Maya French is the co-founder of Koia, an innovative line of plant-based, protein-rich drinks. Maya set out to start her company after years of dealing with food allergies left her settling for disappointing products. Determined to make a clean, plant-based protein drink, she and her co-founder tried recipe after recipe until a delicious, non-GMO and amino-acid filled beverage was born. Now, Maya is a Forbes’ 30 Under 30 member, as well as Adidas ambassador. We caught up with this founder to see how she makes self-care a part of her busy schedule. She answers our questions below.

What are some bad habits you’ve cut from your daily routine?

  • I’ve dramatically reduced my sugar intake. Koia helps me supplement my cravings because it tastes sweet but has only 4g of sugar. I try to keep a max of 40g of sugar per day.
  • Another bad habit I’ve cut is unconscious eating. I used to eat when I was bored and not really hungry. Now, if I feel the need, I drink a tall glass of water.
  • One last habit is reducing my coffee intake. Instead of slamming 2-3 cups a day and then crashing, I drink one Cold Brew Koia in the morning. If I need an extra boost throughout the day, I typically will make an adaptogen latte or matcha with low caffeine. I’m all about healthy alternatives that can give me sustained energy.

Good habits you’ve added? 

  • As soon as I’m finished showering, I find an excuse to get a breath of fresh air. Walking around the block helps stimulate my mind.
  • I enjoy a Koia in the morning and my first major meal around 12pm I try not to eat past 8pm, unless it’s a late dinner with friends on the weekend. My diet is flexitarian, so mostly plant-based with chicken or fish here and there. I actually LOVE the taste of vegan food.
  • I typically work out 3x a week. I like to mix up my workouts, so they can range anywhere from boxing (1:1 or Rumble class), hiking, trail running or lifting.
  • I’ve created a daily bedtime routine to help me wind down and ensure I get a full night’s rest. First, I shut off my phone an hour before I go to bed and make myself a relaxing latte to help put me in sleep mode. Finally, I do some stretching to get out all of the kinks from a long day.

How do you take care of yourself throughout the day?

I make sure to incorporate movement into my schedule daily. Whether that’s walking around the block to clear my head, standing at my desk instead of sitting, or just taking the stairs when possible. No one realizes the amount of stress and build-up that happens with your body due to sitting at a desk all day. I like to incentivize myself by counting my steps. Nothing beats the satisfaction of small wins.

Are there any activities or hobbies you do to de-stress?

I always keep either CBD or Ashwagandha on hand to relieve immediate stress. When I want to relax, I love to turn on inspirational tunes and jam out to them to force myself into a positive mood or journal and get any anxious thoughts on paper.

Another thing I do to escape the noise is to go on a solo hike on a back trail where there isn’t a lot of traffic. The silence, clean air, and beautiful views help me to de-stress and stimulate creativity.

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Sleep is my best friend and the best way to recharge, which is why I try to fit in eight hours a day or at the very least, six hours. I notice a dramatic change in my brain function and overall health when I don’t get enough sleep.

Do you have a favorite wellness trend? 

Coffee alternatives. I like to try different coffee alternatives in the morning before I have a meal to help kickstart my brain and give me an energy boost. On any given day, this ranges from matcha to a coffee-less adaptogen latte.

What is your favorite healthy food?

Of course, Koia is my favorite healthy food. I have one in the morning to avoid starting the day off with a heavy meal that might bog me down. 

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