Today was the last day of fall. Tomorrow will be the shortest day of the year and the beginning of a new season. It’s funny when this Solstice comes around because well, I often feel like we’ve already been into winter for weeks but here we are, it’s just the start.
I’ve often thought how Christmas should be placed right in the middle of actual winter. Perhaps at the end of January or mid-February where it really starts to get rough. You know, to brighten our spirits, as it does or should do as we’ve been instructed to believe.
But in actuality, it’s all really right on time. I imagine for you, like myself, things are pretty chaotic right now. Christmas prepping countdown craziness. Or maybe, it’s smooth sailing for you, in which case, please send me your secrets. My point is, if you look at things purely from a seasonal perspective, we’ve been headed downhill since about June 21st when the days started to become shorter. Our harvests started to increase, we’ve been busy bees gathering food, preserving and storing it. We’ve had big celebratory meals and gatherings to honour the physical work we had put forth. Then when Halloween came around many of us grumbled when the Christmas decorations came out the day after we put our costumes away. I know, I grumble too. Mostly because it’s just a blatant show of capitalizing on treasured traditions and feeling like we’re getting pushed into a holiday season that we’re not ready for. But if you take the nauseating consumer aspect out of it, it makes quite a bit of sense to begin preparations for Christmas as soon as fall is in mid swing. Christmas is the time to reflect on all the work we’ve put forth during the previous year. To celebrate the halfway mark of the dark days and to push forward through this new season.
I feel like it all makes sense now because seasonally speaking it’s all been pretty chaotic for about the last 13 weeks. We head into winter now to truly retreat. It is the time for reflection on the past and for dreaming of the future. Although it will still feel very dark for the next 13 weeks, after tomorrow, daylight will start to increase again. Yes, the days will likely get quite colder and the snow will come but the earth is starting to tilt towards more daytime sunshine.
We can drudge on through these days begrudgingly wishing them away while we desperately wait for the hot sunshine again or we can make beautiful use of this time. To do our inner work as we spend more time physically inside. Becoming aware of these seasonal opportunities makes me feel at ease and excited actually. And this as well, explains why we have the New Year just after our winter solstice. It’s the time to set our goals straight. We can conjure them up, organize them and create action plans on how to achieve them! This is our time! Cause when spring comes - it will get busy again! And then summer… well, I’ll be lying in my garden looking up at the sky and my gorgeous blooms towering over me, thinking to myself, ‘Good job Sophia, for taking that time in the cold harsh winter to dream up and act on the life that I truly want to live.’
If any of this resonates with you and you feel the desire to grab this season by it’s decking halls then please send me an email at email@example.com. I’d love to book a little meetup chat with you to understand what you’d like to work through during this coming season and for the New Year. I have a few Programs for you to choose from for one-to-one accountability support, please check the Services page on my website. It would be a delight and an honour to work with you.
Did you know that my business name was inspired by the phrase Carpe Diem? Because - did you know that ‘harvest the day’ is actually a more accurate translation of Carpe Diem?
There was a time when the phrase Carpe Diem really troubled me. Made me feel unsettled. We all mostly understand it to mean - Seize the day!! Wow! Yikes! Many of us view that as - grab the day by the balls and roll with it! Pretend like today is your last day on earth and make it count! Geez - that sounds stressful!
How can I do the things I really want to do today if I have bills to pay, mouths to feed, LIFE to attend to?! If I really started to do the things that I just wanted to do for pleasure how could I, without sounding dramatic - keep my family alive?? Then I discovered, as I say, this more accurate translation - or even if it’s not entirely correct - a more assuring depiction of the phrase which goes by - Harvest the Day!
So what does that mean? How does one harvest a day? Well - in order to harvest anything, you must first plant the seed to ensure something grows right?! Not to mention the fertilizing, watering, and general upkeep! Well I propose that if we treat life and our wellbeing in the same way - planting the seeds, caring for them and nurturing them - in essence, truly looking after ourselves(!) we will be well on our way to reaping some incredible harvests - daily!
So wait now, does that mean I’m proposing a life of drudgery? Because the majority out there might view tending to the ‘garden of life’ essentially, as some tiresome, toilsome and taxing work out there! Well - in all honesty yes - there IS some hard work ahead. I won’t sugarcoat it. As your Health Coach, my honesty and integrity are unwavering.
BUT don’t the sayings go:
Nothing worth having comes easy
Will it be easy? Nope. Worth it? Absolutely.
What comes easy won’t last long and what lasts long won’t come easy.
Is it just a bunch of assholes that say this kind of crap?? No. We all know it’s true.
