Julie and Phil Neville - From almost dying to feeling Incredible the WinNaturally way.

Julie and Phil Neville

Owned by Julie and Phil Neville, WinNaturally has been created to promote the benefits of a healthy and natural lifestyle. They’ll offer advice and personal feedback on a range of natural food and drink products designed to benefit the body and the mind.


I met with Julie and her Football Star husband Phil Neville – alongside Nutrition; we talk Family, Football, Fund-raising and Feeling incredible.


You would never know from their beaming smiles that Julie and the team have worked through the night preparing their shiny new venture. They finishing a shade before sunrise leaving just enough time to nip home for a quick shower then back to the store to finish pricing more than 3,000 products before eager shoppers arrived.


We finished just after 6:30 this morning, I went home, bathed the kids and made breakfasts, grabbed a quick shower and came straight back here… It’s a bit hectic but we’re ready. Julie says looking delighted and not one bit tired.


WinNaturally has been trading online successfully for over 18 months, alongside selling to the public they also specialise in looking after Athletes and count a hand full of sports clubs as clients. Julie explains why she felt compelled to migrate from web only to concession store and she looked excited when I asked if we might one day see WinNaturally standalone stores on high streets up and down the country.


If we do I’d certainly love to incorporate a juice bar and sell the super juices that I like to write about on my blog.


Having a store helps us to provide our products to people who can’t use a computer. My mother for example; who is now in her early 60’s - she can’t use a computer; she has to ring me to place an order for her. I have a vision that the WinNaturally stores will provide an experience for our customers so that they can go away feeling better even if they haven’t bought anything. All our staff members are nutritionally qualified and trained to offer advice that customers wouldn’t ordinarily be able to get.


I went from one life threatening illness to another. I spent 2 years fighting to regain my health - I honestly thought I wouldn’t see my kids grow up.


I confess I find the world of nutrition a bit over phasing; Power balls, super shakes and a million and one pills and promises proposing to make you feel like a brand new you. What advice would you give to someone like me who’s maybe a little sceptical about the validity of some of the mesmerising array of products available?


What I would say to any one who’s sceptical is that I truly believe my commitment to nutrition saved my life. After I had our daughter I got really Ill, I almost lost my life, and I went from one life threatening illness to another. I spent 2 years fighting to regain my health - I honestly thought I wouldn’t see my kids grow up.


I figured if I’m going to feel this low for the rest of my life it’s not going to be through any fault of my own so I educated myself on nutrition - it’s been such an eye opener and I’ve never looked back.


Julie is a wag on a mission for sure and for someone with a fairly recent history of illness - she looks amazing, and that’s forgetting she’s been up all night, if anything - dressed all in black she does looks a bit  thin, I gingerly bring up the subject of weight and ask her if she’s thinner than she would like to be, thankfully I didn’t get a slap…


Yes I am thinner than I’d like, she shares.


My sister has the perfect figure with curves in all the right places; I’m very envious. I’ve always been naturally skinny; it’s not from the WinNaturally way of life.


If a product doesn’t get the Neville family seal of approval it will never make it onto the shelves at WinNaturally.


Do you have a favourite product from the range? what should we try?


I love munching on seeds; they’re so tasty and nutritious. I snack on them all day, my kids take them to school, they’re a great product, I love the bounce balls, and they’re popular with the professional athletes that we look after. The Intolerance products we stock are great. Gluten free, dairy free and nuts free items are proving popular; Selfridge’s didn’t have anything like that before so they’ve been very keen for us to bring them in.


I could rave all day about the products we have and I think it’s worth mentioning that we don’t stock anything that we don’t use as a family ourselves, if you went into my kitchen at home you would find all the products we have for sale here. If a product doesn’t get the Neville family seal of approval it will never make it onto the shelves at WinNaturally.


With that the Neville’s do a switcheroo and I have the pleasure of the Everton captain and ex Man U and England Righ back, I don’t mind admitting I’m excited to be meeting Phil Neville, I’ve grown up supporting Man Utd and I've been to loads of games with my dad - I feel like I’ve cheered Phil on for years.


We once interviewed Dominic Monaghan one of the stars from Lost and Lord of the Rings and asked him - Have you bumped into any celebrities in LA & felt awestruck? He said ‘Nope. Just Manchester United players make me speechless and pathetic!’ Right about now - I know exactly what he means…


And just to up the ante; Lucy my PR contact who's arranged today's interviews told me earlier to keep the conversation on nutrition, I started laughing explaining that I’m not capable of sitting down with Phil Neville to NOT talk about Football. Ultimately I concede to authority and tell her I’ll do my best knowing fine well if someone mentions the 'F' word, I’m gonna be all over it...


I guess being a pro Footballer nutritional knowledge comes with the territory?


Yes, I have become something of an expert in sports nutrition he tells me.


Having played sport all my life and professionally for the last 20 years I’ve definately gained knowledge of knowing what to eat and when to eat to reach your maximum performance.


Julie’s obsessed by the subject and very studious when it comes to learning as much as she can on the subject of nutrition. It really has helped her get back to full fitness and now it’s a daily part of family life for us.


Don’t get me wrong, we’re not goody two-shoes, we eat what everyone else eats. If we want we’ll have a Chinese take-away after the game. We’ve just made big steps to become more natural and it’s working for us.


You can’t starve yourself of the things you like to eat. I love chips more than anyone, I like chocolate and partial to a good Chinese


Do you wake up every morning and feel good?


