Self-care Series: Denise Woodard, founder of Partake Foods
At &Breathe, we're extremely passionate about our parental self-care mission. It's so important to make time for yourself in your parenting journey - self-care isn't selfish! After all if you're not at your best, how can you be at your best for those around you?
&B: How do you manage to balance work and life? Is it possible?!
DW: I like to call it work/life integration - there're definitely days where I am not as present of a mom/wife/friend as I'd like to be because work is crazy, but I also make it a point to start work a little late some days to take Vivienne to school or have a date with her in the park in the afternoon. I think it's all about realizing all of these pieces of my life - self care, work, my role as a mom and wife - are super important to me and fitting them in, although the "balance" looks very different, depending on what day of the week it is.
Career vs Kids
&B: How has your mission with Partake been a factor in keeping your professional life on track? Tell us what inspired you, and what you would have been doing otherwise.
DW: My 3 year old daughter, Vivienne, has multiple food allergies (eggs, tree nuts, corn, and bananas), and I was frustrated with the lack of meal and snack options that existed. When I found something she could eat, it wasn't great from a nutritional or taste perspective, and that's not what I wanted for her - or the 15M other people in the US who suffer from life-threatening food allergies. Prior to Partake, I worked in Coca-Cola's Venturing & Emerging Brands division, on brands like ZICO coconut water and Honest Tea and truly enjoyed it, so if I wasn't working on Partake, I'd probably be working with a mission-driven early stage food and beverage company. Having a mission that I am so personally passionate about is definitely what keeps me going on the hard days (which is just about every day!) - I think it would be nearly impossible to do this if I wasn't so passionate about our mission to make safe, healthy, delicious snacks that (nearly) everyone can enjoy.
&B: What do you hope to teach/pass on to your child(ren) by the way you live your life/mission?
DW: The learnings that I hope I'm teaching Vivienne by the way I live/run my business are to be kind, work hard, and have fun!
on keeping fit
&B: How do you like to keep fit and active?
DW: I'm still working on this! My favorite workouts are running, pilates, and spinning, but admittedly, I haven't been great about taking the time for my own health and fitness since starting Partake. I definitely get a work out in by moving cookie boxes around :) but for my mental and physical health, I've started making calendar appointments for my workouts - I'd never miss a scheduled call or meeting, so I'm hoping this will help me stick to my workouts.
on eating healthily
&B: What's your best foodhack secret to eating healthily?
DW: I'm definitely a believer in everything in moderation! To make sure that my family and I are eating healthy, I think planning/meal-prepping is my biggest hack. On Sunday, I like to make pans of roasted veggies, a lean protein, and brown rice or quinoa, so we have healthy/ready made options through the week.
&B: What's your favourite thing to do to relax?
DW: Recharging near the ocean is my favorite thing to do to relax, but on a daily basis, putting my phone away and hanging out with my daughter is my favorite way to relax.
#1 Selfcare Tip
&B: What's your number one self-care tip for mums or dads?
DW: Make time for it! You're a better parent/friend/partner when you're taking care of yourself, so whatever it is you need - meditation, exercise, a nap - make the time for it because you'll be better for it, and so will your relationships!
Denise has offered &Breathe fans 15% off site-wide with Partake, just enter the code BREATHE at checkout. Check out the collection HERE.