authentic parenting + what works for us

My intentions in writing this post is both as a slight venting avenue + mostly, a share of my personal journey and what works for our family. I hope I can help others find what works and what does not work for them, and ideally find some clarity in this journey we call parenting. 

After seeing the Babies documentary twice, I know for a fact that American parents are one of the most high strung, controlling, hyper vigilant type of parents in all of the world. Fo' Real. Now that I have a 3 1/2 and an almost 1 1/2 year old set of boys, I have met parents of all walks of life, philosophies and ideals. I truly respect whatever perspective works for each parent, just as long as the kids are safe and happy. 

I aim to be authentic + honest in this sharing from our lives and my heart, I am definitely not perfect nor do I have everything figured out! The same idea applies to what I eat and what I feed my children. I don't beat myself up when we indulge, but we have very healthy tendencies. 

 

A DEMOCRACY.

During the early 1960s, psychologist Diana Baumrind conducted a study on more than 100 preschool-age children (Baumrind, 1967) Our personal type of parenting style is quite democratic. We are responsive to our babes and willing to listen to questions. When they fail to meet our expectations, we chose to be more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing. Baumrind suggests that these types of parents "monitor and impart clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative" (1991). This is a great way to describe how Adi and I communicate with the kids and where our expectations lie. 

 

FREE SPIRIT + Some necessities. 

I am a yoga teacher, optimist and a free spirit. Much of my parenting style stems from this truth. We are extremely liberal politically and echo that liberalsim in how we parent. We are aware of that. We also work hard to create a balance to honor our children and their needs. Kids CRAVE consistency. The boys almost always nap in the same place, around the same time. They go to sleep around the same time every single day. They are better for it, and then we are better parents because of this consistency we provide. 

Adi {hubby} has a huge role as caregiver, not just as provider. He's one of the most compassionate, beautiful, loving fathers I've ever witnessed. There is a wonderful balance in our home and although it isn't always perfect, we work hard to be fair to each other so there is deep harmony felt for all. We are equal parents in this and this is not the 1950's.  

 

HIPPIE FAM.

We had a beautiful doula who guided my first birth with Kai. It was an experience I am so thankful for and a gift from my parents. She was a magic worker in there and although I believe and trust in my body's knowingness, having a guide was incredible.

I was a rockstar with Leo which ended up being a VBAC. Best experience of my LIFE. Please let me know if you have any hesitations about this and I will gladly share my experience. 

We also encapsulated my placenta (our Chinese doctor did it for us) and I think it's a no brainer in terms of health for mama mentally, emotionally and physically. 

I was a home birth myself. My mom had a doula and midwife and all worked out wonderfully. I completely support that for others as long as they are close to a hospital if need be. For my first birth with Kai, the cord was around his neck 2 1/2 times and a c-section was non-negotiable. I thank the heavens I was at UCLA hospital for that and that my doula knew. 

BONDING.

I wear both of my babies as often as possible. It's very important for bonding and connecting with baby in the first few months, especially. I still wear my 16month old at least 4-5 times a week; it's so intimate and special for us. I wore my 3 1/2 year old a month ago in NYC and he fell asleep instantly against my heartbeat. It's so obviously perfect. My favorite carrier is the beco butterfly 2. If you want to check out an awesome mommy of 5 who sells them, her website is paxbaby.com

I am a big advocate on breastfeeding for at least the first 6 months of babes life and as long as you and baby feel is bright for you. Those first few months are imperative in my opinion and from there as long as you both are willing is vital. That stuff is LIQUID GOLD so just remember that: every single day makes a difference. 

We snuggle all the time. We all crawl into the family bed multiple times a day to just read books, color, rest and snuggle. Both boys will lay on top of me, stretched out long, happy as can be. I don't think I've made it through a cuddle session without shedding a tear, yet. It's that good.

 

LESS CONSUMING.

