Meet Sarah-Lena, health coach and founder of The Slow Mundane, originally from Germany with a true expat soul. After living in Italy for 4 years and in Rotterdam for 11 years she moved to Lyon end of 2018 with her French husband and her two boys.
In her professional life she was always longing for freedom and balance, but it was hard to find that in her everyday busy schedule. In Rotterdam she ran her own design studio together with her twin sister Dinah Smutny. It was a very exciting and inspiring time but as well financially stressful and after 5 years Sarah decided to turn her back to the fast-paced design world and move to Lyon with her family. Starting from her own health problems, she turned more and more towards food as medicine, and her interest grew even bigger when she moved to the capital of gastronomy, Lyon.
When she arrived in Lyon, she decided to take a step back for several months to reflect on what she really wanted from life and to find her purpose. She finally had her breakthrough on an Ikigai workshop organised by Sojoourn. Deeply inspired by other people’s quest she found her true calling: sustainability and health. She started her own blog: TheSlowMundane.com and enrolled for the Nutrition Course at the renowned Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York.
A short summary of what you are currently working on and why?
On one hand, I am still doing my health coach training program. I have successfully passed my midterm exams and going to graduate in a couple of months. On the other hand, I am an enthusiastic ambassador for Ringana, an Austrian company that produces fresh, vegan and ethical cosmetics without any artificial preservatives. I love to raise awareness about what we put in our bodies and onto our skin and, on the planet.
With my company, I would like to organise workshops, online trainings and group coaching sessions to make them more accessible for everyone. E.g. I am currently planning several lacto-fermentation, kimchi and sourdough bread making workshops over the next months, at the moment virtual, and afterwards in real too.
I want to inspire people to slow down their lifestyle and create a different relationship with eating. To look at food as a sensual, beautiful and fun experience and that it does not have to be complicated to eat in a more sustainable and healthy way.
Sharing with as many people as possible that food can be fuel AND fun is my passion! Experiment, play and make your kitchen the centre of your home, full of colour, life and joy.
I am also thinking about slow food tours in Lyon to offer an alternative to the touristic "bouchon” tours.
Biggest tip for someone starting a business:
I have actually two. The first one is the law of minimal continuity. Set yourself up to achieve tiny daily goals, so that at the end, it leads to a bigger accomplishment in a very strategic way. It is easier to commit a short period of time each day and build a habit out of it than doing it all at once. And the second, a great tip that I got from coach Martina Buchal, is the importance to build up the brand and not to be lost in too many things. I need to make myself known first while focusing on one project, then I can expand.
I truly believe that only if we are in balance with our body and mind, we can flourish in our business. Practising selfcare is definitely an important element, because it is all about the energy.
What do you find beneficial when it comes to be part of Sojoourn?
When I arrived in Lyon, I felt a bit alone, so I started to look on Facebook for different groups and I discovered Sojoourn by chance and I love it. The community is very diverse and welcoming and everybody can find the right connections. It is the perfect place for expats and it helped me a lot to start a professional network.
Tell us about YOU, what do you like doing in your dailylife?
I try to get up early and enjoy a quiet moment and plan my day. I love cooking and testing new recipes, I would like to have my own vegetable garden one day. I love to meet people for lunch or a matcha latte at my favourite gluten free and vegan café ‘Comptoir Sauvage’ in Croix Rousse. And the highlight of my week is the Wednesday choir rehearsal at the Lyon International Choir. Singing together with others makes me happy.
And finally, an advice to people moving to Lyon?
I love it here. It’s so inspiring, I feel that this city has opened up all my senses. I highly recommend it, there is a cool city vibe, not too big but still offers a great variety of cultural possibilities. As an expat I feel more welcomed here than in Rotterdam. Although I strongly advise to speak some French if you want to live here. Once you are here, go on a walk in Lyon, especially by night with all the lights on. You’ll fall in love.
“Everything is open, nothing is set in stone.” It is from a song and it means to me that everybody evolves and everything changes, you just need to meet the right people at the right time and it is like magic.
Slow down and blossom with The Slow Mundane.
Follow the adventures of Sarah-Lena