Health & Nutrition Coach & Chef helping people reverse Type2 Diabetes.
-Written by Tony Cutting
Julie (nee Middlemiss) Buckley was born in Dunedin. Her dad Grant Middlemiss (a retired Police Inspector) and mum Sheryl Love (a retired National Bank employee) had two children Julie the oldest and her younger brother Peter Middlemiss - a Police Sergeant.
As a child her family moved around the country a bit due to her das occupation. Living in Dunedin, Wairoa, Auckland (where she started school), Ashburton, Christchurch, Oamaru (where Julie started Intermediate then high school) and then Wellington.
Julie loved gymnastics when she was a kid and belonged to a competitive club.
She also enjoyed athletics – “I represented the school in long jump and high jump.”
She also played netball.
“I was very shy as a child and found it hard to make friends. I liked reading and being outside climbing trees and being in nature and with animals. I would just start settling in somewhere and we would move. “
Julie started secondary school at Waitaki Girls High School in Oamaru where she escaped to the gym with every given opportunity.
“I could get to escape the bullying I received due to my father being the head cop in town.”
Julie then moved to Wellington ahead of her family (due to the bullying) and lived with her Aunt and Uncle for a while.
Julie started at Tawa College where she claims she was an average student?
“I really liked home economics (no surprises there) and I really enjoyed science as well - I was hopeless at maths - I think I missed some crucial bits due to moving and it never quite made sense to me.”
“I played cricket at secondary school and kept going with gymnastics until I was about 15 but I was too tall really. “
Julie made some good friends when we moved to Wellington, some of whom she still keeps in touch with.
“Tawa College was a good school, so I was happy for both my sons to go there even though we are out of the school zone”.
Julie went on the Spirit of New Zealand when she was 15 years old.
“I took the overnight train to Auckland and learnt how to sail as part of a team of young people. We had to jump overboard each morning for a swim and learnt great team building. I had to give a speech when I got back to the school on my experience which was terrifying! “
“I was really only at Tawa College for about 2 years when I was given the opportunity to go to CIT (Central Institute of Technology) in Trentham and train to be a chef at age 16”.
At CIT Julie says she was a good student all down to the fact she was now learning something she was really interested in.
“I came out of my shell while training in Trentham, a group of us travelled in a beat-up old car with the bonnet tied down with string. Travelling from Tawa over the Haywards to Trentham each day. We trained together for about a year in the New Zealand curriculum for Cookery.
I came second in my class behind the only adult student. We then had some classes at Wellington Polytechnic once we had completed our hours. I also completed the Certificate in Wine training.”
Welcome to working life
Julies first job after graduating was at La Spaghetata Restaurant in Wellington in 1987 where she was worked for about 3 months before being selected to work at the Plaza International hotel.
“The Plaza International was really was like Lenny Henrys Chef program or something out of kitchen nightmares with Gordon Ramsey where I was petrified of the head chef who was a small guy who screamed at everybody all the time. I was petrified!”
“A vivid memory of that time was in my first week on a split shift where I was told everyone was off to the ‘hairdressers’ where they escorted me to the pub across the road and shouted me multiple beers trying to get me drunk.”
Julie was put on night shift and for about 3 months, she caught the last train into Wellington and started work about 11pm and cooked the room service orders and prepared the breakfast buffet for the next morning.
“I went on a two-month youth exchange through the Lions club at the end of 1989 and beginning of 1990 to Canada and the States which was the first time I had travelled outside of New Zealand. I turned 18 years old while I was over there.
I was then given the opportunity to work in the Governors Kitchen at the Reserve bank. I cooked and served morning teas, lunches and corporate dinners for the Governor and deputy governors as well as board lunches for visiting dignitaries. We had an amazing wine cellar and I clearly remember the whispers as one of the board members bought her new baby to the meeting and was breastfeeding during the meeting.
Getting headhunted at 19 years old
I was then “poached” to work at AMP Insurance to cater for the board meetings and dinners and management functions later in 1990. Not long after the catering manager retired after being in the role for 30 years. I took over from him at the ripe age of 19 years old and managed a catering operation for 600 people a day as well as the corporate catering, board lunches, the 40-year club (which is a club of all men who had been at the company for 40 years or more!) I managed the bar and did the buying of the wine for the wine cellar.
Fast forward 16 years
Julie is now married with two children. She also has over 18 years’ experience as a chef working in very senior positions for large organisations.
In 2006 Julie decides that instead of working hard for other people she would work hard for herself and open her very own cafe.
“We bought a cafe on the Terrace called ‘Pasta Pasta’. I didn’t intend to run a pasta cafe, but it was very popular, so I kept it going alongside my other cafe food and started catering for corporates including various Government Ministries. I also made pasta for restaurants around town including spinach fettuccini for Molly Malones restaurant, The Redhead and squid ink pasta for a launch of a new Restaurant in town at the time. I started adding to my range of gluten free and various other meals for people with special dietary requirements.
I had three full time staff and about six others mostly students who would come in for the busy lunch times and to help with catering.”
The cost of leasing a Café on the Terrace took it’s toll quickly within a year Julie decided to close it down.
A new ‘Healthy’ start…
Late 2007 Julie started working close to home in the Ngaio Gorge at the Organic Grocer Organic Cafe as a baker/chef. With the Grocery downstairs and the cafe upstairs, I was loving working with the Organic produce and principles and in my element with the type of food I was making.
In 2009 the manager from the Organic Grocer and I went into partnership and opened the ‘Eat right Café.
A child with a brain Tumour
Early in 2011 my middle child was diagnosed with a Pituitary tumour and I realised I would have to give up work to concentrate on him and my family and getting through this time. I had just started one of my many weight loss attempts with a new business a pilot group.
The venture was a resounding success and I lost 32kg within the time we were going through one of the worst times of our lives. I was so excited about this process I wanted to be part of it.
In May 2011 I became one of the first health coaches for the company. I focused on the food and nutrition side and used my experience with catering for people with special dietary requirements and built on my knowledge of natural health which I had been studying in my own time for a few years previously.
I absolutely love working with my clients to regain their health with daily coaching while learning about fuelling their bodies using whole real food. During this time, I have seen many clients regain their health, reverse their diabetes diagnosis and come off insulin and other medications such as blood pressure medication, statins and take the weight off painful joints causing relief from symptoms amongst many other health issues that go with high weight.
2018 and beyond
“Coming up this February I have been married to Pat Buckley for 25 years. We have 3 children they are now 19, 20 and 22 and our 22-year-old daughter has recently become engaged.
I have now left the previous health business to concentrate on ‘The Diabetes Clinic’. Using my knowledge of healing the body using whole real foods I am joining a great team in this exciting new project.
Our challenge is to help people to reverse pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes with Low Carb Healthy Fat eating and intermittent fasting. My focus is the food and nutrition side with fabulous healthy recipes and meal ideas along with coaching people through the changes and challenges of fasting which I also use myself for staying healthy.
I am very excited and passionate about this process and am ready to help people live the best lives without a bleak future the progression of Diabetes holds.”
To find out more about the Diabetes Clinic please feel free to check out what we are doing on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/diabetesclinicnz/
“I see the future, and I am so exciting I am really enjoying working with this project where we are going to help heal the world of the epidemic of Type 2 diabetes.
People can start eating real food as their medicine. My work doesn’t seem like a job, it is so exciting watching it all come together and the healthy choices people can quickly make to change their lives for the better.
Our next family project is to buy a piece of land to have a lifestyle block, so I can have gardens and fruit trees and animals to feed our family and community. To live self sustainably off the land.”