Lains & Co.- Smoothie Bar and Healthy Snacks

Hailing from America's East Coast, Alaina joins a bevy of health enthusiasts at Bodhi & Ride, a boutique and ultra progressive wellness studio in Port Melbourne. As the Head Ride Instructor and representative for vegan protein PranaON, Alaina passionately engages people to choose health-promoting activities and nourishing food to fuel the body. Alaina acknowledges the importance of coupling nutrition with exercise, and founded Lains & Co., a wholefood smoothie and raw snack bar located within Bodhi & Ride to complement the practice. 

Lains & Co. is a new smoothie bar located in Port Melbourne. 
Alaina, a vegan plant-based athlete is the epitome of a person living healthily and meaningfully- looking after her health, mind-body-and-soul and making her dream of a smoothie company a reality. Here, she shares with us her health journey, her inspiration and the joys of finding her calling.

Q and A with Alaina, founder of Lains & Co. 
Take us to the beginning and how it all happened.
I have always been quite active; I was a competitive swimmer growing up, so from a very early age, I’ve had been quite active and into sports. My life however changed five and a half years ago when I turned my diet into a whole foods and plant based (vegan) one. I was living in Vietnam at the time, and a girlfriend of mine asked me to try a strictly plant based diet for 3 weeks to see if it would help clear her skin up. I was pretty adamant about trying it out, as I was a pretty heavy meat eater at the time. She somehow coaxed me into it, though! 
Bliss Balls: All Vegan, Raw with Gluten-free options.

I’m not going to lie, I really struggled the first week. During the second week, however, I felt my body going through a transformation- I didn’t really know what was going on to be honest. By the third week, I felt truly amazing – it was as if I was a completely different person. I knew then that I would never turn back to my previous diet. And here I am, 5.5 years later, still going strong!

What did you observe, after going plant-based?
So many things! For instance, I had so much energy- I would literally jump out of bed every morning. I noticed my skin cleared up dramatically, I lost quite a few kilo’s, my hair grew faster, and even my nails were stronger. I could think more clearly and felt happier than I ever had! It’s incredible that these changes happened in only a month’s time. I’ve honestly never questioned going back. I can go on and on about the amazing process that I underwent when I became plant-based, but to truly understand the transformation, you have to experience yourself and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone! 

Lains & Co. Smoothies: Acai of Relief, Sayonara Summer and Greena Colada. Vegan, Raw, and Gluten-Free. 
Where do you find inspiration for a healthy lifestyle?
A lot of my inspiration comes from fellow plant-based advocates. For instance, my food-bible is The China Study by Dr T. Campbell. Other documentaries I swear by are Forks Over Knives, Food Matters, Cowspiracy, Hungry for Change, and Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.
At a more personal level, my foodie inspiration here in Melbourne is Lucy Stegley (aka Smoothie Girl), who runs RawEvents Australia. I worked with Lucy at the RMIT RealFoods Café when I initially moved to Melbourne, and she introduced me to the vegan community here in Melbourne. Also, huge inspiration for my healthy lifestyle is  my personal trainer, Jeremy Evans, from Make the Leap Fitness. Jeremy has provided me with invaluable information and advice on how to train as a plant-based athlete and has helped me become a stronger person, both mentally and physically.  

How has all of that shaped Lains & Co.?
My partner Aaron (the “Co.”) and I have always wanted to open up our own small business. With my passion for clean eating and promoting a healthy lifestyle, it only felt natural to open up a health foods and smoothie bar. When the opportunity arose to open up a “Refuel Station” inside of Bodhi & Ride, we had to jump at the opportunity.  Bodhi & Ride is a 360 degree wellness studio, offering Ride, Yoga, and Meditation classes in Port Melbourne. I believe that Lains & Co. fits in beautifully with the studio, as it provides healthy foods to nourish your body either pre-or post workout. We’ve designed all of our smoothies, breakfast + smoothie bowls, and protein balls to perfectly compliment your workout at Bodhi & Ride, featuring PranaON plant based protein, an Australian-based company, in most of our products. 