We do cloth diapering as often as possible. It's so much more natural and less waste into the environment  When we don't do cloth, we use honest company diapers which are as eco-friendly as they get without being cloth and reusable. We give our used clothes to friends and needy families and I shop at the consignment store and thrift stores often. My kids wear beautiful clothes as gifts from their aunts and grandparents which we honor and deeply appreciate, but we have yet to purchase a single store bought item of clothing ourselves. That feels good to say. In the past few months I gave in and began getting a few conscious items (wooden toys, books about love + goodness, etc) for the kids because those were not gifts they were receiving from family and I didn't want to be demanding. I donate the majority of the loud toys and beepy things we get as gifts because they aren't aligned with the peacefulness + vibe in our home. {we also live in a 2 bedroom apt... space is limited!}

I explain literring, donation, giving, helping and providing for others already even though the kids are so young. We absorb so much at such a young age so you never know what is sticking. It's worth a try and I see how giving and compassionate Kai is because of my actions + words. We talk about our feelings ALL. THE. TIME. and it's very important to me that my boys learn to recognize and express their feelings authentically as they grow into men. I've had several bad relationships with people in my life that ended because they weren't in touch with their true needs, feelings + nature. 

 

opposite of traditional.

In the past few months, I've noticed how deeply opposite of traditional we are as parents and individuals. Our values are not conservative whatsoever and we do not vibe well with those who are extremely traditional. We have a much more balanced or even matriarchal way of guiding our family and lives. I say we don't vibe well with those on the opposite side of the spectrum not because I don't "like" them, it's much more that they have high expectations that I honestly do not want to, nor will probably ever meet. And that's uncomfortable for both parties.

Our priorities in this family are that our children know they are LOVED, that they are HAPPY and that they are nurtured. Everything else comes second.

 

We are making up a lot of our "traditions" as we go. We are making up our own rules based on what we like and didn't like in our own childhoods. For example, I didn't like the excess associated with Christmas... all the unnecessary gifts and spending so much money on one day just because, so we aren't participating in that aspect. We WILL have a living tree, we WILL decorate it and sing and be merry, but the excessive amount of gifts will not be happening. We celebrate Hanukkah by lighting candles, singing songs + spending time with family. We won't force our kids to go to temple or church but we will certainly take them if they are curious. We will raise them secular but extremely spiritual, insightful + mindful. 

 

OUR RELIGION.

If anything, our "religion" is nature, mindfulness + yoga. We practice yoga almost every day for at least 10 minutes. You can't even imagine how magical a 15 month old is doing yoga... it hurts. We get outside every day, no matter how cold or if it's raining. (we live in SoCal so snow isn't an issue, luckily!)

We make a point in saying positive loving kind things to each other, special affirmations about ourselves and to each other multiple times a day. For example, "you look so beautiful" and "do you know how much I love you?" and "thank you for being my son" come out of my mouth all day long. These exact sayings are repeated to me from my 3 year old as well, so I know it's sinking in and being absorbed. When he says "you know what mommy? I love you." at 7am while reading a book, I know I'm doing something right.

 

POSITIVE + MINDFUL PARENTING.

The more complicated our lives are, the more important it is to live in the present moment—otherwise we’ll miss much of our lives. As a parent, you can’t withdraw to a cave to meditate. It’s all about now. When you tune into the breath and sensations in the body, you are stepping outside of time. Moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental awareness cultivated by paying attention—we are all capable of this. 

I'm asked almost daily how I "get it all done". I really don't know. I'm pretty organized, I get plenty of sleep and I have a beautiful life I'm beyond grateful for. I have my own thriving business that has been completely grass roots and I'm married to the man of my dreams. Here's one thing I've been noticing though, especially around my stressed out mama friends: Mindfulness actually saves us a tremendous amount of time because we don’t go down so many dead ends with our thoughts. It doesn’t take any more time to be more mindful. It’s not a philosophy, it’s a practice. You don’t have to get less busy or fix anything. Simply reclaim your moments by showing up for them. The more “speedy” your life is, the more oxygen this practice gives you.I can't tell you how many times I've said (and heard Kai say back to me) "let's calm down and take a deep breath." 

