Bitsy’s Gabrielle Union, Maggie Patton, and Alex Buckley on healthy eating for all

In this episode, Liz speaks with Gabrielle Union, Maggie Patton, and Alex Buckley, who are all working together to grow Bitsy's, their healthy food brand for kids, which was born out of a mission to address childhood obesity. We also happened to record the morning that Gabby and her husband were named two of Time Magazine's100 most influential people and Gabby shared how being a mother has inspired her to become a better global citizen and changemaker.

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Liz Tenety: We have some really exciting news at Motherly and have been hard at work behind the scenes on a big project. We recently launched the Motherly shop. Curated must-haves for motherhood, and you can use code Motherly10 to get 10% off any order. Our editors have worked really hard to bring together the best brands for every stage of motherhood, all in one, easy to find place.

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Liz Tenety: I've been a vegetarian for 20 years and I've gotten really into the sort of plant-based food movement because my kids themselves aren't vegetarian, but I am trying to base all of our diets around eating fresh and healthy foods. This has been hard with four kids, too busy parents. And of course, all my kids always want to eat different things or they hate the opposite foods.

And I felt like a few years ago, mealtime was like becoming a battle. And that's obviously not what I have time for and not what I want food and nourishment culture in our family to be about. I found a lot of inspiration in a mom that I discovered on Instagram. Her name is Jules Blaine Davis. She calls herself a kitchen healer.

She's developed this concept called wood board love where she sets out on a wood cutting board would kind of bring this element of the earth and encouraging us as those who nourish our children and play that role in our families. Let's just use the food around us to not have to make a perfect meal, but to set out these boards that are beautiful and nourishing and inviting.

But I iterated on this idea where we have a lot of meals of like burrito bowls or Mediterranean bowls or vegetables, where we set out the proteins and the fruits and veggies and the nuts, and everyone gets to pick what they want in their bowl. I find that that way, you know, maybe the 10th time that we have.

A certain meal. My kid might try one of the ingredients and that it just takes the pressure, frankly, off of me to create this perfectly done meal. And also we don't have as much stress with trying to make our kids eat vegetables. They really do seem more interested when it's presented to them and not forced on them.

Food can be a really complicated subject for families. It can bring in issues around body image, around food [00:03:00] insecurity and economic injustice. It's a heavy topic. And it's one that we all encounter three times a day, at least in our, in our homes and in our lives. That's why I'm so excited to bring you this important conversation today.

Liz Tenety: Welcome to the motherly podcast, honest conversations about modern motherhood. I am Liz Tenety, the co-founder of motherly, and I am a mom of four myself. Today's interview is with Gabrielle Union, Maggie Patton and Alex Buckley. We're all working together to grow Bitsy's, their healthy food brand for kids.

Bitsy's is born out of a mission to address childhood obesity. And the three moms shared by this mission is so important to them. And what's next for the brand. Gabby also shared how being a mother has inspired her to become a better global citizen and change speaker Gabrielle, Maggie and Alex, welcome to the Motherly Podcast.

Gabrielle Union: Thanks for having us.

Maggie Patton: Thanks for having us.

Liz Tenety: So, the theme for our podcast this season is motherhood my way. And so I want to ask each of you, what do you think makes your approach to motherhood unique? I want to hear from each of you, but I'd love to start with Gabby because I know you have this big blended family and have spoken in the past about how your family structure has shaped your approach to motherhood.

Gabrielle Union: Yeah. I don't know if it's unique, but I am one of a growing number of moms who are very transparent about the fact that we don't have all the answers we're waiting. It we've had to move away from sort of. One size fits all parenting and really lean into parenting each child where they're at and releasing the need to make our kids little miniature versions of us to, you know, sort of massage that, those feelings of fear that we all have about will our kids be okay.

And this notion that if our kids are just little miniature versions of us or better versions of us, they're going to be okay. We had to unlearn and let go of all of that and just lean into the fact that. We don't have all the answers. We're going to apologize a lot. And we're just going to try to meet them where they're at and lead with love and compassion and grace.

Liz Tenety: I love that. Okay. Maggie, your turn.

Maggie Patton: Oh my goodness. How to follow Gabrielle on that? I did every single thing. Part of the amazing thing about being in business with other moms is you get mom mentoring, Kendra chip in that, if there was one thing that I feel like defines motherhood my way and something that I want my kids to have and all kids to have.

I think is the ability to have hope and see through problems and see through challenges and see the good, I am like a eternal believer that there's good in everything. And there's a path to good. I love it.

Liz Tenety: What about you, Alex?

Alex Buckley: The idea of seriously, even if the worries really aren't that important, like they think, you know, like a volcano might erupt in New York city tonight and the idea of taking it seriously, sometimes is more important than the worry itself. This was sort of our North star in creating bitsy is the idea that kids are smart and they should be taken seriously.

Liz Tenety: Actually, that's interesting because that theme as well, really gets at some of Gabby story. So, I want to zoom in for a moment because we're actually talking on a morning after some like amazing, amazing news that you were named with your husband to times 100, most influential people list. And I was reading with the announcement, this quote from you, you said this: "We have a daughter who's almost to who the world has seen is bound to nothing, but whatever is in her heart and on her soul. At the moment and it's beautiful to watch truly free children. We have another daughter who's 13 who has freedom to be exactly who she is, who she was born to be, to be her most authentic self. She doesn't ask permission to exist, and that is wildly inspiring. So clearly that's incredibly inspiring to me and to all of us." So, I'm curious, Gabby, how has motherhood been liberating to you?

Gabrielle Union: I think because I put so much on the journey to mom that I had unrealistic expectations about what motherhood was supposed to mean and what it was supposed to look like. And I was supposed to make me feel how I should be fulfilled by every little thing. And the more I get into the weeds with Kaav and we already were doing it with the other kids is the embrace and the centering of our village and our village is wide and vast. Not everyone is related. Some are chosen family, but in leaning deeper into and having your own village, it frees me up to be a better woman, be a better wife, be a better global citizen and a mother because I'm not looking at every single thing that my child does as an indictment on my soul and my character, you know, everything negative, you know. It's always like devastating because you feel like you have to be everything to your child. And I let it go. And I don't know if that's just starting out as an older mom, but I let that go. And COVID is another thing… all the kids are products of the village.

And so, when they do something that is not so great, it's not so devastating and debilitating. You know, as moms, we take on all of the negativity that you know, that our kids may put out, you know, everybody has a bad day, including the kids and you get those emails home from school or that call from the teacher.

And you just feel like they're screaming at you. You're terrible. You suck at this. And this notion of like, If I hover enough, if I smother enough, I'm doing a good job and I'm going to get credit for every awesome thing that my kid does and this need for credit. And then this need for like, self-flagellation, if it's not all going perfectly, honey, I don't have time for that.

Our village is awesome and everyone has different skills and talents, and it's been wonderful to give our kids the freedom to move within the village and let us all contribute. Because I can't take all the thought on myself. When did that? Revelation happened for you. You talked about this idea that you had a vision of what motherhood would be like perhaps due to your own journey and how challenging it was.

When did it shift from the fantasy of motherhood to that sort of more accepting reality? It was in a very beginning. My maternity leave was almost up. It's a Hollywood maternity leave. So I got three weeks that's enough. Right? Had three weeks. My husband went back to work and I felt alone and inept. And you know, that first real breakdown you have as a mom where you're like, oh God, I prayed for this moment and I'm failing everybody. But especially my kid and I'm bawling hysterically. And I'm thinking if I'm struggling and failing with a house full of people and all the help, what am I going to do when I have to go to work and still try to do all of these same things? And I just was like, hysterical. Just, I've never felt more like a failure in my life.

And then it was like a little knock at the door. Like, thank you, Jesus. And it was, you know, our night nurse and she was like, girl, bring it in, bring it in. She's like, I thought this might happen a little sooner, but you lasted three weeks way to go. She's like, and now release it. That's what we're here for.

Don't feel guilty. Don't feel shame, don't feel anything, but you are doing everything in your power to provide a loving environment for your child and a great village. You did that. You got it, dry, those tears and the might not a glass of wine. And you know, but it was that Holy cow, I'm such a failure at this.

And I feel like, you know, you got that, that involuntary eye twitch thing that happens with the stress and the lack of sleep and too much caffeine. And you're like, I'm literally falling apart, but you're not. You're actually, as you think you're falling apart, you're actually falling together and all of those little breakdowns, hopefully it can add up to life lessons and learning and, and then leaning in or out, I am all about that.

Liz Tenety: So you are here today with two other incredible women and moms who, in addition to being mothers are also entrepreneurs and kind of bringing, not just this company to life, but also trying to bring healthy food into other people's villages. So, I want to talk a little bit about Betsy's and how it started for those who don't know the brand Maggie and Alex, could you tell us more about your background and the very beginning of this incredible company?

