at-home mom for two to three years. And then the second, my little one, who's now in college, the second she started preschool, I...

ran right into the city and that was the day that I started working at the culinary school. So that was my transition period. And I loved being a stay at home mom. I was someone in my twenties who thought I didn't even I was such a type a little tech consultant. I was like, I don't know what babies are gonna do for me. I don't have time for that. I really wasn't sure if I wanted to be a mom and getting to be home with them for three years was like such a joy and a gift to sue. I tried to always enjoy whatever I'm in. Right. And um, yeah, so that was that was my

9-11 correlated, but not exactly story.

Aransas Savas (12:38.706)

Yeah, yeah. Well, and I think the pandemic was that for so many people as well. Whenever I think of the pandemic, the image I have is like a barrel of monkeys. Do you remember that kid's toy? And you shake the barrel of monkeys, and you throw them, and they go all over the place, and you don't know where they're going to land. And I kind of feel like these.

Julie Hartigan (12:49.251)

Yeah, of course. Yeah, yeah.

Aransas Savas (12:57.546)

major events that we experience, 9-11 being one, the pandemic being another, it is this, it's just a barrel of monkeys and everything gets scattered and then we look up and we're like, am I where I want to be? Or do I need to get from here to there? And if so, how the heck do I do that?

Julie Hartigan (13:05.603)


Julie Hartigan (13:09.639)

Exactly, exactly.

Julie Hartigan (13:18.563)

Right, right, right, right. I've seen a lot of changes in personal life, friends coming out of the pandemic, not just people moving. Yeah, and I'm sure you have too. I agree, I agree with that. I think also early loss. I've lost, and this is really interesting, I've reflected on this a lot. There were three close friends of mine who were very special to me, who were very informative in how I live, and they all died sudden.

Julie Hartigan (13:46.663)

One didn't die suddenly, but like at 42, she was diagnosed with cancer and died from cancer in six months. So to me, that's like, um, and they were very, very special people in my life. And I lost all three of them way younger than you would expect to lose a friend. And I think that, you know, as you're saying with 9 11 pandemic, I think also with sudden loss, it can be such a reminder to really not squander your time.

Julie Hartigan (14:15.767)

We get this one shake at life, don't squander it. Like really make the most of it because we're not guaranteed anything tomorrow.

Julie Hartigan (14:38.235)

How often do you go, I can't believe it's been a year. I can't believe that was a year ago. We do that all the time. I can't believe that was a month ago. Like for everyone listening, like our time is just like fleeting by. So enjoy it and maximize it and live your best true self while you're here.

Aransas Savas (14:54.238)

Yeah, I think that's so right. And yet, why don't we? Well, we don't because we don't know what's ahead. And that's scary. we've seen what other people have done, we've seen their paths, and we're like, okay, that can be all right. Oh.

Julie Hartigan (15:01.947)

conformity. Now, there's also...

Julie Hartigan (15:10.353)


Julie Hartigan (15:13.143)

Oh, but messages too, Aransas, right? Like, you know, I think especially as women, I'm sure when you became a mom too, everyone has an opinion when you suddenly, you know, but with your whole life, right? Doesn't everyone, oh, and I think it's way, the norm is to stay safe and play it safe. So anyone who's choosing not to is thus bucking against the norm and you're gonna have to be ready.

Aransas Savas (15:24.179)

Yeah, everybody has an opinion.

Aransas Savas (15:31.526)

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Julie Hartigan (15:37.111)

Oh man, the things loved ones would say to me like, oh so much for those engineering degrees or oh so much for, you know, it's okay. Like, but you have to get, oh sure, yeah, they care. But you gotta get real comfortable in your own skin and say, I love you and I know you're saying this to me with love, but I have to release myself from what your expectations of me are or were or what you think is best for me because I know what's best for me. I think once you can, as a woman, like,

Aransas Savas (15:44.105)

And it's well-intentioned and it's based in their experience.

Aransas Savas (16:01.518)


Julie Hartigan (16:04.619)

untangle from that and not care so much about what other people think about you. People are always, I was just saying this to your girlfriend the other day, people are always going to have an opinion of you. It doesn't matter what you do. They're going to say some things. You might as well do what's true to you because even if you do what they say you should do, then some other population will have something to say to you.

Aransas Savas (16:19.815)


Aransas Savas (16:24.638)

It's so true and it's so important for us to say and hear. And the, because I think our brains, our imaginations are really great at conjuring all the ways things can go wrong. And we can absorb all the stories of what doesn't work and we can think about all the ways we can fail, we can flounder, we can feel unsafe.

