Inspired Health Coach: Kelly LeVeque (Be Well By Kelly)
Based on your feedback for more information on health coaching jobs and careers, I’m excited to unveil a new series on Downshiftology – the Inspired Health Coach.
This series extends the health coaching business tips I’ve shared and highlights the amazing work of health coaches, the diversity in their careers and the rockstar businesses they’ve created. My hope is that this series will provide inspiration for those interested in creating a wellness-focused business and reinforce the idea that there’s not just one singular path to success.
When I dreamt up this series I knew immediately the amazing health coach I would highlight first – my friend Kelly LeVeque. Kelly and I met a couple of years ago and both previously worked for healthcare and biotech companies (in fact, we almost worked at the same company).
Kelly is passionate about the science of human nutrition and stays up-to-date on the latest scientific research, which makes her a wealth of knowledge. But her true skill lies in how she applies this science to her clients in the most relatable, approachable manner – which keeps them coming back for more. Kelly is intelligent, balanced in her approach and incredibly easy to talk to, so it should come as no surprise her client list includes Hollywood celebrities including Jessica Alba, Chelsea Handler, Molly Sims, Emmy Rossum and Jennifer Garner.
Today, I’m happy to introduce you to my friend Kelly LeVeque of Be Well by Kelly.
Inspired Health Coach – Kelly LeVeque (Be Well by Kelly)
We know you’re a rockstar celebrity nutritionist and health coach, but how would you describe what do? What’s your job?
At the end of the day, I am a consultant and each client is project. I review their habits, blood tests and lifestyle and we elevate their choices. I educate them on how to elongate their blood sugar curve, decrease inflammation and support them to turn realistic goals into habits.
I meet with clients all day, everyday, unless I am on tour with my book. The last six months my job also included traveling the country to promote my new book Body Love: Live in Balance, Weigh What You Want and Free Yourself and Food Drama Forever.
What’s your philosophy on food and healthy living?
My food philosophy is all about eating to turn off hunger hormones, learning to elongate your blood sugar curve and fueling up on whole foods that fight inflammation. My clients are taught to ditch the diet along with “eat and do not eat lists” and are instead empowered to enrich their meals with nourishing foods. The fab four is my light structure of eating that helps my clients remember how to elevate their food choices and balance their blood sugar curve without the stress.
What was your “aha” moment that prompted you to become a health coach?
I remember the moment I decided to become a health coach and follow my passion into wellness like it was yesterday. I was jogging around Brentwood Country Club with my best friend Angela in 2011 and she inspired me to make my hobby a reality. I went home that night and signed up for IIN’s class. Since then, I’ve completed my post graduate nutrition courses at UCLA and Berkeley.
I’m sure everyone is dying to know how you started working with celebrities! Can you describe how your career has evolved – from when you became a health coach to what you do today? Did you foresee that path?
I didn’t expect to work with celebrities but let’s just say it’s a small world in Los Angeles and many people are somehow connected to or working in the industry. When I started I had no pressure, it was my passion and my side hustle but I took it just as seriously as my career because that’s exactly what I wanted it to be. It’s also the best advice I can give, take your side hustles seriously and they will become your main hustle.
Walk us through a typical “day in the life” of Kelly LeVeque. What does this look like? How many hours do you work daily/weekly?
Funny you should ask, it’s 8:35am and I just landed at LAX. I have been up since 4:45am and spent the last 4 days in the Bay Area doing book promotion. But just because I’m traveling to promote the book doesn’t mean my “day job” goes away. I was able to FaceTime with 6-8 clients each day I was gone on top of hosting Q&A’s at Google and Cuyana in San Francisco.
Now, I’m about to jump in a Uber to meet up with a client and will finish with in-person appointments at 6:30pm this evening, then my office hours start. I write for a number of health blogs and I’m currently working on book number two. Friday’s are saved for networking, shooting videos and photos for press and social media and just general catch up.
Everyday is honestly so different but on average I work 80 hours a week. The only thing that stays constant 80% of the time is “my time” – my morning workout and smoothie! It didn’t happen today because of my flight but yesterday in the city I took a SoulCycle class and snagged a smoothie at Earthbar.
I protect my weekends and only work 2-3 hours a day and rarely see clients, so work happens with coffee on my couch in my PJs.
What do you attribute your success as a health coach and celebrity nutritionist to?
Easy, hustle and resilience! “No’s” are the worst but I don’t let them affect my drive and grind. I keep my head down, my confidence high and back it up with science. I do the job my clients pay me to do, I keep up with studies, educate my clients on the research and provide the tools for their success.
We know the entrepreneur life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. Can you talk about some of the challenges that come with managing a thriving business and how you navigate those?
I am still learning! The hustle is constant but I am learning to say no to things that aren’t helping to grow and positively change my business and brand.
You recently wrote your first book, Body Love – congrats! How was the process of writing a book? And what’s your favorite (okay, I’ll give you three favorite) recipes from the book?
I learned a lot writing my first book, it takes more time than you can imagine and there were definitely a few meltdowns along the way. Deadlines change, the table of contents is tweaked and ideas you want to be included are edited out. At the end of the day, it was a labor of love and I am proud its mine!
My three favorite recipes from my book, Body Love are:
- Spa smoothie
- Detox salad
- Lemon garlic chicken
What’s your biggest tip or piece of advice you’d give to prospective health coaches? And what’s been your biggest “lesson learned” in creating your own business?
If you make a mistake that costs you money, simply allocate that loss to the “oh sh*t fund” and move on. My dad once told me you will probably spend at least $250k there in your lifetime and it’s better just to move on. Just because you spend time or money making a mistake doesn’t mean you should stick with it.
I once paid for a custom website that I didn’t realize wasn’t optimized for mobile. It was going to be another $4k to optimize it so I decided to build my own site in Squarespace for nothing and took down an over a $5k custom site in a weekend.
What’s next for you? Where do you see yourself and your business in the next couple of years?
I would love to have a few more books, a product line, a stand and stir TV show and a bunch of babies. I am all about sharing my hacks, providing resources and helping as many people as I can! I would really love to continue to reach the masses.
Rapid Fire with Kelly
5 kitchen staples: Lemons, cucumber, clean protein powder, super greens, wild sockeye salmon
3 snacks in your purse or bag: Bag of mixed nuts, vanilla shortbread Bulletproof bar, packet of protein powder
First thing you drink in the morning (after water): Coffee or matcha, depends on the day!
Go-to workout: Vinyasa yoga flow
Favorite mantra or quote:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you …. we are in charge of our attitudes! “- Charles Swindoll
3 words to describe yourself: Loving, easy going and driven
Favorite place to eat out in LA: Farmshop
Dream vacation spot: Bora Bora
A big thanks to my friend Kelly for sharing her knowledge and insights with us today! If you’d like to learn more about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), the health coaching program both Kelly and I attended, click here to get a copy of the curriculum guide.
Stay tuned for more in this series with inspiring health coaching jobs and careers! And in the meantime, you can read more articles I’ve written on health coaching.