Alex Buckley: Maggie and I really met working. Many moons ago in the not-for-profit space. And together we built an organization that was really about empowering kids to discover their potential, to have a positive impact on the world. And as part of that journey we built what was one of the first federally funded childhood obesity prevention initiatives, and it really worked.

And I think it really got Maggie and me thinking about. How can we take what we've learned and bring it broader and wider. And now obviously we're at a new and incredibly exciting part of that journey where we, I think we really have the most incredible co-founder and partner we could possibly have, but the passion for really just expanding this far and wide, obviously this is a topic childhood obesity that you've been working on at various levels for a long time.

But for those who are not familiar, like how widespread is this issue. And why is it so important to you to focus your professional attention on it? Right, right now we know one in three children are obese before their fifth birthday. I think for me, one of the most staggering things and just kind of obvious pieces of information is that according to the American health index children index in their health at a 54.6% on a scale out of a hundred, which isn't an F.

So, I think if we're talking about that desire to do well by our children or that instinct there, it's like, wow, how have we all just completely let this go for this long and not try to fix this problem? Not tried to do right. Not try to do a little bit better within the realm of reality that we're all dealing with in this busy world.

So, I think that's where Bitsy is really coming from. And for us, it is about all children. And I think this disproportionately impacts and gab, I think you can speak to this in so much great detail and passion, but for way too long, this has disproportionally affected, particularly marginalized communities and particularly children of color.

Liz Tenety: I want to jump in on there because pondering our conversation, you know, at first glance, the issue of obesity and especially childhood obesity at first glance may sound like a problem of excess of like just too much. It's a free for all with food, but really when you dig deeper, it's actually a story of inequality and a families not having enough.

And it's actually the opposite of what it seems. So, yeah, perhaps gab, could you speak to that and why you were passionate enough to join this business?

Gabrielle Union: Yeah. I mean, luckily it's like all of my passions sort of came together with mid-season providing healthier alternatives, snack alternatives to, you know, the food that's basically contributing to this childhood obesity that is rampant.

When you get a little deeper into the issues, it starts with how we have historically and systematically and continue to do so. Move marginalized folks into certain neighborhoods. And then we choke them off from, you know, adequate resources that you actually need to be successful and healthy, and that's called red lining.

So, when we sort of funneled marginalized folks into certain neighborhoods, and then we don't give them [access to proper nutrition, healthcare education, it's a cyclical issue where you see generations upon generations, never. Seeing anything different or anything better. So, what we wanted to do with Betsy's is to lower the price, make them more affordable and get them into more stores that are actually in communities that are serving marginalized folks and expand our flavors and lean into innovation and really target and market healthy foods, health and wellness, not as luxury items, but as items that every person is deserving of.

Liz Tenety: One of the things that really struck me learning about the brand is an attempt, overt attempt to not hide the nutritional goodness inside of these snacks. We're all trying to feed all of our children, fruits and vegetables and fresh foods, but there's a theory that you should sneak. Produce into their food that they don't know.

And we all are aware of that. The second they find out there's spinach in their smoothie, they're not going to drink that smoothie. So, you sort of flip that on its head. And I wonder if being open about the fresh ingredients that go into these snacks is part of a broader movement of like, educating or just talking more freely with children about making healthier choices across the board.

Maggie Patton: We made a really intentional choice as we started developing our products that this really goes back to being truthful to our kids and respecting their intelligence and believing in them that we can be honest with our kids. And that gets wet. Let's think back to caveat James and how she's living as her pure self right now, and that beautiful ness of our young children.

You know, they're not the ones that automatically come into this world, thinking that broccoli nasty, they get brainwashed to think that, you know, so we're really trying to introduce these flavors and nutrition in a fun and delicious way from the beginning with our snacks.

Elizabeth Tenety: Well, talk to us a little bit about how this power trio came together, right? Because the business was up and running and you were able to connect with gab and really take this business. Not only to another level, obviously with her prominence and passion, but also focus more on inclusivity. So how does this partnership work and what are you hoping is going to come from bringing the three of you together?

Gabrielle Union: We're such a good example of what greatness can happen when you come together. I was a fan of Bitsy's – Maggie and Alex are obviously had a very successful business. I too was a fan. I was a disciple. And when I would post other moms would be like, where'd you get that? I'm like, Oh, Darn it. Where Bitsy's was, was being sold was, you know, pretty much to a higher socioeconomic folks and not as accessible to all of my friends that were asking about it.

