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.
3 Min Read
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.