Slider

Top Categories
Home
Interiors & Homekeeping
Self-Care
Wellness & Beauty
Motherhood
PREGNANCY & PARENTING
Food
Balanced Eating & Recipes
On The Blog

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

During the first three months of my postpartum journey (my son was born November 6, 2020!) I experienced hormone swings like never before. Whew, it was quite the roller coaster! And while I knew that the swift hormone shifts were normal to a certain extent during that season of life, I wanted to try and do what I could to keep my hormones as balanced as possible. This was easier said than done, but since it was impossible to nap while the baby napped (who came up with that unhelpful advice anyways? lol), I had a lot of time to browse the internet and come up with a plan. 

Over the next few weeks and months I’m going to be talking more about the very intentional changes I’ve made to my way of eating, but today I wanted to touch on just once component of my daily diet - this raw carrot salad.


Through my research I came across Dr. Ray Peat, a biologist who mainly studies physiology. He noticed how raw carrot fibers bound to estrogen and carried it out of the body safely. According to Dr. Peat, many women (and men) experience better digestion and a major reduction in estrogen accumulation issues after regularly eating at least one raw carrot per day. And so this raw carrot salad was born - the coconut oil, vinegar, salt and raw honey in the dressing offer additional antiseptic properties which further help to reduce bacteria in the digestive track and lower endotoxin. 

Since this raw carrot salad recipe is so dang easy to whip up, I figured it was worth incorporating into my daily routine. Plus it’s delicious, so win win. 

Here’s the super simple recipe:

    • 1-2 organic carrots (shredded or ribboned) 
    • 1/2 tbsp unrefined organic coconut oil 
    • 1/2 tsp white vinegar (apple cider vinegar works too!) 
    • Dash of sea salt + freshly ground pepper 
    • *Optional: 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard + 1/2 tbsp raw honey
Start by ribboning your carrot(s) - I just use a regular old veggie peeler. This one from Kitchen Aid is the best! Next, whip up your dressing in a separate dish. Then just drizzle the dressing over the carrots, toss to combine, and enjoy!




I’ve been eating this raw carrot salad almost every single day for over two months now and have actually seen some pretty positive results including a major reduction in my postpartum anxiety and headaches. Plus, it seems to be helping with my body’s ability to digest dairy, which is very exciting. It’s also a great snack for when you’re craving a little salt and crunch and don’t want to reach for chips. 

Keep in mind, this is just one small component of my overall dietary strategy that I’ve implemented to heal my gut this year - if you want to follow along with my journey please feel welcome to join my email list for updates, recipes, and more. :) 

As always, thank you for visiting the blog today and every day, it means a lot! Xx, Julia Rae

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

In today's vlog I'm showing you how I make a DIY salt spray for my quick curly hair routine now that I'm a mom! Plus I chat about how I'm starting to incorporate exercise into my routine at just over 7 weeks postpartum after a c section.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

I am so excited to finally be sharing our nursery reveal video! I’m officially 38 weeks pregnant (almost 39!) and thought it was high time I finish up this space so that it’s ready for when baby boy arrives. 

As always, thank you for visiting the blog today and every day, it means a lot! Xx Julia Rae

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Today I wanted to quickly talk about this big old pregnant belly of mine and go over my pregnant belly care routine. I attribute doing this belly care routine daily to the lack of stretch marks on my currently 34 week along belly, and I wanted to share! 


Stretch marks are something I’ve struggled with in the past especially on my hips and thighs, and I know that genetically I am prone to them. Because of that, I really prioritized a good stretch mark belly care routine from almost the very moment I found out I was pregnant. And I believe it’s made a huge difference. 

So let’s get into it! 

Step 1 may seem super basic but it is to hydrate, and to hydrate consistently. I drink 3-4 of these Starbucks tumblers full of water each day and while I’ve noticed a lot of positive results from doing so, I have also noticed that my skin seems to be more elastic than normal. 

