A former vegan has decided to raise her children flexitarian, hoping to promote healthy attitudes to food in her LA home kitchen.
Let’s admit it; we’re a generation obsessed with food. Sophie Jaffe understands this truly modern affliction better than most, having made a career out of so-called intuitive eating.
Sophie, who’s pregnant with her third child, told UNILAD how she plans to raise her baby in an environment where her passion for healthy food isn’t hampered by dietary restrictions.
Happy new week to all of you beautiful humans. ? What space can you carve out today for only you? Maybe it's a bath, maybe it's a book cuddled in a cozy corner, maybe it's a warm cup of tea + thoughts of gratitude for this beautiful life. Last night I had the most magical dinner with my @philosophielove team at @wanderlusthlwd thanks to chef @jasonwrobel. I looked over at my friends [who are now my family] + tears welled up in my eyes. I laughed hysterically the entire dinner, feeling so much joy in my heart. Take a pause today + really let yourself feel how lovely it is to be alive. ✨ #philosophiemama #mondays #grateful
Sophie told UNILAD:
I’ve passed on healthy eating habits and wellness practices to my kids by teaching them the value of food and the importance of their health.
Instead of creating a ‘healthy diet’ based on limitations and rules, show them how to eat, move, and breathe from a place of love: love for themselves, their communities, and their larger world.
I make smoothies with the boys or superfood waffles. I don’t limit their diets because I show them how to love whole, nutritious and vibrant food.
After all, healthy ‘no junk’ food can be as delicious as chicken nuggets:
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There’s a lot of divisive stuff online about food and lifestyle choices, and Sophie herself has been called a ‘liar’, an ‘awful’ mum, and accused of ‘cognitive dissonance’ for her choice.
She understands why flexitarianism gets a bad rep, but says:
Flexitarianism has a bad rep because it’s seen as ‘lazy’ or ‘fake’ but if it’s what works best for you and only for you then it’s absolutely perfect.
Since I’m a busy mama of two little boys and haven’t slowed down with work much, it’s important to have a matcha pick me up. ? I’m not drinking much coffee these days since it makes me nauseous so i need a clean boost of energy. I’m loving @matchakari matcha. Look how green it is! That’s how you know it’s pure. I get a lot of questions about what’s “ok” and what’s not during pregnancy and my answer is always the same: do what you body intuitively feels is right for you. ✨Matcha is a beautiful ingredient derived from green tea and Asian cultures drink it morning til night, at all ages, in all stages of life. Listen inward. You know best xx #howdoyoumatcha #matchaliving #matchakari #ad
Actually, the concept has been around for ages, according to registered dietician and nutritionist, Dawn Jackson Blatner, who claims flexitarians have a lower rate of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and live 3.6 years longer than their carnivorous counterparts.
In case you missed it, a semi-vegetarian or flexitarian diet is one which is plant-based with the occasional inclusion of meat. In 2003, the American Dialect Society voted flexitarian as the year’s most useful word.
But some flexitarians have started referring to themselves as ‘meat reducers’ so as not to trigger the Internet Jury, despite the whole concept centring around freedom of choice.
No one wants to be the mom that doesn’t allow their kid to eat the birthday cake or join in the Easter egg hunt fun. ? Instead, I choose mindful and organic candies that promote a life full of sweet moments. ? If you’re constantly forbidding your child to have any of the candy at the birthday or taking away all the sweets they love, you’ll just end up with a very upset and angry kid…. and later possible food issues that take a lifetime to reverse. I'm all about balance + living my life (kiddos too) and ENJOYING it along the way. Our current faves are @Wholesomesweet (current obsession: @Surfsweets). They’re made with organic, non-GMO ingredients and dye-free.??? I hope my babies all grow up with a balanced approach to loving the sweet things in life, without compromising their joy. #ad #philosophiemama #jaffekids
Sophie was raised by her mum, a holistic nurse practitioner.
She grew up appreciating ‘healthy is a state of mind’ and tries to apply the principle to her children’s diets.
Like any mum, Sophie plays by her own rules too, she explains:
And the same goes for me! I do everything from a place of love — which means working out because I actually love the movements that I’m having my body do, or eating because I love how the food tastes and how it makes me feel.
