We know a lot of nutritionists (like, a lot). What we love about one of our fave contributors, Kelly LeVeque, is that she dazzles with her smile one moment and knocks people off their feet with her clinical knowledge the next! This girl knows what’s up with your gut and your fridge – and it doesn’t hurt that she counts everyone from Jessica Alba to Kate Walsh as clients.
We’re starting to ask a few of our favorite friends and contributors the Q’s we normally reserve for celebs and top doctors. Their answers have begun pouring in – and we’re loving them! Read through Kelly’s thorough answers to our Living Well With… feature below and expect to take notes!
My food philosophy in one sentence: Less rules; more light livable structure. Less cleanses; more daily cleansing.
Daily supplements: I like simple supplementation with the most important vitamins and minerals to support my cellular function. My daily supplements include: vitamin D/K2, Omega3 Innovations Omega Cure, soil-based probiotics, B-rich multivitamin and magnesium or rhodiola as needed for stress or sleep.
At least once a week I cook…Tacos! Shrimp, fish or grass-fed beef smothered in guac and loaded with veggies.
Go-to juice or smoothie: My Be Well Spa Smoothie! Get the recipe below, and check out my TCM article for tips on crafting a functional smoothie.
Daily breakfast: I always start my day with one of the low sugar, meal replacement smoothie recipes I created for my clients! My Be Well Smoothie formula helps develop a blood-sugar balancing meal in any flavor with enough protein, fat and fiber to keep you full for four to six hours, feed your microbiome, turn off hunger hormones and nourish your body with amino acids, fatty acids and phytonutrients. It limits fruit to 1/4 -1/2 cup, depending on your body composition goals, and some are totally fruit free. A killer go-to is my Spa Smoothie, loaded with greens, cucumber, avocado, lemon and mint (find my recipe below!).
Ingredient in products I always avoid: High omega 6 oils such as safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed and soybean oil. These industrial seed oils are in a number of processed foods (even the healthy ones!) and can throw off the delicate balance of omegas in the body creating an inflammatory state. I focus on protecting that balance by decreasing omega 6 oils and increasing my wild-fatty-fish intake.
Fave healthy food on the go: I lean on grocery and health stores with a salad and hot bar like Erewhon (see trends!) or Whole Foods (how we splurge!). I can easily grab salmon and roasted veggies, a chicken salad or lentil soup and kale salad.
The Fab Four is a light structure I built to help my clients remember what nourishing foods they should eat to elongate their blood-sugar curve, support hormone production, microbiome proliferation and healthy body composition. The Fab Four is simply; protein, fat, fiber and greens! Hot or cold, cooked or raw it allows you to eat what you love and mix it up! In combination, the Fab Four works to turn off eight hunger hormones in the body, it ensures you are getting the essential fatty and amino acids you need for cell regeneration and helps you build a complete meal that will keep you satisfied for four to six hours so you eat more real foods and less fake snacks.
Fave workout: Working out is a moving meditation for me, so… I prioritize what’s going to make me the happiest at the time. Choosing the right workout always comes down to what fits in my schedule, the instructor and what my body is craving. I workout 4-6 days a week and my schedule is constantly changing so I have a laundry list of L.A. favorites including: Orange Theory Fitness, SoulCycle, Cyclehouse, Maha Yoga, Yoga Hop, Playlist, The Body or a private training session with my friend Mike Alexander of Madfit. It’s all about consistency and getting at least 1-2 days of strength in to maintain tone and metabolism.
Once a week for my health I… Soak in an Epsom salt bath (1 cup Epsom salt and a few drops of essential oils) and read a good book without my phone or just breathe. Honestly, it’s all about carving just a little me time out and listening close enough to hear what I need in the moments of downtime. I also make sure to carve out time for human touch! Making time for sex or serious cuddling releases dopamine in the brain to combat stress and nourishes my most precious relationship: the one between my husband and myself.
3 staples always on my vanity: Organic oils and my Honest Makeup. I am literally addicted to facial oils and my medicine cabinet is stocked: calendula from Eminence, squalane from Oak & Ashland, marula from African Organics and this blend from CocoKind. Face oil is my organic secret for preventing breakouts, staying hydrated and preventing wrinkles. If my skin needs a little extra love I will go for one of my stronger serums like vitamin C with hyaluronic, post exfoliating.
