Interview: Women in Wellness Q&A with Sophie Jaffe
Every great journey has a story, tell us about you and your journey towards holistic living?
My wellness journey definitely began when I was a little girl. My mom is a holistic nurse practitioner, and I so grew up taking homeopathic medicines and developed a great appreciation for flower essences, essential oils, and other natural forms of healing. (I actually didn’t even step into a hospital or see a “real” doctor until I had my first son at 26 years old). This greatly impacted my set of beliefs at a very young age, and I have never compromised them. To me, “healthy” is a state of mind, and represents a personal connection to your best self—spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I believe that health is something that starts within your body, mind, and spirit, and then allows your outside to glow from within.
At what point in your journey did you decide you wanted to make a career out of your experience?
Studying at UCLA and graduating with a B.A. in Psychology definitely influenced my desire to forge a path to lifelong wellness, inner strength, and happiness. After earning my degree, I started working at an organic raw juice bar near my house and worked closely with the owner who happened to be a personal trainer and dietary advocate. I soon began changing my own eating to alleviate some of the discomfort I felt when eating dairy, meat, and other foods that didn’t seem to sit well. I was so encouraged by how great my body felt after making these changes, and felt inspired to help change the eating habits of others. So I went back to the books and became a certified raw vegan chef, and my passion for healthy eating ultimately lead me to create Philosophie!
How would you describe your approach to wellness? What modalities do you work with?
I look at food as nourishment, and eat from a place of love. Instead of constructing a diet based on rules and limitations, try to consciously eat foods because you love how they taste, and you love how they make you feel. That’s the most important part. Because as soon as you engage in something that is “good for your health” without having any passion for it, is the moment that it loses its vitality. Choose whole foods that are local, seasonal and organic when possible, and eat them mindfully. And don’t deprive your body of a treat every now and then. It’s all about moderation and balance.
What does your personal practice look like? What ways do you nourish yourself daily?
The moment I wake up, I sip on a glass of warm water with a slice of fresh lemon. Smoothies are my daily oasis of protein, fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and YUMMINESS! I love tossing fruits, leafy greens, coconut waters and nut milks, + Philosophie superfoods into a blender and having a filling, energizing smoothie ready in 5 minutes.
For lunch, I like to toss up a salad with dark leafy greens, gut-friendly fermented foods, omega-packed nuts and seeds, sprouted brown rice or quinoa, a superfood dressing, and some berries or citrus slices for a touch of sweetness.
Then for dinner, I love serving up a generous portion of zucchini noodles with a homemade garlic-basil pesto sauce or I’ll make wild salmon with a delicious sweet glaze and eat it with grains and a side of whatever veggies are in season. And I always get hit with chocolate cravings so I’ll make a Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding or eat vegan, dairy-free ice cream!
How do you balance your work/personal life?
Sweating in some form or another is a daily must for me! It sort of acts like a reset button. If I don’t have time for a proper workout at a studio or the gym, I make sure to go for a long walk with my dog, do some yoga in my living room, or hit the steam room for 10 minutes. Another non-negotiable is either a giant green smoothie/nana ice cream or green juice. Must happen! I pack so many yummy nutrients in that one meal, and it makes complete and nourished.
When I get an hour to myself WITHOUT CHILDREN or work, I usually get a Thai massage. It’s so relaxing and completely reinvigorating. Now if I happen to have an entire day off, I almost always make my way down to Venice. I have so many beautiful soul sisters who live there, and I love grabbing lunch with them at Cafe Gratitude, visiting at the beach, or just hanging at one of their houses to connect and feel balanced.
If you could name 3 women who shaped your life and work, who would they be?
My mother’s strength and personal story helped shape Cacao Magic. Six years ago, she had stage four breast cancer, and during that time, I was along her side for all of her treatments, her hair loss, and her extreme pain. To endure such a troubling period, she used a mixture of western and eastern modalities of healing and was seeing a Chinese doctor. He recommended the Chinese medicinal mushroom reishi, which I integrated into Cacao Magic. She is now on the other side, entering year 61, healthier than ever. Her experience has been a major lesson within my own life and has shaped my product line, which I created to to help people all over the world feel better by saturating their bodies with the most powerful nutrients on the planet.
Heather was my best friend from childhood and died when I was 20. When she was alive, her lessons were to find the joy in the small things, always find the humor even in the stickiest of situations, and to surround yourself with people who make you feel good about who you truly are. After she died, I realized how important it is to take that trip you always wanted to, to wear that dress, to tell that person the truth about how you feel. Heather’s death made me more connected to my spirituality and also to my darkness. She helped me realize that without our shadows we are not complete, without our low points the highs won’t feel so high. Heather was unapologetically optimistic, lived in the moment, + did what brought her the most joy.
My grandmother was a diehard romantic til the end. She and my grandfather were together for 60 years and worked hard to encourage each other to be the best versions of themselves. She admired Eleanor Roosevelt and spoke of her often. No matter what my issues were in the moment, she always responded considerately and with love, helping me to see it’s “more important to be loving than to be right.” I try and embody this as often as possible.
How do you handle negativity or competition in your work/personal life? In what ways do you support women to rise above this pattern and uplift each other?
Stress always seems to creep up on us. Whether it stems from work, money troubles, traffic jams, or the balancing the roles of being a spouse, parent, or friend, it’s no wonder that we often find ourselves dealing with high levels of tension. When I start to feel the stresses of life weighing down on me, affecting my mood or my physical well-being, I meditate, and set intentions and positive affirmations for my day. Whenever something comes along that throws off my energy or makes me feel negative, anxious, or upset, I return to those affirmations and reflect on them for a bit before moving forward. These types of thoughts help me to let go and regain my balance. I’ll also practice some self love and step onto my yoga mat for a cleansing sweat session.
And as a woman, I think most of the negativity we experience stems from similar places. Unfortunately, a lot of it comes from internal competitions we have with one another, like having the best job, the best body, the best clothes, all of it. My philosophy is to embrace being a woman, and never stop being ambitious, strong, and compassionate. It’s important to ask questions, and seek guidance, and view these types of learning opportunities as moments to develop strength. I have done my best to build a tribe and be there to support other women. I passionately believe that happiness and success are not limited resources, and there are more than enough for all of us.
Tell us about a dream project or collaboration you’re manifesting? What do you desire to (co-)create? What’s on the horizon for you!
In the future, I can’t wait to launch my new cookbook (that I’m writing with my boys, Kai and Leo), which will be featuring wholesome recipes that are kid-friendly, but also appetizing for adults!
Your parting wisdom:
I want people to love, appreciate, and respect themselves. A huge part of that is being kind to our bodies, and that means eating beautiful, nourishing foods, actively moving and engaging in something that we love, and hushing that negative, self-deprecating voice in our heads while turning up the volume on the one that is telling us that we are amazing, we are talented, and that we can do it.
There is such a calmness in the way you describe your eating routine for the day, and there is a lot that can be learned from that. Today, so many people feel confused and anxious about what and how to eat. It’s an anxiety that doesn’t need to exist.