So this routine really starts in the shower each evening before bed. Even if I’m not washing my hair I’ll always have a body shower in the evening. And when I’m just doing a body shower step one is always lightly cleansing my body all over with an ultra-nourishing body wash – currently we’re using the Bioderma Atoderm Shower Oil and it’s amazing. Pregnant bellies can feel super tight by the end of the day and this soothing shower oil instantly melts away any feelings of tightness as it’s massaged into the skin. Plus it rinses off really nicely and leaves skin feeling super hydrated without any residue. And then I would just rinse my body as I normally would. 

Step 2 is to exfoliate gently. You can exfoliate however you like but I thoroughly enjoy using the coffee grounds from our morning batch of fresh coffee. I just scoop it right out from the coffee filter each morning and save it for my shower later in the day. I mean first of all it smells amazing, but fresh coffee grounds actually make for an amazing exfoliator. The sand like texture of coffee grounds works to gently remove dead skin cells, which in turn helps to rejuvenate the skin and boost circulation. Plus, the massaging action helps to stimulate blood flow which is extra helpful for expanding belly skin. 

After rinsing and drying off it’s time to move on to the final step. 

Step 3 is to apply pure, organic rosehip oil all over the belly. I use the Sukin Certified Organic Rosehip Oil. 

Rosehip oil is chalk-full of antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamin A which all work together to improve skin texture and tone, reduce pigmentation and generally just increase the skins’ ability to produce new skin cells. I did a lot of research on what products to buy that would actually have the best chance of keeping my stretch marks at bay, and rosehip oil was highly recommended all across the internet, as well as by my dermatologist. 

I’ve also been applying this rosehip oil to the older stretch marks on my thighs and hips and have noticed a pretty drastic reduction in how harsh they appear, plus it has made the surrounding skin much softer and more hydrated. 

Something I want to emphasize is that I really take my time massaging this rosehip oil in to my belly skin. I normally do this step in bed while watching an episode of a tv show, and continue the massage for between 10-20 minutes. This helps to make sure the rosehip oil is thoroughly massaged in to the skin, and the massaging action does also help to improve skin elasticity. Studies have also been done that show that the massage is actually great not just for mum but for baby in the womb, helping to familiarize baby with mum’s touch. And that’s super cool! 

As always, thank you for visiting the blog today and everyday, I really appreciate it. Xx Julia Rae

Saturday, September 19, 2020

I love an organized house… probably to an unrealistic level! So since we’re in the third and final trimester of this pregnancy, you can bet the nesting urges have hit me hard. I’ve been organizing and reorganizing every square inch of our home to try and make it as functional - and pretty lol - as possible. A big part of that involved planning and organizing baby boy’s actual nursery, but I also wanted to create stations around our home that would make quick changes a bit easier as well.


Now I’m not a minimalist by any means, but I did try and keep these diaper caddy stations as simple as possible while still including everything I think we’d need on hand. Here’s what I’ve included in each one: 
    • Dollar store plastic bin with handles 
    • 1 row of diapers (there are newborn diapers in there currently) 
    • 1 pacifier and/or toy 
    • 2 receiving blankets (we use these as makeshift changing pads and they work great!) 
    • 2 backup outfits (I just keep 2 sleeper onesies in there) 
    • a small spray bottle hand sanitizer 
    • diaper cream 
    • package of wipes 
    • 1-2 plastic bag rolls (to toss dirty diapers in before placing them in the kitchen or bathroom garbage to keep bad aromas in those spaces to a minimum) 
Check out the ‘Day In The Life’ vlog below to see more of our diaper caddy organization as well as how I set up our changing table in the actual nursery! Sidenote: there’s also an incredible thai red chicken curry recipe in this vlog that is super simple to whip together and also amazinggggggg. ;)


Tuesday, September 1, 2020


Whenever I have a free hour or two I always find myself puttering around the house and moving decor from one spot to another… anyone else do this? Lol. I just love giving our home subtle little refreshes every once in awhile, and I found myself inspired to do just that this past weekend. I was sitting at the kitchen table planning out all the freezer meals I want to make throughout September and October to help our transition into parenthood in early November go a little smoother, and realized I wanted to cozy up this kitchen space that I am soon going to be spending a ton of time in.

