On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Hélène Defrance, a olympic athlete turned nutritionist, and a member of FLOW 365. While I focus a lot of my work on moms and the demands of matching work and food and self-care with parenting, Hélène reached out to me and said, “You know, I’m not a mom but I think I’m supposed to do this program.” And she did and it’s been fabulous!
Hélène spent 10 years sailing and working toward the Olympics. She qualified for Rio, where she got the bronze, and got a world champion in 2016.
For the past two years, she has changed her focus and is now working as a nutritionist. She’s passionate about nutrition and how our food habits and digestive system can affect our health. She educates and advises people about nutrition.
Hélène’s FLOW Situation
I felt stuck…. I was stressed everyday and I didn’t feel accomplished at any time. I had some vision … but, for some reason I never was able to stop and think how I could get to there. Six months ago, that felt too wrong. I needed to get some help.
While Hélène was feeling this way, she was seeing private clients and serving as the nutritionist for a a big deal football team. She was doing so much and not taking it in. I love watching the women in FLOW 365 begin to see what they are doing and accomplishing.
Why Planning Matters
Hélène started out asking “Where is the time for all the other things in the planner?” As she started seeing where she was spending her time—lots of time exercising and shopping and working late but not doing the hard things—she was able to start making changes.
Key Tool: Group Meetings
I love when we all meet up online and share where we are and next steps for us.
These meetings are a chance to share and get advice from Mia and the rest of the group. And having a group of people who understand what you are doing is really special. When somebody can really hear that while you’re making the little changes that bring joy, it helps you with the momentum.
Key Tool: Daily Debrief
I’ve got my routine every night. I spend probably 15 minutes with my planner and I write things down. I look at what I’ve been doing…. I do my little debrief with myself and I really love it.
There are things we don’t do because they feel hard or take longer than we think they’ll take or we busy or for whatever reason don’t start them. Debriefing gives you a chance to go back without judgement. It gives you a chance to see why things didn’t work or to move things up in your planner.
Key Tool: Word of the Cycle
At the beginning of every 90-day cycle (the FLOW planner includes a page for this), choose a word that you want to embody for this 90-day season. It’s a really simple but meaningful practice and helps you decide what you focus on or don’t focus on.
Hélène’s word was serenity and it helped her be more present, build trust and confidence, and feel more relaxed. She started a meditation practice and spent more time in nature.
Food: Being precise about nutrients, not just calories; choosing quality food from carefully chosen farms; having boundaries around food when traveling or busy
Lifestyle: Better flow between different parts of her life
Om: Meditating more. Adding in exercise but not using it to squeeze out other activities.
Work: Having more reasonable end times to the day.
Big and Little Shifts from Flow 365
Hélène describes her biggest shifts in the first two cycles of FLOW 365: I feel so much joy and I’m so positive. Everything feels like it’s fun.
Hélène Defrance is an athelete and nutritionist. Hélène spent 10 years sailing and working toward the Olympics. She qualified for Rio, where she got the bronze, and got a world champion in 2016. She now works as a nutritionist with private clients and as the nutritionist for a football team to help people improve their well being and athletic performance.
Doable Change from this episode:
Pause before you act. Just take a minute, even 10–15 seconds to see how you feel before you eat or drink (or work or work out … or anything else). Sometimes we create rules in planning like, “I’m not going have coffee.” but every once in a while, after the pause, we realize it’s okay. It could be coffee or anything. It could be staying up late to watch a movie. Maybe you set a “rule” about going to bed, and often that rule serves you, but maybe one night you need to connect with your partner and that pause gives you the space to make a choice.
In FLOW 365, we get really intentional about how we want to feel and where we want to focus attention for the next 90 days. Pairing the pause with our intentions helps us make choices that bring more joy to life instead of just offering rules to follw. Our group provides a place to comment without judgement on our actions. And later you might debrief from you day and share that too. We plan, pause, and debrief around four key areas of our lives—food, lifestyle, OM (spirituality and self-care) and work. FLOW 365 is a high-end, yearlong program that helps entrepreneurial moms make time and space for clean food, joyful home lives and meaningful practices — alongside work, of course! It is designed to help you increase productivity without decreasing joy.
While there isn’t a space for pausing in the FLOW Planner, there is a place to set intentions and there is place to debrief. Taking time to sent intentions and then review your day without judgment help you live the life you truly want. The FLOW planner helps you fit food and the other things that “matter most” into your day.