Would you like to tell us a little about yourself and what you do on a daily basis?
My name is Sophia Frayia, I am 31 years old and live in Milan with my boyfriend and cat, Leo - that is, the cat. I have a master's degree in health promotion and health strategies as well as psychology. On a daily basis, I work as a holistic health and wellness coach. In this connection, I help people with everything from building a stronger immune system, building healthy routines, a greater sense of well-being to skin disorders such as rosacea, which I myself have suffered a lot from, but am completely free of to this day. Or in general if they just want more beautiful skin with more glow.
In practical terms, people write/call me what they want help with, after which I make a tailor-made plan for them and their needs and afterwards we work together towards their goals.
I work holistically in the way of seeing the whole person, which is why I also look at their life circumstances and take these into account in my work, so that the healthy routines suit them and their lives.
"I think it is important that we not only consider health as a physical dimension, but also as something that happens on a psychological and spiritual level."
How do you understand health?
I believe that it is important that we not only consider health as a physical dimension, but also as something that happens on a psychological and spiritual level. Therefore, I work from 3 dimensions: a physical, psychological and spiritual dimension.
In this connection, it is fundamental in my practice to help people build a better mindset and self-love. These are both muscles we have to train, because life is hard and full of challenges, but if we can learn to turn these into opportunities for change and growth, we can find greater joy in life, peace and balance in our lives.
When we learn to love ourselves more, it is as if we have our own invisible umbrella that helps shield us from the excessively harsh wind and weather and we are "dressed" for the occasion, for life and to move us forward. Dressing people, physically, mentally describes my practice very well.
When did you start getting interested in the holistic world, health and nutrition?
It started relatively early. In fact, I would say that it already started from childhood, as my mother has always been a big "seeker" in connection with natural health and has therefore always sought this out, which is why I got an interest in it at a very early age.
In addition, I also experienced problems with my skin. First in the form of small red bumps on the cheeks and upper arms. It may be that I was only 10-11 years old but I remember this as a horror, waking up every morning with little bumps, why my mother took me to an alternative doctor who found out that I could not tolerate milk and oranges. Later in my adult life I got some red bumps on my chin that felt so uncomfortable and were inflamed, which is why I went to the doctor about this. Here the doctor found that I had the skin disorder rosacea, which is why he recommended birth control pills and a cream that I should apply to the area every night before bed.
After a week, this cream no longer helped and I felt that I was once again alone with my problem. No one knew the answers. By this time I was so affected that I often did not want to go down the street. I didn't feel like being social and started to feel very restricted. On the sidelines, during my high school years, I was also hit by severe stress and anxiety which developed into depression. I was so "sick" that I couldn't even get out of bed and get dressed. Just the thought of putting on socks could totally freak me out.
"I felt like I was alone again with my problem. No one knew the answers."
Again, my parents were a great support and got me to a homeopath, who found that I had two large stress rings in one eye and one in the other, which is why he gave me some homeopathic drops to take 3 times a day. After using these for 2 months, I slowly started to be happy again and after 3 months, I felt like myself again. This opened my eyes to homeopathy and it was this motivation to find the solution in the form of natural healing that made me take such a great interest in holistic health and the alternative world.
This also led me to later work in the health food industry, where I could geek out with all the things I loved. I could also be allowed to help people with the same problem and generally to a healthier life.
I am of the belief that there is a meaning to everything, which is why I am absolutely sure that I had to go through these challenges precisely to learn more about natural health and nutrition in connection with being able to help others, as well as find my own way into the holistic world.
What does a typical healthy day look like for you?
I am very particular about my morning routine. It sets your intention for the day in relation to your health. It is about nourishing but also creating a greater presence for our body, mind and soul.
As I said, I work with health within 3 dimensions: the physical, psychological and spiritual dimension. My morning routine, which I call a "holistic morning", is precisely based on these. In other words, I make sure to nourish my body and create a greater presence within all aspects: where I precisely focus on nourishing my physical body, my mind/psyche and my soul from the morning.