Mindful parenting is not about being a yogi or practicing Buddhism; it’s about being human + realizing that we have more options than we may think in any moment, no matter what is happening. Just bringing awareness to your breathing and sustaining it over time can be very powerful. Remember, whether you are reacting mindlessly or responding mindfully, your child is drinking it all in.

 

GRATITUDE AS AN ATTITUDE!

I am not exaggerating when I say that Adi and I cry almost daily out of GRATITUDE for our lives and children. We share pictures while laying in bed, watch their video monitors, tell stories from the day and CRY tears of JOY. This is such a vital aspect in our parenting because it's all about reflecting on their growth, on OUR growth as parents, partners + humans. 

I ask Kai all the time during meltdowns (when he can actually still hear me) something he's happy or grateful for. It's amazing how it can turn us all around and bring us back to what's truly important. 

 

LAST THOUGHTS.

Parenting is not as clear-cut as learning a skill. There are no benchmarks. We have benchmarks in our society for success, but being a parent doesn’t take that form. Lately, it does seem like people are deciding to live more simply—to have less, work less and have more family time. People are starting to want more balance. There is something stirring and that makes me HAPPY.

 

Comments (4):

Tashina on

I’ve read this countless times already! This would make such a good base for a book!

Krysta on

I love this! There are so many differing parenting philosophies and people tend to be so judgmental if you’re doing something they don’t believe in. I tend to parent very much like you do and can only hope that my son and future children feel the love and make this world so beautiful <3

Tal Nimrodi on

Sophie, thanks for sharing your personal life, I feel like this really enlightened me and inspired me to keep an open mind and never forget the true me..You really are incredible. I loved this blog post, I feel so lucky that Rachelle connected me to you. I can’t wait to meet you in real life

natali v. on

this is exactly what i needed to read right now! with my little one making his arrival in march i often forget to stop worrying and just BREATHE. your stories and parenting style are so inspiring and motivating .. definitely bookmarking this post to refer back to SUPER often! <333

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Affirmation Toast Recipe

Affirmations are such a huge part of my life and I believe that living a life you love is all about reaching for it and manifesting it. An affirmation is a positive, hopeful statement that can help you to overcome challenging, self-sabotaging and negative thoughts.


There are two parts of yourself. Your inner lover, best friend, true soul AND your inner critic. Sometimes your inner critic is loud and may be the only thing you can hear. Sometimes it tells you everything you’re doing wrong in life.


Affirmations, if you repeat them often and truly believe in them, can start to make positive changes and change your mindset. Self-affirmation may also help to soothe the effects of anxiety + stress (so important during the holiday season!). The best part about affirmations is that they can show up EVERYWHERE and can be used EVERYDAY. From the clothes I wear, to the journals + mugs I use, to the way I speak out when I’m faced with a challenge—affirmations show up constantly in my life.


At Philosophie HQ, we decided to put our affirmations on our morning toasts for #ToastTuesday, which is not only fueling us from the inside out but also makes us feel GOOD emotionally and mentally. I AM LOVE reminds me to continue to show up to life from a place of love - love for others, for my job and most importantly, for myself. What are you putting on your morning toasts? I’d love to know!

Gather This:

Canyon Gluten-Free Bread (or any other of your favorite piece of bread)

1 tsp Cacao Magic Superfood + Protein Blend

Wild Friends Almond Cashew Super Butter

A sprinkling of coconut flakes

Optional: a sprinkling of edible gold tiny hearts to make it extra magical (you can also use any other topping you want!)

½ banana


Do This:
Toast bread and spread on almond butter mixed with Cacao Magic. With alphabet cookie cutters, cut out your affirmation with a banana and place them on the toast. Finish with a sprinkle of gold hearts and coconut flakes. ENJOY!

 

What are your affirmations? Did you put them on your superfood toast? I'd love to see! Share with me on Instagram using #PhilosophieLove or #PhilosophieSuperfoods.

Green Dream Latkes Recipe

Last night we celebrated the 8th and final night of Chanukah! In our family, we celebrate Chanukah with a menorah and all the tasty traditional treats - including this fav, Green Dream Latkes dish. So good!


