Whether you love to cook or are the mayor of takeout town, COVID-19 has pushed us to prepare more meals at home. But, after months of quarantine, we’re a little tired of our go-to recipes, and definitely in need of a little culinary inspiration (and perhaps a little help). Catherine McCord can help. She started Weelicious to bridge the gap between kids’ meals and grown-up food. Her dream…to end the daunting cycle of always making two different dinners each night; one for the kids, and one for the adults.
And, her dream wasn’t hers alone. Each of McCord’s online how-to videos and recipes get millions of views (with fans like Jennifer Garner and Sarah Michelle Gellar) who want to enjoy one meal as a family.
Taking it one step further, she started looking at meal kits. She found that while delicious, most weren’t kid friendly. So, deciding to change the landscape, McCord launched One Potato, the first (and only) meal kit made specifically to feed your family. She also penned the Smoothie Project: The 28-Day Plan to Feel Happy and Healthy No Matter Your Age with guidance from top nutritionists including our very own Keri Glassman, where she explains how to eat based on your age, and details the health benefits of key smoothie ingredients.
We sat down with McCord (who is also a Nutritious Life Studio Masterclass speaker) to learn about how she lives a nutritious life. To start, there are major benefits of sitting down and enjoying a meal together. “Studies have shown that eating dinner as a family has a positive impact on childrens’ behavior and eating habits,” McCord explains. It has been shown to help your kids increase their vocabulary, get better test scores, and even help them read earlier!
Get to know our friend, Catherine McCord better, here.
How have things changed for you since COVID-19 hit? We’re all staying home so much more, and one of the biggest challenges has been getting my kids outside to get fresh air and exercise instead of spending time in the car to get to places like school, work and activities, I’ve used that time to get moving by taking our dog on walks, swimming and hiking.
How often do you exercise, and what’s your workout of choice? Life, work, and kids have been so busy the past 5 years, I haven’t been able to schedule exercise into my daily routine. The day the stay-at-home order hit in mid March, my husband started climbing the stairs in our driveway for 30 minutes a day. I joined him that day, and realized how much I missed the way I emotionally felt when exercising. I have worked out 6 to 7 days a week since that day, and now I’m doing over an hour a day…and feel great!
How do you motivate yourself to work out? I started taking my dog on hikes with me and witnessed his anxiety reduce which incentivized me. My kids participated in an online camp this summer which started at 7:00 a.m., so I got up at 6:30 a.m. to make their breakfast and headed out the door to beat the heat.
If you had to name your healthy diet, what would you call it? Why? I would call myself a flexitarian. I eat everything, but focus on fruits, vegetables, and plant-based proteins 75 percent of the day.
Has it been hard to stay on track with your nutrition while in quarantine? I find myself reaching for food more often since I’ve been working from home. I make sure that I have a snack like fruit, a smoothie, or popcorn because it’s a healthier choice.
What’s your go-to breakfast? I have a nutrient-packed smoothie every morning. It makes me feel amazing, and I know I’m doing something good for my body.
Your go-to workday lunch? I generally have a big salad or leftovers from dinner the night before. I always try to cook a little too much dinner so I can have leftovers like roasted vegetables, grilled salmon, quinoa, or sautéed greens.
What’s the one food you always have in your fridge? Plant-based milk! We make a lot of smoothies, so we always have pea, oat, and almond milk on hand.
What do you eat before and after a workout? I work out so early that I tend to head right out the door. When I get home, I munch on a handful of cereal (I love crunch) while I prep my smoothie.
Your favorite food indulgence? Ice cream. I’ve been an ice cream lover since I was a kid…gelato, soft serve, fancy and junkie. I love all of it.
Other than water, what do you sip regularly? Decaf coffee, herbal tea and kombucha. I have one of each almost every day.
What causes you stress? When I have an excess of to-do’s, it can cause stress. I do my best to acknowledge my workload and spread it out, taking into account everything I need to do to support my kids throughout the day.
How do you pamper yourself when you need it? These days, it’s all about a warm bath and a good book.
How do you express and spread love? I love love! I’m a big hugger with my friends and family, so this time has been challenging…missing people I love. I show love through cooking for people, making lunches for families in need every Sunday, and hopefully through One Potato, the food we send people every week.
What is your evening routine to wind down at the end of the day? At night, I read books with my 5-year-old, and have been watching a show with my older kids. I’m so tired after we watch it, I pass out.
Meditation or massage? Massage
A hot shower or a soothing bath? Bath
Almond butter or peanut butter? Peanut butter (that’s the kid in me).
Coffee or tea? Decaf coffee.
A long run outside or a dark spin class? A LONG run outside.
(photo credit: Catherine McCord)