Julie Hartigan (16:40.231)


Julie Hartigan (16:49.197)


Julie Hartigan (16:52.862)


Aransas Savas (16:53.310)

And so that's a big part of why we even have this podcast, because I just firmly believe that every time we hear a story like yours and we hear it worked out, and sometimes it doesn't, and then something else comes from that, we can all start to just turn up that little voice in our head that says, what if it works?

Julie Hartigan (17:08.176)


Julie Hartigan (17:15.847)

Sure, yeah. What if you flip it to, what if it all works out? What if it's even better than that? Oh, I'm done, you know? And also, what if it doesn't? I'm still whole and complete and wonderful and worthy, and also I'm flexible, because I'll say this, I didn't get into the culinary world and say, I know exactly what I'm going to do. I know exactly how this is going to play out. It's been, I've been in the culinary.

Aransas Savas (17:21.186)


Aransas Savas (17:29.164)


Julie Hartigan (17:43.487)

world now for 12 years and the adventures I've had here. One thing that's big, I think that would give as advice to anyone who's starting out anything new is again, give yourself permission. No one's ever going to like give you this promotion and a new title. You have to just say, start saying yes to things before you are 1000% sure that you're ready because otherwise you'll never be ready and say yes to the adventure is another mantra of mine that like, you don't know what I started doing television live TV at age.

Aransas Savas (17:57.952)


Aransas Savas (18:02.166)

Yes, yes, yes.

Julie Hartigan (18:13.175)

And you could never have told me that TV is in my, if you paid TV was in my future, you know, like the different things, like you just, I think just go with your joy and go with your curiosity, like you said, and trust the process. And if you find something that you aren't enjoying, it's okay to stop doing that and go in a different direction, stay nimble.

Aransas Savas (18:32.502)

Yes, yes, yes, yes. Okay, so you made the shift to being a stay-at-home mom. Then you went and you attended culinary school. What was your vision of what your life would look like after culinary school? So, what was your vision of what your life would look like after culinary school?

Julie Hartigan (18:41.920)


Julie Hartigan (18:50.179)

Oh gosh, I, yeah, so if I told you the different things that, well, this is actually really, this was a good like, I caught myself, thank goodness. So in culinary school, I started personal chefing, so it was something that was accessible to me as a student and my kids were still, my girls were still little. I started teaching cooking classes because that was something that I love to teach. I've always loved to do that. I was starting a little cooking school for kids and moms. I would get pulled into helping with events or catering. I kind of said yes to anything, if you wanna know the truth.

Aransas Savas (19:04.908)


Julie Hartigan (19:20.099)

I said yes to free things, to unpaid things, because at that stage in a career change, you do that to make the connection to learn. Not for long though, you have to remember your worth, right? It's like this fine line of like, work for free until you're like, no, okay, now it's not free anymore. I took a class. It was, I don't even know that I knew recipe development was a field. And ICE culinary is where I went to school and they had a woman in, she was lovely. She worked at Food Network. I wound up interning with her.

Aransas Savas (19:24.586)


Julie Hartigan (19:48.247)

She was a mentor to me for sure, Sarah Copeland. She wound up being at Real Simple Magazine and things, but she did a little class on a Saturday on recipe development. And I was like, that's interesting. Again, just like keep your ear out, that's interesting. I took that one class and a friend of mine, it's a mutual colleague who we know named Lisa, who is a mom friend, had just moved from an editorial magazine to work at WW. And she said, hey, you know.

I think you is the engineer brain. Plus I've eaten at your home for a zillion parties and you've cooked for me and like your sensibility works for the kinds of recipes we need. So it started with like two recipes. But the other thing I think for people who are looking at a career change, you never really understand or know how what you used to do will help you in what you do now. And it does, nothing is not for naught. So.

Aransas Savas (20:29.762)


Aransas Savas (20:42.035)


Julie Hartigan (20:42.891)

My consulting background paid off in spades in the corporate world. So coming out of culinary school, you know, a lot of people didn't have that corporate background. I did. I knew how to navigate companies and work with budgets and, and, and, you know, healthy, honest, like cross-sell upsell, seek new project opportunities within any, any client. And I worked with WW bed bath and beyond real simple major, major corporations. But then Aransas, it just kept shifting. It was like.

oh, now there's social media to learn. Okay, I can figure that out. Let's learn how to do Instagram and Reels and Facebook and okay, you wanna put me on TV? You think I can, okay, let's, like, it just, let's go. I think having that kind of approach is what allows you to. And I did know, I'll say this, I had a hard no coming out of culinary school on working industry hours. My daughters were little. I knew I'm not working nights and weekends. So for me,

Aransas Savas (21:22.082)


Aransas Savas (21:32.609)

Uh huh.

