5min readBusiness 06 February 2019
As a self-proclaimed “ingredient junkie," Robin Shobin is exactly the woman you'd want to rely on for wellness products that work.
After fourteen years at J.P Morgan, the ambitious Cornell graduate decided to leave finance to carve her own path in the wellness world, founding Charlotte's Book. Charlotte's Book is a website chock-full of not just wellness brands, but also of sage advice. Experts in the field, such as doctors, nutritionists, aestheticians, and celebrity trainers have contributed to the site, either by writing content or by ensuring the efficacy of whichever products are promoted. The idea sprung from her own struggles finding the time to properly research wellness and beauty products prior to purchasing them. Now busy women can efficiently read up on worthwhile products through Shobin's user-friendly site.
“At Charlotte's Book I really try to always maintain our unique voice. Because the internet is so crowded with content, your point of view is all you have."
Beyond informative, expert content, Charlotte's Book has an enriching POV section. Well-known beauty guru, Bobbi Brown wrote one of Shobin's favorite pieces, called “Musings of a Curious Mind," in which she writes notes to her younger self. “This is the content I am most proud of," Shobin says, continuing to mention a second standout article written by April Gargiulo, founder of Vitner's Daughter, known for their famous Active Botanical Serum. These articles touch upon life lessons and aging, the topics that don't fit the wholly-factual bill, but are just as important to readers for their wisdom and relatability.
Shobin began caring about fitness and leading a healthy life when in her late twenties. “I realized that it's not so much about being thin, but more about feeling good," Shobin says. “And I realized that when you are working out and putting good things in your body, you just feel better. It's that simple." While Charlotte's Book does offer a plethora of options for high-quality, effective products, those products are not Shobin's own, which leads to her second great post-baking endeavor: HALO Sport, a groundbreaking energy drink, surpassing several brands in electrolyte density.
“I was always searching for something other than water that would help replenish and refuel the body after an intense workout," Shobin says. “A smoothie in theory sounds healthy. It's filled with antioxidants and is a delicious treat to drink after a workout, yet it's also filled with sugar."
Shobin then got the itch to formulate what she'd been missing.
With a team of advisors ranging from esteemed doctors to dieticians, Shobin co-founded HALO Sport. It is not your average energy drink laden with either artificial flavoring or other adverse additives, it is a 10 calorie super drink with more than 70 minerals naturally sourced from the Great Salt Lake of Utah.
It comes in three USDA certified organic flavors, lemon, lime, and pink grapefruit, each with a base of reverse osmosis water and lemon juice. Skeptics, let it be known that Shobin does not just sell her product, she uses it. As an active person dedicated to exercising at least 4 or 5 times a week, Shobin grabs HALO as her hydrating boost after yoga or strength training.
“Being able to see what is on the forefront of wellness is incredibly exciting. I don't regret my time at J.P. Morgan one bit, but the change of scenery from oil wells to the latest supplements is a welcome one."
What is HALO's secret ingredient? The amla berry, also known as the Indian gooseberry. Amla berries are rich with heart-healthy antioxidants and were utilized in ancient Indian Ayurvedic rituals. t's time for the ever-popular goji berries to step aside, and for HALO's amla berries to take over.
One of the most rewarding parts of entering the wellness space for Shobin was the opportunity to connect with countless determined businesswomen. “In finance I worked primarily with men," Shobin admits. “So I feel very honored to get the chance to meet with so many amazing women doing inspiring things. I know that sounds corny, but to be honest it's true."
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With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.
When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.
Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan
Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.
Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.
The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.
Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits
The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.
With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.
Tip 3: Start slow and strong
If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.
Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.
Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize
In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.
When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.
Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness
From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.
Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.
Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.
A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.
Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition
In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.
If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health
While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.
For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.
While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.