Yulia Tarbath is a raw nutrition and lifestyle coach who has a real passion for spreading the message of health. Along with her husband, Paul Tarbath, they are the creators of Rawsomehealthy.com, dedicated to a raw vegan lifestyle. They offer articles, educational videos, seminars and talks, books and raw health resources, and one-on-one raw food coaching.
Many raw vegans say their pregnancies are somewhat easier compared with those on standard diets. Can you compare and contrast with what you’ve heard and learned from the pregnancy experiences of friends and family on standard diets?
Yes, I absolutely agree with this. Mother Nature has not created us to suffer through such an incredible stage of life. Although each pregnancy is different, people’s dietary and lifestyle choices both before and during pregnancy will certainly have a large impact on how their pregnancy unfolds.
My pregnancy was simply beautiful. I heard many stories from family members and friends about pregnancies telling me that you get sick, you get fat and you have very little energy to move about. To this, let’s also add the risk of gestational diabetes and high levels of protein found in many expectant mothers consuming SAD [standard American diet], which can lead to various risks during pregnancy and complications, as well as affect the health of the baby.
I didn’t experience any morning sickness, although I did feel a bit more tired than usual and needed afternoon naps on most days during my first trimester.
I experienced no swelling, stretch marks, digestive issues, constipation or any pregnancy risks. I remember seeing an OB when we spent a few months in Thailand who recommended to me a diet of fish, eggs, meat, dairy, bread and vegetables. Believe it or not, he never even mentioned fruit. And then he warned me that from this stage onwards, I would probably start feeling very tired, would begin to experience digestive difficulties, constipation and all sorts of other issues.
As I sat there in the room listening to him, I thought to myself: “Thank goodness I am not following your dietary recommendations, doctor, otherwise I would be experiencing the very pregnancy you are talking about!”
I felt glowing during my pregnancy and loved the whole experience. I was running for 35 weeks, cycling for 38 weeks, as well as swimming, hiking, doing strength work, yoga and pilates right to the end. Paul used to say: “Yulia, you are doing more exercise than I do and you are pregnant!”
Exercise aside, I felt very connected to our child and really appreciated pregnancy as a completely spiritual and mystical event. I am grateful that it was so healthy, thanks to a fruit-based raw vegan lifestyle, which gives you a solid platform to create a brand new life.
What foods did you gravitate toward while pregnant? How did your dietary and other lifestyle needs change throughout your pregnancy?
Oh, pregnancies and food … . My tastes changed as soon as I got pregnant, and due to my not knowing that I was pregnant at the time, I had no idea how to interpret them.
I didn’t have a big appetite during my first trimester, which is very common amongst pregnant ladies.
Generally, the food I gravitated toward changed throughout my pregnancy. One day, I would feel like eating a lot of bananas and would ask Paul to get more than usual, then the next day I would wake up to discover that I didn’t want bananas at all.
When we conceived our daughter, I started desiring nuts and seeds, which I hardly ate before on this lifestyle. So I began adding some nuts and seeds to my diet. From mid-term onward, I was eating avocados and can honestly say I have no idea what I would have done without tomatoes and avocados!
Sometimes I would feel like eating nothing but fruit, on other days I would desire plenty of greens, and then there would be days when I would eat more fat. Appetite during pregnancy is greatly influenced by your hormones, so it’s no wonder that you find yourself wanting different foods and flavors all the time. It really is quite a ride!
What were the most challenging parts of your pregnancy? What parts were the easiest? What surprised you?
Staying fully raw was challenging for me, yet a raw lifestyle benefits my body like no other lifestyle. Running our business, traveling and trying to search for the appropriate place to give birth naturally was also challenging and so was adjusting and adapting to a big change; however, I knew this was a powerful opportunity for us to change and grow.
I really loved nurturing myself and knowing that it was benefiting our dear child. Being out and about and spending most of my time in nature was easy and enjoyable. I also enjoyed meeting other conscious women and all the support I received.
I was surprised to discover just how much there was to birth, if you want to do it the conscious way. My pregnancy changed both myself and Paul a great deal. We both feel that we went through our own rebirth along with Elanie, leaving many old ways of living and thinking behind and embracing new ones.
You look incredible. The turnaround time for your body post-birth seems so minimal, and many on standard diets are left with extra pounds. Can you please describe your weight gain and compare and contrast weight before and after birth.
Thank you. To begin with, I was a bit concerned about gaining too much weight and getting out of shape. Fruits/raw-based vegan lifestyle proved the opposite to me. I gained approximately 10 kilos and you could not even tell that I was pregnant from behind me—and that’s with a baby girl who weighted 3.4 kilograms, or 7.5 pounds, at birth!
My pregnancy weight began to melt away as soon as I gave birth, and within a matter of a week or two, I was able to fit into my tight pre-pregnancy outfits. I was told that it takes months to get back into shape after giving birth. On a fruit-based raw vegan lifestyle, ladies get into shape within a much shorter space of time.
Describe the feelings you experienced in the earliest days after giving birth.
Deep, profound, bonding, life-changing, hectic, sleep-deprived—yet none of these words can truly describe those early days just after the birth.
Right from the start, we respected Elanie as a divine being who requires an ocean of love and nurturing in order to unfold her true potential.
I was tired after giving birth and had several sleepless nights leading to it. When Elanie came, she would breastfeed for six hours nonstop at night, and this repeated for several nights in a row. Both Paul and I felt exhausted, yet at the same time we had so much respect and gratitude for our child and our new path as parents.
Things are more settled with us now, nearly six weeks after our little wonder became part of our fruit tribe. Her purity, cute faces and smiles help us to override any lack of sleep we may experience and bring a completely new dimension to our lives.
What is next for the world-traveling Tarbaths? Do you wish to settle in a community or continue exploring? Where did you give birth and why, where are you and where are you going—at least in the short term?
I gave birth in Queensland, Australia. When we discovered that I was pregnant, we were in Thailand, and after exploring several birthing options, Australia was the place we both gravitated toward.
Yes, we really do wish to be in a community of like-minded people where we can connect to other conscious families and have a strong support network. We left our home in England nearly five years ago with this intention, and we will continue searching. We believe that one day every single resident on planet Earth will be conscious and will choose to live peacefully and respectfully toward all living creation on our planet—may this day come sooner rather than later.
Thank you, Brian, for reaching out to so many people, and keep up the good work that you do!
Watch a Popular Rawsomehealthy Video of Yulia Discussing Her Pregnancy
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Discover Paul and Yulia’s Top 5 Tips for going raw!