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McKel Hill, a superstar dietician and the founder of the powerhouse wellness brand called Nutrition Stripped has been stripping down the complex topic of nutrition for five epic years now! In those five years, she’s written a cookbook, launched a robust society (not a secret one though), operates a thriving coaching practice, built a shop of super adorbs planty t-shirts and sexy stationary, and has brought knowledge and inspiration to millions and millions of health-seeking peeps. For someone whose senior high school superlative was to be “the Next Picasso,” she’s really been rocking the “next impressive and stylish entrepreneur female judge on Shark Tank” superlative these days, too. Here’s my chat with her about how she balances it all while keeping her body healthy and her plant eating on fleek!
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So Many Show Notes!
Funny enough, my fiance Jesse found Mckel’s book at Anthropologie while doing peeking at wedding registry stuff and asked if I’d heard of her and her brand. (Umm, DUH, Jesse!) Also funny enough, Mckel recently got engaged to a man also named Jesse, the story of which you’ve got to listen to our full chat to experience!
When I asked her what she says when her clients complain that their husband, roommate, etc. doesn’t want to eat healthy, she tells them:
First and foremost, prioritize your personal health goals. (And this isn’t a selfish way of thinking.)
“You have to show up for yourself fully before you can show up for others”
Which we discuss in the context of it being self care!
“It’s a different kind of self-care, but it’s a necessary self-care”
Then, think about how you engage the people in your life to explore these goals with you. She says that “communication is key” and you can also try to make it fun – cooking together, exploring a cookbook together, etc!
On the topic of create the massive brand Nutrition Stripped…
She actually graduated high school with a 1.83 GPA (yikes! She was banking on the fact that she was going to art school! But in college, she found that she loved biology, then “fell into sports nutrition as a catalyst into the nutrition world.”
She believes that nutrition found her – she previously had horrible migraines, acne, digestion issues in high school but had no concept of how food impacts the way you feel! So she “started guinea pigging all of these different diets and lifestyle” out of curiosity and because she knew she would be coaching people in the future. She’d do long case studies on herself – this was her turning point in resolving a lot of her own health issues.
“I love the world of science. I respect it. But it’s also important to listen to the subjective – how are we feeling? Science can’t always measure that – the psychological component all the time.
It’s good to put both of those sides into action to take care of yourself best.”
So Nutrition Stripped started out as a food blog, but she was able to take it from a hobby to full-time career in about 9 months.
BTW – the difference between a “nutritionist” and an RD..
Registered Dietitian (RD)/ Registered Dietitian (RDN):
- “Both credentials mean essentially the same thing”
- Earned by completing programs accredited by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
- “Have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university in Dietetics with an internship that lasts about a year, if not two, and then pass a national exam to get your official credential”
- Also CEUs involved (continuing education credits) that are over the span of 5 years that help keep RD’s up-to-date with science
- There’s a lot of science, anatomy, and curriculum is continuing to be updated with plant-based info, etc.
- Pretty much anyone who’s done an online nutrition course or taken some nutrition classes can call themselves a “nutritionist”
Health Coaches (meeee):
- Differ depending on the classes or courses you are taking, and where from
When looking for someone to work with, look at their expertise next to your personal goals to determine if they align. (My expertise is helping peeps with digestive struggles as well as social struggles coming in the way of them being consistent with their healthy eating!)
McKel’s food philosophy:
“In a nutshell, food philosophy-wise, is to keep it simple.”
She’s a big fan (as am I) of enjoying a lot of whole foods – fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, etc.
“Simplicity over superfoods” is her M.O. and really what she believes is where we should be focusing as a society.
To that point she says —
“Why do all the matcha and gojis if you’re not even getting in 8-10 cups of greens a day?”
Regarding superfoods and trendy products, she’s lucky enough to be able to try them, be a guinea pig, and research the items and see “does it live up to the hype.”
Matcha: She loves matcha, the antioxidants are much higher, and can be an easy replacement for a coffee in the morning if you want to switch it up. Matcha is a classic when you look into Japanese culture.
(I love matcha too! Here’s my matcha latte recipe!)
She also likes MCT oil: Medium-chain triglyceride – fat source that is very common in coconut oil. They are digested a little differently than long-chain fatty acids or those found in olive oil or seeds. “Almost like a carbohydrate if you will.” In the clinical settings, MCTs are used to help people with malabsorption issues – can’t handle the digestion of fat or need quick energy and calories. It’s quick energy, good fat, fills you up, tastes good, and if have it in a fasted state, you’re running on a surge of “fat fuel.”
Note: she recommends starting small with MCT oil – maybe like a teaspoon at a time.
“You can have the most perfect diet, but if your stress is out of whack or if you’re incredibly unhappy and your mental stability or general emotional awareness and wellbeing isn’t met or as high as it should be, the diet isn’t gonna matter.”
It really comes down to balance.
Her morning routine helps keep her in-sync & this is her routine!
Think she meal plans for herself?…
The answer is yes! every Sunday she meal preps basics so that her meals (mostly lunch and dinners) throughout the week might be made up of meal components prepped on Sunday or a meal made from scratch.
For breakfast, smoothies are her go-to’s.
Don’t worry, I asked what’s in her post-workout smoothie…
1-2 cups almond milk, 2 handfuls of greens (loving watercress “which is insanely antioxidant rich”), ½ fresh squeezed lemon, vanilla protein powder, almond butter or cashew butter (sometimes coconut butter if she has it), sometimes flaxseed or chia seeds, and any type of frozen berries that she has – “The fat and fiber really keep you nice and full, so I kind of go heavy-handed on the almond butter”
Her favorite plant party restaurant: Plant Food + Wine in LA
Her favorite plant to eat: Dark, leafy greens – watercress in the present moment and her classic staple is dino kale
**Her Raw Caramel recipe with dates we spoke about!**
(And here’s my date caramel recipe, too!)
Her most used kitchen tool: her Vitamix or tea kettle (she loves caffeine-free herbal Yogi tea blends)
A book that has inspired her: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Here’s her book!