Dear Kosterina Family, We have a problem of systemic racism in America. For me, it has been watching this crisis through the lens of parenthood that has struck me the most. I don’t think I fully realized the burden that my fellow parents need to bear when they are parenting Black children.
Each night in our house, we sit at the edge of our childrens’ beds and ask them to repeat back short mantras that remind them that they are strong, that they are loved and that they are safe. So when I saw this video (please watch at least the first 15 seconds), it brought me to tears. The night time mantra in this Black household is very different, where a father has his 8 year old daughter recite “I am Ariel Skye Williams. I am 8 years old. I am unarmed and I have nothing that will hurt you.” Black parents should not have to spend time thinking about how to keep their young kids safe in interactions with the police.
Being a parent is stressful enough without the added fear of not knowing if your child will return home safely because of hate. I have read several accounts of grown men who text their mothers daily just to let them know they are alive. And so when George Floyd called out for his mother who had passed away 2 years ago, I hope that every mother heard him because we must all take action.
Here is what we will do at Kosterina.
We know that communities of color have a more difficult time accessing healthy foods, which in turn leads to long-term health issues. At Kosterina, our mission is to educate people on the importance of healthy eating and inspire them to see food as medicine. So, we will be partnering with nonprofits focused on nutritional education in schools to provide them with Kosterina EVOO in their school nutrition programs. We are still searching for the right partner(s), but I will ensure that we will work with organizations that create deep impact in Black communities.
We are still a very small company but I will commit to always interviewing a diverse slate of candidates for every open role and we will aim for fair representation of Black executives on our team at Kosterina.
And there will be more. There has to be more. We at Kosterina are focused on amplifying messages of health, family and love. I am hopeful for a brighter future for all children as well as their parents but we will all have to do our part.
Peace, love & EVOO, Katerina
Olive Oil Sommelier Katerina Mountanos, is the Founder & CEO of Kosterina Olive Oil, which produces 100% organic, extra virgin olive oil from Greece sold directly to consumers online. Katerina is an ecommerce expert and has built beauty, home and wellness businesses for Amazon, Jet, and Walmart. She founded beauty services company, Manicube, which was sold to The Red Door by Elizabeth Arden in 2015. Katerina is very passionate about olive oil, the Mediterranean diet and eating for health and longevity.
The question I’m pondering this week is around willpower. Although there is a lot of confusing nutrition information out there, generally we know that we need to avoid refined sugars, toxic oils and processed foods. But despite being armed with all the latest research and knowledge, why is it still so hard to make the right food choices sometimes?
How are you doing? I’m feeling a little burst of positivity this week as things are slowly starting to feel a bit more normal. We have seen a few more friends and family members (from afar) and the local Starbucks in my town re-opened this week (major development). And generally, I’m a little less nervous about going to the pharmacy and the supermarket. But as I've been moving about in public a bit more I've had a lot more interactions with strangers while wearing a mask. And, it's made me think about how we treat each other in this new world.
So they say that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. And they’re right. Ninety percent of our focus really should be on food for optimal health. But what about a good diet with nightly Almond Butter & Vanilla dark chocolate bars? Or the occasional 3 serving bag of Dang rice crisps? (So good, btw). Can I out-exercise that? If food is most important to maintaining a healthy weight, do we really need to workout at all? If so, how long do we need to work out for? And what’s the best type of workout? So many questions.