@thejaffekids don’t get much dairy in their diets BUT the one exception is high quality organic grass-fed kefir. Kefir is incredible for digestion because of all the healthy probiotics and the whole milk is great for their growing bodies. ?Since they mostly eat plants, it’s important to me to get healthy fats in their widdle bodies whenever I can. We’ve been fans of @lifewaykefir + their “buggie drinks” since the boys were very little! They have playful flavor names like “Strawnana Split” and inviting colors that make them super fun for kids. I don’t like putting our way of eating in a box, instead i prefer to invite in beautiful types of food from all different diets + create what works for US. That’s called intuition xx how do you use intuition to guide what you eat? Please share! #LoveYourGuts #LifewayKefir #jaffekids #philosophieMama #ad
Sophie became vegan at the age of 18 when she discovered she had ‘extremely high cholesterol and it freaked [her] out’.
However, ‘after going completely plant-based for several years’ Sophie’s cholesterol didn’t change at all and she found out she suffers with a hereditary condition which remains unaffected by diet or exercise.
I became a flexitarian after getting pregnant with my first son, Kai, because I was so highly anemic and needed more from my food.
Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows. -Native American Proverb ???✨ Eliminate what doesn’t help you evolve. ?When you feel off your path, off balance, overwhelmed or just can’t feel your natural rhythm, step away. Even a full day in nature will reset your system. ⚡️ After 4 full days off constant technology, sleeping in a hut with no AC or WiFi, recalibration to mama Gaia’s cycles, long beach walks with my family getting lost (but really being found), beautiful slow meals, lots of yummy restorative yoga, astrological readings with my love, biking everywhere as transportation, swimming in the sea, barefoot all day, couples massage by the beach, honoring a full blue moon ?…. my body + soul fully feel anchored. ? I feel ready for this transition in our life :: to welcoming a new beautiful being earthside, into our pack. ? By giving myself space to feel, journal, reconnect + ask deep questions, it allowed me to open up space to this next chapter. Being in flow with my partner, looking each other in the eyes, kissing + taking time to be kind to one another, and generally just slowing down. Heart is full, and forever grateful to Tulum for being a sacred beam of healing + light for us all to absorb. Gracias Amor. ? #philosophiemama #babymoon #thirdtrimester
Becoming a mum changed everything for Sophie. As soon as the cravings kicked in and she was eating for two, her attitude towards what was the ‘best’ or ‘right’ diet altered.
Sophie told UNILAD about the ‘balancing act’, saying:
Most definitely. As soon as I was pregnant with my first I had serious cravings and everything became about paying attention to my and baby’s needs instead of listening to the ‘rules’ everyone else was trying to shove in my face.
But her decisions as a mum are often criticised, living her life in the public eye online, as Sophie does.
The second I announced I was pregnant with my third, the comments have been non-stop.
If you’re not living a ‘perfect’ lifestyle for you and the baby then someone has something to say.
Beyond thrilled to announce the Jaffes will be welcoming a baby GIRL ? to our family! We couldn’t be more excited — now i don’t have to hide how sick i am anymore with all of you ? Kai + Leo asked this morning if it was “happy tears” coming out of my eyes, we reassured them they are the happiest mama tears ? and that they will both be big brothers to a little sister ? due June 2018 ✨ We are humbled + in awe of the power of manifestation. Wow wow wow. Magical photo by my bae: @katieshuler ✨ #jaffekids #philosophieMama
Sharing her advice for other expectant mums, Sophie added:
During this pregnancy especially, I’ve learned to really tune in to my body and baby girl’s needs. The important thing is to remember it’s just you and your little one on this journey together.
You’re riding the same ride and that’s all that matters. It’s also time to tune into your own intuition as a mother, right here and now. This is when it begins, with the little bub in your womb.
Embrace being a woman; never stop being ambitious, strong, and compassionate. Ask questions, seek guidance, and don’t see this as a weakness.
