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My Way: Juli Novotny

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I am the mother of two boys, Pierce and Roman, ages 1 and 2 and just 12 months apart. We, a crazy wild family of four, live together in a house near the beach in Leucadia, CA. I spend most of my time with my kids at home; I’m a homebody that loves to cook, eat healthy superfoods, play with my kids and get creative.

I’m also the sole owner of a small raw/vegan food company – called Kookie Karma, the business I started 5 years ago. And the founder of my second project – PUREmamas, a informational blog/site that helps families learn to incorporate raw superfoods into their otherwise normal diets. It’s full of my daily thoughts, tips, product ideas, modern kids rooms and awesome healthy recipes.

My Way: Juli

Monday - We woke up (as I do every day) to the sound of my 2 year old, getting himself out of bed, and then yelling at the bottom of the stairs “MOOOOMM. MOOOMMY!”

I brushed my teeth and then about 2 minutes later my 1 year old yells “mom!!!” really loud from his crib for me to come and get him. He is NOT the morning person, let me tell you. He throws things out of his crib out of pure frustration, things like that. For no reason other than he’s grumpy.

After a fun breakfast of (usually the same) warm brown rice cereal or rolled oats (or we often have Kookie Karma krunchies – sprouted buckwheat cereal) topped with fresh homemade vanilla bean almond milk, flax oil and probiotics, Wes, the boys dad, left for the gym. On a side note: Wes just finished his first full Ironman a few months ago. Congrats to him.

At about the same time the wonderful babysitter got here. Monday is the ONE day a week I actually go into my Kookie Karma office here in San Diego. I have promised myself, and my family, that I will not work too much outside the home right now. So…we don’t push sales and I’m not rapidly growing my business, nor have I been for a few years. I am focusing on the west coast until my kids get a little older and keeping everything very low-key and stress-free.

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My main love, purpose and passion in life is my kids right now! I think it’s important for mom AND dad to be there as much as they can IF and WHEN he or she can! Every family is different. I am lucky to have created a life that is fulfilling for me both as an entrepreneur and as a mom! It feels good to be at home with my kids everyday. Working on my other stuff during naps and in the evenings.

That being said, my Mondays are my empowering days when I get to accomplish a ton of non-kid things, be with adults, create, inspire and GET inspired.

But today, I spontaneously told my 2 year old that he could come to work with me??

Two of my main employees are actually husband and wife. They have been out of town on vacation so I have been in charge of a lot of ingredient buying, customer service and shipping stuff. It’s been so long since I have done it, but luckily it’s been a breeze and actually SUPER fun.

I took my son to our special market to buy vegetables for all of our krackers. We also picked up a few snacks (carrot beat juice – which he loved) at the health food store before ending our day at my office. Everybody always likes seeing him. He was so fired up to hang out that he of course kept touching things he wasn’t supposed to, pushing random buttons, running down the hallways yelling, and so on. At that point I remembered WHY I don’t usually bring him.

Note: my “office” is a large industrial kitchen where we make all kinds of raw vegan kookies and snacks. My team, on a normal week, also spends a lot of time creating new recipe ideas, which I love because that means I get to come in and taste test. I do most of the recipe making but it’s fun to play around with leftover dough, sauces, veggies, etc. In fact, Susan (she and her husband are vegans) created our choco banana cookie – a web exclusive. My employees have been with Kookie Karma for so long that MOST of the workday is really spent just sharing stories about the weekend, talking about life and politics and laughing at everybody’s bonehead mistakes.

Since I’m only in my office/kitchen ONCE a week I get really excited for cheesy kale krackers, salt & pepper krackers and kookies! I don’t stock too many at home so I devour when I go to the office. This is a good thing because on these workdays I’m usually too busy getting the boys all dressed and ready, breakfast together, etc. that I don’t have time to eat much food.

Plus, I normally would grab a HUGE glass of fresh squeezed orange juice but my family is on a no-sugar / candida diet this month. We have been on it ever since our trip to Napa. We sort of fell off the health-food wagon when we left for our trip. It’s hard to feed the children amazing healthy food when you travel. I do my best but realized that fruit/juice/wheat consumption was in excess. Ever since removing that stuff and ALL dairy from their diets we’ve been happier with more normal energy levels and sleeping patterns.

