Do you want to optimize your day like a CEO?

Want to Optimize Your Day Like a CEO? Here’s How with Julie Nguyen

I’m talking about the exact mindset, systems, and habits of a co-founder, CEO, and straight-up force to be reckoned with, Julie Nguyen from Methodology.

In this episode, Julie shares her daily routines and systems for maximizing productivity and goal-crushing.

I invited Julie Nguyen to be on the show because she is straight-up crushing the startup scene right now and is disrupting the food industry in the best possible way.

I’m also a subscriber of the Methodology delivery program, and here’s what happened:

Many of you know that I signed a book deal and when I committed to writing the manuscript, I was on a pretty aggressive timeline.

I knew that I couldn’t try to do everything all at once.

There’s nothing wrong with taking shortcuts, and for me, that looked like meal delivery services.

I did a lot of research, and a lot of what I found I didn’t love– I didn’t love the plastic situation, and a lot of the meal plans didn’t fit the way that we eat, dairy-free and gluten-free.

When I found Methodology I was so pumped because not only is it made with minimal, real food, high-quality ingredients that fit our way of eating, it also just tasted really good.

The only drawback: it’s not yet available nationwide.

If you decide that this is something you’d like to try, I have an affiliate discount code for you: REALFOODWHOLELIFE30 for 30% off your first purchase.

On what led Julie to found Methodology:

Julie actually started the company to solve her own health problems and needs.

She started reading about nutrition and health and decided to put herself on an elimination diet, tracking all of her food on Excel to figure out what was making her sick.

After several years of tracking and reading, she learned what things she can and cannot eat and she became a normal, happy, healthy person.

She realized that there are probably a lot of other people who don’t really know how to eat but have health problems and who might feel better with a couple of tweaks in their diet.

After getting tired of spending every Sunday meal prepping, Methodology really started with Julie and her co-founder hiring a personal chef and asking their friends who wanted to pool resources to get all of their stuff meal prepped together personalized to what they need.

From there, it kept growing and eventually, they realized that this was a business.

Julie’s takeaways from her elimination diet:

Many of Julie’s health problems were related to what she was eating.

When she stopped having dairy and certain types of alcohol, she stopped having asthma attacks.

For acne, Julie found a huge list of contributors, like wine, coffee, dairy, gluten, and soy products.

She also had ocular migraines caused by being on birth control, which she was taking for acne.

Once her acne cleared, she stopped taking the birth control and her ocular migraines went away.

It all came back to removing the foods that were making her sick and removing the prescription drugs that were giving her additional health problems.

Making changes is hard at first, but you can get used to things very quickly.

Once she stopped eating these things, she got used to not having them and didn’t want them anymore (and she was feeling good!).

On innovation and infusion in the kitchen:

The Methodology menu is very global in response to their customers.

They take recipes that their customers ate growing up and then they make tweaks to “methodologyify” them, like replacing dairy with something nut-based and refined sugar with another sweetener.

“We want everyone to feel like they’re eating foods that are familiar and comforting so that they never feel deprived.”

Julie listens to customer feedback and travels the world to taste foods, taking note of interesting ways of preparing foods.

The Methodology menu is also very Californian, as most of their customers are in California, taking advantage of access to so many year-round produce options.

A wide variety of ingredients is healthy.

Pay attention to the food you like to eat, whether that be inspired by culture or the place you grew up, and seek out alternative recipes to feed your soul and traditions in addition to your body.

On traveling:

Julie’s favorite part of her travels is sharing what she learns in the form of recipe ideas.

A lot of people eat for emotional pleasure, but for Julie, it’s an intellectual pursuit.

When she travels and eats, the goal is to learn.

Before she even goes to a country, she reads extensively about that country’s history and foods.

And she tries everything.

On marketing for Methodology:

Julie is hands-on with everything and she shares what she’s doing, not your typical CEO.

She tries to do what she would want the company to do, as a customer.

She wants businesses to be more transparent and she wants to hear the behind the scenes stories with more authenticity.

“I think there is value in being authentic and transparent”.

Marketing is changing, where people don’t want to be sold polished ads anymore, they just really want to know the stories behind the business, the people, the products, so they can see if their values really align.

Julie’s marketing philosophy: what kinds of stories can we tell and share that are authentic?

At Methodology, they aren’t overthinking things and they’re not perfectionists.

“What we care about is building something that our customers will really like”.

Advice for anyone overthinking or stuck in a perfectionist mindset loop:

On goal-setting: always start with the end in mind and work backward.

For example, at work, Julie may say, “In six months, these three product features have to be live, no matter what”.

And then, as a team, they figure out what they need to do this week to make sure that they get those things done on time with very specific and small actions.

Julie does the same in her personal life.

When she first wanted to start working out but just couldn’t get herself to do it, she made a new daily habit putting on workout clothes.

She got into that habit, and then she started adding a ten-minute walk.

