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:
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.”
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.”
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.”
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:
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.