When I first got in to vegan food, the very new blogger world was my best friend. I remember sitting in my college dorm room, on my desk top, researching and getting inspired by the California world of restaurants, products, and people who at the time seemed very far away.
I now know that I was finding my expanders. Those people who I could see myself in their footsteps and truly serve as inspiration.
Juli Novotny was one of those first badass entrepreneurial women that I became enamoured with. Her vegan and gluten free cookie line Kookie Karma was one of the best things out there, and when I finally got to California to try them, I was obsessed. I'm still obsessed! They were so good!
She hasn't stopped. Juli has continued to create delicious recipes and content for well over a decade, all while growing a beautiful family of three children. Her blog Pure Kitchen is a constant source of reference and one that I refer to almost weekly, and... fairly recently she's gotten seriously fit- all on a vegan diet. Living proof that it can be done.
Truly beautiful both inside and out, Juli epitomizes living well, and thriving. She's authentic in everything she does - and is evidence that taking care of yourself is worth it!
Thank you Juli, I loved this one!
Your 3 Word Bio:
Mother. Activist. Hustler.
One thing the internet doesn't know about you?
I wrote my college application essay on The Tao of Pooh. I don't think I've ever told anybody that before. It's a rad book about the ancient Chinese principles of Taoism using that effortlessly calm, reflective bear, Winnie the Pooh. While Eeyore frets, and Piglet hesitates, and Rabbit calculates, and Owl pontificates, Pooh just is. The basic Taoism theory is simply a particular way of appreciating, accepting and learning from whatever happens in everyday life. From the Taoist point of view, the natural result of this harmonious way of living is happiness. When you're 17, this idea of life is pretty cool. I got into UCLA with that essay.
The can't live without it daily ritual that keeps you inspired?
Small wins and podcasts. I love to set goals for the day or the month so that when I hit them or chalk them off my list I feel a sense of accomplishment. The wins can be small. Even if it's just getting out of my comfort zone, or hitting my pull up goals, or even talking to my kids about something difficult (i.e. the birds and the bees - this happened recently). Nailing it as a mom, at work or at the gym keeps me fired up about life. Being a better version of my yesterday self keeps me motivated.
Podcasts were such a great invention. I don't watch the news, I listen to podcasts. They help me stay focused on the goals, the wins and the bettering of myself. Learning new perspectives or ways of doing things or thinking is key to being inspired. Expanding my mind spiritually or as a parent or even politically. Learning different perspectives other than my own is inspiring.
What is in your desert island cosmetic bag, and how do you use it?
iPod so I could listen to those health podcasts and books on tape. Mouthwash. Tinted lip gloss. Chia seeds. Nucifera of course. That's really all I need.
And since we are on an island... what's your favorite way to use coconut?
I love coconut oil for oil pulling. You have to try it if you haven't already; it works wonders. And of course I love coconut water for electrolytes and hydration. I use Nucifera on my face everyday before I put on makeup.
What impression do you want to leave?
Self love. I see so much insecurity and/or conformity starting at a young age. It took me awhile but once I fully accepted that I can't change me. That all I have is me. Was a life changer. My appearance isn't what people are attracted to, but rather my energy. My favorite quote: Your energy introduces you before you even speak. That acceptance has taken me so far. Self love radiates. Insecurity doesn't even when you've got a pretty face. So often we miss out on such great opportunities because of this lack of confidence, poor self talk, fear and insecurity. This message starts with us as parents. Loving your kids for being ordinary isn't easy but it's necessary. So often we praise kids for their gold medals or As on the report cards. But we must praise them for just being themselves. We like the saying at home: Don't be a sheep. Be a lion. Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.