I prefer real meals, however; in a pinch I can whip up an airport shake or munch on a clean-protein and fat-based snack. You will also always find my yoga tune-up balls and workout gear – the best thing post long flight is a sweat and fascia release.
Fave healthy getaway: Four Seasons Maui! I love the island – from the moment I step off the plane I am transported to the surf days of summer in high school. I naturally wake up early for sunrise yoga, eat loads of fatty fish and organic produce, enjoy a the juice bar and paddle out to catch as many waves as humanly possible before sunset.
Non-negotiable: Quality protein, produce and pantry products! I love to eat out, travel and celebrate life so I like to ensure my kitchen at home is an organic sanctuary.
My protein powder is organic, non-GMO and tested for heavy metals. I order grass-finished beef monthly from the Butcher Box and wild fish from Vital Choice. My go-to eggs are pasture raised and omega-3 rich (fed flax seeds) from Vital Farms. My produce is organic or pesticide-free from the farmers market. I use Thrive Market for my dry, canned and packaged goods. (This is a great way to snag a deal: ask your farmers market vendors if they follow organic practices most of the time, but can’t afford the organic certification.)
Simplest way to improve health: Enjoy the journey! Transforming our mindset, our nutrition and our bodies is a journey. It takes practice to be present, to see that big leaps start with small steps and to not get discouraged if we have setbacks. Learn to enjoy it by breaking your “big goals” down into attainable action steps that can reinforce how strong, brilliant and beautiful you are.
Just look at the week ahead of you: Plan a workout with a friend and create a healthy meal plan to nourish your body. Step by step, you’ll build a healthy lifestyle, and moments of clarity and opportunities for fun will follow. True progress happens when we enjoy making it happen and when we get out of our own way. By focusing on eating real and nutrient-dense food, and striving to build a healthy, active lifestyle, you’ll take the important first steps to being well and it will naturally become a lifestyle.
Crazy health idea that actually works: Biological ketosis using ketone esters (not keto acidosis, you maintain low glucose levels) and circadian IMF fasting; they both work well and can be used to help a client combat insulin resistance, lower elevated blood sugar and insulin and reset. I only occasionally incorporate these programs for red carpet deadlines and always closely monitor my clients. Ketosis, isn’t an excuse to eat cream cheese: For my clients we use high quality fats like MCT and algae oil and strategically eat greens to maintain fiber and phytonutrient levels. I created EIMF or evening intermittent fasting because front-loading calories and lighting up in the evening supports the circadian rhythm and cortisol curve instead of stressing the body. This also helps calm anxiety that comes with fasting and instead calms hunger hormones immediately. Dinner might be a simple dandelion tea blended with coconut oil or a late lunch and fasted dinner.
Remember, body composition goals are easily and naturally hit with blood-sugar balance, microbiome support and anti-inflammatory foods so it’s always better to go with a slow and natural change.
If I could give just one piece of health advice it would be… I try to instill balance in my clients by giving them light structure around what they should eat and breaking down their rigid food rules and cleansing habits.
Binging and cleansing cycles swing you back and forth like an out of control pendulum ball. Happiness and health are attained when you find balance. Balance isn’t when you stop moving and live a rigid, on-plan, perfect life; you are human, and none of us is perfect. When you are focused on a perfect food day you aren’t present, and most likely you are anxious, irritable and thinking about food all day. Instead focus on turning off hunger hormones and thoughts about food and know it be okay to swing a little from time to time. Balance is found with intentional movement to eat clean, sweat and even enjoy a glass of wine with friends. Accept who you are, love who you are and build a lifestyle focused on health, not some abstract idea of “perfection.”
My current mantra: Self love! When was the last time you looked in the mirror and reinforced the things you love about yourself? And not just your physical attributes, but all of the unique, beautiful pieces of your personality that make you you and no one else. The reasons you’re a good daughter, or why your friends think you’re funny, or why the barista at Starbucks thinks you’re endearing. True confidence emanates from within. Self-love, self-acceptance and positive reinforcement keep your spiritual soil fertile. That’s where positive body image grows from.
The “Be Well” Spa Smoothie
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 small Persian cucumber
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 handful of spinach
1 lemon, freshly juiced
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 cups unsweetend nut milk
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!