Speaking of kids and diets, last year we had a joint birthday party at a nearby park and it was an all raw party. The snacks included boxed organic raisins, a raw ice cream cake (courtesy of Tomberlies), fresh squeezed lemonade, cheesy kale chips, and my famous macaroons! I had no idea that everything would be such a hit with all the children – I was nervous that they would look at us like we were crazy – and of course some did not even want to touch any of it. 

On the way home I grabbed some new succulents and a few herbs and kale plants. I LOVE succulents and my yard is full of them. I get super excited to pot new ones.

When I got back it was SO hot that I decided to close all the blinds and turn on the fan. We are having a terrible heat wave in SD. It was 105 at my office. We live a block from the ocean so it’s much cooler but it was still in the 90s (first time all summer). After sitter went home and I planted plants and totally cleaned the house – windows, etc. Then I made this super awesome seaweed and cabbage salad with tahini dressing. I also baked brussel sprouts and cauliflower in the oven for a good 45 minutes (added olive oil, sea salt, miso mayo and majestic garlic paste) until they sort of caramelized. Then I added them to cooked black rice (black rice is my new favorite grain right now), sesame seeds and raw garlic.

We had friends and their two little girls coming over for “happy hour”. Again, we’re on this candida diet thing right now and wine is not an acceptable beverage. But, I served it up anyways! ;) We all gathered outside in our indoor/outdoor courtyard and talked for hours while our kids all played around us and were coming inside and outside all night. Our house is fun in that it has these doors that open up onto an indoor/outdoor space with a cool fireplace, beer tap and tropical landscape.

The salads were a huge hit. Their 3 year old gobbled up the seaweed & cabbage.

That was our night! I put my kids to bed while Wes cleaned the dishes! We were tired and it was TIME FOR BED!

Thursday - I woke up totally happy because not only was the massive heat wave over with but there were huge thunderclouds overhead! One of my favorite things in the world is a THUNDER storm.  We don’t get them much down here in. Feels tropical.

The day started off quite mellow… made pancakes (whole grain, gluten-free, cooked with coconut oil) and topped them with that yummy Nutzo stuff (have you had this stuff yet?) as well as homemade xylitol jam. I don’t make pancakes more than once a month or every two months, but when I do, we ALL get excited. Sometimes we use maple syrup, too.

After such a long, crazy three days of work, it was nice to just drink green tea and sit around watching Thomas the Train in my pajamas, listening to thunder and playing in the rain.

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During the boys naptime I cleaned the house and then sat down at the computer and wrote another post on my blog –a raw PB&J recipe makeover.

It’s actually really good and my boys loved it.

I checked emails and organized my calendar. I am terrible at this. I never usually even know what day it is! So that was quite a feat.

My blog is really easy for me to keep up. I basically just take photos of all the fun things we make, buy and do here at home. It doesn’t take as much time as you might think since I do my own graphics. In fact, I created my entire web site www.puremamas.com - for both my blog and my online store http://www.julinovotny.com using Dreamweaver and of course all those Adobe applications. I was quite proud of that and that’s why you’ll see lots of typos and weird programming errors at times, ha.

But, I’m still perfecting my camera skills. I have the Nikon D80 but don’t know how to do much more than to set it on AUTO and point and shoot. Terrible. So, I grabbed the camera a few times today and practiced focusing.

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Then after naptime the boys’ dad took Pierce on the train downtown to the last Padres game of the season. I, meanwhile, took my youngest, Roman, shopping to one of my favorite local home décor stores and then to the paint/art store to buy a large canvas. I had a GREAT idea today and wanted to spend the evening alone, painting something for the wall above our sofa.

I SUCK at painting - I mean I’m TERRIBLE at it - but every time I do it, I tell myself “this time, it will be amazing!” And it never is. 

So, that brings me to now…I just got finished painting the base coat. It’s 4pm, I’m at the computer, it is super dark outside (because of the black clouds) and pouring rain as I write this. I love it.

Dinner tonight? Hmmmmm. Probably a salad – tons and tons of avocado with some herbs and greens, sesame seeds, and a ginger garlic dressing! That’s what I eat when I’m alone. My son will have some quinoa and avo as well. I make my kids breakfast, lunch and dinner almost every single day and night. It’s a challenge to come up with new healthy things, but again, that’s where my blog comes in.

