Entrepreneur, advocate for healthy living and founder of L.A. based KORE KITCHEN. Be inspired by Meryl's story, and learn about innovative self-care practices and how small changes in your life can result in a grandeur transformation of yourself. Here is to a happy, healthy 2016.
MARGE: Tell us a little bit about your business, KORE KITCHEN.
MERYL: Kore Kitchen is an organic meal delivery and cleanse offering based in Los Angeles, California. Our focus is on clean eating, which means whole foods, nothing processed, no refined sugars and really healthy cooking oils. We offer both sustainable meat and vegan meal options. All of our programs incorporate a lot of other local like-minded brands to expose our clients to foods they can buy for themselves when they are not eating ours. KORE KITCHEN offers a full day of meals: breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner.
MARGE: How did you come to create the brand?
MERYL: The creation of “KORE” really began in my early twenties while I was working in the fashion industry in Los Angeles. At that time in my life, and in that environment, I was constantly feeling judged and was also very harshly judging myself. I was trying different ways to fit in, to lose weight, to make my naturally fair skin look darker and to make my blue eyes look even bluer. All of this had a negative effect on my self-esteem and my potential for happiness and fulfillment.
Around this time, I read Alicia Silverstone’s book: The Kind Diet. And just like that, my passion for nutrition was born. I decided to change careers and after months of reaching out to local nutritionists, one of them offered me an internship. As her blog writer, I got to listen in on her client sessions. After that, I started taking courses at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition where I learned that health is beyond diet. Health is directly affected by your thoughts, your physical activities, your relationships, your lifestyle — everything. I was hooked.
MARGE: So, you've been through tremendous personal transformation. What has embracing yourself looked or felt like for you?
MERYL: You’re right that this (transformation) was a huge shift. I had to be really gentle with myself in the form of compassion and self-love. Over time and with practice, I learned how to shift my thinking from negative to positive, give myself positive affirmations, accept myself as I am and speak kindly to myself.
When I was at one point, considering blue eye contacts, I went to an eye doctor and had an intern say to me, “I don’t know why you are getting blue contacts…your eyes are already blue and they are beautiful.” It took me a long time to accept everything about myself – to finally say, “Wow, yes, my eyes are beautiful. I can be myself and I don’t need to cover it up.”
MARGE: What advice do you have for women who are looking to make a similar transformation?
MERYL: There are several powerful self-care practices that almost anyone can do. Positive affirmations and positive thoughts are incredibly transformative and are a great place to start. Next, keeping a journal is foundation to self-awareness. When I write something down and examine it, the objective perspective helps me sort through issues and create solutions that I otherwise would not be able to see.
Eating organic foods is another way to express self-love and is one of the best forms of self-care. Also, I treat myself to a massage every Saturday and I don’t think of it is an indulgence. My advice would be: take that hour for yourself every week to activate your lymphatic system, energize yourself and feel rejuvenated. Lastly, walking in nature is an amazing way to restore and reflect.
MARGE: Now that you’ve created your dream company, what has been your biggest challenge?
MERYL: When you start a business, the challenges are endless. Success to me is not a destination; it’s a journey and the challenges are all a part of that and they have been huge opportunities for me to learn and grow. I would say my biggest challenge and most persistent challenge is just not having the funds to grow as much or as fast as I would like each month.
I started this as a completely self-funded business with one very low-limit credit card and everything I have made from that has been put back into it. So, while I have been on a shoestring budget, it has also been a blessing because it’s required me to be more creative, more strategic with the decisions I’ve made.
MARGE: What’s been the most satisfying part of KORE for you?
MERYL: Seeing my client’s health and happiness change for the better because of my healing food. My clients are the reason I do what I do. I believe that when you help someone achieve their goals, it helps you achieve yours.
MARGE: What attracts you to the MARGE brand? Why did you decide to partner MARGE with KORE KITCHEN?
MERYL: MARGE encourages tall women to embrace their length/height and feel confident in who they are. It’s not all that different for us because at KORE KITCHEN, we’re promoting healthy minds, healthy bodies and healthy spirits. Everyone should feel good in their own skin. Nutrition is one piece of it, as is feeling confident in the clothes you wear. So when you think about it, MARGE’s values are completely aligned with KORE KITCHEN’s. We both believe that a confident and healthy woman is a beautiful woman, inside and out.
MARGE: When you hear the phrase Life Up Here, what does it mean to you?
MERYL: To me it says height, but with an elegant edge. It reminds me of when I first moved to Los Angeles. It struck me that the higher up in the hills someone lives, the more successful they are. The penthouse is always the nicest suite in the building and people are always trying to get to the top. In that sense, Life Up Here communicates to me that I am already there, at that level.
MARGE: What’s next for KORE?
MERYL: In my business and in my personal life, I try not to think ahead too much. I really try to be in the moment and be present for the curve balls life will constantly throw. When I hear people say they have a three or five-year plan, it makes me laugh a little bit.
That said, I am really excited about the New Year because we are going to be launching a Life Transformation package. Essentially, it’s going to be a month worth of meal delivery from us, a nutritional counseling session with our celebrity nutritionist Kelly LeVeque, a membership to Equinox, gifts and offers from our wellness partners, wellness videos, and tips and advice from various wellness experts. So, we are really trying to go big picture and help people transform from multiple angles. This won’t be your typical “juice fast for January” approach.
To learn more about KORE KITCHEN, visit: http://www.korekitchen.com
To Meryl - A special thank you for sharing your elevated perspective with the MARGE Community.