What I love most about this little fall decor refresh is that it cost zero dollars. I used only what I already had on hand from previous years, along with practical kitchen items that already fit into my mustard yellow, light blue, white and wood theme. The only other update I’ll likely make to this space is some fresh pumpkins and gourds once they become available at our local market! 

As always, thank you for visiting the blog today and everyday, I really appreciate it. Xx Julia Rae

Monday, August 31, 2020

Wow! I’m actually having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I am officially about nine weeks away from my due date! I am 30 weeks and 3 days as of today. And phew, it’s been a journey let me tell you. And in case you’re new around here, we’re having a baby boy due roughly the first week of November. Here's how it's gone so far...

FIRST TRIMESTER 

This pregnancy has truly been a roller-coaster both emotionally and physically. Without getting into the nitty gritty, I would have to describe my first trimester as being a very emo one. Despite my hopes and dreams of being one of those glowing women who float ethereally through their pregnancy, I unfortunately  landed on the complete other end of the spectrum. I spent a lot of time sporting a troll-like bun with my head stuck in the toilet, as well as lying in bed alternating between playing animal crossing and just straight up sobbing. Seriously, it was HARD. If you’re currently pregnant and dealing with ligament pain, round the clock nausea, lightning crotch (yeah, that’s a thing, how glorious), and giant hormonal mood swings, I feel you. Like I really really feel you girl, and I’m sending you the biggest virtual hug. 

Oh, and let me just say that I was actually shocked at how extreme my food aversions were. I still cringe when I think back to a day during my second month of pregnancy - Shawn had proudly spent almost an entire day cooking up a chicken soup from scratch in the hopes that I’d be able to keep it down and get some nourishment (seriously, what a sweet man I have), but unfortunately it just wasn’t meant to be. While I’m sure it would have been delicious, we ended up packing it up and sending it over to the neighbor’s because just the smell of it wafting up the stairs had me immediately hurling. I still can’t eat or be around chicken soup because it brings up this memory and makes me feel ill. Sigh. 

Due to extreme nausea and food aversions, I ended up actually losing about 20 pounds during my first trimester. What surprised me was how unconcerned my OB was about this, and how normal she said it was! That is definitely something I wish I had known beforehand because it stressed me out so much that I wasn’t gaining weight and I thought it was hurting baby. 

SECOND TRIMESTER 

Things got better during the second trimester, and I found it easier to manage the nausea and actually live my life a little bit. That might sound dramatic, but during my first trimester, aside from my body doing the hard work of growing a human, I wasn’t able to personally accomplish all that much. That being said, a small silver lining to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic coinciding almost perfectly with this pregnancy was that I didn’t feel a ton of guilt taking a break off from work. 

During the first week of the second trimester my food aversions were dissipating a little bit more each day, and I was able to start exercising a little bit and accomplishing some of my personal goals. Shawn and I decided to take advantage of this slight second trimester bounce-back and jump right into prepping the house for baby. We wanted to do all the prep early just in case my third trimester ended up being as rough as my first, since I wanted to be involved in as much of the cute baby prepping stuff as I could be. ;) 


I took the photo above at exactly 21 weeks, which was the first week that my belly gently popped and actually started to ‘show’ that I was pregnant. But honestly, I think I still mostly looked bloated haha. ;) 

Because I gained some energy back during my second trimester I also used this time to do as much research as I could and collected some reading material that would help get us ready for baby. My favourite books ended up being The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson and Cribsheet by Emily Oster. I also picked up this gorgeous ‘As You Grow’ memory book for baby boy that I’ve slowly been filling with hand written notes and photo prints. 