That's why I get up first and drink my lemon water, to help my body (my liver) with its cleansing and excretion of waste substances that it has collected during the course of the night. Then I roll out my yoga mat and stretch my body (just for 5 minutes) because we've been lying down all night and need to get our bodies moving and make a better connection. Then I meditate for a total of 2-20 minutes and write a diary (journaling, manifestation). Afterwards, I dry brush, use my gua-sha or do facial cupping before taking a shower, where I alternately use cold and hot water to get the metabolism going even more. Then I get ready for the day and have reached my breakfast. I either make a delicious big green fiber smoothie or blueberry smoothie which I either "drink" or top with some coconut flakes and berries. Or if I have made overnight porridge the day before, I eat it. Then I either make myself a large cup of matcha latte or a cup of coffee with oat milk, but I'm very aware of the caffeine, so it varies, but I have to admit that I love my morning coffee and that I already look forward to enjoying it in the morning the night before , why it has an effect on my joy in life. However, I keep this to a cup in the morning. Then I get through my routine and am ready for the day.
In this way, I have incorporated health from the morning in relation to having nourished my body physically, psychologically and connected on a deeper level. My morning routine varies, but I always focus on nourishing my body, mind and soul from the morning.
Do you have any routines in relation to creating a healthier and more holistically balanced life?
I would say that my holistic morning (routine) really helps to create more calm and balance in everyday life, which we really need before a long and perhaps hard working day. Life can be so unpredictable, but if we are well "dressed", we can better handle and handle these challenges. We may even be so good that we can actually turn around and consider these as opportunities to grow, develop and expand because we have from the morning "created space to accommodate these".
That is why this routine is so effective, as we will not only feel physically stronger, but will also experience becoming stronger on a more mental and spiritual level, helping us to be more present, focused, purposeful, concentrated and efficient, as well make us feel a greater joy in life and more connected.
All things that help for a healthier life — in balance.
What do you not compromise on?
In addition to eating vital foods that nourish my body, mind and soul, I would say getting better at listening to myself. To always be in development and to be innovative in relation to my own growth and expansion. We need to create a deep contact with ourselves and this is something we can always work on and get better at. The road from our head to our heart can sometimes seem so long and it is not always an adventure, because life is not easy but full of challenges. We must learn to use these challenges as coping strategies to be a better version of ourselves today than yesterday.
I always ask myself, as soon as I lay my head on the pillow in the evening, what I have been able to learn from this day and if there are things I could do differently tomorrow. That is why it is to develop myself and learn to be better at to listen to my heart, something I never compromise on.
Are there any spiritual or holistic things, remedies or the like that you cannot do without - and why?
Manifesting and practicing gratitude I would say has become a big part of my daily practice. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning, before my feet hit the floor, is to say out loud (in my head) 3 things I am grateful for. So even on the days when I wake up and feel an imbalance, by practicing gratitude from the morning, I can turn my thoughts from negative to more positive and then my energy. I am of the belief that the energy we send out is the energy we get back, which is why this is a powerful tool that can really lift one's energy. In this connection, I have further found manifestation to be a fantastic remedy that can both increase one's awareness in relation to becoming clear in relation to the life one wants and then creating just this.
If you had to choose 3 things that you can do to have a healthier life in body, soul and spirit, what would those three things be?
- Lemon water on an empty stomach
- Daily movement
- and then I will have to add one more, which is to focus more on one's mindset: learn to become better at focusing on possibilities instead of limitations. See yourself as the creator of your own life rather than as a victim.
Who inspires you most when it comes to health and nutrition?
I am very inspired by you Zoey. You have helped me to become better at increasing my awareness within my spiritual development and I am inspired by you daily.
When it comes to health in physical form, Medical Medium loves. He has made me appreciate and love fruit again. He was undoubtedly my support and greatest inspiration in my healing of rosacea.
Louise Hay and Marianne Williamson when it comes to health within the psychological and more spiritual dimension. I love being inspired by other people and I really appreciate people who want the best for each other. It is so important that we work together and not against each other.
I know you eat vegan. Can you tell us more about it and why it is good for you?
