Health 31 August 2018
Motherhood is as beautiful and precious as the earth itself, but it is also incredibly taxing. New moms lose countless hours of sleep caring for their babies; they put themselves last. Majka is a nutrition brand that recognizes that the selflessness of many mothers can be detrimental to their overall well-being. With all-natural, vegan bites and protein powders that aid optimal lactation and proper nutrition for both a mother and their child, Majka promotes a wholesome motherhood—and does it deliciously.
“Our society needs to understand and get behind the fact that the better the mom feels, the better care she will be able to provide for her child."
Founders, Majo Mansour and Lorena Garcia, started Majka to combat what they found to be an unfortunate paucity of postnatal resources, much of the market hyper-focused on stocking their shelves with products to support the pregnancy stage, rather than the journey that follows. Mansour and Garcia can attest to the difficulties of that journey, both new moms themselves. “After becoming moms, we quickly realized that motherhood was much more challenging than expected," they admit. “We went back to work shortly after having our children, and with work and the pressures of new motherhood, we quickly saw our health and energy decline. It's really hard to make the right food choices when you are focused on learning how to be a mom."
Founders Majo Mansour and Lorena Garcia. "The better the mom feels, the better care she will be able to provide for her child"
As pioneers of the #fuelingmotherhood movement, Mansour and Garcia believe that how you feel is a reflection of what you put into your body. Thus it is crucial that mothers eat well in order to feel healthy and strong enough to care for their babies. Not finding the right fuel in grocery stores and sick of scrutinizing every product label for clean ingredients, Mansour and Garcia took matters into their own capable hands. This past April, just two years after deciding to fill the gap in the motherhood market, they launched their products, bites and protein powder just the beginning of their mission: “love yourself, love motherhood."
Majka is self-funded by Mansour and Garcia, who teamed up with a group of professional nutritionists to ensure their products would truly benefit mothers and their babies. “We understand nutritional challenges we all face as new moms and we help address them with our products," Mansour and Garcia explain. “Our Nourishing Lactation Protein Powder is not just an amazing source of nourishment, but it's also anti-inflammatory, energizing, alkalizing, and hormone balancing. It is perfect to help new moms restore and replenish their bodies." Their protein powder can simply be blended with milk (coconut, oat, almond, etc.) or another liquid, and can also be added as a bonus to baked goods or smoothies. Healthy can be tasty, even though some are reluctant to stand by such a claim.
Moms get hungry too, craving more than a protein drink, especially when they're expending a gargantuan amount of energy doting on their little one(s). With four per pack, Majka's Lactation Bites are a healthy on-the-go snack—and when are moms ever not on the go? The key ingredients in each bite that you've probably heard of are turmeric, coconut, chia seeds, oats, flaxseed, and black sesame seeds. The key ingredients that might not ring any bells are fenugreek and glossostemon bruguieri, both specialized in lactation aid. Even moms who are not currently breastfeeding can incorporate their products into their everyday lives to reap the health benefits. The bites look like little, golden nuggets crafted by health food fairies. Who knows? Maybe Mansour and Garcia do have some motherly magic up their sleeves, their products able to work wonders for the mothers their brand is named for; yes, majka does indeed mean “mother."
“We really wanted our name to be a word that had a meaning related to motherhood and after a lot of research we discovered the word Majka. We both loved it! It means mother in Serbian."
Champions of bolstering support for new mothers and lending a voice to the various challenges they face, Mansour and Garcia say that they “want to help change how our society sees motherhood and make sure that it recognizes the 4th trimester as a critical stage that will profoundly impact the mom and baby for years to come."
Mansour and Garcia have had to learn to balance their own babies with their business baby, and that's not an easy feat. “It is a huge challenge to be able to accomplish both your role as a new mother and your role as a leader and entrepreneur," they say. “Normal day to day responsibilities do not stop when you become a mom. Some people sacrifice their career for motherhood, and we wanted to make sure we did not have to choose one or the other."
Lorena Garcia with Majka's Lactation Protein Powder
What's next for these supermoms? Exciting expansion. Mansour and Garcia revealed, with much zeal, that Majka has a few new products coming out later this year, so moms-to-be or those who've just joining the motherhood scene should all be on the lookout.
5 Min Read
Elizabeth Warren majorly called out "arrogant billionaire" Michael Bloomberg for his history of silencing women through NDAs and closed-door settlement negotiations. Sound familiar? Probably because we already have a president like that. At this point, Bloomberg may just spend the remainder of his (hopefully) ill-fated presidential campaign roasting on a spit over a fire sparked by the righteous anger of women. A lesser punishment than he deserves, if you ask me.
