Self-care Series: Denise Woodard

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?

Denise Woodard is the Founder of Partake, super delicious cookies (believe us, they’re amazing) that are also gluten-free, vegan and allergy friendly - what more can you ask? Find out more about Partake.

Credit: Denise Woodard

Credit: Denise Woodard


Work/Life Balance

&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. 

life lessons

&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!  

Credit: Denise Woodard

Credit: Denise Woodard

Be kind, work hard and have fun!
— On life lessons for your kids



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. 



on relaxing

&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. 

You’re a better parent/friend/partner when you’re taking care of yourself.
— On her best selfcare tip for parents


#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.

&Breathe Postnatal is a family wellbeing company focusing on self-care for new parents. Join one of our postnatal and family fitness retreats in FranceMoroccothe USA or the UK.