She's Empowered: Nicole Modic of KALEJUNKIE

She's Empowered: Nicole Modic of KALEJUNKIE

We are SO excited to introduce you to one of our favorite people, Nicole Modic! You might recognize her from Instagram as @kalejunkie, or from her cookbook Love To Eat. Nicole shares healthy, accessible and delicious recipes on her blog, Instagram, and TikTok. And we are excited to share that we collaborated with her to bring you our new Blueberry Waffle Cone nut butter!! Learn more about Nicole below.

Tell us a little about you!

Hi! I’m Nicole! I was born and raised in Los Angeles, I am the oldest of two, and I’m full Armenian. I have been living in the San Francisco Bay area for over 11 years now, and while I miss my family and friends back at home, I really love it here. I have two boys, Gavyn (8) and Hunter (6), and they occupy all of my free time when I am not working. I try my best every day to be the best example of a hard-working, independent woman in the workplace.

What inspired your creation of the Blueberry Waffle Cone flavor?

Growing up, every ice cream outing had to include a big scoop of ice cream served in a waffle cone. To me, there is nothing more nostalgic than the smell of warm waffle cones coming straight out of the waffle maker. And when paired with delicious summertime blueberries, ahhhhh, it’s pretty much my favorite thing in life! 

What do you do for work? Tell us about your professional journey.

I am currently a full-time recipe developer, content creator, and the author of the popular cookbook, Love To Eat! Before this career, I practiced employment law for almost 7 years, but it was not my passion. My passion was in health, wellness and food, but what no one knew is that I was struggling with an eating disorder—bulimia and binge eating. As I started my recovery journey (that’s a story in itself), I started making peace with food and finding joy in the kitchen. I started experimenting with different ingredients and finding more nutritious ways to make the foods I would previously binge on, and from there I learned that I was happiest when I was eating intuitively and not restricting foods. Around that time, I started documenting my recipes and ED recovery journey on Instagram, and my account grew organically over the years. These days, KALEJUNKIE is less about my eating disorder recovery journey and more about sharing approachable, healthy, and delicious recipes, while building my community. I love my job!

How do you stay motivated?

I stay motivated by taking more breaks than I ever have before. I am the kind of person that works so hard, that I stop to smell the roses and then burn myself out, and then find myself unhappy and depressed. Over time, I learned that the key to staying positive, motivated, and happy is finding balance and giving myself permission to take more breaks in order to recharge and get inspired again. I also make sure to get good sleep, exercise daily, and eat well, because these things keep me grounded and sane.

Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in becoming an entrepreneur?

Yes! The best advice is to just start wherever you are. You do not have to have a business plan or all the details of your business dialed in from day one - I certainly didn’t. You will learn as you go, iterate, and get better and better over time. 

What are your favorite ways to #spreadgood in your community?

I love to volunteer at the Food Bank every few months and I am always donating extra food and products that brands send me! I also share food that I’ve made during recipe testing with people in the community! Food is love, brings people together, and I love seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces.

Who is one person who inspires you and why?

My dad, Armen. My dad is an immigrant and came to this country with literally nothing. He worked hard, learned English, put himself through college, and then started selling army-navy surplus goods at swap meets on the weekends. He eventually opened retail stores, working very long hours over the years to make his businesses succeed and provide for my mom, sister and I. He is fully responsible for my strong work ethic, strength, and my no b.s. attitude. He is my hero.

How do you work to stay centered and practice self-care in your busy day-to-day reality?

Like I mentioned above, I am getting better and better at taking breaks when I need to. I also write in my 5-Minute Journal each day as part of my morning routine, and I workout daily. 

What do you like to do for fun, when you aren't working?

I don’t have a ton of free time, so I am really intentional about how I spend my free time. I see friends, try new restaurants, and spend time with my boys - the simple things. I am also reading more these days - a few self-growth books and Colleen Hoover fiction books!

What are some of your favorite recipes with Ground Up? (Specifically, with the delicious flavor you created!)

My Life Changing Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies, of course! This is my most popular recipe on kalejunkie.com, and it just got a HUGE flavor upgrade with the blueberry waffle cone flavor - I am going to make them in a video on Instagram next week, so be on the lookout, world! Aside from that, I am a simple gal - I love nothing more than devouring it straight from the jar, with a giant spoon of course! 

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