The Greena Colada: a blend of banana, mango, pineaple, spinach, coconut water, PranaON coconut and mint plant-based protein. Raw, Vegan, Gluten-free. Refreshing and filling. 
What is it about smoothies that you love?
Everything! I love smoothies! I really love smoothies! I love that they are so delicious yet so easy to make. For a lot of people (myself included), it can be hard to consume the daily recommendation of fruits and vegetables into your diet. But by blending a couple servings of each into a smoothie, you can easily meet these recommendations and fuel your body, in the best way possible. I mean, when was the last time you sat down and ate 2 cups of raw spinach on its own? Probably never, right? Well, Green smoothies can make eating 2 cups of leafy greens a breeze. I love being able to show people who come into Lains & Co. that healthy eating can be fun, delicious, and nutritious all at the same time! 

Peanut Butter Than the Rest.
Wildly popular because who doesn't love PB and cacao nibs?? 
For people who are new to clean eating, what would you recommend they start with? 
Obviously, I am going to say smoothies! You could have guessed that one, right?  Smoothies are a quick, fast, and easy way to nourish your body with the nutrients and vitamins that it needs. They are easy to make, hassle free, and you can make one to take on-the-go, so they are super convenient if you are busy and don’t have a lot of time to prep.  

What is trending in your pantry right now?
Saurkraut. I know, totally random, right? Well, I eat it with everything- breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Saurkraut is packed with heaps of probiotics which is so great for your gut health. My personal trainer Jeremy got me onto Saurkraut when I started training with him, and I have become addicted ever since.

I also love Mingle Seasonings! The girls who run the brand are so lovely and come to my Ride Class on a weekly basis. Mingle Seasonings come in all different types of flavours, mixing herbs and spices together that really enhance any kind of meal you’re making. I sprinkle them on everything and anything. They are especially delicious with grilled veggies- my favourite. 

Favorite meal of the day?
Hands down, it’s breakfast. The first thing I do when I wake up is to have warm water with fresh lemon slices- I find that it really wakes my body up and soothes my stomach. Then I top that off with a big green smoothie- loaded with heaps of spinach, PranaON protein powder, and seasonal fruits. Once I’ve had that, I’m ready to kick start my day. 

Hola Granola! Granola, coconut yogurt, superfoods and fresh seasonal fruits. Vegan. 
What's coming up for Lains & Co.? 
At the moment, we have been focusing on keeping the Bodhi & Ride customers happy, by providing them with delicious smoothies pre- or post workout. We have also been reaching out to local businesses and the locals of Port Melbourne to spread awareness of our new smoothie shop. Everyone has been so receptive and welcoming so far. We have also started catering for events and doing smoothie deliveries to business around the area. I’d love to get involved in more community events, and perhaps run a few pop-up- smoothie events around town. Perhaps even have a Lains & Co. “Smoothie ‘Truck’ that would pop up at local markets or festivals- how fun would that be? Watch this space! 

A good mantra to begin the day?
“Remember why you started, Remember why you are doing this.”

So Matcha Goodness featuring Melbourne's own Matcha Maiden.
Sometimes, you just need a good pep-up talk, right?  I find this especially the case when it’s 4:30am and my alarm clock goes off to hit the gym or teach an early spin class. So I ask myself the simple question “Why am I doing this. What am I wanting to achieve?” I find that once I’m stating the answer to these questions, I’m already up and have one foot out the door.

I also love starting off each day listing a few things that I am grateful for. I keep a “gratitude” journal by my bedside table and each day jot down a few things that I’m grateful for. Life can get pretty hectic and stressful sometimes, so I find that taking a few moments out of each day to just breathe and practice gratitude is really helpful.  

That was Q and A with Alaina. Such a beautiful personality-Go visit her at Lains & Co.! 
Lains & Co. is located at 416-418 Bay Street, Port Melbourne, VIC
Like them on Facebook! Lains & Co.
On their new website, you can pre-order your smoothie drinks and snacks and will be ready upon pick up!