It’s made with a ton of nourish veggies, vegan sour cream, and the star ingredient, Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend. These oh-so-delicious latkes offer a superfood twist on the classic Chanukah staple!


As we end the holiday with so much love + light, we welcome in Christmas blessings + magic. Last night we put up a tree + stockings. I truly love this season and the fluidity of celebrating how we want to in our home and with the most important ones, my family.

Gather This:

LATKES -

1 flax egg (mix 1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water)

2 small potatoes (russet or sweet, grated + peeled)

¼ medium yellow onion (grated + squeezed)

½ small zucchini (grated + squeezed)

½ tbsp Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend

1 tbsp ghee or cooking oil

¼ tsp baking powder

1-2 tbsp coconut flour

S + P

Optional: a squeeze of fresh lemon

TOPPINGS -

Applesauce

Honey (I love using Green Bee Honey)

Lemon Zest

Vegan Sour Cream (blend 1 cup of soaked cashews, ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, ⅓ cup of water, and 1 tsp nutritional yeast in a high-speed blend for 5-6 min. Or until thick and creamy. Add s + p to taste)


Do This:

Grab a pan or skillet, add a tablespoon of ghee or cooking oil, and bring to a high heat. Place all ingredients in a small bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon of flour. Once all of the ingredients are combined, check the consistency of your batter. It should be relatively thick, and if it's too runny, add the extra tablespoon of flour. Drop the batter into the pan, and cook on both sides until golden brown and crispy. Top with applesauce, sour cream, a drizzle of honey, and some lemon zest if you'd like!


How do you transform traditional holiday dishes into superfood dishes? Share your recipes with me on Instagram using #PhilosophieLove or #PhilosophieSuperfoods. We may share it on the blog!

Heart of the Week: 5 Day Reset Cleanse

The holidays can be grueling on the body. Between all the sweets, stress and exhaustion it’s a wonder you manage to pull it off by the time the new year comes around. We celebrate Hanukkah but also participate in the fun + magic of Christmas traditions like putting up a tree.


To say our home is a bit crazy right now is an understatement and I’m FEELING it. That’s why it’s SO important to kick my health into high gear and fuel my body with all the nutrients + sustenance it needs. You may not think to take the time during the holidays to participate in a 5 day or 10 day cleanse is worth it, but that is absolutely not true. I especially love the magic of the 5 Day Reset Cleanse to help keep me on track during the holiday season.


This holistic, revitalizing cleanse will not only support you in detoxing from the taxing energies of the holidays, but will also make you feel rejuvenated, refreshed, lighter, and truly ready to celebrate all that’s to come.

Benefits of the 5 Day Reset Cleanse

This type of cleansing is unique in that it doesn’t promote deprivation, but rather focuses on giving your digestive system a well-deserved break.

Since we all get busy and don’t always have time to shop for and prepare healthy, wholesome foods, we’ll often turn to picking up fast food or ordering a pizza (guilty!). The issue with this is that we’ll be filling ourselves with foods that are much more likely higher in trans fats and high-glycemic sugar, possibly sprayed with pesticides, and lower in nutrients.

A food-based cleanse like this 5 Day Reset Cleanse provides just the opposite and consists of protein-rich smoothies, nutrient-dense salads, whole food snacks, superfood energy bars, fresh juices and fiber-filled soups—all of which are gluten-free, vegan, low in sugar and high in plant-based proteins.


Let your intuition guide you and take this time to fully explore your needs – think of yourself as part scientist, part researcher, and part healer as you do a deep dive into what is working for your body and what isn’t. Remember, it's a journey that requires patience.


How are you supporting your health + body during the bustling holiday season? Share your tips + tricks with me using #PhilosophieLove or #PhilosophieSuperfoods.

Crush-Your-Cravings Classic Cacao Magic Fudge Recipe

Anyone else have a sweet tooth during the holidays? Between all the hot coco and sugar cookies, my craving for sweets + chocolate is on some other level! Philosophie Babe, Marissa Cohen, whipped up an AMAZING Cacao Magic Fudge recipe to help satisfy all the cravings with a healthy, good-for-you twist.


A fudge recipe that requires one bowl, is ready in thirty minutes, and is superfood spiked? Yes, please. The other day I came home with a deep craving for a piece of creamy, decadent fudge. In order to satisfy my sweet tooth, I whipped up this recipe using Cacao Magic Superfood + Protein Blend and a few other simple ingredients in no time.

Unlike other treats that may leave you with a bit of a sugar hangover, this fudge will make you feel amazing. The Cacao Magic provides the rich, chocolatey flavor with healing adaptogens and energizing nutrients. I sweetened it with the Green Bee Honey for a hit of antioxidants and cleansing powers of spirulina, and the Coconut Magic makes it oh-so creamy.

Feel free to get creative and add fun toppings such as goji berries, bee pollen, coconut flakes, extra cacao nibs, and chopped nuts or seeds to your liking. Enjoy this fudge at the end of your meal with a warm cup of tea or mid-afternoon for a quick boost!

Gather This:
1 tbsp of melted coconut oil
½ cup melted Coconut Magic Coconut Butter 
½ cup creamy cashew butter (can sub with any other nut or seed butter of choice)
¼ cup Cacao Magic Superfood + Protein Blend
2 tbsp Green Bee Honey
pinch of sea salt

Do This:
Melt the coconut butter and coconut oil on medium-low heat. Add the cashew butter until it is incorporated. Remove from the heat and stir in the Cacao Magic, Green Bee Honey, and sea salt. Pour mixture into square pan (I recommend using a glass pan that has been sprayed with a coconut oil spray or rubbed with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil) and sprinkle on any toppings your heart desires. Chill in the freezer for 20-30 minutes, cut, and serve!

Note: This recipe can keep in the fridge for up to two weeks in an air-tight container (not that it will last you that long).


If you make this recipe or any other creation using Philosophie products tag your creations with #makeeveryfoodasuperfood and #philosophiesuperfoods!

A Note on the Final New Moon of 2018

Happy first week of December loves! I’m loving the cold, rainy weather here in LA. All I want to do is stay home, snuggled up with my family. Did you all know that Noa is now 6 months?! Time is flying by! Feeling it ALL.


This week we are greeted by an ever-expansive and mind-opening New Moon in Sagittarius in the early morning on December 7th. This moon is energizing and fueled with a spirit that challenges your expansion and growth, perfect for switching your intentions and manifestations to 2019.


New Moons are a beautiful time for new beginnings and new cycles. It’s a time to turn inward and set intentions whether emotional, physically or spiritually on the cycle ahead. This moon is challenging you to dream. Dream bigger than you’ve had all year.

New Moon in Sagittarius

The Sagittarius New Moon challenges us to seek optimism and expand your mind outward. You may feel a new sense of hope and uplifting. The eternal wanderer and traveler that is Sagittarius, offers us with mystical New Moon energy to expand our horizons and experience new experiences and new truths.


This is the time to allow yourself to leave the painful parts of your past behind and take hold of the inner work you did during Scorpio season and branch out, visualizing a brighter and more fulfilling path ahead. If you find yourself suffering in emotional, physical, or mental ways brought on by the struggles of the year - this New Moon offers hope and small joys in the magical little wonders of life. Instead of seeing a situation as it is, you will be able to imagine what your situation could be.


Full of adventurous and impulsive energy, this Sagittarius New Moon could give you that final push to move ahead on a big decision you’ve been troubled over or book that trip you’ve been longing for.


The Sagittarius New Moon this week encourages us to celebrate all that we have done and all that we have achieved over the year. It asks us to recognize the inner growth we have completed and to celebrate where we stand today. I can’t think of a better way to welcome in the final month of 2018.

New Moon Ritual

This ritual is to help you step into a more relaxed and positive state of mind for the final month of the year. It is going to use the energy of the New Moon to help you celebrate where you are, and all the hard work you have achieved throughout the year.