The GOOD NEWS is: when you open your heart to this authentic journey there are delightful, pleasurable, dare I say it - LUXURIOUS moments to revel in along the way. No it’s not all easy but it’s not that complicated either, it’s actually pretty simple and it would be an honour to join you in that journey.
Now let’s get to work! We have seeeeeeedsss to sow!!!
First, I'll send you a Health History form to fill out. Nothing too crazy, just basic info.
Next, you get one whole hour to talk about nothing else but yourself!! Yes- of course we'll speak about food and exercise but we'll also touch on what you really want to get out of life. What are your hopes, dreams, goals and desires?!
Then we conclude and decide if we want to connect and move forward in making all those dreams come true or we just say 'that was fun, see ya later!' and carry on.
That's it. Thought I'd share this process in case some have no idea what to expect on a consultation call with a Health Coach.
It truly is a little window of time for you to just breathe, unwind and gift yourself a moment, to give attention to your own health and wellness.
I would love to be someone that joins you on your health journey. Otherwise, I could also try to connect you with other Health Coaches whose work may align better with your needs.
Last, please feel free to pass on my info to anyone you believe might benefit from my work! Looking forward to hearing from you!
One of the great things about Health Coaching is that each and every Health Coach out there has their own unique style, method, specialization and their own lived experience that they typically incorporate into their coaching business.
I know coaches whose niches are specific as dealing with hormone imbalances, emotional eating, diabetes reversal, surviving cancer! There are also many out there that focus on supporting clients that focus on a specific style of eating such as keto, plant-based, raw vegan etc. And many are out there helping people with high stress levels, anxiety, poor sleep, weight gain, low energy etc.
While we all touch on the broad, lifestyle aspects that are important to consider when trying to heal or become more holistically healthy, it is useful to know that each Health Coach has something particular to offer that makes their coaching practice that much more special and unique.
* Today I'm sharing what makes my work unique *
I work with people, mainly women, who want to increase their energy, improve their time management and elevate their home cooking - all with the intention of living more ecologically and in harmony with nature.
My work as your Health Coach helps you to commit to your own self-discovery. To help you break down, what foods are working for you and which are working against you. Perhaps you already know. There is a chance you might already know, deep down inside, what drags you down and what boosts you up. But you find it difficult to consistently behave and eat that way. Again, I can help you stay committed to the lifestyle and eating habits that make you the best possible version of yourself!
I also help you to create a gentle attitude with yourself, as you learn your own, unique path to health and happiness. Life is not one straight line - we live in a cyclical world. We will have ups and downs - ALWAYS. We will veer off our paths, we will have holidays and parties and arguments and God awful tragedies come our way and we CANNOT change that. But we can change the way we treat ourselves when these moments arise. We can learn to be kind and reflect deeply within ourselves to make better choices for our health and livelihoods. We can also take guilt-free breaks for a moment and then hop back on our beautiful, extraordinary, vibrant health journeys. Let's learn to ride the waves of the cycles together.
As part of my training at IIN, we review over 100 different dietary theories. On top of that, everytime I’m browsing the Internet to do some extra dietary research for work and for my family’s personal nutrition needs - I’m constantly finding NEW ways to eat and nourish ourselves! The simple concept of feeding our bodies - simply for the sake of gaining energy and carrying on with our days is turning into an anxiety ridden, overwhelming, chaotic task! And we have to do it three times a day (at least) Every. Single. Day!! This can be intensely daunting and something we might just throw our hands up to and just deal with the consequences of whatever our potential intolerances might be or at the very least - continue to gain weight, lose energy and stay moody.
Unfortunately there is no one single way of eating that every single one of us should stick to. As much as the public health authorities have tried to map out a ‘healthy’ eating strategy on food guide ‘pyramids’ and ‘steps’ and ‘plates’ etc. It is clear that we are all different and must follow a healthy eating plan that suits us individually. This is what IIN refers to as ‘Bio-individuality.’ It is a concept that shows how each of us has unique food and lifestyle needs. One person’s food is another person’s poison, and that’s why fad diets tend to fail in the long run.
We are all extraordinary, unique creatures. Let's honor our bodies by feeding them the foods that serve them best. Yes, you may feel like "oh but I don't want to give up my bread or pizza or whatever…" To that I say - don't look at what you will 'give up,' look at what you will GAIN! Plus if you choose to work with me, we will have the opportunity to explore and experiment together with so many beautiful options and alternatives.