I want you to know that pregnancy is personal. ? That motherhood, is extremely personal. That your opinions and your general thoughts ? on how another woman parents or handles her pregnancy is not up for discussion. This is a general PSA after only 2 weeks of announcing our baby girl… the amount of comments, opinions, ignorant questions… it’s not welcome. Not for me, not for ANY mama. Bite your tongue. I’m saying this to protect mamas who don’t know how to speak up for themselves, don’t know what to say. For the women who go home crying after you hurt their feelings, maybe unintentionally, by an “innocent” comment. Just. Don’t. Say. It. We are in a sensitive + heightened state – more emotional, more highly tuned, more connected when pregnant + nursing. Thank you for listening + let’s make this the new norm. Cool? ??✌? – Thanks @spokeandweal for my refreshed locks ? @dell.miller you my hero! ?? – Photo: @jjudelee #motherhood #pregnancy #philosophieMama
Sophie explained why flexitarianism has ‘served’ her for the past eight years:
A large part of it came from looking at who I was and where I wanted to be in life, then deciding restricting myself wasn’t meant for me.
In the end it’s all about what works for you. If you’re vegan then all power to you, but I knew it wasn’t my path. I strive for balance and if that means having some chicken for dinner then I’ll do it.
Becoming a flexitarian and eating intuitively means having freedom with your food. It’s putting yourself into consideration anytime you enter the kitchen.
Today is National Boss Day! In celebration, I've partnered with @chameleoncoldbrew to share how I boss it out every damn day. ?? Being a boss to me means being able to balance being a mama, kick ass friend, entrepreneur of @philosophieLove + wife. ? It means living from your truth + in FULL alignment with your purpose or Dharma. Being a boss is being a boss of yourself. Showing up to your life, work and relationships EVERY day as a damn boss. It means standing up for your rights, standing up for those that can't + paving the way for magic everywhere you go. We all need a little support in our lives (I have lots of it) and @chameleoncoldbrew helps me stay energized + focused all day long. What does a "boss" mean to you?! #madeformakers #makeityours #ad #philosophieMama
The businesswoman shared her unique attitude towards her own cravings:
I try to listen to my bodies natural cues while still making sure I stick to a consistent schedule so I don’t become starving.
I usually check in with myself when I’m munching a ton [of salad] if I could eat a bite of salmon.
If I’m not hungry for salmon, then I’m aware I’m eating out of boredom, loneliness, emptiness, distraction, pleasure or something else. Then I make a decision consciously to continue down that path without regrets, or not.
Sophie founded Philosophie, a health and wellness company inspired by her own wish to have ‘an amazing blend of superfoods and proteins together in one convenient jar’, after becoming sick of incomplete smoothies.
But she has been accused of ‘cognitive dissonance’ when promoting her business, by sharing her food choices with the brand followers on Instagram and via YouTube.
You can watch one such video below:
It’s not always easy to put yourself out there when people are so quick to judge how mothers raise their children.
Sophie is grateful for success social media has brought, but adds:
We live in a society that’s overpowered by technology and yes, while I’m so glad social media was brought into my life to really bring Philosophie into the success it is today, there have definitely been drawbacks.
Everyday we’re comparing ourselves to others and trying to prove to this space we’re the best, living perfect lives and doing everything correct.
Having the most lovely staycation with my babes + @dradijaffe today at @fswestlake for their Holiday “let it snow” ❄️ event! When we walked into the lobby they said, “mama, it’s the most fun place in the whole world!” The festive decorations, the snow every 15 min, their excited faces making s’mores, it makes all the work all week long so worth it. And these mini robes??? Ahhh too cute!!! (Leo’s face in this photo tho… ??) If you live near a @fourseasons i highly recommend taking your kiddos to this magical event! ??❄️✨ #FSletitSnow #FSWestlake #FSholidays
She thinks it’s because ‘humans are easily threatened’ and ‘social media creates a platform for bullying without any consequences’.
But Sophie has learned to ‘let negative comments wash over’ her ‘with the help of a lot of meditation and self love rituals’.
Watch UNILAD investigate the damaging global effects of the meat industry below:
Meanwhile, she’s doing what she can to live and eat consciously.
As variety is the spice of life, they say, flexitarianism by any name can’t be a bad thing.
If you have a story to tell, contact UNILAD via [email protected]
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.