Recently, we had the opportunity to interview the creator of Eat Like A Woman, Staness Jonekos. We discussed many business components, including how she decided on the brand name, her journey in gender-based nutrition, and her career inspirations.
What Is Eat Like A Woman?
Nutritional Lifestyle Brand, Eat Like a Woman® launches plant-based foods exclusively focused on the health needs of women. With a vision to bring awareness to women’s unique health and nutritional needs, Eat Like a Woman® introduces healthy, plant-based options inspired by the latest research in women’s health.
What Made You Decide On That Brand Name?
The name Eat Like a Woman was coined by a client while I was coaching her on nutritional habits. I visited this client’s home for one meal to discuss her eating patterns and health concerns. After noticing that she and her husband ate the same size portions because he preferred to cook and served her the same amount, I asked the husband, “what is your weight?”
He said, “185 lbs.”
I asked my client the same question, and she replied, “185 lbs.”
But he was 6’ tall, and she was 5’5” tall. She exclaimed, “You taught me how to Eat Like a Woman!” The book and company name have remained the same since 2014.
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) is a nonprofit organization that helps communities protect the environment and public health through law. Does your brand name purposely correspond with this mission?
Eat Like a Woman is not associated with the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide, and “ELAW” is merely an abbreviated version of Eat Like a Woman. We support nonprofits committed to the environment and public health, especially through law!
You have long advocated for women's health, wellness, and empowerment. What made you move from the film industry to spread your word?
I can thank my former boss, Oprah Winfrey, who I worked for when launching Oxygen Media, her first network. I constantly discussed women’s health, new science, and helping others achieve good health. One day at a producer’s meeting in Los Angeles, Oprah turned to me and said, “You have a calling in women’s health.” After producing several health shows, I slammed into a terrible menopause; the rest is history.
I left television to manage my health because I could not find the care I needed in the medical profession. Menopause is a challenging transition since we are all different and have different lifestyle preferences that can affect treatment choices. I surrounded myself with leaders in the menopause field, teamed up with Dr. Wendy Klein, a leader in women’s health, and wrote my first published book, “The Menopause Makeover.”
When I discovered that females had been barred from clinical research in 1977 by the FDA while researching hormone therapy studies, I found that males had been used to study menopause hormone therapy. Horrified by this reality, I wrote my second book with Dr. Marjorie Jenkins (a leader in gender-specific science), “Eat Like a Woman,” embracing new research that included females and how to apply that science to one’s lifestyle.
Did anything or anyone inspire your idea for ELAW?
Dr. Wendy Klein and Dr. Marjorie Jenkins are mentors embracing my passion for sharing new science with those not in the medical profession. I am building a bridge between science and women everywhere and carrying the torch for the daughters of the future so they can benefit from equality in health research.
Has your brand or products changed since you first conceptualized ELAW?
Our nutrition bars were created to promote the book for a national tour. There was a HUGE demand for the bars, from retail stores to women everywhere, so I launched Eat Like a Woman, the food & beverage company, to meet this demand.
It started with the bars, then grew to the Life Stage Shakes since women have very different stages in life, to our Happy Cookie (being released soon) after I discovered females did not synthesize tryptophan as efficiently as males. Our cookie is made with tryptophan-rich ingredients.
What influenced those changes?
When I discovered new science that included women, I applied that sex difference with nutritional science. With many recent studies including females, I enjoy the endless possibilities of yummy snacks for women embracing these differences.
How would you describe the primary goal of Eat Like A Woman?
Eat Like a Woman’s primary goal is to bring awareness that differences matter regarding your health! We promote continued research that includes females and separates the results by sex. Averaging results, common during studies, does not serve males or females. And our equally important goal is to provide clean, gluten-free and dairy-free products with no eggs, no soy, no sugar alcohols and plant-based to support a woman’s journey to optimal health.
How does it contribute to the health and well-being of women?
