Certified holistic nutritionist Kelly LeVeque is trusted by celebrity clients such as Jessica Alba, Evan Peters, and Eve Hewson, but she’s not reserving her knowledge for the rich and famous. Her new book, “Body Love: Live in Balance, Weigh What You Want, and Free Yourself from Food Drama Forever,” is set to give readers the resources they need to live clean and love their bodies through the food they eat.
Holistic nutrition is about more than simply prescribing a few healthy food groups—it’s about taking into account an individual’s unique needs and helping them create a healthy lifestyle that works for them. And this doesn’t just mean physical healing—this is taking care of the emotions behind unhealthy habits, as well.
This is LeVeque’s area of expertise—she’s here to help you escape the web of dietary “rules” and create livable habits. Too often we get caught up in fad diets and exercise programs, only to quit a few weeks later because these plans aren’t sustainable. They’re short-term fixes for long-term problems.
To help you make the shift from rigid and stressful food rules to a healthy lifestyle, let’s take a look at a few of LeVeque’s tips on how to set yourself up for dietary success.
At the end of a long day, LeVeque knows how to relax, but more importantly, she knows why.
Stress is a weight-gainer. Not only that, but it’s a major source of chronic inflammation—a condition that can leave you feeling constantly fatigued and ill.
To relax in the evening, LeVeque recommends “carving just a little me time,” and doing something good for yourself. For example, in the evenings, she puts on the soft light of a Himalayan chrystal rock lamp, gets into comfy clothes, and has a cup of hot, adaptogenic tea. Occasionally, she makes use of a relaxing Epsom salt bath and a book.
Whatever you do, make sure it’s tailored for what relaxes you, whether that’s jogging, playing a video game, binging your favorite show on Netflix, or covering yourself in blankets and listening to your favorite tunes.
Finding ways to relieve stress at the end of the day is the first vital step toward a healthier life.
Reinforce the Positive
How often do you reinforce the things you love about yourself? If you’re like most people, it’s probably not often. LeVeque recommends taking a good, long look in the mirror and praising yourself—not just your looks, but your personality, as well as all the little things that make you unique.
Much like relieving stress, intentionally cultivating a positive self-image makes us more likely to stick to healthy habits—after all, we all take care of the things we value, right?
Start valuing you. Think about all the reasons why you’re awesome, and don’t worry about the parts of you that could use improving. You’ll worry about them later. Right now, at the beginning of your journey to health, focus on the positive, on self-acceptance, and on self-love.
Escape the Binge and Cleanse Cycle
If there’s one thing LeVeque dislikes, it’s the cycles of binging, cleansing, and dieting that can keep you stressfully swinging back and forth like a pendulum.
“Happiness and health are attained when you find balance,” she writes, in an article for The Chalkboard. “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 of this, work to build a healthy lifestyle. Don’t think of going to the gym as something you need to do until you drop 10 pounds. It’s just a part of your life. Don’t go on a three-week diet, but make a habit of consistently choosing healthier foods.
A “lifestyle” sounds like a huge and complex thing to build, but if you break things up into small, attainable goals, you can succeed. For example, incorporate a short walk into your daily routine. Or endeavor to replace one unhealthy snack food—something high in empty calories—with a healthier alternative until there are simply no unhealthy choices in your home.
When you escape the yo-yo dieting and exercise cycle and build a lifestyle, you have a much better chance of sticking to a healthier way of life.
Embrace the Fab Four
One of the ways LeVeque helps her clients to remember what foods are most nourishing is through what she calls “The Fab Four.”
The fab four is simple: protein, fat, fiber, and greens.
When eaten in combination, these foods help you stay satiated, ensure you’re getting essential nutrients, and help you build complete meals. You’ll be less reliant on snack foods, and you’ll stave off the hunger pangs that can lead to binge eating.
If you’re not sure exactly how to make the best use of the Fab Four, take a look at these meal recommendations from LeVeque’s web site—they’re delicious, nutritious, and best of all, easy.
Love Yourself to Health
LeVeque’s approach to nutrition is unique—it’s positive, effective, and most importantly, flexible. If you’re having trouble, you can take changes slowly. You can learn one healthy food at a time. You can add in just a little more exercise every few weeks.
It’s up to you!
And because, at its core, her technique is all about loving yourself to health, it leaves you truly motivated to do your best—you won’t be simply going through the motions. You’re taking care of yourself—mind, body, and spirit.
If you’re interested in a fuller exploration of these ideas, check out LeVeque’s “Body Love.” You’ll find her advice easy to follow, and her positive reinforcement, refreshing.
Until then, though, remember to stay positive, love yourself, break the chains of yo-yo dieting, and embrace the “Fab Four.” These simple changes will put you well on your way to a better body and a healthier you.