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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Heart of the Week - Shape House Sweat Lodge

My amazing assistant, Taylor, and I recently visited a HEAVENLY sweat lodge in LA. It was Taylor’s first time, and she ended up loving it so much that she wanted to spotlight it as the Philosophie Heart of the Week. Read on for what to expect at a sweat lodge + why it’s THE perfect ritual to integrate into your summer cleanse!

When you hear the term “ sweat lodge,” do you become frightened or intrigued (or maybe even both – like I had been)? A few years back, I had seen CNN do a story on a sweat tent that was in the middle of a field. I figured there's no way that it could be as weird as that!  

We’re ramping up for our newest Summer 17’ Philosophie Cleanse, so I knew this would be the perfect time for my body to try the West Hollywood way of sweating and release any old energy that was no longer serving me.

Plus, I’ve experienced so many So-Cal staple firsts with Sophie – everything from Pressed Juicery Freeze to Cafe Gratitude to learning how to do a headstand in yoga class. Why not spend some time in a detoxifying sleeping bag while watching the latest episode of Big Little Lies? With all this in mind, I decided to visit an LA-based urban sweat lodge called Shape House with Sophie.

I had butterflies as I walked up, but instantly relaxed as we stepped into the calming and beautiful space. After the adorable girls at the front desk explained the process, we then changed into our “jail clothes” (an oversized long sleeve shirt, even bigger sweats, and sexy mid-calf socks). Sophie turned to me and said, “You don’t really want your skin touching anything–but here, let's take a photo!”

After, I found my 170-degree cocoon and hopped in–I looked like the filling in a burrito! They then handed me a remote and alkaline water, which has anti-disease + anti-aging antioxidants–an essential during the 50-minute detoxifying sweat.

MANY people, Kardashians included, are in love with Shape House. Not only does this sweat session burn anywhere from 800-1,200 calories, it also improves metabolism and digestion, gives your skin that glow, and helps you enter a deeper sleep (I slept like a baby that night).

My skin also felt firmer and tighter post-treatment since I was sweating out toxins and improving the flow of my lymphatic system. Shape House uses FAR infrared sweat technology to provide heat that warms the body from the inside out, which creates a deeply cleansing sweat!

The first 24 minutes were glorious. I was also secretly patting myself on the back for handling this like a champ! Then...I got a bit warm! Nothing that I couldn’t handle though, especially when I had the alkaline water and Reese Witherspoon to pull me through. I took deep yoga breaths and relaxed even more, knowing I was treating my bod to something special! Then, an employee came in with a cold lavender towel for my head, which really kicked the experience up another notch! Right when I thought, “I could probably get out now,” and started puzzling over what to have for lunch, my time was up!

I wobbled to their relaxation room and savored refreshing orange slices (great vitamin C boost!) and a cup of tea to bring me back down to earth. I sat there and thought about how much I loved sweating out the bad stuff to make way for the good stuff! 

While Shape House has pretty bathrooms with showers and amenities, they actually recommend trying to wait two hours after your Sweat Session to shower. Your body continues to burn calories and detox as its returns to its normal temperature, and showering cuts that time short. We had to shower directly after since we started our day out there, but I felt thoroughly detoxed.

In a nutshell, I LOVED my experience at Shape House. I felt so clean and light the next few days. I also only wanted to put clean ingredients into my body throughout the weekend, since I had just sweated out all of the “junk.” 

If only I had the time to go weekly, I would! They recommend anywhere from once a week to once a month–or whenever you can! Thank you, Shape House, for having the Philosophie team, and for making my first time at a sweat lodge simply blissful.  

xo,

Taylor

 

 Have you gone to a sweat lodge before? How was your experience? Let us know on Facebook with #MyPhilosophie!

