Cheese-, cider- and kale-fueled hiker, skier and taekwondo-er. Willing to try any food at least twice, this nutrition science nerd knows when to put down the research and pick up a fork full of chocolate cake.

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Associate nutrition editor Julia Westbrook joined EatingWell in 2015. She is responsible for the magazine's front-of-book "Fresh" section, covering health and nutrition studies, food trends, current events, controversial issues, sustainability and travel as they all relate to food. Julia also writes the "Shop Smart" column, evaluating and taste-testing entire categories of packaged foods. You can imagine the perplexed looks she gets as she rolls up to the grocery store checkout with a cart full of 15+ barbecue sauces, cereal boxes or cake mixes for any given issue.

Julia has a strong background in writing research-backed health pieces with a focus on nutrition as well as interests in sustainability, mindfulness and fitness. She started out writing for Lehigh University, The Morning Call and Bicycling Magazine. Prior to joining EatingWell, Julia worked for Rodale, where she edited content for Men's Health and Women's Health branded books alongside the executive editor. At Rodale Wellness (formerly Rodale News), she wrote features and daily health content for the wellness news and lifestyle website.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with bachelor's degrees in English and psychology as well as a minor in French from Lehigh University, where she played the piccolo and tenor saxophone in the University's marching band. (Bonus: She also met her husband in the band!) Julia grew up in northern New Jersey and now lives in Vermont with her husband, two cats and a dog. She dove stomach-first into the local food scene, falling in love with the beer and cider culture along with all things maple syrup. To balance the fabulous eats, Julia takes full advantage of the other gem of Vermont: the mountains (hiking in the summer, skiing in the winter). She skied her first black-diamond trail in 2017 and has recently become obsessed with taekwondo. She's crafty, too: Julia taught herself to knit in middle school and has been cranking out scarves ever since.

My point of view:

What does "eating well" mean to me?
I eat well to fuel my life-whether that's tackling my work deadlines with sustained energy, building strength or protecting my future health by making smart choices.

The three ingredients I simply couldn't live without…

Mixed Greens: When I have three half-full containers of leftovers, my go-to move is to throw them all together and call it a salad. Voilà! Instant lunch. The real secret: I sprinkle parsley into the greens whenever I have some on hand.

Garlic: I have yet to find a dinner worth its salt that doesn't start with garlic. (Plus, I recently learned the chef-approved technique for cutting garlic and I feel super-professional.)

Eggs: Whether it's a stand-alone dish-scrambled, fried, poached, omelet-or a component in a recipe-in waffles, coating chicken, topping a kimchi burger-eggs are so versatile.

My go-to dinner for nights when there's no plan…
Frozen spinach (sautéed in oil and garlic, not boiled!) + frozen ravioli topped with an extra swirl of oil and salt.

The healthy habit I've committed to…
Getting protein at breakfast every day. I don't function in the morning if I'm hungry, and protein helps keep me full until lunch.

My favorite EatingWell recipe…
This Golden Beet Salad with Apricot Vinaigrette has a lot of flavor for not a ton of work. Plus, it has so many of my favorite foods-beets, apricots and pistachios!

What I work on: