Our Co-founder, Maya French, is teamed up with our friend and the owner of giveStrength Wellness, Stephanie Jameson, to chat about how to “ be well” during the Quarantine.
Stephanie is a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, and holds a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University. She has worked with actors, models, athletes, and C-Suite executives to help them correct unhealthy habits and implement new, healthy ways of living.
It seems we all have all the time in the world, but a lot of people are still finding it difficult to keep up with their healthy habits while in quarantine. Our outside resources are no longer available to us, forcing us to improvise, and for a lot of us — that means giving up our wellness routine. What tips do you have for people who are forced to adjust their routines to adhere to quarantine life?
I think first of all, the best step is to reframe your brain and think of it as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience. Things have shifted and things are a little uncertain but a lot of us have a lot more time and resources out there. There are free workouts people are doing, awesome live- streaming, people with a lot of information are out there sharing it.
To create a routine, try scheduling your workouts a week in advance, maybe do this on Saturday or Sunday for your entire week. Schedule it out and that’s a meeting with yourself, that’s a crucial thing and you can jump between IG workouts, run outdoors, etc.
Right now people are snacking a lot. They’re coming to the fridge more often when they work from home. The biggest thing is having something on hand that’s good for you, making sure you’ve got a fridge full of snacks that are actually healthy snacks. There’s a million healthy snacks available that claim to be healthy and really are not.
You can also try ritualizing meal times so that you aren’t just snacking throughout the day. For example, you wake up, whether your breakfast eater or not, you know around what time you’re having breakfast because our bodies have circadian rhythms that align with sun-up to sundown and it’s best to eat within that window. So whatever your natural schedule might be, you don’t want to disrupt it too much. You don’t want to go to bed at weird times then wake up at weird times. It’s imperative to start and end your day properly according to this natural rhythm. That includes not waking up way too early or going to bed extremely late. Doing this really messes with your digestion and can weaken your immune system.
To help with your immunity, you want to stay within about a 2-hour window. If you’re having breakfast make sure you’re eating around the same time, same thing with lunch and dinner. I recommend sitting down, making a meal, creating a little ritual and making sure to stick to it throughout the day. It’s also nice to get your family involved and make it family time. During this time, it can be a little crazy or we’re in each other’s faces too often but with this new ritual, you’re actually sitting down having a meal. Just as you can get those workouts scheduled, ritualize your Meal Time as well.
You mentioned scheduling meal time and having healthy snacks available. Every time I go to the grocery store, I face two problems — not sure what exactly to buy because I’m so used to eating out and when I buy healthy snacks — i eat them all within two days. What’s your advice to combat this?
That’s that’s very real — so a couple suggestions, one is try not to buy your stereotypical snacks. Snack foods tend to have a little more sugar, unhealthy fat and salt to make you crave them. It’s not your fault, that’s what it’s designed to do. So make sure you’re starting your day with healthy fats and protein, which is why I like to include Koia in my coffee in the morning .I really like the keto once in the morning as well. If you don’t start your day with the correct macronutrients you can easily begin to feel really hungry and not satiated. When this happens, you’re more likely to reach for these quick snacks. Don’t buy the chips and crackers and other typical snacks during your next grocery trip. The cool thing is if you don’t buy them there, you stop having it for like a week and you begin to get used to not snacking.
Also try rethinking what a snack is. For me, it’s generally fruit or vegetables, either fresh vegetables or frozen vegetables. Frozen veggies are actually a really good option. Don’t Be afraid of frozen vegetables, they are actually healthy. What they do is take a vegetable at its peak fresh brightness and freeze it so it’s like standing in time nutritionally. As soon as you thaw it, it’s still full of the vitamins and minerals and nutrients. One of my favorite snacks is frozen broccoli or frozen okra. Great tip to add in a little bit of little soy sauce , that’s one of my favorite snacks.
I try to implement mostly plants into my diet. What are some of the benefits of a plant based diet for general wellness?
I am fully plant based but I have a ton of clients that are not. Obviously we should all be eating mostly plants, that’s the goal. That’s why I bought Koia because I couldn’t find a plant based shake that had a great nutrition profile of a complete protein and wasn’t loaded with a ton of sugar.
Plant-based eating is great because plants contain a lot of nutrients our bodies need.
They have proteins and contain a lot of fiber — which most Americans are lacking. Plants have a multitude of micronutrients ,so you’ve got your macronutrients which are carbohydrates, fats or proteins. We also need micronutrients which are vitamins and minerals and those are most densely found in plants.
So you should be eating a lot of plants. And it is totally possible to get enough protein on a plant based diet. There are a bunch of amino acids and our body can produce a lot of them but there’s nine of them that we cannot produce within our body so we have to consume them through our diet . Most plants don’t have all 9 at the same time so we have to get them from multiple sources. Luckily, Koia is a complete protein that contains all nine of these essential amino acids. Proteins are absorbable as long as you have the complete amino acid profile. The old thinking was that whey protein or casein were the way to go, but they actually boost estrogen in your body. If you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t want elevated estrogen levels, so we want to keep those estrogen levels at a normal. For women, hormonal issues ,cancer, ovarian cancer are all things that can occur with elevated estrogen levels. so we want to keep a healthy level of estrogen by avoiding as much dairy as we can.
This time can also be very stressful for a lot of people whether they’re having trouble adjusting to change, unemployment rates are skyrocketing, can’t physically be with close family and friends outside of your quarantine. All of this leads to a ton of stress. What tips do you have for combating stress?
Nutrition and stress are so connected. Serotonin is released from messages from your gut to your brain. Keep your gut healthy by eating fibrous foods. You’ve probably heard of probiotics and prebiotics. It’s a good idea to eat probiotic and Prebiotic rich food, basically fiber– whole grains are great for that. Getting fiber into the gut is crucial and is going to help your brain process stress. Also healthy fats, such as avocado or the MCT oil that we have in Koia coffee will help as well. Healthy Fat is really good for the brain and helps your brain synapses fire faster and naturally boosts your mood.
As far as dealing with stress of being home with family, kids,etc. — realizing that we’re all in this together so it helps to just refocus your attention. Another cool thing about the brain is your neural transmitters. If you’re constantly reacting in a negative way, you erode deeper grooves in your brain. So if you start to change that reaction, like your husband or your kids are driving me crazy, and you instantly go into an angry state, but you stop and change that to a positive thought, your brain will actually begin to fire in the positive direction. The more you practice it, the easier it becomes. Another thing is to set something accomplishable for the day. Right now, a lot of people feel out of control. The biggest thing you can do to prove to yourself that you are in control and stress-free is setting that one achievable goal and actually doing it. You will really appreciate that feeling of accomplishment. It releases endorphins and has a big positive chemical reaction in your brain. It’s also helpful to think that if you controlled one thing, you can control another thing and it really helps mitigate feelings of stress. Once you have that sense of control, you continue to build from there.
Now, that we have all of this info. How do we make sure we stay on track? It’s so easy to fall off
Keep a color coded Google Calendar. Separate the colors by health/wellness, work, fun, finances, etc. to help you stay on track throughout the week.
Schedule workouts ahead of time during times you know you are most likely to accomplish it. Don’t try to outsmart yourself, if you know you’re a morning workout person, just get it done. If you put it off until later, like 3pm, other things pop up in the day and you will be less likely to get it done.
you can also sign up for the givestrength challenge
You can also sign up for the GiveStrength Challenge which is our 28 day Accountability program. The 4 week program is $28, so only $1 perday. We are offering 50% off the total cost to the first 100 koia krew members that sign up for the program! Use offer code “koiakrew” at checkout!