Julie Hartigan (21:37.615)

Food media, what they call it, was the angle. Oh, the watch out, I applied to a job, there's a company, they do grocery delivery, they're huge in New York City, called Fresh Direct, and they had a job posting with my culinary school for someone to create recipes for them, they do prepared meals. And I said, oh, okay, cool, let me apply for that. So, former management consultant Julie winds up interviewing with them, convincing them that they need a head of total quality management for their entire facility and I write a job description for it and they want to hire me for it. And I suddenly realized like, whoa, you just wrote yourself an engineering job. Yeah. Like, what are you doing? And thankfully there was a close friend of mine who said like, you just recreated your old career, but in a food. Yeah. But like, it's, I think we also, as we grow and develop and shift and change, we have to always be like, things still happen to me. We have patterns we fall back into that are, that are safe and secure.

Aransas Savas (22:15.346)

want to do that. Yes!

Aransas Savas (22:25.381)

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Aransas Savas (22:34.858)

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Julie Hartigan (22:37.259)

And if we're not always on the lookout for them, it's really easy to go and yeah, I love that you brought this up, because when I think about what you said about how you started at your culinary career, it was, well, I was really good at throwing these parties, and I was really good at teaching these classes, and this was easy for me. So it was tapping into places where you were comfortable and confident. On the other hand, you had this really strong clarity about where you didn't want to be.

Julie Hartigan (23:04.250)


Aransas Savas (23:11.966)

which was in a corporate role, in a restaurant, in that very structured environment again. So you have to consider like both what kind of work do I wanna be doing, but also like where, you know, what hours, like what do I want? And I know I'm sure as you coach and when I coach I'm like envision your life, right? Like, do you wanna be going into an office every day? Do you wanna be sitting at a desk every day? Or do you wanna, I actually had worked at Food Network coming right out of culinary school and it was great. It was so much fun. I worked there and at a cooking magazine. So it got me into it.

Aransas Savas (23:28.628)


Julie Hartigan (23:50.051)

And Food Network wanted to hire me to be a producer. And I thought about it. And then again, I said, wait, you know what? Like, let's go on your own and be creative and let this be fun. They love that you're corporate and that you can do this. But so I said no to some major opportunities to pursue myself and my own creativity, I would say.

Aransas Savas (24:08.106)

And you just couldn't have done that without, again, this sense of clarity about what you wanted your life to look like and what you wanted it to not look like. And we do so much visioning about where we want to go. But I also think it's super important to flesh out the visions of what we don't want. Where did we feel trapped or closed down in the last chapter? Where did we feel held back? And

Julie Hartigan (24:26.630)


Julie Hartigan (24:30.969)


Julie Hartigan (24:34.821)


Aransas Savas (24:36.254)

Let's not replicate those. But I do think, and I see this, it's funny, whether I'm coaching people in work or running or relationships, we have these tendencies to fall back into the places where we feel like, I know what I'm doing. I know my way around here. I know how to succeed. I know how to have an impact. So I'm just gonna go do that. And then we keep holding onto that stuff. And then we're like, ah, why am I still where I always was?

Julie Hartigan (24:44.251)


Julie Hartigan (24:52.327)

comfort zone. It's comfort zone. Yeah. Yeah.

Julie Hartigan (25:00.015)

Yeah. I'm ready.

Julie Hartigan (25:04.779)

Exactly, exactly.

Aransas Savas (25:07.650)

So it just like, I'm really struck by your bravery and your clarity and your ability to move forward and let go because it is, you used the word nimble before. And I think that really to me is such a strong aspect of this story so far is yes and no, yes and no.

Julie Hartigan (25:11.223)

Oh, thank you. Thank you.