It slowly progressed over time and now she workouts six days a week for one to two hours.

She knew where she wanted to be in the end, imagining herself as a fit, strong person who could do hard workouts and she asked herself, “what can I do today to slowly start moving there?”

Start with the end in mind and figure out: what is the one small, easy thing that you can do this week so that you can at least start moving forward?

Taking tiny steps and breaking it down toward an outcome doesn’t mean that you’re giving up, it just means that you’re not making it a bigger deal than it actually is.

“There are no impossible goals, just impossible deadlines.”

Julie gives herself longer timelines so it’s less stressful and she knows that every week she’s making some form of progress toward that goal.

We often overestimate what we can do in a short time, and underestimate what we can do in a long time with small, little changes.

On routines and habits for health and success:

Taking care of yourself starts with self-awareness.

Julie knows that she has more energy in the mornings, so she structured her days around it; she workouts and does the three most important things of the day on her list in the morning.

During the rest of the day is when she has meetings, catches up on emails, and on social media.

She makes sure that she is really being aware of her energy highs and lows and structuring her day around that, making sure she’s doing the most important things for success during her productivity window.

Her self-awareness evolved over decades of optimizing her life through experimenting and reading.

From The Power of Full Engagement, Julie learned about prioritizing energy management over time management.

She tries to read 1 – 3 books a week and takes away 1 – 3 important points from each that she can weave into her personal or business life.

Tips for taking what you need and leaving what you don’t when you’re reading: 

Julie uses a highlighting feature on her kindle and once she finishes a book, she goes back through all of the places she highlighted to see what her most important takeaways are.

Then, she writes them down where she keeps notes on what she reads and once she has that she can think about what the action she can take in her life based on what she learned.

It doesn’t necessarily have to look like that, but it’s this idea of tracking what you want to take and what you want to leave.

You don’t have to take it all; you don’t even have to read the whole book.

“It’s amazing how much more productive in life we can be if we just ignore what’s ‘normal'”.

On what Julie is excited for right now:

Methodology will be launching functional food programs, which will really guide people through how to eat for specific health outcomes.

The first three are called: Move, Focus, and Glow.

Move teaches people how to eat for an active lifestyle.

Focus is about how to eat to optimize brain health and performance.

Glow is a program for healthy aging, healthy skin, and healthy nails.

“It’s not just about tasty, it’s not just about calories. Food can really do a lot for you.”

It’s not only food delivery, but the idea is also that Methodology is giving you a system that can help you eat better in order to help you perform better in life.

The second product coming up is curated food gift packs where, for example, if you know someone who just had a baby you can send them Methodology’s postpartum gift pack designed specifically for women’s postpartum needs.

Everything is going to be high quality and curated perfectly for whatever that pack is.

“One of the most nurturing gifts you can give someone is food.”

As of now, Methodology is available in Seattle, Portland, Northern California, and Southern California.

But in September 2019, they are launching shipping all over California to cover other areas, like Sacramento.

Gift packs will launch nationwide in November 2019 (anywhere FedEx will deliver to).

The mission is to help anyone use food as medicine and look and feel their best.

On what it really means to be healthy:

“I think that health is a very personal thing. Healthy is whatever it takes for you to feel confident and fulfilled in your life… It’s having the emotional, physical, spiritual health in order to do the things you want and need to do in order to feel fulfilled and those things will change over time.”

I want to hear from you on social on RWFL Instagram and the RFWL community on Facebook: 

Do you think that starting with the end in mind is the best way to get out of overthinking, or do you think there is something else that works better?

My biggest takeaway: there are no impossible goals, just impossible timelines.

It reminds me of our conversation with Hal Elrod on the miracle equation.

And I love Julie’s take no s*** attitude about what’s possible and not possible.

Think way beyond big and adjust the timeline accordingly.

Guest Bio

Julie is CEO and co-founder of Methodology, an end-to-end nutrition service that provides nutrition programs in combination with ready-to-eat food delivery. Growing up, Julie suffered from a dozen health problems and had multiple surgeries but was able to cure herself of all health issues and move off all prescription drugs simply by changing her diet. Taking all that she learned, she co-founded Methodology. Methodology’s mission is to heal bodies and minds using food as medicine. Prior to founding Methodology Julie joined a venture-backed tech startup as the 15th employee and was eventually promoted to VP Marketing. She helped scaled their user base to over 20 million members and revenue to $50m a year. Julie began her career at JPMorgan and received her BA in Economics at Stanford University. She’s also a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.


Instagram @gomethodology

90 the 2 decisions that Move Your Biggest Goals from Possible to Inevitable, with Hal ElrodThe 2 Decisions That Move Your Biggest Goals from Possible to Inevitable, with Hal Elrod

The Power of Full Engagement


  1. Share it via FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter

  2. Leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews help more people find the show!

  3. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

This post contains affiliate links.

Share this Post