It’s been WAY too long since our last DFD Babe Feature!!
I’m SO happy to be talking to Staness Jonekos of Eat Like a Woman on here today. I think you guys are really going to love this one – Staness is all about educating women on how their bodies are different then men’s in terms of health and diet. I actually had the pleasure of working with Staness a couple of years ago when she first launched her bars, shakes and cookies, and reconnecting with her has me so excited. You know how passionate I am about surrounding myself with smart, motivated women like herself!!
In this interview, we talk about how she got started with her Eat Like a Woman book that then became a plant-based nutrition line, why it’s so important that women understand how their needs are unique, and how female bodies are generally neglected from scientific research. You know I love every single person I interview for this series, but this one in particular is the perfect intersection of what I like to talk about on this blog (aka health and wellness!) + female entrepreneurship. Keep reading to learn more about Staness and her incredible company!
Tell us a little bit about Eat Like a Woman! What made you decide to write the original Eat Like a Woman book and then branch out into the food space?
During a TV show pitch session as one of the executive producers for Oprah Winfrey’s first TV network, Oxygen Media, she personally asked me how I was making a difference. Health was always my passion and she knew there was something out there I should be doing. When Oprah speaks, you listen. I took a hiatus from television and wrote EAT LIKE A WOMAN after I discovered the FDA banned females from clinical research in 1977 until recently.
Women experience heart disease and stress differently than males, and burn carbs and fats differently, as well as metabolize nutrients at a slower rate. This information inspired me to create a company that manufactures plant-based bars, cookies and shakes designed specially to support a women’s health.
I truly love that you’re educating women on how their bodies are different from men’s bodies! That’s not something discussed often. Can you give us a quick summary of what women should be paying attention to in terms of their unique health?
Women have very unique life stages (pregnancy/lactation, reproductive years, menopause and beyond) that require specific nutritional support. Our Life Stage Shakes® honor these requirements, so we can achieve optimal health at each life stage. We all have a healthy weight, we are all different – focus on health, not size! We are born with BILLIONS more fat cells than males. How we perceive fat in our society does not embrace health for a woman.
Of course, staying at your healthy weight is important – too much fat isn’t good either, but those curves are there for a reason. Carbs are not bad! In fact, a female’s neurotransmitter health benefits from a balance between protein and carbs. High protein diets are not the best fit for females. You may drop some weight quickly, but one can get cranky and those pounds will return when the carbs do. The Mediterranean’s figured it out…lean proteins, lots of veggies, grains, olive oil, and some RED WINE!
What’s your favorite part of owning & running Eat Like a Woman?
Discovering new science that included females so we can apply it to our daily life is one of my favorite Eat Like a Woman duties, and creating food products that harness this info so we can achieve optimal health as a woman! Every day I am spreading the word that differences matter, so the new science can help each of us. Medical text books still do not have this new research, so I am committed to sharing it with women so they can demand that future research include women.
And what’s your least favorite part?
There are a million details to launching a food business – operations, financing, legal, managing three warehouses, three co-packers where we manufacture our bars, cookies and shakes, a law firm to protect our intellectual property and ensure we follow all of the FDA regulations, raising money so the company grows so we can met our costumers demands, and seeking out new distribution channels. Until recently I personally handled all of these activities, now we have an amazing team that has joined the ELAW family!
If you had to pick one piece of advice to give to others pursuing their passions, what would it be?
Ask yourself “what do I do every day that I love?” For me, I love to KNOW things. Researching and writing is like breathing…I have no choice. When I was 6 years old, I found my Mom’s nursing/medical text book and studied every word. Local kids would come over when they were sick and ask me what was wrong with them—so I started diagnosing my friends. It made perfect sense to write books and launch a disruptive business that can change how we think about nutrition.
Ask yourself: What do YOU do for free daily, because you love it? When you can answer that question you have found your purpose in life – how YOU will make a difference. The exact question Oprah asked me years ago.
How do you prioritize time for yourself when you’re super busy with your business? Do you have any de-stressing techniques or self-care routines you can share?
I must confess, launching a start-up is super time consuming. I need to work on making time for myself and finding balance. The answer – we must all make time for ourselves, me too. De-stressing and self-care is a work in progress for me. That said, I think ALL women have the same struggle.
What are you excited for in the new year? Are you making any resolutions/goals?
We are officially launching Eat Like a Woman nationally next year. I can’t wait to get out there and share powerful information, and yummy plant-based snacks, that can help women achieve their optimal health. Women have a very different eating journey than men…from body image, to nourishing different life stages, to media pressure to look a certain way…it is time we embrace our differences. We are ALL EQUAL, but our differences make each of us uniquely beautiful.
Alright y’all, thanks for reading!! Hope you have a fantastic weekend and if you’re in the northeast or anywhere that got snow yesterday/today, stay warm!