#RealLifeWonderWoman–Meet Ashley Kibutha

When I first met today’s #RealLifeWonderWoman, I was impressed by her kindness, her intelligence and her ability to hold her own in a boardroom. At the time, I was a spokesperson for a nutritional initiative and she was fresh out of college and starting her first job as a registered dietitian for a regional grocery retailer. We worked together on several projects and became friends–her, a single twenty-something just embarking on her adult life and me, well into my second career and my 40s . Since then, she has married the love of her life and given birth to two adorable (I mean REALLY cute) little boys. She continues to work for the same company, Coborn’s, Inc., as the Lead Supermarket Registered Dietitian, helping people eat well and debunking the all-too frequent myths about food and nutrition.

But her passion is not limited to food. She has a heart for people, specifically in finding ways to connect and support each other, regardless of their backgrounds. I’m thrilled to introduce you to today’s #RealLifeWonderWoman…Ashley Kibutha.

KR:  Hi Ashley! You are a working mom with a newborn and a toddler so I realize you don’t have a lot of free time. But when you do, what are some of your hobbies? 

AK:  I love taking evening walks.

I like cooking–listening to reggae music, having a glass of wine while trying new recipes and using new ingredients and playing with different spices–especially ethnic cuisines.

I enjoy trying new restaurants with unique food offerings and flavor combinations.

Going to consignment stores and finding awesome deals on clothes.

Doing art projects with my toddler.

Making crafts and décor.

Traveling and learning about different cultures and people with unique perspectives from all over the world

Drinking way too much coffee with friends.

Playing volleyball.

But talking is my number one!!! I LOVE talking and having meaningful intellectual conversations and genuinely connecting with people at a more intimate level.

KR: Tell me about what brings you joy and fulfillment.

AK:  Helping people–making an impact and a difference in a positive way, being surrounded by quality people that inspire me to be better and do better.

Being a supermarket dietitian working in the community with people, FOOD all things food and nutrition, debunking myths and sharing the truth about food and nutrition.

I’m very passionate about finding similarities in people that are different from me in order to close the gap and build bridges.

Being the best mom I can be and teaching my boys to be responsible, contributing people in society that help the poor and marginalized in our society, to give them a realistic perspective of life.

I’m passionate about Africa and Kenya, more specifically, I have a deep respect for the culture, the languages, their food and their people and I enjoy passing this on to my boys.

Being a genuine friend and partner that challenges my husband to reach his greatest potential.

Being an advocate for the less fortunate and bringing hidden issues to the forefront.

KR:  We all have inner superpowers. What are some of yours?

AK:  Empathy and understanding, encouragement and positivity, drive, passion, strong will, breaking from the norm and the “expected.”

KR:  Can you tell us about an influential woman in your life and how she inspired you? 

AK:  My mother in law, Anna, has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. She grew up in a well-to-do family, but left all of that when she married a very poor man.  She moved to his village, in a very small house with a dirt floor and grass thatched roof to take care of all of his younger siblings, with them all speaking a language she didn’t speak. She was the first woman in all of the village to start her own business–grinding grains to make flour for the local school and members of the community, to then come home from work to labor in her garden and on her banana farm. She is always sharing her items from her farm, including giving food to her poor neighbors and even her employees. Anna will give a whole chicken to an employee so that it can lay eggs for them to eat and then they can sell any surplus eggs to make extra money on the side. Her employees come to her home every morning for tea and bread before work and all are provided lunch, and the poorest ones are even given a nice dinner before heading for home where there is no dinner to be found. This is all in addition to their wages. She is also the first woman to own her own car and drive herself in the village. She has broken down barriers and social norms of her society and strived to be an empowered and informed woman and has passed this along to her sons (to have this appreciation and understanding of women) and daughters alike.

She continues to give me perspective on my life and helps me to realize truly how fortunate I am on a daily basis (she has been staying with us for the past 3 months to help with our newest baby). One day I was complaining about the laundry that I have to do and she said, “Ashley, but you have so many clothes for your family. You never have to worry about going naked.” She sees so many children in the village have no clothes and their parents only having one torn shirt and pair of tattered pants–no shoes. It is so easy to continue to go about our life not realizing how lucky we are and how good we have it. It is so easy to forget the less fortunate when they are not in the midst of us

KR:  Knowing what you know at this stage of your life, what words of wisdom would you give to your 20-year-old self?

AK:  Stop worrying and stop comparing, seek out genuine people and put energy and time into those relationships.

KR:  If you could have one super-human power, what would it be?

AK:  Allow ALL people to have EQUALITY in ALL forms–access to food, water, education, housing, opportunity, civil rights, and ALL other freedoms. That race, religion, sexuality, sexual orientation, etc. literally do not have any factor in any punishments, decisions or treatment. I think the lyrics to the song “Imagine” by John Lennon state it best:

Imagine  (from Imagine: John Lennon soundtrack)

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today… Aha-ah…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

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7 Comments on “#RealLifeWonderWoman–Meet Ashley Kibutha”

    1. Thanks for commenting, Melanie. Ashley sure knows how to inspire. She doesn’t just talk the talk. She walks the walk. Keep checking back each week as I will continue to feature more wonderful women.

    1. Thank you, Jenna! Ashley has been such an inspiration to me. It was an honor to feature her. Please check in every Wednesday for another #RealLifeWonderWoman.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Alison. What a treat to see your name pop up here! You are another #RealLifeWonderWoman making a difference and spreading kindness to others. Hope you are well.

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