Picture it: You whip up one healthy meal that the entire family eats, happily. Your kid(s) choose a protein-packed smoothie over pancakes for breakfast. Oh, and they actually love veggies. A mom can dream.
Or she can follow the guidance of Catherine McCord and achieve all of the above.
The former supermodel and mom of three (Kenya is 13, Chloe is 10, Gemma is 4) founded her site Weelicious when it was time to start solids with her first child, and she couldn’t find a good online resource for healthy, homemade food. She told us, “I went to culinary school and worked at catering companies – I knew how to cook super-fancy meals, but I had no idea what to make for my baby!” Weelicious evolved alongside her family, as she figured out how to make one easy, nutritious dinner for all and navigated dietary issues that arose along the way.
Catherine’s most recent creation, The Smoothie Project, came about after uncovering why her son was riddled with nausea, headaches, and stomach pains daily. The culprit? Carb-heavy, dairy-filled breakfasts. She replaced pancakes and waffles with protein-packed smoothies, and the symptoms disappeared in less than a month. These are not your ordinary smoothies – the recipes (packed with fruits, veggies, and protein) have crazy depth of flavor that makes them taste decadent but fuel your body with nutrition.
And while maintaining Weelicious, writing a cookbook, and parenting three children sounds like an (over)full plate, the powerhouse mom manages even more: There’s One Potato (organic, pre-prepped, family-friendly meal delivery), a weekly show on the Food Network Kitchen app, and regular appearances on Guy’s Grocery Games.
So just how does she do it all? And really, why should you care? Because she has created smart solutions for the parenting struggles that she faced (and you likely will too). Read on for genius hacks and brilliant advice from the super down-to-earth, gorgeous-inside-and-out Catherine McCord.
The Breakfast Table
For the most part, just a smoothie fills my kids up for breakfast because they are packed with fruit, veggies, and protein. Before the smoothie discovery, I was sending my son to school with a belly full of wheat, dairy, and cheese (and yes, all organic) and expecting him to perform in school. Those foods make you so sluggish, but the smoothies get your system and brain firing. If they’re still hungry after the smoothie (typically they’re not), I’ll give them some oatmeal or avocado toast.
Say No To Dairy
Gemma has been itchy since birth. Literally, we started calling her Kitty Scratch because she would scratch her skin until it bled, even moments after being born. I did the elimination diet and discovered she was allergic to dairy, and smoothies have been a great way to manage it. She still has eczema, but it’s 75% better. Thankfully, they now make great, plant-based butter, yogurt, and cheese. If I was a good mother, I would take gluten out of her diet completely, but we do our best.
Work Hard, Mom Hard
I work hard to be deeply connected to my kids. They trust me and talk to me. I learned that from my parents. I do a one-on-one trip with one of them each year. Last year Kenya and I went to Iceland. The year before, Chloe and I went to London and Paris. Family trips are great, but there’s nothing better than one-on-one attention. It’s always top of mind for me to divide my attention evenly between the three children.
If I had to describe it in one word, my parenting style is very supportive. I am more parent than friend, but my kids aren’t scared to talk to me. I try to always have an open heart and an open mind. I trust in them and believe they have to lead their own way and learn their own lessons. When you’re standing over them, they don’t have the space to do that.
Quality Over Quantity
Working moms can be so hard on themselves (guilty) because we aren’t around 24-7. I find that if I can spend 15 minutes of laser-focused, uninterrupted (i.e. no phone) time with one of my kids, it can be more valuable than an entire hectic day of running around together without ever really connecting.
Just Do It
If the parents are happy, then everyone’s happy. Date night once a week is a must – that’s a pretty firm rule in our house, and it saves us. We try to go to a different restaurant every time, and every few months we’ll surprise the other with a concert or play to switch it up.
When you have eczema, you also usually have asthma. They are both allergies. Gemma was in the hospital three times for pneumonia last year. The asthma turns into a cold, and if you don’t grab it quick, it turns into pneumonia. You’d think I would have learned after the first time, but nope. I have my own fears around doctors, but when it’s something like this, you have to go right away. Lesson learned.
I know it’s my business, but I could not survive without One Potato! We eat it Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights, and it’s everyone’s favorite. Everything is organic, pre-prepped (i.e. measured, chopped), family friendly (think burgers, fajitas, kebabs), and takes 30 minutes or less start to finish. You choose vegetarian or omnivore.
• Mornings are hectic, take the kids’ clothes out the night before.
• Make school lunches the night before and put them in the fridge.
• Make smoothie jars on Sundays and put them in the freezer, so you can just
dump them in the blender and GO each morning.
• Meal prep at least 2 or 3 meals for the week on Sunday. (This is where One
Potato saves me.) I will grill chicken and roast veggies, and then use them in
the other meals throughout the week.
Relax & Unwind
• I love the holiday break. We never go anywhere. My husband works in film, so
we get the Oscar screeners and watch all the good movies at home.
• I’m obsessed with the Peak brain games app. I try to stay away from my
phone as much as possible, but I do this with the kids, and we all love it. Plus,
it’s good for your brain.
• When I really just need a minute to myself, I go in the bathroom, lock the
door, and hide from everyone for a few minutes – it’s the only escape!
I am obsessed with passion fruit. I bought a $20 passion fruit vine six years ago that we planted in the yard. The first season, it dropped 50 passion fruits, then 200 the next, and it’s up to like 1000 now. They are really expensive at the farmers market, and they are such a treat. Eating one feels like you’re on vacation. The kids love collecting the fruit, and it makes them more likely to eat it if they play a part in harvesting it. We are now planting all these fruit trees in our yard – avocado, pomegranate, fig.
Photos courtesy of Weelicious.