Pretty in Print
Chef and wellness expert Sophia Roe share her best tips to living a happy, healthy life (and looking good doing it!)
Sophia Roe is a chef and wellness expert by day, and beauty advocate and empowerment architect by night. After working 18-hour shifts in restaurants, having tight schedules and – hardly – keeping up any routines for eating, sleeping and exercising, the 29-year-old got her wellness wakeup call nearly a decade ago.
"I don't work for New York anymore, New York works for me now," she says about giving up the fast-paced and stress-induced lifestyle that dictated her past life.
After battling with the extremes – cutting meat, dairy and gluten – she has figured out what really works when it comes to feeling good all the time.
"It's all about balance – of course!" she preaches. "I only ate fruit and drank water during a period, which wasn't great. You need to try new diets and new routines for ten-day periods in order to find what works for you. You can still have doughnuts, cheese and wine, but not every day."
Dressed in the fluid, voluminous and colourful pieces from H&M's latest print collab, with iconic British interior brand GP & J Baker, Sophia Roe tells all about clean eating, positive thinking and wearing clothing that gives you confidence.
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN WELLNESS?
"I wasn't taking care of myself for a really long time and it made me very sick. I was normalising chronic pain, chronic headaches and chronic bronchitis, and worked long shifts without keeping any routines. For months I felt like I was always holding my breath. At the same time people started getting into juicing and fasting, which I felt I wanted to investigate. Being a chef, I wanted to find a way to make wellness taste good and be enjoyable."
WHAT DO YOU EAT?
"I start my day with a cup of earl grey tea. Then, a few hours later, I eat something with fruit – be it grapefruit, a smoothie or a fruit bowl. For lunch I have a massive salad, I eat the same one every day: loads of mixed greens and veggies, black beans and some sort of grain. For a mid-day snack, I usually have some more fruit or just vegetables with hummus. For dinner I usually do a stir fry of different veggies. And, I'm not going to lie, it does happen that I have red wine or tequila with friends afterwards!"
Prints make me feel like myself, and that's the most important thing about fashion.
IF YOU COULD ONLY EAT ONE MEAL FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
"Ceviche tacos. Yum! I want to eat that every day!"
WHAT WOULD YOU NEVER EAT?
"I would never at any processed sugar. Cakes, pies and sweets don't even sound good to me. I'd never eat cheese or any land animals either."
YOU'RE ALWAYS WEARING COLOURFUL AND PRINTED CLOTHING. SHOULD FASHION ALWAYS BE FUN?
"It shouldn't always be fun, but it should always be you – and it should always feel fun to get dressed. I don't know why I love colours and prints so much, it's just what makes me feel sexy, pretty and comfortable. Prints make me feel like myself, and that's the most important thing about fashion. I don't want to feel like I'm walking down the street in my Lady Gaga outfit – I want to feel like I'm walking down the street in my Sophia outfit."
WHAT'S YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF THE GP & J BAKER COLLECTION?
"I love how all the pieces come together. It's like you put on three different records at the same time and they all sound good together. That's how I want to feel about my outfit all the time. Everything is so cohesive."
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PIECE?
"The jumpsuit! I love anything that's so comfortable that I can just throw it on, and comfort and style are definitely closely related. It's so easy to make a jumpsuit elegant – adding a headscarf, earrings, shoes. It's a challenge style-wise and I think that's really fun."
DOES WHAT WE WEAR AFFECT HOW WE FEEL?
"Are you kidding me? Of course it does! When I'm walking out of the house wearing the right outfit I feel invincible. It's just like having great skin or great hair – it gives you confidence. And confidence is the best thing you can wear. A really crappy outfit will make you feel crappy."
TELL US ABOUT YOUR HAIR ROUTINE!
"New York is really hot in the summer, so I like to put my hair up in a plait to save it from the heat and sun. I only wash it once a week and always deep-condition it. I have extremely curly hair, and it's long, so it gets really dry, which can cause breakage if it's not properly moisturised. I also run a little sunscreen through it to keep it from getting bleached."
ANY SECRETS OR HACKS?
"Don't use any products with silicone in them! It creates a barrier that doesn't let moisture in. A lot of products have that so read your labels carefully!"
WHAT ABOUT SKINCARE AND MAKEUP?
"I do think argan oil is the key to gorgeous skin. It's the one thing that I've been using constantly for five years and I give it so much credit. I can't say enough good things about it! Other from that I keep my makeup very minimal and never use any products with silicone on my face either. I stay away from coconut oil too because it makes my skin break out. I'm very conscious about sunscreen and have bottles of it everywhere, and I wear it all year round. Even though I'm dark – I'm Brazilian-Japanese – I always get burned in the sun."
The GP & J Bake Collection is available in stores and online from 2 August. Follow Sophia on Instagram.
SOPHIA'S 5 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY AND POSITIVE LIFE
1. HANDLE YOUR STRESS
"Stress is what causes us to do all the lush things we do in life. Unfortunately, there are no one-way solutions to handle it and everyone needs to develop their own practices. For me, getting my feelings down on paper is a great reliever. To write letters and not send them."
2. DEVELOP A ROUTINE
"We all get bombarded with different stuff: 'I'm vegan and you should be too', or 'I go running every morning and so should you.' You may need to try an array of different practices to find what makes you feel good. Give everything a 10-day trial!"
"You have to move your body every single day, that's non-negotiable. Dance, hit the gym, go for runs, or do whatever you like. You just need to move!"
4. EAT CONSCIOUSLY
"If you want to eat doughuts every day you'll end up looking like a doughut! I'm not telling anyone to not eat meat or not eat sugar, I'm just telling people to be conscious about it. Sure, eat that doughnut, but don't eat it every day."
5. LOOK AT YOUR HAPPINESS
"Sit down and ask yourself 'Am I happy?', 'Do I like my job?', 'Do I like my boyfriend?', 'My friends?'. Think about it and be honest with yourself, because if you can't be honest with yourself who the h*ll are you going to be honest with? Remind yourself of all the things that make you happy and soon it'll be like breathing."