So, we just reached out and they were so open and willing to embrace me being a part of the brand and really doubling and tripling down on goodness. And you can't actually claim to be about goodness, if you're not embracing. Diversity and inclusion as core values in your company. And because they do, we just started to fly and we got into CVS and we started going back to the lab of like, what more can we do?

How many more kids can we reach? And it's just been awesome to see how many more families are now busy families and unapologetic about it.

Liz Tenety: Okay. So, your food experts, your moms, I'm sure each of you has had a food-related challenge with their children. I'll quickly share mine. One of my kids has some sensory issues and as he's gotten older, the food that.

He finds appetizing has gotten more narrow and more narrow and more narrow. And basically just eating like tan foods, like cheery and pizza. You know, I was really worried about it, but recently spoke to a developmental pediatrician who after like a year of me, like almost losing sleep over, this was like, look, he's getting enough protein.

His blood works fine. Right now, just let this one go. So that's my little win around food, but I've had many, many struggles, including my baby who fed the dog a waffle this morning. So could each of you share one of your current food related challenges in the house or something that you struggled with and found solution, because I know our listeners need all the tips they can get on healthy eating.

Maggie Patton: Well, I'll say I have four kids. The eating thing is proof that they all come out as their own people.

Liz Tenety: Totally.

Maggie Patton I am like how, I mean, I'm supposed to be an expert on this and how could the tip unraveled with one of my children and my daughter, nonetheless, which I think, I'm just going to say, too. I feel like as a woman, having had so many friends who struggled with eating disorders, it's hard to watch your daughter. I think, struggle with food or being picky on things. I find the urge to hover come stronger there. And I will say I have a sort of similar story to you that I think goes back to gab, which I would say a summary of something you said earlier, but the peace and release what you just said, that your nutritionists.

Yes, peace and release. That is one of my mantra, I think, in our own time. And if we have space and grace, it is going to work out.

Gabrielle Union: Kaav goes through random phases and she went through a phase last week where she ate just yogurt three days in a row and I called the pediatrician, and, you know, he was like, she's fine. So, crisis averted, but with Zaya, and I think with a lot of the older kids, we never drew the parallel between or the connection between social media and your devices and food. And until you get those freaking emails from the school saying that, you know, cause we try to give XY a lot more independence and she wants more independence over.

We're going to give it to you. And then we started getting these emails home that she had slept through classes, or she would turn her camera off, which you know, all you have is a zoom. Kind of disrespectful. and we were trying to put it all together. Like where's this coming from? And we started dissecting her day and realizing that even though she was in zoom, she would have her phone and she would be on her phone all night long.

So, we were like, Zaya, get up. It's time to eat. She's like, no, I'd rather sleep. We weren't putting it together. That she's literally up all night obsessed with social media or whatever. And then we saw the, that documentary, Social Dilemma on Netflix, and we decided to take all of her devices. So 9:30-10:00, she has to turn her devices into anyone in the village, any adult in the village. And she doesn't get them back until the end of the school day. And she has to get up with the rest of us who, you know, we tend to be early risers and eat breakfast with everyone. And it has been night and day. All of her teachers were like, I don't know what you guys did, she's, you know, it's night and day. But it's, it's literally allowing them to get enough sleep and then making sure they are getting up and having a balanced breakfast and taking that break, you know, just sort of seeing how much more energy she has and getting that positive reinforcement from the school as well.

Liz Tenety: I have a question around flexibility and growth for you, Gab, in an article I read, I saw you say that when Zaya came out as transgender, it really forced you to like really deeply examine your beliefs about gender and expression. You know, many families have gone through this, but we're talking to you.

Can you tell us a bit about what that process is like for a family, what it was like for your family and areas of growth that you experienced through this?

Gabrielle Union: ? I mean, it's still happening if you're doing it right? The growth should last a lifetime, but those first couple of weeks were it is jarring because you get into a groove and you think you, you know, you got it under control.

You think, you know your kids and then it's like, oh, okay. Yeah. Yeah, no, I'm not surprised. No, I can roll with this. No problem. And your brain is literally exploding and you're like, I don't even know where to start and where I had to start, I didn't have any choice, was Google reaching out to different friends, friends of friends, of friends, of friends and getting every book that was available, every podcast, a YouTube video. You literally go everywhere to get more information. So, I was better prepared to be a reasonable parent desire and I had to unlearn everything I thought I knew about what it is to be a woman and what it is to be a man. Perfect example, shaving of legs. And when I was exactly, as I, as age, I was 13 and my mom was like, it's time.

And I'm like, oh, because my legs look like petrified forest? So. my mom, you know, at 13, you know, we went into the bathroom and she taught me how to shave my legs and what to do. And it was like this, you know, rite of passage. And I got my ears pierced around that time. And so immediately I'm looking to do those things with Zaya, but I was like, does shaving your legs make you a woman?

All of the things that were like rites of passage to mark time as a young woman, some women do this, but some don't and because a lot of young women that she follows on social media, don't shave. I had to pull that back. And I was like, I don't want to saddle her with hang ups about womanhood is whatever you decided to be.

There is no one way to be a woman. So, all of the little things that I thought were like, oh, that was so great. That me and my mom did. I'm like, oh, we were perpetuating misogyny and the patriarchy and just opening up more space for more expressions of femininity. Or of no femininity. Femininity and womanhood don't have to go together.

It can be whatever it is for you. And it's all beautiful and okay and real and valid and wonderful. But we also kind of stripped them of their freedom to exist, how they want to exist, what is natural to them. And we forced them into very narrow boxes.

Liz Tenety: I want to go back to Bitsy's for just a moment. We have a lot of women listening, who of course both want to support the mission of getting healthy food in the hands of every kid who needs it and also might be struggling.

Either to put enough food on the table or with challenges around food and eating with their kids. What are those healthy habits that you believe every family can employ, whether they're modeling it as a parent or, you know, encouraging healthy habits in their kids when it comes to food.

Alex Buckley: I try not to put food into categories, good food or bad food. I mean, obviously my kids are pretty up to speed on what makes something nutritious and what doesn't. But at the same time, I feel like I eat a pretty all over the place diet. I try to choose nutritious foods, but I also eat ice cream in bed and my kids see that. And I think that approach is helpful, especially as kids grow up and are thinking about their bodies and how they look, it really becomes about like, how do we fuel ourselves to.

Have the best day we can to live the best life we can [00:26:00] not is what we're putting into our body. Good or bad.

Maggie Patton: I'll say I try to keep it out there and available would be my one easy tip. If you have it handy and you have access, I think keeping the healthy things. Available. I agree with Alex's philosophy on sort of all the time foods and sometimes foods and kind of setting it up where there's no sort of forbidden thing.

I think that the conversation just for those that are struggling to have access to food, I just really, I think, and I'm so grateful. I just get excited every time we're together with gab, because. This is such a huge conversation. And this is like not a one mom owned business show kind of problem to solve and going back to like the access thing and even how we came together.

Right. And she was able to access our food at these certain stores. It tends to be the healthier stuff that goes to these more high-end stores, where they're willing to have the conversation and willing to take the risk on the brand that does kale across the front. And, you know together now, I hope that if we talk again in a year, we have a better answer for you in terms of how families that are really struggling with this can navigate that challenge.

It's hard enough to navigate the grocery Isles when you have the privilege of choosing healthy and the resources to do it. But I think when you're looking at every single little price tag sticker and, for lack of a better word, the crap food for another, is so cheap. It's like 99 cents for the full barrel of cheese ball. I mean, a lot of times, and maybe you're choosing between like, who knows what else in your family, keeping the heat on.

We've just got to do better and fix this. And it just, I think that it's something that when we have these conversations with major retailers and can build out the plan that we really have at Bitsy's, I just hope we're part of this solution. A part of it, part of it is how we market quote, unquote, comfort foods versus how we market healthier foods. You know, one is like loud and out there and they're every, you know, there was just, you know, oodles of noodles, of advertising dollars for anything that is going to, you know, be unhealthy.

But then the healthier options just as tasty I might add gets like very little marketing dollars and it's more word of mouth. You're going to learn about it from a podcast. And so, it's an uphill battle just in terms of, even though there's options out there, getting people to know about those options and then adequately and accurately addressing food deserts.

It's very easy to preach to people about health and wellness when you have all of the access in the world and you can afford all of the healthier options, but when you're dealing with so much of our country dealing with food scarcity and food deserts, And we don't really have great options. You know, if you've got to do your, all of your shopping at the 99 cent store, what are your options? So that as a society is on us, that is a shifting of focus and funds to making sure every child has access and can afford healthy options.

Liz Tenety: Well, at Motherly, we believe that motherhood brings out our super powers. So just amazing things, incredible things inside of us. And often they're things that we didn't even know were there often they're things that we actually thought we weren't good at And it turns out it's a super power.

So, I'm wondering for each of you, we'll start with you, Gab, what is your super power?

Gabrielle Union: I'm a fighter. I get in the ring. Sometimes the gloves her on and sometimes they're off, but I will fight. I will fight until I don't have any breath left. That's my superpower.

Liz Tenety: And motherhood gave you that?

Gabrielle Union: Being a black mother gave me that. Cause you never get to turn the fighter off. You are so clear as to all of the challenges. That are ahead of you and your family. And so if you're not a fighter, you will get wrecked over and your kids will be denied opportunities and access. So you always have to be ready and up for and prepared for the fight. Being a mother made me a more compassionate fighter, a more graceful fighter.

Alex Buckley: I was just thinking about how much I've learned from me to be here today, actually, and how I feel like maybe my superpower is an ability to say, I don't know, and to try to connect with the community of women around me and to ask for help crowdsource some of the dilemmas, but really to try to ask questions and really to listen.

Liz Tenety: And really hear the answers. Okay. Maggie, over to you.

Maggie Patton: Just, I love both of these women. I would just say, I think I'm an optimist is my superpower. And I've always felt like this with all four of my children that my job and honor is to raise them as good people who try to make this world better and who have that inside of them to find the good and.

Drive towards it and just like never give up on it. I think being an optimist for me means like I just never, ever give up. And actually Alex gave me this necklace that says anything is possible and has a flying pig on it. And I wear it every single day because I mean, my kids would probably tell you that's my tagline.

Anything is possible. We will find the good, we will find a way we will solve this.

Liz Tenety: Well, you're making me into an optimist. Thank you for that. Maggie. Gab, Alex, and Maggie from Bitsy's, thank you so much for joining us on the Motherly podcast.

Gabrielle Union: Thank you so much for having us. This is awesome.

Maggie Patton: Thank you.

Liz Tenety: So when you were at baby and when you were a toddler, you used to eat seriously, everything. And I used to call you my little meatball because your belly was so big. Do you feel like you've always had a big appetite?

Liz's son: You know, for a fact that. Is something that is very true considering the fact that it consumed five pizza in a sitting.

Liz: But as you've got older, doesn't seem like you like to eat fruits and vegetables as much anymore.

Liz's Son: That's not true. Oh, well I like watermelons, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries.

Liz Tenety: Corn!

Liz's son: Yes, corn and watermelon, tomato, cucumbers. That's true. And you know, pickles.

Liz Tenety: Oh, yeah. I love pickles. You know, I've noticed lately that you have been trying to eat like more yogurts, like for a long time, you wouldn't try any yogurts.

Liz's son: Look, the yogurt is better than the new kind of waffles.

Liz Tenety: Oh, so I got bad waffles, I bought bad waffles?

Liz's Son: Yes, you did. You bought disgust-o waffles.

Liz Tenety: That's it, our show this week. Thank you, Gabby, Maggie and Alex. And thank you for listening to our podcast. This season, we have more great guests coming up. I can't wait for you to listen as always. We would love it. If you spread the word about the motherly podcasts. So, if you can, leave us a review on Apple podcasts takes about 30 seconds, maybe less. I really appreciate it. I read every single review and it really helps other mamas discover our show.

The Motherly Podcast is produced by Jennifer Bassett with editing from Seaplane Armada. Our music is from the Blue Dot sessions. I'm your host, Liz Tenety. Thank you so much for listening.

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In this inspiring first episode of Season 7 of the podcast, Cortney Novogratz, one half the home design duo, The Novogratz, and mother to seven kids, talks about how starting her company with her husband was a way to bring her career and her priorities as a mother together, so she never had to choose between work and family. In this moment where work and home is blurred for so many moms, Cortney offers advice on how to make "the new normal" work for you, regardless of your living situation.

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Liz checks in with another trailblazing mother, editor and founding member of The Lily, The Washington Post's publication created for and by women. Neema explains why we need publications like The Lily, why we need to show up for moms in the ways that matter, and why feminism isn't a dirty word.

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Black Women's Health Imperative President & CEO, Linda Goler Blount talks to Liz about her accomplished career, why the health of black women is at a crisis-point, how her grandchild motivates her, and why scientific data matters when it comes to improving maternal mortality outcomes and other health disparities for black women.

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Hosted by Liz Tenety

Liz is an award-winning journalist and editor, and the co-founder of Motherly. A former Washington Post editor, she thrives on all things digital community + social media strategy. She's passionate about helping to provide women with more support, (and way less judgment), on the journey through motherhood. This podcast is an extension of her commitment to hosting honest conversations about modern motherhood. Liz resides outside NYC with her husband, two sons, one daughter and one amazing au pair.

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