Kelly LeVeque is one of those people you just like immediately. She is genuine and smart, and just a cool chick. In case you aren’t familiar with her yet, Kelly is an LA-based holistic nutritionist and has worked with clients including Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, Emmy Rossum and Busy Phillips. She recently released her second book, ‘Body Love Every Day’, which discusses four major archetypes (hello, fellow ‘Girl on the Go’s’!) and gives approachable nutrition and wellness plans to help you reach your fullest health potential.
Kelly is someone who inspires us greatly, and we can’t think of anyone better to kick off our Interview Series!
Kelly – thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. Let’s dive in! I know that prior to becoming a nutritionist, you worked in medical sales. How did you make that pivot? What made you excited about nutrition?
Of course! Well, I always loved health and nutrition since high school. Going to USC, nutrition was not a prominent degree. I wanted to learn about new science and technology so ended up in medical sales, selling personalized medicine in cancer and genetics. I loved that I could read studies and talk about them with clinicians and enact change.
One day, I was at a store with my friend Angela and was pushing her to start her own company. And she did the same for me. She said “You love health and nutrition. You love to stay up on the research. You could really make it a career.” Shortly thereafter, I went to [the Institute of Integrative Nutrition] and became a certified clinical nutritionist.
There are so many businesses and people that we focus on once they have become super successful, but we don’t talk as much about the hard times and the grind, the early days. How long has BeWellByKelly been a business? And what did you find valuable in growing your business?
I started my business in the summer of 2012 and it really started rolling around September. I have been hustling for eight years. And I have always thought about the long game. I wrote for publications like MindBodyGreen and Chalkboard magazine, all for free for the first five to six years of my business. It was imperative to me that I had press. In terms of building up my client base, word of mouth was definitely a big part of it. The most profound thing for me is making impact, seeing people change their day to day behaviors, and how they will impact their children, and their children’s children. Change needs to be attainable.
We find that personally, compared to anyone else who posts about SOUND, you are one of those people that your fans listen to. They buy SOUND, and other products you recommend, because they trust you. I know you often say you’re not an “influencer” and this mindset is part of what makes your voice so credible and impactful – how challenging has it been to stay true to your message and values in an ecosystem where so many “influencers” are making lots of money talking about things they genuinely don’t believe in and / or know nothing about?
Saying no to a number of companies who have offered me brand dollars and sponsorships, I am hoping to enact change in those companies. I tell companies why I don’t want to work with them, like if their product contains endocrine disruptors or palm oil for instance. I enjoy being an advisor or investor for brands I do believe in. I find people that can fuel the fire.
When it comes to nutrition, we know and love your Fab4 technique. But when it comes to fitness, do you have any thoughts on the type of exercise we should be doing? What is your favorite way to move your body?
I believe people should try to listen to their bodies and do what is best for them. Consistency outpaces perfection. I think about it the same way I think about how I eat – I want to get it done and be happy with what I do. I personally love a vinyasa flow class. It puts me in a very powerful place, fuels my fire, gets me excited about my work, and helps release things that aren’t serving me. I have been an Orange Theory junkie, been into Soul Cycle, and Pilates. If you’re feeling burned out, I recommend trying a new studio or class.
I’m also curious to ask about recipe development and cooking. It’s one thing to know what to prepare, but another to know how to prepare it. Have you always been into cooking?
I am now more passionate about cooking than ever. And now I’m cooking for my son, Sebastian. I’m finding he loves flavor, like spicy tacos and curry. It’s been really fun to see him fall in love with food. It has [husband] Chris and I eating at home more than we ever had before.
Lastly, you’re a new mama. And Bash is just so cute. Becoming a mom changes you tremendously. How has being a mom changed you, in life and in business?
Well, I care more about the feel of my home. I have better lamps! (laughs) I am more efficient with my time, and better at saying no. Before, I would over promise and would try to make it work for everybody.
As a new mom, do you have any tips and tricks for maintaining healthy nutrition?
- Breaking your fast is a powerful way to start the day and set the tone. Setting the goal of having a “perfect food day” can create a lot of stress. [A balanced, healthy breakfast] helps keep you motivated for the rest of the day and starts the day off right.
- Meal prep light: Keep a stocked fridge with a couple of proteins, washed and chopped veggies, and a healthy dip or dressing. That’s when I see the majority of the problem – [people] don’t bring a snack, or breakfast or lunch, or open the fridge and are tired and are just like “just give me the junk.”
Bash gets up between 5-6AM. I wake up, have water and supplements and then a cup of coffee. We play with Sebastian, and I will foam roll to open up my body. Three days per week, I will workout and then have my smoothie and other days, I will workout after seeing clients.
Favorite Workout Studio
Alo Yoga in Palisades – instructor: Tom
YogaHop – instructor: Courtney
Favorite Restaurants in LA
The Second Life with Hillary Kerr
Genius Life with Max Lugavere
also, we personally recommend listening to Kelly’s – it’s so good!
Favorite New Mom Baby Item
Hevea planet – better-for-you bath toys, pacifiers
Favorite of your recipes
Coconut cauliflower shredded chicken, and spicy shrimp tacos from her first book, Body Love
Tostadas, and cowboy skilled in her second book, Body Love Every Day