Inner growth was a huge part of 2018, so even if you feel like you haven’t done much, know on the inside you have been transforming + growing.


Tools

Palo Santo

Candles

Crystals (choose one that calls out to you for the upcoming cycle)


Begin by cleansing yourself and your space with your Palo Santo. Light your candle and place it directly in front of you. Take your crystal, hold it in both your hands and press it against your heart center. Take 10 deep breaths here. Take in the energy pulsing around you and the energy of the crystal. Imagine yourself inhaling and exhaling with this vibrant energy.


Recite a mantra or affirmation while you’re doing this, such as -


I open myself so I may see the path to my highest destiny. With my gift of openness, I offer joy. I will fill my life with joy, love, and laughter.


I will turn big ideas into action.


Allow yourself during this New Moon to find happiness and give yourself love. Do something that brings you joy and fills you up. There are no limits and it can absolutely be something simple. Make yourself a healing + nourishing superfood smoothie like the Cacao Magic “JOY” Smoothie or baking warm chocolate chip cookies. Maybe it’s dancing around the living room with your littles or quieting your mind in a healing detox bath. Whatever it may be, allow your heart to completely fill up.


What are your intentions for this month + new cycle? Share yours with me in the comments below or on Facebook using #PhilosophieLove.

Sophie's Thoughts on Navigating the Societal Landscape

This past week has been an absolutely magical one. My family and I spent the holiday weekend with my love, Eva Shipp and all her kiddos. Experiencing all the kid’s love + joy for each other and watching the magic of life through their eyes is such a blessing. It has such an impact on our family to be able to escape for the weekend, reconnect, and experience the magic of play + imagination.


Coming back home I’ve been reflecting on all we’ve gone through as a society especially us here in Southern California. In one week, there was a shooting in Thousand Oaks and then devasting wildfires near Malibu. These were so close to home. I’m sincerely grateful every day that our home is okay and my family is safe + comfortable.


When tragedies like these hit so close to home they have an effect on your mental wellbeing and her kids’ emotional + mental health. My boys are at an age now where they know the seriousness of these events. There are elementary schools practicing active shooter drills. My boys wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare about a fire or a shooting. This is our reality.


I’ve always loved the holiday season because of it’s magical quality to transcend reality and create a bubble of comfort, joy and love. You're able to spend time together as a family, curl up with a movie, and enjoy a delicious hot chocolate or yummy chocolate chip cookies. But as a mom, I know that tragedies are just that because of there nature to happen unexpectedly with serious effects. How do we navigate it? How do we stay prepared + responsible, but still remain optimistic + elevated for our kids?

Here are some ways we’ve made changes in our home to help navigate the societal landscape.


Create a code word with your kids.

As an entrepreneur and a mama with a little babe, I’m perfectly comfortable asking for help with my boys’ schedules. Whether they have a casting call, yoga class or want to go play at the park, they may be accompanied by Adi or I or any of my the beautiful souls in my support system. When I need to use a babysitter or carpool service like Kango (use my code “Sophie20” for $20 off a ride!), the kids and I created a code word that means this person is safe and you can trust them. It gives us all comfort.

In times of tragedy, heal yourself first.

It’s so important to take the time and process whatever happened in your own way. Maybe that looks like a really intense workout class, a long soak in a bath, or a night out with your girlfriends. Connect with your community, escape for a bit, let out your emotions so you can come back to your kids and approach them in a more grounded, level manner.


Digest the scary topics at their level.

Take the time to talk with your kids and explain what happened in a way they can digest. Talking to them about it early on allows them to process it in there way, ask questions and allow the space to heal as a family. This way they don’t learn about these events in the media or at school where it can be misconstrued.


Above all, show up to the world the way you want to. I show up with love - love for everything and anything. When I show up with love, my kids see it and hold on to it. They, too, know how to give and receive love.


Hold your families close this holiday season. It’s truly a magical time and a wonderful time to teach and connect with your kids.


How do you stay present + grounded as a mama? I’d love to know! Share in the comments below or connect with me on Facebook using #PhilosophieLove.



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