We all know our health is not entirely dependent on the physical food we consume. There is far more to it than that and IIN uniquely refers to these other aspects that nourish us as Primary Food. First, understand that the food we actually eat from our plates is considered Secondary Food. Yes - of course it nourishes us and biologically transmutes into the physical beings that we are. However, we could argue that Primary Food might just override the importance of physical food, in terms of keeping us healthy. IIN has broken down these areas of Primary Food into 12 categories which are neatly outlined on an image we call The Circle of Life (see comments).
For example, consider the idea of eating loads of kale and broccoli and ‘healthy’ foods but at the same time you’re in a toxic relationship, a career you despise and you have extreme debt. I would take a guess and say you don’t really feel ‘well’ overall?? On the flipside, you can see that Physical Activity is part of the whole circle and while you might have this completely in check, you may still be eating foods that are not whole and healthy. You may feel like you are being healthy because you ‘work out’ but you also justify eating easy, processed foods because you are moving your body occasionally. This is what I mean about Primary and Secondary Foods. Both are important and vital to keep in balance in order to remain true to your healthy living journey.
As your Health Coach, we will delve into these areas that are out of balance for you and begin to work on them. Yes - this sounds intense and it will be but this is what makes the work of a Health Coach transformative and not just a basic program that will work for you for a period of time and then you slip back into old habits. We help provide you with tools and guidance on how to always keep coming back to your health path to stay vibrant and whole.
I will touch on some of these topics and share some thoughts and insights on how all these areas affect us in terms of our own health and what we can do to improve upon them. Hopefully, some ideas will arise that might inspire you to take initiative and better these areas in your own life.
Before jumping into what a Health Coach IS - let’s first define what a Health coach is NOT. A Health Coach is not a:
Licenced or Registered medical professional
However, the work we do, does, in a way combine elements from most of these other professions. I’m finding myself referring to a Health Coach as someone who acts like a hub to all other branches of health and well-being. A touchstone, to gain insight and motivation to pursue all the areas in your life that are in need of a balance adjustment to become healthy and whole.
To be clear, I am an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Nutrition is in my title and that is because a core concept we will work on is food and nutrition. This is the main reason that drew me to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN). First, I love food and second, we literally ARE what we eat. If we do not eat well, we will not be well.
Saying that, again, I want to be clear - I am not a nutritionist. And some could argue and ask, then where is my value? To that, I assure you that we dig a lot deeper than just focusing on food and recipes and meal plans. There are some other fundamental concepts that make an IIN Health Coach unique and wildly valuable to you. I will continue to share those ideas with you.
Wow folks - I have just enjoyed 48 hours of pure solitude. This is an incredible achievement for me because as you may or may not know, I have two little girls and have found it quite hard to separate away from them since they were born. Whether it was a lack of effort on my part, not knowing how to insist on the time off or not knowing how to let go of the control I cling on to, I’m not sure how it got to be this long. I know of plenty of other mums that literally have no problem at all with kissing their little babes goodbye for a well-deserved, self-care weekend or week long break well before their little ones are five and half. Well, that was not the case for me and I know other mums find it hard to separate too. I also know we all have different agendas. Different pursuits and life situations. Some go to work shortly after the little one is born. Some stay at home through all the years. Many now seem to be doing what I see as the ‘mamapreneur’ thing. Women have firmly placed themselves in the working world. We are educated. We are worldly. We are wanting more and more than what has been offered to us for much of humanity’s existence so far. For the most part (at least in the Western world, from what I see), we no longer fit into what was once the clearly defined role of ‘childcarer’ and ‘homemaker.’ We are a mix of things. And everyone’s kind of scrounging to figure out their place here and there. Men too of course. Challenging and interesting I find it.
I personally consider myself, hmmm, a modern traditionalist I think. I just came up with that. Is that a thing already? I’m sure it is. A modern traditionalist in the way that, well, let me tell you what I’ve done so far.
I see this criteria as a combination of what has been over centuries prior to how things are changing today. I’m curious to know what the dynamics are in other households. I’m not sure if what I describe above is a healthy situation. However, I will be the first to admit - I actively and willingly take on the role as main 'caregiver' and 'homemaker.' That is where my 'traditionalist' traits come in. I knew if/when I was going to have children I'd do the stay-at-home thing for as long as I could. That's how I was brought up and I guess it stuck with me. I was also taken by attachment parenting, the Continuum Concept and Adelaide Hoodless for a while too.