Shaved Carrot Salad Recipe

As the weather heats up, I love tossing up light, simple salads as either a side dish for dinner or a quick + healthy afternoon snack! That's why this julienned carrot salad made with only 3 ingredients has easily become a summer staple in my kitchen. Beautiful heirloom carrots in various shades of orange, amber, and maroon dressed in Berry Bee Tahini serve up both delightful crunch and sweet nuttiness. 

In addition to making my tastebuds super happy, this salad packs in the nutrients. Carrots provide a super high dose of vitamin A, which helps support vision, bone growth, immunity, and skin health! When you drizzle on the tahini, you also get a dose of minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium, and iron. This lovely seed butter is very high in vitamin E and also one of the best sources of calcium. On top of all that, a spoonful of Berry Bee Honey adds a burst of sweetness, as well as high levels of beautifying vitamin C! 

Gather This:

  • 1 pound heirloom carrots
  • ¾ cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon Berry Bee Honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • salt + pepper (to taste)

 

Do This:

Julienne the carrots, and set them aside in a bowl. Next, make the sauce by combining and stirring the tahini, water, honey, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the sauce over carrots and serve! 

What superfood summer salads are you tossing up? Share them with me on Instagram with #PhilosophieSuperfoods! 

3 Delicious, Dairy-Free Ways to Get Probiotics

While this post is sponsored by KeVita, these are 100% my opinions! 

Just like there are “good” fats, there’s also good types of bacteria and yeasts that we actually WANT in our bodies. Without probiotics, our bodies are prone to disease and inflammation so it’s good that we eat them on a regular basis to maintain a healthy gut.

Our gut is even called our “second brain” since it’s directly connected to our mood and how we think. Bottom line: when our gut is balanced, our brain feels happy.

While plain yogurt infused with a spoonful of Berry Bee Honey is always a yummy way to nourish your gut if you enjoy dairy, here are three DELISH dairy-free ways to get in your probiotics!

Kombucha

I love sipping a fizzy glass of Kevita® Master Brew Kombucha™! With live probiotics and active cultures, KeVita is my easy and delicious way to increase daily probiotic consumption and it’s also yeast-free! My fave is their citrus flavor, which is sweet and refreshing, and has 80mg of organic caffeine, making this a great afternoon pick-me-up!

Oh, and KeVita’s Master Brew Kombucha line features 9 sparkling and yummy flavors! Check out all the flavors here!

Miso

For that oh-so-yummy umami flavor, I like to mix in miso paste into my soups and salad dressings. This Asian seasoning is made by fermenting a combo of barley, brown rice, soybeans, and other grains with a specific fungus. In addition to providing probiotics, miso is also a wonderful source of protein, manganese, copper, vitamin K, and zinc!

Sauerkraut

Pickled Planet Sauerkraut is a staple in my superfood salads! In addition to being crispy, salty, and simply delicious, this pickled cabbage helps your body produce energy (thanks to its high levels of iron!) and promotes healthy eyes and skin due to its assortment of carotenes and punch of vitamin A! If you’re tossing up a Japanese-style salad, I love their Velvet Sea Sauerkraut since it also features burdock, ginger, and two types of seaweed.

What’s your favorite way to get in probiotics? Let me know on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie!

Toast Tuesday: Cream Cheese, Cucumber, + Sprouts Toast Recipe

If you love tea party cucumber sandwiches, you'll be head over heels for this week's Toast Tuesday recipe. It's as simple as toasting up a gluten-free slice of bread, spreading on dairy-free cream cheese, and layering the bread with beautiful crisp cucumber slices and a handful of sprouts! 
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Together, the vitamin K-rich cucumbers + vitamin C-packed sprouts add a truly lovely crunch! The cucumbers also help hydrate your body and flush out toxins – PERFECT for the warm months. 
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And if you do fancy the idea of dressing up in your prettiest floral dress and holding a garden tea party, you could definitely serve up this recipe (without toasting the bread and also cutting off the crust edges) with an iced rendition of this Chai Tea Latte Recipe!
.Gather This: 
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Do This:
Toast your slice of Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, spread on the Kite Hill Cream Cheese, and top with sliced cucumber and a handful of sprouts. Enjoy! 

