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A Heart to Heart with Fran & Michelle

Only a few weeks ago Fran and I were spending our days working with our team, planning and creating strategies for growing Organic Krush into its next stage of business. While we’ve taken a pause from “growth”, we have not stopped growing in other ways. Here’s a little peek into what we have been working on these last 10 days.

Fran Paniccia, Co-Founder Organic Krush

  1. How is your family doing during this unprecedented time in motherhood?
    My family is doing great during this unprecedented time. We have really rallied together as a unit. We walk every day together to ensure we are getting fresh air. Lots of time is spent together in the kitchen either making Krush recipes or coming up with new ones. It actually has been a lot of fun.
  2. What mothering strengths are you needing / using to get through the days?
    Patience is something I am struggling with these days. Although I am loving my family bonding, I do lose it sometimes. So much cleaning is happening to only be messed up seconds later, lol. I try to breathe deeply several times and say lots of Hail Mary’s.
  3. What lessons do you hope your kids are learning during this time?
    I do hope that during this time my kids (4 kids, ages 17-21 yrs old) are learning that when in the time of need we come together as a family and community. It’s as a unit we will prevail. I also hope that they learn to cherish the things in life we take for granted like our health, birthday celebrations, family dinners at a restaurant and church to name a few.
  4. What are you doing to stay sane personally? What are you doing to keep the family sane?
    I am keeping my sanity by exercising and cooking. Cooking has been a lot of work, but I am finding it to be a meditating experience that is helping us all be together. We have been loving the outcomes of our recipes and enjoy eating them together.
  5. What’s on your mind for Organic Krush during this time of rapidly changing business and staff needs?
    Transparency is one of the things on my mind for Organic Krush during this rapid change in our business. I do think that being upfront we will prevail. The first couple of days I was worried when we had to become a takeout and delivery business, but now I am seeing that our customers need and want what we have. Organic Krush is like a medicine that everyone needs. My thoughts on staff is first and foremost their health, but also making sure they feel stable and supported. Our constant communication with them I feel has been key in keeping them happy.

Michelle Walrath, Co-Founder Organic Krush

  1. How is your family doing during this unprecedented time in motherhood?
    During a time of crisis, moms have a special way of knowing how to care for those around them. For me, that has to do with emotional wellness checks and…FOOD.

    On a nightly basis, I ask my kids (4 kids, ages 10-19 yrs old) to give me their personal well-being #, from 1 to 10. The numbers land all over the place, and while it’s tough to hear sometimes they feel pretty low, it gives us a chance as a family to have honest conversations about world events, our part in helping, and to understand emotional vulnerability. I’m not a therapist, but I believe deeply in the power of human connection, and being real, super real, and then dealing with it.

  2. What mothering strengths are you needing / using to get through the days?
    Combination of optimism and tough love. The news is dark on a day to day basis (we actually haven’t had a TV on in a couple weeks) so every chance I get I’m telling good stories I read about AND also complimenting my kids on being thoughtful, proactive, getting their work done and the way they are helping each other out. But…I was raised in a tough love household and I run a tough love household; there’s no feeling sorry for yourself! If you need to take an hour to yourself to improve your mood, go do it, but don’t bring your bad mood to the group; There are a lot of chores to be done and I need help running the household right now!!! Laundry, cleaning, cooking and dishwashing take a lot of time so they are all assigned even more chores than usual!
  3. What lessons do you hope your kids are learning during this time?
    Compassion, healthy living tools and work adaptability. There are so many ways to help others, both in crisis, and in non-crisis; thoughtful notes, gifts, and gratitude are learned behaviors that have a ripple effect on the world. Make a conscious effort every day to impact someone’s life positively. A surprise package on their doorstep, a check-in phone call, a compliment…if you’re feeling down one of the quickest ways to flip that feeling, is to reach out to someone else.

    Control what you can control…mood and…FOOD. I am so fortunate to have that option!!!! I am going through fridge, freezer, pantry and using up tons of ingredients, making grocery lists, getting creative. I love that I can feed my family colorful salads and tons of vegetables and soul food during this time: our top homemade dinners this week? Homemade mac n cheese, shrimp scampi, roasted stuffed sweet potatoes, fish tacos, smoothies, waffles and s’mores. Tonight? Lasagna roll-ups!

    Work adaptability – learning a work ethic from a young age is so important, to be flexible team players, and to be innovative and roll with the punches; this virus is definitely teaching us that. Working from home brings a host of issues, but I’m finding I really appreciate the time at my desk to create, think, read and plan: there is so much planning to be done right now as business takes on a new “normal.”

  4. What are you doing to stay sane personally? What are you doing to keep the family sane?
    I’ve always been an early riser so I still get up at 5am (even though my kids are now sleeping until 11 or noon everyday :). The first hour I just read inspirational books, especially this one my mom gave me about Angels, and I just finished the Bob Iger Disney CEO Ride of a Lifetime book. He has dealt with a lot of crisis in his tenure and I appreciate the calm demeanor with which he got through. Then I dive into instagram, I love how people are so especially real right now. From 7am to 5pm is Krush related business, and then a long outdoor walk! For the family, we make daily schedules…even writing things down like…shower, do laundry, school work, in charge of lunch for the family today (they all learned how to make quesadillas using leftovers and toasted triple decker PB and J’s this week).
  5. What’s on your mind for Organic Krush during this time of rapidly changing business and staff needs?
    We will do every single thing we can to keep our staff employed during this time. We will ride this out together, we will be creative, we will be resourceful. People want to work, they want to be part of teams, and we sense they genuinely want to be part of the Organic Krush mission to help people eat happy and feel well. We are a team at Organic Krush, and teams stick together during tough times. I have never felt more passionate about helping people learn how to take care of their immunity. I grew up in a “strange” household where homeopathic medicine and organic foods dominated. Then, from the moment I was pregnant with my first daughter, I made the connection that what we put into and onto our bodies has a giant impact on your babies’ health and your own health. Keep toxins, pesticides and GMO’s away, add in things that make you internally well: high quality food is one of the most important things you can do for health. We started our #krushinthekitchen series on instagram (follow us!) as a way to share what we know; people need to understand they can use their voices and choices to have say in their own health.

    I think viruses are a part of nature, and it’s so important to learn how to boost your immunity. In my 44 year old lifetime, I have never taken an antibiotic, and in the last 8 years, I have not suffered from any sickness. It’s a privilege to be surrounded by good food and low-toxin environments, and if I can share that education with thousands of people, I will find a way to do so!