A few years ago I could stand in front of the mirror with a very critical eye. Every bump, wrinkle or fold was put under a magnifying glass. Whether we like it or not, we women (and men as well) have a slightly distorted view on what our body should look like. Day in, day out we are confronted with thousands of images. And many of those images portray the most beautiful, half naked girls with round, shiny butts, super flat bellies, muscular arms and firm breasts. Although we know that 99,9 % of those images are manipulated, we unconsciously save them on our inner hard drive and compare them to our own bodies. So we go to the gym, we run like crazy, we abuse fitness gear en wake up the next morning with terrible muscle aches. All for a butt like Beyoncé or a belly like Gwyneth Paltrow.
And so did I. I would start like a mad woman. 3, 4 times week I worked my ass off, literally. But I never kept it up. After a few weeks I would give up. And that was all because of the fact that my motives weren’t clear. I didn’t give me satisfaction. My main reason to exercise was that I wasn’t happy with my body. I wanted to change my body in something that wasn’t mine. And now we’re getting to the essence.
Movement is one of the five pillars of my programs. We all need to move, as our bodies are made for it. But if you exercise for all the wrong reasons, then it’s useless. Since I stopped striving for this surreal beauty image, I’ m enjoying my workouts so much more. I exercise because my body needs it; it has become part of nourishing my body instead of harshly wearing it out. Going for a run or a swim, do yoga, a brisk walk in the woods or whatever way you do your movements, it helps to clear the mind, to strengthen your body and to feel more energized. Getting in shape isn’t my main goal anymore. My main goal is my health and if that goal is getting me in shape, then that’s a great circumstance. Also, this helps me to choose ways of exercise that I truly enjoy. Loving acceptance is for me the key to a healthy mind in a healthy and energized body.
Lots of Love, Sophia
In the last few months I have been working hard with writing it. You might have noticed that it has been a bit quiet in the last couple of months, on my social media channels. Well that is all going to change! Because more amazing things are lined up. But more about later? 🙂 I can’t wait to give you more details and many sneak peeks along the way.
Maybe you are wondering what the subject of my book will be. The book is about my journey through cancer twice and how those experiences have been a great teacher. Because the second time I chose a different and very personal path to heal myself. That journey has been the hardest and greatest learning process and it craved out a whole new life for me. It feels a bit scary and vulnerable to share my story, but I hope I can inspire people with it.
So far writing this book has been an amazing experience and I feel so blessed to have an amazing group of people around me with this big project. <3 I will keep you up to date in the next coming months and soon I will share a link where you can pre-order the book online.
Lots of Love, Sophia
Did you know that Nestle makes about 10 billion swiss francs a year by selling bottled water? The company owns more than 70 bottled water brands such as Perrier, San Pellegrino and Vitel. In order to sell water, you first need to own it. And this is the insane part. Nestle pumps up millions of cubic metres of water in the US for transportation to bottling factories. The company has a well-organised army of PR consultants, lawyers and lobbyists to suppress local opposition.
And then there’s Pakistan, where groundwater levels have fallen and the village fountain water is nothing more than a muddy, dirty pool. In these kinds of areas Nestle presents their bottled Pure Life water as an alternative. It’s the world upside down: first they take away the water from people who desperately struggle to get by every day and then they sell it back to them.
This documentary gives you all the reasons you need to never ever drink bottled water again (if possible). It’s a waste of money and one of the biggest environmental threats of our time.
Check the website http://www.bottledlifefilm.com/
Making your bed is something simple but with a lot of effect. It probably won’t take you longer than a couple of minutes, but making your bed is a habit that makes you feel happier. It motivates and inspires you when you have already accomplished something so early in the day. This will give your day a productivity boost. Also, it feels a lot better to go to sleep when your tidy bed already welcoming you, right?
Small clutter can make you feel nervous. You don’t immediately have to go all-in with the cleaning. Try one of these simple ways:
– Set a timer for 5 minutes and tidy as much as you can in this room. Put the remote control back in its place, take the empty glasses to the kitchen, put your books and magazines back on the shelves.. you get what I mean. And when the five minutes are up, you let it go: it’s good the way it is.
– To avoid having all these small cluttering things around the room, you could also try the 60 seconds rule: everything that takes less than a minute to do, you have to do right away. So for example, when you come home from a long day, don?t just kick your shoes off in the middle of the room but take a few seconds to put them where they should be.
Now that everything outside is blossoming, it reminds you of the effect a bit of green has on your state of mind. Flowers and plants make you happy! I’ve written about the positive effects of flowers and plants before. They not only add a nice decorative touch to your home, but they reduce stress and boost your happiness.
Scents have a massive effect on our mood. That?s why shops use scents to sell their products. Think about that lovely smell of fresh baked bread or cookies when you walk by the bakery. But also the smell of fresh linen when you go to bed after a long day can give you a great feeling. With scented candles or wax melts you can give your home the scents you really love.
Go ahead and try!
Lots of love,
To prevent myself from having the same breakfast every day and getting fed up with it, I try to vary my breakfast recipes every week instead of daily. I enjoy making new, easy and healthy recipes. That’s how I found out you can have a healthy breakfast with pancakes. Yes, really! You can alternate with these 3 great and healthy breakfast recipes for a while, until you get bored with pancakes.. But that will probably take a while 😉
1/3 cup almond milk
0.5 cup rolled oats
0.5 cup ground oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
0.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
your favorite fruit, like blueberries, raspberries or strawberries
goji berries (optional)
* You can easily make ground oats by adding rolled oats to a food processor and pulse until it’s the consistency of “regular” flour.