What's been your favorite Philosophie toast? Share it with us on Facebook with #PhilosophieSuperfoods! 

Heart of the Week: Ritual

When it comes to living a more resilient life from the inside out, rituals are a MUST for living a healthier life. Believe it or not, 40% of our day is determined by our habits, so it's really important that we choose our rituals with intention + purpose. One small ritual every day – like making a superfood smoothie, journaling, or taking vitamins – can make a world of a difference! 

While I feel like there aren't a lot of vitamins or supplements that I can get behind, I've been a big fan of Ritual Vitamins for a really long time. Within HALF AN HOUR, I can feel a boost of energy from the vitamin B12. I love that I can feel the effects of Ritual so soon after!   

Their assortment of nutrients is also created specifically for women. This actually makes a huge difference because men and women's bodies are so different and have such unique needs. I love that Ritual acknowledges this and also pairs nutrients that work together. For example, the vitamin D helps your system absorb the calcium. Even if you eat super healthy, it's great to take a supplement like Ritual to fill any nutritional voids your body may currently have.

Beyond boosting your energy, increasing your brain function, and helping you weather any emotional storms, Ritual also cultivates an attitude shift. By taking it at the beginning of each day with your lemon water or superfood smoothie, you plant the seed to feel GOOD and face the day and its challenges with strength and positivity.  

Check out the video above to learn more about Ritual with me and Dr. Zelana and also hear about the resilience rituals I do each + every morning! 

What are your wellness rituals? Tell us in the comments on the video + then be sure to subscribe to the Philosophie Youtube Channel for more chats on radiant health + nutrition! 

7 Ways to Stay Active as a Family in the Summer

As a family who LOVES sunshine + playing outside, we’re all about summertime! The warm season is one of the most beautiful times to be active outdoors and celebrate Mother Nature’s gifts. Here are 7 ways that our fam gets moving, while having a blast together:

Play in the park in the morning. While the kids run wild, my hubby and I love sweating it out in the playground. The monkey bars, balance beam, and steps create challenging ways to tone our bodies in HIIT sets.

Do lawn yoga in the afternoon. Sharing my practice with my little ones and introducing them to the many, many benefits of yoga make for such magical moments. I highly encourage anyone looking for a workout buddy to get flowin' with their kiddies!

Go for a bike ride at sunset. Blissing out during bike rides while the sun goes to bed is one of the most beautiful ways to close a day. And if it’s extra special if you’re biking home from the farmers market with rainbows of fruits + veggies for your evening meal! (While it's easy to wear flip flops during summer bike rides, I prefer these light + comfy Skechers YOU shoes!) 

Go on an evening hike or walk. Beyond fresh air and light exercise, these night walks provide a space for togetherness + reflection that allow us to truly reconnect. I don’t know what it is about being outside, but it’s always easiest to speak your truths, your fears, your joys when you’re unbound by walls and are completely free to feel + express.

Jump in the pool. You can’t beat splashing around in a pool and playing Marco Polo to cool down. If you live in LA and want to up your swimming game, the John C. Argue Swim Stadium in Expo Park is a great spot to take the fam. I also love the Ace Hotel for a pool dip with a gorgeous view of the cityscape of DTLA!

Spend a day picking fruit. Running around and picking fresh, organic blueberries, strawberries, and cherries is a summer must. Living in California, my family and I are so SO lucky to live close enough to produce farms—I really wanted to take advantage of this gift and share it with my kids. Plus, you’ll have a pail full of ripe fruit ready for a dreamy dessert or nourishing smoothie

Have an epic beach day. Jumping waves, dreaming up sandcastles, flowing beside the aqua water. ‘Nuff said.

What’s your favorite way to stay active with your family during the summer? Share with me on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie!