Fed & Fit

Ep. 167: The Lorissa’s Kitchen Story!

On today's episode, I'm chatting Lorissa Link, owner and founder of Lorissa's Kitchen!

We're back with our 167th episode of the Fed+Fit Podcast! Remember to check back every Monday for a new episode and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

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Episode 167 Transcription

Cassy Joy: Welcome back to another episode of the Fed and Fit podcast. I am your host, Cassy Joy Garcia. And I am beyond thrilled for today’s interview. I have invited Lorissa Link. She’s the founder of Lorissa’s Kitchen, to the show today.

Let me tell you a little bit about her, and then we’ll hear from her. Lorissa created Lorissa’s Kitchen snack brand. She, like so many women today, was busy juggling a career and a family. No matter how busy her day gets, she enjoys the true satisfaction for being there fully for each moment. And real food helps make that happen, because it satisfies the body, the mind, the heart, and soul.

When Lorissa founded Lorissa’s Kitchen, she set out to create delicious, healthy snacks that she could take anywhere and keep her family well nourished without sacrificing quality and responsible ingredients that she really cares about. Which is why she so resonates with what we do over here at Fed and Fit.

So outside of her career, Lorissa enjoys traveling the world and cooking for her family. Welcome to the show, Lorissa!

Lorissa Link: Well thank you so much for having me today! I’m very excited to be here and chat with you.

Cassy Joy: Oh my goodness, the pleasure is truly mine. I’m so thrilled for today’s talk. I would love it; I, of course, introduced you very briefly. But will you tell us a little bit more about yourself, and then what interested you in launching Lorissa’s Kitchen?

Lorissa Link: Yes, absolutely. Like you said, I’m the founder of Lorissa’s Kitchen. A premium protein snack company, where I’m dedicated to crafting real protein rich snacks that support a full life. I know everybody is busy out there. On a personal note, I’m a mom of 2, expecting our third in December. I’ve been married almost 9 years coming up in august. And of course, we live a busy life, like many other families out there. Trying to juggle family with work and some personal time as well. And that’s what led me into launching Lorissa’s Kitchen.

I was pregnant with our first. I started really diving into food labels, and all of the ingredients that were being added to shelf stable products. Even products that are prepped and ready to go. The things that they need to add to them to make them convenient for you just were not aligning with what was important to me. So I wanted to make it easier for other people out there to eat healthy, and not make it such a pain.

Long food labels with ingredients that you can’t pronounce are things that we will never have in Lorissa’s Kitchen. So that’s really where everything resonated with me.

Cassy Joy: That’s wonderful. You're a girl after my own heart. I think that when I started in the real food world, it was through my own health transformation. And that was about 9 years ago, so I guess right when you got married! {laughs}

Lorissa Link: Yep!

Cassy Joy: And back then, it was really hard. I’m sure you remember; it was really tough to find food products, convenient products, that I could take with me. Otherwise, I was at home making my own snacks. And that was the only option that we had. So I remember thinking; gosh. One day, there’s going to be somebody that can make something {laughs} that I can take with me. And feel good about. Well, that’s wonderful. And thank you, personally, thank you. I’m thrilled to have these snacks for myself and my family.

I’m really curious. I would love to know; the Fed and Fit audience. We like to geek out every once in a while on details. So we would love to know what kind of ingredients does Lorissa’s Kitchen look to avoid?

Lorissa Link: That’s a great question. We find avoiding things is just as important as having things, as well. So for us, our top priority is making sure that we use responsibly raised meats. So we only use 100% grass-fed beef with no added hormones. Chicken raised without antibiotics. And we make sure our sourcing is of the highest quality. So that is very important to us.

And we just want to make sure that we don’t use any ingredients that you're not going to use in your own kitchen. So you're never going to read about any preservatives. No added nitrates. No MSG. Another added bonus is we’re gluten free, as well, throughout all of our snacks. So that’s been really helpful for people that have another restriction to their diet, as well.

Cassy Joy: Absolutely. And I’m one of those people. Man, if I could, I would eat it. {laughs} I think I would. But I have to avoid wheat gluten. And that’s something that I need to look for in food products. So I know there are a lot of folks out there who do the same. I appreciate that thoughtfulness.

What has been the process of launching Lorissa’s Kitchen been like for you? This is so fascinating to me, because you have to feel a little bit like a pioneer. Because this is such a new thing. Avoiding a big chunk of ingredients that are normally included in protein-type snacks.

Lorissa Link: Yeah, that’s correct. Categorically, women have been left out of the jerky category. So I do feel like I am pioneering a little bit of a different route. Carving out a little bit of space for women within the category, as well. Just launching it has been a total whirlwind. {laughs} I love to have my hands in many facets of the business. R&D is super important to me. So research and development, making sure all of our snacks are very nutritious and healthy. We also love to have creative flavors, as well.

And now we’re on the verge of really trying to launch some alternative protein snacks, too. We want to be more than just your typical jerky company. We really want to be able to be there for lots of different people in different ways. Making sure that all of our snacks are nutritious and ready to go when you are.

Cassy Joy: Today’s show is made possible because of our friends at Thrive Market! Thrive Market is an online market place on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. You can shop for thousands of the best-selling organic foods and natural products at 20-50% below traditional retail prices.

Let me tell you what I’m getting from Thrive Market. There are three things that come to mind immediately; number one. Primal Kitchen Foods mayo. It is the mayo that I will always have on hand. It is my absolute favorite. It is the mayo that made me like mayo {laughs}; because I didn’t like it before.

Normally, this avocado oil-based mayo is $11.99 retail; and you can find it on Thrive for $7.49. incredible! This is also the mayo that I use to make a much healthier alternative for ranch dressing. Add some lemon juice and some dill; it’s so good.

Number two thing that I’m getting from them; Bambo diapers. These are the disposable diapers that we use on Greyson when we use disposable. We are using cloth on her, but when we travel, when we go out, I like to have some disposable on hand. Normally $13.50 retail; you can find them on Thrive for $11.49. Incredible!

Number three product that I get on Thrive. I get asked about this product all the time. Where do I find coconut aminos? Well, I’ll do you one better. I’m not just going to tell you that you can find coconut aminos on Thrive Market, but you can actually find them for almost half off. Normally they’re priced at $9.73 depending on where you’re shopping. You can find them on Thrive for $4.99. it’s unbelievable. These are the coconut aminos that we use as a soy replacement. And if you are looking for a recipe, Google Fed and Fit Mongolian Beef and you will find the most killer Mongolian Beef sauce made from coconut aminos. You need one jar of it. It’s so delicious, you're not going to regret it.

You can try these products for yourself today, and get an extra 25% off your purchase and a free 30-day trial from Thrive Market. Just go to www.ThriveMarket.com/Cassy.

Cassy Joy: Oh my goodness, that’s son wonderful. I mean, it’s obvious, Lorissa, that so much heart and thought and care has gone into not just Lorissa’s Kitchen and how you outwardly are portrayed, but even in the actual product. When you guys dig into these {laughs} they’re so delicious, and it’s just really high quality. And I feel as picky as I am about the kind of food that I keep in my house for my family, I feel so good telling my husband; grab one of those packs on your way out the door.

Lorissa Link: OH, that’s so great to hear. Because that’s exactly what we’re trying to do. We want you to feel good about eating all of Lorissa’s Kitchen products. And we never want you to feel like this is a guilty snack. No; it’s high in protein. It’s low in fat. All natural ingredients where you're going to find the same ones in your kitchen. No additives or anything like that.

So really we’re trying to educate people a little bit more on jerky that have never tried it before. Technically, we’re not even really jerky because our moisture content is a little bit higher than what the USD calls jerky. So we’re trying to create a new type of jerky. So we really call it a premium protein snack. It has a much more tender bite. So it’s a little more friendly to eat than the rip and tear jerky.

Cassy Joy: That’s a great way to put it! I think about it; growing up, there was a butcher in town. And we used to get jerky. I mean, it was the size of your computer screen, those pieces of jerky.

Lorissa Link: Yes! {laughing}

Cassy Joy: And that’s exactly what it was. It was rip and tear. And you felt like you needed to drink a whole bunch of water afterwards. But you're right; this is a wonderful texture. And I find that I can actually eat it without making my jaw sore. Is that a thing? Jaw soreness?

Lorissa Link: {laughs} Yes.

Cassy Joy: But it is. Like I said, it’s very obvious how much thought went into this product. All of your products that I’ve tried so far. I would love to know; you're a mom of soon to be three; congratulations.

Lorissa Link: Thank you.

Cassy Joy: That’s got to be so exciting. I would love to know, as a working mom of an almost 6-month-old. How have you found balance your work and motherhood? I know there are a lot of women that listen to this podcast that are also looking to juggle that. I would love to hear from you how you found that balance.

Lorissa Link: Well, it stemmed from Lorissa’s Kitchen. Because I believe the secret to a full life is feeding an appetite for good. So if I’m putting nutritious food in my body, it’s going to keep me energized and feeling good throughout the day. And that kinds of leads me being able to do it all. I wear a lot of different hats, and there’s a lot of juggling that goes on. And sometimes one area might fall short, and the other area I just end up nailing that day.

So, really balance is key. And I think balance is really important in diet, as well. So you feel sustained and energized throughout your day. Trying to stay organized and ahead of things is obviously really, really important when trying to do a lot. But what I find is a lot of energy through nutrition.

Cassy Joy: I think that’s such a great answer. And I get asked sometimes; “How do you have the energy to do all these things?” And a part of me wonders, because I haven’t ever lived in a different body. So I don’t know how to answer that question. But I suspect a lot of it has to do with how I feed myself. How I stay hydrated, and rested if possible. Life with a newborn; that’s not always the case. But try to stay as rested and as nourished as possible. And it really does. If you want to add more hours into the day, I find that you just have to be more efficient with the hours you do have. And that’s kind of a backwards way of making it happen. And making sure you're fueling yourself really well, like you said. Is a way to do it. I love that. I love that perspective.

Ok, going back to the product. Could you describe for listeners how the taste of Lorissa’s Kitchen’s products are different from traditional jerky? We talked about the moisture content. But I would love to know through that development process; what were you really looking to get those products to taste like?

Lorissa Link: Well we really wanted to be creative with our flavors. For those looking for a fun food experience where it’s not just an original flavor. We really wanted some interesting things to come through. So when we created Korean Beef Barbecue, that kind of became our signature recipe. It was something new, it was something different. We also came out with Ginger Teriyaki Chicken. And that is just an easy sort of flavor, but it still has a fun flavor to it. So it’s something you could share with your whole family.

If you like a little bit more spice, there’s Schezwan Peppercorn, which is great when you're looking for a little bit of a kick. Of course, there’s original, as well. And now we have sticks that we just launched, as well, too. So jalapeno has an awesome kick. It tastes just like jalapeno. You can see the chunks of the seeds right in there, so that’s kind of fun. We have the original as well, which is a great go-to flavor if you're just trying the stick for maybe the first time. And then there’s sweet and smoky, which is an all-time favorite for my kids.

So it’s just an easier product to eat and take on the go. A stick is easy for a snack. If you needed to actually replace lunch because you’ve been running super hard and you haven’t had time to stop, you could replace it with a bag of jerky, a piece of fruit, and a water. So it just comes in handy in all sorts of different ways that we want to be able to help people fuel their days.

Cassy Joy: Today’s show is brought to you buy Lorissa’s Kitchen! Lorissa’s Kitchen Protein snacks are mad with only the highest quality meats, including 100% grass-fed beef. There are no preservatives. No added growth hormones. No MSG. And no nitrates. Lorissa’s Kitchen meat snacks come in a variety of flavors. My personal favorites are the Korean Barbecue Beef and the Ginger Teriyaki Chicken! They’re so tasty.

I always keep a few in my purse and gym bag for a healthy protein-filled snack when I’m on the go and I don’t want to sacrifice quality ingredients. Lorissa’s Kitchen Products are available nationwide at leading retailers such as Target, Walgreens, Kroger, Publix, convenience stores, as well as on Amazon.com. Use the code 20OFFLK to receive 20% off on Amazon. This is such a good deal. Again, that’s 20OFFLK to receive 20% off on Amazon.

Cassy Joy: I love that. I was just on a trip. I live in San Antonio, Texas. And I was just traveling up to the Pacific Northwest. We went to Leavenworth, Washington. Have you ever been there, Lorissa?

Lorissa Link: I haven’t.

Cassy Joy: Oh, it’s lovely. It’s this little slice of Bavaria. They have a city ordinance pass where every building had to be built in a Bavarian theme. And so it’s really a true gem. It’s beautiful, lovely people. So we were there, but it’s difficult to get to. And I had some flights. I was one of those that had two layovers in a day; which I definitely try to avoid if at all possible. {laughs} Because if one flight gets bumped, then all of a sudden you're running to the next gate. So that happened. And my window to have a meal closed on me. And I’m not the kind of girl that just forgets to eat. {laughs} That’s not a problem I’ve ever had.

Lorissa Link: {laughing} Same here.

Cassy Joy: I finish breakfast, and I look at my clock or ask my husband; what do you want to do for lunch? I like to have the next meal plan, and I was pretty crushed. But, I had a bag of, I believe it was the Ginger Teriyaki Chicken in my computer bag. Opened that up, I enjoyed that, and I immediately felt satisfied. I didn’t feel like I had missed a meal anymore. I had my water. I had a little piece of fruit with me; some dried fruit. So it was perfect. It really did save the day. Because hanger was put at bay for a little while.

Lorissa Link: That’s great to hear.

Cassy Joy: It really was a lifesaver. And I shared with a friend on the plane. So it saved their day too. {laughs}

Lorissa Link: {laughs} Good! It will get you to your next healthy meal.

Cassy Joy: Exactly! And then you're not starving when you do land and grab a bag of M&Ms or something like that.

Lorissa Link: Exactly.

Cassy Joy: Absolutely. So I would love to know what are some of your favorites? You said the kids really loved the sweet and smoky sticks. What are some of your favorites in the line, and how do you guys incorporate it into your day?

Lorissa Link: For me, it’s always available in my bag or in my car. With having a shelf-stable product, it really is a lifesaver. When you're in a time crunch, and you didn’t have time to prep your fresh fruit or vegetables or something for the day. Or you're running for the gym and you know you want to have that protein; either before and after. But you're not going to bring a chicken breast in a Ziploc with you, or you don’t have time for something like that. It comes in so handy. And it’s not just a snack that you want to eat on a road trip. If you want to elevate your cheese tray at night with your girlfriends coming over for a glass of wine. You can add in some extra protein to that.

If your kids are running off to some games and things like that, the sticks are really easy to stick in their bag. You know they’re getting a good source of protein with all of the good claims on it, as well. None of the junk that you don’t want them to be eating.

Cassy Joy: I love that idea. I love the cheese tray idea. That’s fantastic.

Lorissa Link: Yeah, that’s really fun. It adds some different fun flavors in, different textures. And it looks really nice, presentation-wise, as well.

Cassy Joy: I love that. And it’s true. Just throwing some sticks or even a bag of jerky in a kid’s backpack or bag or something like that is wonderful. I keep them in my gym bag, also. Because I’m not always able to go and grab a meal right away right when I would want to. Before kids, I think I really had my act together. I would have sweet potato and chicken in my bag {laughs} ready to dive into. And now if I miss that window; like you said, it’s a shelf-stable product. So I know that I’ve got that Korean Beef Barbecue bag sitting in there.

Lorissa Link: Yep, that’s exactly it. Life does not always go as exactly planned, so it’s good to have a backup, and it’s good to know where your food is coming from, and what’s in it. Knowing all of the nutrients in it.

Cassy Joy: Absolutely. Ok, I would love to know just a little bit more about you. What are some of your personal passions outside of this incredible mission of creating premium protein snacks; a much healthier protein snack.

Lorissa Link: I absolutely love to be outdoors. And my kids are at the age now where they’re able to share a lot of my same passions, too. Which is great, because just trying to find that balance, it’s great when all of our passions kind of line up together. So we spend a ton of time outdoors. If it’s hiking, or swimming. Paddle boarding.

They’re getting to the point where they can start to follow some direction. If they’re going to do a little morning yoga session with me. Whatever it might be. We spend a ton of time in the garden. I got a little aggressive this year, and made the garden a little too big. {laughs} But it’s been a ton of fun, and we’ve gotten wonderful food from it. So we spend a lot of time in the kitchen together, cooking and having fun and laughing.

So a lot of my passions include what I can do with my family. What I can do with my friends. And just really try and elevate all of my time with everyone.

Cassy Joy: That’s so sweet. You sound like a maximizer, which I am as well.

Lorissa Link: Yeah! {laughs} Try and do it all. Have fun while I'm doing it.

Cassy Joy: Yeah! That’s wonderful. That’s so sweet. And I just love it. It really does feel like we’re birds of a feather. It’s one thing to, I think, have all these passions. But to want to do them really well, and get the most out of it, and really be there with your family and make wonderful memories. And nourish yourself along the way. It’s interesting. It used to feel like kind of an impossible equation, if you are out and about. Just to also be healthy. Because we used to think if we traveled, or if we went out and did those kinds of things, we would also have to make the concession as to the kind of food that we could bring along.

Obviously, I’m geeking out still about what y’all have created. But I just love that we’re able to kind of do it all. Stay healthy. Stay active. And be there with our friends and family. That’s so wonderful.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Lorissa Link: Well, just thank you so much for having me today. It was great to chat with you. I truly enjoyed our time together.

Cassy Joy: Really, the pleasure was mine. I am so thrilled for this product. You guys, I highly recommend. Look up Lorissa’s Kitchen. You can find it, definitely on Amazon. We have a code; head on over to the blog post. You can click on the link and grab the code there. But I’m just beyond thrilled for what you have created. What you're doing for, not just this immediate community.

Because all the folks that are listening probably are nodding their head and they’re cheering. They’re saying, “Yay! I’ve been waiting for this!” But for also the folks out there who maybe this is going to be their first introduction to a healthier alternative. And it might open doors from the outside in. And I just think that’s so incredible. So congratulations. I tip my hat to you. Especially as a fellow mama. I know that’s not easy doing all those things at once. So thank you for all of your hard work.

Lorissa Link: Thank you so much. I appreciate all the kind words.

Cassy Joy: Of course! Thank you everybody for listening. Remember to head over to the blog for the full transcript to get all of those good links, and the coupon code. As always, we’ll be back again next week.

   

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