Week 21 was also when I ordered a few maternity wear pieces to better flesh out my closest for the coming months. I wanted to be super frugal with maternity wear since these wouldn’t be forever items, so I mainly shopped from Amazon for a few tops, and then borrowed some maternity bottoms (2 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of jeans) from a friend. Then I just ordered two pairs of maternity leggings from Fabletics and that’s it! I think in total I only spent about $150 on maternity wear and it’s worked out great! I’m going to put together a budget maternity wear post next week with links to everything I bought because I’m actually super impressed with how well my purchases have worked out and with how well they should transition into the fall months ahead as well. 

Now, even though I was physically starting to feel a bit better, heartburn became a big issue for me throughout my second trimester. I bring this up only because I want to yell from the rooftops that marshmallow root tea with honey was HUGELY helpful in easing the heartburn discomfort naturally. Seriously, try it. I mentioned this tip over on my Instagram stories and was FLOODED with messages from other mamas around the world who swore up and down that it had helped them too. 

It was also during my second trimester that I truly started to experience food cravings. For me, it was mostly citrus beverages like lemonade and orange juice (although reflecting on this now those two things probably made the heartburn worse haha), along with Pita Pit wraps. Shawn made a loooooottt of late night Pita Pit runs for which I’ll be eternally grateful.


Overall, pregnancy is not at all what I expected it to be. I’m very grateful for it, and for the support that we’ve received throughout this journey so far. But holy moly, it’s probably been one of my most challenging experiences to date - I do feel quite strongly that the darker, harder sides of pregnancy aren’t discussed enough, and I wish I had been better prepared for the downs. 

While the last 7 months have been a huge adjustment, I’ve also been on the receiving end of so much love, grace and kindness that I could seriously weep a million happy tears. And, my husband Shawn has been truly incredible, stepping up in so many ways I can’t even start to describe. So while it’s been hard on both of us, it’s definitely deepened our bond and brought us closer. 

Well I think that’s where I’ll leave it for now! I’ll be posting a third trimester update in a few weeks as we get nearer our due date mid autumn! As always, thank you for visiting the blog today and everyday, I really appreciate it. Xx Julia Rae

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

There’s something so satisfying about making something so yummy all by myself haha. ;) This overnight pickled red onions recipe is so stinking easy and delicious, you’ll - like me - wonder why you didn’t start making them sooner. 

Ever since I started making these last year, I find that we manage to eat our way through a small jar every two weeks or so, and that I’ll whip together a new batch about twice a month. We eat them on literally everything - fish tacos, breakfast tacos, summer salads, nachos and more. I even toss a few of these in a bowl and munch on them as a slightly healthier alternative to salty potato chips when those cravings come on (thanks pregnancy). Oh and this just in, if you’re a total weirdo like me and enjoy peppered tomato slices over cottage cheese, adding a few of these pickled red onions to that combo is fantastic. Just saying…



INGREDIENTS NEEDED: 

    • 1-2 red onions, sliced thinly 
    • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly 
    • 1 tablespoon salt (I use kosher salt) 
    • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar 
    • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns 
    • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes 
    • Glass jar - I just reuse whatever glass jars we have in rotation (this is an old mayonnaise jar!) 
    • White vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS: 

    1. Thinly slice your onion(s) and garlic cloves 
    2. Add your onion slices, garlic slices, salt, sugar and peppercorns (and red chili flakes if using) to your glass jar 
    3. Pour the white vinegar directly into the glass jar until the onions are completely covered. If you prefer less tang, you can instead opt for half water and half vinegar 
    4. Screw on the jar lid and gently shake to combine until all sugar and salt is dissolved 
    5. Store in the fridge overnight and enjoy the next day!
Tip: These taste better the longer they sit. While they can be eaten the next day, I typically prefer them about 3-4 days in. These stay good in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, but we always eat them way faster. ;) 

As always, thank you for visiting the blog today and everyday, I really appreciate it. Xx Julia Rae

Instagram

Julia Rae . Theme by STS.