So those things combined with, as I’ve said before and will continue to say, my unwavering grip on control, I found it very hard to part with the girls. I’m getting better at it now but my girls are also older, not exactly latched on 24/7 milkaholics as they used to be. Formula and bottle feeding were not an option for me. First, I produced milk and my nipples eventually got used to the sucking. Second, I did try pumping. I found the process inconvenient and more of a bother to me then just giving them the boob because it did not fit into my brain that I could leave my baby with someone else (yes - even the dad or grandma) so I could go off to do what? Shopping or partying? Hmmm, maybe I should’ve tried harder. I do hear that tad of bitterness in my words but what can you do? We all have a different journey and this has been mine. To be clear, I do not judge or look down upon other people’s decisions. The contrary. It all fascinates me and I have a genuine curiosity to know how others come to make their own choices. Albeit, I do maintain certain feelings on choosing unnatural ways of baby/child rearing just for blatant self-convenience but that is a slippery slope too and I’m not wanting to ruffle feathers, lose friends or readers. One thing that motherhood has gifted me with is an ever expanding feeling of empathy. Goodness, the shit we all go through.
The point is - happy birthday to me. Ha. Yup, my girls are older, more independent. I mean, my husband adores them of course and he is the best with them. Better than me I’d say which is hilariously ironic. So there you go. It’s been nice to have my head entirely above water for a good couple of days. Catching up on many things. That’s the other part about me - what do I do for a whole weekend all to myself?? Independent getaway? A whole weekend with a good friend? Nope and nope. I sent the family out of the house so I could have it all to myself. I cleaned floors, did laundry, changed sheets, built a website, wrote a lot, did yoga, went for forest walks, watched two movies, ate what I wanted, when I wanted, took a bath, thought a lot, listened to loud music, soft music, silence. Silence.
Ohh it’s felt so good. How are the other mamas doing out there? Or perhaps folks without little ‘un’s but those that feel captive by work or other commitments? Do you find it hard or impossible to break away? Do you see any possibility of breaking away even for a bit? Do you think you could find a way to speak with your partner or whomever is dependent on you to find a way to get a break?
This is the other thing. I often put it on myself to figure out the entire, best strategy to get away or to accomplish something, when I do have a support system out there that can help brainstorm ideas too. At one point it was looking like this weekend was not going to happen for me in the way that I fantasized about it but my partner figured out a way. I’m grateful for that. And I share this with you in case anyone else struggles with reaching out for help and support. Maybe it’s not your partner you feel like you can ask straight away, maybe it’s a FB community you haven’t discovered yet or a friend who might be able to help you think of something that you haven’t even thought to ask. And if not any of that, then reach out to me. Maybe we can think of something together. Maybe it’s just a few moments of unapologetic blubbering you need to do and that is totally welcome and encouraged.
And finally, the point is - happy birthday to moi. It’s my birthday tomorrow, that’s why I keep saying that. I’ll be 37. That’s silly. Doesn’t seem real at all. That means I’ve been alive for 13,505 days. 324,120 hours. Half of those hours makes 162,060. That means that I’ve got a good 162,060 waking hours to make a whole bunch of good shit happen for the next 37 years at least. How exciting! Must get cracking. Or perhaps I’ll take another bath before the troop returns.
Originally posted 12/05/2019
So, interestingly, I started another blog about eight years ago - also called Harvest the Day. It was just a small personal little project. I started it to share news about the health of the planet. Specifically, how things were getting increasingly worse and what we could do in order to help keep the earth healthy and well. I posted information that inspired me to my core and still really gets me all pumped up. However, since that time (and the six riveting posts that I actually published) I have been constantly doing a lot of self-examination in terms of where my true values and beliefs lie on the 'activism-spectrum.' I'm still not entirely clear on all that but one thing I am increasingly sure of is that there is not much good we can do for others or even the planet - if we do not try to sort ourselves out the best we can first!
I know - this is not revolutionary information. Be the change.. etc. However, it is one thing to say 'sort your life and health out' and another thing to actually DO it! Well, that's why I'm ten times more excited today then I was eight years ago when I was passionately sending out my 'let's save the planet!' posts. Here I am, three quarters of the way completed through a course that has literally changed my life. My life started to change the night I read the curriculum! And now I can take the tools and resources that I've been taught and learning to integrate into my own life and share them with others.
To be clear, I'm not a wild, preaching hippy that will insist you must live on alfalfa sprouts, kale and sunflower seeds. The contrary - I'm here to listen and won't preach a single thing, except that you are worthy of your health and well-being and it is all achievable. I don't know how to say it without being corny. Regardless, the tone I guess I'm trying to set for this blog is that:
1) I'm human.
2) Our health and well-being come first (true well-being).
3) If it's good for us, then it must be good for the planet too.
I hope some of that can resonate with you and if you'd like to hear more about how my new role as a Health Coach can impact you then please get in touch.
Wishing you peace and wellness, deep down inside.