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Interview Series: Catherine McCord

This is part of a series of interviews by physician and journalist, Dr. Amitha Kalaichandran to explore resilience, healing, and brushes with our healthcare system by leaders in the health and wellness community.

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Catherine McCord
Catherine McCord
Catherine McCord

Catherine McCord is an entrepreneur, author, and food expert. She is the inspiring founder of the popular Weelicious brand and the family food brand One Potato, and the author of Weelicious and Weelicious Lunches. Her newest book was released in December 2019: The Smoothie Project: The 28-Day Plan to Feel Happy and Healthy No Matter Your Age. A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, she has created online how-to videos that have amassed more than fifty million views and has appeared on TODAYGood Morning America, and The Doctors, and is a regular on the Emmy-winning NBC show Naturally, Danny Seo as well as Food Network’s #1-rated Guy’s Grocery Games. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children. She spoke with me from LA.

1.What prompted you to start your work with Weelicious? 

I had gone to culinary school at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York and was working in restaurants and catering companies and at the same time thought back to growing up with my grandparents who were into growing their own food. We would go to the U -Pick farms and farmers markets as a child and it’s one of the things I continued in Los Angeles. Once I was pregnant I began to realize that while I could cook a gourmet meal but I had no idea what to feed a child and a family. So in 2007, a few months after my son was born, I founded Weelicious as a resource to discuss recipes for babies and children. 

2. Describe your journey before Weelicious. What was that like? How does that inform how you approach wellness and health.

I started modeling at 13 in Kentucky, and looked at modeling as a business more than just fun. I got a job as a TV host on Extra and later on ABC in Los Angeles but I would moonlight as a cook and just learn about how people ate around the world during my work travels. When 9/11 happened I was supposed to start at the Institute of Culinary Education and it was a wakeup call reminding me of what I really wanted to do with my life. 

All of this relates to health and wellness – for me, very early on, I had a connection both to ‘real world’ fast food but also growing up in the Midwest where I’d feel more connected to my food. Cooking for was more like an art and I was more aware of how food felt to my body. 

3. Have you had a challenging experience with the healthcare establishment  of your own? Can you share more about that? How did you get through that.

I have had periods of my life where I’ve experienced significant stress – for instance going to culinary school and night while working during the day resulted in a period where I lost my voice.  It ended up being secondary to eating late at night and getting reflux which eroded some of the tissues.  Even more recently with my son he would get headaches and nausea, and simply changing what he ate to more protein and vegetables and fruit made a difference. 

4. What does thriving mean to you?

To me it means putting yourself really in and seeing how far you can take it. It might mean turning your phone off and not looking at it for an hour or day and feeling how you thrive in conditions of not being distracted. 

5. What are you most looking forward to with Weelicious and in general?

Heading into 2020 I’m merging One Potato and Weelicious. As well, my new book, The Smoothie Project was just released: I had been working on it for almost five years and it really changed my family’s health – For instance it’s a great way to add more fiber or to add omega acids from hemp seeds or chia seeds.  It really is meant to help all of us change one meal a day by adding a smoothie.

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