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OUR DAILY JOURNAL | #naturallyonira

Onira Talks: The power couple series
1: Coupe & Laceinne

August 5th, 2017

In the first of the series, we speak with plant-based vegans and fitness aficionados Coupe and Laceinne.

Dwayne Cooper (Coupe), & Laceinne Zambrano, first caught each other’s eye on Instagram back in 2015.

Coupe is a Personal Trainer, Dietary Advisor and plant based health activist. He is hugely passionate about education and inspiration, and has already made a name for himself as an authority on all things health and fitness related. He trains some of the best bods in the business (including Onira Founder, Jessica Lemarie-Pires) and is also the Co-Founder of Spartanfam; a community project that focuses around delivering free fitness sessions and support to young people in his local London community.

Laceinne, or @The.PinkCoconut as she is also known, is a US native who now resides in London. She has built up a hugely loyal Instagram following; sharing her daily workout inspiration, health and diet tips, and general insight into her plant-based vegan, fitness focused, lifestyle.
Laceinne is currently 6 ½ months pregnant with the couple’s first child, and is continuing with her plant-based diet and calisthenics training (a form of exercise based on gymnastic movements and full body control) throughout her pregnancy.

Here, Coupe and Laceinne share with us an insight into their life together so far, the conscious choices they have made in a bid to lead a better life for themselves and their unborn child, and their top tips for anyone wanting to learn more about making this transition themselves.

How and when did you meet?

July 2015 on Instagram. October 2015 in person.

Did you hit it off straight away?

Absolutely! From the very first time we spoke on the phone, we have spoken every single day!

Has sharing a similar lifestyle always been important to you in a partner?

As we’ve evolved it has become more important, but it wasn’t always. I used to think differences in partners helped to balance each other out in a relationship, but now being in a relationship where we have a lot more similarities and share the same views on lifestyle and beliefs, I feel like that’s a much better balance.

What about now that you’re starting a family – how do you think your lifestyle will affect your child’s upbringing/your approach to parenthood?

I think that it will impact our child in a very positive way. Because of our lifestyle and diet I believe that our child/children will grow up obtaining a lot more love and compassion for people, nature, and themselves.
We’re really excited because our children will not be tainted by improper food addictions and the lies we knew as truths when we grew up.
Of course for children, their parents are their role models so our lifestyle of fitness and health will strengthen their wellbeing and self-respect.

Onira Talks: The power couple series 1: Coupe & Laceinne

What do you think the biggest myth about living a plant-based lifestyle is?

That we are restricted in food options and that it’s a huge inconvenience!
I feel like the only reason I can eat so much now is because before, with me eating foods with additives and chemicals, I was addicted to certain foods and would never try anything new.
Now, I have broader options with much more to choose from rather than picking out the standard burger, fish, or chicken option with a side of rice or fries like I did it of habit before I became plant based.

Do you ever feel like you miss out on anything because of your plant-based diet?

Absolutely not!
But are there foods that I miss?
I feel like there’s been foods that I’ve missed throughout my transition, but I come closer to finding them in natural ingredients everyday as I learn, try, and experience.
Becoming Plant Based in this day is a lot easier than even 10 years ago, so people cater to it. There are so many restaurants and lots of options at the grocery store and Farmers Market.
Even though it seems to be more of a fad, it’s ok because it encourages people and they become more comfortable trying new things, which ultimately leads to better health.

Do you apply the same approach to your skincare and beauty routine that you do your food? What are some of your favourite products?

Yes, it is important to us that our cosmetics are as natural as possible, cruelty free, and vegan.
Our usage of beauty products has dwindled down over the years though because as our bodies detoxify and as we learn, we ultimately realize we don’t need to use products like deodorant or the standard fluoridated toothpaste.
We do use coconut oil for just about everything though- our teeth, our hair, and our skin.
Besides that we use Dr Bronner soap and a variety of oils including hemp oil, castor oil and essential oils for aromatherapy like lavender oil, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil.

What about your fitness routine – how important is routine and consistency to keeping fit and healthy? How often do you work out?

My life revolves around working out and training others so I try to do maintenance training while I’m working with those competent enough to train without my direct supervision.
Routine is the key to keeping fit and healthy, it must be part of your lifestyle. It should be part of everyone’s lifestyle! It should be more important than the unhealthy lifestyle that we’ve been taught to live-eating for taste, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes, and living a sedentary lifestyle, all which ultimately lead to health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
We aim to work out 3-4 days per week.

Laceinne, has your health and fitness routine changed at all since becoming pregnant? What are your thoughts on staying active during pregnancy?

The only thing that has changed is that it has become even more important for me to continue on this path of health and fitness. I’ve been eating well for years now, but now that I’m pregnant I’m even more conscious of food and food combinations for my growing child. I mean, I’m literally forming the very cells that make up our baby!
I still train and feel amazing when I do! It has gotten a bit harder to do certain exercises as I get tired much more quickly, but we always work at my pace.
My favorite days are cardio days and I think the baby loves it too because he/she moves around a lot on those training days!
Staying active during pregnancy is essential! We’ve been taught that pregnant women are weak and sensitive and should slow down.
In reality, staying fit helps the mother with pregnancy related issues she may be experiencing like backache or swollen ankles and it also contributes to a much more pleasant and quicker delivery of the baby.

What’s your favourite meal to cook at home?

Buckwheat and hemp pancakes, buckwheat porridge, vegetable curries, zucchini lasagna, bean burgers, buckwheat chia seed bread…we cook it all! We don’t really have a favorite.

Onira Talks: The power couple series 1: Coupe & Laceinne

Caption: Buckwheat and Hemp seed pancakes with Berry, Banana and Walnut toppings

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Once you know better, do better! – Maya Angelou
We live by this quote!

And finally, what would you say to someone that was just starting on their journey to living a more conscious or plant-based lifestyle?

The first thing I’d say is congratulations! It is the absolute best decision you can make for your health and longevity, for your family, for the Earth and for the animals.
Secondly, I would give them tips and advice as to how to transition into a plant based lifestyle and I would recommend books and documentaries so that they could learn about the reasons they are doing this and stay motivated.
Thirdly, I would advise them on how and where to shop for whole foods that are cost efficient.
Overall, I would do my best to help guide and encourage them.