At last night's Democratic debate, Michael Bloomberg could barely stammer out an answer to a question on whether or not he would release any of his former accusers from their nondisclosure agreements. His unsatisfactory response was basically a halting list of what he has done for certain nondescript women in his time at City Hall and within his own company.
But that certainly wasn't enough for Elizabeth Warren, nor should it be, who perfectly rephrased his defense as, "I've been nice to some women." Michael Bloomberg is basically that weird, problematic Uncle that claims he can't be racist, "Because I have a Black friend." In a society where power is almost always in the hands of straight, white, cisgendered, men being "nice" to a lucky few is in no way a defense for benefiting from and building upon the systematic silencing of all marginalized communities, let alone women. Stop and frisk, anybody?
Here is a brief clip of the Warren v. Bloomberg exchange, which I highly recommend. It is absolutely (and hilariously) savage.
But let's talk about the deeper issues at hand here (other than Warren being an eloquent badass).
Michael Bloomberg has been sued multiple times, yet each time he was able to snake his way out of the problem with the help of his greatest and only superpower: cold, hard cash. Each time these allegations have come up, in Warren's words, he throws "a chunk of money at the table" and "forces the woman to wear a muzzle for the rest of her life."
As reported by Claire Lampen of The Cut, here are just a few of his prior indiscretions.
- Pregnancy discrimination—Bloomberg reportedly told a former employee of his to "kill it," in reference to her developing fetus.
- Sexual harassment—You could literally write a book on this subject (someone did), but for the sake of brevity...
"I'd like to do that piece of meat" - Michael Bloomberg in reference to various women at his company.
- Undermining #MeToo—Not only did he defend the accused, but he went on the disparage accusers every step of the way.
- Defaming transgender people—Though he claims to support trans rights, he has also been qupted multiple times as referring to trans women as "some guy wearing a dress."
Yeah... That's not a winning formula for me, Mike.
Furthermore, Warren points out the simple fact that if, as Bloomberg claims, these instances were simply big misunderstandings (He was just joking around!) then why go to all the trouble to cover them up? Does Michael Bloomberg think women can't take a joke? Or can we only surmise that the truth of these events are far darker and dirtier than we could even imagine?
Certain commentators have called Elizabeth Warren's debate presence "agressive," especially in regards to this instance but also continually throughout her entire campaign. If asking poignant questions to known abusers who are seeking to further their own political power is considered "aggressive," then I am here for it. Bring on the aggressive women, please and thank you.
Calling a woman aggressive for being confidant and direct is a gendered complaint. You don't see anyone whining that Bernie is "aggressive" when he goes off on a screaming tangent. Also, have you seen our president? He's basically the poster boy for political temper tantrums. But still, it's Warren that is deemed "aggressive," for honing in on the exact issues that need to be considered in this upcoming election.
This type of derisory label is another aspect of how our society silences women—much like Bloomberg and his NDAs. Because "silencing" is more than just putting a "muzzle" on someone. It's refusing to listen to a person's cries for help. It's disregarding what a woman has to say, because she's too "aggressive." It's taking away someone's power by refusing to truly hear their side of the story. Because if you aren't listening, responding, or even just respecting someone's words, they may well have said nothing at all.
"Silence is the ocean of the unsaid, the unspeakable, the repressed, the erased, the unheard." - Renecca Solnit
Nondiscolusure agreements are a legal gag for people who have experienced harassment and abuse at the hands of those above them.
Gretchen Carlson, possibly the most famous person subject to an NDA, is one of these people. Her story is so well-known that it has even been immortalized on film, in 2019's Bombshell. Yet she is still forced to maintain her silence. She cannot tell her side of the story even when Hollywood can. She was cajoled into her current position after facing harassment in her workplace. She didn't have the power then to do more than accept her fate. And now, she doesn't have the power to tell her story.
She was, and still is being, silenced.
After her experiences, Carlson was moved to fight for all women to have the power over their truths. In a recent op-ed for the New York Times she declared: "I want my voice back. I want it back for me, and for all those silenced by forced arbitration and NDAs."
Carlson may still be tied to her NDA, but there are those who go a different route. Celeste Headlee, who wrote an op-ed on SWAAY about her experience, chose to break her nondisclosure agreement. Though doing so undoubtedly opened her up to numerous legal ramifications, she knew that she could no longer "sign away [her] right to justice."
Because that is what an NDA is all about, signing away a person's right to justice. Their story is their justice. Their NDA is a lock and key. Headlee may have broken through that lock, but she must face the consequences.
Neither Carlson nor Headlee are any less brave for how they have handled their journeys. They are both actively working to shift the cultural and political norms that led them here, and their work will, with hope and time, lead to real change. But they are just two drops in an ocean of women who are held hostage by their nondisclosure agreements, by men like Michael Bloomberg, and by a society that would rather silence them than let truth and justice be had.