Honestly, I feel incredible. The whole family gets up at 6am every day we have breakfast together and we laugh and we joke and that’s not by chance, I believe it’s because we live our lives right.


Over the past 5 years, I think health and well-being has become a real priority for modern society. People are now more educated than ever before.  I think Jamie Oliver has kick started the revolution, he started looking at school dinners and clearly the food on offer just wasn’t good enough, as a result the children are becoming better educated.


Magazines are full of Diets, fitness regimes, health products. The healthy living genre is now main stream. Interestingly I meet people who say they’re trying to lose weight and actually in order to do that they have to eat more, but it has to be the right things.


You can’t starve yourself of the things you like to eat. I love chips more than anyone, I like chocolate and partial to a good Chinese but I know that if I want to play FOOTBALL at the top level for the next 2 years it is imperative I put the right fuel in my body.


Hello! did somebody say the 'F' word?


Last night Phil captained the toffees to a 2-1 win away to Newcastle, in the process he clashed heads with teammate Victor Anichebe and needed eight stitches to correct a head wound, how’s your head? I ask, knowing fine well it must be hurting like hell.


Sore, he says, we laugh.


You’ve had a great run this season so far; 5th place in the premier league, what’s the mood like in the dressing room?


After the game last night everyone was euphoric, It’s been a tough Christmas period, we’ve played 4 games in almost a week it seems like, everyone’s tired, it felt like something special last night. We’ve still got 17 games to go, that’s a long time, and we don’t really start thinking about achievements or what you may achieve until around March time.


It is the second half of the season when the real champions step it up and the real big players say ‘this is my time’.


Are you starting to believe that you can qualify for Europe? Is there any chance you can finish in 3rd or 4th or even higher than that?


Well we’re half way through the season now and at this point we’ve played everyone, now we can look back and ask ourselves – Was there anything to fear? Are there any teams that were miles better than us? And the answer is; I don’t think there’s anything to fear and there’s hasn’t been any teams that have played us off the park - that gives us a lot of confidence.


It is the second half of the season when the real champions step it up and the real big players say ‘this is my time’. We just hope that we can keep our great run going.


There’s always that little bit of fear when you say you’re aiming for something in case you fall short but we’re now in a position to say we want champions league football. I think we’ve proved to everyone that we’re one of the top 5 clubs in the country and we have to start believing. We can’t hide away and keep playing the underdog card by saying we’re happy being in the top half of the table. We play big teams and we can beat big teams now is the time for us to show a bit of belief and show some spunk and say -  we want a champions league place. Let’s aim for the stars.


During his time at Old Trafford, Phil helped United win six Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the UEFA Champions League. This guy knows what it takes to win at the very highest level. The only difference is that this time around he’s captain of the team, I ask if he’s feeling the pressure…


Right now we have to deal with the expectation, the expectation levels have risen and that increases the pressure. I’d say for the first half of the season we’ve slipped under the radar, everyone’s been talking about the usual – Man Utd and City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham and we’ve been the team that’s just plodded along, but now there’s expectation and we have to embrace it.


Congratulations on appearing in an incredible 500 premiere league games btw, and i'm not meaning to rain on your parade but football is as a young man’s game, your kid’s hung up his boots and presumably you won’t be able to keep playing for many more years, does WinNaturally represent the future for the Neville family?


This has evolved slowly over the years, as you know my wife was very ill, she made a lot of nutritional changes and started to get better and as a result she continued to investigate and learn more about the positives until she reached the point where she feels she can help others and also create a business that she’s very interested in.


Julie’s a worker; she’s always worked – right up until we had our first child, she really wants to play her part and I support whatever she does 100% - I love everything that she’s doing. WinNaturally is her baby; it’s her dream, in the same way that she comes to watch and support me playing football I’m here for her.


£20 Million was a lot of money to raise, to think that I played a small part in making that possible I would say it’s my greatest ever achievement and it wouldn’t have been possible without Julie's passion.


It's a really nice story when you consider the emotional turmoil you’ve both been through…


I am naturally a very positive person and I believe that things happen for a reason; our daughter was born in the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital's, she was born with a disability and all of a sudden we find ourselves involved with a hospital appeal and we end up raising a lot of money. It’s incredible to think that from an unexpected event that we would normally consider a personal disaster something quite amazing happened.


We’ve had 5 very special years raising money for the hospital. I would say that it’s the greatest achievement that I’ve ever been involved in. £20 Million was a lot of money to raise and if you go to the hospital now and see the results, to think that I played a small part in making that possible I would say it’s my greatest ever achievement and it wouldn’t have been possible without Julie's passion.


Greater than all the accolades you've achieved with Man Utd?


No comparison, you know every time I go there I get emotional, they’ve named the intensive care unit after Me Julie and our family. When we had Isabella there were no facilities for parents to use, there was nowhere for us to stay, now with the new building; parents can stay close by.


We get Thank You letters every week from people that have stayed there, that’s better than the wage packet at the end of the month, better than 3 points at the weekend, better than winning the champions league.


And with that Phil's swept away into the melay - security in toe.


WinNaturally is open now and is located inside Selfridges food court at the Trafford Centre, It's well worth a visit if you're passing. Don’t forget to check out Julie’s weekly blog for Super Juice recipes and keep an eye on the website for more information about the clinics where you can ask Phil questions about sports performance, nutrition and recovery.




Julie and Phil Neville

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