As for myself, I normally have smoothies and green drinks a few times a day. But right now, for this “cleanse”, I’m trying to EAT more of my food, as opposed to drinking more of it. I’ve gained 5 lbs since I started and I’m assuming that is why! The ebbs and flows…right? Or maybe it’s because I’m eating more grains than normal.

Anyways, then, after dinner, I’m sure I will get in bed and watch the show Parenthood on DVR.

It’s been a GREAT, cozy day. 

Friday - Somehow I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today! Not sure why. I’m having an off day and I’m trying my best to keep my cool with my kids and everybody around me. Do you ever have those days? Ladies?

It’s not an ‘unhappy’ day, it’s more of an impatience thing. I have to take deep breaths so that I don’t take it out on my little boys that drive me crazy sometimes.

And then, on top of it, my 2 year old was playing with his dad’s keys, which are actually the ‘spare’ to my car. Well, not only did he lose the keys someplace, but he locked my car while doing so. And of course MY keys, the main set, were in the car.

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So needless to say, I spent the majority of my morning searching the house for the keys and making my son trace his steps. Of course he’d rather watch Yo Gabba Gabba than help me find the keys, right? So…about 30 minute later, we found them under the sofa.

By that time we missed the ‘class’ that I wanted to take him to. So instead we went to the park.

We get to the park and behind us is an old rusty Tercel with a bearded crazy guy (with a black eye) inside smoking pot. He was drying out his car mats and a ‘rope’ of some sort, hmmmm? Well, of course, he wouldn’t stop talking to me.

He told me that he will have his car longer than I will have mine. And I said ‘you’re probably right!” and that opened a can of worms.

He then asked me if I have any ‘hippy’ in me! I replied ‘of course!’

He then decides to talk to me about peace, deadheads versus hippies, and where pot is legal and where and why it’s not. All the meanwhile I’m unloading children out of my car. He didn’t quite look the ‘pacifist’ type if you ask me.

The park went fine and then on the way home I hear my 2 year old say “I’m sorry I peed mom!” Yup, he peed himself and his car seat. This is the moment today when I had to dig really deep to find that patience I was talking about.

Normally, I don’t really get upset over things like this, but today, today was different. I had to bite my tongue as I DRAGGED him and his sopping pants by one arm to the bathroom. He didn’t want to go. So he pouted and threw himself on the floor.

Meanwhile my 1 year old sat in his car seat in the garage. After I finally got him, I put him down for a nap, made myself some tea and my 2 year old some strawberry/vanilla herb tea as well. He loves it because he can drink it out of a mug, like me.

I hate to say it, but I’m very excited about tonight. It’s Friday and we have a babysitter coming so we can enjoy the evening while our kids sleep tight! A great day for this considering I’m having ‘one of those days’! It’s probably a hormone thing - you know - like when the phone is ringing and you can’t find it anywhere and you’re so annoyed that you want to cry… and then you realize that it’s in your kids room after you just finally got him down for a nap! 

We are off to the bistro at Stone Brewery with a huge group of friends. This place is super cool. Everything about it is pretty aweome – from the sustainable industrial/urban architecture, to their organic, in-season & local ingredients, the great beer selection, the outdoor gardens, and they even do a ‘meatless Monday’! ha.

Alright. I’m long winded and so now tired of typing. I’m going to leave you with a few things I like to tell myself and my clients on a daily basis: stop being so hard on ourselves, stop judging others; Embrace the ebbs and flows!

Ok, on that note, my son is up from his nap. I gotta go.

Happy Weekend Everybody!

My name is Juli and this is My Way

Juli is a UCLA grad and has studied in Spain and Japan. She is 31 years old and has been in the health food world for over 14 years now. She has been baking and cooking professionally since she was 16 yrs old. 

Juli and her family are big travelers who go to Napa, LA, Mexico and NY almost every year! Green smoothies, coconut bacon and steamed collard greens are some of Juli’s favorite foods. You can check out her websites and learn more about her products and services here: Kookie Karma, PUREmamas, and JuliNovotny.com. And... you can follow Juli on Twitter, and find PUREmamas on Facebook  and Kookie Karma on Facebook too!

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