I believe that "the quality of our food reflects the quality of our life"
It is my experience that our diet is the most important and greatest source of vitality, renewal, strength and mental clarity as well as balance. That is why the quality of our food is so vitally important for all aspects of life, and precisely reflects the quality of our life. What we fill our body with is not only essential in relation to our physical health, but is also crucial for our mental health and the way we thrive and act in the world. I prefer to use the term plant-based rather than vegan, as I would rather have a greater focus on plants rather than the exclusion of animal products. For me, the diet is not about restriction but instead about focusing on deep deep nourishment. For me, it's about how we, via our diet, can create the best energy for our body, which not only takes place on a physical level, but also on a psychological and spiritual level.
"Food can do more than give us energy, food can also help balance our mind and help us create a greater connection to our body and surroundings."
That's why I can't promote a plant-based diet enough, as this was, WITHOUT A DOUBT, my biggest turning point in my health. It wasn't until I eliminated all dairy products and created a more natural relationship with my food that my skin was really allowed to blossom. And it wasn't "only" with my skin that I could see/feel a difference. I also experienced how my energy level increased and I felt stronger and more vital from the inside.
But still, for someone who has suffered from severe stress, anxiety and depression, I felt the biggest in regards to my mental health. Here I finally felt the peace and balance my mind had been looking for and so longed for. With that said, there is so much food in our society that neither promotes nor maintains our health and certainly does not optimize our health.
On the contrary - there are countless foods that do just the opposite, doing more harm than good. As humans, we are not designed to live off ready-made and processed food with low nutritional value and full of e-numbers. Especially not if we expect an optimal energy level, a strong body and beautiful skin, or want a long and healthy life. It is not normal to wake up with aching joints, feel bad, be drained of energy and have to "sedate" yourself with coffee, painkillers or medicine to get through the day. This is not normal, but it is the reality for many people.
"I believe that in our society we are overburdened and starved of food and information about food."
We are simply oversaturated and malnourished, where we get further and further away from a simple and more natural starting point. I therefore believe that we need to go back and be closer to NATURE. Because the truth is that our food doesn't have to be as complicated and intricate as we make it out to be. The truth is that our food should be about vitality, nourishment and renewal. The truth is that our food can do wonders if we understand how to use it as a source of health and prevention.
Best advice you ever got?
...to care less about what others think, because that will never make you happy. I have spent oceans of time worrying about what other people think of me. Maybe it's down to being young and particularly sensitive, but what a liberation, it is when you just follow your own path and care less about what others think of you. I particularly remember a time when I was standing in the bathroom getting ready for the gym. I love getting ready while listening to a good podcast and this day was no exception. The words filled the room and I was busy so I didn't really listen properly, but something the person said caught my attention. The person in the podcast talked about people's self-perception. He talked about how people are basically too busy worrying about their own thoughts in relation to themselves. Wearing a lot of makeup that I would sweat off 20 minutes later, I rushed out the door.
When I reached the gym I started my session on the treadmill and observed how all the people in the gym were so preoccupied with themselves and their eye contact with their own reflection. I wasn't that important at all. I don't know why, but this felt like such a liberation to me.
It dawned on me that it's unnecessary to worry so much about what other people think of you, because they really care more about themselves than about you. Therefore, the only person we really have to worry about in relation to our thoughts about ourselves is ourselves. We must be our own best friend and focus precisely on this relationship. The relationship between our head, heart and soul. Because the most important relationship we can ever have in life is the relationship we have with ourselves. In this connection, we must learn to be constructive and not destructive in our thinking, which is about the second best piece of advice I've ever been given, which is about our mindset. In this regard, how we must understand ourselves as the creator of our own life instead of the victim. We must understand that there is a meaning to the things that happen to us, which is why we can use these as stepping stones in our development.
Therefore, when we encounter a challenge, we must turn these into opportunities and understand that life does not happen against us, but for us. We must understand things in a larger context, where we are the "creator" of our own life and not the "victim" who just encounters resistance, but instead learn from the challenges we encounter on our way.
In extension of this, if we understand how to become aware of our thoughts and how useful a tool these are, we can understand how framing these are for the person we are and our reality.
If readers would like to read more about you, where can they do so?
On my instagram : @sophiafrayiahealth