Julie Hartigan (25:30.355)

And honestly, always stay open. I think I've always been a very open person, which I think for me, food is a connector. It's cultural. It's a way to, you know, and open in everything. Like don't also with ageism, you know, I've already seen, I'm 53. I'm going to be 54 in November. And, you know, I think also not, oh, as a woman, yeah, I'm here to, I'm here to like proclaim it from the mountains because so many of us hide it. And, you know, honestly,

Julie Hartigan (25:59.751)

I get better the older I get. I'm wiser, I'm kinder, I'm more gentle with myself and with others and with all the things. But also don't limit yourself, anyone listening because of age. I have a client that is hiring me to run their TikTok for them right now. I'm gonna be creating content for them. And you know what? The engineer brain says, I'm on TikTok anyway. Anything, there's probably a lot of people know Marie Forleo, her book I think, Everything is Figureoutable.

Aransas Savas (26:16.174)

I'm going to go to bed.

Aransas Savas (26:28.787)


Julie Hartigan (26:29.479)

Which is like, let's not limit ourselves and say that, oh, I can't do that. I'm too, I'm too what? I'm too, I'm too anything. Don't limit yourself, right? You can, you can, you can always stay nimble and stay curious and learn something new.

Aransas Savas (26:44.782)

Mmm, such a good reminder. So you Became a media chef you were again really successful at it. You were having a big impact you were Constantly creating new creative challenges for yourself and it feels like over the last few years You've begun to make another pivot 

Julie Hartigan (26:53.284)


Julie Hartigan (27:07.875)

I have. So there was like a, yeah, there were two quick shifts. So the first one was, you know, I always did work with France and collaborations and created content that way. And then I started identifying and realizing, you know, people want to hear from me too, like me creating recipes for directly for women and coaching programs for women. So I started joyfully and spontaneously doing that during the pandemic because we were all home.

Aransas Savas (27:26.347)


Julie Hartigan (27:34.243)

I was hosting cooking clubs, you know, we'd go live and I'd give people ideas for things to make. But then it's funny, I went and I don't regret at all this like career sidestep that didn't, honestly wasn't, didn't like, it was the first time that it felt like something I was working on wasn't like working and sticking and it was getting me really upset. And I finally figured out, sometimes you can't tell when you're in it, you have to look a little bit in the rear view and look at it. I decided, you know,

Julie Hartigan (28:03.143)

So I had in my mind's eye that I wanted to create these culinary travel experiences. I've always wanted to do this. My daughters were now in high school, about to go to college. It's the perfect time for me to do this. But we're in a pandemic. And at the same time, a lot of my corporate clients who I was doing YouTube shows for and all different things, they lost budget and they disappeared. So it was like this, like, everything shifted all at once for me. And I said, I'm going to just lean all in on creating online courses.

Aransas Savas (28:21.320)


Julie Hartigan (28:32.615)

online programs and there's like a big, for anyone who's an entrepreneur out there, there's a lot of talk in industry about passive income and online courses and online things. And you know, I do believe in them, but I think also my energy is so personal with people that they, I want to be with them in person or live and they want me live. And I just poured myself into whatever I apply myself to. I really, really try hard. I really work hard at.

Aransas Savas (28:41.713)


Aransas Savas (28:49.943)


Aransas Savas (29:00.263)


Julie Hartigan (29:01.739)

And I poured myself into building these things out. There's a whole terminology of like launching and launch event and funnels. And for people out there who know what I'm talking about, they're laughing right now because they know exactly what I'm saying. And you know what I have to say, it was also because we had what? I can't even remember them all now. Delta, blah, blah, blah, all the people weren't traveling. It wasn't a good time to launch a travel business, right? In 2021, even into 2022.

Aransas Savas (29:23.634)

Right, all the variations, right?

Julie Hartigan (29:29.875)

And I have to tell you, it was the first time it was quite the experience for me to say, wow, I've always actually kind of like, there are other areas of my life where I've like not been super successful with a career. That was a place where I always felt very good about things, right? Like I would apply myself, I would work hard. It was the first time that I worked hard and it didn't work. It wasn't easy. It was not easy.

Aransas Savas (29:50.594)


Aransas Savas (29:53.898)

What do you, looking back at it now, I think you're right, we have to have some distance. What do you see as signals that maybe this wasn't where your energy was most needed or where you were most engaged?

Julie Hartigan (29:58.618)


Julie Hartigan (30:03.407)


Julie Hartigan (30:13.843)

It kind of boiled down to a should versus a really excited about, right? Like I think I thought I should be doing this because it makes sense because a lot of people are successful at this. People are telling me I should do this. Not necessarily that this is the thing that lights truly lights me up.

Aransas Savas (30:17.206)


Aransas Savas (30:21.250)


Aransas Savas (30:24.543)


Aransas Savas (30:35.362)


Julie Hartigan (30:35.827)

I love people. I joke that I'm like kind of a human golden retriever. Like let's play ball, let's hang out, let's have fun. Like that's just my approach to it. I might hug you. I've learned to ask, are you comfortable with a hug? But you know, that's just sort of, and so for me, yeah, it's gonna go to a should. That's the smart thing to do versus this is what I really wanna do. Because as soon as I shifted that to, I'm leaning all in on creating international women's.

Aransas Savas (30:53.706)

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Julie Hartigan (31:04.783)

like juicy culinary food, wine culture, like how women like to travel travel experiences. It's so amazing how when it is the right thing, how much easier the launch pad is, how smooth it is, how it's just authentic and real and the energy is there. So, you know, I started working on that, honestly, just last spring. And it's like, I have a close friend,

Julie Hartigan (31:34.287)

who runs a women's adventure travel company for a decade. And she helped like coach me on, how do you start a travel company? You know, what do you, like, how do you even start that? And within nine months, I had like a fully booked sold out trip and bringing 15 women to Tuscany with me. And the thing that I wanted to do as part of the Aransas that I'm so excited about, we don't just go on a trip. It's, we go meet with really inspiring women.

Aransas Savas (31:41.628)

Uh huh.

Aransas Savas (31:51.915)


Julie Hartigan (32:02.483)

In Italy, I wanna create experiences where women who want a shift in their life or who want that travel, who want that fun, who want that pampering, who wanna experience the world in a safe, supportive way. You know, a lot of women limit themselves. They don't travel, they're too busy raising a family, they're too busy with their career, they're waiting for someday to go on this trip. I wanna make them feel safe to come with me, but I wanna bring them, or am bringing them, to really inspiring stories too. So they get to meet with the woman who

Aransas Savas (32:04.138)


Julie Hartigan (32:31.683)

Like that woman who raised her family on a vineyard and took over the vineyard in Tuscany from grandpa. And like all the men in the village said she couldn't do it but she did like that. Like kind of like a groupie pray love meets under the Tuscan sun meets, you know. t's funny how the push, the pushing to something and saying you should do it. And it's the smart thing that your heart isn't.

Julie Hartigan (33:01.015)

100% for it. How do you know, I wasn't as excited to do my job. I'm someone who really needs to be excited about what they're doing. I would sit down and go, I have to write these funnel emails. It just, it just wasn't me. It. I wish I could have tapped myself on the shoulder six months into it and said, it's okay to stop and not do that.

Aransas Savas (33:01.779)


Aransas Savas (33:08.267)


Aransas Savas (33:12.918)


Aransas Savas (33:27.414)

Yeah, again, you use that word nimble. And I do think this is something that's maybe come up more often in these episodes than I expected. This permission to change our minds.

Julie Hartigan (33:36.240)


Julie Hartigan (33:39.671)

Yeah, yeah. And not call it failure. I don't look at my divorce as a failure at all. I look at staying in an unfulfilling marriage where you're not feeling yourself as for your life, just for the sake of it, personally for me. Everyone's different. For me, that would have been more of a failure than peaceably letting go of a relationship that wasn't serving me or him any longer. To me, that's not a failure, that's growth. Yeah.

Aransas Savas (33:43.445)


Aransas Savas (33:51.018)


Aransas Savas (34:07.394)

growth. Yeah.

Julie Hartigan (34:09.079)

And so any mistake we make in our career, I don't even call it a mistake, it's growth. I learned so much about myself. I also learned, you know, personal development wise, how much I tied my worth to my work, which is not good. That's not good. I went back into therapy, I talked through it a lot. I tried to untangle that. You know, and you think about it, you trace back all the way to that little girl who was like, I wanna create a life for myself. I'm gonna work hard to do this.

Aransas Savas (34:14.326)

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Aransas Savas (34:17.612)


Julie Hartigan (34:37.487)

So, you know, it's so interesting after, even after that whole journey to get to, you know, my early 50s and realize, oh, hey, wow, that's not a good, you shouldn't be so attached to that to define your worthiness and your success in life, right?

Aransas Savas (34:53.274)

Another theme I think that comes up in your stories is that these difficult times are difficult. And they are the teachers that in every instance have allowed you to break through into greater joy and connection and purpose.

Julie Hartigan (35:00.675)

Oh yeah.

Julie Hartigan (35:12.615)

Mm hmm. Absolutely. And you can't predict. It's so hard to see. You can't. It's really hard to see it when you're in it. I think the best advice would be to always call back on. And we've all had those times, whether it's like a bad breakup or a job loss or loss of a loved one or health scare or a mental health crisis. Like we've all had those moments in our lives. And it's to kind of remember, try to.

Julie Hartigan (35:36.919)

not relive the pain, but recall how you felt in it, but then also reassure yourself that there was sunshine on the other side of that and learning and growth on the other side of that. Because when you're in it, so hard to see it, it's so hard to see out of it, right? So for anyone out there struggling in any way, please try to remember another time you struggled and then were so joyful or so happy or in your group afterwards, because life is those ups and downs.

It's a roller coaster. remember that movie, Parenthood? It's a really sweet moment in it where it says, I don't want to ride the merry-go-round in a circle. I want to ride the roller coaster. Right? Without the down, you don't have the up. It's, yeah, yeah, yeah. So yeah, I'm definitely, like, I'm really just so excited. I leave in...

Aransas Savas (36:24.106)

It's a roller coaster.

Aransas Savas (36:29.972)


Aransas Savas (36:36.860)

Oh, I love that. That's right. That's right.

Julie Hartigan (36:46.063)

10 days, I have the most beautiful group of women and they're, yeah, they're, and they're, you know, I'm so joyful. I'm so thankful that they're, they're coming with me and that I get to be part of their experience of sharing the joy and beauty of this travel. There are some that are going through divorces. There are some that are older single women who maybe have felt left out, like everyone was off on the couples trip. You know, our cultures, women are left out a lot in a lot of ways, or they leave themselves out because they say,

Aransas Savas (36:48.580)


Aransas Savas (37:15.195)

Mm hmm. We're uncomfortable. Yeah.

Julie Hartigan (37:16.415)

Oh, I can't do that now. You know, my own mom and my aunt, like I know a lot of women I love, I love a lot who have not said yes to themselves in life and gone on the trip. And they now, you know, again, life goes fast. We're not guaranteed good health forever. And you hit a point and you're like, wow, now, like to get to a point of your life and look and go, oh gosh, I was meant to do that and didn't do it, is heartbreaking to me.

Aransas Savas (37:41.562)


Julie Hartigan (37:43.855)

So to create experiences, I have three mother daughter duo is coming. And the moms are like in their 60s or 70s, you know? So it's quality time for mother and daughter to go bond. And you know, we're all so busy. It's long distance friends who don't get to see each other who are coming. Like I just want to create such a, I'm so excited to create a magical joyful experience for them.

Aransas Savas (37:47.745)


Aransas Savas (37:55.438)


Aransas Savas (38:06.334)

Oh, I'm so excited to hear the impact of this too, because this transformative experience that you're giving these women, that's the thing about women. We are communal, we are social, and we are influential.

Julie Hartigan (38:24.615)


Aransas Savas (38:24.894)

And so every one of these women who are touched by the woman at the vineyard and the food that they experience and the scenery that they envelop themselves in and your beautiful spirit, all of that then will ripple out and infuse every person that they touch. And that will reach out to others. And I just think I get so inspired just imagining that.

And it's all because you said, I'm not gonna do what doesn't feel true. I'm not gonna do what doesn't bring me joy. I'm not gonna suffer. I'm not gonna shut on myself. I'm gonna go and do what I dreamed of, and I'm gonna let.

Julie Hartigan (38:54.141)

excited about.

Julie Hartigan (38:58.743)

Right, I'm not gonna do what I should do.

Julie Hartigan (39:06.915)

lean into the joy. There's so much, so much open, I'm sure you've felt this too, and for I've felt this, like when you travel and you're in a different place, your mind is open, you're more, you're just willing to receive, I think, because you're out of your everyday. I know that's happened for me when I've been in another place. When you're on vacation in some magical, beautiful place, you start to think bigger about yourself.

and your life and the possibilities that there are. And I'm going to be, they don't know it yet, but I'm going to be doing some gentle coaching and prompts and journaling and things to help. I believe that if you're open to receive when you're in that kind of an environment and you're taking care of yourself, you're saying yes to you on a trip, you're in a different place, that's when you're going to come home transformed, come home feeling different, ready to make change in your everyday life. Let's bring those, that feeling.

Aransas Savas (39:34.487)


Aransas Savas (39:43.597)

Mmm, yes.

Aransas Savas (39:57.474)

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Julie Hartigan (40:02.427)

that message you got back into your everyday life.

Aransas Savas (40:05.078)

And you're doing more of these strips, it's not a one and done. Yay. Oh my God.

Julie Hartigan (40:06.911)

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, no, no, no. So multiple times a year, spring in Tuscany, fall harvest in Tuscany with a truffle hunt coming up in October. I'm keeping the groups really small too. We're traveling like girlfriends. We do Zoom calls leading up to the trip to get to know each other. I...

Julie Hartigan (40:34.831)

Oh, it's going to be a blast. We have like a group WhatsApp chat. It's like 10 to 12 women at a time. These aren't massive touristy things, but I'm adding new locations. So spring break in Sicily is coming next spring, which is going to be fabulous. And I'm scouting the Loire Valley, France just in two weeks I go, which is, honestly, I was not quite aware until I dug in. It's an hour south of Paris and it's where the kings and queens would vacation in these.

Aransas Savas (40:48.916)


Julie Hartigan (41:02.383)

beautiful chateaus and mini castles that are now places you can stay. And it's wine tasting and bike riding and baguettes and French cheese. And it's going to be, so yeah, I just want to create, my goal is going to be to create magical, dreamy, transformative experiences for women to get to say yes to themselves and experience the world with me and with Chef Julie as their guide.

Aransas Savas (41:06.986)

Oh my gosh.

Aransas Savas (41:25.942)

Oh my goodness, I'm so excited for you and I'm so happy for you and I'm so happy for the world. Because you are a model of what this can look like and you are a reminder that it's worth it to do the scary stuff and it's worth it to stop shoulding on ourselves and it's worth it to feel a little unsafe and a little uncertain sometimes and there is a chance.

Julie Hartigan (41:34.236)

Oh, thank you.

Julie Hartigan (41:43.579)


Julie Hartigan (41:49.861)


Aransas Savas (41:54.230)

that if we bring our gifts and our passion, it could work out. And what if it does?

Julie Hartigan (41:59.739)

Yes, and it does, exactly. Imagine up, someone said that. Don't imagine down, don't visualize down, it doesn't work, visualize up. Another, and you know what, Aransas, and you're doing this with the Uplifters, I'm so proud of you and excited for you. And I've been such a fan of yours for so long. We've been like you-go girlfriends for such a time. But I think it's so important to...

Aransas Savas (42:19.454)

We are.

Julie Hartigan (42:24.239)

Choose carefully what you feed yourself, like what you read, what you watch, what you listen to. Surround yourself with positive people who love you and support you. Not just yes people, however, with people who see the possibility in you, and this is in your personal life. It doesn't mean you have to cut people out of your life, but like manage their messages, because their messages are coming with love, but they might be limiting you. So be really, really careful of who you let into your.

Aransas Savas (42:26.762)

Mm. Yes. Yes.

Aransas Savas (42:34.861)


Aransas Savas (42:44.206)

do you spend your time with, yeah?

Julie Hartigan (42:53.091)

I heard someone say that's a mindfulness coach, your mind garden, like whoever comes into your mind garden better be helping you grow flowers in there, not creating scary thoughts and storms and like darkness. You want your garden to grow, right cobwebs? I sound like such a woo-woo person right now, but like only let the juicy, supportive, uplifting people into your mind, into your whole energy, you know?

Aransas Savas (42:56.545)


Aransas Savas (43:05.294)

cobwebs. Yes.

Aransas Savas (43:12.394)


Aransas Savas (43:20.906)

And you're right, that isn't just the yes people. And in fact, it's often the one, the challengers, right? And you spoke to that earlier. All right, so this is a good segue into our lightning round. What's one quick way you raise your own energy, Julie?

Julie Hartigan (43:23.972)


Julie Hartigan (43:32.923)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, let's go.

Julie Hartigan (43:36.459)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay. If I need energy, it's some kind of like, walk outside or get outside. If it's a rainy crappy day, I cuddle with my dog. My dog Harvey is like Instagram famous with me and I'll cuddle with Harvey and I immediately feel better.

Aransas Savas (43:45.765)


Aransas Savas (43:51.530)

I love that. One easy way you boost other women.

Julie Hartigan (43:55.159)

Oh gosh, yeah. So one thing I do is I catch any woman who puts herself down, because culturally it's such a common thing. Oh, we make fun of our hair, our clothes, our body, all these things, and I always gently say, hey, hey, and I counter that with like more uplifting, and I try to just always share uplifting messages with any woman that I'm sharing space with.

Aransas Savas (44:03.746)


Aransas Savas (44:20.162)

Feed yourself well, as you said. One little way you elevate your community, the planet or the world.