Good nutrition is excellent for both sexes, but females have very different health needs from men. Maximizing new science with precision nutrition and customizing products focusing on gender makes sense! There is a gaping hole in women’s nutrition, and everyone assumes women and men are the same, except for reproductive health. Still, we are very different in how we metabolize nutrients to how we experience stress. It is time for equality in women’s health!
How does women's empowerment relate to your company?
Women have not only physical differences but also different life experiences, culturally and personally, from family to careers. Arming women with information to support their journey is my passion. I am a strong supporter of female-owned businesses. It is challenging entering a world where less than 4% of women receive business investments to grow their companies. As women, we must support each other to overcome existing disadvantages.
Describe some of your biggest challenges and successes.
It is hard enough to launch a business, but establishing a company focusing on women’s health in a medical world traditionally geared towards males…is an upstream journey. Battling the business world of finance/raising funds to run the company AND stimulate change in the medical community is an enormous task. Victories are few, but those who have joined our magic carpet ride of change are growing, and eventually, I know we will be heard, and our daughters and their daughters will receive equal health care.
We love plant-based and organic foods! What research or influence called your
attention to devote your company to being plant-based, gluten-free, and organic?
Eat Like a Woman products are plant-based because research shows that a woman’s health can benefit from a plant-based diet. There are many benefits for both sexes, from heart health to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Many go plant-based to stand against animal cruelty and exploitation to support a “greener” life. I am a “flexitarian,” focusing on a plant-based lifestyle. My position allows me to introduce new healthy living methods from a “neutral” place. Those not plant-based may consider new ways of eating, find a balance between personal preferences and health, and be receptive to new concepts.
What's on the horizon for ELAW?
We have a lot of exciting plans for Eat Like a Woman, including the launch of EAT LIKE A KID! They, too, require different nutritional considerations.
What would you advise those hoping to bring gender balance to the research field?
Incorporating sex-based research is a lot more work than studying just males. Females are much more sophisticated, with different life stages and monthly hormonal changes. Studies including and separating female results will require more steps and considerations in conducting the research. As more women enter the research world, we see more research that includes females.
For women everywhere, we can initiate change by:
- Participating in a clinical trial.
- Asking your healthcare provider if a prescribed medication, treatment, or nutritional suggestion has been studied using females.
- When we demand equal health care, we will see progress.
What advice do you have for women and men focused on staying balanced and healthy through nutrition and preventative care?
Unhealthy food choices surround our society. It is essential to have realistic expectations and know change can take time. A focus in overall health and reducing disease should:
- Keep unhealthy foods out of the house.
- Ensure healthy snacks are available.
- Have a game plan.
If you want a specific diet, plant-based or low-calorie, try a meal delivery company for a few weeks. It is a great way to shift habits. Also, keeping track of your meals and planning meals can help you stay on course.
This pandemic has been a significant source of stress for people of all backgrounds. What is your
recommendation for women to approach physical goals while balancing stressors and practicing self-
During this pandemic and stressful economic times, making healthy choices can be challenging. It is natural to reach for cookies or other unhealthy treats to relax. This is normal… these are stressful times!
- Being aware is the first step so that you can manage your choices.
- Getting exercise from a daily walk or online class can help alleviate stress and keep you away from the cookie jar.
- Turn off the news! Take a break, read a book, and listen to music.
- Stop, close your eyes, and take deep breaths to unwind, listen to meditation online, or pray.
- Keep some raw veggies in the house and enjoy some celery and peanut butter or other raw veggies of your choice. Nuts are fulfilling snacks and healthy!
- Remember, eating high-carb high-sugar foods suppresses your immunity, and we must focus on strengthening our immune system during this pandemic! Healthy natural foods like veggies, fruits, and nuts can fuel a healthy immune system.
Here at Assuaged, we encourage the plant-based lifestyle for the well-being and the health of our readers and the environment. If you have any questions about making a dietary transition, feel free to contact us! We love supporting the growth and wellness of others.