Woman of the Week: McKel of Nutrition Stripped!
Is there really such a thing as the ‘perfect’ diet? We chat to Mckel of Nutrition Stripped: the Dietitian, Nutritionist, self-proclaimed wholefoods connoisseur, wellbeing advocate, lover of delicious food and fitness fanatic, who wishes to emphasise that when it comes to eating, a very personal approach is key…
1. Before nutrition, you had an interest in psychology and then marine biology! What was the spark that inspired you to set up Nutrition Stripped?
That’s such a good question! As a child I was and still am, fascinated by animals, marine life, and the beach/ocean; I wanted to become a marine biologist to help save species, discover new, and be in the environment where I would be outdoors all the time- when I was a sophomore/late freshman in college, I started to take care of myself even more than I did in high school by working out more consistently and training harder than ever. Needless to say, I had to learn how to fuel my body quickly since it wasn’t going to repair and feel great eating nachos everyday like most high school students. I also had a bunch of friends who were collegiate athletes and who were interested in fitness modeling/body building, I was always great at constructing meals and recipes and they’d come to me for advice and I loved doing it! This was really the starting point of my interest in nutrition, sports nutrition and fueling the body. Overtime, it’s evolved into something much more than I ever thought, while bringing out the best of my passion and natural skills.
2. We love your plant-based food philosophy. But we are also interested that you are not vegetarian/vegan. When it comes to protein consumption, what guidelines is it important to be aware of?
I think all of us can do well by increasing the amount of vegetables, fruits, and foods coming directly from the earth- but I also get it. After coaching hundreds of people the one thing I’ve honed in on is that we’re all incredibly different and our bodies need different things depending on our goals, lifestyle, and genetics. As far as protein goes, again, it’s subjective to change depending on how your metabolism is, what your goal is, digestive state, food preferences, and more. I go through each of these points when I coach my clients to make sure I’m coming up with the best recommendation possible for them. In a nutshell, it’s a very general yet a helpful recommendation to make sure most of us are getting the bare minimum protein intake- having about 20 grams of protein at each meal in whatever form you prefer, plant-based or a little bit of animal protein! I personally incorporate fish and eggs into my diet and my body does really well with it.
3. As well as nutrition, you love to work out too! What is the latest item of clothing to join your activewear wardrobe?
Definitely my own t-shirt line that I just launched this month, it’s been so fun to see my designs come to life and see readers wear these all over the globe. My favorite one out of the bunch is the Matcha Matcha Matcha tank, it’s perfect for working out in!
In your opinion, what are the superfoods of 2015?
My long time favorite, turmeric. To be quite honest, I don’t think it’s a superfood of 2015 or 2016, but indefinitely! It’s incredibly high in antioxidants and one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories I use! If you’re new to using turmeric, you gotta try my Turmeric Milk- it’s famous!
4. Here at Inner Me, we think that TLC should be viewed as a necessity rather than an indulgence! How do you relax at the end of your day?
I couldn’t agree more! My work can get really busy and create a lot of challenges when it comes to me setting boundaries. Since I truly love what I do so much and it’s just me running my company, it can be really overwhelming and easy to work overtime to get things done. If anything, I’ve learned the importance of self-care and love more than ever the past couple of months and I’ve been making a conscious effort to practice my own recommendations- talking a long walk, talking to a friend on the phone, going out with friends, having silent time, reading, taking a hot bath, acupuncture on a weekly basis, massages, or doing some light yoga and foam rolling to stimulate my parasympathetic nervous system and get into relax mode!
5. Your glowing skin and gorgeous hair is clear evidence of a healthy Inner You. But what about your daily beauty routines? How do you look after your Outer You?
Thank you, that’s so sweet! I have to say, I get asked about my hair and skin routine often and my number 1 piece of advice is to always start from the inside and then it works it’s way outside. Also, living your authentic truth and your true unique self makes anyone gorgeous in my opinion. My skin care routine is pretty simple, I have sensitive skin and it’s prone to breaking out so I make sure my products are as natural as possible and gentle then couple that with a couple deep moisturizing lotions, serums, and exfoliates like BHA and AHA. I also am a huge advocate for body brushing to stimulate lymph that moves our circulation around and helps the body get rid of excess liquid and “toxins”/metabolites.
My beauty routine, again, the simpler the better! I hate wearing make up- truly I’m not a fan of caking on something to cover up your natural beauty, so I try to stick to using less than 5 make up items at a time, for me that’s always using a tinted moisturizer with an SPH of 45 or higher (gotta protect your skin!), RMS un-cover up if needed, a setting powder, mascara, sometimes black liner, and sometimes a bronzer or illuminator by RMS as well.
Otherwise, having healthy skin and hair comes down to your lifestyle as well- you can have the perfect diet and exercise program, but if you’re digestion is out of whack not absorbing nutrients, if you’re anxious or under a lot of stress, not sleeping well, those all cause our hormones to get thrown out of delicate balance, which is crucial to a beautiful outer body!
6. It goes without saying that your diet is impeccable! But do you take any additional vitamins and minerals? If so, what?
For me, I make sure I take B12, vitamin D, omega-3s, and occasionally zinc to ensure my body is getting enough- again, I’m not “vegan” but many foods I do consume aren’t strong enough in those nutrients so it gives me a boost. I always recommend everyone being their own health advocate and knowing your blood work and go from there! We’re all so different at how our bodies absorb the beautiful nutrients we consume. For a list of my favorite nutrients for “beauty”, check out my Beauty Foods List.
7. We love that you love to travel. But how do you manage to stay eating healthily when away from home - especially with a gluten and dairy intolerance?
I do love traveling and can’t wait to be able to do more of it now that I’ve finished up the biggest project I’ve worked on thus far, my first cookbook! I’m traveling to LA, NYC, Thailand, Hawaii, and who knows where else. I think traveling tests your skills for sure, planning ahead is the biggest help- so I use my own guides at helping get a good foundation for traveling in my Travel Survival Guide and don’t be afraid to ask! So many people get shy about asking for healthier options, gluten free options, etc.; remember it’s your vacation/travel adventure, so be empowered to take your health into your own hands and explore options and ask.
8. For the working mum, dishing up healthy, yet stress-free meals for the family can be a challenge. Do you have any recipes that would be popular with kids?
I coach so many mommas and new mommas and that’s always the biggest challenge- how do I cook for my family and myself at the same time. My biggest tip is batch cooking! Having a solid meal plan and planning ahead your week, whether it’s making your own baby food or just planning your meals to make ahead of time that way you can create family meals as you go along with the week- whatever works for you.
I definitely have family friendly and kid-friendly recipes include: Sweet Potato Pecan Tacos, Nut Milks, Popcorn four ways, Oatmeal Cookies, Cauliflower Pizza, Raw Caramel, and Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse! All hidden healthy ingredients.
For more about Mckel, click here: