Michael Chernow is a proud father, husband, chef, entrepreneur, business owner, fitness junkie, and marathon runner whose inspiring journey impacts everyone around him. Hitting 17 years sober, Chernow’s lifestyle and dedication to healthy living is proof that if you put your mind to something and work hard, you can accomplish your heart’s desires.
Receiving degrees in culinary arts and restaurant management from the French Culinary Institute, he along with his longtime friend, Daniel Holzman, opened the Meatball Shop in 2011 then Seamore’s several years later. His latest culinary venture protein-packed and gluten-free oatmeal brand Kreatures of Habit.
But his journey leaning up to this point is proof that if you create healthy habits and stay consistent with them, you can pave a path for your life that you might not dream possible.
Where it all began
Chernow started his journey within the restaurant business at the ripe age of 13, but his entrepreneurial spirit began even before that. When he was 5 years old, he would sell his toys that he no longer used bringing in the cash, and after that, began to collect and sell toys. Fast forward to 9 years of age and Chernow had his own business walking dogs for $5 per walk.
“As early as I can remember, I wanted to create, he says, and for the rest of his life, that’s exactly what he did.
Throughout his teenage years, he stayed true to working hard and even worked as a delivery boy delivering videos for Couch Potato Video and took on a second job delivering food on rollerblades for the Candle café In New York. A young kid with a determined spirit, Chernow went on to face great success, but before that, he faced heavy addiction.
From alcoholism to creating a life of success
Years down the road, Chernow began bartending at “Frank,” a restaurant in the East Village of New York City. This is where things took a turn for worse for Chernow. Alcohol was taking a toll on his life, and it was beginning to show.
After not showing up for work, his boss, Frank, gave him an ultimatum: “Either walk out that door and you can never come back, or you can get sober,” and if he did choose to get sober, in order to keep his job, Frank required Chernow to show up to work for the next 30 days at 8 a.m. and help clean. He chose the latter.
“I had two choices, I was going to die, or I was going to get sober” recalls Chernow. Thankfully, he chose the sober route, and with the help and wisdom from a mentor, named Marcus, Chernow’s life would never be the same.
The first thing his mentor did was walk Chernow over to a Muay Thai gym, where he was able to use the sport as an outlet for sobriety. That moment radically changed Chernow’s life. Marcus taught him all about health and fitness, which led him on a path of consistent dedication to wellness, going on to run marathons, win bodybuilding competitions, and help millions become their greatest.
‘Kreature’ of habit
The healthy habits now embraced by Chernow set his path in a blaze with success. During that time, each morning, Chernow would wake up, go to an AA meeting, then head to the Muay Thai gym and home for a staple meal which consisted of a blend of gluten-free oats, plant-based powder, Ceylon cinnamon, pink Himalayan salt, blueberries and shaved almond; which he still eats to this day.
That breakfast that has now become the heart and soul of his new venture, Kreatures of Habit: a company that helps give people the power to harness healthy habits from wake up to wind down with clean oatmeal bowls, offering a positive platform of fitness, nutrition and wellness resources through Habitual Rituals.
Chernow feels that the habits you create will either make or break you. “I feel like the first thing you put into your body every single day is a good depiction of what you’re going to put into your body throughout the rest of the day,” he says. He continues, “You start with the good, you have a much greater chance of ending with the good.” Proving that what you put in your body and what you do on a consistent basic form you as an individual and the life that you will produce.
Routine, structure, discipline
“Routine, structure, and discipline are the gateway to freedom” Chernow explains, and it is the remedy that he uses to stay sober and successful. Every day he wakes up at the same time, works out, and then fuels his body with the nutrients it needs to thrive and keep him moving forward. Cue the oats!
But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a weak moment. When a moment of temptation comes about where he may be tempted to have a drink he reminds himself of all he has: family, health, and career, and knows that if he has even one drink, he could lose it all.
To create the life you want and to breakthrough negative habits, Chernow’s advice is simple: “Create new habits.” It might be hard at first, but start small. and before you know it, your old habits will be a thing of the past, and your life will begin to reap the benefits of your routine, structure, and discipline.