Mix the rolled oats, ground oats, almond milk, chia seeds and vanilla extract if you like in a bowl until it’s a nice batter. The consistency shouldn’t be too thin because then it will be too runny. Add some oats if it’s too thin or add some water or almond milk when it’s too thick. Heat a skillet with a bit of coconut oil and bake the pancakes. When they’re finished, add a bit of cinnamon on top and some raw honey. The honey will melt a bit when the pancakes are still warm. Add some berries or other fruit as well.
1 cup almond milk
? cup ground oats
little bit of stevia or honey
2/3 cup cooked quinoa
pinch of salt
Whisk the egg and the almond milk. Add the ground oats, stevia or honey, salt and quinoa and give it a good stir. Heat a skillet with a bit of coconut oil and bake the pancakes. These healthy quinoa pancakes are great with fresh fruit and a bit of honey drizzled on top as well!
1 teaspoon flaxseed
Mash the banana well with a fork and add in the egg and flaxseed. You could also add everything to a blender for a smoother result. Add some blueberries to the batter. Heat a skillet with a bit of coconut oil and bake the pancakes. Flip them when the bottom is set, that way they won’t break.
Lots of love,
The first thing to do: stop beating yourself up about not sleeping well. That’s not going to help. But these tips might:
Don’t eat too heavy or too late
Avoid eating heavy foods within two or three hours of bedtime. Sleeping with a full stomach is not very comfortable. To digest the food you eat, your body needs energy (hence the after dinner dip!). Your body is not resting properly when it’s working hard to digest your food. Try eating earlier of have a lighter meal than usual.
Limit your caffeine intake
You probably don’t drink coffee before you go to bed because it’s kind of obvious this won’t help you sleep. But did you know that after drinking a cup of coffee, it takes five to six hours to reduce the amount of caffeine in your blood by half? It’s best to only drink caffeine in the morning, but if that’s difficult for you, stop at least six hours before bedtime. Try drinking herbal tea such as chamomile before you go to bed instead, or just drink a plain old glass of water.
Make sure your room is dark
Your sleep cycle is regulated by the hormone melatonin. This hormone is controlled by light. That’s why you get sleepy when it’s dark ? and why it’s so hard to get up in the winter when the sun isn’t shining in the morning! Make sure your bedroom is dark to improve the quality of your sleep. Get some good curtains and use dimmed light before you go to bed.
Cool down your bedroom
The average of people sleep best in a room that’s about 18 degrees Celsius. You might think that’s a bit on the cold side, but when it’s too hot in your bedroom, it can make it hard to fall asleep. Also, make sure you ventilate your bedroom daily to keep the air fresh.
Use some relaxing scents
Scents can help you relax! The most known “sleepy scent” is probably lavender, but you could also try rose or vanilla scents. There are special linen sprays available but you could also dab a little essential oil on your pillow (or on a tissue that you place under the cover). Or place a bar of soap nearby your bed, or use a diffuser.
Use an alarm clock instead of your phone
Old fashioned? Maybe. But when the last thing you do before you go to bed is checking your mail and social media and it’s also the first thing you do when you wake up, it might be better to entirely remove the temptation. Leave your phone in your living room and use an alarm clock to wake up.
No Netflix in bed
Laptops, tv’s, smartphones and tablets: all of these electronic devices emit “blue light”. This interferes with your melatonin production and makes it hard for you to fall asleep. It’s best to shut down the screens at least 1 hour before bedtime.
Do some meditation
Try to add some minutes of meditation to your evening routine. It will help you clear your head and relax your body. An effective meditation I use during coaching is to simply close your eyes and focus on your breathing. You could also use a guided meditation designed for bedtime.
Write down your thoughts
Get your thoughts out of your head! This way, you no longer have to worry about remembering things because you have written them down already. It also helps to write down some things you were grateful for today. This will get you in a positive mood and helps you relax.
I hope these tips will help you get some good night?s sleep!
Lots of love,
I love it when a book inspires me and teaches me something. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of non-fiction books for you to take with you on your summer trip (or read at your balcony or in the park if you’re staying at home!).
The Gifts of Imperfection – Bren Brown
Bren? Brown researched the topics of shame and vulnerability for years. In this book, she shares in a personal and light way how you can live your life feeling like your worth it. She encourages you to get rid of your perfectionism and all the stress that it causes and welcome creativity and intuition into your life instead.
The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin
The full title of this book is The Happiness Project, Or, Why I Spent A Year Trying To Sing In The Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, And Generally Have More Fun and well, that’s exactly what this is about. Gretchen tries a different thing each month that’s supposed to make her happier and shares her insights of this yearlong experiment.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
This book has been out there for years and has been popular ever since it was published. It’s more of a business book, but it helps everyone that’s looking for a way to grow at physical, mental and spiritual level. This bestseller helps you to live your life more effectively, both at work and at home.
The ONE Thing – Gary Keller, Jay Papasan
The title kinda gives it away.. this book is all about the benefits of focusing on one task at a time instead of trying to multitask your way through life. The ONE Thing helps you with getting more done in less time, with more energy and less stress.
The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod
Were you motivated to make your morning routine after reading How to create a healthy morning routine? Than this book by Hal Elrod has to be on your list! He teaches you how to start your day feeling more energized, motivated and focused and how this effects the rest of your life in a positive way.
The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
This book is like a self-help dinosaur it’s a real classic! It teaches you to be aware and be present in the now. This book also explains what the false ego is, the voice in your head that can hold you back. If you’re having a hard time relaxing because of all your racing thoughts, this book is a great one to read this summer!
10% Happier – Dan Harris
Again, the full title of this book is a pretty great summary of what this book is about: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works – A True Story. This book is funny but serious at the same time and discovers the path of mindfulness and meditation. If you’ve always been a bit sceptic about meditation, I recommend this one. Dan was one of the sceptics himself!
Lots of Love,
Lots of Love,