In 2011, Phoebe Wynn Jones was driving down Pacific Coast Highway when she was in a head-on collision with a truck. She spent four months in hospital and was told she’d never walk again. But thanks to a friend, she learnt the benefits of proper nutrition (healing bones and soft tissue that she was told was too damaged to repair) and made a miraculous recovery. After changing her major to Biochemistry, she’s now been working as a nutritionist for the past 7 years, priding herself on being balanced, science-based and results-driven, always adjusting her approach to the individual.
We caught up with our wonderful friend Phoebe to get a glimpse into her daily life – from how she fuels her busy lifestyle and demanding career, to the non-negotiable habits of self-care she commits to every day…
“I live on a (cold!) houseboat in London and I love my bed! Growing up in Venice Beach I was such a morning person, forcing myself out of bed with the sparrows on less than five hours of sleep. I learnt the hard way how much this undermines my efforts and actually detracts from my ability to be a healthy, valuable person. Now I prefer cosying up with my little family for as long as possible. It's also important to respect how the changing daylight hours having a genuine impact on our body’s energy cycle & circadian rhythm. So, I prepare the night before in order to allow myself the luxury of a peaceful, easy-paced morning: I have my bag packed, all my clothes laid out ready, and eyelashes that are already glued to my face - respect to the women who wake up in time to contour… this is not me!
To get me going I’ll either have warm water with apple cider vinegar, ginger and lemon, or an Adeptio Matcha, aiming to leave the house with enough time to walk or cycle to work. That time outside in nature is crucial for me to wake up properly and allows me to arrive in my body before I start my day. Like many, however, every so often I’ll wake up late and jump in a cab!
I’m lucky that my job is so varied. Alongside being a nutritionist (I work with a wide array of clients, from those with lifestyle goals such as leaning out or gaining muscle, to coaching combat sports competitors, endurance athletes, and people like me who are recovering from injuries, or managing chronic illnesses) I also own a treatment room in Shoreditch called Hiddn, and work as an industry advisor, helping to bridge the gap between food service and nutrition.
I tend to fast until mid-morning, so will usually get my first meal in after my training session, which at the moment includes hill sprints and weights, Jitsu or boxing. I’ll always get an ice-cold shower and a sauna in and take an extra few minutes for self-care - moisturising, doing my hair, and generally just not rushing.
The habit of not rushing has been life-changing for me.
I aim mostly to eat in ways that benefit me holistically (local, organic produce and foods with high nutrient density that are home-cooked and well-combined) and pay some homage to a good ratio of macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats in appropriate portions). But sometimes I’m out eating at restaurants or doing quick shops at Tesco’s, so just do the best I can. I’ve become very reliant on my Neat Nutrition sachets and shaker for frantic work days and travel - it’s having handy things like this that can make all the difference when you’re pushed for time.
The days or weeks that my diet is less optimal are usually the days and weeks that my performance, focus, energy, and temper(!) is less optimal too!
In the afternoon, I then begin to wind down the physical pace of my day by knuckling down to paperwork and spreadsheets - this can be anything from nutritional analysis, menu development, business models, creative strategy, writing, back-end management for Hiddn, or research. I’m a bit of a workaholic so this would take me into the early hours of the morning if I wasn’t mindful, so to break it up I get outside, walk the dog or do some yoga, and I try to be strict in finishing up before 8pm.
At least an hour of non-working time is spent on my own - without this I don’t think I’d be able to organise my thoughts properly. It allows me to work through all the everything that might have been left lingering - the impact of the day, anticipation for the future, and just the noise of daily life!
In the evenings I usually spend time at my boyfriend’s tattoo studio or just chill out at home; cooking (usually eating my food a bit cold because I’ve spent too much time taking photos of it!), listening to podcasts (Joe Rogan or Creative Rebels), or watching the Kardashians before heading to bed!
You’ll almost never find me out after dark...
Nightly breathwork I’ve learned from Wim Hof coach, Artur Paulins, has also become a crucial part of my wellbeing. This is oriented towards quality of sleep and getting my adrenals functioning appropriately, quelling anxiety and allowing my nervous system to rest. If we are stressed and always switched on, our nervous systems don’t function properly, and so neither does our digestion, hormones, or anything else!
Particularly in London, which is so incredibly fast-paced and driven by monetary-success, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of seeing our financial status as being the most important part of worth and sense of identity, but there is so much more to life! I always refer back to the wellness wheel, which shows that social, environmental, spiritual, emotional, physical, financial and intellectual wellbeing should be all taken into account equally. If one is overwhelming the others, then you’re not in balance and reaching a tipping point will have a cascading impact on everything else.
For me, life became so much more beautiful and meaningful when I began to let go of the reigns and factor in self-care. I feel that alongside nutrition, sleep is the most underestimated, and wholly crucial component of wellbeing. With better quality, longer sleeping hours, I’m more productive and my work life has actually flourished, in spite of the necessary cut-backs I needed to take. I recommend it to everyone!