We caught up with Nadja Pinnavaia CEO and Founder of Plantable to talk about how the way we eat greatly affects our sleep patterns and how she aims to help empower people and put them back in control of their bodies.
What was your mission when starting Plantable?
My mission then is the same as it is now: To prevent and reverse chronic illness and disease by changing the way the world eats. Plantable was created as an educational platform and a plant-based program to support, facilitate and empower people to safeguard their health and transform their well-being easily, sustainably and enjoyably!
How has a plant-based diet affected you/your energy levels?
When I shifted my own diet to be more plant-based, I felt better. I slept better. I had more energy. No more afternoon crashes and I managed to shave a good 30 seconds / mile off my marathon time, despite being years older.
What was the hardest thing about launching a business, scaling and growing?
There was a massive learning curve at the beginning. Our chefs are amazing so the actual meal preparation was not an issue. It was more the operations and the fulfillment. Figuring out how best to use technology to scale processes without taking anything away from the customer experience. (Fortunately) we went from me driving a huge Sprinter truck around Brooklyn and Manhattan to shipping nationwide.
What is the last thing you do before bed and the first thing you do when you wake up?
After putting my kids to bed, I shower, make myself a cup of chamomile tea, grab my water bottle and hop into my bed, with my Brooklinen sheets! I find listening to a podcast or audio book helps me unwind and fall asleep. I’ve really got into the science of sleeping recently (nice linens help) and I’m listening to Dr. Matthew Walker’s “Why Sleep Matters” - it’s fascinating. And despite Dr. Walker’s best advice, when I wake up I head upstairs to my Nespresso machine for my first espresso of the day, with a dash of oat milk.
How does a balanced meal and sleep affect you and how do those go hand and hand for you?
As I mentioned, I have really gotten into the science of sleeping. I bought an Oura ring recently for my husband (and so then felt compelled to buy one for me, too) which tells you how much sleep you are getting and what type of sleep it is. It’s amazingly detailed and you can graphically see how lifestyle impacts sleep. If I drink more than 1 glass of wine, my resting heart rate is anything from 5-10 beats per minute higher than normal. I tend to eat on the early side and eat balanced meals so I haven’t experienced how a heavy meal impacts sleep. But eating early, and having a balanced meal with slow-releasing complex carbohydrates, sources of high-in-fiber plant-based protein along with good for you fat, gives us a steady stream of energy without the spike and the crash - which fuels a good night’s sleep. And if we sleep well, then we are less likely to be cranky and stressed the next day, and more likely to continue to eat well and be more likely to work out - all of which are the foundation to a healthy lifestyle.
What do you hope people gain from using Plantable?
After Plantable’s 28-day program, people feel amazing. They have transformed their health (literally - we have collected blood work and seen the impact on blood markers, showing a reduction in inflammation, cholesterol, and blood sugar) and they typically lose a significant number of stubborn pounds. More than this, habits are reset. We put people back in control. They have learned so much and because they feel so good, they want to carry on eating in this plant-heavy way. My hope is that eating well and feeling good becomes easy and a new way of life, after Plantable.
What Brooklinen product are you most excited to wind down with after a long day?
I LOVE Brooklinen! Call me a traditionalist, but I love my Brooklinen Classic Percale sheets. They are crisp and cool and scream “come to bed!”. I am also a huge fan of super soft bathrobes and I’ve got my eye on your super-plush one!