2015: A Year of Subtle Shifts + Stuckness

thank you 2015

As we wind down on 2015 I want to say: Wow. What a year.

This was a year of big yet subtle shifts. A year where I launched new endeavours, finished others…and also spent a good part of the year feeling stuck.

Hello, Online World!

This was the year I entered the online world through eCourses. The Mindful Eating Experiment was the first – a simple email program with one action step every week designed to help create more mindful eating habits. At the end of the summer, I launched Healthy in a Hurry – a 7 week course on creative meal planning. I got such fantastic feedback from participants that I am launching a second round on 14 January  2016. I also created the free Breakfast Experiment that can be done anytime.

online programsI was even interviewed (in French) by a Geneva web agency and revealed my secrets to an online-ish business.

More food experimenting + writing

I experimented with an elimination diet that cut out gluten, dairy and soy. Based on my experience, I wrote an article on surviving gluten-free in Geneva for knowitall.ch.

I also published an intensely personal article on the Huffington post and one of my favorite articles so far on 6 words to transform healthy eating – a mind shift that has made all the difference when it comes to eliminating certain foods for health reasons as I did this year.

My most popular recipes this year include:

Food 2015

Recipes: Legend(non)-dairy Raspberry YoghurtBetter Than Bircher Muesli Fruity Chia BowlSweet Potato Hummus and Quinoa or Millet Crust Pizza.

Sharing the love

Last year, I held workshops or group sessions every 2-3 weeks. This year, I wanted to focus more on online programs and individual sessions.

So the few events I did were collaborations with Sagana Coconut Sweetener, a women’s group on Internations, a UN agency, several events with Katia of Nia Dance and was honored to be part of my first retreat with Samiel.

workshops 2015

During these events, I covered topics as diverse as sugar cravings, sensuous eating, hummus-making, smoothie demo, raw chocolate demo and intuitive cooking.

Although workshops are always a little stressful for me, I really enjoy interacting with you guys there.

I love you, ACT…and you also freak me out

photo-20This year, I finished my intense supervision in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or Training (ACT), a mindfulness-based behavioral therapy. I also went to the annual ACT conference in Berlin in July and fell even more in love with ACT and the community of people behind it. I even snuck in a mirror selfie when nobody was around because I was so excited about being there.

After all this was over and I could, well actually get out there and start using ACT, I froze.

I knew I wanted to use ACT, I knew I wanted to continue to a certain extent with what I was doing with food coaching yet I was confused about how exactly to combine everything and what to do next.

I was also freaking out because ACT is so.close.to.my.heart that I wanted to do it perfectly.

It made me realize that when you are doing your own thing, you’re never done with the whole vulnerability and courage thing. Yes, there’s the initial launch. And there’s also another jumping point every time you do something new. Every next step is all about willing vulnerability all over again. Shampoo. Rinse. Repeat.

I wasn’t honest with myself though. I didn’t admit that I was simply scared about taking this next step.

Instead, I went into full existential crisis mode.

So I took some time off, alone. For the first time. I discovered this part of me I had kept hidden away called my emotions. I connected with my values, what truly matters to me and what I want to stand for. I used ACT on myself, especially through a tool called The Matrix. I spoke to people. I took time to do non-work related things that inspire like yoga and reading and going to art exhibitions.

I finally got unstuck.

And it suddenly seemed so obvious: I wanted to do the food stuff mostly online and in group sessions. I wanted my individual sessions to be more emotions/Psychology-focused: Emotional eating, binge eating, emotions around weight loss and other non-food areas of life where people feel stuck. And I wanted to continue freelancing in market research because I also enjoy it and it takes some of the financial pressure off my other activities. It was almost as if I needed to give myself permission to work in Nutrition and Psychology and Communication all at once and be credible in each field.

After this experience, it felt natural to do a workshop around getting unstuck using the ACT Matrix – my first ACT workshop. When I told my mother that it had gone well but that I could already think of plenty of ways I could have done better, she told me: The first piece of cake is always hardest to cut. I had never heard that before and thought it was brilliant (who doesn’t love an aptly timed food/life metaphor?).

I also launched this 4 session pack (still valid) using a photo of my husband and I by the lake:

Get unstuck Geneva

The quote that spoke to me this year

This year, I really learned to live the questions, inspired by this quote by the poet, Rilke:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Books, books, books

I read lots of great books this year, my four favorites being:

fave books 2015_1fave books 2015_2

Almost done!

I wanted to share a photo that I think sums up this year well for me. I posted this photo on Facebook in March and I mentioned that this was the less glamorous side of recipe making. Instead of agreeing with me, people commented on the beauty of the mess and how it showed that something delicious was in preparation.

And it made me realize that change and growth is like this photo. Not very glamorous, sure. The transition is messy and often involves experimenting, throwing things out and trying again. Yet that messiness is real life. In that chaos lies vitality. And that’s what it means to be truly alive, whether or not we feel we have everything figured out or not. And maybe, just maybe, while we do figure things out, we can also live the questions.


Thank you for being a part of my 2015. Here’s to a 2016 full of more of the beautiful chaos that eventually leads to this:

Raw Carrot Cake

Recipe: Raw Carrot Cake.

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  • Kati on Jan 04, 2016 Reply

    Thank you Hiba for sharing your journey and growth. It was inspiring to read. I wish you all the best to the new year. Keep up the good work!

  • Nesrin on Dec 26, 2015 Reply

    In the chaos lies vitality. What wonderful words of wisdom :-) Much needed and appreciated. It’s been great watching your work evolve over 2015, I cannot wait to see what you create in 2016!

  • Suzy on Dec 21, 2015 Reply

    so beautiful to share Hiba, thank you and thank you for your inspiration and guidance in 2015 which has helped me get unstuck in many ways too…. here’s to a wonderful 2016 for you

    • Hiba on Dec 21, 2015 Reply

      Thank you for all your support this year Suzy!

      • Ebony on Dec 02, 2016 Reply

        I bet she just liked the way you look and HAD to say something. Oh, I believe one hundred percent that you are very good with your rifle, and well in control with the pils.t.o…I need a drink before I finish this.Were you in jeans, Firehand? 'Cause let me tell ya…Man, jeans, gun, ahem, those three together, HOT. Although, the fella at the range wearing dockers and a dress shirt was pretty nice looking too. Hell of a shot, he was.

  • Berenice on Dec 21, 2015 Reply

    Cette fois ci je commente en studiopaon et non mysimplelife fr !
    Quel post.
    Merci pour cette rétrospective honnête, fraîche et intelligente.
    En tant que freelance/women preneur je me reconnais dans ce que tu écris et le résultat me rend confiante, un peu plus chaque jour 😊
    Merci 2015. Merci Hiba. Merci healthwise!

    • Hiba on Dec 21, 2015 Reply

      Merci Béré! Et merci aussi d’avoir été une partie super importante de cette année pour moi fellow Womenpreneur :) A une 2016 encore meilleure!!

      • Bérénice on Dec 21, 2015 Reply

        Tellement contente de pouvoir t’apporter en retour de ce que tu m’offres ! A 2016 encore meilleure oui ! Tchin / Cheers :) xx

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