From Dawn Till Dusk with Julija Steponavičiūtė (Kitchen Julie)
Julija Steponavičiūtė agreed to talk about her mornings and evenings. On top of being a model, she has also established Kitchen Julie. It has become her second occupation that revolves around new and interesting projects. Julija explains how she finds time to do sports, shares her favourite evening ritual, and provides a light dinner recipe.
I feel most rested when I get at least 8 hours of sleep and manage to go to bed before midnight.
I usually go to bed at 11 pm and wake up around 7-8 am. It’s my optimal sleep routine, and if I manage to stick to it, I have no problem waking up without an alarm clock. My day starts much better whenever I can avoid those stressful sounds of an alarm clock and wake up at the end of a natural sleep cycle. I start my morning with a glass of water (sometimes I add lemon) and a hot drink (tea or coffee). For the first hour, I follow my body and let it wake up: I listen to music, water my plants, read a book, cuddle with my cat, do some yoga and meditation, or browse inspiring content on social media.
I can find what to eat even in an empty fridge
I eat various meals for breakfast, but one thing is almost certain - toast. I really love bread, and I always find something to put on bread in my fridge. I am a flexible person, so there are no products that are a must for a good breakfast as long as I prepare my food responsibly, carefully, and aesthetically.
My beauty and health routine consist of…
...a few rituals that I do consistently. I drink a course of liquid collagen and fermented probiotics several times a year. I also love to make smoothies from nutritious superfood mixes. As for coffee, I sometimes choose coffee with adaptogenic mushroom powder (reishi, lion’s mane, etc.) that strengthens the immune system. On top of that, I use organic essential oils and exercise.
When I lack energy…
...I check my diet (maybe I eat too many buns or don’t get enough nutrients and minerals), go for a walk and do extra exercise. I also get tired if I spend too much time at home, so I try to go to nature regularly.
I have been regularly doing sports since I was 20
I cannot imagine my life without being active, as it’s my way to disconnect from work and get inspired. I can feel how my life becomes way better from those happiness hormones that an active lifestyle produces.
A few years ago, I attended pilates and yoga workouts, but I am no longer into pilates, and I try to do yoga at home. However, I’ve found a new way to stay active - riding horses. I do it at least once a week. Of course, I also enjoy riding a bike and going for long walks.
As a model, I travel a lot…
...unfortunately, I only had a few trips last year. It feels as if I forgot what an active model’s day looks like. However, when Kitchen Julie was still just a hobby, I could treat myself with long and lazy mornings more often, especially when being abroad. Even though I am still working independently, I feel a huge responsibility for what I do (Kitchen Julie). Unfortunately, trips, even short ones, make it hard to maintain my routine.
To find a healthy balance between my model work, KitchenJulie, and other collaborations…
...I search for my optimal workload so that I wouldn’t burn out. I try to maintain a healthy balance between work and free time. It means that I only work on projects that I believe in and collaborate with brands that I can relate to. And of course, I always try to stay flexible and remind myself when it’s time to rest, even if I might want to keep working.
As for cooking, I would love to improve in…
...preparing and baking dough and bread. I’ve already mentioned that my goal this year is to learn how to bake real French croissants. I haven’t achieved it yet, but there’s plenty of time left. I’d also love to explore further into grilling: how to grill and smoke fish, different types of meat, and other products. But I guess I have to buy a good grill set first :)
I’d love to exercise more in the mornings
I know that 15 minutes of yoga each morning makes a huge difference in how I feel. However, I skip this part of the day way too often. I wish I was more responsible when it comes to morning exercises.
My dream place for breakfast…
My perfect evening is reading a book
I love to go to bed at least 30 minutes before I go to sleep so I could spend some time reading a book. It’s the coziest thing in the world, and it makes me happy. Also, I sleep much better when I read something interesting.
My favorite and easy dinner recipe
This year’s hit is definitely miso chicken (or vegetable/tofu) tenders. It’s so easy to prepare, and you also have time to make your favorite salad while tenders are in the oven. You can also use cauliflower, broccoli, or firm tofu instead of chicken.
When looking for ideas for new recipes…
...I believe that every recipe is a mix of your experiences and images that are sorted in your memory. I am not trying to invent a bicycle here, so it’s often enough to hear a song or see some familiar setting to get an idea for a dish. I then add some extra flavors/ingredients and work on an interesting presentation.
When I need to relax, recharge, and rest from all the work…
... I choose nature. I love to visit my family’s homestead or spend some time at Lithuanian beaches, especially Neringa. If I cannot leave Vilnius, I visit local parks or nearby forests.
If I cannot sleep...
...I try to stay calm, control my breath, and stay away from anxiety. If that doesn’t help, I might drink a few drops of CBD oil or valerian root tea.
When abroad, I mostly miss…
...the atmosphere in my home. Everything is so familiar at home, and I have created my safe and cozy space through years of various experiences and changes.
The most important thing in my bedroom…
...coziness and calmness. It’s extremely important that the lights in the bedroom would be yellow and dimmed (I also have a red light installed underneath my bed, which adds extra charm), and the bedding would be soft for the skin. I also love combining different textures and bringing little things that provide good energy and peace (for example, minerals, essential oils, candles).
On my bedside table…
...you can find a lamp, a book that I’m reading, a glass of water, and sometimes a mineral stone.