Julie Hartigan (44:21.992)


Julie Hartigan (44:27.855)

Sure, I actually honestly, I am truly on a mission to have just about anyone who interacts with me feel better after that, whether it's a smile for the stranger on the street or holding the door or asking the person without a home, can I buy you a sandwich? I'm going in this deli right there. I try to like in small ways, it's micro moments people that can change other people's lives. It's, we have so much power and impact just in how we carry ourselves.

So I try to leave each person I interact with just a little bit better.

Aransas Savas (45:00.950)

ripples. So speaking of ripples, we ripple out by connecting uplifters to one another. So who is a woman who has inspired you, who you think might inspire us?

Julie Hartigan (45:13.435)

Yes, absolutely. Okay, my friend Caroline Scruggs is amazing. I actually met her through a women's entrepreneurial program. She's a singer songwriter who grappled and dealt with the music industry and the level of rejection and just like judgment, physical judgment she was receiving from that. and she leaned into coaching women in vocal embodiment using her talent. So it's like, how do you find your voice and find your power through singing and through songwriting, whether you're a musician or not. And she's just such a, she lives unapologetically. Aransas Savas (45:56.098)


Julie Hartigan (46:09.583)

She does the most interesting, creative things and lives unapologetically herself. And she's one of the most loving, wonderful people I've ever met. Aransas Savas (46:20.590)

I can't wait to meet her. We made a joke on a recent episode that the scariest thing for me to do would be to sing karaoke on this show. So I just feel like, where, where, yeah.

Julie Hartigan (46:30.979)

Oh, you're okay. You have to have Caroline on. you're gonna love her, you're gonna love her, Aransas.Aransas Savas (46:36.878)

Oh my God.

Aransas Savas (46:40.226)

Same, same.

Aransas Savas (46:49.522)

I can't wait.

Julie Hartigan (46:57.883)

She was like, I want you all to break a rule every single day. Like what's a rule that you have for yourself? It's like limiting you, that's keeping you from joy. Like be a little bit of a rule breaker with yourself every day. Just like really live life fully. Oh, she's so great. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Aransas Savas (46:58.654)


Aransas Savas (47:02.216)


Aransas Savas (47:06.710)


Aransas Savas (47:10.114)

That's so good. Oh, I can't wait to meet her. Oh, thank you for being here. I am so glad you're in my life. I'm so excited to be Go Girlfriends with you.

Julie Hartigan (47:16.103)

Thank you for having me. Likewise.

Aransas Savas (47:21.826)

For everyone listening to this, share this with your go-girlfriends, the ones who could use a boost today, your friends, your sisters, your coworkers. You know who they are, the women who are taking care of everyone else, but maybe aren't always finding time to take care of themselves. I hope you will take Julie and I out for a walk with you to go and see the world, or maybe to pet your dog while you listen to us, or make some dinner for someone you love. Because...

Julie Hartigan (47:49.115)


Aransas Savas (47:50.986)

The more we hear these voices, the more, as Julie says, we feed ourselves well, the higher we can raise.

I am gonna have links to all of your places in the show notes, but in case people can't find those, where should they look for you and these amazing trips? And I hope you're ready for us because these are like uplifter made, so we may crash your server. Sorry. I mean, let's, let's talk. Yes.

Julie Hartigan (48:15.855)


Julie Hartigan (48:20.533)

all the time.

Julie Hartigan (48:24.083)

I think I should do a cus like just so we could just do an Uplifter group, which would be fabulous I'm doing like groups like that, you know, like little like women's groups. So I'm everywhere. It's at Julie Hartigan It's j u l i e Julie and then h a r t i g a n Julie Hartigan comm Please come say hi on Instagram at Julie Hartigan. I post lots of fun adventures there and different things Yeah, that's pretty much where I am on YouTube too. I'm

Cooking with Julie on YouTube, my YouTube channel is much more about healthy cooking. It's Cooking W. Julie on YouTube and on Facebook.

Aransas Savas (48:56.978)

Awesome, thank you.. Ciao.

Aransas Savas (49:03.118)


The Uplifters
The Uplifters
This podcast is dedicated to celebrating the Uplifters.
In every episode, we share the tools and strategies Uplifters use to take care of themselves.
You'll hear the deeply personal stories of inspiring women who have worked through challenges to create big, joyful lives; how blocks and barriers became tools for success; and powerful mindset techniques you can use to live up. 💫